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Bushings save time?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by allen4150, Mar 16, 2010.

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  1. allen4150

    allen4150 Member

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    I'm just getting back into reloading and don't recall a bushing set up like hornady's LNL. I keep reading how it's a "set and forget" and much faster.
    When I was reloading, my dies were pretty much set and forget. I know it is probably easier to put a bushing in, but screwing a die in with a set screw tightened doesn't take long either. What's the big deal? I could see if one was going to completion-one round at a time, but who does that?
     
  2. kk0g

    kk0g Member

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    I too see it as a solution to a non-existant problem. I suppose the reloading market will determine if it's a good idea or not by weather or not it sells.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My sentiments exactly.

    Once you adjust a new set of dies and lock the lock-ring set-screws, thats it.

    I figure it takes less then 30 seconds to change dies.
    So in every reloading session, I might save half that with L&L, or 15 seconds to load 100 rounds of rifle, or 30 seconds to load 100 rounds of pistol.

    Is that worth having to buy bushings for dozens of dies at $4.50 a pop?
    Not for me it isn't!

    rc
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I always thought it was a solution for a non problem, and it really is as far as repeatability. As long as you screwed the dies in hand tight about the same every time, you are good to go. (Assuming you have good lock rings that don't move)

    Then I decided to upgrade my Projector and picked the LNL because I liked the ergonomics of the machine. Now I had to get at least some bushings. I could just screw dies in and out of a set, but it is sooo convenient to get em for all the dies, I have ended up getting bushings for all my dies. (well, most, I need a few more) Pricey, but fast and easy. I do still screw crimp dies in and out of bushings because I have adjusted the die for the max crimp I will use, and use spacers to adjust for a different crimp, just like before. I also use some spacers on some other dies.

    Bottom line is they don't make things more repeatable, but they are fast and easy.

    I would not have chosen a press for that feature, but I liked the ergonomics of my Projector, and wanted to stay with that design. I thought long and hard about an RCBS Pro-2000 press as well. Either buy bushings for dies with the LNL (and I was worried I would not like using them), or all new (over a dozen) shell plates for the Pro-2000.

    Still wonder if I should have tried the Pro-2000, but I am very happy with my LNL, bushings and all.
     
  5. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

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    Well, I use 'em and they're well worth it to me.

    I spent time screwing and unscrewing them on a single stage press, and I don't much care for that. Half a second and a LnL bushing is in place means while other guys are still screwing around (sorry : ), I'm already reloading.

    I've found it very valuable in my LnL AP progressive, and I bought the Lee Classic Cast single stage specifically because I could convert it to use the LnL bushings.

    I've got my rifle dies in LnL bushings, my Hornady cam-lock bullet puller in a bushing, a decapping die in a bushing. All my handgun dies are in LNL bushings for the progressive.

    To each his own, but I find them to be a terrific addition.
     
  6. ants

    ants Member

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    It doesn't solve any problems for me. I'll let others make their own choices.

    Related comment:

    I guess I'm too old, but the term "bushing" is an insert into a sizing die to neck size my brass to a very specific OD, because I want to ream the inside to a very VERY specific ID based on my bullet diameter. Redding and Forster make excellent bushings.



    So, I wonder why they chose to call this newfangled thing 'bushing'.
    Didn't they know we already use the term bushing in our tool kit?
    Oh well. It really isn't confusing. Just frustrating sometimes.
     
  7. thorn-

    thorn- Member

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    I believe it's a more a matter of convenience for setup, than repeatability. It's absolutely faster than screwing in dies. It's really just similar in concept to having multiple toolheads (ie, Dillon) and leaving your dies in place ready to go.

    The nice thing is that it's completely optional. The LNL comes with 5 bushings, so if you prefer to save a bit of $$ and just screw them in, you can go that route too.

    thorn
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The removable tool heads that hold all the dies is a much better idea IMHO.

    "Adapter" might have been better than "bushings".
    Thought about epoxying them in.
     
  9. thorn-

    thorn- Member

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    If you always wish to remove every die at once and exchange them, the toolhead is more convenient. But if you wish to only change 1 die - say, a universal decapper - then bushings are easier. Or, if you want to change 3 dies, but not the powder dispenser.

    thorn
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I am kind of stuck with my LNL now. I have modded two Redding powder measures to work on it, have over a dozen shell plates and a butt load of bushings. I do like the ergonomics of the press, which is why I bought the Projector so many years ago. If RCBS had made the Pro-200 back then, I would have bought it, no doubt in my mind. Still think about getting one, in the back of my mind. Never say never. Curiosity did kill the cat.
     
  11. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    I've not tried the bushings, but I enjoy the Dillon toolheads. I set them up complete with powder measures. Can't recall the last time I did anything b ut pull the pins and swap toolheads.

     
  12. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Member

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    I've used the Lee turrets, the Dillon XL-650 toolhead, the RCBS Pro 2000 toolhead, The Hornady Lock-N-Load busing system (single stage and progressive), and the traditional "screw dies down" systems.

