Reloading Time Saving Tips


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primlantah
April 24, 2008, 12:54 PM
Cant reload fast enough to support your habit? What time saving tips do you have for reloading?

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freakshow10mm
April 24, 2008, 01:21 PM
Buy a 1050.

ReloaderFred
April 24, 2008, 01:27 PM
Do large batches of brass one step at a time. I typically size and deprime in batches of roughly 1,000. When I'm in the mood, then I'll prime them, so when I want to load finished ammunition, all I have to do is add powder and bullets.

I've got about 4,000 rounds of .38 brass all primed and ready to load, so when I've got the time to load them, all the preliminary work is done.

It may not really be faster to do it this way, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood to do the whole process, but sizing and depriming brass is kind of a release for me, so I don't mind doing a couple thousand in a session.

Hope this helps.

Fred

The Bushmaster
April 24, 2008, 01:45 PM
I shoot no more then I can load on a turret. I have my own 25 yard range in the back yard. Load in the evening and shoot the next day.

taliv
April 24, 2008, 01:46 PM
Buy a 1050.

that was my solution as well :)

rcmodel
April 24, 2008, 02:39 PM
Power Tools!

I clean primer pockets with a Dremel wire brush set on low speed.

Chamfer, debur, and trim with tools chucked in a small hobby lathe.

All goes as fast as I can pick'm up & throw'm in cans.

I have a gallon can hanging under my left hand on the press. As I take them out of the shell holder, I just have to let go of them and they fall in the can.

And like Fred, I like to do large batches in steps.

Just take it one day at a time, and before long, you got a whole lot of cases ready to drop powder & seat bullets.

rcmodel

jmorris
April 24, 2008, 03:37 PM
For pistol I actually like my 650’s (yeah the more you have the less time you spend on setup) better than my 1050, but for crimped primer pockets the 1050 is the only way to go. Of course the case feeder is a time saver. Also the RF100 primer filler saves quite a bit of time. The bullet feeders save time and allow folks with hands that cramp up like mine to load long runs without having to take a bunch of breaks.
In the other areas of reloading: Brass cultivators save time and a lot of bending over while picking up range brass. Brass sorters can save countless hours separating the various calibers. A large tumbler and media separator are also nice to have when it comes to cleaning.

strat81
April 24, 2008, 10:33 PM
Possum Hollow Trimmer:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4438781

Also, set up everything before you start. Fill the powder hopper and primer tray. Make sure you have enough components ready. It stinks having to dig around for more bullets because "I swore they were over here. But they're not."

WayneConrad
April 25, 2008, 01:25 AM
Never have an empty hand when working the press.

Right hand stays on the handle. Left hand brings a new case to the press, then switches the new case for a worked case, then brings the worked case back to the loading block while my right hand works the handle.

It's the same idea as a so-called "tactical reload" in pistol.

jenrob
April 25, 2008, 04:04 AM
Small cat feeder for my bullets. just fill it with the bullets and it will dispense them as you use them.

Have and empty primer tray. When you open a new pack of primers stick the empty on top of it and flip it over then take the cover from my primer flip try and place it on top of the primer tray and flip it over. All primers anvil down ready to pick up.

When I trim brass I use an RCBS power trimmer with a 3way cutter turned into a 2way cutter. I don't like the debur (I use VLD debur) on the 3way so I put a standard pilot in place as the trimmer is trimming I use an RCBS trim mate to debur.

Have you wife mow the yard so you can reload, but make sure you have a comfortable couch.

use a universal decap die to do crimped brass on a progressive with a case feeder (if you don't have a 1050) to prep for swagging.

If you load on a progressive and single stage have a set of dies for both. this way you don't have to readjust you dies.

Rather than adjusting you seater die or buying a comp seater die just get an extra seater die for different bullets and etch it for the bullet that it will be used for. 45acp 200LSWC and 230 XTP two dies just need to swap out the seater the rest stays the same.

