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#1 yugritin

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 05:35 PM

so im thinking about getting into reloading. i know with the way ammo is now it isnt quite the cost saver it once was but i need another hobby and well i think itll be fun. so any suggestions on primers? loads? powder? and bullets? im looking for some long range accuracy. thanks to everyone in advance the people in here are nothing but helpful and im sure this topic wont be any different!

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if it aint loaded and cocked it don't shoot! - rooster cogburn


#2 -Indy-

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 08:31 PM

I am thinking that nowadays LOTS of people are thinking this VERY SAME thing... It is an EXCELLENT QUESTION, and while I am not the worlds leading authority on the subject... I have been doing it off and on for many years...

Let me try to help send you along the path of reloading enlightenment... Posted Image

Its not quite so simple as just go out and buy a couple things and start at it... ALMOST.... but NOT QUITE.... There's a lot of prep work to be done... but once you get the area all set... things flow a lot smoother, and the more you do it, the smoother yet it becomes...

To get consistently accurate long range loads... like for the .308 or the .223... let me run you through "Reloading 099" a basic course for beginners... When you talk of accurate long range loads... how is this? One of my load recipes for the .308 got me a 0.37" 5 shot group at 100 yards... ( there's a thread in this section on it...) you cant get much better than that as EACH bullet width is .308" :up:

You will need the following equipment/items for the most BASIC metallic cartridge (rifle/pistol) reloading:

A quiet, uninterrupted environment. Better if clean, and organized... You need to focus on precision, and CONSISTENCY in your activity. distractions will cause you to lose your place, and confusion and messy conditions can lead to dangerous loads... potentially harmful or fatal. Especially with pistol rounds... double charging a pistol round can cause a large boom in your hand or face. NOT GOOD!!! :ded:

a SECURE bench, one that can hold the press, and all the components in comfortable reach. ( and a comfortable chair)

a Press ( LEE, RCBS, LYMAN... I recommend either the LEE single stage, or the RCBS rockchucker. Both good!)

a Powder measure ( any brand... your choice...)

a Scale ( either a magnetic balance scale or a small digital one... you just want to be sure it can do tenths of grains)

Calipers ( either dial, or digital. digital are easiest, but a dial never goes dead! )

Die set for the caliber you want to reload Recommend full length resizer. ( I recommend RCBS usually, however LEE sets come with the proper shellholder if you shop around, this saves money later!)

Shell holders ( for the specific caliber you want to reload) ( LEE or RCBS... they are all numbered differently... get the ones you need caliber specific.)

Case mouth prep tool ( RCBS )

Case lube ( Either the tray and pad style or the spray style... again, your choice. both work well)

Kinetic bullet puller hammer ( whichever is cheapest...I have an RCBS)

Load data (easily available from the internet... from any powder manufacturer, and most bullet manufacturers. Or loading data books from your favorite bookseller.)

Brass ( your choice of brand )

Bullets ( do you want target bullets? plinkers? hunting rounds? what weight? match grade?? lots of choices! Research your barrel twist rate for the optimum bullet weight for your rifle!!)

Primers (some loads call for a specific brand... primarily just get the style you need large or small rifle or pistol )

Powder ( Whatever your specific load data recipe calls for)

Now thats JUST the BASICS... the absolute MINIMUM...

If your cases are not the right size you will need a case trimmer

A powder trickler is helpful at times

a Lee handy prime hand primer can prime brass VERY quickly! and allows you to feel the primers seat very nicely.

If you pick up spent brass, and some is military crimped you will need either a primer pocket reamer, or a swaging die set.

Then you will also want to get a case tumbler and sifter to clean the brass.

You will want case mouth cleaning brushes, primer pocket brushes, containers to hold your shells during reloading, holders to hold shells AFTER reloading...

Depending on what you want to do with the loads... you will want more than one type or weight of bullet, which will probably mean more than one type of powder... and potentially multiple primers ( such as benchrest, magnum, or regular... ) and of course, either large rifle or small rifle... both of which are NEAR IMPOSSIBLE to acquire at THIS point in time...

get it all set up someplace... you will need shelving for all the goodies, and cupboard space...

NOW you can start reloading...

Deprime by screwing the full length resizer die into the press to the manufacturer specs... and see paragraph below.

