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Old March 15, 2002, 09:33 PM   #26
Dan C. Johnson
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I've tried them all and considering the variety of different calibers you will be loading recommend the RCBS Progressive 2000. Easier changeover and less accessories to buy for different calibers. The APS priming is great also.

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Old March 16, 2002, 02:57 AM   #27
uglymofo
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Dunno what you've decided, but if you go Hornady LNL AP, it may be cheapest here ($289; unclear if a shellplate is included, though it seems standard with other vendors):

http://www.wideners.com/shopping/cart.asp?Action=Details&item=H095100

supposedly Widener's includes S&H in the price.

Please do me a favor, and post the email replies to your query about what accesories are required from Dillon and Hornady. I'm thinking of setting up another press. I have a Dillon 450 (circa 1981[?]) set up now for .308; want another press for pistol reloading. I have all the shellplates and locator buttons I need for the Dillon calibers. I need the toolheads, powder dies, and powder measures. It's holding me back. I don't much care to go the route Redneck described. Grinds my teeth to be gouged by a company like that. Been looking hard at the LNL right up to the point when I read Dan's (last) post...


Dan,

Which do you like the best? I get the impression your post was addressed to reloading 5 calibers. Which press do you like best? and do you have trouble with consistent powder drops for rifle capacities (4895, 4350, 4064) with that Uniflow? It doesn't have the best reputation, especially up against that Hornady.

Thanks very much.

Last edited by uglymofo; March 16, 2002 at 03:18 AM.
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Old March 16, 2002, 11:08 AM   #28
Frank Iacono
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square deal

Look at the dillon square deal. I use it for reloading most of my pistol cartridges. I use a dillon 550B for rifle. The square deal will come set up for one caliber with a powder measue. You would have to buy new toolheads, which are removable, and include all the dies necessary for a caliber change. You cannot use standard dies in the square deal. Does your Dillon 450 have removable tool heads? If not you could upgrade to a dillon with removable toolheads. It cuts down on the time needed for caliber conversions.
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Old March 16, 2002, 09:37 PM   #29
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Everyone at the range I go to uses Dillion and I was making a list of all I needed to do 2 cals. Went to a dealer about 60 mi from me and he sells Lee and Hornady. Walked out with a LNL for both cals at about half the Dillion cost. Plus it only took me an hour and a half out of the box and I was reloading.
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Old March 16, 2002, 09:56 PM   #30
Dan C. Johnson
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uglymofo;
The powder measure is about the only shortcoming of the RCBS. I only load ball powders and it works fine. It's hard to say which I like best. Depends......if I was only going to load a lot of ammo for one caliber, I'd go with the Dillon 650. The Hornady is slick too but mine tends to get out of adjustment easily and the primer feed is not 100% reliable. Others may have better luck with theirs. I use the RCBS the most because it is so easy to change calibers and takes standard dies. As I said, the APS priming is great also. Very safe and reliable.

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Old March 17, 2002, 02:35 AM   #31
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Dan,

Thanks very much for your response.

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Old March 17, 2002, 01:42 PM   #32
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LNL AP

Just to chime in with my 2 cents....LNL priming stinks. I have a LNL, reload several pistol calibers. Really like their powder measure, will not use the priming feature of the press. Failure to feed primers, priming anvil snagging on the primer shuttle, primer shuttle breaking because it snagged, high primers due to slight rocking of shell plate ( probably would not have happened if I had really mashed that primer in, but was still an inconsistency). RCBS hand tool is a good alternative.
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Old March 17, 2002, 08:18 PM   #33
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I had a couple of pennies lying around so I'll toss them in, too.

Cal4D4 has had the worst luck with his Hornady LnL AP that I know of. I know of several people who have them and nobody has the bad luck he has had.

I agree with him that Hornady's powder measure is tops, especially if you get the micrometer metering insert.
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Old March 17, 2002, 09:46 PM   #34
Joe Gulish
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Redneck2

Let's compair apples to apples. How much are the inserts for the dies on the L-N-L and that takes five? You also forget to add the powder measure for each caliber on the L-n-L. On my 550 I reload for 45 acp, 40 s&w, 9mm, 38 spl, 357 mag and looking to start to reload 3006. And I only have two powder measures. One that I leave on my 45 die set the second one does all the rest only because I was to lazy to keep adjusting the measure back for 45acp which I do the most of. And all I plan on spending is about $25. (tool head, powder die and tool head stand) My local Dillion said they could sell me the powder drop tube seprate so the shell plate and buttons for 45 acp will work for 3006 and 308.
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Old March 17, 2002, 10:31 PM   #35
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"Cal4D4 has had the worst luck with his Hornady LnL AP that I know of. "

Not me. My local dealer has sent his back to the factory twice. He bought the LNL after he got disappointed in his Dillion which he also sent back twice. Never seemed to punch in to the fact that this is obviously a personal problem.

