Just had to gripe....at myself

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Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon May 20, 2013 7:21 pm

So today was going to be my big day. I was going to load my first handgun rounds on my Lee 1000 Progressive Press. I think I've only mentioned that like a dozen times on here. Got die sets over the past month for 9mm, 40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Got bullets (9mm and 40) last Friday after finding a site with them in stock and fast shipping.

I'm excited, I have everything, ready to go. I happen to be off work today so I spend an hour taking the press apart, cleaning it, setting it up for handgun rounds with the 40 S&W die set. Just wanted to throw rounds through it one stage at a time to make sure it was set up.

Stage 1, deprime and resize. Small issue with feeding casings till I figured out I had the wrong size case feeder block on there. Changed out, feeds cases perfectly from the tubes to the shell plate carrier. Stage 1 complete.

Stage 2, powder and prime. Start with getting my powder load dialed in. Ran 20 casings through it that still had old primers in them just to check powder measurement. 19 of the 20 casings came dead on, 1 was .1 gr less. Not an issue since I was going with a low load for a 40 always to start. Start setting up the primer portion. Blasted thing wouldn't feed properly no matter what I did. Kept looking, found a youtube video of how to solve the first problem however it caused a second problem that it wanted to put 1.5 primers on the primer riser pin. Look online, nothing. Finally, found one website that someone commented on a small primer riser. Well, low and behold, I only have one size and it's the large.

Stupid $2 part (that is now on order) ruined my day. I couldn't get it to properly feed two primers in a row without messing up and smashing one or flipping it sideways, so I gave up.

I think I might :cry: . Now I have to wait another week or two before I can try again. I'll say one thing, I learned alot more about my press today since I wasn't using it the full way doing rifle only on it (the resizing step kinda kills using it properly).
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby mreising » Mon May 20, 2013 7:45 pm

Here is a hint (I've got two Pro1000s) rather than just changing the shell plate when you change calibers, get a second shell plate carrier, one for large and one for small primer then you won't have to change the small parts. I've actually got two small primer shell plate carriers, one with a 380/.223 shell plate and the other with a 9 mm plate, but that is only because I got a good deal on the extra carrier here. The other press is set up for 45 ACP.

Here is another hint: consider changing the spring on the powder measure pull down to one that is a lower rate (not as stiff), but longer. It keeps tension on the chain through more of the stroke and once the spring is about 75 percent compressed it has a force similar to the short, stiff spring and yet it still has extra compression left. Keeping the lighter tension on the chain throughout the stroke makes it less prone to breakage.

Your process of running a series of several tests for each stage is good. Some people don't do that when they get a progressive, and if it is their first attempt at reloading they don't realize where issues arise. I think everyone should start with a single stage and learn the processes and feel before going progressive. Definitely keep the single stage.

By the way, the Pro1000 primer feed works best when the feed "chute" is full up to the tray so there is constant force on the stack of primers to get them to feed. I thought about taking a vibrator motor out of an old cell phone and stick it to the back of the chute to get the primers to feed more smoothly. I haven't tried that yet. Once the chute gets below half-full, the primers don't feed reliably. I keep a slightly dull, wooden pencil handy to move primers if they hang up. The Pro1000 is probably better than the Loadmaster based on comments from a couple friends that have or had both. The downside to the Pro1000 is the lack of a space for a 4th station but I rarely use a factory crimp die so it is moot.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon May 20, 2013 7:53 pm

mreising wrote:Here is another hint: consider changing the spring on the powder measure pull down to one that is a lower rate (not as stiff), but longer. It keeps tension on the chain through more of the stroke and once the spring is about 75 percent compressed it has a force similar to the short, stiff spring and yet it still has extra compression left. Keeping the lighter tension on the chain throughout the stroke makes it less prone to breakage.


Oh, I already changed the heck out of that. I got rid of the lamp shade type chain and replaced it with an aircraft cable and cable camps at both ends. Found a better spring at home depot and now it works flawlessly. If I break that cable, well, then I have some serious issues. I think prior I broke about 5 of the factory cables trying to reset the powder measure.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby mreising » Mon May 20, 2013 8:05 pm

JediSkipdogg wrote:
mreising wrote:Here is another hint: consider changing the spring on the powder measure pull down to one that is a lower rate (not as stiff), but longer. It keeps tension on the chain through more of the stroke and once the spring is about 75 percent compressed it has a force similar to the short, stiff spring and yet it still has extra compression left. Keeping the lighter tension on the chain throughout the stroke makes it less prone to breakage.


Oh, I already changed the heck out of that. I got rid of the lamp shade type chain and replaced it with an aircraft cable and cable camps at both ends. Found a better spring at home depot and now it works flawlessly. If I break that cable, well, then I have some serious issues. I think prior I broke about 5 of the factory cables trying to reset the powder measure.

