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Hey all, I bought a loader a few years ago and could never get it to work right. I pulled it out again and still am not having any luck. If anyone could help me out that would be great. I'm trying to load 308 using the supplied pusher and feed adapter. I am having a couple issues, not sure if they're related.

The needles Dont seem to be opening the pockets enough to allow the rounds to feed. I've tried adjusting both the upper and lower sets both in and out. Sometimes the round goes over the belt and sometimes under.

Every once in a while a round will nosedive while in the feed tray and block the part that pushes the round towards the crank.

The rounds dont seem to be loading at an even depth. I'll get some shorter and some longer.

Thanks.
Tom
 

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If anyone would like any other photos please let me know. Also, I'll do a search, but what's the member's name that builds the repro transit cases and replacement parts? Len/something?
 

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Couple of observations from using the belt loaders for 30 years. IMG_1575.JPG IMG_2721.JPG

I assume you have the correct pusher ram in the loader. I have one loader for 308 and one for 30/8mm.

Not all the belts "work" as well in 308. The German contract 220 rd Israeli belts were best for 308, but load better if loaded the first time or two with 8mm or 30 cal. Well used 30 cal belts work the best . The new made repro ones suck as they are too thin and won't stay in place on the toothed wheels. the needles tend to pull out of the cheaper thinner material too. If you look at the Pusher ram as it pushes the rounds into the belt you can see the belt gets pushed further "out" on the teeth of the sprocket.This is caused by thin belts and the steeper shoulder of the 308 vs 30 cal or 8mm. This is what causes the uneven loading. you can help with this by putting pressure on the loaded end of the belt pulling it back to the rear.

I use a spent 30 cal case upside at the bottom front of the ammo feed chute to keep the rounds pushed back to the rear of the chute. this prevents jams as the internal arm cycles the round into position to load.

I have never needed to soak the belts in oil or trans fluid. I take all the new belts and load them with 30 cal or 8mm, shoot them in those guns before loading them with 308. I have the advantage of having several 1919/1917 series guns so have them set up in different calibers



Adjusting the needles can be tricky, but if you place a cartridge in the feed way and slowly cycle the loader you can watch to see that the needles engage in the belt as the bullet point moves forward , driving the needles and entering the belt. this takes a little trial and error, but Once done I have not had to screw around with either of my loaders for like 20+ years. I have loaded probably 150,000 rds with them (based on how much ammo I don't have anymore )

The Loader wants to be lubricated. A Little grease on all the moving parts helps keep it smooth. They smooth up with use too- I have a loader here that belongs to another guy, who asked me to get it set up since he bought it "new" years ago and never used it. Did not take much but I was surprised at how rough it felt compared to my well worn in loaders.

More as I think of it -
 

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More from here to build on the last post.
Don't be in a hurry. If you watch what is going on as you load you can see problems before they pop holes in the belt or jam a round through any of the rollers or other parts.

Adjusting the needles is the first thing people try and the worst thing to do. Once you've screwed them up though you'll have to get them back to where they need to be. Its isn't important how far they open the loop, only that they do. The round will push the loop open as it is pushed into the belt. The needles are only there to make sure the edge of the belt doesn't get over run or under run. Its only got to be open enough for the point of the bullet.

For 308 you really need the proper pusher. You also need to make sure the feed chute is blocking the extra space behind the chute. 308 rounds will move too far back for the pusher to pick them up if you don't. You can use the 06 pusher to get them into the belt but they won't be far enough and the pushers I've seen where guys added a block to the front don't seem to work right.

Work slow and watch carefully and you should be able to figure out what you need to do.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Got the needles figured out, thank you very much! My new issue is that the belt is slipping away from the pusher as I am loading rounds.

I can get around four or five rounds loaded until the belt gets pushed too far right and I have to reset it. Is there a way to adjust that?

If I start with the belt in the first picture, by the fifth ish round it's at the second picture.

Then I'm ending up with a wonky belt.

Thoughts? Thanks again.
 

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The belt is "new / tight" and the shoulder of the 308 is pushing the belt forward as it goes in. Not sure what type of belt you have - some of the new old stock 30 cal belts are just too tight to load decently with 308 when new. You can try to put more tension on the top roller/ tooth doodad by using a spacer on top of the spring, but that may not provide enough tension. If I end up with a belt that is wonky, I just load it nd then try to twist in / out the rds to even them out as best I can. The discussion I had above on used belts, and the 225 rd german belts still applies. the design of the belt is purpose built for the 7.62 as the Israelis were using them. If all you have is new belts, it is going to just suck because you will fight the battle until they break in. The brass loader below is in 308, and the belt is one of the 225 rd german contract belts. you can see it loads fairly straight. IMG_3107.JPG
 

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You have a lot going on there. First I'd say your belt is new and tight, worst case amplified by far more impending resistance of the steep shoulder of 308. If the belt was well streched I'd say you are still going to have problems with the belt moving forward on you, its a thinner belt. A US brass tab belt would be a much better choice because it has a thicker tighter weave fabric than the repo belts. I've never tried a German 308 contract belt, they seem very interesting. I'd like to find one myself.
I'd start with the first problem. Feedway jams in the cartridge guide and magazine. The round on top jumps over the bottom drop. That is because of the corner on the slide "pusher", it high centers and noses tip down before it fully drops. Then the round above it noses down with it. You are going to need to grind a corner off Lens 308 pusher. I found that to be causing the problem of the round not dropping flat and straight down and getting caught up and jamming. Once the higher round nosesdives it pushes the bottom round backwards. If you put the top of the magazine back on and dry cycle it you can see the corner that is the cause of the problem. If you push the round back a little, " what is happening" you can see that it gets hung on the corner. Do you have a disc sander or belt sander?
 
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