Finally got to do a "batch" reload


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scythefwd
September 18, 2011, 05:35 PM
I just did a run of 42 rounds (I don't keep much empty brass around) to see how long it would take me to process using a batch method vs. each individual round.

I weigh every 5 rounds... next time I'll do every 10 rounds or whenever something feels a little off.

Throws measured were all 42.9 or 43 grains. Took me less than a run of the dishwasher to get it all set. At the rate I was going, 120 rounds per hour on a single stage as long as it's already primed.

Probably not the most accurate for my rifle (about 1.5 moa which is good enough for hunting), but I'm not looking for hair off a gnats rump accuracy.

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FROGO207
September 18, 2011, 10:09 PM
I find that it is WAY more efficient to batch load when using a single stage press. I will do all the case prep/priming at an earlier time and store them in Zip Loc bags till I can load em up. I don't weigh the charges but once every 50 rounds as I am confident that my measure will perform correctly from previous experience. I do check the propellant level in each casing when the block is full before seating any bullets as a double check of correct level. YMMV

scythefwd
September 18, 2011, 10:43 PM
Frogo - I'm very confident that my PM will throw with a variation of .1 gr, I'm still checking more frequently as sometimes it doesn't feel like it cut any powder at all and from experience those tend to be a tad lighter than I want my variance to be.

Lost Sheep
September 18, 2011, 11:52 PM
I find that it is WAY more efficient to batch load when using a single stage press. I will do all the case prep/priming at an earlier time and store them in Zip Loc bags till I can load em up. I don't weigh the charges but once every 50 rounds as I am confident that my measure will perform correctly from previous experience. I do check the propellant level in each casing when the block is full before seating any bullets as a double check of correct level. YMMV
"WAY" is a nebulous measure. "Efficient" is a term that needs defining.

I appreciate what you are trying to do, compare batch processing with continuous processing. It is something I have done for 35 years, but with limited equipment, I have not been able to really make valid quantifications.

The comparison I would think valid would (to my mind) have to include priming and probably case-length uniforming if you consider that an every-time part of reloading.

If your batch processing involves measuring one in five or one in twenty powder charges, you should do both methods the same way.

When measuring "efficiency" you are measuring output per unit of input like miles per gallon, rounds per hour, or amount of accuracy per hour or something, but you really have to specify what you are measuring, and to have some assurance that all other things (than the two variables) are held constant. Like consistency of rounds or safety factors (these things sometimes go "off" in continuous processing as the operator speeds up) have to be kept equal between the two methods. Hard to do, sometimes.

So, keep up the effort, but please be specific and rigorous.

I look forward to reading your posts in the future.

Lost Sheep

Twmaster
September 19, 2011, 01:59 AM
I read his post as 'more rounds in a given amount of time'. I too do mine in batches with a single stage Lee press. I too seem to run about 100 to 150 per hour if I'm starting with prepared/primed cases.

It's not unheard of for me to wind up and load 350 rounds in an evening.

scythefwd
September 19, 2011, 04:57 AM
Lostsheep, symantecs aside... I was able to get more rounds done in a lot less time working in batches of 40 than it was when I was doing load workup (batches of 5). It took me over two hours before because I was measuring every powder charge and working with very small amounts of brass. I was also fussing with my PM every few rounds as well.

I've learned that it takes me about a minute to decap 10 rounds. I can charge 4-5 rounds a minute. I can seat them just about as quickly. ON the other hand... trimming takes for freaking ever (doing it by hand).

I also didn't have the confidence in my PM before. I've gotten it sorted out now. Weighing every charge for 30 throws one day I was kicking out .1 variance total (like I listed above... 42.9 and 43) vs. .1 from my intended weight (intended throw 43... throwing 42.9 and 43.1).

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 19, 2011, 06:06 AM
Good work!
You will find yourself getting more proficient at it over time. I never bothered to measure just how many I can load in a given amount of time using the batch method, as reloading to me is a hobby that I enjoy. I do have to be in an "un-hurried-mood" when I am reloading. I have never been under pressure in over 30 years of reloading to get so many done or even to get them done by such-and-such a time or done in time to make it to the range one more time for the day.

