Sick and tired of Hornady's PTX, back to the Powderfunnel!


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Shrinkmd
July 10, 2011, 10:16 AM
I drank the red kool aid when Hornady came out with their universal PTX powder through expanders and I bought them. All I've had is sticking when I raise the press arm, crushed cases (quite a few) in 357 magnum, and aggravation.

So last night I got fed up, found my trusty powder funnel from http://www.powderfunnels.com/products.html and put it back in. I am not going back to the Hornady's, so maybe I'll return them to Midway...

I did use the new Hornady Powder through expander stop part, however. I was able to set the amount of belling more precisely than previously, when you just had to turn the powder measure in the bushing. I set the measure to almost bell what I needed for lead bullets, and then used the adjustment of the expander stop to finish the adjustment and more precisely set the bell. In the past I used to err on the side of too much, but now I can get it just right.

My press went from jam-o-matic to functioning smoothly. I had to fiddle with the right pawl a bit to get those 357 cases going (mostly) smoothly into the sizer die. I guess that needs a bit of adjusting every now and then.

So, anyone have any luck getting the case feeder to not tip the 357 cases? Which feeder plate are people using? Small pistol or large?

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EddieNFL
July 10, 2011, 10:48 AM
I haven't tried them in pistol calibers, but have been using them for bottle-necked cases for a couple of years.

Mine are mounted on blue machines and still work well.

If the plates are the same as Dillon (and I believe they come from the same supplier), I recall using the large for .357...but it's been 10 (?) years since I loaded any on the 650.

Good luck. Hope it works out for you.

the count
July 10, 2011, 11:09 AM
I just recently set up a new LNL AP system with bullet and case feeders. The whole thing reminds me of operating a big-ass steam engine. Always tweaking here, oiling there, minor slip up, etc etc. But when everything actually works you crank out ammo in a hurry.

The PTX inserts do work but they are a pain to properly set up. No decent, understandable, step by step info anywhere. It all comes down to the right combination of properly setting up the powder drop with the expander stop device. When you fully lower the handle the insert must be at max elevation and at the same time the stop must have both screws set that the case is forced into the insert. Use very small increments with those 2 screws. One full turn can be the difference between a perfect bell or none at all.

Shrinkmd
July 10, 2011, 02:43 PM
Solved the case feeding problem, too! I just didn't push the bowl all the way down on the metal support post, and now the angle is different! My machine is working again!

Blue68f100
July 10, 2011, 03:56 PM
They do work well but are not easy to get them adjusted correctly. I use different powder die bases for each caliber. That way I do not have to readjust it every time I do a change over.

The early version did not work on the 9mm/380. You could not lower the die enough to get a flare. I helped them what they needed to change. They machined one with the modification I suggested to correct the problem and had the new modified PTX in less than a week. They made the mod permeate on the second production run.

the count
July 10, 2011, 04:34 PM
They do work well but are not easy to get them adjusted correctly. I use different powder die bases for each caliber. That way I do not have to readjust it every time I do a change over.

The early version did not work on the 9mm/380. You could not lower the die enough to get a flare. I helped them what they needed to change. They machined one with the modification I suggested to correct the problem and had the new modified PTX in less than a week. They made the mod permeate on the second production run.
+100 to Hornady for listening to their customers!

Peter M. Eick
July 10, 2011, 05:46 PM
I found the powderfunnel works great except for 380 auto. I had to revert back to my RCBS expander to do 380 auto with it.

Otherwise the powder funnel is a really good solution.

REL1203
July 10, 2011, 10:25 PM
WHen I got my LNL 3 months ago, I got the PTX for 9,357,40, and 45, and each one has worked great. They were a pain to set up, and I bought a Powder Drop connector for each one, and put each one in its owni bushing and after setting them up that first time, they require no work from me other than dropping them into their station#2 and turning.... Very happy with them. So happy, i just did 600 9mm in the last 2 hours :)

RhinoDefense
July 13, 2011, 02:43 AM
http://powderfunnels.com/

nojoke
September 28, 2011, 10:17 PM
powderfunnels.....

hmmmm,
seems too good to be true.
Covers all calibers AND works perfectly with NO problems?

