View Full Version : The Beginning of a Come Back of a Reloader, Bullet Swager and Caster

08-07-2009, 03:06 AM
Hello everyone,

I wanted to share my beginning of a comeback to my beloved Hobby, with everyone, especially you newcomers, beginners, experts, and each and everyone of you that might be interested in seeing how I attempt my comeback to Reloading, Bullet Swaging, and Casting Bullets, aka Boolits. :drinks:

I don't know for sure if this is the correct place to post it, or even if it's appropriate.

I invite All Moderators to move this into a place that it might be more appropriate if needed, or into a forum, that might get more and better 'publicity' as might suit the needs of the Board better...

There are going to be MANY photos in this Article, but I'm going to use Google to host the actual document to save the bandwidth of the board.

Anyway here's the link to the photos I've taken so far:

Jim's Junky Darned Mess! (http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgw56g65_64gxmmpthf)

Not much to see at the moment I'm in the midst of designing a BIG storage cabinet for this room. Once I get the design done, I'll post it to the Google document and update this thread, etc. Then as I start actually driving screws and cutting lumber I'll take pix as needed and appropriate, upload them, and mention up dates here.

I'm going to post this over in Reloading General as well. I hope you guys enjoy this, and PLEASE feel free to kibitz, chime in and give advice... :roll: Hee, Hee, as if I could or would stop y'all...

08-08-2009, 03:03 AM
Thanks for all the interest, guys, and thanks for all the support. I didn't get much done today, very little in fact... The wife asked me to take her to supper, and all that.

I doubt if I get much done this coming weekend, I have to work 0700 - 1900 both Sat. & Sunday...

More later,

08-11-2009, 01:22 AM
Hello Folks, it's update time.

I finally got the drawing done using Google's Sketchup 3D Modeling program.

Down below the initial pictures you'll see the new images of the actual drawing of my 96x48x24 Storage Cabinet. You newcomers are going to "Ask why so big?" The old timers can tell you, you're going to need it.

In the upper/earlier pix I have some rugged looking crates, that're full of brass, bullets, lead, my reloading tools, and what not...

Jim's Reloading Room (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AU-EgnkwsEfaZGd3NTZnNjVfNjRneG1tcHRoZg&hl=en)

There's the link to take a fresh looky see...

I like using SketchUp because it's as close as one can get to actually doing the work, i.e. cutting, sawing, and fitting the parts, without making a real mess... I think of it sort of along the old saying, "Measure twice, cut once!" Everything in this drawing and model has been measured closely

I didn't add a lot of dimensions because they'll cause problems with clarity when I print it. Most of the info is in my head, and I'll using the drawing to refresh my memory.

As I was making the model and parts, I've been able to foresee the problems and work around them, to the best of my ability. This should be strong, reasonably light, be able to support a few thousand rounds, several thousand cases, and lots and lots of Cast Boolits! :castmine: along with a lot of jacketed blue pills too!

Speaking of the weight, there are about 5 sheets of OSB, that I'm going to use to make this, some 2x2's, drywall screws, and that's about it. Yes, you're going to say that 5 sheets of OSB is too much for one person to handle and toss around, but I'm going to have help standing it up after I build it, unless I build it up in the upright position.

If perchance anyone is interested in seeing the actual model, feel free to ask! I love to share this info!!!

08-11-2009, 02:03 AM
jim: i went to two metal shelves 4'w x6'h and 1' deep one for loaded ammo and one just for boolita/bullets to be loaded.
brass goes in plastic flip top boxes labeled for each gun stacked on shelves. above the top of the loading bench. and new "to be used" brass on top of the bullet shelf.
powder goes in a separate shelf 4x4x1 [wish it were a bit bigger].
and primers go in a two door cabinet.
easy to see inventory this way.

08-11-2009, 10:16 AM
Agreed, the heavier stuff will have to go on to the lower shelves, the powder, brass, and primers will go on the upper shelves, that makes total sense.

As you have seen that lowest shelf is 24 inches above the 'floor' of the cabinet. For taller stuff, etc., if need be I can easily add another shelf to keep things on 12" in. centers.

The wife has suggested that I add casters, but I don't think I should, because the casters'll concentrate all the load on four pressure points. Besides the other point is I intend to fasten the cabinet to the beams that're going to be behind and along side of the cabinet. Thereby removing any chance of moving the cabinet(s). (if I build a second one I mean)

08-11-2009, 05:50 PM
definately bolt the cabinet to the wall.
it's amazing how a shelf will lean or slump with reloading supplies on it.
i am not sure how much weight is on mine but there are several boxes that weigh 100+ lbs full of cast boolits.

