My Hornady LNL setup, bench construction, & gear to get going. Reloading pistol & rifle!

elfster1234

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  • Jun 3, 2012
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    I'm not saying my bench / reloading set up is perfect and what I did is correct. It is just what I did. At the very least it should give you some ideas to get going. Learn from my research and mistakes.

    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 also set my press mount holes back further than what was recommended in the manual. I would verify. BTW, don't f#ck up on your press holes!! LOL. Measure twice, and drill once. I want to say I drilled a smaller "pilot hole" before using the monster 1/2" drill bit. Once again, verify bolt size & length before anything!

    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!! might want to consider getting stainless steel pellets rather than pins... I've found SS pins stuck in 9mm primer pockets lately (as in stuck so bad needed to be pulled out with needlenose),,, so you might want to consider pellets!! Something to consider and research!

    - 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)

    - RCBS LOCK OUT DIE (for pistol mostly), HUGE HUGE HUGE FAN!!

    - 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 but are caliber specific)... 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 walmart rubber mat for thumler tumbler B to keep vibration down during brass cleaning.

    - nice surge protector for your $$$ expensive equipment

    - dehumidifier during summer months

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

    - $1 store time!!!!! dish soap high concentrated, and limishine from walmart for cleaning brass in thumler tumbler!!

    - 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


    OH YEAH!?!? brass, powder, bullets, and primers!! duh!!!!
     
    Last edited:

    Pester

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    Nov 20, 2012
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    it looks like there is either a TV or computer monitor to the left and behind the press and behind your shooter.

    Maybe I am not seeing that correctly...
     

    P7id10t

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    Dec 17, 2012
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    - 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.

    It serves as a mirror so he can see what he's doing -- his vision is obscured by a big, moldy block of cheese on his head....
     

    elfster1234

    Gunny Sergeant
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  • Jun 3, 2012
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    lol, yeah.... its a TV.... it is for watching the packers!! nothing better than reloading and packers at the same time (usually only do this when cleaning brass, cleaning rifles / pistols, or dropping powder... this is also my laundry room / utility room). It is also hooked up to my computer and I have all my reloading information stored on PDF files and general reloading information... yes, it is a little over the top but it is nice to have.