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Old February 7, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
Maxx_Ammo
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Hornady LNL Help in set-up

I have my LNL running OK but not great as follows:

rcbs 3pcs dies
case activated powder drop
powder cop

I think I want to go to a PTX expander to all seperating the seating and crimping of my handgun loads.. is their mutch advantage?

I have the microjust seating thingy and need to acuier the die for it.. does it matter the die I purchase due to its function?

what else will I need to do this conversion?
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Old February 7, 2012, 10:28 PM   #2
David Wile
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Hey Maxx,

On my L&L with 3-die sets, I size and deprime in Station 1, expand neck and bell case mouth in Station 2, charge powder with case activated powder dispenser in Station 3, and finally seat and crimp (if required) bullet in Station 4.

After charging each case and when the case has moved to Station 4, I look in each case to insure powder is present before I place the bullet in place for seating. When using ball or flake powder, the case activated Hornady powder dispenser is extremely accurate and consistent in its throws. If you visually inspect each case for powder before seating bullet, you really do not have any need for a Powder Cop die.

I also do not see any value to using a PTX expander. Why not expand and bell your case with your #2 die in Station 2??? Expander/bell dies have been working perfectly for over 50 years in my experience. Same sort of question about seating and crimping in two dies - why use two dies when your #3 die will do it in Station 4??? Again, seating/crimping dies have been working perfectly for over 50 years in my experience.

Keep it simple. If it works well, don't complicate things by adding trendy stuff that you really do not need.

The L&L works real well, but it requires an operator who is willing to learn its various likes and dislikes.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old February 8, 2012, 10:41 AM   #3
Maxx_Ammo
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from multiple sorces I am being told that seperating the seating a crimping will help accurcy.. ?
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Old February 8, 2012, 11:27 AM   #4
gregjc9
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My situation was similar, but based on improving feeding, not accuracy of my pistol handloads.

I seperated seating and crimping, and started using the PTX powder funnel last year for my pistol loads. I did this because I starting shooting USPSA with my son, and started loading with coated lead bullets (Precision, now Bayou Bullets). My reason for seperating the seating/crimping functions was because it's recommended by the bullet mfgrs I was using, to prevent from causing too much crimp, shaving the coating off, etc.

As it turns out, this was the best move I could have made, as I had problems getting my 200gr SWC rounds to load reliably in my Kimbers. Part of the solution was to fine tune the crimp which eliminated 3-pt jams. Had I stayed with the Hornady seat/crimp die, finding the solution most likely would have been more tedious. All in all, I now understand the recommendations I had read that agreed to seperate the two steps, and very glad I made that move.
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Old February 8, 2012, 12:16 PM   #5
David Wile
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Hey Maxx,

A lot of "multiple sources" are selling ideas and practices that lead customers to buy completely unnecessary products which result in huge sales numbers and more profits rather than actual improvement of accuracy. Lee is notorious for coming up with more stuff to fix problems that do not exist. Someone else best described the Lee Factory Crimp Die as "a solution looking for a problem."

The Lyman reloading manual is highly regarded as the best "first" reloading manual for new folks to buy. Get one if you do not have one. If you do have one, read it from the front to where the loading data begins, and read it again. Save reading load data for when you actually start to load cartridges. The loading data is good reference material, but the information contained in the front of the manual is really necessary to understand the basic ideas of reloading. In it you will see diagrams of how a sizer die works and how a simple bullet seater/crimper die works in one step. You will also see how the seater/crimper die may be adjusted to crimp as it seats the bullet as well as seat the bullet and not do any crimping. You control the die's performance by your knowledge and your use of that knowledge in the adjustment of the die.

Before you convince yourself that seating and crimping in two steps is somehow better than seating and crimping in one step, I would suggest you load a dozen cartridges each way and test them for yourself. I am supposing you are talking about a pistol cartridge here, and I highly doubt whether you will be able to find any difference in either method. If you cannot tell any difference in the results, then why would one conclude that seating in two steps is better than one?

Again, seating/crimping dies have been working perfectly for over 50 years. Keep it simple! If it's not broken, don't complicate things by fixing it.

Before getting carried away with some new reloading fix expounded by "multiple sources" on the internet, read about the operation in question in the Lyman manual as well as several other reloading manuals. Chance are you might find the new fix of the "multiple sources" is one of those "solutions looking for a problem."

