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How many rounds per hour?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Zeede, Mar 21, 2008.

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  1. Zeede

    Zeede Member

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    I've been thinking about getting into metallic reloading, and I was just wondering how many rounds per hour one can reload, at a normal pace. I will be reloading 9mm and 30-06, so I'm considering either a single-stage press or a turret press like the ones that Lee makes. How many rounds per hour can I expect from either one of these?

    Cameron
     
  2. fourrobert13

    fourrobert13 Member

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    With a turret, a Lee turret, you could do 200 rounds of 9mm per hour easy. For 30-06, it will take a bit longer as there is more case prep. I couldn't say for sure on the 30-06.
     
  3. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I use a Lee Classic Turret. I do all case prep in advance (sizing and priming). I can normally size and prime (using a Lee hand primer) a thousand 9mm cases in less than three hours. It takes me another three hours to load them (dump powder, seat bullet, and crimp). Six hours divided by 1000 rounds equates to just over one hundred and fifty rounds per hour.

    This works well for me; I get to seat the primers by hand, and have several case inspection opportunities in this routine.

    I can also meet this same productivity level with my rifle rounds, assuming I use an X-Die and don't have to introduce case trimming into the routine.
     
  4. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    Single stage, for 9mm, my setup/teardown time is about 25 minutes per lot, and my per-round time is about 30 seconds. A 50-round lot takes me about 50 minutes. A 200-round lot--my usual--takes me about 2 hours, or 100 rounds per hour.

    I don't have any stats for rifle cartridges, but I'd guess that the per-round time on rifle cartridges are easily double, what with lubing and trimming (and maybe even annealing), steps I don't have to do with pistol cartridges on my setup.
     
  5. Grandpa Shooter

    Grandpa Shooter Member

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    I have a Lee Turret press I use for both pistol and rifle. Once the dies are in the press and all the supplies are out on the bench (Powder, primers, brass and bullets) and the charge I intend to use is thrown and checked; using the hand primer system on the press and rotating the turret by hand, I run about 150 per hour.

    Loading rifle is a whole different story. The prep time for brass is long. You have to lube, deprime and resize the brass. Check the length and shoulder set back with an appropriate gauge and trim the brass if necessary. Then you would tumble the brass to remove the lube. Once that was done you would still need to throw and check the charge you intended to use. Then you can start with charging the cases you have prepped on the press, rotate the turret and seat your bullet, then rotate again and crimp the bullet.

    I think you would be lucky to prep and load 50 cases per hour. Loading is all about accuracy of your finished product. At least for me. If I want production I use my Dillon 550B.

    Take your time. Get used to what ever equipment you buy. Check each stage meticulously until you KNOW you are doing it right. Then concern yourself with speed. Go slow, get good, and then get quick if you want.
     
  6. alaskagunner

    alaskagunner Member

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    I own a turret and a progressive press. On my turret press I can do about 150 rounds per hour. I'm very glad I was talked in to the turret press instead of the single stage press. I would not have liked changing dies every step of the way.

    On my progressive press I can easily do 400 rounds per hour. (9mm or 45acp) I just ordered the case feeder for 45 acp and hope to increase that speed to 6oo or more per hour.
     
  7. dmickey

    dmickey Member

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    What is everyone's hurry?? :what: Reloading (for me at least) is a relaxing hobby that goes with the shooting. I use a single stage press (RCBS A2) and take my time! :D
     
  8. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    No hurry. On a single-stage press, you pull the handle 400 times and you end up with 100 rounds. On a progressive, I pull the handle 400 times and I end up with 400 rounds. Takes just as long to pull the handle with either press. No hurry at all. :D
     
  9. neal7250

    neal7250 Member

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    On my 550, I can do between 400-450 rounds an hour. On my 650 I have never ran it an hour. I can do 500, in about 55 min, and that's not rushing.
     
  10. alaskagunner

    alaskagunner Member

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    "What is everyone's hurry??"

    Let's see, wake-up, work, pick up my two daughters, help cook dinner, clean up, homework, errands, clean the guns I shot last weekend, make 300 rounds 45acp, 200 rounds 9mm, 50 rounds S&W 500, 100 rounds 38 sp. I'm going shooting with the wife this weekend! Repeat as needed.

    Actually I love my life. It just gets a little hectic sometime. Shooting and reloading is quite relaxing.
     
  11. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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    No hurry. I shoot competition and 50 rounds an hour on a SS won't meet my needs. I have a classic turret and load pistol at around 200 per hour. I load 223 after case prep at around 300 per hour. Those numbers are loading at a comfortable pace and not being hurried.
    Rusty
     
  12. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    It's a reasonable question to ask when you're getting started, and I happen to like keeping numbers. So I happened to have some numbers for Zeede.

    I know how much some lots of my rifle casings grew when I shot 'em, too, in case yer interested. ;)
     
  13. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    I'll never know because I get about 200 rounds into it and spin around in my chair to see what's going on on THR.

    A good friend of mine can make 200 9mm an hour in his turret, with no problems. Rifle is slower, as you have to mind the prep work.
     
  14. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    I get right at 200 per hour on the Lee Classic Cast Turret. Probably 1000+ per hour on the Dillon 1050. I have to use the vibraprime tube filler with the Dillon to keep up.
     
