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Old July 11, 2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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Primer seating depth adjustment on Hornady LNL press

Is there a way to adjust the depth a primer is installed on a Hornady LNL press using 45 acp rounds in a Sig 220 pistol?

I am trying to increase the depth of the primer from flush with the base of the case to help reliability of the primer firing.
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Old July 11, 2009, 05:46 PM   #2
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To clarify, are you trying to physically seat the primer deeper into the case or are you trying to bring the primer out?

If the primer is seating well below the case and if this is your problem, I'd ditch the case. I wouldn't try an adjustment that keeps the primer from fully seating into the case, either. The firing pin could end up pushing the primer initially and would cause the pin to lose momentum and the result would be the primer not igniting.

This could be a nitpick on my observational theory. But the simplest fix is to keep brass that has the correct primer depth when fully seated. And I don't think Hornady's primer seater can be adjusted. Although I have the older style....
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Old July 11, 2009, 08:06 PM   #3
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The only adjustment is how much pressure you apply. If the primers are not seating all the way I would wonder if the primer pockets may need to be cleaned out. Other than that, it would almost have to be a problem where your particular brand/model of primer is too large for the brand/model of brass case. But, I've never heard tale of anything like that before.
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Old July 12, 2009, 12:26 PM   #4
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moving to reloading forum....

and proper seating depth is all the way to the bottom of the pocket. If this is flush, fine. Slightly below flush, even better.

Although primers are all supposed to be the same size, I have found that certain brands seat "easier" then others. Also, some brands of brass seem "tighter". The first step is to change one component (either one, primers or brass) and see if the problem persists.

Can't help with your press, don't know it, sorry.

One thing I did (and this after more than 35 years of reloading) I went to a hand primer unit. I use the RCBS one today, and no longer use the press mounted systems at all. Yes, it is a bit of a hassle, and slowed down the "rounds per hour" count, starting with fired brass, but it gives me complete feel over the seating process. I can clearly feel when the primers bottom out in the pocket, and no extra force is used, preventing crushed primers. I used to use a progressive press, and found the lack of feel both for primer seating, but more importantly for bullet seating to result in damaged rounds. Now, I simple work on a batch process. All brass gets sized in one session. Then primed (by hand) in another session, after checking (and trimming as needed). Then in another session, I go on to finish loading the rounds. Works for me, and I reload for over 25 different rifle and pistol cartridges.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old July 22, 2009, 03:04 AM   #5
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LnL primer depth

I too, have a problem of not seating deep enough. I end up hand priming.

I think Hornady needs to modify the primer punch to be a tad longer. Running out of stroke to press deeper.
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Old July 23, 2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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I had this same issue with my LNL. I stopped using CCI primers with this press and the issue was resolved.
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Old July 23, 2009, 12:48 AM   #7
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CCI primers will be harder to seat on LNL AP

I measured the primers, they are about 0.001 to 0.002 larger in diameter than Federal primers.
I used the same case and primed them with Federal primers and the LNL press was flawless.

CCI primers will not need to be hand primed.

BTW, I unscrewed the lever arm until it sits flush on the botton yoke, put the jam nut on top. This gives me slightly more leverage which helps seat the primer a bit deeper.
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Old July 23, 2009, 07:05 AM   #8
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You can call hornady and ask them for another primer punch which may be slightly longer, or you can epoxy (or use double sided tape to test) a piece of soda can shim stock on the frame of the press where the punch contacts during priming.

You can try winchester or federal primers if you are using CCI.
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Old July 23, 2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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I had Hornady send me a new primer punch and it was identical length, so no improvement there. I used a .015" steel feeler gauge and glued it to the press frame where the punch contacts and this helped a little. Like I said, using Federal or Winchester primers solved my seating woes. I can still use CCI if I prime off press using the RCBS Bench priming tool.
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Old March 29, 2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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The issue is mainly with the manufacturing process Hornady uses to build its press, mainly the frame itself. The frame is cast, and then most likely painted, and finally machined in all the places they deem it critical. The place just under where the primer seater punch (part#26 in LNL Manual) sits is not deemed critical enough to machine flat, and for some other reason the seater pin itself is machined to a point. So what you end up with is a critical machined part (the pin) using red paint and rough cast iron for a depth stop.

The same red paint and rough casting is what the nut (also included in part #26) rests on when it physically stops the lever arm from rotating when you are pushing forward on it to seat the primer.

During use, you will wear off paint, and it will eventually change your primer seating depth.

Hornady could fix this by machining a flat spot in the frame where the nut and pin contact it, and making the pin itself flat on the bottom, instead of pointed.

Few things for you to try here, method 1 worked for me:

Method 1: Put a drop of superglue in the divot created by the bottom (pointy) side of the primer seating pin. If its too much glue and it has made the primer seat to deeply, simply remove glue with acetone and a rag until it seats to the desired depth. (Be careful with acetone, it may remove paint as well.) !!!!!MAKE SURE THE GLUE IS DRY BEFORE YOU CYCLE THE PRESS!!!!!

Method 2: Use a mill or file to remove about .003 thickness from the part of the nut that contacts the frame. This is what I was going to try if the superglue had not worked.
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