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Old May 5, 2012, 03:53 PM   #1
rsprobs1
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Hornady Lock N Load AP case activated powder drop

I am fairly new to reloading and I have a Hornady lock n load AP. I have been having this issue since I set up the press. I cant seem to get the case activated powder drop to consistently drop the same charge...I have cleaned and re cleaned but same results. I am loading .40 S&W using Hodgdons Universal clays and I am trying to load 5.7 grains. I am having ranges from 5.61 to 6.2..Does anyone have any idea what I may be doing wrong? Thanks!

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Old May 5, 2012, 04:22 PM   #2
k4swb
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Are you using the small insert? They make a really small insert for pistols that throws from 0 to about 17 grains (I think) and that is what I use for handgun loads. I bought it when I ordered the press because I knew that it would be better than either insert that comes with the press.

The small insert that comes with the press is hard pressed to do consistent charges below about 10 grains in my experience. YMMV.
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Old May 5, 2012, 05:31 PM   #3
Arizona Smithshooter
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Did you watch the DVD on how to assemble the powder drop? Did you clean it as instructed in the DVD? It comes with two powder rotors and two metering inserts: one for rifle, one for pistol. Make sure you are using the pistol rotor that has the small insert...it is the smaller of the two.

When adjusting the travel I leave the powder measure loose in the bushing, run a case up into the powder measure and then rotate the measure until the rotor rotates to the top of the housing. Then set the lock ring in the bushing. That takes all the guess work out of setting the travel.

Some powders are harder to measure than others. I haven't used that powder so I can't comment on how accurately it measures.
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Old May 5, 2012, 05:32 PM   #4
rsprobs1
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Honestly im not sure...It came with 2. A larger one and a smaller one. The video showed the smaller one being used for pistol so thats the one I am using. The directions provided are very vague and just say"* This press comes packaged with the Standard Rotor & Standard Metering Insert and the Pistol Rotor & Pistol Metering Insert." I am assuming the smaller of the two is for pistol?
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Old May 5, 2012, 07:35 PM   #5
Waldog
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Make sure you powder measure rotor cycles all the way to the top. If the linkage is not adjusted to provide a complete cycle, your powder drops will be inconsistent. I have a LNL and my powder measure drops +/- .1grs with just about any powder.
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Old May 5, 2012, 08:57 PM   #6
osageid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldog View Post
Make sure you powder measure rotor cycles all the way to the top. If the linkage is not adjusted to provide a complete cycle, your powder drops will be inconsistent. I have a LNL and my powder measure drops +/- .1grs with just about any powder.
Great advice^^^^^


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Old May 6, 2012, 09:01 AM   #7
cryogenic419
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Make sure the rotor cycles all the way like Waldog suggested. The little metal baffle piece that goes in the powder hopper tube, pull that out and give it a quick rub down with a dryer sheet. May not hurt to give the rest of the inside of the clear tube a rubdown with the dryer sheet as well.

I use that powder and it meters pretty consistantly. I do find myself every few rounds giving the powder measure hopper a quick tap with my finger just to help it flow downwards. Its probably unnecessary but its just a habit I seem to have developed from getting 800x to meter decently in my 10mm loads.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:30 AM   #8
rsprobs1
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ok..I took it apart and re-cleaned it. I verified that I am getting a full cycle and I still get wandering results. I am going to try a dryer sheet later today. Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions...
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:52 AM   #9
pre64win
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I have a LNL and it throws accurate charges. I have found that you need to set the measure to your desired setting and do a final adjustment with all stations full and using your regular loading rhythm. Pull the case which was just charged, weigh and adjust your measure. Run and dump a couple of charges after you adjust before you weigh. I have found that if you do this and work the handle the same on each pull your charges will be within .1 grain of your setting.
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Old May 6, 2012, 10:14 AM   #10
k4swb
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Quote:
Honestly im not sure...It came with 2. A larger one and a smaller one. The video showed the smaller one being used for pistol so thats the one I am using. The directions provided are very vague and just say"* This press comes packaged with the Standard Rotor & Standard Metering Insert and the Pistol Rotor & Pistol Metering Insert." I am assuming the smaller of the two is for pistol?
The smaller one that came with the measure is for pistol but it MAY not work well for charges in the 5 grain area and especially below that.

Try closing it up and(not too tight) and seeing what it throws when closed as much as it will. Then try a few charges in the 10 grain area to see if it throws those consistently.

