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Anyone else's Hornady LnL AP have sloppy linkage/rotating ram?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Uranophobic Unicorn, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Uranophobic Unicorn

    Uranophobic Unicorn Member

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    I picked this press up used back in December. Up until recently I've been only loading 9mm on it. During this time I had a heck of a time trying to sort out sizing issues. About half of my cases, regardless of headstamps, would have setback with just finger pressure. This process saw me go through 4 different sizing dies (2 Lee and 2 Hornady). I thought I was just really unlucky, and kept getting out of spec dies. So I get a Lee Undersized die, and that almost got me there. I had the screw the die in about 1/4th of a turn and cam over to finally get cases sized properly.

    Skip ahead to today, and I'm forming 300blk. Form my first few cases, and they aren't passing my case gauge - the shoulder isn't bumped down far enough. No biggy, I thought, I'll just screw it in some more until it passes. And screw it I did. And I kept screwing until I could screw no more. Still not passing. Almost passing (still proud about 2-4 thou), but not passing.

    Perhaps I'm cursed and my case gauge was out of spec. So I got a factory round, and lo! It was perfect. So cross that out.

    Finally, I dust off the old single stage, threw in my RCBS Small Base 300blk die, and rammed her in. Headspaced perfectly. Dust off the rejected 9mm sizing dies. Made a few dummy round, and could you believe it, they all have perfect neck tension.

    That leaves one variable in this equation, something on this press is wrong.

    I don't believe it is the shell plate or subplate. Both are fit so close I can't even fit a feeler gauge underneath them. However one thing I have noticed is that the ram/subplate combo can be rotated by the handle (as well as vice versa). It doesn't matter where in the stroke, wiggling the handle left or right will result in the ram rotating. There are significant looking gaps in the linkage as well. 2 gaps in particular mike out around a tenth of an inch. Scouring the depths of youtube I found an individual who has the exact same problem as me.



    This is exactly what my press does. If anything mine might be a little worse. But I don't even know if this is a problem. All I know is something is hooped, and this is the only thing I can think of right now. So... does anyone else's press do this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2019
  2. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    There is a certain amount of twist in all progressive presses.
    The problem your describing sounds like your shell plate isn't screwed down tight.
     
  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Tolerance. Put a case in the shell plate, it can move around a little too. It allows you to use brass from different manufacturers and slightly different dimensions, maybe even a dig or two in the rim. Not to mention if the top of the press or shell plate don’t match to the thousandth, they will still work together.

    Don’t loose any sleep over that though, the Co-ax that lots of people tout as a great press for precision ammunition, “floats” the die and case.

    Your sizing issues are die/shell holder related, not anything to do with what is shown in the video. The only press that can’t do that is the 1050 and that’s because two dowels in the tool head go into and through the shell plate so the two are perfectly in alignment.
     
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  4. Uranophobic Unicorn

    Uranophobic Unicorn Member

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    Here's the thing. The dies I thought were the issue size absolutely fine on a single stage. SOMETHING about this press is giving me issues sizing.

    The shell plate rides absolutely as close as it can over the sub plate. I don't have a feeler small enough to fit under there. Same with the subplate to the ram. It's mated damn near perfectly.

    I can say safely it's not the dies.
     
  5. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    I don't see how that lateral movement could effect the sizing of a case. Once your brass starts to enter the sizing die, and the next piece of brass enters the expanding die, and there's a bullet being seated by the seating die, and a round entering the crimp die everything is pretty much going to be lined up with the dies locked in the press. Getting the rounds to enter the dies correctly might be a pain with that much movement but once they're lined up each operation should be consistent from round to round. Or at least consistent enough for general use. If loading for precision 500 to 1,000 yard shots the small variation that might occur would concern me.

