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Hornady LNL and Powder through expander question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jmahalek, Mar 7, 2009.

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  1. jmahalek

    jmahalek Member

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    I have read all my manuals, but not sure I understand how to set up the case activated powder drop with the drop thru expander.

    I want to use my powder thru expander to allow the freed station for a powder cop die or lockout. I bought the expander and am not sure if it is used by itself or in conjunction with the powder bushing. The instructions don't specify, but I assume it replaces or negates the need for one of the three powder bushings inside the die.

    Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?
     
  2. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Member

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  3. farmrboy

    farmrboy Member

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    From what I've been able to figure out on mine, the expander replaces the powder drop tube. I'm not using the thru expanders yet, but plan to as soon as I can get them bought.
    Drop the expander into the die and then adjust the die until the rotor on the powder measure bottoms out and the mouth of the case is properly flared.
     
  4. jmahalek

    jmahalek Member

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    Thanks for the video link, but unfortunately he doesn't use the powder thru expander. He uses a separate die after the powder cop to expand the case. May be calling Hornady CS.
     
  5. Dynamite Rabbit

    Dynamite Rabbit Member

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    This is how it works:

    The drop tube is screwed into the bottom of the powder measure. The powder-through-expander drops into the bottom part of the case-activated feed, then the drop tube goes in on top of the expander, then you connect the linkage and spring. Make sense?
     

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  6. jmahalek

    jmahalek Member

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    Thanks, all. I called Hornady and the powder thru expander takes the place of the bushing (don't use them both simultaneously).
     
  7. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    Problems?

    I was reading the comments on MidwayUSA and it seems like people have had unsatisfactory results belling the cases with the powder through expanders. Is this a widespread problem, or did a few people get bad parts?
     
  8. goose2

    goose2 Member

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    I use the Loc n load with the H 3 die pistol dies. In hole #1 I use the re sizer, decapper all in one die, In #2 goes the case flare die. In #3 goes the powder measure. In #4 goes the powder cop. In #5 goes the bullet seat, bullet crimp all in one die. That is how mine is set up and all I can say is wow. That thing will flat load the ammo. It is a joy to use along with Hornady customer service. I have been a Dillon man for my shotshell loading but the loc n load is as good as it gets for metallic.
     
  9. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    I was thinking that I could just set up a taper crimp in my single stage and have a taper crimp/drop into case gauge stage at then end for final inspection. It would be nice if the powder through expander actually worked as it should. I guess Hornady can work on it.
     
  10. Unflappable

    Unflappable Member

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    In response to post #7, people having trouble with the powder thru expander probably don't really know how to use the LNL AP. Look at the picture in post #5, see where the bracket is attached to the threaded part of the powder drop? By simply moving this bracket higher on the threads it will make a deeper, wider bell. You still make the final adjustments by raising or lowering the powder drop in the bushing, but if setting the the powder drop all way down in the bushing until it almost touches the shell plate doesn't give a good bell, this is the simple 2 minute fix.
    Unflappable
     
  11. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Once all this stuff comes off of backorder I will hopefully get a chance to give it a try!
     
  12. psychephylax

    psychephylax Member

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    (Forgive me, I'm new)

    My Powder through Expander adapters came with instructions that the belling isn't adjustable. I've attempted to change the amount of bell by unscrewing the powder drop tube and the results really didn't change much. This has been my experience with 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP expanders.

    They do bell, but they bell so little you have to either really push the bullet into the casing or run the press really slow to keep the bullet from falling off/tilting on the brass. I really wish this worked better because I would like to seat and crimp in different stages while still having a powder check die in the press.
     
  13. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Same here, and if you are doing .45 acp because of the short cartridge, you do need an additional bushing, the through powder expander is too short.

    At maximum belling I had problems getting enough bell for my cast lead bullets. I now use the belling die instead.
     
  14. Shrinkmd

    Shrinkmd Member

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    Does Hornady know about these problems? You would think that they would try to remedy the situation, especially since they are competing with so many other companies for progressive presses.
     
