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Old June 12, 2019, 01:06 PM   #1
Medic101
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Reloading for apartment dwellers

I want to start reloading and I'm currently reading through a Lyman handbook and I'm starting to consider how/where I'm going to do it in my apartment once I get all of the knowledge and equipment i need. So who has reloaded in an apartment and how did you set up to reload in an apartment or other space limited dwelling?
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Old June 12, 2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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Well, one way is to use a setup that fits into a large tool box. Such is the setup I have. A Lee Hand Press costs about $40 and will do anything a regular single-stage press will do - just slower. My large tool box fits the Lee Press, scale, several die sets, trimmers, hand primer, etc. I don't have a tumbler, but I clean deprimed brass using a mesh laundry bag and a 5 gallon bucket (use a little liquid car wash that has wax in it and a shot of vinegar to lower the ph). An hour or so in the hot sun makes sure it is dry. Lube using a liquid lube (like one-shot or home made with lanolin/alcohol) and a ziplock baggie.

I can deprime, size, and reprime all while sitting in my easy chair. For the actual loading, working at the kitchen table is better.
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Old June 12, 2019, 01:56 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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A lot depends on who else lives there and how big the place is. In my 1 bedroom, there's me. So my ~ 4' x 3' loading bench is at one end of the "dining room". Had it in the bedroom in another bigger apt. All the rest lives in boxes that reside in the place.
In really small places, a Black and Decker Workmate is strong and big enough plus portable and folds down.
Have a look at the RCBS Beginner's Kit. It'll tell you what you need if nothing else. Do not forget the bench. There are all kinds of alternatives. Not just the Workmate.
Look at the shell holder lists too. A lot of cartridges use the same one.
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Old June 12, 2019, 01:57 PM   #4
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I started with a small butcher block style table, about 2 foot square, mounted to a sturdy base/legs. You can mount the press to a piece of plywood and clamp it to the table, and the powder measure can be clamped to the table also. When not in use the press, powder measure and other tools are stored out of sight and the table looks like a piece of kitchen furniture.
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Old June 12, 2019, 02:46 PM   #5
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A small square machine or grinder stand from either Harbor Freight or Northern Tool for $30. It's about 18" square at the top, legs splay out at the bottom for stability, works best while sitting in a chair. Has two shelves to hold stuff. My single stage press was mounted on an Inline Fabrication riser stand which was clamped to the top so there was zero torque to the edge. Small enough to put in a closet when not in use and you're not messing up momma's dining table.
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Old June 12, 2019, 03:46 PM   #6
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A Lee Hand Press , regular dies and shell holders .
The Hand Press is a single stage press that doesn't require bolting down to a bench . If limited in space and need the set up portable ...it's a winner .
I use a desk , coffee table , dining room or kitchen table to spread out the other "stuff".
I have at times , when doing case prep , sat in my easy chair or on the bed !
When not in use a large plastic tool box holds everything ...dies, shell holders , scale ,etc. and goes into a closet . Powder , primers and bullets are stored in a plastic container on the closet shelf.
The Lee ram prime does the case priming and I have made scoops for dispensing powder.
A Lyman 55 can be clamped to any surface and used but the scoops are so compact and fool proof.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; June 12, 2019 at 03:52 PM.
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Old June 12, 2019, 05:55 PM   #7
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If you have a location to permanently mount the press , everything else can go in a closet .
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Old June 12, 2019, 07:13 PM   #8
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O/P -- here's a important suggestion as I just moved into a Flintstone village --

A - Who else knows you shoot ?
Depending on the so called "rules" -- firearms / explosives in the building might be frowned upon ---- keep your mouth shut -

And people talk -- "the guy in 3-C has weapons" -- "Good lets steal them"

2 - The maintenance dept under the guise of an emergence / rumor ( big mouth runs into the rental office ) -- will enter your unit anytime they feel like it --- maybe the'll tell you --- maybe not ?

Once upon a time when I worked for apartment complexes -- they would call ahead for planed maintenance -- or -- knock on the door then enter without advanced notice -- We we're told don't touch anything -- but -- "Look for anything against the rules or really out of place" --

Hobby work benches are common -- anything firearm related -- "Anything" -- should be -- "locked away"

Inside motion activated security camera wouldent hurt either
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Old June 12, 2019, 07:28 PM   #9
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Bolt a single stage press and a powder measure to a 2 ft length of 2x8 or 2x10 lumber. Then you can clamp it to a table top, counter top, etc.
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Old June 13, 2019, 12:09 AM   #10
Marco Califo
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I loaded in an apartment at one time. I had the management service the garbage disposal. When I got home, I had a 3 day notice to vacate. Landlord called the police who said reloading was legal. Landlord called the owner.
I had to remove all gunpowder especially, and components, that day, and got to stay.
I am just saying, don't count on enlightened benevolence from the misinformed public. Definitely be able to store it all in boxes that close.
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Old June 13, 2019, 04:56 AM   #11
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Marco. Did you violate anything in the leasing agreement? They need to have that to evict you.

