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Post subject: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:17 pm
I ordered a Lee Pro 1000 press for .40 S&W. After I get it set up a load some rounds, I will post pictures and a review.

Joel
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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:43 pm
Joel:

Enjoy!

I looked at one before ending up with a Dillon XL650.... (Without the case feeder - $200!) The Lee seemed like a nice press, but the Dillon just seemed better, and a buddy of mine convinced me that we could share spare parts and expertise - he's had one for about ten years.

About the only downside is that it's something like $200 to change calibers, although once you've got each caliber set up, it's also only a couple minutes to swap 'em.

That said, any progressive press is screaming fast v.s. a single-stage, although I think I'd have ended up with three or four of them :D.... Die setup is a pain whether it's single stage or progressive....

I also ended up with an ancient single-stage press that a buddy gave me - it's set up as a decapper. Once in a while you need to decap a case (in my case because the fool primer isn't seated, or upside down), and the primer may preclude even fitting it into the Dillon. I think I've got $35 into that - for the die and a shell holder.

Overall, the Dillon seems to be essentially indestructible, although I expect the Lee isn't bad there, either. Every once in a while, mine does things to a case that I didn't think was possible.

My Channukah present to myself was a box of 500 .45ACP 200 gr. lead SWC's. Blew the budget on the press :D.... Payback's going to be pretty good if I can get components, but it looks like I should have bought more of those....

Regards,

Stu

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:11 pm
I got the cheaper of the two caliber specific ones they offer.Mine was $175 at Midway USA. I've used Lee in the past and because of the price I'm expecting this one to be a little finicky or touchy but I'll deal with it. I know from dealing with them before if something is actually broken or wrong with it, they will take care of it quickly and free of charge.

I've always used a single stage and prefer it but time has been an issue. There is a youtube video of a guy using this and it looks like 1,000 rounds in a little over an hour is realistic at a steady but not rushed pace. Ordering the bullets at missouri bullet company and using a big box of range pickups (brass) I think I can load 2,000 rounds of 40 S&W for about $200 or $375 if you count the price of the press. The cheapest I've seen 1,000 rounds of 40 is right in that range.

I have the dies to load the other calibers I shoot already and a fair amount of brass for each so I think I can switch calibers for around $50 or less once I decide I have enough of one to move onto the next.

I don't see lead bullets or powder in short supply from the dealer any time soon but primers were a problem in 2008 so that is the next goal, lots and lots of primers. They weren't really impossible to get in 2008 but they were pretty scarce for about 6 months.

Also ordered two M&P magazines at the same time as the press and now they are out of stock until Febuary at the earliest....yikes.

Joel
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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:22 pm
Looking forward to the review. Reloading is something I want to get into, just haven't done it yet. I'm saving up my Cabelas points and when the new one opens in Cbus I'm going to be standing in line waiting for the new opening deals. At this point depending on how things go politically I"m leaning towards either a reloading set up or a coyote call (electronic) and perhaps an optic for my AR.

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:40 am
Joel:

I think you'll get some good usage out of that press. One of my buddies picked one up a little while ago, and the only problems he's reported are in priming. This one was used, and abused a bit.... Primers tend to go in sideways, or refuse to feed into the priming station. I really don't think he knows how to clean it up.

Guess the secret is to keep the primer feed full....

The Dillon comes with small and large primer hardware, but swapping is a bear, and it doesn't seem to be possible to set it up as a "kit" sort of thing with just a few drop-in parts. I still have to try it.... The rest of the caliber change can involve the shell plate, and a plate in the case feeder if you have one. Meantime, a complete swappable toolhead has the dies and (if you're sane) a powder dispenser. There's also a case feeder adapter or two (little bits of plastic) that may need to be swapped. The idea is to load up a season's worth of one caliber, and then swap to another, etc.

I was discussing this with somebody, and his suggestion was to buy two or three cheaper presses and never change 'em :D.... If Becka sticks around (no idea), I may pick up a cheapie for 9mm - roughly the same price as a conversion kit for the Dillon....

