Squibb loads from Hornady LNL Powder dispenser, and I missed one


Master Blaster
September 23, 2011, 09:56 PM
Well I guess if you load and fire 9,000+ rounds of .45 acp ( on the Hornady LNL press) you are going to eventually miss one, and this is not my first ever. Mostly I catch the one in 100 squibbs thrown by my LNL powder measure and its case activated drop. Today the law of averages caught up with me and I fired a squibb .45 acp with no powder out of my HK USP elite at the range. It was a 185 remington JSWC match Bullet, 6.0 grains of W231(actually zero W231), and a Wolf LP primer.

ALL I heard was click, and after several DA trigger pulls I though I had a bad primer, another very rare occurence. When I went to rack the slide it would not budge, and I began to wonder if I had a squibb.

I have loaded and fired about 5 squibbs (including this one) in the last 15 years of reloading all my centerfire ammo. Fired one lead bullet .45acp in my Ruger Black Hawk, two in .357 magnum (target loads with Bullseye) (previous three on my Dillon), one out of my .32 auto (single stage).

All the aforementioned Before the Hornady LNL appeared on my Bench. The Hornady Rotary measure for what ever reason throws way more squibbs than my Dillon Slider powder measure, but prior to this I caught them all.

I have loaded and fired three Squibbs in about 80,000+- rounds loaded on the Dillon But I never catch it throwing squibbs with the frequency of the Hornady Rotary measure and its case activated linkage.

So today I ordered a Dillon measure and powder die to put on the LNL press for loading .45 acp Pistol rounds.

I also believe the 40,000+ .45 acp loaded on my Dillon were more accurate as when I measure the charges thrown by both measures the Dillon is spot on and the Hornady tends to wander, I just don't think the design of the measure and case activated drop is very good for small powder volumes even with the proper cavity and the micrometer.

BTW I think the measure is just fine for higher volume rifle powder throws.

I had fun getting the slide open on my HK and when I did the case popped out
revealing a spent primer, and a bullet with a blackened base halfway in the lands (it was halfway in the case which made the gun a B*I*T*C*H to open.
About a hundred racks and taps did it. When I got home I disassmbled the gun and used a brass rod to drive the bullet out.

BTW I f like my LNL and I also Like my Dillon 550 so



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September 23, 2011, 10:24 PM
I've loaded about 13,000 rounds of 9, 357, 380 and have had 3 or 4 that were short a couple of grains of powder. That was using 700X or Unique. All were caught on the press using a powder cop die. Other powders have worked fine for me on the LNL. I almost never use Unique because of this reason and will never use 700X again, same reason.
Have you called Hornady about this? Maybe some reason for it?
Nothing wrong with the Dillon powder measure or the Hornady in my mind.

September 23, 2011, 10:24 PM

The only time I have had powder throw issues with my L-N-L was when I had a screw up and was straighten things out. Operator error more than powder measure error.

But, I have not loaded near the volume on my L-N-L yet.

Someone on the forum has modified a Redding measure to work on the L-N-L. A Redding 10-X might be just the ticket.

Guess I should be more vigilant. Thanks for the info.

September 23, 2011, 10:26 PM
You've loaded far more rounds than I have - I'm only at 5-6K, so don't take this as a "you don't know what you're doing" question, as I sincerely mean no disrespect.

So having said that: I don't understand how you're getting squibs with the LNL. If the press is properly set up, the hopper is sufficiently full, and you aren't short-stroking the handle, I don't understand how gravity is failing to make the powder drop into the shell.

Is it possible that you're driving the press so quickly that the full charge of powder doesn't have time to fall down the tube? Or is the hopper "die" itself not low enough to activate a full rotation of the rotary dispenser?

Again, no disrespect. I've simply never had this happen, and am curious as to what could be causing it.


September 23, 2011, 10:33 PM
I also don't see how you are getting squibs. I have loaded upwards of 10k rounds on my LnL and have never had it fail to drop powder.

September 23, 2011, 10:56 PM
I have over 11,000 rounds loaded on my LNL without any powder issues. However, I will always use the RCBS Lockout Die as a safety precaution. If there was no operator error, I would call Hornady Tech Support for help in fixing the problem. My powder measure has been very accurate.

