Thursday, 21 April 2011

Setup Loadmaster Problems - followup

A few other problems that I did not talk about on my last post. These are all to do with the shell feeder.

I setup the shell feeder, tubes, sliders etc and it was working great. I created approx 100 rounds without any problems. After the first 100 the press started to get very stiff on the down stroke, I noticed that the slide would stick at the top and then slowly creep down before it would act normally again.

I didn’t notice the slider at first, and only really noticed it when I found that the slider rod was warm. In fact it was a little more than just warm, it was positively hot. I didn’t know what to do about this, so tried adding some lube, which helped for a while but did not solve it and caused the case feeder not to feed cases enough. In the end I found that the rod was bent out, so all I needed to do was bend it back in toward the press.

Second problem was caused by the first and it was that the case feeder wasn’t feeding cases into the press again after the problem above. I followed Lee’s instruction and tightened up the screws on the slider. I have over tightened these screws now and they have stripped the plastic out of the slider. I will add some thread lock to these screws so they have something to bit against.

So far I have made approx 400 rounds, I have fired approx 50 and they were all great. Very soft recoil and have not altered my point of aim at all. I have a 2 day IPSC competition this weekend, which is why I have made some many rounds. This will be the first competition that I will be using my own rounds for and I am confident it will help me place better.

I will follow up my posts with some positives I have found with the press, as so far all I have posted is problems and that’s not really representative of my experiences with this press so far. Once setup it was very, very easy to create completed rounds, and of the ones I fired they have all been consistent.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Setup Loadmaster Problems

A few things I was annoyed about before starting. My press only came with the 3 die set. I did not get the universal decapper die either. I’m not sure if this was because of my dealer, or if it’s normal with the Loadmaster. My Loadmaster didn’t come with the shell tray either that goes on top of the case feeder, again no idea if this was a cock up from my dealer or if it’s normal with Lee.
As expected I had a few problems during the set up of the loadmaster, luckily there are some very good setup guides and help available on the web.

The main places I went to get help where:
The first problem I had was that the system was not indexing, I found the problem was that the indexing rod was not engaging the frame. I found a video on Lee’s site that helped me with this problem. Basically I needed to undo the bolt at the base of the unit, twist the press until the indexing rod did engage the frame, and retighten the bolt. It was a nice quick fix, but a little annoying with a brand new press.

Next problem was with the priming system. I was having a lot of problems with the primer not seating correctly, i.e. at funny angles. I solved this by buying the 4 die set along with a universal decapper die. This helped because I resize the brass at the same time as adding a primer, it holds the brass straight and increases the changes of getting a good primer seated.

Next problem with the primers I had was that the slider got bent and the plastic deformed. In the set it includes a second slider, but it’s happened with that one too. I bent the plastic back and it’s working for now, but I do need a new slider. Added to the fact that I’m still getting a few primer placement problems I’m thinking of getting a hand primer tool and do the priming outside the press.

Next problem I had was with the bullet feeder. It was too small for a 9mm bullet to feed from it. The diameter was fine but the bullets are slightly too tall. I took a dremal tool and cut a channel in the top of the feed, it only took a minute but again it’s very annoying that the kit doesn’t work out of the box.

Last thing is the wooden handle of the press keeps coming off in my hand when I apply pressure at the bottom of the action. I haven’t done anything about this yet but am planning to glue the wooden handle back on the press. I believe that this is a common problem with the Lee’s.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Lee Loadmaster setup

Unpacking the Loadmaster

Also in the box is a bullet feeder which I ordered. This is not part of the normal package and needs to be ordered seperately

Contents of the box (less the loadmaster itself)

The loadmaster

The extra bits to add to the loadmaster.

The case feeder to add to the loadmaster

I will follow up this post with full setup of teh loadmaster. I did have a few problems that I will share, and give you how I solved it.

Lee Loadmaster setup

Been a while since I posted because I've been busy setting up.

First to setup was the case cleaner.

This is what I baught

Inside the box

and setup

Setup could not be easier, just screw the top onto teh base. It takes all over 20 seconds. Once it's put together, add the media, I am currently using crushed walnut shells, add 500 9mm shells and leave on for approx 4 hours to get clean.

Media that I use:

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Lee Loadmaster arrived

Finally here, Will be picking up my Lee Loadmaster in 9mm tonight.

