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Check your Hornady LNL-AP press bushing lugs

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by IMtheNRA, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    About a year and half ago, I discovered a couple of press bushings with lower 1mm to 2mm of the lugs sheared off. There were little crescent shaped chunks of metal on the shellplate to hint at a problem.

    Hornady confirmed there was a known defect in a batch of press bushings which were made to the wrong hardness standard and they immediately shipped me a new set of 5 press bushings. (Note: NOT die bushings)

    Last night I found another little metal crescent chunk. Having loaded about 15,000 rounds on this particular press since replacing the bad bushings, I inspected them again. I found that one of the "new" bushings had two sheared lugs and two lugs with cracks already in them. I replaced it with one of the spares that Hornady sent me the last time.

    The broken bushing was once again in the #3 station, which I usually use for the powder drop. I guess this station gets quite a bit of a workout while operating the powder drop linkage. I suspect that using a powder-through expander results in even more force on the bushing in this station than usual, making the bushing a wearable item.

    The best way to inspect these press bushings is to look up from underneath with a flashlight. The broken and cracked lugs will be easy to spot.
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You may not have the needed play in the linkage if you are breaking lugs. It doesn't have to be much play, but it has to have some.
     
  3. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    No, there's play in it... I see and feel quite a bit of "slop" in the two links that are attached by a pin in a long slot. Whenever I start a reloading session, I put my finger at the top of the metering insert travel range to see and feel where it stops, and it does not contact the top of the powder measure slot. The powder die body does not contact the shell plate. I don't know where else to check for binding or interference.

    I think the press does more work at this station than others (except sizing) - it has to move all those links, overcome the powder die spring, lift the entire powder measure assembly, and rotate the measure's drum. With a PTX, it has to do even more work. I guess that just wears out lugs.
     
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    My first thought would be that the powder measure is bottoming out on something that is putting excess load on the lugs in the bushing. But, it sounds like you have looked at some of the potential issues here.

    Something else to check/try, is replace the die bushing with another. Maybe the lugs on the die bushing are not evenly contacting the press bushings where one or two lugs are doing all the work. When one breaks, it loads up another until it fails and so forth.

    On my L-N-L, I do not use the powder measure to expand the case mouth (my preference) and I make sure that the press does not bind up anything in the powder measure activation system. Depending how you operate your press, you could run short of stations doing that.
     
  5. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    Hmmm... You know, you guys may be right. I have a ton of powder dies - one for each caliber that I load. Maybe with all the swapping out of the press bushings and a possible off-spec die bushing, one of them now contacts the shellplate and stresses the bushing lugs.

    I'll be back to the press after today's range trip to test some loads. I'll check ALL of my powder dies and the fit of die bushings tonight.

    Statistically speaking, this is probably something that I've done wrong.
     
  6. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Or gremlins.

    A good loader never discounts gremlins.

    Mine are furry, and four legged.
     
  7. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Are you using a spacer shim under the powder die? If you have play you should.
     
  8. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    OP,
    I had an issue with my press bushings as well, discussed it here.

    In my case it was station 1 and 2 that had the failed lugs. I'll be keeping an eye on station 3 as well. I only asked Hornady for 2 of the bushings though. But, I'm sure they will send me some more as needed.

    EM
     
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