Jody Lewis takes a look at streamlining your reloading to provide better ergonomics and improved performance.
In the early 90’s I took up reloading 9mm ammunition to save on the cost of shooting and to help my father stockpile. At that time money was tight and he was helping flip the bill, so together we bought an RCBS Rock Chucker all-in-one press kit. I knew little about reloading, but just dove in and learned as I went.
I wasn’t thinking about ergonomics, comfort or ease of use, rather how could I make the most inexpensive ammo. Although I accomplished my goal, it often came at an expense to my body. I was more than sore after thousands of repetitions on the press due to the poor setup.
Fast-forward 20-years; I’m now more concerned with form and functionality and not so much the cost. I value my body more than how inexpensive I can make ammo. Recently I bought a Dillon 550B press, mounted it to my make shift bench and was ready to go. After a few pulls on the press, I felt as though it was still missing ergonomics, so I upgraded to a canted handle hoping that would aid in better movement. The handle helped, but I still felt that the flow was not at good as it could be and that my bench always felt unorganized.
For those who are new to reloading, take note that reloading shouldn’t be a dreaded, uncomfortable task, reloading should be enjoyable!
Where was the Internet 20-years ago? To the computer I went, Googling “reloading press ergonomics.” That’s when I found InLine Fabrication, a company that takes pride in providing precision, quality equipment for the reloading community. “I designed some gear to make it more comfortable and enjoyable for myself and InLine Fabrication was born,” said Dan Clausen, InLine Founder.
Dan and company sent me a few products to ergo my setup as well as organize my bench. When I built my workbench, I set it up to accommodate reloading in the standing or sitting position, however I found that it still was a little low for my taste and I wanted the press up and off the bench. Inline makes a 3/16-inch solid steel riser dubbed the Ultramount and with the quick change of a plate, will fit just about any press and comes in three different heights, 9 5/8-inch Tall, 6-inch or 4-inch. I decided to go with the 6-inch riser.
The riser required me to drill new holes in my bench, but I love the fact that all three risers use the same holes, so if I ever want to go up or down in size it is a quick and easy change. The riser comes with all of the necessary mounting hardware and is powder coated to resist wear from years of use and abuse.
The installation process took about 20-minutes and the difference was night and day compared to my old setup. I opted to add the optional double tray assembly, which swings out of the way when you don’t need it. The swing arm attaches directly to the Ultramount for quick and easy installation.
My shop is lit by a single overhead shop light and often times I have difficulty seeing what’s going on under the hood. InLine has a few products for this situation in their line of sky and ceiling lights. At first, I thought it would be a little hokey, but to my surprise they’re high quality and come with all the necessary prep and mounting hardware. In less than 30-minutes I had both lighting kits installed and ready to go. The skylight slides into the top of the quick-change head and easily comes out for caliber changes. The ceiling light adheres to the press pillars and cable management is accomplished with the included routing clips.
Organization is something I often struggle with and InLine has something for that, too. The wall mount organization/storage system is made of thick laser cut steel. It allows the user to connect storage bins, dies and other accessories to the mount. They’re easy to move and configure as needed, and they come with all of the necessary mounting hardware.
My press operates in a limited space, so I opted to use two 16-inch wall mounts. But, since my wall space is limited to 34-inches, the wall mount sections would not lineup to my studs. So, I mounted a single 34-inch piece of 1×4 to the wall and then mounted the system to the 1×4. Those with ample space won’t run into this issue, but my workaround worked out perfectly. My extra parts are now off the bench, yet they’re still easy to access when needed.
I’m super impressed with the quality of InLine’s products and their precise attention to detail and performance. They manufacture their products right here in the USA to accommodate Dillon, Hornady, RCBS, Lee, Lyman, Forster and Redding setups. If you want top-notch gear that won’t break the bank, check them out at http://inlinefabrication.com. MSRP on the Ultramount is $75.
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