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I have a 1918 belt loader and I tried to load an unissued WW-II datae belt. I have had nothing but jam problems.
In some cases the cartridge goes over the belt and sometimes under. I have torn one belt and don't want to ruin another. Are there ant tricks to remedy this.? I can only assume that due to age the material has shrunk and become
stiff and less flexible. I thank you for any help.
 

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I have a 1918 belt loader and I tried to load an unissued WW-II datae belt. I have had nothing but jam problems.
In some cases the cartridge goes over the belt and sometimes under. I have torn one belt and don't want to ruin another. Are there ant tricks to remedy this.? I can only assume that due to age the material has shrunk and become
stiff and less flexible. I thank you for any help.
Handload the belt as far as you can to slightly stretch out the belt. Then shake out the rounds and try the loader. Are you sure your needles are long enough and sharp? That's also a possible issue, but brand new belts are always difficult with those loaders.
 

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...ditto. The original 250-rd cloth belts were received as already loaded at the armory in the wood ammo box's and the 1918 belt loader was to re-load these already used belts in the field during combat. Brand new belts,as stated,were always a problem to load.
Suggestions:
-check needles, should be sharp and not bent. the upper set should be a bit forward of the lower set and they should be set about the thickness of a match book apart.
-make sure the machine is cleaned of all cosomoline,especially the feed wheels. Make sure both feed wheels point to the right side of the machine,as the gripping surface looks like arrows. Take off wheels if filled with cloth debris,cosomoline or just dirt and clean with a wire brush in solvent.
-there is a 'rythem' to the operation...slower on the up-stroke,faster on the down-stroke. Make sure the machine is set up for the original 30/06...or 8MM. If loading .308,you need to have the proper cartridge pusher and feed adapter...different from the 30/06.

Also...check several of the post's on the belt-loader forum,as they also give a few more trouble-shooting tips.

And welcome to the "Cloth Belt Brotherhood".
 

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There is a reason these were called belt filling machines and not belt loaders. All the belts were loaded at the factory and once loaded they run through the machine quite effortlessly. Load them as best as you can by hand and let them sit a few days then pull the round and run the belt through the machine and it should go much easier for you. NOS belts are nice but are a PITA to load that is why I always look for used belts in nice shape. I have lots of NOS belts but do my best not to use them.
 

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....(smiling)....thought you'd never ask. My needle sets are $25.00 delivered and $45.00 for 2-sets. A set of needles are 2-soldered pieces. of 3-needles each. Look for the sticky at the top of the 'belt-loader' forum for my 1918 Belt loader parts and price list with contact info and mailing address.
 

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In case you were curious, here's a photo of the depot level belt filling machine.
Motor vehicle Rolling stock Rolling Locomotive Steam engine


Caption for the photo, albeit incorrext in stating 50 cal, as these are clearly 30.


Font Material property Paper Publication Parallel
 
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