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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad recently gave me a Hornady 366 reloader that he got when my grandfather passed away. I spent a couple of nights taking it apart, cleaning it, and putting it back together. Got it looking almost new again, but have a problem with the crimping station. I am loading red AAs and if I set the crimper so that it will completely close the shell, it crushes the sides. If I set it so that it doesn't crush the side, it won't close the shell. I am sure that it is something fairly simple, but I can't figure out how far down to set the crimper and how deep to set the plunger. Any help would be appreciated. I don't have a manual, so I plan to order one unless someone has one that can be emailed. Thank you.

Jamie
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to mention that I used some case lube inside the crimp die thinking that it might help. Still crushes the shells.

Jamie
 

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The trick is to set the machine up beginning at the sizing station. First back off all of the dies until they are not engaging the hulls. Now, set the sizing station so that the die just kisses the base and then back off one turn. Now adjust your primer seater (unless it's the new spring loaded model that does not require adjustment) Continue around until you get to the pre crimp station. Set this to leave a 1/8" opening (just about the size of a #2 pencil eraser) Now using a factory loaded hull, set the second crip to just touch the crimped hull. Dial in 1/4 turn more and lock it down. Now go to the last station and again, using a factory hull, set it to just lightly taper crimp the hull and lock it down. That should do it.
 

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Call Hornady their customer service is great.They will help you until you have the loader set up and working good.
Dave
 

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Jamie, before switching to a Ponsness Warren, I had a 366 and went through this same little adjustment dance that You're doing right now. follow omgb's steps there and with a little fine tuning you'll get it dialed.

-C
 

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Where is it crushing? Final taper crimp station or the crimp closing station? It took me a little while to figure it out, but I haven't had a problem in over three years now.

1. Examine the hulls. Make sure the base wad is seated. Look for any evidence of a crease or wrinkle on the outside. It will only get worse no matter how slight it appears.

2. Adjust the wad seater to just firmly seat the wad. Five pounds are plenty for one piece plastic wads. They aren't the same as the old fiber wads.

3. Adjust the crimp starter or pre-crimp to the size of a pencil eraser. Too much or too little will cause problems. This is rather sensitive, a very slight adjustment will make difference.

4. Make sure the crimp die is clean and smooth and that there isn't anything stuck up near the top. You should have around 10 or 11 threads showing above the lock nut, depending on the vintage of the loader.

The final crimp should be about the depth of a dime. You really don't need any more than that. If you still have trouble check your components i.e.; wad, amount of powder, amount of shot. I assume you have a scale and have checked how much the bushing is really dropping.

5. The final taper die can also crush a hull if it is adjusted too low. You really don't need a lot of taper.

If all else fails, Hornady has a new crimp die that is a couple thousandths larger internal diameter. I had to use one on one of my 366's the others were fine. Tony


Edit to add: Had to leave for a while and I now see there were a couple other replies. OMBG's advice will get you started, I was just a little "long winded" Tony
 

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Stick your pinkie finger inside the crimping tube to see if it is smooth. I had a 366 over 20 years ago that would develop rust inside the tube, use fine wet or dry sanding paper (taking the tube off of the machine makes things a lot easier to work with) wrap the paper around your pinkie, or use a drill attachment with a light oil (or WD 40) to polish the inside wall and that will do the trick.

Andy.
 

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Had the same problem. The above responses are very good. I would tighten the precrimp up a little more. If nothing else fixes it, change wads. I had to quit using Claybuster because of this issue. Nothing wrong with the wads, I just couldn't get the finished shell I wanted.

good luck
 

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Not the answer you are looking for, but my 366 has hated AA hulls from day one. Fed GM results are near factory looking, STS a close second, and also if you are old school like me, you might have some old Blue Magic or Rem Premier lying around (they do well in a 366). If you are a die hard AA person I'm sure you can adjust to the results you want with some patience and experimentation with other components. Good luck!
 

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If you are using claybusters, change out for something with more room in the wad cup. I have had the same problem with a PW and this is not the first post that claybuster issues come up. Quite frankly they are not to spec as they should be
 
G

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The new style AA's (seperate basewad) have been very sensative to what wads they are loaded with, at least for me. The old style have always loaded well.

Spend a little bit of time with the loader as they make really nice reloads.

I recently acquired another 366 from one of the posters here that was way out of adjustment in about every way. I spent about 2 hours cleaning, adjusting, and lubing the press. The first shell that came out of it looked as if it was produced at the factory.

I've used Mec's in the past and they're a good loader that's easy to use. Once I got used to the Hornady, I'll never go back. They are a much better built loader and will outlast the owners by a wide margin.

ec90t
 

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Sounds like you are trying to put too much volume into the hull. A shorter wad column or reduced shot/powder charges will be the cure.
 

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Call Hornady and ask about a new crimping die. I had a few AA problems with my old one and Hornady sent me a new one for free.
 

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Use STS's or Gun Clubs.
 

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Shadow's the only one with the right answer so far!!!

I'll bet a half rack of beer that this loader (since he got it from his grandfather) PREDATES the new AA hulls. The "old" 366s used a .005 taper final crimp die that just mangles the new hulls.

Call hornady, tell them the problem you're having and have them send you the new final crimp die and the new starter crimp die.

Once you get them adjusted, you won't have any troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the help. I used the information from OMGB and TC. Also thought about the Claybuster wads. When I went down from 1 1/8oz to 1oz using the Claybuster WAA12 equivalent, everything was perfect. I switched to some old Pacific wads that I had and loaded 1 1/8oz and that was perfect too. It must be the slight difference in the Claybuster that is causing the problem.

Guess that I try some different wads and see how it works. I believe that it is a volume issue as opposed to a problem with the sizing die.

Jamie
 

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I had same problem. Loaded AA's for years and then started having crushing problems on a few shells. You might try this, at the wad station after pulling handle down look close at the hull and see if you can see it actually rise up while still holding the handle down. My wads were not seating down in the AA"s if I let up on the handle at regular time. By holding handle down the wad expanded down and seated in place without the extra hold down time the wad would expand back up in hull. I hope this makes some sense and is just my observation. I have eliminated all these problems loaded all AA's and put the hulls on the ground switched to Nitro's and have never looked back. The Nitro's run thru my 366 great. Good luck, Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I went to the garage and found some STS and Remington Gun Clubs. Both loaded beautifully. Definitely a AA/Wad issue. Thanks for all of the help.

Jamie
 

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Too much taper crimp is what crushes the AA hull. The press is set to crimp the hull to a given length and will exert a set amount of pressure on the hull walls regardless. The wad rests on the bottom of the hull and exerts no pressure on the hull walls therefore cannot cause the hull to buckle.
 
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