  15. jmahalek

    jmahalek Member

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    Agreed. I went back to the belling die in station 2 and took the powder cop die out in station 3. LSWC are loading fine now. I think I'll just go with FMJ from now on as I don't have a problem with them using the powder thru expander.
     
  16. Unflappable

    Unflappable Member

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    Friends, please read post #10 again. It is a very simple fix to get the powder through expander die to work properly.
    Unflappable
     
  17. Fred40

    Fred40 Member

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    Well Unflappable I must concur with some of the others here that this expander does not and CAN NOT bell the case enough.

    I just got the powder through expander and set it up. I guarantee you I set it up correctly. In fact after expanding a case I took the powder drop out and removed the expander. I then took the case I had just belled on it and hand fitted it ALL THE WAY onto the expander. This told me that I had set it up to bell the case as much as it possibly could.

    It was not enough.....not by a long shot. I could barely set a bullet on top and very slowly (and I mean slowly) advance it to the seating die without it tipping over. At any sort of normal speed the bullets would just tip over because they were not sitting deep enough into the case. In some cases I was getting lead shavings from the bullet as it seated!

    Maybe it works for jacketed bullets....I have no idea. I only reload 200gr. LSWC's and for those it's as good as useless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  18. realbuffdriver

    realbuffdriver Member

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  19. Dynamite Rabbit

    Dynamite Rabbit Member

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    Mine works fine with .357 Mag (both lead and jacketed bullets). I believe the radius at the top is what does the belling -- it's critical that the case gets pushed hard against that shoulder.
     
  20. bfox

    bfox Member

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  21. bfox

    bfox Member

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  22. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    Like Unflappable (#10) said, you have to adjust the clamp on the powder measure so that the drop tube goes DEEPER into the powder die.

    The powder-thru expanders work perfectly. It's just that they are hard to adjust. People have trouble (MYSELF INCLUDED) when they don't know how to adjust the die/linkage. The instructions with the case drop are terrible. In order to get the proper "belling" you have to make TWO adjustments. First adjust is the powder die AND, THEN THE LINKAGE CLAMP ON THE THREADED PORTION OF THE POWDER MEASURE. This is where the instructions fail.

    Here is what I did. I adjusted the system to get the proper belling on the shortest case I reload. In this case the 9mm. I then purchased extra powder dies from Grafs.com (About $14 each) for each pistol case I load and adjusted each POWDER DIE for each case. I then mark the die with a "Sharpie" signifying 40 S&W, 45ACP, 357 mag, etc. If you adjust the powder measure linkage clamp to load your SHORTEST case, you then only have to adjust a POWDER DIE for the "bell you want. With extra Powder Dies, I can swap out calibers in about 30seconds.

    I load lead bullets all the time and have never "shaved" lead a a result of not enough "bell". I will say that most of us reloaders "bell" too much. A proper "bell" is barely perceptable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  23. bfox

    bfox Member

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    The beauty of the one I posted about you don't have to buy a separate one for each caliber .
    I got to be Friends with a Guy on another forum that started making these and I really do think they are Great !

    Bill
     
  24. PsychoKnight

    PsychoKnight Member

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    Its not technique, its wrong design

    Can people stop saying that those who are having trouble belling just don't know what they are doing?

    Its a matter of physics.

    Just measure the maximum belling diameter portion of the powder through expanders on Lee, Lyman (manual measure), Dillon, and Hornady and you will see that the Hornady is significantly smaller than any of the others, at least with the .45 calibers I shoot (.455, acp & gap).

    In glocktalk a couple years ago, I posted a picture of all these expanders lined up side by side and gave measurements to demonstrate my point - not going to bother doing that again.

    The Hornady expanders are simply undersized and there is no easy fix for it.

    I use a separate Redding expander only plug-die and it works great. Gave up on the powder cop - never got used to it. Anybody want to buy it?
     
  25. Waldog

    Waldog Member

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    PsychoKnight, I am not being argumentative but, how do you explain that some of us use the expanders with 100% success and others fail?

    I had a heck of a time adjusting the expanders until someone told me HOW on another forum(thefiringline). The Powder-thru Expanders WORK, plan and simple. You just have to adjust them properly.
     
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