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old February 8, 2012, 01:18 PM   #6
dunerjeff
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The vast majority of people that have the room prefer to seat SEPERATE from crimping.There is a couple benefits from that like being able to adjust your crimp WITHOUT having to touch bullet depth,I've done that MANY,Many times switching from one brand brass to another,going from lead to jacketed.Plus less lead shaving,YES the one die setup does shave lead quite often.If you have the extra station, why not? One guys opinion says not??
If we did everything the same as 50yrs ago,we'd be wearing plad and polyester yet,not even be able to have this conversation because no computers,ect.... Although we would still be driving some cool cars
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Old February 8, 2012, 02:22 PM   #7
David Wile
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Hey Jeff,

The vast majority of people? The vast majority of what people? The vast majority of young new guys perhaps, but I don't think that is true of older folks who were loading bullets before the age of the internet.

You cite the benefit of being able to adjust crimp without changing bullet depth when switching from one brand of brass to another. What does the brand of brass have to do with bullet depth? If you are suggesting that different brands of brass may be different lengths, then you will have to adjust your bullet depth to match the different case lengths.

If all your cases in all brands are trimmed to the same length, your bullet depth and crimp will be constant when done in one step. If your different brand cases are different lengths, then bullet depth will have to be adjusted each time you have a different length case. There is no way around this no matter how many steps you use. Setting the crimp is just one of the two steps in properly adjusting your seater/crimper die. It would seem a lot of who need to seat and crimp in two steps simply do not understand the mechanics of properly adjusting a seater/crimp die.

Then you cite lead shaving as a reason for seating and crimping in two steps instead of one. You state, "YES the one die setup does shave lead quite often.If you have the extra station, why not?" What in the world does seating and crimping in one step have to do with lead shaving? You are missing the barn by about 12 yards on this one.

If you are shaving lead when seating your bullets, there are two issues that need to be addressed, and neither one of them has anything to do with the seating and crimping operation. The first issue is proper case preparation, and the second issue is belling the case mouth.

Before you ever go to the reloading press, cases should be prepared for reloading by carefully chamfering the inside of the case mouth and lightly removing any burrs on the outside of the mouth. This greatly facilitates the seating of bullets while requiring the least amount of case mouth belling.

Proper case mouth belling is necessary for seating bullets, but the belling die has to be adjusted properly. Too much case mouth bell will result in the case not fitting into the seater/crimp die. Too little bell on the case mouth and you will shave lead. This is where chamfering the case mouth helps with seating the bullets properly with the minimal amount of belling. Excessive belling and crimping also wears out the case mouth more quickly.

Accordingly, if you are shaving lead while seating and crimping bullets, you need to learn how to prepare your cases and properly adjust your belling die. One guy's opinion certainly may say, "Not." However, if that opinion is based on limited experience and knowledge, that opinion is limited in value.

I never did wear plaid anything - even 50 years ago. Yes, computers are new to us along with a lot of other technological changes. I would submit, however, that some things are more basic in function and have not changed. We could have a robotic machine to feed us while eating, but I think most of us still find knife, spoon, and fork accomplish the task quite well. The same is true for seating and crimping bullets. The same RCBS seating/crimp die one purchased 50 years ago to load .357 cartridges will still work perfectly well today, and all the commercial hype about special crimp dies and internet buzz about them will not change that basic fact.

You are right about some nice cars 50 years ago though. Then again, we did have the Nash Rambler and a few others I could do without.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old February 8, 2012, 07:21 PM   #8
dunerjeff
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Wow,take A chill pill,some people will do things differently than you.
Who trims all there pistol brass? Rifle ya,As long as it is within specs .Batches run the same general length but other may be a few thou shorter /longer,plus some brands are thicker ,thinner.Yes many,many,many,many,many,many,many,many people do the double die setup for just the reasons I specked.
How is the bullet going to be seated different length because the cases may be different lengths? Who doesn't understand the mechanics???
Anyway, I'm not interested in an argument contest just because one person absolutely objects to others doing things another way. What an ornry old man.
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Old February 8, 2012, 09:39 PM   #9
Maxx_Ammo
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Thanks

Im gonna try to learn whatI have already and then expand if needed..
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Old February 8, 2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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Similar setup here except I use an RCBS Lockout Die instead of the simpler Powder Cop die. For revolver (roll crimp) loads I use the #2 die to expand and seat and crimp with the #3 die in the final station.

