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  #1  
Old 11-06-2011, 2:05 PM
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Default Pickup Tube Kaboom Avoidance - Prototype

Alright, so with all this spare time I have right now, I wanted to start working on an inexpensive way to avoid 'the mishap' from happening again.

Yes, I might be buying an RF100 in the future. But I think that only 'sorta' solves the issue.

I think if I/we:
-Ground our machines
-Ground ourselves (wrist strap)
-Wear all PPE we should
-Make the Dillon "Weak Link" (the primer p/u tube) less weak

Here are some pics:

This is basically steel square tubing that the pick up tube barely fits in. It's length is as long as I could go while still retaining the usefulness of the pickup tube. I used set screws to secure and 'float' the pick up tube in there and the square tube allows for the air space I wanted to allow pressure to escape vertically. I replaced the metal clip with a zip tie and an ice pick with a 90 bend will allow me to pull it 10" away.



As you can see here, there is just enough of the blue tip showing to still allow it to seat on the magazine tube.


I am going to use one of these to use as a holder for the above assembly. Picture this: a slightly larger width square tubing, cut to the same length, cut down the middle lengthwise (bisected) and then each half welded to the tip of these tongs or vise grips. Overkill? Probably. But tell that to my thumb and middle finger
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2011, 2:21 PM
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Your loader is in the garage, it will be very close to outside ambient humidity conditions. Put a humidifier in the garage and get your wife to pull the load pin.....
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Old 11-06-2011, 2:24 PM
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How are you doing this stuff with 1 hand?
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Old 11-06-2011, 2:32 PM
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The vise is basically my left hand. You must not know me......I'm a damned determined individual. Besides, I can't ride my dirtbike, can't jet ski, can't do anything really active, and can only take the dog to the park so often......this prototype had to be done.

Better question: How am I doing this while loaded on vicodin???

Only 2/5 of my left hand is disabled btw
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Old 11-06-2011, 2:45 PM
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LOL, the steel pipe idea is good but the tongs and vice grips are a bit over the top. I would stop at the grounded press and steel tube and move on.

Save up for the RF 100 and it will eliminate most of all primer handling minus touching the pin to drop them into the magazine. Your zip tie idea could work just the same if you wish but I think the RF 100 has that external tube and its enough protection.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2011, 3:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian1979 View Post
LOL, the steel pipe idea is good but the tongs and vice grips are a bit over the top. I would stop at the grounded press and steel tube and move on. I agree, but tell that to my hand.......joking aside. The tongs might give me that extra bit of confidence.
Save up for the RF 100 and it will eliminate most of all primer handling minus touching the pin to drop them into the magazine. Your zip tie idea could work just the same if you wish but I think the RF 100 has that external tube and its enough protection. I have the money now, but I'm a little reluctant to give the big "D" any more of my money. I'm a little irritated that their primer magazine is reinforced and their RF100 p/u tube is reinforced, but their standard tube is reinforced with my hand. I hope you all understand, but my eyebrow is raised a little regarding them right now.........especially since my conversation with them the other day. Their level of help figuring out the cause and coming up with a solution was dismal at best. If I did, however, get an RF100, my scaredy cat hands would use the ice pick to remove the metal clip.
I hope you guys understand.
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Old 11-06-2011, 4:06 PM
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You might want to put the metal clip back instead of the zip tie. Wouldn't moving plastic on metal create static? I'm all for using zip ties wherever possible, but I don't know about this one.

I would attach a string to the metal pin and attach a support to the press for the tube. The support would hold the tube straight up and you could make the string as long as you want. Pull the string from 10 ft away and put away the tongs.

Nice job on the proto, btw.
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2011, 4:25 PM
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Yup. That'll do.
I'm with you all the way up to the tongs....but yes, I do understand why you're going there and don't question why.

I'll post up the titanium when I get it early next week.



