I need to vent

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by stev32k, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    I'm sure the Hornady Lock N Load progressive press will be a good one when all the problems get sorted out. In the mean time It's been a very frustrating experience.

    When I first opened the box I saw that the plastic bracket that holds the primer cam arm was broken. Call Hornady and two new ones arrive in two days.

    After getting the press mounted and starting to adjust the dies I notice the shell holder plate is not indexing correctly. It is about 1/8" off. Call Hornady and they walk me though the steps the make the adjustment. The plate now seems to index correctly. After about 15 or 20 strokes the adjustment is off again so I re-adjust.

    Next is the primer feed issue. The plastic bracket that was replaced does not have enough travel in the adjustment slot to allow primers to load reliably. So I remove the bracket and cut the slot longer. That seems to cure the problem and primers are now feeding like they should.

    I'm still trying confirm that primers are feeding when the shell holder plate stops indexing at all. Pull the arm up and down and the plate does not move. So I raise the plate and see that one of two indexing pawls has broken off - not the one I had been adjusting but the other one.

    Now I'm dead in the water, but at least I can de-primer some cases and put put them in the tumbler. I instal the Lee "Guaranteed Unbreakable" universal decapping die and on the first stroke the die pin breaks off.

    Thanks for letting me blow off a little steam - I feel better now and think I'll go take a nap.

    P.S. I forgot the part about two grease zerks coming out. The press has three grease zerks and the instructions say to give each one or two shots of grease. Greased up the first with no problem. Gave the second zerk one shot and when I tried to pull the grease gun fitting off the zerk the zerk came out. Same thing happened with the third fitting - the zerk fitting came out with just my pulling the grease gun fitting.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  2. Fast Forward

    Fast Forward Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    Chaska Minn
    God Bless the Single Stage

  3. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2012
    Steve, read your PM and Call me. I gave birth to my press literally. Don't pull your hair out. I can help you so you don't become as bald as I am.

  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I feel your frustration but... If you read all my post for the last 9 years you will see that both Hornady and LEE are on my list of "minimize buys from them".

    The LEE stuff over the years has been crap and most of it is gone, some in the trash.

    I bought a Hornady shotgun reloading press years ago and it broke regularly. They sent repair parts but the press design must have been a problem child for them because they abandoned it soon after I bought it and brought out a new press. I contacted them and asked that they replace my problem press with the new model. They totally refused. I put them on my list.

    By comparison when I first started reloading I bought a Dillon Square Deal (pistol cartridges only) because I only had one pistol (9mm). But then I started buying rifles too. I had been having some problems with the SQ Deal, mostly of my own making . After a year and beyond the money back guarantee period by several months while getting a replacement part, I mentioned that I really should have bought the RL550B. The Dillon rep said "send the SQ Deal back and we'll give you full credit towards a RL550B". Now that's service. On another note, one guy's Dillon press was destroyed in a house fire and Dillon sent him a new press...FREE.

    My press came out of the Dillon box perfect, set up for the caliber I ordered with no broken parts or anything out of adjustment. Every time I have broken a part, Dillon has provided a replacement for FREE and offered FREE update parts. Like anything mechanical, parts wear, especially as much as my press has been used. They have totally re-built my press two times for FREE. They are serious about the lifetime warrantee.

    I think yours is the first complaint I have seen here on the Hornady LNL press. It has quite a following and those followers are alway kidding me about how their Hornady LNL press is more press for the money and the fact that I paid a premium for the warrantee. So I think you'll get the Hornady press straightened out. But if you don't then ask for your money back and buy a Dillon RL550B and never look back.

    I wish you luck.

  5. Rogeritall

    Rogeritall Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    LOL... Please don't take me wrong Stev32K, I am by no means laughing at you and your difficulties. But, your story reminded me of a good friend of mine's stories when he first got his LEE R1000 progressive press. It gave him fits... He threatened to actually shoot the press. (He's the type that may have done it too) Long story short, I now own all his reloading equipment, because he just got so fed up with it, it was no longer fun for him to do reloading.

    He called the other night and asked if I was pulling my hair out yet, and I said no (while knocking on wood frantically) He asked me how I was able to stand it, and my answer was... I have just basically had to accept that the press was junk (built to low price standards) and part of the hobby of reloading, was repairing the press as well... :)

    I'm still very very new to reloading myself, but I can see where if someone wanted to buy a press and turn out large quantities of quality ammo, it could get very frustrating very fast.
  6. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    on the lee decapper? did you try to decap non boxer brass? or was the stem loose so it could cock over?

    did the pin break or the colelt not move?

    i've broke a rcbs decap pin on 30-06 before getting the lee decapper.. but ti was a berdan I missed.. at least once.. :)

    i don't often see LNL complaints... keep us posted.
  7. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    The decapper broke because the shell plate didn't index like it should and the primer was not over the hole. The decapper is supposed to rise up if it hits an obstruction, but it did not and snapped like a toothpick.
  8. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    on my lee decapper I assembled with just over needed pressure to do my regualr depriming. it needs another twist for crimped brass.

    the index issue was the real root of the problem.. however the lee should have slipped.

    did you disassemb;le and re assemble it prior to use?

    i bet (hope) lee replaces it for you..

    i've had great customer service from rcbs..
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  9. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Sorry to hear you are having issues - I can't imagine needing to cut primer feed slots or anything else for that matter on a new press. You'd think they would make it correctly at Hornady?

