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napp
December 2, 2010, 12:06 PM
While awaiting delivery of my 1858 from Cabela's, I have been searching the forum for info on "out-of-the-gun" revolver cylinder loading tools. Hidden within all the numerous threads, I found a one-liner that led me to the RAI Loading Stand. A few things immediately peaked my interest in it. (1) It has the capability to load .32-.45 calibers. (2) It loads both Colt and Remington type cylinders without using a center pin to position the cylinders. (3) The plunger rides on a cam on the lever bar rather than being attached to the bar. (4) It is made of cold rolled steel (think heavy duty).

The cam on plunger design allows the plunger to push the ball straight down into the cylinder without imparting force to the side. That characteristic is, apparently, what eliminates the need for a cylinder centering pin on the stand. The lack of a fixed connection between the charging lever and the plunger allows felt pads to be seated without using the charging lever. The base of the stand appears to be smaller than optimum for stability; but that can be easily corrected by using the pre-drilled holes to mount the stand to a wooden base. It also appears that the length of the charging lever could easily be increased, if needed.

There is a video demonstration of the stand at the manufacturer's website.
http://richardsonairmotive.com/Home_Page.php

The price of the stand is listed as $59.95 on the website; but he has them listed on eBay for a BIN price of $49.95 with free shipping.

Well, I was impressed enough to order one from the eBay listing; so I will followup with a hands-on report after I receive it.

Sorry if I'm throwing out info that is already known on the forum; but it is hard for a new guy to know everything that has already been said here.

napp

Hardcase
December 2, 2010, 01:36 PM
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=427471

junkman_01
December 2, 2010, 01:51 PM
I bought my RAI loading stand through the ebay connection. I like it a lot. I screwed it to a wood base, extended the handle (I load wheel weight round balls) and added a spring to keep the plunger and handle up when released. Well worth the $49.95 I paid for it and it works fantastically.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=64425&d=1289360992

napp
December 2, 2010, 02:23 PM
Thanks Hardcase. I obviously missed that thread when doing my search. There are some differences of opinion expressed there; but I didn't really see any shortcomings mentioned that worry me too much.

I have already decided that the stand will need to be mounted on a more substantial base; and that the charging handle will likely need lengthening to provide additional leverage. Someone pointed out that the plunger needs to be lifted by hand. While some may view that as a problem, I see it as an advantage when seating wads in the chambers. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. ;)

One thing that helped me decide to buy this particular loader was a phone call I made to the number on the website. It was 6PM (closing time) when I called; but the phone was answered on the third ring by the same fella that did the video. He stayed on the phone with me for about fifteen minutes explaining the system and answering my questions...seemed like a really friendly, polite guy. That sort of thing is important to me when I make a purchase from someone.


EDIT: Looks like Junkman 01 is ahead of me on handling the glitches. :D

Hardcase
December 2, 2010, 06:05 PM
One thing that wasn't in the thread, napp, was an actual review of the press. So, between you and junkman, you have a mission!

napp
December 2, 2010, 08:40 PM
Hardcase,
No sweat. I'll be happy to do that once the big brown truck arrives with my press and the 1858 I have on order. At the moment, I have neither in hand. :(

napp

napp
December 2, 2010, 08:44 PM
Junkman,

I like what you've done with the storage block for the extra plunger and the ring for the Colt cylinder. Good idea. :cool:

napp

Doc Hoy
December 2, 2010, 09:28 PM
When you are mounting these things to the boards, remember you are going to have to get the thing to the range.

napp
December 2, 2010, 10:01 PM
Good point about the transportability, Doc. I'll have to tinker with it once I have the press in hand. My initial thoughts are to mount it longitudinally on a 2x6 or 2x8 with a length of 18", or so. I'm also thinking that I can run bolts up through the board with the heads countersunk and epoxied in the bottom. ie: create studs in the board and attach the press with wing nuts for ease in assembly/disassembly during transport.

junkman_01
December 2, 2010, 10:36 PM
Doc,

That's what I have a truck for :p

BTW, I clamp mine to the bench top at the range with a large 'C' clamp.

