View Full Version : Revision to Loading Press design

Doc Hoy
December 6, 2009, 02:53 PM
I am sure you all remember that I was so terribly proud of the loading press that I made a couple weeks ago, that I just had to report my "success" with some photos on this forum. You all were so kind to compliment the build in spite of the fact that the press is about twice as big as it should be.

So I went to work designing a new press. I established three criteria:

1. It has to work well at loading everything from .31 to .45 and accept every revolver we might encounter.

2. It has to give good compression with 25 grains in a ROA

3. It has to be small enough to fit inside my shooting box.

It meets the second requirement with room to spare. (The business part of the plunger is plenty long enough.)

The third requirement meant that the press almost has to fold up.

The photos are of the result of the work.

It is a little finnicky until the ball starts down the chamber. Hard to keep the long link (which substitutes for the upright member on a standard loading press) in proper alignment. It takes a little caution but once I got used to it I found that I can load reliably with it. (.457 ball in an 1860 Colt from ASP.)

You will notice that there is no spindle to hold the cylinder in place. I have not found that this is a problem. The harder I bear down on the lever, the more the cylinder wants to stay right where it sits. I eliminated the spindle because I did not want to have to unscrew the spindle to take the thing apart for storage. I also did not want to have to worry about a spindle for Colts and a spindle for Remington or Rugers.

The first photo shows the three parts separate. The second shows the lever in place pressing against a .375 ball on an old spare cylinder I had laying around. The third photo shows the three parts in a bite size package. (Length is just under 9 inches.) I am thinking about making a cloth bag to put it in.

long rider
December 6, 2009, 03:00 PM
IM like you doc i built my owen press, but it is not
as hi tec as yous is, but haveing said that it is still
going strong after all these years of pressing down
led balls, i made mine out of wood and a 1851 loading
lever simple but it works good, keep up the good work.:D

December 6, 2009, 03:09 PM
Looks simple, portable and effective. Good job!

What material is the cylinder support of?

December 6, 2009, 04:53 PM
It's interesting how you mated the pivot point for the lever, and also how the blue plastic plate eliminates the need for a spindle.

I think that it should be called the "Portapress"! ;)

Doc Hoy
December 6, 2009, 05:50 PM
To Long Rider,

Never thought of using a loading lever for a loading lever. How ingenius is that!?

To Grymster,

The support pad is made of a very dense grade of ABS plastic.

The Articap,

As regards the pivot point, the force vectors in this press or any press for that matter, are simpler than people seem to realize. At the lever's pivot point the only force is directly up. It is a tension on the part I call the link. No need to design the lever to absorb downward force. There is none.

When I go for the patent, it'll be called "Portapress" in your honor. We can talk about royalties after I make my first million.


December 6, 2009, 08:48 PM
Uh, I count 4 parts...

Doc Hoy
December 7, 2009, 04:14 AM

I am looking at the base and link as one part since they don't have to come apart for storage. So you have the base with the link permanently attached, the lever, and the cylinder support pad.

In individual parts the count is 14, unless you count the link as two since it started as 1/2 inch flat stock and 1/4 inch round stock.

December 7, 2009, 07:31 AM
Ok, thanks. I didn't understand the link and base as staying attached.

December 7, 2009, 10:48 AM
Dang Doc, that's really cool. Very portable and looks very easy to use. I think you should market that.

Doc Hoy
December 7, 2009, 11:46 AM

I am thinking I will make about three more and put them on eBay just to get an idea what folks will pay for them.

I have about ten hours of work in it and probably about a buck's worth of materials at retail prices

I guess I need to talk to someone who knows about patents.

I don't.

December 8, 2009, 01:35 AM
Build them, get some out for testing then build- if it works for the beta testers as it has for you then I am in on it.

December 8, 2009, 10:10 AM
I guess I need to talk to someone who knows about patents. I'm no patent attorney and hold no patents myself, but I've seen enough people go through the process to know it's expensive, time consuming and will not necessarily protect you from knock-offs of your intellectual property. To justify the risk, most usually conduct a market study to determine how the product will be received, how many might be sold and to whom, at what price point. Meanwhile, they're investigating various materials and manufacturing strategies, to determine costs.

None of this is meant to discourage you Doc, but rather to give you some insight to the process based on my many observations. I really like your design and think it warrants further investigation on your part. I wish you all the luck and who knows, I might even buy one. :)

Doc Hoy
December 8, 2009, 12:37 PM

Thanks for the positive comments. I should be able to get three of these built before Christmas is out.

I hope to get about 3,000.00 each for them. I promise you guys that if I do, I'll be in the market from some of what Fingers is collecting. (Reference his other post with photos of those magnificent pistols.)