    Here are reasons I like the bushing system:
    1. Emptying the powder measure is a tool-free job- takes 1 second to remove or replace powder measure. I empty the measure between setups and when I'm done for the day. I personally consider this "reason enough" for the bushing system. No chains, no rods, and powder measures don't spin off as easy as dies. The bushings are great here

    2. Easy removal/replacement of the RCBS lockout die when you have a problem or powder variation

    3. Shared dies: 44 mag/spl and 38spl/357mag shared sizing/deprime, etc- RCBS bullet feed die, universal decapper

    4. Mix-n-match rearrangement of dies (add/remove powder check, dedicated seating dies, etc)

    5. For hornady dies: Can store dies with bushings in their boxes (can't do that with toolheads) - all parts such as extra seating plugs and decapping pins are in the same place

    6. I've calibrated my LNL Classic single stage and my LNL AP progressive and can swap over dies (such as universal decapper or powder measure) for setups or other procedures

    Regardless of what system you buy (progressive) you'll need some sort of die head, turret, or pack of bushings for each die set IF you want the convenience of leaving them setup and ready for use.

    Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. For workflow, I think the bushing system is a great advantage.
     
  13. budiceman

    budiceman Member

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    I like the bushing set up. As others have said, it's great for quick popping off the powder measure or swapping out just one die or to use the same die on a single stage press. Example: FL die to a neck sizing die or pull powder measure to hand weigh loads. There many others I'm sure.
     
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I like the tool heads for changing everything at once. Set screws on preset dies are also nice. I had problems with the powder measure trying to come unlocked with the LNL bushings. Another O-ring fixed the problem but I always felt I had to keep an eye on them, maybe if they added a ball detent.
     
  15. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

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    That used to be the way I thought also. Then I got my LnL press. I can change out all dies that I use for a setup faster than just one die the old fashion way. Like Ultamite Reloader, I sure like the bushing way a lot better. I don't think I would like to go back to the old way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  16. budiceman

    budiceman Member

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    Yes jmorris but for some reason I have some primed and sized brass I find on occasion and instead of depriming and priming again or unscrewing the die it is easy to twist the die and I'm ready. also dink around trying different things or loads and popping out 1 die makes it easier for me. Just me but I love it!
     
  17. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    I have a single stage Lee Challenger press that has the bushings. I think they are nice if you are loading the same bullet for your dies over and over. That is what I started doing when I first loaded only 158 swc in .38 spl.

    Now I load four different bullets in .38 spl. and .357 mag. cases, all with the same set of dies. I wind up adjusting often enough that the bushings don't give me much of an advantage.
     
  18. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    At what price to save how much time are the bushings?

    My die sets have two to four dies. I can easily screw in-screw out dies with a locked ring in thirty-fourty seconds. How much time can possibly be "saved" in a typical loading session even if the bushing types were instantaneous? (Sies don't need nor should they be tighened with pliers or a wrench. That's not even helpful but it does slow swaps down - a lot!)

    As has been said, bushings are a great solution to a problem we really don't have.
     
  19. idoono

    idoono Member

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    OK I am lazy and I hate doing things more than once. I reload on a Rock Chucker and have the bushings for all my various dies in several calibers. (and yes in a machinery term they are bushings) I like them because I tend to reload in batches and am constantly changing out the dies for the various processes.

    idoono
     
  20. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    Count me in with the flexibility afforded by Hornady LNL AP's individual bushings, compared all-in-one tool-heads on Dillon or RCBS progressives.

    For a single stage press, unless it was a Forster or Hornady die (with their cross-bolt lock rings), I would either be buying a bushing or a new lock ring for each die anyway.

    You can jam an upside down Lee lock-less ring up against the bushing and it will stay put. Leave the set screw out of Redding, RCBS, or Lyman lock rings (so they are not pushed off-center and tilted), and just jam them up against the bushing.

    But my co-ax has 'em all beat. No bushings needed for quick, accurate, snap-in/out die changes!

    Andy
     
  21. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

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    I thought about this more, and those who have a LnL AP will recognize this, but if you didn't have the bushings, you'd find it impossible to screw in a powder measure in station 2 w/ the microjust stem without bumping into primer feed tube. You'd either have to remove the primer feed tube or mount it in another station. And with the the lockout die in station 3, the seating die in station 4, and a taper-crimp die in station 5, that doesn't work so well.
     
  22. budiceman

    budiceman Member

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    Everyone is talking about a problem WE dont have!:confused: There is a problem! You need to change dies to reload different ammo. How much is a tool head even for a LEE?:confused: How long does it take to change them?:confused: I can change out my dies in about 6 seconds each, under 1 minute and I'm reloading .44 mag from .45s for close to the same price as a spendy Lee tool head!:neener: Dont know how long it takes for you guys to swap out your Dillons, RCBS, LEE tool heads your talking about but I'm happy with what I have. By the way I have all my bushings I need for LESS than the cost of your ONE Dillon tool head!:neener:
     
  23. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    What's your point?
     
  24. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

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    It doesn't matter much for the resizing dies I suppose. But repeating a specific COL while seating bullets I would imagine being a whole lot easier with the bushings. And you could tighten the lock nut onto the bushing with a wrench (no, not kill it but snugger than what you can with your hands) and know for sure you're not losing spec each time you move it.
     
  25. mallc

    mallc Member

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    IMHO

    IMHO...LNL bushings are intended to keep loaders from stripping the threads out of the aluminum bodied LNL. (I have 2 LNLs and a Dillon 650).

    I load a lot of short runs of different calibers. And, I always clean and OneShot my dies before I put them back in their cases for storage. LNL bushings don't fit in die storage cases so I have to take off before I put the dies away.

    So...my question for everyone who store their tooling with the bushing in place is; how do you store your dies?

    Scott
     
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