LnL - Totally appalled at these results


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HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 12:11 AM
I was loading some 9mm RN bullets on my LnL AP and was having difficulty obtaining a stable COAL. So in an effort to get a stable COAL, I decided to seat my bullets with the seating die stem for flat nose bullets figuring that I would at least obtain some semblance of consistency in COAL.

Out of 594 rounds loaded, here are the results of COAL.

476 had a COAL of between 1.156 and 1.164 (I was shooting for 1.160 with +/- .003 but I decided to accept +/- .0045)
25 had a COAL of 1.155
14 had a COAL of 1.154
12 had a COAL of 1.153
20 had a COAL of 1.152
10 had a COAL of 1.151
8 had a COAL of 1.150
and 29 had a COAL of between 1.140 and 1.149

This means that a full 25% of the cartridges I loaded on the LnL AP were out of generally accepted specs (my specs as well) for COAL.:eek:

The LnL AP was set up as follows:

Station 1 Deprime/Size
Station 2 Charge and Bell with PTX expander
Station 3 RCBS Lock Out die
Station 4 Hornady New Dimension Seat Die with flat stem, set for seating only.
Station 5 Lee Taper Crimp Die

All cases were previously cleaned and primed so there was no priming done on the LnL AP. Cases were auto fed with the Case Feeder. I took special care to insure that all stations were occupied at all times so that any flex would be accounted for.

Obviously something is out of whack to get this variance in COAL. It could be a warped/bent shell plate but near as I can tell, the shell plate is flat. I ran a stainless steel ruler edge over both sides of the shell plate and no variance was noted. No variance was noted on the sub plate using the same method. The shell plate did not come loose at any time and was properly tightened down. The press is in alignment and is timed as indicated in the instructional videos. No adjustment had to be made to the timing. No die is touching the shell plate and powder drops measured (about 1 in 10) were within .1 grain on my RCBS Charge Master 1500 scale. The combo seating/crimp die is set up for seat only and the die is backed out to compensate for the small variances in the brass length. All brass measured between .744 in and .754 in with the majority at or near .754in.

COAL variances of this magnitude can mean pressure changes of ~ 2000 psi if not more.:uhoh:

What am I doing wrong?

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snuffy
July 7, 2011, 02:35 AM
As title says. I am using my Hornady LnL for 9mm loading 5.8gr of Ramshot Silhouette under a Ranier Ballistics 124gr copper plated round nose (their are marketed as Ranier LeadSafe Bullets 9mm

Are you using the same plated Raniers as in the above post?

Try something once. Take a micrometer to the bullets themselves, measure the length, base to nose. Then make another list with the variances you find. I'll bet you'll find about the same range of different lengths you found after they're loaded. Plated bullets are just not that consistant. They're made for blasting ammo that doesn't foul the bore as bad as lead bullets, and don't cost as much as jacketed.

Another thing, what are you complaining about? These are semi auto handgun shells, not some bench rest rifle. The OAL is NOT that critical! Do you suffer from OCD? It would seem so!:neener:

Waldog
July 7, 2011, 03:07 AM
I don't think the problem is with the press. You state you were using LEAD bullets. Did you buy the bullets or are they commercial? Lead commercial bullets are quite inconsistent. Some are better that others and some are terrible.

1). Lead bullet molds are cut with a cutter called a "cherry". Commercial molds are usually cut on a multi-tool head machine. A four hole mold will/may be cut with 4 different cutters. Commercial casters may have more than one machine turning out raw bullets. The bullets are sized an scooped into a carton. You could have bullets cast from several different molds. Unless each mold cavity is cut with the same cherry, you will have variations in each bullet. They are not "dead-on" consistent. They vary a bit. In some cases, quite a bit.
2. Bullet lube will build up on the bullet seating die. This can build up surprising fast. This will also change your seating depth.
3. Ditch the flat seating stem and use the stem for round nose bullets

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 09:00 AM
Are you using the same plated Raniers as in the above post?

Try something once. Take a micrometer to the bullets themselves, measure the length, base to nose. Then make another list with the variances you find. I'll bet you'll find about the same range of different lengths you found after they're loaded. Plated bullets are just not that consistant. They're made for blasting ammo that doesn't foul the bore as bad as lead bullets, and don't cost as much as jacketed.

Another thing, what are you complaining about? These are semi auto handgun shells, not some bench rest rifle. The OAL is NOT that critical! Do you suffer from OCD? It would seem so!:neener:

Did the micrometer thing on the bullets. The variances are limited to .005in in length. A sampling of 100 bullets resulted in the following: 7 @ .593, 20 @ .594, 30 @ .595, 19 @ .596, 12 @ .597, and 2@.598. Total variance is calculated at .005 which is irrelevant due to the use of the flat nose stem during the seating process.

