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realistic round per hour?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by shotgunred, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

    Mar 1, 2008
    Washington (the state)
    What type of press do you use (please note if you use a bullet feeder and or case feeder)and what is a realistic number of rounds you could do in 1 hour. Primer tubes loaded.

    This is the first time I sat down and ran the press for 1 hour straight under a watch just to see my real round per hour count
    Dillon 550 9mm. Six primer tubes pre-loaded.

    I average 400 an hour if I go for the whole hour. I average 12 to 13 minutes per hundred plus time to put more primers in and empty the finished bin.
  2. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I can do 400 easily in 9mm on the SDB. My normal session with that one is 300 though in about 40 minutes, use the remaining 20 minutes to case gauge them all, random OAL check, primer seating check and mark, then box em up.
    The XL650 I haven't loaded a 1000 yet in one sitting and doubt I ever will, 500-600 will probably be the magic number a session. So far 6 minutes a hundred seems to be the norm. At that rate if I can get in/out of the storage area where I have my gear with 500-600 rounds, checked and boxed in a hour and a half (including travel time) 3 or 4 times a month. I'm happy.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010

  3. halfmoonclip


    Feb 24, 2003
    I got all hung up on speed when I first had the Dillon 550 (that's over 25 years ago...). Probably did 450 rounds/hour going flat out; your 400 is pretty impressive. I was used to single stage and double checking, and progressives aren't that way.

    My counsel would be to slow down a little and avoid mistakes. Progressive presses are great, but they allow you to f#$@ up at the speed of sound.

    Slow down, think what you are doing. I do a fairly relaxed four boxes (200 rds) of handgun ammo @ hour, and I'm mighty satisfied with that.
  4. wilkersk


    Jun 6, 2010
    I do about 400 rounds/hr on my XL650 without an automatic feeder, including loading primer pickup tubes and filling the brass chute. Then, I check each round with a hand primer tool as I box them up. I've had just enough high-primer FTFs during matches to make me just that much more careful.

    I know someone is gonna say, "tighten up your shell plate, (blah, blah, blah)." Believe me, I have farted around enough with it to come to the conclusion that its just worth the extra time to eyeball each and every round.

    But then, I don't measure cartridge taper or COAL to the 1/1000th" ,or obsess over 1/100th grain weight powder charges. So, I guess I'm just an amatuer.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  5. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    With primer tubes full, I can do 500 an hour on my 550b if I really haul ass. 400 an hour is a more comfortable pace.

    Shotgunred, do you place the bullet in the shell on stage 2 or 3? You can speed up your routine if you place the bullet in stage 2. That's a Steve trick.
  6. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    I wasn't... I eyeball every single primer myself.... especially match rounds.
    One thing I would ask though is if you press is totally solid on you bench top? That seems to be the number one issue with improperly seated primers on the Dillon machines.
  7. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I'm to ADHD to load for a solid hour. It's pretty easy to load about 300 rds in 30 mins give or take a little. Then I move on to something else. Size some bullets. BS on the net, whatever will wake my brain up.
  8. El_Ron1


    Apr 15, 2004
    Redneck Sparta
    Don't outrun your squib rod.
  9. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    On the 550b, a very comfortable 250-350 per hour of 9mm, a bit faster in 40 & 45 as the larger bullets are easier to handle/place. This time includes filling primer tubes and the primer feed tube.

    As others have stated, do not get caught up on speed. Reload at a comfortable rate that will insure you are watching your steps and not becomming distracted.
  10. i timed myself once and got 100 rounds of 45acp done on my lee single stage. i primed them with a handheld rcbs universal primer tool as the second stage after sizing them. may have been faster with the lee primer but i dont like it too much.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  11. vtducrider


    Nov 13, 2008
    Austin, TX
    300-400 per hour on the 550. I stop and check the OAL, case gauge, primer seating every 20 rounds or so. I also don't pre-load primer tubes. I don't want to rush through just to get more rounds out. I want to give myself time to enjoy it.
  12. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    On my 550B, 450rds/hr sustained is comfortable. I can load 100 in about 10min, but that just isn't sustainable over an hour or more. I haven't gotten a case feeder for the 650 yet, so I'll hold off trying to time that one, but I'ld expect 800/hr would be feasable.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  13. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    I only load pistol ammo and always have preloaded primer tubes. For actual press operating times:

    550: 500rds per hour depending on brass
    1050: 1,000rds per hour

    No bullet feeders yet. Case feeder on 1050 set to "low" speed. Swaging station utilized (9mm).

