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  #1  
Old 04-28-2019, 8:33 AM
aczesz aczesz is offline
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Lightbulb Electronic Bullet Seating Pressure Sensor

I have had the idea for a while to use a force resistance sensor mounted under the die in my arbor press to read bullet seat force. I have worked out the first designed and printed out a prototype as seen below. Now I am just waiting for the electronics to arrive! The end goal for this project is to be able to view the bullet seat force in lbs over time on a graph on the computer, automatic computing of first and second peak pressures, then sort the bullets into X number of groups based off of the first and second peak seating force. Overall the project should be inexpensive as the sensor itself is $7 and the micro controller (Arduino) is around $20. The actual program will be written in python and should be compatible with any operating system.
Here are some photos of the CAD model as well as the first printed prototype:
Capture1.jpg
The entire assembly. Here you can see how the two parts fit together with the small groove for the sensor itself running from the outside to the middle.
Capture2.jpg
A cut away view from the side of the assembly that shows one of the locating pins and some of the chamfers on the components.
Capture3.jpg
The inner puck
Capture4.jpg
The bottom of the inner puck. You can see the holes for the locating pins as well as a raised circle in the middle to press on the sensor
Capture5.jpg
The lower puck with the sensor pocket as well as the 3 locating pins

Next post will be some photos of the printed prototype!

Last edited by aczesz; 04-28-2019 at 6:45 PM.. Reason: missmatch units
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2019, 8:41 AM
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I 3D printed a prototype on a Monoprice Maker Ultimate with a layer width of 0.1mm (0.004 inches). The printing process for both took about 3 hours total and fit together perfectly! Pretty surprised since I guessed on the tolerances of the printer. Photos of the printed product:
_AC_5540.jpg
The two pucks next to each other. The inside of the puck on the left is where the seating die sits. It is pretty rough in there because support material was printed in and i had to remove it with some needle nose pliers. You can clearly see the alignment pins as well as the pocket for the pressure sensor.
_AC_5542.jpg
The holes on the bottom of the top puck
_AC_5543.jpg
The two in their assembled state
_AC_5544.jpg
Pucks assembled with the die sitting in the upper puck!
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2019, 8:42 AM
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Quote:
I have had the idea for a while to use a force resistance sensor mounted under the die in my arbor press to read bullet seat pressure.
Too late, a reloader built one and posted the results. Money wise it was not that expensive. The hydraulic press was listed with links in the same thread. And then there was the conversation about tensions, all of the presses used gages that measured bullet hold in pounds because there is no gage that measures neck tension in tensions.

Again, I have tension gages, none of my tension gages measure tensions; all of my tension gage measure in pounds. I use bullet hold measured in pounds, I can measure seating in pounds and bullet pulling in pounds but I find it impossible to measure bullet seating in tensions.

F. Guffey
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Old 04-28-2019, 8:45 AM
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Do you have the link to that thread by any chance? It would be cool to see what someone else has already done!
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Old 04-28-2019, 9:01 AM
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You may get results but I'm not sure what they would mean. I don't believe there is an industry standard.
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Old 04-28-2019, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Do you have the link to that thread by any chance? It would be cool to see what someone else has already done!
I thought he made a brilliant effort but he posted his creation on a forum of hard to please reloaders. Because of his fine work I got the feeling he was from Australia or New Zealand.

F. Guffey
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Old 04-28-2019, 9:05 AM
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Does this measure pressure on the bullet inward by the brass or the pressure required to install the bullet in the brass? Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2019, 9:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKM View Post
You may get results but I'm not sure what they would mean. I don't believe there is an industry standard.
There really isnt an industry standard from what i can tell. Some presses that measure seating pressure use hydraulic pressure to give you the force and others use deflection of spring washers which gives you a reading in inches.

