So....how is my thinking?


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allaroundhunter
February 18, 2013, 01:01 AM
Being in college, I live in an apartment and don't have the place to mount an actual press so for the time being my Lyman stays at home. Since I spend so much time at school, and since I still like to shoot my .308, I decided to purchase a Lee hand press. My question is, for loading 25-50 rounds per week as an average, is that an okay option? I still have the majority of my other reloading gear with me, it is only the press that I cannot take back and forth from my home to my apartment.

And a secondary question, I have some CCI BR-2 benchrest primers. Is there any reason that I should not use these when loading for my .308? Is there anything special that I should know about them?

Thanks for the help guys!

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Inebriated
February 18, 2013, 01:12 AM
I don't see why you wouldn't be able to load 50 rounds a week with it. I think most people say about 50 rounds is what you can get done in an hour's worth, with the Lee hand press.

rcmodel
February 18, 2013, 01:21 AM
Yes you can.

When I was in the army and the new bride & I lived off post in a one bedroom duplex?
I had a GI issue foot locker that held a Herters reloading press and all the stuff that went with it to load .30-06, 30-30, .38/.357, and .45 ACP. Also bullet casting and sizing equipment, and a 12 ga shotgun loading press.

At night when I wanted to reload, the foot locker was stood on end and became a mount for the press & also a 'real small' reloading bench top.

The rest of the time, it set on the floor normally with a nice table cloth on it, and it was a coffee table in front of the couch.

When I got reassigned to another post, a couple of friends and I could 'probably' lift it into my car trunk for the move!

So yes, a hand press should do, if you don't want an army foot locker for a coffie table / reloading bench.

rc

allaroundhunter
February 18, 2013, 01:30 AM
Thanks, y'all.

One more question.

I have spent tonight measuring some bullets that I have around, namely 155 gr Lapua Scenars and 168 gr SMKs. Both of them are measuring diameters of .309" (as opposed to the advertised .308"). Is this normal, or is it safer to assume that my calibers are off by .001"? I have measured about 30 bullets from each batch, and all of them have been .309".

rcmodel
February 18, 2013, 01:31 AM
Caliper error.

Did you Zero them before using them??

rc

ColtPythonElite
February 18, 2013, 01:33 AM
50 rounds a week? Sure...50 rounds a hour like in reply #2? I doubt it.

Inebriated
February 18, 2013, 01:36 AM
ColtPythonElite - Just going off the couple people who I've talked to that have 'em.

ColtPythonElite
February 18, 2013, 01:40 AM
And just saying I doubt if it could be done...That's alot of hand shucking in 60 minutes.

allaroundhunter
February 18, 2013, 01:48 AM
Caliper error.

Did you Zero them before using them??

Yes I did. It is confusing because when I measured them in an Engineering class to make sure they were correct just a couple of weeks ago they were dead on....

Lost Sheep
February 18, 2013, 01:50 AM
Being in college, I live in an apartment and don't have the place to mount an actual press so for the time being my Lyman stays at home. Since I spend so much time at school, and since I still like to shoot my .308, I decided to purchase a Lee hand press. My question is, for loading 25-50 rounds per week as an average, is that an okay option? I still have the majority of my other reloading gear with me, it is only the press that I cannot take back and forth from my home to my apartment.

And a secondary question, I have some CCI BR-2 benchrest primers. Is there any reason that I should not use these when loading for my .308? Is there anything special that I should know about them?

Thanks for the help guys!
The hand press will do for you and is really handy if you want to load at the range. But a press that mounts on a bench is more convenient, especially for your .308. The Lee Hand press (nor the Lee Reloader press, their simplest "C" frame) just does not have the leverage of a proper bench-mounted press like the Challenger, Classic Cast of Classic Turret. Even the RCBS Jr. is superior to the Hand Press or Reloader, in my opinion and would serve you better.

