US 3483792 A
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Dec. 16,' 1969 c. F. WILLI-AMS AUTOMATIC CARTRIDGE RELOADER Filed Jan. z3, 196s INVENT OR ATTORNEY Dec. 16, V1969 c. F. WILLIAMS AUTOMATIC CARTRIDGE RELOADER 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 H .Illl
Filed Jan. 23, 1968 ATTORNEY Dec. 16, 1969 c. FJWILLIAMS AUTOMATIC CARTRIDGE RELOADER 4 Sheetshshet 5 lllllilllll Filed Jan. 25, 1968 INVENTOR 'kff WZZ//d//Z' BY 67 f La ATTORNEY Dec. 16, 1969 c. F. WILLIAMS 3,483,792
AUTOMATIC CARTRIDGE RELOADER Filed Jan. 23, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4.
C@ HHM ATTORNEY United States Patent O M 3,483,792 AUTOMATIC CARTRIDGE RELOADER Charles F. Williams, 12409 Old Gunpowder Road, Beltsville, Md. 20705 Filed Jan. 23, 1968, Ser. No. 699,833 Int. Cl. F42b 33/ 02 U.S. Cl. 86--27 12 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention is directed to a turret type cartridge reloader which is driven by electric power and is fully automatic to index the turret through a plurality of work stations whereupon previously fired shell casing are fed to the apparatus where they are deprimed, reprimed and flared, filled with powder, fed a new bullet which is seated thereon, and finally ejected at a final station. The disclosure is particularly directed to the means for automatically indexing the turret, feeding and seating a bullet on a cartridge casing when it arrives at a predetermined station, and ejecting the reloaded round from the final station. All of the apparatus is synchronized so that a cartridge may be reloaded from start to finish without the intervention of a human operator.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to cartridge reloading machines which are particularly suited for gunmen who desire to reload their own firearms ammunition. Machines of this class successively perform the several functions involved in the reloading process on a plurality of shell casings simultaneously. These functions include removing the exploded cap or primer, inserting a new primer in the shell, enlarging the end of the shell to receive a new bullet, feeding a predetermined charge of powder thereto, positioning a new bullet on the shell and seating it, and removing the completely reloaded shell from the machine. The several operations are carried out on a rotating turret so that a plurality of shells are operated on simultaneously in a step-by-step procedure.
Machines of this class are well known to those skilled in the art. For example, a shell reloading machine described in -U.S. Patent 2,031,850 issued to C. R. Peterson is typical of the state of the art. Such apparatus is manufactured by the Star Machine Works of San Diego, Calif. The Peterson machine is manually operated by means of an operating handle or lever which lowers a tool head including a selected numher of dies into contact with the shell casing for successively performing the aforementioned reloading operation. The shell casing is carried in registration on a circular hase member including a shell registering plate which is manually indexed each time the handle is moved downwardly and released. With such a machine, the shell casing must be fed onto the base plate by hand and removed therefrom at the end of the reloading operation. Also, a new bullet must be manually placed upon the refabricated. shell casing so that it may ybe seated thereon fby the operation of one of the dies contained on the tool head. Although the prior art apparatus as disclosed in the Peterson patent will eject the finished round at the nal station by dropping the reloaded cartridge through a hole in the baseplate, an inherent limitation occurs in the apparatus when adapted for automatic operation or when various different shell casing types are fed into the machine. Also certain classes of shells have a groove which engage the shell plate and must be removed horizontally from the shell plate. The primary disadvantage, however, of this method of ejecttion is that at the higher speed of automatic operation, the apparatus is subject to jamming.
3,483,792 Patented Dec. 16, 1969 ICC Further improvements have been made on this type of machine such as the inclusion of means for automatically rotating the shell plate each time the handle is operated, thereby providing automatic indexing of the shell casing from station to station. Such apparatus is taught in U.S. Patent No. 3,058,387 issued to M. G. Hoyer. A serious limitation exists with such apparatus, however, due to the fact that shell casings must be in the shell plate before it can operate and maintain synchronization of the machine for fully automatic operation.
