Hornady LNL 9mm issues -


April 23, 2013, 04:46 PM
I started a new thread rather than continuing to hijack the powder die thread.

My issues with the LNL to date (this is a new press I probably have not broken the 500 load count yet) have mostly to do with the 9mm. I'm using Blue Dot - since I have 3-4 lbs of the stuff and I can't get anything else locally. The press seems to run fine using BD on my .357 loads, and it's doing fine on .45 acp - other than shearing lead during the seating operation.

I have 1000 115 gr plated rn bullets from Rocky Mountain Reloading - and I have a NOE 134 gr 4 cavity mold. I'm looking for a powder that will do ok with both. In the meantime though it's BD.

First problem I'm having is missing primers - I'm 99.5% sure it's paying attention to something else - like bullet seating and not pushing the arm back far enough to actually seat a primer. This becomes a huge PITA if powder gets into the primer feed mechanism. I've been thinking about something like the 'out of primer' buzzer that would light up a little LED light when the platen is as far down as it will go - sort of an idiot light. got light? good to go.

The next headache is powder hurlng. IF I operate the press on a smooth consistent cycle the shell plate seems to lock onto the ball detents fairly well and line up with the primer seating station. However, at 7.2 gr of BD, this throws a few flakes of powder out of the casing. So naturally I slow down a little bit and try not to get the jerk thing going - so the shell plate does not completely index over the primer. oops. Sometimes I'll try to get a finger over the case mouth to block the hurl - but that also retards the shell plate. I'm wondering if I need to adjust the pauls slightly so that is a little more positive indexing?

My next problem is case mouth belling. I guess have to work with the PTX device a bit more. I haven't been able to get a decent bell on the case mouth to allow seating cast bullets. I ended up with using the 9mm expansion die in station 2, and moving the powder throw to 3. I am seating and taper crimping separately in station 4, and 5.

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April 23, 2013, 05:37 PM
Which PTX were you trying? .355 or .357?

I've read that using the .357 expander makes seating cast 9mm a little easier. Haven't began running mine for 9mm yet so I can't tell you from experience.

Did your LnL come with a primer follower? Mine did not but I've also read that Hornady includes, or used to include a plastic rod to ride the top of the primer stack. I made one out of a dowel and marked it to indicate that empty was near.

My primer feed system was EXTREMELY finicky and it took a lot of troubleshooting to find how it liked to be run, but it doesn't sound like yours is doing what mine did.

April 23, 2013, 05:42 PM
Eventually, pushing forward on the handle just becomes habit. You'll get there. I never have powder get into the priming system because my pm is in station 3, not 2. I use an m die in station 2 with any one of several custom plugs. I've found that 9mm cases especially do not all expand alike. Some headstamps seem to be a bit softer (FC, R-P, Speer) and do well with one plug, while others (CBC) seem to be quite a bit tougher and resist expanding, so a slighter larger plug is used. You can also have custom ptx's made to be shaped like m die plugs. I don't seem to have the powder hurling issue so I can't offer any suggestions there.

April 23, 2013, 06:06 PM
I ran into the case mouth belling on the .45. I was using a .451 expander - I've ordered a .452. I just tried to head that problem off at the pass and go to the conventional expander in station 2 on the 9 mm. The 9 seems to have enough issues with cast bullets without dealing with lead piled up on the case mouth also. I have a .357 and .358 expander - so I may be able to loose the factory die.

April 23, 2013, 07:31 PM
Here's my LnL setup Ive used for 9mm with no issues. Dies are Hornady unless specified. Powder is Titegroup.

1. Lee U-Die
2. Expander die
3. Powder drop
4. Seater die
5. Lee FCD

April 23, 2013, 07:36 PM
Like I stated in the other thread, you just need to mess with the PTX adjustment, make small changes to get it set right. I use the .451 for 45 and the .357 for the 9mm and can get the case belled enough to slide 1/2 the bullet into the case with my fingers. The case mouth upon final seating has just enough bell to not touch the bullet. The PTX works in .40 and .38 just as well. I am loading bullets that are .001 over bore diameter.

