What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share?


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James THR
August 28, 2006, 08:05 AM
What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share that makes things just that much easier on your reloading bench ?

For me I have used coloured plastic zip ties around my dies to differentiate them in the turret press and also the spare sets that I have for different projectiles.

I also use 9mm MTM case guards to hold .38 HBWC rounds ( wonderful snug fit).

I took my Lyman T-Mag ram linkages apart and fitted fibre washes in the gaps to take out all the play. Made a huge difference in feel with the slop taken out.

I have covered my reloading bench with a sheet of white polymer board (what chopping boards are made out of) http://www.kingstarboard.com/Products/starboard.aspx makes for a terrific easy clean and textured top.

I cut 1" of the top of the thread that holds the lid on my Lyman 1200 pro tumbler. It saves time and hassle not having to wind the pesky lid screw that extra unnecessary 1" all the time.

What can you share ?

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August 28, 2006, 08:26 AM
38 wadcutters will fit in 9mm boxes? That tip alone makes waking up this moring worth it!

Here are my modest ideas:

On the RCBS 2000 (and possibly others) there are gaps in the base and on the plate on which the case bins hang. When you fill the bullet tray up the overflow tends to head right for these gaps, so I filled them up with inserts made from wood and styrofoam.

The plastic containers that parmesean cheese come in are good for storing loaded rounds. They hold about 100 9mm rounds and you can shake out how ever many rounds you need with the top still secure.

Vitamin G
August 28, 2006, 08:32 AM
The $19 Ikea bookshelves make great storage racks!
Theres no such thing as overlubing.
Brass can never be too clean.
1000 primers is not enough

August 28, 2006, 08:54 AM
Theres no such thing as overlubing. Unless you get lube on the shoulder of a case you're trying to set back 0.001" . . .

August 28, 2006, 09:13 AM
1. drill and tap set screw holes in Hornady LnL bushings to eliminate lock ring issues with short Lee dies.

2. Zip tie the spent primer tube to the brass tube to elminate it coming off.

3. Built my own "strong mount" for my Hornady LnL progressive out of oak.

4. Customized strong mount by building an ergonomic stand for brass, bullets and primers. Attached this to the strong mount with deck screws. Makes reloading much faster, as I don't have to reach as far for anything.

5. Opened up the bracket a bit and mounted a Hornady powder measure on a Lee Classic Cast press, allowing for powder drop and bullet seat in closer proximity to one another and one operation, thereby gaining some speed in the single stage process. (1. Resize/trim/prime cases. 2. drop powder 3. Immediately place in shellholder and place bullet 4. Seat bullet. 5. crimp if appropriate)

6. Buy multiple Akro or other brand louvered bins. Place bullets, brass and primers and finally loaded round in them to facilitate work in progress on a progress press. Works well with single stages and turrets, but the most benefit comes with progressives.

Hope these help someone.


August 28, 2006, 09:45 AM
Reloading supplies get heavy fast, use small containers. I have my stuff in those folding top containers and they have become very heavy with 9mm, 45acp and 10mm supplies like bullets for everything, brass, powder, press, dies and so on.

No real "inventions" yet but I haven't started working with my progressive setup just yet. Home projects, lousy excuse, but you know the drill.

I will be putting my primer pocket cleaner in my cordless drill soon though, saves time. I would really like a foot actuator for the press, but that long stroke would be annoying to my leg just as it is my arm after a few hundred rounds.

Setup cartridges NEVER have a primer in them. Beating a bullet out of a barrel is a serious bummer of a thing to do while kicking yourself in the rear. I mark them with a black sharpie also for easier visual identification.


TN Shooter
August 28, 2006, 03:49 PM
I use different colored Sharpie pens to mark the primer on some loads to differentiate them from others. And recently, they have come out with a bunch of additional colors. It is a great to use during load development because it eliminates the possibility of getting loads mixed up with each other in the same box. Also, when you deprime, the marking is gone :D

August 28, 2006, 04:32 PM
We've got one of those bagless vacuum cleaners that I absolutely despise. Give me bags any day--emptying those canisters is messy! But... Since no debris goes through the motor or fan, and it has a HEPA filter, it's safe to Jerry-rig the hose up to my press when depriming.

It's kinda fun to hear the primers rattling down the hose when I'm depriming, and sure keeps a lot of that nasty burnt primer "dust" (more like toxic sand than dust, ain't it?) off of the press and floor.

August 28, 2006, 05:15 PM
When cleaning different caliber of brass, I use those little colored mesh bags from Lyman. You don't have to hand sort the brass after cleaning

I got some of the big rolls of labels from Midway for my boxes. Maybe everybody else already does this, but it's just real handy to have all those labels close that have places for all the info

When working up loads, I used to segregate them in the plastic boxes. Problem is, they'd tend to get mixed up, dumped, etc. Now I put them in zip lock bags with the above labels with all the info. If I don't shoot them right away, I still have all the info on the bag with the loads in it

You can make a power trimmer out of a standard trimmer by replacing the crank handle with a capscrew with a hex nut. Use a drill to power it. I had to trim .200 off some cases. Only took a few seconds per case when it was under power.

Use PLENTY of brass polish in your media. Makes cases clean and shiny and easier to reload since they're slicker.

Spray your dies when they're being stored to prevent rust.

James THR
August 28, 2006, 06:35 PM
There has been some absolutely terrific tips and ideas posted :)

Lots of them have been ingenious and some great time savers !

Keep 'em coming.

August 28, 2006, 07:19 PM
I invented "double compression", a method of getting more powder into a load than a case full.

Then I found out that the blackpowder people had already invented it and gave it the same name.

I also worked for 5 years to figure out why beer goes in yellow and comes out clear, and yet water goes in clear and comes out yellow. I could have figured it out faster, but things were comming out clear at the time.

August 28, 2006, 08:13 PM
Mark across the head of your pistol ammo with a colored Sharpie so
you can sort it from your buddies' at the range. I'm sure I didn't
invent this but it is amazing how much time people spend trying to
decide who the pick up brass belongs to because none is marked.

Of course the other option is to have a buddy who shoots 9mm so
his brass is obvious from your 45 ACP- but that would be drastic.:barf:

Ron Brooks
August 28, 2006, 09:04 PM
I didn't make this up, I read it somewhere a long time ago. Use form-a-gasket for the primer pockets of dummy rounds, they also work as a snap cap.

August 28, 2006, 09:26 PM
Well, lessee, I cut stainless wire and form a loop, stick it in a 148 grain WC .38 mold with the sprue cutter open and poor, instant fishing weight. I vary caliber to weight size. For a heavy surf fishing weight or trot lines/drop lines, 340 grain .45-70 pills. :D

August 28, 2006, 09:28 PM
I didn't make this up, I read it somewhere a long time ago. Use form-a-gasket for the primer pockets of dummy rounds, they also work as a snap cap.

RTV works better.

August 28, 2006, 10:01 PM
The $19 Ikea bookshelves make great storage racks!

Which ones are those?

I've noticed the Fira storage series here (http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=12&langId=-1&catalogId=10103&categoryId=16152&cattype=sub)

Or their snack boxes (http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?topcategoryId=15561&catalogId=10103&storeId=12&productId=74370&langId=-1&categoryId=15776&chosenPartNumber=40104454)

Or the Mackis storage series (http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=12&langId=-1&catalogId=10103&categoryId=15779&cattype=sub)


Will Cordes
August 28, 2006, 10:39 PM
I learned this the hard way, when I tumbled two different calibers (I can't even remember which ones, way back when) together and wound up with smaller cases trapped inside larger ones (which kept both from being effectively cleaned).

Nowadays, I segregate by case mouth diameter (not necessarily caliber), since I load for so many calibers that share the same bore size--regardless of case size (.35 Remington, .358 Winchester, .350 Remington Magnum, .35 Whelen, .35 Winchester, etc.). That way, I can combine smaller batches of cases to conserve electricity.

August 28, 2006, 11:21 PM
That way, I can combine smaller batches of cases to conserve electricity.

or, take you tumbler to work and use their electricity!

Darrell Davis
August 28, 2006, 11:26 PM
Even'n folks.

Hope this Ol'timer doesn't up set to many folk over the up coming days. Once you've been around awhile you do tend to get a bit set in your ways, but just found this site today and figure I'll throw in my 2 cents worth on a topic or two.

As per a "clever" idea for reloading, the following isn't my idea, but I suggested it to my oldest son who is now using the idea and have recently installed my own system in our new home.

The idea is a "receiver" system of sorts which allows for attaching multiple tooks to the loading bench and all without drilling any holes through the finished surface of the bench.

On my new system, I have 4 tubes - all in one welded unit - bolted to the underside of the work bench the wife and I share.

When building the bench into the room, I counter sunk 8 - 3/8" bolts under the formica counter top. I set the bolts in Fiberglass epoxy so there is no play or chance for them to work loose.

On my loading press, I use a mounting piece which uses two of the under bench tubes. This plus the winged locking bolts in each tube creat an extremely solid mounting system and all without the normal holes through the top.

Need to attach other tools, or more then one at a time? That is the reason for the four tubes under the bench and the mounting attachments are limited only by your imagination.

Works for me!

August 28, 2006, 11:54 PM
Rather than run the spent primer tube into a trash can, I cut slits into a water bottle cap so it fits on the tube. Then I screw the bottle into the cap so it hangs on the tube. I kept kicking over the trash can when I was using it to catch spent primers...

August 29, 2006, 02:23 AM
"...Theres no such thing as overlubing..." Nonsense. Like HankB says, you can over lube a bottle necked case.
My tip? If you go cheap on the bench and buy one with a particle board/OSB top, a square foot of 1/4" steel plate bolted to the bench and the press bolted to the plate fixes it.

August 29, 2006, 03:06 AM
I make my own labels on my computer, using the "mailing labels" in Works.

I've made my own primer pocket cleaning brushes for about 25 years from the plastic covered 1/8" cable they sell in hardware stores. A foot of it will last a lifetime. Just be sure to dress the end on a grinder so you don't make the primer pocket deeper.

I've made a powered tool that mounts to my bench for cleaning primer pockets and chamfers case mouths. I can clean about 2,000 cases per hour with it, or chamfer about the same amount.

I've made several small tools for cleaning corncob from flash holes by using epoxy to glue piano wire of the proper size in file handles. I've also made several tools for cleaning around the ram of the press with the flat steel street sweepers leave in the gutter, by epoxying them into file handles. Use a pop rivet to take up half the space in the hole in the wooden file handle and epoxy both the rivet and the "tool" into place.

I made one of the above tools with a 90 degree angle in the piano wire, for pushing out those pesky primers that go part way back into the primer pocket and won't come out of the shell holder.

A small brush that's usually used for applying flux to soldered joints also works to clean inside a press, where it's hard to reach.

I made a tool for smoothing case mouths after trimming by using a 3/4" copper tubing cap and drilling a 1/4" hole in the center and putting a 1/4" bolt through it. Then fill the cap with stainless steel wool and run it in a drill and touch the case mouth to it.

I've cut decapping pins from 3' long pieces of piano wire of the proper diameter that I purchased for .45 cents at the hardware store.

I recycle all spent rifle and pistol primers. The current price is $1.30 a pound in my area, and it adds up pretty quickly, along with brass that can either not be reloaded or can no longer be reloaded.

I use Plasti-dip to make the handle of the RCBS hex lock ring tool larger, so I can get a better grip on it. I dipped it several times to build it up.

I put a counter on my Rockchucker press so I can get a count on the amount of brass I'm depriming, etc.

Some tools are mounted on 10" by 10", 7/8" plywood, and clamped to the work bench, so I don't have to drill more holes. All my lubrisizers and shotgun loading tools are mounted this way.

There are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

Hope this helps.


Dr. Dickie
August 29, 2006, 07:20 AM
The only trick I learned is how to get the primers flipped (I use winchester primers and load on a Dillion). Save one of the plastic trays the primers come in. Open the new box of primers, and place the old empty plastic tray on top of the new on full of primers (with the holes of the old one facing the primers). Flip, then remove the plastic tray the pimers came in (they are now up-side down in the old plastic tray). Take the paper cover that was on the new primers and place it over the top of the up-side down primers. Flip this over and place it down on a clean smooth spot on the bench (paper against the bench, plastic tray on top). Now slide the paper out from under the tray and lift the tray. There you have it, 100 primers laying face up ready to be loaded into the primer tube for feeding.

Uncle Don
August 29, 2006, 08:58 AM
That those cheesy little collet rings that come with inertia bullet pullers are worthless and can be tossed. You can use a press shellholder for the caliber you are pulling and it works much better.

Darrell Davis
August 29, 2006, 09:58 AM
"Super lube"

Now there may be some lubes as good or better then this, but STP did solve a problem once upon a time.

I was reforming a goodly amount of .308 brass to .243 and was stove piping the necks on 50% or so of the attempts.

I was using an RCBS lube which had worked fine for all other sizing work I had done, up to that time.

I decided to try a bit of STP, and what do you know, NO MORE stove piped necks!!

STP is so sticky it is just a matter of getting a bit on the "dirty hand" and smearing a bit on the neck and shoulder before the sizing operation. As I said, no more problem.

However, the down side is the cleaning as STP resists normal attempts at wiping.

I just used a good solvent of some type (gas works, but be careful!), followed by a good strong hot water/soap solution.

I would be interested in something which was as good as the STP but not as hard to clean up.

Any thoughts?

Car Knocker
August 29, 2006, 03:00 PM
Imperial Sizing Wax.

Darrell Davis
August 29, 2006, 04:09 PM
Tell me more about the "Imperial Sizing Wax."

August 29, 2006, 05:29 PM
Imperial Sizing Die Wax is owned by Redding Reloading Equipment. A 1 oz. tin lists for $6.00, and a 2 oz. tin lists for $9.00.

You can view the information at: www.redding-reloading.com.

Hope this helps.


James THR
August 29, 2006, 06:09 PM
I mentioned before about carrying .38 HBWC loads in a MTM 9mm case guards. If you only have the .38/.357 case guards and it annoys you how the cartridges rattle around. If you cut some styrofoam to the exact inside dimension of the caseguard lid and hot melt glue that in - presto ! No more annoying rattles and your .38 HBWC are held as tightly as if they were in 9mm boxes.

I also bought a cheap secondhand locker (like you see in dressing rooms) and I always make sure that all my primers and all my powder and all loaded rounds are always under lock and key when not in use. That way I am always sure that kids and other unathorized folks can never cause themselves or myself any grief.

August 29, 2006, 06:29 PM
I would be interested in something which was as good as the STP but not as hard to clean up.

Any thoughts?Yeah...Rooster CFL (Case Forming Lube). Got this idea from Ross Seyfried in Handloader. He does all kinds of goofy case forming and said it was hands down the best he had used for radical case forming.

I made some .357 Herrett from .30-30's and it worked great to set back the shoulder.

Car Knocker
August 29, 2006, 06:40 PM
The Imperial Sizing Lube is a great product that is used VERY sparingly and cleans off nicely. Follow this link for more info and be sure to read the customer reviews:


August 29, 2006, 08:19 PM
Was always a dreaded chore to get a small patch started down the bore of a 22 cal. center fire rifle from the breech end. Took a 22 cal brass jag, drilled a small hole dead center in the jag face and epoxied a small pin nail in the hole. Spear the patch and no more starting problems.

