Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

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Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby steed20 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:34 pm

I purchased an old Mills Castle Front (black) with hand load jackpot. Everything checks out on it, in terms of being a true machine- (serial number on machine and wood base match, has the proper number of rails behind coin escalator, has pump, etc...) Ultimately, I'll end up having it restored at some point, but am trying to learn about it at this point.

At this point, what i'm confused about is the hand load jackpot- From what I understand, the lock cylinder on the front of the machine is to be removed and then I load coins (nickels) in this case, thru the tube, which will load the jackpot up. I ran 3 rolls of nickels through it tonight, to see how it played and paid out (paid out perfectly every time). On 2 or 3 occasions, after pulling the handle, while the reels were still in motion, the machine would deposit a nickel into the jackpot bin on the front of the machine.

To my understanding, hand load jackpot machines didn't fill the jackpot on their own, hence the lock to load the jackpot manually.

What am I missing here?

Thanks in advance for any info you may have.
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby Imyourcaptain » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:27 pm

Hmmm well that is quite interesting. I’m going to venture a guess, and that’s you have a regular self loading jackpot with an option to load from the front if needed. Would make sense as operators would lose money if the jackpot wasn’t full. Could you post photos of the jackpot from the front and from the back(with mech removed)

I have never seen such a thing but it’s possible that someone made that happen, I don’t think this was ever a factory option but you never know.
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby steed20 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:07 am

Here are some pics of the machine.

Upon removing the mechanism, I found to the right of the jackpot, a little silver box that appears to be detached from somewhere in the machine. Any idea what this may be or where it may go? The machine works perfectly and pays perfectly, so whatever it's purpose is, it doesn't seem to be interfering with the operation of the machine.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby bkrsdoz » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:53 am

That's the "slug cup" that mounts on a couple of screws on the top right of the inside of the cabinet (facing it from the rear).
I catches bent coins and slugs.
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby steed20 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:03 am

bkrsdoz wrote:That's the "slug cup" that mounts on a couple of screws on the top right of the inside of the cabinet (facing it from the rear).
I catches bent coins and slugs.



That makes sense.
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby steed20 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:07 pm

It appears as though this machine does self load the jackpot, along with having the option to manually load the jackpot. I put a roll of nickels into it tonight and once the main reserve of coins (i'm assuming) was filled, it started to direct coins into the jackpot, then after putting coins in the jackpot for awhile, I could hear then dropping into the coin box in the bottom of the machine, without completely filling the jackpot up. Is this normal?

Thanks!
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby norabt » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:58 am

imyourcaptain is probably right, the operator put the self filling parts on the jackpot. Originally there would have been a plate separating the coins showing in the window and the diversion on the back of the jackpot to the cash box. There should not be a reserve jackpot and linkage on the jackpot. Mills put this machine out in the late 1930's, sometimes referred to as the last Castle Front. The main background was painted black with the checker board background being gold and the checkers painted red. I have restored several hand load Castle Fronts and presently restoring a nickel one at the present time.
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby norabt » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:10 am

Looking at the pictures again I see the plate is in the jackpot and the reserve parts have been removed. Without seeing the top of the jackpot I can't tell what is happening, there should be a physical separation between the coins in the window and the inside back of the jackpot. Also I see the checker board background on your machine is painted white instead of gold, the machine obviously has been repainted.
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby steed20 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:34 am

norabt wrote:Looking at the pictures again I see the plate is in the jackpot and the reserve parts have been removed. Without seeing the top of the jackpot I can't tell what is happening, there should be a physical separation between the coins in the window and the inside back of the jackpot. Also I see the checker board background on your machine is painted white instead of gold, the machine obviously has been repainted.



My pictures aren't the best- the checkerboard is red and black squares, and the other two portions are painted gold.

Last night, when I was playing nickels through it, once it filled up the reserve that the small payouts are made from, it started to direct coins into the jackpot window, in the front of the machine. Then once that was about half full, I could hear coins going into the coin vault box in the bottom of the machine.

If the jackpot has been altered, I'm guessing that it wouldn't be too hard to restore it back to what it should be?

Thanks!
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Re: Mills Castle Front W/Hand Load Jackpot

Postby norabt » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:15 am

It sounds like everything is correct.
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