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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok now that I am shooting more and shooting two calibers that are not easily obtainable, .38 super and 7mm mauser. I thinking about reloading. The trouble is how do I do it in an apartment. So, who reloads in an apartment? What is your setup like?
 

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Reloading Machine: Dillon 550 or 650; uses standard dies, can handle both pistol and rifle calibers.
Bench: Go to Home Depot or Lowes and get one of those prefabircated workbench kits. I've got the kind that uses a steel frame with a thick particle board work surface. Plenty sturdy; I have a Dillon 550 and a 1050 mounted. Many of these bench kits also incorporate shelves and drawers. Cost is about $100. Plenty of space for collateral equipment such as powder measure, assorted hand tools, etc. The bench has about the same footprint as a small desk. It could fit into a large closet.
Bill Go

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bill Go on 2001-09-27 13:04 ]</font>
 

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I have attached my press to a 12"x12" piece of 2 by 12 lumber with lag screws-my powder measure to a 12" piece of 1 by 4.These are then C-clamped to the kitchen table(6 or 8 inch clamps).This setup has worked extremely well for tens of thousands of rounds.GOOD LUCK!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well I have built my setup. After alot of thinking and planning I headed to home depot to buy lumber to build a table in a hall closet. I walked through the bath section and saw a box dammaged vanity. It had an oak front in good shape, two drawers and a door. I talked to the manager and got it marked down to $60 I bought a peice of laminated pine 24"x72" I had it cut into half 24"x35" and I laminated the two halfs together. I know have a 24"x35"x1.5" top in this vanity which has been beefed up with 2x4's and screwed into two wall studs in 6 places. The whole thing weighs about 120lbs and is as sturdy was a rock.

I have ordered the Rockchucker Master kit and Hornady LNL adapters with a set of Lee Collet dies. So I am all set to reload 7x57 Mauser. All I need is powder, primers, and bullets. I will be reloading for under $500, which was my fiance's imposed price limit for my birthday. Christmas is around the corner and I am going for a set of carbide dies for .38 super, some mauser brass and alot of components!!
 

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I am thinking about reloading in an apartment too. I was actually thinking about getting the Lee hand press. Has anyone tried one of these? I would be reloading 9mm and .38 special which I would think would be pretty easy in the hand press. The hand press is really inexpensive (kit incl 3-die set is about $50). If I decide to start loading rifle calibers, I would probably step up to a bench press. Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hand press. My thoughts would be no way!! I have never used one, but the thought of all those cycles to load a shell in a hand press just seems nasty. And then bullet seating would be more cumbersome. There are many quality bench presses for low money that would serve you better for many years.
 

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You have to appreciate just how small my apartment is. I am leary of the hand press too -- after all people talk about bolting their presses to workbenches and reinforcing the tops, etc. But I don't think I would be able to bolt a real press anyplace, certainly my wife wont let me bolt it to the coffee table. And even if the hand press is crap, I can use the dies with another press, so I only wasted $25. For small quantities of straight wall pistol cartridges, how bad can it be? I will probably get one, and answer that question for the benefit of everyone else.
 

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I've used Lee hand-presses for years. They have enough leverage for all pistol brass, and for smaller rifle cases. Your 7mm Mauser should not be too tough to size. I use them because they are easy to use at the range. They last for a few thousand rounds and then get real loose, but only cost $20, so it's not too expensive to replace them. I'm on my second set right now. the first one lasted seven years.

The alignment is decent. I load .5 MOA rifle ammo with these two. BTW, Huntington's sells a hand-press, but it is a real pain to use. Just trust me on this one. Also, it is expensive. You can buy three Lee hand-presses for the price of one of these, and the alignment is not any better.

Loading one at a time is safer than on a progressive. Your ammo will be of better quality.
 

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You don't have to think small. You have to think of multi-use environment and equipment. Try to find something in the house that you can cover with a piece of plywood...OR...that you can spread a piece of floor vinyl out on. You can start with something that is new and clean on the side that you would be attaching or just laying, on a table etc...There are always corners and closets thaat can be utilized with a little thought. I had a road case that I carried guitars in for years, on its' side or the back, you could attach a piece of plywood pre-drilled for some quick mount screws or bolts that you could attach the press to that was already bolted to a 2x6 and then used 4"c-clamps to attach at the corner. I couls straddle that and load from both sides or work in a line on one side of the table after the kids were down...It's not easy I know...but it's better than nothing and once you get it organized, you'll see that you don't need the whole set-up for different things...You might feel like prepping cases and only need stuff for that...You can do some of that sitting in your chair while watching tv 'cause it's not critical like say, priming the cases with powder or something a little more sensitive.
Anyway...if you want to get equipment that will last and go at it that way...There's usually a work around if you can just see the stuff in a different frame of reference...Sounds like you've decided o use the hand press...Not nearly as easy as a mounted one, but for a few rds at a time it will work and get you some feel for what you really need to do your relaoding. Have fun and stay safe, it's a lot of fun, but not when you're looking for pieces on the range...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I feel for your space troubles. TRUST ME!!! I went through the same thing. I also wound up doing a good bit of work to make the room I needed and I wanted the space I had to be over built. I went WAY overboard for my needs but I have never done anything halfway.

