82 thoughts on “LNL-AP 45 ACP Part I (HD)”

  1. Hey, I live in the dry hot climates of southern arizona and have a question for you. I know that i can’t store powders in the garage due to heat (well over 130ºf), but what about storing powder in a refrigerator set to 65ºf. Will this cause condensation and ruin the powder? Great sight. very informative. Thanks

  2. Joe- how about storing it indoors in a metal storage locker or something like that? Not sure about the ‘fridge. 🙂

  3. Do you sell the caddies like you are using on your bench to hold your shellplates and wrenches? If not, do you have a drawing or a high-res picture available. I currently keep mine in tupperware and it’s a pain.

  4. I’ve watched some vids of your reloading on youtube and noticed you have worked with both Hornaday and Dillon presses. I’m interested in knowing which press do you like best and which company in your opinion offers the best customer service? Hornaday Lock N Load AP or Dillon 650?

  5. Curtis-
    Yes, I’ve spent quite a bit of time both with the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP and the Dillon XL-650.

    Both Hornady and Dillon have excellent customer service, so I don’t think you’ll have a problem either way, but Dillon is a bit more bold with their “No BS Warranty” as far as I can tell.

    Both presses are great pieces of equipment, and I think which one is right for you depends on what your needs and budget are.

    If you’re loading 1000’s of rounds at a time, the XL-650 may be better for you (fully constrained brass feed, etc). If you’re doing frequent caliber changes, working up loads, etc – the Hornady may be better for your needs. The Dillon is more expensive (and has the edge on fit/finish) and the Hornady has features the Dillon does not (LNL bushings, LNL Powder measure metering inserts, etc)

    I’m planning to do more extensive comparisons and articles here on http://www.ultimatereloader.com, so stay tuned!

  6. One other question…I have read feedback postings from customers who have purchased the Hornady LNL press who say their Lee dies do not work well with this press due to the dies being a little to short, have you experienced this?

  7. Curtis- I did run into an issue with a 38 special using an old Lee on the Lock-N-Load. The seater die was just a bit too short. I worked around the issue by putting the LNL bushing in my metal lathe, and reducing the thickness of the rim on the LNL bushing. That gave it “just enough” additional depth to properly seat the bullet.

    I haven’t tried other Lee seater dies on the Lock-N-Load, but I’ve heard of others having good luck with them on the Lock-N-Load.

    Hope that helps.


  8. I have a Hornady classic reloading press. Is it possible to reload .45 ACP on one? if so, could you please let me know how?

    1. Yes, it definately is- do you have the “Classic Cast Single Stage” or the “Classic Turret” ?


  9. Sorry, you’re talking about the Hornady Lock-N-Load classic (I was thinking Lee in my head 🙂 )

    Yes, single stage pistol loading is possible, but it’s slow 🙂

    Do you have the whole kit? (hand priming tool, powder measure, etc)

  10. I have a new LNL progressive, it works great for 45 acp and 357, I started to set up remington 223 and am having difficulty with the sizing die.

    I have cleaned/degreased and lubed cases/die (as of today, cleaned and degreased multipel times) and only get stuck / wrecked shells.

    am I setting the sizing die wrong? In long rifle adjustments on the die, the base of the die should tocuh the shell plate- I have checked, re-checked, adjusted and after ten or so stuck shells am asking for help.


  11. Scott- have you tried a thicker lube? I’d try Imperial case sizing wax, and see it that helps. I had the same problem with spray on lube with .223.

    Hope that helps!

  12. I have been dragging my feet on reloading for the past years and suddenly it dawned on me to check youtube. I have watched almost all your vid’s and can proudly say that I finally have the confidence to spend the money on some equipment thanks to your excellent vid’s. Easy to follow and understand whats going on. Thank you so much for making your vid’s . Keep up the good work.

  13. I love your video’s and need a little help getting started. I plan on loading .45acp primarily and maybe 9mm in the future. I want too purchase the Hornady lnl ap and have it setup for .45acp. What more will I need to order for the press too load .45acp? Like exactly what specific dies and powder drop ect.. Could you please help?

    Thank you

    1. Thanks Brian!

      To start loading 45 ACP, you’ll need a set of dies, and a #45 shellplate. I would reccomend that you get the Hornady die set, and think about getting an extra crimp die (Hornady taper crimp die for 45ACP works quite well).

      For each additional caliber, you’ll need dies, bushings (LNL bushings), and a shellplate, unless the caliber uses the same shellplate.