If you buy mixed headstamp brass while sorting it and inspecting it have a can of imperial wax and put a dab on. Brass will be ready to use. Course tumble before you sort. This is good for progrssive users.

If useing digital calipers always have 2 extra batteries cause the 1 extra you have is bad and the store is closed.

sublimaze41
April 25, 2008, 06:28 AM
If using an automatic powder dispenser like a Lymann, and loading large rifle charges, partially fill the pan before starting the actual dispensing.

For example, If I am loading 55 grains I fill a .44 Mag case with powder, dump it in the tray and hit enter. Instead of dispensing 55 grains it has to only dispense 5 grains. This reallysaves me time.

Floppy_D
April 25, 2008, 07:56 AM
Organization will set you free. Find spots where things can be reached without you moving too far.

Unisaw
April 25, 2008, 02:13 PM
jenrob, can you provide some more detail about the small cat feeder idea? I don't get it.

jfh
April 25, 2008, 02:49 PM
For me, being organized is the key--nothing special, but my most-used bullets sit on the back of my bench, the turrets/dies and measures on a shelf immediately above them, and the powder storage is by my knees.

Being organized does set you free--and so do die sets in turrets. I have separate sets for my turret and my progressive, and even separate sets for certain calibers--e.g., 38 Special and 357 Mag, .40S&W and 10mm.

The second tip is routine maintenance on the presses--I clean the (Lee) turret every 200-300 rounds and relube it; the Load-Master gets intermittent maintenance (that pesky primer system) as needed (varies widely), but a complete cleanup every 2,000 - 3000 rounds.

With the Load-Master, I organize for extended runs--prefill primer trays, prefill case feeder tubes, stack up extra Akro bins to drop in, that sort of thing.

Last night I loaded 80 rounds on the Load-Master in 11 minutes--and that includes a minute of "confirmation time" that the dies were set properly for the bullet selection, and 30 seconds or so to refill the case collator. That was all I wanted to do, and it was the end of the primer tray.

primlantah
April 25, 2008, 03:09 PM
Holly molly! the 1050 is expensive! :what:

I have read a lot about it and seen many of you recommend it. I have to admit i really like what i have seen... but man. I was gonna buy an AR but i guess the press is going to blow that out of the water. Its a shame im addicted to this stuff. :banghead:

zxcvbob
April 25, 2008, 03:18 PM
Get a Lee Hand Press and do your brass prep ahead of time (while sitting in the easy chair watching TV with a delicious cold beverage.)

primlantah
April 25, 2008, 04:27 PM
I have been using a Lyman turret style(crusher2 i think). it takes me about 1.5-2 hours to load 100 rounds of 45acp. Either im missing something or progressive presses are the way to do it. This is my conclusion from seeing how many yall can do in an hour.

with that said, i know little about progressive presses. The Load-Master looks like a viable option for me but i have a couple questions. Can i continue to hand prime if im using a progressive? Would hand priming be better or worse than autopriming?

jenrob
April 25, 2008, 06:03 PM
jenrob, can you provide some more detail about the small cat feeder idea? I don't get it.
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee13/jen-rob/100_1821.jpg
In place of the loaded rounds just put your bullets. it will hold 500+ rounds

Holly molly! the 1050 is expensive!

I have read a lot about it and seen many of you recommend it. I have to admit i really like what i have seen... but man. I was gonna buy an AR but i guess the press is going to blow that out of the water. Its a shame im addicted to this stuff.

Don't stop on the AR cause of the price of a 1050. Half of use would like to have one but don't. And if I had to chose one press it would be the 650 or Hornady LNL. Just cause both have lifetime warrenty and the 1050 is more than what most of use really need.

If you get an AR look at the LNL or 650 they will load plenty of ammo for you.

jfh
April 25, 2008, 06:13 PM
re the cat feeder:

I dunno about your cat, but my cat would be pissed to find bullets instead of his Science Diet-Indoor Cat-Mature Adult-7+ kibble....

"...Either im missing something or progressive presses are the way to do it. This is my conclusion from see how many yall can do in an hour.

