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Planning a reloading setup in my apartment


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I live in NYC, so owning a gun comes with many challenges... One of which is not being able to ship ammo direct to my door. Not an issue if I'm shooting at my local range since they have reasonable prices for plinking ammo, but its a pain if I plan to travel out to NJ to shoot with my friends.

 

I also live in an apartment, so space is not the best (850sq ft). What I would like to do is use an Inline Fabrication QD mount and a gateleg table (like the Norden from Ikea) to have a reloading area that I can set up and take down relatively quickly. I've been trying to decide between the XL 750 or the RL1100.

 

The RL1100 is overkill for the amount I shoot and for a first reloading press for sure. But the difference in cost doesn't bother me that much since the XL 750 doesnt come with a case feeders or an initial set of dies. I do realize that caliber changes are much cheaper on the XL 750, but my two current guns and my SO's future gun are all 9mm. My main reason for wanting the RL 1100 is mostly for future proofing and flexibility in terms of extra stations (especially if I add a Mr. Bulletfeeder later and want to load a cartridge that doesn't have a seat + crimp combo die).

 

My main questions/concerns:

1. How big is the actual RL1100 itself, minus the case feeder up top? I want to figure out if I can just hide it in my closet when not in use.

2. Would the type of tables I have in mind be sturdy enough if I mount the press as close as I can to one of the table's legs? I'm specifically looking at the Ikea Norden table because I have a perfect spot for it. I would only be using one "leaf" of the table, so the press would be directly over the one leg on that edge: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/norden-gateleg-table-white-10423886/

3. Similar concern to #2, how heavy is the damn thing? I can't find any dimensions or weight on the Dillon site

4. I am obviously a newbie at this, so is there anything I'm missing?

 

Thanks in advance

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Welcome to the forum. 

 

I can't really help you with those specific questions. I really don't think that table would be good for a press. I think the constant wear a press would put on something like that would break it. 

 

What's your apartment like? Is there units below and on both sides of you? A reloading press can be pretty loud and don't forget about a tumbler. 

 

 

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I'd seriously investigate lead and ventilation, especially if you have kids around. I'm not anti-reloading but having a dedicated space that isn't going to contaminate the rest of the apartment seems like job one. 

 

Or just wait this BS and stock up when prices stabilize in theory. 

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45 minutes ago, louu said:

Welcome to the forum. 

 

I can't really help you with those specific questions. I really don't think that table would be good for a press. I think the constant wear a press would put on something like that would break it. 

 

What's your apartment like? Is there units below and on both sides of you? A reloading press can be pretty loud and don't forget about a tumbler. 

 

 

 

Yea the constant flex on the table worries me too. I was thinking I could just get some 2x4s and create some extra support for the table while it is in use.

 

There are units on two sides and below me. I also have a balcony so i was thinking i could use that if the noise is really bad. Im definitely going the wet tumble route with a rotary like the Rebel 17 to reduce noise.

 

13 minutes ago, Frankly said:

I'd seriously investigate lead and ventilation, especially if you have kids around. I'm not anti-reloading but having a dedicated space that isn't going to contaminate the rest of the apartment seems like job one. 

 

Or just wait this BS and stock up when prices stabilize in theory. 

 

No kids but two dogs and a cat. With wet rotary tumbling, what else would i need ventillation for? I know primer detonation is a risk if im not careful with checking my brass, but i wasnt aware of anything else.

Edited by PandaSPUR
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My last place had no basement and no garage so I loaded in my closet. I was lucky to have a big closet. Any chance you can bolt it to kitchen table? By this I mean either buy a heavy bench and use a table cloth or maybe you can put a towel down and clamp another board to it.

750 is taller than the 1100 but the weight is much more with the 1100. Check the shipping weights from Graf's , not sure Dillon has them.

Do you plan on staying in an apartment?

If you get the 1100 you can set it up at my house in NJ. And visit it whenever you'd like.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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Agreed that Ikea table looks sketchy for what you're talking about.  Smallest and lightest thing I've put a press on (Dillon xl650 w. case feeder/Inline Fab. QD mount) is one of these https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-45-in-W-x-36-in-H-2-Drawer-Hardwood-Work-Bench/1000372217

 

Not too much of a footprint difference if I'm reading the Ikea table dimensions right.

