Copyright 2019 - Stephen Redgwell
Reloading rooms are individual
things, as are the benches.
all have different requirements. Here's what I use.
|My office reloading bench
A reloading room can be big or small. It can be full of fancy equipment or just have basic tools. It may take up the
whole basement, or just part of the kitchen table. Regardless of its size or complexity, these rooms exist to assemble ammunition.
They house a collection of gadgets - some useful, some not - that have accumulated over the years. One thing is for
sure, the longer you reload, the more stuff you'll collect! Ask me. In 45 years of reloading, I've bought, and tossed, quite
And those useless accessories? They appeared because you read great reviews in a magazine
or on the Internet. According to the write ups, that latest, greatest thing was guarantied to take your reloading to the next
level. Your groups would shrink. Hunting trips would be a success. And you knew it had to work because the author backed
it up with target pictures showing tiny bullet clusters, or he posed with a trophy game animal. Wow! It would make you
the envy of your group!
What was that? Those gadgets didn't always work as advertised?
You got suckered by ad men? Worse, you were fooled by Internet posts, written by people who never used this magic gadget,
but praised it at length. Don't feel bad. You aren't the only person who ever got duped. No worries. Accept
that despite the most careful vetting of every new product offered, you're gonna make the odd mistake.
of the new gear is announced in January, when the industry converges on Las Vegas for the annual SHOT show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade). Hey, it's Vegas! Lots of glitter, gambling and
In a nutshell, it's an event that shows industry and media people what is new for the
coming year. If you'd like to learn about what happens at SHOT, follow the link and prepare to spend some time reading.
You have to be part of the industry to attend. I have gone twice, and found the experience overwhelming. Coming from Canada,
where we had burdensome gun legislation, visiting SHOT was like being let loose in Santa's workshop! Gadgets, gizmos,
guns, and gear were everywhere. At the same time, I realized that you had to be a multi-millionaire to afford a lot of what
was on display. Trust me, there's a lot to see.
A lot of the equipment you've purchased
was debuted at SHOT. It was also featured on TV, websites, magazines and smaller exhibitions. How you learned about this new
stuff was due, in large part, by media stories released after SHOT was over. As well, some equipment was sent to outdoor
writers for review. The last ten years or so has seen a revolution of sorts st SHOT. Technology has allowed everyone to get
a glimpse of what's happening there. You've probably seen some of the videos posted at the SHOT Show site and elsewhere,
featuring this year's new outdoor products.
No matter how the information gets out, there
is a truism - good equipment remains on the market for a long time; junk quickly disappears. Ultimately, you, the user,
are the judge.
|My Rock Chucker and Lubrizer for cast bullets
have two benches that house most of my gear. One is a large table in my workshop. Frankly, it doesn't get much
use. On the other hand, the "bench" in my office is in constant demand.
It's a 24x30 inch table with three presses. Beside it, there's a really cheap tool cabinet, I bought at Walmart. It
works great, and holds most of my reloading tools. I keep all my bullets, brass, ammo boxes and other accessories in
the workshop. I only bring up what I need.
Sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s,
there was an article in one of the gun magazines about maximizing space for reloaders living in apartments. One of the
things they suggested was putting a press on a small tool stand. Not long after, a couple of companies that made reloading
gear came out with portable stands. At first, I thought it was a great idea - until I saw the price! Over $100
for what amounted to a bench grinder stand. Hmmm, a bench grinder stand...I went shopping at my local Princess Auto
and bought one for $20. They are still cheap, with many models for sale at places like amazon.
sturdy little stand, fitted with an RCBS Rock Chucker and a Lyman Lubrizer, augments a Redding Boss press, mounted to the
|My little Lee C press
Of the three presses on the table, this one gets a lot of use. It is an inexpensive Lee C press that I use primarily
for decapping, case mouth flaring and a few other jobs. It can handle most reloading chores, but I use it as an accessory
press. Having several presses is great for times when you are working up loads and need to perform several functions concurrently.
Owners of multiple presses are never stuck, should something happen to their main press. It can also mean more speed,
depending on how many processes your brass goes through from the fired to the reloaded state.
needs are different. Progressive presses are great for people who need to crank out a lot of ammunition quickly. Trap
and skeet shooters fall into this category, as well as competitive handgunners, and high volume varmint hunters.
is a caution here. With a progressive press comes complexity. If you will not be using it regularly, you may want to forego
the bigger, more expensive press and buy two or three single stage presses instead. They are simpler to use and, regardless
of brand, work in much the same way.
Buy REALLY Expensive Reloading Gear
know those Internet posters who only use Forster or Redding equipment - complete with competition dies, expensive bullets
and the best brass? They say that they only use the best because it makes the best ammunition. Okay. How do I
put this kindly...You're loading for an off the rack rifle, don't shoot much (do not practice), but spent big bucks on tools
that will not improve your shooting.
I guess if you can afford it, great. but I have to
say, with the exception of competition shooters and some dedicated souls, all that expensive equipment and premium components
will do nothing to improve performance. What? How DARE you? You have no idea how much, or for what I reload!
that I've raised the blood pressure of a few, let's let them stew on it for a while. We'll pick this up later, in part
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