Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feed Dies – Overview


The Hornady Lock-N-Load Pistol Bullet Feed Die and PTX Expander - Image Copyright 2010 Ultimate Reloader


At the heart of the new Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder is the new bullet feed die system. The rest of the bullet feed system is important, but without a good die, it does no good to stack up bullets if they can’t be reliably placed on flared case mouths time after time. This is where the new Hornady bullet feed system really shines- the dies feature a new two piece all metal collet system for long lasting and reliable performance.

Here’s a view of the insides:


Exploded view of the Hornady Lock-N-Load Pistol Bullet Feed Die - From top: Adjustment Screw Assembly, Collet "B", Collet "A", Die Body - Image Copyright 2010 Ultimate Reloader


You can see here how the assembly goes together. This unit is quite a bit taller than other typical reloading dies, but fits well on the Lock-N-Load AP press. Adjustment is simple and straightforward- we’ll get into more setup details in the HD videos (coming soon).

One of the best things about this new system is that dies are available for 9mm, 38/357, .40 S&W/10mm, 44 cal and 45 cal. The dies themselves are not inlcluded in the kit, but are reasonably priced (about $25. street price).

Like most dies, they come with oil on them to prevent corrosion in storage and transport, so you’ll want to disassemble the dies and clean them well. I like to soak new dies in mineral spirits and blow off the excess with compressed air. A good patching and wipe down of the internals follows. This ensures that your dies are ready to go and will not gum up your cartridges or attract powder.

Stay tuned for more details!


17 thoughts on “Hornady Lock-N-Load Bullet Feed Dies – Overview”

  1. Gavin and Tim,

    Thanks for this wonderful website. I thoroughly enjoy the step by step walk through’s of all this equipment.
    Will you do a review of Mr. Bullet bullet feeders ? An excellent product as it does pistol and rifle bullets plus cast bullets also by adding a little motor mica to slick up the cast bullet lube.

    1. You ever get an answer to this or just try it anyway? I have one on order, and I plan on using it with 45 Colt as well as ACP. From looking at how the die is made and adjusted, I really see no reason why it would not work with the longer Colt case. I also plan on loading lead with it… modified as needed as seen on all the YouTube videos (just a little buffing on the inside of the first collet).

  2. They don’t work with lead bullets and the PTX insert that mine came with didn’t flare enough. It would shave lead from most of the bullets as they were seated. The replacement Powderfunnels.com insert solved that. If Lyman would make M Die inserts then it would be even better.

    But if all you use is jacket or plated bullets then this thing will work for you. You can also cheat and find the right size plastic tube for filling with bullets and sticking into the top of the die. I don’t think I will buy another one since they are so limiting.

  3. Gavin,

    how many cartridges do you suggest I reload before I check the case activated powder drop accuracy by weighing the powder actually dropped on my electric scale?

  4. I am having trouble getting my bullet feeder die to place the bullet into my cartridge. i am using the 9mm. I have followed the video and i am not sure what i am doin wrong. Help!

    1. I am having the same problem. Can not get 9mm bullets to feed. Even purchased a 2nd 9mm feed die. Did you get a solution ?

    2. Ihad the same problem with mine when using plated bullets, jacketed (Montana gold) fed fine after some tinkering, I had to over-flare the cases some. I think that the plated ones get slightly out of round during shipping causing it to jam in the die.

      1. Trouble here as well. I am not getting the .355 115gr FMJ bullet to drop AT ALL. Very frustrating and I have tried to polish the colletts as well. I’m going to call Hornady tomorrow. In the mean time, is it MANDATORY to use the included PDX? I have read some reloaders do use it and others do not.

  5. Anyone every try to modify the .40/10mm or 44 to work with a .41 magnum bullet? Hava a number of these to load and would like to try the bullet feed die.

  6. Gavin… I know you stopped making the roller handle for the Hornady progress reloader. Any chance you can /will provide details ( length, degree of bend, etc,) so I can make one???

    Would appreciate a response. Thank you in advance.

    Len Ziegler
    An avid follower.

  7. I just setup my Hornady 45 acp bullet feed die and I love it. I did rig tubes instead of the feeder system to save some money. I used a table saw to turn the end of the 1/2 pvc tubes down to the size needed to fit into the top of the feeder die. Push the tube up against the rip fence and set it so you are just removing a small amount of material from the dia. of the tube. While holding the tube snug to the fence SLOWLY rotate the tube removing the material from the circumference of the pvc tube. I found that you need to trim down about 5/8 of an inch of the tube for a good insert fit to the die. It takes a few trys to get the rip fence set where it needs to be but it does work quite well. I turned down 10 tubes on one end only in about 15 minutes. I was using a fine tooth laminate rated blade to perform this task. I cut my tubes to 2.5 ft. which ends up just slightly above the case feeder hopper and this hold 44 45acp 230 gr. bullets. I drilled a 1/4 in hole in the tube just above the feed die to witness bullets feeding to know when to insert a new tube of bullets.

    Great web sight Gavin


      The pvc tube must be parallel to the rip fence for this to work. This process works better with the saw blade raised to its highest point. And always be mindful of table saw safety.

  8. Reading all the post, I use Hornady reloading dies also. I use cpvc tubing as drop tubes. Drilled out the top of die with 1/2″ bit. They work great for 45 acp. Did not affect the operations of feeding st all
    Cpvc pipe can be purched at any home improvement store for $3.oo/4.00 for 10′ section. If loading 38/9mm use 3/8 cpvc.

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