Not sure on the .452 PTX but I think its for 45LC and is a somewhat different length and can cause problems with set up. I just read this the other day but since I wasn't really interested in the .452 PTX I didn't take it all in. Might be worth a google search.

April 23, 2013, 07:49 PM
Also don't use the Lee FCD with lead as it tends to size oversized bullets down to factory size. If you want a separate crimp die Lee, Redding and I am sure a few others make a crimp die without the sizer in it. Its not hard to knock out the carbide ring in a Lee FCD to make it just a crimp die if you so choose. I knocked the ring out of my .40 Lee FCD when I figured out what it was doing and I wanted to load more lead. I have since purchased another FCD for .40 carry rounds just as an extra measure with them rounds but in reality if your sizer die is doing its job there is really no need or a FCD. I guess I am getting with the crowd that thinks the FCD is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

I may have just derailed your thread this time.

April 23, 2013, 08:21 PM
I have hornady taper crimp dies in sta.5 for the 9 and the .45 Hornady .45 acp dies new set - taper crimp dies, Older Lyman .357 carbide dies.

The 9 mm dies I'm using are RCBS carbide dies - borrowed from a friend as 9 mm dies are very hard to find right now.

Will work on the ptx settings. I have not tried the .452 ptx yet - haven't had a chance to even compare it to the .451 ptx.

Worse comes to worse there isn't any reason I can't turn out what I need on the lathe. The 9 mm case is so full with BD there is no possible way to double a charge. I'm not particularly concerened about not having a powder cop die in. A primer cop, OTOH might be kind of nice.

April 23, 2013, 08:35 PM
With reguard to spilling powder upon indexing the round to bullet seating position, I have also ran in to problems with 9mm and using Unique, a very fluffy powder that fills the case quite full. What works for me is slowing down my stroke right before it snaps into the indexing ball bering, which sometimes works but have also put my finger on the case to help it from spilling out as well, and it seems to not affect the proper indexing. BTW I am using a Lee Pro 1000. Good Luck!

April 23, 2013, 08:54 PM
Not to be rude but your issue with missing primers is either related to lack of experience, getting in too much of a hurry, or a combination of the two. Slow down, take your time, and be safe. If you are paying attention like you should, there is no mistaking the feel of a primer properly seating. There are ways to rig up an alarm for empty primer tube notification, YouTube can be helpful for that. But I find that paying attention and using the weight rod in the primer tube works just as well. If you go to seat a primer and there's no primer present you should feel it. Remove that casing and if the primer sled is being held back you know the tube is empty. Refill the tube, manually cycle the sled (don't raise the ram, pull the sled back slowly with your fingers and return it to ready), place the sized casing back on the shellplate, and seat you primer, return to normal operation.

Don't mess with your pawls. The actions you are taking to avoid powder jumping out of the case are causing your indexing problem. Adjusting your pawls will lead to bigger, more serious headaches. If its just a couple flakes jumping out of each case it won't effect your loads. If its a large amount coming out you need to either use less powder or switch powders. Keep a good, small, paintbrush handy to brush flakes off of the subplate and shellplate if it is interfering with the primer system. Stick powders are especially bad about jamming up the primer system if you ever use them.

As for the PTX, I've pretty much given up on them. Personally for me it's too much hassle to set up the PTX for every caliber. I size/de-prime, expand, powder drop, seat or empty station, and seat and/or crimp depending on what's in station 4. I use to use a Lockout Die but found my eyes are just as good at detecting a major change in thrown charges (unless using a powder like Bullseye or Tightgroup) visually inspect each case for a charge before seating a bullet. I've found this system to work best for ME and I won't change it unless I upgrade to a bullet feeder but that's not likely to happen, a case feeder seems like a better investment since I like to visually verify the presence of a powder charge.

