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Old April 2, 2012, 11:03 AM   #1
output
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Just purchased the Hornady Lock N Load

I finally broke down and purchased my first reloading press!

I decided to go with the Hornady Lock N Load.

Are any of you using this press? If so, do you have any tips or tricks that will help me out?

Here is a list of my purchases:

Hornady "Handbook of reloading 8th Edition”
Lock N Load Press
Die Set
Die locking wrench
Die Maintenance Kit
Shell Plate
Extra Case Retainer Spring
Shell Holder
Caliper
Scale
Bullet puller
M-2 case tumbler
Tumbler media
Primer turning tray
One shot case lube
Alliant Power Pistol Powder
Winchester primers
Winchester Bullets 9mm (124 Grain)
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Old April 2, 2012, 12:25 PM   #2
Shootest
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Quote:
I decided to go with the Hornady Lock N Load.
Did you go with the single stage Lock N Load or the Lock N Load AP?
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Old April 2, 2012, 01:13 PM   #3
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Suggestions:

My experience is with the Lock N Load AP progressive but
for what its worth to you:

A. You'll have to clear a jam, or built up crud, from the primer feeder sooner or later.
I had to chase the spring on the primer feeder across the room twice (once during install and once again when cleaning after having loaded about 500 rounds).
I bought two extra springs (from Midwayusa) to avoid the risk of coming to a halt during a reloading session because of losing the spring.

B. The case retainer spring on the Progressive press, it has to 'drop into a groove' below the level of the shell plate at the point where cases enter the shell plate.
You simply guide it down with your finger and while cranking the press several times and the spring 'locks itself into that groove'.
The written instructions mention it; but the instructional DVD makes it look like it happens automatically - it doesn't.

C. Hornady One Shot Gun Cleaner-Degreaser and Dry Lubricant, not the case lube, is a great product to clean off any preservatives that the press, and especially the powder measure, are packed with.
As I recall, the DVD that came with the Progressive press recommended it.

I used it on an older RCBS powder measure that sometimes 'stuck' dispite me cleaning it with alchohol - the Hornandy improved it immediately.

Last edited by cwok; April 2, 2012 at 01:14 PM. Reason: speeeling
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Old April 2, 2012, 01:41 PM   #4
Latesvak
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lnl

I have l-n-l ap and love it. have done thousands of rounds on it and once you get it dialed in and all the workings of it figured out it will be a great loader for you. Just go slow till you figure it out.


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Old April 2, 2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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Be sure to keep the area where the primer shuttle slides clean - powder granules and little bits of brass shavings like to fall down in there and prevent the shuttle from centering the primer under the shell.
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Old April 2, 2012, 05:09 PM   #6
output
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Quote:
Did you go with the single stage Lock N Load or the Lock N Load AP?
Sorry, I went with the AP.

I have read about the having to keep underneath the shell plate clean but I have not seen any mention about setting the retainer spring. The video makes it look simple like you mentioned. Thanks for the info cwok & FlyFish. I really appreciate it!
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Last edited by output; April 2, 2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old April 2, 2012, 06:30 PM   #7
bfoosh006
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http://ultimatereloader.com/2011/01/...oading-45-acp/

Tons of video about the LNL AP.... ( for that matter , all the popular presses.. ) He sells an "improved" roller handle also.

Another good site...http://www.inlinefabrication.com/ERGO_Roller.php

Last edited by bfoosh006; April 2, 2012 at 06:36 PM.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:37 PM   #8
Will Lee
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Hey OutPut,
your going love the LNL AP. It is a precision piece of equipment therefore it likes to be clean. It is great for production runs once you get a load developed.

For load development I would suggest getting a stand alone powder dropper (RCBS or Hornady).

Here is a picture of my site up.



Let me now if you need any help, I'll be glad to assist.
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Old April 2, 2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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now that reloading bench is entirely too neat but I love the dingleballs on the lampshade...joking bout the lamp of course. That is a nice setup. I am ashamed to post a pic of my station. I think there may be a bench under all that stuff and maybe even Jimmy Hoffa's body
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Old April 2, 2012, 09:11 PM   #10
Will Lee
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Hey hounddawg, Thanks for the good words on the bench. My darling wife contributed the lamp because she thought I needed more light on that end of the bench. Naturally it's going to stay there (LOL).
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Old April 3, 2012, 06:31 AM   #11
output
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Thanks for the link. I was looking for a mount like the Ultramount kit from inline only I had no idea where to look or even if one had been made. I was planning on building my own but I ordered the ultramount instead.