Additionally, apparatus is known for automatically feeding shell casings to the reloader of the type described. An automatic case feeder for the Star reloader is manufactured by the Hulme Firearms Service of Millbrae, Calif. Nothwithstanding automatic case feeding and indexing of the shell plate, feeding of the bullet still must be done manually.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention describes an improved turret cartridge reloader having an indexing turret, a shell plate and a reciprocating tool head having a plurality of work dies arranged in predetermined locations on the tool head for performing a plurality of work operations at respective work stations. The improvement comprises, in combination: a drive motor, a drive shaft mechanically coupled to the drive motor, linkage means interconnecting the drive shaft to the tool head and being periodically actuated by said drive motor for moving the tool head into engagement with one or more cartridge casings, respectively, at a plurality of work stations in accordance with the rotation of the drive shaft; bullet feeding means coupled to said drive shaft for automatically delivering a bullet to a shell casing at a predetermined work station in synchronism with said tool head prior to the tool heads engagement with said shell casing; and indexing and ejection means coupled to said drive shaft and operating in synchronism with said tool head for indexing the shell plate for positioning said shell casing under each die assembly in sequence step-hy-step each time said linkage means is energized and for removing a finished reloaded round from the apparatus by kicking it otf the shell plate when said round reaches a final work station.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE l is a side elevational View of the apparatus comprising the subject invention;
FIGURE 2 is a rear elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a plan View of the apparatus shown in FIGURES l and 2, taken along the section 3 3;
FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of the drive shaft, a crank forming a part of the linkage means for actuating the tool head and a first and a second cam means for operating a bullet feeding mechanism and an indexing and ejection mechanism respectively;
FIGURE 5 is a view partially in section of the bullet feeding mechanism in a first operating position for positioning a -bullet on a shell casing prior to the descent of the tool head;
FIGURE 6 is a sectional View taken along the lines 6-6 of FIGURE 5 further illustrating the bullet feeding mechanism and additionally discloses a bullet gripping means comprising a pair of spring-loaded jaws holding a bullet;
FIGURE 7 is a view partially in section of the bullet feeding mechanism in a second operating position wherein the mechanism is in a retracted position and wherein the tool head is in engagement with said shell casing;
FIGURE 8 is a sectional view taken along the lines 8--8 of FIGURE 7 illustrating the bullet gripping means with the spring-loaded jaws forced open for receiving the succeeding bullet;
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of the bullet gripping means shown in FIGURES 6 and 8;
FIGURE 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 10-10 of FIGURE 2 illustrating in detail the indexing and ejection mechanism in a first or activated position;
FIGURE 11 is a view of the indexing and ejection mechanism shown in FIGURE 10 in a second or de-energized position; and
FIGURE 12 is a cross-sectional view of the indexing and ejection mechanism shown in FIGURE 10 taken along the lines 12-12.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 simultaneously, the assembly is comprised of a table includingy leg members 22. An electric motor 24 is mounted on the underside of the table 20 and is coupled to an electrical source, not shown, through an on and off switch 26 which is located on the upper side of the table 20. A drive shaft 28 is connected to the output shaft 30 of the motor 24 by means of a mechanical coupling 32. The drive shaft 28 is held in a substantially horizontal position below the surface of the table 20 by means of the bearing members 34. Located on one end of the drive shaft 28 is a rst crank member 36. An eccentric cam 3S having a rapid but smooth transition action is located substantially at midpoint of the drive shaft 28 while a trip cam 40 is located at the othcr end of the drive shaft 28 adjacent the mechanical coupling 32. Cam follower 42 operating in response to the action of the eccentric cam 38 is mounted in a slotted guide member 44. The cam follower 42 rides along the cam surface of the cam 38 and is forced to move in a linear path back and forth within the guide member 44. The trip cam 40, on the other hand, actuates a follower member 46 which is adapted to move to the side when it comes in contact with the face 48 of the cam 40.
The last-mentioned elements are shown in greater detail in FIGURE 4 which is a perspective view of the crank 36 and the two cams 38 and 40 mounted on the drive shaft 28. This drawing illustrates the relative angular position of the members on the shaft 28 and more fully illustrates the cam action of the cams 38 and 40 and the respective followers 42 and 46. The eccentric cam 38 and the follower 42 form part of the bullet feeding means while the trip cam 40 and the follower member 46 are part of the indexing and ejection means. Both of these means will be described more fully subsequently.
