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Essential gear you never use

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by beatledog7, Nov 29, 2012.

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  1. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I have found the most redundant and unneeded tool on my reloading bench is the ubiquitous powder tricker. Here's why:

    They're not tall enough and don't have enough horizontal reach to trickle powder onto the pan of my scale. If the thing can't drop powder where I need it, what's it for?

    They're unstable; you need one hand to steady them while the other is turning the spindle.

    I use my scale to do two things: calibrate my powder drop for bigger batches (>30 or so), and weigh charges one by one for small lots (<20 or so). I almost never run 100s at a time on my SS press. For those small lots I use Lee dippers to measure powder into the pan, and I've learned that it's pretty easy to tap a couple of flakes/balls/sticks of powder into the pan while I watch the readout change. I can even use the dipper to remove flakes/balls/sticks two or three at a time, resulting in very accurate weights.

    So the trickler serves no purpose and sits in a drawer. What supposedly essential piece of gear do you guys never use?
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    A tumbler. Never had one and probably never will. Been loading for about thirty five years and am fifty.
     
  3. MAG-63

    MAG-63 Member

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    A case trimmer. I think I've used it 3 times in the past 20 years. I ran a large amount of 5.56, 30-06, and 30-40 through it back in the early 90s and haven't needed to use it since.
     
  4. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    Overall length gauge for semi-auto pistols, I use my barrels for that.
     
  5. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Primer pocket reamer. A chamfer tool cuts out a crimp better, and it doesn't scratch up or enlarge the rest of the pocket in the process.

    Primer pocket cleaner. It's just a funny looking screwdriver bit, and it cleans about as well.

    Hand priming tool. Slower, more fiddly, more effort, and less feel than priming on my press. YMMV.

    Ammo boxes. I loved them for awhile, but you sure can't fit nearly as much ammo in a range or rifle bag compared to loose rounds in a plastic bag. The only ones I routinely use anymore are for revolver fodder, cuz they actually makes it easier to load while shooting. With semiauto pistol rounds, in particular, they're just a hindrance. They get dumped out, anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  6. 777TRUTH

    777TRUTH Member

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    Digital powder scale. My beam just works.
     
  7. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    I use a 30-30 case as a trickler. I just put in a few grains of the propellant du jour and twist it 'twixt thumb and forefinger, works like a charm, just a couple granules at a time.
    A tumbler aint even on my list of necessities. Near the bottom of my list of reloading luxuries.
     
  8. Blackrock

    Blackrock Member

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    Lyman Case Lenght Gauge. I batch trim 50 to 100 pieces at a time however they gauge out anyway.
     
  9. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Looking at it the only thing on my reloading bench I do not see the need for would be all the lock rings for my Lee trimmers. But I do have to buy them with the kit so there are a pile of them.:D

    To the OP you could add a tape shell to the bottom of your trickler to make it tall enough to function and then fill the longer bottom with an epoxy/lead shot mixture and let it harden. This will make it taller and add needed weight/stability for you. I did this to mine.:)
     
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I think he needs a hot glue gun for Christmas. But I don't use a trickler either.
     
  11. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    Reloading bench. The Lee Hand Press works for me.
     
  12. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I did make the the trickler heavier using lead and wax, and making it taller is easy enough, but I never figured out how to extend its reach.
     
  13. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    The Hornady gadget that measures your chamber to determine when your bullet is at the rifling lands. I forget the name but it uses the drilled and tapped cases.

    You use it once on each rifle with each bullet style and then you never do it again.

    I'm still glad I have it. Maybe I just need to buy new rifles more frequently.

    J.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I find case gauges pretty useless. Other tools, like a good set of calipers, do similar measurements and can do other tasks as well. I never knew that I needed a case gauge until I started frequenting reloading forums.

    I bought a powder trickler but not sure where it is. It was easier to "trickle" with a powder scoop. I never was concerned about weighing every powder charge, the powder measure is accurate enough. I would weigh every charge when woking up loads and that is relatively infrequent.
     
  15. poco loco

    poco loco Member

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    I just set my trickler up on something

    usually the Lee shellholder set boxes, works like a charm and you can set it at any angle around the scale pan so it is out of the way.

    I actually cant think of anything I have I dont use except a Lyman Spar-T Turret press. The turret has to be so tight to keep from flexing that it is easier to change a die than rotate the turret for the next step and my RockChucker does not flex.
     
  16. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Wow.. I'm amazed at some of the entries here... how can you be a handloader for a long time, load rifle cartridges and never use a case trimmer? I'm not trying to sound like an ass, but I find that amazing. I don't know how you can NOT trim occasionally.

    Anyway.. the question at hand. What I NEVER use: holders for my Wilson case trimmer for pistol cartridges like 9mm and .45ACP. I've never trimmed those pistol cases ever, in decades of reloading. Bottleneck rifle cases are a very different matter.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    If you have say a couple 5 gallon buckets of 223 brass ahead like I do and go through them all completely before you start the cycle again it will take years literally for most reloaders to get 5 reloads on their brass. That is when I usually need to trim my 223. But if you are shooting 5K-10K a month that is a different matter entirely. :) There are some calibers that I have Lee trimmer setups for that I have never needed to use yet but will when I use the brass enough. YMMV
     
  18. WNC Seabee

    WNC Seabee Member

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    I'll get flamed I'm sure.....Manuals! I have a computer at my loading bench and can find all the load data, instructions, etc. need on-Line in seconds. I only use reputable sources (powder company sites) and can cross check pretty quickly. I don't see a need for the expense or space of printed manuals.


    Please excuse my typos...posting from iPad
     
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Poco loco:

    The height of my trickler was easily dealt with; what I can't work around is its short horizontal reach. I use a Hornady Bench Scale, and I like it, but the size and shape of the thing places the pan out of reach of the tube on the trickler.
     
  20. Searcher4851

    Searcher4851 Member

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    I guess mine would be a stuck case puller. Haven't had to use it yet. (knock on wood) Didn't buy it, it was a gift, but I've held on to it, just in case.
     
  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    But a stuck case remover is one of those tools you have on hand and hope to never use. I reloaded for over 25 years before I stuck a case on a Sunday afternoon. All reloading stopped and I spent the next three hours building a stuck case remover. Fortunately, I have a lathe to whittle out metal parts.

    If I had a stuck case remover on hand at the time, I would have been back in business in a few minutes.
     
  22. Otto

    Otto Member

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    I have a few presses I don't use like a NIB Rock Chucker Jr. and a Herters.

    But for the most part, I sell stuff on eBay I no longer want and spend the profits on tools that I really don't need. It's sort of an endless cycle.
     
  23. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    You can solve that problem fairly easy with a drinking straw :)
     
  24. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    I will have to agree with WNC Seabee to the manual's even though they are not on the bench. It's too easy to go to the computer now but I still use the manual's. I want throw them away.
     
  25. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Deffinitely a stuck case remover. I've never had to use it in over 3 decades of reloading bottle neck cases.

    As for the case trimmers, I can't imagine not trimming my brass. This is especially true with bottle neck cases which can cause catrostrophic failure if the mouth gets pinched between the bullet and chamber throat, and it can happen.

    GS
     
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