By Marty Stark, Head of Design and Engineering, Mark 7® Reloading
RPH – Rounds per Hour – are machine speed claims made by sellers of Autodrives, but the real bottom line is effective press throughput or yield. What matters is the quantity of processed brass or loaded rounds that you produce in an hour. This may be translated into 2,500 RPH but highly unlikely that this speed can be sustained loading ammunition for substantial durations of time (no matter what the manufacturer of an Autodrive says). What’s more likely is that you as a purchaser of an Autodrive will see an effective rate lower than this upper limit BUT this limit can be sustained – so your yield is higher than you might expect. This is something that only Mark 7® can do for you.
At Mark 7® our goal is to duplicate the action of an experienced hand operator, but with the convenience and precision of very fine digital control. To do that we developed a computer/electronics package that talks to the drive’s motor and monitors its performance in real time. It is critical that our computer knows exactly where the tool head is at all times.
Deploying that technology provides Mark 7® users with controls not just to set clutch torque and nominal cycle speed, but also to vary press speed and dwell during different phases of the press stroke. One example of when this degree of control is valuable is the ability to adjust shellplate rotation speed when loading high powder fill rounds or ones with tippy bullets. Another example is the ability to increase bottom dwell when trimming brass. These are just some of the engineering features that differentiate the Mark 7® Autodrive and ones that no other manufacturer can claim. It is not current sensing, but torque sensing.
Just as an experienced hand operator can feel when there’s an impending press problem and potentially catch it before a serious powder spill, case or primer jam, there’s an array of Mark 7® accessories to address similar issues.
So what does all this technology do for throughput? It enables a Mark 7® user to keep their press running smoothly for the entire reloading session; and that’s the true measure of RPH – the true yield of your efforts.