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Posted: 8/23/2017 8:48:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2017 8:51:37 AM EST by jjman15]
Wondering if anyone has had a similar problem as I’m having with the Hornady LNL AP.

Gas Guns. Sizing 308 rifle brass, full length with a small base redding die… Make a round, send it home in the chamber, everything fires fine and ejects great. However, if I send one home and try to manually eject that loaded case from the gun 95% of the time it’s stuck. Needs a light buttstroke while pulling on the charging handle to dislodge it. No noticeable damage on the case.

I initially always set the sizing die set-up so it’s flush to the shellplate, per hornady’s instructions for the press. Since I’ve had these issues i’ve tried also going a 1/4 turn – 1/2 turn past flush but more than 50% of the time it results in a dented neck. I’ve confirmed the dents weren’t from excessive lube.

What really throws me for a loop is the sizing is extremely inconsistent it seems. I can size 5 cases and 2 of them will pull out smoothly and the other 3 will get stuck in the gun. If I go in another 1/8-1/4 turn on the die, 3 might pull out smoothly and 2 get stuck. Seems minor adjustments to the sizing die to not translate to those same adjustments on the brass.

Has anyone else seen this inconsistency? Debating if I’m going to have to buy a single stage. The LNL AP seems to have two variable points, the shellplate moves a good amount and the bushing system has a tiny bit of upward movement when caming over. The Redding die is just about bottomed out in the die bushing in order it just make contact with the shellplate.

For reference I’ve tried both Hornady full length and Redding small base, both in .223 and .308 same symptoms. One gun is a Larue and the other has a BHW barrel. Both shoot phenomenal otherwise. I do not have headspace gauges, I never anticipated having this many issues setting up a god d*mn sizing die.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:54:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2017 9:00:41 AM EST by Redbirdxx]
Details on brass?

Mixed head stamp range pickups could cause some weirdness, it's not all going to size the same.



EdIt to address your question more specifically- I loaded a bunch of .308 on a Hornady progressive before switching to a single stage for other reasons. Never had any issues like yours, but I was using brass with all matching head stamps (LC 10) and the same number of firings on them.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:00:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2017 9:02:35 AM EST by jjman15]
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Originally Posted By Redbirdxx:
Details on brass?

Mixed head stamp range pickups could cause some weirdness, it's not all going to size the same.
View Quote
What i'm working with now is LC range pickups, machine gun fired, mixed head stamp. Have other buddies using the same brass on the single stage press with no problems. Had the exact same problem with brand new Hornady brass from the second sizing on.

Again, both cycle and shoot great. Just can't manually jack a loaded round out.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:04:35 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Redbirdxx:
Details on brass?

Mixed head stamp range pickups could cause some weirdness, it's not all going to size the same.
View Quote
Same here, need more info.

Dents on case shoulders seems weird. What are you using for sizing lube?

Which gun is using which barrel? Does your gun have a tight chamber?

What kind of brass?


My setup for 223 in my LnL is turn the sizing down until it touches the shell plate, than give it a 1/4 turn more. Hornady dies just FYI so YMMV. Never had an issue with cases getting stuck in the chamber.
I dont run 308 on my LnL, as I am working to create the most accurate ammo I can, so that only runs on the single. Same setup applies though, Hornady dies, sizing die down till it touches, 1/4 turn more to cam over. Using all LC MG brass.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:18:53 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Kaldor:


Same here, need more info.

Dents on case shoulders seems weird. What are you using for sizing lube?

Which gun is using which barrel? Does your gun have a tight chamber?

What kind of brass?


My setup for 223 in my LnL is turn the sizing down until it touches the shell plate, than give it a 1/4 turn more. Hornady dies just FYI so YMMV. Never had an issue with cases getting stuck in the chamber.
I dont run 308 on my LnL, as I am working to create the most accurate ammo I can, so that only runs on the single. Same setup applies though, Hornady dies, sizing die down till it touches, 1/4 turn more to cam over. Using all LC MG brass.
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RCBS sizing lube. I previously use Hornady one shot lube which I carried over from pistol reloading but I had problems with stuck 308 cases. Intended on switching to imperial but it was sold out at the time.

The Larue is a factory build in .223, older LW polygonal barrel. That die has been set up flush with the shell plate.

