The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 10, 2012, 01:59 AM   #1
p loader
Senior Member
Join Date: October 1, 2012
Posts: 148
fatigue when loading?

Couple nights ago I decided to completely empty the box I had of already prepped cases (.223). I said to myself, I'm going to reload until they are all complete.

It sucked.

I use the LCTP and after 150 rounds or so it started to suck. I kept going until the end, around 200 rounds but I stopped enjoying it. I think I need to break my reloading up into smaller increments.

Remember I'm on the LCTP and not a Dillon...
p loader is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 03:25 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,153
Reloading should stay fun and interesting or else you may not pay as close attention as needed, or an enjoyable hobby becomes a chore.

I estimate how many rounds I am willing to do at the time and just do that. On my Lee turret press that could be one batch of 25 test loads (5 rounds each if five powder charges), or 100-300 rds of one load. Then I take a break and see if I want to do more. If you have to load a certain volume for competition or something then get the equipment that allows you to still enjoy it. If you can't afford a turret or progressive then load what only to the volume you can do with enjoyment and limit how much you shoot to match that volume. Or supplement with factory ammo.

Safety in reloading is dependent on attention to detail and willingness to pause and evaluate and correct if necessary. Pushing yourself to meet an impractical volume goal is tempting a lax attitude.
NWPilgrim is online now  
Old November 10, 2012, 04:18 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: March 16, 2010
Posts: 733
Yea, i normally try to limit myself to 100 rounds at a time on my turret press.

Thats the great thing about a turret, since you arent doing batch loading, you can stop at any time, finish the round you are on and go. Batch loading you might have 50 or more cases charged that you have to empty and start over if you decided you stop loading for some reason...
dacaur is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 04:26 AM   #4
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 5,694
I think the bigger danger is the increased risk of making a mistake in your reloading.

I guess if you have the Lee Turret, with a auto-charger that risk reduces but I am concious, being new to reloading, that my actions are not automatic, and if I am not fully focussed, I can make silly mistakes.

I routinely check powder levels are consistent in my cases before seating bullets...
When the right to effective self-defence is denied, that right to self-defence which remains is essentially symbolic.
Freedom: Please enjoy responsibly.
Karma. Another word for revolver: because what goes around, comes around!
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 05:03 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
Couple nights ago I decided to completely empty the box I had of already prepped cases (.223).
Does "already prepped" mean sized, trimmed and primed? If so you are only talking about 4 batches of 50 and that is pretty typical for me.

All the brass gets cleaned soon after I get home from the range. Later on, I'll size and trim a bunch and leave them in a closed bucket or coffee can. They'll sit like that until I get the time and hankering to prime them. When I'm ready to put loads together I have primed cases waiting. Then it's just a matter of dropping powder and seating bullets.
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 05:51 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,552
I usually load in small batches of 100-150 at a time simply to avoid getting fatigued. My chances of mistaking mistakes go up rapidly after I hit that point.
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 06:01 AM   #7
Mike / Tx
Senior Member
Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 1,900
I usually process my brass in batches. Since I usually only shoot the cases through an individual rifle or handgun, I don't bother with sorting, if it is .243, 25-06, or .270 they all go into the same bucket or bag for that caliber. When I get low, I tumble, then check the length, size and trim if necessary and tumble again simply to get the lube and any little burrs off the necks. This is by and far the most work I have when I am getting ready and the trimming in some cases is the most hated part of it all. This is simply due to the fact I have to ream and clean all of the necks on the calibers I don't have the three way trimmer pilot for. UUUUUGGGHHHH I hate hand reaming the necks.....especially on pistol and revolver cases that have had to be trimmed.

When it comes time to load, everything is usually prepped and ready to go. I use the Lee hand primer and will sit in front of the tube and prime up what ever I need to fill the empty plastic cases. If it's a hundred or several boxes of 50, I will have everything primed up and ready in a zip lock bag waiting for the next evening or until I get to them. When I start loading I go through one bag at a time, no matter the count. I usually work up my loads with thrown charge weights, and as such when I start loading I set up my measure to the last noted setting, check the weight several times on the scale, and get to it. I throw them one at a time and when done I inspect the level and seat the bullets. I load 98% of my ammo on a single stage even though I have a progressive sitting three feet away. It simply isn't as easy to set up for each different caliber the way I load. If I am interrupted for any reason, I simply finish the one bullet I have in my hand at the time and the rest can sit until later. That said even if I am loading a big batch of 2-500 rounds, I have already got it in my mind I need to do them and this part of it has never been a chore. I simply load until i get tired, or it gets late, and come back for the rest later on.

When I went through 1K of both 30-06 and 308 surplus brass, sizing and decapping, reaming the pockets, trimming, and sorting according to head stamp and year, THAT was a chore as they all had to be sized in a SB die in order to feed through my rifles. I was NEVER so glad to be through with a project as I was with those. It sure has put the other couple of boxes I have of them WAY back on the back burner.

