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 Reloading 223 on Pro 1000 bullet placement awkward
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challenger
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - Jan 15 2012 :  13:36:48  Show Profile Send challenger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know about ALL the issues with the Lee progressive presses so I am not looking for set up/operating advice-thanks anyway.
I happen to have a Loadmaster that I put a lot of time into and got it working very well and a recently acquired Pro 1000 that I am using to reload several thousand .223 rounds. It functions very well, again after putting a lot of time into, except for a complaint I have about the ergonomics of placing the 55 gr bullets I am using on the case neck. I've read a lot online but have not seen much helpful information about this specific issue. If there is anyone with a tip on how to more easily facilitate bullet placement I would be very greatful.
If anyone is interested I can post information on what I did to this press to keep it from tipping the 223 cases after the case feeder drops a case on the ramp.
Thanks
Howard

Beekeeper for chordomafoundation.com

Onondaga
Advanced Member



USA
2271 Posts

Posted - Jan 16 2012 :  13:17:47  Show Profile Send Onondaga a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Chamfer the case mouths lightly with a tool like the Lee Zip Trim with the Chamfer and Deburring Tool . Before putting the cases in the press use the Frankford Arsenal Case Neck Lubricator it has brushes for every caliber and powdered mica.

When the case mouths are inside beveled with the chamfer tool and then inside neck lubed and brushed with mica, the bullets slide in easily with the press. Your hand position in feeding the bullets, or ergonomics, doesn't leave a lot of variety. You have to put the bullets in the case mouth by hand unless you get the bullet feeding accessory. So, just get used to it and it will get easier after the first few thousand.

Link to lube kit:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/197010/frankford-arsenal-case-neck-lubricator

The Pro 1000 has been a great performer for me with over 20,000 rounds .223 loaded on mine. The press only has 3 stations and you have to condition your brass case mouths, case length and primer pockets in batches off the press. This is very important for the operation of the press and the quality of your ammo. There is no way to get around that. If you ignore that, slop goes in and slop will come out along with the associated problems of sloppy work.

Gary

Fine rifles are never really owned.
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challenger
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - Jan 16 2012 :  20:31:19  Show Profile Send challenger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the input. I do not think that Lee offers the bullet feeder for the Pro 1000 in .223 caliber?? I have not tried chamfering the necks because I felt like doing so would make the neck have a pretty sharp edge and feeding/guiding them with my fingers would lead to some worn out fingertips.
I was looking at a "Vickerman" die. It has an opening above the turret that a bullet is placed into. They are supposed to be very good but too much $ for me right now.
I've been doing some reading about bullet seating/accuracy and it seems to be that the straighter the bullet gets started in the neck the more accurate the round will be. It is impossible to get the bullet to sit on the .223 neck without spending way too much time fiddling with it and I have noticed that some bullets seat with more effort than others so I am wondering if it is due to the bullet going into the neck on an angle and the force needed to straighten it out is what I am feeling when I raise the ram.
Do you do complete rounds on the 1K? Right now I am still not confident enough in mine to do all stages. I do so with my Loadmaster but have been using the 1K with only the priming function for all the cases and then going back to charge & seat. With just priming I had enough bad ones that I think it would be a real headache if the powder charger was in place as I cleared the problem. I'll give it a go at some point soon though. I remember what I had to go through to get the Loadmaster to work reliably so I think I can get this 1K to the point that it will be OK.
Thanks
Howard

Beekeeper for chordomafoundation.com
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Onondaga
Advanced Member



USA
2271 Posts

Posted - Jan 16 2012 :  23:07:40  Show Profile Send Onondaga a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was incorrect, the bullet feed for the 1K is for larger calibers only, sorry. My 1K has only been used for .223 and I hand feed bullets.

You mention getting a sharp edge from chamfer. Chamfering is very much less than that when done correctly.

My run goes like this with brass that needs to be trimmed/chamfered:

Empty fired cases with fired primers in place are tumble polished and wiped. Lee Case lube is applied. Inside neck lube kit is used. With a batch that needs brass conditioning, next I size and DE-prime the brass batch on a single stage press. The Lee Zip trim is used to cut to length, I inside chamfer with 1/3 pull, and outside DE-burr with 1/3 pull. This only breaks the square trimmed edge to a tiny bevel on each side. There is no knife edge either inside or out to possibly hurt your fingers.