The 50 round plastic cartridge holders that come in a box of new 45 ACP ammo make good loading blocks for most common center fire calibers.

August 30, 2006, 08:29 PM
The large cat litter plastic containers with the handles make excellent storage bins for fired brass.

I also use empty 1 gal spackle containers for storage of brass in various stages of the reloading process. I mark one container #1, #2, #3 and so on.

Cuban cigar boxes (wood) excellent storage containers for spare parts and accessories for your equipment.

I recovered my work bench with 1" X10" pine which I laid directly over the old 2X4 top, I sealed the joints with caulk and painted the entire top 4 coats of gloss white paint. Makes clean up a breeze.

August 30, 2006, 09:32 PM
Uncle Don:
That those cheesy little collet rings that come with inertia bullet pullers are worthless and can be tossed. You can use a press shellholder for the caliber you are pulling and it works much better.

I just tried that and it works like champ!

Now I'm mad I didn't think of that.

August 30, 2006, 10:05 PM
+1 for Uncle Don!

August 30, 2006, 11:02 PM
Could it Bee, that Redding does not keep thier own bees, but is selling their wax OEM?


August 30, 2006, 11:37 PM
Shotgun shell reloading with a MEC.

-Metal powder caps off older Win 1# powder [Super Lite, 296, etc] and MEC plastic bottles fit each other.

-Allen Wrench electrical taped to MEC handle is handy and always there if need to adjust cam.

-Dental Pick is handy for getting pellets out of collet sizers [you can electrical tape this opposite allen wrench, or keep one taped to all of your shot bottles]

--Mounting the MEC reloaders , Depends on bench, set up and how much room you have:

1. Mount All MEC reloaders on the same size and thickness of plywood, I stained all mine and light varnish, easier to clean up.

Get two pcs of plywood that fits table / bench top. Again I stained and varnished mine. One pc lays onto top, The other one, I measured to allow 3 MEC Reloaders to fit side by side - adjust to your needs. I put "trim" all the way around to contain spilled shot. [one is going to spill shot]

I then drilled matching holes to fit into all MEC mounting wood bases and that one pc of plywood. I run the bolts up thru plywood and set atop plywood on table top [ I did this to protect table top]. I C-clamped the two plywoods in table top.

Yes I had bolts sticking up for 3 reloaders, I grabbed the reloaders I wanted to use from the Eleven I had to choose from, set onto bolts, lockwasher and wing-nut down.

2. Repeat mounting MEC as above onto wood bases, stain, varnish ...etc.
I had a buddy in a sheet metal shop make me a nice "pan" this base fit into, with about 1.5" - 2" border around to catch spilled shot and powder. This set up just C- Clamped a smaller table. Base held into pan and very secure with just the C- Clamps.

---FWIW - if you borrow the wife's nice mesh delicate bag to wash hulls in the washer...you will end up buying new ones. Also a good idea to read her schedule change, seems a wife will change day's off with a co-worker.
So...if she leaves early to run an errand and comes back and then you find out she is off that day...
Well , yeah I did do laundry and all, just that morning I thought I'd clean them 28 ga hulls first...

"Hi honey, I am off today...oh you started laundry ....,<raise lid to look> and ...."honey!"


August 30, 2006, 11:57 PM
RCBS's $7.00 powder baffle can be made from a soda can or a business card.
Fixed, non-adjustable Belding and Mull powder measure tubes can be made from cut-down .45-70 cases.

August 31, 2006, 02:10 AM
You can make a power trimmer out of a standard trimmer by replacing the crank handle with a capscrew with a hex nut. Use a drill to power it. I had to trim .200 off some cases. Only took a few seconds per case when it was under power.

You can work even faster if you use a foot-pedal to operate the case-release lever on the left side. I cut a notch on either side of the lever's handle to allow me to fasten a length of rope to the handle firmly (so it wouldn't slide around). I C-clamp an RCBS case-trimmer near the edge of a table at an oblique angle, and align it so that the rope will hang off the handle at a plumb vertical drop and not touch the table's edge. I drilled two holes at the same end of a piece wood (~1" x 5" x 15") and nailed that piece of wood cross-wise to a scrap piece of 4x4. It resembles a miniature see-saw with two holes where one person would sit, except it's not perfectly balanced; the "hole" end is shorter, and the "unequal" long end rests on the floor because of sheer weight imbalance. Run the free end of the dangling rope through the holes, measure it so that when the pedal is pushed, the lever has enough tension on it to cam open the shellholder, and tie off the rope at that spot.

Put a box of shells behind and left of the shellholder; an empty box behind the "lathe", and get to it--LF on the pedal opens the shellholder, LH feeds a new case, RH operates the drill, LF opens the shellholder, RH removes the sized case, LH feeds a new case, RH operates the drill, etc. 400 shells an hour in my sleep. My best time is 700 shells/hour, but that was work; and a timed test just for curiosity's performance.

Also, a 1/4" universal socket joint between the drill and the crank handle shaft will allow "slop" so the drill's alignment isn't so critical. Even better is to build a platform for the drill so it doesn't move much (a simple cardboard box for a platform will do, just so you can align the height of the drill even with the shaft).

Hmm. somebody asked for a description of this a long time ago.. it might get buried here. Pardon me if I start a new thread describing this.

+3 on the Imperial Die Wax.

Thank you, Uncle Don and Matt-man!!

bigger jon
August 31, 2006, 02:42 AM
How many times have you broke one? I`ve done it so many time it will make your head spin,Most of the time it`s a small rock in the case from the range, or a 22lr brass in the case? in any event they never break at a good time or you don`t have a replacement,So for the passed 20 years i`ve been using finishing nails?After installing it i simply snip off the point and get back to work,I have one in my 357 sizing decapping die thats been there for 10 years now,Thats big jon tip for the day,

August 31, 2006, 06:25 AM
i`ve been using finishing nails?After installing it i simply snip off the point and get back to work

now that, sir, is a useful tip indeed. thank you.

August 31, 2006, 05:23 PM


September 1, 2006, 06:57 AM
For changing powder bar on my 550, I use a nut driver rather than just a wrench. You can see where the writing is on the handle and get pretty close on the first try if you keep track of how much change one turn is worth.

Suppose one turn equals 1 1/2 grains of a given powder. If you want to change the charge by .7, you'd go in or out 1/2 a turn. The micrometer dial things would be nice, but I've got 6 complete set-ups and I don't change charges once I find something that works.

Can't see putting that much into all those dial things (for me). Now ,if you changed calibers and use a single powder measure, they'd be the program.

September 1, 2006, 07:18 AM
The internet...

oops...no that was Kerry. But on a serious note My setup and storage of dies.
The light in the room was changed to an outdoor flood light that has the equivalent output of a 500 watt lamp. (consumes about 150w)


September 1, 2006, 09:48 AM
Ross hit the one I was thinkin' bout.

Next time your at the range, go through the various brass on the ground and pick up a few diffrent sizes of the larger variety.

I use 45 ACP brass due to it having the extractor cut and have them set up similar to the Lee powder dippers...use some coat hanger remnants and voila! trim to length either using a case trimmer or tubing cutter until you get a good handle on how much it throws. Find that "perfect charge" with it, and then just leave it in the die box. :) Of course, Lee has thought about this...but this is more tailored to a particular firearm.

Go get a Lee Challenger press for cheap, set it up with a collet style bullet puller and mount it next to your other press...JUST IN CASE. :)

Set up a HALOGEN light over your work area...Fluorescent light can fiddle with my Lyman DPS1200 somtimes when I am doing lots of rifle loads...and halogen light is sharper...flashlights are a must...can be used to check powder levels in cases to ensure uniformity.

Storage...can't be stressed enough that you don't have ENOUGH...you will never have ENOUGH. But the small stuff can be taken care of easily enough...somtimes...go to Lowes or Homless Depot and get some of those plastic storage drawer bins...I have two...also nice to have an unused tackle box...makes for excellent spare screws, scope mounts, springs, etc etc.

Mount a small 3-4" bench vise on one of the support legs of your bench...you WILL need it for somthing...eventually. :)

Can't think of anything else right now....


September 1, 2006, 07:12 PM
In addition to cheap Goose decoys, old bleach bottles are good for storing 25#'s of shot. Just rinse it out real good, pull or cut off the label and then write the size and hardness on the outside. Use a funnel to fill it from the bag. Then when you go to top off your bottles, the nice handle makes it easy to pour.

SM, punch out all the primers from the hulls before washing. They'll sink and you won't have to ruin one of SWMBO's "delicates" bag. Also use the gentle cycle, there'll be less of the "WHATTHEHELLDIDYOUDOTHEWASHER" for you to clean out. Throw an old towel or two in also to help protect the finish on agitator and drum.

After washing my hulls I normally run a load of the towels that you I for gun cleaning and cleaning mats through the washer with a regular laundry soap and a glob of orange hand cleaner stuff. Then the washer doesn't smell like Hoppes and look like you gouged the finish when you drained used motor oil into it.

And never put them in the dryer when SWMBO is home, even if it's only for a "couple of minutes" just to make sure they're completely dry.

Don't ask me how I know. :o :uhoh: :rolleyes:

September 3, 2006, 10:14 AM
Darrel Davis just gave a good tip on using STP for a sizing lube and I would like to offer my suggestion also. I have been using Mobil One, a synthetic motor oil as a firearms lubricant for several months now and find it to be one of the finest lubes I've seen for use on semi auto slides and anywhere there is friction. Also great as a lube on my Dillon 550's. Another big advantage is cost' I paid 4 or 5 bucks at Wally Word for a quart anr that should last me a lifetime. I was using a lot of Breakfree CLP, but what does that cost for a small bottle? YMMV:) .

September 3, 2006, 11:28 AM
When I got my 625-2 in the late 80's I used a piece of 1/2" copper tube, cut the end down 1/4' most of the way around. I've given many of these away over the years though I should have marketed them. Brownells and others now sell them for $10 to $15, all you need is 6" of tube and a hack saw to make the same thing for free

September 3, 2006, 05:42 PM
Try Lee Resizing Lubricant. Lee Lube is pleasant to handle and you can thin it with water. Non-sticky, nonallergenic. Very little is needed; it goes a long way. Eliminates stuck and dented cases and makes sizing less work.


$1.98 for 2 oz.

September 3, 2006, 06:33 PM
I have never been able to use dummy rounds to set overall length on the bullet seating die. I was never able to "feel" the dummy close enough to get a good reading on the die. So I began to measure the length of the die when the bullet was seated to the proper length. When I recorded this length, to reset the die back to that length, I just got out my caliper set the die to the recorded length, and started seating bullets.

September 3, 2006, 06:36 PM
When weighing powder, whenever I go over the wanted weight, I remove some of the powder into an empty container, reweigh the powder and if necessary trickle from that container. This means that you will never go farther off than since it is very easy to trickle from a small amount of powder.

September 4, 2006, 01:46 AM
I mounted my MEC shotshell loaders on 16X16X1in aluminum plates. I can just take them from thier storage shelf and sit them on the bench to load. The plates are wide and heavy enough to not tip. Yet light enough not to cause any internal body damage while moving.
I made my own version of a Primer pocket uniformer with an 8 point reamer that I ordered from a machinery supplier, a bullet meplat trimmer from a 1/4 in 4 fluted endmill, a case trimmer for 223 using an endmill and a piece of scrap steel, a case mouth straightener which is just a Taper pin mounted in a handle.
Put used dryer sheets in your tumbler, they pick up dirt and crud from the media. To refresh corn cobb media I use a capfull of NU-Finish car polish( no it does not contaminate powder or primers. it is not a wax. it is a solvent, thats why it will remove oxidation from auto finishes and make your brass realy shiny).

September 4, 2006, 08:35 AM
another thread reminded me of this...

if you have rifle dies that have an expander ball, polish the expander. If you don't they may be rough. This makes the ball hard to pull thru the neck and also contributes to case lengthening

Remove the expander and chuck it in a drill. I use emery cloth with oil on it. A few seconds really polishes it up.

Darth Muffin
September 5, 2006, 12:29 AM
Hornady One-Shot spray lube is great. I spritz my pile of pistol cases with it before sizing them. Even though I have carbide dies it still helps. Just a quick spritz is all you need, I don't get all of the cases nor do I get both sides.

I've been covering my workbenches with vinyl floor remnants for a while now. I love it. A great feel to work on, easy cleanup, and you can get remnants cheaply.

Ian Sean
September 5, 2006, 01:09 AM
So many great tips and ideas! :)

Maybe this thread should be made a sticky?

September 5, 2006, 08:20 AM
Copied word for word from another thread. I'm just too lazy to retype it all over again.

I go to the local dollar store and get no-name freezer bags, the gladware containers, and use them in conjunction with my ammo cans.
I load ammo until I have gone through 200 primers, then I dump the ammo in a gladware container. I put on a numbered lid, and keep them in sequence. Then I verify everything again, and start loading until I get to the desired number.
Then I dump them into a white plastic tray that .45 acp blazer ammo came in, nose down.
Tip it and shake to level it, then check all the primers, if they are all good, I put another tray over the bullets, flip it over, then take off the top tray. Voila, I am now looking at the bullet end. I check for OAL variations, deformed bullet noses, make sure the brass isn't wrinkled at the neck, etc. I grab one or two bullets at random and drop them into a case gauge, and dump them into a freezer bag. I do that 3 more times, and I have 200 in a bag. I get a small piece of paper, and write on it some essentials like the date, the load specifics, the sequencing number (Like 201-400 of 2000), etc, then drop it into the bag, and throw the baggie into the ammo can.
It's too easy for me to lose track of what I'm doing and make a bunch of bad ammo if I don't follow my routine.
My system makes it easy to keep track of things, and if you throw empty brass or different loads into your can by mistake, it won't ruin your whole day.
It's also easy to figure out how much ammo you have left, what it is exactly, how long it takes you to shoot 1000 rounds, how old the oldest ammo in your 9mm can is, etc.

Johnny Guest
September 5, 2006, 01:32 PM
I wasn't too concerned, because I have a system that works well for ME. I recently rcvd a msg from redneck2 suggesting the sticky idea, for benefit of new loaders, so I went back and took a look. I see there's a similar suggestion from Ian Sean.

There's some really good tips here. Mebbe I'm not too old to learn after all. :D I'll float this thread to the top of the forum, at least for a while. Thanks for the suggestion, guys.


Seismic Sam
September 5, 2006, 04:11 PM
which can be translated into some good advice for others is to ONLY keep ONE container of powder on your reloading bench at any one time, no matter what!!

One day I was reloading some 10mm loads with Blue Dot, and got done and poured the rest of the powder back into the black plastic bottle with the blue label. Then I screwed the cap on, and put it down, and then fiddle around for a minute, and picked up ANOTHER powder bottle to put it away, and saw it was the Blue Dot powder bottle! :what:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!! :cuss: So what bottle did I wind up pouring the Blue Dot into?? Turns out it was my bottle of RL-25, which also has a blue label. :banghead: Realizing that the RL-25 was hopelessly contaminated, I did the only thing useful thing you can do with scrap smokeless powder, and I went out to the garden and sprinkled it over my hot pepper plants. :fire: For those of you who may not know, the high nitrate content of smokeless makes it very good fertilizer, and my peppers got very big and hot that year.