If I am loading up 50 or so revolver or even some pistol rounds, I usually still use the single stage as I get a much better feel for the crimp and usually a much better control on the length when seating my bullets. The progressive DOES get used however when I am loading large batches of 38, 357, 45 ACP and 10mm, the progressive get the go. I just don't feel up to handling the smaller cases in bulk.

The biggest thing is to pace yourself. I turn on the radio, to a good classic rock station and go. The music doesn't distract me and in fact it gets me into a rhythm and before I know it I am done. It's like I told my wife while we were going down the highway listening to some station, to me it is simply a noise that keep my mind alert, but other than that I really don't even pay attention to what is playing.
Mike / TX
Mike / Tx is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 06:40 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
IMHO, Progressives are great for mass production of range fodder for handguns. At least that's what I use mine for. All my rifle and magnum pistol loading is done in batches / single stage where I can witness the powder level in many cases at once. Lately, that single stage operation has been on a LCT. I like that a turret is less than $10 so I have many set up for a couple of rifle cartridges or one pistol cartridge with an extra hole for a FCD or a universal decapper or expander.
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 07:57 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Location: S.E. Texas Gulf Coast
Posts: 743
I also do my reloading in batches. When I accumulate 300-500 spent dirty casings I deprime and clean on one occassion, then at another time I size and trim for lenght, then at another time I prime. By the time it comes to the actual weighing out powder and seating bullets I always have the 300-500 cleaned, sized and primed cases ready to go. I do this for both pistol and rifle rounds and always have 2000-3000 clean cases sized and primed in marked boxes ready to go. Trying to deprime, clean, size,trim, prime, measure powder and seat bullets all at the same time is just too much for my set up. I use a plain single stage Lee and it works quite well for me.
UtopiaTexasG19 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 07:59 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,196
Must be a Texas thing.
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 09:08 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
If you are getting tired, you are losing concentration.
Anytime you are working with stuff that can go "bang", concentration is a requisite.
Work only as long as you feel good and the task is fun. When that stops, you should stop.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 09:30 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 6,117
This is a good question that most of us run into.
What I did (and this is for working brass only not loading the case) was to put one of my older computers on the bench which I also keep load data. It’s hooked up to an internet movie supplier and watch movies as I load.
Also every half hour or so, get up, stretch and walk around.
What has helped me the most is a good chair. I have a very good leather office chair that I bought used at a store that specializes in office equipment. This allows me to change the height of the seat and other portions of the chair. I paid $130 for it and I have seen the like for over 700$.
I have recently done one process (Size) 500 new cases in one session.
At my age <60 but close, I have been thinking about finding a pneumatic or electric press that takes the fatigue off the shoulder and arm. But don’t know of any.
It was a sad day when I discovered my universal remote control did not in fact control the universe.

Did you hear about the latest study.....5 out of 6 liberals say that Russian Roulette is safe.
Ozzieman is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 09:36 AM   #13
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,383
What Rifleman1776 said. Quit while you're ahead. Why chance mistakes and a kaboom?
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 10:51 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: September 15, 2007
Posts: 669
I load all my ammo on my old Lyman single stage press and have for 30+ years,on average I would say I do anywhere from 100 to 200 rds. at a time but I've done fewer and a whole lot more in one setting.

In general I do all my brass prep before hand,that includes everything but installing primers on both rifle and pistol cartridges. I basically do two stage loading,prep all the brass one day then load it all up the next time I'm at the bench.

I prime all my brass with the Lee hand primers,I have one set up for S and L primers it doesn't take long to prime 100 cases,all my pistol and some of my cast bullet rifle loads are all thrown with the RCBS Lil Dandy and about 10 different rotors. The rest of my rifle loads get thrown with a RCBS DUO Measure only one has to be trickled due to the powder type. Things go pretty fast doing it the way I have it worked out.

Handloading,smelting and casting are my hobbies especially in the cooler and colder months of the years. It's what I enjoy doing to relax after a long days work or just a lazy afternoon,I'm not much of a TV guy so that leaves a lot of free time. Never really thought of it as being time consuming or like work
res45 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 12:01 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: March 3, 2011
Location: Vernon AZ
Posts: 1,195
fatigue is a real safety problem.

When I am loading one of my standard loads, I generally load 100 rounds Pistol) on my RCBS Rockchucker at a setting.

Rifle I limit to 50 rounds per setting. I measure each powder charge.
ltc444 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 12:07 PM   #16
Junior member
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
I do 100 at a time. Not a high volume shooter. I enjoy the process and stop as soon as I don't. I use Lee Turret in single stage mode, powder dippers and hand prime off the press. Really enjoy reloading and like not having to use a scale more than a couple times a year when I buy new powder to check the first few dipper loads and then no more scale for months.
jmortimer is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 01:11 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,558
Honestly the most tiring part of reloading for me is the working to pay for the supplies. My wallet is well worn out as well.

