Hornady LNL powder issues


July 4, 2011, 06:22 PM
Anyone else had problems with their LNL ap press throwing inconsistent powder charges?. I purchased the press new last summer and have had issues from day one even after cleaning the case activated powder drop,powder measure tube & pistol rotor at least a half dozen times with hornady oneshot dry lube as well as non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner to make sure I've removed the anti-rust tarnish film that hornady applied at the factory.

My powder problem begins when I try to run the press as a progressive
(shell in each station) then eveything goes to hell.For example I have the press set-up for 9mm using winchester 231 powder. I verify the set-up charge using a single cartridge that throws 4.2 grains consistenly validated on two different calibrated electronic scales.

Then run 20 shells through the press as a progressive and this is the results I get.......

1 4.52 gr 2 6.20 3 2.32 4 4.36 5 4.80 6 4.04 7 4.50 8 1.0 9 8.00 10 7.9 11 3.34 12 5.30 13 3.96 14 3.66 15 3.88 16 3.88 17 3.92
18 4.72 19 4.72 20 4.32

As you can see this is a big problem since the max load per the speer # 14 manual is (4.5gr) using 124 gr hp bullets.Win 231 powder meters very well and before I start loading I usually run some powdered graphite through the hopper.........I tried using a spare hornady powder dispenser as well as a RCBS with the same results.I've had hornady send me another 9mm shell plate thinking it maybe warped but it didn't help.

I'd had a few squib loads with the bullet lodged in the barrel and at this point I just don't feel confident using the press without weighing every single round :banghead:

What's worse is I purchased a hornady case feeder that sits on the floor of my reloading room because I can't use it with this press........ Anyone with any ideas what's going on I'm all ears and would appreciate any help.:fire:

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July 4, 2011, 06:41 PM
Hi mckey-

Sorry you are having problems.

I tried to see if there was a pattern in the sequence of your powder drops.

Specifically, I was trying to see if heavy drops followed light drops.

Thinking one step at a time, if you have consistent drops while setting up (maybe 10 in a row), but inconsistent while loading progressively, I think that the powder(for whatever reason) is hanging up in the drop tube/bushing.

If it was bridging in the hopper, you would only get light drops, never heavy.

I suggest loading progressively as a test, but absolutely confirm that there is no powder stuck downstream of the rotor after every drop, maybe by tapping on it or sticking a thin straw up the tube.

If there IS powder hanging up in the tube, my guess is that you will be able to work out a solution pretty quick.

A final thought is to try a different batch of 231 if you have not already.

Good luck!


July 4, 2011, 07:12 PM
Very strange, as W231 meters well.

Did you get all the oil etc out of the measure and that drop tube expander thing it uses?

W231 should meter +/1 .1 Gr.

Are you using the large insert meant for rifle charges?

Welcome to THR

July 4, 2011, 07:44 PM
My powder measure drops almost dead on round after round. As per the above post, do you have the pistol rotor and insert in your powder measure? If you do, then I would call Hornady tech support and let them resolve the problem.

July 4, 2011, 08:02 PM
Win 231 meters very consistently in my LNL. Actually it meters very consistently in ANY powder measure. Could it be you are inconsistent in the operation or your press? I have found that if I momentarily pause (like 1/2 - 1 second) at the bottom of each press stroke; this gives time for your charger to flow from the powder measure thru the powder die and into the case. If you you try to go too fast you can "short change" your powder drop without realizing it. Try to be consistent and "pause" at the bottom of your lever throw.
It's worth a try.

Another thought! Are you sure you are using the PISTOL ROTOR you powder measure? You have nothing but problems if you try to throw those lite charges with a Rifle Rotor.

July 4, 2011, 08:24 PM
nofishbob, thanks for taking the time to respond to my dilemma, My first diagnosis was that maybe the powder funnel case expander used in the station 2 powder drop to flare the case mouth and free up space for the RCBS lock-out die was putting too much pressure on the shell plate but I've since gotten the hornady PTX powder through expander with the measure stop with no improvement.

I usually take the powder measure apart every other loading and clean the rotor, case activated powder drop & drop tube......I've even went the extra step by putting the pistol rotor and drop tube in my vibratory case cleaner with walnut hulls thinking I may has missed some of the preservent flim.

I've tried different powders with no changes for example I set-up a powder charge of 4.0 gr Bulleyes and ran 10 cartridges in single stage manually indexing the shell through each station........

1 4.10 6 4.10
2 4.10 7 4.18
2 4.10 8 4.20
3 4.16 9 4.10
4 4.08 10 4.08

same set-up but ran 20 cartridges as progressive with shell in station here's the results.....

