Wednesday, 18 April 2018

ICI Nobel Ardeer / Massey Ferguson; Kilmarnock

Short History story:

Leaving school after sitting my “A” and “O” levels ( at Irvine Royal Academy)  I took my first “Real Job” .. ICI Nobel division; Ardeer, Stevenston, Ayrshire Scotland. As part of tenure with ICI I managed to attend university and graduated with a Mech. Eng. degree.


The Ardeer peninsula in Ayrshire is basically a gigantic sand dune - chosen by Alfred Nobel in 1871 as the site for his British Dynamite Factory because of it's remote location and lots of sand to make protective berms and blast walls.

It soon grew into the world's largest explosives factory, making explosives for mining and quarrying, and expanding into other explosives and propellants for both civilian and military uses.

Nobel Explosives became part of ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) in 1926, but production shifted away and the Ardeer plant diversified into other non-explosive products, unfortunately these didn't do so well - much of the site is now derelict. 

Thinking back .. my experiences at Ardeer were to serve me well in future ventures & adventures. It would be a Herculean task just to list the Skilled trades and unique process mastered at Ardeer.  Some trades seldom encountered in an industrial habitat: Sailmakers, Patternmakers, Tinsmiths, Blacksmiths,  Instrument Artificers, Glassblowers, Train Drivers. These coupled with major: metal, wood and glass working trades along with many detailed facets within a trade made a unique set of learning adventures. Add to all this a plethora of Engineers and Scientists of every ilk. To help visualize this site.. It’s approx 21 Sq. miles .. 7 miles long by 3 miles wide. A shipping dock on the Irvine (south) side. The internal, inside the factory boundaries: Infirmary, Dentist, Banking to name a few.

Nobel Enterprises was sold in 2002 to Inabata.

As an apprentice tool maker and mechanical engineering candidate I got a 6 month rotation in most of the factory activates:  Explosives, Chemical and Acids.  In the explosives section you learn about Static Electricity VERY fast. Negligence could be and was fatal in some instances. I worked there from 1965 thu 1971. Shorty after leaving ICI I worked briefly for Massey Ferguson in Kilmarnock, before moving to USA.


Monday, 16 April 2018

On Line Video Sharing … Options

You Tube has become the defacto site for WWW video sharing.  There are notable exceptions and alternates, China offering the prime examples.

All of that said, factions within the You Tube contributor community feel a real need to find alternate sites free from You Tube ownership censoring various videos and channels. As a note: many many YouTube users are extremely contented and extoll the virtues of the platform.

A number of alternate sites are being explored. I am evaluating and using Two of the available alternatives:  UGETUBE and VIMEO.


Some On-Line options:image

Thursday, 4 January 2018

45 Long Colt … Reloading Lot size 750+

The latest run on of 45 LC re-loading is complete.  A sum of 278 Cases loaded with 6.1 grains of Trail Boss and topped with a 185 grain copper plated SWC, a further 480 were topped with a 200 grain SWC.

Sharing the work between my Dillon XL650 and Redding T-7 proved to be relaxing.

20180104_093712I did change out the Lyman neck sizing die in favour of the Lee Universal die.  I prefer the Lee die for that function.


Saturday, 30 December 2017

45 Long Colt .. Batch # 2 .. finishing up case prep

We have 764 cases thu. full case re-sizing, de-prime and primer pocket cleaning.  Now its on to loading large primers20171230_09281220171230_092828

Interesting to note one lone 44 Remington Magnum case was comingled.  VERY difficult to spot.  On the left we see the lone 44 Mag.


I’ll be using the XL650 for the bulk of the cases. I’ll also run a 100 on the T-7 to see how the Primer Tube option works with the Lee Auto-Drum powder measure.

UPDATE … I removed the primer tube option from the T-7 .. too finicky.

Friday, 29 December 2017

2017 BEST Reloading Accessory (ever)

Screwed and Glued for your continued pleasure and enjoyment.

Titebond glue and Quadruple Pocket Screwed. Only requires a small Vice to be serviceable.

20171229_13263620171229_132646Inclined at a precise: 21 1/2 degrees .. important for mounting.20171229_132703Mounted horizontally using a firm vice grip.20171229_132741What were you expecting ?  YES the perfect Tea Cup shelf Smile20171229_132751

A prime shooting range in southern England

A fabulous walk in the woods (with a world champion and coach) .. what a great set-up  and to round off the day .. Tanks a Lot !!!!2017_12_27_18_19_3600032017_12_27_18_20_1600032017_12_27_18_20_1600022017_12_27_18_20_160001

45 Long Colt .. batching 750 cases, batch #1

With both (T-7 & XL650) set up and ready to go.  I’ve set-up to first pass clean 750 brass cases.

Dry tumble and separate out the media, it’s off to the 650 to De-Prime.  Once that’s done I’ll process through the case cleaning for a 2nd time then clean primer pockets. We have 360 cases with primer pockets cleaned.

20171229_09300020171229_093015Primer Pocket Debris

Redding T-7; Primer Tube Loading Option & Results

Single stage presses and some turret presses have a myriad of solutions to load primers. Many of these solutions fall short offering a “hand-load” single primer option.  I’m not a fan of handling primers even using surgical gloves.

The T-7 comes with a single hand loaded primer solution. An upgrade to a Primer Tube Feed option is a fair attempt.  This upgrade has a substantial down side, the closeness of the feeder tube to the Die Turret precludes the use of a number of Powder Measures.


There are some that work and require the purchase of same.  I have both Dillon and Lee Auto Drum powder dispensers.  Yes both of these overhang the Die Turret Plate and collide with the Primer Tube option. Fortunately, with  assiduity and canny orientation of said Lee Auto Drum provides about an “RCH” of clearance. imageBottom Line: after some time I have pulled this option from my press and re-installed the original single feed bar.

I simply cannot recommend this system.

Friday, 15 December 2017

45 Long Colt .. Case prep on the Dillon XL 650

Feeling a bit lazy I’ve set up a couple of stations in the XL650. This allows use of the Case Feeder and Indexing Priming System.

1) Full Length Case Forming and De-Prime.

Then; cleaning and prep on 750 cases, return to XL650.

1a) Primer loading.

The cleaned and primed cases will then move to the Redding T7 station 2.image

Thursday, 14 December 2017

45 Long Colt set-up on the Redding T7

Utilizing the T7’s die holding capacity I set up a separate Neck Flaring station.

1) Full Length Size and De-Cap .. Lee Deluxe Die 

    1a) Prime .. Winchester Large Primers

2) Neck Flare** .. Lyman M Die

3) Powder Charge .. Lee Auto Drum Powder Measure

4) Bullet Seat .. Lee Deluxe Die

5) Neck Crimp .. Lee Deluxe Die

**Neck Flaring: I have a few choices, this time I’ll use the Lyman M Die. Note: M Dies are caliber specific vs the Lee Universal Die. My M Die is set-up in the press, the Lee pictured below.  Which is best? Always fodder for discussion. In general the machine finish is superior on the Lee, Lyman offers caliber specific neck sizing along with neck flare. With Lee you buy ONE Die, Lyman its One Die Per Caliber .. $ vs $$$$$$$$.