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School me on the Hornady LNL AP Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
Picture of 92fstech
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A few months back I posted here for information on Dillon progressives. I am currently loading on an LCT (well, actually, currently waiting on parts from Lee to repair my LCT), but I'm having trouble keeping up with demand, specifically in 9mm. I shoot around 1000 rounds of 9mm a month, maybe a little less, which takes me about 8-10 hours to replace on my LCT. This hasn't been leaving me a lot of time to play with other loads and other calibers that I want to mess with, so I've been looking at progressives.

My original though was a 550, but I want auto-index, and a 5th station for a powder check die. So the next option was the 650, but I learned that that one pretty much requires a casefeeder. It would definitely take care of my 9mm comsumption, but it's pretty expensive up front, and caliber conversions are expensive enough that I would likely only use it for 9mm. $1000 is a lot to spend on a set up that would get used for just one thing.

Recently, I became aware of the Hornady LNL AP. It looks as if this 5-station press is better designed to run without a casefeeder than the XL650. I like that you load both bullets and cases with the left hand, so that your right hand can stay on the lever. I also like that it only deploys a primer or powder if there is a case in that station, which leads me to believe that it would be easier to tweak for different loads than the XL650. The LNL bushing system also looks to be a lot simpler and definitely cheaper than the replacement toolheads for the 650...cheap and simple enough that I could see myself using this press for more than just 9mm. The up front cost without a casefeeder will also be roughly half of what I would spend on the 650, which means I can get it sooner, and have more money to spend on components.

So here's the question, for those of you who have used both: Will I be happy with the LNL AP, or will I always wish I had saved my money and bought the 650 (I'm about a month away from being able to buy it right now, assuming no other expenses pop up)? Also, can the LNL without a casefeeder load 9mm at a rate of 400 rounds/hr or more? I'm currently doing about 200/hr on my LCT, so I need to see a significant improvement to make it worthwhile. I know the 650 will do 700-1000, so there's no question there.

I'm not looking for a Red v Blue war here...just honest opinions from folks who have experience with both presses. Thanks.
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of C-Dubs
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I've got the L-n-L AP. And although I don't have Dillon anything (except a die set), I've used an ex-coworker's 650.

The AP is closest to the 650 for what you get out of the box. Strong mount not included with hornady.

400+ rounds per hour would be pretty easy to do.
For that amount, I'd invest in a low primer alarm for the AP. Nothing more aggravating than the powder leaking everywhere because you ran out of primers.

You mentioned a powder cop die, which I also use.

The priming/powder drop on the Dillon impressed me more than the Hornady.

Both make quality ammo.

The LnL bushings are overpriced for what they are. Usually on sale one place or another so shop around.

Inline Fabrication makes a host of aftermarket press accessories for the AP (And many other presses).



pardon any typos...fat fingers and smart phones don't always play well together
 
Posts: 2285 | Location: SE WI | Registered: October 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What's the quality of the in line fabrication stuff like? I was looking at their site last night thinking that for what I saved over the Dillon I could probably afford some of that...I'm specifically interested in the light kit and the roller handle.

Also, how well do the LNL bushings work? Is there any slip between them and the press? Do they stay in place well or do they have a tendency to vibrate loose during a reloading session?
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've got the roller handle for both my AP and my single stage, and it's built to last. Think Ruger revolver tough.

Also have their double bullet tray and the junior mount for the AP. Also solid.

I don't have an outlet within 8 feet of my presses, so didn't get the light kit, but haven't heard any complaints about it.

If you want pictures of anything, let me know and I can either post them here or email them to you.

Concerning the bushings, they stay pretty tight once you've popped it in and given it a turn. Almost like it cam locks into position.



pardon any typos...fat fingers and smart phones don't always play well together
 
Posts: 2285 | Location: SE WI | Registered: October 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Awesome, thanks...this is exactly the sort of input I was looking for. Much appreciated!
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigcrazy7
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400 rounds a min is easy on a LNL without a case feeder. There’s a rhythm to it. Set a case, place a bullet, pull the handle.

A Hornady LNLAP runs around $400, but it does qualify for 500 free bullet, so figure it really runs about $300 after the bullets.



[i]
 
Posts: 5019 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Like others have said it will do the round count target your looking for. The bushings you can get in a 10 pack which brings the cost down. A lot of time the conversion kit is the cheapest way to go. This kit has the adapter to convert a std press to the twist lock provided it has the larger 1 1/8" x ? threads. I use the conversion bushing has a base holder when I off load dies. Some times I use to mount the powder dispenser off the press fro use.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3417 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I run a 550 & 650 but have loaded quite a bit on a lnl. So i feel i can make an honest comparison. If you price them equally equipped, the 650 is about $75 more foe one caliber. If i never wanted a case feeder,the lnl is easier to run w/o. The 650 has better priming & case feeder, so if the feeder was in my future, just pony up & buy the 650. Free bullets, not all that interested when i cant get any bullets i want. Regardless, at 1000rds a month, you ate definitely in progressive country.


