Re-loading

This is a discussion on Re-loading within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; At the range today I was talking to someone who made re-loading sound like a no brainer. He gave me about 10 rounds of his ...

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Thread: Re-loading

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    Re-loading

    At the range today I was talking to someone who made re-loading sound like a no brainer. He gave me about 10 rounds of his re-loads and they shot very well. They were 9mm, 124gr with a light load. He made the entire process sound so simple, he must have skipped something.

    I assume you need to clean the brass you want to re-load. What's involved with the cleaning?

    For someone who shoots 5 or 6 boxes a month, is it worth while?

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Check out the reloading sub forum, there is a wealth of information there.

    Reloading - DefensiveCarry Concealed Carry Forum


    Ahh, the mods moved the post.

    The short answer is that if you shoot 250 to 300 rds per month reloading can be a viable option.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    First. I advise against getting reloaded ammo from anybody but yourself or somebody you really really really trust.

    Second, you do not have to buy brand new cases to reload and the cleaning process is simple: A tumbler, cleaning media and a separator and you are set. Frankford Arsenal has a kit that is really economical and does the job right.

    Battenfeld Frankford Arsenal Quick-n-EZ Case Tumblers and Kits 855-020 515-667 645-880 799-534
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    jfl
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    It is really easy.
    Cleaning can be as simple or as thorough as you want; wiping the exterior of the case with a rag and checking the primer pocket is quick and easy; letting the cases sit in a tumbler with the appropriate medium (walnut shell was widely used 20 years ago) and some polishing compound will make them shinier than new, is the elaborate way.
    For range ammo, a press, a set of dippers, a scale is the basic set-up.
    Then you can upgrade to a turret press, powder measure and a primer tool.
    Then you'll get to casting your own bullets from salvaged wheel-weights.

    Is it worth it ???
    Depends on the time you have. With a cheap Lee turret press and a powder measure, I can crank out 50 rds of .38 or .357 in less then half hour.
    I enjoy doing it and I can have light loads for novice shooters that I cannot find commercially.
    Also, it keeps me shooting even when the ammo sources dry out...
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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    I read a bunch of posts, re-loading 9mm sounds rather intimidating (unless I'm reading the wrong posts).

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    What sounds intimidating about reloading in particular?

    It really is just a simple set of steps you take. If you take your time, pay attention and follow accepted load manuals you get good ammo at a fraction of the cost.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    Maybe I miss intepreted some stuff I read. One link said a few grains of powder cold make a huge difference. I would have thought the oppsite.

    One link mentioned that their loader called for only CCI primers. Do you really have to use a particular brand with a particular loader? Cabela's is selling MagTtech primers reasonably.

    What about Powder? Looking at different brands I don't see where any of the types are aligned. Do you need to choose a manufacture and then figure out which of their powerder is appropriate? Some seem to say things like little gun or big gun. I assume 9mm is little.

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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    Maybe I miss intepreted some stuff I read. One link said a few grains of powder cold make a huge difference. I would have thought the oppsite.

    One link mentioned that their loader called for only CCI primers. Do you really have to use a particular brand with a particular loader? Cabela's is selling MagTtech primers reasonably.

    What about Powder? Looking at different brands I don't see where any of the types are aligned. Do you need to choose a manufacture and then figure out which of their powerder is appropriate? Some seem to say things like little gun or big gun. I assume 9mm is little.

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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    On a 9mm, even a few tenths of grains could make a difference.

    With primers, you take what you can get right now. You don't have to use a specific brand even though the manual may list a specific one they used for a caliber. This is a reason why you start at the lower end of the load data and work your way up the scale looking for over pressure or things that might be dangerous.

    In picking a powder you look for characteristics in a powder that work for your caliber, or you look for a powder that is good for multiple calibers.

    Take Unique for instance. You can load anything from a .380 to a .44 mag with that one powder, and many other calibers. It is often considered one of the most universal powders out there. It is a bit dirty, but hey your going to clean your gun afterwards anyway.

    I just bought an 8lb keg of Hi Skor 700x, for a 9mm using 115 or 124 grain bullets I can load over 15,500 rds out of a 129 dollar keg of powder since it only calls for 3.6 or 3.7 grains at the maximum. That is less than one penny per round.