I was having a little problem once (turns out I caused it by assembling a new #3 die with the bullet alignment sleeve upside down) with lead shaving. As part of the fix I bought a PTX to replace the #2 die, and seated and crimped separately. Not necessary and I would have occasional dented case mouths on .38s (that may have been an indexing issue). Went back to the standard setup and it works fine.

I do seat and crimp separately with autopistol calibers cuz those dies are different. The PTX works pretty well which is good because I need the extra station for the Lockout Die.
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Old February 8, 2012, 11:36 PM   #11
donovantx
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Dave Wile, You sound like you have been around for awhile... you should know that not all calibers can be processed the same way. Heck, even some brass brands have to be worked differently sometimes.

There are perfectly good reasons to use a seperate seating die and crimping die.

Anyone can get a .45 or a .40 and even a 9mm seating die work like a charm to pull of both operations. In some cases, like the 380 Auto and the 32 Auto... it take a smooth combination of skill and experiance to pull that off.


To the Original Poster, it really depends on the cases you are loading. The caliber and the brand of brass determines if you can seperate the two processes. You just need to experiment and see if you can pull it off.

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Old February 8, 2012, 11:41 PM   #12
David Wile
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Hey Jeff,

Who trims all their pistol brass to the same length? I do; it makes for more consistent reloading, and facilitates seating and crimping in the same die and same step.

You ask, "How is the bullet going to be seated different length because the cases may be different lengths? Who doesn't understand the mechanics???" Well, you obviously do not understand the mechanics of the bullet seating/crimping operation. I will tell you why the bullet has to be seated to a different depth if the case lengths are different. It really is not a difficult concept, and it has nothing to do with any kind of a contest between us.

Here is how it works. If you are going to crimp the case mouth into the bullet's crimp groove, you have to have the bullet seated to the appropriate depth so the case mouth can then crimp into the groove. That should make sense to most folks. If you adjust your die to seat your bullet properly for one case and then try to seat a bullet in a case that is longer than the first case, the case mouth on the second case will not be in the correct place to crimp the mouth into the bullet crimp groove. Get it?

To get case mouths to crimp in bullet crimp grooves, the cases have to be the same length or the case mouth will get crimped either too short or too long for the crimp groove.

I don't object to how you load your ammo. Knock yourself out any way you choose. What concerns me is when you tell others something that is simply incorrect. If that makes me an "ornry" old man, I'll live with it somehow. Frankly, it beats the heck out of being wooden headed whether young or old.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old February 9, 2012, 12:50 AM   #13
dunerjeff
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Auto pistols headspace off the case mouth THEY HAVE NO CRIMP GROOVE ON THE BULLETS!!Not even all wheelguns do. Know what your talking about ,just give it a rest, please.

Sorry to the op,I just gave you another option,and so have several others.
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Old February 9, 2012, 01:29 AM   #14
sidewindr
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I used to seat and crimp in the same die(still do sometimes),I switched to doing it seperate for better control and its helped.I always noticed a slight variation in oal with the single die,now they come out more consistant.
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Old February 9, 2012, 02:35 AM   #15
David Wile
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Hey Jeff,

Well, you are certainly correct about semi-auto cartridges headspacing on the case mouth. No doubt about that, but you keep changing and going from one thing to another. You start out talking about seating and crimping in two operations so you can adjust a crimp without changing bullet seating depth and to avoid problems of shaving lead when seating bullets.

I explained to you that shaving lead when seating bullets is the result of improperly belling case mouths. I did not see you disagree with that explanation. I then explained how different case lengths require changes in bullet seating depths if you intend to get case mouths to crimp at the right spot on the bullet crimp groove.

Now you change things from lead shaving and crimping in a groove to seating semi-auto cartridges that do not require any crimp in a bullet groove because they do headspace on the case mouth. Ok, they certainly do headspace on the case mouth, and they do not get crimped into any bullet crimp goove. If it is semi-auto cases you now want to consider, then that is all the more reason to seat your bullet and remove any belling in one step. Like you said, there is no crimping to accomplish on semi-auto cases. You simply remove any belling on the case mouth as you seat the bullet.

