Essential gear you never use


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beatledog7
November 29, 2012, 07:06 PM
I have found the most redundant and unneeded tool on my reloading bench is the ubiquitous powder tricker. Here's why:

They're not tall enough and don't have enough horizontal reach to trickle powder onto the pan of my scale. If the thing can't drop powder where I need it, what's it for?

They're unstable; you need one hand to steady them while the other is turning the spindle.

I use my scale to do two things: calibrate my powder drop for bigger batches (>30 or so), and weigh charges one by one for small lots (<20 or so). I almost never run 100s at a time on my SS press. For those small lots I use Lee dippers to measure powder into the pan, and I've learned that it's pretty easy to tap a couple of flakes/balls/sticks of powder into the pan while I watch the readout change. I can even use the dipper to remove flakes/balls/sticks two or three at a time, resulting in very accurate weights.

So the trickler serves no purpose and sits in a drawer. What supposedly essential piece of gear do you guys never use?

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Certaindeaf
November 29, 2012, 07:19 PM
A tumbler. Never had one and probably never will. Been loading for about thirty five years and am fifty.

MAG-63
November 29, 2012, 07:40 PM
A case trimmer. I think I've used it 3 times in the past 20 years. I ran a large amount of 5.56, 30-06, and 30-40 through it back in the early 90s and haven't needed to use it since.

tightgroup tiger
November 29, 2012, 07:48 PM
Overall length gauge for semi-auto pistols, I use my barrels for that.

GLOOB
November 29, 2012, 07:49 PM
Primer pocket reamer. A chamfer tool cuts out a crimp better, and it doesn't scratch up or enlarge the rest of the pocket in the process.

Primer pocket cleaner. It's just a funny looking screwdriver bit, and it cleans about as well.

Hand priming tool. Slower, more fiddly, more effort, and less feel than priming on my press. YMMV.

Ammo boxes. I loved them for awhile, but you sure can't fit nearly as much ammo in a range or rifle bag compared to loose rounds in a plastic bag. The only ones I routinely use anymore are for revolver fodder, cuz they actually makes it easier to load while shooting. With semiauto pistol rounds, in particular, they're just a hindrance. They get dumped out, anyway.

777TRUTH
November 29, 2012, 07:50 PM
Digital powder scale. My beam just works.

splattergun
November 29, 2012, 08:00 PM
I use a 30-30 case as a trickler. I just put in a few grains of the propellant du jour and twist it 'twixt thumb and forefinger, works like a charm, just a couple granules at a time.
A tumbler aint even on my list of necessities. Near the bottom of my list of reloading luxuries.

Blackrock
November 29, 2012, 08:05 PM
Lyman Case Lenght Gauge. I batch trim 50 to 100 pieces at a time however they gauge out anyway.

FROGO207
November 29, 2012, 08:05 PM
Looking at it the only thing on my reloading bench I do not see the need for would be all the lock rings for my Lee trimmers. But I do have to buy them with the kit so there are a pile of them.:D

To the OP you could add a tape shell to the bottom of your trickler to make it tall enough to function and then fill the longer bottom with an epoxy/lead shot mixture and let it harden. This will make it taller and add needed weight/stability for you. I did this to mine.:)

Certaindeaf
November 29, 2012, 08:16 PM
I think he needs a hot glue gun for Christmas. But I don't use a trickler either.

readyeddy
November 29, 2012, 08:20 PM
Reloading bench. The Lee Hand Press works for me.

beatledog7
November 29, 2012, 08:22 PM
I did make the the trickler heavier using lead and wax, and making it taller is easy enough, but I never figured out how to extend its reach.

jr_roosa
November 29, 2012, 09:39 PM
The Hornady gadget that measures your chamber to determine when your bullet is at the rifling lands. I forget the name but it uses the drilled and tapped cases.

You use it once on each rifle with each bullet style and then you never do it again.

I'm still glad I have it. Maybe I just need to buy new rifles more frequently.

