Hornady LnL AP vs. Redding T-7


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meef
January 12, 2007, 01:55 AM
First and foremost - not looking to start a brand name war here, just looking for some good input..... :)

I used to reload using a Dillon 450. That was probably about 20 years ago. Then I quit competing in IPSC and sold all of my gear.

I'm shooting more now and want to get back into reloading and think I've narrowed my choices down to the LnL and the T-7.

I figure it's probably apples to oranges, but I've been out of the roll-your-own loop for a long time now and would like to have some solid info/opinions to base spending my cash on.

I will be loading mostly 45acp, 44 spl, 38/357, 308 and 7.62x39. Likely I'll load 300-400 or so rounds a month, maybe more when time allows.

Which press and why? All input carefully listened to, considered and appreciated.

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LHB1
January 12, 2007, 02:08 AM
No experience with the Redding press altho I do like and use Redding powder measures. I have, use, and like three Hornady progressive presses, including two of the LNL models. One LNL is set up for .45 ACP with an automatic case feeder; the other LNL is set up for .44 Mag with manual case feed. Both work great. If I were doing it over, would probably stick with the manual case feed on both. The automatic case feed is nice but just not necessary in my experience. The older Hornady press is going to a friend's son to help him get started in reloading.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB

steelhead
January 12, 2007, 02:40 AM
Both are excellent quality and I haven't had any problems with either one. Based on what you are planning to load, I would go with the Hornady. The ability to swap calibers quickly (unless you plan on buying additional turrets) can't be matched.

I currently use my Hornady for high volume pistol and plinking rifle rounds. I use the T-7 for my hunting/target rounds. I could do the target and hunting rounds with the Hornady but since I am already going slow the non progressive press fits in with my process. Plus it also allows me to setup my 2 most often used rifle die sets (decap/neck size, seater, factory crimp) and powder measure in one turret.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 12, 2007, 10:01 AM
Here's your dilemma:

1. You have several pistol rounds, which suggests a progressive and the Hornady is an excellent one. You also have a rifle round of a caliber that suggests a AK47 or SKS rifle, which also suggests a Hornady.

2.With the .308, I don't know what rifle, but that caliber suggests accuracy, which suggests a single stage or perhaps a Redding turret for long range, such as 600 yards. The Hornady is going to be just as good at any range less and may be just as good at 600. I know this because I reload 30.06 on a Hornady LnL, a round I'm loading to .308 ballistics since I'm shooting it in a autoloader (M1). It shoots MOA all day long out of that gun.

2. But your rounds per month is really low. For the quantity you're loading, you're going to spend $350 bucks or so for a Hornady, then each for the calibers that have different sized bases, you're going to have to buy extra shellplates ($25), expanders ($8) and and Lock N Load bushings ($10) for your caliber conversions. So if you have a worst case scenario, your caliber conversion could cost as much as $43 times 5 calibers for a total of $215. A good hunk of cabbage to reload so few rounds. Be aware the Hornady can load 400 rounds in an hour going SLOWLY and with no casefeeder, no extra primer tubes, no automated primer tube loading.

3. You round count suggests a Redding T7, probably the best of all the old style cast iron turret presses. That said, I've owned and loaded on a turret press like that before. It is a slow, tedious loading process not much better than a single stage without Lock N Load Bushings in my book. I really don't like them, though they are a bit better than loading on a single stage that doesn't have the option of a lock n load bushing. This is just my opinion, but to me, the Redding T7 and other turret designs of that style are obselete designs and not a good value for the money.

Before I bought one of these and spent this kind of money, I'd get one of those new Lee Classic Cast presses. An excellent design and with a lock N load bushing conversion, is as fast as the Redding,with better, cleaner primer handling. And, should you get the Hornady later, the Lee Classic cast single stage is a good companion for the Hornady.

4. But you're reloading pistol and rifle, so that'd be kinda slow on a single stage. I know you're wanting to look at only those two presses, but if I'm to be honest, I don't think either one is a good choice value wise for your application and neither is a single stage.

