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GWhis
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Posted: 12/7/2010 12:08:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/23/2010 1:36:50 PM EST by GWhis]
Hornady Bullet Feeder Parts 1 & 2
I've been playing with this tool for a few days now. I've NEVER, EVER been an early adopter before....getting older, less patient to wait, and perhaps more senile.

Anyway, in this thread I will share my experiences, pictures, tweaks, etc. (I need a Christmas project to work on...you all know I'm happy as a clam when I have something to tinker with)

Out of the box revelations:

  • First and foremost this is a very simple design (why I bought it in the first place). Some will say too simple. To me, simple means fewer parts, less to go wrong, and a tool easier to tweak...to make it do what I want.

  • Caliber change can't be more simple...screw in a new die, change the coil tube, push in the new fitting in the bin that the coil pushes into....and maybe you have to tweak the two bullet sweepers. I really like that...watched Hornady's video and that feature alone sold me...I load several calibers regularly.

  • One disappointment....no micro-switch or any other method to turn the tool off when the tube is full....and with the one piece coiled tube...no way to tell when its full. Empty is when you don't see a bullet sitting on the case. That won't stand...I already have an idea or two.

  • The feed dies are also simple and work....at least if they come right. I initially ordered .45 and .40 dies. The .40 worked out of the box. The .45 didn't feed so good. After analyzing how they work, I determined that the upper collet was too tight and the inside is too rough. Bullets have to drop easily through it unless it is forced against the lower collet by a shell case being pushed into the die. The lower collet is forced open and up by the case, which releases the single bullet in the lower collet, while forcing the upper collet closed to prevent another bullet feeding. Once the case is removed, the upper collet opens and a bullet drops and is held by the lower one, ready for the next case. I used a round, slightly tapered, sign painters brush handle, forced carefully into the upper collet until it stretched just enough to work. I also used 1500 grit and then 2500 grit sandpaper to smooth the inside...polishing would be a good thing...next.

  • Another out of the box revelation is (like the RCBS version (even documented in RCBS's instruction manual)), the collator needs a bunch of bullets to feed a few. That means when you get down to the last 20 or so, you wait a long time to feed a bullet....not real great. Hornady's manual does not admit such a thing. But I've been working on that...I can now put 10 .45's in the collator and feed them all in 60 seconds...just a minor non-destructive mod. .40 caliber is proving to be a harder fix...give me time.

  • My biggest out of the box headache will be finding just the right spot behind and between my press and trimmer. I didn't plan well for a Hornady bullet feeder...the RCBS version is more adjustable...I just hate the RCBS feed dies, and their attitude about forcing people to buy 3 collators to feed 2 rifles and pistols.
  • (I anxiously await the promised, soon to be coming, Hornady Rifle Conversion Kit)

  • I have a Lee .45 expander in place at the moment. That means I don't have room for anything else when the feeder die is in use. I had to adjust to expander to max (limited by the shell plate hitting it and the sizer die and it wasn't quite to Hornady specs...can you say open wide. Oh and BTW...a surprise came in the feeder die boxes. Each came with Hornady's new improved PTX powder drop expanders! http://www.hornady.com/store/PTX-Powder-Drop-Expander-.451-1-Each Hornady AP users will be thrilled...those are $10 a pop for free. I may decide to convert my Uniflow to use it...we'll see.


  • Next post will be pictures and more review. My take so far....promising.

    My biggest question and concern right now, is with the double collet system, allowing only one bullet in the lower collet....that means the weight of only one bullet is pressing the newly fed bullet into the belled case...unlike either the "Mr Bullet Feeder" or RCBS design. I'm wondering how that will work with light bullets making it to the seating station on non-Hornady presses.....this may turn out to be a Hornady AP only design, despite Hornady's advertising to the contrary...since Hornady's AP has a half stroke index, vs. the more jerky full stroke index. Hope this doesn't bite me in the shorts...that will cure me of being an early adopter.

ws-6
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Posted: 12/7/2010 5:32:08 PM EST
do you reload 9mm or 380? i would be interested to see how those work
FlashHole
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Posted: 12/7/2010 6:13:30 PM EST
This thread needs PICS

Thanks for the write up!!
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dryflash3
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Posted: 12/7/2010 9:54:22 PM EST
Nice first post, in for moar.
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BroadSideOfADime
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Posted: 12/7/2010 10:27:33 PM EST
Lots of good info in your initial review. Thanks for taking the time!
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Posted: 12/8/2010 9:32:12 AM EST
Arghh, it's reading stuff like this that ends up costing me $$$.

