Reloading at the Range


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9X23WIN
February 9, 2011, 08:48 AM
I'm thinking of buying a portable loading press for range use only. Maybe a Lee hand press or a standard any brand "O" press. I'm trying to save time and trips to the range by reloading the fired empties when doing load development. Looking at possibly loading no more than 20 rounds per session. Any range loaders here? If so, please comment on your experience.

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WNTFW
February 9, 2011, 09:19 AM
It is something I plan on doing. my method would be to do everything I can at home. Then only have to drop powder and seat at range. A small box to keep wind off of scale seems to be the common denominator. Some guys premeasure powder charges at home. I don't see me doing that.
I want to be able do load at several remote (non-range) locations and figured a trailer hitch setup would be good. But for seating only that is overkill. I haven't ruled out having the option to size.
I want the press to be able to go from home to range & back, ideally using the same set up to mount to bench at home. I also don't want the setup to be tied to one vehicle.
Mainly I am going over things in my head so as not to overbuild of underbuild the setup. I know getting it dead on the first time is not likely.

Mustang02
February 9, 2011, 09:20 AM
I'd be afraid of getting distracted. I reload with zero distractions around me.

243winxb
February 9, 2011, 09:27 AM
People will annoy/bother you while loading, not good if you double charge a case. The scale needs a wind deflector. Works OK. I was using this Old Lee tool, many years ago. Not very hi-tec compaired to Bench Rest shooters of today. :D http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_LeeLoader_20090208_001.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/?action=view&current=LeeLoader_20090208_001.jpg)

jmorris
February 9, 2011, 09:46 AM
I built a mount that fits into a standard 2" hitch to mount a press. Makes working up loads a quick process.

I use a clear cake pan lid to shield the scale from wind.


http://i664.photobucket.com/albums/vv5/qvideo/gn/3533895716_0a7f11a958.jpg

Blackrock
February 9, 2011, 11:08 AM
I have done this a couple times by taking 50 pieces of already prepped and primed brass along with bullets, powders, scale and my small Lee press mounted to a piece of 3/4" plywood and some C' clamps.

Used to be an old man now deceased who had an old van bodied school bus he converted into a mobile Armory who would show up at the local city range and he had a complete reloading setup in there along with a LOT of guns. Crusty old bastard but I watched him take on a younger guy one day and help him with a .308 rifle that wasn't performing. All said and done the old man chucked in some dies, grabbed some brass and loaded a few rounds for this guy to help him out. He supplied the primers, powder and bullets and spent a lot of time.

jcwit
February 9, 2011, 11:32 AM
People will annoy/bother you while loading, not good if you double charge a case. The scale needs a wind deflector. Works OK. I was using this Old Lee tool, many years ago. Not very hi-tec compaired to Bench Rest shooters of today.
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I currently use a set up like this with a Sinclar Arbor Press. Very similar to Wilson dies and allowes me to shoot one hole groups under a 1/4 inch at a 100 yds, using a .223.

9X23WIN
February 9, 2011, 11:44 AM
I was concerned about the possibility of distractions. But if I plan to load there, I would set up at the farthest end of the firing line away from other shooters.
I don't own a vehicle with a trailer hitch but like the idea of reloading at the shooting bench. A couple of C-clamps would probably be sufficient to hold the press. Rubbermaid container with all the reloading gear and components can be easily carted from the vehicle into the line.
The bottom line for the guys who have done it...was it worth the effort? Did it help you get the results you were looking for?

mcdonl
February 9, 2011, 11:52 AM
I dont worry about distractions.

What was I posting about? Oh yeah... I remember...

I used to bring my classic handloader with me to work up loads. It does the job and does not require a press.

ChefJeff1
February 9, 2011, 12:01 PM
If I were to do it, I would do all the case prep at home. I'd use the Lee loader just to seat and crimp the bullet. This allows you to use different charge weights and different OAL's with minimal cost and set-up. Don't forget your calipers. Hmmm, I might have to give this a try. Those loaders are cool, and it would save a lot of driving. Plus, your barrel could cool down while you load the next batch.

jcwit
February 9, 2011, 02:53 PM
Is/was it worth it? OOOOOOoooooooooooh ya!

mbruce
February 9, 2011, 03:25 PM
I currently use a set up like this with a Sinclar Arbor Press. Very similar to Wilson dies and allowes me to shoot one hole groups under a 1/4 inch at a 100 yds, using a .223.