Prep the casings... if new... check length, and if correct...prime with the press, or use the hand primer...Make sure the primer is seated properly, flush or just ever so slightly recessed into the case base ( and I mean a couple thousandths here...) Then chamfer inside and outside of the case mouth to remove any burrs or rough edges... ( If too long... see below...) Then go on to powder... If you are using pre-fired brass... tumble to clean, then wipe off tumbler dust, lube, deprime (from above) , wipe off lube, and if the primer pocket has a military crimp ( WCC, LC, PRVI headstamps to name just a few) , swage the primer pocket, and clean the primer pocket and flash hole... check case length... if too long, trim to proper length, then chamfer outside and inside of case mouth. These shells should now be just about perfect and ready to load...

using load data, determine the load you want... then you will need to get your powder measure set to throw the exact weight EVERY TIME... this will be dependent on HOW you move the lever. Try for a nice gentle even stroke... too hard will cause powder to compact giving a higher charge weight... the way the handle moves MUST BE CONSISTENT each and EVERY time or your weights can be off as much as several tenths of a grain ( the more accurate the charge the more consistent the cartridges will be) ... although its easier to dump a little out than to trickle some in... Using a scale, weigh each throw until you get the measure set where it needs to be. Be aware that you will get recommended powder load and MAXIMUM powder load... the best load for your rifle will be somewhere between those two load volumes. You have to figure out where by trial and error. It may take one or two loads, it may take a dozen. ( more on this later)

Also... you will at some point SPILL POWDER... shit happens... no big deal... just clean it up AFTER you are done... you may spill more. LOL


You will want to sort brass according to headstamp if you pick up spent casings... different brass has differing volumes inside the casing... that WILL make a difference in load performance... especially if you are using a compressed load (common in .223) and if your casing is too small you cannot fit the right amount of powder in some and have room in others... obviously this WILL effect performance. On a side note... when using "Varget" powder in .223 loads, it is virtually impossible to overload a casing to a dangerous level as that specific powder volume would exceed the capacity of the case... once you hit somewhere around 26 grains, no more will fit in the case!! 26/27 grains of Varget in a .223 load is not going to give a dangerous pressure level. Some loads call for 27.5 compressed... I couldnt fit that in any of my casings. LOL

AND... point of note... the LIGHTER the bullet, the heavier the powder charge... seems backwards, but it is the way of it. A smaller bullet, more room in the casing. Larger bullet...less room for powder. Velocities reflect this accordingly.

Once the powder measure is set, and the brass ready...

Remove the FL resizing die, and install the bullet seating die according to manufacturers instructions... BUT... I always unscrew the seat depth knob a bit extra... its much easier to repress a bullet several times as you move into the EXACT case overall length specific to your rifle, than it is to use the kinetic hammer to pull the bullet out and re do it...

fill your casing, and insert the proper bullet. Insert the cartridge into the press, and set the bullet into the case mouth and hold in place as you move the cartridge/bullet into the bullet seating die. Press, and remove. Measure total case overall length with your calipers... COL may not be the same number they give, compared to the length specific to your rifle when I say this... it may NOT be manufacturers recommended MAXIMUM case overall length...
I personally load my target rifle bullets to the manufacturers specified distance from the rifling. in some cases they recommend .05" off the rifling... It may be more than the standard COL, but will improve accuracy. for example... the .308 Winchester COL can vary from 2.7" to 2.8" 2.85" 2.875" etc... depending on the specific bullet, load, and your rifles specific chamber dimensions.

Once you have the COL set... load 5 or 10 rounds ONLY...

Then go to the range and test that load for GROUP. DO NOT SIGHT THE RIFLE IN WITH THEM YET.... just see IF THE LOAD WILL GROUP! If your load groups to your satisfaction, use that load data to make as many as you like. If it does not... chances are you will need to tweak the powder charge to find the velocity your rifle likes, or change bullet weights, as that could be an issue as well. Also, the COL may need to be SLIGHTLY adjusted as well... or a combination of all three!!!

After firing, check casings for signs of over-pressure, and the primer especially... if you get a raised ring around the primer dimple... you may be getting real close to "too much pressure" ... make sure to check casings for splits, or ruptures... normally this will be exceptionally rare and usually only with cases fired multiple times... ALWAYS DISCARD bad casings!!!

Are we having FUN yet?!?!?

I keep a detailed record in a log book of when I make a load, what it is, the components, as MUCH data as I can so that if it works, I can duplicate it every time!! If it doesnt work, I label it accordingly and use it as a reference of "what not to do"...

As you get more and more into it... you will want better tools to do the job easier and faster... like the RCBS "Trim mate" case prep system... and all the accessories you can get to go with it. bench mounted case trimmers, digital powder measures, electronic scales, progressive presses... the sky is the limit well, I guess realistically... your WALLET is the limit...

I hope that helps you to understand metallic case reloading basics 099... :up:

Next time, we will cover shotshell reloading... thats an ENTIRELY different animal!! and about the ONLY thing that transfers over, is the scale... The rest... you gotta go buy again!! :up: Posted Image

If I have missed anything important... which I am sure I probably did... I am sure someone will fill it in... or any helpful tips I forgot to mention, or dont know myself... this would be a great place to share them!!



:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
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It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
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#3 GeorgiaPD

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:49 AM

Damn Indy,

Although I am definately well versed in the art of reloading, that was still a kick ass write up and should be a Sticky for all newcomers. Very nice.
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#4 yugritin

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 07:38 AM

damn indy thanks ordering a reloading manual today(hornady) and lees classic challenger kit thanks again for the proper intro

You die first, get it? Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I make your head into a canoe, you understand me?-wyatt earp to ike clanton

if it aint loaded and cocked it don't shoot! - rooster cogburn


#5 Roger H

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 07:43 AM

Excellent write up. I too plan on getting back into reloading. This will help me alot. You are so correct when you say,have a clean..quiet place to work. Aside from maybe saving a few bucks on ammo,It's a relaxing pastime too.

#6 yugritin

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:42 PM

ok so ive ordered the book and my lee challenger kit(most affordable,times are rough) now i need a die. all of my rifles are 30 cal so just a 30 cal. die would do my marlin 30-30 my savage 30-06 and my saiga 308 correct?

You die first, get it? Your friends might get me in a rush, but not before I make your head into a canoe, you understand me?-wyatt earp to ike clanton

if it aint loaded and cocked it don't shoot! - rooster cogburn


#7 John O.

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 03:03 PM

Great write up Indy, Your post stands as a good primer for reloading, a person reloading also could learn more on COL, signs of excess pressure and many other things that can not be included in your post.

Guess that is why there are so many books on the subject.

#8 -Indy-

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:05 PM

Ok, folks... I have some time, and thought I would go into RELOADING 099 B - Shotshell reloading basics.

Remembering what we have learned from the above... To reload shotshells you will need the following items...

These are NOT interchangeable with metallic shell reloading...

Shotshell reloading press ( MEC, DILLON, etc... MEC is about the easiest to use, and most cost effective...)

Charge bars - these will allow you to drop the proper shot charge into the hull they come in specific sizes for the shot load weight... 7/8ths ounce up to 2 ounce... in 1/8th ounce gradations. they are also lead or steel specific as well as specific to the press style you have. MEC 302's are for single stage presses, and the 502's are for the progressive presses.

Powder Bushings - MEC has about 50 different bushings that fit inside the charge bar. This will regulate the amount of powder dropped from the powder reservoir. ( you can get adjustable bars which have adjustable bushings in them ...) Different manufacturers have differently numbered bushings. You will need to make sure you have the proper data tables if you use other makes of bushings.

Hulls - Can be purchased, or picked up from the ranges...

Shot - Pretty much you need to buy this, although you CAN make your own, or reclaim shot in some cases. I personally like to use the screw on top rubbermaid 2 quart drink bottles with the pop top hole in the cap for easy pouring... I fill them from the 25 pound shot bags, and label with a permanent marker. Easy to see what shot is in them, easy to store, easy to handle, and easy to fill the shot bottles on the press!! Plus they are almost certainly "no spill"!!

Powder - pretty much shotshell specific, although MANY shotshell powders can be used to load pistol rounds.

Primers - 209 primers are the norm... if you want to reload RIO cases ( or any cheddite case type) you will need RIO primers, these are a few thousandths larger to fit. a standard 209 primer will NOT fit well in a RIO hull. There are also 57 star ( the actual picture of a star... not the word) primers, which are SMALLER than the 209 primers, but I dont know of ANY load data out there that still uses these...

Wads - there are as many different wad configurations as there are hulls... you need the proper wad for the load recipe you plan to use...


Pretty much the same thing as cartridge reloading... You will set up the press on your bench, make sure you have all the components for the load you wish to make.

In this example we are going to be using the MEC 600 junior. ( This is the single stage press I have and use and when I am working steadily I can EASILY load over a hundred rounds an hour.) The MEC600 Jr. is a basic press with 5 stations. The depriming/resizing station, the priming station, the loading station, the primary crimp and then the final crimp stations...

I will NOT get into reloading on a progressive press... it is pretty much the same as below, except you insert a shell, each time you pull the handle, and insert wads by hand, other than that, the other stations are done automatically and the hulls move around the stations automatically... Mine is an older "Texan" press and chances are you will NEVER see one, or touch one, or load on one... so why be confused for now with the information for one! LOL

SO... we have all the stuff we need... lets try to reload some once fired trap hulls...

