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Reloading trays: please share your deepest insights.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by RM, Apr 22, 2008.

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  1. RM

    RM Member

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    A few questions on reloading trays. First, do most reloaders use them? Second, is any brand/style of reloading tray preferable to any other? And third, is it better to buy caliber specific loading trays or just the one-size fits all kind? Thank you.
     
  2. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    I see a reloading tray as an accident waiting to happen. I load one at a time on a turret press. loading trays are handy for single stage press folks that dont have a turret. the buggest mistake I can see hapening is the dreaded double charge.

    but then again if you are very aware and pay attention then nothing wrong should happen
     
  3. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I've used one of the multi caliber universal trays for 30 years and have had not problems or found any weakness in its use.

    Personally I believe there's less chance of a double charge with the loading block as you can visually check all your charge levels under a light. A discrepant charge with as little as .2 grs +/- is easily noticeable with most powders and a double charge definitely is. With a manually progressive press or a turret press all it takes to charge twice is failing to advance the case due to a distraction or other reason. With small quantities of fast powder that doesn't overflow, a moment of carelessness could cause real problems. Using a loading block gives you a QA inspection that you don't get with a progressive press.
     
  4. dodgestdshift

    dodgestdshift Member

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    You don't need caliber specific trays. All you need is for the cases to be stopped from tipping over, spilling powder, and rolling around. In other words you probably don't need a super perfect fit. I use a shotgun shell tray for my 45/70 and the one size fits all trays work for all my other loading.

    Some reloaders take a board and drill holes in it to hold cases.
     
  5. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    I make 'em in a drill press with a spade bit. I like them in five columns, with two extra rows. Rather than moving cases from one block to another, I move them from one side of the block to another, using the extra rows to keep them apart.

    I do not like one-size-fits-all trays. The cases wiggle around too much for an oaf like me. I've used the one-size-fits-all trays dad has, and I end up spilling powder everywhere.
     
  6. DMZ

    DMZ Member

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    I have a RCBS multi-caliber tray I use for one thing only. I place the finished rounds in it to keep count of how many I have done.
     
  7. dmickey

    dmickey Member

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    I use the Flambeau Twin-60 loading trays. I like them so well I have 21 of them! :D
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    WayneConrad said:
    What he said!

    I use 60 round blocks I made myself, or old Herters plastic blocks that hold 60 rounds.

    Caliber specific for .380 & 9mm because they are so short you don't want the holes as deep.

    Everything else, 30-06 & belted mag sizes fits all.

    IMO: Charging & loading one round at a time is an accident waiting to happen.

    I prime 50, 100, or whatever.

    1. Stand them mouth down in the loading block.
    2. Charge each one and set on the other end.

    3. When 50 are charged, inspect them all at the same time for unusual powder height, (low or high compared to the others. Might be a spider or a rock in one ya know!)

    4. Start all 50 bullets, move to press and seat them.

    You would have to really be trying to have a charge problem of any kind with this method!

    rcmodel
     
  9. Schleprok62

    Schleprok62 Member

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    I use the RCBS trays. I have two, one for the empties, and one for the loaded rounds. I work on a single stage press and load one at a time.
     
  10. WayneConrad

    WayneConrad Member

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    RE: Safety when charging

    Count when charging. If the number of times you pull the handle does not match the number of cases in the row, or column, stop! Look for an uncharged case, or spilled powder.

    Once the block is fully charged, using a desk lamp or flashlight, inspect the cases. Is every case filled to the same level? Is there any spilled powder on the block, or on the desk or around the measure? Does the measure still have powder in it?

    If the block will not have bullets seated immediately, cover it with a piece of cardboard, fiberboard, etc. to avoid the possibility of any powder being spilled from any cases, or any powder being spilled into any cases when powder is being handled around the bench.
     
  11. Jacka L Ope

    Jacka L Ope Member

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    Same here (but only for 22 years 'cause I'm not eggzactly the old fart he is :D) but not all the time.

    I only use them when reloading in batches of 100 and not using my RL550 in the "progressive" manner for which it was designed.

    By that I mean that I will, at times, prime the cases on the press, charge them separately at a different station with a different powder dispenser, then return to the press for seating and crimping.