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machinisttx
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Posted: 12/8/2010 10:35:21 AM EST
We need pics!

Excellent write up. I've been looking at buying one for my 650.
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GWhis
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Posted: 12/8/2010 10:38:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/8/2010 10:46:30 AM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By ws-6:
do you reload 9mm or 380? i would be interested to see how those work

Not .380. and .40 has replaced my 9mm. I do have a friend who reloads his 9mm on my stuff. I'm thinking the least he can do is buy the $25 feeder die. When he does I'll test it and add the data to this thread...sorry.

Later today pictures and more review. It is amusing that my mod works pretty well to feed .40 now...all but the last bullet. (9 out of 10 in a minute) Go figure. The single, lighter, angle-nosed .40 is totally unpredictable...it has an attitude. I'm willing to bet the 9mm with its traditional rounded nose will feed better.
ws-6
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Posted: 12/8/2010 12:49:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By GWhis:
Originally Posted By ws-6:
do you reload 9mm or 380? i would be interested to see how those work

Not .380. and .40 has replaced my 9mm. I do have a friend who reloads his 9mm on my stuff. I'm thinking the least he can do is buy the $25 feeder die. When he does I'll test it and add the data to this thread...sorry.

Later today pictures and more review. It is amusing that my mod works pretty well to feed .40 now...all but the last bullet. (9 out of 10 in a minute) Go figure. The single, lighter, angle-nosed .40 is totally unpredictable...it has an attitude. I'm willing to bet the 9mm with its traditional rounded nose will feed better.


somewhat related.....
ya i load 40 for myself and 9mm for my GF. i have loaded 40 with my new case feeder (i do have a LnL AP) but haven't tried to load 9mm yet. I was talking to someone that does load 9mm and they have constant problems with it to the point they were saying it almost isn't worth it. he has a really early AP
GWhis
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Posted: 12/9/2010 1:16:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/23/2010 1:35:18 PM EST by GWhis]
Hornady Bullet Feeder Review Part 1

Basic Hopper mounted temporarily on its stand. Not my reloading bench, but a perfect spot to sort it out and work out the kinks.

Hopper with the Turning Plate and the Pistol Bullet Feed Wheel removed. Notice the center spindle...mine arrived loose...it took me a while to realize is wasn't supposed to rotate. You tighten it by screwing it in...duh. Make sure yours is tight or nothing works right.

This is all the stuff that comes with the tool...including the two dies I bought. The .45 cal. die is the one taken apart. This is a very simple tool...few parts compared to RCBS's version. Good and bad. Good because simple means not much to go wrong. Bad because you have no clear tube to see bullets coming...or not. Nor is there a micro-switch to detect a full tube and automatically turn the tool off. There is a switch behind the hopper. And you automatically reach out and turn it off....I guess when you quit hearing bullets clanking around in the hopper. Notice there is 3 spring tubes: .45, .40, and .38/9mm. On mine the .40 spring wouldn't even begin to go in my .40 die. I think somebody switched uppers on me (.38 upper screwed on to the .40 collets and lower die. Hornady has been emailed on that one.

One of the best features of this tool is the quick caliber change. I'm holding the "Tube Bullet Drop Funnel." It goes into the Tube Spring Clamp at the top of the Turning Plate. You change Funnels, Tube Springs, and Dies to change calibers...no tools...just loosen the clamp and pull the Tube Spring and it's Drop Funnel and replace them. I like that but on my sample, I could see right away that speedy changes were not in the cards, unless I fixed a slight problem. The Tube Spring Clamp was too small a diameter. Yes I could push the funnels in, but getting it back off was an operation...sure didn't need the thumb screw to tighten it.

