Hornady Progressive Press Shell Plates (old vs. new) – Part 1

Recently, I acquired a brand new Hornady Lock-n-Load progressive press from “Phil” a guy that was “getting out of it”.  He purchased the press a couple of years earlier and NEVER USED it.  It was sold to me with the comment: “I hear it requires some tinkering.”  Having never reloaded before, all I knew I was getting a good deal on the press.  However, I did pay the price in the aftermath, as I found out that Hornady made significant design changes to the press while this thing had been sitting there unused, anti-tarnish and all.

The first thing I discovered is that the old ejection design, also known as the “Ejection Spring/Rod”, effectively prevented one from using the 5th station on the progressive press.  After hours of frustration, trying to get it to work I consulted my friend…the internet.  Quickly I stumbled upon many users that had the same issue and offered the following solutions:

1. Take the spring off and flick the finished round off with the finger

2. Bend it out of the way.

3. Pay $40 for the Ez-Ject upgrade kit.

The first solution was plain not acceptable to me.  The second one I just couldn’t make work (it kept binding up with the finished round).  So It left me with option #3.  I called Hornady, and after a slightly humorous automated phone greeting I got to a live person.  10 minutes later I had the new base plate ordered (close to 40 bucks with shipping) and received detailed instructions on how to send back the old shell plate to get re-manufactured to work with Ez-Ject system at the cost of $10 each.  As a side note, old plates don’t work on the new base plate.  The retooling process took 6-8 weeks.  Due to my impatience, I ordered a new shell plate from midway while the others were retooled.

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