New LNL procedure

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by stev32k, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. stev32k

    stev32k Active Member

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    I received a replacement LNL AP from Hornady last week. The new press does not have the indexing problem that the original had. I loaded 300 rounds and it indexed perfectly every time after a minor pawl adjustment.

    I'm still having a problem every now and then and it is mostly a lack of experience on my part. Each stroke of the handle must be just right - not too fast and not too slow. It it's too slow the primer does not seat like it should. If it's to fast and hard powder will be bounced out of the case.

    Then other things can go wrong like running out of primers and not noticing until powder gets all over the shell plate and floor. The bushing holding the powder feeder worked loose and the powder feeder rode up with the stroke and did not feed any powder for several cases. I should have noticed the feeder riding up, but missed it and when I did notice I had no idea how many cases did not have powder. I pulled 200 bullets and found four without powder.

    The bullet seating die worked loose and the bullet was not seated deep enough for about 25 rounds.

    Because of that I decided to modify my loading procedure. I am going to resize, prime, and expand in one batch operation with only the sizing and expanding dies in place. Then I'll drop powder, check powder, drop the bullet, seat, and crimp in a second batch operation.

    I'm very happy with the loaded rounds, but need more practice to get to 100% reliability. I really wish the press had 7 or 8 stages instead of five. That would allow much more flexibility in the loading procedure.
  2. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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    Simple, in your kit there should be a white 1/16" rod (if not a wooden dowel will do), place this rod down the EMPTY primer tube. Mark the top of the rod, even with the top of the primer tube to indicate empty with a band of electrical tape. Drop your batch of primers and place the rod on top, you will know to stop when the tape nears the top of the primer tube, it also adds a little wieght to the last remaining primers to assure proper feeding to the primer shuttle.

    ALL dies, including the case activated powder measure should be first secured with the locking ring that came with the die, followed by a slight turn with a 7/8" or adjustable wrench to ensure your die bushings are seated and do not work loose from the actions of the press.
  3. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Steve,

    In my pic you will see a hanger that I use as a gauge of where the primer levels are. Place a straight hanger down the primer tube until it touches the bottom and then place a bend right where the wire hanger will rest on the tube. Now it will bottom out perfectly when the last primer slides out.

    Remember when we spoke on the phone and I mentioned that normally I run one round through at a time? My pres is perfectly capable of running all five positions at once. However, I prefer to run one at a time. That way I can check each bullet at the seat stage to ensure I have powder (critical), and once the finished product comes off I give it a once over. Plus, you are more aware and you tend to see that the primer shuttle is primed as you begin each new cartridge.

    I reload because I enjoy it so speed is not whtt I am after. I like the convenience of being able to run one piece of brass through five quick steps and have an end result with quality as opposed to cranking out 360+ an hour. I have done 360 an hour and that is a lot of ammo but unless I was competing, I would have no need for that. For me, I enjoy running one through at a time but even at that, I can run 200 to 250 rounds an hour that way and they are good, quality, dependable cartridges.

    Also, when you run one at a time, the press is velvet smooth and if You want to stop and reweigh the powder, you don't have to worry about other cartridges being in the process and wondering if some missed a step or if one was double charged.

    I would recommend running one at a time, at least until you have the bugs all worked out. I pulled five bullets once and that was enough for me.:eek:
  4. stev32k

    stev32k Active Member

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    I actually like my new procedure. I loaded 300 - 9mm and 300 -.40 S&W this afternoon with 100% reliability. After sizing, priming, and expansion the cases were put in 50 round plastic shell holders primer side up. That way I can physically see if a primer is missing, and two were not primed. Later found the probable reason was powder had collected around the primer punch and it was it binding up.

    I do use the white plastic primer indicating rod that came with the press and have a red band to indicate when the tube is empty. But I failed to watch it on a couple of occasions and ran out while loading. With the new procedure that is not a problem because I have a 100% inspection before powder is added.

    Had a problem with the powder feeder also. It started putting out erratic weights and finally quit dispensing completely. The problem was a loose screw on the linkage that finally allowed one of the link bars to come loose. I picked up the problem when it first started because I had the powder cop in place. So no harm was done.

    I shot half of both calibers without a problem and am confident the rest will shoot as well. All the rounds loaded, fired, and ejected like they should.
  5. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    That is awesome. Once you get your routine down you will enjoy your time at the press. Good job.
  6. Jazzman

    Jazzman New Member

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    I might have to try your routine. I now resize on a single stage and hand prime then into the LNL where I expand, drop powder, powder cop check, bullet seat and finally use Lee fcd in last station. I enjoy reloading and am not in it for the speed but do hate wasted steps and like everything to run smooth,

    Jim
  7. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    On my L-N-L I can feel the primer go in. So if it doesn't I know.
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    We all get to choose which press we want to use and how we use it but here are a few observations I can make based on this thread and related one about the Hornady LNL progressive press. Whether these problems and the new "procedures" are typical, I don't know but I must compare them to my Dillion RL550B so others reading this thread will understand that these problems are not typical of all progressive presses.

    If you are removing the case from the press (separating the sizing and priming from the adding of the powder and bullet seating) then you are defeating the concept of progressive reloading. If you are only allowing one cartridge case on the table at a time you are defeating the concept of progressive reloading. In either case a reloaded would best be served by a much less expensive turret press, it would seem to me.

    Having to adjust the speed of operating the press handle (ram) is not typical for a Dillion RL550B. There has to be moderation of how fast you manually rotate the table (powder will be thrown out of the case if the action is too abrupt) but since there is no mechanical linkage between press ram operation and rotating the table (the RL550B has manual indexing of the table) you can operate the ram as fast as you wish (within reason). This "speed of operating the press handle" where you have to not be too slow or fast is the main reason I insist manual indexing is not a limitation of the RL550B but an ADVANTAGE.

