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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Postby helg » Tue May 11, 2010 11:37 am

I have shortened bottoms of the spring plates - to provide better clearance to the bullet feeder's attachment plate, which was critical distance in the old version. The functionality is not affected at all, and spring plates always stand above the attachment plate. Picture at the ram top position showing this is attached.

Image

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Tue May 11, 2010 12:00 pm

I had to make a new spring plate for the left side of the bullet feeder. I did shorten the spring plate slightly to avoid damage. I will shorten the right side as you recommend.

Thank you,
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Citywaterman

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Mike-Mat
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Postby Mike-Mat » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:05 pm

Tin cans and Crazy glue...hmm. What No Duct Tape?

Really, great idea. Thanks for sharing. Very cleaver design. I'll have to keep this in mind for when I add the bullet feeder.

Mike

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:58 am

Helg, I've been using this modification since early May and it works perfectly for me. No bullet drops. It just holds the bullet until theres a casing to feed.

I would like to install the bullet feeder Mod that Froznone posted next. I have all the materials now, so it's just taking the time to install.

It ensures the fingers fully return to grab the next bullet as well as positive extension of the feed fingers


http://forums.loadmastervideos.com/foru ... .php?t=806

Citywaterman

CiDirkona
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Postby CiDirkona » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:52 pm

I haven't installed my bullet feeder yet, but was curious about this design consideration (the engineer in me is always turning the wheels...):

If the slide isn't allowed all the way back if it hits the spring plates, is there stress on any other parts because the rod isn't able to go fully down, or ram can't go fully down?

helg
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Postby helg » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:20 pm

CiDirkona wrote:If the slide isn't allowed all the way back if it hits the spring plates, is there stress on any other parts because the rod isn't able to go fully down, or ram can't go fully down?
Even without the mod, the slide (Lee names it "fingers") is not allowed to go all the way back, when being pushed by Z-bar. The Z-bar transforms motion to the horizontally-moving fingers from a vertical rod. Once the fingers reach its back position, the slider on the vertical rod slips over the rod.

Putting plates/claws mod forces the fingers to stop sooner. With that, the vertical slider also starts slipping sooner over the vertical rod. You see: nothing breaks with the mod.

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:19 pm

I installed the bullet feeder mod awhile back. The bullet feeder and spent primer modifications are by far the best and most useful modification that I have installed on my Load Master. I'm not sure how I would behave without them installed.

Citywaterman

CiDirkona
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Postby CiDirkona » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:06 pm

Thanks for the quick replies, guys. So it looks like the activating rod attached to the ram uses straight friction to activate the feeder levers? (I apologize if I'm not using the right terminology)

Did you play with any other designs? Cutting notches in the side of the fingers, etc?

Has anyone tried this on a Lee Pro 1000? I'm hoping there's enough room up under there for this mod to work it as well.
Last edited by CiDirkona on Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

helg
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Postby helg » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:00 pm

CiDirkona wrote:So it looks like the activating rod attached to the ram uses straight friction to activate the feeder levers?
It is close, but still not exactly right. Check Citywaterman's video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q8FFVp4FVM
It helps to understand how the bullet feeding system works. Also, there are few videos on the subject at the front page of this site.

Has anyone tried this on a Lee Pro 1000? I'm hoping there's enough room up under there for this mod to work it as well.

According to the Lee web page:
http://www.leeprecision.com/html/catalog/ldmas.html
The bullet feeder designed to directly fit the Pro 1000 and Load-Master

I do not have the Pro1000, but I know people, who successfully use the feeder at that press.

CiDirkona
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Postby CiDirkona » Thu Aug 19, 2010 3:02 am

Thanks for the links, helg. They definitely got me a start in the right direction of understanding how this thing works. :D

I had time to install my bullet feeder on my lee pro 1000 tonight, and I must say, it made a world of difference. When everything stayed fed, it flew just about as fast as I could see the powder and feel the primer seat.

http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a110/ ... LjNncA.mp4

I will definitely be doing the helg mod, although I may have different limiting factors than the LoadMaster does.

One thing I did notice that with the Pro1000 is that the rear left support pole is very close to the feeder arms -- maybe 1/8" of clearance or so. Luckily, the support pole is round, so when I add the claws, if there is impact, it shouldn't impact performance. There's enough 'slop' that when I push the feed arms away from the pole with my finger as if a claw was impacting it, it just moved right back afterwards and didn't seem to bind. If I move the entire unit to the right, the actuation pole get way out of alignment and the Z bar hits the primer tray.

i had also thought of a bullet catch tray underneath to catch bullets that do drop if I can't get the helg mod to fit, but that'd be a last resort and obviously not preferred.

