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Reloading club?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by digiears, Nov 18, 2007.

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  1. digiears

    digiears Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Hey Guys.

    I had an idea and I wanted people to throw tomatoes at it so I came here ;)

    I live near Nashville, TN and I want to get started reloading. So do some of my friends. Our problem is space and money (so unusual, i know). None of us have space in our houses, tiny lots around our homes prevent building a garage, etc. And if we did, we still would have a significant investment for equipment.

    Has anyone heard of setting up a Reloading collective or club, where you setup an organization, buy some equipment, rent space and share the resources? Buy the presses, scales, tumbler, setup a couple of workbenches and only let the members use it. Have safe storage for powder, and primers. Lockers for bullets and assorted special gear.

    Would you join if you didn't already have a space? Just wanted some input.

  2. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

    Jun 6, 2006
    Howard County, Merry Land
    That would be a great idea. If anyone is interested in starting one in or near Columbia, Maryland - let me know! :D

    Seriously, if you could work it out with some like-minded friends and all go in on a few different presses, and do a group buy every so often on components, I think that'd be awesome.
  3. rdhood

    rdhood Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    First... everyone has enough room to reload. When in my apartment, I bolted a lee classic turret to a piece of plywood. Anytime I wanted to reload, I just needed to clamp it (with some cheap rubberized wood clamps) to the bar and go. Took 5 minutes to setup, 5 to break down.

    As kingpin said, the biggest benefit to a club would be pooling resources for a group buy... like from powerdervalleyinc, or one of the bullet companies that only sells in the 10s of thousands.
  4. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

    Oct 8, 2007
    Near St. Louis, MO
    You might want to check in to Sportsmen's Clubs in your area. Here in the Midwest, nearly any town of any size has a fishing/shooting club or two. Ours is a small club but we still have over 200 members, and many are target shooters, even though it's primarily a fishing club. Annual membership is modest, and you only need a sponsor to join. They may also allow guests to attend a meeting, and if that's the case, you can ask at that point if 1) there's a range, 2) how many shooters, 3) does the club sponsor any shooting activities, etc. You may find that there is already reloading equipment sitting in one of their back rooms, and several of the members get together regularly to stuff some cases. :)

    Good luck!
  5. scrat

    scrat Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Monrovia, CA
    i agree with rd hood. if you have 5 ft of space you can load a bullet. My first press set up included a small 2x4 that i bolted on one side a press on the other side a lubrisizer. i had the bolts flush with the bottom. i used an old bicycle inner tube to line the bottom. Then i would c clamp it to almost any table. Storage. i used a $7.00 tackle box. on the bottom had calipers my funnel scale. and dippers. as well as load data. on the top trays i had case trimmers, de burs chamfers, bullets in the small trays, then on the larger tray on the top i put all the primers. it was fully functional. i kept the powder seperate. then i had a small 1/2 piece of plywood maybe 12"x12" one side was layered with a bicycle inner tube. The other side i Had a piece of sheetmetal that was screwed to the top. This was my work area. It worked great. Damn i miss that little set up.

    I even took a small piece of wood and drilled 1/2 inch holes in it. 1/2 inch down. it had about 60 holes. This was my loading block.

    The bachelor days.
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    Oct 23, 2004
    there are lots of clubs where people go in together to buy bulk components cheaper.

    i haven't heard of any co-ops for equipment, but nothing says you can't be the first.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    I have some small experience with something like that during my military service.

    Almost every Army post had wood-working shops, metal shops, auto shops, etc. as part of the entertainment!

    We also had a reloading area at 5th. Army AMTU open to all our unit members & guests.

    Would you believe, in every case, there was a huge theft problem?

    I don't care who your membership consists of, all your equipment & supplies will disappear at an alarming rate unless you stand there and watch it 24/7.

    And even then, some of it will slip through the cracks, never to be seen again!

  8. snuffy

    snuffy Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Oshkosh Wi
    ditto rcmodel!

    I was going to say that unless darn near everything is locked up, you would have theft or broken equipment problems. People just have no honor anymore! Some ham-handed individual, who thinks he knows it all, come in and breaks or bends something, then leaves without fessing up to it.

    Then theres the problem of accessibility. You show up to do some loading, there's already somebody there using the equipment. Add to that, the possibility of not being able to set-up exactly like you did last time because somebody adjusted the community dies differently.

    Basically it's a great idea. Especially for a newbie reloader to get help during the first couple of loads. Collective experience could be invaluable.