If you have the time/money/open land space - it would be interesting to load 100 primers into your tube, stick a metal rod of some sort into one end, backed up to a boulder with a longer rod on the other end. Then, with a blast sheild (everyone has these, right?) bang the rod to ignite the primer stack. Ok, maybe this is a stupid, darwin type idea....but it would be cool to test it out somehow (or ask some sort of testing company to test).
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Old 11-06-2011, 5:29 PM
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Originally Posted by NoJoke View Post
Yup. That'll do.
I'm with you all the way up to the tongs....but yes, I do understand why you're going there and don't question why.

I'll post up the titanium when I get it early next week.



If you have the time/money/open land space - it would be interesting to load 100 primers into your tube, stick a metal rod of some sort into one end, backed up to a boulder with a longer rod on the other end. Then, with a blast sheild (everyone has these, right?) bang the rod to ignite the primer stack. Ok, maybe this is a stupid, darwin type idea....but it would be cool to test it out somehow (or ask some sort of testing company to test).
I am, in fact, considering taking this out to the back desert here and lighting a fire under it with 50 primers in it (or 100) to test it's integrity. After all, what good is this prototype if it doesn't work???
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grant22 View Post
I am, in fact, considering taking this out to the back desert here and lighting a fire under it with 50 primers in it (or 100) to test it's integrity. After all, what good is this prototype if it doesn't work???
Button up the ends w/ some Home depot epoxy to really push the outer limits!

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Old 11-06-2011, 6:40 PM
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Idea seems sound, only potential problem I see is the set screws possibly distorting primer tube and preventing smooth movement of primers.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:40 PM
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Default looks good

I am still thinking that this was a one time freak thing. I don't have to deal with low humidity. I hope it never happens again to anyone but I have loaded 10's of thousands of rounds over the last 15 years and have never had a primer go off (knock on wood) and lately I have crushed a few on some crimped 9mm cases.
good luck and happy reloading.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyathyrio View Post
Idea seems sound, only potential problem I see is the set screws possibly distorting primer tube and preventing smooth movement of primers.
Set screws are snugged, not cranked on and they allow for disassembly.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:46 PM
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Quote:
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Set screws are snugged,not cranked on.
Just wondering, why not use JB Weld?
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EWILKE View Post
I am still thinking that this was a one time freak thing. I don't have to deal with low humidity. I hope it never happens again to anyone but I have loaded 10's of thousands of rounds over the last 15 years and have never had a primer go off (knock on wood) and lately I have crushed a few on some crimped 9mm cases.
good luck and happy reloading.
Unfortunately, my fingers don't understand the term "one time freak accident."

I had my 1 chance. If I'm to continue with this hobby, I have to take every precaution conceivable.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:47 PM
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Originally Posted by NoJoke View Post
Just wondering, why not use JB Weld?
You can. I just went full blown. Just remember, if you use JB, don't occlude both ends.....the ends need to be open/vented to allow the energy or explosion out. If you occlude the ends with JB, you have a possible grenade.

The set screws allow for disassembly, also.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:53 PM
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You can. I just went full blown. Just remember, if you use JB, don't occlude both ends.....the ends need to be open/vented to allow the energy or explosion out. If you occlude the ends with JB, you have a possible grenade.
Good advice. thanks.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:54 PM
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I think this whole story convinces me to keep spending a little extra to buy ammo at this point. Brian1979 told me about this. I will stay ignorant of this careful, precise art/science a little while longer. Sorry about your hand dude.
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Old 11-06-2011, 6:56 PM
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I think this whole story convinces me to keep spending a little extra to buy ammo at this point. Brian1979 told me about this. I will stay ignorant of this careful, precise art/science a little while longer. Sorry about your hand dude.
It's a damn valid point.
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Old 11-07-2011, 7:29 PM
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Grant, Nice to see that you're back on the horse and have not abandoned reloading!
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Old 11-07-2011, 7:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grant22 View Post
Unfortunately, my fingers don't understand the term "one time freak accident."

I had my 1 chance. If I'm to continue with this hobby, I have to take every precaution conceivable.