September 23, 2011, 11:04 PM
If the squib was caused by ZERO powder in the case (which it sounds like you had), run the case activated powder measure a bunch of times without powder in the hopper and see if the metering drum is binding at the top of the throw. I had that happen once and found that it just needed a little adjustment to keep from binding.

Fortunately, the bullets came out with a light tap from a brass rod I keep in my range bag.

September 23, 2011, 11:20 PM
+1 on the rcbs lockout die

September 24, 2011, 06:17 AM
++ on the RCBS Lockout, haven't had the problem ever on my LNL.

Master Blaster
September 24, 2011, 07:21 AM
Thanks for your input all, I think it has to do with the short case langth of the .45 acp and the small powder charge. Quite some time ago I realized the LNL measure would occaisionally stick in the up position resulting in no powder. Cleaning every few hundred rounds seems to have resolved that. Also one has to watch it for the LNL bushing coming loose, I resolved that with teflon tape. Other times I am not sure what is going on. I have never seen a double or overcharge so its not a drop tube problem. I will have to buy the failsafe spring for the Dillon measure as the rod will not work with the Hornady press.

Consistancy is still an issue even with the baffle installed which did help limit the variation in the powder charge. The dillon slider design is much lighter and the belling works better. I never did get the Hornady to bell the case correctly so I had to use the case belling die in station 3, with the Dillon I can drop that, and use a RCBS powder lockout die in station 4.

Has anyone here used the RCBS lockout die instead of the Hornady powder cop?
How did it work for you?

September 24, 2011, 09:01 AM
I'm at about 60k rounds thru the L'n'L - 40k of 45acp and the rest spread among 38, 357, 9, 223 & 308. Around the 35 k mark and loading BA-10 which is a very fine grained, easy to meter powder, I noticed .2 - .4 variations in the drop as well as a "notchy" motion of the rotor. I had 3 complete failures to drop powder, all with 4064 - a stick powder that does not meter well. A majority of the loads to that point had been with Bullseye which tends to leave a thin, greasy layer of residue in the bottom and neck of the hopper.

I disassembled the the rotor and thoroughly cleaned out the bottom of the hopper with brake cleaner and a toothbrush. Reassembled everything with a light spritz of dry lube. Haven't had a single incident since and the rotor is again rotating smoothly. I don't know off-hand if 231 is a double base like BE but I'd check for a build-up of residue deposited in the bottom of the hopper - it's sticky enough to act like sandpaper and impede the flow of powder.

September 24, 2011, 09:17 AM
Consistancy is still an issue even with the baffle installed which did help limit the variation in the powder charge.

I have been working with two powder baffles in my L-N-L recently and the consistency of charges has improved. The upper baffle is located about 1-1/2" above the lower baffle and oriented 90 degrees from the lower. But, I have only made a few 400 cartridges or so runs since I made the double baffle. So, long term I amy or may not see benefits.

Hornady has redesigned the expander a couple years ago. They were coming out shortly after I bought my L-N-L in late 2009. If I remember correctly (I am not near my reloading equipment at the present), the new ones have a step that the case mouth stops at in the expanding phase of the powder charging step. It makes for more consistent operation of the measure. It still may not give the amount of flare that you want but, it s a change.

September 24, 2011, 09:51 AM
Someone on the forum has modified a Redding measure to work on the L-N-L. A Redding 10-X might be just the ticket.
I have set up my 10X and my BR-30 to work on my LNL.


I also use my own powder bushings for the powder to fall through. The one I use for 9MM through .45 has a nice big polished funnel and tube to drop through. I have a Fenix light (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=121129&d=1273802439) in the press to shine down into the cases to help me see the charge, or lack thereof.

Any double clutching at all might cause the LNL set up not to drop powder I imagine, but I have never used mine. Lots of folks like the set up, and some have used it on other presses. The RCBS linkage is nearly identical.

My only suggestion would be to use an expander with as big a hole as possible, and put a high polish on the inside of it. Perhaps change the funnel portion to a steeper grade if you can.

