Pacific 366


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Pacific Tool Company Forum



To help you load completely satisfactory ammunition the first time you operate your 366 Auto, these instructions have detailed steps of operation and adjustment to help in avoiding problems

To begin loading shotshells, you will need powder, shot, primers and wads, in addition to empty shells.  Before purchasing any of these components, first note what charge the standard bushing furnished with your loader will throw.


If the referenced powder is not available, refer to the recommended load chart furnished with this loader.  This chart will show the other powder weights and brands it will dispense.  It is not to be taken for a reloading manual.  Loading date from the major powder manufacturers is furnished, when available, to help you in getting started.  Unless you have experience in shotshell reloading, ask your dealer to help you pick the best starting combination, or contact Hornady's Reloading Advisory Center.

IMPORTANT:  Never mix powders or use unidentified powder.  Do not use smokeless powder in old firearms until the firearm is certified safe.  Do no exceed recommended loads.

Your 366 Auto is a precision machine.  It is the only loader to feature full-length resizing with each stroke, automatic primer feed, swing-out wad guide, three stage crimping with taper-loc for factory tapered crimp, automatic advance to the next station, and automatic ejection.

This press should give you many years of enjoyable, trouble-free service.  Any problems that you might have can generally be corrected by slight adjustments of the dies and punches in each station.  If you are unable to correct the problem, please write us:

Hornady Mfg. Co.

P.O. Box 1848

Grand Island, NE 68802-1848


Mount your 366 Auto securely toward the front of a sturdy bench.  All operations of the press are to a full stop, so the operating handle must clear the bench when in the full down position.  Sense the shells are ejected down a chute, out the back of the loader, you may want to set your loader up on riser block to provide access to the completed shells.  An alternate method to catch finished shells would be to cut a hole in the bench and place a box underneath.

1.  Before filling the shot and powder hoppers, turn the measure assembly upside down and carefully push the charge bar out and check the powder and shot bushing numbers.

2.  Your loader was furnished with standard bushings, but double check to insure you will dispense the correct weight of powder and shot.

3.  While the charge bar is removed or pushed back, check that the measure casting seal (rubber washers) are in the recess in the measure casting.

4.  Reinstall the bushings and push the charge bar back in place.  If the powder slide should drop out of the measure assembly, do not disassemble the measure plate.

5.  Replace the powder slide by pressing it in from the side against the detent spring.

6.  Reinstall the measure assembly be tilting the casting as you slip the measure plate and shot rotor spring under the hold down washer, and the charge bar into the slot of the charge bar cam.

7.  Secure assembly in position with measure attaching bolt

8.  Install the primer tube in the die head casting and fill the primer tray according to instructions furnished with it.  Do not fill the tube at this time.

9.  Check the individual stations of the loader for alignment to make sure nothing has loosened during shipping.  If a station appears loose or out of adjustment, refer to the station adjustment in the following instructions for proper setting.  Shut off the powder slide (push in) and the shot rotor (pull forward) while checking each station.



The following is a detailed description of the operation and adjustment of the 366 Auto.  This press has been pre-adjusted at the factory for Remington STS cases, but every reloader has a preference about how the finished product should look, so some changes might be necessary.  The reloader should begin by advancing a single shell through each station to familiarize himself with the operation and adjustment of each position.  The illustrated discussion which follows shows the 366 with all eight stations filled.  Since your first shell will be the only one in the loader, be sure the shot and powder slides are off at the beginning of the sequence.

Check your shells to see that they are sorted into brands and types of cases, and that you have the correct components for the cases you are loading.

STATION 1A (Resizing and Deprime)

Place an empty shell in Station 1A, making sure the deprime punch enters the case mouth and the shell is reasonably centered under the size die.  Pull the operating handle to the bottom of the stroke.  Make sure nothing interferes with the handle reaching bottom.  When the operating handle is pulled, the platen casting rises until the eccentric arm contacts the base casting.  At this point, the shell should be completely enclosed in the size die and there should be no gap between the size die and the platen casting.  When the handle is returned, the expander pushes the case from the die.  The expander is threaded on the deprime bolt which is forced down by the cam attached to the head casting.  The size die should size the brass head and rim to permit the chambering of that shell in any firearm.  Properly adjusted, the size die just contacts the platen casting.  All other dies are set from this adjustment point, but are designed with all stations full.  Interference with the handle can cause light powder charges or primer not seating properly.  The size die and the size die ring cap must be kept tight at all times.

STATION ONE (Deprime Only)

Insert the case in station.

