Powder Cop/Lock-Out continued.
The following photo shows the RCBS Lock-Out die installed in the LNL with a Quick Change bushing. The only distinct difference between the two dies is that the RCBS has the detection rod and plastic foot extending below the die base. The rod retracts into the die as the case rises and it's length is exposed above the top of the die.
This photo shows the 'gold ring' that is adjusted much as with the Powder Cop to indicate a proper charge. It is normally adjusted so it is even with the die top but it is raised here just to be clearer in the photo. (I'm very considerate to the viewing audience.)
In this photo you'll notice that the 'gold ring' is considerably higher than the die top and that the detector top has reached the end of its travel. This configuration is a positive indication that the powder charge was correct. Had there been no powder, or a double charge the interior workings of the die would not have been released and inhibited the press handled from being lowered any further. The loader then raises the handle, corrects the problem and if necessary reorients the cases on the shell plate. The die provides for a positive
stop of the machine and unless you apply the force that Zombie Steve thinks is normal you'll have to correct the problem before proceeding.
So, which one is better? Beats me, you have to decide. One thing is for sure, it depends on what you want to do with a powder checker. If you want to load rifle cases you're stuck with the Powder Cop, pure and simple... the Lock-Out die is nit designed for them. If you want to load .380's you're going to have to experiment and see if it works, the RCBS instructions state that it only works from 9mm and up. As you can see from the following photo the smallest plastic foot on the Lock-Out doesn't come close to fitting in a .223 case. It does, however it in a .380 which is on the left and 9mm on the right. If you want to use the Powder Cop for .223 you simply turn the detector rod upside down and use the thin end to insert into the case. Larger rifle calibers use the same configuration as for pistol.
Ease of set-up? Initially it goes to the Powder Cop, hands down. Is that because the Lock-Out is so complicated that a flatlander will never figure out how to use it? Nope, it's because the instructions suck. You stand a better chance of reading a Korean newspaper than you do of making any sense out of the supplied instructions. I had to go to several on-line sites to figure the thing out. (UltimateReloader has an excellent video on setting up the die. Kudos to Gavin, he does a wonderful job with his productions.)
Once you've figured out how to set up the die repeat adjustments are a no brainer so that really shouldn't even be a concern when deciding between the two.
There you have it, the HornadY Powder Cop and the RCBS Lock-Out die. They both do the same thing but in different ways.
The argument can be made that the LockOut is the safer of the two since it locks up the machine. The validity of that statement would be unarguable.
Others would say that the Powder Cop is distracting because it gives you something else to look at. To that I say, poppycock.
Just what are you looking at or monitoring when you're pulling the handle of the press down? The Powder Cop is inches in front of your eyes and it's warning is so obvious you'd have to be asleep not to notice it and take corrective action to fix a problem. There are certainly reasons why one might choose the RCBS over the Powder Cop but that isn't one of them.
With a five stage press where you choose to seat and crimp in different stations, (I don't know why you do but knock yourself out) you'll have to use a PTX with either die.
I load only lead so I use a Lyman 'M' die to expand then seat and crimp in one station. It doesn't effect my accuracy, I've already progressed to the point where I cam hit a specific wall while standing inside of a barn.
Both die can be purchased on-line, naturally, with the Powder Cop running around $28 and the RCBS around $54.
Just like Fox News says... We report, you decide. Good luck.