IF YOU AREN'T HANDLOADING, YOU AREN'T SHOOTING ENOUGH!
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Posts: 7651 | Location: ca, usa | Registered: February 17, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, an LNL is in the mail. I think I made the right call. The fact that I can run it more easily without a casefeeder and load multiple calibers without paying hundreds for conversion kits is what really sold me on it. The volume per hour will be less than a case-fed 650, but it should still give me a significant boost over the LCT. I think it's the best fit out there right now for me. I guess we'll see.
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you’re going to be loading several different calibers, one thing you should look into would be a universal PTX insert.

I didn’t like continually changing the inserts, so I bought a universal from PowderFunnels (can’t seem to get their website to work anymore).
This one from C-Bar Armory looks to be the same thing.
C-Bar Armory universal ptx



pardon any typos...fat fingers and smart phones don't always play well together
 
Posts: 2285 | Location: SE WI | Registered: October 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by C-Dubs:
If you’re going to be loading several different calibers, one thing you should look into would be a universal PTX insert.

I didn’t like continually changing the inserts, so I bought a universal from PowderFunnels (can’t seem to get their website to work anymore).
This one from C-Bar Armory looks to be the same thing.
C-Bar Armory universal ptx


I came across references to powderfunnel in my research, but like you, I found that the site was down. I take it this universal expander works as well or better than the factory offerings?
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A PTX bells the case during the powder drop, freeing a spot on the press for your powder cop.

The insert I posted allows you to load several different calibers using the same PTX, Unlike the caliber-specific PTX inserts that Hornady sells.

I've used the PowderFunnels PTX for years. No experience with the C-Bar, but it looks nearly identical.



pardon any typos...fat fingers and smart phones don't always play well together
 
Posts: 2285 | Location: SE WI | Registered: October 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
Well, an LNL is in the mail. I think I made the right call. The fact that I can run it more easily without a casefeeder and load multiple calibers without paying hundreds for conversion kits is what really sold me on it. The volume per hour will be less than a case-fed 650, but it should still give me a significant boost over the LCT. I think it's the best fit out there right now for me. I guess we'll see.


You'll be happy with the LnL AP. I also moved from the Lee LCT and never looked back. As far as production rate goes, for me the slowest part of using the LnL without a case/bullet feeder is feeding the primers. Hope you purchased extra tubes to fill ahead of a session.
 
Posts: 110 | Registered: March 28, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The PTX is better than just a flaring tool. The ptx expands the case for a more consistent bullet to case fit. With the ptx in the powder stations it frees up 1 station for powder checks or any thing else you want to use.


David

P229R 9mm, Nitron, Beavertail Frame, Night Sights, DA/SA, SRT & Short Reach Trigger
 
Posts: 3417 | Location: Piney Woods of East Texas | Registered: November 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Disclaimer: I don't own a Hornady LnL

One of my best friends bought the Hornady LNL press with both the shell casing and bullet hoppers. Once he set it up, it ran pretty good, but I will say this...It took a loooooooooot of tinckering to get the entire system running smoothly to where all you had to do was load the hoppers, sit down, and start pulling the handle.

Even if you don't have all the hoppers and have to physically place casings and bullets in your routine, a progressive press takes a fair amount of TLC and patience. I have an RCBS Pro2000 Auto-Indexing system and it can get in a mood sometimes, but when it's dialed in, I can load 400 rounds an hour EASY...500 if I don't lollygag.

JMHO...YMMV Smile



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Posts: 3937 | Location: NW Houston | Registered: April 04, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been very happy with mine.

Someone mentioned a low primer alarm. The white primer follower rod does work sort of like a low primer warning in that it locks the primer shuttle to the rear when you run out. If you are semi-alert, it is pretty noticeable.


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Posts: 918 | Location: Southwest Ohio | Registered: October 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a LNL AP, ended up getting rid of the powder-cop die/PTX combo after finding it to cause the press to stick and run rougher, particularly starting the downstroke. A dedicated expander die seems to work much better. My powder throw variation is significantly less as well. My PTX insert is a Hornady model, perhaps the others work better.

