Hornady PTX Case Mouth Expander

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Hornady PTX Case Mouth Expander

Post by rich.tullo on 1/9/2017, 10:00 am

For the sake of safety (especially when I am trying our new loads and weighing powder often) I decided to try the Hornady PTX case mouth expander in my LNL press. Freeing up a station is always a good thing until they decide to make presses that works with 7 stations. If I could I would use my Dad's 50 year old RCBS FL sizing die every time I reload as compared to just FL sizing in batches. 

38 Special 

The system works fine with .357/38 special and in fact better than the LEE case or RCBC expanders. It provides just enough expansion to make a clean load and nice bullet and an even expansion a little further down the case so the bullet seats nice but does not slip down. When combined with the factory crimp, it makes a nicer bullet. 

45 ACP

If you are loading Lead or loading different bullets I did not have a good experience with the system. Hard to dial in and once dialed in it seems to make greater variance in the powder drop, about 2 gn which is not much but the Hornady Powder drop is amazingly consistent less than 1gn is my experience with BE, WST, VV310 and even VV320 which is almost like a stick powder. 

If all you are loading is JHPs its ok but 185gn  flat based .452 bullets it did not work for me, either too much expansion or not enough and once you think you have it dialed in you get too much expansion or not enough. 

I will also note that if you are trying to a free up a station the Powder Measure has to be adjusted to work and not interfere with other dies further increasing the tediousness of adjusting the PTX system to work properly. 

Conclusion

I will keep using the system for 38 Special because I like the added station for a Powder Cop Die and I will go back to using a Hornady expansion die for 45 ACP which works well and is easy enough to dial in If I am changing Bullet heads.
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Re: Hornady PTX Case Mouth Expander

Post by SmokinNJokin on 1/13/2017, 10:16 pm

I have worked through and solved the ptx issues with .45acp. Use a .45 colt expander, it opens up .45 acp enough to seat lead without shaving and will still provide enough tension to hold jacketed. To get the uniform drops, polish the outer surface to a mirror shine to remove all horizontal machining marks. This will eliminate the binding of the case on the downstroke after expansion, which causes jerky movement of the powder measure and inconsistent throws. Grounding the powder measure helps with light flake powders as well such as WST or WSF. Mine throws exactly, every time, as long as I use a consistent speed on the lever. I actually consider the hornady system to be superior than the dillon 550 once you get it running right.

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Re: Hornady PTX Case Mouth Expander

Post by rich.tullo on 1/13/2017, 10:55 pm

SmokinNJokin wrote:I have worked through and solved the ptx issues with .45acp. Use a .45 colt expander, it opens up .45 acp enough to seat lead without shaving and will still provide enough tension to hold jacketed. To get the uniform drops, polish the outer surface to a mirror shine to remove all horizontal machining marks. This will eliminate the binding of the case on the downstroke after expansion, which causes jerky movement of the powder measure and inconsistent throws. Grounding the powder measure helps with light flake powders as well such as WST or WSF. Mine throws exactly, every time, as long as I use a consistent speed on the lever. I actually consider the hornady system to be superior than the dillon 550 once you get it running right.


That sounds like it would work.

 It is a superior system in many ways and I do not think I would have a problem with beveled base Remington Brass, bullets or jacked bullets. And the system works 110% for.357. I have two Powder measures which are unnecessary given the die set up you only need one. 

Thought about polishing but I have my belling die marked and indexed for different heads.
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Re: Hornady PTX Case Mouth Expander

Post by SmokinNJokin on 1/14/2017, 9:23 am

Using the .45 colt expander is crucial. It is a much longer m-type and is very fast to adjust- after a caliber change with the same powder measure i can run a sized case up and down a couple times and have it all set in less than 5 minutes. The only part that needs polishing is the portion of the expander that actually flares the brass, this is crucial to eliminate the sticking on downstroke.

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