When you reload precision ammunition, it’s an iterative process. Fire forming brass, working up loads, testing function, honing in on that “prefect load”. And the iterative nature can cause the process to take a LONG time! Going to the range every week can be a stretch for some people, and if you need to check velocity before the next reloading phase for a load, that can mean “another week delay”.
There are two ideal solutions to this problem: bring the range to you (build a range in your yard), or bring your reloading setup to the range. For most people, the latter is the only option. Let’s see what it takes to load ammunition at the range!
What to Bring
Think of your portable reloading kit like you would the contents of your backpack on a camping trip. You only want to bring what you need, but you better not forget anything. This collection of gear and supplies should be all you’ll need, but it’s best to take inventory a couple times, and to write it down as a list you can check each time you pack up for a range trip.
Here’s what’s on my list:
- BPM Hand Reloading Press with Lock-N-Load option
- Case for BPM Hand Reloading Press
- L.E. Wilson Full-Length Bushing-Type Sizer die (.243 Winchester), Hornady Unique case lube (behind die)
- iGaging Origincal 0-6″ Digital Caliper
- LEE Hand Priming Tool and #2 special shellholder
- Lyman Brass Smith precision funnel with 6mm insert
- Hornady GS-350 scale, Hornady trickler
- Hodgdon Varget powder
- Powder measure stand clamp
- Hornady Lock-N-Load bench powder measure
- CCI BR2 large rifle primers
- Frankford Arsenal loading block
- L.E. Wilson Case Gauge (.243 Winchester)
- L.E. Wilson deburring tool
- [not pictured] Duffel bag
How is Field Reloading Different?
Compared to loading at your bench, there are few differences when it comes to field loading. The biggest difference is the press itself. You can bring a single-stage press mounted to a plate to the range and use it how you would at the bench, but a portable hand press is MUCH more portable. The other difference is that you can’t just walk across the room to grab a tool, instrument, consumable, or other supply like you can at home. That’s where the lists and critical thinking come into play.
The other main difference is the focus- typically when you’re loading at the range it’s because you are actively developing a load. And here are a few typical scenarios where loading at the range is a great capability:
- Experimenting with different powders
- Experimenting with different primers
- Experimenting with different bullets
- Adjusting powder charge
- Adjusting bullet seating depth
- Running through a load development test sequence
Yes, there are plenty more scenarios you can work on at the range with your reloading equipment, but these would be the most common. If you haven’t already tried it, I would recommend you think about how “range loading” could help your rifle shooting. It’s more fun than you may think!
If you are looking for a great portable top-shelf quality portable reloading press, check out the Buchanan Precision Machine hand reloading press!
Do you reload at the range? Please share your setup and your experience by leaving a comment!