Lee Pro and .223

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greener

Lee Pro and .223

Post by greener » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:40 pm

My learning curve with reloading .223 using a Lee Pro 1000 has been rather steep. I purchased dies and turret ring. I ended up getting the double disk kit because the micrometer adjustment wouldn't deliver more than 19 grains of powder. The double disk came close, but wasn't consistent and had a tendency to fail to seal and dump powder into the primer area. The Lee perfect powder measure delivered very consistent charges, so I ended up decapping and priming on the Lee pro, adding powder using the Perfect Powder measure on a stand and seating/crimping on the partner press. Seem to go pretty well except I wasn't getting the benefits of a progressive press.

This weekend I decided take all my empty cases to the primed stage. The Lee Pro did a hundred well, then the decapping pin stuck inside a casing and had to be cut out. I found some cases that absolutely wouldn't decap or would decap but wouldn't prime.

To top it off, I went to Greentop to see if they had any powder for .223. The well was sort of dry. Either the Lee Pro or I are not ready for .223 Prime Time.

If anyone is using a Pro 100 as a Progressive Press, I need some advice.

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Bullseye
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Post by Bullseye » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:17 pm

Are you using a swaging press for the crimped primer pockets? I have a Dillon Super Swage 600 for that purpose. This is likely the problem for the cases that won't prime, they're likely old military cases with crimped primers. I had to go with a RCBS decapper as the primer pin is much sturdier than the Lee one. My biggest problem was some cases would get stuck in the sizing die and then rip off the base. I had to use a stuck case remover to pull out the hull from the sizing die body. I finally stopped using the Pro 1000 for .223. Easier to get the quality control I'm looking for with the Rock Chucker single stage. Takes more time but the loads are more consistent.

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bearandoldman
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Post by bearandoldman » Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:46 pm

Greener I have been using a Lee Pro 1000 with really good luck . But I am using just cases that have been fired in my gun alone, I did buy some cases but I believe they were new cases that have never been loaded. I use the colt neck seizer only and the double disk powder setup with Accurate 2230 at 24.3 grains. I throws a consistent load of les than .1 plus or minus I do not crimp as the are normally sot as single from the bench in my Savage BVTS.
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Post by blue68f100 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:48 pm

Trying to seat primers in crimped pockets is very hard to do with any press. The Super Swagger that BE mentions is the best if you have large volume. The RCBS swagger works too but requires a SS press and is slower. You can also use a pocket reamer to remove the crimp. Your hands will get tired if you have very many to do using a reamer.

The problems you mention on the Lee Pro1000 is well documented. One of the reason I shied away from it and are not recommend unless you really like to tinker with the settings all the time. But users get them to work but it's an exercise in patience.

There are a lot if powders that will work with the 223 but finding them these days is a another story. My LGS only had 3 powders on the shelf and only had Large Mag Pistol primers and 209's. Ammo on the shelves was pretty well stocked. I hope this straightens out soon, it's been going on long enough.

If your shooting a simi-auto you should do a FL sizing to ensure it chamber easily. At a minimum you need to keep the shoulder setback. NS is good for bolt/single action guns since it easier on the brass. Another option is to use the RCBS X-Die. This die has a mandrel that supports the neck and limits stretching. So if you don't like trimming this is a good option.

Trying to use a progressive on rifle rounds is a 2 step process since you have to trim after sizing. But once the brass is prepped then you can go progressive.
David

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