      In general, please take a look at the following article to see “what else” you’ll need:

  14. Thank you for the advice, but now I’m thinking I will probably go with the single stage classic hornady loader. I really dont need to produce 500 rounds an hour. I just want to spend time having fun loading the .45acp and get my feet wet loading my own ammo.

    I am interested in more advice when prepping used brass for loading. Total newbie with a ton of questions about loading with a single stage press. Any video’s or website would be greatly appreciated?

    Thanks again

  15. Brian- Have you thought about the Redding T-7 Turret, or the Lee Classic (cast iron) turret? Those would be way better for pistol ammo… You can see Redding T-7 pistol loading videos on this site by clicking on the “Redding” tab above.

  16. what press do you like the best when it come to turret presses? Not looking too produce but only 100-200 rounds a week for 45acp and possibly 9mm.

  17. Brian- I’ve done a bunch of loading on the Redding T-7 Turret, and it’s outstanding! The only other turret I have is the Lee Classic (cast iron) turret, but I don’t have it setup yet. Stay tuned! Videos coming!

  18. Hi…watched several of your videos….thanks, they are great, especially for someone new to rifle/pistol reloading. Purchased a Hornady L-N-L AP Press recently. Have not used it yet as I am still buying components. Have all the dies and plates. In your video you show the one step where you verify the powder charge by adjusting the die or whatever it is called with the small white o-ring being flush with the top of said die. Question……….does that verification die come with the press, and if not, what is it called and where do I get one. Thanks in advance for you help.

    1. Dan- Thanks for the feedback!

      The powder validation die is called the “Hornady Powder Cop” die. It does not come with the press. Most online retailers that sell Hornady equipment (MidwayUSA, etc) will have this item for sale.

      Good luck!

  19. Thanks for the great videos. I just purchased a lock n load and will be starting with .45ACP in an identical setup as your video. I ran into a couple of problems during setup. It was not clear how to set up the powder die with the PTX insert for the proper amount of bell. Every time I cycled the press the lock n load bushing for the powder die became loose and would wiggle (I firmly tightened the powder die in the press). It did not appear to be creating any bell on the casing. In your video the powder die appears to stay tight. I did clean and dry lube the lock n load bushings – was that a mistake?

    The second problem was the drive hub snapped in half. It appears to be a bad casting and I am sure Hornady will replace it. Is this a sensitive part on the lock n load? Is it indicative of trying to add too much bell? The powder die is going through a complete range of motion per your set up video. Any ideas you have would be appreciated. Thanks again for the great site. Your site was the best resource I found for selecting and setting up a prog press.


  20. Addendum:

    I did speak with Hornady – the customer service technician was excellent. The broken hub was probably a bad casting although it can occur with incomplete de-priming (and leverage). A new one is on the way. They are also sending me out some shims that should fix the loose powder die problem. The shims will go between the o-ring and the top flange of the lock and load bushing. I would still appreciate your feedback on how you set the amount of bell with the PTX insert.

  21. Thanks Gavin……..I just ordered one from Midway USA.
    I have another question since I got some good feedback on a forum. As I said new to reloading rifle/pistol, but have reloaded shot shells for years. Purchased the Hornady L-N-L AP last year and the following dies…….
    1. .243 Win.
    2 .308 Win.
    3. 30-30 Win.
    4. 300 Win Mag
    5. 300 Rem Ultra Mag
    6. 270 WSM
    7. 325 WSM
    8. .45 ACP

    The above generated 1700 free bullets for me….which helped decide on press.

    The feed back I got was since I probably will only load so many rifle loads, say 50+ or so per batch and certainly will reap the benefits of the AP by loading far more .45 ACP, then use the progressive AP loader for pistol and buy a Hornady Classic single stage for rifle.

    Not a bad suggestion as I would get another 500 free bullets for the kit, which includes the Hornady 350 scale and some other items. I already have the book, and I’m not counting the cost of the powder scale since I have one on the AP…..so when all is said and done the kit at say $349 doesn’t look bad when levied against buying a scale and 500 bullets (which I would get). That would be about $200-$220 worth of merchandise, which leaves $129-$149 out of pocket my cost for the Classic kit. Couple that savings with Cabelas come on promotions and I can probably reduce that another $50-$75.

    Probably would be the best , most efficient and safest way to go? Watching the videos this looks like a fun way to spend some time, although I can already see I need some other items….auto brass feed, prep center…on and on…lol. Thanks again.

