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Old 01-06-2010, 10:51   #61
Wash-ar15
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it may be the nut that retains the shell plate. did you damage it when you removed it?? I did the first time,not realizing that its reverse thread.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:27   #62
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it may be the nut that retains the shell plate. did you damage it when you removed it?? I did the first time,not realizing that its reverse thread.
Nope, the nut ("drive bolt" is how Lee refers to it, I think) is completely intact. I knew ahead of time that it was reverse threaded (in reality, it's not that it's reverse threaded, but instead the shellplate threads onto it. The threads themselves are still the standard right-hand threads). Even so, I checked it over for damage after I had the shellplate carrier apart, just in case.

I try to use minimal force when dealing with mechanical things. In this case, I knew the shellplate was secured finger-tight, so I turned the drive bolt by hand.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:28   #63
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You may looked into this already. But one thing that I found affecting my indexing was that my carrier holder was warped. It's a cast aluminum part, IIRC. When I spoke with a technician at Lee, he said that 'you'll never get the indexing to work correctly if that part is warped.' You can buy a replacement for $20 from here -
http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/cata...941.4162=90640

It's TR2429. I replaced mine and it helped resolve my major problem.

Just a thought.

That's an interesting possibility. If nothing else works, I'll go there next. Midway sells the entire shellplate carrier assembly, complete with shellplate, for $40, so if I have to replace the carrier I'll probably just replace everything and that way I'll have tons of spare parts.
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Old 01-06-2010, 15:05   #64
Wash-ar15
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if you have had it less than 2 years,send the part back to lee and they will send you a new one. did it with the primer arms for my LM and they sent me back double.
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Old 01-11-2010, 21:06   #65
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My spare parts from Lee should arrive tomorrow. In it will be lots more hex ratchets, some ratchet gears, some indexing rods, and other miscellaneous parts.

There's one thing I did that may help, but even with this mod I did hit the same indexing issue so I'm not convinced it solves it completely. The problem I fixed is that basically, there's no real tension on the indexing screw -- it's free to turn. I suspect that when the press is operating, it does turn, ever so slightly, and since this press seems to be very sensitive to that setting, it can come out of calibration and start causing trouble.

So I cut up a bit of an old mousepad and stuffed that into the small section of the shellplate carrier underneath the removable shellplate cover and adjacent to the indexing adjustment screw, so that the bit of foam rubs against the side of the screw. The screw can still turn via a screwdriver, but it should no longer turn on its own as a result of vibration from press operation. I'll take a picture of it the next time I get an opportunity.

Hopefully one or more of the spare parts I get will solve my intermittent indexing issue once and for all.
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Old 01-12-2010, 21:45   #66
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The spare parts arrived today.

I ordered quite a few things. A couple of indexing rods, a few ratchet gears, a lot of hex ratchets, a couple of shellplate drive bolts, and a few other odds and ends.

I replaced the drive bolt, the ratchet gear, the indexing rod, and the hex ratchet all in one pass. I figured if I was going to replace parts, I may as well replace all of them. I carefully examined the old parts and compared them with the new ones. Only one thing stands out as being different: the drive bolt.

Here's what the old one looks like, from the top:

Reloading



Notice anything unusual?

The defect is very subtle: the hex hole is slightly off center.

I believe this is what was causing my intermittent indexing issue. Because the hole was off center, this forced the indexing rod to be canted slightly relative to the ratchet gear (or for the center of the hex ratchet to be offset slightly relative to the ratchet gear). When the ratchet gear mates with the hex ratchet, this condition causes an asymmetric load between the hex ratchet and the ratchet gear, and I suspect it was sometimes enough to cause the "teeth" to unmesh just enough to allow the hex ratchet to turn 60 degrees relative to the ratchet gear. That caused the indexing to stop mid-stride. End result: the shellplate turns only half the amount it should, intermittently.

