I went red. Hornady LNL

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Suedenflames68, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. Suedenflames68

    Suedenflames68 Member

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    Picked up a hornady lnl progressive today.

    Had a really hard time deciding between this and a dillon 750. Watch tons of videos and read lots of forum posts and reviews. Thought I had decided on the dillon, but after a while it felt like I was trying to convince myself. A lot of dillon users certainly seem to have an intense brand loyalty, reminds me of Harley owners. Price wasnt a deal breaker but certainly not irrelevant. With a shell plate and press tool kit to match the dillon but not having to pay shipping ended up about $150 cheaper and will get an approximate net value of $100 on some free .45 xtps. Yup no case feeder stuff, I know, but I dont think I want one. Dont think I'd like the noise. I felt like If I got the dillon I would get one though since it seems made for one, so would have been twice the money, though inarguably not apples to apples at that point. I'm not looking for huge output numbers, just tired of pulling the handle on the turret press so many times....and just wanted new toy really.

    I really liked the idea of the low primer warning on the dillon and that was almost enough to make me order it. And despite some of the comparison reviews I watched knocking it, I think I liked the place brass right hand, bullet placement left hand, pull handle right hand of the dillon better than bullet and brass left on the hornady, but again, I think I would have a feeder on a dillon. Guess i could have also hand filled and used the tube on the dillon without the power collator, but then the caliber changes would have been way more money from what I understood.

    Liked the primer tube location on the hornady better. Seemed like it was in people's face to check powder before seating bullet on the dillon, but not sure on that. Guy in one of the videos I watched mentioned it, and I couldn't get it out of my head for some reason. Hornady press looks roomier, easier to view powder and acces brass. Somewhat silly but I like the noises the hornady press makes better than the dillon based on videos.

    Super silly reason I liked the hornady better....I prefer the red. Toolboxes in the room are red. Other presses down there are red. Most of my trays are red. When I was thinking of the dillon I was gonna go buy a blue toolbox to match lol. Red is chevy and Ford is blue :)

    It was also really nice to buy it locally. As well as most parts and accessories for it. Still gonna order a few things online probably to save a few bucks, but dont have to worry that being the only option for me as with the dillon. Both have some good aftermarket support for mounts and handles and things. Gonna get mine set up and try it out a while before I buy or build anything else. See how I'm gonna want to use it. Standing, sitting, location of components and all that.

    James
     
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  2. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    I have looked real hard at one of those a few times. It sure looks like a great set up. One of these days suspect I will pull the trigger and buy one :D
     
  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I have had my LnL AP over 10 years and loaded tens of thousands. I have no complaints.
     
  4. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    Same here. Mine has treated me well.
     
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  5. BBarn

    BBarn Member

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    Satisfied with mine. Took some time to learn it and how to best use it. Been loading five pistol calibers on it for about three years. I don't use PTX and seat and crimp in separate steps using all five stations.
     
  6. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    OP, I think you were already "red", you just had reinforce the notion. :)
    Thanks for straight forward comments about your views and thought processes that led to your decision.
     
  7. powwowell
    • Contributing Member

    powwowell Contributing Member

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    Thanks for sharing your thoughts concerning the differences between the two presses.
     
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  8. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I’ve cranked out a lot of rounds on mine and it still works well. Whatever color you choose there’ll be a few nuances to deal with. Can’t believe you introduced the bow-tie vs oval... can’t wait to hear how that goes!

    I do run a case feeder and like the fact I don’t have to worry too much about getting cases into the action. The LNL feeder is not bullet proof but works well enough.
    I will recommend an LED light kit that will illuminate the shell plate better, and one of inline fabrications’ ergo handles. I used the stock handle for a lot of years and wished I got the roller handle a lot sooner than I did. Good luck!
     
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  9. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I've had mine for over a decade now and still going strong. I've made a few mods over the years but we all do that to improve on the design. The biggest mistake made is not taking the time to get everything set right. Once done, indexing, primer feed it runs smooth. I ran mine 1 yr without a brass feeder. The only reason I added one was I broke my left wrist and had it in a cast. I was still shooting but had problems trying to feed brass with just the tips of my fingers sticking out. I mainly use it for handgun ammo so the brass feeder speeds things up. I do not run a bullet feeder since I like to peak into the cases after the powder dump (PTX) and powder cop.

    You will enjoy your press just take the time to learn it. If you have problems or question I'm sure you will get a fix from the knowledgeable folks on this site.
     
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  10. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    You young whipper-snappers have it easy... back in my day...

    I've been running a Hornady ProJector, the predecessor to the LNL, since 1992. It has it's moments, for sure, but it's been solid. I had the same debate when I bought it... Blue or Red, but back then, there was (and likely still is...) a cost premium for Dillon that I was not willing to pay, and the Hornady has 5 stations, which was important to me at the time. You can't soup up the ProJector like you can the LNL... so it looks like they've taken an excellent press and make it excellenterer.
     
