portable press

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,859
586
Unfortunately for some of us who don't have a range in their backyard where we open a window in your reloading room and shoot, that would be so fun. A thought came to mind to save time instead of continuously driving back and forth to the shooting range to test loads. If I wanted to test seating depths at the range, it would save time to bring a portable press to seat bullets. Load up 30 rounds of a selected powder charge, and seat them OAL to a certain length to start, go to the range and shoot 3 rounds and if its not up to your liking, then seat 3 rounds at .005"and test it at the range at 400 yards, if its not up to par, then seat another 3 rounds .005" deeper and test that one and so on until you find a nice tight group. It's nice to have a permanent press in your garage and the other is a portable to use at the range. Sadly I should have kept my old RCBS, but sold it last year.
Have anyone used this method? What portable press would be a great choice accuracy and money wise and Is it worth it?
 

wvbuckbuster

Handloader
Nov 5, 2015
1,495
603
One of the members of the range I'm a member of pulls a box trailer that has a reloading bench with presses setup inside for just the sort of thing you describe. He tries a few loads then walks to his trailer, loads a few more trying them. He'll spend all day doing this sometimes. He lives some distance from the range, so this makes his load development more convenient. Seems to work pretty well for him. Dan.
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,600
1,441
I think I would find a gently used single stage on ebay or somewhere, and weld a C-clamp to it to secure it to the shooting bench. Then grab one of those “beach carts” to roll all the supplies around in.
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
908
927
You can also fab up a receiver mount on your truck hitch to mount a press.
Taking it another step weigh out different charges to test.
I use these tubes for my muzzleloader.
 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,762
1,755
An arbor press and a LE Wilson seating die would be my choice for a portable rig
That is my solution, and the time-honored solution practiced by quite a few folks, particularly in benchrest circles. I have a little Hart arbor press and use a Wilson seater die. The press doesn't even bolt to the loading table, it just sits there. The dies don't even screw into the press. They just sit there. Yet it produces very accurate ammo.
UibHE7Ph.jpg


Alternatively, sticking with something that accepts standard dies, it would be easy and inexpensive to use something like this Lyman C-press:
dxpigDnh.jpg


Regards, Guy
 

PJGunner

Handloader
Dec 11, 2010
1,846
438
Sory, I can't do pictures but I made a box like structure and it has a Rockchucker and powder measure mounted on top. Balance beam scale and other equipment on the inside. Hard to describe but that a rectangular cardboard box and stand it on end with the open facing you. It worked reasonably well as long as it wasn't too windy.

These days I use a Lyman 310 tong tool to adjust seating depth tests. Bullets are seated just well enough they don't fall out. Use the tool to set the first depth, shoot those and do the next three seated slightly deper. OAL is recorded at each change. Worked quite well for me.
Paul B.
 

KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
532
506
So, am I the only one to think to tell you to buy a different house where you can?:p

Seriously, though, I use a Lee hand press and it works okay, but if you are looking for high-precision, I'm not sure it's what you want. I did see one person at a range who built a shelf for the tailgate of his truck. Basically, he folded the gate down, pulled the shelf onto the gate, and the shelf had the press on it. You might be able to do something for a car trunk as well, I suppose. Though, to be honest, if you're going to build a potable shelf, just putting up at your firing point might be the better option.
 

jimbires

Handloader
Aug 16, 2011
2,501
474
I have often thought of doing this . I have thought mounting a single stage press in your tow hitch would be simple enough to do . I think this would work well and , it's cheap and simple .

 

BruceP

Beginner
Jun 22, 2017
197
99
Years ago I bought a Lee hand press just for this. since I live only 15 minutes from the range I have yet to use it but it's there if I need it. The only reason I haven't used it is because of having to readjust my dies due to the difference in thickness of the two presses.
 

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,859
586
Thanks guys, those were good information from you guys. Two things I was concerned is the cost of the quality press like the K&M, which I was looking at, is costly plus the LE Wilson seating dies for each caliber ( 4 to 5 calibers ) may run a tad over 500 bucks total and using another press that uses threaded dies may need those dies readjusted from press to press like Bruce mentioned. I had a thought since my Redding boss has only two mounting bolts on my bench, I could possibly build a small stand where I can place on my tailgate using my existing Boss press attached to it and use my original Redding seating dies to save cost and avoid the time to readjust the dies if i were to use another threaded press. Good idea / bad idea?
To be honest, all your ideas are great. Thanks
Guy, I like your arbor press and those LE Wilson seater dies were what I had in mind too.
 
Last edited:

xphunter

Handloader
Sep 15, 2005
540
865
Thanks guys, those were good information from you guys. Two things I was concerned is the cost of the quality press like the K&M, which I was looking at, is costly plus the LE Wilson seating dies for each caliber ( 4 to 5 calibers ) may run a tad over 500 bucks total and using another press that uses threaded dies may need those dies readjusted from press to press like Bruce mentioned. I had a thought since my Redding boss has only two mounting bolts on my bench, I could possibly build a small stand where I can place on my tailgate using my existing Boss press attached to it and use my original Redding seating dies to save cost and the time to readjust the dies if i were to use another threaded press. Good idea / bad idea?
To be honest, all your ideas are great. Thanks
Guy, I like your arbor press and those LE Wilson seater dies were what I had in mind too.
I had a friend build me a stand like you mentioned, and with sea clamps/other types of clamps, I have loaded in Hotel rooms, or just about anywhere I wanted to with my press. Just build a stand-Easy Peasy!
 

FOTIS

Range Officer
Staff member
Oct 30, 2004
23,352
798
This is what I use now for 65% of my loading when I am watching TV, and 100% of the time to deprime brass during the cold winter Wyoming winters. Awesome press and well worth the money. I have loaded 378 Bee on this!

 

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,762
1,755
This is what I use now for 65% of my loading when I am watching TV, and 100% of the time to deprime brass during the cold winter Wyoming winters. Awesome press and well worth the money. I have loaded 378 Bee on this!


Great looking press Fotis!

Guy
 

flyingagg

Beginner
Dec 16, 2019
244
175
This is what I use now for 65% of my loading when I am watching TV, and 100% of the time to deprime brass during the cold winter Wyoming winters. Awesome press and well worth the money. I have loaded 378 Bee on this!

Interesting design. I have never seen that before. Do you have to pull down on both "wings" to load?
 
Top