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Hornady LNL owners-Happy still?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BARRY, Mar 15, 2003.

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  1. BARRY

    BARRY Member

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    Hornady LNL owners-still happy?

    I'm wanting to buy a progressive press for handgun and rifle. The Dillon looks pretty good except the powder measure setup looks like it could have been
    made simpler. Loaders are buying a complete powder measure for calibers so it must be time consuming.
    The Hornady LNL seems to have about the best of everything.The powder measure is really user friendly. You can make your own low primer warning with a wooden dowel. The press is angled so it's easier to work around. Any comments good or bad from users of the Hornady? Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2003
  2. dan_s

    dan_s Member

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    Still happy. My LnL appears to be getting better with use. I do feel the LnL powder measure is a superior system to the Dillon. I have a pair of baby-blue low powder indicators, and they work pretty well..
     
  3. Cal4D4

    Cal4D4 Member

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    Powder measure very good, bushing system ok (tend to loosen as used), ejector extremely marginal (binds on smaller diameter cases and interferes with any non Hornady die at station 5), priming system not used (can be tricked into functioning, but why?), case retention spring getting ready to fail again, auto index has never given any problems. Not a very fast press. Never used a Dillon, curious how their ergonomics compare regarding operator position to see into cases, access for case and bullet placement. Overall grade a so-so after many thousands of rounds. Would try my luck with a Dillon if I had it to do over again. Reload pistol - .357, 10mm and of course, .44M.
     
  4. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    A co-worker of mine asked me about a reloading setup, and I have a dillon 550B I also know someone with a lock and load.
    He has problems with the primer feed and has used a wooden dowel to prevent jamming on the last few primers. there is also some plastic part that breaks in the primer feed.

    My only complaint with the 550 is I wish it had the option of adding auto indexing.

    I wondered about the bayonet mount of the dies on a lock and load if it would loosen with wear and cause problems.

    As far as the dillon powder measure, mine has gone about 20,000 rounds with no problems or parts breakage. I use only one measure for my 4 tool heads and I move it from one to the other, as long as you have a powder die (6.95) adjusted in each tool head, you only have to loosen two capscrews to move it, a 20 second procedure when changing the tool head.
     
  5. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Member

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    I've had my L-N-L AP for about a year now and it's still great. I'm planning on buying the case feeder for myself for Christmas. I've never had trouble with the LNL bushings coming loose. I don't use the priming system, I prime cases with an RCBS hand primer while I'm watching TV. The cartridge ejector is the biggest gripe I have with it. The powder measure is the best I've ever used in 25+ years of handloading. When my mojo is working and there's a good tune cued up on the CD player I can do 400 rounds an hour without breaking a sweat. For me, reloading is therapy so I try to not get too crazy over it.:D

    I finally solved the non-Hornady die in the 5th station problem with a little application of hobby lathe.
     
  6. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    Doesn't sound too good for the LnL if no one's using the priming system.
     
  7. dan_s

    dan_s Member

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    I use the priming system and for me it works well. Caveat is to keep it somewhat filled, or do the dowel thing as mentioned.. I have also found that some primers seem to feed more reliably than others.. I fail to see how the plastic thing can break assuming it is attached properly..
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    No kidding. I was really mad when my first progressive (Lee Pro 1000) wound't prime correctly. I'd be even more steamed if an expensive piece like the Hornady didn't work. Not to rub anyone's nose in it, but the Dillons WORK. I love my 550.
     
  9. BARRY

    BARRY Member

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    I guess I could flip a coin and be happy with either one.I've got the video on the XL650 so I can see just how it works,if I buy it. The Hornady
    is cheaper, and I look at reloading like MonkeyMan
    does, except I've got 10 more years of doing this than he does. BTW, how did you get your name of MonkyMan? I'd like some more input from as many people as want to toss in their opinions. Thanks
     
  10. Snake Jenkins

    Snake Jenkins Member

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    I use a Dillion 550 for rifle rounds and a Dillion 650 for pistol rounds. if you want some thing that will work right get a Dillion.

    Snake
     
  11. Nero Steptoe

    Nero Steptoe member

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    If you really like the Hornady powder measure better than Dillon's, you'll be happy to know that you can use a Hornady or RCBS or most any other drum-type powder measure with a Dillon. You'll have to buy the Hornady case-activated kit @ around $40.
     
  12. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

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    Still happy with mine; I use the priming station with an brass rod for a weighted ram. No problems at all after 4000 rounds, since I swaged the milsurp primer pockets a little larger, as suggested by Hornady techsupport.

    It's taken some tweaking and patience because of my gaff with the milsurp brass, but none of the other calibers ever gave me any problems. I could have figured it out sooner, if I'd have loaded my 44Mag, 45-70, or 50AE first.

    Without a case feeder or primer feeder, I crank out 300-350 an hour without hurrying.
     
