Why don't they like you using Federal primers?
After almost throwing my Lee Pro1000 out the window due to frustration with the primer feed system, I made two observations that might be helpful to someone else.
First, Winchester small pistol primers with the unplated brass finish SUCK for use in the Lee primer feeders. The just don't want to slide down the feed tube/chute. A primer with a chrome plating slides nicer down the chute and alleviated most of the issues I was having. I am currently throwing caution to the wind and am using Federal primers - against Lee's recommendations!!! - because that is what I was able to find for sale locally. While I am not making an endorsement, they are working much better for me than the Winchester primers. The Federals slide down the primer feed nicely and insert into the cases more smoothly without getting hung up on the outside of the primer pocket like the Winchesters were.
Second, I noticed that the cases in my press weren't tripping the little plastic case sensor arm consistently as they went around in the shell plate from the deprime/sizing station to the prime/powder station. My initial thought was that the end of the case sensor was becoming worn. After again getting a bit frustrated, I noticed that the arm on the case sensor was a bit bent. I removed the case sensor, held it in front of a lightbulb for a few seconds for some gentle heat and bent the plastic arm a bit the other way and held it in that position until it cooled. That seemed to do the trick and since then, I was able to hear the case sensor trip the primer release every time a case goes by. I'm going to give Lee a call on Monday and see if they can recommend a more permanent fix for this, or if they will replace the case sensor (my machine is only 6 months old). If Lee is unwilling or unable to help, I'll likely make a new more durable case sensor out of either metal or a firmer plastic.
Why don't they like you using Federal primers?
I will however continue to wear my safety glasses and use Federal primers.
I have not used any Federals in my Pro 1000 but have processed 15,000 plus Winchesters and 7,500 Remingtons and a couple thousand CCI's through it.
The Remingtons have proven to be the most troublesom for me as they leave a small amount of a greenish yellow substance in the slide. I don't know if it is a trace of the explosive or some other material, perhaps a lubricant used in case formation. Whatever it is the primers don't slide very well with it deposited on the slide.
All brands feed well for me Winchesters included as long as the slide is clean.
The main problems I have had are:
1. Walnut shell/Corn Cob or powder particles blocking primer travel.
2. Right rear post, which has grooves to rattle primers, wearing out.
3. Sticky substance from Remington Primers.
1. Use canned air every primer tray reload cycle (100 units) or when feel say's too.
2. Replace post or place washer under all three posts to present fresh wear surface when required.
Removing rattle pin from plastic track when not priming reduces wear.
3. Clean plastic track every 3,000 remington primers or when switching primer size.
I have found separating the priming process from powder and bullet insertion eliminated 98% of the problems. One grain of powder falling into the primer zone will stop you cold. Priming by itself can be achieved at the rate of 100 every 5 minutes without pushing hard. Powder and bullet addition can then be achieved at nearly the same rate resulting in 400 to 500 rounds per hour effective load rate.
Is the pin through the primer arm hitting the detents in the guide shaft. I had the same issues until I noticed that the pin was not riding on the detented column. The detents help the primers vibrate (shake) down the chute also. Just my .02.
Another solution would be to buy a Dillon.... Maybe I'm biased.
I dig my Pro 1k.
I use it as a progressive, single stage, combo of both....with and w/o a measure etc etc. I really like the primer seating feel.
Got 3 turrets, several sets of dies, shell plate carriers, including a LEE FCD for my magnum stuff.
I can gaurantee every problem I've ever had was caused by me.
And- LEE sends me parts FAST. Longest I've waited for spares was 10 days from order.
Kev- got to the website and order parts and stuff there....send them and e-mail too if you have a press less than 2 y/o. They make good on stuff even the opperator busts. The small parts are less than a dollar in some cases!
Most parts of these presses are dirt cheap.
So is the press itself.
I can have dies, turrets, shell carriers complete with priming pin and trough, powder, primer, bullets etc for several calibers for the price of one Dillon product that still needs everything.
Dillon's are excellent products!......... if yer rich.
I aint rich.
The LEE stuff is so butt-simple and takes up little to no room. I stuck this in the corner of my home. When the turrets, handle and scale and everything else go into their cupboard the only thing left is the trimmer and a covered press.
This thing cranks out lot's o' rounds on a regular basis.
The top is custom made of birch ply with poplar rails.
The case feed tubes fit perfectly in the closet rod holders in the brackets.
The hammer and dumbell are for pull-weight test and boo-boos etc.
This set up was like it was meant to be!