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Reloading and climate control

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJBarney, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. AJBarney

    AJBarney Active Member

    How important is it to do reloading in a climate-controlled environment? I know its preferable, but is it a necessity?

    Reason I ask is, I only have one place to set up for reloading, a non C-Ced shop area. This time of year its ok, but being in the South, its awfully hot and humid in the summer.

    If I minimized the powder exposure to the air, am I ok, or am I risking something?

  2. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    For me, it's very important for several reasons:

    1. Reloader comfort/fatigue, focus/concentration and socializing with family. I used to reload on my garage bench standing up whether it was hot or cold. Over the years, I have found that my focus and concentration was less than optimal when the weather was too hot/cold and I was not comfortable/fatigued. And if I was reloading a lot, I was away from the family quite a bit.

    Although I still have my garage bench, I since built a 2'x3' portable castered reloading bench (picture below) that allows me to reload anywhere in the house (livingroom, reloading room, patio, etc.). The small size allows the bench to go into the reloading room from the narrow hallway and gets pushed into the walk-in closet of the reloading room when not in use. Although the bench is non-traditional in that it is not heavy (about 80 lbs empty) and not mounted to the wall, C-H 205 single stage press mounted on one end can resize thicker walled military .308 cases without issues even with the bench empty (I keep bullets on the bottom shelf so I would guess the total weight of the "working" bench to be around 200-300+ lbs loaded).

    Now, I reload in air conditioned/heated comfort sitting in a cushy office chair while actively socializing with my family. I still do dirty case sorting/tumbling in the garage but resize/case prepping indoors. I do the final reloading early weekend mornings while everyone is sleeping and I can focus/concentrate without distractions.

    2. If you are using digital scales, most have specified operating temperature ranges. The small MidwayUSA FA DS750 scale I have used for years (now discontinued and replaced by new model with swing cover) is accurate to .2 gr (verified by Ohaus 10-10) but comes with 15C - 35C (59F - 95F) operating temperature range. Some reloaders that complained about the inconsistency of the scale, when asked, admitted to using outside of the specified temperature range.

    I now do all my weighing indoors whether using beam scale or digital scale with the door to the reloading room closed and A/C vent turned off. The reloading room/house stays 65F - 70F year round.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  3. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Well-Known Member

    In my experience I have had to use extra precautions on equipment. I am in central Alabama. My reloading area is in a finished room in my barn. No AC, fans only in the summer and a small electric heater in the winter.

    As far as powder and primers, I keep them in the house. To me they seem to be the most sensitive so I didn't want to take chances. I bring the powder and primers for the caliber I will be working on and bring them back in within a day or two. Everything else equipment and component wise is kept in a large toolbox dedicated just to reloading equipment.

    At first I just put everything straight into the drawers of the toolbox. Within 2-3 months a lot of the metal tools (dies, reamers/trimmers, shellholders etc) had surface rust on them. Everything was in the plastic case or package it came in if possible. I always wiped things down after use with a clean rag. I started doing that after lessons learned from fingerprint rust on blued firearms.

    Now everything that contains metal goes into gallon ziploc bags. Metal parts get a spray of rem-oil and a good wiping before going in the bag. This seems to be working. I made a solution that claimed to remove rust. It worked ok but I think if it had been worse the dies may have had issues. Luckily there was no rust inside of the dies at that point.

    I guess a lot depends on your location...

    HOWARD J Well-Known Member

    Do you have power in your shop area ? If so--put in a small AC for summer.
    Heater if needed winter
    Have fun,
  5. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Bring your powder into the home and only have it out when reloading - I load now in FL - you don't get much more humid than central FL in the summer and the garage has no AC - powder is in a closet until reloading time
  7. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    I reload on a 12' work bench in my laundry room of my house. The whole bench is nothing but reloading equipment. It is air conditioned and heated.

    In the summer when the whole house air conditioner is running I have a serious static problem in there. I have to open the door to the garage from there for a hour with the tops off of my powder measures, to let some humidity in or it plays hell with my powder measures.

    That is a small price to pay from using the damp basement of my last house and putting up with everything rusting and worrying about the damp getting into my powder and primers.
    It was a good trade.

    Some humidity is good but to much is obviously not.
  8. homatok

    homatok Well-Known Member

    Personally I do not/will not socialize with anyone while i am reloading. My personal belief is that it is too easy to make a mistake if my attention has to be split between my reloading and anything else! BUT---whatever floats your boat!
  9. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Well-Known Member

    I'm the same way, I won't even play a radio while I'm reloading. If my wife even walks in the laundry room to do laundry (my reloading room) I stop until she leaves. I'm easily destracted and know it.
  10. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am with you. That's why I do the tasks that don't require focus/concentration like resizing/depriming, case trimming/chamfering and hand priming cases while socializing with the family but reserve the actual reloading (powder charge/seating bullet) until I can.
  11. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Well-Known Member

    For user comfort I mainly do all my reloading during the winter months. Cold here in TX is mostly mild when compared to the summer heat.
  12. AJBarney

    AJBarney Active Member

    That portable bench is a nice idear. Might steal that one!

    It's a 1/2 mile from the house to the shop, but I could keep the powder and primers in the house, take them to the shop to reload, and bring them back to the house when Im done, I suppose.

    A/Cing the shop isnt an option right now...its 36x36 with a 14ft ceiling....
  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    It could be if you could wall off an 8x8x8 cubicle, insulate it and run heat/air just for that portion
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Well-Known Member

    bds has a nice portable bench.

    For a period of time, I was on temporary assignment at another facility our company had. Away during the week, home on the weekend.

    I made a portable reloading set up that I could have some entertainment during the week. It worked great.

    Build your portable bench so that it is rigid, glue and screw the joints and strategically placed gussets. Operating the press will stress the joints and they will get looser over time if not adequately reinforced. My portable set up was quickly thrown together and I had to rebuild it after a time.:)

    I liked the portable set up so well, I still use a variation of it in my reloading room 30 years later.
  15. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Well-Known Member

    I load in the garage but run a dehumidifier year round and I do most of my loading in the fall/winter. It is amazing that even in the winter that dehumidifier removes a gallon of water from the air every 3 days and a gallon of water from the air EVERY DAY during the summer.

    That portable bench is neat.

    Just my .02,
  16. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Well-Known Member

    I do all mine in the detached garage with no climate control. That's where the powder and primers reside as well. I'm definitely not worried about the powder since its in a sealed bottle. And the primers have been fine for years so my concern for them has dwindled.

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  17. dickttx

    dickttx Well-Known Member

    Basically you reload where you can. Over the years I have had a lot of locations with widely varying conditions. Seldom has everything been ideal.
    Make the best of what you have and improve it as you can.;)

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