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Discussion Starter #1
My arm was so sore after reloading so much 50 cal for our last Florida shoot that I thought I would "automate" a little and take the work out of it. I bought a 3.5" diameter x 6 inch stroke air cylinder off ebay for $20. 3.5" diameter equates to 9.62 square inches of piston area which means with 125psi of air pressure I can develop a total pressure of 1200 pounds...surely that's plenty to resize a generously lubed 50 cal case.

I removed the handle and pivot anvil from my RCBS Loadmaster, built a super sturdy frame to mount the cylinder directly to the ram. Put it all together and hit the air lever...it wouldn't resize the last 1/2" of the case. 1200 pounds and it wouldn't do the job...bugger!

So, not willing to admit defeat, I went to Grainger and bought a 4" dia x 6" stroke cylinder which would give me almost 1600 pounds of pressure. Installed the 4" cylinder and gained maybe 1/8"...bugger again!

So, I took the torch and welder to the mounting frame and modifiied it to accept both cylinders (pics below)...now I'm gonna show that case whose boss...2800 pounds of pressure will resize that bad boy down to a .22 case if I want! Yeah baby, I'm gonna teach it to mess with lobo!

Not! Still wouldn't resize the last 1/4" no matter how hard I slammed it. Double bugger!

Doing a rough calc (which I should have done in the first place) with the original 18" long lever and applying 175 to 200 pounds of force at the end to resize the cases the total pressure needed is about 3200 to 3600 pounds so I'm shy by at least 400 to 600 pounds.

I thought about reinstalling the pivot anvil and moving the cylinders out a few inches and get some more leverage, but then the stroke is too short on the cylinders. Or I could go out and buy a whole new air compressor that develops 150 psi in lieu of 125. So far I've invested about $400 in this experiment and don't feel like buying a new air compressor.

I've lost the will to continue...I'm going down in flames and am officially defeated :). Triple bugger!





 

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but

it was a valiant effort. about to do the same with my bren s/a project. maybe we can hold a "destroy party" for all our less than working projects
 

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Any way to convert from a pnuematic system to a hydrolic(SP) one? Like the log splitter idea but with the smaller pistons you already have.
 

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Sorry to hear of your problem. I have seen one set up with a hydraulic ram and it worked like a champ.
 

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Lobo I'm shocked! :eek:

Think of your forum signature! ;)
 

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Lobo...

Can you get enough stroke length to operate a lever by installing the cylinders in series? the weakest link is still the 3 1/2 in. cylinder, but a 1 in 4 lever should be more than enough.

MSG
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Irighti, I did consider my sig...long and hard.

As I mentioned in the post, moving the cylinders to a lever isn't an option because they are only 6" stroke and I need every bit of that to reload 50 cal and for every inch you move it out you lose an inch in stroke.

Hydraulic would defnitely work, I was trying to avoid the mess and smell inside my house by using air.

Bummer!
 

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Hook the cylinders end to end off the lever. That will give you 12" total stroke. The other thing to remember is that the pulling output is less than the pushing output due to the square inches taken up by the rod.
 

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Glad there is something the forum might be able to HELP YOU with Lobo! You've done so much for it!

I have no clue about reloading...YET. Hope biggundoc or someone else has an idea that'll work for ya!

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All good suggestions. I'm going to try and play with it. Hooking the cylinders end to end means I would need about 46" of vertical room and the bench is only about 34" high so I'd need to rethink my bench or take a jack hammer and make a hole in my slab.

I think I might try moving them out an inch or two for some leverage and see if I can still get enough stroke to size the case...I may have to stick the case up into the die a couple inches and then slide it into the shell holder, but small price to pay if that works. Having enough room to seat the slug might be a problem.

Man, I hate to get licked and I know if I throw enough money at this I can do it, but economy of scale does come into play with us working folk...I've already spent enough to reload 615 rounds.
 

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Hey

Those air cylinders bleed out everytime they are at the end of cycle right... Are you running baffles on them because they can be quite loud at times. The equipment I run has the pneumatic air cylinders because they are quick much quicker than hydraulic but don't require the pressure of Hydraulic. Hydraulic is mainly for pushing and compressing and holding it there. I think that is the way you want to go if you want it to last for the long run. A lever is always going to be a point of great stress the longer it gets and may require you to make adjustments regularly as it bends and or breaks, I have personally busted a few presses with cheater bars when my hands get sore from resizing difficult cases I would make a portable unit like a log splitter with a double action ram and take it outside via attachment to a dolly to run it. I've seen hydraulic rams new for 121.00 through grainger. However if a person is so determined you can find used one's maybe on Ebay also most local tractor shops have equipment that you can scrouge parts from for half the cost... I think who ever mentioned the log splitter was dead on... Even though the air rams are 1/10 the cost they just aren't as hardy as hydraulic rams. When all else fails take a few steps back and re-examine what your trying to accomplish.
Are you giving it plenty of lube on that case neck???
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Plenty of lube on the case and inside the neck...no go.

Oh well, it was a good try.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I called to ask if the cylinder is double or single acting and it was sold.

Whew, that was close...I almost had to invest another $100 :).

Air/hydraulic jacks only work in one direction...I need power in both directions to pull the case back out of the die and off the neck sizer ball, but thx for the suggestion. I guess I could buy two of them and turn one upside down:).
 

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Hey lobo..

Could you fit a couple of garage door springs on the jack idea to force it to re-compress ?

Tim
 

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You did WHAT....?

Lobo....I got to tell you.... I almost split my pants during your description of the .50 cal press fiasco. Having reloaded hundreds of .50 BMG for weeks on end,I really....I mean really ,feel your pain. But I'm so cheap...thats why I was laughing so hard. Best idea is to get one of your kids/grandchildren/kid down the block to come over and pull that handle. I don't know when to quit either....still load .50 BMG one at a time....same press as yours. Good luck....you are a better man for your efforts. Thank you for the excellant rendition .....I'm stll chuckling.....Len
 

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Discussion Starter #19
L999, glad you were amused.

I think I'll move the whole rig over to my Dillon progressive press and spit out some '06.
 

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It's a good effort

It's a good effort and I think it would save a lot of blisters for those guys that shoot ol Ma Deuce kinda makes you wanna call Dillon Precision and ask Mike if he's got something in the works... I would say just shelve it for right now make yourself a list of what you might need and look around for a good used double action hydraulic cylinder, with enough stroke. Those air cylinders are always so tempting because they are inexpensive. I looked through our tractor parts bin and found nothing really small enough. The cylinder I was thinking about is the one that they put on the back of a loader that raises and drops grading blades and they are double action they are usually compact and have enough stroke for what your trying to do... Don't forget you would also need the pump and motor to drive it as well as the switch to reverse direction...
 
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