Rounds per hour.


March 9, 2010, 08:54 AM
I see some pretty fantastic claims of hundreds of rounds per hour. On a full fledged progressive press I believe some of them. However when I see a claim of 200 round per hour on a single stage that raises my eyebrows.

I simply do not see how a person can resize the shell, trim the shell, prime the shell, charge the shell, reset the die for the seating die (or even minus this step with a quick change set up), seat the bullets into the shell, measure the COAL of the shells and still crank out 200 rounds and hour on a single stage. I wholly believe a person when he says "I can only do 50 per hour." Much more than that has me wondering.

What steps are you leaving out, or what are you doing to make you so fast? Because I sure do not see how it's possible. If I could do half that I wouldn't even be entertaining the thought of buying a turret press.

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March 9, 2010, 09:46 AM
Makes a difference what press you have.....single stage, single stage turret, progressive, progressive w/auto indexing. Add to that other time saving features like power case and bullet feeders. Then there's the priming step...half dozen ways to do that and save time.

I think some people skip steps, some take the anal perfection approach....and everything in between. Some claims may be using pre-primed brass.

March 9, 2010, 09:47 AM
On the right press, 200 per hour is a cake walk...including trimming and swaging primer pockets, if required. Loading handgun ammo, 500 is not difficult to achieve.

I've never timed myself on a SS, but including prep, 50 sounds like a good average.

March 9, 2010, 09:55 AM
With good experience & confidence in one's self you can produce ammo quickly on a manuel turret press, numbers will vary. I've done 100 45 colt in 40 minutes taking my time on a lyman t-mag turret, mind you there was no set-up time and I have been loading for 35 yrs, since 7yrs old.

March 9, 2010, 10:29 AM
I can load 200 rounds in 7 minutes, 14 minutes if you count trimming.

It takes a lot longer on my turret and single stage presses but I'm not running through 100's of the rounds I load on them a week so it doesn't matter. Also the speed of set up for just a few rounds at a time makes them the only logical choice.

March 9, 2010, 12:13 PM
Single stage rounds per hour claims are totally as legitimate as the size of that Northern that got away. - lol

So I legitimately claim 50 per hour on my single stage, 150-200 per hour on my turret.

That said, I reload for the fun, relaxation and economy of it all. I don't shoot enough to be in any kind of rush to get done or crank out massive numbers....that sounds more like work than a hobby - lol

March 9, 2010, 12:44 PM
I have several Dillon presses and loading handgun which does not get trimmed not primer pocket swaged I can comfortable load 800 per hour as long as I have components handy and primer tubes preloaded. I usually keep 10 tubes loaded at 100 primers per tube and just pull one and replace it. I don't count the time loading the primer tubes in the 800 count.

March 9, 2010, 01:10 PM
It seems to me that you must include the time spent loading primer tubes in your calculations; also, a smaller time for loading/unloading the tumbelr. How about the time you spend loading the bullet tray and carrying away finished ammunition? You check the powder weight occasionally, don't you?

The dillon 650 owners tend to quote a "sprint rate", which is the munber of times they can pull the lever in one minute, multiplied by 60. That's not at all realistic; but the numbers they quote (800 - 1000 cartridges per hour) sound very impressive. No slur intended against the 650 owners; I'm one of them.

I know from personal experience that an evening spent reloading will necessarily include a couple of rest periods, and maybe a phone call or two; should that time be used in determining the true hourly rate? I think so.

Imagine the driver who always drives at 70 mph on the Interstate: Is he going to claim that he can make a 2000 mile trip in less than 29 hours? If so, we might have the basis for a small wager...;)

March 9, 2010, 01:38 PM
The dillon 650 owners tend to quote a "sprint rate", which is the munber of times they can pull the lever in one minute, multiplied by 60. That's not at all realistic; but the numbers they quote (800 - 1000 cartridges per hour) sound very impressive. No slur intended against the 650 owners; I'm one of them.

The cyclic versus production rate discussion comes up quite often. My cyclic rate is 17 rounds per minute on a 650. I had never timed my production rate until a few weeks ago. I load .45ACP in 500 round batches (cause that's what the containers I use hold). From the time I opened the powder locker until I closed it was 57 minutes. That included loading tubes, replenishing the bullet tray and powder measure, dumping the loaded cartridge bin and pulling out the step ladder and clearing the casefeed (.22 case found it's way in).

I was surprised to see a claim of 900 RPH from a Lee 1000. Maybe I should trade.

