Spending more time on the loading press. Thinking hard about a progressive, as this one step business grates. The loading rates they talk about are of course totally wrong, as they don’t include the hours upon hours spent prepping cases before you can start “reloading” on your 600 rounds per hour progressive machine. I once timed a guy with his new state-of-the-art case prep center on Youtube, and came up with eight hours per thousand, IIRC.
I once sat down and figured how much technology would be needed to take your spent brass from the range and go straight to the progressive with it. There was a motorized cleaning station, an RF induction annealing die, followed by a water-cooled sizing die (the brass would come in hot, you see, and since you’ll have to run water through your annealing die there’ll already be a cooling system) plus trimming and chamfering stations. Depending on the case and bullet type, there may be an “M” die station. I think I once came up with twelve or thirteen stations in all, to really have it all, no matter what. I don’t know– $20,000.00? Thoughbeit a small one, I figure there’d be a market for it.
I was looking at the Hornady L&L, but I’m being told the Dillon 650 is a better bet. It’s listed for something like 600 bucks, but looking at the required hardware for actually loading a few calibers it’s over a thousand for sure, and from there you spend a little more. I’ll have to resign myself to prepping cases the old-fashioned way– one at a time.
You have to like it, considering it a hobby, because if you figure the value of your time I don’t see the numbers working out. You do get a little bit of independence from it, though you still need a supply of consumables. If you want near total independence you should have a flintlock, make your own black powder using nitrate from the stockyard (I’ve heard of it being done without sulphur. It’s less powerfull but it works. If you live near an active volcano you may be covered there) and cast your own lead from scrap. Ah, but you still need a supply of flint. Man, this deteriorated quickly. Sharp sticks. There you have it.