Do any of you reload at range for load workup..or because of limited number of cases? Trying to figure out needed tools, etc. Do you find it necessary to have dedicated powder measure for range box..this duplicating of tools can get expensive! Any comments or tips welcome. Thanks.
Reloading at range?
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- Last Post 10 February 2019
I do a lot of reloading at the range. I am fortunate that during the week there are few shooters out in the mornings. We have a great range with all covered firing points. Many times I am the only shooter. I even take a lunch with me and have a great relaxing 1/2 day. Can't think of a more relaxing time.
I load whatever seems reasonable at home, shoot, then disassemble the not-shot back at home with an inertia bullet puller.
EX: loaded with 5, 4.5, 4. 3.5 and 3 gr Titegroup, looking for instability. Found it at 4.5 gr, 2 shots. Home, took the unshot apart. Saved everything; bullets, powder, primed cases.
Gas-checked bullets can pose as problem; just starting the GC in the case and seating at the range, and the unshot come apart easily at home.
I've been handloading for 55 years and never had a double charge with metallic ammunition because I have an iron clad rule to drop a marked dowel into each charged case before seating the bullets. Never loaded metallic at the range.
I started shooting muzzle loaders 53 years ago and of course loaded at the range. I once began to load and stopped to help a new shooter and then put a second 70 gr. charge of 3F down my barrel. The rifle held but the recoil was brutal. Also I don't know how many times I've helped pull balls and bullets rammed with no powder. I think muzzle loaders are just friendly people and will stop what they are doing to help one another out or just BS. One of the best offhand shooters I've ever known stopped to help a new shooter during a match and then rammed a ball with no powder. He got so flustered that after getting the ball out that he turned around and did it again.
I don't "reload" per se at the range but I do finish loading at the range many times when working up loads. I do all the loading except seating the bullet at home and put the charged cases in MTM cartridge boxes. Care must be used during transport to not spill the powder out. When using a Dacron filler that is not a problem as the filler holds the powder in quite well. Of course the rows of cartridge for each load are recorded.
At the range I use a Lee Loader, a Lyman 310 tool or a Lee hand press with standard seating die (the most used these days) to load the bullets just prior to testing. All the tools/dies are preset at home so they are simple to use at the range. When I reach a max load I stop and thus don't have any bullets to pull that way. Works for me.
Concealment is not cover.........
In the past, when I was competing in BPCR Silhouette, I generally worked up a black powder cartridge load whenever I got a new lot of powder. Since I generally bought 25 lbs at a time, that didn't happen often. However, with my set up, it was quite efficient to set up my Lyman Turret press complete with black powder measure and compression die, etc. and fully develope the loads on the range at 100 yards.
When I shot Schuetzen rifle, I used breech seated bullets and loaded every round at the range as I shot. It worked just fine, too!
However, after I lost the central vision in my right eye, I reluctantly stopped long gun shooting completely. In a couple of range sessions, using red dot sights on my handguns, I was able to convert to right handed shooting with my left eye. I could hardly believe how quickly I made the transition!. So, after going to "all handgun" there is no longer a reason to load at the range.
My club range is just five or six minutes from my home and I would make certain to go to the range when it wasn't being used a lot.
Being retired gives you certain advantages in time management...(:>).
I load at the range for some of my rifles but not all. One thing I did was to convert my rcbs old plain jane powder measure to micrometer adjustable. That changed it from an ok powder measure to a good one. Fast easy adjustments that are repeatable if you write down the powder and charge settings.
My club has a reloading room in the clubhouse and a press available in the range 'shed'. I agree about distractions however the clubhouse reloading room see little use so I would tend to use it.
Cheers from New Zealand
I have used a beam balance and made a glass front box for it. My electronic balance will run on a battery and it is easier to use. Either scale wants a level solid surface and you need calibration weights, mine are stainless steel nuts of known mass.
A powder measure with known settings is easiest to use, especially if you are doing a 10 shot series with each load. I take along a LEE powder measure set as a final check on the measure if I do not bring the balance.
