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Old October 25, 2012, 10:52 PM   #1
Eppie
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Hornady Lock n Load powder measure issues

Hi Everyone,
I'm new to reloading and I have a Hornady Lock and Load AP that I'm using. Right now I'm using it pretty much like a single turret because I want to develop the basic skills before attempting assembly line process. Crawl before you walk approach.

I'm reloading .308 using once used Federal GMM cases. For bullets I'm using the free 500 Hornady 150gr SP that I got with the press.

I've noticed is that the powder measure is not very accurate. I've even bought the more precise drop measure from Hornady. I am using Varget (stick) powder I get variations of +/- .4 grains from my target measure (38.2gr). I think that stinks. To avoid the wide variance I'm measuring each powder drop and adjust as necessary.

I've seen post here from guys here claiming +/-.1 variance using the same equipment. What gives? Is it me? Is it a break-in issue? Am I using the wrong powder?

All advice is appreciated.
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Old October 26, 2012, 05:19 AM   #2
rajbcpa
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I had one of these Hornady poowder measures and a micrometer insert measure too but sold them and the L-N-L press because of constant reliability issues.

One thing you could try is to dissable it again and clean it throughly. Many issues involving inconsistent powder throws are caused by poor cleaning and the rust preventitive resudue Hornady sprays on the parts before they leave the factory.

These powder measures don't seem to like stick powders much, as I recall. Also check the L-N-L bushing which, on my press, always seemed to wiggle loose on the powder measure station.

After owning the press and powder measure for three months, I had no confidence in it and sold it. On average it would run great for about 200-300 rounds and then it would break.... too many issues to list here.

I would never buy another Hornady product.
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:45 AM   #3
PA-Joe
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Go to the Hornady webpage and view one of their videos on how to set up and use the measure. Most common issue is poor cleaning of the metal parts and insides. The stock insert should be for rifle loads. They make a smaller insert for pistol rounds. Are you using a baffle inside of the tube? Are you double tapping on both the up and down strokes. This helps settle the powder and makes sure it all drops out.
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:51 AM   #4
droptrd
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I have 2 hornady powder measures and an RCBS Uniflow. All 3 drop charges with in .1 grs. While all 3 are equally as accurate, IMO the hornady is a better product. Bigger hopper, better build quality. Smoother operation and cheaper price. Oh, and it comes with a baffle - you have to spend more money with rcbs.

I run all 3 with a baffle for smaller ball type powders. For Varget, try no baffle. Varget is my main 223 powder
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Old October 26, 2012, 07:05 AM   #5
hounddawg
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If you want to use stick the Johnson Quick Measure, which is the best manual measure for stick powders. It can't cut a kernel because it does not use a rotating drum and has no shearing edges. Most powder measures you are going to find use a rotating drum and don't work well with long stick. The Hornady and Pact digital dispensers work well though if you want to go that route. I have heard the the RCBS will do ok with the short cut stick but never tried it

For ball and flake the rotating drum works fine and I get consistent loads to .1 grain in both my Hornady and a little Lee. 99.9% of my progressive loading is for pistols and I use Win231 it is not a issue for me. TAC measures like a champ also for any .223 I want to run. Only thing I use stick in is for my LR rifles and every charge gets weighed for those. I use the Lee or a dipper to get me in the ballpark then trickle to charge
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Old October 26, 2012, 08:15 AM   #6
Eppie
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Thanks for all your advice. I appreciate your time and effort.

I did clean the insert exactly has the Hornady videos show. After I called the Hornady support I was advised to use some graphite as a dry lubricant to make it a little slicker. That hasn't improved things much.

Hounddawg: I'm going to try without a baffle see if that helps. It won't cost me anything and it may help.

My bench is very sturdy so I know I'm not getting any vibrations that would complicate things.

I have a whole container of Varget so I'm committed to make it work for now, even if I have to weigh each powder drop. If it doesn't improve by the end of the container I guess I'll have to try flake or ball powder. That is my main suspect right now.
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"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson (An early warning to Obama care)
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Old October 26, 2012, 09:16 AM   #7
hounddawg
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Might try using a ball powder like H335, never used it myself in .308 but there is load data available for it on the Hogdon site.

I keep swearing I am going to buy one of the electronic jobs from Hornady or Pact one of these days then my cheapskate side weighs in and the dippers and manual tricklers seem to work. Even took a bunch of old 30-06 shells and made myself some custom dippers for my common rifle loads but even they only get me in the ballpark with varget, RL 10 and IMR 4350
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Last edited by hounddawg; October 26, 2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old October 26, 2012, 05:40 PM   #8
droptrd
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Dont give up. I use varget all the time in my hornady powder measure and get consistant drops of +/-.1gr.
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:27 PM   #9
Mr.RevolverGuy
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I have over 7000 rounds through my hornady LnL with no issues but I cleaned everything as the dvd stated that comes with it. I also knew of some tweaks like polishing certain areas first. I would recommend calling Hornady if you can't figure it out they do have great customer service.

Powders I have used which is very consistent
H4895
H335
H332
Universal
W231
Red Dot
2400
HS-6
H110
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Old October 26, 2012, 06:32 PM   #10
hounddawg
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well if you can get the varget to run through let me know what the issue was becasue I am now curious. Curious enough to do a little experimenting on my own tomorrow.
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Old October 27, 2012, 02:26 PM   #11
Eppie
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Got to thinking, a dangerous thing I know.

My objective is to replicate/improve the performance of the Federal GMM 168grain HPBT. But use a Hornady 150 grain SP bullet. Why Hornady? Because I got 500 of them for free when I bought my Lock n Load AP press.

I know its going to be difficult because of the BC difference between the two bullets. So what I did is take a couple of Federal GMM apart.



The Varget powder is on the left and the powder from the Federal GMM on the right. I measured both of the federal and they came out to 43.9 and 43.8 grains.

As you can see the color is different but otherwise the powder looks very similar. Obviously I will be following the manual powder recomendations for the bullet I'm using, but I thought you guys might find this info interesting.
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"Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.” -Vladimir Lenin
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson (An early warning to Obama care)
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