View Full Version : slowest reloader
02-15-2006, 12:27 AM
well i got in all my stuff for my 32ws. i got a nice set of rcbs dies. well im pretty happy with my equipment now a mix of rbcs and lee stuff. it all seems to work well. but i did notice it took me almost a 1 hour and 30 minutes to do 50 shells. ok yes a bit of it was that i had to set up the dies right not a problem, but man im slow. i guess im just scared of messing up and i know what will happend if i do. and btw the 50 shells that was just case prep time :???: only lord knows who long it will take me to do the rest of this lol. im sure glade i like my garage
02-15-2006, 03:22 AM
1) Its supposed to be realaxing.
2) wait till you shoot a few then want to try something else. You won't be able to wait to get back to the loading bench.
3) I loaded hundreds and hundreds of 357 with a LEE loader that you use a hammer to size the case. A press seemed fast .
Have a blast and let us know how they shoot.
02-15-2006, 04:01 AM
Yeah, it takes a while to develop a system that works for you. Speed is all relative. It'll come.
02-15-2006, 10:08 AM
You have made a good start! The fact that you are taking the time to make sure each and everything is right speaks well of you. Some people just want to rush into everything and worry about "the details" later. As you have already learned though, this is not the way to approach handloading. It is the single most important thing you have to know to be able to do it well and safely. You will develop your own system and rhythm with experience, and your production rate will increase accordingly. That rate is not bad, it often takes me longer to do a batch of rifle cases that size, especially if I'm trying for target/varmint accurate loads and weighing the individual charges.
As with any manual operation, the layout and placement of your tools and materials has a big effect on your speed and efficiency. How you stand or sit in relation to the press, how far you have to reach for cases, boolits, all need to be considered sooner or later. (Check out the movie "Jabberwocky" that the Python crew put out in the 80's, there's a scene in an armor factory that illustrates the dynamics of rhythm, motion, placement, and efficiency in an interesting and amusing way!) Using the same layout and routine each time helps and trains you to spot when something is missing or wrong, and not always on a consious level. The day will come when you get started and something doesn't seem right. So, with the alarm bell going off in your head, you will automatically stop to figure it out. Now, maybe it will be something inconsequential like the brass box is in the wrong place, or maybe you have gotten the wrong can of powder out and/or forgot to reset the powder measure and were about to do something seriously wrong. (After finishing a large run of several hundred .357 cases, I caught myself metering charges of 25+gr of Unique into rifle cases instead of RE7 - something just didn't seem right so I stopped to figure out what was bothering me. If I had been all in a rush, I might not be writing this today. As it was, I called myself a gd fool, thanked the odd gods of the galaxy, dumped the cases I had charged, changed to the correct powder, and then did it right. Might have ruined my favorite rifle and my favorite face - but the routine saved the day, I broke it by not emptying the measure and changing powders after finishing the first run, and it didn't feel right.)
Some of us persue loading more as a meditation than a production, to take the edge off of a hectic day, while others are more pressed for time and need to make every minute count. If you are the first sort, rare in younger men, in a few months you will have things sorted out to your satisfaction. If you are the second sort, ease into it slowly and when you have the basics down pat, you'll move on to a progressive if you feel the need to. I have never felt that need myself, but I am not pressed for time and I do not shoot my handguns competitively so I don't need to crank out the sheer volume of loaded rounds. Single stage presses have served me well for 30+ years and the several hundred rounds average per month that I load. (I get busier as I and my friends shoot more in the warm weather, but often don't go near the bench at all in winter as the shop has no heat.)
02-15-2006, 12:19 PM
With the possible exception of case trimming, I enjoy every minute spent at the loading bench. I do have a Dillon Square Deal with two caliber conversions. The original is .45 ACP, which I shoot a lot of. The second caliber is .44 Magnum because I have both a rifle and pistol in .44 Magnum. All other loading, even pistol, is done on a single stage press. I have no particular awareness of slowness, only fun.
02-15-2006, 01:24 PM
you have some very good points. i think i need to look at my process a little better. as i said im just getting my feet wet on this batch. im not really into super production numbers, im in for it more to have a sense of pride that it is something i made and that i get to see the results of shooting it and having fun. i think it is the neatest thing to start with something and build it then use it. as you said i will start to look at my process and devolop it better. im not really worried about speed more about safety. i just thought it was funy that there was so much into case prep i have realized. thats ok to becuase the amount im dealing with is very small. so wish me luck.
02-15-2006, 03:37 PM
I have a Dillon 550B for speed when I need it, a Lee Pro 1000 that I have dedicated to my little .32 H&R Magnum, a Lee turret for those times that I need less than 200 rounds of a particular caliber, and an RCBS Rock Chucker for those case forming jobs, and for cutting wads, etc.
The Lee turret is the most under rated press out there. It is made well, costs little and will allow you to run 200-300 an hour with little effort. I LOVE mine. If you are buying a press and are low on expendable funds, you can hardly do better for the the dollars. I really like the ability to drop a head in and be running in seconds on a different caliber. I have a wide range of calibers that I have interest in and just flat enjoy the "no hassle" use of the Lee Turret. Of course, now, I recommend that you purchase the four hole turret model.
Just my opinion...
02-15-2006, 09:57 PM
Your routine will sort itself out. For now, just keep your focus on performing each individual step and learning the parameters. The charging operation is the one that requires the most careful attention to detail. Did you get a loading block yet? You can buy a commercially made wood or plastic one inexpensively, or they are easy to make yourself with a scrap of inch thick hardwood, a forstner bit, a countersink, and a drill press to get a uniform hole depth. (Pine drills easier, but tears out and the holes are more likely to need more radical countersinking.) A twenty or thirty hole unit with either a side or an end handle is good to start with and easy to dispense into from a powder measure. I posted a photo of some for you a while back. It's easy to check the charge level in all of them at once with a desk lamp or flashlight as you can see clearly if any of them are filled to a different level. I use either small acro bins or small cardboard boxes to hold brass and keep separate different lots during the other stages.
One of these days I'll even post a shot of my bench setup. The illustration from my reloading book is too large to post here - If you want to see the setup, PM me an edress and I'll send it to you.
02-15-2006, 10:17 PM
One of the best case prep tools I ever bought, was a package of real heavy paper plates. Substantially eases the process
Dump all cases on plate #1, place them on next plate when finished with previous step.
that way when you get bored with one step or you fingers tire with that step you can do another step for awhile, without losing track of where you are at.
I deburr flash hole, uniform primer pocket, and trim every piece of new brass (except for my 38 special i just trim that), and the plates really help when you are doing large batches of brass.
Just did 500 357 maxiumum cases took better part of three evenings
I also keep a single AAA flashlight (mini, mini mag)on the bench to check powder in the cases while they are all in the loading block. Works especially well when using small charges of fast powder in handgun cases, to prevent possible double charge or no charge.
Your life in limb are waaaaay to important to hurry.
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