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This is a discussion on Hornady Lock & Load progessive within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Originally Posted by Iowegan It appears I will not get an answer to my question in post #41 so I will answer it myself. I ...


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Old April 16th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #46
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
It appears I will not get an answer to my question in post #41 so I will answer it myself.

I can't speak for all progressive presses but the "precision" in rifle reloading comes more from the dies and less from the press. Of course all dies must be adjusted properly .... no matter what press you use and you must push the handle down until it stops to make sure all adjustments are maintained.

When I reload 223 Rems or 308 Win ammo on my Dillon RL550 progressive, there is absolutely no difference than when I load them on my Rockchucker single stage. The finished product looks and shoots equally well from either press. I use a RCBS small base sizer die, a RCBS bullet seater die, and a Redding taper crimp die. I rarely shoot over 250 yards but accuracy is the same from either press out to 250 yards. I think if there was going to be an accuracy issue, it would show up before 250 yards???

The reason for using a single stage press for rifle ammo is more for convenience not quality. I do spend some time on case prep .... cleaning cases before sizing, annealing and trimming cases after sizing .... all done in batches. This means if I use my Dillon, I have to remove the case after it has been sized then do the rest of the case prep. I have done this many times and it is still much faster to load with the Dillon despite an interruption for case prep. That said, if I am going to load a small batch, (20 rounds or so) I'll probably just use the Rockchucker because the total time needed will be a little less. Typically, I will load about 250 rounds of 223 Rem or 308 Win per session on my Dillon. It averages about 5 times faster so instead of spending most of a day reloading, I can do it in an hour and get the same quality results. With my other rifle cartridges, I seldom load more than a 20 round box in one session so the Rockchucker is a bit more convenient.
I can't speak about rifle but any handgun ammo I load either on my LNL or on my Rockchucker comes out the same. I used to use the single stage for loading small trial batches but just use the LNL and send one case through at a time.
Going to start loading 223 so may be different.



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Old April 16th, 2017, 11:28 AM   #47
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
It appears I will not get an answer to my question in post #41 so I will answer it myself.

. . .When I reload 223 Rems or 308 Win ammo on my Dillon RL550 progressive, there is absolutely no difference than when I load them on my Rockchucker single stage. The finished product looks and shoots equally well from either press. . . . I rarely shoot over 250 yards but accuracy is the same from either press out to 250 yards. I think if there was going to be an accuracy issue, it would show up before 250 yards???

The reason for using a single stage press for rifle ammo is more for convenience not quality. . . .
Yes, the gains are *mostly* for convenience but there's at least one physical difference in the output. Whether it's important to you, or important at all, is certainly a judgement call you've clearly made. And I take no issue with that for your use.

But with slop both in the toolhead and in the subplate (due to varying pressures elsewhere around the press), there's an inconsistency in bullet seating depth on a progressive that will not occur on a single stage press.

Others report a difference in concentricity (bullet seating) between progressives and single stage. I use Hornady presses, and I cannot personally confirm a difference. But then again I chose the Hornady AP in part because it has no slop at the toolhead. I've never used a Dillon.

IME, the rest can legitimately be labelled "convenience" items, but I think it's a bit unfair to do so.

EG, one is unlikely to hand weigh each powder charge on a progressive. One is also unlikely to adjust bullet seating for each cartridge to achieve "identical" BTO lengths. And if one did choose to operate a progressive using a single-stage process, it's certainly far less convenient than using a single stage in the first place. But convenience for bulk ammo is why we buy progressive presses, isn't it?

Whether by choice of rifle or caliber or available shooter skill or goal, most of the differences are likely not visible out to (I'd guess) 300 yds. There a (eg) 50fps MV variation on a 168gr 308 projectile gives only ~0.75" change in drop and almost no change in windage.

Unless you get outside your load's sweet spot . . . which is easier to do on a 25gr 223 charge than a 43gr 308 charge.

So I certainly don't take factual issue with what you say . . . but I don't think it gives full justice to normal single stage precision work, let alone to the neck-turning, neck tension, bullet sorting crowd lol.

