Video of Bullet Feeder In Action

This forum is for Lee Precision equipment that does not fit in the other forums

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Sparky45
Posts: 986
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:12 pm

Postby Sparky45 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:10 am

Very good video, however, it doesn't run through the picture posted. I used the Youtube link and it loaded and played like it's suppposed to work. I'm glad you have success with the bulletfeeder, mine was a disaster and cheaply made. I now have 3 bulletfeeders made by Hornady and they seem to work O.K. Buying them through my shooting club via Graf's, they were only $20 a pop. They have trouble with cast because of their tight tolerances, but with a little polishing with a Dremel they work fine with cast.
Good stuff, glad you got yours to work.

Blacksamwell

Postby Blacksamwell » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:43 pm

Thanks Sparky. Apparently Photobucket made a change in the past such that the video won't play on the forum page any longer and you end up following the link to see the vid. I posted it as well to YouTube just in case.

I know that others have reported difficulty with the Lee bullet feeders. My experience has been that they require a steep learning curve, but properly adjusted and with the right bullets they've worked very well. I also like that I don't have to give up a station on the loader to use them. I prefer to seat the bullet and crimp in two separate stages.

Sparky, what difficulties did you encounter with the Lee bullet feeder that caused you to look for other solutions?

Sparky45
Posts: 986
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:12 pm

Postby Sparky45 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:24 pm

The difficulty I had/have is I have little to no mechanical skills. Hence the problem(s) with my LLM's and their attachments. Also, being of the Alpha mental persuasion, I have little to no patients with those sorts of things. So, overall, probably not the total fault of the equipment. The Hornady bulletfeed die(s) are of solid steel and are less likely to bend/break with my limited skills.

Sparky45
Posts: 986
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:12 pm

Postby Sparky45 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:24 pm

The difficulty I had/have is I have little to no mechanical skills. Hence the problem(s) with my LLM's and their attachments. Also, being of the Alpha mental persuasion, I have little to no patients with those sorts of things. So, overall, probably not the total fault of the equipment. The Hornady bulletfeed die(s) are of solid steel and are less likely to bend/break with my limited skills.

Blacksamwell

Postby Blacksamwell » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:40 pm

Understood Sparky. Did you actually manage to bend/break your Lee bullet feeder? If so, which parts did you mangle?

I've managed to crush feed fingers and the spring thingy that pushes the feeder back down is rather fragile so I've bent mine a little bit. Everything else appears to stand up to regular use without any issues.

GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Postby GhostlyOne » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:29 pm

Blacksamwell wrote:
I've managed to crush feed fingers and the spring thingy that pushes the feeder back down is rather fragile so I've bent mine a little bit. Everything else appears to stand up to regular use without any issues.


Well, I think I am in the same boat as Sparky. So far I have managed to crush and replace my .40 fingers, and have yet been able to get a run of more than about 10 without the system either dropping a bullet, or having the bullets drop into the die laying down or bouncing out. I have solved the bounce problem by a double layer of masking tape on the bottom of the feed die, but the bullet dropping is beyond me. I just tried a layer of tape on the inside of the fingers where they grip he bullet and it SEEMS to be working. I don't know why the bullets drop sideways yet. Still working on it.

Blacksamwell

Postby Blacksamwell » Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:13 am

GhostlyOne wrote:Well, I think I am in the same boat as Sparky. So far I have managed to crush and replace my .40 fingers, and have yet been able to get a run of more than about 10 without the system either dropping a bullet, or having the bullets drop into the die laying down or bouncing out. I have solved the bounce problem by a double layer of masking tape on the bottom of the feed die, but the bullet dropping is beyond me. I just tried a layer of tape on the inside of the fingers where they grip he bullet and it SEEMS to be working. I don't know why the bullets drop sideways yet. Still working on it.

Have you thoroughly lubricated your bullet feeder with powdered graphite?

What bullets are you using?

How tall/long are your bullets?

Are you using the up-to-.65" or the .65"-to-.85" bullet feed die?