We will figure on a basic trap load. This one we will reference calls for Winchester AA hulls, using 17.8 grains of Titewad powder, Winchester 209 primers, and WAA12 wads for 1 1/8th ounce load of shot. ( this is one I just happen to remember)

NOTE... load data is by WEIGHT... you can use an ounce and an eighth of ANY SIZE of shot you want to... ( as long as its lead for lead loads, steel for steel loads, or bismuth/heavy shot for those loads...) You could load trap shells with 7 1/2's or 8's or 9's... or the load data could be for hunting loads with size 4 or 5 shot, etc... but lets figure we will be using number 8 shot...

Fill the bottles on the press with shot and powder... and make sure you have the proper charge bar in the press. You will want to keep the shot bottle OFF the press for now, as you have to WEIGH THE POWDER CHARGE... The data tables for the amount of powder the charge bushings throw is ONLY a good idea, an ESTIMATE... it is not gospel! It may get you close, it might not... My data book said to use a number 25 bushing to throw 17.8 grains of titewad... I needed a number 28 bushing which is 3 sizes larger than the 25... and that threw 18.1 grains... ( still within max load data, so I went with it! a number 27 didnt throw enough!)

Zero the scale with an empty shell with primer still in it ( If you use a deprimed shell, you will have a mess as the powder will run out the empty hole... ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS!! :blink: Someone grabbed the wrong shell off the bench... LOL ) Use the shell as your powder holder... or zero your scale with a powder pan... then fill the hull with powder and weigh the powder charge... or pour the charge into the scale's pan to weigh it. Test several throws to make sure the average is within your load specifications... If it is not, you will need to change the bushing either to the next higher or lower... depending on the load weights you measured. It is better to be a little under than to be too far over!!! Remember over-pressure in loads is not always your friend!

Once you have the powder charge where it needs to be... screw the shot bottle onto the press, and we are ready to start loading... ( there is little point in checking the shot bar for load weight... it will be close enough as long as you have the correct bar on the machine.

Taking a spent case, you will resize and deprime on the first stage and stroke of the press handle. Sometimes with high brass loads, the built in resizer will not be sufficient, and you will need to purchase a shell resizer separately... but this is not always necessary.

Moving the shell to the NEXT station of the press... insert a primer into the cavity, set the deprimed hull on the circular spot... and pull the handle priming the hull... go by FEEL... you will feel it seat... dont horse on it, or you will cause the rod inside the case ( which presses down on the basewad from the inside to ensure even pressure while seating the primer ) to make a deep circular dent in the hull's inner basewad.

Once your hull is primed... move it to station 3... pull the handle to insert the powder tube into the top portion of the case and slide the charge bar to the left. This will charge the case with powder. I like to check inside to make sure the charge "looks right". At this point, pull the "fingers" ring into the mouth of the hull and insert a wad. The "fingers" guide the wad inside the jagged rim of the hull without letting it get hung up... pull the handle to seat the wad against the powder charge. Some loads may require more hull pressure than others... see your press manufacturers instructions for changing this... or setting this... once the wad is seated... move the bar to just inside the hull mouth again, and slide the charging bar to the right... this will charge the hull with shot. Remove the shell, and check it again... the shot charge should be just below the original folded crimp line area of the hull...

Move the shell to the 4th station and pull the handle... this will start the crimp... Make sure you have either the 6 or 8 point crimp starter in the press specific to the shells you are using. most presses will come with both. The crimp starter spins as it seats, to align itself with the hulls folds... once the precrimp is done...

Move to station 5... and final crimp. Once final crimped, you should have a light raised ring around the edge of the shell, and the crimp should be countersunk inside, and all points should be even and uniform. If not... adjust the crimp according to the manufacturers specifications in the manual for your press...

Make a few to start with... and go pattern them in your shotgun... If they work to your satisfaction... go load a bunch!! If not... adjust the load, or use a slightly different load for your personal needs.

Some changes you can make would be to change wads... I use windjammer (WJW) wads interchangeable with the WAA12 wads. WAA12 wads have 4 petals WJW's have 8. This will allow the shotcup to open and fall away FAR FASTER than the WAA12 wad will... opening the pattern faster... I personally like this with 9's for 16 yard trap as I am a VERY fast shooter... and this gives me 200 more pellets in my shot pattern, opening up wider, faster, on the moving clay bird.

This load works for me... you may need a tighter, longer range pattern for your particular shooting technique...

And thats pretty much all there is to "shotshell reloading 099 - a basic overview"...

Again... use GOOD reloading practices, and techniques in a calm, distraction free setting. Again, as with metallic cartridge reloading... get in a routine... its EASIER to mess up while reloading shotshells than metallic cartridges... and a double charge of powder might not be easily noticed... and would be very bad to shoot!!