 

Home reloading doesn't have to be filthy with heavy fumes; but expect to be working with and cleaning up stuff like grease, oil, case lube spray, tiny bits of brass, powder grains, bullet coating material and lead (depending on what types of bullets you load), etc. getting on the press and bench. 

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Subscribing to this thread for ideas and advice. I believe I'm in much the same position as you!

 

Have a 1000sq/ft apartment in Bergen County NJ and looking to get into both reloading and USPSA for the first time. Gravitating towards a RL1100 to buy-once-cry-once, and also only plan on loading/shooting 9mm. My plan is to just purchase cleaned/once-fired reprocessed brass to avoid having to tumble it myself. Goal is to buy in bulk and try to be able to create my own 9mm major loads using 124gr JHP's for hopefully what comes out to be under $0.20/rd. No idea if that is do-able considering I don't want to clean my own brass, but I'm just starting the research process myself and have yet to run the numbers for specific bullets, primers, powder, etc. 

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Regarding the table, let me save you some time: I had a massive workbench I’d built with 4x4 lumber for the legs. With very large diagonal braces. Performance of my press improved noticeably when I lagged that 250lb bench into the wall studs.

 

Rigidity is a must: you’re basically using an 18” prybar to drive the press back and forth with most of your body weight behind it.

 

That said... I sold that bench to save space and I’m currently loading on this. For three years it was in a closet with a 650 on it, which worked exceptionally well. (I sold the 650 and upgraded to a Super 1050.)

 

I built this with 3/4” square welded steel tubing, but could easily be constructed from 2x4s. Two legs in the front. Two screws anchored into the wall studs in back. 24” x 20” and far more rigid than my old table. The  top is a piece of 3/4” oak from home depot meant to be the top of a stair in a hardwood stair case. It was cheap and with a coat of polyurethane, works great!

 

 

IMG_0745.jpg.072b066c32eed4ebd4a323b80de5051a.jpgIMG_0746.jpg.fcb5891b8cbe7249de17cbc81c6b88b3.jpg
IMG_0755.jpg.37882ff5992c3d458c38f0ab4e2bd50d.jpg

Edited by MemphisMechanic
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I mounted my 550 to a scrap piece of wood I had and I clamp the front to an old desk and stack my bullets on the back of the board to keep it from moving.

 

It's not the best set up but it allows me to unclamp and move it when I need to work on my guns as the desk doubles as a cleaning/tinkering space. I do plan on building a bench eventually but I've been playing around with different heights to see what's most comfortable.

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22 hours ago, m700 said:

My last place had no basement and no garage so I loaded in my closet. I was lucky to have a big closet. Any chance you can bolt it to kitchen table? By this I mean either buy a heavy bench and use a table cloth or maybe you can put a towel down and clamp another board to it.

750 is taller than the 1100 but the weight is much more with the 1100. Check the shipping weights from Graf's , not sure Dillon has them.

Do you plan on staying in an apartment?

If you get the 1100 you can set it up at my house in NJ. And visit it whenever you'd like.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

 

Hah that is a tempting offer :P

If anything, my girlfriend's old family home (currently vacant) is out in Little Neck, NY. Still technically NYC but basically Long Island.  We may go there in the future but not any time soon.

 

21 hours ago, BBQRibs said:

Agreed that Ikea table looks sketchy for what you're talking about.  Smallest and lightest thing I've put a press on (Dillon xl650 w. case feeder/Inline Fab. QD mount) is one of these https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-45-in-W-x-36-in-H-2-Drawer-Hardwood-Work-Bench/1000372217

 

Not too much of a footprint difference if I'm reading the Ikea table dimensions right.

 

Home reloading doesn't have to be filthy with heavy fumes; but expect to be working with and cleaning up stuff like grease, oil, case lube spray, tiny bits of brass, powder grains, bullet coating material and lead (depending on what types of bullets you load), etc. getting on the press and bench. 

 

So I found out the other color for the same Ikea table is actually solid birch all around (https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/norden-gateleg-table-birch-90423887/)

That should be more solid, or at least better than the white table which is particle board up top. The table itself is also about 100lbs it seems. My main concern is the table top flexing since its only on one leg towards the front, but again I can make a detachable legs out of 2x4s if thats an issue.