Some friends of mine and I started buying reloading gear a bit over 40 years ago, and I even bought a furnace and started casting .38Spl lead wadcutters. Then somebody's mother decided she didn't want powder in the basement.... I'm not sure where the parts went.... I wouldn't mind casting .45's, but Mastercast makes a nice bullet, ready to go, with a lubricant ring, for a decent price, and I wouldn't have to clean out a working area in the garage to cast 'em :D....

Assembling the Dillon was a riot. The guy who wrote the manual must have done a dozen or so of them, but didn't know how to tell us anything. You basically have to figure out how some of the components work before you can install them. Useful information, of course, but a little frustrating. Actual setup isn't too hard, and if your powder measure doesn't fight you (mine didn't), that may be the most difficult to get to drop the right weight of powder. The case belling setup is part of the powder filler, and getting that set up can be a little goofy, too....

I don't see the Lee as quite as solid, but for most shooters it should be good enough.

I guess the savings is where it's at, if you can ignore the cost of the press. I figure about a half a buck for cheap reloads at the local gun pusher v.s. about fifteen cents (my cases) from the Dillon. It'll still take a while to pay off the press on that basis, but I get to have some fun, too....

Regards,

Stu

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:05 pm
Just checked the tracking info and it's scheduled to be delivered Saturday. I'm going to TRY to scoop up a new M&P, some bullets, powder and primers tomorrow if Buckeye Outdoors has all of that in stock. Deliveries come in the evenings here so Saturday will be a late night... looking foward to it!

Joel
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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:14 am
I finally got around to getting the press set up. It came mostly assembled and went together pretty easily and so far, overall, I'm pretty happy with the purchase. The little plastic tubes that hold the cases arrived cracked so I ordered a pack of those. Lee would probably send more for free but they're cheap and I threw it in with another online order. The ones I have are usable for now, but two are split and cracked on the ends.

I haven't had a chance to get bullets yet but I did order my M&P along with some extra mags so I can shoot all this new ammo up faster. Since I can't load anything yet all I did was set up and mount the press, set up the powder dispenser and primer assembly then run a few cases through. I will have to make a few adjustments when I finally pick up some bullets and then I should be ready to go.

The powder dispenser seems to work nicely but the priming system is goofy just like the reviews say.

As far as switching calibers, it does appear to be a pain on this press. The shell plate would be the hardest part to change, then the priming deal if you're switching sizes. The powder dispenser mounts onto the expanding die so it would take a little time to switch. Because of this, I think I am going to use this press for .40 S&W and 9mm only since the shell holder will work for both. I can get a seperate turret head thing to hold the 9mm dies (which I have) and a second powder dispenser. Both use small pistol primers so that isn't a problem either. I can handle the rest of my ammo on the singe stage for now.

Once I get it going I'll type up a big review and take some pictures. If the thing works, which I'm sure it will, you can't beat the price. $175 and it comes with the dies which are $30 alone.

Joel
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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:47 am
I have a Lee Load master which is a heavier version of the Pro1000. I have had real good luck with it. Priming is the week point for every press brand so don't let the koolaid drinkers convince you otherwise.

For the price of Lee products, you can afford to have multiple presses set up for different calibers for the price of one of the other brands. I get my spare press parts and a lot of my components from Natchez. They have a good selection and decent prices.

LoadmasterVideos.com is a great source for info on the lee presses.

I noticed a fellow has some .40 Cal brass in the pay it forward thread if you need any.... :ewink: :ewink:

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:48 am
Joel:

Have fun!

Somehow, ordering up a new gun to keep a press busy is a little nuts even by our standards here :D, but....

(I cheated - my Dillon dealer also sells powder, bullets, primers, and cases. I had a pile of cases, but stocked up on the rest at the same time. Then I got the new toy home and found out that the wife had hurt herself at work, and I had to spend about three hours holding her hand before I could even unload the car.... It only took me 40 years to get around to doing this....)