Last edited by Twoboxer; April 16th, 2017 at 11:32 AM.
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Old April 16th, 2017, 11:43 AM   #48
 
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I guess I coulda been a little more precise about the process, but I do use the LNL for decapping, full case and neck sizing etc, then go to the trimmer, then to a RCBS motorized unit for primer prep, chamfer, deburr etc, THEN to the ultrasonic for a couple of washes, and so on. Never liked the primer system on the LNL, prefer the meticulous and intimate nature of the hand primer, even for my pistol rounds... Having said all that, I am looking at another Hornady single stage just for case prep for the Lapua ammo... That will delete the necessity for changing the shellholder plate on the LNL for the rest of our number 1 reloads such as 45 ACP, .308, 6.5 Creedmoor etc. Not that Hornady is any better, I just like the consistency and the ability to quick change the dies. Also, in all my OCD measuring, I have never seen a difference between what I produce with the LNL and my old Chucker.
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Old May 20th, 2017, 10:04 PM   #49
 
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A few years ago when I decided to get a progressive press, I studied and compared the Dillon 550 and the Hornady LNL. I was initially impressed with reports of Dillon's quality, but soon realized that if I wanted all the caliber change accessories I'd need I would easily be spending several times as much as on the Hornady. I wanted to be able to load for a .380, 9mm, .38 Sp., .357 Mag, 10mm, and .454 Casull. Oh, and also one rifle cartridge, the .45/70.

So I bought the LNL, and it's worked well for me on handgun loads. I use a single-stage press, a Forster Co-Ax for rifle rounds for higher precision, and an old Lyman turret press to permanently hold a collet die for fixing my mistakes (i.e., pulling bullets).
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Old May 21st, 2017, 04:20 AM   #50
 
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Originally Posted by Subarctican View Post
A few years ago when I decided to get a progressive press, I studied and compared the Dillon 550 and the Hornady LNL. I was initially impressed with reports of Dillon's quality, but soon realized that if I wanted all the caliber change accessories I'd need I would easily be spending several times as much as on the Hornady. I wanted to be able to load for a .380, 9mm, .38 Sp., .357 Mag, 10mm, and .454 Casull. Oh, and also one rifle cartridge, the .45/70.

So I bought the LNL, and it's worked well for me on handgun loads. I use a single-stage press, a Forster Co-Ax for rifle rounds for higher precision, and an old Lyman turret press to permanently hold a collet die for fixing my mistakes (i.e., pulling bullets).
Auto indexing is certainly a distinguishing feature when comparing those two presses.

A good way to mitigate concern about changeover costs is to have a turret for the cartridges one does not use in enough volume to warrant running on a progressive. Owning the turret is a good evolutionary step away from the tedium of a single stage. The progressive then would be the next step to use for larger runs, perhaps competition ammo. Then you might first focus on only one size of primer to make changeovers simpler. Cartridge changes become a bigger deal when the progressive includes a case feeder that needs careful tuning to each case size. Then you don't change over to another cartridge on a whim to do 50 pieces or less like you can on a turret.

Last edited by at liberty; May 21st, 2017 at 04:26 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 03:58 PM   #51
 
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I have the Hornady adapter on my Rock Chucker, but have only used that press a few times since getting the LNL. I also don't have the case or bullet feeder. I don't plan on getting them. Loading cases gives me one extra chance to inspect them.

I just finished loading 300 rounds of 9mm. The most tedious step for me is loading the primer tubes.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 05:29 AM   #52
 
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Originally Posted by okstatefan View Post
I have the Hornady adapter on my Rock Chucker, but have only used that press a few times since getting the LNL. I also don't have the case or bullet feeder. I don't plan on getting them. Loading cases gives me one extra chance to inspect them.

I just finished loading 300 rounds of 9mm. The most tedious step for me is loading the primer tubes.
I didn't like doing the primer reload either so am now enjoying the Hornady 1911 primer tube filler. I believe the latest Frankford Arsenal unit is good too. You can load extra primer tubes, if you have a place to secure them, where they won't spill.
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Old May 22nd, 2017, 01:12 PM   #53
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Twoboxer, It would appear you don't understand how a Dillon press works. The "slop", (as you call it) in the toolhead is totally gone when the handle is pulled all the way down. Likewise with the "slop" in the shell holder .... it disappears too when the press handle is all the way down. The good thing about the "slop" in the tool head is .... when a case starts in any of the dies, it will be loose enough to "find the hole" without damaging the case.

