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Load Master Setup

Load Master Setup

To get a Load Master working properly, there are a few things to consider that are inherent to the design of the press. I have listed 9 points below but first I need to stress the importance of a sturdy bench to mount your Load Master to. The press should not be able to flex and jiggle when you apply pressure to the handle at the top of the ram stroke. The priming system slides the primer on top of  the priming pin just before the top of the ram stroke and then at the top the priming pin is raised to push the primer into the pocket in the case. If the press jiggles at this crucial moment the primer can move slightly. If it moves far enough it will catch one side of the pocket and the primer will tip over. A sturdy bench is an absolute must. And now, on to the 9 points of consideration regarding the Load Master press.

1. Each die in each set needs to be set properly so that the work is completed at the VERY TOP of the ram stroke. This is more necessary with a Load Master than a Dillon because the Load Master primes on the upstroke and it is an adjustable setting. If you set the sizing die too deeply and prevent the carrier from reaching the top, and then set the primer seating depth bolt to properly seat primers with this die setting, everything works fine. Then, you switch calibers and the next die setting allows the carrier to go further up – then your previously set primer system is now set too deeply. This can lead to a broken Primer Rocker Arm and all of the other symptoms will show up – tilted primers, smashed primers, broken primer system parts, etc. In conclusion, all die sets should allow the carrier to go all the way to the top and have the work done at that location. If this is done, the primer system has to be set once and that’s it. The sizing die setup is the key to the Load Master. Raise the press ram to the top of the stroke and hold it there while you thread the sizing die in until it makes firm contact with the shell plate (no gap between the die and Shell plate). Turn the die 1/8-1/4 turn more and finger tighten the sizing die lock ring against the turret at this setting.

2. If the primer adjustment is set too deeply, what happens is that the primer slider has to try and place a primer up and on an already rising post. This results in damaged parts and mounds of frustration with the above symptoms. This is how to set it properly, but after doing step #1 because this operation has to be done in conjunction with #1. With no turret in the press, put a fired case (with a spent primer in it) into station #1 and advance it to station #2. Be sure the primer seating depth bolt (on the upper left side of the press) is turned as high as it will go. When the carrier is at the top with the fired case in station #2, hold the handle down to keep the carrier at the top. With your left hand, push the primer rocker arm (the lever that the depth bolt pushes) down as far as it will go. This puts the priming plunger up tight against the bottom of the case. Turn the primer depth bolt down to meet this location (until it stops), lower the carrier and turn the bolt down further not quite a half turn more and secure it. Along with #1, you have just solved the priming problems that many complain about.

3. Make sure the case retainers are set. Make sure they are snug and pushed inward. Then, run a case (without a turret in the press) through the press. As it, along with the shell plate, moves (don’t use a slamming motion, but rather a smooth one) through, it will push the retainers out to the perfect setting and they will stay there. This is especially important for station #2 because this retainer is what holds the case in place during priming. Many use another die for alignment and that doesn’t hurt but it’s really not necessary. Consider that if the retainer is not holding the case in all the way, centrifugal force causes the case to move outward and then it’s no longer centered for priming and problems occur.

4. With the other points in place, be sure you are using full handle strokes to the bottom and back to the top. If you short stroke the press, the work on the cases are not completed and you will get squib loads because the dies are set properly per point #1. From the bottom of the handle stroke back to the top is where the shell plate advances. At the bottom move the handle in a smooth confident motion back to the top, not “slammed” or “yanked”, but also not slowly as if to inspect the press functions as the handle moves to the top. The smooth confident motion creates the inertia that results in a smooth index. Also, put a little gun grease or heavy oil on the end of the index flipper and at the mating portion of the handle. I also place just a little on the pullout rib of the press frame. This all helps indexing occur smoothly. I also wipe the index rod down and give it a light coat of oil when I change calibers.

5. When setting the dies properly, you notice that the powder through expanding die is turned in to touch the shell holder and then backed out about a half turn. This is the proper setting and when the powder measure is placed on the die, ensures that you get a proper powder drop each time. To reset the measure, the chain is used and many find this setting troublesome and this baffles me because it takes about 5 seconds. With the carrier down, pull the chain (with the stop piece and buffer spring about 10 beads from one end) through the hole in the carrier and then through the outer hole in the powder measure and pull it taught. Raise the carrier slightly so that you can pull one more bead through the outer hole in the measure, then lower the carrier which places tension on the chain through the buffer spring on the bottom. Then, pull the other end of the chain through the inner hole in the powder measure to the point you almost hear a “click”. This ensures that the chain is secure in the powder measure holes. This is so easy that each time I finish a loading session, I raise the carrier and remove the chain from the powder measure and let it hang. That way, there is no tension on the powder measure when the press isn’t being used. When I start loading, I spend the 5 seconds and set it again. Be sure the carrier is all the way down when you do this, or you will break the chain when bringing the carrier to the bottom.

6. The case feeder requires nothing special other than what is in the directions, however many don’t realize that the crankslider adjustment should be done with one screw only. After setting it up with the feed rod per the instructions, tighten the top one as far as it will go without stripping it. The tension is adjusted with the bottom screw and it is turned in until the case slider is able to move a case from a fully stacked case tube into the shell plate carrier reliably. Adjust it tight enough for this to happen but not more than necessary. Another thing that helps is to put a little oil on the bottom of the feed ramp and then move the case slider back and forth (with an upward motion) because that is the area of the slider that has most contact with the feed ramp.

7. Personally, I don’t use the bullet feeder much only because I don’t load more than about 200 at a time and it’s not worth setting it up. The bullet feed does work well however and  is worth the time to set up when loading larger amounts of ammo.

8. I would recommend starting by not using a case feeder and placing a single case on the press and working it all the way through. After you’ve done this a hundred times or so, you’ll understand how the press works. Then, run a case through the system until it clears the priming station and start another one. After you’ve done that for a couple of hundred rounds (to get used to several things happening at once) you can start going full tilt by loading the cases each time. If your loading dictates the need, by all means hook up the case feeder after you are used to everything else and then pump them out.

9. There are Help Videos on our website that covers everything I’ve talked about here including the proper setting of each die. Most times, a picture is worth a thousand words and I recommend you view them to see how it’s done. In my opinion, point #1 is very important because if not done properly, a snowball effect of other things not working will begin.

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