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Old September 26, 2011, 09:31 PM   #1
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Hornady LNL AP tons of force needed to seat primers

Just got a Hornady LNL AP. I love the press except for one thing: I have to apply a ton of force in order to get primers to seat and even when I do they don't seat all the way. This only seems to happen on large pistol primers (.45 ACP).

I apply so much force that the bench top bends and I've had to re-tighten the bolts a few times.

Hornady already sent me a new ram, that seemed to help the issue a little.

The brass primes beautifully in my Lee hand press. If I take the primed brass that the Hornady press seats a little high and put it in the Lee press I can get it to seat just fine.

I've tried putting a coin under the ram to get it to seat higher but that's not the problem, the ram fully enters the primer pocket.

Any ideas before I end up having to send the entire press back to Hornady?
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Old September 26, 2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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What brass are you using? I have found that S&B and Amerc brass to have REALLY TIGHT PRIMER POCKETS. So much so, that I cull right into the trash. ALSO, WCC brass has crimped primer pockets and unless you trim the crimp you won't be able to seat primers.

That said, I have had my LNL for 5-6 years. I have never had a primer issue, except with the brass I have indicated. Some brass takes a little more force than others but, nothing I consider abnormal. My son and I just set up his NEW LNL and his primer system is perfect. NO problems whatsoever.

Check your indexing. If your indexing is off by just a few thousands it will make primeing very difficult. The reason is that if you are slightly "off" as you are seating the primer the shellplate will be forced to "line-up" with the primer plunger as you increase pressure on the handle.

It should in no way take the force you are describing to seat primers with the LNL. I have loaded on 3 different LNL presses and never had a primer issue with any of them. Check the indexing and make sure it lines up "dead center" on your shellplate.
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Old September 27, 2011, 08:16 AM   #3
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It's mixed brass. And like I said it all primes great on the hand press - even the ones that don't seat fully on the LNL I can put into the hand press and they seat fine.

I'm pretty sure the indexing is OK but I'll check it again.

I just want them to seat slightly below flush
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Old September 27, 2011, 02:06 PM   #4
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If your indexing is off a few thousands you will be able to load just fine. However, the priming will be rough. Try adjusting the indexing back a forth and see of that fixes the problem. If not pack it up and send back to Hornady. They will fix or give you a new press. As I said, priming has worked perfectly on 3 different LNL presses I have used. Something is not right.
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Old September 27, 2011, 07:56 PM   #5
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I agree with Waldog that you probably have an indexing problem. I have been using an LNL AP for 3 years, and recently experienced an indexing issue. Several months ago, I added a Hornady case feeder to my LNL. The case feeder worked fine on all calibers except 9mm (40 cal, 10 mm, 45 cal, 38 spl, and 44 mag). On 9mm, the case would not properly feed into the shell plate over 50% of the time. After adjusting the pawls many times, with little success, I finally came to the conclusion that the 9mm shell plate was the problem. I talked it over with Hornady customer service, and they agreed to send me a new 9mm shell plate for free. The new shell plate works great. So I guess the point I am trying to make is that I would try another shell plate and see if that fixes the problem prior to boxing up the whole press and sending it back.

Primer seating depth is another issue. There are several threads here on TFL which discuss LNL seating depth issues. Check the link below:

Last edited by FtrPilot; September 27, 2011 at 08:05 PM.
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Old September 27, 2011, 09:02 PM   #6
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I have a similar problem sometimes with my LNL AP. I've found that small amounts of dirt, powder, or metal shavings from resizing or crimping issues can prevent the primer arm (the part that slides back and forth w/ the primer) from going all the way forward. It's hard to detect unless your looking for it, but it will do exactly what your describing.

I usually just pull the primer arm back and clean out that hole area with a paint brush. It seems to do the trick for me.

Hope that helps.
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Old September 27, 2011, 09:08 PM   #7
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It's a common complaint, I've sent my press back two times and they couldn't fix it. If you find a cure be sure to post it.
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Old September 29, 2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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I have given up on priming on my LNL AP, just too much of a pain in the butt.
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:14 PM   #9
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Primer Seating & Timing Problems with Hornady LNL AP

Source of Timing Issues on my new LNL AP (also Primer Seating Failures):

During initial set-up, I kept having problems with adjusting a small, but significant “over-travel” every 8-9 pulls. The factory steered me through the adjustment (1/16th right turn “hits” on left PAWL (Item # 32-33) of their Bill of Materials List on Page 21 of the Installation Manual). Took a few “hits” but sync’ed just fine. But then I had to remove the shell plate a couple of times, and the problem re-occurred !!!

Hmmm … Called the factory and was told to mark the PAWL(s) and determine whether they were “too-loose and self-adjusting”.

Did so. and moved onto settng up my primer feed … Installed the Small Primer Punch (#26), Installed the Primer Slide Small Assembly (#15), re-installed the Shell Plate (#12) and Spring Case Retainer (#17), and cycled the press around …. paying careful attention to the Primer Station … Which didn’t “look right” … the Punch (#26) didn’t appear to be cycling high enough to properly seat a primer!

Disassembled everything and took a careful look at all parts as well as the Sub Plate (#24) … What? there appeared to be a tiny sliver of crud lodged in the end of the “U-Shaped” cut-out in the SUB Plate (#24) where the Primer Slide (#15) travels and locks into position during primer seating …

Bottom Line: this tiny sliver of crud was causing the Primer Slide (#15) from completing its cycle and thereby preventing the seating punch contained within the Punch (#26) from being fully deployed. This was an “Ah-Ha” moment: I now have a better understanding of why priming on the LNL can be problematic when powder spills occur … and it can also cause a slight “Short Cycling” … that are also likely to cause Timing-Issues.

IMHO, Hornady should address this issue on the SUB PLATE (#24) itself … A bevel at the bottom of the “U” as well as a cut completely through the SUB PLATE (#24) would greatly lessen the impact of powder spills on primer seating as well as related timing issues.

BTW: Hornady's engineer's response to the problem: Not a Problem, it's always been manufactured that way. Don't like the answer (I didn't)?
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Old December 28, 2011, 12:33 PM   #10
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Make sure you are using the correct shell plate. They use to list 45 ACP under plate #1 (I think) at one time, but now have a shell plate specifically for 45 ACP. I was having similar problems one time, got the new shell plate, and the problems disappeared.
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Old December 28, 2011, 03:32 PM   #11
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I have given up on priming on my LNL AP, just too much of a pain in the butt.
This, I now hand prime before running through the LNL AP.
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Old December 28, 2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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Take the whole priming plug out and disassemble it carefully so you don't lose the freaking spring.
Very carefully sand the bottom of the nut off, maybe .002"-,004".
This will allow the seating stem to go that much deeper into the assembly.
Put things back together and try it.

Mine would seat them flush, and this worked fine but mentally I wanted them a little deeper, and the above solved all my concerns.

I called Hornady and told them what I had done and was told, "That's a good idea. Wish I had thought of it."

I was also told that I wasn't the first with this issue and they would be recommending this fix, but I guess he forget to tell everyone.
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Old December 28, 2011, 09:11 PM   #13
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I love my LnL but am not crazy about the priming system either. I Mine works fine over 99% of the time, it's just that it does not afford me the same amount of feel that hand priming does. Still I have did somewhere between 500 & 1000 pistol rounds last month with only a couple of glitches when I let some spilled powder gum up the works.
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