Hornady Lock n Load, All set up


Master Blaster
January 29, 2007, 08:49 AM
This weekend having recieved all of my LNL parts, I attached the press to my bench and adjusted the LNL and started loading .45 acp.
Its working pretty well, I have set mine up with the powder measure in station two.
I am using the through powder belling insert so it bells the case mouth when the powder is dropped. There is one gottcha with this device, I found that the powder die had to be adjusted down till its almost touching the shell holder to get a reliable powder drop and fully bell the case mouth on a .45 acp case.

I am using the pistol powder rotor on the powder measure. The rotor must move through its full range of motion in order to get a full powder charge and to drop it and reliably bell the case mouth. If the micrometer doesnt fully cycle to the top of the slot in the measure then the belling doesn't happen, if it doesnt hit the stop at the bottom then I get a partial powder charge. So I had to make a few adjustments to the height of the case activated powder drop so it would hit the bottom, and screw the die in till it almost touches the shell plate so it will cam a tiny bit at the top.

I suspect with a taller .45 case like the .45 colt the die could be backed out a good bit and still bell. If one is loading .45 gap using this belling insert it may not bell the case since .45 acp seems to be the shortest case it will work with. (note this may be fixable by adding a short drop tube above the belling tube).

I did have a problem with the primer slide sticking in the rearward position. A little polishing and some dry lube seems to have fixed this. I am also using the primer alarm rod from my 550 to keep downward pressure on the primers. It seems that you dont want to let the primer magazine fall below 5 primers or the primers will cant slightly and cause the primer slide to jam in the rearward position.

The indexing was spot on from the factory on my press which came from Graffs and has a serial number above 10500. My ejection works great.

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Plastic Cowboy
January 29, 2007, 12:17 PM
Great review!!
Please keep us posted as you find qwirks and problem solutions!!


January 29, 2007, 03:12 PM
I have been dealing with Hornady for about a month on the powder-through-expander issue you are having. The same problem exists with the .355 expander as well. It may very well be the powder measure that is the culprit. There are some manufacturing inconsistencies that are causing the issue. I am waiting for a call back from their engineering department today. When I find out more I'll post here.


Master Blaster
January 29, 2007, 03:51 PM
Empyrean, I did not see the belling thing as an issue, its just the way it works, they designed it for all .45 cases rifle and pistol, some cases are just shorter than others.

On yours did you screw the powder die down till its almost touching the shell plate?, if you did and you are still not belling the case, then add the shortest rifle tube in the mix above the belling tube, and crank the powder die up a ways. Then you will bell and drop powder. Its really not thet different than the Dillon measure and drop belling tube, in that the measure has to cam a bit at the top to create the bell, with the dillon, the taper on the belling tube is more aggressive so you can make the case mouth look like a trumpet if you overdo it.

Once you set the powder die down far enough to bell the case, you may then have to adjust the part of the case activated drop thats around the measure threaded part down so the actuator arm that rotates the rotor cycles all the way to the bottom when the ram is lowered, but no so far that it prevents the rotor from camming a bit at the top.

January 29, 2007, 05:55 PM
I called Greg at Hornady. He tells me there is a problem in the manufacturing of the powder measure. It is out of spec. The distance between the center of the rotor and the bottom end of the powder measure threading is inconsistent. They are creating a new fixture and will begin manufacturing new models that will be more consistently in spec. It will be about a month.

With the .355 expander, you can screw the powder die so it kisses the shellplate and no belling occurs. You should not have to adjust the locking collar on the powder measure to achieve this. I'll keep you guys updated if I get something that works well.


January 29, 2007, 11:32 PM
Thanks for the info I too tried the belling with the powder measure and ended upsending them back.I flat could not make them work with my old measure.I got the updated linkage kit an still no go.Great to hear maybe there is a fix.
Keep us posted.I think the AP is a great overall machine it still is being perfected.

January 30, 2007, 09:38 AM
AJ- let's hope they retro ours with the new ones!

Master Blaster
January 30, 2007, 01:44 PM
The real problem here is that the powder measure is designed to be used manually with a crank handle. They then added a rube goldberg like case activated powder drop that causes the whole 5 lb assembly with its 4 arms to booggy woogie up and down like a drunk stripper.:D This movement should jiggle the powder and result in consistent powder drops.

They really need to make up a powder measure that is designed for an automatic indexing progressive press from the get go.

Last night I loaded up 100 rounds, and I had 15 squib loads where I got 1/4 of the powder charge in the case:barf:. I am visually inspecting each round, so I caught them all. I am using the pistol rotor, with my Trailboss load. I think the high volume and large grain size of the 5.0 grain load is too much for the pistol rotor since it almost completely fills the cavity with the micrometer screwed all the way out. The small diameter of the cavity is causing some bridging to happen intermitently. The next case after the short charged one is not overcharged but spot on, so its not sticking in the drop tubes. Tonight I will switch to the rifle rotor, its larger diameter cavity should solve the problem.

