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Dillon Powder Measure on My LNL AP Working Great

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Master Blaster, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Some of you good folks may have read about my issues with the LNL powder measure with case activated linkage and through powder belling. Recently I had a squibb I didn't catch, and the unit has always suffered from poor consistency when dropping small volume pistol powder charges. I also own a RL 550B and have loaded many tens of thousands of rounds on it with reliable accurate powder throws, and easy adjustibility of the belling from caliber to caliber, so I decided to put a Dillon measure on the LNL.
    I found a very easy way to get around the need for the safety rod bracket and rod without compromising the reliability of the powder measure. Basically it involves two screws and two nuts at a cost of 20 cents. I replaced the function of the rod by using a broken case retainer spring from the LNL wrapped around the safety spring area of the Dillon measure. I have a few of those should it wear out. (this was the old way of ensuring the slide returns if gravity doesnt do it.)
    Last night I spent exactly 25 minutes adapting the measure and adjusting the powder die and quick change bushing for perfect belling and a perfect powder drop on .45 acp. I already had the powder funnell /belling insert from my dillon .45 acp set up so I only had to buy the measure which came with a powder die. The nice thing is that I now have perfect belling, easy adjustment and a consistant reliable powder drop. 20 consecutive drops tested at exactly 6.0 grains of W231. I have never been able to get this consistency and reliability from the Hornady measure.
    I loaded 100 rounds with no powderless or low powder drops (unlike the Hornady measure). The press is much smoother and quieter, and requires much less effort to operate without the 8 pound Hornady measure and seperate belling die. The belling is also perfect without a loss of case tension on the bullet, or the issue of underbelling. I can now use a RCBS lockout die in the empty station if I want.
    Change over to other calibers require a caliber specific funnel/ belling insert, and a powder die, and once set take about 10 seconds, as you can have the powder die preset in a Hornady LNL bushing.

    Here are a few pictures:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  2. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear you found a solution that works for you.

    Nothing quite like American ingenuity. :D
  3. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Thanks Hondo, Now I have to decide if I want to use the lock out die or look into some sort of bullet feeder as I have a free station. The powder measure is easily moved from one caliber set up to another by having a preset powder die at a cost of 12.95, and a caliber specific belling/funnel, at 14.95. Once you have adjusted the height of the powder die in a LNL Bushing, you undo 2 hex head cap screws to move the measure, and take 5 mins to adjust the powder throw.
  4. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    You could of gotten the spring setup from Brian Enos at BrianEnos.com I was thinking of doing that with my Hornady LnL a long time ago, but worked through my problem and resolved it.

    Another good solution is to use the Lee Pro Auto Disks. They work great with pistol powders.

    All that said and done, the Hornady can be made to work without having to buy the Dillon powder measure or the Lee's. Just need the right cylinder and the micrometer stem.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2011
  5. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    I've always thought that would be a great solution for the LNL. The Dillon measure is great and their caliber dependent design gives consistent belling. Congrats on the follow-through and workable solution.

    BTW, older Dillon PMs used to come with a spring like that.
  6. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Status report: 600 rounds of 45 ACP loaded with two different bullet styles and two different powders W231 and Trailboss, and not one squibb or light powder charge. Belling is still consistant, and the bushing has not come loose in the press. My LNL powder measure with regular metering insert and rifle micrometer and case activated linkage, and baffle will be for sale soon. Pm me with an offer if interested.
  7. Shmackey

    Shmackey Well-Known Member

    Cool! Your bench is even messier than mine! :)
  8. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    "My LNL powder measure with regular metering insert and rifle micrometer and case activated linkage, and baffle will be for sale soon."

    There was your problem right there. You weren't using the pistol parts.
  9. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Dave I Had the pistol parts for about a week, I discovered that it wouldn't reliably dispense Unique, or Trailboss, as the hole in the pistol rotor was so small bridging was a problem, a serious problem. I called Hornady and they admitted it and told me to "Use a different propellent, a ball propellant, because flake propellants have that problem".

    So I returned the pistol rotor and insert for a refund. The rifle rotor and micrometer worked much better but I would still get squibbs and more variation in the charge weight than I find acceptable.
  10. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you picked the wrong press for the powders you are using. W231 and Unique aren't what I would use to reload any of the pistol powders I load for, but to each his own. Can't comment on the Trailboss, as I don't shoot cowboy action.

    You start using extruded powders, you may find you're not quite so happy with that Dillon and may wish you'd kept the Hornady. I certainly felt that way about my Dillon measure using 4895, which it stunk at metering accurately.
  11. thorn-

    thorn- Well-Known Member

    "Once you have adjusted the height of the powder die in a LNL Bushing, you undo 2 hex head cap screws to move the measure, and take 5 mins to adjust the powder throw."

    Note for future readers: the hex screws should ONLY be adjusted if the unit comes mis-adjusted from the factory and if the powder rotor is not making a complete revolution. Once properly set, screwing the unit in/out of the housing is the proper way to compensate for a higher or lower case, or by using the newer bracket adjustment screws. If you are taking the hex screws out every time you change calibers, you are most certainly doing it the wrong way and will get unsatisfactory results.

    Also - using a universal powder die in the LNL will save you from spending $28 on caliber-specific inserts and powder dies.