I own the Hornady and it's a great press. But for the amount you're reloading, it's way more money than the amount of rounds you're loading. It would take you a good while to recoop the costs of the press in savings. Money you could spend on rifle parts or reloading components.

This is just an opinion, based on reloading on the Hornady and owning lots of rifles and pistols and reloading for a bunch of them. (I own two gun safes and need to buy another soon.) I genuinely and sincerely feel, based on the number of calibers and round count, you'd be better off with a Lee Classic Turret press with a Pro Auto Disk, a Safety Prime kit and add a Redding, RCBS or Hornady powder measure for extruded rifle powders. I just added one for several reasons:

A. It's an excellent cast iron press, runs smooth as glass.
B. It cranks out 200 plus rounds per hour, plenty fast enough for reloading for most of my less than 100 rounds at a time milsurps and various cast load experiments I often have going.
C. Caliber changes are a die set and a $10 turret. You can add additional risers and powder measures at $36 (for both) if you wish, but it's not needed and is a luxury.
D. If you have a collector's FFL, you can get Midway's discount and have the whole setup in hand for less than $200. If not, it's about fifty bucks more.
E. The rounds I've loaded on it so far are more accurate than the rounds loaded on loaded on the old style turret press I owned.
F. It's automatic advance, a good thing for loading pistol.
G. It's mechanically simple and easy to setup. If you take a little time with it smoothing up the sharp edges, etc., it's a really smooth running little press.

So my suggestion, based on the number of calibers and your round count, is to look at the Lee Classic Cast turret press. If you decide to go with the Hornady later, you can use this press for your low round count milsurps, load experimentation or you can easily sell it on ebay for about what you paid for it. Of course, you can do that with most reloading equipment. Just be sure to keep your boxes in another cardboard box to keep them looking nice.

Here's a couple links to an articles you may be interested in. It compares the Lee to turrets like the RCBS and Redding.

http://surplusrifle.com/reviews2006/leeturretpress/index.asp

http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm

I hope this is useful information,

Dave

Bronson7
January 12, 2007, 11:32 AM
Another thing to consider are the forces acting on the press. The T7 is indeed a fine turret however consider this: The T7 is a C press when you really look at it. The Classic Lee Turret acts like an O press. The T7 will spread somewhat under the stress of reloading (admittedly this may or may not matter, depending on the amount). The Lee Classic on the other hand has the forces acting in a vertical or longitudinal plane (tension vs. shear, as in the T7) and in my opinion, has the potential to crank out more accurate ammo. I would consider that when purchasing a turret press. As far as I know, Lee is the only one with this design in a turret.
Bronson7

Shoney
January 12, 2007, 04:11 PM
I own the Hornady LNL Auto, a Dillon 550 and an old Pacific single stage that I bought in 1960. There isn't a lot more to say than Dave has already stated, although I suspect your pistol round count will increase a lot, once you start reloading again.

The Hornady will serve you well. The selling features of the LNL over the T-7 are the quick change system, the case activated and very accurate powder measure, and speed of operation. Overall cost is pretty close in each.

The only rifle round I load on the LNL is the 223 for a semi-auto (I resize these on the single stage before running thru the LNL). I have loaded 222, 6mmRem, 270 and 30-06 on the LNL (these are all bolt weapons) but prefer to load these single stage. If I could find reasonably priced brass and bullets for the 7.62x39, I would also load them on the LNL.

Bronson7's comments on the "C/T" vs. "O" don't consider that the "weak points" of a turret are the strength of the turrets attachment to the press, and the alignment of the ram. These features are far more critical to the press operating accurately. I would seriously doubt that either the T or the O frame would flex measurably under the most extreme reloading pressure.

YoPedro
January 13, 2007, 12:49 AM
Right now Hornady has a great rebate going on wherein you get up to 1000 bullets depending on which system you buy.

The T-7 is a very sweet press, but it really has been designed for one up reloading, which is the staple of rifflemen. For cranking out mass brass, a progressive will rock your world.