To Grymster,

I am happy for your info. I think I would be inclined to move forward with the patent project but as you say, I need a good bit more advice and info before I make a move on it. I have a friend in Arizona who is a patent lawyer. I have not spoke to him for years and would not do so even now just to ask him for a bunch of favors. (He's too good of a guy for that). But I remember him telling me that the process does not have to be expensive if one is willing to do a lot of personal legwork and tolerate it taking a longer time. I am not a patient person and lawyering is not my thing.

Doc Hoy
December 26, 2009, 09:47 PM
I made two of these things and have one for sale on eBay. Started it at 7.99 plus shipping.

I am going to wait to see what the market reaction is on eBay. Then I will put the other one on the Gunbroker.


December 27, 2009, 10:41 AM
Pretty cool Doc, I'll be able to say I knew you before you were a millionaire. I'd buy one if I didn't already have two.

Doc Hoy
December 27, 2009, 11:42 AM

It would take a heck of a lot more than me being a millionaire to convince most folks to say they are proud to know me.

When I was a kid, my mom had to tie a porkchop around my neck, just to get the dogs to play with me.

Doc Hoy
May 6, 2010, 10:10 AM
I posted to bring this back for those who may not have seen it previously.

This design works okay but it is a little scarey to use. A fourth part which would be a removable arbor to hold the cylinder steady would be a worthwhile addition.


May 6, 2010, 12:51 PM
Doc, nice work. Simple, straightforward.

Thanks for dusting this thread off. As we look at new ideas reflecting on the old ones is just as important.

November 26, 2012, 08:35 AM

I'm new here and have a question for you.

I saw pictures on another site, a ball press you were credited with. It was built with a pipe clamp and would press in 6 balls at a time. Beautiful design! How well did that one work for you?


Doc Hoy
November 26, 2012, 09:37 AM
I could never get enough mechanical advantage to overcome the force needed to start six balls at a time and I could never make the press stout enough that I was confident in using it without breaking it.

The two ball design works better for me but you must understand that it can't be used for five shot revolvers since the geometry of the cylinder is wrong.

If you have not seen photos of that press here they are.

Here is the press in action using a junk cylinder


Here are some of the jigs I made. Colt, Remington, Walker, and Ruger


And here is the shooting box mount


November 26, 2012, 10:03 AM
So, what happened with the first one?
Did you ever patent it or get enough takers to continue?

Doc Hoy
November 26, 2012, 10:23 AM
....I could not get enough interest to warrant going any further with it.

The design of the press with the oak base was sort of unstable. It worked but not as well as the Triple P.

I was trying to develop a press that was small enough to fit inside of my shooting box. That one did but performance was not great.

November 27, 2012, 05:44 PM
I can see how it would take quite a bit of pressure to press 6 balls at once. I would have thought a pipe clamp would do the trick no problem! That's why I was so interested in how well it worked. Man... a pipe clamp will generate pressure big time! I still think the idea is great, maybe more threads per inch on the screw handle?


Doc Hoy
November 27, 2012, 06:17 PM
...but that would require remachining the clamp. I wouldn't go to that much trouble unless I were going to completely revamp the design.

I had thought about a design which is a good bit like a miniature caulking gun where the cylinder goes where the caulk tube would go. Obviously the geometry is all wrong but the concept might work.

I also thought of making a single chamber press using something like a specially shaped channel lock pliers.

November 27, 2012, 07:09 PM
Maybe a "C" clamp design? One ball at a time but small, quick, and more threads per inch. The ball would be seated at exactly the same depth every time. You've got me thinking here....

November 27, 2012, 08:20 PM

Haven't quit thinking about the design of this. Have it all worked out in my head and am going to build one. I think it will work. Easy, cheap and throw it in your gun box. Thoughts?


November 28, 2012, 01:03 AM
Smokin'Joe made such a simple hand held cylinder loader that you've got to see it to believe it:

Simple Cylinder Reloader


Doc Hoy
November 28, 2012, 03:25 AM
I like Smokin Joe's design but I would want two additional features.

It would have to be right for most six shot revolvers including at least Remington, Colt, Walker, and Ruger. The biggest bolt that will fit through the cylinder for a Ruger or Remington is 1/4. And even that may be too large. I never checked. I would want the thing designed such that the wrenches were an integral part of the fasteners. Easy to do.

I saw Joe's post previously and it is ingenious in its simplicity. Truly impressive.

C clamp would work but it is important to hold the cylinder securely without marring the finish. The clamp will also permit the even distribution of force among the chambers one is loading. problem here is with loading a five shot revolver. You would have to load all five at once to avoid having the clamp go crooked.

November 28, 2012, 07:29 AM
Appreciate the input! Yes Joe's design is excellent! Hmmmm... back to work.


November 28, 2012, 10:07 PM
I recently joined a local gun club and shot my 1860 yesterday. Still using my simple device and it still works well.


Doc Hoy
November 29, 2012, 02:42 AM
Yes. No doubt.

That loader is a stroke of genius.