  13. BARRY

    BARRY Member

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    I don't see how the Hornady LNL would be a wrong or regretable descisison,all things considered. And it is cheaper than the Dillon and RCBS. Thanks everyone for the help.
     
  14. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey Folks,

    I have been using a Rockchucker since they first came out in the late 1960s, and I purchased a Hornady L&L progressive when it first came out about 1997. I am completely satisfied with my L&L as far as operational use.

    The primer system works fine for me, but I had to really study it carefully to know how it works and to keep it clean and adjusted properly. I, too, use a wooden dowel to put pressure on the last few primers in the tube, but that is nothing new since I used to do the same thing with the primer feeder on the Rockchucker. I have the wooden dowel marked to show when the last primer is used, and that is also useful.

    In the nearly forty years I have been reloading, I have mostly purchased RCBS and Lyman die sets. I have found that some of my RCBS and Lyman die sets do not work well in the L&L press since its top is much thicker than other single stage presses. Hornady dies have a longer body which easily reaches through the L&L frame. Now, do not get me wrong. I am not saying that none of my RCBS and Lyman dies work in my L&L. I am saying that a few of my old die sets were a little short for the L&L, and that newer Hornady dies will fit and adjust a little better.

    For the first several years that I had my L&L press, I really did not use the L&L function. I simply adjusted each set of dies whenever I changed sets. In the past year or so, I started to buy extra L&L collets to use with the dies I use exclusively on the L&L, and I have to admit it is a good quick change feature for the sizing dies since you do not change them once they are adjusted properly. I still do not use them for my bullet seating dies very much since I find I frequently make adjustments to the seating dies.

    I still spend far more time on my Rockchucker since most of my reloading is usually small batches of test rounds, and I do not mind it a bit. Unlike some folks, I enjoy the time I spend at the reloading bench even more than the time I spend shooting the finished rounds. To me, I guess, shooting is just the process of finding out what my efforts at the bench amounted to.

    I like my L&L quite well, but I would never get rid of my single stage metallic press. I also have three Hornady 366 progressive shotshell presses (12, 16, & 20 Ga), and I find I still cannot bring myself to give up my single stage MEC presses.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  15. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    Barry, the L-N-L may be cheaper than the Dillon, but if the priming system doesnt work properly, you have to prime them by hand, interrupting production, making the press an expensive turret press. My 550`s priming system very rarely fails, unless I fail to keep it fairly clean, or it needs a little lube. I would spend a little extra, to know everything is going to work. If it doesnt, Dillon WILL MAKE SURE IT DOES, with no expense to you. I also like how the Dillons toolhead lets you set up your dies/powder charger the way you want `em, and if you want to change calibers, they stay set up. I was always concerned with the repeatability of the "die bushings" the L-N-L uses, I heard they loosen, and that cant be good.
     
  16. dan_s

    dan_s Member

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    Mine works fine..
     
  17. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    You'll be happy with either one. Just remember to keep everything clean, clean, clean. My Hornady got cranky recently and it dawned on me that it had probably not received a complete cleanup in over 10,000 rounds. Really dumb.

    I have done in the range of 20,000 rounds of .38 sp and .357 magnum in two years on my Hornady L-N-L and find it great for anything less than maybe a 5000/month quantity that might justify the REALLY big Dillons. (I will need to go back and take another look at the Dillon mechanisms as I felt the 550 was a bit busier than necessary.) I always use the press's priming system.

    I have issues with the final primer coming out in each run and have been using the dowel trick. The other is that if the mount screw for the feed is tightened too much it binds up the shuttle. A touch of blue Loktite allows the screw to remain set without having to tighten down all the way. Another couple of ideas come to mind that I will suggest to Hornady.

    By the way, Hornady has given me great service on upgrades at no cost.

    It just dawned on me that the 'last primer out' glitch may be something to do with how freely the primers drop through the tube for their weight. The wood dowel adds weight, but I haven't played with the idea of reducing friction between the primer and tube. Maybe slightly larger diameter or some tube surfacing to reduce friction?

    The bushings may work loose if only hand snugged. The bushings, though, and the 5 stations are two of my main reasons for really being partial to the L-N-L. I like to make changes in individual dies mid run without having to go through a lot of readjusting or changing out the whole die set.
     
  18. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey folks,

    Regarding FatElvis' comment on the Hornady priming system, I would also have to echo Dan's comment by saying that the priming system on my L&L also works just fine. I read Guy's comments about the measures he takes to adjust his priming system properly, and I know exactly what he is talking about. I also use a wood dowel in the primer tube, and that works real well for me. The wood dowel makes the last primer come out, and I also have mine painted red to clearly show when I approach the last primer. If clear wood is still showing, there are still primers in the tube. If only red paint is visible above the top of the primer tube, I have used the last primer, and the dowel will then fall into the shuttle and stop it from going forward. Like Guy suggested, if the system is kept reasonably clean and adjusted properly, it works like a charm.

