|Reloading - Work Area|
This is part of the About Hunting & Shooting online Reloading Course. Check my Ammo Loading Course Index for links to other articles, and topics to be covered in future additions. Be sure to bookmark it and check back there from time to time, since I'll be adding more as time goes by.
A good work area is a must for proper reloading. As I've said before, it should be clean, uncluttered, well-lit, and distraction-free... hopefully somewhere where no one will disturb you. I do my loading in my workshop, a separate building from my house. This definitely reduces distractions!
Staying organized is an important part of reloading. Knowing what you've got and where to find it is important, especially if you're as scatterbrained as I can be at times, when looking for something you've "just set down." It helps free the brain for the more important tasks.
You'll need a good sturdy bench, for starters. If at all possible, it should be anchored to either the floor, the wall, or both. Alternately, it should be heavy enough that the leverage exerted on the loading press won't be moving it around. It should also be built at a comfortable height. My reloading area (pictured below) utilizes a portion of a workbench that the previous owner built in my workshop, and it's at a good height for me to work either standing or sitting on a tall stool. It's anchored to the wall, and required some reinforcement to stiffen it where I mounted the turret press.
is where I do my reloading. I added the shelf above to help organize things,
and to keep the bench free for whatever I'm working on. There's another shelf
(Photo by Russ Chastain, all rights reserved)
Something I hadn't thought of, and which was pointed out to me by a reader, was that a carpeted work area is a very bad idea. I can easily see the reason for this -- sparks (from static electricity, which can be generated by walking on carpet) and gunpowder don't mix! The floor in my shop is concrete, which works just fine.
Keeping your work area free of distraction is a must. You can't afford to be distracted while loading ammo, as either an under- or overcharged cartridge can easily lead to disaster at the range or in the field. When I'm loading ammo, I usually do so alone, sometimes with some music playing to "keep me company." I find that it's very easy to make a mistake when more than one person is present, unless you're both paying close attention to the loading process.