AR15.Com Archives
 Who makes fully automated cartridge loading equipment?
unclemoak  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 12:36:20 PM
Say I wanted a machine that I just dump in components into their respective hoppers, push a button, and out comes loaded, ready to fire ammo.

Who makes something like this and how much would it cost me?
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AeroE  [Moderator]
7/9/2010 12:38:55 PM
The cost is similar to a new car. CAMDEX is one maker. Ammo Load is another.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=commercial+ammunition+loading+equipment&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=&oq=commercial+ammunition&gs_rfai=C7qQXaVA3TOS0F4_KMsewiMYCAAAAqgQFT9Dw6Kw&gs_upl=6920%2C1884%2C20%2C4%2C38%2C65%2C20&fp=36ec6be010d257f
unclemoak  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 12:42:38 PM
Are we talking Honda civic new car or BMW new car?
50-140  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 12:46:00 PM

Or you could go the route of automating a press of your own. Some folks have fully automated a Dillon 650, here's one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYpyUM5bqH0
wildearp  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 12:48:30 PM
It would cost more than stacks of factory loaded ammo.
JamesP81  [Member]
7/9/2010 12:49:00 PM
Originally Posted By 50-140:

Or you could go the route of automating a press of your own. Some folks have fully automated a Dillon 650, here's one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYpyUM5bqH0


I actually thought about doing something like that once....but far too often I find that I need to stop to correct something...a case doesn't seat in the shellplate right, or a case doesn't want to go into the sizing die. I think if I wanted automation, I'd get something that was designed for it from the keel out.

I really find that with my Hornady LnL AP with Hornady 357 dies, my 357 brass will sometimes not start into the die smoothly. Only happens about twice per 100 cases so it doesn't bother me at all, but automating the press could end badly because of it.
JamesP81  [Member]
7/9/2010 12:56:24 PM
HOLY SHIT

That Frankford Arsenal vibra prime thing near the end of the video is exactly what I need for filling primer tubes. A damned shame its discontinued
unclemoak  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 12:57:16 PM

Originally Posted By wildearp:
It would cost more than stacks of factory loaded ammo.

I'm thinking more along the lines of tens of thousands of rounds per year and possibly as a business. I'm sure you would reach a break even point somewhere along the line if you had that thing churning out ammo all the time.
CCW  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 1:17:40 PM
At one time: Gulf & Western, Food Machinery Corp (FMC), probably others.
AeroE  [Moderator]
7/9/2010 1:37:51 PM
Originally Posted By unclemoak:
Are we talking Honda civic new car or BMW new car?


New Taurus.
wildearp  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 2:30:20 PM
Originally Posted By unclemoak:

Originally Posted By wildearp:
It would cost more than stacks of factory loaded ammo.

I'm thinking more along the lines of tens of thousands of rounds per year and possibly as a business. I'm sure you would reach a break even point somewhere along the line if you had that thing churning out ammo all the time.


You better figure on at least two machines so you have a backup, spare parts, and three shifts.

Supply chain issues for materials will be a bigger issue. Definately get the full business model on paper before blowing wads of cash.
jonblack  [Member]
7/9/2010 2:41:41 PM
There is a guy local that has three AmmoLoads and 5 1050s. He said he had one of the AmmoLoads refurbished a few years ago to the tune of $8k. I recall him saying they are about $30k new. He could have been blowing smoke though.

You can easily load in the 10-20k rounds per year on a Dillon 650 or 1050. Heck I can reload about 500 rounds an hour or 1,000 rounds per two hours. Simple math says I can reload 20,000 rounds in 40 hours.

At that level, you have to be able to feed the machine. You have to have a cost effective and reliable source of components. I load 280 rounds of .223 per pound of powder. 20,000 rounds would require, 72 pounds of powder, 20k+ projectiles, 20k+ primers, 20k+ processed brass. That is for every 40 hours of machine time!

Don't forget the Type 06 FFL paperwork.

Step up to the Dillon Super 1050 with bullet feeder and autodrive, maybe PLC controls. You could do that for under $5k. Same problem, gotta feed the machine.

There are some really good YouTube videos showing different reloading presses, with different levels of automation.