Bullet seating depth .... first and foremost, you have to pull the handle all the way to its stop. Anything short of a full stroke is going to result in inconsistent bullet seating depth. This is the same with any press .... no matter what brand or type. Ammo loaded on my Dillon has very tight COLs .... never more than a couple thousandths variation .... virtually identical to my Rockchucker.

When I used to load 223 Rems on my RCBS Rockchucker or my Dillon 550, it was common to get bullets seated that had more than .003" runout (non-concentric). I was using standard RCBS dies. Later I bought a set of RCBS small base dies (only the sizer is different) and my concentricity issue totally went away on both presses. I suspect the neck area of the dies are somewhat different and for sure the expander ball is different. No matter .... the point is both presses produce identical results when the same dies are used. I'm quite sure the same can be said of a Hornady LnL too.

Subarctican, Indeed Dillon presses, dies, and cartridge conversions are more expensive than Hornady but: "I was initially impressed with reports of Dillon's quality, but soon realized that if I wanted all the caliber change accessories I'd need I would easily be spending several times as much as on the Hornady. This is way overstated!!!

Here's some things I do with my Dillon RL550 for "cost control". I bought an extra tool head and powder die that I leave "unpopulated" until I need it. I have 8 populated tool heads .... 7 for handgun one for 223 Rem that are used regularly. The other dozen die sets maybe get used one a year .... sometimes once every two years. At the current prices, this saves more than $20 each for powder dies and more than $10 each for toolheads. 11x$30=$330 savings.

Next is the caliber conversion kits. The kit includes a shell holder, locater pins, and a powder funnel. The shell holder may work with different cartridges so there is no need to spend money on duplication. As an example: the shell holder for many rifle cartridges is exactly the same as the one for 45 ACP ... including the brass locator pins. 9mm and 40 S&W take the same shell holder and locator pins. You do have to buy a dedicated powder funnel for each cartridge ... except for a few obvious ones like 38/357, 44 Spec/44 Mag, 40S&W/10mm Auto. Further, all .224 cal cartridges (or 30 cal, or 7mm, or, or) use exactly the same caliber specific powder funnel so I share them with other die sets. This saved me about $500 versus buying a dedicated caliber conversion kit for each cartridge.

I used to own two powder measures .... one configured with the large powder bar, the other with the small powder bar. I sold one and with the proceeds, I bought 6 extra small powder bars and leave them preadjusted for specific handgun powder charges. It only takes a few seconds to swap an adjustable powder bar .... time well spent versus money. Powder measures cost over $75 each so for just my 7 additional populated tool heads, it would cost me 500 bucks more to buy dedicated powder measures for them. Now if you have unlimited financial resources, you can spend some big bucks on dedicated caliber conversion kits, powder measures, and tool stands that may save you a few minutes when converting from one cartridge to another. I'd rather spend that extra $$$ on powder, bullets, and primers.

I found when I load 45 Colt ammo with bullets intended for 45 ACP (no crimp groove or cannelure), I can use the taper crimp die from my 45 ACP set rather than buy a dedicated taper crimp die for the 45 Colt that is rarely used.

Another tip that pinches a few pennies .... rather than buy extra Dillon primer pick up tubes, I made my own. Hobby Lobby sells brass tubing in 1 foot sections .... two per package, about a buck per tube. I bought a set of 7/32" OD for small primers and a set of 1/4" OD for large primers. I drilled a hole near the end of each tube for a Clevis pin type clip, just like the Dillon tubes. The pick up end has a plastic tip from a cheap ball point pen ... with an enlarged hole so it will pick up primers and not let them fall out. This will save some $$$. When I'm on a roll, having a couple extra full primer tubes really helps speed things up.

Instead of using Dillon's Low Powder Sensor, I made my own using the"Early Warning" primer buzzer. Both systems share the same buzzer and you can adjust the powder sensor to buzz at the desired powder level in the hopper. The Low Powder Sensor is 42 bucks .... mine cost about a buck and uses parts from my junk box. I really like the Low Powder Sensor when loading rifle or large capacity 44 Mags .... seems the hopper can run empty without even being noticed. In the past, I had to pull several bullets because I didn't pay attention to the powder hopper. Now, when the buzzer sounds, it scares the hell out of me because I'm totally tuned in to reloading and nothing more.
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