April 23, 2013, 09:43 PM
Kansas - I realize the primer issue is my fault. It's not a fault of the LNL. I think that easing off on the stroke to avoid powder hurling is enough of a distraction that I forget to do that last little nudge on the handle, and if the machine hasn't indexed fully - then there is no last little nudge as it is already bottomed out. I load shotshells on a ponsness progressive - it just takes a while to figure out which eye goes where when!

The only little grouse I have is that it is just not possible to know there is a primer seated. The whole primer system is pretty well hidden from view. At least on the PW the primer feed is right smack dab in front. You can see there is a primer in the shuttle, and you can see when the primer is set into the seating post, and you can see the empty shuttle coming back for a reload. It just takes a nearly subconscious glance to know with near certainty there is a primer in the hull. Things still happen and a primer get missed once in a great while. What I do like about the Ponsness though is that it will not index if the machine is not fully cycled. The LNL indexes just fine without a complete stroke.

It is just going to take some getting used to.

April 23, 2013, 11:17 PM
The only little grouse I have is that it is just not possible to know there is a primer seated. The whole primer system is pretty well hidden from view. At least on the PW the primer feed is right smack dab in front. You can see there is a primer in the shuttle, and you can see when the primer is set into the seating post, and you can see the empty shuttle coming back for a reload. It just takes a nearly subconscious glance to know with near certainty there is a primer in the hull. Things still happen and a primer get missed once in a great while. What I do like about the Ponsness though is that it will not index if the machine is not fully cycled. The LNL indexes just fine without a complete stroke.

It is just going to take some getting used to.

I believe you said here or the other thread you have not loaded a lot on the LnL yet? If this is the case give the primer system some more time and you will get the feel for the primer seating feel. I can tell if there is no primer, catch a missed crimped pocket or a small, large primer 45 case mixed in. You will get a fill for it and know exactly whats up with the primer seating.

April 23, 2013, 11:33 PM
Yeah if you gotta keep using the Blue Dot and you keep slowing down the index on the downstroke, just remember to give it a little nudge at the bottom to completely index it. I have to do that sometimes when loading .223 with Varget as some of my loads completely fill the case. Varget being a stick powder it REALLY causes problems if it gets in the priming system. Once you get used to it there is no mistaking just by the feel that you have seated a primer. What I would suggest doing is filling up your primer tube and only placing your sizing die. Size/de-prime and prime all of you casings. Doing this will help you get the feel of how priming should go. Once you have all of them primed that you're wanting to reload, take out the sizing die and put all of the other dies in and run them through. Do that until the feel of the priming system becomes second nature. Then run it in full on progressive, very slowly until you get it down right every time. I suggest this out of personal experience. I've had all of your issues in the past year and that's how I got past them.

April 24, 2013, 12:40 AM
Thats not a bad idea at all, Kansas. I may do a 100 or so that way just to experiment. I am getting a little better - I missed 6 out of 100 a couple nights ago. Missed one in about 75 earlier today. It does work really well if you're moving at a decent pace. It's slowing down to mind the powder situation thats causing the indexing to hang just before its fully aligned with the primer station.

Working on a BD load for a 135 gr cast RN bullet. Starting is about 6 grains - It leaves enough room to not hurl powder. 7.2 gr and more and it hurls a few flakes.

April 24, 2013, 08:29 AM
Your press will probably smooth out with some more use but don't be afraid of the pawls, there is a lot of info on the web about adjusting them just remember to go slow and make small adjustments. I say this because I ride the shell plate when inserting a new case into the system when loading 9mm to stop the jump and my press always advances all the way. The advancement is mechanical and a pawl is pushing the shell plate to the index stop, if your press is not going all the way to the stop then the pawl is not pushing it all the way there. I think what is happening is your pawl is a little out of adjustment and when doing a normal press stroke the shell plate is moving enough that once the indent hole is close enough to the indent ball there is enough inertia to carry it to the stop. When riding the shell plate its getting hung up on the detent ball and the pawl is not pushing the plate anymore so it just stops.

