Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by James THR, Aug 28, 2006.
Primer low alarm for progressive presses!!
I recently purchased a Hornady L-N-L progressive press. I have been thinking of ways to come up with a low primer alarm system. I know RCBS and Dillon sell them but I figured it would be something easy to make. I have been using a piece of 1/8 inch wooden dowel rod inserted into the primer tube as a follower and visual primer low sensor. Many have suggested this on this site, by having a rod stuck into the primer tube with a shell case on it for additional weight this ensures positive primer feeding.
I purchased a 12 vdc mini Buzzer (Part 273-055A) from Radio Shack for $3.29 along with a nine volt battery and battery adapter. I was having trouble coming up with a easy way to attach a switch and some type of actuator to the dowel rod. Then I realized that a empty 12 gauge shotgun shell fits perfectly over the primer feed tube. I cut a 2 empty shotgun shells, one about 1 inch long and another about 2 1/2 inches long. I soldiered one wire to each of the shell bases, the shorter shell I drilled out the primer with an 1/8 hole to slide over the 1/8 inch dowel rod and I glued it where I wanted it with RTV. I inserted the rod into the primer tube and marked it to determine the length with no primers in the tube. I glued the shell below this mark so the alarm would go off before I run out of primers. The 2 1/2 inch shell simply sits over the primer tube and the other one is fasten to the wood dowel rod, the metal base of the shotgun shell acts as the switch surface. I wired the battery, buzzer, and switch in a simple series circuit. This works great! I hope I didn’t lose anyone with this description but here’s a picture. I intend to make a similar follower for the powder measure tube utilizing the same battery and buzzer, for a powder low alarm / primer low alarm.
Question For redneck2
I am new to the site, and am already learning. What type of brass polish were you referring to in your post. I have used corn cob, with the rejuvenator, and ground walnut media for 40 years. When I read your post regarding brass polish I did a forehead slap and . well you get the picture. I must have 20 or 30 lbs of used media that would probably work fine with a polish additive so thanks for the heads up. Take care and God bless. cordell
Nu Finish liquid car wax works great and is much cheaper than commercial brass cleaners sold by Dillon and others. Personally I think it is the same stuff if my nose is correct.
Good idea, but here is a cleaner way to do it. Attach a piece of sheet metal to the primer tube and mount all of your stuff to it. I have the advantage of a Dillon sitting right behind me and except for they way the mount to the tube this is pretty much how it's done:
OR, you can get a Dillon press in the first place and not have to deal with it!
Go ahead....drink the blue koolaid! I have been drinking it for nearly 15 years and it still tastes good!
If you have a Dillon 550 try this. I placed a belled .45acp case on the top of my primer rod indicator. Adds just a tad more weight to the rod and assists the primer feeding operation. Kind of looks neat as well.
I also cut from clear plastic three ring binder dividers a template that I insert into my Dillon powder measure. Stops the discolouring of the plastic tube. Should work for other powder measures as well.
Robert, that's an excellent idea on the dividers idea. I like it.
I originally was going to copy the Dillon setup. But 2 empty shotgun shells is simpler and it works great! Thanks for the info.....
I stole this idea
from a guy on another forum.
I bought a cheapo drill press for about $50 from harbor freight. It has a half inch chuck.
I chuck up mu Lee case length and cutter in the chuck. With t;he drill set on its lowest speed, I just slide my cases onto the case lenght gauge and pull the lever. The gauge bottoms out on the press table.
I just use media from a pet store or commecial stuff if it's cheap enough. I got a bottle of polish from Midway a long time ago. Car wax may be as good. Never tried it. Use plenty of polish and your brass will stay shiny and spot free for a long time. If you don't use polish, it dulls.
Change power bar on Dillon instead of resetting it.
I load a lot of different calibers, at least fifteen and different powders and loads for each of those. I hate having to redial in an old load on a dillon powder bar. On the dillon measures, you can use a screw driver to lift the lever that holds the powder bar in place, and remove the powder bar quickly and replace it. I buy extra powder bars on ebay where they run less then ten bucks usually. Then for my favorite loads I can adjust the powder bar to a particular load and write on the bar with a sharpie which load it is with which powder and then use it exclusively for that load. That way I don't have to keep trying to dial in a load. It is a lot cheaper than buying a whole new measure for each load. Of couse you always have to double check with a scale, and a little minor adjustment may be necessary, but not usually.
Also I got the idea on Gunblaster.com to use a lee autodisk on my 550. It works great! It is a lot smaller than the dillon measure and imho works smoother and lets you see in the case easier, not to mention it is a LOT cheaper. I have several of both and really enjoy using the LEE.