After replacing the indexing components and adjusting the indexing again (I kept the modification that keeps the indexing adjustment screw in place since I figured it was a good idea), I ran a couple of hundred cases through the press. Not a single failure to index.

I'll assemble another 400 rounds of ammunition with it in the next day or two, but this time I'm not expecting any problems. And if that's the case, then it means my Pro 1000 is now a reliable press.


And that means there's no more tinkering left to do with it.


I guess I'll just have to get a Lee Loadmaster next.



ETA: I take that back. There is one thing left to do on the tinkering side of things: I want to figure out how to get it to drop the spent primers through a tube instead of into the area underneath the press. I don't want to have to drill a hole into my bench underneath the press for that. Guess the Loadmaster will just have to wait...

Last edited by kcbrown; 01-12-2010 at 21:51..
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:45   #67
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HA!! I told ya its the drive bolt. that thing is made of soft metal and any deformation will cause problems. Got a extra one laying around just in case.
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Old 01-13-2010, 13:51   #68
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I'll assemble another 400 rounds of ammunition with it in the next day or two, but this time I'm not expecting any problems. And if that's the case, then it means my Pro 1000 is now a reliable press.


And that means there's no more tinkering left to do with it.


I guess I'll just have to get a Lee Loadmaster next.
I found a club that looks perfect for you.

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Last edited by Colorado4Wheel; 01-13-2010 at 14:18..
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Old 01-13-2010, 14:50   #69
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I found a club that looks perfect for you.

http://www.optimist.org/e/Visitor/creed.cfm/
Well, I already know I'm an optimist, because things usually turn out even worse than I predict!
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Old 01-13-2010, 17:13   #70
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Well, I ran another batch of 300 rounds last night.

And encountered the failure to completely index again. I thought that perhaps it was the result of some sort of interruption in the stroke but I had it happen when I was producing continuous motion during the downstroke of the ram, so I can safely rule out operator error.

So while the drive bolt may have been contributing to the problem, it's not the sole cause.

I found that when the problem occurs, if I turn the indexing screw perhaps an eighth of a turn clockwise, the problem clears up again for a while. That suggests to me a couple of things:

  • The alignment of the internal indexing parts is critical. If the ratchet gear moves it'll take the indexing out of calibration and will result in exactly the problem I'm seeing.
  • Whatever I can do to minimize the possible movement of the ratchet gear is probably worth doing.

When I assembled the shellplate carrier prior to running the press, I used a different material to keep the indexing adjustment screw from moving, and found later that it had "formed" to the screw and no longer was placing much pressure on it. I've replaced it with a material that should prove better for that. I also didn't pay much attention to the placement of the shellplate cover, but the cover is used to anchor the indexing adjustment screw. It's possible that when I assembled the shellplate carrier, there was a bit of free play there that I had neglected to take out.

And finally, I found that it is indeed possible to use too little force when putting the shellplate and drive bolt back together. Rather than use a bunch of force to ensure that the two stay put relative to each other, I'm now using Loctite to keep them together.


Oddly enough, the priming system of my Pro 1000 is the one system that hasn't given me any trouble at all. There have been a few rounds made where the primer had a small indentation in it as a result of a grain of powder getting onto the priming pin but that's been the extent of my trouble with the priming system itself, and that's something that can happen on the Dillon as well.

The priming system isn't very forgiving if you can't prime the case for some reason (for instance, I've had a few cases where the old primer was corroded and the decapping pin managed to remove the base of the old primer but not the sides, so the resulting case was unusable), and you have to fiddle with it if you insist on using the same primer for the next case -- it's much easier to simply pluck the primer off the priming pin and use it later.


I'll run another bunch of cases through the press to see if it's reliable, but I now have enough 9mm ammo to last a few trips to the range, so my tests will have to be with empty cases. I guess perhaps it's time to spend less time playing with the press and more time going to the range!

Anyway, I guess I'll be putting off that purchase of the Loadmaster for the moment...

