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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm meeting a Craigslist seller tomorrow. He's got a Lee Pro 1000 for $100. It's got a case collator, and I'm assuming it has the die and shellplate I want (9mm). I'm not sure of the condition, but for argument's sake, it is worn but usable - is that a good price?

This might be my first press. Do you guys have any tips?

What should I be looking out for in a used press? I am thinking that the threads should be in good shape, not stripped; that the press goes up and down smoothly without a load; that the joints are shaky; that any surface corrosion does not extend into the metal. Any peculiarities of this model that I should know or worry about?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Follow up questions: is a reloading manual necessary, or can I get by with the instruction manual? I walked into my LGS over the weekend thinking to buy a manual as many on the internet have suggested, but the salesman/gunsmith spent half an hour or so explaining everything and at the end of it... he implied I didn't need it (he had 6 or so for sale) since I could get load data from powder manufacturers online, and that he'd explained the mechanics of a press and the process already.

Do you guys have any thoughts on Safety Magnetic Powder Scale 100 Grain Capacity ? It's the cheapest I can find, but its working range is too small to weigh bullets. Do I need a tumbler, or can I wash off debris with soap and some agitation in a bucket, and allow it to dry? Any comments on Digital Calipers - Save on these 6 Inch Digital Calipers ?

Thanks in advance!
 

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If the seller has upgraded to Dillon or another manufacturer he may be keeping the dies as they are standard to a lot of presses. A set of 4 dies for 9mm will cost you 43.00 plus shipping from Midway. Be sure to check your prices on new equipment so that you have a good comparison in mind when you see the press for sale.

Pro 1000 Progressive Press Kit 45 ACPy tip for a hand loader just starting out would be to get a Lee Deluxe or Classic Turret setup. It is fast enough to meet an average usage of 500-800 rounds per month and slow enough for you to stay safe and concentrate on learning the process.

Don't forget or neglect to get a reloading book or two to read before you get started and let us know how it goes!
 

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Follow up questions: is a reloading manual necessary, or can I get by with the instruction manual? I walked into my LGS over the weekend thinking to buy a manual as many on the internet have suggested, but the salesman/gunsmith spent half an hour or so explaining everything and at the end of it... he implied I didn't need it (he had 6 or so for sale) since I could get load data from powder manufacturers online, and that he'd explained the mechanics of a press and the process already.

Do you guys have any thoughts on Safety Magnetic Powder Scale 100 Grain Capacity ? It's the cheapest I can find, but its working range is too small to weigh bullets. Do I need a tumbler, or can I wash off debris with soap and some agitation in a bucket, and allow it to dry? Any comments on Digital Calipers - Save on these 6 Inch Digital Calipers ?

Thanks in advance!
If you buy a Lee Turret kit it will have a magnetic beam scale that is accurate and functional. I used mine for a year and bought a Frankford digital scale. I have a dial caliper but have seen the digital ones on sale for 10.00 and may snap one of those up when I see them again.

What you won't get out of reading tables on the 'net or with the powder that you buy is a comprehensive study of the history and practice of hand loading ammunition which provides an in depth explanation of the processes not only of putting a cartridge together but also the safety aspects of reloading. It is a deadly serious business which can destroy body parts and/or expensive firearms if not properly done.

So yes, a reloading book...or two is highly recommended. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks. He says he has 9 mm dies, but he didn't say if they were part of the $100. If I have to buy new, the deal'll be a no-go since a new Pro 1000 is $170 or so, including shipping on Midway.

I understand the benefit of starting with a single stage, and the Lee Challenger is attractive in price. But I can't find any used for a good price, and I don't want to upgrade shortly after. Reloading 9 mm is marginal at best, and if the press is in good condition, $100 seems either a relatively inexpensive experiment, or if it works out, it could quickly break even for me.

I think I'll go get a book or three. Any books in particular to recommend?

Forgot to mention, Harbor Freight calipers have a $10-off coupon http://www.retailmenot.com/view/harborfreight.com .
 

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Poke around the reloading section of the forum for the answers to a lot of questions that new reloaders have had before, during and after they've bought their equipment. It is one of the most rewarding things you will do that is connected to shooting and many shooters, including myself, have said that they enjoy the process almost as much as going to the range.
 
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I recently purchased two Lee Pro 1000 presses used with 45 Colt, 45 acp, 38/357, 9mm dies and shell plate for $350. Now that included 5 lbs of various powders, 3000 LP primers, 2000 SP primers, 1000 bullets for 45 Colt, 1000 bullets for 9mm, Hornady GS-1500 electronic, Lee safe scale (beam type). I have turrets and shell plate carriers complete for all calibers, Franklin Arsenel Quick-N-EZ tumbler, as well as other assorted tools, books and parts.
 

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I think I'll go get a book or three. Any books in particular to recommend?
.
Check out the Lee 2nd Edition. I would also get the 2012 Hodgdons manual. Hornady and Lyman manuals are also in my collection.

Did you check out Ebay? Presses Accessories | eBay Once in a while I run across a good deal there in the reloading section.
 

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Thanks. He says he has 9 mm dies, but he didn't say if they were part of the $100. If I have to buy new, the deal'll be a no-go since a new Pro 1000 is $170 or so, including shipping on Midway.