I also understand that plated bullets are not that consistant. That is the reason that I used the flat nose stem to eliminate the variances in the length of the bullet. Using the flat nose stem, the bullets regardless of their ogive should have all seated approximately to the same length because the seating was done on the nose of the bullet, not the ogive, hence my concern about the excessive variances.

Agreed this is not a bench rest rifle test but I am concerned about potential over pressure. I do not suffer from OCD, I suffer from "I don't want my handgun blowing up in my face syndrome". While I agree that COAL is not that critical if the bullets are seated using the round nose stem, variances from 1.140 in to 1.164 in (.024 in) using a flat nose seating stem is excessive. I have used these RB bullets in the past and have always been able to seat within +/- .005 in on a SS press using the SAME DIES. A progressive seems to have tolerances far more forgiving than a SS and that is fine but before I start to crank out 10,000 rounds I want to make sure that the ammo being cranked out is not dangerous.

If you consider me OCD due to this, I rather be OCD than blind and missing a hand.:(

snuffy
July 7, 2011, 11:19 AM
Did the micrometer thing on the bullets. The variances are limited to .005in in length. A sampling of 100 bullets resulted in the following: 7 @ .593, 20 @ .594, 30 @ .595, 19 @ .596, 12 @ .597, and 2@.598. Total variance is calculated at .005 which is irrelevant due to the use of the flat nose stem during the seating process.

I'll bet you'll find about the same range of different lengths you found after they're loaded.

Well looks like I lost that bet. That's why I don't go near any casino's.:what::rolleyes:

And of course you're right about the flat nosed seating stem should negate any length variations. Hey, it was late at night, not thinking clearly.

I don't remember you saying if all the cases were the same headstamp. AND were they all the same age, fired in the same gun? What I'm trying to get at is; case neck tension. Differing case neck tension might be allowing the bullet to seat easier on one, then harder on the next resulting in different lengths. BUT a good loading machine should control that. Are the bushings all tight? If there's play/looseness in them, that would be one answer, especially the seater die.

That leaves us to conclude the loader is NOT doing it's job. How can this be? All the followers of the LNL here will be shocked, saddened, maddened!

I'm going to go measure some 9mm ammo I just loaded on my D-650. It will be the first time I ever did this. I'm just not that concerned about OAL on handgun ammo. My loads are no where near max, so a bit of variance is of no concern.

longdayjake
July 7, 2011, 11:34 AM
It will take a lot more than that little variance to blow up a gun. Unless of course you have a really crappy gun that already has some latent manufacturing defect.

I shoot and sell a lot of plated bullets. One thing I have noticed with ranier and berry's bullets is that seating can often cause the nose to deform or flatten. The plating on them is very thin and it doesn't take much to deform them. Also, they call their bullets double struck, but they don't actually double strike them to ensure complete uniformity. All they do is push them through a tube of the right diameter to make sure that they will fit in the casing. X-Treme and Powerbond both actually double strike their plated bullets to ensure complete uniformity all around the whole entire surface of the bullet. If you are wanting perfect bullets, I suggest you start with Powerbond (though their price reflects their higher quality) then x-treme.

Also, you might want to see if the bushing is being moved at all when you are loading. I have noticed that my bushings might rise a little while I am loading. If I don't over cam my sizing die for 6.5 grendel enough it won't bump the shoulder back far enough to chamber in my gun. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why it wasn't sizing enough until I watched it push the bushing up a little. Try over caming your seating die just enough to see if your bushing might be moving when you seat.

Yes Snuffy, we know you hate the LNL and you love your Dillon.

Hondo 60
July 7, 2011, 11:48 AM
Another thing, what are you complaining about?

Sounds like snuffy got up on the wrong side of the bed! :D :neener:


But I too am surprised by the results.
I'm in the process of loading some .38 Special.
So I calipered a bunch & they came out very consistent - +-.001
Not trying to thumb my nose at any color press, but I ran my stuff on a blue one.

Walkalong
July 7, 2011, 11:51 AM
Something is wrong. I have loaded a bunch of Ranier 115 Gr RN bullets on my old Projector and now my LNL, and the O.A.L. varies about +/- .002 to .003.

rangerphil
July 7, 2011, 11:59 AM
Just a thought, is it possible that you might have some variance in your primer seating depth? A high primer, if not noticed can drive you crazy with the OAL measurement.

longdayjake
July 7, 2011, 12:11 PM
Both Hornady and Dillon have their upsides and downsides. Lets try to fix the OP's problem with solutions that don't include changing presses all together. It just starts complaining and name calling.

wild willy
July 7, 2011, 12:58 PM
Its probally the shell plate doing it.Thats what caused it on mine some cases rest on the extractor groove instead of the base plate

gregj
July 7, 2011, 01:22 PM
Just a thought, is it possible that you might have some variance in your primer seating depth? A high primer, if not noticed can drive you crazy with the OAL measurement.