  15. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I'm with you. I don't even keep track of how long it takes me. I use a single stage and usually do it in stages. Decap a bag of cases. Come back and clean them. Size and expand them. Come back and prime. Then usually load about 100 at a time. I am back in an apartment so I have had to revert to a hand press but it gets the job done and I can do most of it sitting on the couch watching TV. I do it to relax and keep my mind occupied. Spending a few hours a week reloading keeps me in all the ammo I need.
     
  16. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Wouldn't have the slightest idea how many rounds of 9mm X 19 and .30-06 you can load in an hour on a Lee Turret. Or a Lee single stage press. I have both and I load both cartridges, but I load for quality and not speed...
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2008
  17. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Loading speed with a single stage press is a matter of technique. With the brass already prep'd, have a bin of unprocessed cases on one side and an empty bin on the other. Use both hands to move the cases into and out of the shell holder. That'd be in with one hand and out with the other while reaching for the next case.
    Do one step with all your cases then change dies and switch the bins. Loading trays and a powder thrower are used to charge the cases. They let you visually check the cases for powder and too much powder too. Then run 'em through the seating die and into whatever you're using for loaded ammo. This slows down when working up a load. Weighing each charge naturally takes longer.
     
  18. XD-40 Shooter

    XD-40 Shooter Member

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    I've got a standard Lee 4-hole turret press and since my Unique powder doesn't meter worth a damn from my auto disk powder measure, I have to weigh each charge on my scale, therefore I get about 50 rounds/hour. I'm ok with this, I can load 100 rounds each weekend and I'm good to go. I only shoot about 4 boxes/month.
     
  19. Zeede

    Zeede Member

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    Thanks for all the replies! I'm not interested in breaking any speed records, but it's still good to know approximately how long it would take me to load 200 or so rounds.

    It sounds like pistol reloading is a lot less work/trouble/complicated than rifle reloading. I currently do a lot of shotshell reloading, but that is cake compared to metallic reloading. At least, that's my conclusion based on my understanding of the processes.

    If you buy the bulk pistol ammo at Wal-Mart (I think it's Winchester), how many firings can you expect to get out of that brass?

    Cameron
     
  20. TAB

    TAB Member

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    you normally damage pistol brass ( in a auto, extraction it hard on brass) before you wear it out. 5-7 times is about right for most poeple( unless its shot in a glock then 2 or 3, if that)
     
  21. Grandpa Shooter

    Grandpa Shooter Member

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    The trick to getting a long life out of your brass is to not load hot rounds, and keep it clean. I have brass that dates back to 1993 and is still going strong. Once in a while a case splits at the mouth, but other than that it works fine.
     
  22. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

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    I have some nickel 357 cases where the nickel plating is almost worn off, and it's still going strong. I'd venture to guess it's seen 15-20 cycles. If you shoot at a public range, odds are you'll lose some of your brass and pick up someone else's before it wears out.

    As to how many rounds you can make... speed and organization are hand in hand. You're only making ammo when you're not reaching for things, looking for things, moving stuff out of the way...

    To quote Alton Brown, "Organization will set you free."
     
  23. Bear2000

    Bear2000 Member

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    I manage 180-200 9mm per hour with my Lee Classic Turret Press.

    When I reload .308, I take my time and do everything single stage, measure out each load by hand, measure the OAL on each cartridge. Maybe 30 an hour, but it is fine ammunition.

    And I agree with alaskagunner - it should be a relaxing hobby. Still, when you do want to be efficient when pumping out pistol ammunition.
     
  24. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Member

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    I do rifle on my single stage and pistol on my 550B. My rifle takes about 3 hours for 50 rounds start to finish.

    For pistol I do not do all the case prep I do on my rifle brass. I clean them then reload them. I can get about 400 rounds an hour without trying on my 550.

    there is nothing more relaxing that hearing the kerplunk every time I turn the shell plate. Beign able to crank out 400 rounds in an hour is very relaxing to me i do not rush I just got at a normal pace.
     
  25. Zeede

    Zeede Member

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    Oh, don't get me wrong, I love reloading on my MEC 9000GN. The only problem is that bad weather, illness and my work load have kept me from shooting as much as I usually do, so I haven't had a chance to reload as often as I usually do!

    It's kind of funny, I love reloading on my progressive shotshell press, but it's also too fast, and then I'm done for the month's worth of shells in just an evening.

    That said, the learning curve was hard, as I skipped right past a single-stage press to the progressive one...lots of spilled powder and shot pellets. Fortunately though, shotshell reloading is more of an art than a science, and way more forgiving. No worries about case trimming, OAL, etc.

    Metallic reloading is much more of a science, which is why I'm hesitant to get a progressive or turret press. Especially with pistol rounds, it's much easier to screw up and double charge the brass, and not notice, since 5-9 grains of powder is not much. I think if I just get a bunch of loading blocks, say 200 rounds worth, and just do everything in stages (deprime 200 brass, reprime 200 brass, charge 200 brass, seat 200 bullets, etc) it shouldn't be too bad, I can stay organized, and mistakes should be far fewer.

    I guess I'll be looking at either a Rockchucker or Lee Classic Press. I wish the kits people sold didn't include a scale. I have one already, and don't want to have two of them.

    Cameron
     
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