Bullet feeder mod to prevent bullet drops

Questions and discussions and troubleshooting Lee Load Master presses

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helg
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Bullet feeder mod to prevent bullet drops

Postby helg » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:57 am

Here is a modification to Lee Loadmaster bullet feeder. It prevents bullet from being dropped if there is no shell in the bullet feeding station.

The mod prevents the bullet, which is not seated, to come back to feeder die by stopping feeding fingers with the bullet using two claws and two spring plates.

This modification consists of two claws on the sides of bullet feeding fingers

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and two spring plates that are made from a tin food can.

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The aluminum claws are shaped like triangles and work like latch hooks over the plates. The claws and the plates are connected to the feeder parts with super glue. There are plastic pads between the plates and the feeder body. The claws stand behind the plates when there is no bullet in the fingers, and latch to the plates when a bullet is held by the fingers.

Here is how it looks assembled
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When there is no shell at the seating station, bullet in the fingers goes to the seating die, and comes back. The fingers are opened, and the claws are latching to the plates. Fingers do not go back to the die, and keep the bullet.

When there is a shell at the seating station,the bullet leaves the fingers to be seated into the case. On a way back the fingers are now closed. The claws are not latching, and the fingers come back to pick up a new bullet.

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:06 am

Helg, thanks for posting photos and explanation (instructions) for your bullet feeder modification. I’m very interested in giving this a try. I’m a little confused, so I may have a few questions before I get started. Will that be OK? It looks like a great idea and you have it working. I would like to give it a try this weekend. This is what makes this fourm great, everyone has ideas and we all enjoy the benifits of shared knowledge.

Thank you,

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Citywaterman

helg
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Postby helg » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:12 am

Citywaterman wrote:I’m a little confused, so I may have a few questions before I get started. Will that be OK?
Sure, this what the forum is for.

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daboone
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Postby daboone » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:50 am

helg wrote:
Citywaterman wrote:I’m a little confused, so I may have a few questions before I get started. Will that be OK?


I have to ask that same question every time I get up in the morning, sit down at the bench or go out on a date! :lol: :lol: :lol:

helg
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Postby helg » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:34 pm

I have made a video on the mod.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE3zZ1C3S8w

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daboone
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Postby daboone » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:10 pm

helg wrote:I have made a video on the mod.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TE3zZ1C3S8w



WOW! Ingenious and simple.

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:51 pm

What a great idea. Thanks for posting the video, it really cleared up my questions. Very well explained.

It doesn't happen much, but I need to figure a way to prevent the FMJ and plated bullets from slipping from the fingers while traveling to the die. My lead bullets seem to work fine. Hardly any drops. For the most part the bullet feeder is working great. This modification will make bullet feeding on the Load Master so much better.

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Citywaterman

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Jumping Frog
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Postby Jumping Frog » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:56 am

Question: When the fingers retract still holding the bullet, and then movement is stopped by the latch mechanism, how does that affect the bullet feeder cycling for the next round?

helg
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Postby helg » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:22 am

Citywaterman wrote:It doesn't happen much, but I need to figure a way to prevent the FMJ and plated bullets from slipping from the fingers while traveling to the die. My lead bullets seem to work fine. Hardly any drops.

Now, when I am starting use the feeder, I am noting the same. Even lead 9mm bullets are not always hold tight enough, and sometimes the bullets are being dropped.I have an idea on this.. will try. BTW, Lee recommends to boil the fingers for a few minutes to recover the holding strength.

I am also thinking of a gravity-powered bullet collator, similar to Lee bullet collator. It is going to be my next project. Like in my previous projects, I have pre-approved budget of $10 for the project.

BTW, there is another little mod to the feeder that appears at the video. Top side of Z-bar is threaded (the Z-bar diameter is perfect for the 4-40 thread) and hold by a nut. This prevents the bar to escape from its hole.

helg
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Postby helg » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:32 am

Jumping Frog wrote:Question: When the fingers retract still holding the bullet, and then movement is stopped by the latch mechanism, how does that affect the bullet feeder cycling for the next round?
No problem at this side at all. See the picture: the green arrow shows there is sufficient clearance between bullet/fingers that dis not return to the feeding die and the press frame.
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The fingers move to the die from the latched position the same way as from the original backwards one. No problem here either.

The most critical clearance so far is the one from one of the spring plates and bottom carrier attachment plate. See the green arrow at the picture.
Image.
The clearance can be adjusted by rotating the whole feeder around the seating die. Also, the spring plate can be shortened a bit not to overlap with the carrier attachment plate. I am going to check whether is it really needed.

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:10 am

There are plastic pads between the plates and the feeder body.

What did you use for material (plastic pads) and how thick should it be?

This modification consists of two claws on the sides of bullet feeding fingers

The claws look like a small piece of steel cut and shaped to fit (cut to size and shaped with a grinder?) It looks pretty straight foward. Is this how you did it?

Everything is becomming much clearer.

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Citywaterman

helg
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Postby helg » Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:08 pm

Citywaterman wrote:What did you use for material (plastic pads) and

The claws look like a small piece of steel cut and shaped to fit (cut to size and shaped with a grinder?) It looks pretty straight foward. Is this how you did it?

Here is a picture with all materials used for the project.
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On a back there is an acrylic bin from an old refrigerator. The bin walls are .12" thick. If I did not have the bin or anything like that, I would cast the pads from epoxy glue.

The claws, like I said above, were made from aluminum. The aluminum bar from Lowe's is pictured. I used it in may other small projects. Claws have to be made to conform to the size of the acrylic pads. Aluminum is soft, and nothing but metal handsaw, vice, file and sandpaper was used to make the claws.

The pictured food tin, which was used for the spring plates, has pretty thin walls. It is only .006" thick.

I used the pictured super glue. Epoxy is stronger, and should work just fine. The super glue is not that strong, so the glued surfaced can be disconnected with a blade. I used the glue because I have only one bullet feeder, and need to have a chance to correct my errors if any.

Claw and plate surfaces, which contact each other, are polished with 1000 grit sandpaper. This should reduce friction when pullet is being fed.

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darwin
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Postby darwin » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:38 pm

I'm glad you posted the video, Helg. It really helps me understand it. I had no idea from the photos. I thought it had something to do with detecting whether a case was present or not.

In my defense, I had no idea how the bullet feeder worked. :)

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Ranch Dog
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Postby Ranch Dog » Sun May 02, 2010 6:04 pm

Wow... very good idea!

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Citywaterman
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The bullet feeder MOD works great

Postby Citywaterman » Sun May 09, 2010 11:24 pm

Helg, I finally completed your bullet feeder modification. The modification works great. I tested it several times with just a few minor adjustments.
The most critical clearance so far is the one from one of the spring plates and bottom carrier attachment plate. See the green arrow at the picture.

This is where I had to make the adjustments. The first time, the spring plate hit the bullet feeder linkage and got bent a little.

Image

I made a quick video so that you can see how nicely it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp8GWo2qJg0

Thank you for a great idea.

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