Progressive For the Uncomplicated

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As you’ll recall, in the last issue, Spoiling Mom wrote to me asking which progressive press is most appropriate for each of her three sons. Here’s my advice.

Dear Spoiling Mom,
Anyone familiar with the science of birth order knows the youngest child is generally the fun-loving, non-detail-oriented one. For the offspring that gravitates toward the uncomplicated, I recommend the Lee 2023 PRO 1000 Press Kit. This is the least expensive of all the premium progressive presses, and the kit includes features like automatic case feeding, a roller handle and tools. A shooter can buy a couple of these presses for the typical price for most progressive setups. The best feature of the PRO 1000 is it comes almost completely assembled and ready to load.

The Lee Pro 1000 uses four clear tubes over a mechanism that
meters cases directly into the rotating shell plate. As the tubes
empty, just pivot to a full tube.

Primary Features

The Lee PRO 1000 Press Kit has features other presses do not. For example, users can just take their favorite powder, remove the cap and screw the entire threaded container on the powder dispenser, removing an entire step in storing the powder after use.

Most presses do not come with an automatic case feeder, but this one does, and it is simple and jam-free. It consists of four clear tubes that hold brass vertically and a metering device that pushes an individual case right into a shell plate cavity. It does not need power, nor does it take up a lot of real estate on the bench. The only time I had a problem was when I failed to sort out a .357 case from my 38s.

The primer feeder is a flat tray that also does its own “primer flipping.” The flat tray eliminates the possibility of a chain fire detonation of primers stacked in a tube. Of course, it also removes the step of having to load a tube.

Mounted to the Lee Reloading Stand, it’s portable for range use.

Mounting

For reloaders whose space is at a premium, Lee makes a three-legged reloading stand, where multiple presses can be mounted and swapped out. Another advantage: It’s portable, so one can load on the range. The whole setup can be prepped for portable use in about three minutes. What’s the advantage? With a press on the range, I can load while I ladder test loads and make adjustments on the fly.

The Lee Reloading Stand uses the Lee Bench Plate System, where the user attaches a plate to the press, and it fits into a receiver on the stand. This allows the user to swap other presses with the plate on this stand and store two presses on the bottom shelf. The reloading stand comes complete for one press, except the user has to add one item: a cinder block for ballast.

The Lee Reloading Stand has quick change plates, allowing a reloader whose space is at a premium, to use one press and store. Note the tray-based primer feed.

MEASURING

The Lee PRO 1000 Press Kit press is a three-station press. For a similar experience with four stations, Lee does make the Pro 4000 kit. One of the improvements in the PRO 1000 Press Kit is the new tool head, which uses Lee’s quick-change bushings. It comes set up with Breech Lock Dies, which include its powder-through expanding die.

The Powder Measure is one of the great strengths of this system. The Auto-Drum Powder Measure is actuated by a self-contained pinion gear train. I now have thousands of loads from this setup, and I don’t spill powder. It is every bit as accurate as the micrometer measure I use for competition. The powder drums can be interchanged, allowing users to swap drums for different loads. However, the dispenser itself is so inexpensive I would have one for each load.

TIPS

Spoiling Mom, there are a few things you need to know about the Pro 1000. I like to be able to pull cases of the line and occasionally weigh the powder it is dispensing. Since it uses simple retainer springs, this is easy to do.

The Pro 1000 does not like being cycled without a cartridge in the shell plate — make sure there’s always brass in the system! Do not work the handle when the brass feeding tube is empty.

The Lee PRO 1000 uses a shell plate to advance the components through the three stages using a shell plate. It’s narrower than four- or five-stage presses, and hard to feed the bullet onto the top of the case before it goes into the seating die. I set the bullet before the plate indexes the brass under this die. Or, since the Lee Bullet Feed Kit is only $48, just add that.

After Josh begins reloading on his PRO 1000, he will do the same thing I am getting ready to do: Get another PRO 1000 for a different caliber.

Until next time. ­—Lindsey

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