I thought about drilling and tapping something into the bottom of the bullet feed die C tray deal that would have spring loaded arms supported from underneath, but that also seems over-engineered. Considering I already mashed my feed arms twice though during the setup/break-in process, I'm guessing a second set of feed die and arms aren't too far in the future...

Has anyone considered making the spring plates C shaped to fit up and over the top of the feeder support leg thingies? You could attach it through the same place as the citywaterguy's mod drill hole rather than gluing it to the sides of your bullet feeder. You may also be able to adjust the tension simply by tightening the bolt rather than bending the metal otherwise, but that's only of secondary benefit. I contemplated making one out of kydex tonight, but the heat gun didn't sound too appetizing in our lovely AZ weather... I also don't think kydex will hold up to claw impact over time.

Also, while I was out there, I noticed that filling the bullet feed tubes wasn't a whole lot faster than placing a bullet on top of a case, and that this was probably the most lengthy part of the system. My mechanical-engineering mindset went at it again and over-engineered all sorts of ideas. One is to have feed tubes similar to Dillon 650 primer feed tubes, using a cotter pin at the bottom, appropriately ID tube, and having 20-25 boolits per tube ready to recharge the fill tube with. Another idea is to have a gattling-tube filler of similar filling style, but has all the tubes (10-15, not just 4) mounted in a way similar to how the 4-tube case feeder and bullet feeder tubes do, but with a longer lead tube. I never thought it made much sense to have several extra feed tubes for cases when there was a one or two cycle window you had to get right in order to not 'miss' a case. I'd be much more inclined to put a clear tube of 7-10 capacity that you could turn the next filler tube to any time during that fillable area. Of course, this still leaves you filling the 10-15 boolit tubes by hand rather than making some way to collate them, but my brain is still working on ways to collate bullets for under $10... :)

Also, mounting the bonus feed tubes at a 45 degree angle or so should take some weight off of the bullets at the very bottom, and still have enough weight to carry themselves down when the bullets below are gone. This requires either bending the clear tubing, mandrel bending metal tubing or some other solution I haven't designed yet...

Flyer
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Postby Flyer » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:17 pm

Citywaterman wrote: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


Great videos guys!

Citywaterman......how is the FMJ/Plated bullets going? I only reload Montana Gold plated for .40s since I have a Hk that doesn't do cast. Since .40sw is my main caliber I am thinking about adding a bullet feeder to mass produce. Plus.....I'll admit it.....it is just plain cool and a huge wow factor when showing friends your setup. :lol:

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daboone
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Postby daboone » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:21 pm

Flyer wrote: Plus.....I'll admit it.....it is just plain cool and a huge wow factor when showing friends your setup. :lol:


Ain't it TRUE! :D

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:59 pm

The Berry's plated bullets load fine with the Lee bullet feeder (smooth bottom).
Image

I also order 9mm FMJ bullets from Precision Delta. They are about $10. less per 1000 than Berry's plated. The concave bottem prevents them from feeding properly with the Lee bullet feeder. I load them by hand.
Image

These are the prices that I pay for bullets (shipping included)

Berry's Plated
http://berrysmfg.com/default.aspx?n=438809

9mm 115gr plated = $80.88 per 1000
9mm 124gr plated = $82.56 per 1000
.40S&W 165gr plated = $110.56 per 1000

Percision Delta (minimum order 2000)
http://precisiondelta.com/index.php

9mm 115gr FMJ = $70.00 per 1000
9mm 124gr FMJ = $74.00 per 1000
.40S&W 165gr FMJ = $103.00 per 1000

I don't load .40S&W (at least not yet). I thought you might like to compare prices.

I cast for .38spl, .357mag, .44spl and .44mag. (save a lot of $). The only reason I don't cast 9mm is that it's not recommended to shoot lead from a Glock.

Citywaterman

Flyer
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Postby Flyer » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:22 pm

Hmmmm.... The Montana Golds I use have a slight concave on bottom also.

Is it because the nose of the bottom bullet gets pulled by the one above?

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Citywaterman
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Postby Citywaterman » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:27 pm

Is it because the nose of the bottom bullet gets pulled by the one above?


Exactly. The nose of the bullet on the bottom gets caught on the bullet on top. The fingers just slip from the bullet. I'm sure the weight of the stack of bullets is a factor too. I'm sure there's a solution. I would like to use the bullet feeder for the FMJ bullets, but loading them by hand is fine.

Citywaterman


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