Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Demi-human, Oct 9, 2021.
Now I have a conundrum. Do I set it up for .223 or 45 Auto?
Progressives are not a good start for rifle IMO. Great for case prep though.
I think this is the way I’ll go. It is my first progressive press. I was very happy to find it at a decent price, with a fantastic shipping rate. Less than MidSouth and to my door for $15!
Yep! Eventually. Finally over my broken shoulder, I can’t wait to get the AR fed. She’s so cranky from being in the dark the last year.
I’ve been hankering for a progressive for some time. Five years-ish. I was “smart”, and learned on a single stage. 23,000 press strokes later, I am tired of spending those nights in the basement, wearing out my shoulder, making ammunition! One pull, one cartridge time for me!
I’ll be perusing @DRAINSMITH ’s content for help, but did anyone have a link to some good threads for modifications on the AP?
Always lusting for one, I’ve read through them when they come up, but searching for them doesn’t always pan out.
Dang! Do it try to shoehorn it on the bench downstairs, or move it and everything to the Millpond? Decisions, decisions!
There are several setup videos I would entreat you to review, there may even be a DVD in the box, but I think Hornady also posted them to YouTube. There are several threads here, not sure how to expertly search for them, but usually you’ll run into a problem and then the fun begins.
Biggest issue for me was getting the pawls correctly set for timing the advance of the shell plate.
Biggest upgrade for me was the inline fabrication ergo handle, and an LED light taped to the underside of the opening, let there be light. Good luck with your press!
Take all the time needed to get every thing adjusted correctly. Pay particularly attention to the primer feed, and indexing. If the primer feed is setup correctly it will feed as fast as you can run the press with no dies slowing your down. I file the bottom front edge so a little debree does not stop the sled from going full forward. Since you will be needed to change primer size, find a piece of thread to tie to the spring. This will allow you to change the sled in seconds.
a case feeder is on my list to add eventually, would really increase productivity
goal for first batch should be about 100 45acp, and I’d use resized, belled and primed case or three to get the powder drop adjusted, then run one or two through the full run, checking for proper results at each step,
once you Are happy, run about 10 rounds through and I’d check the powder on #10. Once you are sure everything is good, crank them out. I loaded 400 9mm up the other day using clean brass and it was no drama, took 2hrs (I go slow)
Why isn’t there two of the same boxes?
Then you’ll want a dedicated 223 machine
Well, that’s my dream anyway!
One for each primer size.
Though I hear it can be converted quickly, I anticipate this one to be set for 45 Auto semi-permanently. I don’t really make blasting ammunition for rifles. Not that these are less accurate presses.
(Though if I could maybe I can be converted…)
I’ll be cruising MidSouth Shooter for the shell plate and case feeder plate. I just can’t wait to spend less time cooped up loading, though I love it, and more time with my Dan Wesson! The reason for the loading!
Are you going to run a powder cop?
If so, a PTX die (powder through expanding die) is nice to utilize to free up a station.
To quote Monty Python, "...and there was much rejoicing."
Now you have a whole NEW set of problems to solve. To again quote Monty Python, "Choose wisely."
Edit: back to OP original question, consider purchasing extra shell plates and die turrets. No need to choose when it takes about 15 minutes to switch calibers.
+1. I load .308/bolt-action on a progressive, but only load on every other station. Otherwise, the neck-size and powder station fights the seating die. The seating die is critical - OAL is everything.
For .223(5.56), I size all of the brass first, then tumble to clean. For actual loading, the sizing die is absent. The force required for sizing is orders of magnitude higher than for seating. IMO, that's the Achille's Heel of progressive presses for reloading rifle.
Just my 2-cents.
This I am unsure of. I saw one was included in the box.
At first I was thinking about the RCBS Lockout Die, but I don’t want to have to disassemble things to get the press working again. I have no problem just tossing the not quite right case aside until the end.
The Powder Cop might be nice, but it still uses a Mark I eyeball for operation. I’ll be getting nice press lights,(that should come with it) so I’ll be able to see in general, but also into the case. I may not find it as useful. It may be a case to case thing. Small charges in a larger case might give tinier readings.
I can’t wait to find out!
One thing I know that is both fantastic and frustrating, my location of emplacement is chosen. There isn’t enough stand over height on the basement bench.
While digging enough chest space to insulate the front porch foundation walls of Millpond Manor, I discovered the earth under the concrete floor in the closet I hand planned on turning into my new Handloading Alcove, has been washed away. A two foot cavern is now there and I should move all my ammunition before it becomes subterranean.
