What did you do at your reloading bench today?

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  • Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    2,362
    SOMD
    I used my new ultrasonic case cleaner on some 45/70 cases. Came out a lot cleaner than my shaker. Pockest and inards real clean.

    45-70.jpg
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    11,562
    Helped a guy get stuck case out using this method


    One of the things I like about the Lee dies is you can remove the tension nut on the back of the decapping rod, and then punch the case and decapping rod out of the case. Then cut the case open and remove the rod is worse comes to worse.
     

    wilcam47

    Active Member
    Apr 4, 2008
    24,309
    Changed zip code
    One of the things I like about the Lee dies is you can remove the tension nut on the back of the decapping rod, and then punch the case and decapping rod out of the case. Then cut the case open and remove the rod is worse comes to worse.
    I told guy maybe get a rod and punch out the shell but he had just bought a new primer pin and holder which he didnt want to mess up. We got it out though without damaging anything other than one shell casing
     
    Over the weekend I loaded 100 rounds of 45 Colt (single stage) and 250 rounds of 9mm (progressive) mixed recipes. I figured out what I was doing wrong with my 45 Colt expander die.

    I had been using it without backing it off but that caused cases to hangup pulling them out of the die. I highly polished the die and it was still hanging. Finally I re-read the directions. Duh. Lee says to run it to the ram and back off a full turn. This doesn't expand enough to seat the bullet. Turns out backing off 1/4 works best.

    I got to use my new SDB roller handle. I totally love the one on my RCBS Jr 3, I'm not totally sold on the SDB. It is nicer than the 8-ball but it would be better if it was a D style handle. It torques a bit when depriming and sizing at the same time (not to mention seating and crimping.) Loctite on the handle and or set screw threads is a must. I have a die for 9mm decrimp and sizing which I like to use before cleaning my brass to get the primer pockets clean. I tried it without doing so this time around for the full roller handle experience.

    https://inlinefabrication.com/products/roller-conversion-block-for-dillon-square-deal
     

    4g64loser

    collector of fine .22s
    Jan 18, 2007
    3,440
    maryland
    Loaded some test ammo with 145s and blue dot for 9x19. Expecting 1200+ fps at the top of the spread from a carbine. More like 1000 in a 4" handgun.

    Tired of shooting full size poppers twice.
     

    erwos

    The Hebrew Hammer
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 25, 2009
    13,230
    Rockville, MD
    Loaded another couple hundred 45, and also reset/tested my 9mm seating die after it came loose in a different session. Everything seems to be working now! :) I am due for another loading run of 9mm in a match or two.
     

    bhumbertson

    Junior Member
    MDS Supporter
    Sep 30, 2013
    36
    Walkersville, MD
    If you shoot a lot of 223, you'll thank me later if you invest in a good progressive. I can do 200 rounds of 223 in less than 30 minutes on my Dillon 550, and that's slow compared to guys with a 650/750 setup with case and bullet feeders.
    That's in my future plans. I could really use one for 223 and 9mm.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,994
    Glen Burnie
    That's in my future plans. I could really use one for 223 and 9mm.
    I did my first couple hundred rounds of 223 single stage - I wanted to be sure of what I was doing before I transferred it over to the progressive. It's nice to be able to crank that out when I need to though.
     

    Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    2,362
    SOMD
    Built a new bench.

    My other bench was narrow and short, and I was running out of room. So, I went to ACE purchased 5-2x6x8s and 5-fir 4x4x8s. #2 common is generally crap for furniture. So, after plaining, making lap joints via dado blades, joint top with biscuits, sanding and pouring an epoxy on the top I finished the project in 6.5 hours yesterday. I will be installing a drawer in the front too after the top is cured. I made it so it could be dissembled by using timber bolts in the cross member on the bottom. Timber bolts on the top back 4x4 along being able to unbolt the top from the frame. I basically doubled my workspace top is 25"x60".
    bench.jpg
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,994
    Glen Burnie
    That's a nice looking bench - well thought out and nicely executed. I also learned something today - I had to look up what timber bolts are. The more you know, right?

    One thing I've added to my newest reloading bench that I didn't have on my original, are sides and a back - can't tell you the number of times I'd inadvertently knocked something off of the bench because it was open on the back and sides.