08-11-2009, 09:57 PM
If I need to, to make more stronger shelves, I can always put a vertical piece of OSB, under each one of the shelves, extending down to the 'floor' of the cabinet, creating a sort of a ---> T <--- under each and every shelf, ya know what I mean...? there by reducing the effective loaded area to 24x24 rather than 48x24.

Yes, the bullets will definitely be on the bottom shelves, if not on the floor. The powder, primers and stuff on top shelves, and the loaded ammo and tools, etc. in the middle area...

Hey, everyone that reads this!!!

Please feel free to chime in...

hee hee! [smilie=w:

08-12-2009, 02:35 AM
Hello again, everyone.

Tonight I managed to get the back and two sides built of the storage cabinet. Only the 2x2's are attached to the sheets of OSB.

I didn't bother taking pix, just yet, for two reasons, 1 because nothing much really has been put together. :bigsmyl2:

and 2 because I forgot to take them... [smilie=b:

I'll get more done tomorrow, and will try and remember the photos of my assembling the storage cabinet.

Have a good night, folks.

08-14-2009, 03:09 AM
More pix tonight, folks:

2x4x8 Storage Cabinet (http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgw56g65_64gxmmpthf)

I did manage some progress today. The back, the sides, the top, and the bottom are all attached. And the whole thing is standing upright.

I was surprised at how light weight the whole thing is, so far...

More later.

09-04-2009, 02:25 AM
Here's the link to the latest photos, and revisions...


Now all I have to do is 'place' the cabinets, then I can start designing my workbench/reloading bench...

09-04-2009, 05:46 AM
jim those cabinets are almost tall enough to cast on...and the right size too.
put a melamine top on one or both of them for a good place for a trimmer and brass prep area and cast on the other,keep your bench and the shelves in the background for the loading etc..

09-04-2009, 10:03 AM
R5R, those are both interesting thoughts!

The cabinets are 48" tall, by the way... 48 H x 48 W x 24 D to be exact.

And I have been thinking of putting some sort of smooth surface on both of them and on the upcoming workbench so as to assist me with avoiding the hellish splinters that're always given up by OSB material...

I was sort of thinking about using one of them for my Reloading/Casting Reference Guides bookshelf, but I hadn't thought of casting on them...

To be honest, I'm a lazy rascal... I like sitting, and when I did my casting before I always sat at a bench... It never occurred to me to try standing. It might actually be a bit faster, at that...

I just might give standing a try, seriously!

Thanks for the idea!

09-04-2009, 08:01 PM
my pour spout is just below eye level with good side lighting .it's so easy to work now i can't believe the difference.
no holding up my arms with a mold in them i just line things up and drag the 4 cav molds through .and let them sit on the little box i made till the puddle sucks in, then i lower the mold down to the bench and break the sprue open by hand on the way.
i can see i can control and i can water drop with just a slight twist.
or drop on the bench with a slight shuffle left or right keeps the knees from getting achy.
good chunk of carpet or a rubber mat makes things nice too.

09-05-2009, 02:12 AM
I used pretty much the same techniques, seated... It took a while for me to develop the method...

I used a single step stool, on top of a workbench, C-clamped the reversed the foot on my Lee 10 lb. Production Pot onto the stool.

And as you're saying rested my hands and arms on the stool, etc... and like you opened the spout, filled the closest cavity, dragged the mold toward me filling cavities all the while...

And like you, I like to cast hot and fast, so fast and so hot, that more than a few of my blue pills were a wee bit frosty... I liked breaking sprue by hand, I didn't and don't like striking my mold equipment with anything... etc...

I used a red shop rag that was dipped in water, to cool things down when they got too toasty...

The only thing I didn't use/do, but you can betcha I will now, is to drop the bullets into a 5 gallon bucket of water to quench and harden... I like that idea, for two reasons, #1. I don't have 30-40 lbs of hot bullets cooling slowly just waiting for the chance to burn me. #2. Anything that'll harden my much beloved blue pills is going to be a good thing!

my pour spout is just below eye level with good side lighting .it's so easy to work now i can't believe the difference.
no holding up my arms with a mold in them i just line things up and drag the 4 cav molds through .and let them sit on the little box i made till the puddle sucks in, then i lower the mold down to the bench and break the sprue open by hand on the way.
i can see i can control and i can water drop with just a slight twist.
or drop on the bench with a slight shuffle left or right keeps the knees from getting achy.
good chunk of carpet or a rubber mat makes things nice too.

09-05-2009, 03:01 AM
a smaller bucket will do the job as well as a 5 gallon one i use a little 1 gallon pail about 3/4ths full of cold tap water,by the time i get 20 lbs in it i take a break dump the water and boolits in little plastic jar with holes punched in the li to pour the water back out then unscrew the lid and pour the boolits out on a towell to dry.
get a soda have a smoke and go again. i have a 40 lb pot and i just add ingots as i go with no temp drop whatsoever.
if waterdropping it usually means rifle boolits so i gotta check and size them too, so about 20-30 lbs is a days work but a long times worth of shooting.