Master Blaster
January 31, 2007, 12:03 PM
Last night I put in the rifle rotor and was able to acheive a consistent reliable charge with trailboss for 70 rounds in a row!!! and the case belling remained the same with a different rotor.

Unfortunately I had about 10 missing primers out of the 70 I reloaded in a row.

If anyone has any tips on making the primer feed reliable I would love to hear them.


January 31, 2007, 12:34 PM
How are you getting primmer feed issues? I ask because in over 10,000 rounds through my Hornady AP primer feeding has never been and issue. Is the slide hanging up and not going back in under shell plate or does the slide go back and simply not pick up a primer?

One reason I might not have primer feed issues is because I use a 1/8" brass rod with a washer swagged at top to indicate the when the primer tube is empty. The rod sits on top of the primers and when the washer touches the plastic rim the last primer has been fed. I now have an RCB low Primer alarm but I use my original brass rod I made since it is longer then the rod that came with the alarm; it would trip the alarm when there was still 7 primers in the tube.

I have read where Dillon users claim that a dowel rod similar to what I am doing resolves their primer feed issues it might help.

Master Blaster
January 31, 2007, 12:56 PM
Is the slide hanging up and not going back in under shell plate or does the slide go back and simply not pick up a primer?

Both issues, I had one hang up which was resolved by tapping the slide, I attribute this to a squewed primer, But apparently on 10 of 70 cases it did not pick up a primer.

I am already using the plastic rod from my Dillon low primer alarm, so maybe a piece of heavier brass rod will alleviate the problem I will try that tonight.


January 31, 2007, 01:13 PM
Master Blaster,

If you haven't already, take the shell plate off and remove the spring on the primer slide and move it back and forth with your finger and see if you feel any roughness. I suspect there might be a rough spot that the slide is hanging up on. You also need to check the primer punch and make sure that it is dropping below the slide, it is possible that there could be a piece grit preventing the sprig from pulling it all the way down. Also check and see if the hole in the primer slide is aligned with the primer tube. and if not adjust the cam wire. If all that is good the only other thing I can think of is there a burr on your primer tube or the housing assembly that is preventing the primer from dropping freely into the slide.

January 31, 2007, 01:28 PM
I put a Redding 10X on my old Hornady prgressive and used the Hornady linkage etc. to hook it up. I had to reverse the drum in the measure and make an adapter for the linkage hookup. I also cut my own brass "funnel" which goes into the bottom of the drop tube which holds the measure. The bottom of it sits on the mouth of a 9mm or a .38 and drops all the way into a .40 or .45. I cut it on a lathe and it works better than the ones that came with the press. It will work with all calibers.

January 31, 2007, 03:02 PM
I suspect it is debris in the area where the primer slide operates. Junk falls in and there is no place for it to go except get in the way of the primer slide somehow. I keep a can of compressed air to blow out that area in case of a powder spill or the primer slide can't get far enough into the subplate (blocked by debris).

I'd try cleaning (and checking for burrs, rough spots, etc.) before going to a heavier rod. I use a small diameter wooden dowel to monitor primer levels and haven't had primer feed problems. The plastic rod from the dillon low primer alarm should be perfect. The danger of a really heavy rod is dropping it into the primer magazine tube holding only a few primers; the rod could fall fast enough to act as a firing pin.

January 31, 2007, 03:41 PM

I wasn't going to post on this one and bust on ya, but since you said anyone, I'm going to post and help ya with the primer problem. Your answers as to "whys" below:

"Last night I put in the rifle rotor and was able to acheive a consistent reliable charge with trailboss for 70 rounds in a row!!! and the case belling remained the same with a different rotor."

Didn't I post before I'd been using the same rotor, the one that came with my LnL powder measure (the rifle rotor), to load rifle and pistol for the 6 years since I bought the press? There was a reason for telling ya this ya know. I hope you did buy the rifle micrometer insert. This is what really lends precision and ease to the powder measure adjustments.

You're loading .45ACP, you didn't and are likely never to need the pistol rotor. I've loaded 9MM, .45ACP and 7.62 X 25MM for years with just the "standard rotor that came with the press." The pistol rotor's volume seems more suitable to .32 ACP and such, hence why I never bought it. I did, however, call Hornady to get that volume before deciding not to buy it. Can't remember the numbers this many years later, but they didn't make sense for the calibers I was planning on reloading.

On the belling thing: Once the CAPD mechanism is adjusted properly, it doesn't require much additional adjustment, unless something internal to the powder die is changed, such as the case height and the expander insert. How do I know this, since I don't own one? I modified the original CAPD to work with Lyman M-die inserts. I'm buying the new one, but only because I'm adding a CAPD to my Lee Classic Turret I'm using for low volume stuff, so I need to get a second one for convenience. Heck, I may have to buy more of those powder die bases, since I'll be using turrets, dang.

"Unfortunately I had about 10 missing primers out of the 70 I reloaded in a row. If anyone has any tips on making the primer feed reliable I would love to hear them."

