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.