My thoughts on loading equipment

  • We spend tens of thousands of dollars on custom rifles/optics chasing accuracy. We spend thousands of hours looking for that magical load to go along with those custom guns. But when it comes to quality reloading equipment that saves us time and give us exacting results every time, we want to turn our noses up at it and say that’s to much money for a powder measure or priming tool. I’ve been into long range precision shooting since I was a kid, and I’ve been reloading since I was a late teenager. It’s really a snowball affect once you get serious about. The factory ammo doesn’t preform like you need at distance, and reloading while easy in theory is actually a skill set in its own when it comes to producing quality ammo tuned specifically for a given rifle consistently.
    I use to dread getting ready for a match and spending hours prepping brass, seating primers, and weight out each powder charge accurately. I have two young children, a job, and a wife that believe it or not likes me around so I don’t really have a lot of spare time to dedicate to reloading. I’ve wasted plenty of money searching for faster ways of doing things while still maintaining a high level of accuracy. To date there are 4 main pieces of loading equipment I own that fit that bill and I can’t see how I ever got by without.

    1. Was the Giraud trimmer, before that I used various different trimmers but none of them really suited my needs. Either they were way to slow, they were not very accurate, or worse slow and inaccurate. The Giraud accomplish both speed and accuracy. I can now trim, chamfer, and deburr 300 pieces of brass in about 45 minutes vs 3 or 4 hours.

    2. Was a Forester Co-ax press. While it’s not really any faster than other single stage presses it produces extremely consistent ammo every time, and I love the ease of changing dies out and the way it catches the spent primers.

    3. Is the Primal Rights CPS primer. I use to prime with a hand primer, and while it was accurate and pretty consistent, it wasn’t all that fast and I’d have to stop a few times to let my hand rest. When I first saw the CPS I was extremely skeptical that something as simple as a priming tool would be worth that much investment. I finally decided to give one a try and boy was I wrong. I don’t see how I ever got by without the CPS, it’s incredibly fast, laser accurate, and dead nuts repeatable. How they were able to get that amount of feel coupled with the massive amount of leverage is still a mystery to me. The .001 adjustments make seating the primers to the proper depth very easy and repeatable.

    4. Was the Promentheus powder dispenser. This is another one I was extremely skeptical about at first. I tried all sorts of different powder dispensers from manual throwers to high end electronic scales and wasn’t ever fully satisfied with any of them. Aside from the manual throwers and cheap electronic scales my first attempt was a RCBS Chargemaster. The chargemaster was a huge disappointment, it was slower than manually throwing a light charge and the trickling up, and not as accurate. My next attempt was a Satorious E64. I used the satorious for a year or so with a Danny trickler. This produced very consistent powder charges but was slow and tedious. Then along came the auto throw, with the auto throw I was able to really save a lot of time while still maintaining accuracy. I could charge 100 cases in about an hour, problem was the satorious was extremely sensitive to pretty much everything and would bounce all over the place if someone walked by it, sometimes no matter what I tried it just didn’t want to function properly. After a few years I finally decided to try the Promentheus. Once again I don’t see how I managed to get by without it. It’s level of accuracy and repeatability is amazing. It never drifts, isn’t sensitive to vibration, weather, temperature, slight changes in voltage, or anything for that matter. It takes virtually no concentration to operate, and I can now load 100 perfectly charged rounds in about 30 minutes included seating the bullets. I use several different powders so I have the standard trickler along with the vibratory trickler. Both work extremely well and rarely every produce a heavy charge. If a heavy charges is thrown it’s only off by a single kernel. Truly an amazing machine that not only produces extremely consistent ammo it drastically increased my confidence in my reloads, which is a huge benefit it it’s self.

    It use to take me all week to get ready for a match, now I literally load all my ammo for a match the night before in roughly an hour once the kids have gone to bed and I’m done.

    Every item I listed is expensive compared to other pieces of equipment that do the same given job. What you get for that additional cost is a better product that saves you huge amounts of time, and produces better more consistent ammo every time.

    Is it worth the additional cost? Well... that’s up to you and what you expect to get out of your time at the loading bench. The way I see it is if I am gonna spend thousands of dollars on a rifle and optics, another thousand on travel, hotel, and match fees, then I don’t want to have to worry about my ammo or spend countless hours at the loading bench. I’d much rather spend that time with my family or actually doing what anyone actually reading this loves to do... shooting!

  • I have every one of the four pieces and agree 100%. Tools are something that should not be skimped on regardless the purpose. Reloading is no different. The difference between enjoying the process and hating it are the tools one uses.

  • @dddoo7 said in My thoughts on loading equipment:
    The difference between enjoying the process and hating it are the tools one uses.

    +1 on this quote. We are using 2 chargemasters and still have to wait a bit, but was definately an improvement over just the one. Still priming off the top of the CoAx, CPS will be on the bench when Greg gets them in. Time consuming the way I do it now, but its still relaxing(for the first hour, then gets to be work lol) to me and keeping loads consistent is part of the key to accuracy. Truth that spending more on something such as a Prometheus, to me is money well spent. I've read forums/opinions in favor and against them, but seeing one in action and being able to load that accurate does indeed reflect on the the end result on paper/steel at distance. This is what I strive for as my end result.