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hornady PIA (pain in arse) dies Wa St.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jww, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. jww

    jww Active Member

    Anybody else run into trouble with hornady dies..that free floatin bullet centering device...that creates a lot of 'hate and discontent' with my 357 max reloading??
  2. Slim Pickens

    Slim Pickens Well-Known Member


    I have a set - The floating centering device falls out after I seat a bullet and lower the ram. This type of cheap stupid gimmick reminds me of something Lee would sell. The seating die aligns the bullet with the neck, not the full cartridge case. Since the seating die is only specific to bullet diameter, they don't have to manufacture as many different types.

    Also, the decapping pin adjustment threads are cut shallow, so I had to really torque the lock nut very hard (to the point of deforming it) to stop it from sliding up when decapping a case.

    I guess they just can't compete with RCBS making regular dies that function normally. I avoided buying the Hornady AP press just because their dies are such crap.

    MMCSRET Well-Known Member

    I like the Hornady seating die design so well that I ordered one for every caliber. I set them up in a special rack just for seating dies and then removed the seating dies from all my die sets and stored them away where they are out of the way, but can be readily reinstalled with the die set if I want to sell the set.
    Best design standard issue seating die I've ever used, and I've been handloading since 1956.
    Thanks for the opportunity to promote a fine functioning and well designed, inexpensive modern tool.
  4. Kernel

    Kernel Well-Known Member

    I've had no problem with Hornady New Dimension rifle dies. Like the floating seater, but, IMO, it takes a little time to get the bullet and the case lined up right.

    Definitely a design that lends itself to a slow one-by-one hand crafted approach. Could see how it wouldn't be so great for cranking out lots of rounds fast.

    Have never used their pistol dies.
  5. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    I use only Hornady (except for 7.5*55) and have never had that problem ... love the press too.
  6. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "I guess they just can't compete with RCBS making regular dies that function normally. I avoided buying the Hornady AP press just because their dies are such crap."

    Neither Hornady nor Lee are my favortite dies but they are quite good anyway, as good as any mechanical devices can be.

    Actually, the "normal" RCBS decap system is cheaper to make.

    There are vaild engineering reasons for the Lee/Hornady collet decap rod holder, and the sliding seater guide, that offer some significant benefits to the user but it does requrire the user understand how use them.

    Those who can't, or won't, learn to use them correctly will do well to buy what they do know how to use.
  7. mousegun380

    mousegun380 Well-Known Member

    I have had troubles with the floating alignment sleeve also (9mm luger). The darn thing will rip clean out of the die when I lower the ram if the bullet gets a little suction on it. Seems like if even a little bullet lube is in there, the bullet can gain "traction" in the sleeve.
  8. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    If the sleeve is pulling out of the bottom of the die, the retainer spring clip is bad. You can try to turn in a little more of the end so it catches the ridge on the sleeve better, but if too much, it will catch on the bottom of the sleeve, not letting it slide down far enough. IIRC, my die sets came with an extra clip.

    I use Hornady pistol seaters exclusively. They work great on several calibers for me. The sliding sleeve actually makes it quicker for me, since I don't have to get the bullet setting perfectly straight on top of the case prior to running it up into the seater die. That sleeve will take quite a bit of misalignment right out. Had problems with Lee seaters. Have one RCBS seater, but replaced it with Hornady after using it just a few times. I really like the way the Hornady is easy to clean without messing up the settings, especially with lead bullets gunking up the works inside.

  9. mousegun380

    mousegun380 Well-Known Member

    Yea believe me I have messed with the retainer clip and even ordered new ones in from the mothership.

    Mine pulled out for the first time about 500rnds into it on a new die set. Needless to say, I didn't feel like the item was properly engineered....
  10. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    I've heard that the spring clip will grip the sleeve a tad better if you give it a slight upward bend/curve on the little tip that goes in through the hole. As the sleeve tries to come out, that upward bend straightens a bit, giving it more grip. Tempering the bend after messing with it may be required.

    I haven't tried that, since I've never had a problem with it. I wonder if some sleeves have a more rounded ridge that does not catch on the spring clip as well. You can call Hornady and explain that you've had problems with multiple spring clips, and see if they will send you a new sleeve. They have always been very helpful when I needed them.

  11. WV_Vizsla

    WV_Vizsla Well-Known Member

    Hi Mouse gun

    Interesting... I never had a seater drop out. Since you have tried new clips... compare the ring the clip sets in to a "known good" dies set.

    The Hornady rifle and pistol seater seem to both work well for me. Ran a batch of 45ACP in RCBS recently. Like the Hornady more now.

    Memory test: didn't Forrester make a slider like this and then Hornady picked it up?
  12. jww

    jww Active Member

    Lots of good ideas...thanks one and all. I am thinkin now, as I look over it, maybe the die is set too far of the press (not an actual 357 max die) I am using 357 mag die. I am wondering if I had a compound problem, speing clip and seater die too far for full function of drop down sleeve. Anyway, thanks one and all.
  13. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    I had trouble with mine in 308. I think it was the spring clip. It would hit a hard stop far short of seating the bullet.
  14. WV_Vizsla

    WV_Vizsla Well-Known Member

    Sliding Sleeve

    Ran the LNL for a few minutes last night and remembered the other reason I like the Hornady dies. The sliding sleeve aligns most tipped bullets on the way up. My RCBS Bullet feeder leaves them tipped sometimes and usually the die lines em back up.
  15. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "Memory test: didn't Forrester make a slider like this and then Hornady picked it up?"

    Not really. The short sliding seater sleeve idea, including the version with a side window such as RCBS uses in their "comp" sets today, actually goes back to the 50s and early to mid 60s from Lyman, Herter's, Vickerman and another I can't remember.

    The short sleeve doesn't help accuracy, then or now, so the design disappeared until Hornady recently revived it in their "New Dimension" dies. The short end of Hornady's sleeve retaining spring will cause problems if it's not the correct length, OR if its groove is too dirty to allow full engagement with the sleeve.

    No die will work properly if it's not adjusted in the press correctly. If a Hornady seater is hitting a hard stop before full seating, something is wrong.

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