What did you do in the reloading room recently?

pastera

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A question for all that use progressive presses, how much time do you spend sorting/prepping pistol brass prior to loading not counting cleaning. I get that progressives crank out ammo, but there has to be some up front prep/sorting (not counting cleaning) so the press can run those #s.

I ask because I am considering a progressive. I currenlty load with a turret press and get about 150 rds./hr including sorting/prepping cases.
If the brass is pickup or given to me, I'll go through to sort and inspect. Rifle gets sorted by headstamp.

Prepping:
Run through the progressive with only a decapping die
Wet clean and dry
Rifle only: size, trim, deburr

Once prepped the brass is stored in old coffee containers for loading.

It really doesn't take a whole lot of extra time.
I have one of the new Lee APP's on order to get the dirty operations off the main press.
 

jek

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I have always tried to order 9mm brass that has been pre sorted
I was referring to brass that you pick up after a session at the range. I would imagine buying presorted brass bites in the economy of reloading, no? Invariably there is someone else's brass mixed in when picking up your brass outside. Indoors, no worries since where I shoot the floors are clean. The other thing is .45 acp small vs large primers. I've got pretty good at eyeballiing them as I go, but every once in a while I have to stop to check against samples I keep. Also, I catch brass every so often where the rim may have burrs that may need to be hit lightly with a file. They may not affect extraction, but I like to clean them up JIC.

So I guess if I was to not do some of the stuff I mention above as I'm reloading I can get much more out of my turret. However, I will either have to go back and rework the brass I put aside or toss it. This will either add time to the overall process, and cost if I need to buy more ammo or brass.

I definitely agree on having a system. I used to consult on workflow optimization in one of my many corporate jobs so setting things up for optimal output is something I always check myself on.

The one round I really like loading over all others is .45 Colt. I push ~200+ rds/hr out of the turret.
 

jek

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If the brass is pickup or given to me, I'll go through to sort and inspect.
Exactly. What I'm trying to get at is what is the overall time to do up front work like you mention and make the final cartridges on a progressive. For example, I claim I can make 150+ rds/hr of 9mm that includes everything but the cleaning of brass. Someone with a progressive may be able to do double or more of that ouput, but how much time did it take for them to sort and inipect before brass is used to make ammo? I know it varies depending on quantity of brass, but let's say 450 cases. These would take me ~3 hrs total. On the progressive it would likely be 1 hr, plus the time to inspect/sort brass that was picked up, or given to you. So, would that added time (again, without cleaning) be 15 mins., 1/2 hr., 1 hr.?

I am trying to assess if it is really worth the cost to get the progressive press and the added accessories for all the calibers I load. I am retired so I load when I want, and I don't think about the cost of my time like I did when working.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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I was referring to brass that you pick up after a session at the range. I would imagine buying presorted brass bites in the economy of reloading, no? Invariably there is someone else's brass mixed in when picking up your brass outside. Indoors, no worries since where I shoot the floors are clean. The other thing is .45 acp small vs large primers. I've got pretty good at eyeballiing them as I go, but every once in a while I have to stop to check against samples I keep. Also, I catch brass every so often where the rim may have burrs that may need to be hit lightly with a file. They may not affect extraction, but I like to clean them up JIC.

So I guess if I was to not do some of the stuff I mention above as I'm reloading I can get much more out of my turret. However, I will either have to go back and rework the brass I put aside or toss it. This will either add time to the overall process, and cost if I need to buy more ammo or brass.

I definitely agree on having a system. I used to consult on workflow optimization in one of my many corporate jobs so setting things up for optimal output is something I always check myself on.

The one round I really like loading over all others is .45 Colt. I push ~200+ rds/hr out of the turret.
I guess you just put it perfectly. You already sort through your brass anyway so you won’t be adding any time really.
As far as buying brass I don’t normally buy It but I do when I’m first starting out with a cartridge to stack up a decent pile. I can grab a bunch at the range too but I like to have an ammo can full to start off. Then if I hit the range and shoot 100 rounds of 9 and only pick up 90 I don’t feel bad.
then again if I lose one 38 special I get all emotional. I guess I have issues.

I also most shoot revolvers so I’m not chasing brass anyway.

Back on topic. You will crank out way more ammo with a progressive. Anything that will hang you up on a progressive would hang you up single stage/turret too.
You’ll be making 1round per pull of the handle instead of 1 round per 3 or 4 pulls.
Do it!
 

Michael J. Spangler

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Exactly. What I'm trying to get at is what is the overall time to do up front work like you mention and make the final cartridges on a progressive. For example, I claim I can make 150+ rds/hr of 9mm that includes everything but the cleaning of brass. Someone with a progressive may be able to do double or more of that ouput, but how much time did it take for them to sort and inipect before brass is used to make ammo? I know it varies depending on quantity of brass, but let's say 450 cases. These would take me ~3 hrs total. On the progressive it would likely be 1 hr, plus the time to inspect/sort brass that was picked up, or given to you. So, would that added time (again, without cleaning) be 15 mins., 1/2 hr., 1 hr.?