I went to the range today with a buddy, and since UPS had dropped a fresh load of bullets on my door step this morning, I decided to crank off 50 test loads to try out before I left. It took 30 minutes start to finish and that takes into account 5 load changes in .2g increments. Once a load is dialled in, you can really crank 'em out.

meef
January 13, 2007, 02:01 AM
All of the input is much appreciated guys, thank you.

Dave - you really went the extra mile and gave me some great points to think about. And what I'm hearing has pretty much decided for me that I'll likely pass on the T-7. But you had to go and throw the Lee Classic Turret in there to keep me pondering..... argh.

My rifle reloading is indeed for both and SKS and a Vector AK. Also my .308 is a SOCOM 16, so the 600 yard shots are not really a consideration. I'm not that kind of shooter. In fact, where I live a person would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to find anyplace to do a 600 yard shot.

The majority of the pistol reloading I'm going to do is 44 spl because there's just so little commercially available ammo for it, and the cost is outrageous. I'll probably do most of recouping my equipment costs on the 44 alone.

While I'm not independently wealthy (or even dependently wealthy), the costs of getting set up are less of a consideration for me than the ease of use. I'm not someone who really enjoys reloading for its own sake, but am certainly willing to do it for the eventual savings over commercial ammo and to experiment with the 44 spl - a round I really like shooting but can't afford to play with as much as I'd like. Is the Lee enough cheaper than the Hornady when ease of use and speed are taken into account to keep the Lee in the running?

Additionally, YoPedro's mention of Hornady's offer of 1000 bullets with the purchase of a LnL is certainly a factor.

Shoney:although I suspect your pistol round count will increase a lot, once you start reloading again.I suspect you're right on the mark there.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Hornady, but I can't get that Lee burr totally out from under my saddle because the links you included in your post definitely make it look good.

Decisions, decisions........:banghead:

:D

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 13, 2007, 10:53 AM
Dave - you really went the extra mile and gave me some great points to think about. And what I'm hearing has pretty much decided for me that I'll likely pass on the T-7. But you had to go and throw the Lee Classic Turret in there to keep me pondering..... argh.

Heh heh heh. I think you were wise to pass on the T-7, it's slow and when the Lee came out, became obselete in my mind.

My rifle reloading is indeed for both and SKS and a Vector AK. Also my .308 is a SOCOM 16, so the 600 yard shots are not really a consideration. I'm not that kind of shooter. In fact, where I live a person would be hard pressed (no pun intended) to find anyplace to do a 600 yard shot.

The nice thing is, you can reload ammo on both presses that'll shoot pretty darn well at 600 if you do a good job of load development at 100 yards.



The majority of the pistol reloading I'm going to do is 44 spl because there's just so little commercially available ammo for it, and the cost is outrageous. I'll probably do most of recouping my equipment costs on the 44 alone.

An easy cartridge to reload for and if you decide to cast your own bullets, you can get the per box of fifty price down below $2.00. Then you will be shooting a whole lot more.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/

While I'm not independently wealthy (or even dependently wealthy), the costs of getting set up are less of a consideration for me than the ease of use. I'm not someone who really enjoys reloading for its own sake, but am certainly willing to do it for the eventual savings over commercial ammo and to experiment with the 44 spl - a round I really like shooting but can't afford to play with as much as I'd like. Is the Lee enough cheaper than the Hornady when ease of use and speed are taken into account to keep the Lee in the running?

From F&M Reloading, to get you started with a Lee Classic Turret in .44:

Lee Classic Turret Press 90064 (1) $78.99
Extra 4-Hole Turret 90269 (1) $8.99
Lee Safety Primer Feed (Lg/Sm) 90997 (1) $19.99
Lee Pro Auto-Disk Powder Measure 90429 (1) $29.75
Lee Double Disk Kit 90195 (1) $9.49
Lee Auto-Disk Riser 90041 (1) $6.25
Lee Micro Disk (1) 90302 $6.25
Adjustable Charge Bar 90792 (1) $6.25
Lee Rifle Charging Die 90194 (1) $7.75
Lee Deluxe 44mag/44spl. Carbide 4 Die Set (.44) 90966 $31.50
Total: $205.21 before shipping

Note: This includes an additional turret to load a second caliber. You may want to add a second disk riser or second powder measure if you want luxury.