J.

cfullgraf
November 29, 2012, 10:11 PM
I find case gauges pretty useless. Other tools, like a good set of calipers, do similar measurements and can do other tasks as well. I never knew that I needed a case gauge until I started frequenting reloading forums.

I bought a powder trickler but not sure where it is. It was easier to "trickle" with a powder scoop. I never was concerned about weighing every powder charge, the powder measure is accurate enough. I would weigh every charge when woking up loads and that is relatively infrequent.

poco loco
November 29, 2012, 10:21 PM
usually the Lee shellholder set boxes, works like a charm and you can set it at any angle around the scale pan so it is out of the way.

I actually cant think of anything I have I dont use except a Lyman Spar-T Turret press. The turret has to be so tight to keep from flexing that it is easier to change a die than rotate the turret for the next step and my RockChucker does not flex.

RainDodger
November 29, 2012, 11:43 PM
Wow.. I'm amazed at some of the entries here... how can you be a handloader for a long time, load rifle cartridges and never use a case trimmer? I'm not trying to sound like an ass, but I find that amazing. I don't know how you can NOT trim occasionally.

Anyway.. the question at hand. What I NEVER use: holders for my Wilson case trimmer for pistol cartridges like 9mm and .45ACP. I've never trimmed those pistol cases ever, in decades of reloading. Bottleneck rifle cases are a very different matter.

FROGO207
November 30, 2012, 05:29 AM
If you have say a couple 5 gallon buckets of 223 brass ahead like I do and go through them all completely before you start the cycle again it will take years literally for most reloaders to get 5 reloads on their brass. That is when I usually need to trim my 223. But if you are shooting 5K-10K a month that is a different matter entirely. :) There are some calibers that I have Lee trimmer setups for that I have never needed to use yet but will when I use the brass enough. YMMV

WNC Seabee
November 30, 2012, 05:41 AM
I'll get flamed I'm sure.....Manuals! I have a computer at my loading bench and can find all the load data, instructions, etc. need on-Line in seconds. I only use reputable sources (powder company sites) and can cross check pretty quickly. I don't see a need for the expense or space of printed manuals.


Please excuse my typos...posting from iPad

beatledog7
November 30, 2012, 07:15 AM
Poco loco:

The height of my trickler was easily dealt with; what I can't work around is its short horizontal reach. I use a Hornady Bench Scale, and I like it, but the size and shape of the thing places the pan out of reach of the tube on the trickler.

Searcher4851
November 30, 2012, 10:23 AM
I guess mine would be a stuck case puller. Haven't had to use it yet. (knock on wood) Didn't buy it, it was a gift, but I've held on to it, just in case.

cfullgraf
November 30, 2012, 12:06 PM
I guess mine would be a stuck case puller. Haven't had to use it yet. (knock on wood) Didn't buy it, it was a gift, but I've held on to it, just in case.

But a stuck case remover is one of those tools you have on hand and hope to never use. I reloaded for over 25 years before I stuck a case on a Sunday afternoon. All reloading stopped and I spent the next three hours building a stuck case remover. Fortunately, I have a lathe to whittle out metal parts.

If I had a stuck case remover on hand at the time, I would have been back in business in a few minutes.

Otto
November 30, 2012, 12:23 PM
I have a few presses I don't use like a NIB Rock Chucker Jr. and a Herters.

But for the most part, I sell stuff on eBay I no longer want and spend the profits on tools that I really don't need. It's sort of an endless cycle.

Jaxondog
November 30, 2012, 01:42 PM
I did make the the trickler heavier using lead and wax, and making it taller is easy enough, but I never figured out how to extend its reach.
You can solve that problem fairly easy with a drinking straw :)

Jaxondog
November 30, 2012, 01:47 PM
I will have to agree with WNC Seabee to the manual's even though they are not on the bench. It's too easy to go to the computer now but I still use the manual's. I want throw them away.

gamestalker
November 30, 2012, 03:41 PM
Deffinitely a stuck case remover. I've never had to use it in over 3 decades of reloading bottle neck cases.

