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$28 Bullet Feeder for Any Progressive

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GW Staar, Aug 22, 2011.

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  1. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  2. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    LOL, I love it. Do you fill it from the skylight?
     
  3. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    No, the plastic tubes are 3' long. Think primer tubes with a clip in the bottom to keep the primers from falling out, only bullets in a bigger tube and a bigger clip in the bottom and a 2" (next tube-size bigger) coupler glued half way at the top.

    Then you load the first one in the Hornady feeder die, pull the clip, the bullets drop in, then slide the next preloaded tube onto the first one, pull its clip. Etc.

    IOW, he's loading 3' tubes in advance in his easy chair I guess. Cool! Can't beat the price. BTW, unlike primer tubes he puts a hitch pin at the top of each tube as well so he doesn't dump them upsidedown.

    Geeze, I coulda saved a lot of money and time by just doing that and NOT doing my elaborate Hornady Bullet Feeder Project....sigh.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  4. Julian537

    Julian537 Member

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    Where did you get the tubes from? What are they originally for?
     
  5. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Aquarium Tubes @ Linens N Things They come in telescoping sizes 1/16" intervals having 1/32" walls. IOW's 5/8" slides over 9/16" over 1/2" over 7/16" over 3/8".....so there's a size and coupler for every caliber.

    Since you buy a Hornady Feed Die for each caliber and a tube for each caliber, then you pay $28 for each caliber, unless you buy extra tubing. (all tubing from those folks is free shipping)
     
  6. tooltech

    tooltech Member

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  7. A-FIXER

    A-FIXER Member

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    Very cool.
     
  8. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    By the time you load the bullet tubes, are you really saving very much time? It doesn't take very long to seat a bullet on a case.
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    No, a bullet feeder without a collator only keeps your fingers safe. The good news is that they are not too hard to build. I made these from PVC pipe and 1/2" thick plastic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. F_L

    F_L Member

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    I have a similar set up on an old RL450. I use a flexible tubing that holds 100 bullets. It's held over the press by a line through an eye in the ceiling. It is faster as I don't have the fat fumbled fingers on my left hand trying to put little bullets in little holes. My left hand now just operates the press and advances the shell plate. My right hand loads the cases.
     
  11. gab909

    gab909 Member

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    "By the time you load the bullet tubes, are you really saving very much time? It doesn't take very long to seat a bullet on a case." Quote

    Thanks for pointing that out medalguy, and do I really need one more mechanical thing to go wrong with my setup? Do I really need to load a thousand rounds an hour? I will stay happy with my 600 rounds and just sit back and marvel at the awesome things you guys setup and engineer. By the way, my mail lady already hates me for my heavy packages, she would probably burn down my house if I shot anymore.
     
  12. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    We're still waiting for your step by step tutorial!:D Easy for you is not so easy for me, without good instructions!

    I think you can save a lot of time if you fill say 6 tubes at once, duel tasking. Watch CSI or something while you do it. And I'm betting you can fill 6 tubes lots faster than directing 300 bullets into a seater by hand....and with a bonus...your safe fingers.

    That said I already have Hornady's collator and I'm not going to chuck it any time soon. BUT, I can see the advantage to have ready tubes of bullets sitting there and simply plugging them in a tool head too! That may just be faster than changing calibers in your collator, dumping a box of bullets in and waiting for the tubes to fill up for a less common caliber that you just want to load a box or too. I will probably use both...the collator for .45 ACP & .40 S&W, and the tubes for others.

    There's a guy posting on the Firing Line who wants to buy a blue or red progressive but doesn't want to pay the bucks for their case feeders. For him, this little trick could increase his output a lot, and make it so he only has to focus on placing cases. For RCBS Pro 2000 users, who can't swing a bullet feeder yet are in the same boat. They can start with the feed dies (towards the buying of a collator) and buy some $2 tubing.
     
  13. nojoke

    nojoke Member

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    Off topic:

    Was it difficult to move and align your garage door to the loading area?
     
  14. AlliedArmory

    AlliedArmory Member

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    The garage rail just happened to be there, so that's where I mounted it. If that didn't work, I would have extended the tubes and gone up higher and most likely made a way to mount it to one of the beans. It doesn't need to be sturdy, just enough where the weight of the tubes doesn't bend the tubes and snap them.
     
