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Ideas for automating this...

Ammo into boxes

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#1 RocketCity1911

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 04:36 PM

So, you've loaded hundreds of rounds, the bin is full and you need to get the rounds boxed up. Anybody figure out a way to automate this process? I like to put my loaded ammo in trays so I can then inspect the primers all at once plus it makes keeping an inventory count easier.

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#2 PROBIKE101

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:36 PM

KIND OF hard to automate that part of reloading,i run them through the checker then into the tray.not sure i wood automate that part.
each bullett should be checked ,seen stage times shot too hell because of 1 upside down primer.or two or three.that will bum you out on an easy stage.
your eyes and sense of touch at inspection is hard to automate,unless you have a large budget to do so..........

#3 RocketCity1911

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

Agree. I just want to automate getting them in the trays, not the inspection. Obviously the bullet end is the heaviest. So, seems like gravity combined with some way to funnel the rounds and keep them moving ought to be possible. The manufacturers must have a slick way to do this that could be scaled down for us home gamers. Thoughts?

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#4 carbonman556

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

Agree. I just want to automate getting them in the trays, not the inspection. Obviously the bullet end is the heaviest. So, seems like gravity combined with some way to funnel the rounds and keep them moving ought to be possible. The manufacturers must have a slick way to do this that could be scaled down for us home gamers. Thoughts?


What I did.....I had 3 kids!!! Those boxes fill up like magic!!! :goof:

#5 RocketCity1911

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:42 PM


Agree. I just want to automate getting them in the trays, not the inspection. Obviously the bullet end is the heaviest. So, seems like gravity combined with some way to funnel the rounds and keep them moving ought to be possible. The manufacturers must have a slick way to do this that could be scaled down for us home gamers. Thoughts?


What I did.....I had 3 kids!!! Those boxes fill up like magic!!! :goof:


That might work when they are little. My kids are 20 and 18. They want to be paid and do it on their schedule -- not an optimal solution.

With primer tube fillers, case feeders, bullet feeders, and presses capable of doing many 100's of rounds an hour, it sure would be nice to feed the bin of loaded ammo into some jig that helps complete the process.

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#6 DWFAN

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

Yep.

http://www.camdexloa...ingMachine.aspx




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#7 RocketCity1911

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:21 PM

Yep.

http://www.camdexloa...ingMachine.aspx


Cool video. This is sort of what I had in mind. Perhaps a scaled down version that would fit on the average reloaders bench maybe filling one round at a time or even just getting the rounds oriented the same and lined up for manual transfer to the trays would be a reasonable solution. Any more ideas out there?

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#8 jmorris

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

Drop them into the tray as you case gauge them.

#9 PROBIKE101

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

Thats what i said.........

#10 Steve RA

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:18 PM

Try this over a container, just put a handful of cartridges on the tray and shake them (it). You will lose some off the sides, put another handful on and when you get most of the cavities full, just put the last few in by hand.

You'll find it's reasonably fast and a lot cheaper than the Camdex Loader. :roflol:

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#11 kevin c

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

Probike and jmorris suggestion about gauging as you box them makes sense.

If done already, or gauging is for later or not at all (practice ammo, maybe?) you could try what I do. Shake the loose rounds around in the loading bin or a box. They'll tend to settle nose down. Line up your trays side by side and top to bottom in rectangular grid (no open space between adjacent trays). With each hand you can grab several rounds (probably 10 or 15 9mm) in your fingertips, holding them by the case end. Just move the rounds over the open slots in the trays, bullet tips touching the surface, and loosen your grip. Most of the empty spots will catch a round in the proper orientation right away. Moving around a bit with your fingers keeping the rest of the rounds upright will catch a few more. A few rounds will go in bullet up and a few will fall flat. Either way, an easy pick up and place back in the tray. Repeat until the trays are filled.

Takes longer to write it than to do it.

And if jmorris hasn't conjured up some masterpiece of home built machinery to do this by now, then it can't be done.

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#12 Mark K

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

I use plastic ammo boxes so this might be different for you. But, I bought an EGW 50 round case gauge:

http://www.egwguns.c...amber-checkers/

Put the cartriges in the 50 case checker, then place the ammo box over the top, and then, holding them together, invert. The Bullets will fall into the ammo box. This does plase them Bullet Up, however, if like me you prefer primer up, then just take another ammo box place it over ther bullet up ammo box, and then, holding them together, invert.

It works for me. Hell of alot faster than one case at a time. If you time is worth anything, the $99 for the case checker is well worth the money.

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#13 RocketCity1911

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

I use an EGW U die for resizing, which goes nearly full length of the case and eliminates the need to case gauge.

On my Dillon 650 I noticed the finished round exits the machine bullet end down practically every time. Maybe a design that could take advantage of that would be possible. I'm going to think on that some more.

P.S. I tried using the case feeder just to see if would pick up and drop a finished round. It wouldn't.

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#14 jmorris

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:49 AM

I use an EGW U die for resizing, which goes nearly full length of the case and eliminates the need to case gauge.


More often than not, rounds fail the casegauge because of the rim. A U die won't help a bit in this area.

#15 RocketCity1911

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

I use an EGW U die for resizing, which goes nearly full length of the case and eliminates the need to case gauge.


More often than not, rounds fail the casegauge because of the rim. A U die won't help a bit in this area.