I've run into this exact thing, almost drove me crazy trying to figure out why I was seeing such differences.

I have a LNL I picked up used, and am seeing different OALs using the wad cutter flat stem. I am very curious to see what the resolution will be.

DILLONHELP
July 7, 2011, 01:24 PM
A better way to compare one bullet to the next is to unscrew the seat stem from the die, put the bullet up into the cavity of the seat stem, and then measure from the base of the bullet to the top of the seat stem. My personal suspicion is that the diameter on the bullet where the seat stem contacts it is higher/lower from one bullet to the next. RN bullets in particular seem to be most prone to this. One batch of 100 jacketed RN 9mm bullets from a popular name in ammo manufacturing had .026" extreme spread in this dimension. I would expect most any machine/die brand to hold within .002-.006" OAL, with the rest of the variation in the projectiles themselves.

snuffy
July 7, 2011, 02:51 PM
Yes Snuffy, we know you hate the LNL and you love your Dillon.

I would say hate is too strong of a word. I just see a lot more complaints coming from lnl owners than from dillon. Since I already have a D-650, I'm not about to buy a LNL. I can't keep components in stock for one progressive, how would I keep two presses supplied?

Until a couple of weeks ago, I could say I had NO complaints with my dillon. Then it started to tip primers,(large pistol, 45 acp), sideways and upside down. I was in the process of doing a complete caliber change to 9mm for the first time! That 3 hour process will be shorter now that it's set up once.

Anyway, I discovered a sliver of lead that was probably sheared off one of my cast bullets during seating had gotten into the primer punch. Must have been hooking them, flipping them over.

longdayjake ; It will take a lot more than that little variance to blow up a gun. Unless of course you have a really crappy gun that already has some latent manufacturing defect.

I shoot and sell a lot of plated bullets. One thing I have noticed with ranier and berry's bullets is that seating can often cause the nose to deform or flatten. The plating on them is very thin and it doesn't take much to deform them.

That problem with the thin plating over very soft lead could be the culprit. Especially if the shells are NOT the same headstamp and age,(all the same lot, all the same number of firings.) IF the nose is deforming, then the base or bottom of the bullet is at the same level. Differing amounts of case tension is what I'm talking about. One is larger ID and softer brass, the next is harder and a smaller ID. The harder/smaller ID is going to require more force to seat, possibly deforming the nose,(flattening).

longdayjake
July 7, 2011, 03:53 PM
I would say hate is too strong of a word. I just see a lot more complaints coming from lnl owners than from dillon. Since I already have a D-650, I'm not about to buy a LNL. I can't keep components in stock for one progressive, how would I keep two presses supplied?

Until a couple of weeks ago, I could say I had NO complaints with my dillon. Then it started to tip primers,(large pistol, 45 acp), sideways and upside down. I was in the process of doing a complete caliber change to 9mm for the first time! That 3 hour process will be shorter now that it's set up once.

Anyway, I discovered a sliver of lead that was probably sheared off one of my cast bullets during seating had gotten into the primer punch. Must have been hooking them, flipping them over.


Here is what I am thinking is causing all the threads about the LNL. First, it is capable of doing everything that the 650 can do and it does it at a much cheaper price as well as including some bullets. I think that this has given a lot of guys the chance to get into progressive reloading at a cheaper price and when we had the reloading and ammo rush of '08 there were a ton more people buying the hornady's than the dillons to start out with. Whenever you get a bunch of new guys buying one machine to do something they are unfamiliar with, you will get a lot of questions on how to get them to work correctly. My guess is that 99% of the problems asked about can merely be chalked up to unfamiliarity with the system. I too had some problems with the LNL until I got used to its little querks. Flipping primers was the only actual problem that I have had and that was pretty easily fixed. Any other stoppages I got were from spilled powder or brass flakes getting into stuff. That kind of thing happens to the blue presses too. Once you learn the system you rarely have issues.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:09 PM
Well looks like I lost that bet. That's why I don't go near any casino's.:what::rolleyes:

And of course you're right about the flat nosed seating stem should negate any length variations. Hey, it was late at night, not thinking clearly.

I don't remember you saying if all the cases were the same headstamp. AND were they all the same age, fired in the same gun? What I'm trying to get at is; case neck tension. Differing case neck tension might be allowing the bullet to seat easier on one, then harder on the next resulting in different lengths. BUT a good loading machine should control that. Are the bushings all tight? If there's play/looseness in them, that would be one answer, especially the seater die.

That leaves us to conclude the loader is NOT doing it's job. How can this be? All the followers of the LNL here will be shocked, saddened, maddened!

I'm going to go measure some 9mm ammo I just loaded on my D-650. It will be the first time I ever did this. I'm just not that concerned about OAL on handgun ammo. My loads are no where near max, so a bit of variance is of no concern.