James THR
September 5, 2006, 07:00 PM
The round plastic knob that came with my Lyman Mag-T has always irritated my hand because it has a groove cut into the circumference of the ball.

Today I was in my local hardware store and they had the exact size round wooden (Teak) knobs. I bought one and drilled and installed it. The smoothness and the nice feel of wood under hand is miles ahead of the plastic knob that comes with the Mag-T. Amazing how small little improvements like that can make a huge difference.

Steel Talon
September 6, 2006, 01:10 AM
Ear foamy in bottom of kinetic puller, protect bullet tip damage.

Be careful on using shell holders with kinetic bullet puller, A club member had an explosion the primer was sideways in .243 case used shell holder case trick somehow case shifted in shell holder and got a bit under the holder on the down stroke ,detonated.

I use a sharpie marker and directly mark load weight ,powder, primer, and bullet grain on side of cases when I load develop.

I add a capful of Nu-Finish car wax to my tumbler media.

I built my own strong-mount out of 1x6 common pine, stained etc. based on Dave in Florida's plan! Thanks for posting that Dave...

Use uncle Dons Tips to set up your Lee Load-master. Thanks Don

To use dry graphite lube for locks etc. suspend in rubbing alcohol filled in hand sprayer. delivers graphite flawlessly and into hard to get to places, Rubbing alcohol evaporates leaving graphite.

Steel Talon:cool:

September 6, 2006, 05:55 PM
The All American Lyman turret press has never had a primer catcher as long as I can remember, have developed a knurl knob brass plate to hold primer cup that is easily removable to dump contents. The orange cup was made from a plastic pill bottle.

The C-H 4-die station pistol press has a primer catcher that rises and falls on the shellholder platform to dump spent primers into white cup below.


September 6, 2006, 06:39 PM
Homemade cleaners

Has ways to clean brass that are very fast. I've used the salt and vinegar one for household brass.

September 7, 2006, 02:13 PM
I don't know if this one has been posted, but I have done this for a while now. I take half a dryer sheet cut it into 1" strips and throw it in with my tumbling media.

Reason being is the static doesn't build up and the media does not seem to get dirty. The dryer sheet will come out totally black and collect all the dirt from the casings. Media stays cleaner and lasts longer. Plus you don't have the static cling to the media.

Also the work great for getting rid of any static like on powder throwers, media bowls, and others.

And of course makes your brass smell like mountain air.:D

September 11, 2006, 01:00 PM
For changing powder bar on my 550, I use a nut driver rather than just a wrench. You can see where the writing is on the handle and get pretty close on the first try if you keep track of how much change one turn is worth.

Suppose one turn equals 1 1/2 grains of a given powder. If you want to change the charge by .7, you'd go in or out 1/2 a turn. The micrometer dial things would be nice, but I've got 6 complete set-ups and I don't change charges once I find something that works.

Can't see putting that much into all those dial things (for me). Now ,if you changed calibers and use a single powder measure, they'd be the program.

I can't take credit for this, but it's a similar idea: Home Depot or other places carry plastic wingnuts that perfectly fit the nut on a Dillon powder bar. Press the nut on and you can easliy turn it by hand with no tools.

September 24, 2006, 01:11 AM
BTW, I'm an absolute believer in Imperial Sizing Die Wax!

1. Ultrasonic cleaning tanks are great for cleaning brass before tumbling (with used dryer fabric softener sheets, keeps the media cleaner longer). That's especially true with black powder .44 Special and .45-70 brass!

2. The little plastic primer trays that are left over after you've used 100 primers make darned good drink coasters!

3. Never use your wife's sooper-dooper Dyson jet-engine vacuum cleaner to suck up those unfired primers you drop every now and then. Trust me. :what:

4. If you're in the habit of leaving powder in the powder measures of your Dillon press, do yourself a favor and rubberband a card or sticky note to the hopper with the powder type and charge weight. Don't assume the charge weight is dead on after coming back to the press, either. Weigh it.

5. An RCBS case mouth deburring tool can also bevel the top edge of primer pockets, so if the military crimp isn't too deep...

6. Some European brass brands use smaller flash holes than their American counterparts. RWS brass woke me up to that, so a pin vise and proper twist drill are sometimes appropriate before one bends another decapping stem. :o

7. Crisco, lard, and beeswax make a pretty darned good BP lube, but it's a pain filling up a Lyman lubrisizer with the stuff.

8. Several brands of case trimmers have arbors configured to chuck into a cordless screwdriver/drill. That's a lifesaver!

9. A taper crimp on hot .357 magnum loads works much better for plated bullets than a roll crimp. You don't want to cut through the thin plating into the lead underneath. Wonderful for the Desert Eagle!

10. Seen elsewhere on this forum is my Microsoft Access reloading database. I always document my loads and the subsequent results. It's nice to come back to earlier work and know exactly what did and what didn't perform.

September 27, 2006, 03:24 PM
Boat motor lower unit gear-lube http://www.pennzoil.com/products/marine/synth_lower_unit_gear_lube.html

makes a dandy case-lube, a quart is cheap and lasts forever. I'm almost 100% certain its what Herter's used to sell (very disticnct smell).

October 2, 2006, 06:57 AM
Rooster Wildcat CFL-56 case lube - never had a stuck case with it and clean up is much easier then STP. 2oz goes a long ways! :)
Track of the wolf has good prices on it!

October 3, 2006, 06:35 PM
+1 on the Imperial Sizing Die Wax. I've been using the same 2oz tin for years, and I'm not even close to using it up yet.

October 3, 2006, 09:02 PM
I use wire pulling lube-wax based and you can buy a huge bottle for a bout $3

Darth Muffin
October 4, 2006, 04:20 PM
I have a frankford arsenal brass tumbler (cheap from midwayusa). The bowl is held in with a wing nut. It's a real pain to get that wing nut all the way up and down the threaded center post to get the bowl off.

I replaced that wing nut with two spacers I bought from Home Depot (in the nuts and bolts section). Now I only have one wing nut to remove. Saves 2 minutes and my wrists each time I clean a batch of brass now. It also keeps the lid from deforming too much when you tighten the top wing nut down (to keep it from vibrating loose).

October 5, 2006, 12:01 PM
I shoot COWBOY ACTION and most of the screws on early style guns loosen up after a lot of shooting, so you have to always have a screw driver in your bag. I didn't invent this idea but I made one up real quick after seeing one. Take a rimmed rifle cartridge(I choose a 25-35 win) and drive the screwdriver bit from an electric screw driver in where the bullet would go. Solder it in place if necessary. This cartridge case handled screwdriver can now slip into your cartridge loop on your gun belt. If you pick the right size bit it will tighten most of your pistol and rifle screws right at the loading table where you usually find them loose.

October 8, 2006, 01:41 AM
Midway sells a "speed nut" to replace tumbler wingnuts. It has an oval shaped threaded hole. It simply slides down the threaded shaft to the bottom, then you twist it down tight. To remove, you unscrew a turn or two, then it slides all the way up and off with no more screwing. Wish I could say I invented it.

October 12, 2006, 10:17 AM
Before sorting big lots of brass, I wash it in a solution of water, vinegar, laundry soap and salt according to the following formula:

1 gal water
1 pint white vinegar
1 cup powder laundry soap (the liquid doesn't work as good)
1 tablespoon salt

Works well at getting the crud off cases. Put the whole mess in a big bucket and shake. I also use it to remove case lube after sizing.

Home made case lube: (taken from a website)

1 part liquid lanolin
4 parts isopropyl alcohol

Works great and is REAAALY cheap. Used for .223, .30 carbine, .308 etc.

Cheap Tumbling media:

Most pet stores sell ground up corn cob as lizard and bird bedding, look around, it sells for about $7 for 5 lbs. Works well on most brass, but the particles are big and sometimes stick in bottle neck rifle cartridges < .308.

Case polish:

In a pinch I've added toothpaste to tumbling media, works as a great abrasive. Try to use something with low sugar. (I've had luck with arm and hammer)

Rotary vs. Vibratory tumblers

Last month someone gave me a thumler's tumbler. For S&G I did a head to head competition. The Vibratory was a Midway 1492, the thumler's was... unknown. The first thing I noticed was the rotary made almost no noise. After a bit of tweaking each was loaded with 5 lbs of media and 300 .30 carbine brass. After 8 hours, the rotary tumbled brass was bright and shiny, the vibratory tumbler still needed some time to finish.

Conclusions - the rotary tumbler is faster, and makes waaay less noise, but it's a pain to open. The vibratory tumbler is slow and noisy, but is easy to check progress and access the brass.

I think that's all I got for now.

October 12, 2006, 07:54 PM
I use alot of Lee reloading equipment because that's what I started with 20+ years ago. I've found it holds up if you take care of it, as would anything.

My proudest achievement is the welding of the case trimmer cutter (the stainless steel thing about 1/2" in diameter and about 2-1/2" long with the cutter teeth on it) to a 5/8" combination wrench at a 90-degree angle. The shellholders on the trimmer are just slightly larger than 5/8", so I had to file them down a bit. What I do is tighten the shellholder with the wrench and then cut the case to length without ever having to put the trimmer down. It saves alot of time.

My primary bench tool is a turner I made from an old pencil sharpener. I used the base and the handle. I used a threaded stud with fine threads on either end and about 3-1/2" long. I ran the stud through the hole in the base and attached a 3/8" drill chuck to one end and used a few nuts to take up the slack on the other, to which I attached the original crank handle. What I have is a neat, little hand-powered lathe for trimming cases to length, scouring out primer pockets, chamfering flash holes from the inside with the RCBS tool, cleaning the inside of the casemouth with a .38 caliber bore brush chucked into the drill chuck and chamfering the inside and outside of the casemouth with my L. E. Wilson chamfering tool. Any function that requires my hand to rotate to do the job can be done on my little lathe quickly and easily. I can put a case into the trimmer, tighten the clamp, trim it, chamfer it inside and out, and remove it for another in 24 seconds.

I used a piece of golfshaft from an old club to make a droptube for my Lee Perfect powder measure. I just measured the diameter of the original short, black, plastic funnel-mouth tube that came with the measure, found the same size on the golfshaft and cut myself a four-inch piece. Now my hand is well below the crank to drop the charge and I can drop it straight into the pan of my digital powder scale. It has increased my loading speed quite a bit.

I tumble my cases in badly-overused walnut media, then wash 'em in hot, soapy water with lots of old rags, pieces of non-scratch scouring pads and sponges, then I rinse 'em really well in warm water. You'd be surprised at how dirty the water comes out. I then lubricate my cases with PAM cooking spray or the cheaper alternative from the Dollar Store. I can lube about 150 .223 cases in the broiler pan from my oven. I spray 'em and slide 'em around to get the spray all over the cases. It works well and cleans up with hot water and dishsoap. I then put my resized and deprimed cases into a stainless steel skillet with a thin bottom and fry them on low heat until they are dry. Only takes about ten minutes and they are completely dry and very hot, so watch it! I then trim them to length, et cetera.

October 24, 2006, 01:13 PM
This is a great thread! So many good ideas.

Here are a couple that I find usefull.

I use a Lee Pro1000. The primer feed is very sensitive to dirt and dropped powder. I use a short length of small diameter tube to blow the junk out of the area around the primer feed and ram. Just put the end of the tube down in there and blow.

I made a large brass tumbler. In addition to the normal use I find it a great way to lube cases. I first take a few paper towels and dampen them. They go in the tumbler for a few minutes. This cleans out most of the dust. Remove the paper towels and dump clean brass in. Then I throw four clean oily cloth shop towels in and run it for 10-15 minutes. I use a mix of STP and hydraulic fluid for the lube. The cases come out just right.

Joe D
November 4, 2006, 05:48 AM
Mink Oil is one of the best case lubes I have ever used. Just swipe your forefinger across the surface every 5 or 6 cases. When you pick the case up a little get deposited on the neck. Does not take much at all. Smells good also.
Put an empty .45ACP case on the plastic primer rod for Dillon primer feed.
A Vibra Prime will be the best $25 you will ever spend. You can fill a primer tube in 5 seconds with this thing.
Best tumbler I have ever used is the Hornady M3. Holds over 1,500 9mm rounds.
The 9mm and .40 Dillon shell plates are the same. Just change the brass pins.
Walnut or corn cob can be bought at your local sand blasting supply house dirt cheap. Paid $17.50 for 50# of walnut.
A regular Lee carbide .40 S&W die will remove the Glock bulge on 99.999% of the brass. The "U"/EGW die does not work any better.

November 4, 2006, 09:49 AM
wow what a wealth of information. I dont know if I can add any helpful hints but here goes.most of these are borrowed suggestions and although I have taken them as my own I was not the creator. You might consider mounting a small vise at one end of your reloading bench. It is great for small projects and you can mount such things as powder measures to it with the addition of wooden blocks attached to the device used.one forum member mentioned the importance of having one can of powder on your bench at a time and I strongly agree.different types of powder from the same manufacturer come in similar shaped canisters and one day I almost loaded bullseye for unique,not good. I now keep a small notebook in the cabinet where my powder is stored. I record the bullet type, powder type and load,and date each time I pull out a can of powder making sure that I have looked at the canister and read out the type I have in my hand.I use a dillon 550 progressive for most of my 45acp loading and the following are some things that I have used to make life easier for me.I use a universal deprimer and a rcbs single stage press to depime my cases. the rims of fired cases are checked by inserting them rim first into a case gage such as my dillon brand. if they slide in,they are reloaded,if not they are canned. may sound wasteful but it seems to cut down on failures.One of my big concerns is a properly seated primer and on my dillon press, I seat the primer,rotate the case and apply pressure again,remove the case and check its bottom with a steel rule to see if the primer is flush or better. I know it takes time but it makes me happy.finally I have a lamp positioned where I can check the powder level before a bullet is seated.

November 9, 2006, 06:37 AM
By mc223

Varget and the Dillon powder measure.

Over the past few months there have been a few threads about bridging and related problems with Varget and other stick powders in Dillon powder measures and small mouth cases.
I had the same problem with mine, so I set out to cure the problem. First came polishing the drop tube. Helped some, but still had an occasional mess to clean up. So I used a taper reamer to enlarge and smooth the drop tube followed by an extra fine polishing. Much better but still got a bridge about 1 in 250 rounds.
I worked at a place once that mixed chemicals. Mostly granular type stuff. They used shakers to keep the stuff flowing.
I used a small sealed electric motor and a piece of 1/2 in scrap steel mounted to the motor shaft like the one used on tumblers. This assembly was then mounted to the Dillon Strong mount and wired to a dimmer switch to control the shaking force.
Powders flow smoothly and more accuratly. And since the whole machine is vibrating there is some settling of the powder in the case, which reduces the old familiar crunch. Bullet seating seems smoother also.

This system is in place and operating. The drop consistancy at .1 grain.

November 9, 2006, 09:25 AM
Fantastic thread. Keep 'em coming, guys. I've filled half a notepad already.

