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Thread: Hornady LNL and Dillon Primer Alarm

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  1. #1

    Hornady LNL and Dillon Primer Alarm

    All,

    For those of you with the Hornady Lock-n-Load, I've heard some have added the Dillon Primer Alarm System mounted to the top the primer tube to sound a buzzer when the primer tube is empty.

    I'm aware that Hornady did not plan for this option, but while I can add the alarm onto the top of the primer tube fine, it interferes with the case-activated powder drop in station 2. Even without the primer alarm, the primer tube shroud rubs against the powder hopper on the way up.

    Anyone else done this successfully? What am I missing here?

    Thanks,

    -john

  2. #2
    Join Date
    13th April 2011
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    31
    My powder drop is in station 3, my dies are as follows
    Station 1: sizing die
    station 2: expander die
    station 3: powder drop
    station 4: seating die
    station 5: crimp die

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    28th December 2006
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    5,713
    it interferes with the case-activated powder drop in station 2
    is your expanding die (flares the case mouth) AFTER the powder drop??


    i set mine up the same as tlf65



    Station 1: sizing die
    station 2: expander die
    station 3: powder drop
    station 4: seating die
    station 5: crimp die


    I'd suggest you do the same ...cause I "think" that's the correct and recommended way

    the only change would be whether or not you use a separate crimp die or Lee Factory Crimp die.
    If not, station 5 is left empty


    ..L.T.A.
    Last edited by Cap; 22nd January 2012 at 11:24.


  4. #4

    My Solution

    I really want to keep the powder drop in station 2 so I can use a bullet feeder later.

    Here's my setup:

    Stations:
    1. size/deprime
    2. powder drop and expander insert (Powerfunnel)
    3. powder cop (soon to house a bullet feeder die)
    4. seating die
    5. crimp die

    For this reason, I needed to clear the powder hopper and putting the alarm on the primer tube - even with one of several available adapters - still caused the alarm unit to "bump" the powder hopper. Going up was ok, but coming down was a problem.

    My solution was to elevate the alarm above the hopper altogether by extending the primer tube. I made a sleeve to join the existing outer tube with an extension, leaving the black plastic guide in place between them.

    Details are found with the picture here:

    Picture
    Last edited by jrdavidson; 23rd January 2012 at 09:22.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    7th August 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Posts
    2,844
    I can't help with the primer alarm, but I'm not following how "Even without the primer alarm, the primer tube shroud rubs against the powder hopper on the way up." ? My powder hopper is well above the end of the primer tube shroud.

    Removing your alarm adaptation the only real difference I see in your set up and mine is that my powder drop is positioned differently from a rotational standpoint. I had to install it with the shroud and primer tube removed to accomplish that, but it works better for the way my press is positioned.

    I expand and drop at the same time (Using the PXT) and my die positions are the same as yours.

    Sounds like you got it worked out anyway...

    Robert.
    NRA Endowment Life Member.
    The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts. - Edmund Burke 1777

  6. #6
    Join Date
    2nd June 2007
    Location
    In the desert
    Posts
    194
    If you look at your press, it may be possible that by rotating the powder measure 180° or the primer alarm 90°, you might find a way to make it work. You may have done this, but I know many simply don't seem to see that the bushing goes in six (?) different positions so the powder measure can be rotated around.
    My question is: Did the primer alarm just fit on the black plastic "collet" at the top of the blast shield or what changes did you have to make?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by noylj
    If you look at your press, it may be possible that by rotating the powder measure 180° or the primer alarm 90°, you might find a way to make it work. You may have done this, but I know many simply don't seem to see that the bushing goes in six (?) different positions so the powder measure can be rotated around.
    My question is: Did the primer alarm just fit on the black plastic "collet" at the top of the blast shield or what changes did you have to make?
    Yes, one can rotate the powder drop (and linkage) into about 3 different positions, because in my case I have to avoid contact with:

    a) sizing/depriming die rod in station 1
    b) the primer tube system
    c) powder cop or bullet feeder die in station 3

    Rotating the powder drop doesn't help with the issue of the primer alarm sitting on top of the primer tube - if you clamp to the black plastic guide or even use one of the available aftermarket adapters. If you look at it, the metal bell housing holding the hopper is VERY CLOSE to the primer tube, regardless of orientation. So much so that when you clamp on the primer alarm, no matter how you rotate things it impinges (slightly) on that bell housing going up and down.

    Down is the problem if you clamped to the black plastic guide, but that bumps it off the primer stack, and now you have loose primers inside the outer tube.

    This is why the adapter I've seen has a keeper screw to keep the alarm firmly mounted in the face of incidental "bumping" on the downward movement of the ram.

    For all these reasons, I tried the extension approach. That too has a downside, due to the friction fit of the sleeve that connects the extension to the primer stack. If you're not careful, you can dislodge the plastic guide when assembling the sleeve, again dumping primers into the outer tube.

    So this means there are no elegant solutions, only those that work "well enough."

    I'm going to try one of the adapters that replaces the black plastic guide next.
    Last edited by jrdavidson; 24th January 2012 at 07:59. Reason: correction


  8. #8

    Solution Found!

    Warning: This is a long post intended as a tutorial for anyone wanting to add a low-primer sensor to your Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive press.

