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#1 Seth Ritzman

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 09:51 AM

Are there any companies that make an electric or hydraulic reloading machines that "do it all"?  You supply primers, powder, cases and bullets then flip a switch and stand back or even anything close.  I've seen hydraulic machines for shotshell reloading but I haven't seen anything for metallic reloading.  I heard a company called Star made one at one time, but a search on yahoo and shooters links didn't provide a web page.

#2 Flexmoney

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 01:54 PM

I saw something...sometime...somewhere...

As I recall, it was a commercial reloading machine.  I am thinking it made only 9mm.  It was well used and expensive.

#3 tightloop

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 06:25 PM

Star Machine Works made a great loader in the '70's and is now out of business.   they were located in San Diego, Ca.   They never made a hydraulic loader that I know of.  Had two complete machines and 4 different tool heads for years, but they are hopelessly outdated compared to Dillon.  I have a Dillon 1000 now and have used it since the mid '80's, loaded maybe a million rounds, still going strong.  Get a 1050 and rock and roll.  forget about the hydraulic thing, progressive loaders are not about how many rounds you can crank out in an hour, they are about making quality rounds more easily than a Rockchucker.  Even with the best of machines, it is about the guy running it and how careful he is and how well he controls the machine he is using.

#4 EricW

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 07:21 PM

HTR -

Somebody probably makes them, but they are going to be mucho mucho expensive.  It's not just the cost of the hydraulics, it's all the safety interlocks and guarding that have to be incorporated as soon as something becomes "automatic."  

I used to build automation for a living.  As soon as an assembly device went from "pull a lever" to "powered & automatic" the price jumped from say $5000 to $15,000 and up depending on the complexity.  Automatic = Expensive.  

A reloader is especially sticky business once you consider the issues related to primer feeding and the presence of large quantities of powder in the vicinity.  What happens when an inverted or sideways primer blows and sets off a chain reaction?  This is why Dillon limits the size of their primer magazines - it limits the disaster level to hole in your ceiling.  

You might try rolling your own and flying under OSHA's radar, but to buy anything commerically, you're going to pay a pretty severe penalty for the convenience.  In the end, you could buy a Super 1050 for every caliber you own and be way ahead financially.  

E

#5 snokid

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Posted 04 August 2002 - 08:53 PM

so what do the commercial reloaders use?

dillon's?

sno

#6 jhgtyre

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 07:32 AM

I recall reading somewhere that hooking up any sort of automating device was one of the few things you could do that would void the warranty on a Dillon press.  That being said, there must be some "Home Improvement" types out there that want to get more power out their presses and have done this.

I did see a commercial hydraulic kit at Spolar's site that could possibly be modified to work with other presses.  It doesn't seem advantageous though as it only makes one round every 3 seconds and a manually operated Dillon is MUCH faster.

-jhgtyre

(Edited by jhgtyre at 7:34 am on Aug. 5, 2002)

#7 BigDave

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 08:29 AM

the only commercial, automated press I've heard of is made by Camdex.  I haven't found a site for them, but I saw listing for a used one on gunbroker.com for $7500.

I've seen them in action.  Pretty cool.  They are linear, and pretty fast.  Precision Cartridge, which I used to use their ammo exclusively when I had my USP used them, and the end product was good stuff.

#8 benos

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 02:23 PM

The Camdex is all I've ever seen...
be

#9 Seth Ritzman

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 02:35 PM

The automatic wasn't as much for speed of reloading as it was for ease of reloading.  My wife has a bad wrist and reloading and shooting bothers it, and I'm developing tendonitis in my shoulder and the reloading sessions the day before a match (I reload for both of us) tends to bother my shoulder the next morning.  I currently use a dillon 650.

#10 EricW

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 05:44 PM

HTR -

Okie dokie, we have comprehension now.  I thought about this, but scrapped it just due to the expense and hassle.

You could probably just cut the operating handle short, drill and hole in the end, then rig a air cylinder or hydraulic cylinder to the stub to cycle the press.  For hydraulics, Enerpack makes nice self-contained systems.  You can find the power packs used in the paper from time to time.  To find the right cylinder, you'll probably have to go through a dealer and cough up some dough.  