My setup over the past 38 years has consisted of a press bolted to a short 2x6 clamped into a folding workbench (or just clamped to an end table), dies, a scale, a couple of powder measures and a number of other miscellaneous tools.

I recommend a Lee Classic Turret (seeing as you already have a Lyman, which I assume is their single stage). It will not duplicate something you already have, giving some variety to your gear. The Classic Turret has a vertical opening a full 1" taller than the Deluxe Turret, so will handle your .308 easily. My loading setup is something you might want to emulate on a smaller scale.

Everything (except components) I need to load for a half-dozen calibers fits in 3 toolboxes:

One is 23" x 10" x 10" and contains my press (Lee Classic Turret), mounting system (a 2"x6" board carriage bolts and wing nuts) a small "4"X8"X1.5" fishing tackle box to contain all the small parts & tools and the primer feeding system. There's room for a couple of manuals in there, too, but I store them on my bookshelf, with one next to the computer.

The second (15"x8"x8") contains all the gunpowder handling parts. Scale, funnel, Lee Auto-Disk Powder measure/dispenser and a set of Lee's measuring scoops/dippers bullet puller, micrometer and my loading safety glasses (as opposed to my shooting glasses).

The third (15"x7"x7") contains seven sets of reloading dies, mounted in their turrets inside their plastic storage cylinders, ready to plug into the press and use.

I use a folding workbench these days, but I used to just wedge the 2x6 into the drawer of an end table. I can set up my reloading room anywhere in just a few minutes.

I spread a dropcloth (to keep from losing primers, live or dead, or small parts and to contain any powder spills) and load to my heart's content.

My current setup is as follows:

Lee Classic Turret Press
7 Die sets (all mounted in their own quick-change turrets plus one flat die box of unmounted dies
3 Auto-Disk powder measures (2 standard and one Pro)
kinetic bullet puller
calipers
Primer Pocket cleaner
Case mouth Chamfer Tool
Safety glasses (shooting glasses would do, but I keep a dedicated pair)
Powder trickler
Powder Funnel
A set of Lee Powder Dippers
Tweezers and other small hand tools
A half-dozen loading manuals (don't keep them in the toolboxes, though)
Dropcloth (not in the toolboxes, either, but covering them
Lee Safety Prime for large and small primers (Lee Primer Dispensers for use on the press)
I think that's about it for the toolboxes.

They all fit in three medium sized plastic toolboxes. With the folding worktable, I can set up anywhere (including going over to a friend's house) with just three trips (two carrying the gear and one carrying the components). I make more trips to the car preparing to go to the range.

My vibratory case cleaner does not fit in the toolboxes. But then, you don't really need one. Mine was gift from a friend who thought my brass should be shinier. It does look nicer, but doesn't shoot any better than when I just wiped it down with a towel.

Lost Sheep

Lost Sheep
February 18, 2013, 02:04 AM
50 rounds a week? Sure...50 rounds a hour like in reply #2? I doubt it.I don't doubt it.

I used to do 50 per hour of .357 magnum, start to finish with a single stage press mounted on a board wedged in an end table drawer, weighing each powder charge individually. That time does not include press setup or zeroing the scale, but did include filling the primer tube. So, I believe it could be done on a hand press.

I clocked that speed as a curiosity. Production rate is not my usual focus.

I have seen video of a guy pounding out one round a minute with a Lee Loader (the one that uses a mallet), but I could never get more than one every two minutes.

Lost Sheep

Texan Scott
February 18, 2013, 02:45 AM
I'm pretty sure guys like RC and Lost Sheep shuck 50 rounds an hour with one hand while cracking bags of walnuts with the other. I don't know if they even eat the walnuts.... they're just crushing the shells for tumbler media.

dsm
February 18, 2013, 02:58 AM
Get yourself an RCBS Partner press and bolt a small piece of wood to it so you can clamp it to a table. Its light weight and compact.