Will start putting everything together, will take pictures at every step and update this site.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Bullet Puller

Just a quick update on the bullet puller. It couldn't be easier to use. You select the right size collet for the bullet. Place the bullet inside the collet, screw the whole thing into the bullet puller and hit it like a hammer until the bullet comes out.

You then have all the powder inside the bullet puller, so when you unscrew the top it's best to empty the innards onto some paper to catch all the powder and bullet head.

Monday, 14 March 2011

9mm vs S&W 40

Still waiting for reloading equipment, It's certainly taking it's time getting too me.

While I'm waiting I'm trying to decide what my main calibre should be. A little bit of back ground on what I’m am looking for. I’m a IPSC shooter, self defence isn’t important to me, as I don’t carry. I’m looking for round count, controlled recoil and target attainment as quickly as possible.

I have already discounted 45 ACP, as the round count is too low. I have been looking at 38 super but I don’t have any experience with it so I am mainly looking at 9mm and 40 S&W. These are the two calibres that are common where I live.

At the moment I am shooting 9mm, my gun is working very well with 9mm. The recoil is very controlled, and the pistol gets back onto the target quickly. I like the 20 rounds that the mags hold. The only down side to 9mm at the moment is that it’s putting me into minor for IPSC competitions. This is the reason I’m looking at 40 S&W. I have a little experience with 40 S&W, and so far it’s all been positive. I might be looking to purchase a new 2011 style gun in this calibre to do some more tests. The added benefit is that both 9mm and 40 S&W use small pistol primers, so reloading is quite straight forward for both of them.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Nothing new

Nothing new, just waiting but still finding time to learn more about reloading.

On line forums are great, you can ask all sorts of silly questions, most of teh time you get the answers you were looking for too. It's stilll always best to be around someone who has reloaded before, hands on experience always comes top.

Hoping that my waiting is nearly over, I'm looking forward to starting reloading.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Still waiting - maybe time for another gun too?

I'm still waiting, during this waiting time I've been thinking about getting another gun? I like the 1911 design, it's always fitted well into my hand and I like the soft recoil of the 45ACP.

I've been looking around at prices, and it seems that cheap ones that are worth owning start at about $450ish, for that you get a choice of Rock Island and American Classic, there are of course others, but these 2 seem to fit what I want the best. I am still not sure if I want a 1911, another 9mm or a Single Action Amry in 45 Long Colt. I guess half teh fun is looking at pretty pictures.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Waiting - the worse part

Waiting for the press to get here, nothing worse than being ready to start something but having to wait until it's here.

I have all the parts to make new rounds, powder, heads, cases and primers. I have read the load data, I know what I am going to start with. I am now just waiting for the press to get here.

I am going to be using Universal powder, quite a few shooters use this powder were I live so it comes recommended. It also means that I can use their data to fall back on. I am lucky that the maker has a good website to back up their product with good load data on it, you can find it here.

Monday, 28 February 2011

45 Long Colt

Thinking about getting a new gun in 45 long colt, or ACP. This would mean having to change teh reloading press to fit large primers, changing the brass feed as well as the dies.

In this case it might be easier to buy another single stage press for the 45.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bullet puller

First of the equipment has arrived already. The bullet puller, or the reloader’s eraser as it’s also known.

Simple bit of kit, it looks like a hammer. You screw in the bullet you want to take apart in one end and hit the other end until the bullet head has removed itself from the case.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Reloading - Learning experience part 2

When around last night to get a how too for the Lee Loadmaster.

Lots of questions have been answered, but a few more have raised tehir heads. Overall I think I'm ready to start my own reloading, and I'll take it from there.

A very basic run down of what we covered last night was,

What each die does
The Lee powder system
How to clean brass
How to setup the Loadmaster
How a primer works, i.e. which parts to be careful off
How to check each station
Checking your end product
Fixing mistakes

I'll be going into more detials of each of these when I get my machine and set it up to start my own reloading.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Reloading - Learning experience

I will be visiting a friend tonight who has aggreed to show me the setup and operation of his Lee loadmaster. This will be my first time I have seen reloading in action.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


About to start reloading, excited to get started ASAP.

I am buying a Lee Loadmaster in 9mm, I know that Dillon is better but I am going to start with what I can afford. It's been order and should be here by the end of the month.

I plan to share my setup pains with everyone