1.  Normally, at this time, we would fill the primer tube, bust since we are working with a single shell, drip only one primer from the tray into the primer tube.  Now pull the handle.  As the handle makes a complete cycle, the shell will automatically advance at the next station also dripping the primer into the hole in the primer seat pad.  Some individuals may wish to bypass Station 1A but a shell must be in place in Station 1 before pulling the handle.  The shell automatically advances on the return stroke and if Station 1 is empty, there will be a gap in the reloading sequence.

Primer Drop:  Until you are more familiar with your reloader, always return the handle smoothly and, at first, slowly.  The primer is dropped when the shell plate contacts the plastic primer drop unit at the bottom of the down stroke, and spreads the fingers of this unit, allowing the primer to slip into the hole provided in the shell plate.  At this point, make sure that the metal portion of the primer drop tube does not make contact with the shell plate.  Such contact will turn a bur of the inside and prevent primers from falling.

The primer seat pad is notched to improve the primer drop, but the primer only falls at the speed of gravity, so the handle must not be raised too rapidly, or the primer could be jammed between the shell plate and the casting.  Therefore, operate the handle smoothly, and only as fast as primers will reliably drop into the primer seater pad.


Pull the handle through a complete stroke.  The seating punch will enter the case and push the case down, over the primer in the seating pad.  On the return stroke, the primer seating pad will plush the case back up into position and the shell plate will advance to the next position.  Before continuing the loading sequence, remove the primed case (to remove, lift the pawl from the indexing position and rotate the shell plate back to station one) and inspect the seated primer.  The primer should be flush with the case head.  If the primer is not fully seated, the primer seater punch must be adjusted.  Different brands of cases have different base wad heights.  Replace the case in position at Station 2.  Loosen the primer punch lock nut.  Pull the handle down, and steadily lower the primer seater punch until you feel the punch start to interfere with the handle.  The punch should then be backed up just enough to eliminate any interference.  Your loader was factory set to load the low base wad and of the modern compression formed type cases and may not need any adjustment.  The primer seater pad notch should be on your right as you face the loader.


Before pulling the handle, pull the powder slide toward you.  The spring will lock the slide in place.  During the stroke, the powder drop tube will advance to the next station.  Normally, we would leave the powder slide on, but since we are taking one shell through each step, push the powder slide back and shut off the powder.

There is no adjustment to the powder drop, but the drop tube should be kept clean and dry and must be able to float freely in the head casting.

STATION FOUR (Wad Seating)

Insert a wad in the wad guide.  Pull the operating handle through a complete stroke.  When the handle is pulled, the spring around the wad guide rod turns the wad guide to align the wad with the case.  The unit then rises until the wad is stopped by the wad ram.  The case continues upward until the spring fingers have entered the case mouth, and then pushes the wad guide upward until the wad is seated in the case.  The spring fingers have enough resistance to prevent the wad from going through until the fingers are in the case.  At the completion of the return stroke, the wad guide bracket will swing forward for the next wad to be inserted.  The wad guide bracket should have 1/8" clearance above the shells.  The empty shells vary in length so a closer setting would not be beneficial.  Be sure the wad ram is set high enough for the wad to swing into position without being folded by early contact with the wad ram.  Wad pressure is adjusted by raising or lowering the wad seating ram.  The pressure is read form the indicator located directly under the wad seating station.  For modern one-piece constructed cases, 1-10 lbs. of wad pressure is normally enough.  Most one-piece plastic wads today will self-adjust when the shell is crimped.  Generally, wads should be seated to allow 5/8" clearance between the case mouth and the shot


Before pulling the handle, rotate the shot shut-off backward, turning on the shot.  Now, lower the handle.  The shot drop tube enters the case mouth and then both case and drop tube rise together to the top of the stroke.  In this fashion, all the shot enters the case without being spilled.  No adjustment of this station is possible.  Upon completion of the stroke, the shells will advance to the next station.  Normally, we would leave the shot drop on, but since we are taking a single shell through the sequence, rotate the shot rotor forward to shut off the shot.

STATION SIX (Start Crimp)

As you lower the handle, the shell at Station 6 enters the crimp starter.  The plastic body has ridges on the inside to align with the old crimp and restarts the folds.  The outside of each crimp starter has ridges corresponding with the inside, so if manual alignment is necessary with damaged crimps, follow these ridges.  A hole in the case mouth of 1/4' should be left when the shell completes this station.  Pacific loaders come with the eight point starter installed, but if you are using another crimp, substitute with either smooth for paper or six point plastic, included with your loader.  The plastic starter unit unthreads from the rod extending through the main body.  The amount of "start" may be adjusted, but too much an cause the wall of the case to collapse, producing a defective shell.