The problem was rough machining...the fix was 1000 grit sandpaper wrapped around a big sign painting bush. 5 minutes of sanding made it work nice and smooth....happy again.

This pictures shows the top end of the spring tube and funnel in place.

This is the bullet feed wheel damaged. Those little unsightly holes is how I made this tool feed better...patience. The 1/4"-20 hex bolt screwed in to the wheel, is not part of the tool either, but you need two of them to screw into the two holes Hornady provided, to give you a way to lift the bullet feed wheel out of the hopper....and no Hornady does not clue you in to that in the owner's manual. Screw the two bolts in a quarter inch and then just lift...and out the feed wheel comes. It has a single gear under it that meshes with the two gears you see in the second picture. Again simplicity.

Don't laugh...this is the high tech mod that makes this baby feed to the last bullet with no wrong way feeds. Notice the molded block in front of the mod. That's Hornady's...it don't work worth a darn. the reason for all the holes is the stupid .40 caliber bullets. The first two holes worked fine for .45. I could drop 10 RN bullets in the hopper, turn it on, and in 60 seconds they were gone...and all dropped the right direction. .40 cal bullets were too light. They'd turn and fall out of the groove...so I added another hole further down...nope...but the third hole was the charm. At the widest span 10 of the .40 cal. bullets would feed in 60 seconds...to the last stupid bullet! With the wider span the .45's now feed 10 in 45 sec. Don't tell anyone my trade secrets (riiiight)...the wire is 12 gauge electrical copper, and the holes were drilled with a 5/64th's bit. Starting from the outside edge of the wheel, make a mark 3/16" in and the other 3/4" in. Both measurements from the outside of the wheel. Height of the mod off the wheel flat is about a 1/4." IMPORTANT...don't drill the holes right on the edge of the groove, stay back the thickness of the wire. That is...from the edge of the groove to the center of the holes is about a 1/16th. If you ignore that advice the wire will knock more bullets off than it will feed. You need two of these "bullet stops"...on the leading edge of both of little boxes Hornady made. Study the pictures. BTW no need to glue them in. Friction fit is great...and you can take them out anytime you want.

A close-up

Three things to see here...the two threaded holes Hornady provided for the bolt "handles" to remove the wheel. The two brass mods. and especially notice the slot in the center hub. That slot is for the turning plate tightening screw to go in. Make sure when you replace the plate the screw is in the slot. To adjust the plate up and down you loosen that same screw, Loosen the height adjustment screw's lock nut, then screw in the adjustment screw to raise the plate enough to catch the bottom of your bullets, but not so much to catch the bullet nose. Instructions are adequate on that.


Not necessary, but I prefer to screw on the spring tube to the funnel first, before I push it into the clamp and tighten. Funnel has to me pushed in just shy of touching the wheel...no more and no less for problem free feeding into the tube. Touch the wheel and you'll know it...its like a badly distributed load in a washing machine.

The first sweeper is screwed on....directions are pretty good here...it works if you follow them, however with the mods ("bullet stops") in place the first sweeper works best as tight to the out side wall as you can get it and still hit the doubled bullet. (bullet on top of another bullet)

Notice all the bullets all lined up pretty...nose down? You see that more often than anything else. That's what gave me the idea to add those wire stops. The bullets stop against it, and as the wheel turns and the bullets rise, they turn base down. Works!
One thing I did to improve things is to carefully smooth the wheel's flats and grooves with 4-0 steel wool and 1000 grit sandpaper. Steel wool in the grooves, careful not to round the edges, and blocked sandpaper on the flats. Purpose? There's too much friction holding the bullets up just to get swept off too often by the sweepers even though the bullets pointed correctly. Once I smoothed it, and then applied a light coat of paraffin, and buffed it, it really helps...especially with the light .40's.

A fraction of a second past the last picture...notice several turned correctly to be fed. Sometimes they all feed sometimes only one.