You will spill pellets and powder... so dont clean up till you are done... you will probably spill more! LOL

As above... I am sure I have missed things... and I will go back and fill them in if I recall anything important... and if anyone else has information to add, or tips and hints... by all means, lets add them here!!

:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~ Thomas Jefferson


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor
English prelate (1613 - 1667)


"The AG has determined that you're a potential terrorist, because only potential terrorists are interested in buying guns."

#9 Gord Hyginus

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 06:45 AM

The RCBS kits at Cabelas are certainly worth the price as opposed to buying separate.The Rock Chucker single stage press is stouter than the Pardner press, but the Pardner is adequate for single stage rifle and pistol reloading. If you reload for pistols however the progressive turrent presses are a better,faster more expensive option. The kits will have the scale,press,powder measure,maual,case lube pad and various minor parts. You will need to buy the specific die sets for the calibers you are loading for, a case trimmer or caliber specific trimmers that Lee makes very inexpensive, the bullets,primers and powder you plan to use. You will eventually need a brass tumbler also. All told you can spend close to for the reloading equipment to get you started, but the better quality equipment will last several lifefimes of use.


pro tools classes

#10 AKsarben

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:13 AM

You might also find that a lot of old time reloader strongly recommend using magnum primers for spherical powders. These powders are harder to ignite than other extruded powders. However, with magnum primers, with more flash, you need to start a little lower in powder than before and work from there.
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#11 kencrawleysc

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 04:55 AM

don't bring any luggage or carry on bags that you may use on airline flights into your reloading room

"Mr. Crawley, this will just take a moment to inspect this bag further, you triggered the nitroglycerine alarm on the tester" :devil:


or don't splash gunpowder all over the place :haha:

#12 -Indy-

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:22 PM

don't bring any luggage or carry on bags that you may use on airline flights into your reloading room

"Mr. Crawley, this will just take a moment to inspect this bag further, you triggered the nitroglycerine alarm on the tester" :devil:


or don't splash gunpowder all over the place :haha:


Find all that out FIRSTHAND, did ya?!?!?! :lol:


:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~ Thomas Jefferson


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor
English prelate (1613 - 1667)


"The AG has determined that you're a potential terrorist, because only potential terrorists are interested in buying guns."

#13 cooger

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 01:06 PM

"and if the primer pocket has a military crimp ( WCC, LC, PRVI headstamps to name just a few) , swage the primer pocket"

What do you mean by swage the primer pocket? I was given about 900 rounds of once-fired brass and it's all got the LC head stamp so I guess I need to do this but I don't know what it is.

#14 -Indy-

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:12 PM

Some LC brass doesnt have the military crimp. some does.

When I say Swage the primer pocket, it means to take a swaging die, which is a "reverse tapered" steel rod that you insert into the primer pocket in a reloading press and when you cycle the press it "stretches" the head of the brass where the military crimp is, returning it to "standard" dimensions.

RCBS also makes a cutting swager tool for the RCBS "trim mate" case prep center, its a conical shaped cutter that you push the deprimed brass against, and it reams the crimp giving you a nice chamfer on the primer pocket. ( Thats the method I use, as I have bent I dunno how many swaging rods! )

There are some videos of swaging brass on youtube...

Its very easy, especially with the motorized "trim mate" case prep center. :up:

I hope that clears up your question.

:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~ Thomas Jefferson


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor
English prelate (1613 - 1667)


"The AG has determined that you're a potential terrorist, because only potential terrorists are interested in buying guns."

#15 cooger

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 02:23 AM

How can you tell if it has the military crimp or not?

Ok so I read up on this swaging thing. My brass is Lake City and I read that all LC brass has the military crimp so I will have to address this issue. Do you think I could use a just a hand held chamfer tool to remove the crimp? I really can't afford to buy a swage die or a power trimmer.

Edited by cooger, 16 March 2010 - 07:38 AM.


#16 -Indy-

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:14 AM

you can use the hand tool to do it. Sure!

It will just take a bit longer is all.

I "primer pocket ream" all of my brass... its a cylindrical cutting head that trues the primer pocket to proper specs. If that binds when I try to start a case, I will hit that case on the swager. Most of the time the LC stuff fits nice and the crimp isn't an issue. If you can afford the 30 bucks, buy the lee handi-prime, and a set of inserts for it. it makes re-priming a BREEZE! AND... it will let you "feel" how your primers seat much better than using a press mounted prime tool.

:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~ Thomas Jefferson


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor
English prelate (1613 - 1667)


"The AG has determined that you're a potential terrorist, because only potential terrorists are interested in buying guns."