Shawn Dodson
November 11, 2006, 04:18 AM
As a former technical writer I tend to write my own procedures for complex tasks, primarily so I don't have to thumb through owner's manuals to find the manufacturer's procedure, to document helpful notes, and to have a simplified outline type procedure to follow. Because there are times when I go long periods without reloading I put together the following procedure for operating my RCBS Pro-2000 progressive press that I keep posted at my reloading bench. It refreshes my memory and brings me right back up to speed: http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/Pro-2000_Operating_Procedure.pdf

Navy joe
November 15, 2006, 12:10 AM
Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of your Dillon powder hopper and then press the lid down on it. Helps keep the powder airtight, but most importantly dissipates the static cling that sticks powder to the side of the measure.

November 15, 2006, 04:25 AM
My site? http://ammoguide.com/

http://ammoguide.com/gfx/web/shoulderangle0611.gif (http://ammoguide.com/?catid=103)


November 21, 2006, 10:56 PM
A couple people mentioned losing track of the powder in the powder measure (and only keeping one powder on the bench at a time or using a post-it). I made that mistake once, but got lucky because I had Red Dot in the tube. Ever since I put a 3x5 card with the powder written on it in the tube, so I always know whats in it.

I also use Mobil 1 for gun lube. I figure a gun is an internal combustion engine that throws away the piston, and it's hard to compete with the R&D funding of a major oil company....

I'm going to try to attach a pic here of the reloading cabinet I made:

November 22, 2006, 04:12 PM
Since I only load handgun, I made a lockring that fits around the ram of my Lee turret press, set it about in the middle of the ram, and now I have a nice short stroke.

November 26, 2006, 02:38 PM
Some times the coil spring on the primer seater is stronger then needed. The seater cup will drag on on the case holder, the cup and spring will toss the primer out of the cup. This results in upside down primers, or sideways primers. Cut a coil or two out of the spring.
Polishing the bottom of the case holder helps too.

November 29, 2006, 01:21 PM
great ideas.

i toss a paper towel in the tumbler. the towel gets pretty dirty. my media is probably 15 or 20 years old.

November 29, 2006, 04:15 PM
I'm going to try to attach a pic here of the reloading cabinet I made:

Real cool organized setup. Way better than mine.

December 13, 2006, 09:23 PM
Standardize on powder! I now use #231 for all pistol from 9-mm Makarov up to .45 Colt, #4895 for all rifle from .223 up to .30/06. Besides the cost benefits...buy in bulk!...you always can recognize what you have in the powder measure! And it saves a LOT of space on my powder shelf. (For years I had about a dozen expensive little cans of different powders...:uhoh: )

The 2-1/2 lb clear, square-shaped, wide mouth snack nut containers from Sam's Club make super containers for cartridge cases. They stack nicely and are labeled by strip lablemakers. And, you get to eat the nuts first!!!:D Biggest problem: getting the original labels off...:cuss:

A small, folding Black & Decker workbench makes a fine portable bench for all single-stage tool loading and case trimming operations except full length resizing rifle cases, which is best done on a heavy workbench. Bolt a 3/4" piece of plywood to the top to strengthen it. I frequently get a lot of case processing done while watching television, as I like to have my hands busy...everything but loading powder!!! That needs to be done away from TV and other distractions where you can keep your full attention on the process.

Keep a medium-sized 3-ring binder, tabbed by cartridge, for reloading notes, shooting test load notes, ect...you'll be surprised how much you use it!

Different sizes of Zip-Loc plastic bags are great for organizing odd lots of brass, cartridges to be salvaged, die sets, ect. Easy to label and see what's in them, protects from moisture.

The plastic fishing lure trays from Wal Mart are great for storing small parts and tools...adjustable compartments, simple labeling.

Plastic garbage bags make fine reloading tool covers.

I built a four-level 2' x 2' shelf stack 6' high from 2 x 4s and 3/4" plywood next to my main loading bench...unprocessed cases on top, sized and decapped cases below, then primed cases, then full-loaded cartridges on the bottom shelf, all organized from left to right by size of cartridge. Bulky stuff like my case vibrator, media, and media separator fit on the floor beneath. At a glance I can see where I'm running short...

Two or three inexpensive single-stage presses mounted side by side, each with a different die, makes a "poor man's progressive". (Yes, I've owned two progressives,,,but find that most of my reloading is still done single-stage...cartridges I don't shoot often, test batches with slight variations in powder charge and/or seating depth for different bullet weights and types...I like to find optimum loads for a particular firearm...and they do differ!:D )

December 13, 2006, 11:42 PM
To remove stubborn labels from containers I first heat them with an old blow drier. After about a minute, start to peel one corner of the label where you heated last slowly away from the bottle. Use more heat if the glue is not giving up easily. When the label is off, use Goo Gone or any cleaner with orange oil in it to remove the sticky mess that is left. Hope this helps you, Too Taxed.:neener:

December 13, 2006, 11:44 PM
Thanks, FLUTEDCHAMBER! I'll give it a try.:D

December 21, 2006, 08:23 AM
It's late and I am too tired to read all of these, so I acknowledge anyone who came up with these as well

Handy bits:

Get a pair of big funnels from the junk import shop. Cut the spout to an inch or so on one. Use the short funnelled one for returning powder to the tin without spilling it also useful for dumping a box of Federal Primers in their goofy big packets onto a small Lee or similar flipper tray. Place the funnel mouth on the flipper tray, hold it on place and dump the primers into the funnel (make sure you keep it in the cupboard so it is not clogged with dust, etc or wipe it before use.) Lift slowly and your 98% federal primers wll be all on the tray! (I call them this, because you normally can only get a maximum of 98 on the tray, two (at least) always end up on the floor.

Ammo tins: I store all primers in these (you need 50 cal ones if you are using those pesky Federals). Also each handgun round I load has the bulk ammo stored in these and I decant from these into range boxes.

Plastic meat trays/ice cream trays, etc: ALDI stores in Australia have excellent plastic ribbed meat trays which clean up and are very handy, as are ice cream buckets for trays while you are loading/polishing, etc, can't seem to have too many. In this house, the ice cream containers are Dad's, OK?

Plastic zip lock sandwich bags with white label panel:

These are especially handy for working up loads. Each level (10 at the lowest level, handy to have a few extra if something goes wrong and 5 for each other level) is placed in them and when fired, placed back into the same bag so that you can examine carefully for pressure signs at home without the distractions of the range, etc). I always carry a few bigger ones as well, just in case I pick up some brass, etc.

Loading dies:

Keep a spare pack of decap pins of each type. Write on the shelf where you stored them, it's often a long time between uses and you might not remember and have to pull everything apart (ask me how I know this :-) ).

If you have a calibre where you load two types of bullet, make up a tag which shows what the die is set up for (marked on both sides), this works especially well with the Lee upright dies holders.

I keep my eyes open and buy spare seating dies when I can, this saves you a lot of fiddling. They are usually very cheap when sold as an odd die (the micrometer option would be the best option.)

Dummy rounds:

I keep samples of each bullet used, clearly marked, in labelled zip lock bags if there is many of them. This allows very quick seat die set up.

For each rifle, I also seat a flat based bullet back to front in an empty case and close the action carefully and extract it carefully. This will give you a quick eyeball gauge that you can comare against any loaded bullet to see where in realtion to the start of the lands the bullet sits.


I only have one tin on the bench at a time. This will be returned before getting another one out. You don't want to be mixing Bullseye with your Lincoln Logs!

Loading tricks:

When setting up a bullet seating die which I am going to roll crimp as well (yeah I know, Ive tried separate roll crimping on numerous occasions and it never made that much of a difference to me, not enough to add another stage to the loading process. Not many people believe me on this, I'm going to have to conduct this test again) I always seat at least three bullets before applying the roll crimp. If you screw up, you dont have to start again, just pick up the second round and use that.

If just setting the dies up or changing the settings, bullets, etc, I always try the rounds in the chamber of the revolver or auto before I crank too many of them out.

If I am using softish bullet lube, I pick up a round very frequently and comare it aginst one of the first ones I have loaded, to make sure the seater is not getting plugged with lube and affecting the depth setting. Doesn't happen very often, but huge pain when it does.

Progressive presses:

careful now! I always stop at exactly the same stage in the loading operation if interrupted. I have explained this to my family and if they see me cranking them out they wait a moment until I stop. I stop with the handle raised, a bullet seated in the charged case (seals it if I have to leave the press for a while) and an empty on the launch pad. I know when I return to loading, I just have to pull the handle and I am back in business. I absolutely refuse to stop at any other point.

I also try and go to the toilet before I go downstairs to load or tinker, because if I don't I'll be back shortly. We call it a gravity attack :-)

Boy, that guy sure can talk! Sorry about that!


December 21, 2006, 08:45 AM
Hey Mick thanks for those. Never thought to be on the look out for the seater dies.

Take Care


December 21, 2006, 07:17 PM
Yeah I visit one shop which always seems to have an odd die or three. When I get a big order together, I get them thrown in as a sweetner usually. When I'm not buying and just looking I sometimes just bury them at the back of his heavily laden shelves:D .

I remember Peter Abela (gone now) who owned the biggest gunshop in Australia. He had a huge low table with tons of boxes of bullets on it. I use to fish through looking for oxes with old price tags, etc which were cheaper than the others. The table also had a low shelf which was also loaded heavily. If I saw anything that I wanted, but couldn't afford, I used to salt it away under the table and retrieve it sometimes months later when I was cashed up. This was in the days when I had the breeze in my drawers bringing up kids and shooting and hunting on a shoestring.

I was looking for a box of bullets one day and couldn't find any of the type that I wanted I asked Peter if he had any out the back and he said 'no, don't you have any stashed under the table?':uhoh: Sprung! He didn't mind though, he knew I'd be back to get them later.

December 21, 2006, 07:39 PM
Another thing that I do, no doubt everyone does this, but when I first started using the new type powder hopper on the Lee Powder Measures, I used to spill a bit of powder removing the hopper. PITA, got into the press workings everytimes. The system I worked out is that when I want to change the disk/powder/whatever, I twisted the hopper and cut off the powder supply to the die. There will still be a bit in the workings. I place a fired case under the die and work the press once or twice, tip the powder into the hoppe, one or two pumps more and I have all of the powder out of the workings and back into the hopper. I then remove the hopper assembly without spilling a drop. I was very pleased with myself when I worked this out. Probably outlined in the instruction manual and probably everyone else didn't have to 'invent' it, but it works for me and makes those new hopper conversions indispensable.

Another thing for RCBS Rockchucker users who load pistol and short rounds:

See if you can pick up an old 'Case Kicker.' These are great bits of gear once you learn to drive them and eject the shell automatically when you are sizing, seating, crimping, etc. When you are charging the cases or loading long cases you just swing the ejector spring (part no2 in the diagram) out of the way and by pass it. This little gizmo is worth it's weight in gold.

here is the link, the Case Kicker is on Page 16. handy diagrams as well.



Darth Muffin
December 21, 2006, 09:14 PM
Here's a quick tip I saw on another forum that I plan to try:

Use a gravity fed dry cat food dispenser to hold your bullets, place in on your bench right next to your press to minimize hand motion. You won't have to refill it for a LONG time and fresh ones are always right there at hand in front.

December 29, 2006, 02:13 PM
For Shot reloader...Get a cookie sheet pan, the kind with a 1/2 inch lip, lay it down on the bench and mount/bolt your MEC reloader right through it. Now when you have a double charge of shot, or dropped shot, as seems to happen much more often that it should, all of the shot stays in the pan and not on the floor.

Tidewater Tom
January 3, 2007, 12:09 AM
Gewehr98 said:

"4. If you're in the habit of leaving powder in the powder measures of your Dillon press, do yourself a favor and rubberband a card or sticky note to the hopper with the powder type and charge weight. Don't assume the charge weight is dead on after coming back to the press, either. Weigh it."

Well my only small contribution to this good thread is that I use blue painters tape on my Dillion powder measure tube. I use a sharpie to mark it with the appropriate info; powder type, etc. It comes off easy and clean when I'm ready to change loads.

January 3, 2007, 09:23 AM
I put a Lee Loader decapping rod in a collet bullet puller.
This makes the stiffest and stoutest and best centered decapper possible.

You may have to shorten the rod.

January 3, 2007, 09:37 AM
Good ideas.

January 8, 2007, 10:01 AM
New use for a cat feeder:

January 8, 2007, 10:03 AM
And.......leveling platform:

January 10, 2007, 08:41 PM
I recently purchased a Hornady L-N-L progressive press. I have been thinking of ways to come up with a low primer alarm system. I know RCBS and Dillon sell them but I figured it would be something easy to make. I have been using a piece of 1/8 inch wooden dowel rod inserted into the primer tube as a follower and visual primer low sensor. Many have suggested this on this site, by having a rod stuck into the primer tube with a shell case on it for additional weight this ensures positive primer feeding.

I purchased a 12 vdc mini Buzzer (Part 273-055A) from Radio Shack for $3.29 along with a nine volt battery and battery adapter. I was having trouble coming up with a easy way to attach a switch and some type of actuator to the dowel rod. Then I realized that a empty 12 gauge shotgun shell fits perfectly over the primer feed tube. I cut a 2 empty shotgun shells, one about 1 inch long and another about 2 1/2 inches long. I soldiered one wire to each of the shell bases, the shorter shell I drilled out the primer with an 1/8 hole to slide over the 1/8 inch dowel rod and I glued it where I wanted it with RTV. I inserted the rod into the primer tube and marked it to determine the length with no primers in the tube. I glued the shell below this mark so the alarm would go off before I run out of primers. The 2 1/2 inch shell simply sits over the primer tube and the other one is fasten to the wood dowel rod, the metal base of the shotgun shell acts as the switch surface. I wired the battery, buzzer, and switch in a simple series circuit. This works great! I hope I didn’t lose anyone with this description but here’s a picture. I intend to make a similar follower for the powder measure tube utilizing the same battery and buzzer, for a powder low alarm / primer low alarm.


January 11, 2007, 11:11 AM
Hello redneck2,
I am new to the site, and am already learning. What type of brass polish were you referring to in your post. I have used corn cob, with the rejuvenator, and ground walnut media for 40 years. When I read your post regarding brass polish I did a forehead slap and :). well you get the picture. I must have 20 or 30 lbs of used media that would probably work fine with a polish additive so thanks for the heads up. Take care and God bless. cordell

January 11, 2007, 11:26 AM
Nu Finish liquid car wax works great and is much cheaper than commercial brass cleaners sold by Dillon and others. Personally I think it is the same stuff if my nose is correct.

Take Care


January 11, 2007, 11:28 AM
Primer low alarm for progressive presses!!

I recently purchased a Hornady L-N-L progressive press. I have been thinking of ways to come up with a low primer alarm system. I know RCBS and Dillon sell them but I figured it would be something easy to make.

Good idea, but here is a cleaner way to do it. Attach a piece of sheet metal to the primer tube and mount all of your stuff to it. I have the advantage of a Dillon sitting right behind me and except for they way the mount to the tube this is pretty much how it's done:

OR, you can get a Dillon press in the first place and not have to deal with it! ;)
Go ahead....drink the blue koolaid! I have been drinking it for nearly 15 years and it still tastes good! :D

January 11, 2007, 11:29 AM
If you have a Dillon 550 try this. I placed a belled .45acp case on the top of my primer rod indicator. Adds just a tad more weight to the rod and assists the primer feeding operation. Kind of looks neat as well.