A fraction of a second past the last picture....this time only one made it. It's like pool balls. One hits another and they both are deflected. Yet by two more rotations, 4 more fed....another rotation...empty.

It's 20 minutes after midnight...my promise for pictures, later in the day didn't quite pan out...it was more work than I thought.

At a more decent hour in the morning, I will add more pictures and info about the dies and how they work.....they work better than I thought they would.

Following that...I will mount to my press.


GWhis
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Posted: 12/9/2010 3:13:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/9/2010 6:49:19 PM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By GWhis:

My biggest question and concern right now, is with the double collet system, allowing only one bullet in the lower collet....that means the weight of only one bullet is pressing the newly fed bullet into the belled case...unlike either the "Mr Bullet Feeder" or RCBS design. I'm wondering how that will work with light bullets making it to the seating station on non-Hornady presses.....this may turn out to be a Hornady AP only design, despite Hornady's advertising to the contrary...since Hornady's AP has a half stroke index, vs. the more jerky full stroke index. Hope this doesn't bite me in the shorts...that will cure me of being an early adopter.


Well here's the scoop on the double collet system. It works pretty good with the Hornady powder measure using Hornady's new improved PTX powder thru expander system. What's improved is the expander drop tubes that actually expand and bell.

Notice the newly sized .45 slips on the expander to the point shown. The remainder of the way the case will expand a bit to about .449 to .45. That means only .001 or .002 under the bullet size of .451. You can't see it well, but the last little bit is a fillet that bells the case proudly. (that's a nice way to say...open wide and stretch the h––l out of the rim.)

Not having a Hornady powder measure on me, I put the case in a shellholder, and with a small caliber sizer mounted in the Rock Chucker, I used the leverage of the press to carefully push the case onto the PTX expander nearly to the hilt, as you see in the picture. Notice the bottom of the case: now you can see the healthy bell in the case there.

The case, wiggled, comes right off. BTW Hornady recommends the following for flared cases:
380/9mm––––.385"flare
38/357––––––-.387"flare
40S&W/10mm––-.430"flare
44SPL/44Mag––-.460
.451/.452––––––––––.481 Gentlemen, that's .030" bigger than the bullets! Do they mean O.S. or I.S. measurements?
Now lets examine the curious double collet Feeder die.

The first thing I had to do is smooth out the interior and expand the fingers just a tad, on the upper collet. The upper collet HAS to pass bullets freely until its fingers are closed by the collet under it. If it doesn't, nothing is going to feed. This was a problem only on the .45. The upper collet on the .40 die was fine. Notice the wedged upper end of this collet (slotted end) Now imagine it resting inside the lower collet on a matching inside wedge. In that state if the lower collet is pushed upward into the upper collet, the slots (fingers) are going to tighten around the bullet sitting there.

Besides illustrating what I just explained, this picture show the distance the case has to go in before the bullet releases in the lower collet....the bullet has about 1 inch to fall...is it enough to hold the bullet until the press indexes it to the seater die??? Notice it's not possible to use the weight of the other bullets in the stack, as the fingers of collet one stops them all while the case is pushed up into the feed die.

So as I tip it up, the bullet falls...if it was on the press, the ram would then move down and pull the bullet/case out, releasing the upper fingers and releasing the bullets into the lower collet to await the next case.

The question is how hard does the 1 inch bullet fall into the belled case? To find out I figured I could simulate the fall.

So using the (now free to fall in) upper collet...holding a bullet about an inch from the bottom...the idea is to carefully place it over the case slightly and drop the bullet.