The rest of the batch loading is done on the 1K with the sizing die removed. So cases are primed, charged, bullets seated with a crimp by cycling the 1K.

Every batch is not done this way. A batch is re-loadable for several cycles after brass conditioning as above by just running them through the 1K for all steps progressively. But the brass does stretch and usually every 4th time I re-condition the brass. You can feel confident all steps will run well on the 1K when the brass is maintained carefully and the press is maintained correctly.

You mention primer feed on the 1k. You are not familiar with correct maintenance of it by cleaning, checking adjustment, and dry lubrication of the primer chute if you are having problems. The 1K priming system works excellent when meticulously maintained. It is not a lazy man's press and must be kept very clean and properly lubricated or it will be a nightmare.

High volume loading only caused me one major problem early on with the 1K press. I wore out the expander bell on a sizing die. I figured out the problem and it was my fault. That is when I began wiping cases after tumbling them and using the inside case neck lube kit. It was polishing grit inside the necks from tumbling that wore out the expander so much that bullet seating got difficult because the expander had worn to undersize after 4000 rounds of expanding gritty brass. I replaced the inexpensive die part and still use the second one with no problems since I modified my brass care.

Gary

Fine rifles are never really owned.

Edited by - Onondaga on Jan 16 2012 23:31:42
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challenger
Starting Member

5 Posts

Posted - Jan 17 2012 :  19:17:02  Show Profile Send challenger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Onondaga

I was incorrect, the bullet feed for the 1K is for larger calibers only, sorry. My 1K has only been used for .223 and I hand feed bullets.

Yea-that is what I thought. I did a good bit of interweb searching and found this to be the case but I was hoping you had good news for me that I had overlooked.

You mention getting a sharp edge from chamfer. Chamfering is very much less than that when done correctly.

Gotcha-thanks.

My run goes like this with brass that needs to be trimmed/chamfered:

Empty fired cases with fired primers in place are tumble polished and wiped. Lee Case lube is applied. Inside neck lube kit is used. With a batch that needs brass conditioning, next I size and DE-prime the brass batch on a single stage press. The Lee Zip trim is used to cut to length, I inside chamfer with 1/3 pull, and outside DE-burr with 1/3 pull. This only breaks the square trimmed edge to a tiny bevel on each side. There is no knife edge either inside or out to possibly hurt your fingers.

The rest of the batch loading is done on the 1K with the sizing die removed. So cases are primed, charged, bullets seated with a crimp by cycling the 1K.

I've got only once fired brass at this point and measured enough of the cases to be confident that the cases are all within acceptable length so I am not trimming. You mention that you crimp your bullets however the die that came with my setup didn't come with a crimp style seating die. It is another thing I did too much research on because there are so many opinions. Currently I am relying on the the seating die I have to hold the bullet in the neck. I did try to gently pry the bullets from several uncharged cases and none of the rounds would come apart. I wasted 20-30 bullets by damaging them but I feel it was worth the peace of mind.

Every batch is not done this way. A batch is re-loadable for several cycles after brass conditioning as above by just running them through the 1K for all steps progressively. But the brass does stretch and usually every 4th time I re-condition the brass. You can feel confident all steps will run well on the 1K when the brass is maintained carefully and the press is maintained correctly.

You mention primer feed on the 1k. You are not familiar with correct maintenance of it by cleaning, checking adjustment, and dry lubrication of the primer chute if you are having problems. The 1K priming system works excellent when meticulously maintained. It is not a lazy man's press and must be kept very clean and properly lubricated or it will be a nightmare.

Oh I am very familiar with what has to be done to get these presses to run properly however this one is new enough to me that I've put off priming & charging in one stroke until I can get the small bug out of the priming system. Currently it appears that the primers once every so often skip over the priming pin with no case in position. I wanted to get some reloads done before finding the cause but, in the short time I spent looking at the possible cause(s), I think the plastic where the chute end is too high and this is allowing the primers to over shoot the primer pin even with the case sensor not being tripped. I may have to shave a little plastic off this part of the chute. There are so many opinions about lubricants reloaders use. I personally use graphite on the carrier & associated parts but I still use a light oil on the ram and actuating shaft. I started with graphite on the actuating shaft but found that light oil was a lot smoother. Personal preference I guess.