As for the case trimmers, I can't imagine not trimming my brass. This is especially true with bottle neck cases which can cause catrostrophic failure if the mouth gets pinched between the bullet and chamber throat, and it can happen.

GS

SSN Vet
November 30, 2012, 04:09 PM
Lee case trimmer gage pins for straight walled pistol brass..... why did I buy these again?

GLOOB
November 30, 2012, 10:07 PM
But a stuck case remover is one of those tools you have on hand and hope to never use. I reloaded for over 25 years before I stuck a case on a Sunday afternoon. All reloading stopped and I spent the next three hours building a stuck case remover. Fortunately, I have a lathe to whittle out metal parts.

If you can build a case puller in 3 hours, you're way ahead of the curve, compared to spending possibly days trying to find something you bought 25 years ago and have never needed to use, before. :)

icanthitabarn
November 30, 2012, 11:50 PM
Yup another stuck case tool sits unused :)













and no manuals either :what:

idahoglock36
December 1, 2012, 12:42 AM
Safety Glasses.

119er
December 1, 2012, 02:21 AM
Manual case prep tools.

beatledog7
December 1, 2012, 07:22 AM
Yup another stuck case tool sits unused

I also have an as-yet unneeded stuck case remover. I have as yet unneeded renter's insurance as well.

I have pretty much stopped using universal "one size fits some" loading blocks for charging cases with powder. The diagonal arrangement makes my head spin. I have those blue FA blocks now and find them much easier to confirm. Cheap insurance and a real time saver.

cfullgraf
December 1, 2012, 04:36 PM
If you can build a case puller in 3 hours, you're way ahead of the curve, compared to spending possibly days trying to find something you bought 25 years ago and have never needed to use, before. :)

When it comes to tools, I am pretty organized. Plus, I have duplicated sets of common tools stored in multiple locations. Saves me from a "Ponce de Leon" type search.:)

Crashbox
December 1, 2012, 04:44 PM
A press-mounted bullet puller. I have one in stock but never used it. Yet.

GLOOB
December 1, 2012, 05:59 PM
When it comes to tools, I am pretty organized. Plus, I have duplicated sets of common tools stored in multiple locations. Saves me from a "Ponce de Leon" type search.
No way I could manage that. I can barely keep the stuff I commonly use organized; there's a lot of it. The rest gets shuffled around in various storage boxes until I finally start randomly throwing stuff that "doesn't make the cut" away. I'd just as well have the ability to make a tool than to store it, if I expected to need it once every quarter century! :)

Kevin Rohrer
December 1, 2012, 06:56 PM
Concentricty gauge. I have two of them gathering dust.

dickttx
December 3, 2012, 08:48 AM
Bullet pullers (both press and hammer).
The press type I have had for several years never worked on anything. It was over 40 years before I bought a kinetic, for $17. Taking into account the brass and bullets I have saved with it, it will be about 200 more years before it pays for itself. I AM a retired CPA.:D

beatledog7
December 3, 2012, 09:17 AM
It was over 40 years before I bought a kinetic, for $17. Taking into account the brass and bullets I have saved with it, it will be about 200 more years before it pays for itself.

The best reason for pulling apart bad reloads is not saving money but saving firearms, fingers, and eyes from being subjected to a known bad round that somehow got mixed up with normal ammo.

A disassembled bad round can't hurt anyone.

dickttx
December 3, 2012, 09:30 AM
But if you toss them in a box labeled "Bad Rounds" until you can toss them into the bottom of a pond they aren't going to hurt anyone.

doubleh
December 3, 2012, 09:47 AM
I really can't think of a thing I have on my bench that I don't use. Some things get used very rarely but are still handy when needed. I'll never get rid of my manuals. My reloading setup is in the garage and I can't hit my router from there. Besides I have the pages for the loads I used marked and I can access the information I need in seconds.