1 2.30 6 4.00 11 3.02 16 6.16
2 7.18 7 5.44 12 4.32 17 4.10
3 3.72 8 2.26 13 4.10 18 4.88
4 3.16 9 2.36 14 4.90 19 2.12
5 4.10 10 5.14 15 3.16 20 1.04

I find this very weird that it throws consistent charges with a single cartridge indexed through each station but as soon as theirs a shell in the first three stations the throws are eradicate.

I went throught the die set-set again using the hornady instructional DVD thinking I might have made a mistake but everything is set-up correct.

July 4, 2011, 08:33 PM
I had inconsistent powder drops with mine, until I realized I didnt have a pistol rotor, and was trying to load 9mm with the standard rotor insert.

Here is a pic of the pistol rotor, yours should look like this.


July 4, 2011, 08:45 PM
Yes that's the pistol rotor I use I also have the micrometer metering insert I've tried.http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc466/mckey255/DSC_0004-3.jpg[/IMG]

wild willy
July 4, 2011, 08:59 PM
Is the bracket around the spring something new?

July 4, 2011, 09:03 PM
If you take the powder measure off the press and operate it manually does the problem go away?

July 4, 2011, 09:13 PM
I too got a L-N-L last year and had two squibs and one obvious overcharge. Blew my extractor off a SIG 226. I'm loading CLAYS for 40 Minor. I determined that my powder measure wasn't tight. I called the factory and they sent me a thin spacer to put under the powder measure bushing. By the way, I have installed a RCBS powder check die. It will stop the press if you get a double charge or a squib.

July 4, 2011, 11:37 PM
Take the bracket off unless you are using PTX dies. Are you sure the rotor is going all the way to the top?

July 4, 2011, 11:53 PM
It looks like he is using PTX. Looks like a powder cop in the next station.
One thing to check, My oal's would vary when i set the seating die with only a shell in that station. Once all stations had shells, my OAL change because of the pressure differences on the shellplate. Once i set it with shells in all stations, it worked itself out. Maybe try ditching the PTX and seat/crimp in the same station for a test?

Its interesting. Ill ponder on it tonight/tomorrow.

July 5, 2011, 01:26 AM
Oh right raddiver. I see the separate crimper in there now.

Is the rotor traveling all the way to the top?

July 5, 2011, 03:52 AM
As said, consistency of operation is important.

With my L-N-L, I find the rotor in the powder measure sticks when squeaky clean and causes erratic charges and operation. I have cleaned off all of Hornady's rust preventative but now spritz a little dry lube on the face of the drum. It smoothest out the operation. Make sure you allow the carrier to flash off before adding powder to the measure.

In theory, the graphite coating on the powder would provide the lubrication and maybe in time, mine will be there. So, another point, once all the wet lubricant is removed, I would not clean the parts of your measure.

I find a powder baffle important with the use of a drum style measure. Make sure the openings in the baffle do not line up with the cavity in the drum. A line drawn between the two openings in the baffle should be parallel with the rotational axis of the drum. I have been playing with two baffles in my Hornady measure, the second spaced about an inch above the lower one. But, except for the feel good factor, I am not sure the second baffle has a noticeable benefit.

Some folks operate their measures just fine without the baffle.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 5, 2011, 11:05 AM
Is the bracket around the spring something new?
It's for the PTX (Powder Through Expanders) that go into the quick change die on the case activated powder drop instead of the stock bushings. The use of the PTX allows powder and belling at the same time. The bracket (officially called the PTX Powder Measure Stop, part number 290049) supports this by not allowing the drum and insert to over rotate placing an undue stress on the linkage. It acts as a stop and you can use the adjustment screws on the stop to adjust the belling of the case. The stop is not required but it will prevent excess stress on the linkage.

I had a problem setting up my 9mm. I had to adjust the level of the mounting clamp on the powder measurer to allow the placement of the bracket. Once that was accomplished, I was able to adjust satisfactorily the belling that takes place by adjusting the screws on the stop. You have to be careful though because it can cause the drum not to rotate fully.

July 5, 2011, 01:22 PM
As mentioned, make sure the rotor is traveling to top and dumping the full charge out of the rotor.

Mine will wiggle loose and eventually, if not watched, will completely "unlock", allowing the case to lift the powder thrower/bushing out of the press, this also changes the charge weight.

In my LnL, 231 is very consistent, +/- .1 gr at most, but usually dead nuts on. I, however, do not use the ptx setup.

I am also curious to know, as asked by another member, if you remove the thrower and manually dump some charges, do they weight consistently out of the press?


July 5, 2011, 03:45 PM
FWIW, my LnL powder measure is remarkably consistent, even with extruded rifle powders. It's even dead on with Trail Boss. The only powder I've tried so far that has given it trouble is Unique, and even then it was nothing crazy.

I don't use the powder-through expanders. I got the powderfunnels.com one, but even then it was too annoying to dial it in for each caliber--and I prefer to do each step as separately as possible.