Anybody actually use these?

Shrinkmd
September 29, 2011, 12:14 AM
Maybe I wasn't adjusting them properly, but to get a usable bell on the case mouth the Hornady expander was getting stuck in the case mouth. It's too bad they didn't work for me, but I'm glad that the Powderfunnel works.

BYJO4
September 29, 2011, 01:40 AM
I've had no problems with Hornady's current style PTXs. The powder stop bar also makes it much easier to adjust.

Master Blaster
September 29, 2011, 08:48 AM
I want to use a RCBS lockout die so I ordered a dillon powder measure and will use their powder funnel which bells perfectly, already have a 550 so I had the funnel for my .45 acp dies. The Hornady measure never throws small charges consistently even with a baffle, (and throws many squibbs), although that helped a bit, in addition to the belling issue. Been screwing with it for 5 years now and had just given up and used the belling die. The dillon measure is great for small pistol charges and throws very consistently on my 550.

Blue68f100
September 29, 2011, 03:19 PM
All I've had is sticking when I raise the press arm, crushed cases (quite a few) in 357 magnum, and aggravation.

If your crushing cases check to see if your shell plate is tight. If loose it allow the retainer spring to tilt the brass. It's more evident on tall brass. Also check to see if your shell plate is flat in all directions. I had one that was warped badly and all it did was crush brass, 1/32" gap in the center. Mine were re-machined when the new ez-ejector base came out. They did not do something right and I had 3 warped shell plates. Hornady replace them all. Just use a straight edge across it. If it;s not flat give Hornady a calla and they will send you a new one.

RhinoDefense
September 30, 2011, 02:22 AM
Nojoke, I know the owner and inventor personally. They work as advertised.

gregj
September 30, 2011, 11:50 AM
I use one for 9mm and 45ACP. As stated, works as advertised.

Here are the instructions (http://www.powderfunnels.com/faq.html) I used to set mine up.

HK SD9 Tactical
September 30, 2011, 12:03 PM
I just sent my LnL back for service due to this exact problem. I think that my press was damaged in shipping. Check your primer cam feed to see if the primer slide is moving up and down on the primer cam feed in the center position (whether the wheel is staying on the primer cam feed or riding the lip of the wheel). Mine is not and the primer slide is rubbing against the primer cam feed.

Have lost some of cases due to the misalignment of the cases to the PTX in 9mm, .40S&W and .357 Magnum. Sent the LnL, shell plates, primer mechanisn, and PTX dies back to Hornady for service. I think the base plate is not positioned properly and this would cause the problems even if the timing is smack on as mine is. I also do not suffer from this problem if the base plate is rotated in the clockwise position just a few degrees. With the base plate out of alignment (as evidenced by the primer cam feed) this will cause the misalignment of the cases to the PTX dies. Hornady picked up the bill for this service.

Master Blaster
September 30, 2011, 12:12 PM
Folks may be interested in my Thread here:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=617417

Walkalong
September 30, 2011, 09:43 PM
I just use regular expanders on my LNL. Never have to re-adjust belling.

Shrinkmd
December 17, 2013, 09:20 PM
My experiences with my new 1050 has inspired me to get my old LNL AP working correctly, or give up on it and buy lots of tool heads for the 1050. Since that would be a very expensive proposition, I want to give another try for my Hornady.

It looks like I need to check to make sure that the shell plates aren't warped. I'm not having any priming problems or indexing troubles, so can I assume that the rest of the machine is ok? I just tried putting the .400 PTX in the machine, instead of the Powderfunnel one. I adjusted it by turning, and then made some final adjustments using the powder measure stop. I only had 2 pieces of brass and already crushed the side of one of them.

I will call Hornady tomorrow. Any other advice on things to check before I speak to them??

floydster
December 17, 2013, 09:41 PM
Walk, I do the same on my LNL:)

moonman16
December 17, 2013, 10:28 PM
shrinmd,

HORNADY came out eith NEW PTX's, How old are your present set?