When I used to run a progressive press, once the cases were all prepped with primers removed, cases trimmed and chamfered and primer pockets cleaned, I could crank out one round every six seconds, which equates to 600 rounds per hour. Many evenings I cranked out 600 per hour, as a relative and I would go through them all the next evening in a private basement range. The rounds were .44 Magnum, IIRC.

scythefwd
September 19, 2011, 06:50 AM
Friendly..
Every second I'm reloading, I'm not with my family. I'm not rushing, but I do like to know that I can run a couple of boxes without missing anything but the first half of the movie they are watching.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 19, 2011, 07:27 AM
I understand.
I don't have kids, so I am not really ever missing anything.

I would prefer to have kids, but it just didn't work out that way.

FROGO207
September 19, 2011, 11:07 PM
Lost sheep I will quantify what you think you need.;) If I load single rounds all evening I will end up with a 30 cal ammo box of ammo loaded. If I do it with the batch method I will end up with a full 50 cal ammo can loaded in the same time. This is with all cases ready to load and primed and we are talking 45 ACP as an example. I spend the winter months processing brass, loading, and storing. I spend the warm months shooting without guilt.:D I have at least two 5 gallon buckets of brass for each caliber I shoot any amount of at all. For the 9MM and 45 ACP I have 4 buckets each so I can feed the MAC 10 and MP40 for the summer.:) YMMV

Lost Sheep
September 20, 2011, 01:31 AM
I am just trying to make a level measuring field. If I start with my own brass, picked up from my range session, I ask myself how long it takes to turn 500 used cases into 500 ready-to shoot rounds.

Tumbling the fired cases clean is the same for either method, so I start the clock after sifting the tumbling media from the brass

Starting with primed cases cuts a lot of time from the batch process, but very little from continuous processing. The biggest savings of time between the two processes is that you don't have to remove and insert the cases from and into the shell holder so many times. Batch priming before starting either process gives the batch mode a generous handicap advantage.

By my observations of my own throughput, I can process 50-75 rounds per hour in batch and 120-150 per hour continuous on an auto-advancing turret, but that is using an automatic powder measure (for both methods) and not checking the throw weight once I have started, with either method.

If I measure each and every powder drop, the turret loses some advantage, but still retains an edge. I guesstimate 1:2.5 using the powder measure and 1:1.8 measuring every powder throw.

I am sorry that I don't have better figures, it has been a while since I clocked myself.

Now, if I were going to pull every case and measure the length and trim them, the continuous mode would lose another increment of advantage, for every time you add a removal-insertion cycle, it adds to the time of the continuous process, but adds nothing (in the differential sense) to the time of the batch process.

But, just doing 500 straight-walled pistol cases and automatic powder measure, 1) with a single-stage press, size and deprime, reprime, bell and charge, seat bullet and then crimp and box up, I estimate around 7-8 hours. Continuous processing on my Lee Classic Turret I estimate 500 rounds through the same steps in 3 to 3.5 hours. That includes keeping the powder measure and primer feed full.

The batch processing does have the advantage of being able to stick 50 or 100 cases in a loading block and shine a light into all 50 cases at once to check for (gross) uniformity of powder charge. An added safety factor not to be ignored.

Time efficiency is not the only measure to be watched and cultivated, though it is the easiest I know of to measure.

Lost Sheep

FROGO207
September 20, 2011, 06:22 AM
I don't figure my time for polishing the brass as I dump it all in and walk away for a good length of time when I first get the brass.
I size it with the decapping pin removed to keep the primer in.
Next I polish it some more to make it look as I want it.
Then I deprime it.
I will bell the neck if needed and trim if it is rifle brass, I don't bother with straight walled brass other than 30 Carbine.
I am fortunate that I have enough spare brass that I may have done this as long ago as a couple years all stored up in Zip Loc bags.
I will prime up 3K to 4K of that cal ahead of time and save them for a reloading session.
All this I do not consider for time when I reload some brass. Any way you cut it the reloading process takes a fair amount of time if you take care and want reasonable repeatability in your finished ammo.:cool: Good time we don't pay ourselves for this time used.:eek::D

scythefwd
September 20, 2011, 06:39 AM
I don't count my priming time as I do that watching movies with the family.

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