  22. Thanks sooo much for this site and the videos. Explains a lot. Just bought a Les Baer 45 caliber wadcutter pistol and getting back into reloading after a 43 year hiatus. (Turning 70 soon) I am going to order a LNL AP but before I do, I have a request. Could you list the mfg and model numbers to the different dies you suggest in your 45 reloading video?

    Station 1…..sizing and depriming……mfg model number

    Station 2…..Hornady powder measure ad PTX expander for 451/452 diameter Model number

    Station 3…..Hornady Powder Cop die is self explanatory.

    Station 4….Bullet seating die for seat only…mfg model number I am going to be loading 200 grain lead wadcutters for bullseye shooting. I have read that the Dillon seating die is very good for lead wadcutters. Can you add a micrometer seating stem to this die to get a really good setting?

    Station 5…..45 Caliber taper crimp die. Again I am assuming you are using Hornady

    Does The Ultimate Reloader sell anything? Especially the new roller arm.

    Thanks so much for your help. It sure helps this old guy get through the confusion.

    Dave J

  23. Sure, what you want is the following to load 45 ACP on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP:
    PTX Expander, #290044
    Hornady 45 ACP 3 die set for 45 ACP, #546554
    Hornady taper crimp die for 45 ACP, #44172
    Hornady shellplate for #45 for 45 ACP, #392645
    Hornady powder cop die, #050063 or RCBS lock-out die, #87540

    Those are all manufacturer #’s.

    Hope this helps,

  24. Gavin….in reference to the question above from Dave on items for loading the .45 ACP, would you recommend the PTX from PowderFunnels as a good replacement for the Hornady PTX expander as it claims the following………….

    100 percent American made, by Americans for Americas. We do NOT outsource any operations to China

    Fully adjustable for amount of flare

    Replaces a set of five or more caliber specific PTXs

    Flares all calibers from 30 to 50

    Does not work the brass as with conventional designs since our unique geometry does not require the use of a lead before flaring

    Works with cast and swaged lead bullets, jacketed and solid, no more shaving lead or crushed cases as with the original PTXs from Hornady®.

    Thanks again.

    1. Dan- I have not tried the powderfunnels.com solution for the Hornady Lock-N-Load powder measure. It looks somewhat like the pistol drop tube that comes on the RCBS uniflow powder measure (case activated, the one that comes on the Pro-2000 press). The RCBS unit works good.

  25. Gavin,
    Could you do a short video showing how to adjust the amount of case mouth expansion when using the LNL powder measure with the PTX dies? The factory manuals and documentation are not very helpful in this instance.
    Thanks for your very instructive and helpful videos. I watched them several times during my move from a LEE Turret to the Hornady LNL AP.
    Thanks, Ken

  26. Gavin,
    Great site. Just purchased the LNL AP with case feeder. Having a heck of a time adjusting the feeders cam wire correctly. Not sure if this was covered elsewhere. Any tips or tricks would be really appreciated.

  27. I was curious if you’ve ever had any trouble with the powder drop action working the LNL bushing loose during operation. It has only happened twice, but I’ve noticed that it has occasionally worked loose with the potential for causing an inaccurate charge.

  28. he powder drop on my LNL has worked counterclockwise nearly every time I check it. I’ve thought of putting something in the receiver to hold it better, but haven’t tried yet. Maybe a thin rubber band around the bushing. What we really need from Hornady is a thicker sealing ring for that bushing.

  29. I had the same problem with LNL dies bushings working loose. Hornady sent me a new set of press bushings which solved the problem – with the exception of the powder LNL bushing which still works its way loose. The also sent a set of thin split washers (two sizes) to go between the LNL bushing and the rubber ring. Works perfectly now. Customer service has been great, I would recommend you give them a call.

  30. I am on the fence about the LNL AP press. I am concerned about the powder LNL bushing. Any thoughts?

  31. Great videos. I am gettng back into shooting after 35 years. Have a lot to learn. I did not see a vid on how to clean and prepare used brass for reloading. Is there one? Also would love to see a vid on cost savings by reloading as apposed to buying factory ammo. Thank you