July 5, 2011, 03:46 PM
I am also curious to know, as asked by another member, if you remove the thrower and manually dump some charges, do they weight consistently out of the press?

This is the big question.

July 5, 2011, 04:27 PM
No I never tried to disconnect the case activate powder linkage and manually dump powder in the shell.I did try running the press without the powder funnel or PTX expander in the powder drop tube just using the hornady expander die in station #2 before the powder drop and no change.

The press is boxed up and being shipped back to hornady I'll let them figure it out.......my patience has wore thin and I'm tried of messing with it:banghead:.

Thanks to all that took the time to offer suggestions and advice.I'll post an update after I get the press back from hornady

July 5, 2011, 04:38 PM
You wouldn't have to remove the capd linkage. Just unlock it in its' bushing and tip the rotor to dump a charge into a scale pan.

Sorry we couldn't get it worked out.

Please keep us updated.


wild willy
July 5, 2011, 05:23 PM
I don't have PTX stop.Have the regular powder insert.Would have liked to had a picture with the press handle down. Any one of you with the micrometer insert where his is set at look right for around 4.1 of 231.Shame you boxed it up lot of good help on here.I think we could have worked it out.

July 5, 2011, 05:33 PM
Do you have the Pistol Piston installed or the Rifle one. When I bought mine years ago it only came with the rifle.

The PTX can cause problems if it's not full stroking. Hornady redesign the PTX for the 9mm. Their original design would not go deep enough in the brass to expand properly. So confirm you have the newer design. The old design had to be cut down and a cone spacer added to make up the difference.

July 5, 2011, 05:51 PM
Here's a few pics I took last week when I was in contact with hornady support a few show the press in the up position.http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc466/mckey255/DSC_0009-2.jpg[/IMG]





wild willy
July 5, 2011, 06:08 PM
Do you have any of the powder measure when the handles down

HK SD9 Tactical
July 5, 2011, 06:15 PM
That powder through die under the Powder Drop with the PTX insert looks like it is screwed down too much - as seen in picture 11-2. Can't say for sure as I have only loaded 9mm on my LnL but with that much thread showing, its got to be hitting the shell plate.

July 5, 2011, 06:29 PM
Unfortunately I don't.......but believe me I tried two other powder drops and extra hornady and a RCBS with the same results and as my load data I posted shows it throws a consistent charge with a single cartridge.The problems start when theirs more then one cartridge in the shell plate........

HK SD9 Tactical
July 5, 2011, 06:32 PM
Gremlins - has to be!

wild willy
July 5, 2011, 06:35 PM
Was your powder measure insert going the whole way to the top in the slot on your powder measure

July 5, 2011, 07:03 PM
Yea that's the depth of the powder measure that is screwed down in order for the metering dial
to fully rotate to the top of the slot in the powder measure body.

Crunchy Frog
July 5, 2011, 07:46 PM
When I ordered my press the factory was out of powder measure stops. There was a slip in the box telling me to call customer service if I needed one.

At first I used an expansion die. Later when I purchased shellplates and PTX inserts for 9mm and .45 ACP I called and got one.

The instructions say to set up the powder measure normally. Then install the powder stop bracket and tighten it as needed until you get the desired amount of flare. I am mainly loading lead bullets so I give it several turns. When I do this it throws my adjustment off as the measure does not cycle all the way to the top.

Anyone else have this issue?

Master Blaster
July 6, 2011, 08:05 AM
My experience over 5 years of use:

When I first got my LNL I tried the pistol rotor and found the hole is too small. I suffered bridging with the powders I use for handgun (including 231 and tightgroup although they sufferred bridging less frequently than unique or trailboss), and that resulted in squibb loads, which is unacceptable and dangerous. I use the rifle rotor for all my powders. I also found that to come within .2 on each throw (most are .1 with the baffle) I needed to use a baffle in the powder resevoir tube. The rifle rotor with micrometer insert works OK for charges as small as 5.2 grains of W231. It sounds to me like you are either sufferring bridging on each throw, or some of the powder is sticking in the drop tube (unlikely). You could try tapping the measure with a dowel a few times on the downward (handle in down position) stroke of the handle, and if you get a large throw each time its bridging, if not I would suspect the drop tube and insert bushing have a misalignment.

Since I could never get the belling to work right for .45 acp and I switch between lead and JSWC I use a belling die in station 3, its easier to get correct belling that way. Since I TAPER crimp seperately I use a crimp die in 5, so that means no powder check die, I visually inspect each case with a strong light before I place a bullet.

I am tempted to put a dillon slide measure install a .45 powder funnel belling insert and safety return spring on my LNL for .45 acp pistol. I also have a 550B in addition to my LNL, and the slide style measure has never thrown a squibb in 11 years of use, and also is more consistent at throwing small powder charges.


