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Old December 13, 2012, 03:05 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Pre-measuring your loads. Bad idea?

My flat is not big and my wife would not look kindly on having one of our rooms converted to a reloading bench!! (not that I blame her)

So this means that I have to reload in the garage, 150yds down the road.

At the moment, that means trying to reload in the 5 hours of daylight we a re privy to at this time of year, and -5c (that'll drop to -20c in January).

That is not good for my fingertips, nor my digital calipers, nor my digital scales.

So: my idea...

Assuming that I use very clear labelling with pens, would it be OK to measure out, on the scale, in my warm living room, individual powder charges (eg 21gr N110 for my .44Mag 240 FMJs, or 38grs of N135 for my 155gr .308 reloads). And each time, pour them into a little zip-bag, labelled as described.

Bundle the likes with likes, so that when I venture in my 12 layers and 6 pairs of socks, to the reloading bench, I just need to pull out the appropriate zip bag bundle, take one of the bags, and tip it into the funnel, and into the case.

Bad idea?
Are there unseen dangers or is this prone to going awry?
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Old December 13, 2012, 03:38 AM   #2
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I think that static electricity would keep some of the powder in the plastic bag that you wouldn't get out.
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Old December 13, 2012, 04:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Bad idea?
Are there unseen dangers or is this prone to going awry?
In theory you might be able to make it work, but it introduces extra opportunities for errors to creep in to the process, and that can't be good. Perhaps of more concern is if your loading environment is so inclement that you don't want to spend too long there, is your concentration going to suffer?

Lots of people work with temporary or mobile setups that you can put away after use. You could do your charging and seating with a Lee hand press or an arbor/toggle press (usually only for rifle), neither of which require fixing to a bench, or you could make something mounted on a board that you can put away after a loading session. The only problem is that you may have to send the wife or girlfriend out to the garage so you can work without distraction.

..
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Old December 13, 2012, 08:14 AM   #4
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ditto what rox said, I carry this to the range when fine tuning a load. The box measures 10 x 14 and has a plexiglass window in the top so I can load in windy conditions. The holes are for the trickler to go through. Add bullets, cases, and a handprimer and you are good to go anywhere anytime

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Old December 13, 2012, 09:03 AM   #5
Kevin Rohrer
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Static electricity will work against you.

I suggest allocating time at the kitchen table for reloading.
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:08 AM   #6
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Find some plastic test tubes with caps. My uncle has a Savage ML-10II muzzleloader that uses smokeless powder. He dispenses the loads with an RCBS Chargemaster 1500 and puts them in the test tubes until he uses them. They stay there for anywhere from a couple hours to months at a time, no problems with static, summer or winter.
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:54 AM   #7
serf 'rett
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Instead of messing around with plastic bags, tubes or whatever, why not just put the powder in the cases?

Switch to batch loading.

Get a hand primer and some loading blocks. Size and expand the cases then bring them inside to prime and charge with powder. Then make the trip out to the shop.
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Old December 13, 2012, 10:20 AM   #8
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IF, IF, I said IF you are going to use them in a timely fashion (otherwise why bother), what would be wrong in directly charging the prepped cases? Perhaps cap each case with a plastic plug for spill-free transport (upright in a loading block or cartridge box)? Just a thought.

Plastic plugs similar to this: http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...x?sku=11130524

ETA: Darn! Serf'rett beat me to it while I was on the phone.
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Old December 13, 2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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Here is a thought- pickup a cheap Lee Loader. In the comfort of your warm house you can charge your sized/primed cases one at a time and use the Lee Loader to seat the bullet. I would leave the OAL very long, just seat the bullet enough to secure it in the case neck for transport to your press where you can seat it to the final OAL and crimp as needed.

I would prefer this to batch loading a tray of cases and then trying to get the tray 150yds down the way without spillage. Plus, I always prefer single piece loading to batch loading. I like the freedom to stop whenever I want and know that only one case is in process. If the phone rings or someone knocks at the door or the wife needs something I simply dump the charge I am working on and step away. From a process standpoint, I have a serious aversion to rows of charged cases sitting on my work bench, but then again I was a process engineer in my former life.
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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is is possible to perhaps use one of the tripod lee stands? it could be put away or carried to the garage when not in use?

http://leeprecision.com/lee-reloading-stand.html
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:32 AM   #11
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Why not just use dippers?
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:59 AM   #12
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Chances are you can get a portable work stand that can be folded/broken down to work from.