From MidwayUSA, to get you started with a Hornady Lock N Load in .44:

Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive Press (1) 095100 $349.99 on Sale
Hornady Quick Change Powder Die Powder Through Expander 451/452 Diameter 290044 (1) $8.79 (not sure for .44, but this is representative)
Hornady Lock-N-Load Bushings Package of ten 044096 (1) $30.00 on Sale
Lee Deluxe 4-Die Set 44 Special and 44 Remington Magnum 90966 (1) $28.99
Hornady Shellplate #30 Projector and Lock-N-Load 392630 (1) $26.99
Total: $444.76

Note: The Hornady LnL includes a powder measure and CAPD, but does not include a shellplate. The #1 shellplate loads .308, .45 and a significant number of other Calibers. I would order it along if I ordered the press.

Thoughts: Be aware of caliber change costs between the presses. I posted those above. The Hornady is much faster than the Lee, but for lower end production, the costs for caliber changes do not justify the difference in overall costs. But I must qualify this by saying I bought both and I really like both, but use them differently. I reload 3000 at a time on my Hornady. I reload 200, usually much less on my Lee. A lot has to do with how you're going to use it. Your volumes say Lee, which is a bit easier to get going with. Ultimate speed and volume gives the nod to Hornady. Again, I wanted to be spoiled and I own both. The low price of the Lee allowed me to do so.


Additionally, YoPedro's mention of Hornady's offer of 1000 bullets with the purchase of a LnL is certainly a factor.

Yes, it is, isn't it? (grin)

Shoney:
Quote:
although I suspect your pistol round count will increase a lot, once you start reloading again.
I suspect you're right on the mark there.

Chances are, it will increase a good bit, especially if you start casting and get that cost down to less than two bucks a box. Then the problem will be having time to shoot what you've cast and reloaded. (grin)

Right now, I'm leaning towards the Hornady, but I can't get that Lee burr totally out from under my saddle because the links you included in your post definitely make it look good.

Here's a suggestion. Buy the Lee and try out reloading. If you like it and find a need for more volume, you can still buy the Hornady later, then sell the Lee to another start up reload or on ebay (where you'll get at least 80% of retail if you keep boxes and such and post a good pic. Or you can keep it and have both, like I did. :)

meef
January 13, 2007, 02:38 PM
Dave......

Darn it. I really wanted to be talked into the Hornady.

But your logic and the clear difference in costs simply can't be ignored. For less than half the price of the Hornady setup I can go the Lee route.

Okay. I'll save a couple of hundred bucks or so and put it all into components for reloading for my .44 spl. That'll make me feel better.

You aren't in sales for a living by any chance, are you? At the very least, you're my unofficial reloading guru.

You have my everlasting, money-saving gratitude for the time you've spent here making me smarter, or perhaps less ignorant. After I get started, I'll revive this thread and let you know how my experience with the Lee is going.

And thanks again to everyone else who contributed. Especially those with good things to say about the Hornady LnL. You'll probably help push me into getting one of those (too) eventually. First though, I've gotta save a bunch of money using the Lee.

:D

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 13, 2007, 06:30 PM
meef,

You aren't in sales for a living by any chance, are you? At the very least, you're my unofficial reloading guru.

I was in Technical Support for quite a few year and worked in a factory for a good while as a validation engineer doing validations on machines that handled small bottles. They operated very similarly to a reloading press, with similar hoppers for feedging the machines. Guru? I'm doomed now. grin

Here's some tips to make your Lee Classic Cast turret run real nice and smooth, you can do these things as you install it, like I did:


1. Clean the press up real good, removing any maching crud from little holes and crevices, especially the dies. Denatured alcohol, a old cotton t shirt and Q-tips works good for this.

2. Stone all the "mechanical" metal parts (The shaft, the lever prime arms, etc.) down so the edges were nicely rounded over with no burrs. This helps with things working with each other. You'll want to use a stone like a hard Arkansas. I have a gunsmithing stone set that comes in a leather pouch from Brownell's. It's been real handy over the years for smoothing out actions, etc.