    I agree with the other posters that yours is really the first posting I've read about these type problems with this particlar loader. Hornady has a great reputation though it is accurate that starting reloading with a progressive does present its own set of challenges due to so many things happening at once that need to be adjusted correctly. I have no doubt that others here with experience on this press and the good folks at Hornady will be able to get you going on the right path.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    RAJBCPA Active Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    I was given a hard time by more than one hornady customer service representative, so i finally gave up and bought a dillon.

    i dont have the time to constantly fuss with a press. if i could have gotten it to run initially, perhaps i would have had some confidence in the machine.

    i'm a cpa for 30 years now, but before that i was a professional auto machanic during the 1970s. i'm pretty good with all things mechanical, so i was surprised that i could not get the press to run. apparently, i got a real dog from their assembly line. maybe it was made on a monday or friday.

    in my case, it never ran properly out of the box and constantly dealing with crankie customer service reps was more than i could tolerate. after the sixth serious breakage problem in three months and having continuous problems at every station, i just had enough.....

    it is sorta. ...like owning a yugo car or fiat car.... you finally realize you bought a pos, and then you move on and learn a hard lesson.....

    in three months time, i probably loaded less than 2,000 rounds. most of the time the press sat idle waiting for parts that were shipped last class u.s.p.s.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012

    RAJBCPA Active Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Some of the serious issues I had with the Hornady L-N-L press include:

    1. Ez-eject system locks up and often throws completed cases high to the right....
    2. primer system is horrible, constantly jamming
    3. Sliding primer bar fails to pick up primers
    4. primer guide rod pulls out of the retaining cup at the bottom of press
    5. the holes drilled in the press are mis-aligned....none of the 4 calipers I load aligned cases correctly in Station 1. You needed to use your hand to position the case under the sizing die. locking down the die with a case in the die in Station 1 is no help.
    6. the indexing pawls cannot be adjusted to advance the shell plate correctly
    7. there is no way to reliably replace broken indexing pawls; they don't come out of the press.
    8. the lock-n-load bushings need vice grips to remove and replace dies
    9. the L-N-L bushings release on their own during operation of the powder measure station
    10 The case retaining spring tears up and breaks

    This press will load 50 rounds or so and then, on a reliable basis, breaks down.

    Hornady customer service is HORRIBLE...... I dont consider operating hours 9 to -5 monday through thursday very helpful All the parts they sent me were mailed USPS and arrived > 6 days after the call was made.

    After the sixth pawl was broken and I explained that the press could not be indexed properly, they gave me a hard time about replacement parts.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  12. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Boy that is an eye opener. I have been coming here for years and not heard one complaint about the LNL progressive Hornady press.This all sounds like design and manufacturing problems, and not just one bad press. I wonder if others will step forward now that you have broken the ice? Or is eating crow not acceptable after arguing with me all theses years about how expensive Dillion presses were and how the extra money you pay over the Hornady press is for a "service" warrantee.

    I never could see the advantage of auto indexing...it just adds complexity and is no faster than my RL550B. And when it screws up, it makes a big mess and is frustrating to untangle. I'd never have the Dillon RL650 because it has that feature. I learned that from the LEE and the SQ Deal I had for just over a year that Dillion took back for full credit.

    I had an earlier model Hornady shotgun press that had a series of problems like you mentioned but even it was not as bad as my LEE progressive (Is it the 1000??). I found the Hornady service people not good to deal with at all. The complete opposite is the Dillion service people. I have to argue with them just to get them to take money for parts I obviously broke being dumb and they still won't take my money. And they totally rebuilt the press twice for free when it got a little loose. I didn't ask them to do it. They suggested doing it after hearing about a problem I was having at the time (both times). Now thats pretty good for a press I have used the hexx out of for almost 25 years!

    What is your take on the Dilion that you have now? Have you used it much? Obviously I really like mine and offer that to anyone who comes here. But the Hornady LNL progressive people always counter me...Oh well.

  13. stev32k

    stev32k Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2012
    Mobile, AL
    I'm not ready to give up on Hornady yet. Their customer service has been good so far. I agree that their working hours should take into account that most of their customers have to work during working hours. But is it refreshing to speak to a CS agent that actually speaks English.

    The serious issues to me are the accuracy and stability of indexing and the primer feed system. If I can't get those two to work reliably I will sell the press take a loss and buy the Dillon 650. Small parts like springs & pawls can be replaced pretty quickly, but if the primer feed system is not reliable and the indexing cannot stay calibrated I have no use for the press.
  14. cutter

    cutter New Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    That is what I did but the one I got rid of was the RCBS Pro2000. I have had the Dillon 650 for 2 years now and love it. Even my wife comment on how I sped my time reloading instead of currsing and trying to fix an ill enginered tool. Any of the Dillons are great, you get what you paid for except in POLITICS.
  15. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    marion indiana
    I started with Lee and Ill die with my lee.never had a problem.
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