Working in the cold is just bad JUJU not good for you or the loading process.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:17 PM   #13
Jim Watson
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Just powder charge the cases on the kitchen counter, inspect them row by row in a cartridge block, cover them with an inverted cartridge block, and take them down to the garage to seat the bullets.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:37 PM   #14
tkglazie
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I am a huge fan of the stand anothernewb is referring to. I park my LCT on this stand to keep my bench clear. When I want to use a single stage (I keep a universal decapping die in one) I can swap the presses just by loosening 2 machine screws.

I like being able to move my roller chair around the press/stand however I like. Positionally, it functions like a press that is mounted on the corner of a bench rather than in the middle.
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Old December 13, 2012, 01:00 PM   #15
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Even if you just seat the bullet enough to hold it and do the final on the presses a squeezes in one would work better.

Have not seen the current hand models (my last lee loader was the pound in type that destroyed cases about circa 1973.

Or, get a generator and a Kerosene heater and warm the loading shop up!

Curtain off a small area maybe.

Various combination of ideas presented should be considered.

Getting powder out of zip lock bags with statics and lips is not a way to go.

Test tubes would be better but......
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Old December 13, 2012, 01:50 PM   #16
tkglazie
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Oh right, of course RC20. Not sure why I went all the way down to the Lee Loader option, when a nice inexpensive handheld press would work just fine too.
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Old December 13, 2012, 02:08 PM   #17
anothernewb
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there's always this, although I know nothing about it

http://leeprecision.com/breech-lock-hand-press-kit.html
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Old December 13, 2012, 02:15 PM   #18
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Exactly what I was thinking of anothernewb. I have one of those in a box that I forgot all about. I got it when I put together my full setup, figured it might be handy for the range or something. Seems like a perfect application for the OP, either to create finished ammo, or to partially seat as mentioned above.
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Old December 13, 2012, 03:13 PM   #19
Pond, James Pond
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Both the hand press and test tube solutions sound good. The powder is the biggest issue as it takes the longest to do. Priming I already do indoors.

I still find the auto-disk fiddly at times. On the whole it is consistent, but very vulnerable to small changes. It is also not very flexible when it comes to upping charges.

For new loadings, I have to do all the measuring with a scale, dipper and funnel. In colder weather, I also worry about the accuracy of my digital scale. I ended up using the Lee Safety Scale, which actually worked quite well. Not as bad as I remember....!!

So, weighing indoors, then off to charge cases: no problem
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Old December 13, 2012, 04:58 PM   #20
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DOG CHASER

I Have a 36 inch piece of 2x6 with press mounted on one end. I put it on the kitchen table with a terry towel in between with a C- Clamp. I use this set up to load when it is too cold in my shed. My scales have to be at room temp to be accurate and if I am not comfortable I will not be accurate. When I am done I just pick everything up , put back in the box and put it away. My scales never get cold. They stay in the house. Powder Is stored in a locked insulated pine box.
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Old December 13, 2012, 05:02 PM   #21
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Get a couple of packs of these Plastic Screw-Top Sample Tubes



You can likely just get them at a crafts store.

I use[d] them all the time to take pre-measured charges of back powder to the range for cap & ball pistol competition.
Once filled you can just throw them in a bag/your pocket/anywhere and they're secure -- and you can see the levels are the same.

No brainer (perfect for me)
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Old December 15, 2012, 05:45 AM   #22
Pond, James Pond
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Those plastic tubes would be ideal, but I've not found a place that sells them yet. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

For now I went to a packaging wholesalers and bought some "dipping sauce" tubs. The kind you get for supermarket sample tsting. They are about 50ml.

I dosed a bunch yesterday, writing the powder and charge on the lid.

There is a problem with static, as expected, but a small sable brush will take care of that...
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Old December 15, 2012, 06:28 AM   #23
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One guy that comes to the range uses a dipper, and a wide mouth pharmacy bottle. His reloading set up fits a fishing tackle box.
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:02 AM   #24
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Why wouldn't you just charge the cases in a loading tray?
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Old December 15, 2012, 08:12 AM   #25
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
Why wouldn't you just charge the cases in a loading tray?
Definitely the easiest, but mainly because my reloading bench is in an outside garage, at the end of our street, among a row of garages.

Loading in a tray would limit the number of cases to 100 max, it would mean either loading them just prior to reloading because I don't want a bunch of unsealed cartridges lying around. If it is raining (or snowing these days), moisture could get into the cases.

Finally, and most importantly, my firearm hobby and my reloading practices are my business and no one else's.

Curtain-twitching is a national pastime for some around here and what I do is none of their bee's wax, so I don't want to walk around with .44mag cases!!
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