I guess it works on the heavy 230 grain .45...I even shook it a bit. The jury is still out on untested lighter bullets like the 9mm and .40 S&W. I'm betting the expanding part of the PTX helps a lot in this department. Also hoping that I can make my Lee expander die work similarly...if not...I need a few parts from Hornady to convert my Uniflow to use Hornady's PTX system...that means I'd be moving the powder measure out of its permanent roost and mounting it on the tool head Dillon style. The feeder would then be at the permanent station...Hornady style. Not real happy, but I'm committed to make bullet feeding a reality in my reloading room....again....well see. At least I can buy powder thru dies and mounts rather buying more powder measures (Dillon Style)

At this point I'm thinking I'll keep this toy...so the next step is to mount the bullet feeder permanently to my reloading bench behind the press and trimmer. Hornady provides three bench templets, one for the Hornady AP of course, and one each for the Dillon 650 and RCBS Pro 2000. Since the Pro 2000 sits lower than either of the other presses, they compensated by providing a template that mounts the feeder 7" back and 4" to the side of the press! Gotta put those long spring tubes somewhere. I don't have room for that...so I'm choosing to make up the difference by going UP! Later....
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Posted: 12/9/2010 9:10:33 PM EST
Taggingfor more info and when I get one for my L N L.
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Sgt_Savage2003
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Posted: 12/10/2010 12:54:43 AM EST
From looking at photos of the hopper , is there any way to ad a clear tube with a limit/micro switch. my one Question is how does the spring sit into the die and what is the diamater of the spring. I gess we will have to wait till you get the feeder mounted to see if you can shorten up the spring to add in a clear tube in.
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Posted: 12/10/2010 9:37:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2010 9:56:02 AM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By Sgt_Savage2003:
From looking at photos of the hopper , is there any way to ad a clear tube with a limit/micro switch. my one Question is how does the spring sit into the die and what is the diamater of the spring. I gess we will have to wait till you get the feeder mounted to see if you can shorten up the spring to add in a clear tube in.


I'm betting on it. The Spring tube just drops into the top of the die. Didn't measure it, but it probably sits in the die an 3/4 to an inch. No fastening just drop it in. I'm going to get out the calipers today and measure everything...so hang on....I will post that info with the pictures of the parts. But I'll let people know they're there in a new post.

I have tried out the dies on the press by dropping a bunch of bullets in the spring tube...that how I found out the .45 wouldn't feed at all...and went looking for the cause. Making the upper collet pass bullets did the trick.

As for a micro-switch...first thing I've got to find is tubing the right size...I got the rest.
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Posted: 12/10/2010 9:42:01 AM EST
TAG for 411.
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Rocco123
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Posted: 12/10/2010 9:54:41 AM EST
Will this feed lead?
GWhis
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Posted: 12/10/2010 10:59:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2010 4:45:20 PM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By Rocco123:
Will this feed lead?


Think about how much clearance there is in the 2 collets....and how critical it is to have the top collet pass bullets freely....the bottom one too, when the case is inserted. Now think about those collets receiving a constant build-up of lube gunk....not to mention the spring tubes. If I simply had to load lead, I'd use a goopless method of lubing bullets...if there is such a thing. If lead bullets can be used, you'd certainly have to clean everything after every session, I'd think.
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Posted: 12/10/2010 3:07:49 PM EST
Originally Posted By GWhis:
Originally Posted By Sgt_Savage2003:
From looking at photos of the hopper , is there any way to ad a clear tube with a limit/micro switch. my one Question is how does the spring sit into the die and what is the diamater of the spring. I gess we will have to wait till you get the feeder mounted to see if you can shorten up the spring to add in a clear tube in.


I'm betting on it. The Spring tube just drops into the top of the die. Didn't measure it, but it probably sits in the die an 3/4 to an inch. No fastening just drop it in. I'm going to get out the calipers today and measure everything...so hang on....I will post that info with the pictures of the parts. But I'll let people know they're there in a new post.

I have tried out the dies on the press by dropping a bunch of bullets in the spring tube...that how I found out the .45 wouldn't feed at all...and went looking for the cause. Making the upper collet pass bullets did the trick.

As for a micro-switch...first thing I've got to find is tubing the right size...I got the rest.


Thanks, from looking at the pics is there a need for the spring at all can you just replace it with clear tubing. From my understanding on how the system works the spring does very litlle execpet guid the rounds into the die, then why do you need diftent size srping for each cal.

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Posted: 12/10/2010 7:14:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2010 11:54:05 PM EST by MastaMarksman]
Tag for more information.