  11. OpIvy

    OpIvy Member

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    I've had my LNL AP for about 6 months now, and have over 6000 rounds through it so far. No show-stopping problems so far. Just gotta keep it cleaned regularly under the shell plate and in the primer feed area.

    A mini grease gun that attaches to the grease zirk fittings (which I found at harbor freight for less than $20) is an accessory that I think is good to have. It'll get grease into the moving parts of the ram and it's linkages in way that would be pretty difficult without this tool. I'm using the small tube of waterproof marine bearing grease that came with the grease gun. Those grease zirk fittings are only press-fit in place so I'm pretty gentle with them so as not to yank it out of position.

    There is a thread over at the ar15 dot com forums about how to shim some of the moving parts in order to tighten up some tolerance stacking concerns in relation to getting the shell plates to draw down tighter against the subplate. I worked through that process before running this press, and I'm glad I did.

    That rather lengthy discussion can be found at:

    https://www.ar15.com/forums/armory/How_to_tune_the_Hornady_Lock_N_Load_AP_progressive_press/42-414607/
     
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  12. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    OP, congrats. I am running two LNL APs. One is nearly always set up for 9MM and the other gets used for any other caliber.
    I originally had one of the Projector presses. It worked pretty well, but the priming was a bit troublesome. I found a great deal on a used LNL here in the forums back in 2012 (IIRC). Once I got the LNL going, I put the Projector away. Then at some time I was thinking, maybe set both up, one for small primers and one for large... hmmm...
    Well, one of the members here mentioned a promotion Hornady was running where they would take the old Projector as a trade-in and upgrade you to a LNL for around $200. Well, that was easy. I now have the two presses. It hasn't quite worked out as small and large primer setups, since I load so much 9MM. The one press stays that way and the other is for everything else. Between the two LNLs I've probably loaded around 20-25K rounds.
    I also have an RCBS RockChucker on the bench so I'm a Red/Green sort of guy.
    There's a few guys here with a lot of tips on setting up the press. Look for Drainsmith's posts on the adjustments.
     
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  13. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    I like my LNL and would buy it again. I can grab the bullet and case with the left hand as I'm using my right hand to operate the handle and it goes very quick. I have no interest in the case feeder or bullet feeder. It's worked out for me for 20,000 rounds over the last 5 years with only minor complaints.

    Of course I bought mine from someone who couldn't get it setup correctly and wanted to "upgrade" to the Dillon 650...
     
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  14. BC17A

    BC17A Member

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    Hornady corrected that issue a while back.
     
  15. packetloss

    packetloss Member

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    Honestly, whichever press you go with will work out fine but if you are doing high volume loading you will want a case feeder. I try to eliminate any of those tasks that slow me down and make it *feel* tedious. Bullet feeder is purely optional, but case feeder really saves a lot of time.
     
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  16. Harriw

    Harriw Member

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    I've had mine about a year and have loaded about 1k 9mm rounds on it so far (lots of load work-ups, not a whole lot of bulk loading yet). Very happy with it.

    The main reason I chose it over blue was that I thought the LNL system would provide more flexibility than blue's pre-loaded die head arrangement. I've found that to be the case - it's easy to quickly drop in a bullet-pulling die in it's own bushing, for instance, then switch back to whatever you were loading. It also feels better suited to rifle loading because of this flexibility (can quickly set it up for re-sizing, or priming, or powder drops and bullet seating just by dropping in different dies).
     
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  17. OpIvy

    OpIvy Member

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    Good to know. I bought mine used, so I'm not sure if mine was in the before group or the after group.
     
  18. Ruger 15151

    Ruger 15151 Member

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    Case or Bullet feeder??? Depends on the volume you are processing. I don't have either and can push out about 400 rounds an hour without rushing anything. That includes hand placing a new case in station #1 as well as visually verifying the powder charge before placing a bullet on the charged case.

    Congratulations!!
     
  19. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    Case feeder for me has been far more of a time saving than a bullet feeder would be. I decap all my handgun cases with a RCBS decap die before wet tumbling and it saves a lot of time.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have never really been a fan of Dillon blue, a bit too light IMO. I do like the way they work though.

    No reason to make the decision hard, just make it and buy one, if you don’t like it, sell it and get something else.

    Most progressive presses cost lest than a set of tires for a car, ATV, RV or boat trailer and will last for decades longer, to the point when your done with them, they will sell for more money than they cost you before you used them for decades.

    FWIW I went the other way, and had all the Dillion’s before I tried the LNL and had both pre and post EZ Ject versions, the Dillon low primer alarm works just fine on them.
     