As you pull the handle, the shell in Station 7 will enter the crimp die.  The shell will contact the inside of the die and raise the die body as it goes up.  It will then contact the crimp plunger and the crimp will be closed.  On the return stroke, the shell will be pulled from the crimp plunger but the crimp die will keep pressure on the case to retain the proper shape.  Since different manufacturers' cases have varying types of construction, different settings are required for best results.  The two-stage die enables the user to create a reloaded round that has approximately the same tapered mouth as a factory shell.  There are two adjustments to the crimp die assembly; the larger outer position adjusts the die body, the threaded bolt through the center of the die adjusts the crimp plunger.  To adjust the die, refer to the number of threads exposed above the large die body locking nut as reference points for each brand of case.  For Winchester AA type shells, seven to nine threads should remain above the locking ring; for Remington Blue Magic and Federal Gold Metal cases, eleven to thirteen threads should be exposed.  These measurements are approximate and may need adjustment up or down, depending on the plastic and components, but should be correct in most situations.  Before adjusting the crimp die, the crimp plunger should be raised a few turns.  Then, make the necessary die body adjustments, and follow the crimping the case.  At this point, the case mouth will not be closed.  Lower the crimp plunger in small increments, each time recrimping the shell until the final desired crimp depth is obtained.  The crimp depth is up to you, but excessive depth shortens case life, while a crimp that is too shallow will not yield uniform velocity nor good patterns.  A good practice is to keep a factory round on hand for reference.


The taper crimp is a smooth crimp starter and will taper the finished case better than factory loads.  As the shell at Station 8 enters the taper crimp die, the mouth of the shell will be "rolled."  On the return stroke, the shells advance, but the shell in Station 8 contacts a cam in the platen casting, moves to the left, and drops through a hole in the casting down the chute to the back.

Adjustment of the taper crimp is done by loosening the lock nut and raising or lowering the starter to obtain the desired taper on the case mouth.

At this point in a normal reloading sequence, you would have a completed shell at each station.  To begin reloading, go back to the beginning and follow instructions for 1A and 1, but this time fill the primer tube when you insert a shell in Station 1.  As the shells advance around the loader, remember to turn on the powder and shot when the shells advance to the positions, and to reinsert a shell at Station 1 and a wad in the wad guide after each pull of the handle.  You can continue the sequence until all your empty shells have been reloaded, but always remember the check the powder and shot hoppers and to make sure a primer drops on each stroke.  If you will refill the primers, shot and powder after each 100 rounds, you will never load shells without components.


When the operating handle is pulled, a spring swings the pivot arm and the advance pawl to your right.  The hook of the pawl ride in the gap between the shell plate and the shell plate ring.  On the return stroke, the roller on the bearing bracket contacts the curve on the pivot arm and the entire unit is cammed toward the left, advancing the shells to the next position.  The bearing is mounted off-center on the bolt so when it is turned, the bearing is shifted right or left.  If an adjustment is necessary, loosen the lock nut and turn the eccentric bolt with a screwdriver.  It is necessary to hold the bearing bolt with the screwdriver when tightening the nut.


Handle will not come to bottom of stroke.

Do not force the handle.  If you meet with any resistance, shut off the shot and powder and slowly return the handle back to normal while unlatching the rotating pawl.

1.  Check to see the loader is mounted near the front of the bench, allowing the handle to come completely down.

2.  Check to see if the size die adjustment has changed or if the size die ring camp has loosened.

3.  Check that the expander is threaded all the way up on the eject bolt.

4.  Check to see that you are not seating a second primer on top of an already primed case.

5.  Check the primer seater post to see if it is adjusted too low.  Readjust to seat primer when the handle is depressed.

6.  Check to see that you aren't trying to seat a second wad on top of another and the wad entered the shell correctly.

7.  Check to see that shells are in alignment and the correct shell is in each station.

8.  Check for an obstruction inside the shell which would prevent you from depriming or repriming the case.

9.  Check to see that you aren't trying to load a high base wad shell when you are set up for low base wads.

Handle will not turn position on backstroke.

Do not force the handle.  Shut off the powder and shot and unlatch the rotating pawl.

1.  Check the size die eject bolt cam to see if it is bent and hanging up on the size die eject bolt.  Replace if necessary.

2.  Check the primer seater station to see that the primer was fully seated.  If not, lower the primer seater punch.

3.  Check to see that the wad is being fully seated and not pulling back up into the wad guide bracket.

4.  Check the wad guide bracket to see that the spring is attached and that the bracket is fastened to the wad guide rod.

