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ShootEm

Could use a 6th station for a Lockout die!

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I'm relatively new to reloading and, unfortunately, I've had a couple of squib loads, which has made me nervous about my reloading technique.   I'm using a Hornady LNL, and my setup is the following:  (1) resizing die, (2) powder drop/PTX expander, (3) bullet feeder, (4) seating, (5) taper crimp.   I thought I was being careful about visually checking my charges, but apparently I've missed a few. I'd like to add an extra margin of safety by adding an RCBS lockout die (or I could use a Powder Cop, but I already have the lockout die).

 

I thought I could solve the problem by combining the seating and crimping into one die to free up a station for the lockout die, but I'm using plated bullets, and I've read that seating and crimping simultaneously isn't a great idea with plated bullets.

 

So what do I do?

 

I've returned to using a single stage press for now, but there's no way I can crank out the number rounds I need that way.

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I would first focus on why the squibs are happening. Try to eliminate that issue by refining your reloading process. 

 

You can try a combination seat crimp die. You never know, it may work splendidly for you

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I agree with Sarge. First, find out why and how the squibs are happening. Add a mirror or a light, or both, to check the powder.

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Maybe you are getting distracted? In the past I have had a tv on in the area, now I will only have a radio playing. I have had two squibs, none since getting away from the tv. I use a LNL as well, and look in each and every case. Just go slower if you have to. The light system from inline fabrication helps too. Good luck!

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk

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Im thinking I would give up the bullet feeder for the powder check.  If you are that new to reloading and are questioning your technique I think the bullet feeder may be a little advanced for you.  Please don't take that personally it just seems like a big jump for a new reloader.  A lot of guys here will tell you that you should start on a single stage and don't even think about a progressive, let along a progressive with a bullet feeder.  Its just another think to pay attention to.  I also highly recommend the lock out die.  It actually stops the press instead of just telling you theres no powder.  I run one on all my tool heads.   

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Another option would be to do all your case prep first and the reload. 

 

Deprime, clean, inspect, seat primer, and inspect primer before you load your case.

 

It sounds like a lot of additional work.  But it does solve some issues and ensures your case is properly prepped.  With pistol cases most people deprime and reprime without inspecting the primer pocket without a case issue... only primer seating issues.

 

You can size and deprime cases very quickly.  Just insert & pull.

 

You can Prime Only with a hand Press or bench press.  Or use your press.  A hand press let's you do them as you have a few minutes or while watching TV.  You can store seated primers in cases safely and have them ready to go.

 

This lets you drop powder at station #1 and lockout on station #2. 

 

This is also removes primer jams and primer gunk jams during your loading session. 

 

Rifle cartridges are reloaded this way so it is not 100% obtuse.

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16 minutes ago, Livin_cincy said:

Another option would be to do all your case prep first and the reload. 

 

Deprime, clean, inspect, seat primer, and inspect primer before you load your case.

 

It sounds like a lot of additional work.  But it does solve some issues and ensures your case is properly prepped.  With pistol cases most people deprime and reprime without inspecting the primer pocket without a case issue... only primer seating issues.

 

You can size and deprime cases very quickly.  Just insert & pull.

 

You can Prime Only with a hand Press or bench press.  Or use your press.  A hand press let's you do them as you have a few minutes or while watching TV.  You can store seated primers in cases safely and have them ready to go.

 

This lets you drop powder at station #1 and lockout on station #2. 

 

This is also removes primer jams and primer gunk jams during your loading session. 

 

Rifle cartridges are reloaded this way so it is not 100% obtuse.

 

Good suggestion.   

 

Maybe be this is overkill, but I've been tumbling my brass twice, once with just detergent to just get all the range dirt off, then again with stainless steel after depriming to clean out the primer pockets and the inside of the cases more thoroughly.   I've been using the Lee decapper die to do it this way, but I'm like your idea of using my resizing die in this step and freeing up a station.

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13 minutes ago, ShootEm said:

 

Good suggestion.   

 

Maybe be this is overkill, but I've been tumbling my brass twice, once with just detergent to just get all the range dirt off, then again with stainless steel after depriming to clean out the primer pockets and the inside of the cases more thoroughly.   I've been using the Lee decapper die to do it this way, but I'm like your idea of using my resizing die in this step and freeing up a station.

 

What is your drying process after wet tumbling?  I suspect your brass is not dry enough, causing the powder to get damp and loose some of it ability to ignite.  I had a problem with squibs, light loads, etc, after switching to wet tumbling.  I have since gone back to tumbling with media for related reasons. 

