ITS ALL BEEN SAID BUT...Help me get started out please!

pcweidman

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Sep 6, 2012
197
0
43
Alabama
www.facebook.com
Dear Hide Reloaders,

My buddies and I want to build a bench that will get get us started and last us along time. I am sure this thread has been requested before so please feel free to give me links. I will list the attributes we THINK we want and need to accomplish, tell you what we are thinking now, and request your direction. First being said we are pretty savvy shooters, taking animals out past 1k shooting 338 Norma, 300wm, 7mmRUM, and 308's of all shapes and sizes. We like nice things and are students of the LR game but by far are not so cocky to say when we need help or dont know shit. With reloading we havent pulled the first handle and dont know shit!

We want to accomplish:
- High quality loads faster than a snails pace yet retaining quality
- Load, 300wm, 308, 30/06, 7mm, 7mm RUM, 9mm, .45, 223, and 7.62x39
- Concentration on reeling off a high volume pistol rounds and EXTREMELY accurate LR high power rounds on the same machine.
- Things that are important: High Quality craftsmanship that will last on the machine and ancillary equipment, warranty, American Made
- Large range of available converters and dies for said machine

We can spend decent money. Say our budget is 2000.00 will that give us a good set up? Please tell me what you would buy as a complete new setup even if it is different manufacturers for different pieces of equipment. I have been checking out Graf and Sons and we seem to like the Hornady and Dillon.

Thanks in Advance!

C
 

demolitionman

Send’r Bud
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 26, 2013
1,364
636
Midwest
Trust me, I just got into it too. First, spend money and buy every reloading book you can get your hands on. I've got Lyman's 49th edition (love it), Sierra's, Hornady's, Speers, and Lee's books. They will have every answer to nearly all your questions. Get the books. They were by far the best thing I bought. I couldn't have done it without them.
 

elfster1234

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Jun 3, 2012
    2,186
    461
    www.youtube.com
    I'm not saying my bench / reloading set up is perfect and what I did is correct. It is just what I did.

    IMG_5951_zps346fc384.jpg


    1.) first and foremost, you need to start out with a solid bench. If your bench moves one single bit, then you're f#cked! There can be a LOT of pressure and movement of the bench when raising / lower the ram during the reloading process if it's not secured correctly to the wall / floor! The bench must be totally solid!!! Absolutely 100% no movement of the bench. I purchased this metal frame kit from menards for $70 bucks:

    Adjustable Metal Workbench Frame at Menards

    2.) then purchased a 8' pc of stock kitchen countertop ($35?, absolutely love the surface for that f$ck up powder spill which will happen, LOL). Then I pl200 glued and screwed (just long enough drywall screws so they didn't go thru countertop face) from the bottom side 1pc @ 3/4"x2'x8' plywood ($10?) to the bottom of the countertop so my finished countertop ended up being 1-1/2" thick material (make sure the countertop stays straight as an arrow while the glue sets!)... Then I ripped up some 1/2" x 4'long plywood strips to fill in the backsplash of the countertop and pl200 glued and screwed that into place (so the backsplash didn't get crushed when lagging to wall)...

    3.) then I used a bunch of polebarn screws about 1" long to screw thru the metal frame into the bottom of the 1-1/2" thick countertop surface MOUNTING the countertop to the bench frame. Make sure you pay close attention to the eventual future holes you will be drilling thru your perfectly nice countertop face for your reloading press BEFORE YOU MOUNT THE TOP TO THE METAL BENCH FRAME. My 1/2" reloading press bolts with 1/2" washer & nut JUST cleared the metal bench frame. So keep a close eye on this. This all depends on the brand of press you purchase and the press bolt hole set back from the face of the bench top! Mine was a hornady LNL progressive press. For some reason, the manual said 3/8" bolts to mount press to bench top, but I think I went with 1/2"?? I would verify. BTW, don't f#ck up on your press holes!! LOL

    4.) slide unit up to the wall and center on the 16"o/c wall studs. LEVEL BENCH using the adjustable feet on the metal bench frame (put level left to right and front to back, very important for your press and powder scale). Once bench is totally level (very very important), then power lag screw (has built in washer on the lag screw head) 4 total 4-1/2" lags thru the backsplash into each 16"o/c wall stud (one @ each end & about two in the middle). Just make sure you pre-drill holes in the backsplash for the power lags. THEY MUST GO INTO THE WALL STUD! Then I power lagged the bottom / rear metal bench rail to the wall studs also. By doing this, my bench doesn't move one bit and didn't need to screw into the floor.