No bets. Just trying to understand the variances.

Mixed headstamps. Either FC or Speer so about a 50/50 split. OAL that were within specs were also mixed FC or Speer as were the ones that were out of specs. All the same age, all fired the same number of times, all fired from my SD9 Tactical. All bushings were tight. All rounds sit on the support plate and not the shell plate so the extractor groves are open enough to not allow support by the shell plate only - thus supposedly eliminating any flex caused by the shell plate.

It could be the machine or the operator. This is what I need to find out.

Blue68f100
July 7, 2011, 04:17 PM
You should be getting around 0.005" variation max. I would install the proper bullet seater to start with. Using the flat base on plated bullets is not a good idea. Then I would loose the Lee FCD if that's what your using on the crimp station, Taper crimp is OK. Next I would clean your seating die (completely disassemble it). I suspect you have something causing the floating stem to be hanging up. It may be the flat base causing side forces. Make sure your shell plate is tight. These loosen up with use unless you really tighten them.

I would run a few test with only one round at a time, checking your OAL. Without the crimp die. Note this will be different different than fully loaded. Mine runs about 0.010" difference. You should have a deviation of around 0.005". If good run the ones back through the taper crimp die and check your OAL. If it's different you found your problem. The TC should not change the OAL, that is the reason for doing it on a separate/final station.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:32 PM
It will take a lot more than that little variance to blow up a gun. Unless of course you have a really crappy gun that already has some latent manufacturing defect.

I shoot and sell a lot of plated bullets. One thing I have noticed with ranier and berry's bullets is that seating can often cause the nose to deform or flatten. The plating on them is very thin and it doesn't take much to deform them. Also, they call their bullets double struck, but they don't actually double strike them to ensure complete uniformity. All they do is push them through a tube of the right diameter to make sure that they will fit in the casing. X-Treme and Powerbond both actually double strike their plated bullets to ensure complete uniformity all around the whole entire surface of the bullet. If you are wanting perfect bullets, I suggest you start with Powerbond (though their price reflects their higher quality) then x-treme.

Also, you might want to see if the bushing is being moved at all when you are loading. I have noticed that my bushings might rise a little while I am loading. If I don't over cam my sizing die for 6.5 grendel enough it won't bump the shoulder back far enough to chamber in my gun. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why it wasn't sizing enough until I watched it push the bushing up a little. Try over caming your seating die just enough to see if your bushing might be moving when you seat.

Yes Snuffy, we know you hate the LNL and you love your Dillon.

I agree except in the case of 5.7X28mm. A .1 grain difference in powder IS enought to severly damage a firearm, so is a .010 variance in seating if the rounds are loaded hot enough.

Even if the plating on the RBs deformed would not the use of the flat nose seating stem eliminate this potential problem? If the case sits on the support plate and the seating die/stem is fixed, the distance between the support plate and the top of the bullet/bottom of the flat nose stem should be the COAL distance in every instance (if the support plate does not flex and the seating die does not move). I spun a mixture of the cases around the shell plate to make sure that they all sat on the support plate, which they did.

I have some other bullets that I can try. I will reload some .357Mag using some Hornady 158gr HP/XTPs. I also have some RB 125gr Flat Nose that I will try as well to see if the variances can be repeated. If they can, it would pretty much eliminate just about everyting except the mechanical aspects of the loading process. I might buy a box of Powerbonds for my next attempt after this one. I'll do a 100/100 split and post the results.

I will assume you mean the bushings in the LnL press itself. The bushings on the dies are all tight and do not move and for the life of me, I can not get the bushings on the press itself to move either.

Please, no Blue, Red, Green or other color wars here.:uhoh: This has me vexed right now and I need to find a cause/solution to this problems.:)

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:34 PM
Something is wrong. I have loaded a bunch of Ranier 115 Gr RN bullets on my old Projector and now my LNL, and the O.A.L. varies about +/- .002 to .003.
This is what I would/was expecting. Something with a max variance of +/- .003in.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:35 PM
Just a thought, is it possible that you might have some variance in your primer seating depth? A high primer, if not noticed can drive you crazy with the OAL measurement.
All primers were seated using a RCBS press mounted priming system. All primers were checked and all were sitting just below flush prior to loading on the LnL.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:36 PM
Both Hornady and Dillon have their upsides and downsides. Lets try to fix the OP's problem with solutions that don't include changing presses all together. It just starts complaining and name calling.
Thanks. That is what I need to do.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:41 PM
Its probally the shell plate doing it.Thats what caused it on mine some cases rest on the extractor groove instead of the base plate
Out of the hundred rounds that I tested after I read this post, every single round was sitting on the support plate and not the shell holder. Both the in-tolerance and out-of-tolerance loads. There is enough room in the extractor groves to allow this to happen. It would pretty much eliminate the shell plate as the cause of this problem. I suspect that if the shell plate was warped, then sometimes during the travel of the circle, the round would have risen perceptably above the support plate, which they did not. Used a set of automotive feeler gauges to determine this.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 04:50 PM
A better way to compare one bullet to the next is to unscrew the seat stem from the die, put the bullet up into the cavity of the seat stem, and then measure from the base of the bullet to the top of the seat stem. My personal suspicion is that the diameter on the bullet where the seat stem contacts it is higher/lower from one bullet to the next. RN bullets in particular seem to be most prone to this. One batch of 100 jacketed RN 9mm bullets from a popular name in ammo manufacturing had .026" extreme spread in this dimension. I would expect most any machine/die brand to hold within .002-.006" OAL, with the rest of the variation in the projectiles themselves.

