Reloading preference - press height?


August 8, 2013, 10:22 PM
Hey everyone,

I would like to ask about your preferences for reloading:

Do you like to sit or stand when using your press? Does it depend on what type of press you are using, single stage vs progressive?

Regardless of whether you sit or stand, what is your preferred height for your press relative to you body?

I like to stand to load on my single stage. The work surface on my bench is 43" off the ground, which puts the handle on my Big Boss at 51" when it is in the vertical position and that is just below the middle of my chest. When I operate the handle, it bottoms out pretty much right where my elbow locks. So far it is working for me.

I have just purchased a Dillon 550 and I am preparing to mount it. Taking it out of the box and sitting it on the edge of my bench, its handle in the vertical position is at the middle of my chest. When it operate the handle it bottoms out right about where my elbow locks. I think this will work?

What do you consider your optimum setup to be?

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August 8, 2013, 10:39 PM
I sit. My SS is an 1.25" higher than a standard banquet table. For this arrangement I se an In-Line Fabrication roller handle. Works great and allows me to load without tendonitis.

August 8, 2013, 10:42 PM
I just received an Inline press mount and it is a great way to raise the height up and away from the edge of the bench

August 8, 2013, 10:57 PM
Set it up to what feels most comfortable for you.

As for me, I load either standing or sitting, just depends how extreme my neck and back pain is on that particular day.


August 8, 2013, 11:01 PM
I sit in a chair when I reload. I use a regular height table but the presses themselves are mounted to a free standing floor stand.

The mounting plate for my single stage is 36" off the floor. While this is the third generation single stage stand, all of them have been this height.

I got a Hornady progressive a few years ago, the mounting plate is 38" from the floor. I have decided it is too high and I have plans to shorten the stand.

I also have a Dillon SDB. The mounting plate is 32" from the floor which is a good operating height except the handle could be shaped differently. It is a bit of a reach when the handle is at the bottom of the stroke.

I just put an RCBS Pro2000 in service and the mounting plate is also 32" off the floor. It seems to be a good height so far.

August 9, 2013, 09:18 AM
Standing or sitting, i'm only good for about an hour at a time at the bench. If i'm just de-priming and resizing I will stand where as when loading, sitting gets me closer to eye level with my scale and the press. My bench is at around 38" off the floor.


August 9, 2013, 11:02 AM
I have all my equipment mounted @ chest level and prefer to reload standing up.

August 10, 2013, 05:28 AM
Think I saw on the Dillon web site that when the ball of the op handle is at the same height as your shoulder, then the relative position of operator-to-machine is correct.

Usually people who ask this question are older, or are dealing with muscle or shoulder pain. If that is the case, then I highly recommend the "roller handle" option as being far more ergonomic than the stock ball-end handle. It will add years to your reloading by vastly increasing your comfort. By far the best option Dillon offers.

Note to Hornady and Lee press users... There are also ergo handles available for those presses too.

August 10, 2013, 08:00 AM
I have mine located at a height I thought made sense so I could so stuff sitting down. I was wrong (as usual). More important than press height is left - right placement of your stuff.

I was smart enough to mount scale on shelf, but the geometry of the room has my powder measure the the left, so I am reaching across my body over and over. Other than the principle of the thing, it does not really matter, but I would make MAJOR changes to my set up, again, based on desire to have "the best" and not just "good enough" if I had a better room.

Oh, I find that I do everything but seat bullets standing.

Good Luck.

August 10, 2013, 08:44 AM
Here is an updated pic. The all important reloading chair is at a cat approved 29", while the bench top is at 37". Older Pic (

Today's Pic

August 10, 2013, 09:07 AM
Very Nice Walkalong!

Tommy Van Alen
August 10, 2013, 09:45 AM
I was using an old clothes dresser for my reloading bench. I have the Dillon strong mount for my 650 and then another strong mount that I put a piece of 3/8" thick plate steel over.

That serves as the base for my single stage RCBS press, my Star lubri-sizer, and my MEC 9000G.

When I get back home, I will have to check where the roller handle is on the 650. I bought a couple of work benches off of craig's list. I need to make a top for the one. It has all these little drawers, kind of reminds me of like an apothecary chest.

August 10, 2013, 12:19 PM
Very nice Walkalong. I have a reloading cat as well. He normally doesnt want anything to do with me unless I'm pulling the handle on a press. Then he hangs around for the whole session. Swats at my pulling arm and wants me to rub behind his ears when I'm busy :).

All my stuff is standing, but I sit when seating the bullets. The round is kind of at eye level at that point. Sounds strange, but it works for me at this point. I havent been at it all that long, so this may change.

(all single stage on a Redding Boss)

August 11, 2013, 10:42 PM
I sit in a chair and the press is about 36" off the floor. Unless I have to stand!

Jesse Heywood
August 12, 2013, 04:35 PM
My press is mounted on a heavy typewriter credenza. Great for using with an office chair, but rough on the knees if I'm not careful.

August 12, 2013, 05:10 PM
I made my bench 30 inches, the same height as a standard dining room table. I usually sit to load, but if sizing large rifle casings, I will stand.

I had never thought about it before, but when I see it mentioned here in this thread, the top of the handle when in the up position is level with the top of my shoulder when seated on a standard height chair. This is a good comfy height for me.

August 12, 2013, 08:50 PM
My press base is 40" above the floor. I sit on a tall stool with a padded seat and small padded back brace. My roller handle is level with my shoulder when raised. I made all to fit me. The press base is 3 1/2"" above the bench top, mounted on 1/2" steel and layers of ply.

Seated, I can clearly see into the case after the powder drop. Standing also works at about the same height. The plan was to be able to do either standing or seated reloading from the same height, but I'm most comfortable seated.

Other than wanting more bench top, I wouldn't change a thing.

August 12, 2013, 11:24 PM
i like to sit with the press somewhat below me so i can look down on what i am doing. not much lower than normal.

Hondo 60
August 13, 2013, 01:00 PM
As a disabled veteran, I have to sit to reload.
So I just reinforced an old (very cheap) computer desk.
No problems in 4 years.

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