I understand you're a bit "gun" (or primer shy) at the moment but I think you are over exaggerating this just a bit.

The conditions that occurred during your primer loading incident, and I'm not taking anything away from what happened, were freak at best.

The conditions to light off a primer with the kind of spark you're talking about can be avoided by a few simple steps.

I have a very extensive background in electronics so I am NO stranger to ESD.

In fact, I've seen computer chips be wiped out by merely brushing crumbs off your shirt.

So, here is my suggestion to you. And of course, you can do with it as you please.

If your anything like me, you're an ESD magnet. Static electricity seems to find your body no matter what you do.

1) Cotton is your friend. Poly blends, wool and any synthetic fiber clothing are absolute NO-NO's when it comes to ESD saftey.

2) Carpet is NOT your friend. If you are going to load primers, do it in the garage on concrete wearing your tennis shoes with rubber soles.

3) Ground your self by touching a metal object that is either grounded or touching the concrete. Your safe, garage door rail (yes, it's grounded unless you have a 2 wire plug) or even your press if you happen to have an electric case feeder.

Other measures you can use.

Grounding heal straps:

yea, they're effing ugly but they work. Make sure to tuck the strap UNDER your sock and have it touching skin.




ESD wrist strap:

Make sure to ground this! These are great, just remember to wear it and ground it. I do NOT like the alligator clips as they fall off. Get a ground round and screw it down.



Lastly, the jacket... (Hey, at least its not a bunny suit)

You can get the factory worker blue or the engineering white, I don't care. But these things work great!




I'm glad you're ok and I certainly don't want this to happen to anyone.

So be safe out there and be mindful where and when you are playing with explosive components.
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Old 11-07-2011, 8:25 PM
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for a test load 1 primer and set it off by car battery jumper cables kinda like ESD.
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Old 11-07-2011, 8:28 PM
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or attach a long string to the pin n pull it when youre 10 feet away :3
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Old 11-08-2011, 5:38 AM
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or attach a long string to the pin n pull it when youre 10 feet away :3
What is holding the primer pickup tube in place?
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Old 11-08-2011, 7:29 AM
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Thanks for the above comments and questions. I'll respond to some of them:

-I do realize it was extremely rare what happened, but in my case, I have to take every precaution. I will definitely be buying in to the anti static devices.

-To test the prototype, I will probably use a very small fire to ignite the primers. I think the static/spark thing is so finite, that I may not actually light them off.......so I'll just light them off with a 'worse case scenario' like in Mythbusters. Obviously, I'll be far away when it occurs.

-The inner pickup tube is held in place by 4 set screws snugged up. So the p/u tube is basically free floated.
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Old 11-08-2011, 8:14 AM
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Quote:
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What is holding the primer pickup tube in place?
I covered that in post #7...
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Old 11-08-2011, 9:51 AM
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My gut instinct:

Your outer tube is too small to do what you think it will do, there isn't enough area to release the gasses without popping the tube. A thin wall steel tube or aluminum with about a 0.060" wall and a ~1" OD would probably do it.

Ditch the tongs and add a handle to the tube.

The tube won't be safe if you drop it. A handle will keep your hand away from the ~blast and make it easier to manipulate.

I still think you are going a bit overboard on this.

Look at firecrackers, if you set one off in the palm of your hand you'll get a burn maybe. If you grasp a lit firecracker inside a closed fist, your hand is going to get mangled.

That tube is like a closed fist, when one primer goes off in there, it's going to ignite it's neighbors and the gas pressure will split the tube and expel flying debris.

Add a little distance and suddenly those bits of debris are much more survivable.

The handle and eye protection are enough to keep you on your jetski after an accident.

Basic grounding and maybe an ESD bracelet will minimize ESD risk.

I still think that you had a defective primer rather than an ESD event from the way you describe your accident and the fact that the explosion started in the middle of a very conductive tube.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grant22 View Post
I hope you guys understand.
I love Dillon, but honestly I would almost (ALMOST) expect them to gift you a RF-100 just to say "Oh man, sorry you almost lost some fingers" But it seems a rare unfortunate occurance. Since they have the protection on the RF-100, why not at least offer some of those protective tubes to people? Sell them for $5 or something?

