What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by James THR, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. entropy

    entropy Member

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    My Dad made one of those in wood for his Ruger Old Army back in '76.
     
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  2. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    Well.... here goes.
    When working the kinks out of a vibratory ramp to loading primer tubes, I came up with a overflow for the primers and a switch gate to alternate between tubes. If the operator got distracted, the overflow ran the primers into a catch basin that was larger than the capacity of the vibrator.

    Bullets dropped nose first into loading tubes from the vibrating ramps, and the operators had to invert the tubes to put them into the sizer. Since the tubes were about 4 feet long, it was a chore. I came up with a little water wheel gizmo to feed directly from the vibrating ramps into the sizer, eliminating the tubes completely. Bullets dropped into a chamber on the wheel, and it rotated slowly to fill a stationary tube on the sizer - with a limit switch that would shut off the wheel when the tube was full.

    I see today there's a thing called a bulge buster. Have not the need these days, so have not tried one. Back in the day, when I loaded 9mm range brass on an AmmoCrafter, I had our ace-in-the-hole machinist rework the carbide die, and shell plate for the AmmoCrafter. He was able to shorten the carbide sizer to eliminate most of the feed-in bell on the carbide insert. Then we reworked the shell plates to eliminate some of the space above the groove on the case, effectively pushing the case further into a die that had been reworked to "squeeze more". That got our jams from bulged cases down to almost (but not quite) nothin'. The 9's were the worst. That tapered case smears brass down every time you size one, and at the time, people were going thru all sorts of efforts to get hollow points to feed on ramps designed for full metal jackets - a lot of bubba ramps with some bulging there too. Some of you may remember the ramps with a hump in the middle on High Power's and some of the S&W 39/59 barrels among others.
     
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  3. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    Not a reloading item, but I built a rotary jig for 1911 sears so they could be cut at a radius as a starting point for trigger work - many schools of thought there, so don't flame me on it! It worked for me, and my customers, and lasted well.

    Not my idea, but our machine expert had a welder he knew fire up some beads on the end of screws that we could put in a vice grip that had been threaded and reworked. The bead was to set the flange on the old Millet sights, and get away from their ridiculous tool.

    There were lots of little things in the shop that grew out of frustration or just the need for something that was too damn expensive, or worse, expensive and not made worth a damn on the "commercial" market.
     
  4. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I’m learning my Dillon RL1100 and was trying to figure out how to hold back the case feed plunger so I didn’t cycle new cases. Reloading innovations sells a nylon tool that clips on but I needed something like now. I pulled back the plunger and noticed the gap looked like a 9mm case - voila! Problem solved.
     
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  5. trixter

    trixter Member

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    That is a great idea
     
  6. WeekendReloader

    WeekendReloader Member

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    I had loaded and crimped about 10 pistol bullets too long for my chamber. I didn't want to use the bullet hammer to pull them. Since they were cast lead, I just cut a 2" length of PVC pipe, dropped it over the press ram, put the round in the shell holder, then used a large pair of wire cutters to hold the bullet while I lowered the ram. Pulled all the bullets in less than a minute. Case, primer and powder were reused. Bullets went back into the lead pot. For rifle, just use a longer piece of PVC pipe to suit your cartridge length.
     
  7. Toprudder
    • Contributing Member

    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    Modified my brass sorting tray to make it easier to separate 357 mag from 38 special brass. I made standoffs out of 1/4” carriage bolts, washers and nuts. I adjusted the bolts so the 38 spl just rises above the bottom of the the tray, which makes the 357mag stand proud of the 38 brass. Any 38 S&W that happens to be in the mix will be in full contact with the tray.

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  8. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    A few twists by hand of a 3/16 drill bit inside a small primer pickup tubes 'lips' sure makes it a lot easier pick up those primers.
     
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  9. wbbh

    wbbh Member

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    funnel 1.jpg funnel 2.jpg funnel 3.jpg For pouring powder a short wide funnel is very handy. The short taper helps to prevent overfilling and the wide opening is perfect for pouring from 4/8 pound powder jugs. Mine is made by Rhino, but it looks like it now made by Hopkins, their 10703 FloTool Spill Saver Radiator Funnel is the same thing.
     
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  10. Triggernosis

    Triggernosis Member

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    Here's the one I use, complete with Item #. 20201213_190221.jpg
     
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  11. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    Same as the one I use.
     
  12. HEAVY METAL 1

    HEAVY METAL 1 Member

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  13. 1976B.L.Johns.

