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Old December 2, 2012, 08:27 PM   #1
wuluf
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How Long Do 50 Rounds Take?

I have a single stage Lee press bolted to a Workmate bench. I load .44 Special, .38 Special and .45 ACP using a dipper for powder. Once i get the press set up and the dipper "accurized" it takes me about 30-40 minutes to load 50 rounds. I know I'm slow (i prefer "thorough") but i'm wondering how long it takes you to load 50 rounds.

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Old December 2, 2012, 09:20 PM   #2
slugoo
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I would work on quality of rounds and not the how fast I can make them. Saying that Its possible if you are using the same case and bullet to make a couple hundred an hour once you get very comfortable using your equipment. Now I make 50,000 rounds a year on a lee single stage but I'm retired and have plenty of time to do them, have plenty of time to shoot them also. You need to work out a system to work safe and use it the same way all the time always checking yourself that there is no double charge and there is pouder in every case. Speed will come as you get more comfortable with your press.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:49 PM   #3
highbrow
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Have done as many as 110 rds of 45 acp in 1 hour. Had everything set up and was hustling.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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That sounds about right, I do pretty much the same using a hand press.
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Old December 2, 2012, 09:57 PM   #5
45_auto
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Quote:
Saying that Its possible if you are using the same case and bullet to make a couple hundred an hour once you get very comfortable using your equipment.
I believe that I would move as far away as possible on the firing line from someone who was loading several hundred rounds per hour on a single stage.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:09 PM   #6
tkglazie
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I use a complete LCT setup in auto index mode. I visually check every charge and seat the bullet immediately, without exception. I produce a box of 50 pistol cartridges about every 20-25 minutes.

This includes deprime/size/prime (my pistol case prep is tumble, sort by headstamp and visual inspection only). If you include this prep time the total time for 50 is probably closer to 30 minutes. I am quite comfortable with a net of 100 rounds/hour from empty cases on the ground to finished cartridge.

At some point, I will add a progressive to increase the production rates of the 2-3 loads I shoot the most, but for now I feel more comfortable with only one case in process at a time.

Last edited by tkglazie; December 3, 2012 at 11:07 AM.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:12 PM   #7
justsoIcanupvotethis
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I am using a Lee turret (without the link to advance it) and a RCBS Chargemaster to weigh my powder for me. It still takes me 45 minutes and that is not counting priming or expanding the case. Then again I dont get in a big hurry.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:18 PM   #8
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When I started, loading on a single stage bolted to a 2x6 strapped to an end table, loading .357 Magnum and weighing every charge, I figured 50 per hour was pretty good. I was able to maintain that pace pretty consistently.

I used two loading blocks and did 50 at a time, moving the whole batch from one block to the other as each step was completed.

After priming, all cases were bottom up. After charging with powder, all cases were rightside up and I took the block over to a bright lamp and inspected the powder depths for uniformity.

I never tried to go much faster than that. One box per hour was a nice round number.

I did habitually steady the press with one hand while operating the lever with the other. If you are doing the same, you may be able to speed things up (safely) by anchoring your workbench with weight or by bolting it to a plank on the floor with your chair on the other end of the plank. That should anchor everything.

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Old December 2, 2012, 10:37 PM   #9
leadchucker
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Maybe it's just because I'm a bit new to reloading, but I find I spend more time setting up a process, and checking my results, than I do actually loading ammo. I may be a bit obsessive with getting it right, but I'm okay with that.
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Old December 2, 2012, 10:41 PM   #10
Rebel9793
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I only reload .223 right now and after my cases are deprimed and then cleaned, It takes me about an hour to reload 50 rounds, but I scoop my powder and weight each individual load instead of using the Autodisk on my turret press because it throws in-accurate powder charges.
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Old December 3, 2012, 12:19 AM   #11
jmorris
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I spend more than 30 minutes prepping 50 of some cases so I can load them. On the other hand (with progressives) I can load that amount in under a minute and a half.
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Old December 3, 2012, 01:52 AM   #12
Lost Sheep
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Not to jump on you in particular, but whenever anyone cites rounds per hour without specifying if it includes case prep or refilling components, I have to wonder if the rate is cyclic or sustained.

Quote:
jmorris
I spend more than 30 minutes prepping 50 of some cases so I can load them. On the other hand (with progressives) I can load that amount in under a minute and a half.
Is the minute and a half case prep included in the 50 cases loaded in the minute and a half?

When I quoted 50 rounds per hour, I included everything, and I could keep that pace up as long as I was awake and had components. No extra case prep and even the boxing up in used factory boxes. Setting up and putting away the press, scale, etc was not included.

I have seen some people claim loading rates that started from primed, belled cases. That description has no value in comparison to a process that includes all steps.

So, for comparison to have any validity at all, ALL activities must be included.

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Old December 3, 2012, 03:18 AM   #13
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When using a single stage press for reloading straight-wall cases, I generally figure about 1 minute per loaded round starting from fired cases to finished ammo. So, in response to the OP, I do about 60 rounds per hour on a single-stage press.

Which is why most of my loading gets done on a progressive.
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Old December 3, 2012, 06:04 AM   #14
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Do you powder dipper guys use a scale? I started out with an RCBS RS-5 kit plus a powder measure. I just can't imagine doing it any other way at all.

I load in batches of 80 (50 for 50 bmg) because that is what my case tray holds. It takes me about about 45 minutes to size, prime, charge and seat a full tray This does not include case prep including cleaning, sorting, trimming/chamfer/ream. Including this doubles the time, quadruples if you include actual time in the tumbler.

This is why I enjoy shooting rim fire so much.