Last edited by kcbrown; 01-20-2010 at 12:43.. Reason: "firing pin" instead of "priming pin"? Ooops. Fixed. :-D
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Old 01-13-2010, 17:49   #71
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Well, I already know I'm an optimist, because things usually turn out even worse than I predict!
That's not an optimist. An optimist would be Jack getting hitched again.
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Old 01-13-2010, 23:30   #72
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Anyway, I guess I'll be putting off that purchase of the Loadmaster for the moment...

While I've never had an indexing problem with the pro1000, short stroking will cause it to 1/2 index.

The loadmaster is fun and very different. I think it needs unusal setup. I put the sizer die in station 2 (and a decaping die in station 1) which gives very precise control on the case as the primer is seated. Which happens as the ram goes up and runs all the cases into their dies. Of course the priming has no feel with this system. The primer feed has some plastic parts that move the primers on top of the primer pin. If you let the primers run out, the last primer or two stick the plastic carrier above the primer seating pin and destroy the plastic primer carrier.

And indexing is TOTALY different than the pro1000. Indexing happens when the handle pushes the square indexing rod under the shellplate, Catching and turning the shellplate by a pin on it's bottom.

NOTE that the 2ond station has the priming function so the powder drop must be done in station 3. This leaves only 2 stations for the powder check, bullet seating, and crimping. If you can adjust the bullet seating die to crimp, you could put it in station 5. I did this and found it worked very good by pumping the handle with my left hand and seating bullets with my right hand. I drop a new case with my right hand as the ram reaches its top.

I think seating bullets in station 5 only works for me because I don't use the case feeder. (I don't like filling tubes, and think it is just as fast to drop the cases by hand). Also, leaving the case feeder off makes changing calibers much easier.

I found that everything on the loadmaster cost about 50% more than the pro1000.


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Old 01-14-2010, 09:54   #73
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That's not an optimist. An optimist would be Jack getting hitched again.


That wouldn't be an optimist either... that would be insanity.

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Old 01-20-2010, 12:51   #74
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I haven't assembled any more ammo with the press yet, but as of now I haven't had a single failure to properly index in some 300 to 400 actuations of the press (most of which involved running cases through it with the turret mounted and the powder measure emptied).

I expect to assemble a couple of hundred rounds within the next few days.

One thing of note: the spring tension underneath the steel ball that's used to align the shellplate is too high for loading 9mm. It causes the shellplate to snap into position with too much gusto, and the result is that a small amount of powder will jump out of the case and land on the shellplate. Since this press is relatively sensitive to such contamination if it gets into the priming system, this isn't a trivial matter.

Oddly enough, the Dillon 650 has the same issue but that is easy enough to deal with by setting the tension of the shellplate bolt appropriately so that the friction between the shellplate and the carrier is enough to keep the shellplate from snapping into position like that. That's not an option on the Pro 1000, and the only way to do the equivalent would be to put a nylon washer or something of the appropriate thickness between the shellplate and the shellplate carrier. The Pro 1000, therefore, needed a different solution.

To deal with this issue on the Pro 1000, I took the shellplate off, removed the ball and spring, and cut a turn off the spring. I then bent the new end of the spring back to horizontal and pulled on the spring to extend it so that its size matched that of the original. I then assembled everything back together.

The end result seems to be that the shellplate doesn't snap into position with such force, and my preliminary tests show that the powder is now staying put much better than it did before. It's not completely perfect but it's a vast improvement.

A weaker spring underneath the steel ball would probably be a good change for Lee to make.

Last edited by kcbrown; 01-20-2010 at 12:55..
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:56   #75
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It's not completely perfect but it's a vast improvement.
That made me laugh again. I remember using those ideas when I had a LEE.

"Well, it's not perfect, but its a lot better."
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Old 01-20-2010, 13:44   #76
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That made me laugh again. I remember using those ideas when I had a LEE.