Quote:
Let me now if you need any help, I'll be glad to assist.
Thanks Will! I will definitely take you up on that. I am sure I will need all the help I get. I really like your setup. I built a bench of few months back with my father-in-law tomorrow when all my supplies come in I will finally be able to put it to use.

Next on my list is the stand alone powder dropper. I want to get a single stage press as well. When you develop loads do you use a single stage with the stand alone dropper or the AP press out of curiosity?
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Old April 3, 2012, 07:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
When you develop loads do you use a single stage with the stand alone dropper or the AP press out of curiosity?
I can't speak for others, but I do all my load development on my single stage press, an RCBS Rock Chucker that I had for many years prior to getting the LnL AP, using a separate powder measure (RCBS Uniflow for rifles, Redding 3BR for pistols - again, I had both of these before the LnL). For me, it's just quicker to use the single stage setup when I'm only making a few rounds, and I do all my rifle reloading, except for .223, on the single stage press anyway.

I converted the Rock Chucker to accept the LnL bayonet bushings using the kit that Hornady makes so I can swap dies quickly between the two presses. The only problem is that the distance from the shellholder/shellplate to the die isn't the same on the two presses. For the dies that get used on both presses, I was able to work around that by using a couple of washers of the appropriate thickness between the die lock ring and the bushing on the Rock Chucker.
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:36 AM   #13
canis-latrans
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I just bought one too

I just bought one too. Just love it. Every night I go scrounging around the house for boxes of empty brass to reload. Now I need to get a decent scale.
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
I was looking for a mount like the Ultramount kit from inline only I had no idea where to look or even if one had been made. I was planning on building my own but I ordered the ultramount instead.
Pics!


As mentioned, keep that primer shuttle clean. A can of compressed air or the like helps keep those couple little rogue pieces of powder from getting between the leading edge of the slide and its nest. (I took the slide out and lightly chamfered the bottom edge to give em somewhere to go if one or 2 did get in there during a session)
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Old April 8, 2012, 03:12 PM   #15
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I know virtually nothing about reloading, but I did see two threads about some guy blowing-up his .45 based on possibly errant loading information in the Hornady handbook.

You might want to look into that!
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Old April 8, 2012, 11:12 PM   #16
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I just bought this RCBS Tube Bullet feeder that I am using on my Hornady LnL AP. It works for pistol rounds only, but it sure speeds up the loading process. I loaded 75 rounds of 9mm in less than 20 minutes. The cost from RCBS was about $36.00 plus shipping. Each tube holds 33 9mm 115gr bullets. I will use it next to reload my .38's.

https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/Mai...2+New+Products

http://www.rcbs.com/downloads/instru...FeederInst.pdf
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Old April 9, 2012, 12:38 AM   #17
Guy B. Meredith
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Not to hijack the thread, but it looks like the bullet feeder takes up the position we would install the powder check or RCBS equivalent?
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Old April 9, 2012, 06:34 AM   #18
output
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Quote:
Pics!
Here is a quick picture after installing the press and dies.



I am using the Hornady 3-Det Set. Does anyone use a separate crimper die? Should I invest in a powder checker die?

Quote:
I just bought this RCBS Tube Bullet feeder that I am using on my Hornady LnL AP.
I have been thinking about picking up one of the tube bullet feeders as well once I am more familiar with the setup. I have only loaded some test cartridges with no powder so far but I can see how this would speed the process up.

Overall I am very surprised how easy the initial setup was. Some things were/still are a little confusing. Like the Hornady PTX powder measure stop. Is that useful when loading small handgun cartridges? Should I install it? Also, The EZ-ject system does not seem to be working. The cartridges are not ejecting once completed. I am assuming I might have the case retainer spring installed wrong or not in the groove? I have not trouble shot it yet.

Quote:
Not to hijack the thread, but it looks like the bullet feeder takes up the position we would install the powder check or RCBS equivalent?
No worries. We are here to learn and share. I am curious myself.
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Last edited by output; April 9, 2012 at 06:40 AM.
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Old April 9, 2012, 08:18 AM   #19
Arizona Smithshooter
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"Not to hijack the thread, but it looks like the bullet feeder takes up the position we would install the powder check or RCBS equivalent?"

