Tips for new reloaders.......

This is a discussion on Tips for new reloaders....... within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; If y'all are hoarding .41 mag, .45 Colt, .30-30, .30-06 or .357 brass, just send it my way. New reloaders: * Cleaning primer pockets and ...

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Thread: Tips for new reloaders.......

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Travis Morgan's Avatar
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    Tips for new reloaders.......

    If y'all are hoarding .41 mag, .45 Colt, .30-30, .30-06 or .357 brass, just send it my way.

    New reloaders:

    * Cleaning primer pockets and trimming cases is pretty much just ******* in the wind.

    * Turn off your fans/air conditioner while weighing charges. It will throw off even a digital scale, even if you zero it.

    * Start with a single stage. They can be had for around $50, used, and I prefer to single stage load my rifle cartridges, anyhow.

    * RCBS makes good stuff- except their dies. They belong at the bottom of a posthole. I prefer Hornady dies. No tools to adjust them, and they stay put. Reddings are good, too. Dillons are about $20 more, and I see no reason for it.

    * For straight wall cartridges, buy carbide dies. You won't need to lube them, and they're much better.

    * Store dies wrapped in an OILY rag. Nobody ever told me this, and I ended up with a bunch of rusty dies.

    * If you buy a Dillon press, DO NOT buy CCI primers. They'll hang up. I suggest using a hand held priming tool, as I end up with lots of high primers when using a Dillon press.

    * Keep a notebook on your loading bench, and use it ONLY for load data. That way, you'll be able to make notes on how well a given load worked for you.

    * LABEL ALL YOUR LOADS! For instance, I shoot Ruger revolvers. I can load these old models WAY hotter than other guns without danger of blowing them up. If I load some cartridges over maximum, I can mark them as such. That way, if, for some reason, I'm shooting something else, like when I'm wringing out someone else's gun, I won't blow it up.
    Also, some loads will perform DRAMATICALLY different in different guns. For instance, in my Taurus pump rifle, if I load it too light, it won't seal the chamber properly, resulting in substantial blowback, and possibly, a faceful of hot gases. There's a REASON they give away those load labels with realoding supplies!

    * Buy several load manuals. Most of them will not show the powder you're using with the bullet you're using. Also, use the Hodgdon's and Alliant, and other powder companies' websites.

    * Reloads are like underwear. ONLY USE YOURS!

    * Buy a bullet puller. You'll need it. Really.

    * Buy a micrometer. You need to find the right OAL (overall length) for your gun. No, you can't eyeball it.

    Good luck, and feel free to e-mail me silly questions. If I don't know the answer, I'll find it.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Airedale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Morgan View Post
    If y'all are hoarding .41 mag, .45 Colt, .30-30, .30-06 or .357 brass, just send it my way.

    * Reloads are like underwear. ONLY USE YOURS!

    Good luck, and feel free to e-mail me silly questions. If I don't know the answer, I'll find it.
    Travis,
    Good advice. I've only been reloading pistol a few years (shotgun for a long time). I am amazed at matches when talking reloads, how many folks are so "relaxed" when it comes to loading. I always wonder when someone says " a guy posted this load on the internet and says it's great so I loaded some up"

    For shooters the underwear comment is dead on.
    Dave

  4. #3
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    Hear hear!
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

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    Signed: Me!

  5. #4
    Member Array JoshL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Morgan View Post
    * Cleaning primer pockets and trimming cases is pretty much just ******* in the wind.
    I'm pretty new to reloading, but I have to disagree with this. Trimming cases, at least rifle cases like .223, is very important. These cases will lengthen, which will not only degrade accuracy, but create pressure spikes in the chamber, which can become a safety issue, especially if you are approaching max loads.

  6. #5
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    If you could care less about accuracy then trimming the cases wont matter. If you are just about plinking or blasting stuff, don't waste your time with trimming.

    If you like to load as accurately as possible...you must trim. On pistol brass, the various lengths will cause inconsistent crimps. Some will be more crimp and some will be less...dependent entirely on the length of the case. Since reloaders strive to do everything as uniformly as possible, neglecting this step adds another variable to the equation.

    For rifle ammo, as already mentioned, the cases will grow. There again the difference in length will really show up on the crimp stage. With rifle ammo the difference is pretty apparent when shooting targets.