    My first bench was also just 24" deep - I'd taken a 4x4 piece of 3/4" plywood, ripped it, and sandwiched them together for my work top. My current bench is 30" deep - the additional space front to back really comes in handy.
     

    lazarus

    Active Member
    Jun 23, 2015
    11,562
    If you shoot a lot of 223, you'll thank me later if you invest in a good progressive. I can do 200 rounds of 223 in less than 30 minutes on my Dillon 550, and that's slow compared to guys with a 650/750 setup with case and bullet feeders.
    Or a Lee Classic if you want to speed it up a bunch, but don't want to spend a bunch. Not as fast, but once I've prepped cases, can easily load 200-250 223 in an hour. Sure, that is half the speed. But it avoids some of the issues that progressives can have. I can prep on the press if I want, but I like to deprime and size, them tumble again, and then charge, seat, and crimp.

    It looks like I'll finally be working up a lot of 223 loads and shooting and loading it a lot more. I like ARs, but I just don't shoot mine all that often. I guess I am just a sucker for a bolt gun. Plus I have no where to shoot steel, on the move, etc. So from a bench, I just like me a bolt gun. It of course makes it super easy to pickup my brass.

    Anyway, I am picking up a Howa mini 1500 barreled action in 223 today. Something tells me that is going to dramatically increase how much 223 I shoot. I've got one in 6.5 Grendel already that I love. I had some 69gr RMR loads I was going to go test later this week that I loaded up about 2 weeks ago before I got the Rona. Then I decided to get the Howa 223. Fortunately, I loaded up enough to test it in two guns. It was going to be my 20" and 16" ARs. But I'll probably test it in my 20" and Howa. After early gun deer season I'll sit down and load up a bunch of 69gr RMR loads, depending on the outcome of my testing.

    I also need to work up some 55gr FMJBT loads. I have a decent 62gr Armscor load I've been using for plinking the last year.

    But, not shooting semi's all that often, most of my range sessions are 50 rounds max on a rifle. If even that. Usually, I am taking several guns. So, anyway, an hour of loading on my Lee is ~4 range sessions for a rifle. Since I get to the range maybe once a month, sometimes once in two months. Occasionally twice in a month (almost never more often than that), even if I was taking the exact same gun, at worst that is 2 months of ammo for an hour reloading session. Times a few guns and basically, I can keep my guns fed with maybe 2hrs of reloading a month. Even if I start shooting more (more rounds, more range visits) it probably doesn't get worse than 3-4hrs a month on my Lee Classic. And I really enjoy handloading, so I don't mind.

    Now if I retire or when my kids move out if I am getting to the range more like weekly, or I have a property I can shoot on, well then, a progressive might be warranted for my higher volume stuff, so I am not spending 8-12hrs a month loading. Even if I have more spare time, that amount of loading would probably feel more like a chore.
     
    Last edited:

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,994
    Glen Burnie
    I use a Brass Goat brass catcher for my AR - I like it a lot. It snaps on, stays out of the way, and doesn't impede the function of the gun. It has a "mag release" type of setup so you can drop the bottom of the catcher and dump it, then snap it right back on - it holds 30+ rounds, but not much more.

    I agree with you about bolt guns though. I've been shooting my 223 bolt gun a fair bit, mainly because it's accurate, which makes it fun to shoot.
     

    Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    2,362
    SOMD
    That's a nice looking bench - well thought out and nicely executed. I also learned something today - I had to look up what timber bolts are. The more you know, right?

    One thing I've added to my newest reloading bench that I didn't have on my original, are sides and a back - can't tell you the number of times I'd inadvertently knocked something off of the bench because it was open on the back and sides.

    My first bench was also just 24" deep - I'd taken a 4x4 piece of 3/4" plywood, ripped it, and sandwiched them together for my work top. My current bench is 30" deep - the additional space front to back really comes in handy.
    Yes, adding sides would be a good idea will see how clumsy I am before I do so. I just finished installing a front drawer. It holds the scales, reloading dies, calipers, calibration weights and small stuff.

    bench2.jpg
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    12,994
    Glen Burnie
    That looks fantastic! I really like the drawer - that's a nice large drawer and looks like it will hold a lot.

    I'll use that as a basic plan for the next bench I build - I'm looking to put in another 4' bench that's adjacent to my main bench so that I can set up a dedicated single stage bench. I really really like how you've got that put together - you maximized your materials for a really solid setup.
     

    Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    2,362
    SOMD
    That looks fantastic! I really like the drawer - that's a nice large drawer and looks like it will hold a lot.

    I'll use that as a basic plan for the next bench I build - I'm looking to put in another 4' bench that's adjacent to my main bench so that I can set up a dedicated single stage bench. I really really like how you've got that put together - you maximized your materials for a really solid setup.
    My other bench was kind of flimsy and wiggled a lot when using the press. Now, it should not move at all as it is solid as a rock. It cost me 100 bucks for the materials I already had the epoxy left over from a bar I made for a friend. I thought about inlaying some cases with heads spelling out 2A. Then I decided just to get it done and could always come back and do it later.
     

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