Well, I've reloaded over 20,000 9mm with that U die and never had a problem in my guns with FTF. But, perhaps a design for this "jig" could incorporate a case gauge.

If an automated solution can be found, it should be something that forum members can easily build/modify for their needs and feel comfortable using. The Quality Assurance of your reloaded ammuntion and what you want to do with the design if you choose to build a "jig" is up to you. I want to keep the discussion focussed on finding a DIY automated way to transfer loaded rounds from a bin/press to trays/boxes.

I was thinking about having the rounds exit the press and flow down a trough or tube either standing up vertically or laying down horizontally. You could image ammo "marching" along the trough/tube and winding up at a collection point. The collection point could simply stack up the rounds or maybe get them lined up for a 50 round tray form factor or possibly hold 100 rounds so that when you refill the primer tube you can inspect/package the finished ammo. Thoughts?

Hey, at least it gives us something to do during the off-season B)

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#16 RocketCity1911

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

I appreciate everyone's input. I think if the basic problem can be solved, the add-on's and nice-to-have's will really juice up this project.

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#17 RocketCity1911

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

I'll through out one design idea...Thoughts?

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#18 RocketCity1911

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

Clean up of previous design and addition of another design idea...

These designs seem fairly simple. The gate at the bottom will require some more thought, but a buddy of mine thinks it would easily doable.

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#19 DWFAN

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

In the angled design, I think you would have issues with the bullet being heavy enough to pull it down the tube. I think the round would slide across the tops of the tubes, depending on angle, and width of the opening.

I think if you could rig something up to fill up one long tube, bullet end down, then you could just manually fill the cases from the single tube, sliding from hole to hole.

Edited by DWFAN, 26 November 2012 - 12:46 PM.



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#20 RocketCity1911

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:06 PM

In the angled design, I think you would have issues with the bullet being heavy enough to pull it down the tube. I think the round would slide across the tops of the tubes, depending on angle, and width of the opening.

I think if you could rig something up to fill up one long tube, bullet end down, then you could just manually fill the cases from the single tube, sliding from hole to hole.


The angled design could take a bit of finess to get it to work consistently. The advantage would be that the jig would be stationary, but could require a vibrator or perhaps a tie in to the stroke action of the press to get some vibration to keep the ammo moving along. Design #2 eliminates those "finess" complications but requires moving the jig as each tube fills up, which could get messy if one forgets to move it.

I thought about the one long tube design. Problem there is I think even for a 50 round capacity tube, it would be a long tube and possibly difficult to keep the bullets moving along as you tried to fill up the trays. I like the idea of filling up 10 slots at a time so that all you have to do is activate the gate 5 times and you have a full tray. It seems like it would take up less space on the work bench. One downside is that the tray's vary in size even in the same caliber, so you would have to stick to one size of trays or possibly make the tube spacing adjustable.

Feel free to through out a sketch of any ideas you or anyone else out there might have. The more ideas the better :D

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#21 jmorris

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:26 AM

If an automated solution can be found, it should be something that forum members can easily build/modify for their needs and feel comfortable using.


That is largely dependent on what tools and materials folks have laying around but if you have access to a mill it would be pretty easy. Your 9mm round is tapered, just mill a bunch of slots into something wide enough for the nose to fall down through but the base of the case catches. Then you just need enough slots long enough to hold enough ammo for your tray, make one end open like an E or a comb so once the tips are in the tray you can slide your "jig" out.

Find an old ramline 10-22 mag loader and take a look at it, worked pretty much the same way. Except you dumped in a box of ammo and shook it side to side and they all fell in nose down to load the mag.

#22 RocketCity1911

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:51 AM

If an automated solution can be found, it should be something that forum members can easily build/modify for their needs and feel comfortable using.


That is largely dependent on what tools and materials folks have laying around but if you have access to a mill it would be pretty easy. Your 9mm round is tapered, just mill a bunch of slots into something wide enough for the nose to fall down through but the base of the case catches. Then you just need enough slots long enough to hold enough ammo for your tray, make one end open like an E or a comb so once the tips are in the tray you can slide your "jig" out.

Find an old ramline 10-22 mag loader and take a look at it, worked pretty much the same way. Except you dumped in a box of ammo and shook it side to side and they all fell in nose down to load the mag.


Good idea. I was going to put some thought into the "Gate" mechanism over the next few days and post some potential designs here. All contributions from forum members for this "jig" are welcome ;) We're not ready to cut and bend metal just yet, but maybe getting closer.

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#23 RocketCity1911

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

After kicking around the gate idea for a bit over lunch, a Eureka moment occurred -- the tray is the gate! Check out the attached design and let me know what you think. Plan to do a test using a single tube to see how it goes. Can it be this simple?

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#24 RocketCity1911

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:03 AM

After kicking around the gate idea for a bit over lunch, a Eureka moment occurred -- the tray is the gate! Check out the attached design and let me know what you think. Plan to do a test using a single tube to see how it goes. Can it be this simple?


The single tube test was a success. I'm going to build a prototype of the 10 tube design and see how it performs. Will try to put up a video when I have it working. With no matches this weekend, maybe I can get it done.

As always, ideas for other design concepts or recommendations for the current design are welcome.

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#25 Mark R

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

Mike...What happens when a round nose bullet hits the primer of a previous round as it slides down the tube. Hate to see it go BANG!

Might need lots of Charmin handy.

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