The crank 36 is coupled to a bell crank assembly including arms 50 and 52 by means of a connecting rod 54. The bell crank assembly is attached to a fixed support member 56 located on top of a center post 58. The tool head 60 is adapted to reciprocate upwardly and downwardly over the center post 58 by means of the connecting rod 62 connected to the arm 52. A circular base plate 64 is axially aligned with the center post 58 beneath the tool head 60. The tool head 60 includes one or more die members 68 located selectively around the periphery thereof. The base plate 64 additionally includes a shell plate 70 rotatably mounted on the upper surface and includes six recesses, not shown, for providing six (6) work stations such that a cartridge casing is fed to the first work station and is successively indexed to the sixth work station where it is ejected as a reloaded round.
The electric motor 24 actuates the connecting rod 54 through the drive shaft 28 and the crank 36 to cause the tool head 60 to reciprocate upwardly and downwardly. The action of the bell crank comprising cranks 50 and 52 and the connecting rod 62 causes the die 68 on the tool head to coact with a shell casing situated at the respective work station.
The six (6) work stations correspond to the following procedural steps: (l) a cartridge casing 72 is fed to the first work station 74 preferably by means of an automatic case feeder, not shown. Such apparatus, however, is known to those skilled in the art as noted above in the Background of the Invention. (2) The casing 72 is indexed to a second work station 76 by means of an indexing and ejection mechanism 78, shown in FIGURES 2, 3, 10, 11 and 12, driven by means of the trip cam 40 mounted on the drive shaft 28 once per revolution of the drive shaft 28. At the second work station 76, a deprimer die 68 ejects the exploded cap by means of the pin 80 when the tool head 6? is lowered by means of the turning of the crank 36 coupled to the driven shaft 28. The tool head 60 is adapted to be lowered once per revolution of the drive shaft 28 and the movement of the tool head is synchronously operated in conjunction with the indexing and ejection mechanism 78 by means of the relative positions of the crank 36 and the trip cam 40, as shown in FIGURE 4. (3) The third station 82 comprises a cartridge flaring and primer insertion mechanism 83 which includes a primer tube 84 and a tiaring die and a primer mechanism, not shown. (4) The cartridge is next indexed to the fourth work station 8S whereupon a predetermined charge of powder is delivered thereto from a vpowder tube 86. (5) After the powder has been inserted in the cartridge, the casing 72 is then indexed to the fifth work station where a bullet is automatically fed and positioned on the cartridge casing 72 by means of an automatic bullet feeding mechanism 88 which is actuated once per revolution of the drive shaft 28 in accordance with the action of the eccentric cam 38 and the cam follower 42. The bullet feeding is synchronously operated in conjunction with the tool head 60 by means of the relative position of the crank 36 and the cam 38 so that the bullet is fed to the casing 72 just prior to the tool heads 60 engagement with the casing. This will be described in greater detail when FIGURES 5 through 9 are considered. (6) The cartridge casing 72 with the bullet seated therein is next indexed to the sixth or nal Work station 90 where it is kicked off of the base plate 64 and shell plate 70 into a trough 92 by means of the indexing and ejection mechanism 78. The indexing and ejection mechanism will be explained more fully when FIGURES lO through 12 are considered.
Thus, by merely activating the electrical motor 24 by means of the on and off switch 26, the entire reloading operation can be carried out automatically. The cartridge casing 72 is indexed through the six work stations and the operations carried out synchronously including the bullet feeding and ejection of the reloaded round due to the timed relationship of the crank 36 and the cams 38 and 40 angularly disposed relative to one another on the drive shaft 28.
