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Thread: Thoughts on Hornady 366 reloader

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy bhop's Avatar
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    Thoughts on Hornady 366 reloader

    I recently acquired a Hornady 366 shotshell reloader in 20ga. And i was curious what you all thought of this reloader. I haven't reloaded a lot of shotshell and haven't decided if I'm going to keep it or try to trade it off. Does anyone have any experience with one?

  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    For 20 years, I've loaded on one type of MEC or another. I recently picked up an older Pacific 366 in 12ga, and must say I'm quite impressed.

    Though the primer feed system incorporates an additional wear component, the accuracy and consistency is well worth it.

    Changeover between shells/loads seems to be a lot more effort, but once set up, it seems like this thing really kicks out shells.

    Of course as a MEC owner, my set of bushings was now useless (though I've been told there is an adapter). At least the Hornady/Pacific bushings are both readily available in used lots, and they are listed by the diameter opening so a person with a lathe and roundstock can easily make any bushing they want.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    They can be tricky to set up, but they are a decent machine. This might be helpful:

    https://www.trapshooters.com/threads...estion.830809/

    Here is the part you need to be able to use MEC bushings:

    https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Bu...oductinfo/MBC/
    Don Verna


  4. #4
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    I have had a DL366 in 12 ga. for 20+ years. The best way to deal with them is to set them up for one style of hull and leave it that way and only run that one type of hull. Mixing hull types can be a problem.

    Mine was setup up for old style AA's when I got it ($150), they are not the same as new style AA's which I have 2500 of. ($100!) I have been weeding out any other hulls but those new AA's, almost there.

    I recently bought a newer DL366 in .410. ($650!) It is a bit more finicky than the other machine, but after I figured out that New style .410 AA's are different than old style ones that the machine was set up for I finally got it dialed in. It is a little slower than the 12 ga machine because you have to watch several things so you don't' screw up.

    I have written on the front of the top casting on both machines,,, Wad, Hull, See Primer Drop. I did this to remind to watch the primer drop on every pull of the handle. If the primer doesn't drop the next pull of the handle drops the powder right thru the hole in the hull where the primer should have been. This causes a mess and you get to completely shut the machine down and clean it out and restart from the beginning. I've got that process down to about 10 minutes now!

    These are excellent machines which have a long track record of producing excellent ammunition. However the new prices are not like the old ones. Midway has them $1330 for 12 ga. $1350 for 20 ga. $1580 for 28 ga. $1600 for the .410 model. Plenty of used ones out there and a trip over to Trapshooters.com will usually find one for a reasonable price.

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 09-24-2022 at 04:07 AM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  5. #5
    I had one in 12 ga and it was absolutely phenomenal! I agree that it is best to set it for one type of load only. The changeover was a pain, but it made beautiful shells. The only reason I parted with it was to standardize with mec bushings and bars with the other reloaders.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    If one has to give that kind of money for any loader, it ainít worth having, when the components prices are where they are now. You are better off buying factory ammo. There will soon be many of them on auction sites, if you are set on reloading. Iím still reloading on components I boarded post Sandy Hook, and the wife unit will be giving my stuff away when I am worm dirt. Iím not a sooty sayer by any stretch of the imagination. I just bought in bulk and maxed out the hazmat fee on every shipment. Still loading $4.50 shotgun shells.
    No

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by W.R.Buchanan View Post
    I have had a DL366 in 12 ga. for 20+ years. The best way to deal with them is to set them up for one style of hull and leave it that way and only run that one type of hull. Mixing hull types can be a problem.

    Mine was setup up for old style AA's when I got it ($150), they are not the same as new style AA's which I have 2500 of. ($100!) I have been weeding out any other hulls but those new AA's, almost there.

    I recently bought a newer DL366 in .410. ($650!) It is a bit more finicky than the other machine, but after I figured out that New style .410 AA's are different than old style ones that the machine was set up for I finally got it dialed in. It is a little slower than the 12 ga machine because you have to watch several things so you don't' screw up.

