Lee Breechlock Pro
For a while I have been considering an addition to my Lee Breechlock Challenger single station press to speed up my production rate. I’m not such a high volume shooter to justify a Dillon or Hornady AP, but when club matches start back up I will put a lot of lead downrange in a short period. I looked long at the Lyman All American 8, there is a lot to like, but the priming system gets low marks. (More on that later.) With it I could put two sets of dies on one turret and only have to switch shell holders to change calibers.
But there is the satisfaction of a bullet plopping in the bin with each stroke of the handle. So with much paralysis by analysis, for better or worse I ordered a Lee Breechlock Pro 4000 9mm kit, a #4 shell plate for .223 and .380 and a case collator from Natchez. In kit form it is known as the Pro 4000.
Lee’s Safety Prime system has long been a source of discontent, and this iteration is no exception. Knowing this I planned to keep using my Frankford Arsenal hand prime. It was my intention to keep the single stage press around for brass prep rather than get primer residue and range dirt in the workings of a progressive shell plate mechanism.
I briefly had a Lee Loadmaster in my shopping cart, and for $50 more I may regret not getting it, however I remain convinced that the caliber change over for the Breechlock Pro will be less painful. Purchasing the kit I now have a second AutoDrum Powder Measure and my existing Breechlock bushings, so a caliber change is as simple as quarter turning 4 dies, swapping a shell plate and verifying charge weight and cartridge overall length.
Somewhere, a third party site, I read that KMS Squared’s UFO LT for the Lee Turret would fit the Breechlock Pro; it doesn’t, at least not properly. With the tool head removed I was able to attach it with a bit of hot glue and the provided self adhesive tape, clips and zip ties. It provides excellent illumination of the working area, and despite my own ordering blunder it was a good purchase.
The red die in the picture above is a 3D printed bullet feeder purchased from Eagle Eye Shooting over on his website, www.dpgunworks.com . With a bit extra case flare it functions flawlessly with the Everglades 125gr bullets.
But enough of my ramblings, on with the video.
I may yet regret not getting the Lee Loadmaster, but I think I made the value decision based on my volume needs.
I owned a Marlin 60 since 1987, but never really got ‘into’ guns until 2011 when I bought my first 9mm pistol. That was soon followed by a .380 and a 12 guage pump, and I was all in. I had done some 20 guage reloading growing up, and threw myself into 9mm and .223 reloading in 2017, .380 in 2019 and 7.62×39 in 2020. It is so satisfying to go to the range and string together ever improving groups with ammo I loaded myself; it doesn’t hurt that I’m a little OCD about technical things, the tangible/visible rewards are really gratifying.
I have a nagging but as yet unattained ‘want’ for a .358 Yeti unloader, it just looks like a really cool caliber. My next learning curve, space permitting, is casting and coating.