#17 sh00ter

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:08 PM

all of my rifles are 30 cal so just a 30 cal. die would do my marlin 30-30 my savage 30-06 and my saiga 308 correct?


each of the calibers you mentioned will need their own set of dies, the resizing die returns the case back to its original dimensions before it expanded to fit your chamber - quite a lot of difference between a 308 and a 30-06 case, hence the need for different dies.
dependent on the firearm you may not choose to do a "full" resize, there are die sets that will just resize the neck so that the new bullet fits correctly - but as these leave the rest of the case expanded to your chamber dimensions it is better for bolt actions, semi's need the whole case put back to original so it will feed reliably.

and i will look forward to reading the shotshell guide later as ive never loaded them but have always loaded for metallic cases :D

#18 msrdiver

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 09:47 PM

Sirs:

I wish to take a moment to stress safety when reloading. Please Please notice that Indy waits until he is DONE reloading before putting a cigarette in the smiley mouth!


Reload, shoot, reload, then smoke and drink. AWAY FORM THE POWDERS!

Edited by msrdiver, 03 April 2010 - 10:04 PM.


#19 Hawk451

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 02:28 AM

Some excellent advice here. Only a couple things I can think of to add. Another tool you might want to get for reloading rifle calibers is a stuck case remover kit. If you reload for any length of time, at some point you'll probably get a case stuck in the resizing die bad enough to tear the rim off trying to get it out. 5 minutes with the kit & a drill and you're back in business. Don't ask how I know... :blush:

Also, military brass tends to be thicker than civilian brass, resulting in reduced case capacity. As Indy noted, this will affect load performance and generally cause higher pressures. This can be a real factor if you've worked up some fairly hot loads in civilian brass and try to replicate it using military brass.

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
Last words of Major General John Sedgwick, Battle of Spotsylvania.

 

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” ―Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle


#20 -Indy-

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:58 AM

With LEE dies you do not need a case removal tool.

Unscrew and remove the neck sizing retaining collet, If the brass is stuck on the expander button... the neck expander will drop out, stuck case and all...

If your brass is jammed up inside the neck sizing portion, just smack the remaining steel rod with a BFH, and then it will pop out. All you need to do at this point is patiently peel the busted brass off the neck sizing shaft.


Simple! :lol:


:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~ Thomas Jefferson


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor
English prelate (1613 - 1667)


"The AG has determined that you're a potential terrorist, because only potential terrorists are interested in buying guns."

#21 Hawk451

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:52 AM

Thanks for the info, Indy! Almost all of my die sets are RCBS. I'll be getting Lee dies for when I start reloading the 458 SOCOM. I've read that this case generally has a fine line between 'not enough lube, stuck case' & 'too much, case dented'.

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
Last words of Major General John Sedgwick, Battle of Spotsylvania.

 

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” ―Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle


#22 Hawk451

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 02:54 AM

D'oh! double-tap post...

Edited by Hawk451, 22 April 2011 - 02:56 AM.

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
Last words of Major General John Sedgwick, Battle of Spotsylvania.

 

“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.” ―Jeff Cooper, Art of the Rifle


#23 -Indy-

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 10:24 PM

I reload for that caliber... so when ya get ready to get started let me know... I can hopefully save you the headaches I experienced firsthand, and give you some tips and pointers to make it smooth and easy for ya!! :up:

( thanks to Tony Rumore for a lot of that helpful data !! Lets give credit where credit is due! And if anyone knows about that caliber, its him. he is one of only 3 licensed to use that name. Rock River, Tromix, and the originator...Marty ter Weeme of "Teppo Jutsu"... )


As far as what you mentioned, I use a spray lube, and NEVER seem to have to worry about stuck cases...They seem to pop in and out without ANY issues.

The BIGGEST problem I have is load data. NONE of it seems to work properly. You end up trying to MASH a bullet in on top of TOO much powder, and then bulge the case JUST enough that it will not chamber... and you gotta smack it out with a cleaning rod... Then ya gotta pull the round, resize, and reload it AGAIN...

I even busted the bullet seating unit inside the seating die... by jamming on them too tight with too full a case with stick powders... You also do not seat to the cannelure if using 325 FTX's. I also went with a Win 296 powder, 33 grain load, recipe that fills the case about 3/4 full and allows PERFECT bullet seating without ANY issues. :up: ( thanks to Tony especially for THAT ! )



:smoke:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
~ Thomas Jefferson


It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance; for it requires knowledge to perceive it and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor
English prelate (1613 - 1667)


"The AG has determined that you're a potential terrorist, because only potential terrorists are interested in buying guns."

#24 Palidin

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:46 PM

I am thinking that nowadays LOTS of people are thinking this VERY SAME thing... It is an EXCELLENT QUESTION, and while I am not the worlds leading authority on the subject... I have been doing it off and on for many years...