I also cut from clear plastic three ring binder dividers a template that I insert into my Dillon powder measure. Stops the discolouring of the plastic tube. Should work for other powder measures as well.

Take Care


January 11, 2007, 11:55 AM
Robert, that's an excellent idea on the dividers idea. I like it.

January 11, 2007, 07:31 PM

I originally was going to copy the Dillon setup. But 2 empty shotgun shells is simpler and it works great! Thanks for the info.....

January 11, 2007, 09:41 PM
from a guy on another forum.

I bought a cheapo drill press for about $50 from harbor freight. It has a half inch chuck.

I chuck up mu Lee case length and cutter in the chuck. With t;he drill set on its lowest speed, I just slide my cases onto the case lenght gauge and pull the lever. The gauge bottoms out on the press table.

January 12, 2007, 06:51 AM
What type of brass polish were you referring to in your post.
I just use media from a pet store or commecial stuff if it's cheap enough. I got a bottle of polish from Midway a long time ago. Car wax may be as good. Never tried it. Use plenty of polish and your brass will stay shiny and spot free for a long time. If you don't use polish, it dulls.

January 12, 2007, 09:45 PM
I load a lot of different calibers, at least fifteen and different powders and loads for each of those. I hate having to redial in an old load on a dillon powder bar. On the dillon measures, you can use a screw driver to lift the lever that holds the powder bar in place, and remove the powder bar quickly and replace it. I buy extra powder bars on ebay where they run less then ten bucks usually. Then for my favorite loads I can adjust the powder bar to a particular load and write on the bar with a sharpie which load it is with which powder and then use it exclusively for that load. That way I don't have to keep trying to dial in a load. It is a lot cheaper than buying a whole new measure for each load. Of couse you always have to double check with a scale, and a little minor adjustment may be necessary, but not usually.

Also I got the idea on Gunblaster.com to use a lee autodisk on my 550. It works great! It is a lot smaller than the dillon measure and imho works smoother and lets you see in the case easier, not to mention it is a LOT cheaper. I have several of both and really enjoy using the LEE.

Tidewater Tom
January 13, 2007, 01:30 AM
Wow! I just re-read the last couple of posts. I had a bad incident, didin't catch the first time that the shotgun shell had to be empty!;) Lol

January 13, 2007, 10:49 AM
redneck, and robertbank,
Thanks for the heads up on the polish additives. IT WORKS GREAT!!! robertbank, after reading your suggestion regarding Nu-Finish I realized that I had one of the large plastic containers sitting on the shelf in the garage. It had never been opened, but came in a box of oil I purchased at a yard sale. I took the container up to my reloading room and shook it a bit to see if it was still in liquid form since it has been 8 or more years since I purchased it and who knows how old it was when I got it. Well I took my "good" tumbling media out of the case cleaner and put some old media in and turned it on. I then decided to give the container one more good shake and pour some in. The plastic in the container had apparently broken down, the side crushed in and:what: :what: :what:. Well you can teach an old dog new tricks but you should first put plastic over him (and the rest of the reloading bench). I managed to save enough to get a tub full of "OLD" 7mm Mauser brass done, and small container for next time but the rest went on towels and rags that were used to clean up. However the brass came out better than it ever had before, in a third of the time:) :) :) . So thanks and God bless. cordell

January 13, 2007, 10:53 AM
You are most welcome. Sorry to have contriuted to the mess.:D Yes it really does work. I just add a capful now and then. I am sure it is the same stuff that comes in the Dillon bottle but costs twice as much.

Take Care


January 21, 2007, 08:28 AM
From time to time, I see posts about "should I clean my brass?". One of the vibrator cleaners from Midway is maybe $40 (haven't checked in a while) but lasts a long, long time. Using clean brass that has polish on it makes cranking the press WAY easier. Also, it doesn't tarnish nearly as fast after it's loaded.

January 24, 2007, 10:01 AM
Dispense your Hoppe's #9 from a yellow mustard container with the cone shaped top directly onto your patch or brush.

tasco 74
February 1, 2007, 10:57 PM
not realy an invention but i did design a .22 bullet trap like none i've ever seen before... my brother works at a steel fabricator shop and he built it for me.... about the most dirfferent thing i do is reload off two press at once.... i bought and extra speed die body from lee so i can use one press to size while the other one deprimes and expands, then after priming i use one press to seat the bullets (i have a lee custom bullet seater insert because i use flat point bullets) and the other to crimp the case..... oh the lee reloader press is bolted to the bench using some old carburator slotted bolts from a chevy 4 barrel carb....... :cool:

February 7, 2007, 10:55 PM
When you trickle powder in the little bucket on your scale and you get a tad too much instead of dumping it and starting all over use a piece of strofoam paper plate to pick up a few granules. Rub it on your shirt to charge it up if it loses it's "magnetism".

February 9, 2007, 01:36 PM
These entries are fascinating! Mine is simplicity itself:

You need only two maintenance tools: WD-40 and Duct tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it moves, but shouldn't, use the duct tape.;)

(Sorry 'bout that!:D )

February 19, 2007, 01:26 AM
The powder leveler idea I liked it.
You also can use a "Bullseye" level. I bought 2 at Orchard Supply Hardware.(OSH)
For the single stage primer tubes,like on the RCBS "RS", "Auto-Prime"get a small roll, or spool of solid "Silver Solder". This has no lead.It is for water systems. Yes, it is expensive.
Cut about 3", straighten it out. Acts like a "check weight", so the primers don't get some how get stuck in the primer tube.
If you don't know what to do with the rest of the silver solder,add it to your bullet casting lead. Those bullets, will have real silver.For those nasty werewolves !

February 22, 2007, 07:12 AM
just remembered something...

I'm real hard to buy for at Christmas, birthdays, Father's Day. I'm at the point in life that I've pretty well acquired what I want. I keep a running list on a clipboard in my reloading room of gadgets and trinkets I would like to have, but aren't absolute necessities. I may even mark the stuff in the Midway catalog. My family gets me stuff I want, and it makes their life easier.

Good way to get ammo boxes, extra brass, boxes of bullets, etc.

Matt Dillon
February 27, 2007, 02:13 PM
Well, folks, I doin't know if I have "invented" this, but it sure helps my 50+ year old eyes.

I have my Ohaus 10/10 balance beam scale set on top of my Craftsman tool cabinet in order to avoid parallax, and having to lean down to look straight on at my scale.

As my eyes haven't gotten any better, one day I decided to take my flouescent, table-mounted lamp, turn it sideways, and look through the magnifing lens at my scale. You know the kind that I mean, the round head, with a circular flourescent lamp, attached to an adjustable arm, which is in turn attached to your work bench. I had used it for years to look at small parts and things, but turning it sideways (now vertical), looking through it at my scale has made my reloading more pleasurable.

Hope this helps someone else with less than perfect eyes!:D

February 27, 2007, 07:59 PM
I set my RCBS 1010 powder/bullet scale on a mouse pad, which is on a shelf even with my eye level. I don't have to look down at the scale and there are no vibrations from working the press to effect the beam scale.

I cast mine

March 8, 2007, 07:23 AM
Lots of cool ideas, Bronson, I love the cat feeder, I'm off to the pet store first thing tomorrow. The leveller is pretty cool as well. Eye level is important with scales.

I remembered two more tips for the RCBS UNiflow measure:

1) hard to read the dinky scale. I use the vernier calipres depthe gauge when I have got it throwing right, I measure from the end of the shaft to the lock nut. I then record it in the back of my reloading log. I bought a Redding with microeter and that has solved that probem.

2) To help set up the thrower on a charge that I have never used previously, I weigh a charge and throw it into the thrower. I then unmount the thrower, hold it in my hand and adjust the cylinder looking down the reservior until the powder fills the cylinder. It won't be sopt on, but it will be close and save a lot of time.

Tumbling cases in a vibatory cleaner. I get one of those orange coloured net bags that bulk onions come in from the fruit and veg shop. When the cleaner is finished, I slip the bag over the top of the cleaner, then empty the lot into an old plastic 5gal drum with the lid cut off. Most of the media will be filtered out. Grab a corner of the bag and pull it up and down, the rest of the media will be deposited into the drum by shaking it. When finished, the media can be returned to the cleaner and the lot can be stored inside the open drum to save space.


March 8, 2007, 11:36 AM
4fingermick. Not to steal your idea. But, I have had great success with these baggies. Keeps the various size brass, separate. You can tumble all at once.


March 8, 2007, 07:07 PM
Good stuff, Zippy, unfortunately, Midway refuse to ship anything overseas and some of theri stuff turns up in gunshops, but it is pretty expensive that way. MIck.

March 9, 2007, 03:37 PM
Looks like the outdoor kitty is going to miss its feeder! Back to the ol' bowl!

Cpl Nobbs
March 10, 2007, 05:12 PM
wire mesh wastebasket that fits inside plastic wastebasket. instant media separator.

total cost at Dollar Store $2.12.

March 10, 2007, 05:37 PM
Great ideas here on media separators!

March 10, 2007, 06:17 PM
Your a class act Bronson, I guess I'll have to chuck the onion bag and upgrade to the fancy wastepaper model. I have been trying a collander and bucket, but can't seem to do it wthout getting at lease one sniff of the dust, yuk!

March 10, 2007, 06:26 PM
And.......leveling platform

Real cool Bronson7......:)

March 22, 2007, 09:02 AM
At Harbor Freight Tools, I purchased a 2'x3' ruberized mat that is sold for lining tool box drawers for about $2. This mat makes a wonderful non-slip, non-maring surface on which to place guns and misc. on the range bench top. It's cheap, easily transported and well serves its purpose.

swan hunter
March 22, 2007, 10:29 AM
I latched on to a very old lap top computer to store all my loading data on it. The battery is shot and not worth replacing. I only need the thing to run a spread sheet program that I use to keep and edit all my loading data on.
I load for many different guns and I store the load data along with my group size for each load.
I also use it to store my gun inventory along with my wish lists.
Otherwise, we would have tossed the computer.

March 28, 2007, 01:34 PM
When you first try out a new type of bullet...
You are gonna get 100 rounds out of a box of them, right?
You are going to get 99.

You take the first one and make a dummy round with it. Do this for each bullet type you buy.
Then when you want to switch your dies from 125 grain JHP to 158 grain LRN, all you have to do is loosen up the die, run your loaded 158 grain dummy round the whole way in, and tighten everything back up until it won't move anymore.
It is a very quick way to adjust reloading dies and even works with the crimp when you have to change from .38 SPL to .357.

I also use the wire mesh container for separating brass from tumbling media but mine was free. I found it in my dad's basement.

March 29, 2007, 05:08 PM
1. Place cleaned and tumbled cases into plastic ziploc bag. Spray briefly with Hornady One-Shot. Seal bag and shake vigorously for a minute, being sure to agitate all the brass within. I've never found a more quick or easy means of lubricating the cases prior to reloading. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of that.

2. Write "<-- Off" and "On -->" on my Lee Perfect Powder Measure hopper with a sharpie pen. This ensures that I know which way to rotate the hopper to turn on or off the flow of powder, making sure I don't dump a huge amount of powder onto the carpet again. :fire:

March 31, 2007, 07:44 AM
HEYPETE, I found that if I cut the powder off and throw a couple of times into an empty case before I remove the hopper/reservior, I don't spill a drop. Ask me how I know this :(

March 31, 2007, 01:52 PM
*nods* I throw the powder into the jug of powder, not into a case. Avoids confusion and possible danger that way.

April 4, 2007, 10:26 AM
I use a fired case and throw it straight back into the hopper ( I usually only load Pistol rounds and you need to use a case with the autodisk to get it to cycle).

April 8, 2007, 12:40 PM
Empty "Milk Chug" bottles make a good storage system for anything. I use mine for de-primed brass sorted by caliber and headstamp.


April 9, 2007, 05:23 AM
wire mesh wastebasket that fits inside plastic wastebasket. instant media separator.

I bought one of these wire mesh wastebaskets today (and a plastic bucket to go with it). Best 4 Aussie $$ ever spent!!!. I used to try and separate the media using an old collander (took 5 mins or more). Using the wastebasket takes all of a few seconds to separate.

I use baby formula tins to store all my brass. They are some form of cheap metal, with a plastic lid that seals pretty well. Better they get used for something useful, rather than filling the recycle bin.


April 9, 2007, 08:32 PM
Probably thought of before ,but I use cheap pillow cases to cover my presses. .When I'm done reloading I just throw them over the Mecs or Dillions ,keeps the dust off. --1Longbow

April 9, 2007, 09:12 PM
Bought 1 of these early-on . . . no funnel available. Cut the head off of a spent .17HMR case, tapped the neck into a .17 caliber RCBS powder funnel, & the problem was solved! Works well . . .

April 14, 2007, 09:55 PM
These aren't anyting brilliant, but just a couple of good ideas.

This first one is for anyone with an RCBS Pro-2000 or w/ a piggyback system. I was finding that when changing plates, powder funnels, or dies my powder measure got slightly misalligned. I used some mailing labels, duct tape, and a sharpie to mark the position that is correct for my uni-flow powder measure.

Also for these RCBS owners a water/propel bottle with the cap drilled out serves as a perfect primer catcher. I put lube on my press to catch the primer cancer-dust and with the bottle sealed with duct tape I have almost 0 dust in my room.
I also found that large snack containers from Sam's Club make awesome pistol brass storage containers. They keep the filth in and with a simple label you know EXACTLY what stage the brass is in.

I used a standard fold up table for my bench. It works pretty well, but bows a little bit when you put alot of pressure on it. Anyways my setup is in a college apartment and I need storage vertically that's cheap. I went to target to get something to add table-space for storage. They have $10-15 shelves that are supposed to be 2-tiered, but I used only the top and got corner supports from the hardware store that I put in. This shelf is perfectly dimensioned to store a couple powders, manuals and other random stuff.

I recently started reloading rifle brass and I am sorting that for consistency (unlike my pistol brass.) I wanted a way to (again) store it vertically in seperate compartments. I went to Lowe's in their plastic storage/shelf section and got these black bins. They come in packs of 4 and can even be hung off an included support horizontally which I think would be incredibly helpful. They were about $6 per four. These work great for my brass.

BTW the slimjims and booze are there simply for storage, I don't have alot of room. I don't gobble slim jims and Bacardi when I reload.

Hope this helps.

April 22, 2007, 01:08 AM
For those who insist on tumbling decapped cases. Throw those cases back into the empty tumbler(no media) and let them rattle about a bit. Out of a couple hundred cases, you will only need to pick media out of a few with a toothpick or your tool of choice.(compressed air works very well):cool:

May 8, 2007, 06:46 AM
Darrel, is STP a 'smoke stopper'? I used to use Bardahl smoke stopper as a case lube and for lubing 303 rounds. Works better than 'case lube' and I did not remove the residue from the cases - just wiped them with my fingers. I take the view that the guns are designed to withstand bolt face thrust - and they do.


