500 S&W on a Hornady LNL AP?


July 5, 2014, 07:02 AM
I have set up my press for the 500S&W, but I've run into some problems:

1) I think I need a large rifle case feeder plate, since large pistol doesn't work!
2) The cases get stuck in the little thing which slides them over in the case feeder before it drops down, gotta give the slider and extra wiggle. Did I forget something?
3) The powder drops are all over the place! I am using 2400 and 330gr lead bullets, and when I'm filling all stations the powder varies from 33.5-35 with an occasional 36! Without the sizing die in, I can get consistent drops. I also made up a batch of 300MP with the Berry's plated 350gr bullets (they need to restart making them again so they don't become collectors items!) and the powder drops were very consistent.
4) I am also getting inconsistent bullet seating (not enough) and less crimp when I am sizing in station one, so it all seems related to so much force in resizing and other tolerances in the press?

Do y'all think I need to just size and prime first, and then run them all through again for powder/bullet/crimp? I would love to do it all in one pass, but something tells me it might be tough. I have not tried lubing the cases, which I know helps sizing 500's (when I used to single stage all my 500).


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tightgroup tiger
July 5, 2014, 08:33 AM
#1. Your 500 S&W is .556 in dia at the rim and the collator plate openings on the large pistol plate are .558 in dia. That isn't going to work. There's not enough room for the cases to drop into.
The 500 is also to long to up-end and drop down into collator plate holes.
A large rifle plate should work better since it has much wider slots instead of holes, but you may have to raise it up because of the diameter of the case.

But I would call Hornady on that one, I don't have a large rifle plate to measure the length of the slots. If the slots are longer then your case, the case will drop in the tube upside down.

I raised my plates up by taking the slip clutch on the collator plate apart and adding a 7/8"flat washer on top of driving hub, then re-assembling the clutch. This give the case further to fall when it finds on the holes and hangs on better coming up the incline.

#2, Did you put the extra pivot adaptor on top of the pivot as if your loading long rifle cases? Also, look at the push rod that is lifting up against the pivot to see if the bushing it rides in is lifting out of the hole and following the push rod when the push rod is lifted up. That will allow the push rod to kick sideways on the taper it pushes against on the pivot and it will lift at inconsistent heights causing the pivot to not pivot far enough. Mine does this and I haven't dealt with it yet. That's all I have for you on that one without having .500 cases here to play with.

#3, 2400 should meter well through your measure. I think your right about the cases resizing to hard and causing deflection on the shell plate.
Are you using case lube on these? I would lay them down on their side, with the mouths turned away from you and hose them down with some kind of spray lube. That really helps fight plate deflection.

Are you using the standard Hornady arraignment for your die placement? I'm thinking you were using a different arraignment from something I remember from one of your older posts. I was thinking you were using your powder measure in station 2 or something, Maybe I breathed to much rocket smoke last night.
I took the guts out of my powder cop die and screwed it down to touch the shell plate in station4 to help counter-act the deflection from the re-sizing die. In your case I think it would work better in station 3. Move powder to station 4, that will put it further away from the crimp die to help stabilize it better also.

The only other thing I can think of is what you already suggested, resizing off the press before hand.

July 5, 2014, 08:52 AM
If your are talking about the cam that is shuttled by the base going up, your saying it's hanging up and not letting them drop. Make sure your getting a full stroke with the adj on the pusher rod. I also find if the upper tube is too large it causes cases to tilt which can cause binding. On my 45acp I have a plastic bushing I use to get a straighter drop. I always end up setting the clearance between the brass and drop tube <1/6" I find the less you have here the less tilting you get.

As for the powder drop sounds like you may have a static problem or you did not fully settle the powder before you started. Once the hopper is full I tap the side to settle it down than make a 20 drops before I even check the weight. After any adj I do another 5 drops before checking. With the case activated drop you have to make sure your not short cycling. If the powder rotor is not rotating all the way to within 1/16" your shorting the stroke on the rotor. With the PTX stop it's easy to get this adj so you limit the stroke.

The bullet seating can be of many things. You will get some ~0.005" as an average depending on how much flex your getting in the base, stations full. Final adj is done once all stations are full and running. If the flex is preventing the brass from going up high enough you will be crimping before you should. I like doing the crimp after the bullet is seated. More consistent that way and easier to setup.

July 5, 2014, 09:19 AM
I don't need and do not have a case feeder for my LNL and I shoot and load a lot. Not having one eliminates a good bit of problems I think.
I lightly spray a quick shot of non stick cooking spray on my 500 cases before I start, helps tremendously.
Adjust the linkage so the powder rotor rotates fully upwards. Also, I never use the powder baffle in the hopper.

July 5, 2014, 01:42 PM
Without the sizing die in, I can get consistent drops.I never size cases while loading them on my LNL. Nice and smooth that way. Smooth and consistent is where it's at for measures.

July 5, 2014, 02:25 PM
What brand dies are you using? All mine are Hornady with the TiNi coating which has a slicker finish than carbide. I discovered by accident that these TiNi dies are really slick and well suited for progressive presses. I had duplicate sets with Hornady, RCBS and Lee. So I was able to do a direct comparison. Hornady wins hand downs over the ones I tested. Required almost 1/2 the force to size. I would probably use oneshot case lube on those larger cases. 357mag is the largest brass I have done in pistol with the brass feeder. Did not have the variations you are having.

Like Walkalong said on a progressive smoothness is key. Use the same speed.

Are you using a baffle in your powder dispenser? If not add one, set the slots to the side about 1" from the bottom. This will help eliminate vibration impacting your drops.

July 17, 2014, 08:14 AM
I got everything working!

The Hornady One-shot made sizing go much easier, and I stopped getting wildly inconsistent drops. I also screwed the powder measure in a little deeper, I don't think it was making the powder rotor rotate all the way up.

I added the rifle bushing to the case feeder, and adjusted the push rod. Now that works almost perfectly.

I am using all Redding dies.

I also discovered that I need a large rifle plate for the case feeder. Should have just ordered them all in the first place!

I think I am ready to go into full production once the case feeder plate arrives. I am on the fourth or fifth firing of a small batch of Hornady and Starline "test" brass to see how many loadings I can get. I have some 44 Mag on their 11th or 12th firing close to full power loads, and primer pockets are fine, so I'm hoping the 500 brass lasts as well.

July 17, 2014, 10:06 PM
I don't know how many full power loadings my 500 brass have gone through in my Handi-rifle and I have an assortment of brands. All brands are very thick and very tough and I've never experienced a split neck. Well pleased with them all. I use Lee carbide dies.

July 18, 2014, 07:37 AM
Good to hear. I was hoping for 10 loads, which would bring my cost per case down into what new brass case 9mm costs these days! I am using the Dardas 330 gr plain lead RNFP bullets and 2400 powder with standard LR primers. Like a big 44 magnum with those loads. I was also making up full house 350gr with the Berry's plated and 300MP with LRM primers, but those bullets are "unavailable" for now. Hopefully they will make more of them someday, since they shoot well, and the price is right (and they are double coated or whatever so can be shot at magnum velocities)

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