Hornady Bullet Feeder Die


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mmorris
December 18, 2011, 11:10 PM
Hornady Bullet Feeder Die

Lately it seems the craze is to use a Hornady bullet feeder die without the expensive motorized bullet feeder assembly. I have drenched my hands in gasoline every day for thirty years, and my fingers work about as well as you might expect. As a result I look for any way to reduce the fine motor skill demand in repetitive operations, so I thought I might as well check it out.

Holy Toledo!

I’ve only set it up and loaded 30 or 40 rounds in a load workup process I’m doing, but it is really amazing to pull the lever and only have to observe for correct operation as the rounds drop into the catch box. I usually stand to reload, and I found that I absent-mindedly put my left hand in my pocket while I was loading a batch of ten rounds. Without having to coordinate bullet acquisition and placement, I suddenly realized how much of my concentration was focused on the handling of the bullet. It’s just a whole different ball game. Now, back when I could take a handful of 10-32 nuts and work them one-at-a-time into my thumb and finger to thread on with my left hand, upside-down behind a dashboard, I would have never thought that picking up one large hunk of lead would be a big deal. I got the case feeder sometime back for the same reason.

Getting old creates a vacuum; a really huge vacuum.

I don’t care at all about “rounds-per-hour.” I only care about making my reloading time pleasant and safe. It takes me less than 5 minutes to put 100 bullets into the feed tubes (I did 300 in 14 minutes). The rack will hold 300 bullets (360 if you fill the tubes to max), and right now that’s about all I would load in a session. I used a funnel to stabilize the tube in the die so I wouldn’t have to “thread the needle” of a smaller eyebolt. I don’t even have to look up to insert the top of the replacement tube when changing out empty tubes.

For me, this is great… for you I don’t know. I was actually happy to drop the bullets into the die directly because it was so much easier than placing the bullet on the case. I’m glad I went ahead and did the tube feeders as well.

This die idea is not mine, but I did come up with the multi-tube rack and “EZ-Stab” upper support.

Mike

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Tilos
December 18, 2011, 11:25 PM
Nice,

My plan is to do this tube fed bullet feeder die too, but need to free up a station by combining expansion and powder drop with a case activated die, in my antique rcbs piggyback.

huh:confused:,
Tilos

lead slinger
December 18, 2011, 11:27 PM
nice i been seeing this alot lately and thinking about this project my self. i like the way you keeping your extra dies. what is the small white box on the wall with the coiled cord going to the press

mmorris
December 18, 2011, 11:36 PM
I run my cases through twice to allow enough stations to have an M die and a powder COP.

1. Shoot, tumble, lube, resize-deprime, uniform primer pocket, tumble.
2. Expand, prime, drop powder, COP, bullet feed, seat-crimp.

I love my case feeder.

Mike

mmorris
December 18, 2011, 11:42 PM
what is the small white box on the wall with the coiled cord going to the press

That's a low powder level warning buzzer I made. It uses an optical sensor that is uncovered if the powder falls to the level of the baffle.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
December 19, 2011, 07:47 AM
Mike,

That setup looks fantastic. Really like the way you've got the tubes organized. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I'm going to copy your tubing setup.

Best Regards,

Dave

Tilos
December 19, 2011, 11:58 AM
Nice rack:uhoh:.

Tilos

NWDave
December 19, 2011, 12:31 PM
Thanks for a great idea and adaptation. Us old pharts need all the tricks we can get to keep going on.

You wouldn't happen to have the size of the plastic tubing vs. bullet size handy, would you?

~Dave

357Shooter
December 19, 2011, 01:17 PM
Dave, this thread has a lot of info including tube sizes.
$28 Bullet Feeder for Any Progressive

mmorris
December 19, 2011, 01:22 PM
I used these (free shipping/no tax):

1. Lees Rigid Plastic Tubing: : 7/16 in. x 36 in. Sku: S16020
SKU: 507393-16020-S16020
Quantity: 6

2. Lees Rigid Plastic Tubing: : 5/8 in. x 36 in. Sku: S16035
SKU: 507396-16035-S16035
Quantity: 6

http://http://www.lnt.com/product/plumbing-parts/11442-504991/lees-rigid-plastic-tubing.html?utm_source=gcs&utm_term=11442-504991

7/16 for 9mm and 38 SPL
5/8 for 45ACP

The 5/8 is really tight in the die... I suggest trying 9/16 to see how it works.
I didn't use the tape wrap on the 9/16 that some suggest because it seems to feed OK with the tube loose in the die.
The bullets sometimes hang at the die/tube joint, but just a touch takes care of it.

NWDave
December 19, 2011, 01:49 PM
Could you post the link? Sounds like a good to know item. The only other items I've seen related to tube feed is where one person was modifying his bullet feeders to accept lead bullets.