"with that said, i know little about progressive presses. The Load-Master looks like a viable option for me but i have a couple questions. Can i continue to hand prime if im using a progressive? Would hand priming be better or worse than autopriming?"

primlantah:

If you are process-oriented and enjoy trouble-shooting, Lee progressives are excellent values and produce good ammo. They are also quirky and need attention; do a google search in this forum to read about the buyers who gave up on their Load-Master, or Pro 1000, or whatever.

I recently went through a spate of primer problems on my Load-Master; that is its weak spot--but it can be solved. Yes, you could prime off the press.

Were I buying now, I would probably get a Hornady LnL.

A less-expensive alternative is the Lee Classic Cast Turret. On that one, you can realistically load 180-240 rounds an hour. And, when Lee finally starts marketing the Classic Cast Progressive, there will be a Turret Update kit along as well...

Jim H.

primlantah
April 25, 2008, 07:23 PM
are all turret presses built equal? I see alot of recommendations for the lee turret. How does this compare to the lyman crusher 2 i have been using? would it be like comparing ford rangers to mazda b2300s?

The lee progressive so far seems to be the most viable for me unless im going about this wrong. The single most time consuming part my my reloading process is getting accurate powder charges measured(using the crap that came with the lyman kit). Do yall think that a better measure and scale would help?

jfh
April 25, 2008, 08:24 PM
primlantah: Since I don't want to have this discussion to segue into a brand war, I'll answer briefly:

1. I'm really only familiar with Lee brands--but nearly everyone speaks highly of the Lee Classic Cast Turret. It's well-built 'smart,' so to speak. I'd probably call it a working F350 versus a Mack pickup of some sort, to use your analogy.

As for measures--again, Lee is good value stuff: The Pro version of the Auto-disk works well for me, and I still use the Lee Scale, although others don't care for it.

Here's two links for you to use for research on this Lee Turret, and related accessories.

1. A review (http://www.realguns.com/archives/122.htm) of the Classic Cast Turret and related accessories; and

2. a thread here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=353587) that discusses more gear, with more links.

I suspect that, for many people, learning to use "the next step up" in presses beyond a single stage or a manual turret is the single most time-benefit move they can make in their reloading hobby. The Lee Turrets, with their auto-indexing that can be disabled in 10 seconds, help span the range of press operation and production.

Jim H.

floydster
April 25, 2008, 08:34 PM
What is a 1050?

floydster
April 25, 2008, 08:56 PM
And is it anything like a 1060?

bluetopper
April 25, 2008, 09:07 PM
I hope it's not as complicated as a 1040?:D

I reload in large single-stage batches too on my Lee turret.

taliv
April 25, 2008, 09:14 PM
the 1050 is a press made by dillon.

I have read a lot about it and seen many of you recommend it. I have to admit i really like what i have seen..

i wouldn't go so far as to recommend it. it's not for everyone. when i bought mine years ago, they were several hundred bucks cheaper. don't get me wrong: i love it. but there are more economical options if your volume isn't that high

BigJakeJ1s
April 25, 2008, 11:05 PM
Get the best equipment you can afford, and the pleasure of using it will make the time go by more quickly.

Note that the "best equipment you can afford" is not always "the most expensive equipment you can afford".

Andy

koja48
April 25, 2008, 11:37 PM
Organization, doing things in batches, hand-priming work for me. When I have free time, I'm often performing some reloading or case prep function. If I don't have time to reload, I always have ammo ready to go . . . my goal was to never put myself in a position where I "had to" crank-out needed loads.

Chief-7700
April 26, 2008, 12:22 AM
Reloading time: powder measure full, 5 primer pick up tubes full, casefeed full, bullet tray full= 75 rounds in 5 minutes on a Dillon Xl-650 at a slow pace.
Chief-7700

FM12
April 26, 2008, 12:37 AM
One thing that makes the time go by better is to have equipment that WORKS. Few things in life more frustrating than trying to load and havind a case get stuck, or a tool break, or something get screwed up on your loader. The PITS when that happens.