Pretty clever design though, I must say.

Don't sweat the "overkill", you can't be TOO safe.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:44 AM
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I think WASH might have a good point about the enclosed tube. And yes, you should test it. The air space will help absorb the explosion, but it the outer steel tube turns into a gun barrel or rocket launcher tube, you might be shooting the unexploded primers out both ends.

Let us know how the testing goes!

I liked that idea in the other thread about the kevlar tube sock. I wonder if wrapping a tube in leather might work as well?
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:41 AM
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The plain aluminum pickup tube does in fact act as a barrel. I showed pic in the other post with about 5 holes in the ceiling wear primers had punched through. So the addition of the steel, itself, shouldn't make this a barrel, it already is a barrel due to the original p/u tube.

If I find through testing the steel fails and becomes shrapnel, this design is OUT. So regardless of hand distance, I won't tolerate any horizontal flying chit.

Vertical escape of projectiles and gases is ok with me......it happened during my kaboom and vertical fragments didn't get me, so I'm cool with that.

The bottom line is if I place my hand on the tube during primer transfer, it needs to be reinforced. What got me was my han at the base of the tube, so I need to be able to have my hand up or midway. Also, had my hand been up midway on the aluminum tube, that failure would have gotten me, therefore I'm adding steel.

The only definitive answer is to test this out. I am starting to listen to those of you saying the tongs is a bit overkill.......I'm slowly gonna remove that from my plans. I do like the idea of welding an extension handle perpendicular to the steel tube.

When I test this, I'll make sure the GoPro is on hand to document it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:42 AM
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Well over 100k rounds loaded on 3 different Dillon presses and no issues. I don't think that it's luck any longer. Press is bolted to the bench. Bench is on the concrete floor in the garage. I suppose I'm grounded as I'm generally wearing flip flops while reloading.

I'm not saying it's not a potential problem, but haven't heard it in over 3 decades of reloading and shooting.

Rich
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
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I'm not saying it's not a potential problem, but haven't heard it in over 3 decades of reloading and shooting.

Rich
Do a Google search. It seems like it's a little more common than we all think.

I cited a couple of other threads in post #82 of his initial topic.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:50 PM
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Thinking about this, you might get a lot of safety by just slitting one wall of the inner tube. That will allow the gas to escape faster and might avoid igniting more primers.

The difficulty is that the interior has to be smooth enough to feed primers and a long slit will weaken the tube a lot (but double wall construction would solve that).
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Old 11-08-2011, 1:16 PM
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Like I said, we can 'what if' it to death and speculate how it should/would work.....but the definitive answer will be lighting this f-er off.

I'll keep you posted.
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  #35  
Old 11-08-2011, 1:23 PM
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Why don't they just make the tubes out of anti ESD plastic?
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  #36  
Old 11-08-2011, 1:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
Do a Google search. It seems like it's a little more common than we all think.

I cited a couple of other threads in post #82 of his initial topic.
Nah. No need. I've reloaded the way I have for a long time and a LOT of rounds. Respecting the components that you're handling and focusing on one thing at a time works pretty well.

Rich
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Old 11-08-2011, 3:10 PM
MFortie MFortie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
Why don't they just make the tubes out of anti ESD plastic?
Or wood?
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  #38  
Old 11-08-2011, 4:02 PM
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Hey Grant, make a video of your testing of the prototype. I'd like to see a tube of primers going off so I can better put into perspective on what we're talking about blast wise....
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Old 11-08-2011, 4:18 PM
problemchild problemchild is offline
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Plug it into the wall and see if it contains the blast. Ill shoot the video.
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Old 11-08-2011, 8:09 PM
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Another simple idea....attach a ground wire from your prototype to an aligator clip so that it can be grounded (similar to a wrist strap).
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