I really don't know how Lee able to sell those so inexpensively v.s. the cost of the Dillon. Possibly made in some country I can't spell? :D

Regards,

Stu

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:58 am
SMMAssociates wrote:
I really don't know how Lee able to sell those so inexpensively v.s. the cost of the Dillon. Possibly made in some country I can't spell? :D


Lee products are made in the USA. Are Lee products inexpensive or are Dillon prices just grossly over inflated???? :shock:

I can change calibers on my Load master for about $80.

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:18 am
axgrinder:

I don't know.... The Dillon is rock solid, and I think may be overbuilt in places. The Lee that I had a chance to look over seemed to be a great deal more lightly built. For the occasional shooter, that probably doesn't matter too much....

I shoot about once a week, but some nights we shoot more bull than bullets lately. I like to have 50 rounds of .45ACP with me, but sometimes twenty or so is sufficient. The Dillon easily lets me keep up....

I think my buddy Joe, who talked me into the 650 v.s. one of Dillon's less expensive offerings, bought his about ten years ago, and had never had a problem. I'm not sure if you could even get a Lee progressive back then. (IMHO, a progressive is a lot more convenient, but the hassle of a caliber conversion can't help.)

I use $200 as a "change" estimate because of the costs of a die and tool plate gets pretty close to that. Add a powder measure (the belling goodies are inside the powder "die") to avoid having to reset the powder drop and belling, and you're nibbling at $200.... (The primer setup is included for both sizes, but a shell plate may be necessary, and if you bought the powered case feeder, you may have to change the shell plate in there.)

Regards,

Stu

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:36 pm
Congrats, I have a Dillon XL650 with all the bells and whistles. I love it. Getting the blue press every month is cool beans too! 8)

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:16 pm
DuckNShoot:

The magazine is almost worth the price :D.... (Yeah, they'll send 'em for free if you ask nice, too....)

I cheaped out on the two powder sensors, although the one that checks filled cases in on my list, and it seemed like I could live without the case feeder at the time. Someday, maybe....

Once I'd decided to go with the 550, the extra few bucks (and my buddy Joe's prodding) made the 650 a good idea, although it still may take a long time to pay back.

No regrets....

Regards,

Stu

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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:29 pm
Quote:
Somehow, ordering up a new gun to keep a press busy is a little nuts even by our standards here , but....


Yeah. I suppose I need to come up with a better excuse for that at some point. :lol:

My dad has been wanting one for awhile also, so I ordered two and a few extra mags. He's retired from CPD and now works as an armed security guard/officer and carries a Beretta. Most of his co-workers carry the M&Ps so I think he feels left out. Anyway, that's going to be his new duty gun and my new play at the range/nightstand gun.

I'm still stuck on carrying the 637 since it's so comfortable to carry and I shoot it well. On the other hand, I'm pretty bundlled up in the winter so the new M&P might get some holster time too.

Joel
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Post subject: Re: Just ordered a Lee Progressive press
Post Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:47 pm
Joel:

Starting to sound a lot like Rich :D....

I hope your dad likes the M&P. I've got the .40FS, and can understand why it's a good LE Carry gun.... My old M10HB was more fun, though :D.... IAC, a great choice. The Compacts make good carry guns, too, for soft clothes, & CHL use, and I find that the 40C is roughly as accurate and easy handling as the Full Size, although for straight paper punching, the FS is a bit better.

(The FS is kinda big.... I don't carry mine much.)

My holster collection for the M&P's are all "open bottom", so they all can share the same rigs. Very convenient.... Come to think of it, my 1911's do the same thing, with the exception of a Don Hume design with an open front instead of an open bottom. 3.5" or 4" only....

Consider the Apex DCAEK kit for the M&P if you want to improve the trigger. Sure seemed to help me.

Regards,

Stu

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