The Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press Review

Companies like Dillon, RCBS, and Lee dominate the market for reloading presses. These manufacturers have been making presses and dies for decades and are pretty much the first presses that one thinks of when it comes to reloading. There is, however, another one made by a company known more for manufacturing reloading components: Hornady. And today, we are giving props to the Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press.

Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press

This superior press is a top notch reloading machine that is often overlooked but is in many ways special to the companies above’ models. Thus we have chosen it as the leading progressive reloading press available. In many ways, I wish I had discovered this press before many of the others that I have used over the years.

The Hornady LNL is sold with 5 lock-n-load bushings and a powder dispenser. However, a die set or shell plate is absent, which makes sense because they are caliber specific and are purchased independently.

Many shell plates available for the Hornady press have universal applications for different calibers. For example, the improved shell plate for the 9mm will handle 30 Luger, 9X21, 9X18 Makarov, 38 Super, 38 Auto, and 9X23 in addition to 9mm Parabellum.

Another stellar feature of the Hornady Lock N Load is the ability to upgrade the press with features to make it genuinely automated, such as a case feeder and bullet feeder. These options may look a little expensive, and while I prefer to feed my bullets by hand, the case feed system is truly worth the extra money as a time saver.

Other upgrades, such as a roller handle, bullet trays, LED lights, and a strong mount, can be added. They are not all necessary except the strong mount, but they make life easier when using the Hornady LNL and are available at nominal prices.

Hornady’s Lock N Load is a progressive five-station press that utilizes the company’s patented quick tool change system, allowing the reloader to quickly change out dies without removing the entire tool head. This press can load your favorite caliber at a pace of 500 rounds per hour. The Lock N Load AP can handle any cartridge from 25 ACP through the largest Magnum rifle cartridges. 

The unique bushing system allows for one of the quickest caliber changes of any reloading press on the market, particularly about changing the powder bushing on the powder measure.

Unlike other presses, which complete their procedure on the top or bottom stroke, the Hornady press completes these in half stage. I find this allows for the quicker overall operation of the press. The auto indexing feature makes it an exceptionally smooth press during operation,

However, the machine’s overall quality stands out for the Hornady Lock N Load. It looks and feels like a professional grade machine from start to finish.

Lastly, Hornady’s customer service is genuinely top notch; if something goes wrong, the folks at Hornady will take care of it immediately, often having a replacement part already in the mail as you hang up the phone with customer service. That really helps separate them from their competition. There are also videos throughout the web that assist anyone struggling with setup.

If there is a downside to the Hornady Lock N Load, a seasoned hand loader will have to get used to the half stage operation mentioned previously. However, the quality of the machine will allow anyone to get over this hump with relative ease by the time you load your first 50 rounds. A first time reloader or someone just moving into a progressive for the first time will not notice this, but anyone who has run a Dillon or other progressive press by feel will see it immediately. 

The only other concern to this Hornady Press is the inability to tackle the truly large calibers like the 50 BMG and exotic rounds based on this case. However, that is a small price to pay for such an innovative machine.

Hornady Reloading Press Conclusion

The Hornady Press is a giant leap forward in reloading press technology. Hornady’s reloader press is capable of cranking out 500 rounds per hour. Its innovative method of replacing dies, the powder charge, and other enhancements put this press in a category all by itself.

Suppose you want a genuinely innovative progressive press to increase your current ammunition production level. In that case, you do not need to look much further than Hornady and their Lock N Load Auto Progressive. It’s made with an experienced reloader who wants to move up to a better quality press and a new starter who wants to skip past a single stage press and right into high-volume reloading. That flexibility quickly makes this a top choice.