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Thoughts on rotary 308 linker
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  Mx201er

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Posted: July 28 2017 at 11:57am | IP Logged Quote Mx201er

I do not yet have a belt gun (hopefully that will be a project in the near future), but I am wasting time at the airport and was thinking about building a rotary continuous linking machine. I can't seem to find anything of the sort online, but it doesn't seem all that complicated.

I would basically be using the same design as a minigun's bolts run on; an elliptical slot in a pipe that forces plungers up and down as it is turned. It could lay sideways and gravity feed cartridges. The only part I haven't figured out, since I don't have any links yet to look at in person, is how I could reliably feed those. This design could be hand crank or even run by a small electric motor.
For those of you that link their own ammo, does this sound like an interesting project or a waste of time? I have a decent shop and can do basic metal casting, and the best part is the 3d printer that makes prototyping this type of thing pretty simple and cheap.

Have you seen anybody build something similar? Are there similar designs sold at prices realistic for hobbyists? I couldn't find much online with a quick search from my phone. Final question, could any of you estimate the amount of force (pounds) it takes to force a cartridge into a link?

Thanks in advance for input.
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  bikergunnut

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Posted: July 28 2017 at 8:43pm | IP Logged Quote bikergunnut

There are automated linkers out there. Think expensive HIGH volume.

Pressure to load a belt is easily overcome with leverage.

1919 and mg34/42 links are the cheapest I can think of. They give you two options to look at. Separate links and belts.

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  weaponeer

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Posted: August 03 2017 at 7:51pm | IP Logged Quote weaponeer

I have to say that it sounds like a very cool project.   wish i had one...   lol

I have the old WWI cloth belt loaders. they are pretty cool, but you cannot use it without bleeding all over the place (it uses VERY sharp needles).

I have a belt loader for the PKM

and a manual linker for 1919 links.

There are two basic kind of metal links.  pull out (like the 50 bmg and 1919 etc..)  they require the most force.  guessing 25 to 45 lbs
(I have not loaded any links in a number of years)

and then you have the push through type, that allows a case to be pushed through and into the chamber like the M60 links. and they only require a few pounds to load into a belt.  nice and easy.

either way you would need an adjustment bolt to set the cartridges  position within the link.

The hopper for bullets is not that big a deal.  but you  have to load the links too, and a hopper just is not going to work.

'To be able to figure out your first real step, you need to decide  what belt-fed you want.  that's the one that will tell you if it's even possible or not.

I'm looking forward to see which direction you go, if you decide to move forward with the project.  it's a very interesting idea
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  backbencher

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Posted: August 03 2017 at 11:21pm | IP Logged Quote backbencher

Can the M1917 be modified to use M1919 belts?  Or can you relatively easily convert a M1919 to water cooling?  A M1917 sitting on a Jeep pintle, tied into the radiator, would just be too cool.

Knew an Aggie who hunted deer w/ a full-auto M1919, mounted on a jeep in front of the passenger seat.  They were in Czechoslovakia after the war, and were tried of C-rats.  Had their armorers rig them up a mount, and then drove around til they saw a deer.  I asked him,"Didn't that tear up the meat?"

His response?  "You only shot 'em til they fell down."
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  tr6guns

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Posted: August 04 2017 at 8:50am | IP Logged Quote tr6guns

I also have an original 1918 Belt filling machine, and the only real difference between a 1917 and a 1919 is water cooled and air cooled. Same principle, same ammo, same belt. Original belts were M1 250 round, M2 150 round, and M3 100 round for tanks.
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  Mx201er

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Posted: August 12 2017 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote Mx201er

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I've started creating a parametric model for this, and am in the very beginning stages. It should go a bit faster after I actually have some links in hand.
This is where I'm at so far:


I obviously need to add the opening for the links right below the opening for the round, but this design should force the rounds into the links as the center is rotated. I have played a bit with the math to correlate torque, axial force, and diameter of the drum.

This will be intended for 1919 belts. As you said, a hopper for the rounds should be easy, but it looks like I will still have to have a "magazine" of sorts to feed the links.
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  Mx201er

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Posted: August 12 2017 at 1:48pm | IP Logged Quote Mx201er

Also, oops.. I guess changing the title removes all the replies. Sorry about that. ops:
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  bikergunnut

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Posted: August 12 2017 at 10:11pm | IP Logged Quote bikergunnut

Maybe changing the title flipped your posts to 'new' posts.

Your at ten now so no matter.

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