Minor Changes to Fix the Lee Loadmaster Progressive Reloading Press

Part 2: Minor Modifications and Improvements to fix the Lee Loadmaster reloading press This is an overview of some minor DIY fixes and improvements developed by Gear Report writer Josejuan Micheo […]

Part 2: Minor Modifications and Improvements to fix the Lee Loadmaster reloading press

This is an overview of some minor DIY fixes and improvements developed by Gear Report writer Josejuan Micheo for the Loadmaster progressive reloading press, manufactured by Lee Precision. Some are tweaks he found through diligent research online. Others are original engineering conducted by Josejuan.

We mentioned in DIY Fixes To Improve the Lee Loadmaster Reloading Press that we made both minor tweaks and changes, and major changes to the Loadmaster progressive press. The major Lee Loadmaster fixes are in Part 3: Major Changes to Fix The Lee Loadmaster Reloading Press

These fixes to the Lee Loadmaster reloading press improve function, while retaining the original workflow and operational design of the press. We consider these to be suitable for anyone that has the requisite skill and attention to detail required for the reloading of ammunition.

  • RTFM: (Read The … um… Friendly Manual) First and foremost, it is imperative that the press is set up according to the instructions in the official Lee Precision manual. You might find the videos provided online by Lee Precision to helpful in clarifying any directions that aren’t clear. Utilizing both the manual, the Lee Precision website and its video links will minimize operational errors. For example, very subtle differences in the tightness of the bottom screw on the crank slider makes a HUGE difference in case slider travel… making the case feeding operation either reliable, or a nightmare. Paying attention to the setup details is truly critical on the Lee Loadmaster reloading press.
minor fixes to the Lee Loadmaster reloader - reloading table

Here is the table prior to cutting the half-circle for the press’s ram

  • Solid Foundation: To operate reliably, the Lee Loadmaster progressive press requires a stable, unmoving base. We can’t stress this enough. The design and location of the press ram places the body of the press so close to the edge of the table that it may not provide sufficient support. During reloading, cycling the lever increases the torque at the edge of the table. For that reason we designed and engineered a table with increased support under press body to provide additional support and prevent the body of the press torquing towards the press operator. We extended the front legs towards the operator to counter the twisting force applied when the press is in operation. Perhaps most importantly, the edge of the table was cut with a hole saw to accommodate the press ram and allow for the press to be recessed inward from the edge almost 2″, providing more torsion resistance and a solid support underneath. These modifications did the trick for us, but if the press still torqued too much, then there are aftermarket brackets to add rigidity to the front and back of the press to reduce torsion during operation.
  • A bit rough around the edges: Many people say there is a Lee Loadmaster primer problem. In many cases, they are right. Installing new primers in cases is, perhaps, the most trouble prone operation on the Lee Loadmaster reloading press. We have found that the primer system works best with 50 to 150 primers in the hopper providing consistent pressure on the column of primers in the channel, so that they feed smoothly. Any imperfections in the primer loading channel can snag primers and prevent the downward pressure from feeding primers as the primer loading arm cycles. We used fine sandpaper to smooth out a few bumps in the plastic primer channel so primers feed smoothly. Look for any other roughness on Loadmaster press parts that move against each other, and smooth them out so that they are snag free. Clean the primer channel regularly, as any debris in the channel, even just a granule or two of gun powder, can wreck the primer feed operation.
minor fixes to the Lee Loadmaster reloader - primer flipped

Primer got flipped in the primer channel 🙁

  • Lube: Yes, this is part of the setup and ongoing maintenance, but important enough to mention. Be mindful of what type of lube you use, as some lubricants are not compatible with gun powder and/or primers. We have had good luck with graphite on parts requiring dry lube, like a tiny bit of graphite under the case slider.

We hope you enjoyed this quick overview of how to fix the Lee Loadmaster‘s most common issues. Please subscribe using the blank on the right to get safe updates whenever Gear-Report.com publishes a new article. This will be the first in a series of articles giving more details on the modifications and fixes we find and/or develop for the Lee Loadmaster.

Tell us what you think using the comments section below.

Legal Disclaimer: This article describes some things we did to our Loadmaster presses that we feel have provided good results. You assume all liability for your actions. Should you attempt any of the things we describe on this page, then you do so completely at your own risk. Cress Sales and Marketing LLC (parent company of gear-report.com), gear-report.com, and the gear-report.com writers and staff offer no guarantee that the fixes, modifications, instructions, or directions offered here are safe, effective, or fit for the purpose described.

You might also like our Lee Loadmaster Progressive Reloading press review (link).

Gallery of images from this post:


Originally posted 2015-01-22 20:06:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About JJ

A long time friend of Gear-Report.com, and frequent behind-the-scenes instigator…I mean contributor, JJ joined the Gear Report team in 2014 in a more formal capacity. Expect to see JJ’s ongoing contributions to reviews, while he coordinates with manufacturers and retailers to review their products.

If you want to see what it takes to make the cut here at Gear Report, look no further than JJ. Part inventor, part outdoorsman, JJ brings a wealth of experience to the Gear Report team, as well as some fancy book learning. A Structural Designer by day, JJ spends his nights and weekends on a massively broad range of outdoor and active interests. Whether making hunting knives, bamboo frame canoes, hunting platforms or various other creations, or hunting, fishing, paddling, boating, teaching martial arts, or re-engineering ammunition reloading equipment, JJ is always up to something interesting. Usually several somethings.

A native of Guatemala, JJ brings a valuable different perspective to Gear Report. We will see if we can get him to add some Spanish language content to the site, as the need for fair, trusted information on outdoor gear is not limited to English speaking readers.