Hornady Problem


September 7, 2009, 10:28 PM
I have been loading 223 Rem ammo with my Hornady AP press. After about 500 rounds I have 4 cases that somehow are getting belled on the top when going through the powder measure. Then the bullet will not fit in case. Spills powder every where when this happens and make the case unusable and loss of powder not to mention a loss primer.
I am loading Varget 25gr, Win FMJ 55 bullets, Trim is 1.750, deburred inside and out.
I dont know what is causing this or how to correct it. Any ideas
Dee H.

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David Wile
September 7, 2009, 11:39 PM
Hey Fisherdee,

You mention they are getting belled when going through the powder measure. This brings up a couple of questions to me since I also load .223 on my real old L&L.

First, the pictures seem to show the mouths being rounded inward rather than being belled outward. This would indicate that you are not adjusting your case activated powder measure properly.

Secondly, unless you are using cast bullets, you should have no need to bell the case mouth at all. Maybe I am missing something here and do not understand what you are telling me.

My L&L is a stock one from 1997 and does not have the modern EZ Ject thing, and I think the newer case activated powder measures are somewhat different. However, mine is still an L&L and should be similar to yours.

When I load .223, I use a standard RCBS two die set. I size and deprime at #1 station, reprime on the upstroke, then I charge the case with powder at either #2 or #3 station. I normally use jacketed bullets, so I have no need to bell the mouth. If I were to use a cast bullet, I would use the neck expander/bell die at #2 station before charging at #3 station. I do not use a powder through expander die for anything. I simply use standard dies I have been using for over 40 years.

After charging the case at #3 station, I seat the bullet in #4 station. I simply use my standard seating and crimp die to do this. Usually on .223, there is no need to crimp, but if it has a cannelure and you really want to crimp the bullet, I do it with the seating/crimping die like I have been doing all my loading life. I simply adjust the die in #4 station like I would do in a single stage press. There is nothing magical about it.

From your pictures, I would bet a nickel that you are not adjusting your case activated powder measure properly. It is not hard to do if you follow directions and take your time to figure out the mechanics of the mechanism.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

September 7, 2009, 11:44 PM
You may have the powder drop rotation set so that the shell is jamming the lifter all the way up - ie. too much travel. THe odd slightly longer case is then getting compressed into the drop tube when the powder arm runs out of travel. Raise the whole measure a turn and try it.

David Wile
September 7, 2009, 11:49 PM
Hey Bryan,

From the looks of his case mouths, he is a lot more than one turn too low. I would guess he may also be using the wrong powder drop insert. I have three different length inserts that came with my case activation parts.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

September 8, 2009, 06:49 AM
Could be, except tht it's only 4 cases in 500 so I suspect it's only an adjustment issue - likely 4 that didn't get trimmed.

September 8, 2009, 09:39 AM
I agree with the rest, looks like your case is pushing your powder drop rotor all the way to the top and bottoming it out. There is a slight angle on the face of the powder drop insert to move the case mouth to the center and this is rolling the case mouth inward. Correct asap, this isn't good for your rotor insert either.

September 8, 2009, 12:07 PM
One other thing to check after confirming that everything is properly adjusted is if the powder measure is jamming as it tries to cut the powder.

I have experienced a "crunching" as the rotor is cycled with some long grain powders. On my press, I sloooowly cycled the rotor with and without powder present:with powder-CRUNCH...without powder-smooth.

Although the degree that my cases were being squeezed was less than yours, a simple change to a different powder solved my problem.

Hope this helps.


September 8, 2009, 04:50 PM
thank you for your replies. The cases are crushing inward as in the first reply. I do not bell the 223 cases and believe I have the correct powder drop since only 4 cases in 500 have this problem. I will try to adjust again, as perhaps that is the problem. I was puzzled why only 4 cases. I dont think they were trimmed any different but something was amiss obviously. Other than this minor problem I love the press. I deprime first. then clean primer pockets, clean cases with rcbs trim mate. full length resize and prime with my AP... then trim with a rcbs three way power trimmer which is a breeze. Quick clean to remove excess lube then charge, powder check, seat & crimp and final inspection. The case prep is what takes all the time. All the cases were R-P.

September 8, 2009, 05:09 PM
Any chance it says .222 Rem-Mag on the headstamps?
That right there would do it!


David Wile
September 8, 2009, 05:20 PM
Hey Dee,

In your first post you mentioned that you were reloading .223 cases on your Hornady L&L AP press. Now your last post states that you:

1. deprime first
2. clean primer pockets
3. clean cases
4. resize and prime on the AP
5. then trim cases to length
6. clean lube from cases
7. charge cases and use powder check
8. finally seat and crimp bullets

If you expect to reload your .223 that way all the time, you ought to consider doing it on a single stage press. I can see trimming your cases to the same length after full length sizing the first time, but your really should not have to be trimming your cases again for a long time unless you are really shooting hot loads or shooting your loads in a chamber that is a non-standard size.

On your AP press, once your cases have been trimmed the first time, you should be able to full length size and deprime them in your die located at your 1st station. You would then reprime on the upstroke. The 2nd station would be empty. The 3rd station would charge the cases with the case activated powder measure. If you know how to adjust your powder measure and case activation linkage properly and know how to properly weigh your thrown charges for correctness, you really have no need for a powder cop. Your 4th station would hold your seating and crimping die, and your 5th station would be empty. You can take your finished loads and wipe the lube off with a rag soaked in a solvent. I actually wash my finished loads in gasoline, dry them with a rag, and then put them in a vibratory cleaning machine to clean the brass. If the use of gasoline offends your personal sense of safety, by all means, use Stoddard solvent or whatever to remove the lube.

I still suspect you probably do not know how to properly adjust the case activated powder measure, and you really need to learn how to use your machine and what each of its functions does.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

David Wile
September 8, 2009, 05:22 PM
Hey RC,

Yep, that sure would do it. Never thought of that.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

September 8, 2009, 05:33 PM
.223 & .222 Mag


September 8, 2009, 08:34 PM
I checked the cases.. the cases were all 223 Rem. Whew! had me there for a minute. They were bought as once fired and all were trimmed. I think it is the adjustment. The instructions with the press were just a bit vague I thought. I realize I may be able to skip the trim function next time around but still I like to clean the primer pockets before priming. Probably not necessary but its better than watching TV all the time. I will be loading pistol next, 38spcl. and 45acp. Will get more training on adjusting press then I am sure.
Thank you all for your input. Will be loading lead cast bullets in the 38 for practice and will probably have some questions for those. These will be the first lead cast bullets I have loaded.

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