I don't shoot rifles so I wouldn't know...but i didn't even know that was possible...for a quick thread hijack...what's the smallest group you've seen/had at a 100yds w the .223?

BigJakeJ1s
February 9, 2011, 03:53 PM
Take a look at the Huntington Compac hand press. I attached a small circular base to mine, so it will stand up on its own, without having to bolt or clamp it down (though you could if desired). The opposing handles work against each other, not the bench. Uses standard dies.

Andy

General Tso
February 9, 2011, 05:03 PM
Possum Hollow make one. Saw it in the new Cabelas shooting catalog


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Asherdan
February 9, 2011, 05:09 PM
I use a Lee hand press. I bring 50 or so cases prepped for dropping powder and seating bullets. I use an old shoebox (no lid) as a wind deflector. Set the box on its side, put the scale in it and position the box.

For rifle, I'll take a set of cartridges loaded in whatever progression I'm working on and then use the at range loading to hone in on promising loads.

I use public a public range in California, so the chrony and the loading gear usually gets some people looking. Most times I get left alone while I'm working but have a few conversations during a line break or other down time. I don't mind talking to interested people, it's another way to enjoy and maybe grow our sport.

k4swb
February 9, 2011, 05:36 PM
if you have a GOOD powder measure and are familiar with how it throws the powder(s) you plan to use you don't need the scale at the range. Not all measures are this good.

jcwit
February 9, 2011, 06:46 PM
I currently use a set up like this with a Sinclar Arbor Press. Very similar to Wilson dies and allowes me to shoot one hole groups under a 1/4 inch at a 100 yds, using a .223.

I don't shoot rifles so I wouldn't know...but i didn't even know that was possible...for a quick thread hijack...what's the smallest group you've seen/had at a 100yds w the .223?

Weeeel, I guess my memory isn't quite as good as it should be, should have said .300 or under. But I do have 1 (one) target that measures .254, shot at 100 yds. One thing to remember is shooting for group is one thing, shooting for score is a whole different animal, and IMO much harder.

You-all should hear about my fishing expeditions.

Thanks mburce for keeping me honest. Had to go dig out some of my targets from years past. Don't do near as much shooting as I used to.

Regarding using the Lee Loader kit is like using a set of Wilson dies, its the same principal and only neck sizes, which is fine for a bolt action.

243winxb
February 10, 2011, 09:51 AM
The bottom line for the guys who have done it...was it worth the effort? Did it help you get the results you were looking for? Yes, its worth it if you have lots of free time and you can spent the whole day testing. The rifle range had a heated inclosed firing point. Great for in the dead of winter.

mbruce
February 10, 2011, 10:46 AM
Weeeel, I guess my memory isn't quite as good as it should be, should have said .300 or under. But I do have 1 (one) target that measures .254, shot at 100 yds. One thing to remember is shooting for group is one thing, shooting for score is a whole different animal, and IMO much harder.

You-all should hear about my fishing expeditions.

Thanks mburce for keeping me honest. Had to go dig out some of my targets from years past. Don't do near as much shooting as I used to.

Regarding using the Lee Loader kit is like using a set of Wilson dies, its the same principal and only neck sizes, which is fine for a bolt action.
Oh I wasn't calling you out -- I was just curious because that sounded pretty cool and then wondered how good do groups actually get...

788Ham
February 10, 2011, 11:53 AM
I don't think I'll be taking my loading press with me to the range, too active to bother with this. I only live about 3 miles from the range, if I'm working a load up, I'll take what I need to get done for that session, it isn't that big of a deal for me to rectify any changes needed, then go back. I do this for fun, like to shoot as well as the next guy, but to drag all of my stuff up there so I can...... never mind, I won't be doing it.

kingmt
February 10, 2011, 08:21 PM
I have a small digital scale I place the brass on it & tear, fill a powder tray with what seems to be close, then fill the brass to just shy of the load I want, & trickle from there. Using the brass as the powder tray a breeze won't affect it a wind will. I have a 1"x6"x20" board that I can switch between my 2 presses in no time & take them everywhere. 2 clamps are used to hold the board to the table but 1 would be just as good. I have a tote I carry everything in. I had a guy ask me today "you carry 8#'s of powder with you?". I said "why do you need some?".

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