92 thoughts on “Loadmaster Loading 45 ACP (HD)”

  1. Gavin….ahave you relaoded 40s&w on the Loadmaster and if yes, what dies to you instal on the 5 stages. I find this info to be extremely invaluable. I have for 9mm, 223, 45acp..I also need to load 40 s&w. Thanks

  2. I had a Loadmaster for 2 years. Loaded many different calibers with it from 380acp to 45colt and probably 12 calibers in between. Found it to be a solid press with only one drawback. The main casting that carries the shell plate(pot metal) and indexing bar below it(steel) rub against each other to work correctly and index the press. The indexing bar does wear at the $25 main casting and I found myself replacing it every 6 months. I did this 4 times over 2 years . When the 4th carrier plate and index bar was installed I sold it. Its a great press if you dont do volume reloading , but will chew on your wallet if you do. Up to that point all I owned was Lee presses. My Hornady Lock & Load was more money but its commercial grade and a fine machine I can live with.

    1. I know it’s an old post, but I have just found this site and was wondering about your wear issues. Reason I ask is I got a LM about a year ago. So far no issues what so ever that were not self induced, thank God for Youtube to figure out how to set it up properly as Lee instructions are worse than useless.

      What did you lube the indexing bar with? I’ve been using graphite engine assembly lube, and lubing before every session. Of course I’ve only reloaded about 5K rounds on it, mostly 45ACP, but recently switched to 45 colt. How many rounds have you loaded on it to wear it out? I’ve seen reports of some people reloading +25K rounds with no issues.

      Just wondering if I’m going to be having an issue there. I guess I could always mill out the carrier and put in wear pads if I had to. Never really considered wear on that part would be an issue, even though you’ve got steel sliding on aluminum.

  3. So i am considering this press to be a good starterpress to get into hadloading. I will mainly be loading 9mm, and 38spec/357mag. Some rifle with time, but mainly 9mm in a big quantum, i will say a quantity between 2500-3000 rounds/year. Will this press serve me good for a couple of years? Ive wondered about the Dillon 650XL also, but its double the price, plus a bit more..

    And Gavin, thanks for awesome quality videos and an awesome website!

  4. If you’re still looking into getting into the reloading game…and you expect to use 3,000 more or less rounds per year…with some rifle….you really cannot go wrong with a single stage press. I use a Lee turret press for almost 100% of my reloading needs but we’re talking far more than 3,000 rounds per year….it’s somewheres around 12,000+ rounds per year…oh yeah…at least.

    Go with Lee Precision….of which I have no connection to or work for any dealer of any kind….I’ve just have had great success using Lee and did not have to spend massive amounts of money to acquire my reloading dies and the generous accessories I have….a lot!!

    The Lee Breech Lock Challenger press works well and easy to change out dies. Cost is $58.95 plus shipping but order the Lee Carbide four die set for 9MM and 38/357 for $36.99 each..throw in a Pro powder disc throw for $36.99 comes to $169.92 plus shipping.

    Using the Breech Lock press is a great choice and you can load a lot of ammo for pistol plus rifle reloading and honestly….for the money you’ll not have to spend getting set up for reloading if using the high price brands and high price they are….the ammo quality is “very” satisfactory using Lee Precision.

    You will have to buy extra inserts called Lock Ring Eliminators..screw each die into these breech lock inserts and set the die…you’ll never have to adjust your die/s again and these are very quick changing from one die to another.

    Bottom line is…use your money wisely for reloading but without having to sacrifice the end result on reloaded ammo quality.

  5. Hi, I’m looking at getting into the practice of reloading, but embarassingly, I am not sure where to start or even what all I’ll need… I don’t have a whole lot to spend on it, so cheap but reliable is preferred.. CurtB, it seems like you suggested something fairly cheap. Also, I’ve been told I should get a progressive. What would the price difference be between the two set ups? I am looking to reload a .45ACP and a 9mm luger.

  6. Just bought a Lee classic turret press. I mainly am looking to reduce my overall cost of shooting and hope this will help. I shoot about 250 rounds per month and vary from 44 Mag, 45 ACP, 357 Mag, 38 SP to 270, 308, 30-06 and 243. I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can begin loading. Probably going to occupy my weekends now and cut my shooting time down with this new hobby. Thanks for the great videos and information.

  7. I have a Lee four stage turret press for 45 ACP. At my crimp stage, it is pushing my 200 gr RPFN lead further down into the casing and not crimping. It did the same thing when I tried to load 230 swc. The odd thing about this is, I have loaded close to 200 rounds without this happening but now it has begun to push my lead further down into the casing. I have taken the die out and cleaned it with a non-oil based cleaner and read set it but with no success. This has become a progressive problem. I had loaded close to 25 rounds and then this “pushing down of the lead” starts about every 3rd round and now does is consistently. This has occurred now 12 out of 15 rounds. I have been reloading for about 1.5 years now. I am open to any suggestions or any related questions. Your help is appreciated.

    Thanks, Greg

    1. Greg Mc:

      I suspect you’re suffering from one of the following: slight variations in the diameter, a slight taper from the base to the nose, or slight differences in length of the cast bullets, and/or case length variations. You don’t specify if this is happening in the seat/crimp die, or the factory size and crimp die, but I think they’re probably the source of the problem in either one.

