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After spending a little time with my new to me Hornady 366 I was finally able to load some decent looking shells. It's a fine machine but it has a few shortcomings IMHO, namely ...

It's difficult to remove a shell part way through a cycle.
The indexing mechanism occasionally jams.
Bushings can only be changed after shot and powder are removed.
There is no way of removing shot or powder without removing the hoppers.
It doesn't feel as solidly built as my Texan Mark II or Hollywood Automatic.
The powder and shot hoppers are small or the larger ones are tall.
Primers occasionally jam the shell plate.
The primer dispenser is finicky.

It's been fun using the Hornady 366 but I will probably replace it with something different.
 

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Some of the issues you mention could be caused by improper adjustment. A jam in the indexing could be caused by shot under the shell plate (especially near the wad station). The only time you need to remove a shell partway through a cycle is when something got screwed up. Changing the bushings is pretty easy as you only have to remove the measure casting (one thumb-screw in the front and one screw in the back) and flip the assembly upside down. If the primer dispenser is finicky, it needs to be lowered a quarter to a half turn or you need a new "foot" (the foot is a wear part and it is wise to have a spare on hand). And primers jamming the shell plate could be caused by the shell plate not being tightened down enough, the primer cup not being flush with the platen or you have a bent shell plate (which also could be the cause of your indexing issue). When a primer does jam, it is readily detected and one simply needs to lower the handle a bit, move the shell plate back a fraction, and the primer pops into place. I recently replaced my shell plate and could not believe how much the performance improved. And if the 366 doesn't feel as solidly built as the Texan or the Hollywood, it's likely because those other loaders were overbuilt (ever wonder whey the companies that made them are no longer in business). Just because the 366 may not seem as solid as those others does not mean the 366 is not solid, it is plenty solid.

Once you get the 366 dialed in, it runs smooth as silk. Sometime a minute adjustment makes all the difference in the world.
 

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Hmm.....I would have said the resizer was out of cycle, primer tube capacity is a bit low, and it seems to take a few more adjustments when changing hulls and sometimes loads. Of course all I've ever had to compare it to are MEC's. I would agree with Nebs that it sounds like you have some bad parts or something is out of adjustment. I'm not saying its the best loader in the world, but mine has served me well now for 20 years.
 

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I don't view the resizer being "out of cycle" as a shortcoming, but I sure would like some more primer capacity.
 

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Fill primer tube up (about 76 primers), remove tray and carefully put another box of 100 in the tray, may have to put 50 in and then turn box around to put the other 50 in.
 

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My wife gave me a brand new 12 ga 366 for Christmas several years ago. At the time, I'd been reloading shotshells for well over 20 years on MEC single stage reloaders. I set the 366 up, adjusted for my AA hull recipe and began loading. Then little things happened to disrupt the routine, like a few pellets on the rotating plate, a need to change bushings, etc. Each incident took way to long to resolve, but as it was a gift, I kept on trying. Cut to the chase, you say - so after giving the 366 more than a fair chance I went back to the old MEC. Then I had an opportunity to buy a used MEC 9000. What a huge improvement! Easy to dial in for my recipe, easy to change to other hulls, other bushings, wads, etc. I sold the 366 and could not be happier (until I can afford a Spolar-LOL). JMHO, Ed
 

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I have 2 366 a 12 and a 20, I have owned them for about 4 years now, I find them to produce good loads, very consistent, If you keep the Red Wine off of the loading table they go wonderfully well, The onle adjustments I find necessary are the promer punch depth when i change hull types and the main crimp punch which i move up or down between a Quarter and a half of a turn depending on the type of hull I am using.

If you really want a PITA when a shell goes wrong try a PW, they are a great loader but you must really be in a great frame of mind before you sit down in front of 1

For different gauges and loads I am currently using a 1 Hydro Mec 2 366 2 PW 900 and a 600Jnr, they all have thier moments however i can't fault any of them

Google 40 years living with the 366, this guy has really got it Dialed

Argus Tuft
 

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Damn, I love my old Pacific DL366. The only shortcomings I have found, is it runs me out of shot, powder, wads and primers before I know what happens. I think it is an awesome machine that runs smoothly and efficiently. It IS a machine and it needs to be monitored, properly adjusted and properly operated. That goes for every single loader made though.

 

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I love mine.....

I find the 366 frustrating after I I've pulled a boneheaded maneuver, like not turning the shot or powder off when I should. That's usually when I trying to wrap things up after a session of loading and I'm tired. Sometimes I have let the primer tube go empty, that's very seldom though. I find the 366 very easy to work on. I've heard absolute horror stories about PW's when something goes wrong. I bought mine for 200 used and upgraded with Jim Skeels bottles, universal primer seat, and primer shut off. I also installed a counter I got most of the upgrades on sale from Midway. I have not drilled observation holes in the primer drop tube like the one shown in the video on the previous post. That's my next upgrade.