    Problem Statement: Running out of primers when loading on a progressive press can result in an attempt to load powder in a case that lacks a primer. After having to stop loading and clean up dropped powder numerous times, I decided to find a way to install a low-primer alarm system to be notified when the primer feed tube empties. This post is a tutorial on what not to do, as well as a record of the solution I found for my press. I hope its useful to someone else.

    Design Issue 1) The LNL's primer stack (inner tube, outer tube, centering guide) rises and falls with each movement of the handle. Any low-primer alarm system must ride on the primer stack with this movement, and use an internal rod to trip the alarm when the primers are exhausted.

    Stock plastic guide on primer stack: http://flic.kr/p/bjXiaz

    Design Issue 2) Setup: http://flic.kr/p/bj99AH
    Station 1: size/deprime
    Station 2: expand and charge with powder using the case-activated powder measure and expander insert
    Station 3: powder cop (and later bullet feed die) - not installed in this picture.
    Station 4: seat bullet
    Station 5: taper crimp

    I tried 4 approaches before getting it right (for me). I hope walking through this progression helps others find their own solutions:

    Approach 1: Clamp the low-primer alarm to the plastic centering guide on top of the primer stack is unreliable because on the return stoke the low-primer alarm hangs up on the powder measures red metal bell housing, pulling the plastic guide completely off the primer stack and emptying primers into the larger tube.

    Pic: http://flic.kr/p/bj99VP

    Approach 2: Elevate the low-primer alarm above the powder measure altogether using 12” of ˝” OD copper pipe with a 6" length of 5/8” OD connecting sleeve fitted over the primer stack.

    Pic: http://flic.kr/p/bhnDja

    Evaluation: This worked in testing using readily available copper pipe avaialble from the local hardware store, but was unreliable in practice because disassembly and reassembly wore on the plastic guide sleeve and caused the inner primer tube to dislodge, spilling primers into the outer tube.

    Approach 3: For $20 shipped, GerryR on this forum makes a 1.5” metal adapter designed to replace the plastic centering guide. Depending on your press, some have had to install a keeper screw to keep the metal adapter seated on top of the primer stack when it passes by the powder measure in the downward movement.

    Pic: GerryR’s 1.5” adapter in the up position http://flic.kr/p/bjVgun

    Evaluation: Gerry’s short adapter is relatively cheap ($20 shipped) and replaces the stock plastic guide. You can load primers in the same manner as the plastic guide. Some folks have made this approach work, particularly on older presses where the primer stack has sufficient clearance. I have a new LNL press that does not have any appreciable clearance between the primer stack. Using Gerry’s short adapter, the low-primer alarm starts below the housing, but rises above it at the highest point of its movement. When returning down, however, it hangs and locks up my press. Even a keeper screw would not solve this issue.


    Approach 4: Extend the metal adapter idea to elevate the low-primer alarm to clear the powder measure metal housing in all phases of its movement. At my request, GerryR made me a 5.5” long adapter out of aluminum, and milled a flat on one side to alleviate rubbing on the powder measure.

    Long adapter at up position http://flic.kr/p/bjVfQ6

    Long adapter at down position http://flic.kr/p/bjVfZg

    Evaluation: The longer adapter is perfect. It works reliably without causing any obstruction or “bumping.” The primer stack still rubs the powder measure somewhat, but the positioning of the low-primer alarm alongside and not below the powder measure ensures it is free of any obstruction during movement. The only downside is that you have to remove this adapter from the primer stack to load new primers because its mouth sits far above the top of the inner primer tube. This isn’t a practical issue if you are careful to hold the inner tube in place while adding primers. The low-primer alarm remains clamped to the adapter and slips easily over the inner tube to reinstall.

    Solution 4 Parts List

    Adapters, alarm, and alarm rod: http://flic.kr/p/bjVfAX

    1) The Dillon and RCBS alarms are identical except for color, and neither is red. I bought the “Dillon Primer System Early Warning Kit” for $25.95 plus shipping. You have to throw the Dillon alarm rod away as its too short for this mount.
    http://www.dillonprecision.com...em_Early_Warning_Kit

    2) Anyone with a lathe can make the necessary adapter, but GerryR (Gerry Ritacco) on SigForum fabricated mine as a variation of the short adapters he has sold for years to forum members. Because I tried several of his adapters, I’m not sure of what he will charge for the long adapter, but whatever it is, it will be reasonable. Gerry is great to work with and a class act. His workmanship is top-notch. I highly recommend him. See http://www.totalautomation.us/index.htm

    3) You will have to fabricate a longer alarm rod. While a wood dowel might work, I wanted a fiberglass rod like the stock rod that came with my LNL press, only longer. Hope Depot stocks KLEIN Electric 6-foot long fiberglass rods used to “fish” wiring through holes in walls. These rods have metal ferrules on both ends. I cut one to measure plus 2” and drilled out two cases (.40 S&W and .45ACP because they nest so well) to gain a friction fit on the metal ferrule. I used a Dremel tool to bevel the bottom so the fiberglass won’t split. You slide the brass case(s) on the ferrule to adjust length. $20 at Home Depot – see http://www.homedepot.com/buy/e...-glow-rod-93124.html

    I know this was a long post, but I figure more detail was better if others wanted to try this out for themselves.

    Enjoy!

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