Hornady offers a really small insert that is made to throw smaller pistol charges from .5gr to 17gr and that is what I bought extra right from the get go because I knew the one that came with the measure was not going to work well for me.
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Old May 6, 2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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Check this video:

http://www.hornady.com/assets/media/...r-Measure.html
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Old May 6, 2012, 12:02 PM   #12
thealex
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I have found that different powders will give different variances. Try switching powders. Win 231 works much better for me than unique does for instance. ect..
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Old May 6, 2012, 05:49 PM   #13
Will Lee
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Quote:
I have found that different powders will give different variances. Try switching powders. Win 231 works much better for me than unique does for instance. ect..
You will have metering problems with some Extruded Powders or big flake type powders. What thealex said is good advise also.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:11 PM   #14
k4swb
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I have all three inserts for my Hornady LNL measure. The measure that came with my LNL AP had two with it. One was a rifle insert and the other was a standard/pistol insert. The rifle will supposedly throw from 10 to 100 grains. The standard will supposedly throw from 5 to 50 grains but it will not throw very consistent charges from about 5 to 10 grains with some powders. For small charge weights in the range of 1 to 10 grains you should really think about getting the small pistol rotor insert that will throw very consistent charges between 1 and 15 grains of most powders used in pistol loads.

I actually use the small pistol micrometer insert for all my normal pistol loads and only go to the standard for loads above 15 grains for my .44 magnums.
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:21 PM   #15
Will Lee
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What k4swb said:

Quote:
I have all three inserts for my Hornady LNL measure. The measure that came with my LNL AP had two with it. One was a rifle insert and the other was a standard/pistol insert. The rifle will supposedly throw from 10 to 100 grains. The standard will supposedly throw from 5 to 50 grains but it will not throw very consistent charges from about 5 to 10 grains with some powders. For small charge weights in the range of 1 to 10 grains you should really think about getting the small pistol rotor insert that will throw very consistent charges between 1 and 15 grains of most powders used in pistol loads.

I actually use the small pistol micrometer insert for all my normal pistol loads and only go to the standard for loads above 15 grains for my .44 magnums.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:03 PM   #16
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Micrometer inserts are a great upgrade. Cuts down drastically on trial and error when dialing in weights.
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Old May 6, 2012, 09:42 PM   #17
GlockHead77
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I also run Hodgdon Universal Clays through my LNL AP. I use 4.9 gr of it in my 124gr 9mm loads and have +/- 0.1 gr of variation, usually. The steps that I take to make sure the variation stays low are:
  1. Use the same force or amount of jerk on each throw
  2. Keep the linkage tight. The knurled shoulder bolt has a tendency to loosen.
  3. Keep the bushing fully turned into the press. (It has a tendancy to turn out with use.)

I also had to reinforce my work bench to keep it from bouncing around which only adds variability to the process. Lubing the cases for the resizing die also helps reduce the force needed to cycle the press. You say that you are shooting 40S&W ... If you are shooting a Glock, you may be overcoming slightly "guppied" brass which makes it difficult to have a smooth cycle.

If you are doing all those things, then I'd make sure your powder hasn't absorbed some moisture and become clumpy. Smokeless powder really dislikes moisture.

And that pretty much drains my brain of ideas ....

Good luck sorting it out!
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:19 AM   #18
Waldog
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Since you re-cleaned your powder measure, install the rifle metering insert and open it up for a large charge. It doesn't have to be any specific charge, just something about 50 or 60 grains. Then take a NEW can of powder, ANY KIND OF POWDER, and cycle that full pound through the powder measure. This will coat the inside of your powder measure with graphite. NOW, install your small insert and set a powder charge of 10+ grains. Cycle that about 30 times to lube the small insert.

Now remove all your dies except the powder measure. Through trial and error, establish a charge you want to load using fired cases. insert FIRED cases in the LNL and cyle at least 10 cases filling each case with your powder charge. Don't count on an accurate powder drop until you have dropped at least 10 charges. This settles the powder in the measure and the rest of your charges should be accurate. On the eleventh charge, remove that case, dump the powder into your powder scale pan and weigh the powder charge. Your powder measure should drop +/- .1 grains of THAT charge until you make a change. When ever you change a powder charge do the same thing over, 10 drops, then final weigh.

Also, like others have already stated, some powders meter better than others. Unique is problematic and HP-38/W231 meters beautifully. ALL STICK type powders are problematic. However, I still get +/- .2 to .3 grains with IMR 4350 or IMR 4831 and both of those are a coarse stick type powder.

Another factor in consistent powder drops is to operate the press consistently and methodically. Jerky, inconsistent press lever movement will vary your charges. Hope this helps.
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Last edited by Waldog; May 7, 2012 at 12:28 AM.
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Old May 7, 2012, 02:51 PM   #19
tobnpr
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My LNL AP came with three drop tubes- and a separate pistol rotor that's still in the brown paper it was wrapped in- I don't handload for our handguns...

Are you using the pistol rotor?

Also, to add to the post above, a ROCK SOLID bench is a requirement. Since the powder is metered by volume, any jarring/shaking/vibration of the powder drop when running the ram (the resizing die will do this because it takes considerable pressure) will cause inconsistent metering.

I learned this from experience, had only a single layer of 3/4" ply, and once I doubled it up and made it solid, my throws were much more consistent. Also as stated, because of their shape, extruded powders don't meter as accurately and are more susceptible to increased charge weights if the drop gets shaken around when loading.

Last edited by tobnpr; May 7, 2012 at 02:57 PM.
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