You possibly NEED to spend some time viewing a VIDEO SERIES

By Bill Morgan (76Highboy) on another forum.

GOOGLE "Hornady LNL-AP HINTS and Tricks."

He had a wonderful 5 or 6 part series on each individual

stage of the LNL-AP press set up, much better than Hornady's DVD or videos.

THE SERIES IS WELL WORTH YOUR TIME INVESTED IN WATCHING.

YOU WILL SAVE MANY HEADACHES.:banghead:

MOONMAN

cfullgraf
December 17, 2013, 10:31 PM
Occasionally, I will get a case that hangs up on the end of the powder funnel. If i do not catch it, i will damage the case. I have learned the feel of the powder measure being activated too early.

It happens more with longer cases like 45 Colt than shorter ones like 40 S&W.

Also, I never have to re-adjust the powder die.

RealGun
December 17, 2013, 10:42 PM
Allow me to declare the obvious here...the powder drop is "universal", not the expander. Each caliber has its own Hornady insert. Just checking, because the powder funnel is a different animal and, as a cone shape, is simply adjusted differently for each caliber...same part. One would certainly have problems, if not changing expander inserts to the appropriate caliber's diameter.

The powder funnel is not good because it only flares and does not expand. Technically, I think one would need an expander station to supplement the powder funnel. Sure, one can stuff a bullet in there but risks swaging or crooked seating or fracturing a case at the mouth. The bullet, especially a soft one, is not an expander.

cfullgraf
December 17, 2013, 11:40 PM
...because the powder funnel is a different animal and, as a cone shape, is simply adjusted differently for each caliber...same part.

For clarity,

Whether the term "powder funnel" is correct or not, my inserts for the powder measure case activated system that direct powder into the case are cartridge, not caliber, specific.

I like to call them powder funnels because they funnel powder into the case.

Shrinkmd
December 18, 2013, 08:23 AM
Thanks for the video recommendation. I will be watching those later tonight if work is not busy!

Yes, I do have the new inserts, marked with an "A" I believe (gotta pull and check) but back when this thread was new I mailed them all back to Hornady and they sent me the replacement, newer parts.

I will report back after watching the videos and fiddling with my machine.

Walkalong
December 18, 2013, 08:26 AM
I use the die sets regular expander in station two of my LNL and drop powder in station three. Many people like to expand and drop powder in station two, which gives them room for a lock out die in three, a seater in four, and a crimp die in five, but that is how I do it. I do not use a lock out die, I use my eyeball on the powder charge as I seat a bullet in station four, which is right in front of me on the LNL. I use home made "powder funnels" to guide the powder into the expanded case mouth.

RealGun
December 18, 2013, 09:53 AM
Whether the term "powder funnel" is correct or not, my inserts for the powder measure case activated system that direct powder into the case are cartridge, not caliber, specific.

I like to call them powder funnels because they funnel powder into the case.

Hornady lists them by diameter, neither caliber nor cartridge. However, as a matter of fact, diameters like .452, for example, are actually usable only on the .45 Colt case length. The insert is much shorter than .451 for .45 ACP. So, it's really hard to be pedantic on this question.

higgite
December 18, 2013, 10:29 AM
I drank the red kool aid when Hornady came out with their universal PTX powder through expanders and I bought them. All I've had is sticking when I raise the press arm, crushed cases (quite a few) in 357 magnum, and aggravation.

So last night I got fed up, found my trusty powder funnel from http://www.powderfunnels.com/products.html and put it back in......
Shrinkmd, if you don't mind me asking, why did you get the Hornady PTX if your old Powderfunnel was working for you? Is the PTX supposed to be somehow better? I don't have an LnL but I'm thinking of trying a Powderfunnel with my RCBS Uniflow mounted on my Pro 2000, so I'm curious why you wanted to change. Thanks.

Blue68f100
December 18, 2013, 10:34 AM
The 2 are not the same. The PTX is an expander for the body not just the mouth of the case. Expanding the body to the same size give you uniform neck tension.

cfullgraf
December 18, 2013, 10:50 AM
Hornady lists them by diameter, neither caliber nor cartridge.