The main advantage to what I am trying to build is I get to see the results after I have already pressed the bullet, and software will auto group bullets for me and/or give me statistics on that batch of brass. I will hopefully be able to track neck tension after every anneal and resize to see how good I am actually annealing the brass.
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Old 04-28-2019, 9:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesa Defense View Post
Does this measure pressure on the bullet inward by the brass or the pressure required to install the bullet in the brass? Thanks.
Pressure required to install the bullet
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  #10  
Old 04-28-2019, 9:15 AM
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Too many variances to be useful for reloading. Neck thickness, amount of dust/dirt/lube in neck, even temp which will expand or contract the case and bullet. An ammo manufacturer may need the info for machine specs but in the end they load to OAL also.
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  #11  
Old 04-28-2019, 9:22 AM
aczesz aczesz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1NM View Post
Too many variances to be useful for reloading. Neck thickness, amount of dust/dirt/lube in neck, even temp which will expand or contract the case and bullet. An ammo manufacturer may need the info for machine specs but in the end they load to OAL also.
And this is why reloading is more like an art than a science, but im going to try and get it as close to a science as i can! Take data and see if it is useful, then if its not try something else. Otherwise analyze the data to improve the process.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:01 AM
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^^Well, whatever results from your endeavor, could you please rectify your
(future) descriptions of what you're attempting to measure?

"The end goal for this project is to be able to view the bullet seat pressure in lbs (or Nm) ...."
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofbak View Post
^^Well, whatever results from your endeavor, could you please rectify your
(future) descriptions of what you're attempting to measure?

"The end goal for this project is to be able to view the bullet seat pressure in lbs (or Nm) ...."
Yes I will post the progress on the project as well as the final results with some example data
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:42 AM
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This is interesting. I can see how this might be able to give you some useful data if you are looking to get toward the bleeding edge of consistency. It seems like the most likely help will be in telling you how you're doing in case prep and sorting.

Subscribed.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aczesz View Post
Yes I will post the progress on the project as well as the final results with some example data
Whoooooshh.

Looks like that suggestion flew right over your head...:nvm.
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  #16  
Old 04-28-2019, 1:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofbak View Post
Whoooooshh.

Looks like that suggestion flew right over your head...:nvm.
Totally did...hahaha
What exactly where you asking?
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2019, 1:25 PM
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A model that worked with the shell holder would be more universal and marketable

Just sayin’

Good job regardless tho
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2019, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aczesz View Post
Totally did...hahaha
What exactly where you asking?
From your OP:

"The end goal for this project is to be able to view the bullet seat pressure in lbs (or Nm) ...."

Lbs (or Newtons) are a measure of force.

Pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (or Newtons per square meter).

And here's the zinger: a Nm is a measure of TORQUE!

So WTH are you-or your sensor actually measuring-force, pressure, or torque?

If it's tensions...pm fguffey. He'd like to know more-might even invest in your project😀😀.
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Old 04-28-2019, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sofbak View Post
From your OP:

"The end goal for this project is to be able to view the bullet seat pressure in lbs (or Nm) ...."

your project😀😀.
Ahhhh good catch!! Now i see what you are talking about!
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  #20  
Old 04-28-2019, 6:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
A model that worked with the shell holder would be more universal and marketable
Once I get this one working I will borrow my buddies rockchucker and print one for that or something that is even more universal.
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2019, 6:06 AM
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Quote:
Too many variances to be useful for reloading. Neck thickness, amount of dust/dirt/lube in neck, even temp which will expand or contract the case and bullet. An ammo manufacturer may need the info for machine specs but in the end they load to OAL also.
there is no end to the excuses for not being able to do it.

F. Guffey
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2019, 6:14 AM
fguffey fguffey is offline
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I have a strain gage by Dillon, basically it is a dial indicator with a face that converts travel/deflection in thousandths to pounds. Again, they do not make the conversions from deflection to tensions so the tool leaves out close to 99% of the reloaders. I do not use it for seating bullets because of the expense and space required between the die and shell holder.

It works on arbor presses, a lot of space is used up on the Internet when it comes to the effort required to size a case. Back to expensive, I have no interest in waring the gage out seating bullets or measuring repetitive work like the amount of effort required to overcome the cases ability to resist sizing.