I would still think about your space available and see if there is any place you could clamp a board down to. I would be more inclined to agree with a hand press if you were loading rifle loads. But 9mm means semi auto which means a decent number of empty shells. It's nice to have a temp. bench to load on when you are talking about that volume. Good luck on your solution.
 

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Thanks all for the advice -- I will take another look around the apartment. If I had a board with the press attached and clamped the board to a table, it might just work. I guess I hadn't really considered the volume of rounds, but I can easily shoot a couple hundred over a weekend. I am imagining trying to get each primer, each charged shell, each bullet into a hand press balanced against my thigh withought spilling powder all over my lap. It would take longer to load than to shoot, that's for sure... But the hand press also happenes to be the cheapest press (kit w/dies) I can find too, and like I posted before, it's a waste of $25 at worst, since the dies could be used in any press. I will post my results whatever I do...
 

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Check out a Hirsh work station at your hardware store or home depot..It is not large
18x20 but sturdy enough with two shelves..
I have used one of these for several years
with a rock chucker and then a Lyman T mag..
Doesn't take up a lot of space,would fit in a closet if you had an extra one..
 

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When I lived in an apartment I had my press set up on a 24"x 24" piece of old counter top. I would then clamp it onto one of those workmate bench's. The kind that the top opens and closes. I would open it up to about 12" and clamp it using 8" quick clamps in all 4 corners.

It is real sturdy and I am able to use it for other projects.

Just a thought,

Ron
 

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Another good option is the Midway USA press stand. It is a pedistal stand that works real well with any of the single stage presses. It can be separated into two or three pieces without unmounting the press and the entire stand with press can fit economically into the corner of a closet or under a stair well.
A good inexpensive press would be one of the Lee Challenger presses. You can reload any caliber on it.
Let us know what you do!
 

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Back when I lived in an (2-story) apartment, I used the closetspace under the stairwell. Any closet will do, though. I attached sections of 4x6 to 3 sides of the end of the closet through the studs. I then used 2x4s to create the top and braced as necessary. A piece of laminated wood (or marine plywood) over the top makes for a smooth work surface. I also made shelving above and underneath.

I used a RockChucker back then, but today I would go with a Dillon 650. A Dillon 550 would keep your start-up costs at $500 or less.
 

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I used to reload with a Lee Hand Press exclusively. Now that I've upgraded, I still keep the handy little press around for crimping and other such tasks. Works great and saves time. Great tool to have in the range bag (in my case, range box). If you get out the the range and find that something needs a tighter crimp, that little press is the wonder tool.

Probably the best kept secret in the Western world.

Callahan
 

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When I was in the Navy and stationed in Guam I had to live in the officers quarters which equates to a very small apartment. Not only was there the size to deal with. I'm not too sure how they would have felt about my reloading in the barracks (so I never asked).
I had my Dillon 650 attached to the bottom half of an old four drawer (rollaway) style tool box. In the drawers was all my goodies (tools, load books, dies). In the bottom lockable portion was my powder, bullets, primers.
I could pull it out, load up my ammo and when I was done it rolled into a closet. Expecially handy for baracks inspections. It was outstanding.
 

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I am using a desk from This End Up. It is a heavy slab constructed monster that weighs a ton. On top of this is a piece of 3/4 inch ply wood which projects out the front by about 8 1/2 inches. This projecting piece is supported by 2x4 legs and a 2x4 cross piece with 1 1/2 inches of edge free at the front. There four 2 in. holes spaced about 5 inches apart between the front of he original desk and the 2/4 cross piece.
My presses-(Two Dillon 650's, a Lee 1000 and two small Lee single stage presses) are mounted on pieces of 2x6. I can actually run two set ups side by side or change presses entirely in less than 2 minutes. The holes allow me to clamp the back of the piece of 2x6(essential for a solid mount)and the 1 1/2 in. overhang lets me clamp the front.
Thw whole set up measures about 40 in. by 32 in.. The unused presses sit on a two layer shelf attached to the back of the desk. This whole set up sits in an 6 1/2x4 ft. alcove on the second floor of an old house. Behind me is a a book shelf upon which I store my tools, scale and some components. I sit in a swivel chair and turn around to weigh a charge or get a tool.
The only draw back of this desk set up is that you are sitting. I spend my entire working day on my feet,however,and prefer to give up some of the advantages of standing.
 

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Being a renter, I didn't want to do any permanent modifications to my living space, so I mounted my press on a 2 x 6 board about 2 feet long which I then C-Clamped to my bar table. When I was done loading, I took it off and put in a tiny closet. Something that hasn't been brought up here is space to load with. You need room for your loading blocks, powder scale, powder measure, supplies, ect.
 
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