How to Organize a Reloading Bench
Organizing your reloading bench will help the reloading process become smoother and faster, with fewer chances for mistakes. Your reloading bench should be organized in the direction you will be working, and this will depend on whether you are right-handed or left-handed. The organizational layout described below is for a right-handed person. The main reason for organizing a reloading bench is to keep the dirtier parts of the process separate from the clean, finished ammunition.
Mount the reloading press near the center of the reloading bench. The area of the bench to the right of the press will be designated as the “dirty” side, and the area to the left will be the “clean” side.
Hang the safety glasses on the reloading press. This will help to remind you to wear the safety glasses when you begin reloading.
Place the tumbler, the deburring tool, and the case trimmer to the far right of the reloading press. Lay a small towel in front of the tumbler so that you will have a clean place for the cases when they are removed from the tumbler.
Set up the powder throw, or a trickler with powder funnel, and the powder scale between the tumbler and the reloading press.
Position the calipers and the two loading blocks directly behind the reloading press.
Place the priming tray and the priming unit to the left of the reloading press. The primers need to be kept free of dust and debris.
Set the case lubricant and lubricant pads on the left of the priming unit. The case lubricant and pads need to be kept clean and free of contaminants. Keep a towel near the case lubricant.
Store the reloading dies, die sets, and shellholders in a covered container on a shelf beneath the reloading bench. If your reloading bench does not have shelves, store the dies, die sets, and shellholders in a covered container to the left of the case lubricant and pads.
Put the powder, in its original container, on the shelf below the reloading press. If you do not have a shelf under the reloading bench, put the gunpowder to the extreme left on the bench. Although the powder is considered one of the “dirty” items, it is stored on the left to keep it away from the tumbler.
Keep an up-to-date reloading manual within easy reach. Always use the load guidelines contained in the manual.
Keep a three-ring binder next to the reloading manual. Keep notes on the specifics of your loads, with detailed information on what brand cases, primers, and powder you are using. You should also keep notes on the accuracy of your tested loads.
- “Lyman 48th Edition Reloading Handbook;” Thomas J. Griffin; 2004
Drue Tibbits is a writer based in Central Florida, where she attended Florida Southern College. Her articles have appeared in Entrepreneur and Your Home magazines. She has also been profiled in the Florida Today newspaper and the Writer's Digest magazine. In addition to writing brochure copy for local businesses, she helps new start-up companies develop a local image presence.