    Now for those ambulance chasers, :evil: the legal aspect. Some guy joins the club, makes some faulty loads, blows his family heirloom to pieces, and gets hurt. Guess who gets sued?
  9. strat81

    strat81 Member

    Oct 6, 2006
    Tragedy of the commons. It'll get destroyed and people will say "someone else will fix it." You'll have issues of people wanting to use certain components that weren't in the group buy. People futzing with dies. Theft. Trash. Someone emptying small rifle primers into the small pistol primer bin. Mixing powders. General disorganization.
  10. creekwalker

    creekwalker Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    Middle TN
    The concept of a reloading club is very vaild and many firearms clubs with ranges have reloading equipment set up for members use. What you want to do can very well be done, check with the NRA to see what clubs are near you and get a contact name and number.
    If this doesn't work than look into setting up your own NRA Club as this way you can have libality insurance. Depending on your location you can find an out of the way site to either rent a small storefront or to set a steel building up on.

  11. GaryL

    GaryL Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    Group buys are a great idea. Group tool sharing not so great.

    It's the same issue in the auto enthusiasts world from everything I've read. They've reported similiar issues with group ownership of things - stuff disappears, gets abused, broken, lost, there are questions of ownership and value when someone wants out (often for legitimate reasons). Sometimes it's the unscrupulous friends of friends that are the problem, but the club suffers either way.

    I don't have personal experience with that, except for getting back damaged tools after loaning them to "friends", who I thought I could trust (including a floor jack and a high end miter saw). I do have a friend who owns the dies, toolhead and shellplate for 45 colt on my 550b. I didn't have anything that shot 45 colt at the time, and he wanted to reload it, so anytime he wants to come over and use the press he is welcome to do so to load whatever he wants.

    I think it could be a great idea, if you could make it work, but I think if you add up rental, insurance, and utilities on a space over a years time, even shared with a dozen people, that alone might cover the cost of some basic reloading gear.

    You might try getting several guys together who are like minded regarding that first press, each get a press, and trading dies and stuff to minimize the cost to reload different calibers. I would think several guys buying some equipment together would warrant a discount from somewhere.

    Here are a couple of threads with some great ideas for reloading in small spaces:


  12. digiears

    digiears Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    small space

    Thanks for all the input guys.

    I'll fess up and say it's not necessarily that I don' have the space. SWMBO thinks we don't have much space. If I were single, the bench would be right in the kitchen!

    I had already thought of the liability issues and it's a valid point. Also the theft/breakage must be considered. That is why a lot of collectives die or become money pits I bet.

    I'm going to keep chewing on this, but keep the thoughts coming.

  13. boston blackie

    boston blackie Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Is anyone interested in starting a reloading club in the St. Louis, MO area (not to share equipment or a clubhouse) but for the purpose of sharing experiences with components, equipment, techniques, suppliers, ballistic performance, and problems overcome in years of practicing the craft (unless you're a beginner who wants advice on what to buy and how to do it)?

    The emphasis in this club would be on sharing knowledge, teaching newcomers, and would invlove relaxed, slow shooting as in bullseye targets (not counting scores but observing group sizes), and relaxed defensive shooting where the emphasis is on "one shot - one Kill".

    Anyone interested?
  14. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    Cornelia, GA
    Great idea

    I think you could take care of the theft issue by issuing keys only to paying members. Then you could have an attendant on duty to help new members and answer questions. She (the attendant) could wear a provocative pastel satin animal outfit, like a squirrel or bunny. When you were finished reloading, she could bring you a cool beer of a nice mixed drink. You could open one of these clubs in every major city. Key holders would be allowed to bring several visitors each month.

    Nahhh. Forget about it. It would never go over. :rolleyes:
  15. Muttt

    Muttt Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Near Seattle, Wa.
    Theft is your number one problem.

    Damage, unknowlegable people are your number 2 problem.

    The gear whore .... the "know it alls" and the "don't want anyone else using stuff, or letting them" is your number 3 problem.

    Then, there is the insurance. No matter where you do it ..... where ever that may be. You are not going to be able to do this without insurance or some kind of liability. Who's going to be responsible for the idiot who double loads everything and blows his hand off.

    Your club is going to end up paying his doctor bills and the members will more than likely be sued. Will it be because the members deserve it?? NO, it will be because that idiot will want someone else to pay for his stupid mistakes.

    Just my .02 cents.
  16. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    S. C. Florida
    Sharing a press would probably work until it disappeared. But unless everyone brought their own powder each time some darn fool would empty a hopper full of Unique into a can of IMR 3031 so the next guy could wreck his gun.

    And a perfectly reasonable loading station can be set up most anywhere. We traveled in our motor home for 9 years after we retired and I loaded on picnic tables or whatever else that was available. There is always space if you want to load bad enough. You just have to work more setting everything up and taking it down every time.
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    Like said above, you need very little space to reload. your equipment doesn't need to be permanently set up. As for price of equipment, that too can be less expansive than you think. Lee equipment is very reasonable as are their dies. A Lee Classic 4 Hole Turret Press would be a good idea for handgun ammo and a small amount of rifle reloading. If you are going to load for mostly rifles a Lee Classic single stage press will work great.

    Avoid all the headaches you WILL have if you reload with others and get a setup for yourself... (and buy components in a group buy)
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