When I first saw Mark 7 Reloading equipment at the 2018 SHOT Show, my jaw dropped to the floor. “Wow” I thought to myself- an advancement of reloading technology on both the mechanical side and with numerous sensors and automation to boot. 10 stations- are you kidding? This is just the kind of technology that competitive shooters have been looking for.
For competitors, it’s not just about saving money with reloads- it’s keeping up with the thousands of rounds of ammunition they practice/compete with each month. And it’s also about getting EXACTLY what you want- just the right bullet, just the right powder charge, just the right bullet seating depth. Enter Mark 7 Reloading!
Mark 7: A QUICK History
Mark 7 has only been in existence for about five years, and in that short time, they’ve disrupted the reloading industry, and become a part of the Lyman company which has over 140 years of heritage. With Lyman’s acquisition of Mark 7 in 2019, there’s a perfect marriage of technology and industry/manufacturing know-how.
From the Mark 7 website:
The development of Mark 7® began in earnest in Boston, Massachusetts. Fresh off a successful career in the computer software industry during the rise of the Internet, Jay Hirshberg wanted to return to his roots and competitive shooting. As a newly minted Grandmaster level shooter Jay realized that the large amount of ammunition required to maintain his ranking would need to be made by hand. Unhappy with the prospect of pulling a handle to make such large quantities of ammunition, Jay hatched a plan and met with colleagues and associates. Thus was born the all digital, patented Autodrive.
2014 Jay developed a prototype and with his business partner brought the digital Autodrive for the Dillon Super 1050 to the 2014 World Shoot. At that time there were no solutions in the marketplace of this type and it was clear that this product was a hit. Much was learned from the introduction of the product to the marketplace that faithful October.
2015 That product was displayed at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January and continued to gain momentum. Expansion of the feature set of the Autodrive product continued and shipments to customers commenced that summer. To the delight of customers the product had an integrated digital clutch and was controlled by a computer tablet –the first motor controlled by a tablet with the unique Software Development Kit developed by Mark 7®.
2016 Sensors began to be expanded first with an early alert primer system PrimerSense®, and then continuing with the decapping sensor, DecapSense®. As digital sensing technology was the key to safety the market looked for more sensors and thus was born the swage sensor SwageSense® as well as the bullet topple sensor BulletSense®. Torquesense® was introduced and the press line was extended to include the Dillon 650 line of Autodrives. The 1050 line of Autodrives was expanded to include the1050 X. But rumblings in the marketplace were being heard –can Mark 7® actually design and release a loading press ?
2017 A new, all digital loading press was displayed at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas that had integrated sensing technology along with a press that was developed for Automation and included the first-ever Onboard Primer Collator. That press was displayed at the 2017 World Shoot in Chatereaux, France (where Jay was a member of the United States shooting delegation) and with it’s 10 station design it was clear from the market feedback that Mark 7® had another winner on its hands. In fact 16 of the 25 winners of the 2017 World Shoot already made their ammunition on Mark 7® products. Engineering and production ramped-up and the Revolution® loading press began shipping in late 2017 to customer accolades. Mark 7® moves into a 12,000+ square foot facility and looks to develop in-house parts manufacturing capabilities.
2018 With the Revolution® gaining traction in the marketplace a new press was announced at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas – an ambidextrous, hand-operated loading press based upon the Revolution® design. So many orders poured in for this press that Mark 7® needed to temporarily stop taking new orders to allow for the ramp-up of a production facility to support the new press line. Expansion of the press feature set included an automated version of this hand-press as well as updates to the software controls and tablet, availability of a remote stop button, and the initiation of Mark 7® Professional Services. Showroom assembly and pick-up becomes popular and Mark 7® partners with customers to help them grow their capabilities in the loading space. Mark 7® expands its distribution with partners in Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Mark 7® becomes the official loading press of the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA).
2019 In its 6th year of operation Mark 7® has a full line of loading presses ranging from hand-operation to light commercial operation. Each of these presses can be configured to exactly what the customer needs from the ground up through innovative package builders on the new Web site. The company has 4 Autodrives for the Dillon Precision line of hand loaders. The company has customers in over 25 countries. The company upgrades the 1050 PRO Autodrive to include 3,500 RPH at no additional cost to the customer, and adds a factory recertification program for the 1050 line. But the story is just beginning….