    The powder measure used on the Hornady LNL is the common drum type where a handle or lever rotates the drum to deliver the powder. It involves a bit of linkage with pivots and fasteners that can wear or simply loosen from vibrations of operating the press. Not so with the Dillion powder measure. It has a slide powder delivery operated by a cam as the case pushes the whole of the measure vertically. While the Dillion powder measure has a harder time with extruded powders than ball powders, its parts and pieces are fewer and less prone to becoming loose or delivering the wrong charge.

    The Dillion comes with a low primer audible and visual indicator. It is a plastic rod with a small brass collar that is put down the primer tube of the press and touches a lever on a small box when the tube is near empty. The box contains a battery and a electronic sounder. When you get down to the last two primers, the box sounds an alarm. And you can watch the rod fall to see where you are for primer supply in the tube. The is no bent hanger required. The rod also slightly loads the stack of primers in the tube to assure reliable primer deliveries.

    My take from the responses on this thread is that the Hornady LNL progressive press is a bit of a kludge. I did not have that impression before this and its related thread so I am surprised at the problems with it as few others that report here have said much about the press except good things. Could it be that like the posters here the masses that use the Hornady LNL press make procedural changes to accommodate it, unlike the many Dillion RL550B users who suffer through not having auto indexing?

    My point is not all progressive presses should be judged by the problems highlighted by this thread. It may only be a few Hornady LNL users problems and not the norm but it also may be that the Hornady LNL progressive press is a bit more kludgy then say the Dillion RL550B because of the added automation of auto indexing and the Hornady quality at the current time may not be up to par (??).

    But you be the judge and choose whatever press suits your fancy.

    LDBennett
  9. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Bennett,

    I agree the Dillon is a far better press but for right now it is a little pricey. As far as my LNL, I can run 5 positions at once with zero malfunctions from the press however it will have a hick-up every couple hundred bullets. From my experience the primer shuttle is the number one biggest offender on the LNL. I could run 5 shells all day long if it was not for that. That is why I run one shell at a time because I can physically see if the primer is in position or not. As far as the rest of the press I can find no fault in anything.

    When I bought my press, I spoke with one guy that I worked with and he said he liked his. So, I saved the cash and then I saw that Hornady was offering 1000 free bullets which sweetened the deal. I bought the press and had 1000 44 mag XTP's arrive on my door step. It does not bother me that I run one at a time because I can still put out quite a bit of ammo, and I can be assured that each one has a primer as I go so I know I am good there. When my house is paid for I might buy a Dillon, then again, like I say I can still put quite a bit of ammo out the way it is now so I might not buy a Dillon.

    IMO Dillon is the creme of the crop without a doubt. There is no better press and I have always known that. A Hornady could never compete with a Dillon and to say a Hornady is a professional press is a huge overstatement. If I were doing Cowboy Action Shooting, or any kind of competition shooting I say Dillon all the way!!! As a matter of fact if I would have been doing any competition shooting when I was researching presses I most definitely would have passed on the Hornady and went with Dillon, but I wasn't and we were trying to get things done to our home that needed to be done so the cost was a consideration (I don't buy on credit, everything in my life is cash only). But for where I am at with getting the free 1000 44 mag XTP's, I can still do 200 rounds an hour, and the Hornady dies are now my favorite (I just eBayed all my RCBS) and I am happy. I still use my single stage press so for me I am content. But I do agree, Dillon is one hack of a good press. I have several good friends that own them and they are the best by far.
  10. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    When did you buy your press? What did the factory say was the issue? I had the same issue and finally gave up. I will never buy another Hornady product.

    Amung many many many issues I had with my press, I strongly believe the hole in Station #1 was drilled in the wrong location. It used to crush cases on several different dies...Hornady, RCBS, Lee ...everything...

    it never indexed properly and I broke 6 pawls.... after the 20th call to Hornady Customer Service, I finally gave up.

    I have a Dillon 550B now and it works great.
  11. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I don't think it is that the hole is drilled in the wrong location. before Hornady upgraded my shell plate for free the case in the number 1 hole could sit off canter and it would get crushed if I did not straighten it up. That is impossible to do when one hand is on the press handle and the other is holding the bullet in the seating position. So Hornady did the upgrade at no cost. Now that problem is fixed.
  12. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    My LNL crushed cases from several different calibers and dies... I was using the ez-ject shell plates. Customer service claimed that the issue could not be bad shell plates.... I don't know what it was but there were so many issues with the press that I could not deal with it anymore.

    I'll never buy another hornady product - period!
  13. stev32k

    stev32k Active Member

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    I bought the original press the first of October and returned it the first of November.

    When the new press arrived I called CS and asked what the problem was with the old press. The only answer I got was a manufacturing defect that was unrepairable. The new one is working like it should.



    The only problems I'm having now seems to be related to my installation. The down stroke to seat the primer needs to be fairly strong and that causes my work bench to bounce enough to spill powder out of the case. The spilled powder collects around the primer punch pin and causes it to stick. When that happens primers are not fed or they are not seated deep enough and the press locks up. I think I know how to brace up the bench enough to stop the bounce and will be trying that tomorrow.
  14. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    stev32k:

    A weak bench is a problem for any press. My bench is a flimsy sheet metal bench with a 1/2 inch (maybe 5/8 inch) thick top. But after I tied it to the wall behind it with a 2 x 4 running horizontally across a couple of studs where I used large lag bolts to tie the 2 x 4 to the wall, no more problem with bench rigidity.

    LDBennett
  15. stev32k

    stev32k Active Member

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    The bench is pretty substantial but the press is located between two legs and that allows some flex. I'm going to put one maybe two 2X4 supports from the floor directly under the press. That should give it enough rigidity to top the bounce.

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