    For reasons similar to those suggested by Guy, I also prefer the L&L die bushing system over the Dillon system of changing a complete toolhead. Fat expressed his concern about the "repeatability of the "die bushings" the L-N-L uses, I heard they loosen, and that cant be good." All I can say is that I have not had any kind of problems with the L&L bushing system. They do not get loose for me, and they are simple to change. I suppose the rubber seal used on each bushing could go bad over the years, but, in the seven or eight years I have had my press, I have yet to have a rubber seal show any sign of wear or tear.

    I have used the Dillon 650, and I like it because it offers the same basic features I desire and found on the Hornady L&L. The Dillon 650 and the Hornady L&L are both good presses. If one is considering a progressive metallic press, I would suggest they look at both of them as well as the RCBS, try using them all, and then make a decision as to which they might prefer.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  19. coorsleftfield

    coorsleftfield Member

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    An update on the priming system. Seems Hornady has a new priming system that they will send users who are having problem with the current priming system. From what I understand, with the new system, the tube never comes off the press, you dump primers in from the top. No more on/off switch. That said, I've never had problems with the original priming system. I keep it lubed with dry-lube and it works perfect.

    I just put the new casefeeder on mine, and am happy to report it works perfect. I now believe that this press is a better value than the Dillon 650. I timed myself loading and was able to load at a rate of 1060 rounds/hour.. Thats a rate, my arm could never hold out for an entire hour :)

    So for $460, you get a press that has the same features as a 650 with a case feeder, but you spend a few hundred less, have no plastic parts to wear out, and a more "beefy" press from what I can tell..

    Sometimes less parts is better..
     
  20. Nero Steptoe

    Nero Steptoe member

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    My 650 with casefeeder cost me around $550, plus shipping. Of course, with the various accessories, I have more than that invested, but just for the basic press and casefeeder, that's my cost. Sounds like Hornady is getting around to "borrowing" Dillon's priming system, as it's pretty obvious that they "borrowed" the casefeed system. Hornady's a fine company. I'd assume that the updated Hornady presses with casefeeder would work as well as a 650.
     
  21. dan_s

    dan_s Member

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    As Dillon "borrows" Lee's powder system ?
     
  22. coorsleftfield

    coorsleftfield Member

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    I do see the Dillon 650 on ebay for about $550 with casefeeder, new in box. I assume this is some dealer who has a store front on ebay. Not sure if it's an "authorized" dealer or not, or if that even matters. .Dillon probably supports the press no matter how you got it.

    So, for about $100 more than the l-n-l,
    with case feeder you can buy a basic
    650 with casefeeder.

    It would be interesting to compare the cost of switching between calibers, I know the Dillon will be more, but not sure how much more..

    I'm also curious about how much work it is to switch the case feeder from say 45ACP to something small like 9mm. I'm sure a new plate drops in easy, but what about all the rest of the feeding system, and adjustments.. I can tell on the hornady casefeeder that it will be a small hassle to switch between those two calibers, as I'll have ot change plates, tubes, drop tube, and this v-block that pushes the brass into the press...
     
  23. Nero Steptoe

    Nero Steptoe member

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    "As Dillon "borrows" Lee's powder system ?"

    Yeah, i believe Dillon pays Lee royalties for the powder measure. Of course, the Dillon powder measure is metal and the Lee is plastic.

    I don't think it'll be too much of a hassle to change calibers with the Hornady casefeeder, as it probably uses the same series of parts as does the Dillon. With the Dillon, you don't have to change the size of the droptube from the casefeeder to the press.

    I'd guess that the costs for the caliber conversions are similar. I have a dealer account with Graf's. That's where I get my Dillon equipment.
     
  24. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Actually, I read somewhere that Mike Dillon worked for the

    Star reloading press company, and that the dillon design is really just a copy and some inprovement over the old Star reloader design, Including the powder system (slide action) and the primer feed design.

    I have seen a 50+ year old star press and it appears that way to me as well.

    This is sort of like how a Glock ( and most modern autoloaders) is really just a copy of the John Browning autoloader design, Magazine feed, tilting barrel, extractor ejector, moving slide etc.!!!

    The real devil in in the quality of the execution and the customer service behind the product.
     
  25. Alex

    Alex Member

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    I just attended "Catfish Days" at the East Grand Forks Cabelas store, they had a brand new Hornady LNL at there bargain tent, apparently somebody had ordered it and never picked it up, anyway, I bought it for exactly $149.99. Anyway, my father lives and breaths to support Dillon and he's got both the 550 and the 440, and I've used them both many times, I guess now I'll be able to offer a comparison of both the red and the blue, but at a very affordable price.
     
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