You questioned why one would need to trim cases to consistent lengths, and I explained why it is needed to insure bullets are seated uniformly so crimps will go into the bullet crimp groove. You apparently understood that explanation, and that is good. I would also point out, however, that consistent case lengths are also just as important when loading semi-auto rounds. Think about it. If you have differences in your semi-auto case lengths, you will have gross differences in the amount of belling you put on case mouths. Maybe this is the reason you have had problems with lead shaving when you were seating bullets. Short cases will not have enough belling and may result in shaving lead when seating the bullet. Longer cases will have too much belling and may be too big to enter the bullet seating die.

The key to properly adjusting the belling and the seating/crimp dies is to get all your cases uniform in length. Once you have done that, then when you set the belling die for the first case, it will produce the same amount of belling on all your cases. The same thing holds true for the seating/crimp die.

Proper die adjustment and consistent case preparation is all so important even when loading single stage. Go to loading on a progressive press, and these seemingly unimportant things are greatly magnified in their unintended consequences.

I have been loading on my Hornady L&L progressive since 1997, it is all original with no upgraded systems, and it works perfectly for me. I may not set speed records on my press, but I do not have any problems while loading a batch of ammo, and I do it all in full progressive mode. I would credit the smoothness of my progressive operation to the simple case preparation I do before loading. My case prep is pretty simple make sure all cases are trimmed to the same length, and I chamfer the case mouths. That is not a big deal, and once they are trimmed the first time and chamfered, I never have to trim them again. That to me is a small price to pay for a smooth operation - especially on a progressive press.

If you want to seat and crimp in two steps, have at it. There is nothing wrong with it, but it can be done very well with one step if you adjust your die properly. If you are finding you are having problems with shaving lead off seated bullets, try trimming a batch of cases all to the same length, and chamfer the case mouths before adjusting your belling die. You may find that solves a lot of problems for you.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile
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Old February 9, 2012, 06:59 AM   #16
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Just give it a rest will YOU .This has nothing do with the thread.
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Old February 9, 2012, 01:27 PM   #17
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Looks like two members are trying their best to derail this thread. That will stop at this point.

I'm not going to close the thread since Maxx_Ammo may have additional input or questions, but lets keep it civil in a normally civil forum.
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Old February 10, 2012, 08:46 PM   #18
Maxx_Ammo
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thanks

Well input is very valauble to me and I thank everyone fro theirs. This has shown me some things to lookat and has helped me already. But as I am just an infant in the loading world Im not sure that I am not the issue in my set up and will start looking at seating setups.. II flaired the case a little more and that seem to help. I will provide feedback when I find it and again thank you for the valued input from everyone.. I LOVE AMERICA the place where we all have a voice.
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Old February 22, 2012, 03:05 AM   #19
Maxx_Ammo
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closure

with input from you fine folks here we are up and running and LOVIN' life with th e hornady LNL AP.. thanks again
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Old February 24, 2012, 12:22 PM   #20
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If you are crimping a lead bullet with a good crimp groove, as most have, or a jacketed bullet with a proper cannelure (not just marks) they can easily be seated and crimped in one step. It just takes a bit more fiddling with two things going on at once.

You can seat and crimp plated bullets with a light taper crimp in one step, but for plated bullets with a heavy taper crimp it must done in two steps. Jacketed bullets with poor cannelures are also better done in two steps, roll or taper.

All auto calibers use a very light taper crimp (Remove the bell to .001 crimp), so they can be seated and crimped in one operation if you want to.

All that said, I do much of my crimping in a 2nd step after seating.

I like to resize all my cases in the LNL. Then I prime, trim, tumble etc, to get them ready to load. Then I load them sans the sizing operation, which makes things real smooth, and frees up a station.

If you are not sizing during loading, it gives you another station to use. You could start in station #1 with an expander, or the PTX and powder measure, giving you plenty of room for a powder cop die etc., as well as crimping in a second step if you wish.

I do not use a powder cop die, I look at every single charge I seat a bullet over.
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Old February 24, 2012, 04:51 PM   #21
Maxx_Ammo
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thanks walkalong I like that de-capping approach and as for the powder cop I can not say enough praises for this product.. I would recommend trying one
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Old February 24, 2012, 05:25 PM   #22
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Lots of people use them, but I prefer to see each charge. Hard headed and set in my ways.
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