I am trying to assess if it is really worth the cost to get the progressive press and the added accessories for all the calibers I load. I am retired so I load when I want, and I don't think about the cost of my time like I did when working.
Sorting and cleaning 450 pieces of brass takes the same amount of time no matter the process or press used after that.
If you like reloading and can produce enough ammo to fill your needs with the turret then don’t upgrade.
Ive found myself out of a certain bullet because I banged out 500 rounds in an hour and the next night when I was bored I had nothing to load.
So sometimes going slow is good. It gives you something to do every night.
 

pastera

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My time spent prepping brass and casting projectiles is down time that doesn't take much mental effort and can make down time productive.

I have a loadmaster so the premium to go progressive wasn't that high - Especially when considering I make quite a few accessories with other hobby equipment (Mill, Lathe, 3d printer,...)

If the money for the press comes from the supplies budget then why buy a press that you don't have supplies to run.
 

andrew1220

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I was referring to brass that you pick up after a session at the range. I would imagine buying presorted brass bites in the economy of reloading, no? Invariably there is someone else's brass mixed in when picking up your brass outside. Indoors, no worries since where I shoot the floors are clean. The other thing is .45 acp small vs large primers. I've got pretty good at eyeballiing them as I go, but every once in a while I have to stop to check against samples I keep. Also, I catch brass every so often where the rim may have burrs that may need to be hit lightly with a file. They may not affect extraction, but I like to clean them up JIC.

So I guess if I was to not do some of the stuff I mention above as I'm reloading I can get much more out of my turret. However, I will either have to go back and rework the brass I put aside or toss it. This will either add time to the overall process, and cost if I need to buy more ammo or brass.

I definitely agree on having a system. I used to consult on workflow optimization in one of my many corporate jobs so setting things up for optimal output is something I always check myself on.

The one round I really like loading over all others is .45 Colt. I push ~200+ rds/hr out of the turret.
I buy clean 9mm brass for about 2.5 cents each shipped. If I want same headstamp it's 3.5 cents each shipped. I loose a lot of brass at matches and I've been super lazy about picking up brass when I go to the range for practice etc. I just don't want to be tumbling 9mm brass every other day so I don't mind spending the couple pennies. YMMV.
 

Michael J. Spangler

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I buy clean 9mm brass for about 2.5 cents each shipped. If I want same headstamp it's 3.5 cents each shipped. I loose a lot of brass at matches and I've been super lazy about picking up brass when I go to the range for practice etc. I just don't want to be tumbling 9mm brass every other day so I don't mind spending the couple pennies. YMMV.
I bet you chase that 44 Mag brass down though right? Two totally different things. I can lose $5 worth of 9 brass and not worry. Lose a single 25 cent piece of 44 mag brass and I’m crawling on my hands and knees like I lost a diamond.
 

andrew1220

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I bet you chase that 44 Mag brass down though right? Two totally different things. I can lose $5 worth of 9 brass and not worry. Lose a single 25 cent piece of 44 mag brass and I’m crawling on my hands and knees like I lost a diamond.
[laugh] Got that right! I refuse to lose any 357 or 44 mag brass!
 

EddieZoom

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I buy clean 9mm brass for about 2.5 cents each shipped. If I want same headstamp it's 3.5 cents each shipped. I loose a lot of brass at matches and I've been super lazy about picking up brass when I go to the range for practice etc. I just don't want to be tumbling 9mm brass every other day so I don't mind spending the couple pennies. YMMV.
Would you mind sharing your source in a PM ?

There are a couple of companies I've been looking at recently...since like you I shoot way more than I pick up these days. Also doesn't help that my wife absolutely hates when I have the tumbler running for extended cleaning sessions :rolleyes:
 

andrew1220

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Would you mind sharing your source in a PM ?

There are a couple of companies I've been looking at recently...since like you I shoot way more than I pick up these days. Also doesn't help that my wife absolutely hates when I have the tumbler running for extended cleaning sessions :rolleyes:
PM inbound. And to anyone else interested, feel free to PM me.
 

jek

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There are a couple of companies I've been looking at recently...since like you I shoot way more than I pick up these days. Also doesn't help that my wife absolutely hates when I have the tumbler running for extended cleaning sessions
I definitely lose some brass every time I shoot, especially as rifle cases age. My wife would give me grief as well when tumbling. I took a couple of her old yoga/exercise mats and wrapped them around the tumbler which is on the basement concrete floor, and then cover the opening with a seat cushion. Cuts down dramatically on the noise. I always say I'm going to make something more elegant, but haven't got around to it.
 

EddieZoom

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I definitely lose some brass every time I shoot, especially as rifle cases age. My wife would give me grief as well when tumbling. I took a couple of her old yoga/exercise mats and wrapped them around the tumbler which is on the basement concrete floor, and then cover the opening with a seat cushion. Cuts down dramatically on the noise. I always say I'm going to make something more elegant, but haven't got around to it.
Yoga mats and seat cushions...that's old school MacGyver engineering right there ;-)

Nice.
 