Considering now FIGURES 5 through 9, there is disclosed various views of the automatic bullet feeding mechanism 88 shown in FIGURES 1 through 3. FIGURES 5 and 6 are to be considered in combination. They illustrate the bullet feeding mechanism in its first operating position where a bullet 94 is delivered to the fth work station 95 for mating with the cartridge casing 72. A bullet feeding tube 96 having a plurality of bullets 94 stacked therein is located vertically adjacent the fifth work station 95 but out of the way of the reciprocating tool head 60 and seating die 98. The bullet tube 96 is held in alignment by means of the supporting arm 100 attached to the slotted mounting block 102 by means of the bolt 104. A bullet carrier 106 is slidably mounted in the mounting block 102 and is biased away from the tool head 60 by means of the compression spring 108 located over the threaded rear end 107 of the bullet carrier 106 and held in compression against the outside of the mounting block 102 by means of the bolt 110. Referring to FIGURE 9, the forward end of the bullet carrier 106 is comprised of a bifurcated member having an upper and lower plate sections 112 and 114, respectively, separated by a slot. The upper section 112 is provided in its leading end with an arcuate recess 113 while the lower section 114 comprises a projecting seat 115 for holding the bullet, not shown. A pair of spring biased gripping members or jaws 116 are pivotally mounted within the slot between the upper and lower sections 112 and 114 by means of the pins 11S. The gripping members 116 are urged into contact with the bullet 94 (FIGURE 6) by means of the spring 120.
In addition to the bullet carrier 106 being slidably mounted in the mounting block 102, it is adapted to slide over the upper portion of a support 122 which includes a pair of adjustable contact members 124 located on each side thereof and held in position by the guide pin 126 and the screw 128. The purpose of the contact members 124 is to actuate the gripping members 116 as the bullet carrier 106 is withdrawn or retracted from the base plate 64.
Attached to one side of the bullet holder 106 is a rocker arm 130 coupled thereto by means of guide pin 132. Referring back to FIGURE 1, the rocker arm 130 is pivotally mounted on a plate 134 by means of the screw 136. The opposite end of the rocker arm 130 is connected to the cam follower 42 by -means of the guide pin 138. It is seen then that the action of the cam 38 actuates the bullet carrier 106 through the cam follower 42 and the actuator arm 130.
While FIGURES 5 and 6 disclose the bullet feeder mechanism 88 in its extended position, FIGURES 7 and 8 illustrate the mechanism in its retracted position where the next bullet 94 is picked up for delivery to the succeeding cartridge casing 72. Considering now FIGURES 7 and 8 collectively, the actuator arm 130 is shown in the opposite position from that shown in FIGURE 5 whereupon the bullet carrier 106 is pulled back into the mounting block 102 which at the same time extends the compression spring 108. As the bullet holder 106 is pulled back, the rear surface of the gripper members 116 contacts the upwardly extending portions of the contact members 124 whereupon the gripping surface located forwardly of the gripping members 116 are urged outwardly by the pivotal movement caused by the pins 118. As the gripping members 116 open, a bullet 94 drops into position on the lower plate 115 from the tube 96.
Adjustment of the opening of the gripping members 116 is provided by the positioning of the contact members 124 as provided by the pin 126 and screw 128 in the slots thereof. This adjustment is desirable so that proper seating and gripping of the bullet 94 on the lower plate 115 will be accomplished at the proper position.
FIGURE 7 also discloses that when the bullet feeding mechanism 88 is retracted, the seating die 98 has forced the previously delivered bullet into the cartridge casing 72.
It should also be pointed out that the position of the cam 38 relative to the crank 36 as shown in FIGURE 4 is such that the cam follower 42 will initiate a rapid withdrawal of the bullet carrier 106 in synchronism with the lowering of the tool head 60 such that the seating die 98 captures the bullet but does not make contact with the upper plate 112. Thus, the mechanism is adapted to automatically feed the bullet to a waiting cartridge while releasing the bullet very quickly upon descent of the seating die 98. Additionally, as the bullet carrier 106 is retracted, the jaws are open to receive the next bullet.
Proceeding now to FIGURES 10, 11 and l2, there is illustrated in detail the indexing and ejection mechanism 78 shown in FIGURES 2 and 3. Additionally shown in detail is the shell plate 70 having regularly spaced recesses 140 for holding a shell casing 72 in registration on the base plate 64. The shell plate 70 also includes indexing holes 142 locatedsubstantially midway between adjacent recesses 140.