    When I reload in that manner, I like to stand above the trays, ensuring the area is very well lighted, and visually inspect each case as it is charged.

    So much for "deep insights". :neener:
     
  12. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    Steve C (post #3) has THE solution for avoiding over or under charging.

    Any tray that correctly holds your cases is as good as any other. I have a few commercial ones and several shop made ones. They all do good.

    Loading one round at a time, from start to completion, would be so slow reloading would bore me to death instead of being an interesting hobby. I have batch processed my cases since the mid 60s without incident and with great consistancy.
     
  13. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    I have the RCBS one for 8$. It is one size fits all with no checkerboard layout like the others(Hornady). 41 Mag doesn't fit as well as 45ACP(308 Win family), and belted magnums. Haven't used it on small rifles or smaller caliber pistols.

    I get picked on by more experienced loaders that make them from 2x4 and a drill.
     
  14. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I'll echo what Wayne Conrad said. I always count the strokes of the handle of the powder measure, and it better match up to the number of cases in the loading block.

    I own all kinds of loading blocks, including the Flambeau, RCBS, Hornady and Midway brand, plus some I've made myself. The ones I like the best are the new caliber specific ones made by Midway. They're injection molded and very inexpensive, when they have them on sale. I've got about 30 of them that I've bought at various times.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  15. swiss7.5

    swiss7.5 Member

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    I use trays all the time. Mine are home made and I make them to hold 100 rounds. I own an RCBS block but do not like it.
     
  16. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    trays

    i use old 45 acp plastic factory ammo cartons & wood 60 rounders ,the wood ones are my favorite though ,load 50 & leave a gap of 10 between steps !!

    & i look into every case before the boolit goes in ,single staging or turnin the turret!!


    GP100man
     
  17. 17Chap

    17Chap Member

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    I use the MTM trays. They are universal (two sided) and someone already mentioned that some cases like 380 can sit too low.

    I only use the trays to lube rifle cartridges for resizing or after I have charged handgun cases on my single stage. I place the charged case in the tray till the tray is full. Then I inspect each case with a flashlight to check for uniformity in the charge. When that is done I place a bullet into each case and set the tray aside. When all my trays are full like this I switch to the bullet seating die and go to town.

    My little method, YMMV.

    Chap
     
  18. lamazza

    lamazza Member

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    I take a block of wood and drill approximate sized holes.
     
  19. mek42

    mek42 Member

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    I like to make a check weight every five throws of the powder measure. This is convenient since there are five rows that I use on the reloading block. So I only need to count to five while dropping powder. Then I make a check weight and start over at 1.
     
  20. TexasSkyhawk

    TexasSkyhawk Internet SEAL

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    +1

    Do the same thing. Never had a problem.

    Jeff
     
  21. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I've got a universal tray -- not sure what brand, MTM maybe. I love it for when I'm loading on a SS press. I catch all my [otherwise] squibs that way during inspection before I seat the bullets. Not that there's a lot of empty cases, but one in 500 is enough to ruin your day.

    I don't use the loading tray when I'm running the progressive press, obviously.
     
  22. Unisaw

    Unisaw Member

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    I also use the MTM trays. The only problem I have ever had with them is that, when purchased, some of the holes are a little tight due to a little excess plastic. A quick turn of a case trimmer remedies that problem.
     
  23. Wiljen

    Wiljen Member

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    Go by your local hospital lab and ask them for the test-tube trays from the vacutainers they use to draw blood. They hold 100 tubes each and come in 2 sizes that will accommodate most cases. They are usually more than willing to give you all you'll take.
     
  24. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

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    I use a reloading tray, but only to hold cases with powder in them. Before and after that, they are transfered between bulk containers during operation. I find that transferring cases between bulk containers is faster and easier. This way I only have to pay attention to putting/getting a specific case in a specific location twice: once after filling it with powder, and again before seating the bullet.

    I like the ability to see all the cases together with powder in them, which makes it easier to spot cases that have slightly different levels of powder in them. If I had to "remember" about how much powder should appear in a case, I might miss a problem.

    Andy
     
  25. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    I load on a progressive so I don't use trays, although I have two of them.
     
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