The collator sounds pretty inefficient as far as feeding bullets into the drop tube. Which is something I noticed on the videos of the RCBS Bullet feeder. Seems like each rotation it knocks down more bullets that were oriented the proper direction then it actually feeds.

The real question is going to be how fast can it feed without running out of bullets in the feed tube?

I have been holding out to see what this Hornady feeder will deliver, but at least thus far I think I will be going with the Mr. Bullet Feeder instead.

I can't wait to see this thing hooked up and running on a progressive press w/casefeder and given a run for its money...

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GWhis
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Posted: 12/11/2010 12:10:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2010 4:29:53 PM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By MastaMarksman:
Tag for more information.


The collet sounds pretty inefficient as far as feeding bullets into the drop tube. Which is something I noticed on the videos of the RCBS Bullet feeder. Seems like each rotation it knocks down more bullets that were oriented the proper direction then it actually feeds.

The real question is going to be how fast can it feed without running out of bullets in the feed tube?

I have been holding out to see what this Hornady feeder will deliver, but at least thus far I think I will be going with the Mr. Bullet Feeder instead.

I can't wait to see this thing hooked up and running on a progressive press w/casefeder and given a run for its money...

-Masta


By collet do you mean the grooved wheel? the collets are in the die. The sweepers mounted above the wheel, which are there to prevent upside down bullets from feeding, definitely do knock some properly oriented ones off, part of the time. Two reasons: 1. the wheel is so rough, that the bullets sometimes don't slide down out of the reach of the sweepers in time. 2. when the sweepers do their job, sometimes the properly "bumped" ones, touch oriented ones on the way down and bump them.

The wire mod doesn't stop either reason totally, but it lines up many more per rotation...so more feed per rotation. The reason I added the wires, is that once the bullet count got below 20 or so, efficiency really dropped off, and by 10 bullets left...efficiency was miserable...almost zero. Even with the wires in place, it was still desirable to smooth and wax the wheel surface, so that the bullets slide down quickly, out of the reach of the sweepers.

Hornady didn't say a word about efficiency, but RCBS did in their instructions:
Add more bullets to the Bowl as needed. NOTE: The sorting plate may not feed the last 10-20 bullets.
Hornady should have said the same thing. With the two wires in place mine now feeds to the last bullet...every time. Last 10 in a minute or less depending on the caliber. Would be interested in knowing how much quicker the Mr. Bullet Feeder is at that.

Mr. Bullet Feeder's hopper design is more efficient to be sure (probably a patent prevented RCBS and Hornady from copying it....as it should have). I don't know much about Rick's creation, but I would be surprised if caliber change is as fast as Hornady's simple tool...RCBS's caliber change is way slower....you have to take the feed die apart, unless you buy additional dies for each. As it comes, the product "handles" most pistol calibers all right, but with only one die and different "fingers" for each caliber, two sizes of tubes (clear and spring tube)...and other parts to change out as well.

The cost was a big factor for me, as over-belled brass is not the final goal IMO. When they improve feeders to not do that to the cases, I'm prepared to pay more for a more final and better solution.

BTW, both RCBS and Hornady require case mouths belled/flared .030" over the bullet diameter...does Mr. Bullet Feeder require the same? That is called "too much flare" in most reloading manuals.
dryflash3
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Posted: 12/11/2010 2:42:28 PM EST
Well done GWhis, I set the toggle to keep this thread out of the archives.
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Posted: 12/11/2010 3:20:37 PM EST
Wow, thanks for the review!! Are you going to further this post once you've had a chance to load with it? I'd be interested to know how well it actually works and how much time you think it saves you.
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GWhis
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Posted: 12/11/2010 4:18:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2010 4:19:38 PM EST by GWhis]
Originally Posted By FlashHole:
Wow, thanks for the review!! Are you going to further this post once you've had a chance to load with it? I'd be interested to know how well it actually works and how much time you think it saves you.