September 24, 2011, 10:27 AM
I'm not sure I would blame the powder dispenser as much as an operator/setup issue. I've loaded near 20k 9mm rounds which is smaller than the 45's. I use the PTX die so I can run a powder cop in station 3. The Powder Dispenser loosening up can be an easy fix, Call Hornady and they will send you a shim to install on the bushing. This takes the looseness out so it stays tight. I was using some paper strips to tighten mine up till I got the shim. The powder dispenser should deliver 0.1gr without any issues using a ball powder. Forget about the flake powder I never could get less than 0.2gr deviation. How the early press came with only the Rife rotor. I had a friend install the pistol micrometer head into the rifle rotor. Needless to say he was have a rather wide deviation trying to deliver a 4.8gr load of WSF. The new ones come with the Rifle installed but the pistol in the box. If your getting a large swing in powder drops something is not right. Either static, not full stroking, wrong piston for the rotor or wrong rotor, powder sticking in down tube. Using the PTX is not easy to setup correctly. You need to full stoke and have the piston stop movement against the housing. Forget the PTX stop that is currently supplied. You need it setup correctly before using the stop. Mine did not come with it and I think it was a fix for an non existent problem. I can see it take the load off of the levers and that its only purpose. Don't use it to set the PTX up. Hornady did make a change to the PTX dies several years ago, I worked with them (design engineer) on that. As an interim fix they had to re machine the PTX die and supply a spacer cone to make up the difference. The next production run was suppose to be all one piece.

My drop tube would loosen up on mine and impact the expander adj, a little blue loctite fixed that.

September 24, 2011, 11:24 AM
I've been pondering this a bit since I posted last night. Lots of good info in this thread already, but I've got some more point I decided to type out... some of these have already been mentioned by others, of course.

- Case length (.45) is not the issue. I've loaded thousands of 9mm, which has a shorter case, with no squibs.

- I use the small (pistol) rotor with the small insert. I found this much better than the insert with the large cavity, which DID seem have have problems throwing consistent charges under 6gr. I don't have a micrometer insert, as i can easily "dial in" +/- a couple grains on my own and check with the scale.

- The PD has multiple inserts, which must be changed according to how high your case is. As I recall, when I initially set up my press, i had problems with proper bushing rotation. The problem was that I was using the rifle insert.

- If you are using the improper insert, this WILL lead to having to screw the PD into some strange height. If it's barely in the threads or fully screwed in, you have the wrong insert.

- There should be no lateral "wobble" whatsoever when it moves up and down. If there is, something is adjusted wrong. If the PD works itself out of the mount: Blue mentioned, you may need a shim to put between the press and the die. Hornady will send you 2-3 of them (different thicknesses) for free. I cut one out of cardboard, and it worked fine, but eventually ordered the metal shim. My PD has no wiggle in the press, it's just as firm in there as the other dies.

- I do not recall how the inserts are combined with using a Hornady PTX, if at all, as this situation doesn't apply to my setup. But be sure that you have the proper combination.

- If you are flaring with the PD station, you may have a) the wrong insert b) a bad PTX c) improper PD height d) something else. I use an aftermarket universal PTX, and it solved all of these problems. http://www.powderfunnels.com/

- I have never used a baffle. I won't say this is a factor... But that's just a minor point I thought I'd add about my own setup.

- Finally, if the rotor gets stuck in the UP position, and won't rotate down: simply, you probably need to clean it. The vertical spring (and weight) is sufficient to pull the entire assembly down and rotate the rotor... if yours gets stuck, then it's either defective or simply dirty.

Hope some of this helps.


HK SD9 Tactical
September 24, 2011, 12:33 PM
On the PTX make sure you are using the ones that have the A (.### A) on them. They are the newer models of the PTX dies. A shim is also helpful for the PD. Call Hornady and they will ship a set (one thin, one thicker) to you FoC.

I use the RCBS Lock Out die when I have a station open. It works very well. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I have the bullet feeder and it takes the station that I normally use for the LO Die. I have never had a problem with the PD in my Hornady and my charges are all within +/- .1 grain with the powders that I use, although I must admit that I have only loaded 9mm, .357 Mag, .40 S&W so far. My next is the .357 Sig. I was so concerned about the variance at first that I used to weigh every 5th charge. Now it's about every 50th and even then, it's spot on. Keeping it clean is a must. I only use one baffel and it works fine.

wild willy
September 24, 2011, 05:14 PM
I have loaded 4 thousand 357 and 9mm on mine I have had two shells without powder I saw the one. I know the rotor stayed in the up position. The only thing I could find was that the first threaded drop tube had worked loose.I bought a RCBS lock out die.I also have a Uniflow with the RCBS case activated linkage the RCBS return spring is much stronger.It hasn't missed any since I got the lock out.

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