Also, keep up your inventory. Nothing like trying to do last-minute loading for tomorrows match and run out of primers, bullets, powder, etc.

wcb
April 26, 2008, 01:51 AM
Press wise I agree totally with jenrob, I bought a Hornady Lock-N- Load press and I have to say they sure are going after the Dillon presses and doing a fine job of it. Hornady, I think, still has their 1,000 bullets for the cost of freight $12.00 when I bought, as a rebate for purchasing the press which is a really good deal. At full retail that would make the press only 80.00 with the value of the bullets.

I really like the power trimming suggestion and that Possum Hollow Trimmer is a great looking tool. I think the most valuable tool I have added to the progressive though is the RCBS Lock-Out Die. I'm retired so an extra 100 rounds an hour isn't a goal; keeping my hands intact is. That Lock-Out Die gives a lot of peace of mind and saves a lot of double checking time. It's even worth it for catching those squibs too. My learning curve (before the LO die) was a bit embarrassing at the range.

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=536792

Another recent addition was the Lee Factory Crimp Die; (buy the way 85% of my reloading volume is .45 ACP). I bought it at the advice of an acquaintance for a totally different situation which it didn't help. But having the die screwed into my single stage all set up, one day I decided to do some test firing of Lee Factory Crimped cartridges verses crimped off the Lock-N-Load. My groups went from about 2" to just over an inch with the FCD. SO for competition I will definitely take the extra step for the increase in accuracy.

http://www.midwayusa.com/esearch.exe/search?search_keywords=lee+factory+crimp+die&category_selector=all_products&Click+to+Begin+Search.x=9&Click+to+Begin+Search.y=5

Oh and a little tip for those with primer tubes; take a coat hanger and cut a straight piece that will fit all the way to the bottom of your primer tube with about an extra 2 1/2 inches at the top. Take a piece of tape and wrap it around the coat hanger even with the top of the tube when it's all the way at the bottom (means it's out of primers). Now measure how much more room is left in the tube when 100 primers are loaded in it by measuring the hanger wire and wrap another piece of tape around the wire that will indicate when it is safe to load another 100 primers even though the primer tubs isn't empty yet. this assures you dont run out of primers with just a quick glance at where the tape is as the wire hanger rides the primers down the tube.

Click picture to see it bigger.
http://inlinethumb03.webshots.com/26754/2093387630101870711S425x425Q85.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2093387630101870711ROpMoy)

JollyWhiteGiant
April 27, 2008, 03:17 AM
RCBS 3 way trimer. Saves allot of time and when trying to de-bur by hand a few hundred rounds, saves on hand cramps.

Have everything organised, what you need at hand. find yourself a routine and stick with it, will help to keep you safe as long as you do not get lazy with it.

Write things down! Accurate records on what you are doign and have done will help to avoid allot of head scratching and re figuring. Keep you notes from your work ups as well, (velocity figures and accuracy figures from each charge wieght I always keep at min) never know when you are going to need something there.

VARifleman
April 27, 2008, 04:37 AM
I use a 1/8" brass rod for the primer tube, and I have a zip tie tightened and glued in place for when there are 5 primers left.

I use large Akro type bins made by Stanley that I picked up from Lowe's.

qajaq59
April 27, 2008, 08:30 AM
Also, set up everything before you start.And then clean and put everything away where it belongs when you quit, so you don't have a mess next time.

