Posts Tagged ‘Reloading Blog’

Poll: What Reloading Components Can’t You Find?

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Seasoned ammunition reloaders are used to shortages, but every shortage looks a bit different. Reloading component shortages are influenced by f political climate, tragedies, military and government component buys, and many other factors. So I’m wondering- what are you all having trouble finding at this time?

Reloading Components: What are you having trouble finding?

View Results

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Hoping you all can find what you need to load what you want to shoot!

Thanks,
Gavin

Ultimate Reloader turns 5,000,000 on YouTube

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

It’s been a lot of fun shooting videos and blogging about reloading since I started on YouTube in 2007. This past week the Ultimate Reloader YouTube Channel hit another milestone with over 16,000 subscribers and 5,000,000 total video views.

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I want to personally thank all of the loyal readers and viewers that have made it possible to bring all of this content to you all. What’s the video with the most views you ask? It’s not one of the newer more polished videos, it’s a Lee Loadmaster video from 2009!

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I hope you all will stick around for the next 5,000,000 views on the YouTube channel, and please let me know what you are interested in seeing- there’s still so much to talk about!

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Above: some of the equipment I’ve published videos covering, from left: Lee Classic Cast Iron Turret Press, Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic, Redding T-7, Lee Loadmaster, Dillon XL-650, RCBS Pro-2000, Hornady Lock-N-Load AP, Redding Big Boss II.

Thanks,
Gavin

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 3: Loading .223 on the Lock-N-Load AP

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

In recent posts, I’ve given an overview of the new Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder, and shown high-level setup details for this new piece of machinery. In this post we’ll get down-to-business and load some .223/5.56 rounds on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-station progressive reloading press. Be sure to check out the video below showing full progressive operation!

The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP setup with the Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

The Hornady Lock-N-Load AP setup with the Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Here we can see the Lock-N-Load AP setup with the following station utilization:

  1. Size/de-prime
  2. Powder charge
  3. empty (great place for powder check)
  4. Bullet feed/seat/crimp
  5. Empty

And here’s a closeup shellplate view of the action while loading:

Loading .223 with the Lock-N-Load Rife Bullet Feeder - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Loading .223 with the Lock-N-Load Rife Bullet Feeder – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Let’s see the process of progressive reloading with this setup:

If you care about accuracy, you need to care about bullet concentricity. When evaluating a rifle reloading setup, I always use my concentricity gage to check bullet concentricity for the press/dies that are being utilized.

Checking bullet concentricity - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Checking bullet concentricity – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

For the cartridges loaded in this session, I saw an average of less than +/- 0.001″ which is really good for a combination bullet feed and seat/crimp die setup. If more precise concentricity was needed, I still have an extra station (#5) which could be used with a traditional sliding collar seating die (Hornady rifle bullet seat die or Redding Competition Seating Die).

Overall, this bullet feed system worked great, and makes the rifle reloading process faster and more convenient. Stay tuned here because I’ve got a lot more planned with this system including showing the conversion kit for 30 caliber, and showing more reloading setups on more presses. Have something you want to see? Please leave a comment!

Thanks,
Gavin

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part 2: Setup and Configuration

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

In this post I’ll cover the high-level details outlining the setup process for the Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder (.22 caliber in this case). Be sure to check out the video at the end of this post and the overview post if you haven’t already.

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder setup on a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP progressive press - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

The Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder setup on a Hornady Lock-N-Load AP progressive press – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Fortunately, Hornady supplies an excellent owner’s manual with this rifle bullet feeder which guides you through the fine points of the setup procedure. To summarize, the following steps are involved:

  1. Unboxing
  2. Installing the support tube (brackets) – I have a single bolt which attaches the unit to my custom aluminum baseplate (two bolts are supplied). A positive side-benefit of the single bolt install is that you can “swing” the entire assembly which fine-tunes the drop tube spring “sag” – essential to get proper drop feeding
  3. Hopper installation (feed bowl)
  4. Hopper adjustment (feed plate height, bullet wipers)
  5. Feed tube and switch connection
  6. Installing and configuring the bullet feed die: (pivot block selection, bullet drop, bullet seat and bullet crimp)
Internals of the bullet feed die - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Internals of the bullet feed die – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

In the above picture you can see all of the major components of the bullet feed die. There are three primary adjustments for the die:

  1. Bullet seat depth
  2. Crimp level (crimp is optional and does not take place if screw is backed out sufficiently)
  3. Die height: bullet drop

Another key part of the setup procedure will depend on the specific bullets being used (length, profile, etc). This step involves adjustments in the case feed bowl.

Case feed bowl - Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Case feed bowl – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

In the above picture you can see the primary adjustments that are made for each bullet type used: the feed wipers (top, springs and wingnuts), and the feed plate height (central knob and nut). It’s worth taking your time to ensure that these adjustments are made properly so that you don’t feed bullets upside-down.

Here’s a video that I put together that illustrates the setup process at a high-level:

Next, we’ll load some 5.56/.223 Remington, so stay tuned!

-Gavin

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feeder Part I: Overview

Friday, September 12th, 2014

With this post, I’m excited to kick-off a new blog series covering Hornady’s Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder. With a totally new and unique bullet feed die system and many other innovative features, this bullet feeder provides unique capabilities that I’m looking forward to showing you. We’ll cover an overview of this new system (this post), loading both 22 caliber and 30 caliber rifle ammunition, and setups on multiple progressive reloading presses. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

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The new Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feeder setup with the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP 5-station progressive reloading press – Image copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

The Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feed system is available in two packages:

  1. 22 caliber system (complete)
  2. 30 caliber conversion kit

Below you see both the 22 caliber complete kit as well as the 30 caliber conversion kit (30 caliber drop tube and switch assembly not shown):

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feed System with 30 Caliber Conversion Kit - Image Copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feed System with 30 Caliber Conversion Kit – Image Copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Included in the 22 caliber complete kit is: (from left in above photo)

  1. Instruction manual
  2. Support brackets
  3. Parts bags
  4. Bullet feed die
  5. Drop tube assembly
  6. Feed bowl assembly (top)
  7. Power supply and cord (bottom)

Included in the 30 caliber conversion kit is:

  1. Bullet feeder base plate (metal, with depth adjustment and drop tube adapter)
  2. 30 caliber feed plate
  3. 30 caliber bullet feed die
  4. 30 caliber drop tube assembly with shutoff microswitch (not shown)

At the heart of this new rifle bullet feed system is the all-new case-activated rifle bullet feed die with integrated pivot block shown here:

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feed Dies - image Copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

Hornady Rifle Bullet Feed Dies, 22 caliber (left), and 30 caliber (right) – image Copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

The feed bowl assembly is very similar to the Hornady pistol bullet feed system (see video here showing that system loading 45 ACP). You can adjust feed wipers and the depth of the metal base plate to ensure optimal collation of bullets into the drop tube.

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Hornady Lock-N-Load Rifle Bullet Feed case feed bowl – Image Copyright 2014 Ultimate Reloader

In the following video, I’ll walk you through the various parts that make up this system:

Now that we’ve covered the high-level overview of this new rifle bullet feed system, we’re ready to get setup for 22 caliber progressive reloading! Stay tuned for the next video and post in this series.

Thanks,
Gavin