  32. I hope I don’t sound too extreme here, but I would like to warn anyone considering buying a recently made LNL-AP. Mine has been a horrible experience. These videos had convinced me the Hornady LNL-AP was the way to go to step up the quality a notch from the Loadmaster and not break the bank. The press Gavin is using really seems to fit that description, yet his press is a few years old and I’m worried the QC department has changed for the worse. I purchased a LNL-AP, received it with many black divots in the aluminum head from impurities in the metal, the linkage was cast and machined in such a way that it looked horrible. The gaps between the link arms and the press were way off (no gap on the left, huge gap on the right). The opposite situation occurred between the link arms and the toggle (huge gap on the left, no gap on the right). There was a large blob of paint (1″+ round) that was irregular in color, as well as many imperfections in cast of the press itself. It seemed to have trouble seating primers correctly without the use of extreme force. I sent it back and received the new press 2 weeks later. This press has less, but still quite a few black holes/divots in the top of the press, the same linkage problem, the toggle cast is so poorly done/irregular that the gap between the link arm and the toggle varies from top to bottom by about an 1/8,” which looks really tacky and causes excess play in the ram. It is also misaligned by an 1/8″ (it doesn’t quite reach the end of the ram bracket on the left and overshoots it by that amount on the right). This excess play causes the ram to torque counter-clockwise wen attempting to seat a primer. The primer pin engages the base of the press body while it’s torquing, so it leans slightly to the left. The primers go in at a very slight angle and only with extreme force. I have yet to be able to seat a primer slightly below flush. If I really lean into the press, I can get them flush about 80% of the time (I went through 50 9mm casings to test it again last night, pushing very hard twice on each piece of brass and still ended up with 8 cases whose primers were not quite flush). I took these cases over to my Lee Breech Lock press and seated them the rest of the way with very little effort . I have called Hornady a number of times and have had to send pictures of these issues to them. I called today (2 days after I sent the e-mail with pictures) and they still hadn’t figured out from their supervisors what to do. I’ve been very calm and collected through this whole process, but I may have to start getting really firm to get any results. One of the techs even said the the black divots are “normal” and the irregular spacing on the linkage was “necessary to align the ram.” That’s ridiculous! I showed him a picture via e-mail of one that has neither of these problems (one owned by a customer) and I directed him to the Hornady “Operating and Maintaining the LNL-AP) video number 6 (around 1:00-1:30 mins) to prove to him that the linkage could be machined so that it properly aligns with the ram and to show that the black divots don’t need to be there. The fit and finish, as well as the performance of my two LNL-APs and sub-par compared even to a Loadmaster. At this point, I really wish I’d just gone for the Loadmaster. I’ve had to do a ton of tweaking and the thing still won’t seat primers correctly. I just hope they come through and give me yet another press (and actually check it before sending it out). I have pictures of all this if you would like to see, so you can know what to look out for. Just e-mail LNLproblems@gmail.com;).

  33. I received my LNL-AP about 45 days ago. The paint looks good and there is no pitting. My press does have the spacing Tim described on the link arms and toggle. I wonder if they should be reversed? I am going to leave mine alone – the ram goes up straight. I did have two QC problems on my press initially. There press had a broken hub and the press bushing did not create a good fit with the LNL bushings. Hornaday replaced everything and I have loaded 2000 rounds of .45 and .38 so far that came out great. I have also added the case feeder without any problems.

    I do have a question for Gavin on priming. Sometimes with .45 range brass it is difficult to seat primers. How hard can you lean on a primer without risking detonation? Do you prep the primer pocket to avoid irregularities? Thanks again for the great site.

  34. Gavin:

    Your videos are phenomenal. Hats off to you for the effort. I literally had your video on the RCBS bullet feeder playing as I set mine up last night. Thanks for the help. Two quick questions:

    The caddies on your bench – did you happen to post the plans (or are you selling them 🙂 )?

    The mounting post plans – any plans to actually sell the mounting post?

    You have a nice little business going there! I will be placing an order for the roller handle soon.



  35. Gavin,

    Have my LNL all set up and have been reloading 45 ACP. Having a terrible time with the PTX expander sticking or clinging to the case. Have to use extreme pressure on the arm to force the casing off the PTX. Have tried lubricating the outside of the PTX, adjusting it so it barely bells the case and nothing seems to work. Am I supposed to have the pistol powder sleeve and the PTX installed in the drop tube? From all the videos the machine is supposed to work very smoothly.

    Thanks for your help. Your videos made the buying decision much more informed and set up understandable.



  36. Dave,

    don’t even use your LNL AP without the roller handle. I just got mine and it is very nice. The little bit of extra length makes all of the difference. I could not make it for what Gavin is selling them for without buying my own mill.

    Nice job Gavin.