09-05-2009, 10:08 AM
That's one of the things I was and intend to get into over in Cast Boolits!!! Making rifle bullets!!! Thank you so much!!!

RE: Rifle bullets, are the lead pills as effective on white tail, as expanding bullets? I'm thinking that they'd be like using FMJ, if they're as hard as need be to prevent leading, (assuming I am smart enough to use reduced loads and Dacron filler material. Please note, I'm not asking about accuracy, I don't need too, I've read volumes about cast rifle boolits... I was too insecure to ask about how the heck to stuff Dacron filler material into the case. That's done, the Ammosmith on YouTube already has clued me in... Duh! [smilie=1:

Also thanks for the tip about the bucket... Doesn't the shorter column of water allow the blue pills to ding each other...? Particularly since you're dropping them from a standing position?

09-05-2009, 04:00 PM
Well, you're almost there. There are two basic things you have to know if you are going to hunt whitetails with cast bullets. They are the importance of meplats for energy transfer and the myth that harder bullets give you any advantage.

With a jacketed bullet, hydrostatic shock does your killing for you. Even if (and when) the bullet exits taking a good amount of its energy with it. With a medium bore (.30-.35cal) cast bullet, you're starting out with a lot less available energy, so you need to make sure as much of it is expended in the game animal as possible. A good sized meplat (flat nose), instead of punching through tissue like a nail through wood, plows through and expends most of its energy during its passage through tissue. Some expansion helps a lot, too, which is why hard cast bullets are pretty much useless for hunting, much like FMJ's.

Most get best results on large game using ACWW (air cooled wheel weights) with GC bullets. It does limit your velocity a bit, but if the bullets are properly sized, not as much as you might think. NOTHING leads up a bore faster and more completely than an undersized hard bullet pushed too fast. The part of the bullet that benefits from greater hardness is the driving bands. Water dropping hardens the outside of the bullet, but lead alloys soften when worked, which means that when you size them, you return the driving bands to their original softer state. You are left with a hard nose and soft driving bands, the exact opposite of what you want for a hunting bullet. It is possible to cast a bullet with a hard base and a soft nose, but it is a difficult and time consuming process - 2-3 min per bullet with a 40-50% reject rate. If you want hard target bullets, IME you are better off heat treating them after sizing as it hardens the entire bullet and leaves you with the driving bands hardened so that you can push them to higher velocities. Regardless of if you harden them, in water or an oven, they will return to their original hardness in a few months time. The only way around this is to use a harder alloy, like linotype, for your target bullets. This produces a very frangible bullet that will not expand and will shatter when it hits anything hard (like bone), so they are not IMO ethical to use for hunting under any circumstances.

Personally, I don't believe that a potential gain of 2-300fps is worth much at the limited (1-200yd) ranges practical for cast bullet hunting. If you hit a deer/bear/moose/elk in the boiler room, it is going down. If you paunch it, you could be using a .50BMG and you still have a wounded animal. Realistically, you will be seeing best accuracy with medium bore bullets in the 1600-2000fps range regardless of the hardness of the bullet you are using. To me, the only practical use for hard cast rifle bullets is target shooting at long ranges (2-500yds), well beyond ethical hunting ranges.

That said, I will freely admit that many deer have been killed with round or pointed nosed cast bullets, and many have been killed using harder alloys (just as lots have fallen to FMJ's). That does not make them the best choices. I prefer to do as much as I can to increase my odds of a quick, clean kill, concentrating on accuracy and performance rather than velocity. With cast, a slower, FN heavier bullet does the job better.

With larger bores, .40 and up, expansion is not as critical, but a good meplat still delivers more energy to the animal than any round nosed design. Consider too that millions of bison were killed by soft lead plain based bullets fired out of M/L's from .45-.70+ cal and black powder cartridges from .40-.50cal. There were no such things back then as hard bullets, hollow points, or gas checks. There were some real changes in cases and powders in the next few decades, but preWWII, most common smokeless hunting cartridges were firing soft lead plain based bullets, too. And they put a lot of meat on the table in the days before welfare and food stamps.