So that leaves the Garage. I’ll just have to live with the truck outside. Since the family room is finished, quite nicely I must say, I’m turning the garage into my new loading room! The whole thing! 24 sq feet to 400! Strangely, I’ll still share it with a water heater, but I have gas line for a heater and a small A/C unit for the one split window.
Finally, a proper ManCave! Climate controlled even.
Unfortunately, that means much more work before this press will be running. There is no bench in there, yet. I anticipated only drilling holes…
Haha, still, I haven’t been this excited to glue Formica to particle board in a while!
There is no dis-assembly required unless you didn't seat a primer the whole way in and it tightens up the shell plate so it doesn't want to move.
This is a mistake that happens on all presses and on a Hornady LNL, it's nothing. Just don't force the handle. Just take off the shell plate and remove it.
The lockout die will just stop the press from moving forward. Put the ram back down and remove everything in all stations on the shell plate.
The spring around the shell plate allows you to remove/replace cases on the press as needed without having to take anything apart.
Remember, you didn't complete the stroke so all five cases come off, and you start over.
That's a small price to pay for not making a squib load. Usually the only time my lock out die will stop me is when there is no powder in the case. That comes from something else happening that keeps the ram from going all the way up.
If I have to drop the shell plate before completing the stroke for any reason, the shell plate gets emptied, without exception.
I use M-die expanders on mine, it helps the bullets stay in place after the bullet feed die has dropped them. They will stick right in there if the m-die is set right.
" Question, Did your Ammo Plant come with the "control panel" setup? They really help a lot.
I have the RCBS Lockout die and consider it a third eye. You don’t have to disassemble anything if the lockout die stops the press. I don’t think the powder cop stops the press, and my thoughts have always been I don’t want to have another thing to look at other than the powder in the case before I set the bullet on top.
I also got the DAA PTX since I load a lot of coated bullets - it’s an M style PTX. Good luck.
Get experience with changeovers, to include making notes about the sequence of steps, and it will seem easier to make changes from thereon. There is little question though that the thought of having dedicated presses will come up.
First thing is to have a separate lower for the powder measure. That will retain settings and save time without great expense.
Good idea, as that is what I shoot exclusively.
I loaded pistol for years with this setup for 9 and 45:
Hornady powder drop
Hornady powder drop
I process rifle brass in a separate run.
The RCBS PTX works perfect in the Hornady drop. Its very M-Die like in how it expands case mouths if you want to combine stations. The Hornady expanders for pistol (both PTX and standalone) are just too blunt for my liking often causing over belling.
Ive never felt the need to use a powder cop. Im sitting right on top of the press and when setting bullets by hand, you can train yourself to check the powder.
I did add a split washer under the bolt to hold down the shell plate. It doesnt need to be He-Man tight, just snug.
Get an extra primer slide on hand. They do need replacement as you will sometimes mess one up at the worst time.
Buy the handle from Inline Fab. Youll thank me later. Way easier on the body.
Get a UFO light kit. Its nice and bright and is likely the reason I dont have a powder cop as I can see right into the cases with ease.
The Hornady powder funnel that sits on top of the press is great for doing load dev on the LnL.
I do run mine with a case and bullet feeder. But thats an entire thread on its own as I have done about every mod you can think of to make it run as good as I can.
In a way it's funny, you spend money on it and if it never locks out you may feel like why did I spend the money, first time it does you know why.
It just won't let the handle go all the way down if it locks so the press won't advance,
not really "locked up"
Lockout die doesn't work for rifle (at least I have never tried it) but unlike a powder cop you don't have to watch the lockout die.
Some helpful links about it
Some people will cringe but for pistol I do a quick 30 minute clean on range pickup brass, then deprime and expand the case mouths.(range has nasty 60-80 grit sand/dirt)
Station 1 deprime resize, flair die in station 2 thru 5 pick one
Make a second cleaning pass thru the wet tumbler to finish cleaning and get clean primer pockets that probably make no difference what so ever but they make me smile so....
(you could prime here to if you didn't want to make a second cleaning pass)
Hand prime while watching TV. (lets me inspect brass as well)
Remember .45 range brass may be small or large primer.
I have tried putting LPs in the SP brass and I just can't seem to get it to work
SPs don't work well in LPs cases either.
So you will need to check the brass before you load it on a progressive unless it's all your brass and you know the primer size.
Anyway once I have primed pistol brass ready to feed the press
1 - Powder drop
2 - RCBS lockout die
3 - Bullet feeder
4 - Seat (or seat crimp)
5 - Lee FCD (not always used, but I like it for my 9mm match ammo)
Congrats on your new toy, hope you like it and make Friends with it..
(I had doubts if I was going to make friends with my LNL the first time used it)
Another station or two would be nice.
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