LockNLoad press

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by reid, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. reid

    reid New Member

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    I bought a LockNlLoad press from a member of another forum that was advertised as new in box with all papers. It arrived with no manual or paperwork and after talking with Hornady, I learned that it was not the current model. Are there any problems with this model of the LockNLoad? I plan to reload .38 special, 9 mm and 45 acp. Should I upgrade parts on this press or sell it and get a current model or is it fine as is? Thanks.
  2. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s New Member

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    If yours is a Lock-N-Load AP (i.e. the die stations have the LNL inserts so you don't have to screw dies in and out), then it was the newest model until a couple of weeks ago. Hornady is upgrading them (only the cartridge ejector system changed) for about $100 plus shipping the press to them. Eventually they may make the new parts available separately. Even without the new cartridge ejector, it is a fine press that lots of folks are very happy with.

    If it does not have the LNL inserts, it is a Pro-Jector or 007 model, and those are pretty long in the tooth. Replacement parts are not all available anymore.

    Andy
  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    "newest model until a couple of weeks ago. Hornady is upgrading them (only the cartridge ejector system changed) for about $100 plus shipping the press to them."

    "If it does not have the LNL inserts, it is a Pro-Jector or 007 model, and those are pretty long in the tooth. Replacement parts are not all available anymore."



    To me this, again, points out Hornady's lack of customer support and the reason I will not suggest a Hornady press to anyone. My experience with Hornady was terrible as they updated their shotgun press that didn't work all that well and abandoned all those with that older press.

    Dillon updates for free. They offer support and parts for presses much older than 20 years old. And they are great to deal with.

    LDBennett
  4. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s New Member

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    Where were the howls of protest when Dillon upgraded the 450 to the 550? They didn't give out free upgrades then, did they? Just because Hornady chooses not to change the model name does not mean they should have to give free upgrades. We haven't even seen how much more the new press will cost (but I bet it will still be a better deal than a 650!), but some folks are already crying about no free upgrades. And where were the protests when Dillon started including the early primer warning system for free on presses they didn't even bother to change the name of, and still didn't offer them for free to previous press owners? Would it have been better if Hornady had introduced this "new product" as a LNL XL? Dillon improved their 550 to the 650, and they didn't get any complaints.

    Dillon offers free upgrades only for safety related problems. And "free" assumes you disregard the extra cost you paid for the press in the first place. For the ~$125 premium of the 650 over the current price of a LNL AP (ignoring the Hornady 1000 free bullets), one can buy a lot of replacement parts/upgrades, and still come out ahead. Compounded at 6% for 20 years, it will buy a brand new press.

    This mentality that a manufacturer should not improve a product without offering free upgrades can only lead to manufacturers thinking twice about improving their products at all. Maybe that's why Dillon hasn't "fixed" their powder measure...

    Andy
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    JLA:

    I bought my Dillon Rl550B over 20 years ago and the RL450 was long gone by then. The RL450 was in the early days of Dillon and they must have learned by their mistakes. Interestingly they still today offer upgrades for the RL450, a press that has not been cataloged for more than 20 years that I know of. Apparently, the changes were pretty extensive, hence, the cost to upgrade, I suppose.

    The RL650 is NOT a replacement for the RL550B. They are completely different presses, both offered for sale today. I would not have a RL650 because it has auto advance in the table. The RL650 is for the people who think they need the best and the RL550B is for the people who want the most practical progressive press, not the most expensive.

    As for Dillon customer service, it is superb. They have rebuilt my heavily used RL550B press twice in 20 years, given me FREE upgrades along the way, and provided fast free parts when something breaks. My press today, that I bought 20 years ago, has all the same stuff on it as a new press and ALL upgrades, not just safety related ones, were FREE! No one else does that! You know, if the design is right there is no need for new models or upgrades. Dillon has not made old models outdated (in my 20 years knoweledge) but added new models with more automatic features that I prefer not to have. Other manufactuers have had to dump troublesome models and their owners to introduce new models that finally work or not(?).

    The primer early warning system is on my press and its over 20 years old. I frankly don't remember if it was there originally or added later for free(???).

    While the other progressives have come and gone, my Dillon keeps on ticking, thanks to free rebuilds and free upgrades. The other manufacturers are on their second, third or ? version, leaving the owners of the last version behind with no replacement parts. I'll stick with the Dillon RL550B that I bought over 20 years ago that Dillon stands firmly behind, thank you. I have been to the Hornady place where they abandone owners of earlier versions and did not like it much.

    Dillon's powder measure has a problem? 20 years of using it and I didn't even detect that. Amazing! Must be because I use good Winchester and Hodgdon ball and short cut powders rather than turn of the last century IMR type powders.

