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fully automated reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mr_dove, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. mr_dove

    mr_dove Well-Known Member

    I was thinking this morning about a few folks I know who run full auto rental services. Pretty much every moment that's not spent out on the range is spent reloading many, many thousands of rounds. They go through hundreds of thousands of rounds every year. I know that at least one of them just has a big Dillon for every caliber.

    This got me to wondering about commercial type automated reloaders. Something that doesn't require a person there to pump the crank.

    I know that commercial reloaders have gear like this but I've never seen it discussed here.

    What is the price range of units like this? I assume that it is very high but I know some folks who would pay ALOT for something like this. Do we think that the price might be coming down on something like this? We already have case feeders, bullet feeders, primer tubes, etc. How far are we from technology that would automate a consumer level reloading press?

    While we're at it how about other bulk reloading machines like a tumbler with a 10,000 round capacity? Are there machines for sorting brass sizes and headstamps or is that all done manually (hate that job)?
  2. YellowLab

    YellowLab member

    Expect to pay about $5k and up for a fully automated setup.

    The process is the same, except they use a linear system rather than a rotary 'shell plate' like manual reloading.

    Basically you are at about 1 complete round a second at this level. Hoppers a much larger, and case/bullet feeding is automated. There are a few good web sites that have this typwe of gear... google is your friend.
  3. fecmech

    fecmech Well-Known Member

    You had better have some pretty good mechanical skills if you go that route. A friend of mine was in the business a few years ago with 4 Ammo Loads and some Dillons for the rifle stuff. The Ammo Loads kept him busy keeping them running. IIRC they were around 5k per hour. Nick
  4. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

  5. mr_dove

    mr_dove Well-Known Member

    Google is not MY friend. Every search I've done only turns up regular reloading info but nothing about the big machines.
  6. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

  7. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member


    I believe you mean 4400 rounds per hour, which is what their website states for their latest machine. I've never used a Camdex machine, but do have an awful lot of time at an Ammo Load machine back in the late 1970's. It's quite a machine, as long as everything is running correctly, but let it get out of adjustment and things go wrong very quickly.

    I'll just stick to my Hornady Pro-Jector, Hollywood and RCBS presses for my needs.

  8. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    I agree with what Owen said and I've seen one in action back when I lived in Raleigh, NC in the nineties and worked in manufacturing. The Camdex machines are tanks. Not cheap, but they are tanks. I don't think any other manufacturer currently builds a better low end true industrial reloading machine. The things are what you go to after you can't meet production with a Dillon 1050.

    You should be aware that when you go to setups like this, the components one uses for the machine, such as the bullets, must be in specification. You can't just go out and buy any sort of bullet and have it run smoothly. You have to have bullets that are to specification for the machine and consistent. It's not forgiving like a Dillon, Hornady, RCBS or Lee is and it's going much much faster, so lots to screw up quickly.

    One needs to know what they're doing to reload on an industrial machine or have some money to afford the learning curve if they don't.

  9. agio3

    agio3 New Member

    Mk 4 ammoload,camdex reloader, camdex js-63

    I'm new to this forum but have been a commercial loader for approx 20 years. We utilize both the camdexes, mk 4 ammoloads, and motorized dillons (processors) and scharch machines. The ammoloads do load at a max of 5000/hr, but only with a slow cam and tall case. The camdexes do go at 4400, but again case length has a lot do do with max speed (powder slosh). Camdexes go for about 10-12,000 (or so, ours did), the ammoloads cost about 15,000 ea depending on setup, collators are extra.

    Some pics are at www.conchocartridge.com
    Hope this answers some of your questions.
  10. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member


    Welcome to the board. And thank you for your input on the machines. When I loaded with an Ammo Load machine, it was pretty consistant at about 4,000 rounds an hour, as long as I could keep up with it. It had an automatic case collator, but I had to feed the bullet tubes in while it was running, and only stop to replenish primer tubes. I had the primer column blow up on me twice. The first time was a full column and caused some damage to the machine, and to my shorts. I don't miss that machine at all.

  11. deciple-of-keith

    deciple-of-keith Well-Known Member

    Please excuse my ignorance .But with the Camdex for instance are you limited To one cal only of can it be set up to run several cals by changing Dies like a conventional semi proggresive setup?

  12. LAH

    LAH Well-Known Member

  13. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the Camdex machines, but the Ammo Load can be converted to other pistol calibers, with certain limitations. Conversion kits are available, but it's not like converting your home reloading press. There are check stations that have to be calibrated, the case slide, and of course the dies themselves. The case collator also has to be converted for some calibers. If you change primer sizes, then that's another change.

    Hope this helps.

  14. deciple-of-keith

    deciple-of-keith Well-Known Member

    Thankyou for that Fred .I thought this might be the case but as I say I was'nt sure I load upwards of 800 rnds per week for my working rifles & I would'nt have a clue of the amount of ammo I load a year for recreational purposes ! I don't think I could justify one of the machines at the moment though. AS has been pointed out when their working they work well but when they go astray they go astray in a major way :)


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