    5.) made my shelves out of some bargain area 1x10-8 pine boards and left them unfinished (glad I did due to clp oils and break cleaner). Cross cut the 1x10 shelf boards down just a bit under 8'long (want to say about 7'-9" long). I also ripped up some other 1x material to make the 1-1/2" shelf face perimeter front / sides to improve the shelf strength and glue / finished nailed the 1x2 shelf face to the 1x10 shelf (as shown in the picture). Mounted shelves / brackets to THE WALL STUDS (very important as bullets and finished ammo is crazy heavy).

    6.) When it comes to reloading, I'm a firm believer in buying once, cry once. This is what I did after doing LOADS of research and I'm sure this list is not even complete to what I have in the picture. This is for hornady LNL set up.. Will be different for Dillon or what not:

    - LNL LOCK N LOAD PRESS

    - SHELL PLATES FOR WHAT EVER CALIBER (IF USING HORNADY)

    - METAL TRASH CAN FOR SPENT PRIMERS

    - ANOTHER TRASH CAN FOR BAD BRASS (RECYCLE FOR MONEY ONCE FULL)

    - ZIP LOCK BAGS (AND LOTS OF THEM) GREAT FOR STORAGE & CHEAP, EASY TO WRITE ON BLACK MARKER, RE-USE ERASE MARKER WITH BREAK CLEANER. Perfect for keeping track of once fired, twice fired, blah blah blah brass. Even use them for storing finished ammo product. Just write on an index card and put inside zip lock bag so you know what it is (type of brass, bullet, power dropped, coal, blah blah blah).

    - TWO CHEAP PLASTIC WALMART STORAGE LOCKERS FOR BRASS STORAGE.

    - METAL CABINET UNDER COUNTERTOP FOR PRIMER / POWDER STORAGE, UPPER DRAWER STORES MY DIE SETS and HORNADY POWER DROP ASSEMBLEY THAT COMES WITH LNL PACKAGE DEAL.

    - THUMLERS TUMBLER B & 5LB OF STAINLESS STEEL MEDIA FOR CLEANING BRASS... JUST DO IT!!

    - CHARGEMASTER WITH MCDONALD'S STRAW MOD.... JUST DO IT!!

    - LYMAN'S CASE PREP CENTER... BIG FAN!!

    - OBVIOUS DIES FOR RELOADING (get ready for your homework)

    - PRIMER FLIP TRAY. must have.

    - CASE TRIMMERS (get ready for homework. For rifle, I reload only for .223 and .308, so world's finest trimmers work great for me, CRAZY FAST)... might not work for you tho.

    - I LIKE USING WILSON CASE GAUGES, but not needed.

    - HEADSPACE GAUGES (ready for homework again)

    - DIE STYLE BULLET PULLER (do not get hammer style). must have.

    - CALIPERS (I have cheap $20 frankford arsenal calipers and they work just fine) must have.

    - POWDER FUNNEL. must have.

    - BRASS SHELL HOLDERS

    - RCBS STUCK CASE REMOVER. must have IMO.

    - HOPEFULLY YOU HAVE A SINK / WATER / AIR HOSE FOR WASHING BRASS CLOSE BY. not needed, but nice to have.

    - STAINLESS STEEL MEDIA REMOVAL SYSTEM. (I just use a red $2 popcorn bowl and white $2 plastic strainer that I drilled more holes into. Holes just smaller than 9mm brass and burned off plastic burs with a lighter). (see picture). Got it from walmart cost = $4 bucks.

    - Another $2 popcorn bowl for spraying down brass / mixing brass with case spray lube (see picture)

    - $2 rubber mat for thumler tumbler B to keep vibration down during brass cleaning.

    - nice surge protector for your $$$ expensive equipment

    - imperial sizing die wax, spray lube, HORNADY DRY LUBE (don't get any other brand), AND break cleaner.

    - reloading books, reloading books, reloading books.... I damn near use 100% hornady bullets, so as you can see in my pic. Hornady reloading manual.

    - anything else, look at the picture for ideas.

    - oh yeah, 22" LCD TV that is hooked up to my computer with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for looking up reloading information online....... and maybe watching the packers while I reload.

    Don't ask me to type all of this shit again. LOL, JK.


    One more note, this place is your friend for purchasing reloading equipment.. I've spent stupid amounts of money at this place. Great prices and fast shipment:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/category/reloading-supplies
     
    Last edited:

    P7id10t

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 17, 2012
    406
    1
    58
    Portland, OR
    Only one machine and only one of you can operate it while the other two sit around and get a hold of their panhandle.