Check this thread out. http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5450659&postcount=36

April 24, 2013, 09:33 AM
One thing you can try is place your little finger on the shell plate as you place the bullet in (station 4), shell plate still moving. This will dampen the snapping action of the paws.

The PTX can be a pain to adj the reason I have a powder base (die) for each caliber. I use the die locking ring to adj the depth. This is the way you were suppose to do it before they cam out with the stop. The stop should be just that set it and be done. Doing it this way when you change bases there is nothing ease to do, all ready set. But soon as you start jacking on the stop you effect all of your powder die bases.

If your using a weighted rod on the primers you should notice the sled staying back. And experience will tell you whether you have a primer in the sled when you seat.

I only use the 0.355" PTX in the 9mm. Setting up the dies the way I do I have no problem with them at all. Polishing the end will smooth things out a lot. You have a drill press chuck it up an go at it with some fine emery paper or sand paper.

April 24, 2013, 10:47 AM
I am going to have to study the ptx setup some more. I have separate stop linkage for each lower powder die setup. Are there any good threads on setting up the PTX/powder dies? I thought I had them figured out - but maybe not. Other than messing with the upper enough to ensure the stop linkage upper adjust screw cleared the housing of the powder measure I've never had to touch the upper linkage.

Thanks for the link on the paul adjusting. I may just tweak the left paul. Playing with the machine with no cases in it, by easing the ram down iI can get the shell plate to stop before fully indexing. The tiniest adjustment should take that out. Operating at a reasonable pace it indexes completely everytime. But if anything retards the plate, it stops a bit early. Maybe a burr on the detents or something like that.

April 24, 2013, 11:09 AM
If you're sometimes not getting a primer then you also should make sure that the shuttle is moving back far enough.

What I do is before the primer tube is inserted and the shield screwed on is to look at how far the opening in the shuttle for primers is moving on the upstroke. It should move about half-way past center. If it doesn't then adjust until it does. This plus having a following rod in the primer tube should solve the primer feed problem.

With experience you will be able to feel the primer being inserted as there is just a bit of resistance. It's harder to tell on 9's but it is still present.

Regarding Blue Dot, my experience is that you will get a flake or two out of the case no matter how hard you try; especially with 9's. I even have that happen on occasion with 44's. I also find that it doesn't meter as accurately as some other powders.

Aside from getting your stroke speed in synch, keep the press clean. After every 100 rounds (with 9's and Blue Dot) I remove the shell plate and clean that and the primer shuttle to get rid of any errant flakes.

Can't speak to the PTX with 9mm lead bullets, but mine works very well with jacketed bullets.

Regarding the pawls, if it is indexing correctly with the shell plate fully loaded then I wouldn't adjust it...otherwise you should. Assuming that the press is clean and lubed (including under the shell plate where the bearings are located) then make you adjustments in 1/8 turns or smaller (preferably) increments. It's not hard and when I manhandled my press when I first got it I actually broke a pawl and had to replace it and if I could start from scratch and get it adjusted right then anyone can.

FWIW I've reloaded over 5,000 9's since mid-past year when I got the press and lots of other rifle and pistol calibers. Take your time and go slow, you will get more rounds per hour produced then when you try to rush it, and will have fewer mistakes.

April 24, 2013, 07:30 PM
You should not use the .357 for 9mm.
The .357 is for, you guessed it .357 magnum which is a longer cartridge than a 9mm.
With the way mine is setup I can bell a 9mm case to look like a tulip if I wish.
The same goes for using a .452 sizer for .45ACP.
It was designed for the .45 Long Colt.
Short expander for a longer cartridge. Longer expander for a shorter cartridge.

After every 100 rounds when the primer slide locks back I give a shot of air in the primer slide area and under the shellplate.
After every 1,000 rounds a shot of Hornady Gun Cleaner and Dry Lube

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