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

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by holdencm9, Dec 3, 2012.


How do you like to reload?

Poll closed Jan 2, 2013.
  1. LONG sessions (hours at a time)

    19 vote(s)
  2. Short sessions (half hour or less at a time)

    14 vote(s)
  3. Mix of both/whenever I feel like it I hit the bench

    79 vote(s)
  1. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Participating Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    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.
  2. jcwit

    jcwit Mentor

    Oct 19, 2007
    Great state of Indiana
    I'm retired now for 10+ years. Everything is whenever and whatever.
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Mentor

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    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 New Member

    May 17, 2010
    West Central Alabama
    I reload whenever I have time for as long as I have time.
  5. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Participating Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    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 Senior Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    S/E Michigan
    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
  7. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Participating Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    SW Ohio
    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
  8. thump_rrr

    thump_rrr Active Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    The North Country
    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.
  9. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Participating Member

    Jun 30, 2011
    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.

    Brought to you by TapaTalk.
  10. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    Central Arkansas
    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.
  11. Romeo 33 Delta

    Romeo 33 Delta Member

    Apr 17, 2011
    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
  12. mcdonl

    mcdonl Senior Member

    Nov 24, 2008
    Southern Maine
    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.
  13. natgas

    natgas New Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Magnolia, TX
    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.
  14. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Peidmont/Triad, NC
    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.
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    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.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  16. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Mentor

    Jun 18, 2011
    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.
  17. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Active Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    Central of the Commonwealth of PA
    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.
  18. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Participating Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    SW NH
    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.
  19. howlnmad

    howlnmad Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    Harriman, Tn
    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.
  20. FallAirFever

    FallAirFever New Member

    Feb 21, 2012
    Albeta, Canada
    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

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