March 9, 2010, 01:38 PM
I always prep my brass so by the time I start to load the brass has been deprimed, primer pocket cleaned and brass polished. On my Dillon 550 I probably average a comfortable pace of one round per every 10 seconds once the stations are all loaded. I have 5 primer tubes so I have those filled and ready.

The fastest I have probably ever loaded was one every 5 seconds. I had a deadline, a friend was coming to pick me up so we could go to the range and I wanted to try out some new bullets.

March 9, 2010, 03:04 PM
I was talking about single stage, not the other types.

But at least I'm on the same page as you guys. I include the entire process when counting rounds per hour. Triming, priming, charging, etc. Not just seating bullets.

I guess I'm the type to include my ride to the airport and the wait time at the airport and the ride to where I was going as part of the travel time whereas many only include the flight itself.

March 9, 2010, 03:10 PM
I average 600+ rounds an hour using Lee Pro 1000, sized/primed cases, case collator and case feeder. I place the bullet with my left hand while I work the ram lever with my right hand. Using sized/primed cases significantly decrease the effort needed to actuate the ram lever (2-3 fingers) and increase the speed.

On good days, I have done 900+ rounds an hour, but my average is around 600+.

Yes, if you factor in time spent depriming/sizing and hand priming the cases, the actual round count would decrease. I did not include case sorting and tumbling time because we all do that regardless of the press we use.

Oops GMFWoodchuck, I guess you posted while I was writing. I can recalculate to include the other reloading process times and post the "real total" rounds per hour.

March 9, 2010, 03:33 PM
It seems to me that you must include the time spent loading primer tubes in your calculations; also, a smaller time for loading/unloading the tumbelr. How about the time you spend loading the bullet tray and carrying away finished ammunition? You check the powder weight occasionally, don't you?

I agree, but I have a primer tube filler that works while I am loading, I load around 33 rounds while it fills a primer tube with 100 primers. I dump a few hundred bullets in the feeder every few primer tubes same for cases in the case feeder (I use specific cups for different calibers to save time). I have a powder check die that checks powder weight for every charge for over/under charge. I also have machines that sort and roll size the brass for me that save a ton of time. So “sprint” rate is the rate I load at. If I had to count all of the time it took to build or earn money to pay for equipment and research/load development, I load around 4 rounds an hour. If we want to include everything, I guess we have to count those too.

As for single stage “bench rest” loading I can produce 50 in under two hours on the first prep.

March 9, 2010, 03:56 PM
Post from above"
"I was talking about single stage, not the other types."

Woodchuck, I think you made this quite clear in your opening post, but as often happens, there are always people eager to start sharing their unlimited knowledge without even bothering to read or understand the question. And I agree with your thoughs about speed with a single stage press. Do the math: 3600 seconds in an hour, so how many seconds does that allow per loaded round? Including, lubing, resizing, primer seating, powder charging and bullet seating for 200 rounds, not to mention time for changing dies and other details.

Jesse Heywood
March 9, 2010, 04:05 PM
I'm an old slowpoke. 30 or so on a single. 45-50 on a turret. And that's with straight-wall handgun rounds.

March 9, 2010, 04:14 PM
OP also mentioned progressives.

Some folks have to find offense wherever they can.

March 9, 2010, 09:00 PM
I can recalculate to include the other reloading process times and post the "real total" rounds per hour.

OK, so I did some calculating and this is what I got for how many rounds I can "actually" load factoring in the case sorting/depriming-sizing/hand priming/case flaring-powder charging/bullet seating processes for Lee Pro 1000 (I didn't add case tumbling time because tumbling can be done while I perform other reloading steps):

Time to sort 10 cases - 15 seconds
Time to deprime/size 10 cases - 25 seconds (faster if you use the case feeder/collator)
Time to hand prime 10 cases - 25 seconds
Time to complete 10 ram lever cycles - 25 seconds

So, it takes 90 seconds to reload ten rounds or about 400 rounds start to finish (about 450 rounds if you use the case feeder/collator for deprime/size step).

But, since I deprime/size and hand prime while watching TV; if you subtract these times you get about 900 rounds per hour. :D

Anyways, I love reloading! It's very calming and therapeutic for me. Some days, I wonder if I shoot just so I can process/reload???

Bass Ackwardz
March 9, 2010, 09:11 PM
On my single stage, not counting tumbling, I can load 70 per hour comfortably. That is rounds for pistol. Rifle is about 50 rounds per hour.


March 9, 2010, 09:21 PM
Wonder how long it takes to measure each rounds's OAL like the OP does.?