May 8, 2007, 06:57 AM
This is a trick still in the testing stage. Don't resize cases at all. I am testing this idea of holding the bullet in the case mouth using no more than a few plies of paper hand towel formed into a cup in the case mouth and seating the bullet. I use another case pressed over the bullet to cut off the excess paper. I then lube the case and the case/bullet junction (which theoretically seals the paper against moisture ingress). I am doing this in a hornet with a rust damaged barrel so wear caused by abrasive paper is not an issue. (Some writing paper contains abrasive clays or something). Results are good so far - zero case stretch and apparently good accuracy. The idea is to eliminate any possibility of distorting cases during reloading and to ensure that the bullet is properly lined up with the chamber throat. The paper iether burns away or gets blown away.

Does anyone know whether paper hand towel is abrasive to steel?


May 8, 2007, 07:35 AM
Your "new" invention is only a few hundred years old.

Buffalo hunters used paper patched bullets a hundred years ago. I'm going to try to make some up for my .45-90 sometime if I ever get around to it. They use high cotton typing paper cut on the spiral. Do a search on the BPCR forum

Edit to add...there was an article a few years ago in Handloader that detailed the process. I believe the BPCR site has a link to a book that covers paper patching

May 10, 2007, 05:21 AM
The paper patch/seat is not an "invention" but a discovery. A friend's uncle used that trick for his Martini Henry 45/577 ammo - reloading his few, expensive, cases at the range, using loo paper to seat the bullets. I am applying it to jacketed bullets in a 22 hornet and 303 Brit. Finicky things to reload, those hornet cases. The paper 'seat' is difficult to get symetrical plus it needs to hold the bullet firmly without expanding the case mouth as the case is nearly at chamber dimensions already. I shall look up the black powder guys as suggested. Apparently, early paper cartridge type ammo used nitrate treated paper.


May 10, 2007, 09:02 AM
BTW the slimjims and booze are there simply for storage, I don't have alot of room. I don't gobble slim jims and Bacardi when I reload.

i saw the bacardi hahahahah

taking the atf to a whole new level

May 10, 2007, 10:23 PM
I trickle and weigh each round of all rifle calibers I shoot. This gets sorta tiresome, especially with the .22 centerfires. Since I'm also into tri-focals now, leaning over/squatting to read the scale ain't no fun. So I snagged one of my wife's old warpaint compacts with the 2"X3" mirrors in the lid. Then I cut a short piece of 2X2 at about 45 degrees and attached the mirror to it and set it at the pointy end of the scale so I can check zero easily. The photo shows it (if I can get it to upload).


May 17, 2007, 06:25 PM
hey guys. i am new to reloading and this sticky is freakin awesome. thanks to all of you guys my new hobby should go a little easier and faster...


May 17, 2007, 09:25 PM
GNARKILL, I've also found a small Black & Decker folding work table handy for apartment reloading. Cut a piece of 3/4" plywood and bolt it to the top surface and it will stiffen up the table so you can do everything except full-length resize large rifle cases on it. Put your beam measure on a separate adjacent surface to avoid jarring it...

tasco 74
May 17, 2007, 09:49 PM
heheheh.... right now my workmate has my plastic gun cleaning-maintience cradle clamped in it!!..............................

May 17, 2007, 10:15 PM
Ok Just heard a good tip. Those of you who cast bullets and use lee liquid alox. Know how sticky they can be when your done and they dry for a day. So here is the tip. Take a small handfull of Talc powder (baby powder) and apply to the bullets after they dry. This will get rid of the sticky feeling.

May 19, 2007, 10:11 PM
I am still using an old Redding powder measure that locks the settings with a set screw that compresses a small lead ball into the threads. It was always a nuisance loosening this adjustment when resetting it.

I found that using piece of rubber, in my case a chunk of pencil eraser, instead of the lead ball works great. If you try turning the spindle it feels like it is not tight and would turn but don't worry. I have loaded as many as 5,000rounds in a session (rechecking against a scale as I proceeded) and in use it does not move at all.

I have posted this on another board. Johnson Paste Wax (floors, furniture, etc.) makes a great tumble lube for cast bullets. I have used it for many different calibers. It does not collect lint or dirt, prevents leading as good as any, is very cheap, and prevent the exposed noses from oxidizing.

May 24, 2007, 10:52 AM
ok case gauging every case is a pain. if you do one at a time.

im on the road right now, so i cant show you. Here is what i did though. i made a gauge of my own. its primitive but works. i took a piece of plywood and cut it to a 1 1/2"X20 " piece. Then i made a raised boarder to go on the back it was a 1/2 inch piece of wood. From there i measured from the back stop out to the maxium length case. I then cut the side strips to be at that exact spot. then i cut a strip of wood that go a cross the entire area. Being wood i had to really do some fine adjustments on sanding to make sure that the measurement was good. the stirps i used oak to make sure they were smooth and flat.

Now all said. I am measuring 30/30. What you have is a rectangle box with a bottom that only covers about 1/2 of the opening. I take about 20 -30 shells lay them in the guage the ones that fall through the guage are still smaller than overall trim length. the ones that stay on top or get stuck in the wood need to be trimmed. i can do easily 20-30 shells at a time so quick. The ones that fall through easily i dont care about. sometimes i will spot check a few of them to make sure. its the ones that get stuck that i will have to double check and trim.

there you have it my primitive guage. can easliy be made

May 25, 2007, 07:59 PM
I did not think of it myself....
but with walnut media put half a paper towel in the tumbler every few loads and it gets a lot of the dust out with it when you pull it back out after the cases are clean.

June 1, 2007, 04:52 PM
the Lee reloader press $20.95 makes a great press with hornadys lever bullet puller $16.41.also with Lees universal decapper $7.67. :)

June 1, 2007, 05:29 PM
BRONSON: THATS one I will use.kittys have there own:)

June 1, 2007, 06:10 PM
harbor tool has a mini cut off saw.@$19 to $29 depending on sale it cuts case necks like mad. uses a 2'steel blade. I use it to cut excess brass when making 7.7 jap from 30/06.

June 10, 2007, 09:08 AM
Scrat -- re: "Case measurements the fast way," is there any way for you to attach a picture illustrating your system? It sounds efficient, but I'm not quite picturing it yet.


June 19, 2007, 07:50 PM
550B depriming chute sticking

My deprimer chute had a habit of sticking open, and dumping spent primers on the floor, so I did a little tweaking and polishing on it. Which, of course, didn't work.

Then I got an idea. One of those little high strength Neodymium magnets works perfectly for making sure the chute closes when it's supposed to, and after several hundred rounds, it seems to be staying put. The spot I have it in seems to be the best I could find. The magnet adds weight, but more importantly, it makes the chute stick magnetically to the primer bar during the upstroke, ensuring complete closure.


June 19, 2007, 08:44 PM
Hey that is neat. Thanks.

Take Care


June 23, 2007, 10:45 AM
i took my old ladies cookie sheet, screwed it under the brass trimmer. it keeps the mess there instead of all over the floor.


(it wasnt my idea, but i thought id share. )

June 26, 2007, 10:31 PM
The only tumbler media I've used thus far is ground corncob (walnut soon, when I find a pet store that actually has any!), and I found that it sticks in and plugs the primer pocket / flash hole of my .45s (the only caliber I've yet tumbled).

After trying a number of small pointy things, I have discovered what I suspect may be the ultimate detritus remover: the tactical bobby pin :)

Just tactically bend it open, and tactically poke bits out of that primer pocket from within the case. Bobby pins (unlike most of the other things I started trying with) have a tiny bulbous end node, so it's gentle on the case. (Not that a .45 case couldn't stand to be abused by a ballpoint pen, but the bobby pin worked better anyhow.)


The Bushmaster
June 27, 2007, 11:01 AM
whtomit...Why not use a throttle or choke cable handle (used, but broken and usually can be gotten from a small engine repair shop for free) and trim the solid wire to a length of 1 inch. Not only will it clean out flash holes, but will also clean out primer pockets...

W Turner
June 27, 2007, 11:10 AM
Or you could just not deprime your brass until after tumbling.


July 3, 2007, 04:24 PM
Can't take credit for this but....

Years and years ago when I was a kid back East (late 60's) in Connecticut, we used to shoot at the local range. There used to be an old guy named Ollie- probably in his late 70's; an "Elmer Keith" type- hanging out constantly at the range. He was probably the first "homeless" person I ever met- since his wife threw him and his guns out of the house.

He lived in an old beat up low rider type car. When he opened up his trunk, there was a rack on the lid and the back panel that held about a dozen of his prized rifles. They were well taken care of and beautiful. He'd select one rifle, take components and 5 live rounds and shoot. This guy had bad tremors until he held that rifle- then rock steady. He's shoot the 5 bullets and then reload them with an old nut cracker type hand press, and pretty much shoot those same 5 rounds all day long....

He'd cast rifle bullets on his campfire at night after picking out spent lead from the backstop berm. Never used gas checks. He'd take a cartridge case and use it like a cookie cutter to cut a bunch of discs of styrofoam from a meat tray (they were thinner then) and use them as an over powder wad instead of a gas check. He claimed it prevented leading just as well as a gas check.

These were not ultra high velocity rifle rounds and certainly wouldn't do it on an ultra fast slug, but he'd do it for his bigger bore stuff like a .35 Rem; 45-70 freightrain, 30-30. Most of his loads were reduced and his accuracy was still remarkable. ...and pretty cheap to roll.

Since I don't cast for rifle calibers, I've never tried it, but a shooting buddy of mine did for both fairly hot pistol rounds and some 30 caliber rifles and he says it does work and never had any serious leading problems.... Over the years, jacketed slugs got cheaper and we no longer cast lead for rifles.

We'd listen to his wisdom and pepper him with questions. I still flash upon some of his wisdom and tricks but over the years they have gotten misplaced in the recesses of the brain. Wish I wrote them down!!

Other "Ollie-isms" he taught us:

* Cornmeal in reduced loads scours the barrel, takes up potential detonation space, and makes the range smell like popcorn.

* Don't over clean your guns- it'll wear 'em out

* Use Brake fluid on a rag to get rid of light surface rust "rash" on blued guns... if it's stubborn or deeper, use a little 4-0 steel wool with the brake fluid

* and finally: "Don't piss off the old lady!"

...and "THANKS" to all for all the hints on this sticky! It's a virtual "eOllie" for me- I can still hear him!

July 4, 2007, 12:44 AM
I reload with a Lee Classic Loader. I work off a 2x8 laid across my lap most of the time. I squirt a blob of case lube in the far right-hand corner and work from it like a painter's pallet. Nothing special but it makes things easy for me.

July 6, 2007, 04:01 PM
I had it with dumping corn cob media all over the floor every time I emptied my tumbler. So today I was messing around in the workshop and came up with the idea of making a rotating cylinder that would fit over a Rubbermaid type plastic container. It was easy and cheap to make. I cut 2 11” circles out of ¾”plywood, attach them to a 1/8” threaded rod. Installed 4- 16”X 1”X2” wooden strips between the end caps for support and to install the door to. I used a piece of plexiglas for the door, I heated and bent it to the size of my cylinder. Cylinder is cover with ¼” wire. I have used it many times and it works great. I spent $6.00 for the wire mesh from Home Depot, everything else was laying around my shop.

You could adapt this to any size you want. This one is very big. I would recommend using a larger diameter threaded rod, like ¼” rod or maybe even ½” conduit. Also after using this I realize that if the door was mounted all the way to one end, it would be easier to empty, verse the door mount in the center. Sorry about the large pic.....


July 24, 2007, 12:55 AM
I was recently taught that putting 9mm Luger brass through a 38 Super sizer eliminates any sizing issues inlcuding Glock fired brass. Since I started doing this it has almost eliminated reject 9mm rounds. I do this on a single stage and then load using the three 9mm dies on a progressive.

Carl N. Brown
August 8, 2007, 06:33 PM
Here is something I have never seen anyone else try before:
I am working on an action based on the necked-up cartridge.

August 9, 2007, 12:53 AM
How will you chamber the round when the front of the cartridge is wider than the lip at the base? Even if the lip were slightly larger the case will deform because there is no support for the cartridge walls usually supplied by the cartridge fitting into the chamber, a chamber which is now much larger than most of the cartridge because the front is necked-up. I don't think that will work because the only part of the cartridge which will have support by the chamber is the very front.

August 9, 2007, 06:47 AM
Maybe you could also invent a rifle that loads backwards.:D

Carl N. Brown
August 9, 2007, 10:10 AM
OK, here is my block design for an action using the necked-up
(pardon my mumbling, that is how I talk with my tongue-in-cheek):
dark grey is receiver
light grey is breech bolt
magenta is cartridge chamber piece
and blue is barrel.

Obviously the feed is complicated by having seperate two
piece cartridge chamber to inclose the necked up round
for insertion into the breech of the barrel.

Consider this: in the 40mm grenade round, the powder chamber
is about the size of a ten gauge shotgun shell. Most of the
40mm grenade cartridge case is metal to bring the outside
diameter up to the diameter of the projectile. This necked-up
cartridge system might have an application, although I
admit I did the sample cartridge purely as a joke.

Vitamin G
August 9, 2007, 10:58 AM
It might work, if you can somehow load it from the muzzle, like a muzzleloader...

Otherwise, i think you've, as the title describes, "Invented or discovered..."

Split brass! :)

Your idea made me think though, and thats no easy feat :D

Carl N. Brown
August 9, 2007, 10:59 AM
Practical Suggestion

I use a couple of sets of Lee dipper measures.
After almost misreading 1.3cc for 1.0cc I took a black
laundry marker and darkened the raised size numbers
to make them more legible.

August 10, 2007, 10:17 PM
I use a couple of sets of Lee dipper measures.
After almost misreading 1.3cc for 1.0cc I took a black
laundry marker and darkened the raised size numbers
to make them more legible.

Dang Carl, you beat me to it. Yep, black Sharpie to the rescue ensures the proper dipper each time.

August 12, 2007, 01:49 AM
Please delete, incorrect post

August 12, 2007, 11:47 PM
I found I needed some way to get a hold of loose primers on/near the press. I saw these on a "tool" table at a local gunshow and found them to work very well.

I have a Dillon 650 and have problems with the occasional hot primer flying off the "ski jump" on my press. A pretty simple idea, just cut off the end of a thumb/finger from a rubber glove and slip it over the ski jump launch area. No more live primers on the floor/bench.

If you have a 650, you probably go crazy with spent primers on the floor etc...OUCH! I got this idea off Brian Enos' website. It's a keeper.
A piece of tube, a very small hose clamp, a plastic peanut butter jar, a spent .45 ACP case with the base removed and some tin-snips to prepare the brass. Even I could do this one!
The Enos site is a wealth of information for Dillon owners. Here's a link to the spent primer fix on the Enos' site.

Thanks for all the great tips/suggestions!!!


tasco 74
August 13, 2007, 12:59 AM
i drilled a hole in my bench under my lee reloader press. when you use it to flare the case mouths and deprime the brass the spent primers go into a hole in the side of the press. i drilled a half inch hole right in the center of where the press bolts to the bench and put my garbage can under it. now when i deprime most of the spent primers fall right into the garbage can. works like a charm!

August 13, 2007, 07:56 AM
Nice bench, btw, Von.

August 13, 2007, 09:42 AM
Thanks...it's a hobby I enjoy enough to invest in. (time and $)

August 23, 2007, 05:21 PM
I use one of the anti-static bluish envelopes used to store electronic devices cut to fit to line the container of my powder measure.