5.  Check the bearing bracket adjustment to see that it hasn't slipped.

6.  Check for an obstruction, spilled shot, etc., between the shell plate ring and the platen casting.

7.  Lift each shell up against the shell plate to see if a primer flange may be catching in a platen casting indention.

8.  Check to see if the shell plate is dragging on the shell eject cam.

9.  Check to make sure the primer was fully removed at Station 1.

Primers do not drop or drop erratically.

If primers do not drop into the shell plate, or drop erratically, shut off the shot and powder and unlatch the rotating pawl.

1.  Make sure the primer drop tube is adjusted low enough to open the primer drop foot which allows a primer to drop.

2.  Check alignment of primer drop tube with the shell plate.  The taper of the drop tube body should enter the chamfer in the shell plate, but not touch.  When there are no more shells on the crimp die, pressure on the size die may tip the casting enough to cause erratic drop.  When possible, make adjustments with all stations full.

3.  Check that the auto advance unit is fully advancing and stopping in the correct location.

4.  See that the primer feed is not burred on the inside, preventing the primers from dropping freely.  If burred, remove with small file.

5.  Check the primer drop tube to see that it is not burred on the ends and that it is straight.

6.  Inspect the plastic primer drop foot for flash around the fingers and make sure that the foot moves freely on the body.

Wads are not seating properly, tearing or tipping.

Shut off the powder and shot and detach the rotating pawl and return the handle to normal position.  DO NOT force the handle back, as it may not be able to move due to the swinging wad guide.  You may have to cut the wad in half if it cannot be pushed through the case.

1.  Check your operation of the tool, making sure you allow enough time for the wad to correctly align with the ram.  The wad guide should be set to swing out just far enough for easy insertion of the wad; swinging too far will delay the bracket.

2.  Make sure the wad guide bracket clears the shell by about 1/8" so the spring fingers enter the case mouth before the wad starts through.

3.  Check shell length; variations may cause the case mouth to catch on the bottom of the wad guide, preventing it from aligning correctly.

4.  Check the E clip, which is about 3" from the bottom of the wad guide rod, to see if it has slipped or broken off the wad guide rod; it could allow the wad to move through the spring fingers before they enter the case mouth.

5.  Check spring fingers to see if they are broken or weak.

6.  Check the shells to see that the case mouth is opened up enough to allow the wad to be seated.  Case mouths which are too tight must be flared open, either by hand or with an expander in the size die or deprime station.

Crimp is concave or opens after being ejected from die.  Crimp not satisfactory in appearance.  Detach the rotating pawl, shut off the powder and shot.

1.  If the crimp is concave (sinks):

    A.  Reduce the wad seating depth to see that the shot comes to about 5/8" from the case mouth in the crimp starter station.

    B.  Check to see if powder slide is turned on.

    C.  See if you have correct powder bushing.

    D.  Make sure the wad length is correct for the case you are loading.

    E.  Check to see if the shot bushing is correct, adjust the crimp plunger.

2.  If the crimp is bulging open:

    A.  Check to see if you have seated the wad deep enough.

    B.  Inspect powder bushing to insure correct powder charge used.

    C.  Check shot bushing number for shot size used.

    D.  Make sure you have the correct wad length for load being used.

    E.  Double-check all components to make sure they are the correct ones for the specific load.

    F.  Check adjustment of crimp plunger.

3.  If the finished shell does not have enough taper in the end or is flared, lower the taper crimp die (Station 8).

4.  If crimp isn't deep enough, turn the crimp plunger in the final crimp down.

5.  If the shell swirls in the center, the plastic shell has elongated or stretched.  No adjustment is generally possible to remove the swirl.  This is common, and was probably already in the factory shell.

6.  Check to see that you have the proper crimp starter installed.  Eight point for most plastic target cases, six point for most plastic hunting loads and smooth for paper cases.  The smooth crimp starter can also be used for some compression formed cases.  If the case buckles at the mouth or wrinkles after final crimp or during the crimp start, raise the crimp starter.  Also check to insure you have the correct components.


If you purchase a die set for a different gauge, always remember to start installation by adjusting the full length size die FIRST!  When adjusted properly, the size die should just contact the platen at the top of the stroke.  Then, install other dies and punches using the size die as a guide.  Stations should be adjusted by actually reloading a shell.  The exception is the primer seating pad to insure seating the primer to the full depth of the primer pocket.  Adjust the wad seating stem to provide best crimp (except as noted in sinking crimps or bulging).

By showing you how the "fine tune" and troubleshoot the 366 auto, we hope to save you downtime and maximize your reloading enjoyment.  Your 366 Auto is a fine progressive reloader... once the first cycle is completed, it kicks out a finished shell with every stroke.


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