Doc Hoy
December 3, 2010, 05:28 AM
...But I just have always felt that I wanted a press that I could throw in my shooting box. My shooting box is about 12" high by 10" wide by about 22" long. Inside that box goes everything I need to shoot the pistols including a chronograph and tripod.

In addition to that box I take a folding table, folding chair bench rest and target stand. And of course the pistols. I take all of this stuff because I don't have a range within reasonable driving distance that doesn't charge fifty bucks a month to use. So I drive about an hour to a friend's house and shoot on his property.

Over the course of about a year I came up with several different iterations of press which was intended to be able to safely press the bullet home without damaging the pistol and could be folded up or dismantled and carried INSIDE my shooting box. I immortalized my efforts in several threads on this forum to the amazement and glee of many members of the forum. (I use the word "glee" because I know they were rolling with laughter as they read the posts and saw the photos. In fact I am sure that some of the guys who remember those threads are laughing right now. I know that my face is red with embarassment.)

I finally came up with one which loads two chambers at a time. It is made from a cabinet makers clamp and a very short section of pipe. It unscrews into two pieces and fits into my shooting box easily. It does not need to be screwed or clamped to anything. (I had originally made a jig which was designed to press all six at one time but the clamp does not give enough mechanical advantage to do the job safely) The thing I came up with works pretty well, loads pretty safely and fits inside the box.

My efforts were terribly misguided. I could easily have just bought a reliable loader, and then worked at modifying it to be dismantled to fit in the box. But because I am a stubborn jack a-- -- who is like a dog with a bone in situations like this, using the accepted design simply never entered my mind.

junkman_01
December 3, 2010, 08:02 AM
Doc,

The RAI loader would have answered all your needs. It is SCREWED together and can be easily dismantled with a couple of allen keys into three stow-able parts.
I remember there were some initial negative comments about this loader on the BP forums (we are both on all of them I think), but this loader has proved to be very good, is well made, and worth the asking price. For someone who loads soft lead RBs, the handle doesn't need to be extended. In the video on the makers website, he is shown using two hands and pounding on his hand. This was only because he was sitting down and at a bad angle to the loader for the video. The original length handle is sufficient to load soft lead balls. I extended mine because I shoot wheel weight round balls (I have a lot of wheel weight ingots left over from my earlier casting days, along with about 2 dozen different molds). This loader is well made, well finished, and works.

Hardcase
December 3, 2010, 12:11 PM
Hey, Doc, I'm glad that you're stubborn - those loaders that you've shown us over time have been some pretty fine examples of garage engineering at its best!

Doc Hoy
December 3, 2010, 02:34 PM
Yeah...Even the one that did not fit in the back of my pickup. :)

Thanks for the compliment HC. Too kind.

napp
December 30, 2010, 09:19 PM
It's been a while; but I finally have my RAI BP Cylinder Loader ready to go to the range. I used a 1/2"x 6" cap screw to extend the handle for more leverage. My original intent was to cut off the bolt head and re-thread it for the original knob on the handle. My son made a suggestion that I liked better. I simply cut down a golf club grip and installed it on the handle after the bolt head was removed.

The base is a 2x6x18" board that is painted satin black. The heads of the bolts securing the press are counter sunk into the bottom so that the base will sit flat. I chose to use wing nuts up top just in case I should ever have a need to easily remove the press from the base. Two large bulldog spring clips are screwed into the base for storage of the extra bullet seating plunger and the brass adapter ring for Colt cylinders. I will eventually install a spring on the plunger such as junkman has done.

The entire assembly fits easily into the bottom of my range box without disassembling anything.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/silvergto/P1010347.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/silvergto/P1010348.jpg

junkman_01
December 30, 2010, 10:13 PM
Looks good napp.:D