I have the full caliber conversion set-ups for each caliber on my 550. You want rapid caliber changes ? The less parts you have to change the faster it is going to be. It then seems to follow that if you have all the parts duplicated and ready to slide onto the press, preadjusted, you can't get any faster than that. Are they cheap ? NO. Repeat after me; There is no free lunch. There is no free......................

If you don't buy the caliber conversions and have to change every die in the tool head, readjust all your dies, readjust the powder measure etc. You would not be doing anything that isn't required to change calibers on a single stage press.
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Old March 17, 2002, 11:24 PM   #36
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444,
It would be interesting to know what your local dealer's complaint about his Hornady and Dillon was?
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Old March 17, 2002, 11:43 PM   #37
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I would speculate (as I implied in my previous post) that anyone who had that much bad luck with what I am sure are two fine presses is causing the problems themselves. Speaking from the Dillon side, I can't imagine anything on the press that would require it's return to the factory. They are guarenteed for life. Dillon will privide any parts you request free of charge, and even an idiot like me is capable of fixing anything on the press short of breaking the press frame itself. This guy also isn't a high volume loader. He is at work five days a week and maybe shoots one time a week. I would be willing to bet that I have loaded more rounds in the last six months on my 550 than he has on both his presses combined. And I have had not a lick of trouble. I know many people with 550s, my best friend has had one for what seems like 15 years and has not had even the slightest problem.
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Old March 18, 2002, 12:00 AM   #38
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Uh Oh!

I've done it again.
I just ordered a Glock 20.
Now I have to add 10mm to my list.
Damn, that 10mm is expensive to shoot.
I better get a Press real soon.
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Old March 18, 2002, 09:20 PM   #39
Cal4D4
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Shopping List

Gee, if you already out shopping you might as well pick up a KKM barrel, 22# recoil spring and ss captive rod (so you don't hurt someone with your Starline brass about $110/1000) and a can or two of Blue Dot, AA#5 and #7, 800x, 2400 and a few thousand West Coast copper plated flat points approx $75/1000. If you need any more ideas, I'll check the garage inventory. Have fun and crimp those suckers well with a profile crimp or equivalent. The G20 is an awesome pistol.

A pox on those who have inferred that my LNL problems are self inflicted. Someday I may join the brethren of the blue and scowl down at those who have also strayed.
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Old March 26, 2002, 02:03 PM   #40
uglymofo
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I settled on the Hornady LNL AP. The almost unanimous feedback is that the priming system sucks. I agree. The directions are extremely poorly done. Mine was shipped about a week ago; the instructions say they are for a year 2000 edition of the press--a shellplate is installed in that version, and I get the impression that several other parts are already installed on the 2000 version. The newbie reloader may have problems figuring out some of the hardware. It took me almost 90 minutes to assemble everything after reading the manual once first, then having to "follow things out of sequence" to keep up between the 2000 instructions and a 2002 press. Some of the pictures are so small as to be useless. In one case there are only 3 pictures, yet the instructions say "see fig. 4". If you've worked with any other progressive press before, that's an advantage. Experience will be a great help when it comes to mounting the primer punch. The pictures and instructions for this portion are ambiguous and deceptive.

The faults with my priming system are caused by the OEM assembly. After flawless functioning for about 30 rounds, the Allen screw that held the 'primer shuttle roller guide rod' worked loose. The biggest fault with this priming system is that you can't see if the primer has been dispensed without removing a shell, as the progressive nature of the press prohibits visual access to the primer's resting 'recess' below the shellplate. After two assembled but unprimed, powder-leaking bullets later, one is 'alerted' to the fact that the primer system has failed. When this happens, the shellplate should be loosened and all leaked powder cleaned out. Each case must then be checked to see if the primer was inserted. In my case, after some minor tinkering and adjustment, I found the correct position for the roller guide rod and locked down on the Allen screw. Diagnosis was assisted by using a long rod down the primer feed tube to lightly force a primer to drop into the shuttle while I jiggled the guide rod and aligned correctly. When I could hear and feel the primer fall, I could lock the 'primer shuttle roller guide rod' retaining screw in place. I also experienced the shellplate retainer nut working loose, as did another reader. This allows for a faulty seating of the primer; the primer punch won't fully seat the primer with the shellplate retainer loose (the looseness allows the shellplate to 'float' upwards). After 3 attempts, I finally gave up and contrary to instructions, torqued the retainer nut "excessively". No more problems. (It's like trying to tighten a lug nut on the raised front wheel on a rear-wheel drive car. It's easily done when the wheel [shellplate] is prevented from spinning, but it's not the "recommended" method.)