My drop tubes are not made by Hornady and are cartridge specific.

higgite
December 18, 2013, 11:07 AM
The 2 are not the same. The PTX is an expander for the body not just the mouth of the case. Expanding the body to the same size give you uniform neck tension.
10-4. Thanks, Blue.

RealGun
December 18, 2013, 12:59 PM
My drop tubes are not made by Hornady and are cartridge specific.

The topic is clearly Hornady, so if one changes the context, that should be mentioned.

GW Staar
December 18, 2013, 04:27 PM
I heard of at least one user who replaced the Hornay PTX's with RCBS's new powder thru expanders. These items are nice. They allow more adjustment and they multi-expand like the Lyman "M" Dies do. Maybe it was Peter Eick? If so how hard is the conversion?
Lyman "M" Die:
http://www.lymanproducts.com/includes/img/lyman/dies/rifleDies_mdie.jpg

RCBS expanders: @ Midway Site (http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=RCBS+powder+through+expander)

Peter M. Eick
December 18, 2013, 05:46 PM
Yes, I did that. I have gone from Powerfunnels, to Hornady expanders now to RCBS. I actually am using my RCBS expanders in my Hornady dispenser assembly with an RCBS uniflow.

I know that sounds like heresy mixing parts of different vendors but it is the best of all worlds. The Hornady dispenser assembly has a lower stroke for the the expander so it can handle 380 auto better than the RCBS assembly with RCBS expanders.

How hard?

Easy, just drop them down the hornady assembly and then reset the lever arms.

Actually, I should point out that originally I was not using a powder expander system and used Lyman M dies for each caliber. Then I moved to the Powderfunnel etc.

Shrinkmd
December 18, 2013, 07:07 PM
Sounds great. I still need to watch those videos, but I am willing to add an RCBS expander to my next midway order.

Are you as satisfied with the RCBS ptx as you were with the Lyman M die setup? In a related thread, I was commenting how the 1050 combination of separate expansion and case belling made for a beautiful final product. I've never made rounds which were as clean and lube/lead smear free before. And I've had a few FTF due to gunk around the case mouth.

dickttx
December 18, 2013, 08:18 PM
Quote RealGun:
"Allow me to declare the obvious here...the powder drop is "universal", not the expander. Each caliber has its own Hornady insert. Just checking, because the powder funnel is a different animal and, as a cone shape, is simply adjusted differently for each caliber...same part. One would certainly have problems, if not changing expander inserts to the appropriate caliber's diameter.

The powder funnel is not good because it only flares and does not expand. Technically, I think one would need an expander station to supplement the powder funnel. Sure, one can stuff a bullet in there but risks swaging or crooked seating or fracturing a case at the mouth. The bullet, especially a soft one, is not an expander."

I am just attempting to set up my LnL AP powder measure for the first time. I have been using my Lee dies and Pro Auto Disk on the LnL while reloading 38 Super and 45 ACP for the past 15 months. I am going to add 9mm but the PAD would not adjust for the short 9mm.
Adding the PTX to the powder measure die allows me to keep my Lock-out die and crimp die. Several people recommended the powder funnel, but I questioned its use because it seemed from the description that it only belled the case. I was more concerned with expanding the case. I appreciate the explanation.

Peter M. Eick
December 19, 2013, 07:54 AM
Regarding the ptx vs. the lyman M dies. The answer is no. The lyman M did a better job as you could control it more easily. The Uniflow forces you to have it set in certain angles because the levers interfere with the powder lockout die on the next station. The lyman did not have that issue.

If you can get the PTX adjusted just right, then the results are identical to the lyman M die. This is not always possible though. So like most things in reloading it is a bit of a compromise.

Shrinkmd
December 19, 2013, 08:47 AM
Hmm, interesting. As far as bumping into the next die, I use the Hornady Powder Cop, and usually try to rotate the powder measure so that the knob just misses the primer housing, so I can take the powder measure on and off without needing to remove the powder cop die first.