Overall, I really like the press, I have a case feeder, which really speeds up production, put the projectiles on by hand - which allows me to check the powder level on each as I go. The powder cop die never caught an under charge for me, and I only use powders that will overflow the cases with a double charge. The powder cop never caught one of those either.
With regards to the In-Line Fabrication products, they are good to go. I have the skylight and strip lights on my press, as well as their roller handle. I wanted to update my light system to the new skylight, but that part was not available on their website to buy, only the whole setup which was not available. I emailed the company, they sent me what I needed for a nominal fee (well under what I expected and was willing to pay) as well as a bin barrier for free. Only $3.75 on the site, but supper helpful and unexpected. Great customer service and I will continue to go to them first for press accessories, as well as periodically look through their site for their innovations - I sometimes find things I never knew how badly I needed!
 
Posts: 1644 | Location: NC | Registered: January 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by RichN:
I have been very happy with mine.

Someone mentioned a low primer alarm. The white primer follower rod does work sort of like a low primer warning in that it locks the primer shuttle to the rear when you run out. If you are semi-alert, it is pretty noticeable.


Agreed, I put a line on mine with a Sharpie marker that shows how far it sticks up when the tube is empty, allows me to keep approximate track of how many I've loaded. I almost always bag up runs of 100 rounds (sometimes 200), this allows me to do so easily. That way I can keep track of how many loadings pistol brass has had - my completed rounds don't just get thrown in an ammo can, but bagged and then into the can, keeping the oldest on top - when several hundred are dirty, they get processed and put into the prepped gallon bag. All that are fired the same number go in one bag, when the next firing comes up, a new bag is used - rotating stock as you were.
 
Posts: 1644 | Location: NC | Registered: January 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
What's the quality of the in line fabrication stuff like? I was looking at their site last night thinking that for what I saved over the Dillon I could probably afford some of that...I'm specifically interested in the light kit and the roller handle.

Also, how well do the LNL bushings work? Is there any slip between them and the press? Do they stay in place well or do they have a tendency to vibrate loose during a reloading session?


If I did it again, I'd probably get the 650 with all the bells and whistles as it's a slightly better quality machine, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Hornady LNL AP and I'd still keep it around.
I've put in well over 10-20,000 on mine and Hornady's customer support is good if something breaks prematurely.

I have the inline handle and believe it to be a worthy upgrade. The ergonomics help.
For a light, I just bought a sewing machine LED from Amazon and put it in. Works like a champ, dimming, etc.
Things will come loose and you should check tightness after a few hundred to a thousand of rounds. If I crank on the dies in the quick exchange they will hold. If I'm careful with getting everything set up and not being shy with torque I've loaded 3,000 9mm in a row without anything coming loose.

I had a powder drop return spring get weak and combined with a dirty tube stop in the upper position. This caused a couple rounds to not have powder (caught them). I've also had a bushing (sizing position) get damaged and need replaced, the motor went out on the case feeder (replaced with a new design, for free), and I think my case feeder swivel spring is losing it.

Things I don't like are the primer seat and primer slide getting clogged with misc. junk. I wonder if an undercut in machining could help catch the crap? Changing between primer sizes kind of sucks (not difficult but for some reason I don't like it). My case feeder cartridge plate will often get upset and come of the drive. This requires me to dump the cases and slide back on and refill (not a big deal but irritating). The case feeder slide was "touchy" to get set up properly and requires tweaking between caliber changes. I also don't like the 100 primer limitation but that might be a smart thing if it ever blew up.

I like the bullet feeder. It took some frustrating adjustments but now is pretty excellent (never issues with FMJ bullets). It would never work with the in powder die flares. I took the powder cop die out and use a standard flaring tool. If you don't have a bullet feeder, I'd put the cop die back in.


 
Posts: 1568 | Location: North Cackalacky | Registered: September 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for all the input, guys. I know that the reloading section here is a little less visited than the rest of the board, but I love that I can come here and get thoughtful, well-reasoned feedback. I posted the same question to a reloading Facebook group I'm a member of, and I did get a few decent responses, but I also had to wade through a bunch of "buy blue" and "Hornady sucks" comments that didn't include any supporting information whatsoever. So all that to say, I appreciate you guys taking the time to give solid feedback.

Now if UPS woul just stop jerking me around and deliver my press, I could see if I made the right call. Supposedly they attempted delivery at 1:27pm yesterday, but there was no-one home to accept delivery. Which is utter horsecrap, as I was home all day, and in the front yard mowing from 12:30-2:00. The truck never came. Supposedly they are trying again today...it's 2:30 and still no brown truck. If I have to go pick it up at the Depot tonight, somebody's gonna get an earfull.
 
Posts: 2587 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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