The 308 is a "homebuild" that has a 16" polygonal BHW barrel on it.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:25:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2017 9:26:27 AM EST by Redbirdxx]
The dented case necks is weird and if it weren't for that I'd say you simply need to dial your die down a bit. Sizing machine gun brass can be a bitch, the SB die probably makes it more so but I have no personal experience there. I've never had any issues (beyond the fair amount of effort needed on the lever) using lanolin and alcohol lube.

Can you post pics of the dented necks?
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:29:40 AM EST
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Originally Posted By jjman15:


What i'm working with now is LC range pickups, machine gun fired, mixed head stamp. Do you mean mixed manufacturers or mixed production date? Either way the first problem is mixed brass fired from unknown rifles will size differently regardless of what kind of press they're sized on...

Have other buddies using the same brass on the single stage press with no problems.This only means they may or may not have resized that brass correctly

Had the exact same problem with brand new Hornady brass from the second sizing on. This points to the real problem. If your brass is consistent, from the same source, shot from the same gun... You're probably not sizing it down enough. You are actually on the right track for someone who doesn't have a case gauge. Size it down a little more and check it in your barrel again. If any get stuck, turn the sizing die down some more and check it again. Do that until you find that they don't get stuck. Go no further than that. (do it with the sized brass rather than a full assemble live round...)

Again, both cycle and shoot great. Just can't manually jack a loaded round out.
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Link Posted: 8/23/2017 9:37:51 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Redbirdxx:
The dented case necks is weird and if it weren't for that I'd say you simply need to dial your die down a bit. Sizing machine gun brass can be a bitch, the SB die probably makes it more so but I have no personal experience there. I've never had any issues (beyond the fair amount of effort needed on the lever) using lanolin and alcohol lube.

Can you post pics of the dented necks?
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I'll report back later in the day, i'm going to use different lube after work to confirm it's not the lube causing hydraulic dents. The dent is in the shoulder.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 10:30:57 AM EST
Lake City brass is tough to resize, especially after being fired from a MG. I suggest you resize using a single stage press, trim then tumble off the lube.

You will then be able to run it through the progressive without issues. I resize .308 to SAAMI "go gage" dimensions. That means it will fit in anyone's rifle when I get done.

Semi-auto .308 rifles are hard on brass.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:42:51 AM EST
As is so often the case, your sizing without measuring the case before and after.  Without some form of measurement, you cannot tell (either for yourself or to us) how your sizing operation is working.

Get a case gage or (much, much better) get the Hornady "Head and Shoulders" gages.  With a gage and caliper, you will be able to set up your die and press to ensure you're producing properly sized cases.  The gages will also let you sort out that brass which is either useless or in need of a different die set-up to achieve the proper dimensions after sizing. 

Remember -
1.  Measure the brass before sizing to know what you are starting with.
2.  Apply lube uniformly but not too much (don't forget inside the case necks).  Dillon Spray Lube is a safe bet.
3.  Measure the case after sizing.
4.  If case is not properly sized, readjust the die.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 5:25:58 PM EST
Once fired MG brass is no joke, hard to size.
dito on the lube suggestions, I use the Dillon spray, or the DIY version with lanolin and alcohol. Runs much smoother than the rcbs stuff. Make sure to get inside the necks.

Watch your shell plate as you resize, it may be flexing, so touching the shell holder when setting up is probably different than touching while under resizing strain.

Even though I have a LNL AP. I resize once fired 308 MG brass on a rockchucker,  that handles heavy duty operations with much less flex, and makes me feel better, at least. Stuff that was last fired in my chamber might go thru the LNL, we'll see. I don't go thru it that often, mostly hinting ammo.
Link Posted: 8/23/2017 8:02:06 PM EST
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Originally Posted By chrisben:
Once fired MG brass is no joke, hard to size.
dito on the lube suggestions, I use the Dillon spray, or the DIY version with lanolin and alcohol. Runs much smoother than the rcbs stuff. Make sure to get inside the necks.

Watch your shell plate as you resize, it may be flexing, so touching the shell holder when setting up is probably different than touching while under resizing strain.

Even though I have a LNL AP. I resize once fired 308 MG brass on a rockchucker,  that handles heavy duty operations with much less flex, and makes me feel better, at least. Stuff that was last fired in my chamber might go thru the LNL, we'll see. I don't go thru it that often, mostly hinting ammo.
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I gave up sizing rifle brass on my LNL AP; I didn't get consistent sizing, even with "easy" brass like .223. I use my Rock Chucker for rifle brass sizing now. This gives me an advantage: I can de-lube the brass and trim it before it gets to the loading phase.

