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Thread: LEE vs Hornady powder measure on LnL press

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Bubba w/a 45/70's Avatar
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    Question LEE vs Hornady powder measure on LnL press

    I have a brand new Hornady LnL press that I am setting up and would like to get opinions on the pro's and con's of either powder delivery system.

    I have many years experience with the RCBS automatic powder system (which is identical in function to Hornady by the looks of it) and have the LEE auto drum as my last powder delivery system from my last press.

    My question is mainly which to keep, as I just found out that I need to purchase additional belling dies for pistol cartridges, and am curious if they work as well as the LEE system when in actual use.

    I have no complaints with my LEE , and would have no problems with that on top of my press either

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
    Liberalism isn't just a disease anymore, it is a mental disorder.


    Sirach 2: 4-9

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    blikseme300's Avatar
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    For loading pistol I use Lee Pro Auto Disk units together with Lee powder through dies. These are easier to set up than the Hornady IMO.
    Liberalism is the triumph of emotion over intellect, but masquerading as the reverse.

    I don't know how we ever shot maximum loads before P/C come along and saved us all. R5R

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  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    I was introduced to the Lee drops when I bought a Pro1000 for 45acp.

    On both a Piggyback and Ammomaster Auto, I have replaced the RCBS powder drops with Lee Auto Disc/Auto Drum measures, and the RCBS drops are on a shelf gathering dust.
    Both these presses originally had the powder measure activated by the end of the center/index rod which I have cut off.
    The Lee measures work best with a riser and I have 2 stacked under the measure on the Piggyback to clear the primer tube.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I dont have a Hornady powder measure, but I have several RCBS Uniflow measures, Lee Pro Auto Disks, and Lee Auto Drums. I use the Lee Pro auto disk for most pistol loading, especially for progressive presses. For loading small rifle cases such as 223, 300 AAC and 7.62X39 the auto drum is becoming my favorite especially on my classic cast turret press and on progressive presses. I load most rifle cases on a a Rockchucker and use my Uniflows mounted on RCBS powder stands. I use the lee powder measures with Lee powder thru belling dies or Lee rifle charging dies. I find the Lee system to be very smooth and extremely accurate and repeatable. I have found the Uniflow measures to excell with most large grain powders.

    Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Man GunFun's Avatar
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    Keep both. I like the lee system better, but you can dial in the hornady on one tool head of something you load a lot and leave it set. The lee is easier to dial in for changes, and cheap enough that you can get spare drums and dial them in to pet laods, and put nail polish on the adjustment screw to make that drum dedicated to a preset load. The drums are available ~4 for $20.
    In the market for a multicavity Mi-Hec 9mm HP mold.

    I presently cast for .380 ACP, 9mm, .38/.357, 30 cal and .45 and 12 Ga slug.
    I am particularly grateful for the help I have gotten from members Red333 and MSRdiver, and OLD Para (who made a crazy mold on my design!!!!!) as well as excellent guides by Recluse for his ideal lube process. I have been experimenting with poly coating too.

    PM me if you know of a very cheap source of birdshot, or an efficient way to make #4 Buck.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man GunFun's Avatar
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    Ps I have a lee autodisk pro, and also had a lee perfect. I've used most of the others at one point or another on other people's equipment. I think the Autodrum is the nicest design on the market, and the only one I would buy.
    In the market for a multicavity Mi-Hec 9mm HP mold.

    I presently cast for .380 ACP, 9mm, .38/.357, 30 cal and .45 and 12 Ga slug.
    I am particularly grateful for the help I have gotten from members Red333 and MSRdiver, and OLD Para (who made a crazy mold on my design!!!!!) as well as excellent guides by Recluse for his ideal lube process. I have been experimenting with poly coating too.

    PM me if you know of a very cheap source of birdshot, or an efficient way to make #4 Buck.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Haven't used either the RCBS or the Hornady measures. I do have 3 Lee measures, 2 Auto Disk and 1 Auto Drum. I have had better results with the Disk than the Drum as my drum measure has been back to Lee twice. The Auto disk, one can't beat it for simplicity. There are only 3 moving parts to it unless you want to include the spring. I also get much less spillage/leakage from the Disk when using powders such as AA#5, HP-38 or Ramshot Silhouette.

    If you already have a Drum then use it or get both and use them until you decide which works best for you.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Bubba w/a 45/70's Avatar
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    I own the Lee auto drum already as I said earlier, and like how it works.

    I didn't consider just using the Hornady measure for just one caliber/load and set it - forget it type of usage...good idea for the Varget powder I use.

    Thanks for making me think in different ways, change is good sometimes.
    Liberalism isn't just a disease anymore, it is a mental disorder.


    Sirach 2: 4-9

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    The Lee auto drum works well and I use it for H110 powder on my pro1000 for carbine and plinking 223_. I only have the hornady set up for manual powder drops and its been great.
    Never a problem.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    To me the Lee throws look to be designed to work well with the powder thru expander that's included in Lee die sets.
    Whereas the Hornady/RCBS are more of an adaption of measures designed many years ago into an "automatic" powder drop through what looks to be a complicated system of levers/toggles/adjustments.