TrashcanDan

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A question for all that use progressive presses, how much time do you spend sorting/prepping pistol brass prior to loading not counting cleaning. I get that progressives crank out ammo, but there has to be some up front prep/sorting (not counting cleaning) so the press can run those #s.
Never really sat down and timed it, but its in the "winter stuff" category, or "dirty work"
So I might amass a bucket or 4 of brass over the summer. This is where sorters are worth their weight in gold.

For 9mm/.38 spl/.357/ .40/.45 acp and .44 when I was loading for that hand cannon-
Toss all the keeper calibers in "sub-buckets" or caliber buckets.
Root through that, toss all the steel and stepped cases.
Throw in the dirty shaker by caliber.
Toss out headstamps while I'm depriming
Throw it all back in the clean shaker.
Haul all the good stuff back in and plop it next to the presses.
Reload all summer, collect brass
Rinse, repeat.

For rifle-
I can't even.
Theres so much that goes into it that I lost interest in distance target shooting. Its a mix of science and voodoo sorcery. People that for load precision rifle are a much better person than I am.

The shakers (vibratory corn cob ) are the easiest part. 0 time spent there. Turn it on, walk away.
2 or 3 buckets of brass for stuff I don't load, plus spent primers pays out enough at the scrapyard to take a dent out of other stuff.
Theres no real time benefit for me doing it this way, but theres no real cost either, so its a wash, before someone chimes in with the old "whats your time worth" argument I see over the interwebs.
 

mac1911

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A question for all that use progressive presses, how much time do you spend sorting/prepping pistol brass prior to loading not counting cleaning. I get that progressives crank out ammo, but there has to be some up front prep/sorting (not counting cleaning) so the press can run those #s.

I ask because I am considering a progressive. I currenlty load with a turret press and get about 150 rds./hr including sorting/prepping cases.
is 150 rnds a hour enough for you? I still dont have a progressive other than a lee pro 1000 for bulk 223 and some pistol IF I bother to convert.
Every time I get a few hundred bucks I tend to stock up on supplies.
 

mac1911

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stop watching TV you will have tons of time to reload.
Or in my case Arthritis in my hips-cant sit still most of the time so I fissle with the reloading stuff. Also like andrew I try not to get to ahead of myself so I always have something to do when bored other than post on NES
 

jek

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is 150 rnds a hour enough for you?
It can be, depending on caliber, and as long as I put the hrs. in. Ditto on the supplies comment.

stop watching TV you will have tons of time to reload.
This time of year I take advantage of the clear nights to take my telescope out for observing, since it is dark fairly early.
 

Fritz the Cat

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It can be, depending on caliber, and as long as I put the hrs. in. Ditto on the supplies comment.



This time of year I take advantage of the clear nights to take my telescope out for observing, since it is dark fairly early.
You have a hot neighbor that showers with the curtains open?
 
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is 150 rnds a hour enough for you? I still dont have a progressive other than a lee pro 1000 for bulk 223 and some pistol IF I bother to convert.
Every time I get a few hundred bucks I tend to stock up on supplies.
does the lee pro 1000 work well with 223? I was looking at those earlier for my plinking loads
 

mac1911

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does the lee pro 1000 work well with 223? I was looking at those earlier for my plinking loads
i had no issues out side ofvthe normal lee stuff. Cleaned up the discharge tray, remove some flashing on molded plastic parts and a bend and tweak here and there.
I bought the lee pro 1000 in 223 specifically to load the 3000 p!us assorted cases on there last loading and the bulk 55grain pullets /w844 powder i have. At the price i paid for components whe i bought them I have .10¢ 223 plinking ammo supply for many a long time to come. I actually am running low on brass.
 

mu2bdriver

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If anyone has the 50th Lyman guide, can I please get a picture PM’ed of the 45ACP and +P data for 230gr bullets, please? I want to compare its listing for BE-86 pressures with what the 49th and earlier editions had with other powders. Thanks in advance.

ETA: disregard the request. A member gave me some input and I ended up taking a trip to Cabela’s this morning and checked out the 50th edition and was really surprised and disappointed with the variety. For 45ACP I was shocked to see just four jacketed/plated load data and there were no new powders listed. I checked some 357Sig, 40SW, 9mm, and other pistol data I reload for and same there: very few loads listed and just the same powders that I’ve seen from the 46-47th version. The new edition was really unimpressive.
 
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wegman

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i had no issues out side ofvthe normal lee stuff. Cleaned up the discharge tray, remove some flashing on molded plastic parts and a bend and tweak here and there.
I bought the lee pro 1000 in 223 specifically to load the 3000 p!us assorted cases on there last loading and the bulk 55grain pullets /w844 powder i have. At the price i paid for components whe i bought them I have .10¢ 223 plinking ammo supply for many a long time to come. I actually am running low on brass.
mac1911, I have more .223 once-fired brass than I can ever use, can bring some to OCSA next time (April?)
-Mike
 

Michael J. Spangler

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No Hi-Tek?
I haven’t been casting enough to warrant baking off a batch. I’ve been making a 100 or so here and there. I hate baking off small batches. Even though this is a pretty good sized batch with the low pressure loads I’ve been sticking to traditional lube.
I love the smell of the traditional lube too. Call me weird.
 
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