      In the seat/crimp die a longer bullet will get shoved farther down into the case by the seating action. A tapered bullet will suffer the same effect from the crimp angle in the die pushing the bullet down before the case edge digs into the bullet enough to stop it moving. A narrow bullet will exacerbate this situation. (Are you over-belling your case mouths?) A shorter case in that stage won’t reach the crimping angle in the die, hence, no crimp. (Why crimp .45 ACP to begin with?)

      In the factory size and crimp die you’d see the same symptoms for the same reasons with variations in case length and bullet size. In addition, as that die resizes the case for a second time on the way out of the die, it has another avenue to squeeze a tapered and/or narrow bullet farther into the case.

      In any of these case, I doubt it’s the dies. I would try a few things and check after each step to find the source of the problem. Again, not knowing your exact procedures, I’ll be general for the sake of being general, assuming you’re doing everything wrong. (Which I’m sure you’re not after reloading for more than year.)

      First, measure a fair number of your bullets and cases from the problem-prone lots to check for variations. Second, ease off on the belling to the point that the bullet just barely holds itself in the case mouth before being seated. Third, rotate the seating screw farther into the seating/crimp die while backing the die itself out to seat the bullet without crimping the case. Fourth, back the crimp screw out of the factory crimp and sizing die until it’s no longer or just barely taper-crimping the case. Or just remove it. (Again, for the sake of being as general as possible, a .45 ACP shouldn’t be crimped at all, or only very slightly, since the pistol needs a defined case mouth rim to headspace properly.)

      A couple final possibilities. One is that if your bullets are very, very soft, I suppose they could lead the seating screw or the interior of the factory crimp die. I think this is extremely unlikely, but worth mentioning. Another is that if your brass is extremely dirty or extremely clean and dry, any die will eventually malfunction. The solution for too dirty is obvious. For too clean/dry, spray a very conservative amount of furniture or spray-lube on the cases. You don’t even have to hit all of them. A little lube on every third or fourth case will be enough to keep the dies running smoothly. (A little range and shooting soot works too… Don’t over-clean.) Don’t use a liberal amount, or anything other than spray lube if you choose to go this way.

      Check after each step in the process, measure, etc., to find the source of the problem.

      And call or email Lee. They are great about troubleshooting and will doubtless go to some length to help you figure this out better than I can.

      Best of luck.

    2. Had the same thing happen to me with my Lee hand press. The lead bullets I use come with a blue waxy lube on them. the lube had built up in the end of the crimp die and was pushing the bullets too deep. only way to get it out was heat up the die and melt it out. (I used a gas grill lighter.) if you use a flash light to look into the die you will see if this is your problem.

  8. I saw that you had changed your mounting hardware from the RCBS plate to what appears to be a channel that has been inlet into the reloading bench. It looks like there are bolts that can slide along the channel – the heads in the channel – and you then mount the presses to a thick wood base plate that is attached to the bench with hand nuts that tighten it down to the bench. My question is have you done a video of this attaching device – I see huge benefits of being able to take the presses off or slide them down to make more or less room at different places along the bench. I have two loadmasters and 2 RCBS RC with the conversion units mounted to them. I have one more RC press that I use as single stage reloader for precision rifle. They are all mounted on the BCBS plates but in 12 foot I am getting crowded. Having your set up would be great. Where did you get it?

  9. Hi Gavin,

    Can a powder check die in station 4 and using the bullet seating and crimping die in station 5 on the Loadmaster? I like the looks of the Lee Loadmaster but there seems to be a lot of bad reviews. Can you give me some feedback? The other progressives (Dillon, RCBS, Hornady) are out of my price range. Thank you.

  10. In a video about the Lee Classic Turret Press you stated that you had an ergonomic handle for it for sale on the site here, and I have not been able to find it. I have checked on about a weekly basis for a bit over a month now with no luck. If you do not carry them anymore I understand, but if you know anywhere that I can get one, could you please email me the info, thank you very much.


  11. Years ago I had a Dillon but I stopped shooting and got rid of it, Now I started doing USPSA and I’m looking for a good secondhand Loadmaster .40, do you have any ideal where I can find one?

  12. Hi gavin,

    I have been a follower of you website for quite a while now, and only started reloading around a year ago,

    I’ve started my reloading life with a t lee single stage press, and now with other calibers Im looking at upgrading to the loadmaster, the main calibers I will be looking to load on the loadmaster are .22-250 & .357, and eventually .44Mag,

    Please would it be possible you could do a demonstration on the loadmaster with .357 & .22-250 as I’m looking at purchasing this press soon and would love to see how you set up and run yours efficiently.

    Keep up the good work,


    Rob (Derbyshire, UK)

  13. I’ve never reloaded and am a new .45 pistol owner. I underestimated how much I would want to practice with something that costs so much to shoot.

    I’m trying to way the cost benefits of beginning with “the loadmaster “or the “classic turret”.

    It seems to me thus far, that the “load master” is not much more in cost and is much faster.

    I am imagining that the progressive will require more setup for changing calibers and more maintenance with lubing and stuff.

    I’d appreciate any feedback on which product I should go with and or typical reloading times with each, thanks.

    P.S. excellent video resources!

  14. I have both CCI and Winchester primers, but i heard you prefer CCI and Remington. Is there really a risk in using Winchester in my Lee Loadmaster 5 Station Progressive Press ?

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