OP. I would pay special attention to exposure to lead. The primer residual dust from decapping is my primary concern. I won't want to have any of that near the kitchen or dining area. I don't have to have it over the carpet either. A good spent primer capturing arrangement for decapping is a must. I know many people don't think it is a big deal, but to me it is.

-TL

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Old June 13, 2019, 06:21 AM   #12
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I use a Frankford Arsenal loading table in a small 10x10 room at my house, and have 2 LEE presses mounted to it, easy to move around the room, pretty stable. I do have to put my foot on the base at times to keep it from working it's way across the floor/rug, but works for me.
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/62...eloading-stand
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Old June 13, 2019, 08:31 AM   #13
Marco Califo
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Yes. Having fire risk material.
Once removed, they let me stay.
It was 30 years ago.
Today, I am a landlord.
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Old June 13, 2019, 09:26 AM   #14
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Exhaust fan in the window of the room your using -- while you reload --
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Old June 13, 2019, 10:26 AM   #15
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My "limited space" set up;
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Old June 13, 2019, 12:05 PM   #16
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I bolted my press to an entertainment center (remember those things?!). I had to brace myself against the piece of furniture during use, to keep it from tipping over, but it worked.
My powder, primers, bullets, and brass were kept in a box, inside the one compartment with a door - roughly 14"x14"x18".
It wasn't much, but it let me reload.
I kept loaded ammo in a closet.

The next apartment had enough space for me to set up a reloading bench (based on a 30"x80" solid core door). I still only had enough room for the bench and what could fit under it, but it was a lot better than an entertainment center and a small box.
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Old June 13, 2019, 04:07 PM   #17
billcarey
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I started with a Rock Chucker press c clamped to a desk in my bedroom. I pulled the drawer out so I could get the clamp in. All my reloading stuff fit in a cardboard box about 24"x24"x 10" deep and was stored in a closet when finished with the batch. Did it this way for a yr or so until setting up a real reloading bench in my shop.
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Old June 13, 2019, 05:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricekila View Post
Exhaust fan in the window of the room your using -- while you reload --
Why?
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Old June 13, 2019, 05:38 PM   #19
Grey_Lion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medic101 View Post
how did you set up to reload in an apartment or other space limited dwelling?
Cut a short piece of 2 X 10 lumber and mount the press to that as if it were your work bench. Flush / countersink the bolt heads. Then use 2 C-clamps to clamp the press to your kitchen table over one of the corners / legs.

If you are worried about scratching your table, put an old place-mat or kitchen towel between the mounting block and the table.

Other than that - it's about safe storage of the gear and components similar to how you'll store your weapon(s).

One benefit you've got with so little space is you have less space to make a mess.

Avoid spilled powder and dropped primers over carpet - that never ends well.....
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Old June 13, 2019, 05:52 PM   #20
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Like others have done, I bolted my press to a board I could clamp to the kitchen table. I was single at the time so I could leave it set up until it was in the way. Then I'd box it up and put it away with the rest of the supplies. I had both a Rockchucker and a Dillon RL500b set up like this...

I'm glad I don't have to do that anymore.

Tony
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Old June 13, 2019, 06:19 PM   #21
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Fumes --

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Last edited by Ricekila; June 15, 2019 at 07:42 AM.
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Old June 13, 2019, 06:34 PM   #22
gwpercle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricekila View Post
Exhaust fan in the window of the room your using -- while you reload --
What fumes ?

I've done this while casting bullets but never when loading ammo .

Do the brass shells / powder / primers / bullets give off fumes now ?

What's changed in the last 50 years that I don't know about ?
Gary
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Old June 13, 2019, 09:00 PM   #23
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Quote:
Fumes --
We're talking about reloading metallic cartridges here, not bullet casting or packing pipes with illicit substances.

If you get 'fumes' while reloading metallic cartridges, you're doing something wrong.
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Old June 13, 2019, 10:19 PM   #24
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Bolt a single stage press to a wooden stool. (Forster Co-Ax works really well that way) You can store it in the closet when not using it.
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Old June 13, 2019, 10:46 PM   #25
Marco Califo
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Quote:
Exhaust fan in the window of the room your using -- while you reload --
This is sound, good, pungent, advice to keep the air supply uncontaminated while you reload. Beside personal and canine flatus, some reloaders FART their brass in the Frankfort Arsenal Rotary Tumbler.

Some people just will not read instructions.
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