    I have 3 on my bench, one LnL for pistol and 223, and two RCBS Rock Crushers. Presses ~$650. Dies ~$500 (338LM, 308 Match, 223, 7MM RM, 243, 22-250, 9mm, 40S&W and 3 decappers)
    Invest the remaining $850 in your choice of the following:
    Must Haves:
    Hand priming tool ($45)
    Combination Powder feeder and quality scale ($250)
    Case Trimmer ($125)
    Solid Bench
    Organization setup (trays, shelves, or something similar)
    Brass cleaner (vibrating tumbler, Stainless media tumbler, or ultrasonic cleaner)
    +1 on reloading book(s)

    Highly recommend:

    bullet puller
    2nd scale, balance beam (Ohaus) as a backup
    deburring tool ( I use a Lyman, works great)
    Primer Swaging tool
    Primer pocket cleaners
    A good vise

    I'm sure there's other stuff....
     
    M

    milo 2.0

    Guest
    I'm not saying my bench / reloading set up is perfect and what I did is correct. It is just what I did.

    IMG_5951_zps346fc384.jpg


    1.) first and foremost, you need to start out with a solid bench. If your bench moves one single bit, then you're f#cked! There can be a LOT of pressure and movement of the bench when raising / lower the ram during the reloading process if it's not secured correctly to the wall / floor! The bench must be totally solid!!! Absolutely 100% no movement of the bench. I purchased this metal frame kit from menards for $70 bucks:

    Adjustable Metal Workbench Frame at Menards

    2.) then purchased a 8' pc of stock kitchen countertop ($35?, absolutely love the surface for that f$ck up powder spill which will happen, LOL). Then I pl200 glued and screwed (just long enough drywall screws so they didn't go thru countertop face) from the bottom side 1pc @ 3/4"x2'x8' plywood ($10?) to the bottom of the countertop so my finished countertop ended up being 1-1/2" thick material (make sure the countertop stays straight as an arrow while the glue sets!)... Then I ripped up some 1/2" x 4'long plywood strips to fill in the backsplash of the countertop and pl200 glued and screwed that into place (so the backsplash didn't get crushed when lagging to wall)...

    3.) then I used a bunch of polebarn screws about 1" long to screw thru the metal frame into the bottom of the 1-1/2" thick countertop surface MOUNTING the countertop to the bench frame. Make sure you pay close attention to the eventual future holes you will be drilling thru your perfectly nice countertop face for your reloading press BEFORE YOU MOUNT THE TOP TO THE METAL BENCH FRAME. My 1/2" reloading press bolts with 1/2" washer & nut JUST cleared the metal bench frame. So keep a close eye on this. This all depends on the brand of press you purchase and the press bolt hole set back from the face of the bench top! Mine was a hornady LNL progressive press. For some reason, the manual said 3/8" bolts to mount press to bench top, but I think I went with 1/2"?? I would verify. BTW, don't f#ck up on your press holes!! LOL

    4.) slide unit up to the wall and center on the 16"o/c wall studs. LEVEL BENCH using the adjustable feet on the metal bench frame (put level left to right and front to back, very important for your press and powder scale). Once bench is totally level (very very important), then power lag screw (has built in washer on the lag screw head) 4 total 4-1/2" lags thru the backsplash into each 16"o/c wall stud (one @ each end & about two in the middle). Just make sure you pre-drill holes in the backsplash for the power lags. THEY MUST GO INTO THE WALL STUD! Then I power lagged the bottom / rear metal bench rail to the wall studs also. By doing this, my bench doesn't move one bit and didn't need to screw into the floor.


    5.) made my shelves out of some bargain area 1x10-8 pine boards and left them unfinished (glad I did due to clp oils and break cleaner). Cross cut the 1x10 shelf boards down just a bit under 8'long (want to say about 7'-9" long). I also ripped up some other 1x material to make the 1-1/2" shelf face perimeter front / sides to improve the shelf strength and glue / finished nailed the 1x2 shelf face to the 1x10 shelf (as shown in the picture). Mounted shelves / brackets to THE WALL STUDS (very important as bullets and finished ammo is crazy heavy).

