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Old 04-05-2011, 15:04   #1
shnifty
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Portable Hand Press

Hello GT!

Recently I showed some interest in reloading to my father and he dug out some of the equipment that he and his brothers used to use 30 years ago.

He has an old single stage press and some really cool portable hand presses and they are all set up for 30-06.

I really like the idea of the hand press so I can sit in front of the TV and reload or bring it up to the cabin for the annual gun weekend and stuff like that. What is your experience with portable hand reloading presses?

Is it worth my time to try to make them work or is reloading something that just has to be done at a workbench?

Sorry if this has already been answered. Thanks,

-Shnifty
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:11   #2
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Yes they work. It allows you to take your time when developing target loads and be more consistant.
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:19   #3
shnifty
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That makes sense I guess. Does anyone recommend a specific brand / model?
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:21   #4
SJ 40
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I use one to load at the range,also use one to decap black powder brass when shooting BPCR,before tossing the brass in the soak jug. Spent many a hour loading with one ,not as fast as the Dillon but it has never failed me and produces excellent ammunition. SJ 40
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:24   #5
44terryberry
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Lee makes a fantastic hand press.It is not one of the "tong tool" type,but is larger. I`ve loaded thousands of rounds with it.
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:39   #6
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Jack uses something. I think he calls is a 1050 or something like that.
were did he put that picture?
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Old 04-05-2011, 15:39   #7
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I've found some videos on youtube. The "Lee Loader" is certainly interesting... Hammering the bullets together. Seems crude but i guess it still produces a functioning bullet in the end.
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Old 04-05-2011, 16:33   #8
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i have a Lee hand press and used it for years before I had a bench set up. I still use it once in a while to show people how to reload at my club. They work great, but are slow. You could load 100 rounds in a couple of hours, so that will cover most shooter's needs.

The Lee works great, but it's biggest drawback, IMO, is the area where your hands grip it. There really is no handle to speak of, just bare aluminum channel. If you have arthritis etc it might be a little tiresome to hold on to.
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Old 04-05-2011, 17:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shnifty View Post
Hello GT!
I really like the idea of the hand press so I can sit in front of the TV and reload or bring it up to the cabin for the annual gun weekend and stuff like that. What is your experience with portable hand reloading presses?
A newb sitting in front of the TV loading is one of the worst mistakes you could make. You need to focus on what you are doing. One slip, and you skip or double charge a case, forget to keep an eye on oal, forget a crimp, etc.

Bad idea.

Portable presses are fine. Some of us take them to the range for working up loads. As a main method of round production, I guess it's ok if you are making a small number of rounds. If you want to go cheap and retro, try a Lee hand loader. They are a hoot. Still wouldn't recommend it while watching TV.
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Old 04-05-2011, 18:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudel View Post
A newb sitting in front of the TV loading is one of the worst mistakes you could make. You need to focus on what you are doing. One slip, and you skip or double charge a case, forget to keep an eye on oal, forget a crimp, etc.

Bad idea.
.
Good point.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:01   #11
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I am not much of a fan of "hand" presses, in any case its not hard to haul a regular press to the range. Just bolt it to something portable. If you are single stage loading, there several processes you can do infront of the TV, if you can walk and chew gum at the same time. It sure makes the process seem like it's not taking as long as it is.

Reloading

Reloading
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:13   #12
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I never got the need for TV thing.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:15   #13
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I have an article sitting around somewhere....

Can't find it saved. It was an article about a guy going hunting with a .30-30, a Lee Loader, a mold and some lead. He set up camp and made all his bullets by the fire, loaded them and went and got a deer.

Now I wish I could find it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:27   #14
shnifty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudel View Post
A newb sitting in front of the TV loading is one of the worst mistakes you could make. You need to focus on what you are doing. One slip, and you skip or double charge a case, forget to keep an eye on oal, forget a crimp, etc.

Bad idea.

Portable presses are fine. Some of us take them to the range for working up loads. As a main method of round production, I guess it's ok if you are making a small number of rounds. If you want to go cheap and retro, try a Lee hand loader. They are a hoot. Still wouldn't recommend it while watching TV.
Thanks for the warning. I'll be avoiding distractions at first but I have to imagine after I get the hang of it, it might be nice to be able to just de-prime a bunch of brass from the comfort of my couch or something.

At any rate... it's a place to start and I'm sure I'll move on to something bigger when the time is right. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:28   #15
shnifty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gjk5 View Post
I have an article sitting around somewhere....

Can't find it saved. It was an article about a guy going hunting with a .30-30, a Lee Loader, a mold and some lead. He set up camp and made all his bullets by the fire, loaded them and went and got a deer.

Now I wish I could find it.

That sounds like an interesting read. Reminds me of the patriot when he'd make his ammo for the next day at the campfire during the night.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:10   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shnifty View Post
Thanks for the warning. I'll be avoiding distractions at first but I have to imagine after I get the hang of it, it might be nice to be able to just de-prime a bunch of brass from the comfort of my couch or something.

At any rate... it's a place to start and I'm sure I'll move on to something bigger when the time is right. Thanks for the advice.
Still not a good idea. Primer dust is loaded with lead. Not the sort of stuff you want on the floor, rug or couch (especially if you have kids).

FWIW, I find time at the bench sort of relaxing. Set it up nice, get a chair/stool of the right height, and it's not bad at all.

Not everything has to be done on a couch in front of a TV.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:27   #17
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The Harrell press is excellent. Not for pistol calibers though.
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