Ok on a serious note. I try to break things up so that I work for an hour or so. Then I get things to where I can take a break. I work in batches so when one phase of the batch is done I take a break for a bit.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 03:18 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: December 3, 2011
Posts: 558
One of the things I like the most about the LCT is the ease in switching from caliber to caliber. I like to reload but I do not like loading more than 1-2 boxes (of 50) of any one load at a time. I dont like my attention wandering when I load. I prefer to waste the 1-2 minutes it takes to switch turrets and change the powder charge (and primer size/type if necessary) after I have loaded a few boxes. This keeps things fresh for me during a reloading session.

I go to the range 3-5 times a week and try to reload 1-3 times a week to top off what I have shot. This way I am never "behind" in my round count for any one caliber and forced to chain myself to the press to build my stock back up.

This is just one man's method. Down the road I will have a progressive for the 2-3 loads I shoot the most and use the turrets for the rest. It would be nice to crank out 500/hr of my favorite target load in .380, 9mm and .45acp.

One more great benefit of loading with the LCT in autoindexing mode that I dont think gets discussed enough is the fact that not matter where you are in the reloading process there is always only one "live" cartridge in process. If you want to step away from the work station for any reason all you need to do is stop, dump whatever powder you have in the case in process (if any) and leave. Try that when you have 50 charged cases in a loading tray This is especially nice when you feeling tired or get distracted for any reason.
tkglazie is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 03:48 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: October 12, 2010
Posts: 384
I'm in the process of decaping, swaging, sizing, and trimming 2,000 or so .223 cases. I only have around 200 left but I stopped to take a break because I felt like it.
They will still be there whenever I get around to finishing them.

Reloading shouldn't become a chore.
I usually do all my bulk loading between fall and early spring so I can go out and enjoy the summer whenever I can.

I only load for my precision rifle during the summer months.

I use a progressive press with both a case and bullet feeder to speed things up.
thump_rrr is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 07:45 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: February 23, 2005
Posts: 12,921
Taking breaks is important - even on a progressive press like a Dillon 650 / an hour at a time is plenty ...and still be able to keep really focused on what you're doing.
BigJimP is offline  
Old November 10, 2012, 07:49 PM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: July 3, 2011
Location: S.E. Texas Gulf Coast
Posts: 743
"Must be a Texas thing."

Yeah, We don't want any filthy smudged up empty casings rolling around in the pickup truck bed damaging our pretty paint jobs!
UtopiaTexasG19 is offline  
Old November 11, 2012, 08:48 AM   #22
Mike / Tx
Senior Member
Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 1,900
"Must be a Texas thing."

Yeah, We don't want any filthy smudged up empty casings rolling around in the pickup truck bed damaging our pretty paint jobs!
Must be, I have been doing it so long this way there just seems to be no reason to change now...

Pretty paint still got a pretty paint job? I take mine right from the dealer and drive it through the woods scratch it all up right from the get go. Then I ain't so upset when I come out of the store and find shopping carts piled into the side of it.

What ya need to do is throw a couple rolls of 4 point barbed wire, and a half dozen 6' t post in the back, and drive them around for a week or so on 610, then you won't be so worried about them cases....

I went out this morning and sized and loaded a hundred rounds for three different revolvers before 06:00. Then it decides to rain on my shooting day parade.
Mike / TX
Mike / Tx is offline  
Old November 12, 2012, 10:08 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 7,089
I have a Lee Pro 1000 set up for 223.

Much easier to do 200 rounds with 200 handle manipulations than with 800 on a turret. Although my next press purchase will likely be a turret simply because it is a lot quicker than my single stage for doing 50 rounds at a time for the bolt rifles.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
Jimro is offline  
Old November 13, 2012, 01:55 AM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,297
Tonight, I found myself getting bored and moderately fatigued while loading some .44 Mag, after prepping a bunch of brass.

My solution: I poured the powder back in its container, wrote down what I was doing and that the next charge increment was due (load data was already recorded), covered the press and scale, and walked away for the night.

There are quite a few brass prep, sizing, or expanding tasks I'll perform while tired/fatigued (if needed), but I don't mess with powder. If I have to call it quits, I come to a good stopping point and walk away. I don't try putting things away and moving to a less critical task. I just take care of any open powder or primers, and leave everything right where it's at.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old November 13, 2012, 06:50 AM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: January 10, 2012
Posts: 3,545
I also do batch loading. I clean, size and trim the cases, then I sit in front of the tv and hand prime them with an RCBS hand primer. Then put them in zip lock bags ready to load. Then when I am ready to load I have the cases already and only have to add powder and seat the bullet. Since I am using a single stage press.
However I am going to buy a Lee classic turret because I can still use it single stage or when I get a load worked up to where I want it, I could switch to the turret and run out a lot of them.
rebs is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:12 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10029 seconds with 9 queries