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Hornady bullet feeder update...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by UltimateReloader, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Well-Known Member

    Hey guys- just wanted to let you know that I have a Hornady bullet feeder in the shop, and will be posting videos soon.


    I actually helped test this system before it went into production, and so far I really like how it works, but the system that I was using was pre-production, and I know there were several improvements made to the final design.

    Hoping to post a video in the next couple weeks, but I'm really busy with the AR-15 build project (AR-MPR).

    Anyone else have one of these yet? How do you like it?

    And: I talked with Hornady yesterday, it sounds like they are making good progress on the rifle bullet feed system as well.
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    The price is right for the die, you would have thought Lee made it for what they are asking for it.

    Copying the design of the RCBS collator was not the best idea, too many limitations of that design. The KISS/MR. Bullet feeder collator is cheaper to produce and more flexible. Just change out the wheel and flipper and you can collate both rifle and pistol bullets.

    There are already plenty of feeders that take the place of either a powder check die or force you to seat and crimp at the same station. I would prefer them to incorporate bullet feed and seat in one station like the GSI does.
  3. UltimateReloader

    UltimateReloader Well-Known Member

    jmorris- Have you tried the GSI or Mr. Bullet Feeder units?

    I'm curious about how they compare.
  4. metalax

    metalax Active Member

    Lock-N-Load Bullet Feeder Arrived Today

    Personally I like the L-n-L products. They take some adjusting but when you get the thing dialed in its a production beast. I got the last of my parts for the bullet feeder today and I'm in the middle of the setup. I got going on some 9mm and just received an email from Midway that the 9mm die was defective and Hornady would be sending me the corrected die. I know Hornady worked their engineers butts off to get this to market, (I know I've been waiting). I'm sure once I get the bugs out this setup will be great. I started reloading 20 years ago and to be able to produce a completed cartridge every time you pull the handle is one hell of a advancement in reloading. I'll add a picture of the work in progress.

    Excerpt From Midway USA email (today)
    "Thank you for your recent order. However, we have been informed that you were shipped a defective feeding die. I am writing to ask your permission to give your shipping address to Hornady so they can ship you a replacement die. I also need to verify which address you would like us to give Hornady. Please call our customer service department at the number listed below or you are also welcome to respond to this email."

    Thanks for Your Business!
    MidwayUSA Customer Service
    L-n-L bullet feedee.jpg
  5. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Yes, I own both. I use GSI’s for my pistol loading and KISS for rifle. The GSI is a machined aluminum tool head that feeds and seats on station # 4 on a 650 so you can crimp on #5 and powder check on #3. I received my first GSI before they had finished their collator so I built my own that was similar to the MA systems collator but after the KISS came out I changed my collators to that design as they are simple, they work and are easy to build. The only experience I have had with GSI’s collator, when they first started shipping them, was not impressive. I was disappointed in the design they came up with, I guess I had higher expectations after owning their bullet feeder.

    With the KISS you have to have a special expander/powder drop die (I understand the same goes for the Hornady) that bells the case more than normal so the bullet will stay put while rotating to the seating station. With the GSI you really don’t even need to bell as much as you would if loading by hand because the bullet is held perfectly in alignment as the case moves up into the tool head, working the brass much less. The only negative to the GSI feeder would be if you don’t own a 650 or 1050.
  6. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Affirmative on the special expander/powder drop die on the Hornady unit. I bought one for its simplicity and quick caliber change. Putting up with the stretched case mouths, since such is my only choice, out side the Dillon camp.

    I've been busy figuring it out...and have posted a 25 picture review of the good, the bad, and not that much ugly, on Ar15.com. Check it out if you are interested. Hornady Bullet Feeder Review

    I will be figuring out a way to add a limit switch. (missing from Hornady's design) jmorris any ideas jump out at you?:rolleyes:

    Yup, Hornady sent me a .40 Cal feed die, with the upper hole machined too small to accept the .40 Cal Spring tube....still waiting for a response from Hornady. The .45 cal die wouldn't feed bullets, but was able to make it work, by stretching the fingers a tiny bit, and smoothing rough insides.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    You should post it over here.

    I milled a slot in plastic tubing for a limit swtich arm and made a clamp by wraping a small section of metal around a drill bit. A photo might be better than words...

  8. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Too bad.
  9. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    I've been wondering...doesn't the limit switch trip each time a bullet falls, or how do you make it trip only when the tube is full?
  10. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Well-Known Member

    does it require flaring of even rifle brass to seat a bullet properly. I wouldnt mind setting up my lnl i use for 223 with one but not if its is going to flare brass
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    I'll get you another photo when I get a chance. It does shut off for an instant for every bullet that falls. You could figure out how long by bullet length and the speed of an object in free fall (32 ft/sec/sec). Really, its operation is seamless and works identical to a case feed limit switch.

    The GSI and KISS don't use any "special" expander die for rifle rounds. I don't think Horanady has a rifle feeder in production yet.
  12. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    That's the million dollar question. We don't know til Hornady shows us the new collator wheel, and the feed die, whether it only feeds (requiring an index to the seating station) or feeds and seats. If it only feeds, I'm guessing there has to be some flare, unless maybe on boat tails. jmorris said the Kiss (Mr. Bullet feeder) doesn't require a flare...so maybe the chamfer is enough for rifle.

