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Hornady 366 Good Points and Bad Points

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by omgb, Jan 4, 2009.

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  1. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    The best points are as follows:
    1. Simple as heck to work on. Just compare a mec 9000 just once and you'll know what I mean. The 366 is like a model A Ford, very straight foreword, highly functional.

    2. It makes beautiful shells.

    3. It's fast. Not the fastest but very fast compared with non-progressives

    4. Hornady service is top notch. Life-time waranty

    5. Easy to keep clean (a key point in progressives)

    6. Bullet-proof. You will not, cannot wear one out.

    7. Parts are available, and fairly cheap.


    Down side:

    1. Changing bushingings is a bit of a hassle.

    2. The primer system is good but not without it's quirks.

    3. Gauge changes are not as easy as could be imagined.

    4. Hull drop out the back works best if the press is mounted on legs and or a hole is bored in the bench top for the finished shells to drop through.

    5. You cannot easioly remove a hull in sequence, you must rotate all of the hulls through to get at the bad one.

    6. The powder/shot cut offs are manual. You can easily drop shot and or powder when there is no hull under the drop station.


    I have three 366s, one is old enough to not have the swing-out wad guide not the rear ejection. They all work great. I'd love to have one in 16 GA too.
     
  2. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    I have 2 Hornady 366's. As stated they are built like a "tank". The Hornady people have great customer service and if you need assistance; they are just a phone call away. Ed
     
  3. jdsfarms

    jdsfarms Well-Known Member

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    I have had mine for close to 15 yrs,the bad is it takes quite a bit of adjustment to change hull types(primer seat adjustment,wad pressure and crimps)the good is it has loaded around 75000 shells and the only part I have ever changed is the plastic crimp starter.If you are going to set it up for one hull type and stick with them it is as fast as any loader out there. Jerry
     
  4. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you get the newer primer seating attachment. Simplifies things a lot....
     
  5. leftex

    leftex Active Member

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    Location:
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    One of the few negatives about the 366 is that I haven't found an electric or hydraulic power assist unit for it.
    Wayne
     
  6. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    I have, and have been using a 366 the still bears the name "Pacific". They were the predecessor to the Hornady name. I also have the typed preliminary instruct sheets that predate the original operating manual. I guess you can call me an old timer with this press. It was purchased in 1976.

    In the intervening 32 (or is it now 33?) years, I have had to replace the primer drop plastic collet twice, the swing out wad guide spring once and the wad fingers maybe three or four times. I also had to replace, because of my error, the primer drop tube assembly once. When I did need the parts, a call to Hornady had the parts on their way to me in just a few hours. I also had to replace the rubber washers on the shot and powder drops a couple of times.

    When Hornady comes up with an improvement to the press, it is almost always easily installable on the older presses. I think there was only one update that required a new base casting as part of the update. I seem to recall it was part of the auto-index. It was so long ago the details are fuzzy on my mind and I might have confused this with some other improvement.

    EDITED TO CORRECT INCORRECT INFORMATION:Original INCORRECT Entry (I also suspect that I will sometime soon have to replace the primer seating plastic piece where the shell sits. It seems that I may have worn it down to the point where the shell might sit just a bit lower than the base casting. Of course, like I said, this is after thirty two or so years of service.)
    CORRECTION: This actually refers to my Apex press. Having two presses by the same manufacturer got me a bit confused.

    If you try to stretch your empty shells too many loadings, the wad fingers can snag on frayed shell mouths and give you a problem but that is the fault of the operator and not the fault of the press.

    That said, you will probably have to develop a smooth stroke when working the handle. Mine is a bit unhappy with jerky pulls. I developed my own version of a primer drop shut off a few years before Hornady came out with one.

    The one problem I have with the design is the lack of an automatic cut off for the shot or powder drops. When you drop a oz. of shot onto the turntable you can just about count on having to remove the turntable (one 3/4" aircraft nut) not too long after to clean out the pellets that manage to find their way under the turntable.

    Keep it clean and feed it a few drops of oil every so often and it should give you a lot of years of excellent service. I have both a 366 and an Apex 3.1 from Hornady. Both are solid units, well supported by Hornady and provide excellent value and performance.
     