    6.) When it comes to reloading, I'm a firm believer in buying once, cry once. This is what I did after doing LOADS of research and I'm sure this list is not even complete to what I have in the picture. This is for hornady LNL set up.. Will be different for Dillon or what not:

    - LNL LOCK N LOAD PRESS

    - SHELL PLATES FOR WHAT EVER CALIBER (IF USING HORNADY)

    - METAL TRASH CAN FOR SPENT PRIMERS

    - ANOTHER TRASH CAN FOR BAD BRASS (RECYCLE FOR MONEY ONCE FULL)

    - ZIP LOCK BAGS (AND LOTS OF THEM) GREAT FOR STORAGE & CHEAP, EASY TO WRITE ON BLACK MARKER, RE-USE ERASE MARKER WITH BREAK CLEANER. Perfect for keeping track of once fired, twice fired, blah blah blah brass. Even use them for storing finished ammo product. Just write on an index card and put inside zip lock bag so you know what it is (type of brass, bullet, power dropped, coal, blah blah blah).

    - TWO CHEAP PLASTIC WALMART STORAGE LOCKERS FOR BRASS STORAGE.

    - METAL CABINET UNDER COUNTERTOP FOR PRIMER / POWDER STORAGE, UPPER DRAWER STORES MY DIE SETS and HORNADY POWER DROP ASSEMBLEY THAT COMES WITH LNL PACKAGE DEAL.

    - THUMLERS TUMBLER B & 5LB OF STAINLESS STEEL MEDIA FOR CLEANING BRASS... JUST DO IT!!

    - CHARGEMASTER WITH MCDONALD'S STRAW MOD.... JUST DO IT!!

    - LYMAN'S CASE PREP CENTER... BIG FAN!!

    - OBVIOUS DIES FOR RELOADING (get ready for your homework)

    - PRIMER FLIP TRAY. must have.

    - CASE TRIMMERS (get ready for homework. For rifle, I reload only for .223 and .308, so world's finest trimmers work great for me, CRAZY FAST)... might not work for you tho.

    - I LIKE USING WILSON CASE GAUGES, but not needed.

    - HEADSPACE GAUGES (ready for homework again)

    - DIE STYLE BULLET PULLER (do not get hammer style). must have.

    - CALIPERS (I have cheap $20 frankford arsenal calipers and they work just fine) must have.

    - POWDER FUNNEL. must have.

    - BRASS SHELL HOLDERS

    - RCBS STUCK CASE REMOVER. must have IMO.

    - HOPEFULLY YOU HAVE A SINK / WATER / AIR HOSE FOR WASHING BRASS CLOSE BY. not needed, but nice to have.

    - STAINLESS STEEL MEDIA REMOVAL SYSTEM. (I just use a red $2 popcorn bowl and white $2 plastic strainer that I drilled more holes into. Holes just smaller than 9mm brass and burned off plastic burs with a lighter). (see picture). Got it from walmart cost = $4 bucks.

    - Another $2 popcorn bowl for spraying down brass / mixing brass with case spray lube (see picture)

    - $2 rubber mat for thumler tumbler B to keep vibration down during brass cleaning.

    - nice surge protector for your $$$ expensive equipment

    - imperial sizing die wax, spray lube, HORNADY DRY LUBE (don't get any other brand), AND break cleaner.

    - reloading books, reloading books, reloading books.... I damn near use 100% hornady bullets, so as you can see in my pic. Hornady reloading manual.

    - anything else, look at the picture for ideas.

    - oh yeah, 22" LCD TV that is hooked up to my computer with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for looking up reloading information online....... and maybe watching the packers while I reload.

    Don't ask me to type all of this shit again. LOL, JK.


    One more note, this place is your friend for purchasing reloading equipment.. I've spent stupid amounts of money at this place. Great prices and fast shipment:

    Reloading Supplies Products -MidwayUSA

    Having access to a sewer line would come in handy, just in case a guy were to load some shit ammo.
     

    demolitionman

    Send’r Bud
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2013
    1,364
    636
    Midwest
    Having access to a sewer line would come in handy, just in case a guy were to load some shit ammo.

    Milo; i took your advice. I just set my reloading table up in the bathroom. I soak the cases in the tub, wipe'm down with the toilet paper, and pressure check them with the plunger. If a load isn't up to spec just toss it in the toilet. It's the next best thing to having direct sewer line. ;)
     

    P7id10t

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 17, 2012
    406
    1
    58
    Portland, OR
    Milo; i took your advice. I just set my reloading table up in the bathroom. I soak the cases in the tub, wipe'm down with the toilet paper, and pressure check them with the plunger. If a load isn't up to spec just toss it in the toilet. It's the next best thing to having direct sewer line. ;)

    When it's all said and done, do you wipe your arse with pages from your reloading manuals?
     

    demolitionman

    Send’r Bud
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2013
    1,364
    636
    Midwest
    When it's all said and done, do you wipe your arse with pages from your reloading manuals?
    I haven't resorted to those extreme measures yet, because I first need a paper roughness gauge and an absorbameter to find out which manuals will work for your aforementioned use.
    But in all seriousness, OP, the Lyman manual is the best for a beginner IMO.
     

    exx1976

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 16, 2012
    162
    1
    45
    Central WI
    You are waiting to reload for 9 differenet calibers?