IROCZ
December 3, 2012, 09:49 AM
My stuck case remover is still new and hanging on the pegboard above my press. It isn't going anywhere, but unused...

beatledog7
December 3, 2012, 11:34 AM
dickttx,

If your bad rounds are going to the bottom of a pond, you have no chance of ever salvaging enough components to pay for your puller.

dickttx
December 3, 2012, 11:49 AM
That was before I bought the kinetic and was less than a dozen rounds. Since, I have probably salvaged another dozen with the kinetic.

mljdeckard
December 5, 2012, 03:49 PM
I'm surprised someone said tumbler. I love that thing, I think of all kinds of things to throw in it. I have a 20mm Vulcan shell casing and intact marking slug I picked up at an air force test range when I was a kid, thought it would be fun to set them on my desk at work, threw them in the tumbler first, PRETTY. :) And with the tumbler goes a media separator.

I bought a Lee hand trimmer set for .30 Carbine, because I read that that cartridge is particularly fussy about case length, but the fit is so tight I can't get it into a lot of the cases anyway.

Ever since I read RC's recommendation of using a ziploc bag and some spray case lube, I will never use my lube pad or mica case neck lube again. EVER.

mljdeckard
December 5, 2012, 03:52 PM
And I also have a Lee hand press, I use it for sizing, de-capping, and belling while I watch TV, but it doesn't replace my bench press, I still go to the garage for charging and seating.

lead slinger
December 5, 2012, 10:01 PM
My lee beam scale. On the other hand I use my trickler all the time when I load my 500S&W

JackM
December 12, 2012, 06:15 PM
The powder trickler's been in the attic for 30+ years. You can made a case puller in 5 minutes. 1/2" or 5/8" nut, 1x1" piece of 1/4" steel with a 1/4" hole in the middle; or a stack of washers. Drill and tap the primer pocket for a 1/4" bolt, course or fine thread. 7/16" wrench.

thump_rrr
December 12, 2012, 06:28 PM
I have found the most redundant and unneeded tool on my reloading bench is the ubiquitous powder tricker. Here's why:

They're not tall enough and don't have enough horizontal reach to trickle powder onto the pan of my scale. If the thing can't drop powder where I need it, what's it for?

They're unstable; you need one hand to steady them while the other is turning the spindle.

I use my scale to do two things: calibrate my powder drop for bigger batches (>30 or so), and weigh charges one by one for small lots (<20 or so). I almost never run 100s at a time on my SS press. For those small lots I use Lee dippers to measure powder into the pan, and I've learned that it's pretty easy to tap a couple of flakes/balls/sticks of powder into the pan while I watch the readout change. I can even use the dipper to remove flakes/balls/sticks two or three at a time, resulting in very accurate weights.

So the trickler serves no purpose and sits in a drawer. What supposedly essential piece of gear do you guys never use?
I guess you haven't seen this yet?
http://www.shootingtimes.com/files/2012/08/Hornady-Quick-Trickle-300x270.jpg
http://www.hornady.com/store/Lock-N-Load-Quick-Trickle

Foley tech
December 12, 2012, 10:08 PM
Don't mean to be a jackass but why would a redundant and unneeded tool be on my reloading bench? Those tools live in the spare dies cabinet. Just say'n

bbuddtec
December 12, 2012, 10:31 PM
My .38spl trimmer just resides w/ the more useful ones...

Hand trickler via 30-06 case here...

I'm with beatle, saved hand etc, as well as squib-removal by pulling, no regrets.
and improved my load notes as result :)

Tumbler??... Really?? LOL I even keep coins and cases I'm "improving" in the media for all cycles....

FrankB1948
December 13, 2012, 12:01 PM
The priming tool on my rockchucker, I've always used a Lee Auto Prime. Don't have to handle the primers, and I can watch football while I'm priming.

James2
December 13, 2012, 12:43 PM
Collet bullet puller.

FrankB1948
December 13, 2012, 12:46 PM
Actually just finished using my collet bullet puller for a 22-250 round that split the neck on a brand new Winchester case.

jcwit
December 13, 2012, 12:52 PM
I've been reloading for 50 years now and I still must not have enough tools as everything I have I use. Some not as often as others tho I will admit.

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