F. Guffey
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2019, 7:34 AM
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3.4 tensions = 1 pound of force.
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  #24  
Old 04-29-2019, 8:13 AM
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Replace the pull handle with a digital torque wrench and calculate the mechanical advantage? Alternatively, develop a torque to pressure curve for a given swing position with a force gauge between the ram and the press.

Also, I'm not sure this will give you a data point that you can use. The only value you'll see with your force gauge is the peak pressure needed to move the bullet in the neck (or pressure curve over the seating distance). Unlike a typical bolt/nut torque the bullet in the neck doesn't provide any spring-like pressure against the ram once moved. The measurement will also be drastically affected by the velocity of the ram; you'd need to consistently control the speed of the movement as well.

If the the goal is to infer consistent neck tension, you might be better off measuring peak force to PULL a bullet from a case.

In any event, I'm not sure how the measurement will allow you to control your process or components into achieving a goal.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aczesz View Post
Once I get this one working I will borrow my buddies rockchucker and print one for that or something that is even more universal.
Cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
Also, I'm not sure this will give you a data point that you can use. The only value you'll see with your force gauge is the peak pressure needed to move the bullet in the neck (or pressure curve over the seating distance). .....
If the the goal is to infer consistent neck tension, .

....


In any event, I'm not sure how the measurement will allow you to control your process or components into achieving a goal.
I can answer this one. Effects leverage via scientific measurement. Aczesz maybe has a hypothesis, maybe he will infer one thing from the other thing he is measuring. Maybe he is mistaken.

But what he CAN do, is take the data that comes off his seater, and correlate it 1 to 1 with velocity data and even group size from the bench. It will take less than 20 rounds to prove that his data correlates to something useful like velocity or X or Y, or show that there is no link whatsoever.

It's clear you're suggesting that the mythbusters method of data collection here isn't needed, that we can debunk it with a simple chalkboard exercise, but I'll give OP the benefit of the doubt. If he comes back with an excel chart with his peak force (or pressure or whatever) numbers plotted against velocity, and there's a clear trendline, I'd consider that vindication. And then I would want one.

Sans that data, or showing it's random, then sure I agree with you. Useless gadget.

Thing is, noone on this subject (which has interested me for some time) has ever shown any data on their work. Only keyboard jockeying. I like this thread because it promises the possibility of data.
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  #26  
Old 04-29-2019, 11:47 AM
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That's pretty cool. How do you plan the make the final parts? CNC + Aluminum?
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
Cool!



I can answer this one. Effects leverage via scientific measurement. Aczesz maybe has a hypothesis, maybe he will infer one thing from the other thing he is measuring. Maybe he is mistaken.

But what he CAN do, is take the data that comes off his seater, and correlate it 1 to 1 with velocity data and even group size from the bench. It will take less than 20 rounds to prove that his data correlates to something useful like velocity or X or Y, or show that there is no link whatsoever.

It's clear you're suggesting that the mythbusters method of data collection here isn't needed, that we can debunk it with a simple chalkboard exercise, but I'll give OP the benefit of the doubt. If he comes back with an excel chart with his peak force (or pressure or whatever) numbers plotted against velocity, and there's a clear trendline, I'd consider that vindication. And then I would want one.

Sans that data, or showing it's random, then sure I agree with you. Useless gadget.

Thing is, noone on this subject (which has interested me for some time) has ever shown any data on their work. Only keyboard jockeying. I like this thread because it promises the possibility of data.
I would never say don't do something. I think it's an interesting idea, but my application would be more to compare the effectiveness of case sizing lubes on draw effort, more consistent primer seating or something along those lines.

However, as alluded to in my other post. I'd likely just take off the factory press handle and put a digital torque wrench with a live-read on it (or even cheaper/easier yet, a beam style wrench). Should be accurate and precise enough.

Bullet install effort is just subject to too many variables as well. Vibratory tumbler dust, finger sweat/oil, neck smoothness, bullet mfg tolerances, etc. are going to be cumulative enough that an absolute measurement of a given amount of force between 2 rounds doesn't necessarily indicate similar neck tension.
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Old 04-29-2019, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
I would never say don't do something. I think it's an interesting idea, but my application would be more to compare the effectiveness of case sizing lubes on draw effort, more consistent primer seating or something along those lines.

