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Old March 10, 2012, 07:35 PM   #1
ZOOM2X
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usual colors for cartridge cases?

I've never done any reloading as I've done very little shooting. I soon, however, intend to join a gun club and start shooting. I want to reload, more for the pleasure of the accomplishment, than for the cost savings, but the savings will always be nice. (I'm still reading re equipment but as a newbie I think the Lee CTP is the way I'll start.)

I've looked at some of the neat reloading benches on these forums. I noticed cases, primers, powder, bullets and reloaded cartridges stored in everything imaginable. Some cartridges in all the same color boxes, others with 2 or even 3 colors.

I was thinking of buying storage cases from J and J Products, which, after a little internet snooping, appears to be a "paper" company that has had Pope Products make their moulds, and then make and drop ship their cases to the customer.

They look like good cases and they have 6 colors so I thought I'd go white for .380, camo for 9MM X 19, yellow for .38, blue for .40 S&W, red for 45 ACP and smoke for 45 LC. Does this sound like a good plan?

Is there any "convention" for colors for the various calibers? I just don't want to buy all this stuff and then have someone tell me that "everyone" uses something else and I'll confuse someone. TIA
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Old March 10, 2012, 07:49 PM   #2
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If your referring to the color of the boxes you store your reloaded ammo in, the only person it needs to make sense to is you. Proper identification of reloaded ammo is the most important aspect of storing it for yours and others safety. I use the same type and color boxes for all of my reloaded ammo and I lablel every box with caliber, charge, and bullet weight and type with the date it was loaded. That way leaves nothing to question.
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Old March 10, 2012, 07:56 PM   #3
Ideal Tool
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Hello, ZOOM2X. Hope you take the handloading plunge! ++ what Pottermountainman said..I usually buy whatever color strikes my fancy..or whats on sale! I have thought about color-coding calibers/loads with boxes, but for my type of loading...small experimental samples of different components..I always end up using whatever is available..sometimes even using rifle boxes for pistol rounds.
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:04 PM   #4
ZOOM2X
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Thanks. I intend to label everything as Potter Mountain Man does but think as long as I'm starting from scratch I might as well color code everything, too, and just wondered if anyone else does that.
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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Color coding sounds fine, whatever works for you. Label everything and keep reloading records of what you load and shoot.
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Old March 11, 2012, 01:16 AM   #6
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I actually store in pretty much whatever I can find. I purchased a few storage boxes when I started, but more and more I just gather up factory boxes and trays from others who don't reload and I use those. Absent either of those I'll use ziplock bags, especially of it isn't going to be stored long before shooting anyway. Basically you can use whatever you want as long as you label it well so you know what it is.
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Old March 12, 2012, 11:20 PM   #7
ballardw
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About the closest thing I've seen to a convention is using the Red boxes for loads that you might need to pay attention to such as rifle loads for a handgun cartridge or "Ruger only" 45 Colt loads if you have other models of 45's.

I'm afraid that as soon as I tried a more complex color coding scheme that I wouldn't be able to get the color I wanted for some caliber. For plinking ammo I tend to use the green ones, you know the type, made of metal for Uncle Sam and hold several hundred rounds.
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Old March 13, 2012, 01:45 PM   #8
Tom68
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I'm with many of the others here. As long as the system makes sense to you, color code any way you want. I personally have three different types and colors of boxes, and typically use one of each per cartridge (so far I only load 6 different cartridges...more to follow!)

I normally reserve the boxes for "working up loads": I wrote series of letters on rows and numbers on columns so that I can combine several different charge weights in one box, and use a simple piece of paper taped to the inside of the lid to ensure that I recall which charge corresponds with which column.

For other "don't matter as much" lots, I'll either use used federal cartridge carriers (with the belt loops on the ends....does anyone really use those things on a belt?) with the load data taped to the back. for high volume, single-data lots, a sturdy ziploc normally gets the nod, with the load data written on the bag.
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Old March 13, 2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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Someone once said, "There are those who reload so they can shoot, and there are those who shoot so they can reload."

When you have 137 different kinds of code, dozens of colors of labels, fingernail polish, paint, and boxes; compartments within compartments in your bench; hundreds of boxes of bullets (mostly from long-gone companies); empty cases dating back to the Henry rifle (hey, some day they will figure out how to reload rimfires); hundreds of canisters of powder, some with as much as ten grains in them, and dozens of feet of shelf space with books full of data you will never use, you are definitely in category two.