The only special equipment is a Lyman Accupress, but a LEE hand press works almost as well. These light presses neck size easily, but full length sizing is difficult and requires careful case lubrication. I take usually take primed ready to load cases to the range.
The range is an hour drive away. I envy you guys with a range in the back yard!
The most important item is a CHECK LIST! Only a fool would forget to bring a shell holder! Only a old fool would see a shell holder in the press and not check to see if it was the correct one. No, a 30.06 will not fit in a 38 shell holder. After the second shell holder disaster I made a detailed checklist. Screwdrivers and Allen wrenches to fit everything and extra batteries for the scale and chronograph.
... heh, i load at my plinking range ... in the driveway of my shop ...
other than that, my favorite stories are about the guys that at home put their powder charges in little bottles and just de-re-cap and seat at the range ... always sounded pretty cool .
yep, in my machine shop some very very very expensive things happened when mr. distraction showed up ... or his cousin, mr. miscommunication ... avoid those guys ...
The only cartridge I load for at the range is .310 Cadet. I have 20 Bertram cases, bullets from a heeled bullet mold that fortuitously thumb seat into fired brass sweetly, a homemade de-re-capper, and a dipper to throw 4grains Unique. I guess I gotta break down and buy some more brass (but at $38/20 it won't be anytime soon), or go through the hassle of cutting down .32-20 brass and thinning the rims. (No, it won't chamber thick .32-20 rims.) On the other hand, it does make for a nice leisurely way to spend an afternoon at the range. (I stand the cases up in a block and inspect powder levels before seating bullets, just like at home, so withstanding curious onlookers isn't a problem.)
Easiest way to load at the range is with belled, primed cases, Redding measure, small ele scale, and Lyman 310 tool.
I have my own range so distraction is no problem.
Only the muzzle loaders, and I am NOT one of those that blows down the barrel after the shot.
As a Schuetzen and PB shooter, I load at the range 99% of the time and keep at least 5 types of powder in my powder box.
I take 4 different boxes with me. If I take all 4, I have everything I need to fire the rifle, IF I remember to add the rifle to the boxes YES, I've forgot to take the rifle I also need a target frame and targets, at my local range. My wife also shoots so, she has to take her 2 boxes and rifle.
I use Redding micrometer powder measures, one for both of us. With the Reddings, you can set them up to read exactly the same, as the mic head can be zeroed where ever you want it. I set both to throw the same charge and and set the mic, to read the same.
I've been shooting this way for 35 years and at 74, by back doesn't like packing everything but, I can't shoot any other way.
I have shot fixed at the range but, take everything PLUS a C-H 3 station press and dies, that I clamp with a C-clamp, to the bench. Before I lucked onto it, I set a Lee turret up to clamp to the bench.
I don't always take a chrono but, add that to the list. Oh yea, I forgot to add my spotting scope for iron sights and sometimes find shots at 200, while getting sighted in.
As a club member and range member, I have access to an 80 yard shooting lane with only one bench and nobody within 50 yards of me. I take primed and belled cases with me, and set the clamp on Harrell's powder measure up with a scale inside a wooded ammo box. I only work with one powder per trip. I have an old "load anywhere" press that will clamp from 1/2" to 6". All it does is seat. Plus dial calipers and disassemble hammer.
Everything is off my reloading bench except the press. They were made in Idaho 25 years ago for p-dog shooters and I haven't seen any for years. Before that I just use an Ideal 310 tool to seat bullets.
The chance of disruption at the range while reloading is too great, I do not do it anymore. Even reloading at home with only myself or or one other, I check each case before seating a bullet. And I run five or ten powder charges into the scale pan and divide by the requisite number to assure the powder measure is correctly set.
The Plain Base shooters using one case will reload at the range. Each shooter that I know and have observed is very focused when dropping the powder charge. They allow no disruption. For my plain base shooting, I take one hundred charged cases to each match. And I like to relax as much as possible between relays or while changing targets.
As for using two powder measures, I would not.
Country boy from Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest
I quit loading at the range because there are too many potential distractions which can lead to accidents.
If you have your own private range with nobody else around to interrupt you, then it would work.
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
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