Let me try to help send you along the path of reloading enlightenment... Posted Image

Its not quite so simple as just go out and buy a couple things and start at it... ALMOST.... but NOT QUITE.... There's a lot of prep work to be done... but once you get the area all set... things flow a lot smoother, and the more you do it, the smoother yet it becomes...

To get consistently accurate long range loads... like for the .308 or the .223... let me run you through "Reloading 099" a basic course for beginners... When you talk of accurate long range loads... how is this? One of my load recipes for the .308 got me a 0.37" 5 shot group at 100 yards... ( there's a thread in this section on it...) you cant get much better than that as EACH bullet width is .308" Posted Image

You will need the following equipment/items for the most BASIC metallic cartridge (rifle/pistol) reloading:

A quiet, uninterrupted environment. Better if clean, and organized... You need to focus on precision, and CONSISTENCY in your activity. distractions will cause you to lose your place, and confusion and messy conditions can lead to dangerous loads... potentially harmful or fatal. Especially with pistol rounds... double charging a pistol round can cause a large boom in your hand or face. NOT GOOD!!! Posted Image

a SECURE bench, one that can hold the press, and all the components in comfortable reach. ( and a comfortable chair)

a Press ( LEE, RCBS, LYMAN... I recommend either the LEE single stage, or the RCBS rockchucker. Both good!)

a Powder measure ( any brand... your choice...)

a Scale ( either a magnetic balance scale or a small digital one... you just want to be sure it can do tenths of grains)

Calipers ( either dial, or digital. digital are easiest, but a dial never goes dead! )

Die set for the caliber you want to reload Recommend full length resizer. ( I recommend RCBS usually, however LEE sets come with the proper shellholder if you shop around, this saves money later!)

Shell holders ( for the specific caliber you want to reload) ( LEE or RCBS... they are all numbered differently... get the ones you need caliber specific.)

Case mouth prep tool ( RCBS )

Case lube ( Either the tray and pad style or the spray style... again, your choice. both work well)

Kinetic bullet puller hammer ( whichever is cheapest...I have an RCBS)

Load data (easily available from the internet... from any powder manufacturer, and most bullet manufacturers. Or loading data books from your favorite bookseller.)

Brass ( your choice of brand )

Bullets ( do you want target bullets? plinkers? hunting rounds? what weight? match grade?? lots of choices! Research your barrel twist rate for the optimum bullet weight for your rifle!!)

Primers (some loads call for a specific brand... primarily just get the style you need large or small rifle or pistol )

Powder ( Whatever your specific load data recipe calls for)

Now thats JUST the BASICS... the absolute MINIMUM...

If your cases are not the right size you will need a case trimmer

A powder trickler is helpful at times

a Lee handy prime hand primer can prime brass VERY quickly! and allows you to feel the primers seat very nicely.

If you pick up spent brass, and some is military crimped you will need either a primer pocket reamer, or a swaging die set.

Then you will also want to get a case tumbler and sifter to clean the brass.

You will want case mouth cleaning brushes, primer pocket brushes, containers to hold your shells during reloading, holders to hold shells AFTER reloading...

Depending on what you want to do with the loads... you will want more than one type or weight of bullet, which will probably mean more than one type of powder... and potentially multiple primers ( such as benchrest, magnum, or regular... ) and of course, either large rifle or small rifle... both of which are NEAR IMPOSSIBLE to acquire at THIS point in time...

get it all set up someplace... you will need shelving for all the goodies, and cupboard space...

NOW you can start reloading...

Deprime by screwing the full length resizer die into the press to the manufacturer specs... and see paragraph below.

Prep the casings... if new... check length, and if correct...prime with the press, or use the hand primer...Make sure the primer is seated properly, flush or just ever so slightly recessed into the case base ( and I mean a couple thousandths here...) Then chamfer inside and outside of the case mouth to remove any burrs or rough edges... ( If too long... see below...) Then go on to powder... If you are using pre-fired brass... tumble to clean, then wipe off tumbler dust, lube, deprime (from above) , wipe off lube, and if the primer pocket has a military crimp ( WCC, LC, PRVI headstamps to name just a few) , swage the primer pocket, and clean the primer pocket and flash hole... check case length... if too long, trim to proper length, then chamfer outside and inside of case mouth. These shells should now be just about perfect and ready to load...