3. Oil all the "mechanical" axle type locations of hinges and such with teflon based oil. I used BreakFree/CLP, but anything like that, such as a lightweight synthetic oil would work well, the slicker the better.

4. Lube the ram with teflon based grease, I used Tetra Gun, but any similar synthetic teflon based grease does nicely. Then a couple of drops of oil. Work up and down several times (20 or so). This gets any crud rubbing against the Ram out in the "wad" of grease that forms. You then wipe this wad off thereby removing the crud.

5. Align the ram head (It can be rotated right and left) so the lever prime was centered in the raised slot of the casting base. If it's not lined up, the lever prime tends to jump out off the pin inside the Ram it rests on. Also allows you to move the Ram faster.

6. Remove the worm gear shaft. You do this by removing the turrent, then removing the screw in the plastic bracket mount attached to the Ram and opening up the plastic bracket. Remove the machining burr and smooth the tip on the bottom of the worm gear shaft, then reinstall it. This keeps it from grinding against the press base, thereby smoothing the "feel" a great deal. Stone the edges of this worm gear shaft as well. This also smooths out the up and down travel and rotation of the turret.

7. With the press ram in the down position and the handle up, reinstall the plastic bracket that attached the ram to the worm gear after making sure everything is not binding when the press is at rest. Do this by inspection and comparison.

8. Lube the worm gear shaft with teflon based oil. I used BreakFree/CLP.

9. Operate the press Ram up and down to work the oil in and to make sure everything was aligned and working properly.

10. Take care to properly align the safety prime, making sure it was perfectly even on the lever prime arm when the ram was in the furthestmost upper position.

11. Align the turret advance so the as the ram was reaches it's lowest point the the plastic bracket is past the worm gear in it's travel, the turret is just around far enough the ball detent slips into the locking slot in the turret. This allows you to run the turret as fast as possible without the turret "over-running" the locking position and passing it during rotation.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Dave

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 13, 2007, 08:42 PM
Something you may want to look at:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat602007-cat20847&id=0044122216337a&navCount=1&podId=0044122&parentId=cat20847&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=IH&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20847&hasJS=true

st_albert
January 13, 2007, 09:55 PM
sorry to be semi-hijacking the thread, but the Cabelas ad said in two places that the Lee Classic Turret Press turns out one round with each pull of the handle. Looks like it would take 3 or 4 pulls per round (i.e. one pull for each die used). Or am I totally missing how it works?

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 13, 2007, 09:59 PM
st_albert,

No, you're not wrong. Cabella's advertising folks are full of it. It's a very fast turret press, with automatic advance and lots of nice features, but it is NOT a progressive and shouldn't be confused with one. It does not produce a road with a single pull of the handle, but then, neither does any other press you have to insert a bullet or a brass case.

I hate that advertising statement. It's the most baloney definition for use of a reloading press I've ever seen.

Regards,

Dave

meef
January 14, 2007, 07:24 PM
Dave,

I notice the deal at Cabela's includes a Lee Safety Scale. Is that an item you would add to the basic Lee package you described to me in your post #9?

Don't want to wind up shorting myself anything critical and then having to incur more shipping costs.

:)

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 14, 2007, 08:48 PM
I don't own one of their safety scales. I own a Redding and if I had it to do over again, having tried a bunch of scales and various electronic ones, I'd buy an RCBS 1010. And yes, I know the RCBS ain't cheap, but it's about the best manually operated scale going and to my knowledge, still made by Ohaus.

There is nothing wrong with the Lee scale, it's just a very basic scale without oil dampening. It is, however, highly accurate. I'd consider it a freebie in the kit and like any kit, there often is a freebie that you may or may not want. One thing it will do though is, it will weigh powder accurately.