August 28, 2007, 07:30 PM
I realized that I could hit a punch up the bottom of a Co-ax press and use it as a gun action and a sizing die sans decapping stem as a chamber.

It is a toggle over center action, like Luger.

I would shoot a hole in the ceiling, but If I tipped over the bench, I could shoot out the door.

Short barrelled dies would not be very accurate.

The big red press in the middle works as a gun.

August 29, 2007, 12:50 PM
I just searched all pages for the word straw, not seeing that, hope it is not a repeat.

I was decapping my 45ACP moments ago when about 1 in every 10 primers bounced on to the floor. This is what I did:

Soda Straw
Electrical tape

1. cut a large diameter straw to 1/8" inch longer than the machined edge where the primer is occasionally bouncning out. You'll know where this is if you have this issue.

2. wrap ~1-2" electrical tape around the top portion of the straw to keep it in place and centered below the shell holder.

3. No more primers on the floor this way ever again.

50 cases of large pistol primers so far, no issues.

A catch system with a PBJ jar would be greatly appreciated. It's closer to a nearly closed system and increases the maintenance interval by 10x or more. And you never touch anything pouring primers out of a PBJ jar. I'll subscribe to this thread. If no solutions come forth, I'll devise my own with a cannabalized funnel of some sort, take pics and share. I'm making or buying sometihng anyway, if you know what I mean.


September 1, 2007, 07:33 PM
Take your media outside when it's windy and pour it in to a bucket. The wind will remove all the dust and grit.

You can pickup winchester primers right out of their package with your primer sticks.

September 1, 2007, 10:12 PM
You can pickup winchester primers right out of their package with your primer sticks.

I can't speak for other sizes but I've tried that with win small pistol, and no love.

September 2, 2007, 07:26 AM
I have no problem picking up large or small primers with new sticks.

What happens a lot with primer sticks is the plastic tip gets worn or rather spread out a little.

The other problem is some times I get a new stick that is to tight and the primers stick in the tip.

I wish they would package primers in clear plastic tubes.

September 21, 2007, 06:46 AM
Sorry, should have posted this here...

Never been satisfied with drilling holes in a bench and bolting a press down. Once installed most presses never move again. Always intrigued with the possibility of a quick change system that gives more bench room if needed. Here's what I came up with, two rails of extruded aluminum recessed into the bench top that presses get mounted to. Composite bases are attached to each loader and accessory. Rail allows press to slide up and down the bench, then simply lock it in place by tightening bolts. Next step will be a stock and forearm rest that attaches to the same rail system for cleaning guns.







September 21, 2007, 08:40 AM
Now THAT ^ is a slick setup.

September 21, 2007, 09:18 AM
+1 I know what I'M doing with my bench when I build it!

Do you ever loose primers in those channels?

September 21, 2007, 12:46 PM
Now that's about as slick as it gets! Impressive! Looks pricey. Those extruded rails don't come cheap. Very nice job.

September 21, 2007, 02:49 PM
Rails are cheaper than you may think.... available from MSC, 8' for about $40. http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=8412280&PMT4NO=29685610

September 21, 2007, 03:28 PM
Thanks Rembrandt. A lot cheaper than I thought. Thanks for the link.

October 2, 2007, 11:37 AM
I don't know if this has been posted before, but if you happen to have some stripper clips that have some surface rust or some kind of gunk in them, just toss them into your tumbler for a few hours. I've done it with both .303 British and 7.62x54R strippers. If you add some polish to your media, it even seemed to help smooth-out the Mosin-Nagant ones.

October 3, 2007, 10:10 AM
Back when I lived at home, Dad had a bench out in the shed with a Lee "C" press mounted to it. When we mounted the press, we cut a wedge out of the benchtop to mount the press at a more comfortable angle (IE, not square with the edge of the bench)

Did the same "drill a hole under the press for the primers" though I used a cat-food can and used a couple pieces of 2x4 to make a small shelf for it to sit on. Keeps the garbage can away from my feet.

usually, the outdoor press is used for just resizing cases. The rest of the stages are done with a Lee Hand press on a table indoors. Works well for those VT winters as the table is close to the woodstove. and the aerosol case lube is COLD after you've used it for a while...(ask me how I know that)

Now that I live far enough away from my parents that I can't use dad's loading setup anymore, it's time to set up my own. I've been thinking of using this as a bench: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94309

I know HF is cheap tools, but it's kinda hard to screw up a table...


Steel Talon
October 17, 2007, 10:03 AM
Instead of water, I started using "Iso Heet" (red bottle,automotive section) as my delivery agent for my "spray bottle" case lube. Its Isopropyl Alcohol. Evaporates quickly leaves the lube.


October 17, 2007, 04:43 PM
I like to charge my pistol cases in the loading block with a Little Dandy powder measure. The rotors get expensive at $10.00 each.

I took a #9 rotor and deepend the hole as deep as possible and squared the bottom by grinding the point off of the drill. I then tapped the hole with a 3/16 x 16 tap. I then ground the end of the tap off to make a bottom tap and tapped as deep as allowed.

After this was done i ground off a set screw to a thin washer with just enough metal left for an allen wrench to slip in and make adjustments to the drop amount. I then wrapped the set screw with teflon tape on the threads to keep the screw from moving and changing the powder charge.

I now have an adjustable rotor that will drop from .7 grains of bullseye to 6.4 grains of bullseye powder. To change the drop amount the charge is dropped in a scale and weighed without rotating the rotor back around. An allen wrench is put through the drop tube and the set screw can be ran up or down until the proper amount of powder is being dropped.

I have used this for about 2 years now with never having a powder charge change.

October 18, 2007, 08:12 PM
I put a big lag screw with a washer not big enough to hold down the RCBS uniflow powder measure bracket. But with the bracket a little off center, and a quarter turn for tightening down the bracket, it was quick change. The trouble was I had the bracket eccentric towards me, and when it moved from me cranking the handle, it moved towards the center, where it could pop up and dump a half pound of powder. It is still mounted there, but off center away from me.

October 25, 2007, 11:09 PM
Hi I'm new here but I've been reloading for 40 yrs. Just though I'd share something. I size my brass before tumbling (looks better that way) and always had trouble cleaning the sizing lube off or it made my media dirty to quick. I didn't like the idea of cleaning the brass with gas, so tried something crazy. Palmolive dish liquid, just wipe on lightly with your fingers and size. Washes right off with warm water, cheap too.

October 25, 2007, 11:32 PM
Had trouble with static electricity causing powder to cling to my plastic powder funnel I use to pour weighed powder charges into my rifle cases. Wife told me wipe the inside of the funnel with one of those static clean wraps she throws in with her cloths dryer. Worked. Powder now flows clean as a whistle.

Take Care


November 20, 2007, 12:51 AM
My Frankford Arsenal tumbler (http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=587176) has a threaded metal shaft in the middle. This shaft allows one to attach the clear plastic cover to the bowl by using a wingnut.

Unfortunately, brass hitting the shaft cause a fair amount of metal-on-metal noise that is most annoying. By cutting a drinking straw to the proper length and slipping it over the shaft, the noise is greatly reduced while still allowing me to tighten wingnut and secure the lid.

December 2, 2007, 07:17 PM
If you have a Lee Turret Press, here's a variation on the primer mess.......I deprime slowly, so the primers fall into the recess in the base of the press. There is a tapered hole drilled in the middle of the table the press is mounted on. Underneath, I mounted a small glass jar, with the lid nailed to the underside of the table. When the jar fills up, I unscrew it, dump the primers into another container, and screw it back on. It's out of the way, and holds a lot more primers than you'd think.

Instead of using adhesive labels on my ammo boxes, I went to a Print shop and ordered Business Cards, but with lines for the load data. These can be laid on top of the finished ammo, or taped to the underside of the lid, if the range is typically windy. I think 1,000 cards cost me about $16.00, and ten years later I still have about 400 left. I only use them for test batches and oddball loadings, my standardized loads go in ammo cans by the thousand.

I use Lee Auto-Disk Powder Measures on all my pistol dies, and in each one I put a small slip of heavy paper with the date, powder, and charge weight on it. That way, no matter how sure I am that I remember what powder I was using, I can always prove myself wrong, and make changes BEFORE I cause problems.

And last, I get spare plastic syringes (without needles) from my doctor and use them when I clean guns. I can put a drop of Hoppe's or whatever solvent I'm using (I have several, all color-coded) on a patch, a brush, or straight onto wherever it's needed. Solvents last a lot longer when you don't spill them all over! ;)


December 2, 2007, 07:45 PM

Send a message via ICQ to heypete Send a message via AIM to heypete Send a message via Yahoo to heypete Send a message via Skype™ to heypete

My Frankford Arsenal tumbler has a threaded metal shaft in the middle. This shaft allows one to attach the clear plastic cover to the bowl by using a wingnut.

Unfortunately, brass hitting the shaft cause a fair amount of metal-on-metal noise that is most annoying. By cutting a drinking straw to the proper length and slipping it over the shaft, the noise is greatly reduced while still allowing me to tighten wingnut and secure the lid.

I put the box, that the Lyman tumbler came in, over the tumbler.
The box and the tumbler are on a piece of carpet.
Then, if I close the door to the reloading room, no one is bothered.

But I am going to try that soda straw too:)

Quickdraw McGraw
December 2, 2007, 07:56 PM
Going with PapaJohns idea of business type cards for ammo boxes.

Get some rubber cement from walmart or office supply, craft store! I use it to glue my load data on the lid so I can read it with the lid closed. Then just peel off the glue is kinda like boogers (the same stuff they glue your credit cards to the letters when they are sent out).

December 3, 2007, 03:22 AM
Post #4


December 5, 2007, 09:59 PM
I would have concern about heat build up leading to premature motor failure with the lack of fresh air in the box. At least my frankford didn't like it.:what:

December 6, 2007, 10:30 PM
I am throwing out a bowl and ceramic media that got lead contamination while moly coating.

Now I am afraid of exposed soft points:(

December 13, 2007, 09:00 AM
Some FACTS. All Reloading Tools are Not Compatible.
RCBS A.O.K. Hornady Better, Lee Cheaper.CH4D Very Good But Has There System Not Compatible with RCBS.
Most Use Cheep Alum Lock Rings on Dies But Hornady Steel Made for Wrench. ( I Copped them out of S.S. ) where Good Enough...Is Not. also this Is Why I made my Palm Wrench.(For the PROs)
http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/1497/palmwrench2aor1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
Best Priming System " M2Prescison " ( Very User Friendly. )
Remember they All have Blind Spots. They have things that should be Fixed. RCBS has Worse De-Capping - Hornday Best -But Catch 22 Small Primer Holes.
http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/1635/hornady1sb8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
Tip Polish Expander Ball for Best Results, does not Stretch Brass as much. I went thru 20 RCBE Decapping Pins before I got Mad and went to Hornady. Also why I Made my H.D.S.S.Primer Punch and Punch Set. Punch has 3 Witness Marks 1. Bottom of Case 2. In Primer 3. Primer Out.
http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/8169/primerpunchsetlp5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img402.imageshack.us/img402/9514/25438533th0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
CH4D Under Powered Elect .50 Case Trimmer. Gracy Very Good. ( I have them Both But Still do by Hand For a BETTER Job.)on my S.S.Sleeve with CH4D Mag-Deburrering tool. http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/1787/insideneckset1xq2.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
RCBS Ram Good but Primer dump Slot Very Poor - Causes back ups and Plugging. (Time wasting to unplug)I had to grind out and repolish Ramp.(See Photo ) http://img136.imageshack.us/img136/1444/rcbsram3ik9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
Bullet Puller .50 BMG CH4D Good I also Have a PRO-Collet puller ( Better ) Loading takes TIME ....I try to make It EASER http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/84/rcbscorbinaci5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
How I rate them - for .50 BMG The Best Press CORBIN, Hollywood, Hornady, RCBS, CH4D, Lee, I do not have Knowledge of Others of witch there are many. All the Tools I Make is because of wanting BETTER.
I Also Make a PRO-,50BMG Shell Carry Case ( MTM ) With Special Top Tray to Hold Very Steady - No rattling around.
http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/5302/pro1rs7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/3685/ammorack1kt1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
and last how to take better Photos with Metal Bench.
http://img45.imageshack.us/img45/4556/canon85a1tm8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
How about .50 Blast Deflectors they Great.
http://img61.imageshack.us/img61/6724/protoblastdefectorjo1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/4838/samystanddeflectorip5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/1143/hearslookingatyou2ds5.jpg (http://imageshack.us) http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/7103/blastcatcherzo6.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
Any Questions ? Shoot. the Turk

December 13, 2007, 06:52 PM
This is a little item that you may find useful. It is an assembly/disassembly box. It is one of those things that you need once in a while. Sometimes when you are working on something, a small part or a spring will pop out and go flying across your shop, into the deepest darkest corner it can find. This little box is designed to prevent that from happening, by containing those super sonic parts.


As you can see, it is just a box with a few holes cut in it and a light so you can see what you are working on.

You need some sort of window; Plexiglas or real glass will do. I used glass because that is what I had available.


You need to cut a hole in the top of the box to put your window in. I simply cut the hole smaller then my glass and lay the glass on top.


You also need two holes for your arms to enter the box. Start out by cutting small holes and work up until they fit your arms. Don’t assume you have arms like Popeye; you want them to fit snugly so the parts can’t get out. I put some masking tape around mine to keep the cardboard from cutting into my arms.


A look at the interior shows that all of the seams and cracks have been sealed with masking tape. The flying parts just love a place to hide and if they can’t go across the room, they will hide in the box.



The light is just an inexpensive florescent light that fits the box. I attached mine with some sheet metal screws.


That’s about it, just a little project that can save you a lot of frustration.

Car Knocker
December 13, 2007, 08:04 PM
Lee Cheaper But Different Thread Pitch on Dies
That's odd. I have several Lee dies and they screw into the same presses that RCBS, Hornady, Lyman dies do.

December 13, 2007, 08:44 PM
This is what I have been Told by at least 3 People ( I do not have any Lee and would not Bad Mouth ) I could be Wrong ? The Power is If It Works for You Is all that Matters. ( should I retract what I said ? )

I am Wrong...Retracting....Thank You Kindly. Geo.Az

December 14, 2007, 12:29 AM
I now use mostly Lee dies...I particularly like their Factory Crimp dies...in my RCBS, Hornady, and old Herter's presses. The threads are standard.

December 20, 2007, 01:35 PM
Ok I'll play along how bout this for your Hornady press
The powder cop didn't do it for me if you look away from the powder cop it doesn't work but the Dillon check die will buzz if no or double charged. I used a dremel tool with a cut off whell to get as much depth then I used a small sander wheel and rounded it out so it was smooth. I also called Hornady and the gal that does the touch up on there presses told me that Ford red was the closes thing to it and sure enough. The washer on the arm that cantacts the ram I had to buy a bigger one I then ran the srew through the washer and put the nut on it put it in my drill took a grinder bit and put in the dremel turn both on and ground the washer down till it just caught the edge. Works great.