However, as alluded to in my other post. I'd likely just take off the factory press handle and put a digital torque wrench with a live-read on it (or even cheaper/easier yet, a beam style wrench). Should be accurate and precise enough.

Bullet install effort is just subject to too many variables as well. Vibratory tumbler dust, finger sweat/oil, neck smoothness, bullet mfg tolerances, etc. are going to be cumulative enough that an absolute measurement of a given amount of force between 2 rounds doesn't necessarily indicate similar neck tension.
Cool, but you missed my point. I don't care about consistent primer seating, I don;t care about neck tension.

I care about velocity SD. I care about vertical dispersion, or horizontal dispersion as a factor of the gun. If consistent primer seating is a factor that can improve, say, velocity SD, that's great! But I don't need to correlate data from some tool through primer seating consistency first, and then on to velocity SD. I can go straight from A to B. If consistent primer seating is the explanation for how it works, that's fine. But it would be a waste of my time to correlate any measured data to an intermediate value, when the true value is downrange performance.

It's the same for anything we do. I don't need to associate charge weight to the number of kernals of powder, even though that's the correlation that may yield me velocity SD, I go straight from weight to velocity.

I don't need to know all the small factors in between. Dust, oil, brass grain size, decapper variability, bullet tolerance, etc. I go straight to the downrange, and if it correlates, it gets controlled. Otherwise, no.

That's the point I was trying to make.
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Old 04-29-2019, 5:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
I care about velocity SD. I care about vertical dispersion, or horizontal dispersion as a factor of the gun.
Whiterabbit I am very glad you get the point here! While I might not get any meaningful data out of this project its worth a shot for that possibility that there is correlation between what i am measuring and SD. And I WILL be posting ACTUAL MEASURED DATA from this even if it is a total failure. I will try and calibrate the force sensor as best I can and I have a Magnetospeed to give me velocity measurements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distinct_Editz View Post
That's pretty cool. How do you plan the make the final parts? CNC + Aluminum?
I will make the final parts out of Aluminum. I have a small CNC mill in my garage from....other projects
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Old 04-30-2019, 5:46 AM
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Quote:
However, as alluded to in my other post. I'd likely just take off the factory press handle and put a digital torque wrench with a live-read on it (or even cheaper/easier yet, a beam style wrench). Should be accurate and precise enough.
It was never this complicated before the Internet. Before the Internet there was no claims department. I know, I have to explain 'clams department'; the claims department if full of reloaders that claim they do this and or that and they have ways of convincing themselves 'it can not be done'.

Before the Internet: The effort required to seat a bullet could be measure with a bathroom scale; I still have inline seaters, to measure the effort required to seat a bullet only required an inline seater and bath room scale.

After that reloaders became infatuated with tension and no way to measure it. Me? I have tension gages, all of my tension gages measure in pounds. I started with bullet hold, I decided I wanted all the bullet hold I could get, I decided there was no such thing as too much bullet hold. In the old days some bullets were staked to the neck; when the reloaders masters bullet hold and gets to the point he has too much bullet hold the neck leaves with the bullet.

I know of two situations; one the neck left with the bullet and in the other situation the neck should have left with the bullet and that lead me to believe one of the story tellers was making it up.

F. Guffey
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:52 AM
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Also remember that static friction is greater than dynamic friction. That means the force you apply while seating the bullet will be less than the force needed to move the bullet again. The internal ballistics of the burning powder will be affected by both the static friction (it will raise the pressure until the bullet starts to move), then the dynamic friction which then drops considerably as the bullet starts to move and the burn volume starts to quickly increase.

Try to make the inside of the case neck as uniform (not necessarily smooth) as possible to reduce the effects of varying static friction (neck tension times surface contact area times coefficient of friction).