The press between the Dillon and Mec shotshell loader is the RCBS clamped down. I can take a close up if you wish.

http://ridgewaybodies.com/incredible/IMG_4169-picsay.jpg

Centurian22
February 18, 2013, 05:51 AM
It's a crappy picture but:

http://i559.photobucket.com/albums/ss35/CaptainChadB/F9C5A98A-7C86-4571-8B00-A0F6E0C3D21E-4323-0000068B66855977.jpg

This is my lee classic turret mounted to a stand I built from repurposed 2x3's. it takes up maybe 2'x2' at the base 2'x3' at the top just because of the 'shelf' I put on it. It fits well into a corner and the space underneath easily stores all the 'accessories' if kept in a bag or bucket. The hand press works great especially in sessions like size/deprime, and prime one night then charge and seat another. Just wanted you to see that you don't need to have an 8 foot long 4 foot wide "welded to the core of the earth" bench to use a 'real' press.

You also may want to look into ultrasonic cleaning for saving on space and easy results:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=692818

Good luck.

Manny
February 18, 2013, 08:26 AM
Marshall Stanton over at Beartooth Bullets is a frugal shooter and has a lot of good sound low-dollar tips for doing things. Here's an article he wrote on reloading with limited room:

http://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/8

curlymaple42
February 18, 2013, 08:41 AM
I don't think anyone answered your question about the BR primers. They are not necessary for normal shooting but folks use then for long range and bench rest shooting for super accuracy because they are more consistent. That is my theory anyways. It won't hurt to use them, might even help a little. I gage some i got at a gun show. There were only 900 in the box so i got a good deal.

Sent from my DROID RAZR

holdencm9
February 18, 2013, 12:21 PM
My setup over the past 38 years has consisted of a press bolted to a short 2x6 clamped into a folding workbench (or just clamped to an end table), dies, a scale, a couple of powder measures and a number of other miscellaneous tools.

Bolting a turret or single stage press to a piece of 2x6 and then clamping that to your table, dresser, work desk, anything, is great advice. You could probably get by with the hand press, but based on how much force it takes to do .308 on my turret, I think it would be a bear with a hand press. I never thought I could make mounted setup work in my apartment but turns out, I can. 90% of the space is taken up in one of the dresser drawers and a tote bin under the bed...all the spare components and junk go in there.

For pistol, I wouldn't even need to attach to the dresser, I could attach to the desk (which is light-weight and on wheels) and still be fine. But for .308 it takes a lot more force, even the heavy dresser rocks a bit, but not too much. Anyway, long story short, I could probably fit all my stuff in one dresser drawer, and with the clamps, no permanent modification to any furniture is required.

Jesse Heywood
February 18, 2013, 12:40 PM
Did you Zero them before using them??

Yes I did. It is confusing because when I measured them in an Engineering class to make sure they were correct just a couple of weeks ago they were dead on....

Have you cleaned the blades? All it takes is a little bullet lube or gunk to throw them off.

allaroundhunter
February 18, 2013, 12:55 PM
Have you cleaned the blades? All it takes is a little bullet lube or gunk to throw them off.

Yup, I wiped them down and made sure (as well as I can) that they were clean. I'm just going to chalk it up to them being of by .001".

kingmt
February 18, 2013, 05:22 PM
Pretty common for a bullet to be off .001" but it will still shoot well if not better.

murf
February 18, 2013, 05:58 PM
take one of those bullets to your engineering class and measure it with a micrometer. just in case.

murf

allaroundhunter
February 18, 2013, 06:32 PM
Pretty common for a bullet to be off .001" but it will still shoot well if not better.

I understand that, and to be honest, I expected several of the bullets to measure .309" as well as .307", and then have the majority be .308".... However, out of 60 bullets that I measured, every single one of them measured .309"... Not a single .308".

take one of those bullets to your engineering class and measure it with a micrometer. just in case.

Good thought, I will figure out which professor/TA will be the best choice to help get me a micrometer.

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