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Last edited by Lark; December 3, 2012 at 06:10 AM.
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Old December 3, 2012, 08:00 AM   #15
yetavon
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Lee press and perfect powder measure...starting with primed,flared cases and everything set up, if I hurry I can roll out a 9x18 every 10 seconds. Fill, place in press, add bullet, press and done. Every 5-7 charge is dropped on the scale to check weight. every 10th measured for OAL. Most of the time it takes me an hour to load 100.
Yesterday working on my test loads for my 9x19...starting with ready cases...about 10 minutes for 4 rounds....
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:08 AM   #16
jmorris
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Quote:
Is the minute and a half case prep included in the 50 cases loaded in the minute and a half?
No the OP asked how long to load, not get them ready to load.


Even if we were talking about pistol rounds to take trimming out of the equation, if you counted picking up the empty brass off the ground, sorting it, tumbling it for a few hours, loading, case gauging and boxing up take much longer than just loading.

This is what it looks like loading at a rate of 50 in 1 minute and 15 seconds.





Quote:
but whenever anyone cites rounds per hour without specifying if it includes case prep or refilling components, I have to wonder if the rate is cyclic or sustained.
This one closes the gap for filling the feeders and primer tube filler and is sustainable. I don't trim 9mm or any other case prep for that matter. It's a little slower at 2.5 minutes for 50 but you can do the above and casegauge/box while it is loading.

This one is a video too click to play
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:21 AM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
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Handgun rounds on my Lee Classic Turret.

There is essentially no case prep. Visual inspection at the time of use is all they get.

I load about 200 per hour, not counting the time it takes to get set up. Counting setup time, the first hour is probably 150.

If I'm not setup, the first 50 takes 30 minutes, at most. The next 50 takes 15 minutes or less.

A big box of cases and bullets last longer than I'll ever load in one session so there is no refilling. The powder hopper too, if its full it lasts longer than I'll ever load in one (or frankly, 5) sessions. The only slow down is the 30 seconds or so every 100 primers, to refill the tray.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; December 3, 2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:50 AM   #18
dajowi
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I prefer "safe" to "sorry."

On the single stage press the only time that I'm moving at a good clip is when I'm expanding the case mouth or crimping.

The thought of blowing up one of my $1000 guns due to a reloading mistake gives me nightmares.
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:01 AM   #19
wncchester
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How Long Do 50 Rounds Take?

Oh, maybe 30-40 minutes. ??
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Old December 3, 2012, 10:52 AM   #20
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^Yep, about 30 - 40 min per 50 rounds. Which includes set up, unboxing and zero scale, adjust power measure, adjust seating die, adjust crimping die if needed, hand prime cases, throw powder, seat bullet, crimp bullet separately, label and box/bag 'em. Generally do batches of 200+ once everything has been set up.

All cases have already been sized and expanded. Pistol only.

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Old December 3, 2012, 11:50 AM   #21
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Haven't a guess. I bulk process everything.

Sort and check cases including pre-seperation ring at the web (inside check with a paper clip-hook), tumble, if new to me with crimped primers - deprime then swag or cut the ring, lub (role em in sickie), full length size/deprime/expand neck, water/ss pins and tumble (I like to clean the primer pockest and inside the cases after the scale is broken). Check and trim to length, and sort by head/date/... bag/box/tub them up with listings of 'what is contained'.

Need or want some (?), find a batch of brass that meets the needs, could be number of cases or type.

Go from this point, progressive if that is the best choice or single stage if that works. For many loadings, I prefer to hand prime. For others, the progressive does fine.

It should be noted that I do special load for some weapons and that brass is processed the same but independently and some steps are modified greatly.

Enjoy,

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Old December 3, 2012, 02:50 PM   #22
spacecoast
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Quote:
Do you powder dipper guys use a scale?
Not on a regular basis, but I took the time up front to calibrate all my dippers by weighing 20-30 charges and dividing appropriately. I found that the charges weighed light by up to 20% if you go by what Lee tells you, depending on the powder.

Last edited by spacecoast; December 3, 2012 at 06:16 PM.
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Old December 3, 2012, 03:47 PM   #23
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"Do you powder dipper guys use a scale?"

Everyone who uses dippers has to have a scale. You need to check your first couple dipper loads until you get consistent charges. Then the scale can go away until you buy new powder or decide to change your charge weight/volume. When you buy new powder you need to check it out to make sure it was properly labeled. My scale can sit for a year +/- depending. I hate using scales. Dippers are the safest way to load, no moving parts and static volume.
I can do between up to 100 an hour using Classic Turret in single stage mode. That does not include priming off the press, I like hand priming.
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Old December 3, 2012, 04:47 PM   #24
BigJimP
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a good benchmark, in my opinion, on a single stage operation is 50 rds an hour....

( and its one of the reasons I went to a Dillon 650 with a case feeder a long time ago !! ).

Its pretty easy to get 50 rds ( with everything set up - powder drops checked for accuracy, cases are prepped and in the case feeder,primer feed is full... ) ...off a progressive press with a case feeder in under 3 min .../ all you're doing on a progressive press at that point is putting a bullet on the case in station 4 ...and cycling the handle...

but as others said, its not about speed, its about consistency and accuracy - and I know my press acomplishes that very well.
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:57 PM   #25
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When I load up rifle, I still use single stage (for everything but my AR anyway).

Honestly, 50 - or possibly a few more - per hour is about right. But when I'm loading this way, I'm loading for quality first, consistency second and everything else third.

I really don't think it's wise to get hung up on production numbers. Even on my LnL, I bet I don't push more than 200 or possibly 250 an hour of plinking ammo, and that's probably realistically on the high side. I tend to view the bragging about production numbers like I do when folks talk about their diesel truck mileage - lots of inflating going on. And I wonder about their QC in the process and hope I'm not standing next to them on the range when a KABOOM happens.

That's just me though, but quality over quantity every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
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