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Discussion Starter #1
So being new to this with my first build half done. I've got a few questions for the experts on this forum.

Can I load by hand? What do I have to watch out for? How far into the belt should they go? I have cloth belts but have read that I can use links also. Which way works best ? cloth or links?

I hope to build a linker some time.

Steamer
 

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somwhere on the board should be a wood device you can throw together to load links. As for handloading belts, it can be done but wear leather gloves. Best to take a cutting board, place the cartridge into the belt then holding both sides of the belt push down until cartridge fully seated. Do NOT try to push them in with your thumb. Pinched a nerve that way once and it was slow going.

If using links use a trunnion protector. The 1919 I had seemed to prefer cloth over links. You can improve reliability is using .30 cal with a short round stop that slips over your bullet guide rivet. These guns are very sensitive to Overall length of cartridge amd do not like soft tip bullets. The short round stop allows the gun during extraction to use the shoulder of the cartridge to press against during extraction as oppossed to the tip of the bullet against the bunter plate. I suspect the setup also assists in reducing the number of times the action gets hung up on lunks that sometimes get hung up after the cartridges had been extrected during feeding.
 

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After you get the belts all loaded up and ready to load into the gun, just be aware of this;
If you load with the top cover open, it's very easy to miss having the feed lever lined up for the slot in the bolt.
Stuffing the belt in place and slamming the top cover shut with it even a bit out of line WILL make a nasty divot in your trunnion. The metal is extremely thin there.
You can avoid the whole issue by using loading tabs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where is the best place to purchase loading tabs? I don't have any yet.
So I can make a loader that will load links or the belts on the same loader? Cool beans!

Why the leather gloves?

Steamer
 

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Loading belts by hand is easier (and less painful) if leather gloves are used. When using new or tight belts you will get blisters, friction of the belt and the rubbing of the cotton will dry out your hands and irritate them (consider performing this process 225-250 times per belt). From experimentation, blisters and a pinched nerve in thumb found the best method is with a good pair of leather gloves, a cutting board on the tv table and a good show on TV to pass the time while you load the belts. Do NOT try pushing them in using your fingers and twisting! Start the round into the belt then hold both side of the belt and push down with the base of the cartridge on the cutting board so you don't screw up your coffee table. Once you get the hang of it it goes reasonable well. , Remember to check your cartridge alignment regularly as you go along and adjust as necessary, even 1/8th out of alignment can possibly cause feed issues. Also if you intend to run cloth the USGI feed pawls in the top cover have sharper teeth than the izzy pawls.
If you have the experience of a friend with a belt loader you will look back on the experience of hand loading with a certain amount of disgust but for those who do not have close to a grand laying around for a belt loader it will do.
 

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I'd just Google around for the loading tabs. I only use just a few of them myself, as I don't have thousands of rounds of ammo laying around to load. sniff
Just a length of brass picture hanging wire works fine in a pinch. The whole idea is just to loop it around the first shell in the belt, and have enough sticking out to thread it through the loading gap in the top cover and pull it through, hold it in place then cock the gun.
Gloves??? I don't need no stinking GLOVES!! LMAO!!!!!
;)
 

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This thread might help you a bit on making your own loader...There are a couple different options in the thread...Post #3 is my take on it.. http://1919a4.com/showthread.php?40804-Looking-for-a-belt-loader ..Also if you need a few starter tabs , just send me your addy and I will send you some for free....I just had another member send me a forearm grip for free a week ago so I would like to pay it forward...A few years back I bought a hole bag full of them because I was going to mod them to run my links "round side down"...My guns feed better that way.. I made the prototype and never got past that , so I have some to spair .
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know if I really want to say this BUT Thanks for the Woody Link, kkkriverrats.
I happen to have a hand press sitting in the cellar and I think it will become a belt loaded thanks to you!

Steamer
 

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My pleasure sir! Just don't get the wrong idea.
 
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