I too am chronologically old. Not counting washing and sorting the range brass, depriming and sizing and tumbling; I crank out about 75 rounds/hour on my auto index Lee Turret press. This includes: visually seeing the powder level in every case, measuring every OAL and puting them in 100rd plastic boxes or 50rd used Win White Boxes and re-labelling the box when needed.

I take my time and try to keep 700-1000 rounds ahead of my shooting.

March 9, 2010, 09:36 PM
I'm pretty darn methodical about my reloading, and in the hobby for accuracy, not so much anything else. 50 an hour, single stage, .45 ACP is about my average.

March 9, 2010, 09:50 PM
I used to do some serious sessions but now, It really depends...

Using a single stage and including brass all brass prep:

Rifle -

I have sometimes taken over an hour just to prep brass for 20 pcs. Last 300 WBY I made turned out fabamundo. Looked so good, I almost didn't want to fire it off but that is what ammo is made for.

sometimes I'll make a string of 5 or 10 from start to finish for a few nights doing maybe 1-3 strings per evening and then fire them with the chrony that weekend.

Sometimes I will do a batch of 100 1 step at a time, taking a couple of nights to finish.

I somtimes will only prep brass to the point of priming and wait (who knows for what) to charge and seat pill.

Pistol -

I dont really do pistol on single stage anymore unless I just assemble for the enjoyment of it. Last time around, about 50-100 or so per hour. If I use a single stage to handload pistol, I'm not trying to race.

Can you believe it, I have an assortment of blue, green and red presses and sometimes, I'll break out the Lee Loader.
Call me pathetic...


March 9, 2010, 09:52 PM
I don't know about 100 rounds an hour, but if you do a 'poor man's progressive' where you line up several single stage presses, I think you could hit 75 or so without too much trouble.

3 presses and a powder thrower- I think it could be done. your arm would be tired though. touching each piece of brass at least 4 times.

March 9, 2010, 10:51 PM
I just do rifle, for varmint shooting and a little paper, but I'm still pretty meticulous about doing everything the same.

I've never timed myself, but I can load up a batch of 100 or 200 pretty quick. However, at that point it is just prime, charge and seat the bullet. Easy, and quick even on a single stage.

The hard (and SLOOWWWW) part is case prep. Size, then trim, chamfer, deburr, ream primer pocket, uniform primer pocket, etc... then tumble. Once all that is finally done, the rest of the loading is fun and easy.

March 9, 2010, 11:04 PM
However when I see a claim of 200 round per hour on a single stage that raises my eyebrows
Please, I could do 200 rounds per hour on a single stage easy, we're talking rifle cases, lubed, trimmed, charges weighed individually, and tumbled with one hand tied behind my back:)

Kidding. Yeah I'd call BS on that too. I can do 200+ per hour on my turret press if I'm cruising. Usually it's more like 150-200 at a normal pace. Also that's only for short, straight cased pistol ammo like 9mm or 45acp. For 38/357 I look into every case to make sure powder got dropped, so it takes longer. 150/hr if I'm lucky. So, regarding the above claim, it is my professional opinion that 200rounds/hour out of a single stage press is malarky.

March 11, 2010, 07:44 AM
Those numbers all make sense. I was just wondering because every now and then I'll see a thread in which somebody makes the comment that he can do 150-200 rounds perhour on his single stage. A recent thread, in fact, somebody did that. I don't remember exactly which one it was.But a person said they were doing 50 or so an hour. And then someone berated him for being so slow. And it wasn't the only time I've seen that happen either, here and other forums.

Offhand, yes I know that people were giving me their input. However, not having a turret or a progressive makes it a little hard for me to judge those numbers in reference to a single stage. I guess 200-400 an hour makes sense. But I don't really know. That's why I was restating my point.

BDS, thanks for your carefully calculations as that what I was really looking for. The total time invested per round. I will take that into consideration in the future for a possible purchase.

March 11, 2010, 07:55 AM
Dillon 550, I can do 500 an hour of 9mm or 45ACP but that is just totally banging away, all spare primer tubes all loaded, brass and bullets at the ready and ho hiccups.
Rifle takes much longer cause I'm really fussy about rifle.

March 11, 2010, 08:32 AM
I must just be slow. I barely average 20 rifle rounds per hour if I include everything. There is just too much to go wrong if I hurry, and I am in no hurry to do it. Clean brass, inspect brass for issues, deprime, size, check length, trim if necessary, remove burrs from trim operation, prime, review load data, check and re-check powder charges, charge cases, check charged cases with a flashlight, swap dies, seat bullet, etc.

I am happy if I get a full box of ammo every hour. If I am working up a load, my time for twenty rounds may be closer to ninety minutes.