I am not sure I follow you on this. If I remove the seating stem out of the seating die the the bullets just fall through the die Alignment Sleeve without any resistance what-so-ever.

I do not think that I am understanding what you want me to check. Could you please elaborate a little more on this?

Do you mean the crimp die?

Thanks

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 05:02 PM
I would say hate is too strong of a word. I just see a lot more complaints coming from lnl owners than from dillon. Since I already have a D-650, I'm not about to buy a LNL. I can't keep components in stock for one progressive, how would I keep two presses supplied?

Until a couple of weeks ago, I could say I had NO complaints with my dillon. Then it started to tip primers,(large pistol, 45 acp), sideways and upside down. I was in the process of doing a complete caliber change to 9mm for the first time! That 3 hour process will be shorter now that it's set up once.

Anyway, I discovered a sliver of lead that was probably sheared off one of my cast bullets during seating had gotten into the primer punch. Must have been hooking them, flipping them over.



That problem with the thin plating over very soft lead could be the culprit. Especially if the shells are NOT the same headstamp and age,(all the same lot, all the same number of firings.) IF the nose is deforming, then the base or bottom of the bullet is at the same level. Differing amounts of case tension is what I'm talking about. One is larger ID and softer brass, the next is harder and a smaller ID. The harder/smaller ID is going to require more force to seat, possibly deforming the nose,(flattening).


This may be something to look at. Let's see what happens after I load the .357 Mag rounds this evening. I have two batches of cases, 100 *-* brass cases and 100 Winchester Nickle plated cases. All are twice fired. I'll load 100 with the Hornady bullets and 100 with the RB Flat Nose (50 brass with Hornady, 50 brass with RB Flat Nose, 50 Nickle Plated with Hornady, and 50 Nickle Plated with RB Flat Nose).

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 05:12 PM
Here is what I am thinking is causing all the threads about the LNL. First, it is capable of doing everything that the 650 can do and it does it at a much cheaper price as well as including some bullets. I think that this has given a lot of guys the chance to get into progressive reloading at a cheaper price and when we had the reloading and ammo rush of '08 there were a ton more people buying the hornady's than the dillons to start out with. Whenever you get a bunch of new guys buying one machine to do something they are unfamiliar with, you will get a lot of questions on how to get them to work correctly. My guess is that 99% of the problems asked about can merely be chalked up to unfamiliarity with the system. I too had some problems with the LNL until I got used to its little querks. Flipping primers was the only actual problem that I have had and that was pretty easily fixed. Any other stoppages I got were from spilled powder or brass flakes getting into stuff. That kind of thing happens to the blue presses too. Once you learn the system you rarely have issues.

I am not eliminating operator error. This is my first progressive but in my defense, I have been reloading on and off for over 40 years now with single stage presses including Redding, Hornady, Lee (just for small stuff like priming), and RCBS. I do not find the progressive any more daunting but I see that it will require more attention to detail until I am fully versed in its operation. As a matter of fact, I found it to be rather repetative but I did not loose my attention to detail during this process.

I almost bought my first progressive in 06 after the change in political structure and again in 08 after the major upheaveal so it is not something that I took lightly. I appreciate your help and hope that it is something that can be corrected with a minor adjustment.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 05:30 PM
You should be getting around 0.005" variation max. I would install the proper bullet seater to start with. Using the flat base on plated bullets is not a good idea. Then I would loose the Lee FCD if that's what your using on the crimp station, Taper crimp is OK. Next I would clean your seating die (completely disassemble it). I suspect you have something causing the floating stem to be hanging up. It may be the flat base causing side forces. Make sure your shell plate is tight. These loosen up with use unless you really tighten them.

I would run a few test with only one round at a time, checking your OAL. Without the crimp die. Note this will be different different than fully loaded. Mine runs about 0.010" difference. You should have a deviation of around 0.005". If good run the ones back through the taper crimp die and check your OAL. If it's different you found your problem. The TC should not change the OAL, that is the reason for doing it on a separate/final station.

