New to reloading, but I'm not sure it is practical for me...


Mar 15, 2015
Here is my issue. I live in a very small apartment with my wife. We are planning on having children soon. I love shooting and am a club member so I can shoot anytime I want, as many as I want, and as long as I want. 10k rounds per year? So long as I can afford the bullets... but the .38 special bullets are so expensive.
Awesome! I love tinkering with things, so I need to start reloading.
At the range there is a table I use to clean my gun. I can see myself possibly reloading out there if the machinery is mobile enough. I don't have anyplace at home I can use as a designated reloading area especially with my wife considering everything as a baby area.
Is reloading too messy to do in the living room? Does it produce dust in the air or anything a pregnant woman should not be in the vicinity of? This will rule out reloading indoors at my apt., such as I 99% expect. Any thoughts on how I can make this work?

Which reloading machinery could work for me, if any?
Cost matters a lot.

Addendum: I will be storing everything either on a top shelf or in closet within the central air system.
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TGT Addict
May 6, 2008
In a dumpy house on an expensive lot
You need to reload @ home. To much to think about dragging off to the range unless you set up like a benchrest reloader. Only seen one benchrest reloader & I guess his cases were prepped @ home & he was just dropping powder & seating bullets. I thought it was crazy, but that's just me.

Can't imagine weighting powder outside! Hell my electronic scale is sensitive to the A/C vent.

When I was younger & single my table was in my living room of a 1 bedroom apartment. While dating me wife she was cool with the reloading & guns. Most everything was right therein it's own corner.

My RCBS equipment has a lifetime warranty. Used equipment is out there & cheaper. I would not buy used dies unless I could see them.
Apr 15, 2014
That is a tough one. The dustiest part of the process is tumbling brass. If you wet clean with stainless pins you can avoid that. Beyond that, Lee makes a tripod to mount your press on to make it more mobile. I've also seen a 4' ladder repurposed as a mobile loading press stand. It's doable but not the most convenient. One other bit of advice, watch out for low case fill cartridges like .38 Special. Weird things can happen when there is a significant amount of empty space in a cartridge. A low energy density powder like Trail Boss will keep your car fill relatively high and help avoid problems.


TGT Addict
May 22, 2010
San Antonio
When I lived in an apartment I used a Black and Decker Workmate as a loading bench and attached a Lee Turret press to a piece of 2x12 and attached that to the Workmate with a couple bar clamps. It worked well and the Workmate folds into something that stores easily in a closet or under a bed. My brother attaches a Dillion 550b to a Workmate.

Black & Decker WM425-A Portable Project Center and Vise - - TEKTON 39182 12-Inch by 2.5-Inch Ratchet Bar Clamp and 18-Inch Spreader: Home Improvement


Feb 13, 2014
Reloading in a small apartment with a baby is not a good idea. I'd have concerns with lead and the baby. Tumbling especially cannot be done in the home.


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Oct 5, 2013
Small apartment with babies, children, TV, telephone, spouse = lots of distractions. Something that doesn't mix well with reloading.


TGT Addict
May 22, 2010
San Antonio
Reloading in a small apartment with a baby is not a good idea. I'd have concerns with lead and the baby. Tumbling especially cannot be done in the home.
I'd be more concerned with the baby getting hold of a spent primer. In any case tumbling can be done outside on a patio as can the reloading. You can clean the cases in warm soapy water with vinegar or citric acid added. Won't be as shiny as tumbling but if rinsed well there is no dust. After washing I let them dry in the sun for a couple days or if I'm in a hurry I'll put them in a pan (never used for food) in the oven at about 250 degrees. I like doing this because dust from the primer pockets causes the primer arm of a Dillon 550b to stick after a few hundred rounds. Washing the cases eliminates this problem.


Active Member
Jun 26, 2011
If you are reloading to save money, if you switched to 9mm (now available at Walmart, Federal Aluminum under $.20) would that not save as much money? I figure that reloading 9mm costs about $.15-.18 depending on bullet and power cost. So, at $.20 per round it makes sense only if you consider it as something you do for the enjoyment of process.
BYW - Reloading the Federal/CCI Aluminum cases works just fine.


Sticker Cop
TGT Supporter
Nov 6, 2010
I have my Lee turret press mounted to a 1x6 so I could clamp it to a counter or table anywhere. I've actually thought about taking it to the range with me but I would have to measure powder sitting in my truck and I haven't thought of a way to comfortable do that yet.

Maybe you could do case prep at home and load at the club? I use a small ultrasonic cleaner and it works great.

As far as the kids go I would be worried about lead and spent primers. Sometimes those little things can get away from you (the kids and the primers).


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