    There are lots of things to look at but if you get a reloading manual or two and look over the load data for what your shooting you can narrow the list of questions pretty quickly.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    A FEW grains of powder.. Sure can make a diff. If your recipe calls for 4.5 grains and you over charge by a FEW grains, you are looking for trouble. HOWEVER.. Reloaders use scales, powder measures and powder throwers that are easily adjusted to the proper charge and are accurate to a tenth of a grain. A few tenths of a grain is not gonna cause a problem unless you are pushing things over maximim loads. Also, with most pistol charges you can see if you had an accidental double charge since the powder takes up a good portion of the empty case.

    Some primer cups are softer than others. A softer primer may sometimes get crushed if you are not careful. Can happen with any primer but CCI seems to be a little softer than most to me. I use them all the time with a LEE hand primer and can feel them seat, as will most reloaders with a little experience.

    Powders are made in many shapes and forms. Ball, flake, extruded etc...
    They have different burn rates depending on the size and shape of the particles.
    Some burn rapidly..Shotgun-Handgun powders
    Some are slower....Rifle powders

    Due to the diffs in manufacturing and formulation of the powders equating one to the other is not wise.

    If loading pistol ammo there are many good powders, some burn cleaner (less residue) than others. Examples like Bullseye-Unique-Accurate 5 or 7 or 2-Clays, are examples of powders than can be used in almost any pistol load with almost any bullet weight. The manufacturers have load charts and there are handloading books out there with enough "recipes" to make your head spin.

    All in all, it is not that hard to do. Check out youtube and look for reloading, you will see several videos on the topic and might get a good idea of what is involved..
    bosco

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    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    reloading is easy and fun and will save you money. but there is a start up cost. after this it is easy. i would get some older reloading manuals/books. they have the best information and how too over the new ones. look for the books from the 1970's, the best infromation to be found. also you can get information from the net.
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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help.

    Do you have to measure each round you load or does the re-loader do that for you?

    Are certain brands of primers and powder better then others?

    When you look at a site like cabela's how do you determine which powder is a good match? Are there other sites that are more informative when ordering?

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    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    Do you have to measure each round you load or does the re-loader do that for you?
    First you need to calibrate your powder thrower, alot of people reccomend first running through 1 or 2 hoppers of powder to get machine throwing consistant charges.

    Once this has been done, throw out a few powder charges onto a good set of balance scales and make sure its giving a consistant amount for the charge level you want.

    ie if you are wanting 3.8 grains for your load and it throws 5 charges of say 3.8, 3.7, 3.9, 3.8, 3.7. Then its ready to start loading some cases.

    Once consistant start loading and check every now and then by using your balance scale. Some people like to do every 10 charges, then 20then 50, and start again at 10.

    When I start, and until i trust my equipment I intend to do every 20 rounds. It sounds like alot but once your scale is balanced it only takes a few seconds to dump a charge on a do a spot check.



    Are certain brands of primers better then others?
    Depends what you can get, at the moment many people dont have the luxury of choosing. CCI, Winchester and Federal are all good. Federal are known as being easier to fire due to softer cup and more sensitive compound, good for pistols that are known to have "light strikes", also popular with revolver shooters and also for SD rounds.


    I assume you need to clean the brass you want to re-load. What's involved with the cleaning?
    It doesnt have to be shiney but you do want to make sure any carbon residue is removed.

    I found a cheap way of doing this last weekend (and they come out pretty shiney), first I rinse the cases in warm water and mild solution of Simple Green, just chuck them in a large water tight container and soak them for 5 minutes (shaking every now and then.

    Then I drain all the water away and tip white vinegar in soak for 10 minutes, shaking them every now and then.

    Drain the vinegar back into container (you can do 3 or 4 batches of shells with it).

    Rinse all the shells in warm water, drain, then dump them on a big towel.

    Roll them around on the towel until reasonably dry.

    Put all the shells into a roasting tray \ dish, place in oven at 100 degrees Celcius for about 20 minutes until dry.

    All done. I did about 1000 shells (2 batches of 500) took me about 1 hour in total.
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    Senior Member Array rmilchman's Avatar
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    There seems to be many brands. Does anyone know a good site to purchase / gather information from?

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    This is a series that may give you a good insight into reloading..

    YouTube - Basic Reloading - Part 1 Equipment

    I have an RCBS single stage press and a mixture of different die sets from both RCBS and Lee Precision.

    bosco

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