I do like the idea that the RCBS ptx can fully replicate the M die. Not that my accuracy has suffered, but then again I've never tested my creations out of a Ransom rest at 50yd to check. Certainly some of the FTF issues I've had should go away with neater rounds, not that my production up to now has been that bad. Usually, there are no big rings of lead all over the shell plate from shaving, but I now really appreciate the difference between just belling the case mouth and having case expansion be part of the deal.

Muddydogs
December 19, 2013, 01:57 PM
powderfunnels.....

hmmmm,
seems too good to be true.
Covers all calibers AND works perfectly with NO problems?

Anybody actually use these?
Yep I have one. After 600 38 rounds it developed a ridge where the case mouth stopped. To use it on another caliber I had to buff the expander part to get rid of the ridge, then it developed another ridge after loading 400 .40 cases. Switched to the Hornady PTX and find it does a much better job of expanding then the powder funnel.

Peter M. Eick
December 19, 2013, 04:02 PM
Sounds like my experience. I agree a good idea but it did not work out in the end.

Shrinkmd
December 19, 2013, 04:19 PM
The Uniflow forces you to have it set in certain angles because the levers interfere with the powder lockout die on the next station. The lyman did not have that issue.


Before I order the parts from Midway, can you expand on that a bit? What would happen with the Hornady case activated powder drop? I plan on continuing to use my Hornady LNL measure and case activated parts, and only drop in the RCBS ptx part.

why did you get the Hornady PTX if your old Powderfunnel was working for you?

Other way around. I enthusiastically purchased anything with a red Hornady label on it, then had problems and switched to the powderfunnel.

On a happier note, I was carefully readjusting the right pawl, and I think I understand why I was having some hang ups on the expander. The PTX needs the pawl timing to be dead on to work correctly and not smash up the case mouths. I will fiddle more another day, but I created a perfect looking round of .40 which lacks any lead or lube smear, and the press wasn't getting "stuck" when I had to back the expander out of the case. I over-belled it, so I need to adjust a bit more, but I think it's the best looking .40 I've made on the Hornady in quite some time.

Time to watch the videos.

Shrinkmd
March 9, 2014, 09:56 AM
I got the RCBS powder through expander, and after setting it up, it works like a charm. The powder measure does "slip" on some cases, where the measure lever will go up, then drop a little, then keep going up as the expander enters the case. But the bullets are sitting straight and happy, with a little belling to make it easier to pop them in. My powder drops have been consistent according to weights as well as watching my Powder Cop die, since I was worried that the slight up and down of the powder measure might cause a multiple charge.

The last problem was the Redding Competition Pro seater. I was still getting rings of lead shaved off my wadcutters, despite the bullet clearly seated INSIDE the case and completely straight (thank you RCBS). I dug out my old Hornady seater and put the wadcutter seater plug in. Voila, no more problems!

I shot Redding an email to see if they manufacture a wadcutter plug for their Comp Pro dies. But for now, we're in business. Thank you to everyone who helped me figure this out.

RealGun
March 9, 2014, 01:30 PM
When a PTX is sticking, a polishing job with fine emery cloth worked for me. So far, I haven't needed to revisit any of them. I think it's comparable to cases needing some lube or dies needing polishing to run smoothly. On my larger cases, especially .45 Colt, I have taken to spraying them with One Shot. I haven't done anything to the inside of the case mouths, but it wouldn't hurt to polish and spray the PTX, when changing over or after a long run.

abq87120
March 20, 2014, 12:04 AM
I use PTX's in my LnL AP without issues. Lee carbide dies. My setup is for a very light flare. I load Precision Delta bullets and these come with slightly rounded base shapes. I load 9mm, 357 Sig, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. It took a lot of tinkering to get the hang of the 357 Sigs but now they load just like all the rest.

I cannot begin to guess why you have problems. My PTX's were cutting a chunk out of some cases when I first started using them. But, that was corrected by adjusting the rotation of the shell holder on the stroke. It was an alignment problem between the case and the drop.

Dan in ABQ

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