on-site or range reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 41mag, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    For some of us, we just can't look out our back door, or drive 10 minutes and be ready to shoot. Yea it sucks to be us. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    I got to wondering after reading through many post, do any of you work up loads at the range or at your shooting areas, or just mainly load up several batches and go from there?

    If so what equipment do you use, how do you set it up, and what might your pre-trip proceedure be?

    I have taylored some specific equipment that serves mainly one purpose, to load ammo no matter where I am. This is simply a RCBS Pardner press or Lee Reloader press, and Uniflow measure secured to a piece of 3/8"x4"x16" long flat bar that can be securly mounted to virtually anything I can get my c-clamps around. I have even used my reciever hitch on many occaisions. When I set up the flat bar, I did so in a manner that would allow me to use either press, as well as mount the Uniflow to either side or them. Basically I drilled and tapped mounting holes for each press at either end of the plate, then a set of holes to allow the mounting plate of the Uniflow to be attached directly behind the mounted presses from either side. This allows many mounting variations, depending on how it is attached to a solid surface. Most times this is the bench I am shooting off of, but as mentioned, it can be anything solid enough to hold it firmly in place with c-clamps.

    Using the Uniflow I weigh up the charges from low to high on a scale, recording the stem setting with various powders. This allows quick reference and changes if things don't look good from the start.

    The brass is generally prepped ahead of time but not always, as the tools are small enough to fit inside a small pastic box. There is generally enough time to prep 5-10 cases while waiting on the barrel to cool anyway.

    I have a Lyman case trimmer that I used for years till my wife picked me up a RCBS power trim unit. It fits nicely inside the tub I use to haul my stuff around in and as with the press, is mounted to a board so that it can be clamped down for use.

    Small items like pilots, shell holders and such are boxed accordingly in the little organizer type boxes. I take my cleaning stuff, a couple of primers types, several powders, and generally a couple of makes of cases. The dies are the same ones I use to load at the house. They are cleaned and oiled after every use both at home and in the field. No problems noted there. For convience, I use the Lee Universal shell holder kit, as well as the Lee handprime unit and the shell holder kit for it. A set of dial calipers to check out and record the measurments.

    All things considered, I have probably $200 tied up in it all, however, some of it is also used as part of my regular stuff so it serves double duty. Other smaller items which are handy to have are, a couple of different sized and depth c-clamps, writing pens and pencils, several different colored markers, q-tips, small loading block, possibly a staple gun, thumb tacks, clothes pins, and duct tape, extra targets. Just about all of it fits nicely into a very travel ready plastic tub.

    The bigger stuff like powder, and bullets generally go into a paper sack or cardboard box, and the cleaning rod or rods ride in the hard cases with the rifles.

    For me this has saved me countless trips to and from the range to just check out a few loads and repeat the process, and more than paid for itself several times over. It allows one trip while conditions are right to check out several loads and even several rifles, in one trip. With the rising cost of gas nowdays as well as local shooting places becomming harder to find in some areas, I thought it might be interesting to see if others followed similar practices.

    I picked up my start from watching several BR shooters who shot at the local range. Just hit me one day, man that would work for me too, and save a LOT of time and effort. So here is a pic of what I am referring to, if you have something similar to share post it up and maybe help out someone with a similar need.
    [​IMG]

    If your intersted in setting up something similar, most of not all of the stuff you need can be had for a reasonable price if you shop around a little. As for the presses and powder measures, e-bay is one source, another is here, Lee Surplus Page
    I also know from talking to the folks at RCBS they offer some equipment as well, it's worth the 800 call to check on anyway. I am not sure but would think that others have similar items.

    Anyway it's just something to consider if you get some of those great shooting days, and you need to or want to try out several things with different components or rifles.
     
  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    That is a very timely post. I woke up this morning thinking about how to do that.

    One thing I would recommend is that you take a piece of 2X4 about 6 inches long and drill two holes down in it a ways but not all the way through. One hole should be just slightly larger than the coppermelt tube and the other hole should be slightly larger than the bulb of the dropper (so you can put it in with the tip up in case you are not through cleaning and the dropper still has some liquid in it). This will help prevent knocking over that tall thin container and spilling it all, like a certain party whose name we won't mention.
     

  3. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    buffalobob,

    The block you mention is already been done. I had pleanty of instructional info before I ws EVER able to get my grubbies on some of it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif After getting it, I made it a habit of not putting the bottle down with the lid off, so hopefully even if I do knock it over, it will not spill out everywhere.

    Here is a pic of one of the plates I use. It shows the hole layout for each end and the sides, for both the press and the powder measure plate. [​IMG]
     
  4. distantfoe

    distantfoe Well-Known Member

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    Mike/Tx - this might not help with your situation, but I've been following this procedure and has drastically reduced the amount of supplies that go to the range with me.

    I pre-load several different powder charges with 20-25rds per different powder/charge. The bullets are seated long, approximately 10-15thou into the rifling. This allows me to simply re-seat the bullets, at the range, to various depths until I find a load that shoots with a given seating depth. This means just taking a press, seating die, bullet comparator and calipers.

