Often when I discuss reloading with fellow shooters, I hear this common complaint: “I would get into reloading, but I just don’t have the space.” Well, in a recent move, I’ve gone from having plenty of space, in a smallish garage that I took over, to having next-to-no space, in a smallish, 1 bedroom apartment. In that move, I had to give up my spacious reloading bench, and move to a much smaller, compact setup, though not the smallest I could probably have devised if necessary.
All of my various small pieces of equipment, dies, scale, calipers, priming tools, bullet puller, powder hopper, etc. live inside an empty Bulgarian 7.62x54r crate. My case tumbler, not pictured, lives in a 5 gallon bucket (used for separating tumbling media from the cases) in my closet. Expendables (bullets, powder, primers, brass), as well as the load manual are packed into the box sitting on top.
The press and powder thrower live on a double-thick base of 3/4” plywood, nailed and glued together. The thrower is mounted by screws, and the press is mounted by bolts, with the head countersunk into the plywood underneath the press, so that it will sit flat on any surface. To secure the thrower and press, a pair of C-clamps are used, one behind the press if possible, to handle the torque from the press operation, and one off to the side of the press, to prevent rotation of the work surface.
Of course, I doubt this sort of set up would work for a large progressive press, like a Dillon 550B, but for a small press like my Lee Breech Lock Challenger, or maybe even a basic turret press, it should be great. It can be broken down into a nice compact space that’s out of the way, and still have a nice, fully functional reloading setup with it all unpacked. Of course, with a single stage or turret press, you won’t be cranking out large quantities of ammo in a sitting, but it’s perfectly functional for a medium-volume reloader working with a few calibers.