  15. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I think I'll keep feeding bullets by hand. If I tried to load tubes while watching CSI, half of them would be in upside down, done when I was yelling at the idiots on TV who are doing everything wrong like commenting on how the "registered owner" of the gun was so-and-so, go talk to him. :fire:
     
  16. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    LOL! Watch something less stressful.....like "Angel". Download the series from Netflix. That's the kind of series where you can totally relax, because there is nothing even remotely like reality there.:D
     
  17. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    I've thought about this many times, just never thought about using the bullet feeder die from the electric kit. While it may take time to load the tubes, having done so with the lee kits, it is still faster to load the tubes than to place each bullet individually during cycling. Plus you don't pinch a finger.
     
  18. 357Shooter

    357Shooter Member

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    Got everything to take care of 357 & 45ACP on the way. I wonder if the same thing can be done with cases, don't see why not, I'm checking into the Hornady parts tonight.
     
  19. AlliedArmory

    AlliedArmory Member

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    From looking on forums and youtube, there are many ways to make a case feeder. It is just somewhat complicated.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    There is really only one critical part on the entire machine, the flipper. The rest of the machine just has to rotate bullets over the flipper and drop them into the feeder tube.

    Step by step this is what it does.

    Inverted bullet tip drops into the flipper

    [​IMG]

    The slot in the flipper drags the towards the outside

    [​IMG]

    This lays the bullet flat with the base towards the center of the drive wheel.

    [​IMG]

    A ramp cut into the side of the PVC pipe then lifts the nose upwards.

    [​IMG]

    This photo shows how a base down bullet rides over the flipper slot.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The drill jigs for the "wheel" is shown in post #9 above.

    This is what it looks like on the inside. The slot in the bottom is so you can install/remove the motor with the drive pin in place. A similar slot is in the bottom of the "wheel"

    [​IMG]

    After your feeding bullets at half the speed of light you will need a way to stop the flow. I cut a slot in clear tubing and wrapped a copper (what I had handy) strip around a drill bit the right size, then placed a spacer the same thickness of my switch and put them in a vice to form the mount. When bullets fill to that point it cuts power to the motor.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. CHALK22

    CHALK22 Member

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    Looks like I have a weekend "project" to work on! Well at least find/order the stuff, and maybe do it next weekend!
     
  23. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    jmorris, questions:

    1. Where do you buy the 1/2" plastic you use for the wheels? BTW your jig is great. You have to be accurate with that part of the project. The wheel plastic looks like Delrin?

    2. What is the circle cut in the PVC for, that's just before the bullet-flip slot and ramp.

    3. Is the "stair step" necessary or will it work with a smooth slope?

    4. Is this collator setup used for pistol and rifle?

    5. What all do you change for other calibers.

    6. How did you fasten the PVC pipe (10" maybe?) to the bottom.

    7. Motor and Motor box specs. Is that a metal sq. tube box you welded to the pipe support?
     
  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I used 1/2" Hyvar, pretty much like UHMW, it was free.

    A ball bearing KISS used them but I don't think you really need it.

    Again the kiss had it and I don't think it is needed.

    That one is for 9mm but I use it for rifle too.

    The wheels are caliber specific, for rifle I stack one on top of anoher as they are longer. You also have to swap the flipper.

    10-32 sockethead cap screws, because I had them. Its 6" pvc and the bottom fits snug before the screws pull them together. A sheetrock screw would work as well.

    I formed the sheetmetal cover but box tube would work too, or nothing at all. That's just for looks.
    The motor is from Granger. I don't remember what it is but all you need is one that will collate a bullet once every second to keep you going. I took a video of that one running but it feeds so fast you can't tell what is going on. When it needs one, it feeds 2-3 before the gear motor stops.
     
  25. Zotto

    Zotto Member

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    I did something similar to the OP, but mounted the bullet feeder die on a Redding turret press. I epoxied a 1/2 inch aluminum rod in the base of a bullet puller and used that as the support. With the info jmorris has supplied I think I can create something simple to fill tubes of 50 bullets. Even with hand feeding the bullet tubes 50 rounds is faster than before.

    [​IMG]
     
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