x9QLL3g28mH
x9QLL3g28mH
6 posts
Joined July 2010

Rotation of Shell Plate - Primer Feeding?

I have an older 55b (25 years?).  I have been chasing down intermittent primer feed problems for some months now.  Every 20 or 30 rounds a primer will not be picked up by the primer slide and it is difficult to see exactly why.  The slide may stick, or a loose primer might prevent it from sliding. The whole primer feed system has been replaced along with the slides, feed tubes, pickup tubes, operating rod, etc.

Going back over years of forum posts (I recommend it) brings up some interesting points on proper adjustment.  Most important is the caution about over-tightening the primer housing screws.  Just beyond finger tight is correct.  If you have ever cranked them down, the primer housing is warped and you need to flatten the inside of the housing near the threaded holes. 

It is tempting to shine up the primer slide and primer housing, thinking that they will slide more smoothly.  They won't, and don't polish these parts.  They are aluminum and will stick to each other the shinier you make them.  Dry lube is ok. 

Not mentioned in the manual is the correct position of the operating rod "bracket" or clamp on the primer tube.  Note: the bottom of the clamp should be about the same height as the machine frame.  That setting will give you enough force to get the primer bar fully rearward.  Replace worn operating rods.

Another potential problem not mentioned before is misoperation of the spent primer catcher.  If the catcher sticks in the open position, the spent primer will fall out, usually onto the primer slide and jam it.  Careful inspection of the catcher, the cotter pin must not be damaged or bent) and the free movement of the catcher door is a must!  For some reason the door may not have free movement in the open position.

In short, I have read about, checked and adjusted everything in the primer system.  I can get 20 to 30 rounds loaded without problems.  Then, no primer in the cup.  It is not the last primer in the tube.  The primer slide is moving fully rearward.  The cup is aligned with the feed tube (goes a little further rearward as suggested in the forum). 

Here is a possibility.  Whether it is related to primer problems I don't know.  Main Question: How much rotational play should there be in the main shell plate - shell plate holder?  When seating a primer, the shell plate rotates significantly due to the offset operating handle.

The play is coming from looseness in the left and right link arms and the link arm pins. (The press has been used for years.)  Is it time to replace the link arms and pins?

Thanks!
X9


dillon
Administrator
dillon
3,222 posts
Joined July 2007

RE: Rotation of Shell Plate - Primer Feeding?

Some amount of rotational play is normal. Whatever the amount, this has no effect on picking up a primer.  At this point I suggest cutting a small cloth patch, wetting it with alcohol, and using the follower rod to push it through the magazine tube a few times. Next, remove the white delrin primer retaining pin, clean it, clean the hole it slides in front and back, and lightly grease the rear 1/4 of the pin, closest to the hemispherical head.

 Next, grease the short end of the Op-rod, where it inserts into the bracket clamped around the shield. It might have some metal transfer on it, so it might be necessary to lightly sand this end of the rod so it rotates freely in the bracket.

x9QLL3g28mH
x9QLL3g28mH
6 posts
Joined July 2010

RE: Rotation of Shell Plate - Primer Feeding?

Thanks for the suggestions.  It turns out that the main primer body had a defect inside the hole that houses the primer retaining pin.  A sharp edge inside that hole had created some ridges on the delrin pin.  Smoothed both the pin and removed the burr inside the hole.  Things are working much better.  I'm still popping out the last primer in the magazine - the last primer does not drop down flat into the cup for some reason.  Overall performance of the priming system is much improved!

A highly technical modification helps to keep the operating rod from popping outwards during primer seating.  Install a rubber band around the clamp as shown in the picture.





x9