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What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by James THR, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. James THR

    James THR Member

    What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share that makes things just that much easier on your reloading bench ?

    For me I have used coloured plastic zip ties around my dies to differentiate them in the turret press and also the spare sets that I have for different projectiles.

    I also use 9mm MTM case guards to hold .38 HBWC rounds ( wonderful snug fit).

    I took my Lyman T-Mag ram linkages apart and fitted fibre washes in the gaps to take out all the play. Made a huge difference in feel with the slop taken out.

    I have covered my reloading bench with a sheet of white polymer board (what chopping boards are made out of) http://www.kingstarboard.com/Products/starboard.aspx makes for a terrific easy clean and textured top.

    I cut 1" of the top of the thread that holds the lid on my Lyman 1200 pro tumbler. It saves time and hassle not having to wind the pesky lid screw that extra unnecessary 1" all the time.

    What can you share ?
  2. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    38 wadcutters will fit in 9mm boxes? That tip alone makes waking up this moring worth it!

    Here are my modest ideas:

    On the RCBS 2000 (and possibly others) there are gaps in the base and on the plate on which the case bins hang. When you fill the bullet tray up the overflow tends to head right for these gaps, so I filled them up with inserts made from wood and styrofoam.

    The plastic containers that parmesean cheese come in are good for storing loaded rounds. They hold about 100 9mm rounds and you can shake out how ever many rounds you need with the top still secure.
  3. Vitamin G

    Vitamin G Well-Known Member

    The $19 Ikea bookshelves make great storage racks!
    Theres no such thing as overlubing.
    Brass can never be too clean.
    1000 primers is not enough
  4. HankB

    HankB Well-Known Member

    Unless you get lube on the shoulder of a case you're trying to set back 0.001" . . .
  5. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Well-Known Member

    1. drill and tap set screw holes in Hornady LnL bushings to eliminate lock ring issues with short Lee dies.

    2. Zip tie the spent primer tube to the brass tube to elminate it coming off.

    3. Built my own "strong mount" for my Hornady LnL progressive out of oak.

    4. Customized strong mount by building an ergonomic stand for brass, bullets and primers. Attached this to the strong mount with deck screws. Makes reloading much faster, as I don't have to reach as far for anything.

    5. Opened up the bracket a bit and mounted a Hornady powder measure on a Lee Classic Cast press, allowing for powder drop and bullet seat in closer proximity to one another and one operation, thereby gaining some speed in the single stage process. (1. Resize/trim/prime cases. 2. drop powder 3. Immediately place in shellholder and place bullet 4. Seat bullet. 5. crimp if appropriate)

    6. Buy multiple Akro or other brand louvered bins. Place bullets, brass and primers and finally loaded round in them to facilitate work in progress on a progress press. Works well with single stages and turrets, but the most benefit comes with progressives.

    Hope these help someone.

  6. jeepmor

    jeepmor Well-Known Member

    Storage of stuff

    Reloading supplies get heavy fast, use small containers. I have my stuff in those folding top containers and they have become very heavy with 9mm, 45acp and 10mm supplies like bullets for everything, brass, powder, press, dies and so on.

    No real "inventions" yet but I haven't started working with my progressive setup just yet. Home projects, lousy excuse, but you know the drill.

    I will be putting my primer pocket cleaner in my cordless drill soon though, saves time. I would really like a foot actuator for the press, but that long stroke would be annoying to my leg just as it is my arm after a few hundred rounds.

    Setup cartridges NEVER have a primer in them. Beating a bullet out of a barrel is a serious bummer of a thing to do while kicking yourself in the rear. I mark them with a black sharpie also for easier visual identification.

  7. TN Shooter

    TN Shooter Well-Known Member

    I use different colored Sharpie pens to mark the primer on some loads to differentiate them from others. And recently, they have come out with a bunch of additional colors. It is a great to use during load development because it eliminates the possibility of getting loads mixed up with each other in the same box. Also, when you deprime, the marking is gone :D
  8. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Well-Known Member

    Hooked a vacuum up to my press

    We've got one of those bagless vacuum cleaners that I absolutely despise. Give me bags any day--emptying those canisters is messy! But... Since no debris goes through the motor or fan, and it has a HEPA filter, it's safe to Jerry-rig the hose up to my press when depriming.