I tried with the round nose stem at first and was experiencing the same problem and that is why I switched to the flat nose stem, thus eliminating the bullet length variations. I am using a Lee taper crimp die for the taper crimp #90780. It is not listed as a FCD, just a taper crimp. The dies were cleaned using Hornady One Shot GC&DL prior to using them in the LnL AP. I have always disassemble and cleaned my dies when I first got them and again when I thought that they needed it. More often than not, they did not need it but I cleaned them anyways as I had them disassembled. Shell plate was tight and never loosened. I checked it after every 50 or so rounds.

You may be right about the stem hanging on the side of the die. From what I can see, there is very minor wear marks on the side of both the flat nose and round nose seating stems. They both seem to move within the die body with hardly and resistance. I am not a machine-ist but I am versed in engineering and the parts seem to operate as they should.

I will follow the rest of your directions as I seat the .357 Mags this evening.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 7, 2011, 05:34 PM
I want to thank everyone that has responded to this thread. I am sure that a cause and cure can and will be found.

I am pretty sure that once the cause is identified, I'll be kicking myself in the pants as I suspect that it is something simple and easy to cure.:D

dbarnhart
July 7, 2011, 08:01 PM
Somewhere I have a book with the title "The answer is obvious once you know it". ;-)

I keep having to relearn the lesson that when something is not going right I should just set it aside for a couple of days and when I return the answer is almost always obvious.

1SOW
July 7, 2011, 10:05 PM
re "bullet length variations:

Most seating die stems come 'flat' so bullet variations have no affect on oal. The distance from the stem to the shell plate is consistent with a consistent handle pull. The change from bullet length variations is the "seating depth".

In addition to the good ideas above, I've found having a full deliberate and consistent handle pull is important for consistent oals. I've also found that having mixed brass affects the oals.

For ME: ATK 9mm brass (FED, SPEER, CCI, BLAZER, *-*+) brass is 'softer' than WIN, PPU and R&P brass . So, if you have a several WINS and make the same pull with the next FED case, the bullet seats deeper. This is why I started sorting by headstamp, and it improved my oals noticeably.

EDIT TO ADD: Actually, I sometimes sort by the two "types of brass" -- hard brass & softer brass-- I mention above.

Just a thought. YMMV

newrugersafan
July 7, 2011, 10:40 PM
Here are a couple of things to try.....

Run a batch with the same head stamp and check to see if it is more consistant. If it is the different neck tension caused by different head stamps is the problem. The o-rings on the bushings allow some play in the die if one piece of brass needs more force to seat the bullet the bushing will lift more then than one needing less force. You can see this happening if you watch the die.

If this is the case you can use a wrench on the lock ring to tighten the bushing and take the play out of the o-ring or call Hornady and get the shims that they offer.

Mike

Walkalong
July 8, 2011, 09:24 AM
ISOW is correct, 9mm brass is widely different among the multitude of headstamps available. Sorting by headstamp will help O.A.L., and if you are shooting for extreme accuracy, it will help that as well. For us plinkers, it doesn't matter much.

Another thing that affects O.A.L. is case length, not in its self, but because of the crimp. The longer cases get more crimp and put more pressure on the press, flexing it more than a short case getting virtually no crimp. And again, sorting by headstamp will help that too. This is only for turrets and progressives.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 8, 2011, 12:44 PM
I seem to have a copy of that book too.:)

HK SD9 Tactical
July 8, 2011, 12:52 PM
re "bullet length variations:

Most seating die stems come 'flat' so bullet variations have no affect on oal. The distance from the stem to the shell plate is consistent with a consistent handle pull. The change from bullet length variations is the "seating depth".

In addition to the good ideas above, I've found having a full deliberate and consistent handle pull is important for consistent oals. I've also found that having mixed brass affects the oals.

For ME: ATK 9mm brass (FED, SPEER, CCI, BLAZER, *-*+) brass is 'softer' than WIN, PPU and R&P brass . So, if you have a several WINS and make the same pull with the next FED case, the bullet seats deeper. This is why I started sorting by headstamp, and it improved my oals noticeably.

Just a thought. YMMV

I made sure that all handle pulls were consistent and full motion. Even though I was not priming on the LnL, I made sure to push the handle all the way forward (for practice more or less). I also made sure that the handle was all the way down for each stroke. I have the handle from ultimatereloaders.com (the ergonomic one) and paid particular attention to full stroking the machine (no derogatory comments please):rolleyes:.

As far as the mixed brass, as I mentioned, it was about 50/50 with FC and Speer. As I do the run for my .357 Mags, I will keep this in mind and make sure that I only use one type of brass for the loads.

