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

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Old August 28, 2006, 08:05 AM   #1
James THR
Join Date: August 24, 2006
Posts: 20
What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share?

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 ?
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Old August 28, 2006, 08:26 AM   #2
Join Date: December 25, 2002
Location: Eastern Virginia
Posts: 2,371
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 08:32 AM   #3
Vitamin G
Join Date: August 9, 2003
Location: Monroeville, PA (Home of the Zombies)
Posts: 934
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
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Old August 28, 2006, 08:54 AM   #4
Join Date: March 29, 2003
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 5,181
Theres no such thing as overlubing.
Unless you get lube on the shoulder of a case you're trying to set back 0.001" . . .
Pay attention - the inmates really are running the asylum.
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Old August 28, 2006, 09:13 AM   #5
Join Date: December 7, 2005
Location: NE Georgia
Posts: 1,539
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.

Dave In Jefferson, GA
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Old August 28, 2006, 09:45 AM   #6
Join Date: November 6, 2005
Location: Stumptown
Posts: 2,818
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.

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Old August 28, 2006, 03:49 PM   #7
TN Shooter
Join Date: May 12, 2006
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 64
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
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Old August 28, 2006, 04:32 PM   #8
Join Date: February 21, 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 2,128
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 05:15 PM   #9
Join Date: December 25, 2002
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 9,538
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 06:35 PM   #10
James THR
Join Date: August 24, 2006
Posts: 20
There has been some absolutely terrific tips and ideas posted

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

Keep 'em coming.
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Old August 28, 2006, 07:19 PM   #11
Join Date: January 3, 2003
Location: Where I5 meets the rain forest
Posts: 4,161
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 08:13 PM   #12
Join Date: February 12, 2006
Posts: 58
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 09:04 PM   #13
Ron Brooks
Join Date: June 25, 2006
Location: Panhandle of Texas
Posts: 94
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 09:26 PM   #14
Join Date: December 3, 2005
Location: The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Texas
Posts: 24,880
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 09:28 PM   #15
Join Date: December 3, 2005
Location: The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Texas
Posts: 24,880
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.
RTV works better.
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Old August 28, 2006, 10:01 PM   #16
Join Date: September 26, 2005
Location: Arlington TX
Posts: 791
The $19 Ikea bookshelves make great storage racks!
Which ones are those?

I've noticed the Fira storage series here

Or their snack boxes

Or the Mackis storage series

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Old August 28, 2006, 10:39 PM   #17
Will Cordes
Join Date: August 28, 2006
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 3
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.
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Old August 28, 2006, 11:21 PM   #18
Join Date: April 9, 2005
Location: Western NY
Posts: 311
That way, I can combine smaller batches of cases to conserve electricity.
or, take you tumbler to work and use their electricity!
"A thunderclap, a tongue of flame, the still abruptly shattered..."
Michael Marks
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Old August 28, 2006, 11:26 PM   #19
Darrell Davis
Join Date: August 28, 2006
Location: Deary, Ideeeeho
Posts: 4
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!
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Old August 28, 2006, 11:54 PM   #20
Join Date: May 6, 2004
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 419
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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Old August 29, 2006, 02:23 AM   #21
Join Date: May 17, 2003
Location: London, Ont.
Posts: 9,994
"...Theres no such thing as overlubing..." Nonsense. Like HankB says, you can over lube a bottle necked case.
My tip? If you go cheap on the bench and buy one with a particle board/OSB top, a square foot of 1/4" steel plate bolted to the bench and the press bolted to the plate fixes it.
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Old August 29, 2006, 03:06 AM   #22
Join Date: April 28, 2005
Location: Oregon Coast
Posts: 5,630
I make my own labels on my computer, using the "mailing labels" in Works.

I've made my own primer pocket cleaning brushes for about 25 years from the plastic covered 1/8" cable they sell in hardware stores. A foot of it will last a lifetime. Just be sure to dress the end on a grinder so you don't make the primer pocket deeper.

I've made a powered tool that mounts to my bench for cleaning primer pockets and chamfers case mouths. I can clean about 2,000 cases per hour with it, or chamfer about the same amount.

I've made several small tools for cleaning corncob from flash holes by using epoxy to glue piano wire of the proper size in file handles. I've also made several tools for cleaning around the ram of the press with the flat steel street sweepers leave in the gutter, by epoxying them into file handles. Use a pop rivet to take up half the space in the hole in the wooden file handle and epoxy both the rivet and the "tool" into place.

I made one of the above tools with a 90 degree angle in the piano wire, for pushing out those pesky primers that go part way back into the primer pocket and won't come out of the shell holder.

A small brush that's usually used for applying flux to soldered joints also works to clean inside a press, where it's hard to reach.

I made a tool for smoothing case mouths after trimming by using a 3/4" copper tubing cap and drilling a 1/4" hole in the center and putting a 1/4" bolt through it. Then fill the cap with stainless steel wool and run it in a drill and touch the case mouth to it.

I've cut decapping pins from 3' long pieces of piano wire of the proper diameter that I purchased for .45 cents at the hardware store.

I recycle all spent rifle and pistol primers. The current price is $1.30 a pound in my area, and it adds up pretty quickly, along with brass that can either not be reloaded or can no longer be reloaded.

I use Plasti-dip to make the handle of the RCBS hex lock ring tool larger, so I can get a better grip on it. I dipped it several times to build it up.

I put a counter on my Rockchucker press so I can get a count on the amount of brass I'm depriming, etc.

Some tools are mounted on 10" by 10", 7/8" plywood, and clamped to the work bench, so I don't have to drill more holes. All my lubrisizers and shotgun loading tools are mounted this way.

There are others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

Hope this helps.

After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs
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Old August 29, 2006, 07:20 AM   #23
Dr. Dickie
Join Date: April 19, 2006
Location: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Posts: 1,186
The only trick I learned is how to get the primers flipped (I use winchester primers and load on a Dillion). Save one of the plastic trays the primers come in. Open the new box of primers, and place the old empty plastic tray on top of the new on full of primers (with the holes of the old one facing the primers). Flip, then remove the plastic tray the pimers came in (they are now up-side down in the old plastic tray). Take the paper cover that was on the new primers and place it over the top of the up-side down primers. Flip this over and place it down on a clean smooth spot on the bench (paper against the bench, plastic tray on top). Now slide the paper out from under the tray and lift the tray. There you have it, 100 primers laying face up ready to be loaded into the primer tube for feeding.
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Old August 29, 2006, 08:58 AM   #24
Uncle Don
Join Date: April 22, 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 315
That those cheesy little collet rings that come with inertia bullet pullers are worthless and can be tossed. You can use a press shellholder for the caliber you are pulling and it works much better.
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Old August 29, 2006, 09:58 AM   #25
Darrell Davis
Join Date: August 28, 2006
Location: Deary, Ideeeeho
Posts: 4
"Super lube"

Now there may be some lubes as good or better then this, but STP did solve a problem once upon a time.

I was reforming a goodly amount of .308 brass to .243 and was stove piping the necks on 50% or so of the attempts.

I was using an RCBS lube which had worked fine for all other sizing work I had done, up to that time.

I decided to try a bit of STP, and what do you know, NO MORE stove piped necks!!

STP is so sticky it is just a matter of getting a bit on the "dirty hand" and smearing a bit on the neck and shoulder before the sizing operation. As I said, no more problem.

However, the down side is the cleaning as STP resists normal attempts at wiping.

I just used a good solvent of some type (gas works, but be careful!), followed by a good strong hot water/soap solution.

I would be interested in something which was as good as the STP but not as hard to clean up.

Any thoughts?
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