I have run the numbers myself. I can't even keep up with my 650 so I know I don't need to try to run with the big boys.

jonblack
boomfab  [Team Member]
7/9/2010 2:52:50 PM
FWIW, any automated loading machine is not something you can turn on, throw components in and leave home to spend the day at the lake. There are tons of moving parts and things can go wacko pretty quickly. You need to be very familiar with them to keep them going properly, how to adjust them, how to catch small problems early.

jonblack  [Member]
7/9/2010 2:56:02 PM
The ammo manufacturing outfit I visited had buckets full of "ammo rejects" sitting next the the AmmoLoads. Apparently when things go wrong, or get out of adjustment, then components get wasted in a hurry.

jonblack
Sgt_Cottle  [Member]
7/9/2010 10:12:50 PM
Originally Posted By JamesP81:
HOLY SHIT

That Frankford Arsenal vibra prime thing near the end of the video is exactly what I need for filling primer tubes. A damned shame its discontinued


Yea took me about a month to finally locate one ... guy wanted $10 for it ... DEAL!

SARg
machinisttx  [Member]
7/9/2010 11:11:15 PM
Originally Posted By JamesP81:
Originally Posted By 50-140:

Or you could go the route of automating a press of your own. Some folks have fully automated a Dillon 650, here's one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYpyUM5bqH0


I actually thought about doing something like that once....but far too often I find that I need to stop to correct something...a case doesn't seat in the shellplate right, or a case doesn't want to go into the sizing die. I think if I wanted automation, I'd get something that was designed for it from the keel out.

I really find that with my Hornady LnL AP with Hornady 357 dies, my 357 brass will sometimes not start into the die smoothly. Only happens about twice per 100 cases so it doesn't bother me at all, but automating the press could end badly because of it.


That's the purpose of installing a clutch that releases at a certain load, or installing sensors that shut it down for the same reason. Place I used to work had sensors in the stamping dies that shut the press down if anything broke.
jonblack  [Member]
7/10/2010 1:11:31 AM
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
That's the purpose of installing a clutch that releases at a certain load, or installing sensors that shut it down for the same reason. Place I used to work had sensors in the stamping dies that shut the press down if anything broke.


Yes, machinisttx is right. If you read the YouTube comments you can see where the poster mentions a "3 point cylinder travel max current drain control." In theory, that would shut the hydraulic cylinder power off if the unit got into a bind that caused the current to go beyond a present level.

If you were to run a 650 with an AutoDrive, you would have a clutch on the drive unit.

jonblack

jonblack  [Member]
7/10/2010 1:13:40 AM
Reloading Press Monitor

jonblack
1968  [Member]
7/10/2010 10:37:44 AM
Last time I checked on an ammoload, they were $17,000 for the machine and another $5,000 for the bullet and brass collators and that was for the pistol machines. I also have a manmatic .223 machine that ammoload just started reproducing and those are about $50,000.





unclemoak  [Team Member]
7/10/2010 10:53:25 AM

Originally Posted By 1968:
Last time I checked on an ammoload, they were $17,000 for the machine and another $5,000 for the bullet and brass collators and that was for the pistol machines. I also have a manmatic .223 machine that ammoload just started reproducing and those are about $50,000.



http://i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy31/RandRAmmo/DSCN0320.jpg

http://i775.photobucket.com/albums/yy31/RandRAmmo/DSCN0312.jpg

If you don't mind my asking, are those for personal use or do you have an ammo business?
1968  [Member]
7/10/2010 11:11:33 AM
I have an ammo business.
brickeyee  [Team Member]
7/10/2010 2:00:12 PM
Originally Posted By unclemoak:

Originally Posted By wildearp:
It would cost more than stacks of factory loaded ammo.

I'm thinking more along the lines of tens of thousands of rounds per year and possibly as a business. I'm sure you would reach a break even point somewhere along the line if you had that thing churning out ammo all the time.


The equipment cost will pale beside the liability insurance needed to go with your 06 FFL.
Flamethrower  [Team Member]
7/10/2010 2:32:19 PM
Originally Posted By brickeyee:
Originally Posted By unclemoak:

Originally Posted By wildearp:
It would cost more than stacks of factory loaded ammo.

I'm thinking more along the lines of tens of thousands of rounds per year and possibly as a business. I'm sure you would reach a break even point somewhere along the line if you had that thing churning out ammo all the time.


The equipment cost will pale beside the liability insurance needed to go with your 06 FFL.


No it won't.
1911smith  [Team Member]
7/10/2010 11:52:37 PM
All of my handle operated reloading equipment is fully automated. Yep. My Lee hand press, Lee Classic Cast, Lee 4 hole Progressive Turret, and Lee Load Master. All automated by Arm Strong. My arm gets stronger with each pull of the handle.

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