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10 minutes ago, GregJ said:

 

What is your drying process after wet tumbling?  I suspect your brass is not dry enough, causing the powder to get damp and loose some of it ability to ignite.  I had a problem with squibs, light loads, etc, after switching to wet tumbling.  I have since gone back to tumbling with media for related reasons. 

 

I use a Frankfort Arsenal brass dryer after I wet tumble, so I don't think that's an issue.

 

I've had an issue with my LNL where my powder drop is really cramped between the neighboring dies.   I don't know how familiar you are with the LNL press, but the dies are screwed into a bushing which is then engaged into the press with a twist.  On occasion, I've noticed that the powder drop bushing gets untwisted, and when that happens, the stroke of the press merely pushes the die up and doesn't fully activate the powder drop.   Once I notice this, I stop the process and retwist the bushing.   Once I notice that, I'll pull the bullets of the last several rounds to be sure they haven't been improperly filled, but there are times when I've already completed a large number of rounds, and I never really know how many rounds may have been underfilled.  It's quite possible that under these circumstances, I haven't pulled enough rounds and some have slipped through the cracks.

 

I've been a lot more meticulous about checking every round on the progressive, but I'd prefer to take some human error out of the equation with a lockout die, which would also allow me produce ammo more rapidly.

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15 hours ago, Bummy425 said:

Maybe you are getting distracted? In the past I have had a tv on in the area, now I will only have a radio playing. I have had two squibs, none since getting away from the tv. I use a LNL as well, and look in each and every case. Just go slower if you have to. The light system from inline fabrication helps too. Good luck!

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
 

 

I'll look into the light system.   I do find it hard to get a good look inside the case, even wearing a headlight.   I only listen to music when I reload.

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15 hours ago, GrumpyOne said:

I agree with Sarge. First, find out why and how the squibs are happening. Add a mirror or a light, or both, to check the powder.

 

Ok, so what other issues besides a light or absent charge can cause a squib load?  I clearly have an issue with my powder drop, as I mentioned above.   I'm pretty sure my cases are dry, but now that I think about it, there are times when I notice some 9's stuck inside my 40's when I get the brass out of the dryer, and I notice a few drops of water remain inside the larger case once I separate them (although I've only been reloading 9's so far).

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15 hours ago, Edge40 said:

Im thinking I would give up the bullet feeder for the powder check.  If you are that new to reloading and are questioning your technique I think the bullet feeder may be a little advanced for you.  Please don't take that personally it just seems like a big jump for a new reloader.  A lot of guys here will tell you that you should start on a single stage and don't even think about a progressive, let along a progressive with a bullet feeder.  Its just another think to pay attention to.  I also highly recommend the lock out die.  It actually stops the press instead of just telling you theres no powder.  I run one on all my tool heads.   

 

I've had problems getting the bullet loader working consistently anyway, and I realize I'm new to this, so I don't take your constructive criticism personally.   I feel like I've set up the die properly, but I often find a bullet has gotten stuck inside the collet, and I end up using the long end of an Allen wrench to poke the bullet up above the lower collet.   This will make things work again for a while, but the same issue happens after 5, 10, or 15 more rounds.   It sure is nice when the bullet feeder is working properly.

Edited by ShootEm

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15 hours ago, darkvibe said:

What powder are you using?

 

 

VV N340

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6 minutes ago, ShootEm said:

 

Ok, so what other issues besides a light or absent charge can cause a squib load?  I clearly have an issue with my powder drop, as I mentioned above.   I'm pretty sure my cases are dry, but now that I think about it, there are times when I notice some 9's stuck inside my 40's when I get the brass out of the dryer, and I notice a few drops of water remain inside the larger case once I separate them (although I've only been reloading 9's so far).

 

On a related note, I've now decided to separate my brass out before my first wet tumble to avoid this issue.   It's been a time saver to just do all the tumbling at once, but I may be paying a price for it.

Edited by ShootEm

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Some thoughts:

 

Bushing popping loose: I would change the bushing for the powder drop if it unlocks it is garbage and should be treated as such. I have had to throw several bushings that were doing the unlock by themselves trick . I have found some of the machining and tolerances for stuff put out by Hornady is severely lacking.

 

As to the Squibs: I am running the Mr Bullet feeder and with that I can get 100 rounds completed in 5-8 minutes I however look in EVERY Case while I lean into the priming stroke. Get a light on the press I have the Hornady light strip but there are others available I am also using the Inline riser mount and their ergo handle so I can stand while I load it makes for a nice motion.

