Do I need a PTX for my Hornady LnL?


June 5, 2011, 01:30 PM
Hello, I'm first-time reloader planning on reloading .45 ACP in a Lock n' Load progressive press. It's all set up, but I want to figure something out before I make some live rounds - could someone please explain the advantages of using a Powder Through Expander? Do I have to use one? Are there drawbacks to NOT using one?

My press came with the "PTX Powder Measure Stop," but of course there isn't any mention of it in the video...

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June 5, 2011, 01:46 PM

I don't use one. I have the PTX's for the calibers I reload but don't use them. I don't need all 5 slots so I expand as a separate step and can still seat and crimp in a different step.

I do not however employ a powder cop die. I prefer to keep my eyes in the center work area as opposed to the top of the press. I check each powder drop before I place a bullet. This is personal preference but works well for me.

June 5, 2011, 01:54 PM
OK, I think I get it. Some people use the slot which I use for expanding the case for something else, so they modify the powder drop such that it expands the case while dropping powder?

June 5, 2011, 01:55 PM
...could someone please explain the advantages of using a Powder Through Expander?It frees up one of your 5 stations which enables you to use a Powder Cop or Lock-out die...which aren't needed either.
I do recommend that you seat and crimp in separate operations.

June 5, 2011, 02:01 PM
I have used them since the time I got my LNL-AP 3+ years ago. It allows you to free up a hole for an additional die/config. Like adding a powder cop or lockout die after the powder dispenser. The only down side is that they are a little tricky to setup. I have Powder dispenser die for each caliber I load. This makes changing caliber faster and easier. Hornady has added a PTX stop to make it a little easier to setup.

1. sizing die
2. powder dispenser w/PTX
3. powder cop/ lock out die
4. bullet seater
5. taper crimp die.

June 5, 2011, 02:16 PM
If you're new to progressives or reloading in general, I'd suggest you start with a conventional expander die and skip the (minor but annoying) setup of a PTX.

As some above, I keep my eyes on the cases after charging - strapped a flexible tip small flashlight to the front post and angled the end over the case station - works well.

Seat and taper in separate steps.

Also, you don't need separate powder dies for each caliber ($20+ or so) ... a lock ring or a couple of different thickness washers above the bushing will vary the height more than enough and very accurately ... I leave my die set for 9mm as it's the shortest I load and have a thick or thin washer, or an RCBS lock ring (thinner than Hornady's), or a Hornady lock ring - with these I can load 357 length cases and everything in between.

June 5, 2011, 07:23 PM
I feel strongly about using the RCBS Lock Out Die on my LNL as a safety precaution. I also seat and crimp in separate stations when loading auto cases. Therefore, I use Hornady PTX Expanders when loading 45 ACP and 9MM. I use a standard expanding die on revolver cases since I crimp and seat in one operation.

June 5, 2011, 07:50 PM
Use of the PTX powder drop depends on what you want your 5 die stations to do as others have said.

I prefer to resize, expand and clean my brass at one time and store the brass away for future reloading. I do this shortly after shooting so that I do not have a large backlog of fired cases.

On reloading, I do use the PTX powder drop but I have turned it down to fit loosely in the case. No belling of the case. Less chance of powder spillage due to the reverse cone spacers that come with the powder measure. I use a powder cop die and prefer to crimp in a separate step from bullet seating.

I lose a little production rate doing it this way but it makes me comfortable with the L-N-L process. I do something similar with my Dillon SDB press.

June 5, 2011, 10:13 PM
i just got a LnL about a month ago, and got a PTX in 9mm, 40SW, 45ACP and 357Mag, and like them all very well, kinda a pain to setup, but worth it. I use Lee Dies
1. Size/Deprime
2. Bell/Powder Charge
3. RCBS Lock Out Die
4. Seat
5. Factory Crimp Die

It works VERY well for me, and i have loaded about 2000 rounds in the last month.

June 6, 2011, 08:16 AM
I recently added a Powder Funnel to my LNL. This was to free up the #2 station (expander die) so that I could put the RCBS Lock Out die in #3 and the powder drop in #2. I wished I hadnt wasted the money on the Hornady Powder Cop, the lock out die is the way to go!!

GW Staar
June 6, 2011, 11:58 AM
If you ever want to add Hornady's bullet feeder to the mix you will probably want to drop and expand in the same station. The need to free up a station is even more important.

BTW when you buy the Bullet Feeder Dies, Hornady INCLUDES a PTX expander in the package, for that particular caliber, to be used with the the PTX expander/case-activated linkage.

Big BTW, (for those who bought PTX systems when they first came out) Hornady came out with improved expanders (new part #'s) and a linkage stop ( that hooks into the case-activated linkage, which finally makes it easy to accurately dial in a specific amount of flare, and importantly, prevents putting stress on powder measure parts. These are now available from Midway USA. They are popular so if they're out of stock order them anyway.
At Midway do an advanced search on "Hornady Quick Change" and you will see all the parts above listed on the same page. (or Click HERE (

The "Quick Change powder die" on the right means you don't need to buy a new powder measure for each caliber to change calibers FAST! I converted all this to my RCBS Pro 2000's Uniflow without issue and can buy a "Quick Change powder die" for each tool head....again...nearly instant caliber change...just readjust the powder measure's mic.

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