    I sort my 9mm brass by headstamp because there are a handful of cases that don't work well with the lead bullets I use sized to .357. I pretty much strictly use WIN, R*P, Blazer, GFL, and sometime FC brass everything else gets tossed aside. Last time I was reloading I had a round with a loose bullet. I checked the headstamp and somehow an Aquila case had got into the mix. Everything else was good. I always sort 9mm brass because you can get crimped primer rounds, rounds with a step inside the case, or an errant .380 case.
     
  6. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    Sizing is really simple (I didn't say easy):
    1) Ram the case far enough up into the die, and
    2) Don't expand or flare it enough to spoil what you achieved in 1) above.

    Rotational slop isn't your problem, it's moot as soon as the case mouth enters the die nose.
     
  7. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    AP are NOT design to for brass forming, SS are for that. The lube you use can make a huge difference on how easy the case reforms. Then there are thin film and thick film lubricants which effect the final die adjustment.
     
  8. Uranophobic Unicorn

    Uranophobic Unicorn Member

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    I've only got Unique and One Shot, but both give me similar results.

    But you got my curiosity piqued, so I picked out a once fired 300blk case and tried sizing it on the AP. Better results than formed cases, but had to be screwed in about 1/3 of a turn to get proper headspace. Really had to lean on the handle to get her to pop over.

    No such problems on the SS.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If it works fine with one shell holder but not another, assuming you can’t size enough, even with the die bottomed out on the shell holder/plate (if it’s not bottomed out just adjust it further). It means you have more distance from where the case sits to the top, on the one that won’t size enough.

    5EF206CA-0094-44FB-9F58-7FDE47AE90A5.jpeg

    That would be a problem with the shell plate on the LNL; however, it might be better to say the problem is actually with the die. Because it’s a lot easier to take a few thousands off the bottom of a die than the top of a shell plate.
     
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  10. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Mr. Unicorn

    Welcome to THR. As everyone else here has said, the sloppy linkage on your LnL press is in no way gonna stop your dies short of sizing your 9mm’s.

    I use Lee standard dies. They always “cam over”. Are you using a #8 shellplate?

    My press also had that excessive sloppiness in the linkage. The two main problems that it caused me was that cases tended to catch on the side of the die as it entered. I would have to wiggle the handle a bit and the case would go in. Not a big deal. The second was that when I was seating a primer the ram would twist sideways at the same time as it was trying to press the primer in. Priming was less than it could be. It sort of seated them at an angle. After I got it back unrepaired from Hornady. I ended up making a new linkage arrangement. It works way better now.
     
  11. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    How about pictures and details of what you did.
     
  12. rskent

    rskent Member

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    One thing I did that helped a lot was retiming the forks on the ram assembly. They were offset by quit a few degrees. Unfortunately, I can’t find the pictures of that. They are just threaded on so It was just a matter of heating the ram to break the Loctite loose. Cleaning everything and regluing it straight. I thought I might need to pin it. But so far it hasn’t come loose.

    The linkage fix was just to make some oversize diameter pins with nuts and cotter pins instead of clips and to use thrust washers in between the arms to adjust the slop.

    Sorry about the crappy picture.



    100_2056.JPG
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
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  13. Allen One1

    Allen One1 Member

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    It's probably not stopping on the shoulder but is fatter at the base of the case. Thus it won't drop all the way down into the case gauge. You want to bump the shoulder back to fit your rifle chamber and in doing this the die is not going all the way to the base of the case. If the cases were fired in your rifle they should be fine, see if they will chamber into your rifle.
     
  14. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    The 2 screws that secure the sub-plate to the ram once worked their way loose on mine.
    (IIRC, about 1/4 to 1/2 turn to tighten 'em)

    Rotation? Yep. Plenty. Also found some simple ways to reduce it by modifying how I interact with the press itself.

    Had my press mounted next to the inside corner of an "L" - shaped bench. Too tight. A few inches / 'better angle of attack' can make a big difference.

    Next subject will be controversial,,,, You've been warned,,,

    Lotsa folks like myself own (and have used for years) the "Ergo" handle upgrade by Inline Fabrication.