09-05-2009, 09:08 PM
excellent advice there versifier.
there are ways around the hard body and soft nose thing much easier than you might think.
i like to use 50-50 ww pure waterdrop size while wet. before the hardness has occured.
when sizing i use just enough sizer to hold the boolit while lubing it.
then i stand the boolit up in a pan of water covering the base and barely part of the nose and hit it lightly with the torch till i either see it want to sweat a tad or it change color from the grey to a slight shift in tint/shade.
do not tip the boolits over in the water,let them sit till they cool on their own.
you then have an expanding tip of the softer 50-50 alloy.
i too prefer a larger squarer meplat and use my 44 or 45 colt lever guns more so then i use my 30-30 for hunting.
for them i use a 25% pure ww alloy with 1% tin air cooled. same alloy i use for everything in them boolits too for target work plinking and hunting.
same recipe,softer boolit good velocity not high vel 1600 or so is plenty.
plain base,good meplat, larger lube groove.
and just shoot them all the time.
i think a flat nosed 30-30 would do it also from the same alloy as i took a 175 lb doe last year with my 30 carbine revolver and a 98 gr boolit right around 950 fps at 75 yds and she went 20 feet before piling up. and all i hit were her lungs with plenty left over to exit.

09-06-2009, 09:45 AM
I think that _IF_ I use home brewed cast pills for white tail, I'll make sure to limit myself to taking ONLY clean head or spinal shots.

Last night I was going thru those rugged crates and starting to unload them and found a few hundred of my favorite copper slugs that've been sitting and waiting for me for several years... I'm not going to run out of copper bullets for a while...

In my .270 Winchester I liked the old Hornady 140 gr SPBT over top of a charge of IMR 4350. I don't know exactly how much powder or what primer I used, off the top of my head, I only know that according to my old range finder at 225 yds. I was able to print 5 shot groups at 1.812 CTC... (I have the exact info, written down, it's just that I learned to make it a point to never memorize load info. that notebook I kept hadda helluva lot better memory than I ever will!)

In my Ruger .308 Winchester (it's an all weather stainless and synthetic rifle) I like Sierra and IMR 4895...

One thing I did notice about all my junk, is that I'm worried those two cabinets I made might not hold everything, if you can believe it... UGH!

09-06-2009, 03:48 PM
I think that _IF_ I use home brewed cast pills for white tail, I'll make sure to limit myself to taking ONLY clean head or spinal shots.

Shots like that work fine with high velocity jacketed bullets, but you really want to put a cast bullet through the boiler room. Think of it as more like archery hunting, but with more range. BTW, like with archery, there is no wound channel and no meat is destroyed by a cast bullet - you can eat right up to the hole.

09-07-2009, 03:57 AM
Now I'm totally confused, versifier...

I thought you were advising against using cast rifle boolits for hunting whitetail, unless a nice large meplat was on the nose of the slug...

Now you seem to be in total favor of them. There again, I hasten to add, with the proper meplat on the bullet nose... etc...

I just re-read what you wrote about the boiler room earlier, and now I understand what you're saying, somewhat... You're advocating good shot placement, first, foremost, and always. To wound an animal, is just horse hockey...

09-07-2009, 03:24 PM
No, you've got the right idea.

What I was trying to get across is that there is a world of difference between the performance of cast and jacketed bullets, and what works well for one will not necessarily work well for the other. Cast are best for short range hunting due to much lower velocities, and shot placement is much more critical than with jacketed because you give up the advantage of hydrostatic shock. They don't punch through large bones well in medium bores, so boiler room shots are advisable to insure reliable kills. The boiler room is an easy pieplate sized target and the odds are much better to hit it for a clean kill. The spine is a much smaller target, more like a tennis ball.

Suppose you are an inch or two off on that spine shot. When you put a jacketed bullet near the upper spine of a deer, you will often stun it because of the hydrostatic shock and then you can easily finish it with a quick followup. If you put a cast bullet into the same spot, your followup would be on a running deer, not an easy shot under most hunting conditions, and in heavy brush, you would likely lose the animal. Only the coyotes would benefit. If the cast bullet hit a curved surface of a vertabra, it is more likely to simply deflect than it is to shatter the bone as it would if it hit straight on. Same for a head shot - more curved surfaces to deflect. Obviously, the shorter the range and the more solid the rest, the better the odds on such shots if you choose to attempt them.

Shooting from offhand with a cast bullet, I would rather aim for the pieplate than the tennis ball in case of Murphy's Law and leave myself a little more room for error and better odds for a deer in the freezer that I don't have to track into the next county. I think twice about a lot of shots that I would not hesitate to try with a jacketed bullet, and I pass on them more often than not, just like I would when hunting with a bow, a muzzle loader, or a handgun. I try to be aware of the limitations of each method, and especially my own. Every thing I can do to make the odds a little better, i.e. meplat, proper hardness, careful placement, rest when available, etc., gives my confidence a boost.

09-08-2009, 02:08 AM
i'll take two larger holes anyday over an expanding smaller boolit.
there are some boolits that will punch through bone but they probably won't be too effective through the ribs.
it's a balance, but i enjoy messing with cast enough to do the tests and have enough confidence in my set up, that i know which shots i'll take and which to pass.
i do the same with my jacketed also though, i shoot the 7x57 and it does have it's limits
mostly distance,but i give that up to gain bullet performance at a lower velocity.
so when i do hit an animal it's over right now right there and i don't have to get lost on my way to find it.
i use the same things in my cast hunting , the range is cut in half but the results are the same.