For safety's sake, you probably want to actuate the unit with dual palm buttons, just to ensure you don't forget and leave your hand in the works.  You're probably not the only one who needs this type of a "helper."  Maybe there's a product here...  Hope you can get something to work out for you.

E

#11 JFD

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 12:20 AM

Speed of operation with either the hydraulic or air method is going to be a problem.  Both methods, if automated, will cycle very quickly unless you spend even more money.

I had an "expert" (I can't prove differently) who I basically gave a blank check to.  His project was to simply slow down the operation of an air cylinder for a test machine I was trying to build.  The operation was a failure due to a force measurement issue, but if I recall correctly, the cost of the cylinder and slowing it down was around $2000.  This also included mounting the unit to a test stand, which is basically the same kind of thing you'd have to do.  

I've dealt with hydraulic jaws on a tensile tester and found the required pump to be awfully expensive and problematic.  

I'd look for a solution in the ergonomics of how you load.  A slight shift of the body parts can make a big difference in what hurts, or doesn't hurt the next day.  I've found the height of the press versus yourself is the biggest source of problems, with the press usually being too high.  My bad arthritis is why I now cast bullets standing up to prevent shoulder and wrist problems.

#12 EricW

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 06:35 AM

[Smartypants mode ON]

JFD,

I hate to tell you this, but the actuation speed of a cylinder, either air or hydraulic is easily regulated with a flow control(s) placed on the ports, or on the actuating valve.  Cost:  way less than $2K - like maybe $20 to $100 depending on what your requirements are.

Yes, specialized cylinders can cost mucho dinero, but this application is pretty straightforward and already exists for shotshell reloaders.  I think Spolar or Ponsess Warren is already doing it and has been for a while.

Sorry to be a smartypants.

E

#13 shred

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 09:02 AM

Probably need a 1050 too... no push-the-primer-in-at-the-end-of-the-upstroke to fuss with.  

I heard a story the other day of somebody coming into Mike Dillon's office with a prototype powered system, and nearly taking his finger off just demoing the thing.  

Supposedly they have enough self-maimings using the manual presses.

#14 JFD

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 09:48 AM

No problem with the smartypants thing.  I was working on a test device that couldn't tolerate any jerking during the cylinder travel.  A simple flow device wouldn't get the job done, at least with an air cylinder.  We were basically trying to automate a test that involved using a digital torque wrench with results down in the .25 lb range.  The initial travel of the cylinder wasn't "gentle" enough to keep from skewing the results with a standard flow control.

Of course I was also paying for this guy's time, as well as any parts for failed experiments.  The force measurement instruments were probably also included in that $2000, so the cylinder work could have been the cheapest part.

Glad to hear it can be a simple thing.

#15 ORCA

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Posted 12 August 2002 - 03:17 PM

I'm a newbie to the forum , but I believe I can inject some good advice on this subject. As a owner of an  automation company and an machine shop I've had the opportunity to see several high output loading machines. They are all extremly complex and produce hundreds of rounds per minute.

I am a hopeless tinkerer I have looked into automating a Dillon 650. Air cylinders are a decent possibility, just hook one directly to the piston and remove the handle and cam. Hydraulics are extremly messy and expensive. An electric motor could drive a cam and follower to actuate the piston and cycle the press, but that would be expensive as well. All of the above systems have the problem of how to sense primer problems.

As all you wish to do is reduce the stress on your shoulder I would mechanically alter your 650. I would use a foot activated lever with a spring return that you could use while seated. Picture a see-saw with the pivot point placed so that a couple of inches of movement from you will cycle the press. A second foot lever could be used to seat the primer and you would still recieve tactile feedback as to wether the primer was seated or not. Hope this gives you some good ideas.

By the way most torque meassurements are done with a electric motor and a load cell.

#16 Chris

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Posted 15 August 2002 - 04:09 PM

All the hydraulic shotshell press are activated by a foot pedal.  Ponsness Warren and MEC have hydraulics for their presses.  

People I've talked to that own the hydro press say they are very smooth and not jerky at all.  Nothing spills out of the hulls when the shell plates move.

Dillon could easily apply this to the 650's and 1050's in my opinion.  It would allow one to make 5000 rounds instead of only 1000 at a time and having to quit cause your shoulder and back are killing you.