It would also help you to read about Optimal Barrel Time. The author's hypothesis says not only does the longitudinal barrel harmonics play a large role in finding an accuracy node, but harmonics in neck tension as the powder goes off plays a big part in determining when the bullet releases from the neck (not just seating force). This can cause big effects in the progression of smokeless powder burn rates and subsequent muzzle velocity. If you are way off of a node, "exact" measurements of powder and bullet weight can still lead to considerable variances in muzzle velocity and therefore accuracy. It's in the section entitled "Bullet modulation" in his white paper.

Good luck with your gauge.
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  #32  
Old 05-06-2019, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
A model that worked with the shell holder would be more universal and marketable
Shellholders are for sizing.
Arbor presses and hand dies are for seating.
Hence why he is making it for hand dies.

How many benchrest shooters do you see seating bullets with a shellholder press?
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:24 PM
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none!

IN FACT, I don't see any benchrest shooters seating bullets at all!
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
none!
That's probably why he is using an arbor press too...

If you are not using an arbor press, you don't know what you are missing.
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Old 05-09-2019, 6:17 AM
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Quote:
IN FACT, I don't see any benchrest shooters seating bullets at all!
That is an old story: It has been recommended reloaders do like the bench rester because they full length size all of their cases and they have been doing it for decades.

I have one M1917 with a chamber that is .002" longer than a minimum length/full length sized cases. What does that mean? With a little work with the threads on the die and press my cases have .002" clearances between the shoulder of the case and chamber.

Bench resters could be infatuated with neck tension, I do not know why because they can not measure neck tension. I can measure bullet hold with a tension gage; my tension gage is calibrated in pounds and no one has a conversion chart that goes from pounds to tensions.

What does this mean? Tools are being made that measures in pounds, not tensions. The problem with reloaders? They have spent their whole reloading life describing something they can not measure.

And then there are a very few reloaders that have a good grip on reloading, they have been seating bullets and measuring resistance in pounds for years with an in-line seating die and a bath room scale.

ME? I want all the bullet hold I can get, if there was something called 'too much bullet hold' the neck of the case would leave with the bullet.

F. Guffey
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Old 05-09-2019, 8:23 AM
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I think it was a bad joke that was misunderstood.

The joke was that since we are talking on a forum, and furthermore most of us reload alone, if not all of us... (reloading is not a social activity) that I have not seen a bench rest shooter seat with an arbor press because I have not seen a benchrest reloader reload.

That, in fact, I have never seen anyone reload (little exception), and the vast vast majority of us are in the same boat, excepting youtube or other not-in-person resources which of course do not count.

I could have made the joke less subtle. Sorry about that.
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  #37  
Old 05-09-2019, 9:41 AM
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smoothy8500 smoothy8500 is offline
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Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
I think it was a bad joke that was misunderstood.
Considering that 99.857% of Calguns members don't engage in any sort of formal competition it's understandable.
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  #38  
Old 05-16-2019, 4:22 PM
sofbak sofbak is offline
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Been over two weeks-no update from the op. What could have happened?

3 down, 19 to go.
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  #39  
Old 05-16-2019, 9:01 PM
aczesz aczesz is offline
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Been over two weeks-no update from the op. What could have happened?

3 down, 19 to go.
I am still alive!! Been waiting on the sensor to come in that I will be using (probably coming from overseas). I have worked on the python code for the project a bit and all the data acquisition code should be done. Once the sensor comes in I will test everything and begin to load rounds. I will be using about 500 LC18 cases that will be on their second firing when I do this test (they should all be from the same lot).
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  #40  
Old 05-17-2019, 8:26 AM
Whiterabbit Whiterabbit is offline
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Takes time, be patient.

Two weeks! ..and all that.

Don't hold your breath waiting for the SVT data that shows a clear trend with data that comes off the pressure sensor and velocity.

.....and don't sweat eating crow if aczesz DOES post up clear data that trends his pressure sensor data and velocity.

-----

Afterall, there are articles online of folks who can trend primer weight with velocity data. Not in MY rifles! But for those super-highly-tuned, you never know what might give someone and edge. Don't forget, dropping SD10 to SD8 is a 20% improvement in shot to shot uniformity, even though just a 2fps drop
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