09-08-2009, 03:10 AM
Now, runfiverun & versifier, I think I've gotten the idea...

If I use 240 gr. Keith style SWC, Lyman number 429421, out of my Contender, over top of a souped up, (aka HOT, aka overloaded round) I'd stand a better chance, than with a .308 Rifle cast Boolit. I'll just have to make sure that I limit my shooting to practical ranges... Not a problem...

I accept that, if I can get set up in time, I want to use that exact combination to hunt Fall Turkey Season up here in the Wilds of PA.

It didn't occur to me that using that exact combination would be preferable to Whitetail hunting than a .308 Cast Rifle Boolit... I'd assumed (nasty word!) that because the rifle is so much more powerful than the hand gun cartridge it would be the ticket... Not realizing the hard cast bullet would have the same effect as an arrow, deadly to be sure, but not necessarily instantaneous, like a copper jacketed bullet, properly placed, "should" be...

09-09-2009, 04:07 AM
over a regular load of 2400,800-x or unique is sufficient.
i use the 2400 and 800-x as my loads over the 429 boolit made from ww's and pure mixed with some tin in my lever guns and handguns.
a 308 just won't make the holes as big no matter the expansion and expansion can stop the penetration.
like i said there are ways then there are easier ways.

09-09-2009, 11:48 AM

When I mentioned 'overloads' I was talking trash, just ignore my braggadocio... I agree that 2400 is good medicine for .44 Magnum Loads...

over a regular load of 2400,800-x or unique is sufficient.
i use the 2400 and 800-x as my loads over the 429 boolit made from ww's and pure mixed with some tin in my lever guns and handguns.
a 308 just won't make the holes as big no matter the expansion and expansion can stop the penetration.
like i said there are ways then there are easier ways.

09-10-2009, 02:47 AM
no problem..
jim there is a thread on this next door 44 man i believe started one of these.
i have got him to rethink what he is doing with his handgun hunting.
speed and alloy not high in either case is necessary, 18- 19 grs of 2400 and ww's with 25% pure and 1% tin is like half a lyman[5-5] alloy but sure works nicely.
a magnum primer is used if you have unburned powder in the bbl.
unique works nicely in the rifles but is too smokey for me in the revolvers.

09-10-2009, 03:23 AM
would you mind posting me a link to the thread you're discussing...? Thanks in Advance...

09-12-2009, 03:53 AM
i'll be danged if i can find it.
things move so fast over there, i will try a search for it.

09-20-2009, 01:58 AM
Hello folks...

I've been busy with designing this project and all that goes with every day living, but here goes:


It goes without saying that I'd like to know what everyone thinks, but as I ask in the document, please let me know if you think I've missed something, something important, that I'll discover the hard way, as I'm building it...

Thanks for your patience, and encouragement, Guys...

09-20-2009, 04:40 PM
jim where are you gonna store your boolits and loaded ammo?

09-21-2009, 12:34 AM
The cast boolits, and the swaged bullets are going to be on the shelves in the cabinet with four shelves, (12" CTC distance between shelves) along with the empty brass cases... Those shelves are just about a perfect match for a three (3) pound coffee can which I use to store bulk boolits, bullets, and brass.

The ammo will be in the cabinet with the sixteen (16) in CTC (three (3) shelves in it, probably stacked in either MTM ammo boxes, or perhaps in bulk (coffee cans) containers...

A lot of my tools and such will be on the shelves of the bench that you've no doubt seen over the back of the designed bench.

Why do you ask? :)

09-22-2009, 12:54 AM
i was just kinda wondering cause if your like me.
you are gonna need another shelf,I was thinking you might wanna plan the expansion as you go....:lol:

09-22-2009, 01:57 AM
You're exactly right... I did plan that way, and when I saw the National Reloading Manufacturers Association plans for a reloading bench, I realized that I was wasting a whole wall... Right in front of my nose, so to speak... That would be the back-wall of the bench itself! The NRMA.pdf plans show lots of little shelves and a nice little cubby hole for my scales, etc...

Here runfiverun, I'll post a link to the PDF of the NMRA bench_plans.pdf:

http://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0-EgnkwsEfaOWFjNGI2ZTItMmU2Yi00NzNhLWJlNWItOGM0MGM3M GM3OTE1&hl=en

(The board wouldn't let me upload the file. Which is why the post isn't the same as the copy you got in your email message notifying you as to the new post in this thread.)