March 11, 2010, 09:39 AM
Last night I started with a box of fifty fired .38 spl rounds. I got everyghing out and set up, deprimed and sized, hand primed, reloaded them, and put everything away in 50 minutes (60 rounds per hour). That is with weighing every tenth charge. I don't trim my .38 reloads.

I imagine I could get a bit quicker if I did a larger quantity to cut down on die changes, set up, and take down. I don't think a pace of much more than 70-80 rounds per hour would be very sustainable on my single stage press (Lee Challenger), at least not for me.

March 11, 2010, 09:51 AM
Pokey here too, if I start the clock, change my turret, load the hopper, find my charge weight for my Auto Disk, adjust my bullet seating depth, load up my Safety Prime, and start pulling the handle of my Lee Classic Turret I get about 50 rounds done in 40 minutes. I check my charges every 10th round or so. It also takes a bit longer if I load up lead bullets because I wipe the lube off them when I'm done.

It's my time to myself when I'm belly up to the bench, I enjoy it, and I make sure the rounds are safe.

March 11, 2010, 09:52 AM
I've used--and have--all three types of presses: SS, (Lee) Turret, and Progressive. Over the years, I've sorted out my bench so that most items are at hand and the presses do not need setup. Powder measures may need to be filled, and final seating / crimping tweaks may need to be done if I am changing bullets. Caliber changes with the Lee Turret setups are quick and easy. So--once I have components at hand, and ready -to-go with extra primer trays filled--and bins in place, I have found that

1. SS: 50 rph to be a typical output for batch / rifle cartridges.

2. Turret / Auto index: 180-200 rph.

3. (Lee Load-Master): 420 rph.

These are sustained measurements--e.g., what's produced in one hour (or more), not cyclic tests.

As I age, I find that the Turret reloading bothers my sore shoulder, with its 4-strokes per cartridge cycle. The Load-Master's effort is no greater--but the additional concentration required for monitoring five stations working at once is fatiguing. When I was younger, I'd run 500-550 rph on a Pro 1000, and on the Load-Master I've run 700 rph when the components were super-organized.

Jim H.

March 11, 2010, 09:57 AM
I load pistol rounds on a Lyman Spar T turret with an auto primer feed and the powder measure on the press between the expander and seater. I load each case to completion by turning the turret. I can comfortably load 150-175 per hour including time to fill primer tube. I also load on 2 CH Auto Champs and 400 per hour is the norm filling case and primer tubes. A "sprint" rate on the CH with primer tube and case tubes full would be more like 600-700 per hour but I don't have enough case or primer tubes, nor the will to do it.

March 11, 2010, 10:05 AM
My Deluxe turret with auto index I can do 150-200rph. My Loadmaster I timed myself at 450rph (.38 special). That was stopping to put them in the plastic cases with 10 minutes to spare, so if you don't count that it could have gone 500-550.

March 11, 2010, 10:05 AM
I must be slower than average. I load about 150-175 9MM an hour on my old Lee Turret, and that's using pre-primed brass. I also don't use the auto index feature. I drop about 10 charges, seat 10 bullets, crimp 10. Repeat. I'm in no hurry though.

Rollis R. Karvellis
March 11, 2010, 01:10 PM
I primed about 1000 case's on my 650 in about an hour once it had been preped earlyer in the decade. Usaly once I, stumble onto a load I'll get everything set up and try to averige about 1-200 rounds an hour. The main reason for the 650 is to have every thing done at once when I, know what my recipe is.

March 11, 2010, 01:26 PM
With my single stage I like to run bigger batches, usually at least 200 at a time. (I need more loading blocks so I can do even bigger batches.) Everything included I'm coming up with about 40-45 rounds per hour. I get into a good rhythm but don't like to rush things.

March 11, 2010, 06:14 PM
If I don't count brass pre-prep I can easily hand prime, charge and seat 200 + rph of say 45 ACP or 44 mag on a single stage press. I use 4 60 round loading blocks, complete each process with all rounds before going to next step and toss the finished rounds in a bin for later sorting. Add case prep and the batches get waaay smaller

March 11, 2010, 11:22 PM
I have never timed myself, and I do it a little different anyway. I'll run 1k or more through and deprime/resize at once, then run them through the tumbler, then hand prime maybe a day or so later. When it is time to load, all I have to do is dump powder and seat a bullet. Depending on the mood I'll either use a Lee Reloader press or the Loadmonster.

Maybe I'll time myself this weekend and load some up just to see how long it takes.

(I need more loading blocks so I can do even bigger batches.)
Hmmmmm, yes you do. :evil: Let me know if I can do anything for you about that shortcoming.

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