I understand the benefit of starting with a single stage, and the Lee Challenger is attractive in price. But I can't find any used for a good price, and I don't want to upgrade shortly after. Reloading 9 mm is marginal at best, and if the press is in good condition, $100 seems either a relatively inexpensive experiment, or if it works out, it could quickly break even for me.

I think I'll go get a book or three. Any books in particular to recommend?

Forgot to mention, Harbor Freight calipers have a $10-off coupon Harbor Freight Coupon Codes - all coupons, discounts and promo codes for HarborFreight.com .
$155 plus shipping at FSreloading.com https://fsreloading.com/lee-pro-1000-9mm-luger-90640.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
glenwolde: Are you saying I should buy it new? I did check a few prices and it's about $170-180 new. How's $100 for a used but well-functioning set? I understand that I might be inheriting someone else's problem, but if it's fixable I think I can manage. I still need to spend a bit on a stand (thinking of http://www.harborfreight.com/29-inch-heavy-duty-tool-stand-95128.html + a thick plywood top), calipers, scale, and maybe a used tumbler. I was hoping to do all that for $200 in.

Lyman's Pistol & Revolver Handbook caught my eye; it seems to be more focused on handgun, which I am shooting now. Anybody like it?
 

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glenwolde: Are you saying I should buy it new? I did check a few prices and it's about $170-180 new. How's $100 for a used but well-functioning set? I understand that I might be inheriting someone else's problem, but if it's fixable I think I can manage. I still need to spend a bit on a stand (thinking of 29" Heavy Duty Tool Stand + a thick plywood top), calipers, scale, and maybe a used tumbler. I was hoping to do all that for $200 in.

Lyman's Pistol & Revolver Handbook caught my eye; it seems to be more focused on handgun, which I am shooting now. Anybody like it?
Your call, but if it's complete for $100 it seems like a pretty good deal. Like you said, if you've got to buy dies it wouldn't be worth it. I've never used one of these, but I think they have a reputation for being a bit finicky. If you're mechanically inclined and don't mind (or enjoy) messing around with it to get it going then you should be fine. I know some reloaders that just want the ammo with as little fuss as possible, and others that appreciate reloading as a hobby in it's own right and like tinkering. I'm the latter.
 

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glenwolde: Are you saying I should buy it new? I did check a few prices and it's about $170-180 new. How's $100 for a used but well-functioning set? I understand that I might be inheriting someone else's problem, but if it's fixable I think I can manage. I still need to spend a bit on a stand (thinking of 29" Heavy Duty Tool Stand + a thick plywood top), calipers, scale, and maybe a used tumbler. I was hoping to do all that for $200 in.

Lyman's Pistol & Revolver Handbook caught my eye; it seems to be more focused on handgun, which I am shooting now. Anybody like it?
I bough two of these for about what Midway sells one for https://fsreloading.com/lee-bench-plate-90251.html and a bench for $70 from Walmart. My setup is shown below with the 45 press setup to use. The bench plates make it quick and easy to change from one press to another as well as different types of tools by Lee.
 

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Are you only using the base plate?

Do you still need to drill holes specific to your press into the bench, since the base plate doesn't have room for the bolts?
It is two pieces one attaches to the press the other to the bench. The base is mounted to the bench and the insert is attached to the press and slide into place then locked down with 4 allen head screws. Two wood blocks also comes with it undrilled, a pattern to drill for lee presses and equipment is included for the wood. The steel insert is pre drilled to fit all of Lee's tools that need to be bolted down. I have two of the steel plates one on each press with one base mounted. Loosen 4 phillips head screws, slide the press back and slide the second press in then tighten the screws.
 

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Here is a video that covers the bench plate as well as explains how it works.
 

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Thanks a lot. I'm watching now. I'm sorry you guys have to put up with all my silly newbie questions, but I really appreciate it.

Is the steel plate countersunk for the heads of the bolts?
Not a problem since I'm new at this loading also and only just finished seting up my stuff. So far I've only loaded 45 Colt rounds but will be doing some 45 acp and 9mm soon.

Now the plate has flat head bolts with square shanks (comes with it in two lenghts and enough to mount any press) the studs/bolt go in from the bottom through the combination of holes (lay out comes with it as to what fits where) then mount the insert in the base, put down your press and put on a washer followed by the bolt. Once done leave the insert on the press and simply change them with the equipment. I like the steel insert better than the wood due to as the video states they tend to walk out. However the new plates have a lock hole you can also drill through to drop a lock pin down in to hold the blocks in place.

Here is the bench I bought by the way Stack-On DIY Workbench, Steel Workbench, Garage Workbench Stack on steel makes all kinds of set up also but sell through WalMart and Amazon though amazon you will pay shipping but not Walmart if shipped to your local store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just got back from meeting the Craigslist seller. He buys up stuff from estate sales and resells them. He's a friendly guy, walked me through the process, explained what was more important and what was not.

I paid $208 for a Lee Pro 1000 with case collator with 9 mm dies, a tumbler, a Cabela's pamphlet, 1k of bullets and primers (assured that those were stored appropriately), and 1 pound of powder. I still need a scale, calipers, a manual, and a stand.

So, I embark on a new hobby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Filled the vibratory tumbler with 300 or so cases. It's actually louder with the cover screwed on. I hear an occasional clink, and the low frequency noise is mildly annoying, but I don't think the neighbors can notice (apartment). I think I'll remove a few of the cases and let it run overnight?
 
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