The actual bench isn't going to be as pretty or as costly as the plans in this bench_plans.pdf file call for, but the bench will serve me, well, I'm sure... Feel free to steal yourself or anyone else out there a copy of it. I got it for free, I'm certainly not gonna keep it a secret.

I do have a problem, however... I need to get some .270 ammo worked up right away, with some 90 Sierra HPBT... There are a few coyotes around here that're getting my attention and I just might wanna perforate their hide(s) for them... LOL![smilie=s: I've always love varmint hunting best of all... GASP! Did I really write that? Yeah, I'd much rather shoot a ground hog/woodchuck at 400 yards than a nice 8 point at 100 yards. It's better shooting! Period! LOL!

I have an existing bench, (it's the plain brown box to the right in the design, I think tomorrow night, I'm gonna set up a quick temporary fix and whip up a few test loads for them 90 grainers...

09-22-2009, 10:07 PM
i like that, it definately got saved.
i have to actually remoe a rokchuker or two to run off shotgun shells now.
not a big deal as it's an easy swap and i can make a pile of shotshells on the ponsess in a couple of days.
i hae set my stuff up so there is a flow to the room, from left to right or back to front.
it saves mistakes when you move from step to step.

09-23-2009, 09:43 AM
Thanks, and you're quite welcome...

I've never reloaded scattergun, period... However, in this political environment, I've been seriously considering buying either a Lee Loader, or a MEC Loader, "entry level" shot shell loader, so as to be able to cover more ground if needed...

I'm not going to spend a lot of money on one, period, but from what I've learned and seen either one of those loading setups can load hundreds of thousands of rounds...

Just more food for thought... Especially when you consider the fact that I don't even own any kind of a shotgun...

09-24-2009, 04:05 AM
the mec's do pretty good but i don't like their sizing.fine for low brass, but not for high like 3" hunting hulls.
or even the federal target loads.
there is another whole world out there when it comes to shotshells.

09-24-2009, 09:44 AM
So I understand...

I've never, ever, been much of a shotgunner, by any stretch of the imagination...

If and when I do buy a set up, it'll likely be a MEC, or Lee, only because I think so little of shotgunning, I can't justify the cost of a more premium setup...

Don't get me wrong, I know that I'm writing heresy, but I just honestly don't see what folks get all wrapped up about, putting a fine old gun to the shoulder (that has the recoil of a .30-06, no less!) lighting off a round and only getting a grouse, turkey, crow, rabbit, pheasant, etc. with all that expended effort, when they could do the same thing with a single shot of a .22 RF round...

I guess I just never had it explained or taught to me...

I sort of wish I could see the magic, but I never had anyone that could teach me, and trust me, I'm still willing to learn...

09-25-2009, 01:56 AM
it's pretty hard to hit a blue grouse flying behind a tree with a 22.
or even a duck doing 50 mph with one....:lol:
some people like it and some don't.
but thats the nice thing about reloading the shotguns, is you can make them do what you want them to do.
i started my kids out with 12 guages when they were young [6-7] and with the reloads i gave them they could hit a target without much recoil,and good pattern density.
unlike the unforgiving 410.
shotgunning is about fit of the gun and pointing ability,your eye is the rear sight and the target is the front sight [i remove the bead from my hunting guns]
it's just that simple, you need to shoot where the target is gonna be when your shot gets there.

09-25-2009, 03:12 AM
you're exactly right about everything you posted...

I've never had the time to chase wild birds with a Scatter Gun... I've also never had lessons... I've also never had anyone that could teach...

Enough of my damn sniveling...! [smilie=b:

Sure I'd like to try, but I guess I'll have to find some sort of clay pigeon range that'll rent me a gun so I can break clay birds etc., until I can get some sort of idea as to what I'm doing... etc...

I've heard that line about the human eye being the rear sight... before...


it's pretty hard to hit a blue grouse flying behind a tree with a 22.
or even a duck doing 50 mph with one....:lol:
some people like it and some don't.
but thats the nice thing about reloading the shotguns, is you can make them do what you want them to do.
i started my kids out with 12 guages when they were young [6-7] and with the reloads i gave them they could hit a target without much recoil,and good pattern density.
unlike the unforgiving 410.
shotgunning is about fit of the gun and pointing ability,your eye is the rear sight and the target is the front sight [i remove the bead from my hunting guns]
it's just that simple, you need to shoot where the target is gonna be when your shot gets there.

10-29-2009, 01:11 PM
Other than a BB gun the first thing I grew up on was a 410 Remington Shotgun that was my dad's. Used it for rabbit and duck hunting. Not to pat myself on the back but after so many years I was damn good with it. Bought the wrong shells for it once on a duck hunt when I was 15. Every shell jammed and had to be manually pulled from the chamber. I had 13 shells. Dropped 11 ducks and brought 9 back to the camp. Not a bad day shooting as a single shot in 410ga. One was even a high flying canvasback.