  12. Deavis

    Deavis Well-Known Member

    I did a comparison across multiple powders with a LNL measure fitted to a 1050 and the clanky, annoying, and old technology Dillon measure was just as good as the LNL. Even extruded measures didn't show any better statistics despite all the claims to the contrary. Slap a plastic knob on that Dillon measure and it is just as good as any other measure IMHO.
  13. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Thorn wrote:
    Sorry you have no idea what so ever what you are talking about. First off the Dillon measure has a powder slide not a ROTOR. The two hex head cap screws hold the measure on the powder die via the powder measure clamp, and have nothing to do with adjusting the travel of the slide in the measure. In order to change the powder belling funnel you have to remove the measure from the die by unscrewing the two clamp screws.

    See page 11 of the dillon manual


    Next, insert the pistol powder funnel (*#13782) or a
    rifle powder funnel (*#13426) with the tapered end down,
    Fig. 18. The funnel should move freely in the die.
    Set the powder measure assembly onto the powder die,
    Fig. 19. The powder measure clamp (#13939) should fit
    loosely around the die, tighten the screws just a little. This
    will enable you make adjustments to the die easily, Fig. 19.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  14. mallc

    mallc Well-Known Member

    Which cylinder did you use?

    I don't seem to have any more consistency issues with of my LNL APs, than I do with my Dillons. Which powder cylinder were you using? Pistol or general?

  15. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    Please see above previous posts.

  16. PsychoKnight

    PsychoKnight Well-Known Member

    The two clamp screws he was referring to was for the LnL PM, not the Dillon PM. He was talking Hornady, you thought he was talking Dillon.

    Hornady is wrong. The fact that they don't offer a powder baffler for the hopper in their line of measures tells me they don't know powder. You get binding w/ Unique and Trailboss (I like 800x) more often if the hopper is half to full, and consistent results if the hopper is 1/4 full. The weight of a full hopper causes the flakes to interlock together at the bottom, near the rotor. Use a RCBS baffler and insert it by pushing it up from the bottom of the hopper (remove hopper first, simply by twisting and pulling it from the aluminum housing). If the baffle is loose in the hopper, remove and spread the wings first, then insert it from the bottom and only insert it so that it settles about a 1/2" from the bottome edge of the clear hopper. Instead of a commercially made baffle, I found a soft lid from a small cylindrical plastic toothpick container. I sliced off the tab, used a .45 case to pound/cut a clean hole in the middle for the powder to flow, and shoved the lid so it sits one 1-1/2" above the rotor. Best two minute mod I ever did. You can use scrap metal or plastic with a myriad of designs. Just block the weight of the powder from sitting onto the rotor. It becomes a meter for the meter. Lee has simple built-in baffles on all their hoppers.

    If you look at any of the ultra premium powder measures in the market, including the $300 Harrell's offerings, they are designed more like the Hornady rather than the Dillon measure. I agree Dillon measures work just fine - I wouldn't agree they necessarily meter the very best with the widest range of powder types.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  17. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    Actually they have come with a baffle as std equipment for quite some time now so perhaps they know more than you think.
  18. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Well-Known Member

    My press has a serial number around 10,000 at that time they did not come with a baffle, Nor did they even make one. I had to make one out of a piece of plastic sheeting to get halfway accurate throws with the pistol powders I use. The Dillon measure has a baffle built into the bottom of the powder resevoir. About three years ago is when Hornady finally realized they needed a baffle and started making a metal one, they sent me one for free when I called them for another part. Horandy needs to learn that they need a rotor with an opening sized between the rifle rotor (too big) and the Pistol one (too small). I have mentioned this to them three or 4 times over the last 6 years. I have no doubt that in a year or two they will figure out that they need a midsized rotor and insert for flake powders.

    There is a noticable imporvement in the smoothness and a decrease in effort operating the press with the Dillon measure and flaring funnel installed so I really doubt I will ever go back to the hornady measure which weighs 4x as much.

    I load all my centerfire rifle on a Rock chucker and use a Redding BR powder measure (with baffle installed) for all my stick powders, never tried the Dillon with stick powder (unless you count Vitavouhri N320 and N340 and it worked fine with those), or loaded rifle on a progressive.

    The purpose of this thread was to show folks having problems with their LNL measure that there is an effective and inexpensive alternative.
  19. thorn-

    thorn- Well-Known Member

    "Sorry you have no idea what so ever what you are talking about. First off the Dillon measure has a powder slide not a ROTOR."

    I interpreted your post as to talking about the LNL taking 5 mins to change over for powder; my mistake in not knowing you meant the Dillon measure.

  20. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    Since when was the high priced Dillon measure inexpensive? If you wanted inexpensive, the Lee Pro Auto Disk would have done the same thing for half the money and been much easier to change over. For the price of a single Dillon, you could had a couple of them and not had to do any adjusting.

    And in all honesty, I'm reasonably sure the problem is operated, not the measure, since the Hornady measure is basically the same as an RCBS Uniflow that's been around forever.

    As far as the powder goes, there are several powders that are better than Unique and W231 for reloading .45ACP - both cleaner burning as well as more accurate, especially over a day of shooting.

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