    Well, we all get to choose, don't we. I seed value in the Dillon equipment and you don't. That's fine. I'll buy Dillon and you can buy Hornady and we will both be happy and each have our own opinons. But lets get the facts straight when we compare them.

    Sorry to be so defensive but I want readers here to know the truth about reloading equipment, not heresay. At least the truth in my personal experiences.

    LDBennett
  6. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s New Member

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    The truth about reloading equipment?

    It is interesting that Dillon still charges for those 450 to 550 upgrades, and has since the day they stopped selling 450s and started selling 550s. Shame on Hornady for doing the same!

    The 650 is not an improvement/upgrade over the 550? I think Dillon would disagree. Oh, but they still sell both presses. Would you complain less if Hornady renamed their upgraded press, and kept selling the old one?

    As for Dillon's PM, how many reloaders do you know who have replaced their RCBS/Hornady PM with a Dillon PM? I know several who have replaced their Dillon PM with Hornady/RCBS. Dillon will sell you an adapter to use them, but even that is crippled. Hornady and RCBS both figured out how to make a case activated drum-style PM. Yes, the Dillon PM works fine if you don't need to use those stick powders. But then again, that old Hornady ejector wire works fine too if you don't need to use a Lee FCD.

    As for Dillon always/forever supporting their old products, you're out of luck if you prefer the rigidity of the one-piece 450 frame/toolhead and yours needs replacing. Ditto if you need a replacement for your old Dillon seating die that can still be adjusted without loosening the die lock nut (or that can crimp while seating if you like to use a powder check die on your 450/550). Do they still give out the old springs and non-"failsafe" PMs if you prefer their smoothness to the newer Rube Goldberg version?

    Andy
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    BigJakeJ1s:

    You're beating a dead horse! They quit making that 450 press over 25 years ago. Support can not go to infinity! When did Hornady quit making the Pro-Jector or 007 models ??? 25 years ago???? I think not. I have never even seen a 450 press in over 20 years of reloading!

    The RL650 is an upgrade press not a replacement for the RL550B. All the Dillon presses get equal billing in their monthly catalog and the RL550B is still a best seller for them. The RL650 has features not need for fast progressive reloading for the average reloader. The RL650 is more for professional reloading with case feeders and auto table rotation. Next thing you know they'll be adding a motor to operate it (???). The RL550B is the best choice for every reloader I know. Someone who shoots thousands of rounds a year due to competition may want the RL650 but us regular users don't need or, in my case, want those features.

    As an aside, I have had auto table rotation presses and what a nightmare if you have a problem at one station. You end up with one at every station. With a manual rotation table it is easier to fix a problem because the table can be advanced manually both forward and back. It is also easier to use the press as a single stage or as a turret press for those special reloading sessions. Manual table gives me choices for either high production or single station operations. You can keep auto table rotation. I have no interest in it at all!

    Using a drum type powder measure and stick powders is a personal choice and not a mandatory one. As we speak, Hodgdon is going through its line of powders that are still stick and making them short cut which the Dillon powder measure has no problem with. Hodgdon now sells real IMR powders, not "same as" versions, and appears to be going through that line and short cutting it too. Pretty soon there will be no advantage to any drum type measure as all powders will be short cut. But I find no advantage to old IMR formulation powders. Modern ball and short cut powder work just fine and in a lot of cases better. Most all the newer powders are short cut.

    As I said earlier you get to choose as I do.

    LDBennett
  8. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s New Member

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    Thank Goodness there is a choice!

    Tell me honestly, if Dillon added grease fittings to their 550 tomorrow, would you be calling them, asking for free upgrade parts? Would you be running Dillon down on the net if they didn't give them to any owners that wanted them?

    Dillon came out with the 650 after the 550, and charges more for it. That's not to say that some folks (like yourself) don't actually prefer the manual indexing of the 550. Look at it this way: if Dillon charged the same for both presses, nobody should be kidding anyone that the 650 would not outsell the 550 by a wide margin. A press that sells more only because it is cheaper is not a better press. A press that would sell more at the same price is. Therefore, Dillon did improve upon the 550 with the 650, but does not offer free upgrades. Sound familiar?

    The main reason Hodgdon manufactures and sells extruded powders is temperature insensitivity. They have had limited success (two products) making shorter extrusions without giving up too much temperature insensitivity. The long grain shape naturally burns at a more consistent rate due to its shape rather than added retardants, which are generally one of the main contributors to temperature sensitivity. Dillon would love you to believe that the ball, flake and short extruded powders perform just as well as any extruded powder, but just saying so doesn't make it true. Although I suppose, in a twisted way, and with their equipment, they may be right.

    Andy
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