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Old 01-21-2020, 03:49 PM
Hank in Arkansa Hank in Arkansa is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 279
My Hornady Projector Progressive Press

Back in the 1980s (yeah, I'm old school!) I bought a new Hornady Projector Progressive press. I also bought shell plates for several pistol calibers and a couple rifle cals. After many thousands of rounds, it recently broke. A small roll pin at the bottom of the rotating axle broke. Hornady sent me replacements, and in short order I fixed the press. Just finished loading 100 rounds of 9mm: all is well. Hornady did mention that the press is now obsolete and they no longer stock many replacement parts. Sad but time marches on.

If you're shopping for a progressive, you probably know they're not cheap. If you happen to find an original used Projector on Ebay, pawnshop, estate sale, etc., for a bargain price, give it a serious look. After all, mine is about 35 years old and still going strong. What's a decent price? Anything under $200 is worth considering, particularly with shell plates and in good shape. Just make sure the progressive mechanism is working.

I've altered mine a bit, and I recommend doing the same to a new owner. First, ditch the old style priming system. I never prime anything on a full size press. I have dedicated priming tools and use them. Next, ditch the shell "kicker" that kicks out a completed round. On the old model, it's flimsy sheet metal and will hang up, get bent and mess up your work; fingers work better. I'm still using the original Hornady powder measure system, but had to beef up the return spring to be more positive. So now I place a cleaned, primed empty case in station 1, carbide size without a decapping pin, flair on station 2, charge w powder on 3, seat on 4, taper crimp on 5, and remove the completed round from 1, then repeat. A case activated powder drop would be good, but my dispenser is working just fine. For each round, I must place an empty case, a bullet and remove a completed round by hand. Pulling the press handle does the rest. Easy.

I'm an NRA reloading instructor, and have been rolling my own since the late 1960s. I also have two single stage presses, and wouldn't be without at least one. But a progressive for 9mm, 45 ACP, .38/.357, etc is hard to beat. For most rifle rounds, I favor the single stage for more precision but less speed. If you're in the market for a progressive, but have a thin wallet, check out a clean, less expensive old style Hornady Projector. And Hornady has the complete user manual on their website for download.
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