Disregard the link request unless someone else wants it. Found it. Go in two levels of links and there's an excellent detailed page.

Looks like another HAVE TO DO project.

danbowkley
December 19, 2011, 11:56 PM
Hey all, I've been working on a design for a revolver-style tube feeder for the Hornady feed dies, and was wondering, could you folks with these dies post measurements of the top end of the die? Basically the "head of the bolt" as it were, and the socket that the spring tube would fit into if you were running their hopper doodad. I've got a few ideas for mounting my gizmo to the die, and would love to get cracking on some CAD work before I get home and open Midway's latest delivery (sometime in January, most likely).

TIA!
Dan

GW Staar
December 20, 2011, 12:44 AM
Great embellishments to a great idea! Good job Mike....enjoy! This is one of the most popular ideas around. A truly inexpensive way to make progressives more enjoyable.

It all started with my embellishments to Hornady's Bullet feeder (adding a stop switch and clear plastic tubing) AlliedArmory suggested to me that he was going to try that with just the bullet feeder dies and skip the collator. My only input was sharing the experience in my project with tube sizes for various calibers. Here is the original thread on Ar15.com:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/349969__28_00_Bullet_feeder_for_Any_Progressive.html

When it was successful I decided to share with THR, and AlliedArmory piped in here too. Kudos....he had a great idea, IMO.

BTW, the tubing size that is just a little too tight to go in, ("The 5/8 is really tight in the die") goes in slick and easy if you just cut a 3/4" slit with a Dremel in the end. The plastic then gives and goes right in. Picture of that below.
http://i935.photobucket.com/albums/ad195/gstrad/Hornady%20Bullet%20Feeder%202/IMG_0876.jpg

stangri
December 20, 2011, 11:14 AM
mmorris -- thank you for the link, I've ordered the tubes for 9mm as I've been just dropping them into the bullet feeder die manually (which also saved me time, however wasn't as convenient as pre-loading lots of rounds in the tube).

I do however have a problem I need help with please. My bullet feeder die just stopped dropping the bullets (I use 124gr plated Berry's) -- it worked fine for 200-300 rounds and now it doesn't feed anymore. I did remove the belling so now my cases are just expanded. I can manually seat the bullets in them just fine but for some reason they do not grab the bullet from the bullet feeder die.

I'm guessing the case doesn't expand the collet A enough for the bullet to drop -- any idea how can I adjust that?

thanks!

jmorris
December 20, 2011, 11:23 AM
Hey all, I've been working on a design for a revolver-style tube feeder...

The Lee multi tube adapter, without the feeder, is under $20 from Grafs and holds 100 bullets at a 4th the height of a single tube or if you went with long tubes would hold 4x as many.


http://forums.1911forum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=73996&d=1323984742



Maybe not a beginner project but much more worth while is a collator to feed so you never touch a bullet from start to end. I built mine from 6" PVC pipe and 1/2" plastic. The hard part is the wheel but I built simple fixtures to make mine.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/feeder1.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/DSC01537.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/DSC01472.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/reloading/bullet%20feeder/IMG00341-20101213-1504.jpg

mmorris
December 20, 2011, 02:37 PM
I do however have a problem I need help with please. My bullet feeder die just stopped dropping the bullets (I use 124gr plated Berry's) -- it worked fine for 200-300 rounds and now it doesn't feed anymore. I did remove the belling so now my cases are just expanded. I can manually seat the bullets in them just fine but for some reason they do not grab the bullet from the bullet feeder die.

Two ideas:

1.If your case is not expanded enough, the bullet will hang in the die. If you changed the bell since the die fed bullets correctly, flare a little more to allow the bullet to drop clear of the lower collet.

2. I had the 9mm die stop dropping bullets between testing sessions. I looked at the upper collet, the one that pinches the next bullet until the case is removed from the die. The slot cut into the collet was squeezed together so that the bullet stayed pinched. I carefully pried it open until the slot sides were parallel. So far, so good.

So, is there a bullet stuck in the lower or upper collet?

Something else to check is the die body adjustment.

The top threaded part needs to be turned in just enough to let the collets rattle if you shake the die. Thread it lightly to take up the slack, then back out a quarter to half turn.

Next, thread the die in until it touches a case with the ram up. Lower the ram and turn in 1/2 turn more. If the bullet still doesn't feed turn in more (up to a full turn) until the bullet feeds onto the case.

I think the flaring is the first thing to check after adjustment.

danbowkley
December 20, 2011, 09:41 PM
JMorris, what's the trick to getting all the bullets pointed the right direction? I get the balancing act of a case feeder, makes sense once you look at it, but I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around how to flip bullets around so they always fall ass end first.