And Chris is right: that once fired GI brass is a bear to size. I really NEED the leverage of my Rock Chucker (and a good lube) to size those cases.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:15:46 AM EST
Thanks everyone for the replies. Good to hear from other people that have the same set-up.

I think I have my problem resolved. Long story short the die wasn’t down far enough to properly size the brass. I had them set-up flush to the shell plate and I ran a test all the way from 1/8 turn past to 1/2 turn past flush. 1/8 of a turn short of a half turn (if that makes sense) I still had 2 out of 5 brass get stuck in the gun. At 1/2 turn past flush all 5 ejected perfectly, so I should be good to go.

The denting of the shoulder was indeed from the lube. I had the same lubing regimen as before except with the die now properly adjusted the excess lube had no-where to go so it dented the shoulder. I reduced the amount of lube and the dents went away. I’ll admit I was using quite a bit of lube because I’ve had several stuck cases which are always a pain to get out. I’ve NEVER had any luck with one shot lube, in fact I tried it again yesterday on a fresh die and brass heavily lubed with one shot and the first one got stuck. I ended up shooting inside the necks with one shot and giving them a super light roll on the lube pad with RCBS lube and they all ran smoothly with no dents. I’ve found if theirs excess lube on the body one will size good and some of the excess is left in the die, then you run another and that excess is pushed into the shoulder area and boom you have a dent.

Anyhow, thanks again. Hopefully if someone else has this problem they’ll find this thread. What really screwed me this whole time was Hornady’s instructions and youtube video that shows setting the die up flush to the shellplate, at a half turn past it cams over pretty hard and to someone setting up the press per their instructions it seems bad for the press. No so, works great.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:19:35 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By chrisben:Even though I have a LNL AP. I resize once fired 308 MG brass on a rockchucker,  that handles heavy duty operations with much less flex, and makes me feel better, at least. Stuff that was last fired in my chamber might go thru the LNL, we'll see. I don't go thru it that often, mostly hinting ammo.
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I hear you on that, flexes the sh*t out of the AP. I've thought about reinforcing it better on my table. I'm watching videos on single stages and these guys are sizing it like it's nothing.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 10:26:49 AM EST
My experience with the LnL -- which I use a lot -- is that the shell holder deflects in different ways depending on how many pieces of brass are in the machine. In other words, the dies -- and their attendant operation -- on the opposite side of the shell holder actually stabilize the case that is in the sizing station.

On really critical sizing, I'll do one case at a time and adjust the press to form that case to the shoulder set-back I'm after.

Another thing I've done is double size cases on the LnL, which really helps make things more consistent. That is, I'll run a sizing die at station #1 with a decapper and run a second sizing die at station #2 with the decapper removed. This double sizing really helps to even things out. A variation of this is to make station #1 a "pre-size" where the die is raised and make station #2 a final size where the die is set for your desired set-back. You still have enough stations to finish your rounds -- assuming you seat and remove the bell in one operation. At any rate, this has worked well for me for the purpose on knocking out lots of ammo thats good enough to get the job done.

Of course, I don't use that set-up for precision rifle. For 1000 yard, the T7 gets the call.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 10:38:57 AM EST
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Originally Posted By RugRat:
My experience with the LnL -- which I use a lot -- is that the shell holder deflects in different ways depending on how many pieces of brass are in the machine. In other words, the dies -- and their attendant operation -- on the opposite side of the shell holder actually stabilize the case that is in the sizing station.

On really critical sizing, I'll do one case at a time and adjust the press to form that case to the shoulder set-back I'm after.

Another thing I've done is double size cases on the LnL, which really helps make things more consistent. That is, I'll run a sizing die at station #1 with a decapper and run a second sizing die at station #2 with the decapper removed. This double sizing really helps to even things out. A variation of this is to make station #1 a "pre-size" where the die is raised and make station #2 a final size where the die is set for your desired set-back. You still have enough stations to finish your rounds -- assuming you seat and remove the bell in one operation. At any rate, this has worked well for me for the purpose on knocking out lots of ammo thats good enough to get the job done.