I have to 45acp seater dies one set for laser cast 200gr lswc and the other for odd balls that are on sale this saved me from having more like wanting to get a micro die to do quick adjustments.

Always keep a can of air on your desk it helps to clean out the primer system of powder when a primer is missed

take a gallon milk jug or any that have handles and tie a rope about 6-8 feet long to it hang it in the corner of your shop when you get another jug just slip it on the rope and hang it back up. Once you have 20-30 hanging up get you some food coloring and put a couple drops in and fill with water instant shoot and see targets. once your done throw the plastic in a bag and send it off to recycle.

Cheap media seperater that you might already have. 2 buckets a 2 or 3 gal and a 5gal take the smaller bucket and drill holes all over the bottom about 1/2 inch apart maybe 100-150 holes drop it in the 5 gallon buckt and dump the media and brass in. shake till all media is in the 5 gallon bucket.

December 24, 2007, 10:28 AM
Empty peanut butter jars are great for storage containers.

December 27, 2007, 08:04 PM
The silica packs that come in variety of sizes (like the little ones for shoes or briefcases, to the bigger ones they put in shipping containers), don't do well when you put them in your pocket and run them through the washer and then the dryer. They'll survive the washer, but not the dryer. It sound like running a concrete mixer or trying to dry 25 lbs of lead shot.

I like putting the little to medium sized silica packs in the powder bottles if I'm going to be reloading over a couple of days, rather then empty everything out at the end of each session.

December 30, 2007, 04:39 PM
Your three-year-old son can put handloaded ammo into the 100rd plastic boxes faster than you can. (wash hands afterwards goes without saying). I loaded 500 rounds this morning, and all it cost me to box them was a popsicle. :D

December 31, 2007, 01:33 AM
Your three-year-old son can put handloaded ammo into the 100rd plastic boxes faster than you can. (wash hands afterwards goes without saying). I loaded 500 rounds this morning, and all it cost me to box them was a popsicle.

That only works for so long. I handed a box to my 12 year old the other day and I asked him to fill it up. He looked at me with that "I think I am too old to do that anymore" look and then handed them to his 9 year old brother. :)

December 31, 2007, 10:08 AM
Raised to wonderful sons. Up until they were twelve I was there hero. Followed me around like puppy dogs. Somewhere between 12 and 13 they left the human race only to return about 10 years later as responsible adults. Enjoy the hero years and prepare yourself for hormone hell.

MarshallDodge good luck you are about to enter the twilight zone.:D

Take Care


December 31, 2007, 12:05 PM
MarshallDodge good luck you are about to enter the twilight zone.

That sound about right, I was about 23 when I realized my dad was not as "stupid" was I thought. I don't have kids yet, but I went from supervising 50+ year olds to supervising 18-23 year olds at work. So I got thrown straight to that blank stare of what are you talking about "old man" (I'm 30) when I tell them somthing enlightening like the "Dr gave you 10 days of medicine for a reason", or "You don't pick up women at the free clinic, I don't care how "hot' she was. She was there for the same reason as you or worse."

Best of luck

To the topic

Not an original idea to me, there have ben several post in the last day or so covering the topic. Vacumn packing firearms and ammo for long term storage. Its a good use for that foodsaver you got your wife or girlfriend, or buy them in the future. Its dual purpose, and she thinks you got it just for her.

January 4, 2008, 09:13 AM
To load a Forster prime tube with the tray built into the priming tool is a problem, because the tool is smaller than a tray of 100 primers.

My solution was to mill out a slot of an RCBS tray and clamp the Forster tube to the RCBS tray.

That way I can put a whole tray of 100 primers on the RCBS tray and flip it over. Then I clamp, and start pushing the primers into the tube.

Steel Talon
January 4, 2008, 11:19 AM
Great idea

Peace ST~

January 6, 2008, 04:22 PM
Maybe this is common knowledge... but the thread could use a good bump. :)

For getting tumbling media out of necked cartridges I remove the cartridges with the vibratory tumbler running, and I briefly set the side of the cartridge near the head against the mouth of the tumbler. You can "hear" when the last grain falls out. Initially I used to put the neck against the tumbler, but I found that the base of the cartridge produces faster results. FWIW.

January 7, 2008, 09:57 AM
I use Ideal 77 wire pull lube for my cases; it’s cheap and works great.
I will do runs of two to three thousand rounds of 223 with out any problems.
You can buy it at home depot best of all it contains no petroleum products.

January 16, 2008, 08:16 PM
I saw this neat idea on another forum and I thought I would share it with you.
It is a self feeding dog food bowl & they are under $10.


lil ski
January 31, 2008, 10:40 AM
I like to use 3 pound pretzel tubs (the clear plastic ones) for storing my brass in. I have a tub for clean and a tub for dirty.

January 31, 2008, 12:44 PM
I picked up a Berry's Manufacturing tumbler at a garage sale, and it came with the Barry's media sifter (http://www.berrysmfg.com/83.php). I drilled a hole in the sifter so that it would slide down over the top of the tumbler. Now I dump out the tumbler into a bucket, put the sifter over the top of the tumbler, dump the media/brass into the sifter, and start the tumbler! It vibrates all of the media back into the tumbler and makes the cases dance around and empty themselves (the pistol cases, that is -- rifle cases still need to be dumped).

January 31, 2008, 09:30 PM
Best way to use Lee case lube. Mix with water/iso alcohol 1 to 5 ratio. Put in spray bottle atomizer. Squirt into ziplock freezer bag. Add empties, shake well to coat, roll the empties around in there. Pour empties on towel to dry. 20 minutes later you are ready to roll. You can lube up about 1000 empties in 8 minutes. They dry with tack free finish, and can be stored indefinitely without attracting lint, dirt, or anysuchthing.


February 1, 2008, 10:45 PM
Here's something to remember that i've told people in everyday life. 15 minutes of work stops hours of confusion. If you can not look at something you have and tell me exactly what's in it. or where something you need is at. Then why not take 15 minutes and straighten it up so you can.

February 2, 2008, 07:01 AM
To make a Chamber Length Gauge take a spare case, drill a hole as big as the caliber through the primer hole, then take a hack saw and cut aprox. 1/3 of the end of the neck off to make a "ring" that will fit around a bullet. take the case and seat a bullet to your COL into the cut down case. To use the case length gauage, place the ring around the bullet and push it onto the bullet so it will stay, then chamber the round. that ring will act as a stop when it is forced down the bullet by the end of your chamber. You can then measure from the base of the round to the ring and that is the length of your chamber. you then know how long you can let your brass grow until you have to trim it. The hole drilled through the back of the cartridge is so when you seat a bullet you can push a rod or somthing up through the back and force the bullet out of the case if you need to seat a new bullet. Dont rely on just one measurement, take several mesurements and average them. This method is just as accurate as the guages they sell at sinclair.

February 2, 2008, 10:09 AM


February 5, 2008, 09:57 AM
Finally I can contribute to this great thread. For those of us that still have the older Lee Challenger Press you know what a pain it is to empty the spent primers from the trough that they fall into. Plastic wrap is the answer. Use a big enough piece so you can grab the ends and pull it out with all the primers in it. Then replace it with a new piece.

tasco 74
February 5, 2008, 10:00 PM
neat idea dtally! the lee reloader press i use has a hole in the frame in which most of the spent primers go into for later removal... you have to unbolt the press and get them.... i simply drilled a hole in the bench top in the center of where the press bolts and put the trash can under the hole to catch the primers when they fall through.... works good!

February 8, 2008, 01:51 AM
I used to struggle to get my thumb safety back into place on my 1911. I found that the safety lock plunger pin can be pushed into place with the plastic spray tube from my WD-40 spray can. The thumb safety then pops right into place, and the spray tube slides right out. Hope that helps somebody :)

February 8, 2008, 12:32 PM
For you shotshell loaders, specifically those special loads that you want to put shot buffer in:

It is hard to get the buffer down in the shot column, but take an old double blade electric knife and hold the back, non-cutting edge against the case (after shot is in it) and pour in the buffer. The vibration will cause the shot to swallow that buffer like water until it is full, then crimp. Works like a charm!

February 10, 2008, 08:50 PM
Not terribly clever, or even new, but today I put a large label on my W296 bottle saying "Magnum Primers Only!" I don't load it often enough to trust my aging memory, so better safe than sorry.

February 11, 2008, 11:53 AM
That's odd. I have several Lee dies and they screw into the same presses that RCBS, Hornady, Lyman dies do.
This is what I have been Told by at least 3 People ( I do not have any Lee and would not Bad Mouth ) I could be Wrong ? The Power is If It Works for You Is all that Matters. ( should I retract what I said ? )

I am Wrong...Retracting....Thank You Kindly. Geo.Az
Actually, Geo.Az, you are right when it comes to 50 BMG. The lee dies are 1 1/4, everyone else's dies are 1 1/2. This poses a problem when it comes to bullet pulling. It's some where around 100 bucks for a puller, so figure out how much you'd have to pull for it to be worth while.

It seems Car Knocker got confused and was thinking about their dies for smaller calibers that use the standard 7/8-14 dies.

February 16, 2008, 09:23 PM
Empty peanut butter jars are great for storage containers.

Yes, they are -- and at least if your equipment is Blue or Red, you can usually buy jars that match ;) One of the varieties from CostCo (nice big jars) has a lid in a red very similar to that of my Lee press, and silly as it sounds, I have been hoarding those jars; I'd like enough to keep in them batches of everything associated with reloading -- a nice matching set.


February 18, 2008, 06:19 PM
Duct tape can make a great patch for the crotch of your pants in a pinch......at the range:D

Oh and my uncle color coordinates his brass and lead etc. by using different colored lids from peanut butter jars, there are many colors out there, example for 9x19 he uses yellow lids and .38 super he uses green :)

February 18, 2008, 10:41 PM
For case storage I use the large (4-1/2" square by 6" high) bulk snack nut plastic containers from Sam's Club. The lid is over 4" in diameter, both easy to reach into and pour large rifle cases out without jamming, and the square containers stack nicely and are easy to label. I snack on a lot of nuts...very good prices, too!

Sam's has larger large-mouthed containers also, but they are round...wastes some space and get heavy when full of cases.

I fasten lables with two pieces of scotch tape rather than using commercial gummed labels...very secure and still easy to remove when needs change.

February 19, 2008, 01:04 AM
Since I don't have a garage, basement, or any real 'mancave' I had to figure out a way that I could reload in my bedroom. I had an old cofee table lying around the crawlspace that I converted into a reloading bench. Now I can do my reloading while watching tv and without even going downstairs. The old cofee table might fall apart one day but its already given me a solid year's worth of comfortable reloading.

Any Cal.
February 19, 2008, 02:41 AM
When reloading rifle cartridges, I chuck the Lee case trimmer holder in a cordless drill. Use the piloted trimmer to trim, then, without letting the drill stop, chamfer the case mouth, then pick up a scotchbrite pad and buff the case a bit. Steel wool it if you want too. Takes 5 seconds a case for all your prep to be done.

March 4, 2008, 11:56 PM
I made this primer level indicator out of an inert .45 ACP bullet and a 1/8" steel rod. There is a spent primer that is epoxied to the other end. (The bullet is epoxied as well). When the bullet is sitting on the cap, the primers are completely out. I also put a couple of pieces of velcro to the primer sleve and the primer pickup tube to keep handy track of it.


March 5, 2008, 09:58 AM
For full-length rifle cases I lay a row of cases on an un-inked rectangular stamp pad lightly lubed with gun oil, lay the flat of my hand on them, give a quick roll with my hand, and go to resizing...nary a stuck case.

For neck sizing only, I lightly jam the case mouth down on the same pad. Picks up just enough lube for the inside and outside sizing, but not enough to cause any powder problems.

The stamp pad is nice for the purpose because it is very thin and the snap lid protects the pad from contamination.

March 5, 2008, 10:02 AM
I purchased a shell sorter from shellsorter.com (http://www.shellsorter.com/page6/page6.html) and really like it.

I tried it out for the first time last night at a club meeting. We have huge buckets of all kinds of mixed pistol and rifle shells. With a minimal amount of effort I was able to get over 300 9mm cases in less than 10 minutes.

It's not perfect, but what is? It does the job, I'm happy ... that's all that matters. :D

I've also found out that I can use the sorter trays to remove the media after I've tumbled them. Two uses for the price of one.

Neither I, my family, or friends (I think I have 1 or 2):scrutiny: work for or know anyone that works for shellsorter.com

March 5, 2008, 10:13 AM
The little LED flashlights being sold now in auto parts stores that have the flexible shaft to a single lamp ($3.50!) work great for bore lights, staring into cases, etc. I use it to look for internal case stretch rings, best thing I've found for that.
I use RCBS x-dies for my 25-06 that require trimming to less than standard minimum. I use the little Lee handheld trimmer with the case holder chucked into a drill. To trim shorter, I just ground off the end of the pin that goes through the flashhole to contact the shellholder base.
I've got an older 7mm/06 that I wanted to try the Lee factory crimp die on. Lee doesn't make that die, but a .280 Remington die works fine after grinding the end off .050 on a surface grinder. Although I'm not presently crimping the 25-06, I did the same thing to a Lee FCD to match those shorter x-die cases.

If you live in the boonies and get a case stuck in a die like I did, you can make a puller by drilling and tapping the primer hole out (after backing off or removing the expander ball) and using a combination of washers and sockets to stack over the case. if you have a drill stop use it to keep the drill from punching through and getting tangled up with the primer punch. Best use a fine thread socket head screw, tighten and tap lightly, tighten again. Worked for me.

I measure distance to lands by pinching a fired case neck enough to friction hold a bullet barely seated. Then gently close the action, extract & measure OAL several times and write it in my notebook. I don't want to put a stoney point in my barrel, it might scratch something up:)

A shotgun bore mop works great for cleaning bottleneck sizer/seater dies in medium sizes.

That's it for cleverness for now.

March 5, 2008, 11:09 AM
CrankyCrash, I have found a shell sorter even faster than yours! It's called....Grandkids! :neener:

Only costs me praise and a ice cream cone...

March 5, 2008, 12:52 PM
TooTaxed, that's good for you.

Unfortunately, all my grandkids are either pre-teens or teenagers and the aliens transformed them into :evil: heathens.

They've also learned that shiny nickels and dimes aren't worth crap any more and that undying love and affection thing has worn off :(

March 5, 2008, 01:06 PM
Don't assume your expensive electronic powder dispenser remains accurate for even one 20-round box of ammunition!

Just found out that my Lyman 1200 DPS should be re-zeroed after each five charges to make sure no drift has occurred.

Discovered this drift problem while weighing 100 bullets from a large batch of pulled military bullets in order to determine weight variance. After sorting about forty bullets noticed a momentary -0.4 flash on the readout between bullets. Re-zeroed, checked the last bullet weighed, and found out it weighed 0.4-gr heavier! Checked several of the already sorted bullets, found out almost all were off. Dumped tham all back in the bag, and this time re-zeroed every 15th bullet...found them drifted off up to -0.2 just before re-zeroing.

Finally found the answer in the very last sentence in the instruction booklet, the last item in the "Suggestions/Tips" section: "It is a good idea to press the CAL/ZERO button after every 5 powder drops to be sure no drift has occurred."

(My comments have been censored or they could not have been posted!)

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