Lee PRO 1000 Users

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Insulation Tim, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    I have been reloading 9mm and 45 ACP on a single stage Lee for the last year. Once I got the hang of it, and set everything correctly it works flawlessly. The problem is that it is slow. Everything is done in stages. De-prime a bunch of cleaned casings. Prime a bunch.......

    Looking at threads on the Pro 1000 it seems that people are all over the place. Some love it, some don't. Does it really take continuous tweaking to make it function correctly?

    Also, if I were to upgrade to the PRO 1000, will the Lee Carbide dies that I use in my single stage work correctly?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
  2. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Insulation Tim:

    Yes, the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press requires continuous tweaking and fixing. At least the one I owned did. I sold it to a friend and he tired of its constant maintenance, put it in storage and never used it again. I feel bad for selling it to him.

    While not in the same price league a much better and much more trouble free work every time press is the Dillon RL550B. It is very versatile as it can be used as a single stage, like a turret, or full progressive BECAUSE it is manually index from station to station. It is fast to set up between caliber changes if you keep each caliber's dies on the removable die blocks. This is a press you will keep forever, never needing to update to a new bigger better press because it is just about as 'better" as it gets.

    I reload for over 30 different calibers on my Dillon RL550B, 9 mm pistol to 45-70 and 7 mm MAG rifle. This press has been used for over 20 years. One of the best things about anything Dillon is their warrantee and their service. If anything on the press breaks call them and the replacement will be sent out immediately, FREE. If after many hours of use it get loose in any way send it back to them and they will rebuild it for FREE (mines been rebuilt twice but I use mine a lot). If they should update a part of the press you get the new part for FREE.

    At this cross road, you should seriously think about a real upgrade. What a shame to waste money on a questionable press when that money could be used to update to press that will last your lifetime and longer. Yes, it cost more but works better and lasts longer. The Dillon is quality and quality is not cheap. Cheap is cheap!

    If the Dillon is way too much money for your budget the next best choice is a turret press. I don't like the Lee one because it uses the same base press as the Lee Pro 1000 progressive press. Lyman, RCBS, Redding, and a few others make good turret presses.

    With a few exceptions (the Dillon Square Deal pistol only press) presses normally take standard dies, 7/8 x 14TPI body threads. Your current dies for you Lee press will work with 99% of the presses out there.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009

  3. dsv424

    dsv424 New Member

    Oct 27, 2008
    Garland, Tx.
    As far as Lee progressives go I would lean towards the Load Master over the "1000" if you have your heart set on a progressive. I have read a lot of dis-couraging reports regarding the 1000, although if you are mechanically inclined you probably won't have much trouble with it because there is a lot of people out there that do like the 1000.
    I personnally would recommend the Lee Classic Turret Press. This is the best turret press out there in my opinion. It is fast, reliable, and low cost. Don't confuse this press with the Lee Turret Press like a lot of people do. Because this one is built similar to the style of the 1000 like LD stated. With the Lee Classic Turret press you can average around 180-200 rounds an hour once you get the hang of it. Not as much as a progressive of course, but a lot more than you can do on a single stage.

    Oh, and yes you can use your carbide dies in the progressives or the turret press.
  4. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    +1 on the Lee Classic 4-hole turret.

    Not for HIGH volume shooters perhaps who truly need the output of a progressive, but plenty of production for my shooting needs at a very affordable price.
  5. Insulation Tim

    Insulation Tim Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Thanks for the good advice guys. I think that I need to rethink the whole situation.

    I am not a high volume reloader, maybe 200 to 300 rounds a week and only in 2 calibers. I may just stick with the Lee Challenger and save money toward that Dillon RL550B.

    I agree that Cheap is Cheap and many times Cheap is much more expensive in the long run. The next step, if there is one, will probably be the Dillon.

    Thanks again.
  6. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    My only comment would be that Lee products are not cheap, they are inexpensive and affordable.
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    My comparison between Lee and every one else for reloading tools is that Lee is Harbor Freight and everyone else is Craftsman, or Proto, or Snap-on, depending on how much you pay. While Harbor Freight tools are "inexpensive and affordable" the others tools are better. I like better! You, who get to choose for yourself, might find "inexpensive and affordable" OK.

    Lee cuts corners somewhere to be able to offer pricing below everyone else's. My experience has been in their material selections.... it is not the equal of the better tools, just like Harbor Freight tools. The Lee standout tool, that no one else makes and is so excellent in design that I buy it regardless, is the Lee Factory Crimp Tools. Some maintenance of them MAY be required but they are worth it.

  8. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    550b up in thw wts/wtb section. guy didn't post where he was located at though. Be a good price for a local sale.

    My experience with the Lee 1000 was constant adjustment and fiddling to get it to work. Plastic gearing wore relatively quickly too. Nothing that affected the overall quality of the round, just little things that got really annoying to me. Others it may not be affected as much by this or they may not know the difference in a machine that does not require the tweaking. Not saying a Lee 1000 wouldn't work for you, I would just say to make sure you do whatever you can to try out a press before you buy it. Maybe you can find some local reloaders at the range or if anyone here is close by and willing to let you look at their set up.
  9. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member

    My cousin is the best reloader I know. He's been reloaing for over thirty years and owns several different presses. I know for a fact he has reloaded well over 100k's rnds; more than 20k have been in a Lee Progressive 1000.

    He recommended the Lee Pro 1000 to me when I said I wanted to try reloading. I trust him completely; the only reload failure he has ever had was one squib when he first started. So if he tells me it's a good press I believe him.

    I've just got mine; but have yet to find primers. I'll let you know what I think later.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  10. myg30

    myg30 Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    It seems there are several presses turning up for sale. Check the forums out and good deals are popping up all around.
    Be safe and careful which ever press you use. +1 for the dillon. I load more pistol than rifle so their Square deal B is my press and a rock chucker[rcbs jr] is my single stage for everything else. Lee challanger for some de-cappin also.
    LDBennett mensioned the SDB uses smaller dies than all the others.7/8-14 is the standard for almost all the other presses.
  11. RugerBob

    RugerBob New Member

    Jun 22, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I like my pro 1000. Once I set my dies to my requirments I have had no issues with it. I even added the bullet feeder and was impressed with that. I still use my single stage for rifle, but have done 1000s of 45LC with the pro 1000. I have not had to tweak anything on mine once I had the dies set. Bob
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