    The best advice I have the time to offer right now is up your budget! Since most of those are rifle rounds, a "decent" set of dies will run you in the $6-700 range by the time you buy for all of those. If you start getting into things like neck bushing sizers and micrometer seaters, you could easily exhaust your entire budget on dies alone.

    My initial reloading setup was a Dillon RL550B set up for only .40S&W, and between it and all the other gear I needed, not counting bullets/primers/powder, I was $1200 in before I pulled the handle the first time. IMO, getting deluxe quick-change kits for the 550 is the way to go, and including "decent" dies, those run ~$200 per caliber.
     

    P7id10t

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 17, 2012
    406
    1
    58
    Portland, OR
    I haven't resorted to those extreme measures yet, because I first need a paper roughness gauge and an absorbameter to find out which manuals will work for your aforementioned use.
    But in all seriousness, OP, the Lyman manual is the best for a beginner IMO.

    LOL - Roto Rooter has had to rebuild my sewer system already...
     

    pcweidman

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 6, 2012
    197
    0
    43
    Alabama
    www.facebook.com
    Thanks so much Milo! That setup and the thought that went into it is sweet! I like you as it seems are very organized and like to work efficiently via organization and proper tools. I dont know about wiping my ass with anything like P7 said but I may be wiping my ass with my first attempts.

    I like the idea of going with first rifle rounds. However pistol is getting so high in cost that I hope no gun legislation happens and everything dies down. What a rip off! I like esoteric rounds that hit hard and I like the science and trial and error of pushing a custom rifle to the limit but it doesnt help if you dont have the ammo to do it. It seems there is some good advice here on what to buy. WHO WOULD YOU ADVISE BUYING IT FROM GUYS? Midway, Graf, etc etc?

    Thanks I look forward to hearing any more tips that come this threads way!
     

    demolitionman

    Send’r Bud
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2013
    1,364
    636
    Midwest
    Weidman, here on the Hide Milo helped me get going in the reloading deal. Everything he advised me to do was spot on as far as equipment. He's gtg for legit advice.
     
    M

    milo 2.0

    Guest
    Thanks so much Milo! That setup and the thought that went into it is sweet! I like you as it seems are very organized and like to work efficiently via organization and proper tools. I dont know about wiping my ass with anything like P7 said but I may be wiping my ass with my first attempts.

    I like the idea of going with first rifle rounds. However pistol is getting so high in cost that I hope no gun legislation happens and everything dies down. What a rip off! I like esoteric rounds that hit hard and I like the science and trial and error of pushing a custom rifle to the limit but it doesnt help if you dont have the ammo to do it. It seems there is some good advice here on what to buy. WHO WOULD YOU ADVISE BUYING IT FROM GUYS? Midway, Graf, etc etc?

    Thanks I look forward to hearing any more tips that come this threads way!

    Hey Dude,
    I didn't give any advice yet, I was just commenting on elfster's pic, bench is right next to his sewer line. I really don't give advice when it comes to brands of goods. A person just needs to look at budget, needs, wants and weigh it out. Today, all stuff is qaulity, so who's to tell you what you're going to be happy with.
    As for where to buy, find the cheapest place, or multiple places and buy, once it is in your home, you'll be dealing with the manufacturer from then out.
     

    fireEMT5

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 3, 2010
    816
    0
    53
    S.E. Minnesota, USA
    In these uncertain times, buy what you need / want from where ever you can find it - Cabela's, Midway, Midsouth, Grafs.

    When you get around to buying components - if/when things simmer down a bit, buy as much as you can in bulk as far as bullets, primers, powder. You'll be paying a hazmat fee on top of shipping charges for primers and powder. Places like Powder Valley will ship primers and powder under one hazmat charge up to a certain weight. If you can afford it and the supplies are avialable, order the hazmat stuff right up to the weight limit so spread out the cost over as much product as you can to save money.

    You may save some $'s if you can settle on a powder that will work well across a couple of calibers, the buy that powder in 8lb. jugs. Spend alot of time reading in the reloading section here, and/or asking to help you settle on powders. No sense re-inventing the wheel and buying 1 lb. jars of different powders only to find out they aren't going to work for you. Refering to multiple reloading manuals and online resources will lead you to find powders that should fit more than one caliber. Don't be afraid to call up the different powder manuacturers on the phone and talk to them. Tell them what you are all reloading for and see what they recommend.