Lastly, If you dislike the requirement of removing the entire priming system to refill it as much as I do, order a primer pickup tube from Dillon ( http://dillonprecision.com/template/...3&min=6&dyn=1& ). When it arrives, spread the four 'petals' exposed at the top of the Hornady primer pickup tube just enough to drop primers down the tube easily. Then fill the Dillon Primer Pickup Tube and load the Hornady from the Dillon tube.

After four hours of assembly and tweaking, the LNL is performing flawlessly for the last 300 rounds (it pays to go very slowly in the beginning. One mistake in a progressive system can mean a lot of frustration and cleanup time.) Though I have several detailed negative comments, I am pleased with the system; it's certainly cheaper than a Dillon (Widener's $289 includes shipping, no shellplate included), and the powder measure is to kill for. Mine is accurately throwing exact weights (!!), though the real test would be extruded rifle powders.

Last edited by uglymofo; March 27, 2002 at 11:43 AM.
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Old March 26, 2002, 07:15 PM   #41
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Thanks for the info. I plan on getting a progressive so have followed this thread with interest. It sounds like the way you can get extra inserts for the powder measure is the way to go.
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Old March 26, 2002, 09:08 PM   #42
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uglymofo
The Dillon instructions are also outdated. I watched the Dillon video tape and started putting my 550 together. I had several parts missing but it seemed to work anyway. I called Dillon the next day and found that the system had been upgraded and those parts were no longer needed (primarily the springs that pull the powder bar back after dropping the charge). The guy on the tech line told me that he is frustrated that the instructions and tape haven't been updated and he gets these calls all the time.
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Old March 27, 2002, 02:36 AM   #43
Cal4D4
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WELCOME!

uglymofo
Join me in my salute to the big red progressive from Hornady. Finest powder measure and worst priming. When you get fed up with leaky rounds try one of the priming tools from RCBS. The peace of mind is tremendous. I deprime/resize and expand on round one, prime on a RCBS hand tool, then quickly change over using the LNL bushing system and start over with primed/sized cases. The autoindex feature makes this fairly quick and easy. What the heck, it makes good ammo, it just isn't done at a commercial pace. Still buying the occasional pistol so 1k/month is about all I shoot.
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Old March 27, 2002, 01:40 PM   #44
Guy B. Meredith
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I have used an early model L-N-L that I picked up for $250 in a clearance sale to load around 18,000 to 19,000 rounds of .38 spl and .357 magnum rounds. I do not have a need to use any other press until I am ready to move up to a Dillon 1050 or equivalent. I would like to see Hornady put something in that catagory by then.

No accessories are needed other than the micrometer meter insert for the powder measure if if did not come as part of the setup and bushings for additional dies. The micrometer may have been an option on later models.

The first thing I would recommend is an RCBS lockout die in station #4. It can be a $20 or so life saver. If you are using idividual seating and crimp dies I can forward instructions on setting up the powder measure to do the mouth expansion. I have never had the luxury of affording individual dies and have not tested the setup, but it was passed on to me by a forum member who found it to be very good.

I can knock off 100 rounds in about 12 minutes crank time without sweating. Add primer reload, setup, etc. time to that.

The overall key is cleanliness.

The primer system does not like to be dirty. I have used blue locktite on the mounting nut for the primer punch and occasional graphite for the shuttle. The last primer is always problematic. I have considered but never gotten around to putting a long wooden dowel in the primer tube as a weight to push the primers along. If you try this I would suggest some sort of clip on the dowel at the proper point to prevent it from dropping into the shuttle after the last primer has been used.

The powder measure is great, though I think the spring angle on the RCBS version (some discussion as to who got what from whom between RCBS and Hornady) has its advantages in allowing the system to run with even more dirt. When the powder measure gets cranky I at first thought it was from need of lube in the rotating section, but later discovered it is more from need to clean the drop tube. Between cleanings I ocassionally lube each with the TINIEST drop of solvent carried graphite.

With the powders I have been using, random samples weighed for QA are boringly consistent. I now check at setup--particularly after using other settings--maybe once about 30 rounds in and then every couple of hundred rounds.

I did not read the note about not over torquing the plate nut so have been using one wrench to hold the plate stationary and a second to tighten the nut since day one. I'll have to reread the instructions and pray I don't have to pay for that one.