As a matter of fact I am also using the RCBS "Lockout" die to check the powder, so yes, if you are going to use the bullet tube feeder you either have to eliminate the powder check, or first run the cases through the sizer/decap die. I am first resizing all my cases with just the resize die mounted in the press, then a loading them in a separate process. Still a time saver in the long run.
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Old April 9, 2012, 10:26 AM   #20
Guy B. Meredith
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Your setup will never work out--it's way too neat and organized.

The correct placement of the case retainer spring is the most likely culprit. It has to follow the geometry of the plate and drop out of the way at the ejection point.

Arizona Smithshooter, having started out on a progressive I seem to have developed a linear line of thinking rather than the staging approach of single stage loaders. Sounds like a great solution. Gonna have to start thinking that way when I begin loading rifle rounds.
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Old April 9, 2012, 10:46 AM   #21
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I run a L-N-L AP also. Currently I only load for .45 and 9mm, but as soon as I can get my Diamondback back from loaning it to my mom I will be loading .38 also. I only load fully jacketed bullets in 9mm, as my HK P7 has the the polygonal rifling and the gas piston retarded recoil system. Wish I could shoot lead thru it like my .45 because the cost savings using lead is awesome.

As for your question about using the the Hornady 3 die set, I use it for the 9mm. I have no problems with the seat and crimp being combined on it. I do use a separate crimper die for the .45. I had a bit of trouble reloading lead bullets for my .45 (as opposed to jacketed) and separating the crimping and seating step helped a lot.

I do not use the PTX expander for 9mm, but I do for .45 since I need the extra hole for the separate crimping step. I do think if you are going to use the PTX then you need the powder measure stop.

I also think you should invest in a powder checker die. I went with the RCBS lock-out die. I picked it because it stops the press when something is wrong, whereas the others rely on you watching the die, and I felt like if you have to watch the die then it is not much better than looking at every case. It is not perfect though. It will allow small variations in over or under charges to pass, due to the tolerances built into the die adjustments, but unless you are running a hot load a little variance should not be a problem.

I also work up my loads on the L-N-L AP since it is the only press I own. It does not cause me any problems.

I tried to answered most of the questions you asked the best I could. I have not been reloading that long myself. In fact the L-N-L AP was the first press I ever bought or used. Hope you enjoy your new hobby. I like shooting more than reloading, so reloading is something I tolerate in order to be able to shoot as much as I want. There are other aspect besides the saving money that I have found. The ability to tailor loads to my needs is a good thing. Nobody told me about the increase in accuracy you get from reloading your own ammo so that to was an unexpected benefit and a nice surprise for me.
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Old April 9, 2012, 11:16 AM   #22
Guy B. Meredith
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I do NOT reload without the RCBS lockout die in place. Progressive reloading is doing several things at the same time and it is easy to get distracted. Also, when you've been reloading for a while the process is boringly dependable and it is easy to let your attention wander about three or four hundred rounds down the line.

Like factoryrat says the die only senses large changes like empty cases or double loads, but that is what you are most likely to run into. The lockup really gets your attention.

I use plated .38 bullets so the 3 die set works fine for me as well.
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Old April 10, 2012, 05:58 PM   #23
output
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Quote:
The correct placement of the case retainer spring is the most likely culprit. It has to follow the geometry of the plate and drop out of the way at the ejection point.
You were right!


The spring was not going into the groove on base of the shell plate carrier. I had to hold my finger over the wire and cycle the shell plate at the same time.

See picture below:



Here is a pic of my first 100 (after I took a few to the range to test first.):



I ordered a RCBS lockout die as well!
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Old April 10, 2012, 06:15 PM   #24
Bob Knizner
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Hello Output-

Nice setup.

Looking closely at the picture of your loaded rounds, are some of the primers mashed, or is it just a trick of the light?

Bob
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Old April 10, 2012, 06:57 PM   #25
output
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Thanks Bob!

I am not sure what you mean by mashed?

I double checked each primer and then marked them with a green marker. I think it is lighting/marker that I used? I looked at them again and they seem fine.

I will try to post a better picture.
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Last edited by output; April 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM.
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