    Long story short, for me, the OEM handle seems to put the end of each stroke right where it works the best, (most noticeable when priming on the press)

    OEM handle also tends to keeps you right hand/stroke closer to the centerline of the ram,,, A handle positioned farther away, at least in my case, doesn't seem to improve the 'rotation' factor. (Kinda has the opposite effect for me)

    The OEM knob is 'certainly nothing special'. A bit on the small size as well. Not hard to find 'billiard-ball' replacements on eBay.
    Slip a small sock over it. Done.
     
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  15. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    This is easy. Skgreen got it.
    Your press has 2 screws 1/4-28x3/8 part # 39221 that goes threw the ram assy part #398163 that are screwed into the subplate part # 398309T. These screws need to be tight... No really tight. I use a 3/8 ratchet with a 4" extension and a hex socket. to get enough torque.
     
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  16. forty_caliber
    • Contributing Member

    forty_caliber Contributing Member

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    I prefer to use the Inline Ergo handle. For me, it seems to keep the force more inline with the press without any left/right torque.

    The LNL shell plates can be a little tricky and it wouldn't surprise me to find that some of your troubles can corrected here. Common fixes are using a lock washer on the center bolt and adjusting the clearance of the shell plate to the subplate by using 3/16" punch to push the ball bearings on the underside toward the top.

    While the LNL is a great press and I load all my pistol ammunition and 5.56 rifle on it, it doesn't work as well as as my turret press for 7.62. Forming .300BO might be a bit of a stretch.

    .40
     
  17. Uranophobic Unicorn

    Uranophobic Unicorn Member

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    Sorry it took so long to get back to y'all. Was too busy royally screwing up an AK trunnion.

    I have had the sub plate off before, so I guess it's possible I screwed something up putting it back on. Anyways, gave those screws a good lick again to make sure they're tight. Haven't noticed a change yet. Admittedly a good idea, though.

    Transfer blue has me stopping on the shoulder. I suppose that's goodish news if I try to send these.

    Moi :D

    So I find this bit interesting. Standard practice is to not "cam over" carbide because it's h*ckin' brittle. Have you not broken your carbide inserts yet? I camed over because it was he only way I could get it to work properly, assuming that it'd shorten my dies' lifespan. At least doing it wrong would make it work right.

    If having it cam over isn't detrimental to the dies or press, I don't really know if I have an issue in the first place.

    And yes, I'm using a #8 for 9mm.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  18. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Most all carbide dies these days have the carbide ring recessed so you can not contact it. So cam-over does not harm them. If you have some of the older ones with the carbide ring flush with the body you have to be careful.
     
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  19. DRAINSMITH

    DRAINSMITH Member

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    O.K. I watched your video again before I went to bed, and woke up three times in the middle of the night. So I rewatched it about 10 times before I finally saw it.
    At 0:03 into the video I noticed that when you moved the subplate the lower right-hand side the handle also moved. Then at 0:23 in the video I noticed that you have a silver flat washer next to the toggle (the part that the handle goes into). I assume it is being used as a shim. Now, there are supposed to be spring washers and they are black. And there are supposed to be five of them at each point. The part # for the washers is #392424
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Amen to that, they come seriously tight from the factory.
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Again, if the die works right with different shell holder adjusted to contact and can’t with another, it’s a shell holder/plate problem.

    You can “fix” the shell holder or the die.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    That is assuming you don’t have to put the single stage linkage in a bind but must to get the desired results from the other, with the same dies.
     
  23. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Mr. Unicorn

    Is there any chance you could sneek a picture showing the relationship between your shell plate and your sizing die with the ram up? Maybe one with a case and one without?
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    My press has some top right and lower left.
     
  25. Uranophobic Unicorn

    Uranophobic Unicorn Member

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    Unless someone else here forms 300blk on their AP, I think I'm pretty convinced the "problems" I've been having are normal. I guess from now on I'll just adjust until contact with a shell in.
     
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