    Dillons dies are more expensive. They are made with a larger radius at the mouth than most dies to ease the case into the die when using a progressive reloader. Not using dies with the large radius will really slow things down because you will have to feed each case by hand to prevent jamming.

    As for the micrometer...thats great if you have a whole set that goes from 0-6 inches. Otherwise a 0-6 Dial Caliper is alot more useful for reloading.

    I've been loading on a Dillon 550B, (among others) for over 25 years and the CCI primers have never posed a problem. I suppose like anything else, that they could but I have never had that experience.
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  7. #6
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    I'll just make the differentiation over trimming - rifle (bottle neck) vs parallel case handgun.

    I sure don't trim my handgun brass much at all - particularly if as I try to do - I load batches of matching headstamps that have been thru the same number of times.

    I do agree re .223 that a trim is wise as they do stretch - and this is less for me an accuracy deal as a safety one. I'll reload once fired straight away but after that - pain tho it is - I'll trim.
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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    I'll chime in on this one. First off, sure trimming cases and cleaning primer pockets doesn't matter for pistol cartridges. If you're reloading for rifles though you better do it. I'll add one more; If you're loading for accuracy in a rifle and your adjusting the die as per instructions and setting it to "cam-over" instead of measuring shoulder setback, or you're measuring your overall length from the tip of the bullet for bullet seating, you are in fact ******* in the wind.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I've been loading on a Dillon 550B, (among others) for over 25 years and the CCI primers have never posed a problem. I suppose like anything else, that they could but I have never had that experience.
    I experienced a few jams w/ CCI ,but Win. primers seem much worse. I have more feed issues with the 550B and win primers than ever w/ CCI.
    Finally the Win primers seem to have a lot more weak no ignition than CCI.
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  10. #9
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    Good point re OAL on rifle stuff.

    The bullet profile and ogive is all important - and if a sample loading is taken with empty case and light bullet seat (of specific chosen bullet) - and chambered to find rifling engagement point (I do this three times at least) - then an approx .025" further reduction in OAL (for that specific bullet) should give a safe result.

    Bullet jump can be fine tuned more or less depending on accuracy requirements - but jump there must be.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Rocky - my fave choice for primers is and always has been Federal.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    Good point re OAL on rifle stuff.

    The bullet profile and ogive is all important - and if a sample loading is taken with empty case and light bullet seat (of specific chosen bullet) - and chambered to find rifling engagement point (I do this three times at least) - then an approx .025" further reduction in OAL (for that specific bullet) should give a safe result.

    Bullet jump can be fine tuned more or less depending on accuracy requirements - but jump there must be.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I wouldn't say that there always needs to be bullet jump. For reliable hunting ammo, I'd say you should definately seat off the lands. But there are an abundance of competitive riflemen that seat to, or in the lands. You should most certainly not mess around with seating to, or in the lands unless you absolutely know what the heck you're doing though. But seating to or in the lands does control start pressure and can have a positive effect on accuracy, this is of course only applicable in a seriously controlled environment though.

  12. #11
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    this is of course only applicable in a seriously controlled environment though.
    I'll endorse that bit
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  13. #12
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    Bullet jump can be fine tuned more or less depending on accuracy requirements - but jump there must be.
    Not neccesarily.
    Many benchresters load thier bullets right to the rifling. Since it will cause a pressure spike, the load must be reduced. Loading to the rifling also can result in a more uniform start pressure, there again more uniformity overall means more accuracy.

    I load to the rifling on my .300 Mag. After much ecperimentation it is by far the most accurate load. For one thing, the bullet starts into the rifling as parallell as it possibly can. Since target shooting usually isnt done with full house loads, the accuracy gain is worth the small velocity loss that comes with reduction in power.
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  14. #13
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    Whoops...just read the post by Blueyedevil...
    says pretty much the same thing. Sorry about that....
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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  15. #14
    Senior Member Array SCfromNY's Avatar
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    Agree with Rocky. Have had trouble with Winchester large primers but CCI has been excellent. Perhaps the merger of CCI and Federal has enhanced the current production of primers.
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    I use nothing but Winchester. I tried Federal and they were a pain & never used CCI so I can't opine
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
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