A spring-loaded ball detent 144 (FIGURE 12) is located in a hole 145 drilled in the stationary base plate 64. The ball detent 144 coacts with an indexing hole 142 immediately above it to prevent unwanted movement of the shell plate 70. The ball detent 144 is biased against the shell plate 70 by means of the spring 146.
The indexing and ejection mechanism comprises an indexer 147 and kick-olf member 148. The indexer 147 is movably mounted internally of the kick-off member 148 and is held by the pin 149 so that it can move in and out of the indexing holes 142. A finger 150 projects downwardly from the underside of the indexer 147 to coact with an indexing hole 142. A concave surface 156 is provided for pushing a reloaded cartridge from a slot 140 at the last station. The movement of the kick-olf member 148 is such that the effect causes the curved surface 156 to move outwardly toward the periphery of the base plate 64. Additionally, the kick-off member 148 includes roller bearing 158 which is adapted to ride on the peripheral surface of the base plate 64.
A lever element 160 projects outwardly from the kickoff member 148 on the underside thereof and is coupled to a spring member 162 which encircles a post 164 and grooved spring roller 165 and attaches to a spindle 166 (see FIGURE 2). A pivot arm 168 connects the upper portion of the spindle 166 to the kick-off' member 148 while the lower extremity is connected to the cam follower 46 which moves laterally in response to the rotation of the trip cam 40 as shown in FIG. 4.
In operation, actuation of the cam follower 46 causes the pivot arm 168 to move outwardly as shown in FIG- URE 10 whereupon the indexer 147 and kick-off member 148 moves away from the succeeding slot 140 containing a now reloaded cartridge 72. In its movement, the finger 150 shown in FIGURE 12 causes the shell plate 70 to index a distance corresponding to the movement of one work station to another. In doing so, the reloaded round 72 is positioned adjacent the concave surface 156. At the point where the trip cam 40 releases the cam follower 46, the indexer 147 and kick-off member 148 will return to a rest position determined by adjustable stop member 169 making contact with post 164 such as shown in FIG- URE 11 due to the action of the spring 162. In doing so, the surface 156 push-es the reloaded cartridge off of the base plate 64. At the same time, the finger 150 leaves they indexing hole 142 which it had previously engaged and moves forwardly to engage the next indexing hole.
The action of the indexer and ejection mechanism 78- is synchronously lcontrolled with respect to the other operations so that bullet feeding and seating and indexing and ejection does not occur until the tool head 60 clears the cartridges 72 located at the various work stations.
What has been shown and described therefore is a completely automatic turret reloading machine wherein the operations are synchronously controlled from a central drive shaft driven by an 'electric motor.
What is claimed is:
1. In an automatic turret reloader for cartridges having an indexable turret for receiving one or more cartridge casings in registration around its peripheral portion and a reciprocating tool head having one or more work dies located thereon defining one or more work stations thereby, the improvement comprising in combination: a drive motor; drive shaft means mechanically coupled to said drive motor; linkage means interconnecting the drive shaft to the tool head and being periodically actuated by said drive motor for moving the tool head into engagement with one or more cartridge casings, respectively, at a plurality of work stations in accordance with the rotation of the drive shaft; bullet feeding means including a pair of mutually opposed gripping members adapted to reciprocate to and from a predetermined work station, being coupled to and operated by said drive shaft for automatically gripping and delivering a bullet to a cartridge casing of said one or more cartridge casings at said predetermined work station of said plurality of work stations and releasing said bullet thereat in synchronism with the operation of said tool head which causes one work die to seat said bullet in said cartridge casing; and an indexing and ejection means coupled to said drive shaft and operating in synchronism with said indexable turret for completely removing a finished reloaded cartridge from the apparatus without the aid of a operator by kicking it off and away from the peripheral portion of said turret when said cartridge reaches a final work station.
2. The invention defined by claim 1, wherein the turret includes a rotatable shell plate and wherein said shell plate includes a plurality of indexing holes located on the upper surface thereof and wherein said indexing and ejection means includes an indexer having a finger which projects downwardly and engages one of said plurality of indexing holes for indexing said turret a distance equal to one work station when said indexing and ejection means is actuated.