"Well, it's not perfect, but its a lot better."
Even my Dillon isn't perfect, and I've made some improvements to it: I'm using the Arredondo powder drop slide with micrometer that I got from UniqueTek because I wanted an easy and consistent way to set the powder measure and I use relatively fine-grained powders (Silhouette).

I'm also using UniqueTek's toolhead clamp setup because I was getting OAL variations greater than I liked.

The 650's shellplate snaps into position like the Lee's and it takes just the right amount of tension on the bolt that holds it into place to hit the sweet spot between too tight and too loose. If you were to follow the instructions, you'd wind up with it being too loose.

Even then, some powder does wind up on the shellplate, probably from the powder drop. And that's with .40 S&W, where the cases are big enough that the powder isn't jumping out of them at all. I suspect that's a universal problem, however, so it doesn't really bother me.


The difference between the Dillon and the Lee is that once you have everything tightened down properly, the Dillon is as close to absolutely reliable as you're likely to find. The Lee requires more work than that to get decent reliability, and I don't expect it'll ever quite hit the reliability of the Dillon.

But I think I can get it pretty close.
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Old 01-20-2010, 14:07   #77
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Even my Dillon isn't perfect, and I've made some improvements to it: I'm using the Arredondo powder drop slide with micrometer that I got from UniqueTek because I wanted an easy and consistent way to set the powder measure and I use relatively fine-grained powders (Silhouette).

I'm also using UniqueTek's toolhead clamp setup because I was getting OAL variations greater than I liked.

The 650's shellplate snaps into position like the Lee's and it takes just the right amount of tension on the bolt that holds it into place to hit the sweet spot between too tight and too loose. If you were to follow the instructions, you'd wind up with it being too loose.

Even then, some powder does wind up on the shellplate, probably from the powder drop. And that's with .40 S&W, where the cases are big enough that the powder isn't jumping out of them at all. I suspect that's a universal problem, however, so it doesn't really bother me.


The difference between the Dillon and the Lee is that once you have everything tightened down properly, the Dillon is as close to absolutely reliable as you're likely to find. The Lee requires more work than that to get decent reliability, and I don't expect it'll ever quite hit the reliability of the Dillon.

But I think I can get it pretty close.

Nothing is perfect. This thread does bring back memories. It's amazing your priming system works right. Thats good news. The LM does not use a spring like the Pro1000 does if my memory serves me correctly. It has a bar that slides into a hole to index the press. Mine wore out and that was my issue with priming I am pretty sure. The Lees are very sensitive to priming issues if the indexing is not perfect. You should fiddle with a LM next. That would be fun for you. Besides the priming issues I had it was perfect. If the priming system was better it would be amazing. It would never require a "push to prime" motion so it would be like a Dillon 1050. You could even rig up a 650 style case feeder to it pretty easy and it would crank out ammo very fast.
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Old 01-20-2010, 15:06   #78
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Nothing is perfect. This thread does bring back memories. It's amazing your priming system works right. Thats good news.
I strongly suspect the reason the priming system is working properly is that I've got the press mounted SOLIDLY and I've never violated the rule about keeping the primer trough full (except when I'm using something to provide the same force that the primers in the trough normally provide). I've experimented with it enough to know exactly how it works and under what conditions it won't work. If too much side pressure is exerted on the primer, it will fail to fall into place on top of the priming ram. If too little side pressure is exerted it won't move completely into place above the priming ram. They really did design it to work with the amount of force that gets exerted on the bottommost primer from the stack of primers above it in the primer chute.


Quote:
The LM does not use a spring like the Pro1000 does if my memory serves me correctly. It has a bar that slides into a hole to index the press. Mine wore out and that was my issue with priming I am pretty sure. The Lees are very sensitive to priming issues if the indexing is not perfect.
I've wondered why they didn't bother with a ball locator like they did with the Pro 1000. For locating the shellplate properly, such a thing is about as close to ideal as it gets. So much so that if I get a Loadmaster, I'll very likely be taking a hard look at what it would take to add that. The only disadvantage such a thing has is to "snap" the shellplate into position, but I expect that could be handled with the proper combination of a sufficiently small steel ball and a sufficiently lightweight spring.

