The market for reloading presses is dominated by companies like Dillon, RCBS and Lee. 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 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 superior to the aforementioned companies’ models. In many ways, I wish I had discovered this press before many of the others that I have used over the years. Thus we have chosen it as the top progressive reloading press available.
The Hornady LNL is sold with 5 lock-n-load bushings and a powder dispenser. However a die set or shell plate are absent, which makes sense because they are caliber specific and are purchased independently.
Many of the shell plates available for the Hornady press have universal applications for different calibers. The improved shell plate for the 9mm, for example, 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 a truly automated press such as a case feeder and bullet feeder. These options may look a little expensive and while I personally prefer to feed my bullets by hand, the case feed system is truly worth the extra money as a time saver.
There are other upgrades such as a roller handle, bullet trays, LED lights and a strong mount that can be added. They are not all necessary, with the exception of the strong mount, but definitely 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 that allows the reloader to quickly change out dies without removing the entire tool head. The Lock N Load AP is capable of handling any cartridge from 25 ACP through the largest Magnum rifle cartridges. This press is has the ability to load your favorite caliber at a pace of 500 rounds per hour.
The unique bushing system allows for one of the quickest caliber changes of any reloading press on the market, particularly with regard to changing out the powder bushing on the powder measure.
The auto indexing feature makes it an extremely smooth press during operation and unlike other presses which complete their operation on either the top or bottom stroke, the Hornady press completes these in half stage. I find this allows for quicker overall operation of the press.
However, the overall quality of the machine is what really stands out for the Hornady Lock N Load. It has the look and feel of a professional grade machine from start to finish.
Lastly, the customer service of Hornady is truly top notch and if something goes wrong, the folks at Hornady will take care of it right away, 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 give assistance to anyone struggling with setup.
If there is a downside to the Hornady Lock N Load, it is that 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 notice it right away.
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 huge leap forward in reloading press technology. Hornady’s reloader press is capable of cranking out 500 rounds per hour and its innovative method of replacing dies, the powder charge and other enhancements puts this press in a category all by itself.
If you are looking for a truly innovative progressive press to increase your current ammunition production level, you do not need to look much further than Hornady and their Lock N Load Auto Progressive. It’s made with both an experienced reloader in mind who wants to move up to a better quality press, as well as a new starter who wants to skip past a single stage press and right into high-volume reloading. That flexibility easily makes this a top choice.