    Just something to consider or modify to your situation.
     
  5. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    distantfoe,

    Your right, I have done that in the past and still do on occaision if just changing a load up on a certian rifle. In the top pic, I was working on two 7 mags and a .270 Win the same morning. I generally shoot for pressure and velocity, while more or less shooting somewhat of a ladder or OCW combined. I know it sounds more confusing that it really is but it works for me. I can generally hit what I am looking for quite rapidly with most rifles, and then load and shoot out to 300yds. When the temps are higher, I work with more rifles. Gives them time to cool, and me time to prep. and load the other rounds.

    Since I rarely get much time for play when I am in the country, I have to make use of what time I have. Sometimes, that might mean catching a nap and shooting half the night. The little building, was actually built by my daughter and I specifically for this. We also measured the ranges out in front to 300yds. Only problem is it's a 3-hour drive from where I live. LOL The nice thing is, by using various small lights, I can shoot all night long when conditions are right. Makes it great when the wind lays in the evening or it is 108 in the shade, (like it was in the above pic), during the day. I don't always get to chrono things at the time, but I can still hit the loads and then get quick chrono data the next morning.
     
  6. Alan Griffith

    Alan Griffith Well-Known Member

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    Here is how I do it.

    Big Al

    [​IMG]
     
  7. lovdasnow

    lovdasnow Well-Known Member

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    now thats a setup! how long does that take to get ready to shoot? thats a lot of stuff, maybe I'm jsut jelous
     
  8. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    GSSP,

    That is all so familiar of the BR fellows I was referring to. About the only difference is, the board your press and powder measure are mounted to, would have legs on it. They would of course be shooting from the firing tables.

    This is a couple of other views of our little shed, and the range.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Mike/Tx, we otta move to the Mouth of Hobble Canyon, THE WIND DOESN'T BLOW /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif In Idaho you'd spend all your time chasing components /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    GSSP, you're a lucky fella.

    Mike/Tx: How do you keep your stuff so nice and orderly /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    I'd be ashamed to show a pic of mine.

    Guess I'm lucky too. I have a 200yd range in my back yard. Bench is about 65 yds behind the house. For drop chart work and long range practice, I drive about 15 min. to the local range...... With loaded ammo.
     
  10. yooperchuck

    yooperchuck Member

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    Mike/tx is adding fuel to my fire. I intend to do what he is talking about. I just found out that there is an abandoned military range a few miles from Kinross and I intend to "make a day of it" at this range. I know it will be necessary to have a checklist before leaving the house. Knowing me I will forget the powder !!!!....I will pay attention to anything said about shooting and setting up at the range. Now if this 5 feet of snow would melt some I would be a happy shooter.
     
  11. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Roy,

    The nice thing about the way we set up our range is, out to 200yds, there is little if any wind effect. The range is set up south to north, and during the spring the breeze comes straight from behind us and a wind row cuts it to almost nill, and when we get those light fronts the tree line to the left, and the woods on the hill out front, pretty much kills anything of a concerning nature from the north.

    As for the neat and orderly, LOL you must be mistaking the nicely set up and organized equipment of GSSP, for my pics. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    THat little shed was built solely for the purpose of shooting out of. However it does serve well to store a few items which just seem to have no other place they aren't in the way.

    The best thing about it is being able to shoot round the clock when we want to. the worst thing is the 3hr drive to get there. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  12. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    OK, I'm catching on. The pic with the press and trimmer must be you shooting house. Still looks 'too' orderly. I can see how the trees are a pretty good protection for you.

    I also snooped around you pic files. Some pretty nice bucks and hogs. Looks like there is quite a band of you guys, all shooters!

    Also noticed that folding flat bed trailer w/the buck on it. Wheels for storage....pretty neat. Who makes a thing like that.

    Seeing GSSP's equipment and 'stuff' out in the open on a banquet table, blows my mind. I had to set a post in the ground to mount my chrono. Got way too many errors when on a tripod. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    ah! I must be spring 'again'. Still dark outside,I just heard a pheasant squawk. Good times are on the way!
     
  13. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the good words on the game, we try. Considering it has all come from low fenced heavily hunted areas, there are some good ones in the bunch. As for the folks in the pic's, well most are family or just as close. There isn't any of them that, I have doubts about their abilities. My daughter is definately underestimated by a LOT of folks. It only takes a few rounds downrange however and they come around. LOL

    As for the trailer, it's a Harbor Freight special. I have to admit, it has more than repaid the $170 cost in ease of use and load hauling capabilities. That thing totes just about anything we need it to within reason. The nice thing is we changed the hitch it came with out to 2" so we could use it more effeciently. Now one of us alone, can haul a load of feed in the truck, pull the trailer with the 4 wheeler on it, along behind, and then when we get out in the field or woods, unload the scooter and hook up the trailer to it and offload the feed. SAves several miles of trips and time when putting out feed. The trailer is also a full tilt which makes this, as well as loading up the critters, really easy.

    When we first got it, we were all sort of skepital about how long it would actually last. Well going on 8 years now and still gong strong.