Of course, I don't use that set-up for precision rifle. For 1000 yard, the T7 gets the call.
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Thanks for the input. I did come across others saying what you said about having all the locations full it causes less deflection and it makes sense. I have been sizing all cases and then doing all my other operations separate but I generally let the brass go around and dump out so all the locations are full except for the first few brass. Doing the double sizing makes sense, doing a single run final size in one step really beats up the press for the first time sizing the MG brass. Probably will start doing that.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 11:04:40 AM EST
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Originally Posted By jjman15:


Thanks for the input. I did come across others saying what you said about having all the locations full it causes less deflection and it makes sense. I have been sizing all cases and then doing all my other operations separate but I generally let the brass go around and dump out so all the locations are full except for the first few brass. Doing the double sizing makes sense, doing a single run final size in one step really beats up the press for the first time sizing the MG brass. Probably will start doing that.
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Good to hear you got this sorted. I had a feeling it was the die not low enough and a lube issue. When I set my LnL for sizing, I set the die down until the shell plate touches the deck, yes it flexes the shell plate slightly, no it wont hurt anything. That will get you there everytime IMHO. You and the rest of the guys are absolutely correct, there is a bunch of deflection in the LnL when sizing. IMHO, it doesnt seem to effect the accuracy of the ammo at all though.

As the other guys have mentioned LC 7.62 MG brass is a (*^%&(())( to resize the first pass. That being said, in an autoloading rifle it will live the longest. I size mine in a SS Hornady, and even with good lube (lano\iso homebrew) I damn near had to stand on the handle, and Im not a small dude at 6'7" & 290lbs. I double pass mine now, once with the die up a turn with no expander, second with die all the way down with expander. I would first pass in a good single stage, then after that you can size all you want in the LnL.

Hornady dies if you are wondering, not small base, but Hornady runs somewhere between regular and small base. If you can get away with not using small base dies your brass life will be better.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 3:22:53 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Kaldor:
Hornady dies if you are wondering, not small base, but Hornady runs somewhere between regular and small base. If you can get away with not using small base dies your brass life will be better.
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I have all Hornady dies for all my calibers and only bought the small base Redding die when I discovered this stuck case issue. I had assumed wrongly that they needed to be small based. Who knows, they still might need to be on the first sizing but probably not. I plan on going full length going forward if all goes well.

I also plan on switching to the double sizing method for the initial sizing, seems it would create the least amount of stress.

Thanks for the input
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 3:42:07 PM EST
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Originally Posted By jjman15:


I have all Hornady dies for all my calibers and only bought the small base Redding die when I discovered this stuck case issue. I had assumed wrongly that they needed to be small based. Who knows, they still might need to be on the first sizing but probably not. I plan on going full length going forward if all goes well.

I also plan on switching to the double sizing method for the initial sizing, seems it would create the least amount of stress.

Thanks for the input
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I think Im actually going to do the initial pass from now on with a 30-06 die without the expander ball, that way I can leave my 308 die set to height, and never screw with it. Ill just buy a set of Hornady 30-06 dies, and the plus side is I have 30-06 dies too. This way when I do the initial sizing, Im not touching the shoulders or neck on the case, just sizing the body on the first pass. Then bump the shoulders and size the neck on the second. You might even be able to get away with running something like this in the LnL, using station 1 and 3 as those are the strongest/stiffest parts of the press.

But it will probably be awhile before I do another run of LC 7.62 MG brass, as I bought a 1000 pieces 3 years ago, and being that all mine is shot from a bolt gun, I dont really lose brass.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 6:35:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/24/2017 6:38:26 PM EST by rn22723]
if the gun is homebrew. Have the headspace checked carefully. One of the most common issues is when kitchen table gunsmiths go to work.

the smartest thing to do is quit sizing on the LNL. if you insist. make sure you have cases at all stations. sort the brass by head stamp.

clean your dies.
Link Posted: 8/25/2017 6:48:02 PM EST
Seems you have it figured out but my suggestions. Buy a Hornady headspace comparator set so you can measure the brass and size it only enough to work in your gun. Possibly buy a Redding shoulder die and size in 2 steps. Do an initial size in the first station and then put the shoulder die opposite of it to even out the load on the ram/shellplate.
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 11:25:47 PM EST
I processed all my LC brass to remove primer crimps and trim to length. This is done only once to use my X die set in the LNL AP to load for all my 7.62x51 gas guns. Good enough ammo for 200yd plinking at a plastic dingus.
Link Posted: 8/26/2017 11:58:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2017 12:01:42 AM EST by Derek45]
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