3. In an automatic turret cartridge reloader having an indexing turret for holding one or more cartridge casings in registration around its peripheral portion and a reciprocating tool head including one or more dies for respectively operating on said one or more cartridge casings, the improvement comprising in combination:
a drive motor; a drive shaft mechanically coupled to said drive motor; linkage means coupled to said drive shaft for periodically actuating the tool head in accordance with the rotation of the drive shaft for moving the tool head into engagement with said one or more cartridge casings at a plurality of work stations; and
automatic bullet feeding means coupled to said drive shaft for automatically delivering a bullet to a predetermined cartridge casing of said one or more cartridge casings at 'a predetermined work station in synchronism with the engagement of said tool head with said shell casing, said bullet feeding means comprising a cam located on said drive shaft in a predetermined alignment with said linkage means, a cam follower including means for being held in physical engagement with said cam and providing selected movement thereby, and a feeding mechanism including a bullet carrier having a bifurcated end, gripping mean attached to said bifurcated end for gripping and releasing a bullet, mounting means located adjacent said predetermined work station for holding said bullet carrier and providing movement thereof to and from said predetermined work station, and means for actuating said gripping means in accordance with the movement of said bullet carrier to selectively operate said gripping means.
4. The apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said linkage means comprises a first crank connected to said drive shaft; a bell crank mechanism mounted on said reloader; a connecting rod coupling said first crank to said bell crank mechanism, and a second connecting rod coupling said bell crank mechanism to said tool head for effecting a reciprocatory motion of said tool head periodically in accordance with the rotation of the drive shaft.
5. The apparatus as defined in claim 4 wherein said reloader includes a center post and said bell crank mechanism is located on the center post of said reloader on the opposite side of said tool head from said indexing turret.
6. The invention as defined by claim 3 wherein said bullet carrier comprises a bifurcated end having an upper and lower plate-like sections separated by a slot and wherein the upper section is provided in its leading end with an arcuate recess and said lower section projects beyond said upper section for providing a support for said bullet and wherein said gripping means are mounted in said slot.
7. The invention as defined by claim 6 and additionally including spring means coacting with said bulletin carrier and said mounting means for biasing said bullet carrier in a predetermined position relative to said predetermined work station.
8. The invention as defined by claim 3 and additionally including indexing and ejection means coupled to said drive shaft and operating in synchronism with said tool head for indexing the turret and completely removing a finished reloaded cartridge from the reloader without outside assistance by kicking it off the turret and away form its peripheral portion when said reloaded cartridge reaches a final work station.
9. The invention as defined by claim 8 wherein said indexing and ejecting means comprises a cam coupled to said drive shaft and being selectively aligned with said linkage means, a cam follower operated by said cam, and an indexing and ejection mechanism coupled to said cam follower.
10. The invention as defined by claim 9 wherein said cam comprises a trip cam.
11. The invention as defined by claim 9 wherein said indexing and ejection mechanism comprises a kick-off member and an indexer movable mounted internally of said kick-off member including spring means coupled thereto for biasing said kick-off member in a predetermined rest position; a pivot arm connected to said kickoff member and a spindle connecting said pivot arm to said cam follower' whereby said indexer and kick-off member when actuated by said cam first indexes the turret and secondly ejects said reloaded cartridge from said turret upon arrival at said nal work station.
12. The apparatus as defined by claim 11 wherein the turret includes a rotatable shell plate axially mounted thereon and wherein said shell plate includes a plurality of indexing holes located on the upper surface thereof and said kick-off member comprises a plate having a concave surface for engaging said reloaded cartridge, and wherein said indexer includes a finger which projects downwardly and engages one of said plurality of indexing holes for indexing said turret a distance equal to one work station when said indexing and ejection means is actuated.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,031,850 2/1936 Peterson 86--23 2,986,965 6/1961 Martin 86-23 3,058,387 10/1962 Hoyer 86-27 3,153,976 10/1964 Linder 86-26 3,336,829 8/1967 Lee 86-27 X BENJAMIN A. BORCHELT, Primary Examiner S. C. BENTLEY, Assistant Examiner