10-30-2009, 03:18 AM
Interesting armyrat...

From what all I've heard and learned, a .410 is a danged tough scatter gun to bring home the goose with, much less get proficient, and successful...

Tell us more, if you'd care to?

10-31-2009, 02:15 AM
Hey guys, it's been a while, but believe it or not I've made some serious progress on my Reloading Room out in my barn...


I got the stud wall built, meanwhile I had realized I'd over looked something hugely important, and that was electrical outlets!

Anyway the link has the new pics that I added to my Google Document... It's a fairly large document so scroll down to the bottom, it'll take a while.

If you folks think I should perhaps add a second page, I'm sure that it'd be no problem... Any opinions would be welcome.

10-31-2009, 06:30 AM
you are right a guy needs plenty of outlets........... i wish my loading room had more electric.......................................... .................


11-01-2009, 04:28 PM
i have only 3 outlets in my reloading room.
i put little color bands on all the plugs and a corresponding sticker on the appliance so i can plug in the correct thing.
it sucks, but it works.power strips are okay but are only usually rated for 15 amps and is better than plugging in and unplugging everything.
my f.i.l. has some cool power strips that are about 10' long but he can't remember where he got them.

11-02-2009, 12:20 AM
Wiremold makes very good hardwired power strips, you can get them at your local electrical supply store. You cut them to length, and there are fitting to go around corners, etc. Most home circuits are 15A, run with 14ga wire. (It is not smart to stick the #14 feed into a 20A breaker, even if you have good fire insurance.) If you want to run 20A, you need to feed it from the panel with 12/2. It's not uncommon to do that in a modern shop, sometimes with several outlet circuits and specific machines on their own dedicated circuits. I can't imagine you'd need anything more than one 15A line to a reloading room for lights, tumbler, casting pots, etc., unless you have an electric heater, a/c, or dehumidifier (if so, run a dedicated line for it).

11-02-2009, 02:14 AM
F.W.I.W, I noticed that the existing wiring in the barn, and I *HOPE* that the buried wiring feeding the barn is 12/2 wire. Same as I bought and used for my wiring the lights and the receptacles...

Versifier, I won't be using an air conditioner, that's for sure, I simply don't need one this far north, for more than a few weeks in either July or August...

I used the 12/2 simply because that's the better material to use. Even with that excellent wire feeding my barn, when ever I turn on my Milwaukee hand drill, or a radial arm saw, a table saw, or a power circular saw, the lights dim... I get that much attenuation due to the length of the feed from the house... one thing I did see after my wife and I bought this place, is that the panel is only a 100 amp box. UGH!

I don't have the money to change it to a proper 200 amp service, for now...

11-02-2009, 02:21 AM
Thanks JJB

you are right a guy needs plenty of outlets........... i wish my loading room had more electric.......................................... .................


12-13-2009, 08:17 PM
Folks, I've been VERY REMISS in keeping this thread updated, however, I have great news to report...

The Bench and the Wall, are essentially done!!! I'm down to getting the final coat of paint on the larger areas applied.

The Google Document that I was using to keep things updated, grew so large that I finally had to make two documents. Please forgive any inconvenience that may cause?

Reloading Room 01 (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AU-EgnkwsEfaZGd3NTZnNjVfNjRn

Reloading Room 02 (http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AU-EgnkwsEfaZGd3NTZnNjVfMzY

Now all I have to do is reassemble the shelves as per Reloading Room 02 document, and apply the sheet material to the shelves and it'll be time to start
setting up my presses! YAY!!!!!!!!

12-13-2009, 08:22 PM
After I get the Bench Painted, and the shelves covered, etc., with the sheet vinyl material, and everything all cleaned up, you get the idea, I'm going to post a final photo directly here on Cast Boolits.

I don't wish to burden Cast Boolits with a lot of bandwidth sucking images, that I freely put over on Google... LOL!

Thanks to all of you that both read this, and especially to those good folks that have contributed!

Now I want to impose even further on you good people... I need some advice as to how you'd set up the bench. I have room for at least two presses to be permanently setup, my Lee Turret Press, and my Dillon RL550, but I also am going to be doing casting and I intend to setup a swaging system that I have from years back.

Please help if you can?

01-04-2010, 01:39 AM
Guys, the bench is done, except for a smidgen of touching up I have to do, on the edges of the shelves, but that won't slow things down, I hope...

Anyway, as promised I have final photos that I'm going to add to the linked documents up above, but I wanted to post them here first. I actually set up my presses over this last Holiday weekend. Both my Dillon, and my Lee Turret press, and I spent about 2.5 hours this evening on cleaning cases to make .224 diameter bullets...

Here's the last three photos, taken tonight, if you're interested.