    Yes, the Lee units are mostly plastic/pot metal but the design simplicity makes them very user friendly, at a price point that allows buying/owning several, and multiple quick change drums...for me.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Can’t help with the Lee but I have a Hornady LNL and the powder measure is very accurate and does not take much to adjust. I don’t load rifle powders yet but load from Tightgroup to Unique and no issues. I have several micrometer adjusters for small and large rotors plus several lower powder dies to speed things up. Plus I also use PTX for all lead Bullets.

  12. #12
    Boolit Mold
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    I have never tried a lee auto disk but it sounds painful to set up but what little I have read on them, I dont fully understand either. I have a hornady set up on the LNL AP. It is easy to set up for different calibers. I load 380, 9, 38, 357, 40, 44mag, 45acp, 223, and 308 on it with ball and flake powders. If I am loading small amounts of rifle I use a uniflow off press and am usually weighing all charges especially with extruded powders.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1browski View Post
    I have never tried a lee auto disk but it sounds painful to set up but what little I have read on them, I dont fully understand either. .
    Nothing difficult about it. It screws into the powder thru die and just works. There are only 3 moving parts to the whole thing. The hardest part comes with selecting the correct cavity for the powder used or just use a micro bar.

  14. #14
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    Bubba if the powder measure leaks as I understand Lee does, your lnl will need blown out with air quite regularly

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preacher Jim View Post
    Bubba if the powder measure leaks as I understand Lee does, your lnl will need blown out with air quite regularly
    I take it you just understand but have never used one. I do have 2 and use them with some very fine pistol powder like AA#5 and Ramshot Silhouette and when I'm finished loading there is no loose powder on either the press or the bench

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Bubba w/a 45/70's Avatar
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    Mine never leaked, I actually had problems with the powder shaking out of the case with 9mms when running my turret with the Lee auto measurer.
    Liberalism isn't just a disease anymore, it is a mental disorder.


    Sirach 2: 4-9

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Dutchninja's Avatar
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    I have both the Lee classic turret using the auto drum as well as Hornady LNL. I’ve used both combinations for both pistol and rifle on both of them.

    The Hornady system works fine with flake, ball, and fine grain, but not so much with stick. I've worked with it as just a powder dump as well as using at a expander / powder through, it all depends on how you want your operations to go. Some calibers I’ll seat in station four then crimp separately in 5 so I have to use it as an expander if I want a powder check die, other times size/expand/powder only / etc.

    I didn’t like the Hornady for stick so I took an auto drum off the turret and tested it on the Hornady and ran several different stick powders (IMR4895, Varget, IMR4064) through it to see how accurate it was. I have an excel spreadsheet somewhere. I did like 30 dumps and got all the stats for it. The auto drum seemed to vary a bit + - .3 or more in some cases if i remember correctly. I have yet to go back and test the Hornady to that level but i remember with stick the Hornady had a similar spread, which is somewhat expected when working with stick. I was fine with the spread with the auto drum as i was making blasting / bulk 308 ammo. The auto drum was a bit easier to run with that plastic wipe inside the drum than cutting with the Hornady.

    The one thing I don’t like about the auto drum is that it leaked H110/296 like a sieve. each drum, as you see above, is hit or miss for some people with fine powders. There’s another thread on here about an adapter for the turret press to hook up a powder dispenser over the turret press to eliminate that issue. Also , just to consider the auto drum has that chain to ensure it resets, I don’t use it but also have a powder check or visually inspect each round to make sure powder is in there. I have had that plastic arm not reset on some 357 but it was maybe 2-3 times in 500 or so. Never had the Hornady miss a powder dump…..

    so it is up to you and how you run your operations. Do I trust the auto drum and Hornady with stick if I’m making good hunting ammo or longer range, no. If I’m making bulk practice / 100 yards or less, sure its fine for the production aspect.

    My experience:
    Fine grain powder – Hornady or Redding, no lee because of the leaking.
    Flake – Lee and Hornady both fine and meter pretty accurately.
    Ball – I know the Hornady is .01 + - . I have yet to try some Winchester 748 thought the Lee auto drum it but would imaging the lee to perform well.
    Stick – Lee or Hornady if cutting is not an issue to you and if not being + - .1 is not a big deal. I use an electronic dispenser if I want to be at the exact weight.

    so to try and answer which one to keep, I would say keep both!

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Dutchninja; 01-08-2018 at 02:59 PM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    Bubba w/a 45/70's Avatar
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    I own the Lee auto drum already as I said earlier, and like how it works.

    I didn't consider just using the Hornady measure for just one caliber/load and set it - forget it type of usage...good idea for the Varget powder I use.

    Thanks for making me think in different ways, change is good sometimes.
    Liberalism isn't just a disease anymore, it is a mental disorder.


    Sirach 2: 4-9

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Bubba w/a 45/70's Avatar
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    And now that I found that the previous reply didn't post when I thought it did, I somehow lost my whole Lee auto drum and accouterments in a house move during November; so I went and purchased a whole new Lee auto drum setup to go along with the Hornady measurer.

    One more question for those who have used the Hornady with cast pistol boolits, does it put enough flare on the case mouths with no problems?
    Liberalism isn't just a disease anymore, it is a mental disorder.


    Sirach 2: 4-9

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Dutchninja's Avatar
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    yup, you can set the expander linkage on the powered measure to the amount desired. Loaded a bunch of cast / PC'ed that way.

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