    Get on as many mailing lists as you can from the above mentioned businesses. Last year I had a Cabela's shooting catalog that listed CCI primers for $29.00 / 1000 and the catalog was good for all year. Each time I went into the store, even though the price was higher on the shelf, they honored the catalog price. Could have bought primers cheaper through Powder Valley, but once I added in the hazmat fee and shipping, it didn't pencil out. What I'm saying is keep looking all around for the best prices.

    How much room do you have for your intended work space? Will you have a dedicated room? If there will often be 2 - 4 of you wanting to work at the same time, and you have room, you may want to consider a big bench or island that allows several of you to have a work space at the same time, such as an area for cleaning brass, prepping brass, and reloading.... just another thought. Check out this thread for ideas - http://www.snipershide.com/shooting/snipers-field-photography/462-bench-room-pics.html
     
    Last edited:

    demolitionman

    Send’r Bud
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2013
    1,364
    636
    Midwest
    Ive found the best way to get anything anymore locally is to have ALL of your buddies looking for things you need everytime they go out. I have two friends, both always call me when they are in an outdoors store to ask if they should look for anything. I do the same for them. This is the only way I found H4350, Primers, and certain bullets. I'm not real into online ordering, so having your friends looking out for things you need and vice versa, always always pays off better than a wasted trip to the local store. Also getting in tight with one employee is a major plus. A text saying "yo dude, we just put out Varget" is the best feeling in the world!
     

    flashhole

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Sep 15, 2007
    431
    27
    68
    Owego
    Here's something you might consider if your and your buddies are going to be working at the same bench. The island is highly functional and gives access to all sides. This cost me about $200 to build. The vertical uprights are the fake deck material and you buy them at Lowes (very heavy). I used a single sheet of 3/4" plywood for the shelves (supported by 5/4" boards) and cross braces and the steel plates strattling the uprights are 5/16" thick. I glued and screwed everything. The Floor and Stair paint I used to finish it dried like concrete. This thing is hell bent for stout. I don't favor wall hugging benches. Not much creativity there. Don't favor Hornady reloading equipment either, I especially like using multiple single-stage presses. I load a lot of rifle cartridges.

    MainReloadingBench.jpg
     

    elfster1234

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 3, 2012
    2,186
    461
    www.youtube.com
    lol, what a bunch of assholes. hehehe good stuff... Wouldn't expect anything less from SH. See what you get for trying to help someone out! haha, good laugh & enjoyed the jokes.


    Milo; i took your advice. I just set my reloading table up in the bathroom. I soak the cases in the tub, wipe'm down with the toilet paper, and pressure check them with the plunger. If a load isn't up to spec just toss it in the toilet. It's the next best thing to having direct sewer line. ;)
     

    elfster1234

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jun 3, 2012
    2,186
    461
    www.youtube.com
    very nice setup!

    Here's something you might consider if your and your buddies are going to be working at the same bench. The island is highly functional and gives access to all sides. This cost me about $200 to build. The vertical uprights are the fake deck material and you buy them at Lowes (very heavy). I used a single sheet of 3/4" plywood for the shelves (supported by 5/4" boards) and cross braces and the steel plates strattling the uprights are 5/16" thick. I glued and screwed everything. The Floor and Stair paint I used to finish it dried like concrete. This thing is hell bent for stout. I don't favor wall hugging benches. Not much creativity there. Don't favor Hornady reloading equipment either, I especially like using multiple single-stage presses. I load a lot of rifle cartridges.

    MainReloadingBench.jpg
     
    M

    milo 2.0

    Guest
    Elfster,
    I have almost the same setup as Flashole, only mines on steroids, 3'x6', with casters and wired for power. If you pm your email addy, I can take pics.




    Here's something you might consider if your and your buddies are going to be working at the same bench. The island is highly functional and gives access to all sides. This cost me about $200 to build. The vertical uprights are the fake deck material and you buy them at Lowes (very heavy). I used a single sheet of 3/4" plywood for the shelves (supported by 5/4" boards) and cross braces and the steel plates strattling the uprights are 5/16" thick. I glued and screwed everything. The Floor and Stair paint I used to finish it dried like concrete. This thing is hell bent for stout. I don't favor wall hugging benches. Not much creativity there. Don't favor Hornady reloading equipment either, I especially like using multiple single-stage presses. I load a lot of rifle cartridges.