using load data, determine the load you want... then you will need to get your powder measure set to throw the exact weight EVERY TIME... this will be dependent on HOW you move the lever. Try for a nice gentle even stroke... too hard will cause powder to compact giving a higher charge weight... the way the handle moves MUST BE CONSISTENT each and EVERY time or your weights can be off as much as several tenths of a grain ( the more accurate the charge the more consistent the cartridges will be) ... although its easier to dump a little out than to trickle some in... Using a scale, weigh each throw until you get the measure set where it needs to be. Be aware that you will get recommended powder load and MAXIMUM powder load... the best load for your rifle will be somewhere between those two load volumes. You have to figure out where by trial and error. It may take one or two loads, it may take a dozen. ( more on this later)

Also... you will at some point SPILL POWDER... shit happens... no big deal... just clean it up AFTER you are done... you may spill more. LOL


You will want to sort brass according to headstamp if you pick up spent casings... different brass has differing volumes inside the casing... that WILL make a difference in load performance... especially if you are using a compressed load (common in .223) and if your casing is too small you cannot fit the right amount of powder in some and have room in others... obviously this WILL effect performance. On a side note... when using "Varget" powder in .223 loads, it is virtually impossible to overload a casing to a dangerous level as that specific powder volume would exceed the capacity of the case... once you hit somewhere around 26 grains, no more will fit in the case!! 26/27 grains of Varget in a .223 load is not going to give a dangerous pressure level. Some loads call for 27.5 compressed... I couldnt fit that in any of my casings. LOL

AND... point of note... the LIGHTER the bullet, the heavier the powder charge... seems backwards, but it is the way of it. A smaller bullet, more room in the casing. Larger bullet...less room for powder. Velocities reflect this accordingly.

Once the powder measure is set, and the brass ready...

Remove the FL resizing die, and install the bullet seating die according to manufacturers instructions... BUT... I always unscrew the seat depth knob a bit extra... its much easier to repress a bullet several times as you move into the EXACT case overall length specific to your rifle, than it is to use the kinetic hammer to pull the bullet out and re do it...

fill your casing, and insert the proper bullet. Insert the cartridge into the press, and set the bullet into the case mouth and hold in place as you move the cartridge/bullet into the bullet seating die. Press, and remove. Measure total case overall length with your calipers... COL may not be the same number they give, compared to the length specific to your rifle when I say this... it may NOT be manufacturers recommended MAXIMUM case overall length...
I personally load my target rifle bullets to the manufacturers specified distance from the rifling. in some cases they recommend .05" off the rifling... It may be more than the standard COL, but will improve accuracy. for example... the .308 Winchester COL can vary from 2.7" to 2.8" 2.85" 2.875" etc... depending on the specific bullet, load, and your rifles specific chamber dimensions.

Once you have the COL set... load 5 or 10 rounds ONLY...

Then go to the range and test that load for GROUP. DO NOT SIGHT THE RIFLE IN WITH THEM YET.... just see IF THE LOAD WILL GROUP! If your load groups to your satisfaction, use that load data to make as many as you like. If it does not... chances are you will need to tweak the powder charge to find the velocity your rifle likes, or change bullet weights, as that could be an issue as well. Also, the COL may need to be SLIGHTLY adjusted as well... or a combination of all three!!!

After firing, check casings for signs of over-pressure, and the primer especially... if you get a raised ring around the primer dimple... you may be getting real close to "too much pressure" ... make sure to check casings for splits, or ruptures... normally this will be exceptionally rare and usually only with cases fired multiple times... ALWAYS DISCARD bad casings!!!

Are we having FUN yet?!?!?

I keep a detailed record in a log book of when I make a load, what it is, the components, as MUCH data as I can so that if it works, I can duplicate it every time!! If it doesnt work, I label it accordingly and use it as a reference of "what not to do"...

As you get more and more into it... you will want better tools to do the job easier and faster... like the RCBS "Trim mate" case prep system... and all the accessories you can get to go with it. bench mounted case trimmers, digital powder measures, electronic scales, progressive presses... the sky is the limit well, I guess realistically... your WALLET is the limit...

I hope that helps you to understand metallic case reloading basics 099... Posted Image

Next time, we will cover shotshell reloading... thats an ENTIRELY different animal!! and about the ONLY thing that transfers over, is the scale... The rest... you gotta go buy again!! Posted Image Posted Image

If I have missed anything important... which I am sure I probably did... I am sure someone will fill it in... or any helpful tips I forgot to mention, or dont know myself... this would be a great place to share them!!



Posted Image


I have been reloading on and off for 28 years. Lately I have gotten into casting my own bullets from .223 to .45. and all in between. This is an entirely different animal and is vvery dangerous. Bravo on your reloading post it was excelent.

Palidin

#25 RedDevilGuns

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 06:45 AM

This definitely helps half the problem with reloading is having no idea where to start. I'm tempted to get into with the cost of 308 now and the fact I'd like be a chemist out sorts. Plus it never hurts to have another skill.




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