The other thing I think could be improved on the Loadmaster is the casefeeder. They really need to implement the casefeeder system in use on the Pro 1k, which is dirt simple and reliable, but depends on the indexing operation being complete before the ram is lowered all the way. So getting that working on the Loadmaster would require that the indexing operation be somehow modified so that it is finished prior to the ram being lowered all the way, just enough that for that last bit of movement, the case would be inserted into the shellplate.

A number of people have gotten the casefeeder to work reliably despite its shortcomings, however...


Quote:
You should fiddle with a LM next. That would be fun for you.
I fully expect to do precisely that, actually!


Quote:
Besides the priming issues I had it was perfect. If the priming system was better it would be amazing. It would never require a "push to prime" motion so it would be like a Dillon 1050. You could even rig up a 650 style case feeder to it pretty easy and it would crank out ammo very fast.
I've never understood what people have against the "push to prime" system. It's the only one I can think of that allows you to feel what's going on and, if necessary, stop before the primer gets crushed. Crushing the primer increases the risk that it will go off.

I can see how you might get a slight amount of additional speed out of the press if it's got a priming system like the Loadmaster's or the 1050's, though...


Once I've got a Loadmaster in hand I'll take a hard look at the priming mechanism to see what I can do to make it more reliable.

Just out of curiosity, did you use a sizing die with the decapping pin removed in station 2 of your Loadmaster? That has reportedly made all the difference in the world with respect to the reliability of the priming operation.
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Old 01-20-2010, 15:27   #79
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I can see how you might get a slight amount of additional speed out of the press if it's got a priming system like the Loadmaster's or the 1050's, though...


Once I've got a Loadmaster in hand I'll take a hard look at the priming mechanism to see what I can do to make it more reliable.

Just out of curiosity, did you use a sizing die with the decapping pin removed in station 2 of your Loadmaster? That has reportedly made all the difference in the world with respect to the reliability of the priming operation.
Yes, I used a sizing die in the station over the priming station. I deprimed only in station #1. I did all the tricks. Never mattered. Knowing what I know now it could have been a issue with my table moving. It was a pretty strong table. Attached to the wall and everything. But it's not as good as my current setup. Also it got worse over time. I noticed after a lot of agrivation that the indexing pawl was worn to a sharp edge. It had to of lost some length in the process. In the end for the amount of time I invested for the amount of rounds I made I determined it was not worth pursuing the press any farther. Never knowing if it was going to work and not having a back up press in case I needed to make some rounds for a upcoming match was to much pressure for me.

I find the push to prime slower but much more sensitive. Thats the tradeoff.
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Old 01-20-2010, 20:05   #80
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Yes, I used a sizing die in the station over the priming station. I deprimed only in station #1. I did all the tricks. Never mattered. Knowing what I know now it could have been a issue with my table moving. It was a pretty strong table. Attached to the wall and everything. But it's not as good as my current setup. Also it got worse over time. I noticed after a lot of agrivation that the indexing pawl was worn to a sharp edge. It had to of lost some length in the process. In the end for the amount of time I invested for the amount of rounds I made I determined it was not worth pursuing the press any farther. Never knowing if it was going to work and not having a back up press in case I needed to make some rounds for a upcoming match was to much pressure for me.
I suspect that in my case, having the Dillon makes all the difference in the world. It also helps that I don't shoot in competition (that may change, however).

How many rounds had you made by the time you noticed the kind of wear you saw in the indexing pawl? Sounds like it may have been a defective part or something, unless you had made many tens of thousands of rounds or something (which I rather doubt).


Quote:
I find the push to prime slower but much more sensitive. Thats the tradeoff.
How much slower are you with the push to prime system? If the difference is minimal then I'm curious why you'd prefer the 1050/Loadmaster priming method. If it's not minimal then why is there such a large difference?
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