#17 swagerman

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 07:52 AM

Dear Sir. If you want a full automatic reloading machine, you can choose severall. First, you can full convert your Dillon RL1050, by inserting on the left side a M-A system neumatic bullet feeder and on the bottom and right side an hydraulic tool that is manufactured in the States.

The second option is CAMDEX, this company is in Troy, MI. They manufacture severall kind of machines, straigh ones and circular ones. The circular are more than 16 steps. Really incredible.

There is also another firm called AMMO LOAD. Its very similar to Camdex. Dont know wich was first.

As I write this, I remember also another one, RDP, the tool.  Also manufactured and fully automatic converted in the States.

You are wondering how do I know all this, well, by reading Handloaders Digest and all other similar publications since 15 or more years ago.

Hope this is helpfully to you. Best regards, Swagerman
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#18 Patrick Sweeney

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 08:24 AM

A friend if mine who was into commercial loading for a while tried the RDP, and ended up selling it for more Dillons.

Hey, why not build some linkage from a stairmaster to the press, and get ammo and exercise at the same time?

If Camdex sells for $7500, and Dillon sells for $1100, that gives me a pretty good idea of what the cost of engineering hydraulics to a Dillon can run.  Maybe less, maybe not.

#19 shred

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 02:21 PM

Somebody was selling a couple of hydraulic-adapted 1050's on eBay a while back.  I think they wanted $5K for two.

#20 Bruce

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 12:49 PM

This thread is old, but a friend just bought a gizmo that turns the MEC shotgun shell reloader into a push-button affair. He loves it, and cranks out the shells. With someone smarter than me, why couldn't someone configure a 650 to do this?

http://www.amtarget.com/

#21 Irishlad

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 01:33 PM

I watched the video of the auto operation. It looks "neat", but slow.

It doesn't look like they can make it too fast. You could have a "religious experience" if you caught you thumb or finger in the wad guide at the wrong time.

#22 dirtypool40

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Posted 08 November 2004 - 01:51 PM

just my two cents...

I used to have a deal going with a commercial reloader, sort of a sponsorship, he provided me loaded rounds for what I would have paid for the components.

He had the sexy auto presses, I am not sure which ones, probably camdex.

Anyhoo, as far as consistency went I was happy to move on when time and money allowed. Either he was running them too fast and things were jiggling out or something was wrong with his powder feed, I used to get get very light powder charges, that were just louder than a squib.

The bullet would make it out of the barrel most of the time, but the gun would not cycle. I got used to stopping for safety when this would happen at a local match, and when the RO did NOT stop me at the NATS, I stood there holding my gun open, while the guy with the timer is liike "whenever the mood strikes, go ahead and finish buddy."

It was only 1 or maybe 2 per 100, (yes, hundred) but what a pain in the ass.
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#23 GunWhoreDer

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 12:43 AM

Bullet maker Magma Eng. Bullet Master makes 4,000+ per hour $6,600.
AmmoLoad automated loader loades 5,000 rounds per hour $15K-18K
These are recognized to be superior to the Balisticast and Camdex machines.
I have 4 of the Bullet Masters w/ 45 sets of 8 molds each. 3 of the AmmoLoads, 2 Ammo sorting and boxing machines, Automatic Brass sorter, SCHARCH MFG. case inspector, and Case inspector w/ AutoReamer. Everything you need and then some to go into the Loading business. Any interest in all or some of these?
My E-mail fullauto@swfla.rr.com Thanks, GunWhoreDer
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#24 Rob Boudrie

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 06:28 AM

I recall reading somewhere that hooking up any sort of automating device was one of the few things you could do that would void the warranty on a Dillon press.

This Dillon 1050 warranty expires after one year and they no longer "look the other way" and give 1050 owners with machines older than one year free parts when something breaks. The terms of the written warranty have not changed, however, the manner in which it is handled did change a few years ago.
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#25 shred

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 06:03 PM

This Dillon 1050 warranty expires after one year and they no longer "look the other way" and give 1050 owners with machines older than one year free parts when something breaks. The terms of the written warranty have not changed, however, the manner in which it is handled did change a few years ago.

Hmm. I've gotten a few small freebies from Dillon for my 1050 over the past few years. I don't mind paying though when I realize it's loaded 50,000 almost completely trouble-free rounds for me
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