I know that it's been a long time since I started, and a quite a bit of money just in building the wall and bench... But this is the way I build things, strong and sturdy. I won't bother to build something if I can't do it well.

01-04-2010, 05:13 AM
looks like you'll need a boolit tray for the 550 and you'll be ready to go.
hopefully one of those shelves is tall enough for the tool head stands also.

01-04-2010, 10:10 AM
Thank you RunFiveRun, I appreciate it.

01-06-2010, 11:50 AM
Jim , nice bench very well done Ihope it is warm out there in your garage (mine is about 19 degrees and thats 18 degrees warmer than outside ) happy loading to you

01-07-2010, 02:09 AM
Thanks, I appreciate the compliments...

As far as heat goes, I have a 115,000 BTU Torpedo Heater that has a thermostat, that I use to keep myself from freezing.

That was one of the two reasons I built a wall behind the bench instead of merely putting a backer board on the bench. That was to keep a bit of the warmth from the torpedo in long enough to keep me from freezing.

Yeah, sure the torpedo's a bit noisy, but all I have to do is put in my ear buds, turn on the MP3 player, cover my ears with a pair of muffs, and the noisy torpedo don't mean nuthin! LOL! I'm only using the torpedo when it's just plain too dang cold!

Takes a little kerosene, I've used 15 gallons in the last two months... not bad...

I even have a propane fueled Mr. Buddy Heater, that I can literally sit over top of on my stool... Hehehehe I've got a lot of the angles figured out.

I'm still ironing out the bugs... For example I broke a decapping pin tonight, and had to get creative to replace it, temporarily. I've already ordered 30 replacement pins from MidwayUSA.

Now if only I could find my shellplate adapter kits... UGH!!! [smilie=b: [smilie=b: [smilie=b: [smilie=b: I'd hate to have to replace them, Dillon wants $44 each, plus shipping!

01-21-2010, 12:50 AM
Nice set up.I moved last June and am yet to get a good bench put together.I sure will be glad when I get back to casting and loading like I used to.

01-21-2010, 02:40 AM
Thanks, Eddie, truly.

It's been a lot of effort, money and mostly time.

However I must report good news. I have completed my first batch of ammo!

I worked up a batch of 44 Magnum, with WW 296 and the good old Keith Semi-Wadcutter cast from wheel weights. I'm not going to publish my exact load, and probably won't make it a point to publish exactly how much powder I use for liability reasons.

Let the newcomers go to the book exactly as I did, and as they should. :twisted:

Don't mind me, I'm only about half-way kidding...

01-22-2010, 02:51 AM
Guys, I am here to report that there is a God! LOL!!!

I have some very good news to report!

It's been a solid two weeks since I was whining about not being able to find my shell plate adapter kits...

No biggie I thought, and I wasn't going to spend a lot of time and effort looking for the darned things, (I knew that I wouldn't throw something like 5 different shellplate adapter kits away!) That I'd find them someday, etc...

Tonight, 21 Jan 2010, a solid two weeks later, I decided to take a look in a tote that I must've moved out of the way when I started building my bench. That tote was labeled, of all things, "Jim's Reloading Books" It actually does contain all of my old issues of Handloader Magazine, and a few Paladin Press doom and gloom books too, lol!

Right there on top were the three AKRO bins, and the five shell plate adapter kits!

I am in business all the way! Now all I gotta do is make a bunch of .22 Rimfire Jackets, make up the bullets, etc... and start feeding a couple of hungry semi-auto toys that like to bark, bite, and make noise... [smilie=2:

What a sense of accomplishment I feel! Look out you dang Coyotes! Jim's on his way!

Now if only I could find my shellplate adapter kits... UGH!!! [smilie=b: [smilie=b: [smilie=b: [smilie=b: I'd hate to have to replace them, Dillon wants $44 each, plus shipping!

01-25-2010, 05:11 AM
dang, i was hoping you'd lost them at my place....
i need some toolheads and stands [for about a decade now]and keep putting it off ,now they are even more costly.
guess i'll have to just order them.

01-26-2010, 10:11 AM
I take it that you set up and adjust your press the same way I do time after time...

I, for the life of me, can't justify spending all that extra money for new toolheads and powder measures, when I can make a few simple adjustments and things go well.

Perhaps it's a sign of the fact that I work for a living and just am too darned cheap! [smilie=b:

After all, I'm Scots-Irish and I'm dirt cheap to boot...

Sorry, runfiverun, those critical parts didn't make they're way over to Soda Springs, that'd be a long poke, lol!

01-26-2010, 10:17 PM
yeah i flip flop and swap parts and plates.
gets confusing at times and i have to remember to put everything away,or forget what plates and such what i have.

02-04-2010, 03:55 AM
been there, done that...

please excuse the late reply, I've been out of the country...