I enjoy the simplicity, quality, and the solid construction. I have also called Hornady several times and found them be very friendly and helpful. They have given me top notch service.

I guess beauty is in the eye of the holder.

I think I'm going to grab a cold one and head to the bench and pump a couple hundred out.
 

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You could always send the unit back to Hornady and they will return it to factory specs and replace any parts they find are worn or not right. They are famous for this.
 

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I've been using mine or one like it for around 3o years. Here's a few things I've observed......

-There are after-market shot and powder tubes out there that hold a full bag of shot and a pound of powder. Well worth it.
- Drill a hole in the primer tube so you can see when the primers are getting low.
- Yes, changing the shot and powder bushings is a bit of pain but you can plan ahead in advance for it.
- If the primer feeds jams up when a primer is dropped, you're probably trying to go too fast. Slow down.
- One problem I've had over the years is the powder shut-off shutting off on it's own. Probably need a new part but I solved it but jamming a piece of credit card under the spring for the shut-off.
- I think the taper crimp on the 366 is great.
- You can take a shell out but reversing the shell plate clock-wise but BE VERY OBSERVANT WHEN PUTTING THE SHELLS BACK IN (caps intentional) unless you want a mess.

Summing it up, a pretty good press for the money, IMHO. The others have their problems too as I understand by talking to other shooters.
 

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I bought mine used, actually a Pacific 336. It had been stored for about 15 years based on the dates of the newspaper wrappings. I got some new powder and shot bushings, set it up and proceeded to scatter shot and powder all over the bench and floor learning how to use it. I previously loaded with a single stage press. Once I go the hang of it, it worked great, but had the occasional failure to drop a primer, primer hanging up in the plate at the station and then there were some idiot moves made by me like forgetting to place a wad in the wad guide, trying to correct the screw up mid-stream leading to forgetting to turn off the shot and powder.

The next thing I did was buy a new primer drop, a new pawl, and all new springs. I waxed the inside of the primer tube with automotive carnuba wax using a 22. cal cleaning rod and patches. I used Meguire's Plastic Polish on the primer tray. The primer hole had been modified with the cut to allow the primer to lay over and fall in gently. There is still an occasional failure to drop a primer which is why I slowly advance the platinum watching to be sure the primer has dropped and has fallen into the hole properly. If it does not drop I have a few extra primers on the bench to manually drop one in the hole as it indexes to the next stage.

One last tip. I have a 3" hole cut in the loading bench surface right behind and in line with the drop chute. I bought an 11 x 13 baking sheet at wally world for $4. The press sits in the baking sheet bolted through to the bench. I found a 4" to 3" electrical conduit adapter at Home Depot. It is installed through the cookie sheet and the hole in the bench. The drop chute lines up with the top lip of the adapter. Now if there is any spillage of shot or powder it is collected in the tray for recovery. I did this after I spilled half a bag if 7 1/2 while loading the shot tube. Even after a thorough shop vacuuming, I'm still finding shot on the floor from that episode.
 

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Summing it up, a pretty good press for the money, IMHO. The others have their problems too as I understand by talking to other shooters.
This is a good observation. While the 366 is not without its shortcomings, when you switch you wind up with another press with a different set of shortcomings.

But I continue to believe the OP's operational issues are more related to improper adjustment or worn parts than any shortcoming in the design of the press.

And here is a link to the high capacity shot/powder reservoirs. I have them and they hold more shot and powder than I care to use up in one session. I have also seen someone with high capacity reservoirs made with materials from the hardware store with shot/powder drains. Look at this thread and scroll down for a pic of the DIY reservoirs.
 

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Also took a cutoff pill bottle and taped it under the press right under the powder drop just in case a primer doesn't drop. This has saved me a couple of times.
 

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Also took a cutoff pill bottle and taped it under the press right under the powder drop just in case a primer doesn't drop. This has saved me a couple of times.
I've found my house slipper or shoe will also collect that powder when a hull fails to receive a primer. :)
 

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I don't care for the sizer and went to a MEC sizer for a few years. Now I'm back to the one on the press just to reduce the # of times I handle the hull. NBD one way or the other.
Seems like the problems people have are ones they make. Only mods I've made are a slot in the primer feed thingie and one of the spring loaded primer seating tools (which should be std equip).
I've been using the one I have for about 25yrs and loaded maybe about a billion carts. Before that I wore out a MEC grabber. 366 works for me
 
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