Shoot? Heck, who has time to shoot?

Jim
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Old March 13, 2012, 02:15 PM   #10
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I just buy the cheap plastic food storage containers for storage of cases. I am not one to spend money on cosmetics, function is every thing to me and form is secondary. I just use masking tape for my labels and make sure all relevant data is recorded. It works for me, For my rifle cases I can tell you the number of times I have reloaded each case, and how many times it has been annealed. With range brass I assume it has been fired once. Once I have a developed load I do not vary it. As long as I record the caliber and the bullet weight I know exactly how many grains of of what type powder are in the case and what the approximate velocity will be.

When working up a load of I have a spreadsheet on my laptop which is hooked into my chrono so I have a good record for that powder/bullet
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Old March 13, 2012, 03:02 PM   #11
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I am a cheap skate reloader. I do have a few of the fancy plastic boxes for ammo storage. Though they are all the same color. I can tell them appart by looking. All are translucent green. The top has the caliber writen on it. I do use a pharmacy label to write the load info on so I know exactly what the load is. If I have more ammo loaded than I have room in the boxes for then I have boxes for each caliber that I rescued from the brass barrell when people threw them there. (Oh wait I mean donated them to me.) I use the same pharmacy labels to write the load info on them as well.

For my .45 acp bulk ammo I put it in plastic jars that once were 3 pound peanut butter jars. They are water tight, and hold a lot of ammo. Very heavy if you are the poor sap that has to carry it a long way too.
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Old March 13, 2012, 03:20 PM   #12
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I use the 10x10 plastic boxes and do color code them. My .45 Colt are red. My .45ACP are red (but they are different size), Green for .44Mag, Blue for .44Spec. .357 I don't care as they are smaller boxes. Don't shoot .38s (if I did, I'd color code them too). All boxes are labeled on top of course to what is in them, but color does make it easy to pull a box from the cabinet.

I don't shoot enough rifle to matter. Only have one case of 30-30 and a few boxes of '06....
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Old March 13, 2012, 03:21 PM   #13
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I have been using the same set of PMC ammunition boxes and trays for over 12 years now.

I grabbed every one I could from a class at GunSite and even ended up using UPS to get some of them home (not enough room in my suitcase).

These are the PVC type rigid holders and plain cardboard boxes.

Treated gently the boxes last a long time.
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Old March 13, 2012, 04:03 PM   #14
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My system:
The green ones were on clearance.
The small clear ones? I know a guy who owns a plastics company.
Simple.
What matters is what's on the label.
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Old March 13, 2012, 04:20 PM   #15
rclark
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Quote:
What matters is what's on the label.
Well yes and no.... When you have say 40-50 boxes and from the front all look the same (say green) and stored in the same place... Not good.... It is handy to just glance at the color and know this box is .45 Colt... rather than start pulling boxes until you run into one that is labeled .45 Colt on top. Labeling is important for the load documentation, but color is helpful (for me) to pull the right box to begin with .
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Old March 13, 2012, 04:31 PM   #16
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It really doesn't matter. I've got a bunch of the color coded boxes I use for special loads, and those I don't make a lot of. But for loads I use up quickly and in volume, like .45ACP SWC and RNL, and .223, I use big vitamin bottles or ziploc baggies. Easier to get a handful to stuff in a mag than pull them out of boxes one at a time.
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Old March 13, 2012, 06:11 PM   #17
rclark
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Quote:
I use up quickly and in volume, like .45ACP SWC and RNL, and .223, I use big vitamin bottles or ziploc baggies. Easier to get a handful to stuff in a mag than pull them out of boxes one at a time.
Makes sense to me! I only shoot Single Action revolvers or Single/Bolt/Level Action rifles... so volume doesn't enter the equation!
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Old March 13, 2012, 06:37 PM   #18
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I like using different color boxes for different calibers; however, I seem to keep buying bullets, primers and powder instead of adding to my "store bought" Berry’s ammo boxes.

I find myself scarfing up every empty Tula pistol box/tray I see at the range. The Tula trays are compact. If I want to load 5 rounds, I just slip the tray out and dump one row, 10 rounds – dump two rows, etc. I write my load information on the back of old business cards and tape the cards to the box. Since I don’t normally buy Tula ammo (I do use some of their primers), I know the Tula boxes, on the shelf(s) are reloads.
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