High volume loading only caused me one major problem early on with the 1K press. I wore out the expander bell on a sizing die. I figured out the problem and it was my fault. That is when I began wiping cases after tumbling them and using the inside case neck lube kit. It was polishing grit inside the necks from tumbling that wore out the expander so much that bullet seating got difficult because the expander had worn to undersize after 4000 rounds of expanding gritty brass. I replaced the inexpensive die part and still use the second one with no problems since I modified my brass care.

In this batch I've been working on I washed the brass very well after removing it from my vibratory "tumbler" and the inside of the brass was clean so I have no concerns about dirt/grit posing a problem. After wiping the outside of the cases dry & clean I sprayed them with a lanolin/alcohol mist for lubrication. This is another topic of great debate but, again for me, it works great & is cheap. Above you mention your expander was worn undersize. I suspect this was for a caliber other than .223 yes/

Gary



Thanks for all this great input. Keep any advice you might want to offer coming.

Howard

Beekeeper for chordomafoundation.com
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Onondaga
Advanced Member



USA
2271 Posts

Posted - Jan 17 2012 :  19:44:29  Show Profile Send Onondaga a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"I think the plastic where the chute end is too high and this is allowing the primers to over shoot the primer pin even with the case sensor not being tripped. I may have to shave a little plastic off this part of the chute. "

Don't shave the plastic, you may end up then replacing an assembly. There is probably spent primer grit, powder, brass shavings or dust in there.

High pressure air spray, or better yet disassemble and clean then lube with powdered mica. Your case sensor spring sounds out of adjustment and has likely become bent too straight or became loose and has rotated..

Make sure you know how to disassemble, re-assemble and set your timing before you attempt this. There are videos at the Lee sight to help you learn this, I believe.

Gary

Fine rifles are never really owned.

Edited by - Onondaga on Jan 17 2012 19:50:24
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Shastaboat
Advanced Member

USA
5203 Posts

Posted - May 18 2012 :  00:16:12  Show Profile Send Shastaboat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gary,
I just received my Lee Pro 1000 in .223 yesterday and loaded about 500 rounds. I am having problems with the case sensor not tripping and resorted to tripping it with my finger. I had to strip the press down and sure dumped a bunch of powder on my bench when no primer was inserted in cases. Other than trying to size and deprime an occassional military crimp which pushed the depriming pin out, and the primer feed, I was prety impressed wtih this press. Any suggestions on the primer sensor?
Thanks, Brent
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Onondaga
Advanced Member



USA
2271 Posts

Posted - May 18 2012 :  01:00:54  Show Profile Send Onondaga a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shastaboat:

Brent, A common problem with the case sensor is dust or powder in the groove that the lower wire spring rests in under the shell plate. Grit or dust there will prevent the black plastic arm from returning to neutral position. The black armature movement should be very free and easy. The primer feeding push rod should also have very free and easy movement. Disassemble, clean and dry lube with powdered mica or oil free graphite--use NO OIL! That will attract more problems in the primer sensor and primer feed.

De-grease the parts with 409 or Mean Green after disassemble, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Brush with Mica and put back together. This is a regular maintenance step every few thousand rounds for smooth operation. Sometimes only an air blast will free up the delicate parts of the dust and the sensor will work fine. Oil and grit in the sensor and primer feed system is death to operation. Fouling from spent primers and tumbling media dust is the general culprit but spilled powder will certainly cause the same problem. Incorrect lubrication drifting into the sensor and primer feed will attract normal room dust and cause malfunction also.

You will be fine, you are just getting to know the machine!!!

Gary

Fine rifles are never really owned.
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Shastaboat
Advanced Member

USA
5203 Posts

Posted - May 18 2012 :  12:39:27  Show Profile Send Shastaboat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Gary. As easy as this press operates I may have to buy another for 9mm and one in 45 acp.
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