Master of Arms
April 27, 2008, 08:17 PM
take your time

wcb
April 27, 2008, 08:32 PM
take your time

Exactly:)

I agree totally with equipment that saves time/does it better but I cold care less if I hit the production numbers the manufacturer of my press claims. I'm more interested in quality loads and most important safe loads. There isn't a production number worth losing your hand or killing someone.

donttellthewife
April 27, 2008, 08:55 PM
I speed up the filling of primer tubes by laying out the primers in straight rows on the flip tray before filling the tubes

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip1.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip2.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip2.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip4.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip5.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip6.jpg

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b308/RonsList/primerflip7.jpg

wcb
April 27, 2008, 11:18 PM
I speed up the filling of primer tubes by laying out the primers in straight rows on the flip tray before filling the tubes

I want to know where your buying primers that are all facing the same way in the box? I always have to dump them into a primer tray that turns them right side up, which is no big deal.

jenrob
April 27, 2008, 11:36 PM
Oh and a little tip for those with primer tubes; take a coat hanger and cut a straight piece that will fit all the way to the bottom of your primer tube
I use a 1/8" brass rod for the primer tube
I would advise seriously against this. If you use anything use a wooden dowel or a plasic rod.

A metal wire on top of the primers if the tube of primers blow then the pressure has to push the metal out or blow out the side.

Dillons low primer has a plasic piece so that it is light enough to come out of the tub and still not stick in your head on a recochet off the ceiling.

You can paint the wooden dowel as well.

wcb
April 27, 2008, 11:45 PM
I would advise seriously against this.

I guess I like to live dangerously; heck I've been known to punch out live primers; quite frequently. Honest, they aren't that sensitive; a coat hanger resting on one wont make it go off anymore than dripping a loaded cartridge will.

zxcvbob
April 27, 2008, 11:50 PM
a coat hanger resting on one wont make it go off anymore than dripping a loaded cartridge will.


That's not the concern; primers do sometimes go off in the tube, and you have a metal rod sitting on top... where do you think it's going to go?

(I have a brass rod on top of my primers, but I understand what jenrob was saying. There's also a pretty substantial blast shield around the primer feed tube)

wcb
April 27, 2008, 11:59 PM
That's not the concern; primers do sometimes go off in the tube, and you have a metal rod sitting on top... where do you think it's going to go?

:what:How the heck does a primer go off in a primer tube?:what: You're starting to make me wonder if my gun will spontaneously go off in the middle of the night killing me.:uhoh:

I guess I'm safe on the loader though, the coat hanger will exit the muzzle of the primer tube and stick in my ceiling. This will all take place above my head.:neener: LOL

Honestly if I thought there was any reasonable possibility of a primer going off in a primer tube; I would not be doing any reloading since there is as much as 20# of gun powder in the vicinity of the press.

donttellthewife
April 28, 2008, 01:13 AM
I want to know where your buying primers that are all facing the same way in the box? I always have to dump them into a primer tray that turns them right side up, which is no big deal.

The vast majority of small primers are positioned correctly for this to work. Even when they are not, when fliping them in the factory trays they end up on their sides and it easy to tip them in the right direction before going to the metal flip tray. I load 15 primer tubes at a time so saving 3 minutes a tube adds up. Large primers and Wolf brand primers seem to always be positioned correctly or I am just lucky.

I think it's just fine that you use a metal follow rod down your primer tube, and most experianced reloaders can make up their own minds. For novice loaders that is just not the thing to do and most press instuctions would agree not to do that.

zxcvbob
April 28, 2008, 01:24 AM
How the heck does a primer go off in a primer tube? More likely the primer goes off when you are seating it and it somehow got turned sideways or something. Then that primer sets off the one at the bottom of the feeder tube, then they all go. (it's not something I really worry about, but I do always keep the steel blast shield in place.)
You're starting to make me wonder if my gun will spontaneously go off in the middle of the night killing me. That's why you always keep it pointed in a safe direction, right? ;)

jenrob
April 28, 2008, 01:29 AM
http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=47621

Here is a link of a primer tube blown up. Lucky no one was hurt. The blast was contained in the steel sheild tube. Add the weight of a steel rod on top and the steel tube might also blow out.

I'm not worried about a single primer going off cause I also decap live primers. but add 20, 50 or even 100 primers going off at one time confined in a tube by a steel rod at face level.