  7. ou.3200

    ou.3200 Well-Known Member

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    They are solid, well built loaders and turn out beautiful shells once adjusted. One negative that has not been discussed is that the sizing die is a separate station outside the turntable which means that you have to put the hull in the sizing die and then move it to the turntable. It slows the process somewhat but is not a real big deal. The spring loaded primer seater is nice as you don't have to adjust when changing from one brand of hulls to another. Mine loads Winchester and Remington hulls interchangeably with no adjustments necessary to any station. Don't bother with the primer cut off, just press a spent primer upside down into the primer foot and it will not drop primers. Remove the spent primer when you are ready to drop primers again.
     
  8. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    Another plus, guys are always asking me "how did you get a crimp that looks so good?" Truth be told, I use AA hulls in 12, 20 and 28. All give excellent crimps on my 366. I added the spring loaded primer seater to mine (a big plus) and upgraded the handle by adding a longer rod and a bigger wooden knob. It really made loading a lot easier. I also made some oak lifting blocks to raise the press up 3 inches and I secured these to an oak base that bolts to a heavy duty cookie sheet. The whole thing mounts on my bench with a couple of threaded knobs.
     
  9. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    This also answers the Mec VS. 366 post
     
  10. JLW

    JLW TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    Doggai- I sent a PM asking to see your "fool proof" primer indiactor. I'd like to make one too.-Jerald
     
  11. JLW

    JLW TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    221
    Hornady directed me to Lock stock and Barrel; 1-800-228-7925; www.lockstock.com for discounted parts.

    I have made a few modifications to mine and can send pics if anyone wants.

    1. Cut the shell retainer ring to allow removal of hull from various stages.
    2. Added wire "catchers" to keep the reloaded shell from being tossed out of the press instead of down the drop hole.
    3. Made a riser platform to elevate the base.
    BEST ADDITION:
    4.Gas Assist; I raise the handle too fast. The assist allows the shell plate to return to the starting position at a slower rate, while you reach for another hull and wad.
    Jerald
     
  12. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    I'll start with the bad;

    1. They are getting pretty expensive (new MSRP)

    2. It isn't the highest volume loader

    3. Hornady bushings aren't as readily available as MEC bushings

    4. It won't ever wear out so you won't have a legitimate excuse to get another loader.

    The good;

    1. They make great shells

    2. Adjustments are simple

    3. Hornady is a good company to deal with if you ever do need parts

    4. You can get used 366 loaders at good prices and since they are such durable machines there isn't much reason to buy new.

    5. You can load fast enough to keep one or two serious shooters in ammo.

    6. I have one bolted to my loading bench and that is a very good thing for me.
     
  13. 8point

    8point Member

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    gp1217 I know of a guy who is selling a Hornady 366 in 12 gauge with very little use for $250.00. I don't think he has put more than 5000 shells through it. Him and his wife used to shoot sporting clays, but lost interest in the sport.
     
  14. snapthecat

    snapthecat TS Member

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    Jan 29, 1998
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    200
    If all the modifications/improvements to this press mentioned so far in this thread were put together, it would mean a complete redisign of the machine. How wonderful can the thing be if it requires this many changes?
     
  15. Smac66

    Smac66 TS Member

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    I have been using my 366 for over 20 years now and I know I have put over 125,000 shells through it. It is built like a tank and like others have said, it turn out wonderful shells time after time. I have not experienced issues changing bushings and can change both in the matter of seconds. I would recommend the larger shot and powder tubes for less frequent filling. I would not hesitate to buy another.....if that is ever needed, and I really doubt it.
     
  16. wolfee

    wolfee TS Member

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    i have load on a pacific, and i agree with all of the pros and cons. A friend made me an adapter so I can use MEC bushings.
     
  17. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    I knew about th Mec bushing adaptor, but don't P-W bushings fit in a 366?

    HM
     
  18. wolfee

    wolfee TS Member

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    halfmile i am pretty sure that pw bushings will fit a 366.
     
  19. Smac66

    Smac66 TS Member

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    I use PW bushing in my 366.....
     
  20. STOS

    STOS Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
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    Location:
    North Idaho
    you can get a p/w electric auto-drive for the 366 auto from p/w for $849.95 to see it run on the 366 go to www.reloaders.com
     
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