It's slightly out of adjustment. You have a timing issue. When your primer slide/carrier is backed away from the shellplate during operation, the slide is not passing underneath the stack of primers at the right time.

How to fix? The adjustments are simple, but may or may not be obvious to some.

1. First, polish the primer slides and the track they run in with something that'll smooth out any potential machining rough spots that may or may not be there. This isn't a gotta do, but doesn't hurt anything and usually helps any machine, regardless of brand, smooth out a little. You'll need to remove the shellplate to do this.

2. Second, remove the primer mechanism from the press except for the primer slide. All that should be left is the primer cam rod, the primer slide and the spring that pulls it. Operate the press with one hand while holding the other hand over the primer slide and observe how the prime slide mechanism is controlled how far back it goes by the camming action of the came wire.

3. Take the primer tube base, nothing else but the base (This is the cast part at the bottom of the primer tube.) and reinstall it on the press while looking down into it. You'll find there's a slight bit of adjustment with the screw that holds it down. You can rotate it slightly in a clockwise/counterclockwise direction. You'll want to cause the primer slide to come underneath the base and then, using a good light, center the hole in the base much as possible over the primer slide.

Note: If you are able to exactly center the hole of the base over the hole in the primer slide, you are done. If not, proceed to step 4.

4. The cam wire is mounted on the top of the press by a plastic "bracket" affair which is held down by a screw. It has some, but not a lot of adjustment there and this is NOT where you want to try to adjust it. Note the adjustment is most likely correct when the plastic bracket is in it's "slot" and the top of the bracket is parallel to the top of the press. However, you can "rotate" the cam wire in the bracket for a slightly different angle, smoothing up the travel and keeping the roller on the primer slider in place better.

The cam wire is mounted on bottom with two small nuts, one of which is on top of the base of the press and one of which is in a recess underneath the press. This is the "correct" place to adjust the cam wire. You can lower the bottom nut (turning it counter clockwise) and then "raise" the cam wire by tightening (clockwise) the nut on top of the press.

5. You can adjust the cam wire by raising it up and down and by rotating it slightly. You may need to lower or raise the cam wire, depending. With the primer tube base installed, operate the press handle, observing the primer slide hole to prime tube base hole alignment to determine if you need to increase or decrease the amount of camming action. Once you've determined if it needs to go out farther or not as far, you can adjust the cam wire appropriately. The objective is to get the primer slide hole to be directly below the primer tube base at the top of the prime slide travel on the cam wire.

With the primer tube base installed and aligned per step 3 above, loosen the nut on the bottom of the base slightly and then tighten (clockwise) or loosen (counterclockwise) the nut on top of the press base, depending on wether you need to lower or raise the camming action. Once you've gotten the primer slider hole aligned with the top night firmly against the top of the press base, tighten the bottom nut. You may want to apply a small drop of blue loctite to the threes by the bottom nut.

Yes, this is not an easy procedure necessarily. The good news is, you'll only have to do it ONCE. Once you do it, all the drama will go out of the primer feed. Very few presses seem to need this, but likely yours is gonna.

Hope this helps,


Master Blaster
February 1, 2007, 08:42 AM
Thanks for the help Dave,

I did check to see if the primer slide has centering under the upper casting, when I first set the press up, it did need a little adjustment to get it exactly in the center. Last night I loaded another 50 and had the primer seating punch sticking up slightly which was stoping the slide from returning all the way forward. I think my problem the other night was due to the primer tube being very rough on the inside, it looks like an old sewer pipe. I ran a couple of patches through it and some small metal shavings came out.

Any tips on getting the primer punch to retract every time? I sprayed it with a little dry lube and that seemed to help.

February 1, 2007, 11:35 AM
Cleaning any reloading press inside and out before operation is generally a good idea, regardless of brand. After all, who knows what preservative oils or maching goodies, critters, etc. any of them have inside? One of my old 550's tubes had a burr at one end of the tube and a spider's nest built right on top of the burr. Was a good thing the spider had died I felt.

For the primer punch issue, call Hornady at 1-800-338-3220 then select option 3.


February 2, 2007, 10:45 AM
I just logged in the 40,000th load on my LnL. I've had some gunk in the primer punch, solved with some gun blaster and a bit of a scrub with a tooth brush.

I did have a little trouble with the primer cam arm migrating due to an under tightened top screw. A slight pull of that arm toward the press will result in the primers not dropping, because the slide doesn't go back under the tube far enough. Agree that the proper place for major adjustment is at the bottom of the cam, but if the top isn't fully forward for normal adjustment you can get that creep. When set up right the primer feed is almost flawless and one of the best features of the LnL.

Need to get some shooting in, running low on empty cases. Put together 1,000 9mm Oregon Laser Cast FP over 4.2 Titegroup and 9mm OLC RN over 4.1 W231. Interested in comparing the recoil, cleanliness and the flash between the two.

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