    1976B.L.Johns. Member

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    Not my idea, but my Dad's
    If one looks in the upper right hand corner of this screenshot of my reloading "bench", there is a wrist pin of a large engine piston and connecting rod.
    When I inherited my Dad's reloading stuff almost 28 years ago, I had no idea why this heavy piece of metal was in the cabinet........
    Well, I have figured out two very good uses for it.
    #1. Makes a good backstop for a kinetic hammer!
    #2. The ends are perfectly flat so it does make an easy, quick check to insure primers are set flush or below! (Set primed cartridge on it, duh...);)

    upload_2020-12-22_20-1-52.png

    Rest in peace, Dad!!!
     
  14. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    When doing load development I like to use heavy card stock and shoot-n-c 1” dots.

    In order to keep my rows straight I’ll fold the paper as shown. A lot quicker than trying to use a ruler.

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    I use a spirit level to make sure it’s plumb when I hang it. That’s important when using the OCW (OCD? ;) )method as you’re looking for group center deviation from your point of aim
     
  15. BWS

    BWS Member

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    "Most" of the measuring here is done as hands free as possible. Just more consistent. The little near mint, Stanley vise was snagged off evilbay,and makes this process almost foolproof. It is 100% easier than trying to use it in your hands. This calipre never gets taken out(have others to use).

    Screenshot_20210606-120751_Gallery.jpg
     
  16. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    @BWS, thanks for this. I have a small Dremel vise that I hadn't found a recent use for. You've given me the idea to use it to hold my tube micrometer.
     
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  17. sr1971

    sr1971 Member

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    I drilled and tapped a Lyman Ezee Trim unit so I can use it on and off the RCBS Brass Boss (or other motorized prep station). I found it's much faster than fiddling with the unit and a cordless drill. YMMV!
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  18. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    Not reloading, but it's so handy I want to share it.

    I got this from a friend who got it from a PH in Africa.

    Bore brush protector/ bore guide.

    Keeps your brushes clean in the bottom of your possibles bag and already marked for caliber.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Finished this a.m.

    Started life as a way to tote a cpl shotguns,and boxes of clays down into the woods behind the house. Using a hand thrower,we used to have too much fun creating super realistic "woods clays".

    It's missing an old crate that goes on the bttm.

    It sat on the back porch,sorta neglected? and then a surf fishing trip got planned. So I modified it slightly to be used in the horizontal, a modest sized cooler fits on it,gun holders got swapped out for rod holders....

    Made the big rectangle frame a while back to be used as an expedient paper frame for shotgun patterns.... never finished it. Well,got it done this a.m. to use as a paper holder for paper tuning bows/arrows. Already used it.... moved it out to blast it with a pressure washer. Figured,what the hay... take a pic and post it.

    Screenshot_20210607-101730_Gallery.jpg
     
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  20. memtb

    memtb Member

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    In the early ‘70’s I bought a .358 dia. cast bullet sizing die for a Lyman 310 tool. As a “poor boy”, I couldn’t afford or justify buying the 310 tool, so I soldered the sizing die ram in a shell holder, and used my loading press to push my cast bullets through the die! Within the last year I discovered that Lyman makes a sizing die to be used with the loading press.....similar thought but much improved over my crude set-up. I have no idea when Lyman brought this out.....maybe I should’ve patented the concept! :D memtb
     
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  21. AR. Hillbilly

    AR. Hillbilly Member

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    I dont have a prep center yet but hope to this winter. last winter I took a small 1300 rpm electric motor and mounted it to a small pedestal and mounted a switch. I made a collar with 8x32 threads to go on it. It’s too fast for most operations but works very well for a Lyman primer pocket reamer.
    I ouch the primer pocket over the reamer and bump the switch for just a split second and let off. After I got the knack of it I can do several in short order. Every piece of brass crimped or not goes through the process.
     
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  22. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I may have mentioned this previous, but I use old tractor drive copier paper for target backers (spot stickers and such). I also use the sheets by themselves in 3 different ways - Whole is roughly the centermass area of a human torso. Folded length-wise it is a spinal/heart/lung layout approximation. Folded once again and it will replicate the coverage of a head or cranial vault area sized target. Just fold and staple and you are good to go.
     
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  23. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    Another thing I did (I'm CHEAP) was fish an IDPA cardboard target out of the trash at the range and used it to spray up targets on "Blue Hawk" Lowe's drop paper roll. I found a piece of 1/4 ply in the shop and traced the cardboard onto it and cut it out, and now have a plywood template to spray the negative on the paper. They work great for my needs.
     
  24. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I cut out the center mass and head triangle from the plywood.
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  25. pert near

    pert near Member

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    One tool that seems to get a lot of use on my bench is the Dremel. Usually what I need is the cut-off wheel. These disks are very fragile & can easily be broken, but they are too much trouble to be disassembled & put away each time. So I took an empty tube, drilled a hole in the cap, added a cotton ball for cushion & created a case for the mounted disk. If your tube of new disks is not too full you can store them in the bottom of the tube. Simple & handy.
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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021
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