In this third installment of the Frankenlöder 9mm Dillon+Hornady+RCBS series, we’ll build on what we talked about in the first post and second post. We’ve seen what it takes to setup the Dillon XL-650 with Hornady 9mm dies, and also modified the drop tube from the RCBS Pistol Bullet Feed kit in order to get all of the parts to match up. That means, it’s time to test everything out, make some tweaks and then proceed to mass production reloading!
When I first tried this setup together, I noticed that I had some issues with tipping cases. I found some comments on the Brian Enos forum regarding tipping cases, bullet feeders, and the discussion centered on the modification of the powder funnel (the part below the powder measure that expands the case mouth and lets powder pass through when charging the case). By changing the profile from a cone (producing a trumpet shaped bell on the case) to a two-step profile (like Hornady’s PTX expanders) I was able to expand a section in the brass that would let the bullet slightly press in a ways (less than .100″ down into the case).
Here’s a picture of the modified powder funnel for 9mm (bottom) next to an un-modified powder funnel for 38/357 (top) that shows the difference. I thought I would polish the working surfaces while I was at it on the metal lathe.
This ended up solving the tipping bullets issue. I was then happy with how the bullet feed system was working. It was then time to load a few hundred rounds to make sure everything was going to function reliably. I was happy to see the press moving smoothly, the previously mismatched components acting as a whole.
Here’s a video showing the entire assembly working together:
Well, that was a fun project! I’ve been pondering this one for about a year, so it was satisfying to see it come together. What should the next Frankenlöder project be? Perhaps you can help me decide. 🙂
Once again, here’s a picture of the entire setup: