How do you like to reload? Marathon sessions or fit it in whenever?


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holdencm9
December 3, 2012, 10:38 AM
So as many of you may know I am brand new to reloading. Originally I had anticipated, that I would reload mostly on the weekends, in longer sessions of a few hours at a time, then pack up everything and put it away.

Now, I am realizing that even on the weekends, I don't often have much time in several-hour blocks free, and I am usually kind of tired/bored after a box, and I really don't want to be either when reloading. What I have done is just leave my setup ready (yes, even powder in the hopper! :uhoh: not sure if this is considered bad practice) and then whenever I get a half hour or so free, I will sit down and crank out a box. And by crank, I do not mean fast. I still go pretty slow as in, 50 per half hour, careful to make sure the lee pro auto disk is dropping consistently first, and then checking every 5th round for proper primer seating, powder drop, C.O.L. and case mouth width and klunk test.

So how do you like to work? I guess the pros and cons I can think of are:

Short sessions (< 30-45 min)
Pros: Stay fresher, can find more time to do it, don't have to spend as much time putting things away/setting everything up
Cons: Have to leave stuff out, primarily concerned about powder in hopper.

Long sessions (1 hour or longer at a time)
Pros: Can really get into a rhythm and reload a LOT of ammo, once it is all set up.
Cons: Can get tired or lose focus after a box or two. Very rarely have large chunks of time to dedicate.

So, I realize it is somewhat personal based on your lifestyle and how your brain works. And one may not necessarily be better than the other. But my initial idea of reloading was always these long dedicated sessions, and then I read somewhere someone who likes to just hit the bench for 15 minutes at a time, and now that I have finally got into it myself, I think, hey, that is kind of what works best for me. So I am interested how others do it.

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jcwit
December 3, 2012, 10:49 AM
I'm retired now for 10+ years. Everything is whenever and whatever.

cfullgraf
December 3, 2012, 10:54 AM
First, a half hour for a "short session" is a bit short to be realistic in my opinion. An hour or so would be a short session in my opinion.

I prefer to resize my cases at a separate time from reloading and I prefer to process them shortly after shooting. These sessions are usually relatively short, an hour or less to process a couple hundred or three from the day's shooting session. With the resizing process, cleaning/tumbling extends over night and I put the prepped cases i storage the next day.

Reloading sessions can be long or short depending on my mood or what I need. The longer sessions require a bit more pre-planning including setting aside the necessary time. Short sessions can happen about anytime.

I probably spend some time in the gun/reloading room 6 days out of seven. There is always some piddling that can be done.

Yes, and like jcwit, every day's a holiday for me since retirement.

LOLBELL
December 3, 2012, 10:56 AM
I reload whenever I have time for as long as I have time.

holdencm9
December 3, 2012, 11:14 AM
I guess it depends on the equipment you use too. I am using a turret press, and I consider the case cleaning separate. But I do deprime as part of the turret sequence. So, for the most part, I just have the brass in a tupperware container ready to go, the turret waiting for me whenever, and a box of 50 seems like a reasonable amount. I am sure some people sit down for 10 minutes at a time if they get time and do 23...my OCD would not allow that though. I need to finish with a nice even number and preferably finish a box :) but that is my hope with this thread is to see how others do it.

Retirement for me is about 30 years away still..... :banghead:

HOWARD J
December 3, 2012, 11:32 AM
Years ago when we were shooting every weekend & some nights I was using
Dillons to reload----I could load 8-900 rds in 2 hours.
Now the Dillons are dusty & we go shooting maybe once or twice in a month.
I use a Lee Classic Turret Press & reload when I feel like it.
I have a reloading room so I leave everything where it is & it is still there when I come back unless one of the grandkids tries to be funny

Reefinmike
December 3, 2012, 12:15 PM
I usually load up the 150 pieces of 38 I shoot and 100 pieces I find each range visit right when I get back. After a tumble of course. I usually spend an hour and a half to two hours to do those. Sometimes I'll run out of primers, or not have enough lead around to heat up the pot so ill let brass pile up. Ill finally do something about it when I have a thousand pieces laying around. Then I'll load them up throughout the day, taking long breaks here and there

thump_rrr
December 3, 2012, 12:52 PM
I load on a progressive press with a case feeder and a bullet feeder.
I would waste more time to switch calibers if I didn't load large batches.
It takes me about an hour to do about 800 rounds including filling primer tubes and boxing them up.
I would be closer to 1000 per hour if I invested in a primer tube filler.
I like to load somewhere in the range of 3000 rounds in a session because that's how many empty 9mm cases fit in my brass bucket.
I load in 3 steps.

I deprime in the first step since it goes fast using a case feeder for pistol.
I deprime in station #1 and size and trim in station #3 using the Dillon Rt 1200 for semi auto rifle.
I wet tumble my brass regardless if its pistol or rifle.
I load in the 3 rd step.

dragon813gt
December 3, 2012, 01:26 PM
I tend to reload a few hundred at a clip which is an hour or so on the LCT. It really depends on what I'm loading as to how long it takes. Plinking 9mm rounds get turned out quickly. Hunting rounds where I use the chargmaster for every load takes more time.

Now casting bullets is always in 3 hour blocks or more. Once the lead and molds are hot I want to get as many cast as possible. Setup and cleanup take more time since I never leave this equipment out.


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jwrowland77
December 3, 2012, 01:33 PM
I load in spurts since my knees and back are bad. I'll say process some brass that I plan on loading the first night, then the next ill prime, powder an bullets.

Romeo 33 Delta
December 3, 2012, 01:44 PM
For some time now I have, upon returning from a range session, cleaned my firearm(s) and then FL resized and cleaned my fired brass. They are returned to their boxes and stored in a "ready rack" for Winter. Right now, my "ready rack" is full of brass that's ready for primer, powder and bullet ... all the "dirty work is already done. Shortly I will begin my reloading sessions, 1 to 2 hours at a crack (usually daily), that's 50-100 rounds per session. No pain, no strain and when April rolls around, I'll be ready to go for another season at the range. No kids/grand kids to worry about, no living parents/in-laws and a very undertanding wife makes life so easy!:D

mcdonl
December 3, 2012, 01:56 PM
I tend to load when I know I will be doing a lot of shooting. If I plan to go to the range I like to select which calibers I plan to shoot, and load about 50-100 for each gun I plan to shoot. Mostly rifle, and usually working up loads.

As far as pistol goes though, I crank out .45 ACP whenver I have time, but nothing else particular to load. Frommid October to April 1 is trapping season so my day starts at 0400 and ends sometime around 0'dark-thirty in the fur shed.

natgas
December 3, 2012, 03:29 PM
There are times when I load for 10 minutes and others when I load for a couple of hours. I normally take whatever time I can and do what I can.

tightgroup tiger
December 3, 2012, 03:35 PM
My sessions always end up being long sessions. With the press I have now I can knock out 1200 rounds in just a couple hours. That fits my lifestyle of having very little spare time.

Walkalong
December 3, 2012, 04:09 PM
Sometimes I load 5, sometimes 500, and sometimes more, but usually 500 or less in one sitting. I may do that twice in a day, and once each of the next two days, etc.

I primed 500 the other night. Yesterday I chamfered 500. I have to prime those now, and then I will have two batches of 500 to load. I also tumbled, trimmed, deburred and chamfered, and primed a set of 10 pieces of brass for test loads yesterday, as well as tumbling etc, etc, etc, and priming a set of 20 that needs reloading.

beatledog7
December 3, 2012, 04:13 PM
I try to make do sort of reloading activity at my bench every day, whether it results in completed rounds or not. Some days it might be nothing more than priming 50-100 cases, sizing a few dozen, etc. Other days I might log a couple hundred completed rounds. It depends on my energy level and available time.

I really don't like it when I go a whole day without getting to my bench. To avoid that, some nights before retiring I'll simply determine the load I'm going to do tomorrow and lay things out. At least that way I can say I got something done.

45lcshooter
December 3, 2012, 04:14 PM
I have more time sorting brass more than anything. Dont shoot as much as i should, so i don't need to reload as much.

wanderinwalker
December 3, 2012, 05:21 PM
Normally I load in 45-60 minute chunks, though it depends on how much time I have and what I'm loading.

Loading a couple of buckets of .38 or 9mm plinking ammo on the progressive? I'll fill however many empty containers I was planning to and move along. Loading rifle ammo? I'll do a box or two straight through from resizing to finished and boxed up.

Maybe not the most efficient approach any more, but I normally have ammunition on hand for whatever I'm planning to take to the range.

howlnmad
December 3, 2012, 05:28 PM
I had to go with mixed. Sometimes I may just sit and punch out 50 primers. Other times I may sit and complete 300 rounds. It just depends on how much free time I have available.

FallAirFever
December 3, 2012, 05:49 PM
Im in the middle I guess. I do my reloading in batches, so I will decap/size 50-80. Then in another session I will do some prep work until I have that all done. Then I will usually load what I have prepped, takes a couple hours. My bench is in the corner of the bonus room so I will use what I need and clean it all up when I am done.

Most my sessions are in the 1-2 hour range and the most I have ever loaded at once was 86. Not really a high volume shooter but hope to change that a bit once spring rolls around and I can get outside more. Then I guess i will have to find more time for loading as well! Not a bad problem to have

splattergun
December 3, 2012, 07:28 PM
I don't consider an hour to be a long session, but a short one. Half hour is hardly enough time to get out the goods and get comfortable. An average loading session for me is about 2 hours from start to finish. I like to finish what I set out to do, whether that's a few sets of new loads to try, or getting a batch of 9mm sized and primed.

GLOOB
December 3, 2012, 07:57 PM
I've got a pretty good, efficient setup for loading in smaller sessions. So I don't need to do marathon sessions for efficiency reasons. And I don't leave stuff out.

Cons: Have to leave stuff out, primarily concerned about powder in hopper.

The Lee PPM hopper can be closed, lifted, and dumped quite easily. There are some powder measures with a swappable insert for quickly changing loads, and for such measures you can buy a powder dump insert - basically it just leaves a hole in the bottom of the measure. Lift the handle, and all the powder dumps out. You might consider fashioning a quick release mount for your measure, if it is lacking such features.

The one thing I like to do in larger batches is sizing and trimming for rifle and sizing/priming for pistol.

I usually make the finished ammo in smaller batches, whenever I need more. But sometimes I still get carried away. :)

0 per half hour, careful to make sure the lee pro auto disk is dropping consistently first, and then checking every 5th round for proper primer seating, powder drop, C.O.L. and case mouth width and klunk test.

Here's one advantage of a single stage. You can just keep cranking out all the steps without even paying attention, wake up to inspect your loading block after it's charged, then go back on autopilot. I mean, assuming you already have your dies setup.

ScratchnDent
December 3, 2012, 08:25 PM
I load in batches, so it may be 20 minutes one night, sizing and decapping 100 pieces of .357 or .45. Or, it might an be hour at my desk on the computer, hand-priming those cases, or a couple hours meticulously sizing, trimming, and priming 20 precision rifle cases, or 4 hours sitting at the press turning several hundred prepped handgun cases into finished ammo.

RustyFN
December 3, 2012, 08:36 PM
I normally sit down for a few hours when I reload.

capreppy
December 3, 2012, 09:06 PM
I used to do marathon sessions, but that was before I had twins earlier in the year. Now, I batch when I can. Rifle brass process in the evenings after work and the kiddo's go to sleep. Deprime prior to cleaning in SS media and do a few hundred at a time. FL size after cleaning in those same batches and then again thru SS media to clean off the lube. Trim / Chamfer / Debur via Giraud (THIS is a time saver as it only takes me an hour to do several hundred). Hand prime in front of the TV and then store for when I have time to charge. Charge via RCBS Chargemaster (also in front of TV). Tip them during commercials and then inspect. I can do various steps in the process in one night, but can take me a week or more to do 500 or so, but this is at a much more leasurely pace then previous. I can't shoot as often as I used to so no need to worry about the speed.

ShadowsEye
December 3, 2012, 09:33 PM
Well for hand gun ammo, I don't store large quantities, so I load 2 or 300 rounds of a caliber and I'm done, usually takes an hour or so.

For rifle ammo I load in phases, case prep all the cases, prime in front of the TV with the hand primer. Then I always do the critical stuff when I'm fresh, charge a round, seat a bullet. OR I load 100 rounds start to finish in an hour or two and have ammo to shoot.

stiffdogg06
December 3, 2012, 09:57 PM
With .40 S&W, I'll reload 100 rounds in one session 15-20min session. I normally will only reload 100-150 in one night because that is normally what I shoot at a range visit.

With .223, I fit it in when I can. I'll resize a bunch in one night and keep doing that for a few days until all are resized. I will then start the process over in the next step of the process.

1SOW
December 3, 2012, 11:41 PM
cfullgraf:
I prefer to resize my cases at a separate time from reloading and I prefer to process them shortly after shooting. These sessions are usually relatively short, an hour or less to process a couple hundred or three from the day's shooting session. With the resizing process, cleaning/tumbling extends over night and I put the prepped cases i storage the next day.

I do 'exactly' the same with pistol ammo on a second single stage press on the patio.
I'm very retired, so I tend to tinker every day with something to do with reloading. I try to stay a couple of months+ ahead of my shooting.
My son bought me a sign for my reloading area that says; "MYNAME"'s MAN CAVE.

I usually don't load ammo for more than two hours at a time on the LEE turret press.

Dudemeister
December 3, 2012, 11:44 PM
When I used to use the turret press, I used to go for the long 2-3 hour sessions, over a couple of days.

Then a little while ago, I bought a Lee hand press, originally to load a few 30-30 rounds. Now I find I use it to load just about anything.

Since I don't have to set anything up (other than the powder dispenser), my sessions have become a "whenever" and for "however long" I feel like it: One day, I'll sit there and deprime a few hundred rounds, then toss them in the tumbler. A few days later I'll prime and flare the cases. All those steps are pretty simple and don't require my "undivided" attention, so I can do them while watching TV or whatever.

Later, when I can set aside some time and pay attention to what I'm doing, I drop the powder and finish them off.

Andrew Leigh
December 3, 2012, 11:55 PM
As I tend towards obsessive compulse when loading, so for me it is about batches. I like to complete stages of reloading and tick them off. So for each batch of cases I have I will record the amount of times loaded and for each one of those there is a check sheet for the state of progress for each.

So I will tend to do operation A for all batches ready one one night and operation B on another. I seldom load a batch from scratch i.e. from depriming and cleaning to seating. The other reason for batch processing is that it is quicker as you get into a groove so to speak

I do like to have batches of cleaned, sized and trimmed cases just waiting for primers, powder and a pill. All the other stages for me are the grind but when you sit down for one session merely to prime charge and seat that is when loading is real fun.

At the moment I have 4 batches of 30-06 waiting annealing, which I will only do once my DIY annealer is designed and complete.

Steve2md
December 4, 2012, 12:51 AM
I break it up into sessions. I toss everything into the vibratory tumbler with walnut when I get home from the range (my brass and pickups). Separate when I get some time (the kids love that part), size/deprime if I reload for that caliber, or universal deprime if I don't. Wet tumble in stainless. Run in progressive for .45ACP, or single stage in batches of 200 or so for others (12 gauge I'll go until I run out of hulls or other components). takes me a week or so to get through them all, unless I'm really bored, but "honey dos" keep me pretty busy (I worked less when I wasn't retired!)

Henry45
December 4, 2012, 05:02 AM
I do mine in stages. I work until I get tired, or until I just need to do something else, and then I walk away. I get to it as i can, when I can, and enjoy the either short amount of time, or the occasional, long amount of time i have to spend. But, generally have at least a few hours per week that I can sit in silence and just enjoy reloading.

Geckgo
December 4, 2012, 05:20 AM
I haven't been doing a ton of shooting lately (working too much) so I haven't had the need or desire to sit at the bench most of the time (when I am actually home). I will get and urge and act on it. Sometimes, when I get enough brass, I will spend a day with the tumbler running in the background while I'm doing other stuff. Other days are watching tv and resizing/priming/sorting. When I do sit down to reload, it's usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a session. I get everything set up (takes about 10 minutes if that), crack a beer and set it on a shelf next to the reloading station, load a box, take a sip of beer, load a box, take a sip of beer, load a box, pour out warm beer and put everything away, then grab another beer and get on with my night.

James2
December 4, 2012, 09:53 AM
I have a Man Cave with a lock on the door, so if grandkids are expected I just lock the door to keep them safe. I reload whenever the mood strikes. If I really need some ammo for an occasion I may put in a couple of hours, but usually just 30 mins or an hour at a time. Size some brass today, prime it tomorrow and finish it some other day. Another day, cast bullets, then size and lube them whenever, maybe spend half an hour at a time on the sizer. I do usually make a marathon out of casting on the days I cast. I load single stage. I am usually way ahead of my shooting these days.

holdencm9
December 4, 2012, 09:59 AM
The Lee PPM hopper can be closed, lifted, and dumped quite easily. There are some powder measures with a swappable insert for quickly changing loads, and for such measures you can buy a powder dump insert - basically it just leaves a hole in the bottom of the measure. Lift the handle, and all the powder dumps out. You might consider fashioning a quick release mount for your measure, if it is lacking such features.

It doesn't take long to take it off and dump it out, I just wonder if it does much good? The hopper isn't air-tight but it isn't necessarily exposed to open air either. I think I am more likely to spill or introduce contaminants by pouring it back out every time I load. Assuming of course that the powder is never sitting for longer than a week.

I haven't been doing a ton of shooting lately (working too much) so I haven't had the need or desire to sit at the bench most of the time (when I am actually home). I will get and urge and act on it. Sometimes, when I get enough brass, I will spend a day with the tumbler running in the background while I'm doing other stuff. Other days are watching tv and resizing/priming/sorting. When I do sit down to reload, it's usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a session. I get everything set up (takes about 10 minutes if that), crack a beer and set it on a shelf next to the reloading station, load a box, take a sip of beer, load a box, take a sip of beer, load a box, pour out warm beer and put everything away, then grab another beer and get on with my night.

:eek: you consume an adult beverage while reloading?!?! tisk tisk. I am just kidding. Sounds like a nice way to spend an evening. I must say, last night I deprimed a bunch of brass, then during some television-watching with the wife, brought it out to the living room for a beer and some primer-pocket cleaning and chamfering (herter's not-quite crimped but very sharp edge on the pocket). It was quite nice to take care of some more menial tasks while not being down in the fortress of solitude.

jeeptim
December 4, 2012, 02:04 PM
1k process at a time. 1 size de&rePrime. 2 tumble. 3 measure and trim. won' load any untill i have at 1K cases ready and at 4 that point with my lee turret press and FCD 200+ to 300+ an Hr and 5 tumble W new-finish.
3 or 4 sittings 1k only do rifle and use a rcbs powder measure have not had good luck with the through the die powder measure.

hentown
December 4, 2012, 05:19 PM
I load on a 650 and usually load for 2-3 hours at a time. I generally take a couple of breaks along the way. I might do that for an entire day, depending on how much I feel like reloading and what else I might want to do. Loaded around 1k .223s yesterday and today. Need to decrimp about 1k pcs of brass that I picked up the other day before I finish with .223s. Will go to 9mm next. I use small rifle primers for .223 and 9mm, so that simplifies things a little.

Got a press-mounted RCBS primper pocket swager on the way from Midway. Hope it works as advertised.

rdhood
December 4, 2012, 05:38 PM
I usually go ahead and prepare all empty cases as soon as I have a big enough batch: tumble two hours, deprime/size, tumble two more....

Then, when I need the ammo, I'll create 100 cartridges at a time (primers come in a box of 100). At the end of 100, I'll decide if I want to go 100 more.... and 100 more.

I keep around 500 rounds of finished pistol ammo at a time (per caliber), and replenish when I get down to about 100.

In short, I go on marathon depriming sessions, and 100-at-a-time construction sessions.


BTW, its interesting that many of us do a variation on this same process (prepare cases as one process, load cases as a second process).

FROGO207
December 4, 2012, 05:43 PM
I clean/process my brass as I get it or when I shoot it and then put it away "ready to load" in buckets. Then when I use some up or want to stock up on something I load whatever I feel like till I am done with it. Might be only 20 rounds, might be 500--all using the batch method on my single stage or turret press. I usually load for my expected yearly usage in the wintertime and shoot most of what I shoot in the warmer months. But the 38-SPL and 9MM I use continually year around at the indoor range with the other guys.:)

Kachok
December 4, 2012, 05:49 PM
I like to do it all at once, but sometimes when you are developing loads you have to make a trip to the range to figure out what you are doing next.

redclay
December 4, 2012, 06:08 PM
I batch all of my reloading, might size and deprime one night, prime while the tumblers running. I no longer do anything of critical nature after 9PM. and I never hurry, 300 an hour has no appeal. A while back I was having over pressure signs in a standard load for 5.56 for my AR. Well I had forgot to crimp and the bullets were setting back, damn lucky to still be here.

Bud0505
December 4, 2012, 06:45 PM
If I'm reloading one of my tried and true loads I do them in increments of 100. I'm loading on a 550B so I'll fill a primer pickup tube with a hundred primers, set my powder measure to appropriate amount needed for my load and the turn out a hundred. Time and attitude permitting I may load for an hour or two or maybe not. But always in increments of 100.

gpb
December 4, 2012, 06:57 PM
It depends on what I'm reloading.

I shoot more shotgun than centerfire metallic, so I have a tendency to load 300 to 400 shotgun shells over couple hours. For the centerfire metallic I'll just load 50 to 100 over an hour or two.

Since I'm not a high volume shooter, I use single stage loaders for both types. Luckily I enjoy reloading, so the time spent doesn't bother me.

Jaxondog
December 4, 2012, 10:51 PM
I will load 6 round's, step over to the window, fire them off and make adjustment's. Since i have the new reloading room it is much more at ease. When I get a load that satisfies that particular rifle or handgun I will then load either 50 or more.

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