In this article, I’ll cover the Mark 7 presses (Revolution and Evolution). Stay tuned for another post covering the Dillon Autodrives!
Mark 7 Evolution: A 10-Station Manual Press with Extensibility
The Mark 7 Evolution is a 10-station manually actuated reloading press that implements the “core functionality” of the Mark 7 press lineup, but without the fully integrated autodrive featured with the Mark 7 Revolution. You can add the Mark 7 autodrive to the Mark 7 Evolution if you decide to upgrade at a later time. This gives the Evolution quite a bit of flexibility for configuration and cost/budget. This press shares the same DNA and a lot of the same components/parts with the flagship Evolution.
From the Mark 7 Evolution product page:
Price point starting with an all-new, 10-stage consumer, manual reloading machine compatible with these features featuring smooth ambidextrous hand operation- left or right side with the included ergonomic handle designed by medical device engineer.
- Priming System
- Mechanical powder measure
- Case Feeder
- Loading dies
- Supports our one-pass processing and loading
- Calibers from .380 up-to .30-06
- Dimensions: Overall machine dimensions are 37″ tall (94cm) X 27″ (68.6cm) wide x 18″ (45.7cm) deep
Machine weight 65lbs (29.5kg)
Ships assembled on a sturdy aluminum base which is designed to be bolted into your workbench or placed on the Evolution™ Autodrive baseplate
Shipping box dimensions are: 26″x16″x32″, 70 lbs
That’s the high-level details for the Evolution- now how about the top-of-the-line Revolution?
Mark 7 Revolution: Top of The Line 10-Station Automated Progressive
The Mark 7 Revolution shares a lot of the same features with the Evolution, but is designed from the ground-up as an automated press. There’s no handle! That doesn’t mean you can’t step through individual stations- there’s an entire tablet driven user interface with a TON of features and parameters that can be tweaked. This is the most high-tech reloading press on the market!
From the Mark 7 product page:
Waiting for an affordable commercial loading machine with enough power and speed to achieve your business goals? It’s here! Based upon Mark 7’s proven digital drive mechanism technology the The Mark 7® Revolution™ is a machine unlike any other in the market — a completely integrated, new loading press of our own design that is powered digitally and automatically
Features and details:
- Ultra smooth and precise, gear-based machine movement and shell plate indexing
- 3,500 rounds per hour
- Compatible with Mark 7® Sesnors & accesories
- System works on new AND re-manufactured brass
- Hard anodized and hard nickel plated components
- New to the market onboard primer collator for continuous feed operation!
- Integrated motorized powder measure that can be programmed for specific loads – accuracy is +/- .2 grains @ 12.2 grains (subject to testing conditions)
- Ultra smooth and precise, gear-based machine movement and shell plate indexing
- Integration of the sensors that has made Mark 7® Reloading™famous (see below)
- 10 station toolhead utilizing off-the-shelf reloading dies
- Microprocessor monitored and controlled
- Features monitored by included computer
- Downloadable machine firmware and software upgrades for life
- Supports a variety of accessories including today’s off-the-shelf reloading dies
- Pre-assembled and shipped ready-to-use
- CNC grade planetary gearbox
- Full 1 year warranty
- Fully Supports International Voltage operating at 110/220v and 50/60 Hz with no variation in speed/performance
- Unit is quite compact compared to our existing Autodrives/press set-ups on the market
- Measurements: Width = 28″, Depth = 15″, Max Overall Height = 46″
- Supports calibers including .380 up-to and including .308 with initial support for 9 mm, .38, .40, .45, .223 .300 AAC
It’s really hard to “do this technology justice” without seeing it in person. It’s FAST- and smooth. When you see the digital powder measure in action, it’s quite impressive. Literally every step and detail in the reloading process is optimized with this “system”. Imagine producing 2,500 rounds in 1 hour? That’s a LOT of ammo. Having 10 stations (on both the Evolution and the Revolution) gives the operator maximum flexibility when loading or processing brass. Integrated swaging is great as well- no need to worry about military crimps.
I really hope that you’ve enjoyed this “introduction” to Mark 7 technology and products. I’m hoping to bring you a lot more Mark 7 Evolution and Revolution content- stay tuned!
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