 

The Case tipping for 9mm: Take your vblock off fill the little pocket on the bottom with JB Weld or similar then attache some sticky back felt to the bottom this fills the gap between the vblock and the subplate arm. simply trim the felt to match the v in the vblock and the cases will slide right in without tipping.

this is the felt I am using Link to Amazon

 

Fatigue and Reloading: I am not sure If I saw how long your reloading sessions are however a few things I have noticed in myself 400-500 rounds is enough for one session. I use 4 of the Dillon tubes so when I fill the press and all four primer tubes I am set for one session when I run out of primers I step away relax etc if I try to do more than 500 rounds I get sloppy on my spot checks, crush cases, and/or skip weighing a random powder throw etc. I know how tempting it is to try to get as much loaded in one go while the other is out of the house or that show you refuse to watch is on but once you hit that wall you will start getting sloppy. Even with the 500 rule If SWMBO is out of the house for the day I have loaded 2000 rounds with about a 30 minute break in between sessions it does go fast.

 

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12 minutes ago, WarrenZ said:

Some thoughts:

 

Bushing popping loose: I would change the bushing for the powder drop if it unlocks it is garbage and should be treated as such. I have had to throw several bushings that were doing the unlock by themselves trick . I have found some of the machining and tolerances for stuff put out by Hornady is severely lacking.

 

As to the Squibs: I am running the Mr Bullet feeder and with that I can get 100 rounds completed in 5-8 minutes I however look in EVERY Case while I lean into the priming stroke. Get a light on the press I have the Hornady light strip but there are others available I am also using the Inline riser mount and their ergo handle so I can stand while I load it makes for a nice motion.

 

The Case tipping for 9mm: Take your vblock off fill the little pocket on the bottom with JB Weld or similar then attache some sticky back felt to the bottom this fills the gap between the vblock and the subplate arm. simply trim the felt to match the v in the vblock and the cases will slide right in without tipping.

this is the felt I am using Link to Amazon

 

Fatigue and Reloading: I am not sure If I saw how long your reloading sessions are however a few things I have noticed in myself 400-500 rounds is enough for one session. I use 4 of the Dillon tubes so when I fill the press and all four primer tubes I am set for one session when I run out of primers I step away relax etc if I try to do more than 500 rounds I get sloppy on my spot checks, crush cases, and/or skip weighing a random powder throw etc. I know how tempting it is to try to get as much loaded in one go while the other is out of the house or that show you refuse to watch is on but once you hit that wall you will start getting sloppy. Even with the 500 rule If SWMBO is out of the house for the day I have loaded 2000 rounds with about a 30 minute break in between sessions it does go fast.

 

 

SWMBO?

 

Lots of great tips there - thanks!

 

Besides cases tilting, I also have occasions where a case fails to drop on one stroke, then two cases drop on the next stroke.   Any fix for that?

 

I actually limit myself to only 100 rounds, but I've been having so many issues with my press lately it can take me all day just to get that many!   I've had primer feeding issues which have caused crushed primers which have jammed up the whole priming system (I even broke the plastic piece once and bent it a second time until I figured out that problem).   

 

It's been terribly frustrating.

 

On a separate note, I have my reloading bench in the garage, and after a typically humid Oregon winter, I noticed the outside of my competition seating die show some mild rust.    I guess I need to oil the surfaces down a bit during the (never-ending) rain season.

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Hornady sent me the updated Priming punches for my press If your priming punch has a reduced shaft size (when you hold the punch in its full extension it looks like the head is larger than the shaft) it is the older style and can get crap in it that will hang up the primer slide. You might check this. Keep all debris blown out of the slide assembly I keep a can of air right next to the press for this.

 

I have also upgraded my Cam wire bracket to one of these: 3d Printed Bracket.

 

I also have a couple of their Pivot adapters but I have found that my biggest case feeder hang up was the alignment of the threaded drop tube extension holding the plastic tube getting out of alignment with the toggle or spaced too close or too high. By the way they make a specific lower drop tube for 40S&W it is the #398302 Intermediate Feed Tube End that helps with this a lot. I also use a thicker walled lexan tube for 40s rather than the large pistol tube (same OD but smaller ID) keeps the cases straight in the feed and prevents hangups.

 

Below the toggle I use the largest drop tube the press came with and a 12 ga shotshell extension (redneck ant tip I havent gotten anyone intersted in sending me on of the Hornady anti tips to try out so I am sill using the cut out shotgun shell).

 

Free Tip of the day for Hornady press owners: Get a couple pieced of 600 grit sand paper and polish up any moving parts on your press primer slide subplate case feeder shuttle/toggle etc. The finish work on some of these presses looks like they shaved a chimp and gave him free run in the machine shop.

