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Hornady LnL AP Caliber/Powder Changes

Filed in Articles, Hornady LnL AP by on June 29, 2011 2 Comments • views: 2331

With my Hornady LnL AP on the way, it’s time to take a closer look at the impact upon the powder dispensing system when doing caliber changes.

Hornady LnL Caliber ChangesRather than mount the dies in a Die Plate like Dillon and RCBS, Hornady uses Lock-N-Load Bushings as shown in the adjacent photo. You screw the die into a bush and tighten the set screw.  After that the die can be mounted on the press with a quarter-turn twist. Hornady LnL Bushings are about $7 each and you’ll want one for each die.

The Rotor is that cylinder you see in the photo. It contains the cavity into which a single charge of powder flows. The Metering Insert is in this cavity and controls the amount of powder contained in the charge. a portion of the metering insert protrudes from the rotor, and has a knob used to adjust the powder charge.

The typical powder charge for a pistol is very small when compared to rifle. (a 308 powder charge might be 44 grains while a 45 ACP charge might be 5.5 grains) Hornady includes two sets of rotors and metering inserts. The rotor for pistol has a much smaller cavity.

Hornady LnL caliber changesThe Shellplate mounts on the press and holds the shells as they travel from station to station.  Generally, you’ll need one per caliber, though some shellplates fit multiple calibers. Shellplates vary in price from about $22 to about $38.

Hornady LnL Caliber ChangesOne of the optional things you could buy is a separate metering insert for each caliber.  That way once you have it adjusted to drop the amount of powder specified for that load you could then dedicate that metering insert to that load.  There is a button on the powder measure that you press and the metering insert slides right out. Metering inserts are about $11 each and so this is a reasonabe option.

A different option: Hornady makes metering inserts with a micrometer adjustment.  You would then simply record the setting on the micrometer for each load. You would not need one for each caliber, just one for pistol and one for rifle.  Micrometer Metering Inserts are about $30 each.

HornadyQuickChangePowderDieThere is one other area that a small investment in optional parts can make caliber changes easier: the Quick Change Powder Die (Hornady now calls this the Case Activated Lower Assembly).  Watch this video to see how adjusting the height of the powder measure must be adjusted for each caliber  (actually, cartridge height):

Hornady Video

By purchasing one Quick Change Powder Die for each caliber, there is no need to readjust and recalbirate for each caliber.  Quick Change Powder Dies are about $24 each.

Summary

If I wanted to go all out and make caliber changes as fast and easy as possible, I would need the following caliber:

  • Shellplate
  • Metering Insert
  • Quick Change Powder Die
  • LnL Bushings

Assuming a three dies per caliber, that’s about $90 per caliber.

Comments (2)

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  1. traderpats says:

    Great articles. I have a question that concerns the ptx. Is the ptx an integral part of the Quick Change Powder Die? That is, can I set a ptx and leave it as part of the QCPD or does it need adjustment because of the linkage, etc? Tried to find an LNL all setup to check out but none in my area. Anyways thanks again.

    • dbarnhart says:

      Hi Pat,

      I thought the best way to answer your question would be to digitize the exploded view of the QCPD:

      https://www.shootandreload.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/img020.jpg

      The LnL ships with a set of sleeves (part 17,18,19 in the exploded view). You pick the right sleeve for the desired case length and insert it into the main body of the QCPD. The PTX is part 20 in the exploded view and it replaces the sleeve. There are also a couple of other linkage changes but those parts and instructions are included with the press.

      Before you buy a PTX I would also recommend you look at http://www.powderfunnels.com/

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