Did the feed fingers work when they were brand new or have they always dropped bullets?

If they work when new, is it possible that they were allowed to sit with a bullet in the feed fingers and they've taken a new "set" at a wider position?

Have you tried boiling your feed fingers to reset them?

Are you using the large feed fingers or the small ones? The 40 cal kit comes with large fingers, just wondering if the small ones would work better.

Feed fingers usually drop bullets at two points in the operation if things are not adjusted correctly. If the fingers don't have the correct tension or the bullet shape (hollow base) won't let the bullet escape the feeder cleanly the fingers won't ever capture the bullet correctly and they just push the bullet from the feeder right out onto the floor or bench top. The fix for this issue is making sure to use bullets of the correct shape (flat base) and/or using new or newly boiled feed fingers that are at their best possible tension.

The other place where the bullet is dropped happens after the fingers pick up the bullet cleanly but on the way to the die the feeder rises up before the fingers are fully extended. In this scenario the bullet is knocked against the seating die, out of the fingers, and to the floor. For this issue make sure that the return spring is correctly installed and not damaged and that the track where the feed fingers slide back and forth is very well dusted with powdered graphite. Any stickiness here will cause the feeder to rise before the fingers are fully extended. Some people have resorted to hanging additional weight on the feeder to ensure that the feed fingers are fully extended before the feeder rises.

As for bullets tipping over and/or falling out of the feeder die... Make certain that you're using the correct die for your bullet length. Short bullets in the die that's made for longer ones will increase the chance of tipping and spills. When you initiate the lever pull on the press use a quick motion so that the feed fingers pluck the next bullet quickly. Moving too slow allows the next bullet in the feeder to tip over as the stack comes down. You want to have the fingers snap the first bullet out quick and smooth like pulling a table cloth out from under a place setting. If you run the feeder down to empty the last 3 or 4 bullets are more likely to spill without the weight of a bullet stack above them to hold them in line.

GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Postby GhostlyOne » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:50 pm

Bullet feeder is lubed with silicone lube, works smoothly.
185 gn., Berry's plated.
Bullet length is .500"
Using the up-to-.65" die.
Always dropped them.
The system usually drops the bullet on the way to the die, and is not rising up prematurely.

I have solved the tipping bullets with a pad on the floor of the feed die. As far as the fingers loosing tension, I tried another large set of fingers, (new ones) and the same thing happened. I borrowed a .45 BF from a buddy and tried it with my .45 set up. It worked well. My system does not seem to be able to hold the .40 bullet tightly enough to make it forward and up to the die even though the press is operating smoothly. I have it working somewhat now by placing a small piece of electrical tape on the inside of the fingers to give it more friction. I also tried a small rubber band on the back side of the fingers, but that would not allow the fingers to travel forward enough to line up the case with the bullet. It seems that the fingers do not have enough tension to hold a .40 bullet in place securely. I have boiled a new set of fingers while holding then compressed together to see if that would help, but have not tried it yet. If not, I will try a small set from one of the other bullet feeders to see if that does it.

Blacksamwell

Postby Blacksamwell » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:21 pm

Thanks for posting all of the details. I have no doubt that you have it set up correctly.

I don't load 40 cal but I do have a tin of recovered bullets I've pulled from the occasional live round picked up from the ground. I put a small handful of 40 cal bullets into the 45 bullet feeder I've got mounted up at the moment. The large feed fingers appear to hold the bullets adequately. I'm not cycling the press, merely moving the fingers manually, but they grab the bullet firmly and hang onto them well. I suppose you can take it as some encouragement that the feed fingers at least have the potential to work correctly.

Let us know how it works out for you and best of luck finding a solution.

GhostlyOne
Posts: 365
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:25 pm

Postby GhostlyOne » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:53 pm

Yeah, I boiled the fingers while holding them compressed and tried it again. It worked somewhat better, but still managed to drop 3 out of 10. So I put the tape back on the inside of the fingers and ran another test. It seems to be working to some extent now. We shall see.


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