Something tells me that it might have something to do with the PTX setup. Even though I went through the instructions three times and was positive that it was set up correctly, I think that I will just use an bell die and take out the PTX expanders until this is resolved.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 8, 2011, 12:54 PM
ISOW is correct, 9mm brass is widely different among the multitude of headstamps available. Sorting by headstamp will help O.A.L., and if you are shooting for extreme accuracy, it will help that as well. For us plinkers, it doesn't matter much.

Another thing that affects O.A.L. is case length, not in its self, but because of the crimp. The longer cases get more crimp and put more pressure on the press, flexing it more than a short case getting virtually no crimp. And again, sorting by headstamp will help that too. This is only for turrets and progressives.
Will also keep this in mind. Hope to post the results of the .357 run today.

DILLONHELP
July 8, 2011, 01:24 PM
What I am suggesting is to remove the bullet seat stem from the die, insert the nose of the bullet into the seat stem, then use calipers to measure from the top of the bullet sseat stem to the bottom of the bullet. If the seat stem is contacting the sides of the bullet, then this measured dimension will vary, dependent upon where the contact diameter is on the bullet.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 8, 2011, 01:35 PM
Got it. So use the round nose seating stem, place the bullet into the round nose seating stem and using calipers, measure the length from the bottom of the bullet to the top of the seating stem, thus providing data on the variations in the ogive of the bullets, providing that all the bullets measured have the same length.

I will measure some bullets to obtain a sampling of bullets that are the same length (ie, take about 50 bullets with a length of .595in), place each in the seating stem, and then measure the oveall length for the ogive variations.

I will provide the data once it is completed.

243winxb
July 8, 2011, 01:38 PM
No dies should come in contact with the shell plate. A variation of .010" maximum is common on progressives. Single stage runs .005" maximum.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 8, 2011, 02:03 PM
No dies should come in contact with the shell plate. A variation of .010" maximum is common on progressives. Single stage runs .005" maximum.
No die touched the shell plate and any time.

I expected that there would be some variations and am glad that it should be limited to .010in maximum. Hopefully I will get within this tolerance.

GaryL
July 8, 2011, 08:22 PM
I didn't read every single response (since some of them were off topic), but are you measuring to the tip of the bullet? And have you tried measuring to the ogive?

ironhead7544
July 8, 2011, 09:18 PM
I have noticed that there will be some variation in OAL with a progressive until all the cases are fired in the same firearm. When you stroke the handle there will sometimes be a variation in pressure. This is probably from sizing and may tip the shell plate slightly which will cause the variation in OAL. When I was loading .223 on a progressive I solved the problem by sizing off the press and using an "M" die instead of pulling the sizing ball through the case. The OAL was then minimum and press operation was really smooth.

For the pistol I dont think that is necessary. The cheaper bullets are always going to have some variation built in. Unless you are using a max load it shouldnt be a problem. I would try loading with the same headstamp brass fired in your pistol and some FMJ bullets. That should tell if there is some problem with the press.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 9, 2011, 11:15 AM
I didn't read every single response (since some of them were off topic), but are you measuring to the tip of the bullet? And have you tried measuring to the ogive?


Yes all measurements were from the base of the case rim (bottom of the case) to the very tip of the bullet. The initial run was measured using the round nose seating stem and the OAL variances were so extreme that I went to the flat nose seating stem and still would up with extreme COALs.

With these RB round nose bullets, it's almost impossible to get an accurate reading to the ogive of the bullet. However I am collecting data to quantify the ogive variances to determine just how much of the COAL is shifing due to the various lengths of the bullets and the start of the ogive.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 9, 2011, 11:25 AM
I have noticed that there will be some variation in OAL with a progressive until all the cases are fired in the same firearm. When you stroke the handle there will sometimes be a variation in pressure. This is probably from sizing and may tip the shell plate slightly which will cause the variation in OAL. When I was loading .223 on a progressive I solved the problem by sizing off the press and using an "M" die instead of pulling the sizing ball through the case. The OAL was then minimum and press operation was really smooth.

For the pistol I dont think that is necessary. The cheaper bullets are always going to have some variation built in. Unless you are using a max load it shouldnt be a problem. I would try loading with the same headstamp brass fired in your pistol and some FMJ bullets. That should tell if there is some problem with the press.

95% of these cases were fired from my H&K USP 9mm Tactical. The shell plate is not suppose to tip, bend, or flex. The base of the case sits on the sub plate and the shell plate is only there to move the shell around the five stations while holding the case in an upright position while being retained by the retention spring around the shell plate. Stroking (again, please no derogatory remarks) was consistent and there were no half strokes, partial strokes, or lock ups of any kind while loading.

I may decide to size off the press (might as well prime at the same time) but that defeats the entire concept of a progressive leaving the progressive to only prime, charge & bell, and seat & crimp. For the amount of money that I spent, I could have just kept using my SS presses and bought lots more reloading supplies.

The max load is my major concern. Using the current Ramshot data for 9mm and 124gr Round Nose bullets, I am using max load data. However, Ramshots published data is light and there is always room for additional tweaking beyond their max recommendations.