 

My main reason for wanting the Ikea table is that the sides fold down. I would only ever be using one side, with the other side closed and against the wall. The table fits perfectly next to one of my closets as well.

 

15 hours ago, MemphisMechanic said:

Regarding the table, let me save you some time: I had a massive workbench I’d built with 4x4 lumber for the legs. With very large diagonal braces. Performance of my press improved noticeably when I lagged that 250lb bench into the wall studs.

 

Rigidity is a must: you’re basically using an 18” prybar to drive the press back and forth with most of your body weight behind it.

 

That said... I sold that bench to save space and I’m currently loading on this. For three years it was in a closet with a 650 on it, which worked exceptionally well. (I sold the 650 and upgraded to a Super 1050.)

 

I built this with 3/4” square welded steel tubing, but could easily be constructed from 2x4s. Two legs in the front. Two screws anchored into the wall studs in back. 24” x 20” and far more rigid than my old table. The  top is a piece of 3/4” oak from home depot meant to be the top of a stair in a hardwood stair case. It was cheap and with a coat of polyurethane, works great!

 

That looks great! I wish my closet was that big lol. It is something I'll consider though.

Edited by PandaSPUR
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I only have the little Dillon SDB, and I take it down after reloading. I scew it to a THICK piece of plywood, and clamp the plywood to the sturdiest surface available. Now that is an old and heavy table of solid wood. At the previous place, I used the "permanently" installed work areas in the kitchen.... Our current kitchen setup doesn't leave space for clamping anything.

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Go to a used tool shop or go online and get a black and decker folding workbench/workmate:

 

46861af2-7f54-4b79-8b9a-a2d574653115.jpg

 

Bolt a piece of plywood to it and you have a foldable/portable reloading table.  Attach the press to the table to reload and then remove it when you want to fold the table and store it.

 

That's what I started with intending to build something bigger eventually, but it works so well I keep putting off a new build:

 

bench.thumb.jpg.53069af25e54fa7e1a3b41b3d1e8a142.jpg

 

Yes, there's a ton of s#!t cluttering it in that picture but when I remove the presses it folds flat.

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For a couple years I used a 650 in a 550 sqft apartment. The noise wasn't bad. That was a weird place as it also had a two car garage where I could keep the brass tumbling away from my living space (and three motorcycles). I've since gotten married and moved to a larger house.

 

A rigid bench is important as you operate it. I used a little 24"x24" MDF workbench (like Harbor Freight's SKU 46725) which barely worked. Put a couple thousand bullets on the bottom and it helps a little.  The 1100 can be automated which puts it on a rigid base and compensates for bench limitations. I would not use a folding leaf table.

 

However I think the most important thing is containing spent primers. I'm glad to hear you're wet tumbling. Get any of the e-bay spent primer cup replacements to keep the press cleaner. The 650 I have will frequently throw primers around, but my 1050 deprimes more consistently and gently.

 

The 750 and 1100 both have three die positions after the powder drop, so there aren't as many extra positions as you anticipate. Using the a bullet feeder is the same on either: you lose your powder check die OR you seat/crimp in the same station. With a bullet feeder on the 750 all your production is on the right hand side of the press which will keep it more compact. The 1100 does everything on the left side.

 

If I were in your situation I would get the 1100 and load in 2-3000 round batches. The 1100 is easier on your arm than the 750 and longer sessions are easier. Then you can pack it away in a closet for a couple months.  Maybe mount the 1100 to a heavy plank  or felt lined steel plate and then clamp that to a counter for rigidity.

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Slightly unrelated but you may want to check your lease and make sure there isn't any language in there regarding having explosive compounds in your apartment. I know a lot of apartment buildings around me have clauses in their leases that violation means your evicted no questions asked. Obviously if they don't know it's not a big deal but just something else to ponder.

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a week or 2 ago there was plenty. now things are scarce. But they will restock. Check out Grafs/Powdervalley for powder/primers

xtreme is good for first order because you get free shipping then price climbs a bit.

bluebullets/acme/dg/blackbullets for coated bullets.