Yes. This will be on going for a little while. I got it permanently mounted to my bench last night....tonight the wife says I have to help her put Christmas decorations up. Ugh. I like the look for 2 weeks max, but putting it up and packing it up is NOT my idea of fun. Also this weekend I have to get a gun club newsletter out...so give me a couple of days. I'll try to post a picture of my crowded bench corner tonight. Once I have some loading time, a video would be the best demo...I'm not a video pro like Gavin at Ultimate reloader...but his won't show my little mod working, unless he borrows the idea.

Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Well done GWhis, I set the toggle to keep this thread out of the archives.


Thanks dryflash...I'll link it to the tagged thread as soon as I can.
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Posted: 12/12/2010 12:07:56 AM EST
Originally Posted By GWhis:

By collet do you mean the grooved wheel? the collets are in the die. The sweepers mounted above the wheel, which are there to prevent upside down bullets from feeding, definitely do knock some properly oriented ones off, part of the time. Two reasons: 1. the wheel is so rough, that the bullets sometimes don't slide down out of the reach of the sweepers in time. 2. when the sweepers do their job, sometimes the properly "bumped" ones, touch oriented ones on the way down and bump them.


Sorry, I ment collator not collet.


Originally Posted By GWhis:
Would be interested in knowing how much quicker the Mr. Bullet Feeder is at that.


I would be interested to know that as well. But just by the design of the Mr Bullet feeder, where it doesn't matter what way the bullet drops into the wheel it'll get fliped if it's nose down, so it feeds every single bullet that drops into the feed wheel. That alone will make it feed alot faster/more bullets. I wouln't think that the Mr Bullet Feeder would feed bullets any faster or slower weather it has 200 bullets or 10 bullets, if any slower it with less bullets, I can't imagine it would be much.


Originally Posted By GWhis:
The cost was a big factor for me, as over-belled brass is not the final goal IMO. When they improve feeders to not do that to the cases, I'm prepared to pay more for a more final and better solution.

BTW, both RCBS and Hornady require case mouths belled/flared .030" over the bullet diameter...does Mr. Bullet Feeder require the same? That is called "too much flare" in most reloading manuals.


I think one of the big things in reguards to how much the case needs to be belled, is how fast/smooth the press operates. The faster and more jumpy the shell plate rotates and or the more shaking the machine does when rotating to the next station will all affect how stable the bullet will sit ontop of the case. I would think that all the bullet feed dies will require about the same amount of flare based on each machine, setup, caliber, operator, etc. In other words if I can feed 9mm with a Mr bullet feeder with only .010" of flare, I think I could use any of the other bullet feed dies feeding the same bullets with the same flare. But I could be wrong.

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Posted: 12/12/2010 8:06:36 AM EST
This looks an awful lot like the RCBS bullet feeder-a few minor differences in the hopper but it's basically the same. What's interesting is Hornady's take on the feeder die, which seems to be more solid and easier to adjust than RCBS's die. And Hornady says a rifle adapter is coming soon (not a "whole new $400 tool" like RCBS's rifle feeder is). This is a Very Good Thing.
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Posted: 12/23/2010 1:05:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/28/2010 11:51:28 AM EST by GWhis]
Hornady Bullet Feeder Review Part 2
It's been a couple of weeks...the feeder is installed on the bench, tested, a couple of videos for you guys to see it in action.
On my tool head, I started with #1 Lee sizer, #2 Lee expander, #4 Hornady Feeder, #5 Lee seater. Of course on the Pro 2000 #3 station is stationary and it has the Uniflow P.M. with RCBS case activated linkage.

Below is a picture of the setup. While this appears to be really crowded and cluttered it isn't....just efficient. At the left is my case trimmer, at the right is the right side of my case prep area. There is a workspace then my Rockchucker. When I load rifle, I size on the R.C. and do other case prep on the Trim Mate, move over to the trimmer, where the cases are trimmed and ejected into a bin. I load them into the Pro 2000 for the final steps, after throwing the newly prepped cases in the tumbler for a few minutes, then back in the bin for the progressive.