    MainReloadingBench.jpg
     

    damoncali

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 19, 2011
    1,377
    82
    48
    Omaha, Nebraska
    bisonballistics.com
    I disagree that a solid bench is important. It's a good idea, but mostly because it keeps the press from shaking all your stuff around. It won't make the ammo more accurate.

    Your budget is a tad low for EXTREMELY accurate in all of those calibers. Good Redding bushing dies with a micrometer seating die will cost you $150-200 per caliber. Anyhow, here's a list:

    MUST HAVE:
    -Press (Rockchuckers are nice)
    -Scale - one of the fancy ones with the built in powder measure is nice, but not necessary. You can save some bucks and just throw a couple tenths light and finish up wiht a trickler.
    -Case blocks - to hold the cases in
    -Dies (I'm partial to the high-end Reddings) and bushings if required
    -shell holders for each family of calibers
    -Case lube - do not think you can skip this. You've been warned.
    -Reloading Manual- The majors are all good. The Sinclair book is great for advanced topics if you can find one (Sinclair International's Precision Reloading & Shooting Handbook 10th Edition: Bill Gravatt, Fred Sinclair: Amazon.com: Books)
    -6" calipers. You do NOT need to spend a lot here, but go ahead if it makes you feel better.
    -powder measure/stand. If you want to go top notch, get a harrel or equivalent. Otherwise, consider one of the micrometer upgrades.
    -powder funnel
    -ammo boxes

    REALLY, REALLY WANT
    -Hand priming tool. All the one's I've use are of disappointing quality, but they work and you'll really want it. Square tray, not an old round one!
    -Case trimmer you'll need it eventually, but you can get started without
    -Deburring tool (needed to trim cases)
    -RCBS Precision mic for each caliber - these things are great. Worth the cash.
    -check weights - cheap peace of mind for your scale. Keeps your OCD in check.

    NICE TO HAVE
    -Case cleaning system (tumbler, ultrasound, etc)
    -Bullet puller
    -Stuck case remover
    -maybe one of those bench priming systems? I've never used one but have been tempted.

    And that's before you get to neck turning, wildcatting, hand dies/arbor presses, etc.
     

    lawman29

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 19, 2012
    177
    0
    68
    Cody, Wyoming
    C,

    "I" have some thoughts on your premise that "you and your buddies" are going to put together a reloading bench. Partnering with a group of guys is fraught with peril if you do not have a lot of discussion before hand about 'dissolutionment' and 'ground rules' (nothing lasts forever...). I'll assume for the discussion that the bench is going to be at your home.

    Who owns what, one or more buddies doesn't want to do it anymore, what's the payout etc. What are the ground rules; it's convenient for you to reload whenever you have free time because it's right there at home, not so much for the buddies. When it's convenient for them may not work so much for you... You need to have these discussions ahead of time!

    Since the bench as at your home, you're the go to guy, why because it's convenient (see above), essentially you end up reloading for the group...This brings up another area that is discussed on the forum about using someone else's reloads...Why can't we all just trust each other...HA!

    Let's say we get past all that, you've combined cash and bought presses, scales, etc. Now we need to buy components (primers, powder, bulllets, brass). Who buys what? Are these items group owned or individually? Group owned, one guys is shooting more than the others and is using more than his fair share? Get where I'm going. Another conflict could be shooting the same caliber but different rifles; brass gets mixed than have to full length re-size as opposed to neck size...

    Hopefully this will get you to thinking and bring about a good discussion among your buddies. I for one would not have a group owned bench. I would want to own the bench and all presses, scales, etc. I would allow the buddies to come over and reload on my bench using their components when it was convenient for me...(I would not charge them any fee to use my bench as this would imply some sort of right...). You could do bulk buys on components to save money and divide it up when received.

    Tim
     

    demolitionman

    Send’r Bud
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 26, 2013
    1,364
    636
    Midwest
    Very well thought out Lawman. I have a buddy who already thinks its no big deal if he loads up with my powder and primers....he seems to justify it by telling me : "man when I figure out what powders work for me ill buy my own, so just let me use yours to make a few boxes". I guess I didn't realize how precious powder was until I got into this. You nailed it Laawman!
     