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Do you have anybody who can walk you through setting it up and getting you through your first batch or two?

 

There is plenty of youtube stuff so that you can certainly figure it out but it would be great if you had a mentor to get you started.

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On 3/25/2020 at 12:49 PM, Hjkim said:

Subscribed as I'm in the same boat.  I live in Brooklyn so I have a little bit more space but still need to keep a small footprint. Where do you plan to get reloading supplies?

 

I was planning to order from Midway USA when they have their hazardous shipping deals (buy X dollars/item and get hazmat fee waived).

 

On 3/25/2020 at 3:49 PM, belus said:

For a couple years I used a 650 in a 550 sqft apartment. The noise wasn't bad. That was a weird place as it also had a two car garage where I could keep the brass tumbling away from my living space (and three motorcycles). I've since gotten married and moved to a larger house.

 

A rigid bench is important as you operate it. I used a little 24"x24" MDF workbench (like Harbor Freight's SKU 46725) which barely worked. Put a couple thousand bullets on the bottom and it helps a little.  The 1100 can be automated which puts it on a rigid base and compensates for bench limitations. I would not use a folding leaf table.

 

However I think the most important thing is containing spent primers. I'm glad to hear you're wet tumbling. Get any of the e-bay spent primer cup replacements to keep the press cleaner. The 650 I have will frequently throw primers around, but my 1050 deprimes more consistently and gently.

 

The 750 and 1100 both have three die positions after the powder drop, so there aren't as many extra positions as you anticipate. Using the a bullet feeder is the same on either: you lose your powder check die OR you seat/crimp in the same station. With a bullet feeder on the 750 all your production is on the right hand side of the press which will keep it more compact. The 1100 does everything on the left side.

 

If I were in your situation I would get the 1100 and load in 2-3000 round batches. The 1100 is easier on your arm than the 750 and longer sessions are easier. Then you can pack it away in a closet for a couple months.  Maybe mount the 1100 to a heavy plank  or felt lined steel plate and then clamp that to a counter for rigidity.

 

Well s#!t.. I didnt even notice that. I thought the extra station on the 1100 was after the powder drop. This makes me want to stick with the 750 since its cheaper and likely lighter anyway. Being easier on the arm is definitely nice, but that doesn't concern me as much.

 

As for the table, its not a traditional folding leaf where the extended leaf is supported with just a hinge. I understand the concern though, I'll have to wait for stores to open up again so I can go and check it out in person.

 

  

22 hours ago, CPD7119 said:

Slightly unrelated but you may want to check your lease and make sure there isn't any language in there regarding having explosive compounds in your apartment. I know a lot of apartment buildings around me have clauses in their leases that violation means your evicted no questions asked. Obviously if they don't know it's not a big deal but just something else to ponder.

 

I own my unit so no lease to worry about. Its a co-op so there are "house rules" but theres nothing in there about hazardous materials. Insurance is probably gonna be my main concern there. I have a storage unit in the basement of the building I could keep all the supplies in, but I haven't really decided if that is safer or riskier yet... I was also thinking of buying one of those fire extinguishing balls to leave with the powder so if there is a fire, that would just go off and cover everything.

 

2 hours ago, ddc said:

Do you have anybody who can walk you through setting it up and getting you through your first batch or two?

 

There is plenty of youtube stuff so that you can certainly figure it out but it would be great if you had a mentor to get you started.

 

My girlfriend who lives with me has an uncle that reloads in his garage, so I can always ask him for advice.

Edited by PandaSPUR
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Hands on help would be good.

When I got started, way back, there was no internet for help. I learned by reading a few reloading manuals (local libraries had some, and I found something in second had bookstores too). Then I read carefully the manual that Dillon sent.

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On 3/24/2020 at 5:35 AM, MemphisMechanic said:

 

I built this with 3/4” square welded steel tubing, but could easily be constructed from 2x4s. Two legs in the front. Two screws anchored into the wall studs in back. 24” x 20” and far more rigid than my old table. The  top is a piece of 3/4” oak from home depot meant to be the top of a stair in a hardwood stair case. It was cheap and with a coat of polyurethane, works great!

 

Awesome closet setup; definitely going to use this as inspiration for my own!

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