Below is the final position of the two bullet sweeps. On the first one the spring is tightened at an angle away from the "incoming" and toward the outside rim. You will have 1 or two bullets in a batch of 100 go in the wrong way if you don't do it that way. Notice the wing nut is beyond, into the spring. That's due to the wire mods, but they are worth it as the videos show to "finish" unloading the hopper...which the stock hopper will NOT do.

After sanding and waxing the hopper wheel rounded grooves, the bullets still were not sliding down to the bottom of the grooves fast enough at times. The final fix was burnishing fine grade black graphite powder into each groove with a cotton swab.....that worked really well...but will have to be repeated every once in a while.

About the video below....the tube and feeder die holds 42 .45ACP 230gr. FMJ bullets. I'm collating 40 here for demo purposes. Notice how fast it collates the first 30 in 30 seconds...obviously dumping a bunch more will keep the speed up...but what if you only want to load a few...or you are down to your last box? The wire mods will see to it that you can load to the last one...in this case 40 rounds in on minute, 18 seconds. Before the mod....you'll have to wait til the cows come home...if then.

]Click this Picture for Video[/url]

The next video will let you see how Hornady's bullet feeder die works.
I was really tired last night (pouring and finishing a concrete slab is common for me but harder every year.;-)) So you'll have to excuse the heavy breathing on the next video, I'm not dying...not one of my better nights...I wanted to get this out before Christmas....
First...before you look at the video, I gotta tell you what DIDN'T work...the Lee Expander. It won't belle the case rim enough...period! I ruined a few cases trying.
I have an old RCBS expander (the one with the primer punch in it!) Well that won't work in the Pro 2000 with the depriming pin in it so that was removed. Taking the die apart reveals an expander almost nearly the same shape and size as Hornady's Powder-thru expander for their case activated powder measure...of course minus the powder-thru feature. So I used it in place of the Lee. Hornady is right...rim bell has to be as specified...or the bullets won't stand up (literally) to indexing.

You will notice in the video that most bullets stayed up...not all...and I think the last one probably seated crooked (haven't checked). Let's face it Mr. Bullet Feeder's feeder die is superior...and maybe even RCBS's (except for their stupid breaking plastic fingers...because they both (M.B.F. and RCBS) use the bullet stack weight to push the bullet into the case more. The Hornady design only allows the 1" fall of one bullet to do the same thing....that might be good enough for the half stroke indexing of the Hornady Progressive, but it isn't as effective on the jerkier Dillon & RCBS progressives.

I fumbled one case...my fault...thought there was something wrong with it...no just tired fumble fingers.

Click this Picture for Video[/url]

Before people get too derisive about Hornady's feeder die...consider that I was NOT using their Expander die, that came packaged with the feeder die. I did buy the parts to convert my Uniflow to use Hornady's powder-thu feature. Powder Die and Case-Activated Linkage. It was tailor-made for the Uniflow...in spite of what Hornady will tell you. Anyway moving the Uniflow Hornady converted lower of the stationary #3 up to #2 on the tool head is the next thing to try. In other words, we will give Hornady a chance to make stand-up bullets on all cases. Using powder-thru will give me another station as well....for a crimp die if I need one. Anyway, coming in Part 3.

As you observed, it wasn't a big deal to right the bullet...you just don't want to have to worry about missing one...like the last one...for example.

Oh, BTW, notice the mirror on the side of my press in the video? The next picture shows you what I see from my loading position....you see, something had to be done, since there was no room for a powder check die, or Lock-out die.



You gotta have two things: Light and mirrors. I bought a package of itty-bitty mirrors at a craft store, and some "Plastic Tac" and positioned the little square one in the back upper inside corner...positioned to reflect the top of the case to the big mirror which was positioned to show every thing to me at my reloading position. I epoxied the bigger mirror to a "Third Arm" found in Hobby stores. The upper tac'd mirror has stayed for two weeks and doesn't seem to be loosening at all....I was planning to epoxy it...but don't need to...besides, it's adjustable this way.

The picture above is only using light from the lamp shown in the first picture in this post. For bottle neck cases you need additional pinpoint light...I bought an LED light at Hastings that works great....but you can buy a "Third Arm" model that has a similar light built-in.




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