Do you still have a spring on the cable at the bottom so pull-down lever doesn't bottom out before the stroke is completed? I assume the cable slides through the hole in the holder on the carrier during the upstroke and the cable, being stiffer, shouldn't get a loop or kink in it like the chain. That is why I went with the longer spring, it kept the chain pulled though most of the stroke, and for the little bit where there was no tension there was enough chain hanging down that gravity took over and kept it straight. I need to look at using a cable, that's a good idea.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon May 20, 2013 8:20 pm

If I had my press together I'd send a picture, I'll think of doing that once I get the small primer rod and put it all back together.

The cable goes through the back hole on the powder measure level and is secured with a cable cable. No need to feed it through the second hole. It then goes down and through the hole just like the normal chain does. Looking at mine now, I actually have two springs after the bottom hole. There is then a cable clamp at the end to hold the springs on.

The cable slides through the carrier hole without any problems on the upstroke. I forget what size cable I used, but it was the biggest size I could get that fit through the powder measure hole It seems the carrier hole is slightly larger, not much, but the cable moves freely there and doesn't move at all through the powder measure hole.

I should add that with the two springs on mine I actually have to push the handle back for a complete stroke. The springs have enough tension that they cause the shell carrier to rise about 1/6 of an inch if my hand is off the handle.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby evan price » Mon May 20, 2013 9:41 pm

If you have no luck finding a small primer pin let me know, I have a couple of them and could spare you one.

I have complete shellplate carriers set up for the major calibers, along with turrets preset for each of the standard loads I use, with their own dedicated Auto-Disc measures already installed on each turret. Changeover for me is about a minute.

I do not use the new chain-return powder measure, I seek out the older ones with the spring in the base. The reason they were changed was that if you do not fully stroke the press handle it is possible to throw a second charge in the case- I solve that not with a fiddly reset chain, but I stop and unload the press whenever there is a problem that could cause a double.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon May 20, 2013 10:32 pm

evan price wrote:I have complete shellplate carriers set up for the major calibers, along with turrets preset for each of the standard loads I use, with their own dedicated Auto-Disc measures already installed on each turret. Changeover for me is about a minute.


That is my ultimate goal with this press. I'd love to get there and am slowly doing that.

I did find the primer pin on the Lee website so I ordered from them. Also ordered a few other parts to make changing over faster.

I wish I could find the complete carrier group WITHOUT the shell plates. I think somewhere along my orders (or maybe even the guy I bought it from on here) I got all the plates I need. But it seems the only way to get the carrier group is either a) order all the parts seperate and build one or b) buy it with the shell plate and then just have extras.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby Gaspode » Tue May 21, 2013 5:46 am

Meh. Buy a dillon. 8)
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby evan price » Tue May 21, 2013 6:24 am

Gaspode wrote:Meh. Buy a dillon. 8)


What's that, a Blue-Press Parrot? You can always recognize them by the distinctive song-
"BUy a DilloN! BuYAdiLlOn! Awk! BuyadiLLON! Awk!"

Image

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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby JediSkipdogg » Tue May 21, 2013 9:05 am

Gaspode wrote:Meh. Buy a dillon. 8)


Got one, it's at my buddy's house. I ran out of space for it so he bought it from me, well, he was suppose to pay me in ammo but I haven't seen it yet. :lol:
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby Gaspode » Tue May 21, 2013 9:36 am

This is the second time in two months I've been compared to something of an avian nature. Funny stuff.

However, my loaded round count so far this year is hovering just shy of 30k, 19k of which being rifle. No way I could of done it on the lee.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby Sevens » Tue May 21, 2013 2:03 pm

Gaspode wrote:No way I could of done it on the lee.

Meh, limitations. Over 20k in each of last two years using a Pro-1000 in my own semi-progressive mode, handling all of the powder and bullet seating OFF the Pro-1000 and single stage. That's not 40,000 rounds of 9mm, either. That over 40k across seventeen different chamberings.

Jedi, the shell plate itself is a $13 part from Natchez. They sell a complete carrier for something like $30, IIRC.

We are all cheap in our own way, some of us more than others. In some cases, ya gotta get over yourself and see the forest-- quit being blinded by all the trees blocking your view. Spend the $30 or whatever for a second shell plate carrier and take the EXTRA shell plate and throw it in the back of a drawer, or offer it up on a forum. Having at least one extra carrier simply for the primer size difference is a no-brainer once you've done it. You'll never go back.

Added advantages are lightning fast caliber change over and one even bigger thing to keep in mind: outside of the powder measure (that I refuse to use), everything that truly matters on the Pro-1000 is contained in the carrier. Having a second one on hand means that almost -NO- breakdown takes you fully out of the game and waiting on any part. You may wreck something, but you have a whole swappable unit of back-up parts mere feet away. You can let Lee send out anything you need at your leisure as you get back up and running in just a few minutes.
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby The German » Tue May 21, 2013 5:45 pm

Jedi, I sent you a pm - I got a spare set (pin and primer through) here that you can borrow for a week or two - would only need you to drive a few miles to pick it up...
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Re: Just had to gripe....at myself

Postby evan price » Tue May 21, 2013 11:45 pm

Gaspode wrote:This is the second time in two months I've been compared to something of an avian nature. Funny stuff.



Hey, the bird is the word, man.
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