    JGorski

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 25, 2011
    2,996
    11
    60
    Central Wis.
    What you see on & below my bench is all youll need, I have no use for a progressive setup, I mostly(99.8%) load rifle rounds, Ill agree that the Lyman is a very good reloading manual, my 47th edition is falling apart. Ive got an old Hornady & Speer, also. Someone mentioned that a bullet puller is something you might need, I say it's a MUST! Dont forget Loading trays, ammo boxes, I use Midways plastic ammo boxes. Chamfer tool, primer pocket cleaner, small & large, Hornadys Unique lube works great for smaller jobs, their "One-Shot" works great for larger ones, just make sure you shake the can for 1 min before using, the Unique is the best for the money, youll never get a case stuck with it, and you dont need much, little dab we'll do ya.
    Frankford Arsenal Flip-Top Ammo Box #510 25-06 Remington 270
    2HsBbJj.jpg
     

    JGorski

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 25, 2011
    2,996
    11
    60
    Central Wis.
    Tim did nail it right, one of these guys maybe more might get sick of reloading, my son hates reloading, he'd rather buy Wolf crap for his AR & AKs, I can see it for AKs, but ive got 223 dies and a load that works very well for it(Rock River), what if more than one guy wanna load at the same time, youll be fighting for the press or the powder measure, HEY, I need that primer tool!!! How many guys are going in on this venture?
     

    damoncali

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 19, 2011
    1,377
    82
    48
    Omaha, Nebraska
    bisonballistics.com
    Poor man's bullet puller: take the die out of the press, run the round up through the hole, and grab the bullet with pliers. Use the press to pull the case down off the bullet. Works in a pinch but will trash the bullet, obviously.
     

    JGorski

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 25, 2011
    2,996
    11
    60
    Central Wis.
    Kinetic puller works just fine for me, wont harm the bullet and you's be surprised how many bullets you may have to pull some day, guy at work gave me over a 100 shells few years ago, told me some of them seemed kinda hot so I pulled them all, took a little time, loaded them up with a good load and gave em back to him.
     

    exx1976

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 16, 2012
    162
    1
    45
    Central WI
    Anothing thing to consider about multi-user equipment:

    You have a single .308. You have the powder measure and dies all set for that rifle. If it were only your equipment, you wouldn't have to fiddle with them again.
    You have a single .223. You have the powder measure and dies all set for that rifle. If it were only your equipment, you wouldn't have to fiddle with them again.

    Now, a buddy uses your equipment (or you went in halves or whatever). You decide to load two different bullets, so the seater die is constantly changing. Because it's two different bullets, it's two different charge weights, so you have to screw with that.

    Me? I like my seaters EXACTLY the way they were, and the same for my powder measure. Consistency is the mother of accuracy.
     

    JGorski

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 25, 2011
    2,996
    11
    60
    Central Wis.
    Anothing thing to consider about multi-user equipment:



    Now, a buddy uses your equipment (or you went in halves or whatever). You decide to load two different bullets, so the seater die is constantly changing. Because it's two different bullets, it's two different charge weights, so you have to screw with that.

    Me? I like my seaters EXACTLY the way they were, and the same for my powder measure. Consistency is the mother of accuracy.

    I dont consider that to be a big deal because ive changed lot numbers of powder half way thru a reloading session and had to reset my powder measure(for hunting loads, not benchrest shooting), same goes for the bullet seater, sometimes I forgot which bullet I seated last so I turn the seater plug out and start from scratch, so to speak, it doesnt take that long to get my 168AMAXs back down to 2.825" oal, again.
    You and your partners should mark whos primers, bullets and powder is whos or there's going to be fighting, not like you're going to borrow them while he's out or anything like that, lol. Reminds me when I had roommates and I just made a pan of lasagna, had one piece, next morning it was fucking GONE!!!!! The whole fucking pan!!
     

    exx1976

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 16, 2012
    162
    1
    45
    Central WI
    I dont consider that to be a big deal because ive changed lot numbers of powder half way thru a reloading session and had to reset my powder measure(for hunting loads, not benchrest shooting), same goes for the bullet seater, sometimes I forgot which bullet I seated last so I turn the seater plug out and start from scratch, so to speak, it doesnt take that long to get my 168AMAXs back down to 2.825" oal, again.
    You and your partners should mark whos primers, bullets and powder is whos or there's going to be fighting, not like you're going to borrow them while he's out or anything like that, lol. Reminds me when I had roommates and I just made a pan of lasagna, had one piece, next morning it was fucking GONE!!!!! The whole fucking pan!!

    I suppose my original post is only applicable if you always load the same powder and bullet for a round (which I do). Good point.

    Sucks about the lasagna. LOL
     

    JGorski

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Oct 25, 2011
    2,996
    11
    60
    Central Wis.
    I suppose my original post is only applicable if you always load the same powder and bullet for a round (which I do). Good point.

    Sucks about the lasagna. LOL

    Well, the roomy did pay me 5 bucks for eating it all, he was hungry, well if you're hungry................Carl's Jr.? lol