    For the 550, as raise the ram my left hand grabs a bullet. As I seat the primer on the forward push, I visually verify the powder charge and seat a bullet on it, then index the shellplate as my right hand grabs another case and places it at station 1. Repeat.

    For the 1050, I pull the handle and set the bullet at station 7 after looking in the case for powder charge at station 6 and station 7 (I watch it come around).
  14. Lee Hand Press. I measure it in hours per round.:whistling:
  15. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    I have a 550B, and have timed myself multiple times doing 100 rounds in 10 minutes. But I'm like Steve... don't really think I can keep that up for a full hour.

    I usually will load 300 per sitting, and I usually get that done right around the 30 minute mark. That works for me. I never "get ahead" and have ammo stored up, I load it as I need it.

    If I had a case feeder, I think my time would be something like 8 minutes per 100 (less?). I have to let go of the handle, look at the brass "pile" and grab one and place it, then look at the bullet pile and grab one and place it, then REGRAB the handle and pull. If it was just a matter of pulling handle, placing bullet and going again... yeah, a lot faster.

    A 650/1050 is in my future for sure, but that's a money thing right now.
  16. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    I got behind on ammo for a little while. I dedicated myself to loading 30 mins a day 5 days a week. In two weeks I had so much ammo I didn't need to load for a while. I am nearly out again. I haven't shot much in the last two weeks, haven't loaded at all (been exhausted). But I am done with some pysical labor after today. Back to loading 20-30 mins a day for a little while and casting again. I find a hour is more then I can take for my attention and energy. I can load 100rds in 8 mins with out a casefeeder. So 10mins per 100 with preloaded tubes is not hard. I don't think I have every just sat at the handle for a hour and loaded. I have spent hours at my bench loading and doing a bunch of different things, but not just a solid hour pulling the handle and nothing else. I get bored.
  17. GMAN12


    Sep 7, 2009
    S. E. Mich.
    I have a Lee Clasic Turret, and I can load right around 150/hr.
  18. halfmoonclip


    Feb 24, 2003
    Loading a double charge of powder has always been a concern of mine on the 550. It's been my habit to always advance the shell plate as soon as I charge the case, so that the charged case is on #3. I like the notion of putting a bullet on the casing immediately, and I'll try that if I can break muscle memory reaching back a quarter century.

    Now if I get a primer draw-thru', I remove the charged case from #2 and run the case-with-hung-primer back thru' #1. Primer draw-thru's disrupt my rhythm more than anything. I used to dump it and recharge, but sometimes it takes a couple strokes to shake loose the d#%& primer.

    My press is mounted flat on the bench, but I've engineered rails on the benchface to enable mounting Akro-bins for bullets (210-7, small, left of press), expelled loaded cases(30-220, regular, right), and brass(210-7, right of the 220), all at 90* to the benchface. It reduces my hand movements and reach, as they are down low and closer to me and the press .

    I never do anything but load when I load; no BSing on the phone, no TV, maybe Pandora for background noise.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  19. ustate

    ustate NRA Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    I don't rush anything but usually do around 300 per hour on my 550. I can do as many as 500 or so per hour if needed but usually I'm not in that much of a rush so just take it slow.
  20. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Yup.. I find my "comfort zone" is right in the 165-175 per hour range... If I rushed I'm sure I could hit 200, maybe a bit more... but I'm not in that big of a hurry.