Hornady Case Feeder, An extra hand at the loading bench.
I was able to again meet with Hornady a few years ago at SHOT show in Las Vegas. They have helped me many times in the past by donating Hornady ammunition for our pistol tests so I wanted to thank them personally. After I took care of that, we then talked a little about the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP reloading press and what was coming up. Then we talked about reviewing the case feeder for the L-N-L AP.They were able to help me out in securing a feeder for a review.
I got home from work one afternoon a few weeks after the SHOT show and, sure enough, a large white Hornady box was sitting on my porch. I opened up the box and found the case feed bowl, a length of square tubing, and all the necessary hardware to mount it to my press. There are quite a few pieces sent with the kit to mount the feeder so I cleaned off my loading bench and laid everything out in order and began reading the directions.
When I removed the case feeder and hardware from the box I will admit there were a lot of pieces, but I am optimistic. Everything looked to be well made and engineered but I chose to postpone my opinion until I had set up the feeder and used it a little while.
For AP presses with serial number 07279 and below there are two mounting brackets to mount the square tubing as those presses are not drilled and tapped to accept the mounting bolts.
Along with the case feeder were the case feed plates. There is a separate plate for large pistol, large rifle, small pistol, and small rifle cases.
The directions are pretty straightforward and include pictures. It took me a little while to get it all together but, by reading the directions carefully and following the diagrams, it was not as bad as it looks with all the parts strewn over a table.
The first step is to take up your press and mount the main bracket under the press.
The next step is to mount the square tubing to the back of the press. Since my press is drilled and tapped for the case feeder I did not need the mounting brackets; the square tubing mounted directly to the press by supplied hex head bolts.
After mounting the tube, the case slide is slid onto the sub-plate. (The case slide is shipped with a piece of cardboard holding in the case slide rod guide and spring, as you slide the case slide onto the sub-plate remove the cardboard and the rod guide and spring will be trapped against the sub-plate now instead of the cardboard.) I added just a little Hornady Unique case lube to the sub-plate.
Next insert the cam wire through the case slide and attach the threaded end to the main bracket.
After you have that mounted the case escapement bracket and feed tube mounting bracket is mounted to the square tubing with supplied hex head bolts and nuts.
At this point in the process you need to determine which V block you want to mount to the case slide. Since I will be loading .45 Automatic I used #3. It mounts directly to the case slide with a small hex head bolt.
Now the V block needs to be adjusted. You will want to find a spent case; place it in the shell plate, push the slider (with the correct V block installed but not tight) to the case in the shell plate. Once it is touching the case snug up the hex head on the V block.
Now the cam wire needs to be timed by adjusting it up or down, changing its position through the case slider. Raise the ram rotating the shell plate and place the spent case in front of the case slider and lower the ram moving the case slider against the cam wire and pushing the case into the shell plate. The cam wire is timed by moving it up or down into the main bracket. By adjusting the cam wire up it will retard the timing of the case slider and moving it down it will advance the timing of the case slide. This step takes a little trial and error but after a few adjustments I had it working as it should.
Here is where I took a break, made a sandwich and had a glass of sweet tea.
Setting up the case feeder
Install the pivot body to the square tubing using the hex head bolt (put a washer on the bolt and run it in the square tubing from the back, start a nut and sit the pivot body on the exposed threads and tighten).
Then place the torsion spring into the slot on the top of the pivot body (it will install only one way). Then place the pivot on the pivot body aligning the torsion spring between the two and using a shouldered hex head bolt to secure them.
For rifle cases an adapter is used on top of the pivot.
The pivot should move by hand and is actuated by the push rod as the ram is raised (when the pivot and pivot body align the case will drop to the sub plate.
Now the feed tube is installed to the feed tube mounting bracket. Since I am using .45 automatic cases I went with the large tube (the large tube is for cases larger than .43″) Run one of the locking rings close to the top drop the feed tube through the mounting bracket and secure it with a second locking ring from underneath. Adjust the feed tube about a half inch from the pivot (this is a preliminary adjustment) and snug the locking rings.
Slide the case feed bowl on the square tubing and install the clear plastic feed tube (large for .45 auto) with the O ring at the top installed into the feed bowl. Now the feeder will need to be adjusted to work correctly. A few tips I found out to help:
- Adjust the feed bowl door in about half way for .45 auto cases and fine tune from there.
- Adjusting the cam wire up speeds up how fast the case slider installs the case to the shell plate.
- Adjusting the push rod longer causes the pivot to open sooner.
- You can adjust the feed tube up or down can help with case feeding from the clear tube to the pivot block.
- You can also adjust the shell plate timing a little if need be but I did not need to do this to get the feeder to run correctly.
- There is some adjustment to the V block that can smooth up case placement into the shell plate.
Most everything on the case feeder is adjustable so being patient and watching what is going on with any failures can be figured out easily.
This is an overview of the assemble of the Hornady case feeder; the instructions do a more detailed job but you will get an idea.
Another picture of the the Hornady case feeder inserts an empty case in the shell plate.
Setting it up was not as bad as it looked initially but, since it is designed to work with large pistol, large rifle, small pistol, and small rifle, it will need to be adjustable to accommodate all the different cases. I am no stranger to reloading or reloading presses and it took me a little while to get the case feeder set up and adjusted but, once I had it up and running, I did see a 30 to 40 percent increase in production. The time I have saved in reloading is already more than I have spent setting up and adjusting the case feeder. It will require a little tweaking now and then but setting everything up and tightening it down should minimize tweaking.
It does add some weight high above the press so be sure you have a sturdy reloading bench (which should have been taken care of when you mounted the press).
Originally posted in m1911.org.