Hornady users, powder thru expander, powder check, and sequence


September 20, 2008, 11:44 PM
How do you have your five stations set up for pistol? How about revolver, any different?

Do you use any sort of powder check in one of the stations to check for proper fill in the case? Which one, and how do you like it?

Last time I researched the hornady powder through expanders there were very mixed reviews on how well they worked. What is the latest on these, do you use them and do they work ok?


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September 21, 2008, 01:02 PM
I reload .45 ACP and .44 Mag currently on my LnL AP (will be reloading some .308 in the future)... I use Hornady Dies for the Pistol Cartridges...

For autopistol cartridges that headspace on the case mouth (like .45ACP, 9MM, .40S&W, etc.): Resizer / Decapper in Station 1, Powder Measure w/ Powder-Thru expander in Station 2, Hornady Powder Cop in Station 3, Bullet Seater (adjusted for NO crimp) in Station 4, and Taper Crimp die (adjusted to just flatten the belling out on the case) in Station 5.

For revolver cartridges: Resizer / Decapper in Station 1, Powder Measure in Station 2, Expander Die in Station 3, Powder Cop in Station 4, and Bullet Seater in Station 5 (normally adjusted to put a heavy crimp on my .44 Mag loads).

The powder-thru expanders work fine... I believe they redesigned them a year or so ago... but I just bought my press and everything else only about 4 or 5 months ago. They can be a little sticky sometimes (depends on the case), but if you have a solid bench, it's no problem. When possible, I do like using a separate expander, but given I've gotten best results reloading .45ACP with a separate taper crimp die (Hornady), I use the powder thru expander exclusively with that caliber.

The Hornady Powder cop could use some work; with fine powders, the indicator rod tends to sink through the powder, thus it doesn't work that well with many of my .45ACP and .44 Magnum loads. I eyeball every charge anyway before I seat the bullet. I think I'm going to make up a "foot" to go on the rod to keep it from sinking into the powder... they really should redesign the thing, with lighter material for the indicator rod, and possibly with a plastic or metal piece on the powder end to spread out the forces.

September 21, 2008, 01:21 PM
I've found the RCBS lock out die to work much better than the Hornady powder cop die on my LnL. Other than that, my results are pretty much dead on with Dedon45 is describing. I do tend to load more rifle than pistol though, simply because I have more rifle calibers than pistol and shoot more rifle. I can load enough pistol in one setting to last a year for me. Keeping me in stock for rifle calibers is another story, especially .223 and .308. That's where the Hornady LnL really shines, as it's roundout in rifle cartridges is excellent.


September 21, 2008, 08:27 PM
The lock-out die comes with small and large tips, but they don't interchange easily. I bought two of them, one for 38/357/10mm, the other for 41/44/45. Wouldn't load without them anymore.

September 21, 2008, 09:18 PM
So you guys have good results with the Lock-out die and fine powders (like AA#5, HS-6, H110, etc.)? If so, it sounds like I need to get one!

September 21, 2008, 09:51 PM
I have the powder check, but rarely use it. I have powder through expanders for all .355, .400, .430 calibers, they work great.

As for my LnL setup, If I remember it correctly:

I only use Hornady dies.

Station one - resizer / decapper die (always)
Station two - die that flares the mouth of case (if the powder through die isn't used)
Station three - Powder drop (always)
Station four - bullet seat / crimper die (for .44 mag)
Station five - bullet taper die (for autos only, taper in separate operation)

Today I reloaded 200 .44 mag and some I tuned down to "44 Special +P" - didn't have a die in station five.

Hope this makes since, I works well for me.


September 28, 2008, 01:32 AM
Thanks for the replies. Can someone explain the mechanics of the rcbs lockout die? I assume there is some way to set min/max level on the die and that there is a plunger which checks the powder level in the case as the ram is at the top of its stroke? How does the die stop the press from working when it senses an over or under charge?

As far as the hornady powdercop, it is a passive check, visual only? If that is the case, when you are loading and you are looking at case fill do you also look directly at the powdercop for each case as well? In other words, for each case do you need to move your eyes between the case fill and the powdercop or are they both in view during the process?

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