Dave

Idano
January 14, 2007, 09:04 PM
meef if you want a mechanical scale I agree with Dave that the RCBS 10-10 scale is probably the best for the money. However, you might want to consider in vesting in a good digital scale. I find that my digital scale settles much quicker then my RCBS mechanical scale and if you shop around you can find them for the same price as the 10-10. I purchased a Cabalas for $48 on sale and I use it exclusively.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 14, 2007, 09:29 PM
Idano,

Are you talking about the XT 1500 scale? The one that has a 2.5 rating out of a possible 5 and costs 80 bucks off sale?

Idano
January 15, 2007, 09:14 PM
Dave the model number on mine is EG1500 so I don't know if it is the same or not. The controls are the same but my calibration weights are in the back corners and there wasn't a case or a cover with mine. I have tested mine against my 10-10 and it is dead on even trickled power across a full grain it tracked my RCBS exactly. Now I hope you don't have bad news about my cabala's digital scales, I was just starting to overlook the fact that you're a turret press person. Just kidding about the turret press, but if you're aware of a problem with the Cabalas scale let me know I just recommended it to meef

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
January 15, 2007, 09:47 PM
Idano,

I got curious after you recommended a Cabella's scale and went to their website to look. They only had the XT 1500 and the Cabella's customer ratings weren't too consistent, with it either being rated really bad or really good, hence the 2.5 overall rating by the Cabella's customers. That's why I asked to confirm which one, since I was suprised you were recommending a scale with that kind of up and down rating.

Based on the model number change since you bought yours, it sounds like they've changed the scale and the new model is inconsistent quality wise, which is unfortunate, as it sounds like yours is a good one and I was interested. I keep hoping somebody will come up with an electronic measure that is reasonably priced, dependable and has consistent quality from unit to unit. But every brand I've seen has just had too many people complaining about it online somewheres.

BTW, you do realize I own a Lock N Load as well as the turret press. I like em both, the turret is just more economical for low round counts and lotsa caliber changes. But when I wanna crank them out, I fire up the Hornady.

Regards,

Dave

Idano
January 15, 2007, 10:24 PM
Dave I know you own both, I was just giving you a hard time about the turret press. I think the real problem with the digital scales is the people don't know how to operate them correctly. They have to warmed up before calibrating and they must be calibrated every time before they are used and they can not be moved with recalibrating. They are sensitive to vibration and air flow they are more stable using a battery instead of the AC adapter. My scale was a customer return and it read ERR on power up. The problem was that whoever bought it didn't know how to calibrate it and through off the internal calibration table. I had to walk it back into the capture range by cheating the zero calibration. Once I got it calibrated correctly it has been great, stable as a rock and it settles faster then my RCBS 10-10, Using the powder measure I like to see exactly how much my charge truly does vary and since I started using the RCBS powder baffle in my Uniflow Powder Measure I am not seeing any fluctuation on ball powder and only an occasional .1 grain on flake. I check my loads ever 25 cartridges and remember my scale has only .1 gr resolution so what I am seeing is probably less. Even though the customer ratings are erratic I would still recommend a digital scale I think most of them are made by PACT and most of the issues have probably been user induced.

Master Blaster
January 16, 2007, 10:19 AM
Do you have flourescent lights near your bench? I the heater or the refrigerator on the same circuit as the wall socket you plan to plug the electronic scale into?

If so you will have problems.

Gravity is, on the other hand, consistent from one day to the next.

Idano
January 16, 2007, 05:57 PM
Master Blaster

I have a fluorescent light as the main source of light in the room, my reloading room is only 8'X8' room. The circuit is on garage and it has a GFI and freezer connected. They could be a source of the fluctuations for sure I guess I will have to look into a line conditioner. Thanks for the suggesting the possible causes it will give me somthing to work on.

jenrob
December 18, 2007, 05:31 PM
Dave in your price info you should take into considiration that you get 1000rnds of Hornady XTP with the press That would take $160-170 off the price. That puts them within about 80 bucks of each other and for $80 I think I would get the Hornady then buy a Redding big boss II just like the way it ejects the primers into a jug much cleaner and will take the LNL conversion kit this way you can use the LNL set up on you single stage press.

jenrob
December 18, 2007, 05:38 PM
meef where are you located in Oregon I'm in eastern Oregon and would be more than hppy to let you try out my LNL if you would like

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