    I have written on the front of the top casting on both machines,,, Hull, Wad, See Primer Drop. I did this to remind to watch the primer drop on every pull of the handle. If the primer doesn't drop the next pull of the handle drops the powder right thru the hole in the hull where the primer should have been. This causes a mess and you get to completely shut the machine down and clean it out and restart from the beginning. I've got that process down to about 10 minutes now!

    These are excellent machines which have a long track record of producing excellent ammunition. However the new prices are not like the old ones. Midway has them $1330 for 12 ga. $1350 for 20 ga. $1580 for 28 ga. $1600 for the .410 model. Plenty of used ones out there and a trip over to Trapshooters.com will usually find one for a reasonable price.

    Randy
    IMO Those prices for 366’s are out of line. The Ponsness Warren presses are much better for less money. I run about 500 shells an hour with the 800+ with no issues. And the customer service of PW is very good.
    Don Verna


  8. #8
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Don: I agree that the prices for the new DL366's are out of line and I will take it one step further and say they are Down Right Ridiculous! Just a year or so ago they were all in the $600 range. I don't know how Hornady can justify price increases at that level ?

    The good news is that there are plenty of used ones out there that are more reasonable. You can generally get a newer 12 or 20 ga. machine for <$400.. I recently had to pay $650 for my relatively new .410 model, but .410 presses are always more expensive, probably due to the low volume of sales for those machines .


    The new PW machines run from $1100 to $1350, but they have none in stock and are claiming a 1 year lead time? They say all machines are "built to order?" but if they have a 1 year lead time, I think they need to look at their assembly line a little closer or maybe hire some more help. I have ran into this problem with them before and had a problem even getting them to answer the phone, and then when they did, they couldn't answer the simplest of questions about the Metal Matic 2 I had. I sold/traded it to Sea Giant for a Spolar and some $. The Spolar was nothing but a Glorified PW 800 made with all machined Aluminum parts.

    Nice but not worth the $, and now Damn Sure not worth $4800!!! My $150 DL366 makes ammo that is just as nice as that $4800 Spolar and has been since I got it about 15 years ago.

    Randy

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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 09-24-2022 at 04:33 AM.
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Randy,
    What sets the PW's and Spolar's apart is the production rate and the ease of adding a power unit. I owned both. The PW I still have has the Autodrive, and the Spolar had the hydraulic unit. I had a MEC9000 too but hated it and sold it on eBay as I did not want to inflict it on anyone I knew. (Maybe I had a bad one or I am a klutz?)

    You are spot on about the Spolar being much too expensive. I sold mine 5-6 years ago and wish I had kept it as the market for them is stupid crazy.

    I get as good a shell on the PW375 single stage and I use it for hunting loads. Just not willing to spend that much time at a bench for target loads. But most people do not shoot enough to justify something like a PW800+ or Spolar. Just like most people do not shoot enough to justify a Dillon 1050.

    I saw the 366 as "bridging the gap". Much like a Dillon 550 or 750 does for metallic rounds. But not now. I would wait a year and get a PW800+ for less $$$ and make do with a MEC. I expect Hornady will discontinue the 366 as sales will plumet unless PW adds 50% to their price. Hopefully they continue to support the machine but I expect parts will get expensive.
    Don Verna


  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy bhop's Avatar
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    Ended up selling it to a gentleman from Kentucky for 400 bucks

  11. #11
    Boolit Master smkummer's Avatar
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    Like others I came into a 366 for cheap ($150) when my son was on a trap league. I kicked out his weekly 1oz. light trap loads with 700X really fast. Close to 1/2 the time of the Mec Sizemaster. I also bought a shotmaker then as well. I kept the Mec size master set up for tournament 1 1/8 oz load and sporting clays loads. My Mec doesn’t care if I swap Rem. STS hulls instead of AAs but the 366 needs adjustment.
    Now that my son has passed on to another world, I am on the fence if I will convert my 366 into 7/8 oz. 12 gauge cowboy loads ( to save shot and recoil) as I shoot that more than anything else now. I agree that once you get it set up for 1 load/hull, just leave it alone and go with it.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Pacific 366, great press. For slugs and buckshot I use my P&W 375, it is a great single stage press.

    Smkummer, sorry for your loss.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check