    The RCBS one feeds and seats, so doesn't certainly doesn't require a flare. Studying RCBS's owners's manual, I'm thinking they mostly just use a similarly designed seater die, to theirGold Medal Seater with the open bullet drop in the side of the die, but minus the micrometer. They have a funnel that directs the bullet to the opening in the side. See page nine of the Owner's Manual.Seems to me that it could be a fairly simple mod to direct the bullet to the opening.... I have a Gold Medal Die ordered in .308 to test my theory....probably needs a "rifle" bullet wheel from Hornady though...we'll see.

    jmooris! Notice in the RCBS manual linked above, the high tech limit switch fastener they used. Cable ties. Your method is more elegant for sure! ;) Thanks for the explanation...I guess the momentary shutoff has little effect on anything....I'll put those worries to rest.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  13. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Sorry moving and havent had a chance to snap a photo. Here is a close up of one that I built for a friend.


    The KISS bullet feeder uses a dayglow ziptie too.

  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the pictures. The long arm on the micro-switch simplifies things. I'm thinking one with a roller on the end might work with a smaller hole in the drop tube. We will see. I'm not sure I understand Hornady's choice to not have a stop switch. I asked them that question in an email with a few more questions. They chose not to answer that one.
  15. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    If you ever ask a question of why production items are built the way they are the answer 90% of the time is cost. More often than not the R&D items are better than final production after the bean counters have stripped them down.

    The long arm is for two things, first is less force to activate so it’s easy to switch and allow for bullets to drop past as you use them from the stack. The second is so you have a longer bearing surface for the switch so it can’t ever fall in a gap because of a bullet that has a narrow ogive.
  16. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Probably right about the bean counters. On the Micro-switch...good points...another is that it gave you the ability to bend it back so there is no edge sticking into the path. Do you have a good internet source for those long-armed switches?

    In using the Hornady Bullet Feeder, it's become obvious that the M.B.F. design, using the weight of a stack of bullets, to push a bullet into the case a little, makes it workable with less case flare. That said, I'm finding that the Hornady design does work, if you can live with the flare.

    Also the flare Hornady recommends for .45 (.481" or .030"over)isn't even possible using their flow-thru expander. It doesn't flare that far.....IMO that's a good thing, because it works fine with way less (.465" or .014"over) on my RCBS 2000. I will describe my experience in more detail in my review thread.

    BTW, you might be interested in a cheap supply of 3' long thin-wall clear tubing, I found, made for aquariums. Freight Free. Walls are 1/32" , 3/8" to 1" in 1/16" increments. Might come in handy for future projects such as this. I ordered one of each size to fit and make sleeves for this Hornady unit and it cost less than $14. When it comes in, modding the bullet drop will commence.

    I looked at the 1/8" walled stuff and I could make it mate up with the .40 and .45 spring tubes, dies, and funnels, but not the 9mm size...so I went looking for thin-wall tubes and found sizes that work....and it's a lot cheaper. Yes its thin, but I bet it'll work fine.
  17. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    One switch is part #e2285hx but many others exist. Google that number and it will come up. Granger, Allied and ,Newark all carry one that will do what you want.

    Some of the numbers I have seen make it look like you might not need a switch unless you stop loading. If it won't drop a bullet at least every two seconds you will be waiting on it. My collators drop 10 in two seconds, more than enough.

    The tubes I use are left over from a failed attempt to get a Lee bullet feeder work.
  18. GW Staar

    GW Staar Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the switch link.

    The stock Hornady collator is pretty slow to be sure, but once you have the tube full of .45's you have 42 bullets collated. How long? long...never if you don't add a bunch more bullets. But I didn't actually measure the time. With my two little looped wires placed, it will finally feed well enough...40 in 1:04..to the last one. Once the tube is full a switch would be nice to keep it full.
  19. 9X23WIN

    9X23WIN Well-Known Member

    Metalax, any feedback on your experience using the Hornady bullet feeder?
  20. metalax

    metalax Active Member

    Hornady Bullet Feeder My Views

    My Views.
    (Sorry for delay, I ran feeder through the ringer)
    Well I've been up and running for a while now and I really like the new Hornady bullet feeder. It has a few quirks in setup and even some wrong die parts, adjuster nut (the part the feed tube mates to) being shipped by Hornady inadvertently. By the way both MidwayUSA and Hornady worked together to resolve this early die shipping problem ASAP. I purchased the product on the first day it became available along with all 4 pistol dies so they were in a rush to ship the product. Hell who can blame them, firearms and their related support businesses have been and are the fastest growing market in recent times.
    Most importantly this setup works great. It not only cuts reloading time way down but gives you much needed time to visual monitor operations and avert other problems in procedure. It needs a auto shut off but I found if you are loading at speed the feeder can run constantly to keep up, 'till something else goes wrong'. The process just keeps getting faster and more consistent the more I use the system. Hope this helps.
    1) If you are using a 4 die set (separate seat and crimp dies) you will need to address this to free up a station. I bought RCBS seat and crimp combo dies from Sinclairs (added expense)
    2) If you use a separate case expander die you will also need to address this to free up a station. They send the Hornady caliber correct expander. I prefer and use a PTX Powder Funnel case activated powder drop, makes faster caliber changes possible.

    In closing I say again Most importantly this setup works great..
    Tx Metalax

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