Wow! I just re-read the last couple of posts. I had a bad incident, didin't catch the first time that the shotgun shell had to be empty! Lol
redneck & robertbank THANKS.
redneck, and robertbank,
Thanks for the heads up on the polish additives. IT WORKS GREAT!!! robertbank, after reading your suggestion regarding Nu-Finish I realized that I had one of the large plastic containers sitting on the shelf in the garage. It had never been opened, but came in a box of oil I purchased at a yard sale. I took the container up to my reloading room and shook it a bit to see if it was still in liquid form since it has been 8 or more years since I purchased it and who knows how old it was when I got it. Well I took my "good" tumbling media out of the case cleaner and put some old media in and turned it on. I then decided to give the container one more good shake and pour some in. The plastic in the container had apparently broken down, the side crushed in and . Well you can teach an old dog new tricks but you should first put plastic over him (and the rest of the reloading bench). I managed to save enough to get a tub full of "OLD" 7mm Mauser brass done, and small container for next time but the rest went on towels and rags that were used to clean up. However the brass came out better than it ever had before, in a third of the time . So thanks and God bless. cordell
You are most welcome. Sorry to have contriuted to the mess. Yes it really does work. I just add a capful now and then. I am sure it is the same stuff that comes in the Dillon bottle but costs twice as much.
From time to time, I see posts about "should I clean my brass?". One of the vibrator cleaners from Midway is maybe $40 (haven't checked in a while) but lasts a long, long time. Using clean brass that has polish on it makes cranking the press WAY easier. Also, it doesn't tarnish nearly as fast after it's loaded.
Dispense your Hoppe's #9 from a yellow mustard container with the cone shaped top directly onto your patch or brush.
not realy an invention but i did design a .22 bullet trap like none i've ever seen before... my brother works at a steel fabricator shop and he built it for me.... about the most dirfferent thing i do is reload off two press at once.... i bought and extra speed die body from lee so i can use one press to size while the other one deprimes and expands, then after priming i use one press to seat the bullets (i have a lee custom bullet seater insert because i use flat point bullets) and the other to crimp the case..... oh the lee reloader press is bolted to the bench using some old carburator slotted bolts from a chevy 4 barrel carb.......
When you trickle powder in the little bucket on your scale and you get a tad too much instead of dumping it and starting all over use a piece of strofoam paper plate to pick up a few granules. Rub it on your shirt to charge it up if it loses it's "magnetism".
These entries are fascinating! Mine is simplicity itself:
You need only two maintenance tools: WD-40 and Duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it moves, but shouldn't, use the duct tape.
(Sorry 'bout that! )
The powder leveler idea I liked it.
You also can use a "Bullseye" level. I bought 2 at Orchard Supply Hardware.(OSH)
For the single stage primer tubes,like on the RCBS "RS", "Auto-Prime"get a small roll, or spool of solid "Silver Solder". This has no lead.It is for water systems. Yes, it is expensive.
Cut about 3", straighten it out. Acts like a "check weight", so the primers don't get some how get stuck in the primer tube.
If you don't know what to do with the rest of the silver solder,add it to your bullet casting lead. Those bullets, will have real silver.For those nasty werewolves !
just remembered something...
I'm real hard to buy for at Christmas, birthdays, Father's Day. I'm at the point in life that I've pretty well acquired what I want. I keep a running list on a clipboard in my reloading room of gadgets and trinkets I would like to have, but aren't absolute necessities. I may even mark the stuff in the Midway catalog. My family gets me stuff I want, and it makes their life easier.
Good way to get ammo boxes, extra brass, boxes of bullets, etc.
Well, folks, I doin't know if I have "invented" this, but it sure helps my 50+ year old eyes.
I have my Ohaus 10/10 balance beam scale set on top of my Craftsman tool cabinet in order to avoid parallax, and having to lean down to look straight on at my scale.
As my eyes haven't gotten any better, one day I decided to take my flouescent, table-mounted lamp, turn it sideways, and look through the magnifing lens at my scale. You know the kind that I mean, the round head, with a circular flourescent lamp, attached to an adjustable arm, which is in turn attached to your work bench. I had used it for years to look at small parts and things, but turning it sideways (now vertical), looking through it at my scale has made my reloading more pleasurable.
Hope this helps someone else with less than perfect eyes!
I set my RCBS 1010 powder/bullet scale on a mouse pad, which is on a shelf even with my eye level. I don't have to look down at the scale and there are no vibrations from working the press to effect the beam scale.
I cast mine
Lots of cool ideas, Bronson, I love the cat feeder, I'm off to the pet store first thing tomorrow. The leveller is pretty cool as well. Eye level is important with scales.
I remembered two more tips for the RCBS UNiflow measure:
1) hard to read the dinky scale. I use the vernier calipres depthe gauge when I have got it throwing right, I measure from the end of the shaft to the lock nut. I then record it in the back of my reloading log. I bought a Redding with microeter and that has solved that probem.
2) To help set up the thrower on a charge that I have never used previously, I weigh a charge and throw it into the thrower. I then unmount the thrower, hold it in my hand and adjust the cylinder looking down the reservior until the powder fills the cylinder. It won't be sopt on, but it will be close and save a lot of time.
Tumbling cases in a vibatory cleaner. I get one of those orange coloured net bags that bulk onions come in from the fruit and veg shop. When the cleaner is finished, I slip the bag over the top of the cleaner, then empty the lot into an old plastic 5gal drum with the lid cut off. Most of the media will be filtered out. Grab a corner of the bag and pull it up and down, the rest of the media will be deposited into the drum by shaking it. When finished, the media can be returned to the cleaner and the lot can be stored inside the open drum to save space.
4fingermick. Not to steal your idea. But, I have had great success with these baggies. Keeps the various size brass, separate. You can tumble all at once.
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