Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder – Overview

In my last related post –  Hornady Bullet Feed Dies – Overview I covered the basics of the bullet feed die that is integral to the new Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder system. In this post, we’ll take a step back and look at a “high level” feature overview of this new product.

The Complete Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Progressive System:

 

 

 

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder setup to load 45 ACP on a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP press with case feeder and extras - Image copyright 2011 Ultimate Reloader - Click for larger view

 

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Progressive system shown above features the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP press (5 station auto-indexing progressive), the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP Case Feeder, and the Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder. The Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder mounts behind the press and to the “left” (looking from the operator’s view).

Bird’s Eye View:

 

 

Looking from above the Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder and press - click image for larger view - Image copyright 2011 Ultimate Reloader - Click for larger view

This view demonstrates the spatial relationship between the bullet feeder and press. As you can see here, the drop tube (actually a spring) can flex around to accommodate different stations for the bullet feed die placement.

 

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder is unique in that it has been engineered as a part of a system that includes a 5 station progressive, electric case feeder, and bullet feeder all from the same manufacturer. While this means it will work well with the Hornady press, it doesn’t mean that this bullet feeder won’t work well with any other press that has an empty station in the right location, and utilizes 7/8″ X 14 die threading. I have not yet as of the writing of this post tried this bullet feeder on anything other than the Lock-N-Load, but my experiences with the RCBS bullet feeder would indicate that the biggest challenge when moving the bullet feeder to another press is mounting the bracket in the right relationship and position with respect to the press and specifically the bullet feed station.

So what exactly do you get with this press? This is a question that I ask myself about many products that I contemplate buying online- what exactly do I get? Does it come with all of the bits and pieces that I’ll need? The short answer here is that for loading pistol (for supported calibers – 9mm, 38/357, 40 S&W / 10mm, 44 cal, 45 cal) you’ll get everything you need for a standard bench mounted unit except the bullet feed dies.

Box Contents:

 

 

Here's what you'll get with the Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feed kit - Image copyright 2011 Ultimate Reloader - Click for larger view

 

In the above image from top moving clockwise we have:

  1. The box
  2. The bullet feed bowl assembly
  3. The instructions DVD
  4. The drop tube support wire
  5. The drop tubes and adapters
  6. Center left: Bullet wiper assemblies
  7. Center right: Bowl mounting hardware

In operation, this unit works very similar to the RCBS pistol bullet feeder. You pour in bullets, a plate with grooves revolves and picks up bullets, drops them down a tube, and is finally placed onto cases by a special bullet feed die. I’ve used this system with many calibers including 9mm, 38/357, 44, and 45 caliber bullets (40 S&W is ready to go here soon). The system works quite well from my experience. I’ll elaborate more about strengths and weaknesses in future posts and videos.

I’ll be posting plenty more articles and HD videos showing this unit in use with a variety of calibers and presses, so stay tuned!

-Gavin

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13 thoughts on “Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder – Overview”

  1. Have been using the bullet feeder on .45. The only problem I have been having is the spring that holds the bullets coming out of the die when it is full of bullets. I had to bend the wire to give a better shot at the die and also had to not fill the tube. I am still waiting for the 9mm die to become available.

  2. Gavin,
    I just want to tell you I love the website. I am a hornady man, but I have friends who use Dillion and Lee. We all love the videos. I machined a spacer for my LNL Classic also. Works great. I have a LNL AP and Classic obviously. Can’t wait for the Hornady Bullet Feeder videos. I would love to buy one. Keep Traveling Brother.
    Keep up the good work,
    SSG. Trolinger

  3. Bullet feeder saves a bunch of time when loading. I also have the case feeder, which is a much bigger PITA to set up right.

    1. I just got both the Case Feeder and the Bullet feeder yesterday. I set up the Case feeder and had it feeding .44 Mag brass in less than an hour.

      The bullet feeder looks to be much more ominous to me… Not to mention that it does NOT mount on the press.

  4. Hey Gavin, I love your site. I had a stand built similar to the diagram you have posted on the site for my LnL press. I just purchased the bullet feeder. Is there anyway you can send me some pics of the extensions that you have above your stand that you mount your bullet feeder on? Thanks for your assistance with hat you have done on the site. It really has helped me along in my journey to reloading nirvana.

  5. Thank you for your videos, they have been an asset.

    I’m considering putting either the case feeder or a bullet feeder on the LnL AP to speed it up. It appears that most people go the case feeder then the bullet feeder route, but is there any drawbacks to setting up the bullet feeder first? I would buy the bullet feeder and then when I feel comfortable and I’m ready to go faster, I’d setup the case feeder.

    1. Jai –

      I just set up a bullet feeder instead of going with the case feeder. Mostly just because it’s cheaper, and also because it takes much less to convert to another caliber. I’m doing both 9mm and .45 ACP with the bullet feeder. No problems so far! Once I got the bullet feeder installed, which was very simple, I was able to crank out 200 rounds of 9mm in about 15 minutes.

      I personally feel like manually feeding bullets is more of a pain than placing cases in the shell holder. Cases are bigger and I can feel them without looking, whereas the bullets need more precise “feel” and take more precision if going by hand. Go for the bullet feeder!

      Good luck!

  6. I dont understand why Hornady does not market a their feeders without the motor unit.

    A clear tube setup that you could manually load (like other presses have) for those of us that dont want to spend hundreds of dollars on a motorized unit.

    At least with this bullet loader you could buy the die part, make some sort of a clear tube for it, and load it manualy for less than $50.

    Willee
    Corpus Christi Texas

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