  21. donut1953

    donut1953 Member

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    If you add anything to the press I would recommend a 3-D printed case feeder. I bought one a year ago and have to say it has been great.
     
  22. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    O.K. OP lets address your two concerns about the Hornady. 1. You like the low primer alert on the Dillon. and 2. You are worried about the noise level on the case feeder.
    First, let's address the low primer warning. The Dillon will give an audible warning when primers are low, and you can use it on the Hornady. Dillon also has a no power or double charge warning. And RCBS has a lockout die that will lock the press up if there is no powder or double charge. Most like the RCBS die better. Now here is your solution. Get one of these.
    XkS7yb7m.jpg
    This is called a Hornady Delux Control Panel. It will count your rounds, warn you about low primers, warn you about low power in your hopper, and it has a lockout die, and it will warn you if your primer slide is stuck. Now it will give you an audible warning and a light warning.
    Now, about the noise level. I bought a use Ammo-Plant that could "Not make a single round". I cleaned it and adjusted it to run perfectly and sold it to a guy that lives about 30 miles from me. After about two weeks I called him and asked him how everything was working. He told me the only time he could run it was when his wife was away because she bitched about the noise. The complaint was about the bullet feeder and the case feeder. So now I went to work to fix his problem. The first thing I did is I bought a 9 1/4' glass pot lid for the bullet feeder and I put a pizza box on top of the case feeder and traced around the hopper. Then I cut a 1" styrofoam a little smaller than the outline of the Hopper. I glued a piece of plywood to the styrofoam with a handle on it. Next, I bought a thermal blanket for a water heater and cut it in half and duct-taped it around both hoppers.
    Now the loudest thing about his press is the press it's self.
     
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  23. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    If you are loading pistol and have a free station I would suggest getting the RCBS lockout die.
    Money well spent IMO.
    https://ultimatereloader.com/2010/09/19/rcbs-lock-out-die-part-i-theory-of-operation/
    https://ultimatereloader.com/2010/09/21/rcbs-lock-out-die-part-ii-setup-and-maintenance/


    https://ultimatereloader.com/2010/09/02/reloading-safety-powder-check-systems-overview/

    I have the Hornady Control panel (a PIF!! :DThanks tightgroup tiger!:thumbup:)and it has a lockout die as well as other features.
    (Thanks tightgroup tiger!)
     
  24. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    It was my pleasure.

    I use the lockout on my Control Panal and it works well. It was a mystery to set up when I first got it, but I took it apart to see how it worked, then I understood it.
    It caught one of my student reloader's double charge and stopped him in his tracks.

    I was really glad the control panal was on there that day. Those alarm systems for Hornadys and Dillons are worth the money they cost. Big time!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  25. Suedenflames68

    Suedenflames68 Member

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    Thanks for all the links and ideas. Now that I'm using the thing the primer alarm seems like no big deal. I'll flag the rod and can easily feel if priming a case or not. I'll look into the control panel and lockout dies tho, cant be too safe. And insulating case feeder sounds cool. Just a little bit on this thing can see how big a difference the case feeder would make.

    To make room for a powder check die ....Are the powder though ptx dies just a flare like lee dies or a expander like the Lyman m or my hornady dies seem to be? I looked at pictures online, the 355 ptx looks like an expander type that would give the bullet a nice "cup" to start down in straight, but the the pics of the other sizes look like they just flare it out like a funnel. I started using my hornady 380 expander and seating dies with the lee sizer and FCD for 9mm a while back and it really help the run out issues I was having with 9mm using the lee dies. Just couldn't get it to go in straight consistently with the lee flare die. Ordered a "m" die for 45 also to see if it helps with those too ,but havent loaded anymore 45 yet since I got it.

    I liked sitting to load single stage and my lee turret.... I think I want to stand with this thing though....priming is a core workout to try to not spin in my wheely office chair. Seems like it would be less work using it standing.

    I'm not sure about that. Mine seems to have a good bit of slop on the shell plate and has a date of 3/19/20 on the wrapper. I got those arbor spacers in my amazon cart . $7 and one day shipping so gonna give em a try I guess unless I'm missing something. Getting some pretty big variances in OAL and sounds like those shims tighten things up to not allow as much shell plate flex if i under stand correctly.
    If i run one through at a time like a turret its seating them at 1.120 for my 9mm rounds I'm loading.
    I ran 5 through loading it and running it out as progressive and varried from 1.128-1.137"
    Ran 20 out full progressive right after setting up the does and they were mostly 1.13x's .

    That much flex and variation isn't normal for progressive loading from what I've read , right?

    Primer system hasn't had any problems in the little I loaded and its seating them flush or just under. I think I get em a little deeper usually on my single stage ,but nothing turned or flipped or needing reseated ,but that shim under the subplate sounds like it helps get em deeper too.

    James
     
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