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I need someone to help invent this!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mugsie, Dec 3, 2009.

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  1. mugsie

    mugsie Member

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    Mods - if this belongs elsewhere please move it.

    I reload using a Dillon 550B press. One of the problems I have, which slows me down considerably, is picking up the cases. I typically have all my polished cases in a paint bucket (same calibar). When I reach in and grab one, it's either base up, mouth up, on edge etc. What I need, actually what I'm thinking, is some type of feeder whihch will present the case right side up and ready for pickup and placement into the shellplate. As I pick up one, another will move into it's location, sorta like in a grocery store when you grap a milk carton or soda and the next moves into place. I'm too cheap to buy a case feeder, then all the different conversions. There must be something someone is using, or a better method than what I'm doing. Any ideas?
     
  2. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

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    This isn't exactly what you're looking for, but I am sure it would speed you up:

    I have the same concerns, though I use a Hornady Lock n Load. Reaching down into *anything* slows me down. So I cut down a box as you see in the pic below, shallow enough that I can dump a bunch of cases in it and easily grab them as I cycle the press. It's actually the top of a box for a dozen golf balls, and I trimmed down the front to about a half inch--just enough to keep the cases from rolling away.

    It's not quite as good as you're looking for, i.e., presenting you the case the same way every time, but it's trivial for me to look at the cases as I grab the next one. Many--most?--of them end up mouth up, so I grab those first, then as the numbers dwindle it's not hard to get them in the orientation I want.

    My process is to grab a bullet from the tray in front, grab a case, then insert the case on the way back to insert the bullet in the case prior to seating. Works slick, and the grabbing of the case does not slow me down at all, because I'm doing that while cycling the press.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    An automated case feeder would probably be your best bet.

    However, if you're dead set on some sort of manual solution, perhaps looking at a shaker box like those used by air pistol/rifle competitors would be a place to start? Basically it's a box you pour the pellets into, you shake it around a bit, and when you open it, the pellets are all correctly aligned. A scaled up version of that might work?
     
  4. mugsie

    mugsie Member

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    Thanks guys, keep em' coming. Mongoose33 - I like your idea. It seems as though you understand the problem. Thanks....
     
  5. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    Lee Precision solved that problem on their LoadMaster, its called a "case colater". I don't have any idea if it could be adapted to a Dillon. Take a look.
     
  6. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Practice. I can catch a baseball barehanded with my right hand, and in one motion bring up a four seam fastball grip, every time. Practice makes perfect. I pick up one case at a time, but seldom have to slow down to re adjust the case in my fingers.
     
  8. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I have a friend that has one on his 650 but the 650 comes with the case feeder standard the collator is optional. I would just get dillons complete setup for a 550.
     
  9. alfack

    alfack Member

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    I put 100 of them, mouth down, in one of those plastic cartridge containers. Then, I cover the bases with a piece of stiff paper or cardboard, flip the case over, set it on my bench next to me, pull the paper out and lift up the plastic tray. This leaves me with 100 cases, mouth up, right where I need them. It's not automatic or anything, but works well for me.
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I am kind of like Walkalong (except that I am not a baseball pitcher.) By the time I can pick up a case in one hand and a bullet in the other, and get them from box to machine, they are oriented right to insert.

    But I work out of shallow boxes of components, I think a paint bucket would be awkward to reach into to get cases.

    I am not a big session loader, though. I fill the bullet tray, brass box, and primer feed, check the powder hopper, and load a hundred. Repeat and then go do something else. Loading up a bunch of primer tubes and a two pound powder hopper to crank out a case of shells at a time is not my style.
     
  11. jenrob

    jenrob Member

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    I use a cat feeder (bout 3 bucks at wlly world) like the rest It is shollow I use it for bullets only cause I have a case feeder. but same with bullets I have the turned the right way from the time it take me to go from tray to case. after a while it will be without thought.

    I showed the cat feeder to a friend that has a 550 and he uses one now for his brass.
     
  12. Roccobro

    Roccobro Member

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    Same here.

    Justin
     
  13. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I agree, practice is the answer. FWIW:

    1. On the Load-Master--progressive, IOW--I have the case feeder installed and tweaked to run reliably.

    2. On the (Lee) Turret--I work from small trays--the tops of Tupperware, actually--into which I have spilled perhaps thirty cases. The bullets are likewise spilled out. By the time I pick up the case / bullet with my left hand, while stroking, I have it oriented perfectly. Both are fed with the left hand.

    Vaguely, I remember learning to do this, 'way back when. I felt self-conscious and clumbsy. I probably still am the latter, but the operation is smooth and totally unconscious now.

    Jim H.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. Same here.

    Pic
     
  15. MissouriBullet

    MissouriBullet Member

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    When I run my 550B, I'll have a half-dozen rifles cases in my right hand and rotate the next one to be used into battery while operating the ram with my left hand. It's worked for me for 25 years now and I never have a problem keeping the cases ready when the shell plate is waiting.
     
  16. tooltech

    tooltech Member

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    I found that coffee can lids make perfect trays.
     
  17. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    I use coffee can lids too for my Lee turret press. Pistol bullets in one and brass in another.

    I insert with the left hand and extract with the right. It's kind-of automatic now.

    For depriming a "feeder" might speed up my process some, if the case was fed/dropped in the same spot every time--orientation isn't a big issue. The u-tube colater above looks neat but cumbersum for my use.
     
  18. Dannix

    Dannix Member

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  19. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Mugsie, you are aware that Dillon now makes a case feeder for the 550B? very similar to the 650 feeder and sells for several hunderd dollars. Check out Dillon's website.
     
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