J_McLeod
December 20, 2011, 09:55 PM
Interesting post, thanks. I'll come back when I get my LNL and learn more about feeders.

CozMoDan
December 21, 2011, 03:21 AM
I also have just the LNL die but instead of a plastic tube I bought the long spring and funnel for my 9MM and 45ACP. The spring holds 47 9MM, havenn't used the 45 yet. The cost was about $20 for all 4 items as I recall. Here is a link to the PDF for the bullet feeder and on the last page are the items, the are items 5 and 33.
http://www.hornady.com/assets/files/manuals-current/metalic-reloading/LNL-Bullet-Feeder-inst-manual.pdf
I just put a piece of 3/4 PCV pip around it and reamed the end a little to fit over the die and used a hose clame to tighten it up a little. The funnal makes it a lot easier to load the bullets for me.

Muddydogs
December 21, 2011, 08:56 AM
Google $28.00 bullet feeder die and you will find the original posts about this, there is a ton of info. As for tubes the best I found were from Linens 'n Things, the Lees Ridgid Plastic Tubing. I got 8 pieces of there pipe (2 each for 4 calibers) for $25.00 shipped. The tubes are 3 feet and hold 65 .40 bullets. The pipe has a wall thickness of 1/32" which in the .40 die fits in the die snugly with no modification, I did sand the end of the tube a little so it wasn't so hard to pull out. Not sure about the other calibers as I don't have the dies yet for them.

jmorris
December 21, 2011, 04:22 PM
JMorris, what's the trick to getting all the bullets pointed the right direction? I get the balancing act of a case feeder, makes sense once you look at it, but I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around how to flip bullets around so they always fall ass end first.


The "flipper", plastic part with notch cut in it. With a bullet nose down the tip get caught in the notch.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0372-1.jpg

As the wheel rotates around the notch drags the tip outward, laying the bullet flat.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0373-1.jpg

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0374-1.jpg

Once they are laid down flat a ramp carved into the side of the PVC housing flips the nose up so the bullet is now base down.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0375-1.jpg

If the bullet is already base down, it will pass over the notch like this.

http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/IMAG0376-1.jpg

This is not an original idea of mine but it works well and is about as easy as it gets, to collate bullets.

GW Staar
December 21, 2011, 08:20 PM
The "flipper", plastic part with notch cut in it. With a bullet nose down the tip get caught in the notch.

As the wheel rotates around the notch drags the tip outward, laying the bullet flat.

Once they are laid down flat a ramp carved into the side of the PVC housing flips the nose up so the bullet is now base down.

If the bullet is already base down, it will pass over the notch like this.

This is not an original idea of mine but it works well and is about as easy as it gets, to collate bullets.

Jmorris....easy for you...:D Back when you posted your collator the first time I've had plans to try to copy it. All I need is time and a source for the thick plastic you use. That stuff is not so easy to find. My more recent reloading room projects happened while business (construction) was slow to crawling and I had the time. I'm waiting for the next lull or at the least, the holidays to be over....it would help immensely if I could retire...but that won't happen until I drop dead, probably.

How many calibers have you made "flippers" for so far? Obviously you have to reinvent the collator innards for each caliber, and rounds that are pointy like the 9mm are probably easier to flip than say .40 S&W with their flat noses....or worse SWC's.

The beauty of the "28 Dollar" contraption, is that changing calibers is as simple as changing a feeder die and the tubing size....not much rocket science there. I think the niche for it is not only the price, but the ease of adding new calibers to it.

jmorris
December 22, 2011, 12:56 AM
I picked up a few hundred pounds of 1/2" Hyvar "drop" from a shop that was moving a number of years ago. I used it for a number of projects and it makes great cutting boards. The "wheels" are different (slot size) for every diameter as are the "flippers", that is why they are not part of the base. The larger the diameter and/or more pointed the less work it is to get to work; however, I have them that work for the flat tip of precision 230's in 45 as well as .223 HPBT bullets. As I said before, its not my idea but is "easy" vs. my first one.

CozMoDan
December 22, 2011, 02:25 PM
Jmorris you must have been a rocket scientist to figure all of that out and it looks real good.

What bullet feeder die do you use with the .223?
TIA
The Coz

jmorris
December 22, 2011, 04:04 PM
Photos like the ones above would have been a big help while I was building the first one. For feed dies I use GSI for pistol so I can keep the powder check die. For rifle bullets I use KISS feeders.

stangri
December 23, 2011, 07:33 AM
Just in case someone runs into the same problem -- the bullets were stuck inside the collet B (somehow it shrunk, not allowing bullets thru at all, not just when they were supposed to be pinched by collet B when pushed from the bottom by collet A), so I called Hornady and they're sending me the new collet B.

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