Speaking of paying, when I bought the unit on clearance sale it was set up for .10 mm or some such. The store wanted me to buy the .38 plate for $26.00 which was out of my budget at the time. Hornady traded straight across. Later when they learned I had an older model they informed me there had been a revision/update and sent out the update gratis. They needn't ever have mentioned it and I would not have been the wiser.


(Joe Gulish--a quick look at an old Graf listing has the die bushings at $11.50 for a 3 pack. Individual powder setups are not required as the case actuated powder measure has a micrometer setting. I find that unless I disassemble the measure for cleanup the settings are correct each time I set up for a different load. Disassembly might cause some variation as the micrometer body might not reposition exactly. The slightly different new settings hold until the next disassembly.)
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Old March 27, 2002, 02:19 PM   #45
uglymofo
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Guy,

I use separate seating and crimp dies. I wanted to use a lockout die, but as you stated, it's not possible unless room is made by eliminating a separate mouth expansion station.

I'd appreciate the instructions you offered for setting up the powder measure to do this task. Please email it to fuglymofo@hotmail.com . That email address does start off with an "f". Thanks very much.

By the way, what's gasoline running out there nowadays? I used to live in Danville. The gas stations along Crow Canyon Rd. were among the highest priced stations in the state, in my experience.
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Old March 27, 2002, 04:16 PM   #46
Guy B. Meredith
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uglymofo,

Will forward the instructions.

Rotten Robbie and a couple of independents on San Ramon Blvd aren't too bad, usually within 5 cents of lowest in Berkeley or Concord. Not sure what prices are today, but will find out today as the car needs filling.

By the way some of the cheapest stations are on the way out to United Sportsmen, Inc. in Concord where they have a good action pistol range,good public and private target ranges and members can buy reloading components at 6% over cost. I don't do gun shows anymore.

Where did you escape to? I need out or an independent business that will support life in this over priced area.
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Old March 27, 2002, 09:24 PM   #47
Uhave2
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Well I sent some e-mails to Dillon and Hornady.
Only Dillon has replied so far (3/18/02).
They are going to e-mail a quote for all the necessary equipment to reload the calibers I use.
From the information I gathered at Dillon's web site, it seems that it's going to be close to $1000.
As far as Hornady is concerned, I'll probably have to call them.
They haven't been responsive to any e-mail thus far. Not a good sign.

Thanks to all who posted to this thread.
I'll update when I hear form either company.
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Old March 27, 2002, 09:34 PM   #48
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uglymofo,
I got the instructions from Guy a while a go and there are a couple of things that are handy to know.

1) You can get the individual expander noses from Lyman for about $2 a piece. You don't have to get the entire setup. Call Lyman and order them, shipping is a buck or two.

2) I was unable to get the rotor to fully cycle using the instructions. That's not to say it won't work, but only that I couldn't see how it would after fooling with it a while. When you get the expander nose(s), you can look at how the shell fits onto it (all the way to the rim). You can campare where the shell contacts the correct pistol insert and I think the idea is to make a new insert so that when the shell is on the expander, they entire length is the same (Geesh, I'm afraid I'm not being very clear here. Hopefully, when you start staring at you'll see what I mean - if not email me and I'll see if I can't do better). For this reason, I think the setup will work better if you modify a pistol insert rather than the rifle insert the instructions call for.

3) There is no method of relieving the stress on the metering insert in the rotor when it is pushed up against the houseing from the expanding operation. I don't know if this is a serious issue because I haven't tried to calculate the forces involved. I would say that it would be better to use the pistol micrometer insert since it goes through the entier rotor whereas the standard metering insert does not seat as deeply and might be more susceptible to damage the rotor. The solution to that is to fabricate a method of resisting the force generated by the expansion process before it gets to the powder measure rotor.

Keep in mind, I haven't gotten my setup to work so nothing I say is guaranteed. I only say it in case it is useful to you.

If you are able to make the instructions work as written, I'd like to know how you did it. Better yet, why don't you post how it went on TFL!

Good luck

Last edited by grunewaj; March 27, 2002 at 10:53 PM.
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Old March 27, 2002, 09:41 PM   #49
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Uhave2,
It could be that Hornady's having web problems as their web site is down and has been for several days, maybe a week. Certainly, being responsive to emails is a really good thing, but free phone calls are at least as nice, if not nicer. I wouldn't ding them too much for not emailing (but that's me).

Call 'em, ask all your questions, and get all your answers. My experience with them as been very positive.
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Old March 28, 2002, 12:52 PM   #50
uglymofo
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Grunewaj ,

Thanks for the tips. They are muchly appreciated.

moredes
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