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Having picked up a Dillon 650 reloading press some time back, I've enjoyed producing quality 9mm and .45ACP reloads. (much faster than I use to by the way) I have quartz lighting in my reloading room which provides me with excellent lighting in the evenings. During the day, a large window provides natural lighting which meets my needs. So day or night, I'm doing well while at the reloading bench.....except for one small issue.....clearly seeing the powder charge in the case prior to putting a bullet into the belled case's mouth.
One solution would be a simple desk lamp placed on the reloading bench to direct light onto the shellplate. I had two issues with using a desk lamp. First, I didn't have a desk lamp laying around that would work as needed and second, I didn't really have the room available to set one up....and I didn't really want a power cord running across the bench for that matter.
A battery powered light, would work but I didn't have one available....or did
I? A trip to the "junk drawer" proved that I had a couple of candidates.
I'm still trying to determine the brand/manufacturer of this
little LED light. The writing is so small that I need to get a magnifying
glass to see if the manufacturer is buried in all that microscopic writing.
None the less, it is small enough to work where it is needed and has a simple
push button on/off switch on the tail of the flashlight. The important
part is that the LED housing has a slight taper, which will make it ideal for
I don't use the powder check option on my 650 press so station
#3 is empty....or at least it was empty right up until I screw the lens housing
of the LED flashlight into the threads on the tool head. The plastic
housing on the flashlight is soft enough to easy engage the threads in the tool
head. About a quarter turn is all that is needed to secure the LED
flashlight into station #3.
Here is a close-up of a .45 case positioned at station #3. This is were I do a visual check during reloading to ensure the case received a powder charge. It is also where I normally insert the bullet as I prefer to have the powder charge covered as it moves to the next station just in case I have a primer go off back at station #2. (It's only happened once, when I use to use those soft Federal primers, and it certainly got my attention.)
As you can see in the above "before" photo, its a little dark
inside the .45 case. ~6 grains of powder doesn't fill the case up all that
far and as I said, visually checking for a powder charge was taking longer than
I felt it should. I wasn't comfortable just skipping the powder check.
With the LED flashlight turned on (and no camera flash), the interior of the .45 case is completely illuminated. Confirming the powder charge in the case is easy to do and can be easily done while the bullet is on its way from the tray to the belled mouth of the case.
Yeah, I know this isn't a ground breaking reloading breakthrough....but I wanted to share an easy solution to a problem I had. When I get that magnifying glass, I'll see if I can get a manufacturer and/or model on the LED flashlight. For what it is worth, I got it at a company giveaway....the kind where you get a sales brochure and an inexpensive flashlight with something written on it.