    It's kinda fun to hear the primers rattling down the hose when I'm depriming, and sure keeps a lot of that nasty burnt primer "dust" (more like toxic sand than dust, ain't it?) off of the press and floor.
  9. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    When cleaning different caliber of brass, I use those little colored mesh bags from Lyman. You don't have to hand sort the brass after cleaning

    I got some of the big rolls of labels from Midway for my boxes. Maybe everybody else already does this, but it's just real handy to have all those labels close that have places for all the info

    When working up loads, I used to segregate them in the plastic boxes. Problem is, they'd tend to get mixed up, dumped, etc. Now I put them in zip lock bags with the above labels with all the info. If I don't shoot them right away, I still have all the info on the bag with the loads in it

    You can make a power trimmer out of a standard trimmer by replacing the crank handle with a capscrew with a hex nut. Use a drill to power it. I had to trim .200 off some cases. Only took a few seconds per case when it was under power.

    Use PLENTY of brass polish in your media. Makes cases clean and shiny and easier to reload since they're slicker.

    Spray your dies when they're being stored to prevent rust.
  10. James THR

    James THR Member

    There has been some absolutely terrific tips and ideas posted :)

    Lots of them have been ingenious and some great time savers !

    Keep 'em coming.
  11. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    I invented "double compression", a method of getting more powder into a load than a case full.

    Then I found out that the blackpowder people had already invented it and gave it the same name.

    I also worked for 5 years to figure out why beer goes in yellow and comes out clear, and yet water goes in clear and comes out yellow. I could have figured it out faster, but things were comming out clear at the time.
  12. waumo

    waumo Well-Known Member

    Mark across the head of your pistol ammo with a colored Sharpie so
    you can sort it from your buddies' at the range. I'm sure I didn't
    invent this but it is amazing how much time people spend trying to
    decide who the pick up brass belongs to because none is marked.

    Of course the other option is to have a buddy who shoots 9mm so
    his brass is obvious from your 45 ACP- but that would be drastic.:barf:
  13. Ron Brooks

    Ron Brooks Well-Known Member

    I didn't make this up, I read it somewhere a long time ago. Use form-a-gasket for the primer pockets of dummy rounds, they also work as a snap cap.
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Well, lessee, I cut stainless wire and form a loop, stick it in a 148 grain WC .38 mold with the sprue cutter open and poor, instant fishing weight. I vary caliber to weight size. For a heavy surf fishing weight or trot lines/drop lines, 340 grain .45-70 pills. :D
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    RTV works better.
  16. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Well-Known Member

    Which ones are those?

    I've noticed the Fira storage series here

    Or their snack boxes

    Or the Mackis storage series

  17. Will Cordes

    Will Cordes New Member

    Segregating cases by caliber prior to tumbling.

    I learned this the hard way, when I tumbled two different calibers (I can't even remember which ones, way back when) together and wound up with smaller cases trapped inside larger ones (which kept both from being effectively cleaned).

    Nowadays, I segregate by case mouth diameter (not necessarily caliber), since I load for so many calibers that share the same bore size--regardless of case size (.35 Remington, .358 Winchester, .350 Remington Magnum, .35 Whelen, .35 Winchester, etc.). That way, I can combine smaller batches of cases to conserve electricity.
  18. Hawken50

    Hawken50 Well-Known Member

    or, take you tumbler to work and use their electricity!
  19. Darrell Davis

    Darrell Davis New Member

    Even'n folks.

    Hope this Ol'timer doesn't up set to many folk over the up coming days. Once you've been around awhile you do tend to get a bit set in your ways, but just found this site today and figure I'll throw in my 2 cents worth on a topic or two.

    As per a "clever" idea for reloading, the following isn't my idea, but I suggested it to my oldest son who is now using the idea and have recently installed my own system in our new home.

    The idea is a "receiver" system of sorts which allows for attaching multiple tooks to the loading bench and all without drilling any holes through the finished surface of the bench.

    On my new system, I have 4 tubes - all in one welded unit - bolted to the underside of the work bench the wife and I share.

    When building the bench into the room, I counter sunk 8 - 3/8" bolts under the formica counter top. I set the bolts in Fiberglass epoxy so there is no play or chance for them to work loose.

    On my loading press, I use a mounting piece which uses two of the under bench tubes. This plus the winged locking bolts in each tube creat an extremely solid mounting system and all without the normal holes through the top.

    Need to attach other tools, or more then one at a time? That is the reason for the four tubes under the bench and the mounting attachments are limited only by your imagination.

    Works for me!
  20. Matt-man

    Matt-man Well-Known Member

    Rather than run the spent primer tube into a trash can, I cut slits into a water bottle cap so it fits on the tube. Then I screw the bottle into the cap so it hangs on the tube. I kept kicking over the trash can when I was using it to catch spent primers...

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