Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Reloading Info Bleg

I've posted occasionally about my learning how to reload, and my minor adventures along that road. 

Dear Mrs. Graybeard fed that hobby this Christmas with an RCBS Pro 2000 progressive press and a few additional accessories. 

So, folks, here's where I am.  I have the Rock Chucker Supreme, a single position press for one at a time careful loads of rifle ammo.  I'd like to use the same reloading bench and replace one press with the other.  I swear I've seen someone that made an accessory that was a metal plate the presses mounted to, and a desk-mounted fixture that they slide into, perhaps on a dovetail or some other way to do a quick change.  Does anyone know of something like that?  I've found this kit for Lee presses, and the idea is similar to what I'm thinking, although the geometry is different.
Second, is there a particularly good forum to hang out on and learn from other RCBS owners or a good general reloading forum? The only forum I know is Cast Boolits. 

Any insider's tricks anyone would like to drop by about setting up one of these toys would be very welcome, too. 


9 comments:

drjim said...

I bought the whole RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Pro kit a while back.
I haven't set iy up yet because I'm still reading all the books on reloading!
Keep in mind999 you probably know this alreay....I didn't) you'll need dies, case holders and some other stuff.

Reg T said...

SiG,

Check this out and see what you think. It uses dovetail pieces to swap mounts.

http://www.zjstech.net/gunstuff/reloadbench.html

RegT said...

Here is another idea:

http://www.vintagepistols.com/images/bench.jpg

Personally, I just mount my RCBS single stage at one end of my workbench and my Dillon 550B in the middle of the bench..

Hopefully, we will be in our new (to us) home in a couple of weeks, and I'll be able to set my reloading and bullet casting gear up again. There's a nice workshop in the barn, complete with an old=fashione potbelly wood stove.

Yes, my powder and primers will be at the far end of the shop ;-)

RegT said...

It's late here and I'm a little drifty. Meant to add that you could cut out the top part of the workbench where the beveled mounting block would slide in, so that you could through bolt the press to the mounting block and still slide it all of the way into the bench between the two outer dovetails.

You could through-bolt with a steel backing plate on the bottom of your dovetailed wooden base, and drill a couple of holes for pins to keep it from moving, once you slid it all the way into position. The countertop would be screwed down permanently, and you would make a smooth, blank piece to make the countertop smooth when you weren't using the presses.

Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Steady on there, SiGB. I took a 2x8, drilled some holes to mount the press (countersunk bolts rise from under 2x8), and then clamped it to the edge of my workbench. Worked fine for years and years. Best not to optimize too early; in fact I think I might have rebuilt another workbench to better utilize the field expedient approach I used. Some of the benchrest guys reload at the range, and have a lot of interesting ideas. My only interest was a single stage press as I concentrated on accuracy rather than volume, so the 2x8 may not be sufficient for your needs. Not to say I'm not impressed with the link Reg T provided.

I've not reloaded for some time, but here is an old resource (note old geocities links) I used to enjoy. There was also something maybe called Steve's Gun Pages but I don't see it just now. Link rot is all around us.

http://www.varmintal.com/arelo.htm

In fact the last time I was actively reloading, Usenet ruled the world. alt.rec.guns or some such, which I think is now
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/alt.rec.guns

A search for "ammo reloading faq" turns up some interesting possibilities.

If I might, I'd also recommend more than one reloading manual and perhaps a copy of Cartridges of the World. Misprints do happen, best to be sure you're in the right ballpark before you touch off a DIY round.

If you're rolling in shooty cash, a casting setup including a sizing press might also be a decent investment, depending on your caliber preferences (not everything is suitable for cast bullets). The EPA can't be far from making any metalworking activity illegal, and in a decade it's sure to be a thought crime. I wonder, will they make lathes an NFA item?

Hope that helps. Good luck, keep good notes including lot numbers, and stay safe.

Jim

Anonymous said...

SG:

Welcome to reloading! Building your own loads is a very important and interesting part of the hobby. Here are some very useful forums:

http://www.thehighroad.org/forumdisplay.php?f=15&s=eb6b01ac5020e68418b1948bd34341dc&

http://www.ar15.com/forums/f_6/42_Reloading.htmlhttp://www.ar15.com/forums/f_6/42_Reloading.html

http://www.handloadersbench.com/

http://www.reloadersnest.com/forum/default.asp

http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=13&page=1

And should you choose to start to cast your own bullets (actually “boolits”) you’ve already found the best casting forum. I would add this reference: http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm . It is excellent. You should read it even if you don’t plan to cast anytime soon but I wouldn’t wait too long to start casting as it’s almost inevitable that our Keepers will figure out a reason to meddle with it at some point in their quest to establish their New State (which is just a re-hash of history but their more “special” than their predecessors.)

Also, store your powder and primers safely. See NFPA 495 - http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/ROP/495-A2001-ROP.PDF . You are typically limited to 25 pounds of smokeless powder and 10K primers in a residence.

Also, get this book: http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Firearm-Ballistics-Robert-Rinker/dp/0964559846 . A growing understanding of ballistics enhances your ability to build great loads.

Enjoy!

Murphy's Law said...

If you weren't all the way down in Florida...

Good press. I'm still using the one that I bought back in the 1980's.

Just work slowly, follow the instructions to the letter, double-check everything, including powder in cases before seating bullets, and establish routines for the processes then don't deviate from them. No shortcuts! Welcome to the wonderful world of cheaper, better ammo.

Anonymous said...

I use Dillon, not RCBS, but a couple good resources for reloading in general are:
http://www.sniperforums.com/forum/cartridges-calibers/
and
http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?act=idx

The first has a ton of info, but is particularly good at helping you get excellent performance with loads for precision rifles. The second is more oriented toward pistol and .223 reloading. It has good info on how to make reliable volume ammo with good cost efficiency, etc.

Anonymous said...

If at all possible, find somebody that can physically show you what's up (local gun club?). You'll still have to decide for yourself whether you believe that person is using safe and effective practices. Learn for yourself the signs of "too hot".

Jim