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Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro Progressive Press - Flaw

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Post by Tim:H11 Sat Apr 16, 2022 2:50 pm

Today I set up a Lee Auto Breech Lock Pro (progressive reloading press) for 45 ACP and found out about a flaw that the press has. It's a four stage press. Individually I set up my full length sizing die, my powder through/expanding die, my seating die, and then my crimp die. Feeling confident that each stage was completing it's task to my desired settings, I loaded five rounds without primers and without powder. Then I measured the cartridge's overall length. They were not consistent nor were they correct. What was the matter!?

Through out some experimenting with the press using only a couple of stages at a time, alternating witch stages I paired together to try, or one stage at a time, and combinations of three stages at a time, and after a couple of phone calls, I think I understand what this press's deal is. 

The shell plate rotates and isn't supported at the outer edge. It's only supported in the middle. There is in fact a little bit of "give" on the edge of the plate. It tilts. Even with the plate as secured as the machine will allow it to get. So if you use one die (one stage) alone, then the plate will tilt and alter the results. Only if you use all four stages at once will the shell plate stay balanced or level. Or - how ever many stages you choose to use, you'll have to keep the taskings consistent in your process so the dies are being used the same way each time. 

So I had to reset my bullet seating die with all four stages engaged. I also checked my crimp die to make sure it was functioning properly. If you have this press and have had issues like this before, I think what I've described is what's going on with the inconsistency of the ammunition. It makes consistent ammunition when all stages are in use but not otherwise. 

Just thought I'd share an experience and some findings.
Tim:H11
Tim:H11

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Post by desben Sat Apr 16, 2022 4:22 pm

I'm sorry to hear about this difficulty. Given what you describe, would you expect the first 3 rounds out of a batch, when you still have empty stations, to be different from the rest? Not a big deal I suppose, you can save those 3 for practice, but an inconvenience nonetheless.
desben
desben

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Post by Tim:H11 Sat Apr 16, 2022 6:46 pm

desben wrote:I'm sorry to hear about this difficulty. Given what you describe, would you expect the first 3 rounds out of a batch, when you still have empty stations, to be different from the rest? Not a big deal I suppose, you can save those 3 for practice, but an inconvenience nonetheless.

Yes, certainly an inconvenience. So here’s my way of dealing with it: I keep two empty casings and two loaded casings (no powder/primer) handy for when I use the press. I can prime the stations with these casings when I start making ammunition, catch them when they fall out, and set them aside. Then when I make my last round of the batch, fill in the stations with these casings again so the final round gets the right usage from the dies. Yes, an inconvenience. But it’s the only answer I have right now so.. oh well.
Tim:H11
Tim:H11

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Post by Jon Eulette Sun Apr 17, 2022 2:55 pm

I've had several Lee presses over the years before I became a Star junkie lol.
They don't have a lot of meat in the base of the press to drill and tap to add support screw/bosses/studs. I would get some Devcon steel bedding compound and bed underneath the shell plate to support it. Should work really good.
Jon
Jon Eulette
Jon Eulette

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Post by Ed Hall Sun Apr 17, 2022 4:04 pm

I don't think if I ever really had this problem with my Dillon Square Deal.  I think when I set up OAL, using only one station, it stayed consistent.  However, I routinely set aside the first and last three of all my batches when I was really particular, just because the system was different.

Ed Hall

Posts : 963
Join date : 2012-09-11
Location : Adirondack Mountains

http://www.starreloaders.com/edhall/

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Post by James Hensler Mon Apr 18, 2022 2:17 pm

I’m I had you issue. I fixed it by running 5-7 rounds and then adjust the seating die. I would then run the batch of however many I needed. They are all within .003-.005. So the first 5 and the last 4 will be off and need to remove the bullet and powder the. You can reuse them. FYI order a couple of the plastic parts kits because you will need them
James Hensler
James Hensler

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