  37. Gavin,

    I was watching your video on the using the case feeder on the L-N-L with the RCBS bullet feeder it looks like the through put is increased greatly. I would like to buy the RCBS bullet feeder but the only down side to them is that to reload pistol and 223 rem. I would have to buy to bullet feeders. MY question is would the Mr. Bullet Feeder work on the Hornady L-N-L AP. This Bullet Feeder would be better for me because all I would have to buy is the caliber conversion kits to change calibers, were as with the Rcbs bullet Feeder I would have to change the whole unit. Don’t get me wrong the Rcbs feeder is a nice piece but I think they could have made conversion kits to change from one caliber to another. If you can give me any insite on this I would be greatful, because I sent a message to the company who makes the Mr. Bullet Feeder a week ago with the same question and still no answer.

    On another note I was wondering if you could give me some ideas on how to speed up my prep time on my 223 rem. Here are the up grades I have ordered, a Rcbs decap and lube die, a case Feeder for my L-N-L AP, and a Dillion presion case trimmer w/ size/trim die. I’m tring to design a set up were I can debur and champr the brass in the press I’ve figured out most of it except the part of how to keep the brass from spining. At curent time it takes me about 60 minutes to prep 100 pcs. of brass to load. I’m hopeing to cut that by 70-80%. If you have any Ideas i’m open for sugestions. I will update when I get everything in and get it up and running.



  38. Anyone else have the last primer in the tube stick in the primer slide in the near vertical position? How about a resolution to this problem?

  39. John,

    Thanks for your thoughts on the roller handle, I’ll order one. Were you experiencing trouble with having to exert a lot of pressure to remove the case off the PTX?

  40. Actually, I have not had issues with the PTX expander at all- it bells fine, and withdraws fine for me. I do have some updates from Hornady to share on this subject – stay tuned!

  41. Gavin, I just got some X-treme 185 gr FP bullets in 45 ACP. Any suggestions on load data i.e COL and powder load. I am trying to dial in my dies on my LnL Press and can’t find any load data for X-treme bullets. I am also using W231 and WLP.


  42. I am new to reloading and have wathced your videos, inspected the equipment and am ready to purchase. The hold-up comes with not having enough “hands-on experience” which your videos have and would continue to provide asistance. How can I get copys of the Hornady videos you featured here? The location of the reloader does not have internet access so the video files would have to be downloaded to the PC where I keep the other related information.

  43. Gavin:

    Have you seen any products like P/Ws “Auto Drive” for the LNL AP? Right now, there is nothing as far as I can tell. Hmmm, maybe someone with a shop and real skills could modify the linkage for the autodrive to work on a LNL AP… Just saying.

    BTW – Got my new crank arm that you designed. Awesome craftsmanship. The handle works phenomenal.



  44. When you finish your day of reloading do you leave the powder in the hopper if its going to be used in a couple of days,or do you empty it back into its container after each use?

    1. My biggest concern is keeping the primers properly identified. I usually leave my correctly labeled “extras” container (one for each brand/type of primer). I make sure that when I swap over primers that I empty any remaining primers into the extras container, and that usually handles it.

  45. Hi Gavin,
    I’ve read a couple of books but it wasn’t until I watched many of your videos that felt confident enough to spend some money and buy all the reloading gear necessary. Given the volume I’m looking at and your reviews, I’ve decided to go with a Hornady LnL AP press and Hornady Case Prep Center. My timing seems very fortuitous given that Case Prep Center wasn’t reviewed unti recently. Also the free bullets made it a superb deal.

    Excellent site with great quality video. Sharing of your knowledge is deeply appreciated.

    Let the manufacturers know that you are selling their product for them by drawing new people to the reloading hobby.

    Kindest regards,

  46. Having a terrible time with reloading .223 for my AR. All of the cartridges match the measurement of the factory, but my reloads stick in the chamber of the rifle (Daniel Defense DDM4v2). Can this be caused by not cleaning the case lube off. Someone had mentioned pre-loading the sizing die on another website. What is that all about? I am using a Hornady LnL AP and after running the cases through the polisher, full length sizing& decapp, trim , chamfer, deburr, case lube, load and crimp. I am growing very frustrated with this and am running out of answers. The tend to stick upon extraction from the chamber.

  47. I have the Hornady Case Feeder and the only issue I have is sometimes when loading 223 Rem the brass does not always keep the micro switch closed and the feeder countines to drop brass until it jams. Is there a way I can fix this?

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