Honestly if I thought there was any reasonable possibility of a primer going off in a primer tube; I would not be doing any reloading

Guess you better stop reloading cause now it has been shown that it can happen.

evan price
April 28, 2008, 02:24 AM
primlantah:

Hand priming off the progressive would probably not wind up saving you any time- because you would have to decap and resize before you primed- that is half of the job of the progressive right there.

wcb
April 28, 2008, 10:55 AM
So everybody doesn't have to join another forum to see the photo:

http://inlinethumb41.webshots.com/39528/2389821240101870711S425x425Q85.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2389821240101870711JMcbza)

Guess you better stop reloading cause now it has been shown that it can happen.

Don't forget I said "reasonable possibility of a primer going off" there are inherent risks in everything we do in life so when someone engages in reloading ammunition using explosives, the utmost care and attention must be practiced no matter of you're a newbie or consider yourself an expert. In over 35 years I haven't had a primer tube explode and still dont expect one. I will put this on my list of be careful possibilities and may be a little more suspicious of malfunctions when they happen.

Eb1
April 28, 2008, 10:59 AM
When I work up loads at the range. I use a Country Time Lemon Aid container (the one you can use the lid to measure with) to carry my powder.

Pour from the keg into the container. When I start to load, I use the lid as my loading can. When done I pour contents of the lid back into the Country Time container, bring home, and pour back into the keg, or leave it for the next time. labeled appropriately of course.

Of course I have washed and dried the original contents of the container first.

primlantah
April 28, 2008, 02:33 PM
primlantah:

Hand priming off the progressive would probably not wind up saving you any time- because you would have to decap and resize before you primed- that is half of the job of the progressive right there.

thanks for the tip. something about autopriming devices makes me a little uneasy... perhaps its just a newbish feeling but i like to feel with my fingers when its right.

feets
April 28, 2008, 04:18 PM
It's easy for me to find primers facing the same way in the pad.

What's hard is for me to not DROP THE STINKING THING at the store.
Bass Pro Shops sells primers by the pad. When you drop the pad, you get to chase primers all over the store.

wcb
April 28, 2008, 04:25 PM
something about autopriming devices makes me a little uneasy... perhaps its just a newbish feeling but i like to feel with my fingers when its right.

I dont know what you use to "auto prime" but with my progressive, I can feel a primer being inserted and it's a pretty hefty press. You just need to learn to feel it going in.

donttellthewife
April 28, 2008, 11:04 PM
Before starting a run on a progressive press I decap and size a couple cases, decap size and prime a couple also, set them next to the press. If any thing goes wrong in the first two stations I just replace the cases with the ones set aside. Sometimes I'll come across a case that is berdan, crushed, crimped primer, crush a primer, ect.. By replacing the case it keeps everything running smoothly.


Even priming on a Dillon 650 I can feel if the primer didn't seat correctly, priming off a progressive press would kind of defeat the purpose of using it.

jmorris
May 6, 2008, 10:19 AM
process and reload in bulk. just remember to stop and check the finished product every so often.

The Bushmaster
May 6, 2008, 10:46 AM
I use a Lee Auto Prime II mounted on a Lee single stage press. When the lever is up a primer slides onto the priming punch. As the lever is pulled downward the primer is raised above the feed shute and out of harms way. I see no way for a primer being seated going off and setting the rest of the primers in the shute and tray off...I must have a better priming system the the rest of you. Over 20 years and I haven't set one off using this system let alone the whole tray...I also pay attention to what I'm doing and I believe this has contributed to the above record. I'm not in that much of a hurry in the first place...I always remember that I'm playing with explosives...

wcb
May 6, 2008, 11:26 AM
Bushmaster,

Your single stage press is your Ace of trump for safety; it's more progressive presses that have the one in 10 million chance of a primer tube explosion. Though I have a Hornady Lock-N-Load progressive and cant for the life of me see how that could happen based on the design of their feed system. It must be more of a risk on Dillon's or some of the others. I cant for the life of me see how more that one could go off in mine and that's almost impossible. None the less I treat every aspect with due respect as you do.

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