Still have not gotten around to running the .357 Mag loads. Things keep on coming up delaying this. I hope to have all of them done by this evening.

HK SD9 Tactical
July 9, 2011, 11:48 AM
While I may not have found the culprit, I have some disturbing news. As I was setting up my dies for the .357 Mag loads, I noticed a piece of metal sitting on the shell plate just under station 4 (the seat & crimp die station that I used for the 9mm seating). It seems that the lugs on the female LnL bushing are fractured and a piece (the piece of metal found on the shell plate) is from one of the lugs. Of the 6 lugs on the female LnL bushing in station 4, one lug has a piece missing from the bottom of the lug (the piece I found). The other 5 lugs show signs of being fractured. There is a hair line fracture on the remaining 5 lugs, approximately 1/8 of an inch from the bottom of the lugs.

I also saw that on station 1 (deprime and size) there are 3 lugs in the female LnL bushing that have the same type of fracture on the base of those lugs. The remaining lugs in this station appear to be OK. The remaining 3 female LnL bushings (stations 2, 3, and 5) appear to be in good order. Pictures soon, as soon as I can get some good shots that show the fractures. An examination of all the male LnL bushings show no signs of fractrures or any stresses.

I tried to 'rock' the seating die in the broken female bushings but there is no perceptable movement (althought I am sure that there must be at least some) that I can find and I would be hard pressed to find a variance of .001 in betweend the top of the female bushing and the underside of the top flange of the male bushing. However, I do not have a gauge to take an exact measurement (looks like a visit to my nearest tool company). Never-the-less, I will be contacting Hornady for replacement parts.

Does ayone know how to remove the female LnL bushing inserts from the press or is that something that only Hornady service can do?

TIA

Walkalong
July 9, 2011, 11:50 AM
The press flexes some. You wouldn't think so, but it does. I size off the press, so all I am doing for pistol is expanding, seating, and crimping. When I am crimping in a second step there is always a small difference in seating depth when there is a round being crimped vs no round being crimped. The more stout the crimp, the more the difference(flex).

HK SD9 Tactical
July 9, 2011, 01:00 PM
The press flexes some. You wouldn't think so, but it does. I size off the press, so all I am doing for pistol is expanding, seating, and crimping. When I am crimping in a second step there is always a small difference in seating depth when there is a round being crimped vs no round being crimped. The more stout the crimp, the more the difference(flex).
I imagine that it would. Everything flexes dependent on the amount of force that is applied and the goal is minimal flex while achieving the maximum robustness that the press can give.

I will be doing some flex testing to see how much there is based on a single occupied station through all 5 occupied stations.

Now I will definately need to get to the tool shop today.....

dudlee
July 9, 2011, 01:31 PM
Does ayone know how to remove the female LnL bushing inserts from the press or is that something that only Hornady service can do?

I was wondering if they were threaded or Pressed into the frame myself...Will they pay to ship it back to them? Maybe Hornady will send you a new frame..

wild willy
July 9, 2011, 01:54 PM
Threaded Hornady knows about the problem they got a bad batch of them.Mine are ok but someone posted you remove them by putting the male bushing in from the bottom

firstater
July 10, 2011, 09:43 AM
Here is a post (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=597385)on the cracked bushings. I called Hornady and had them send me all new bushings. No problems. I put a die in from the bottom to get it out as someone suggested in the thread. It took a lot of force to get it out.

the count
July 10, 2011, 11:18 AM
"25 had a COAL of 1.155
14 had a COAL of 1.154
12 had a COAL of 1.153
20 had a COAL of 1.152
10 had a COAL of 1.151
8 had a COAL of 1.150"

This is of absolutely NO importance with normal pistol ammo. You want precision? Then start working with Lapua brass and (expensive) high grade jacketed bullets. And competition grade dies.

dbarnhart
July 10, 2011, 10:34 PM
This thread got me thinking, and out of curiosity I grabbed a box of brand new Winchester white box factory ammo in 45 ACP FMJ RN and started measuring COAL. In the first ten cartridges measured, the COAL varied from 2.58 to 2.70

HK SD9 Tactical
July 11, 2011, 09:15 PM
Here are some of the pictures that I said that I would post showing the fractures in the female bushings.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y119/slessard/Lock%20N%20Load%20AP/LnLPress011.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y119/slessard/Lock%20N%20Load%20AP/LnLPress047.jpg

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y119/slessard/Lock%20N%20Load%20AP/LnLPress049.jpg

gregj
July 15, 2011, 10:46 PM
I just loaded a batch of 45acp, and before I did I followed previous advice and tightened the seater die bushing with a wrench. I was amazed the difference, all the rounds were closer than I had previously been able to achieve. If you havent tried doing this, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!!

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