 

I use the Hornady cleaner with drylube on the press and one shot case lube on my brass before it goes in the case feeder even pistol brass.

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5 hours ago, ShootEm said:

 

VV N340

 

That's extruded powder?  I use WST and never get under charges.  I don't think extruded powders meter well in general.

 

My press is set up exactly the same as yours.  Removed my RCBS lockout die when I got the bullet feeder.  I look into the case every handle pull to make sure powder is in the case and the level looks correct.

 

Checking the case for powder is the ONLY thing you have to do besides pull the handle.  I think you just need to train yourself to check the case by eye.  Get the inline fabrication skylight kit if lighting is an issue, I have that and like it.

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20 minutes ago, darkvibe said:

 

That's extruded powder?  I use WST and never get under charges.  I don't think extruded powders meter well in general.

 

My press is set up exactly the same as yours.  Removed my RCBS lockout die when I got the bullet feeder.  I look into the case every handle pull to make sure powder is in the case and the level looks correct.

 

Checking the case for powder is the ONLY thing you have to do besides pull the handle.  I think you just need to train yourself to check the case by eye.  Get the inline fabrication skylight kit if lighting is an issue, I have that and like it.

 

From a forum post in firingline.com :

"The Vihtavuori powders are extruded but most of them are small enough granulations that they meter well."

 

I'm not opposed to switching powders, but my early loads with my current recipe shot well.   I think my problem has more to do with, as you say, not checking the powder charges meticulously, as well as the bushing issue WarrenZ mentioned.

 

Does the skylight kit work any better than wearing a headlight?

 

 

Edited by ShootEm

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4 hours ago, WarrenZ said:

Hornady sent me the updated Priming punches for my press If your priming punch has a reduced shaft size (when you hold the punch in its full extension it looks like the head is larger than the shaft) it is the older style and can get crap in it that will hang up the primer slide. You might check this. Keep all debris blown out of the slide assembly I keep a can of air right next to the press for this.

 

I have also upgraded my Cam wire bracket to one of these: 3d Printed Bracket.

 

I also have a couple of their Pivot adapters but I have found that my biggest case feeder hang up was the alignment of the threaded drop tube extension holding the plastic tube getting out of alignment with the toggle or spaced too close or too high. By the way they make a specific lower drop tube for 40S&W it is the #398302 Intermediate Feed Tube End that helps with this a lot. I also use a thicker walled lexan tube for 40s rather than the large pistol tube (same OD but smaller ID) keeps the cases straight in the feed and prevents hangups.

 

Below the toggle I use the largest drop tube the press came with and a 12 ga shotshell extension (redneck ant tip I havent gotten anyone intersted in sending me on of the Hornady anti tips to try out so I am sill using the cut out shotgun shell).

 

Free Tip of the day for Hornady press owners: Get a couple pieced of 600 grit sand paper and polish up any moving parts on your press primer slide subplate case feeder shuttle/toggle etc. The finish work on some of these presses looks like they shaved a chimp and gave him free run in the machine shop.

 

I use the Hornady cleaner with drylube on the press and one shot case lube on my brass before it goes in the case feeder even pistol brass.

 

Thanks for all the tips!

 

I tried using case lube for a while (even though all my dies are carbide), but it seemed to slow me down a bit at the end by having to wipe off all the lube.   Do you wipe off your lube at the end?

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The Hornady one shot is was based and doesn't need to be wiped off afterwards. I don't use much but it makes a difference especially if you are using undersized dies.

Edited by WarrenZ

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3 hours ago, ShootEm said:

 

From a forum post in firingline.com :

"The Vihtavuori powders are extruded but most of them are small enough granulations that they meter well."

 

I'm not opposed to switching powders, but my early loads with my current recipe shot well.   I think my problem has more to do with, as you say, not checking the powder charges meticulously, as well as the bushing issue WarrenZ mentioned.

 

Does the skylight kit work any better than wearing a headlight?

 

 

 

Never wore a headlight reloading. The skylight adds a light in the hole at the top of the press in the center of the dies though. Shines straight down in the case. I would think that's better than you could do with a headlight.  It adds a second light strip to the inside of the suport adding even more light. 

https://inlinefabrication.com/collections/lighting/products/skylight-led-lighting-system-for-the-hornady-lnl-ap

 

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Wet tumble using armor all car wash and u dont need case lube....i swear by it

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk

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Just now, Bummy425 said:

Wet tumble using armor all car wash and u dont need case lube....i swear by it

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
 

Really not true. Nobody NEEDS case lube but it sure is night and day in the press no matter how you clean it.

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