Master Blaster
July 6, 2011, 11:29 AM
I had inconsistent powder drops with mine, until I realized I didnt have a pistol rotor, and was trying to load 9mm with the standard rotor insert.

Here is a pic of the pistol rotor, yours should look like this.

BTW that was picture is the Insert not the ROTOR, the Rotor is the big drum thing that rotates inside the powder measure body, it has the linkage screwed to it. If you are using the Pistol metering insert with the Rifle rotor, that could cause a big problem as the insert for pistol is designed for the pistol rotor which has a much smaller cavity /hole than the rifle rotor, and is hence smaller, and would not fully block the larger cavity in the rifle rotor!!!!!

Here is a picture of the rotor with the insert in it!!!


Here is the insert alone:


Using the handgun insert with the larger rifle rotor would cause the problem you are describing.

July 6, 2011, 02:29 PM
I mentioned that in post 23 about the rotor's. I had a friend having the same problem and he had the Rifle Rotor installed (this is the factory default) with the pistol micrometer head. The best he could do was 0.2gr swing. Once he installed the correct rotor (Pistol for < 15gr charges) every thing was dead on.

July 6, 2011, 03:12 PM
The more I think about this, the more it seems like the problem has to be AFTER the rotor.

Here's why: if all of the drops were either accurate or light, there could be a problem with bridging in the hopper, incomplete filling of the rotor, or incomplete dumping of the rotor.

This is not the case, as there are heavier than desired drops, usually right after light drops. The powder is hanging up in the PTX or the drop tube.

I do not see how too much powder (nearly a double charge in some examples) could ever drop into the rotor cavity!

All this talk about pistol rotors and micrometer inserts does not answer the question of how the OP sees 8.00 grains when the rotor was set to deliver 4.2 grains. 8.00 grains will not fit in a rotor cavity set for 4.2 grains no matter what combination of inserts there are!


As a check of the above, the average charge from the OP' 20 drops is 4.017 grains, slightly less overall than desired, but indicative, I think, that the light charges have some powder hanging up downstream of the rotor that then drops out on later cycles.

Master Blaster
July 6, 2011, 07:55 PM
If you had the rifle rotor installed and the pistol micrometer/ insert.The insert only partially fills the part of the hole it should cover.The powder would bridge over the top of the insert sometimes, other times powder will get stuck behind the insert, and varrying amounts will fall out on each drop sometimes. So now you have a cavity that has 10 grains of powder in it and drops 2,4,8 grains depending on how much gets caught behind the insert, and how much falls out. When there are no other cases in the press its consistant because there is not enough vibration to dislodge the powder in the cavity.

July 6, 2011, 10:24 PM
>>I needed to use a baffle in the powder resevoir tube <<

My new LnL AP arrived today and it included a baffle. Since the instructions for it were printed on a separate sheet, my guess is that inclusion of the baffle is a recent change.

wild willy
July 18, 2011, 12:12 PM
mckey hear anything from Hornady yet?

July 26, 2011, 04:37 PM
Well I got the press back from hornady last friday and finally got some free time to set the press back up and throw some charges.The fellow that worked on the press left a note saying that he tried the powder measure a few times and it threw a consistent charge for him.......

They did change the primer guide rod that I had bent and the primer shuttle seems smoother now.I seem to have a problem with static electricty my reloading room is a spare bedroom that's carpeted as well as the rest of the house.I noticed as soon as I poured the powder into the plastic powder hopper I had powder sticking to the sides immediately.I set the press up to load .45 ACP using 4.0 grains of bulleye throwing 4 charges into the pan I get just under 16 grains.

I loaded about 100 rounds without the use of the case feeder and rechecked again @ 60 rounds and still throwing 4.0 grains.:) On thing I noticed I seem to get a more accurate powder reading when I use the lyman gold plated powder pan on my digital scales rather than just using an empty primed cartridge........

Hopefully this winter I'll rip out the carpet in my reloading room and install either a cork floor or maybe the interlocking rubber tile from lowes I haven't decided between the two yet.Until then think a rubber mat or maybe a ground rod and wire to ground the press would help ?

I found a cool flexible LED light @ the local harbor frieght store I think I only paid $ 7.99 it works great.... I've got it strapped to the press with a zip tie and it cast a good beam of light directly into the shell case @ station # 3 so I can clearly see the powder level now.http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc466/mckey255/DSC_0001-1.jpg



July 26, 2011, 09:31 PM
Always use your scale pan to weigh powder. Dump the powder from the case into the pan and once weighed, pour back into the case. Cases will vary slightly in weight and give you misleading readings. Also, get some anti static laundry sheets and completely wipe down the powder measure to eliminate the static clinging of powder in the measure. Do this whenever you start to see powder sticking to the measure.

July 27, 2011, 02:05 PM

I did the same thing with the same light - works great.


July 28, 2011, 12:34 AM
Plus 1 on the dryer sheets.

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