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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
reloading tech tips

Keeping Order on the Loading Bench

Author: Stan Trzoniec / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Aug 12 2020

Eventually you are going to amass more guns.  With more guns comes your advancement in the hobby of reloading ammunition.  As the shelves grow with more die sets, powder measures and other loading accessories, eventually chaos will raise its ugly head.  You will start to misplace things, ordinary loading will take longer and frustration sets in.  Here are a few tips that I find allows me to concentrate on my handloading duties without losing track of charge rates, the right primer or the overall length of a round.

One of the most important items on your loading bench are all the loading dies you start to collect as your gun collection gains volume.  Counting my sets, I have 127 different calibers and that does not include special dies like case forming or separate neck-sizing items.  Years back, it took time to go through all these sets, but then I got the idea to stack them according to cartridge (.222 Remington) or caliber (.22) as shown here.  Makes life easier.

If you have trouble getting the powder from the cavity on the powder trickler to the scale…try this.  Take a piece of tapered wood like the door shims they sell at the lumberyard.  Place the taper under the trickler and viola; you have a nice steady flow of powder to the tray.  Mine is nothing fancy, but once I fill the tube, it works without tipping the unit on every charge.

Like the die sets, shell holders are noted for getting lost on the bench before you want to use them.  A handy unit made by RCBS for shell holders keeps them in line while keeping you sane.  Numbers shown on the end of each peg go with the number on the shell holder and on the end of the box of the die set.

While nothing says you have to have a rack to store shell holders, you can keep them with each die set with the dies, seating stems and the like.

I know this sounds obvious, but asking two of my friends if they ever tried it got a resound “ugh” from both of them.  Loading cartridges is made easier if you turn the shell holder towards your secondary working hand – here my left hand, as I load the cases on the press.

Finally, I hate to waste time looking for all the little parts that make up my loading process.  Those little primer chairs that fit into the press and tiny springs all seem to disappear when the time comes to spend time on the loading bench.  A small magnet keeps everything in check and place at the base of my powder measure makes them available at any time I need them….