Getting started in reloading

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pauliejw
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#51 Post by pauliejw » Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:12 pm

This is a fantastic post. You covered all the basics and then some. All of this I've also found true.
I've been reloading now for about 8 months. I took a local NRA reloading course from an extremely experienced gunsmith. The class was great and I highly recommend it. Made a couple great contacts there also. You can find instructors on the NRA website.

When you gain experience with reloading, you'll find a workflow that increases speed, accuracy and efficiency. The time vs money thing will fade away.

What I always keep in mind is that firearms are truly dangerous things. Reloading is no different. Dangerous things are not much of a problem if you're thoughtful, patient and take your time.

I can't recommend reloading enough, not only for the cost savings but about the knowledge it will bring about how firearms work.

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#52 Post by DocSkinner » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:39 pm

It is addictive and fun. Glad you like it! Have debated becoming an instructor for the NRA course. Did you think itvwas really goid and helpful now that you are experienced?

And as i now have a .357 Maximum, i will be reloading more.
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#53 Post by Sarge » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:16 pm

I would like to add a thought here for starting reloaders . I'm an old pro with explosives and reloading.. starting back in the early 60's working on Professional fireworks crews, graduated to weapons development at Norco Labs, Edwards AFB, and Sandia labs and did a career in the Army in Ordnance.

The first thing you need before you start reloading is a set of Safety Rules.. accidents are going to happen, explosives of any type are tricky.. you can control for almost everything but accidents are still going to happen.. rarely but they will happen... Safety rules can reduce the frequency of accidents, but that is not really their purpose.. their purpose is to keep you from getting hurt or killed.

In Reloading and Explosives, the Safety Rules are not like most rules, a lot of people don't like rules because they are just made up by jerks behind a desk to make your life harder.. Not so with Safety Rules for reloading and explosives .. In the explosive and reloading business, something went wrong and somebody got hurt and they made a rule about not doing what caused that accident and called it a safety rule in every case.

Every reloading manual has set of safety rules , many reloading data sites have their own safety rules .. they all say about the same thing is different ways, maybe in different order, some stress one thing over another .. You need to find a set of safety rules that you like.. that speak to you and review them frequently and follow them always My favorite set is http://www.darkcanyon.net/john_wooters_ ... y_tips.htm Take a few minutes with your reloading books and check out the safety rules page and find a set that works for you.

This next link is a website that stresses safety that is popular among pro's who teach explosives, to do the shock and awe with a section of the gruesome pictures to make a point.. you don't have to look at them, that section of the site is clearly marked, but if you have ever been curious about what small commercially available fireworks and such, typical kid stuff homemade bombs, there are pictures in that section.. The Bigger Point is "what you don't know can kill you" I'm not a big fan of the gory pictures .. but I understand why some guys go there.. they are sick and tired of seeing folks with parts blown off and disfigured or worse on the 4th of July, or New years, or because somebody was trying to do something they did not fully understand. http://nobombs.net/brucel/

In reading thru this thread and a few others on here I noticed the recommendation is two reloading books.. I would say three .. and I notice some folks boasting that they don't need no stinking reloading books everything is online.

If you are just using one set of load data, you are short changing yourself. The reason to have multiple sources is so you can compare them .. they are not all the same.. different companies or book writers use different weapons in developing their load , different barrel lengths , even identical firearms, same make same model sometimes need different loads to shoot their best. I'm a collector.. I got a lot of firearms , I reload 23 calibers .. and I am a sucker for Enfields .. I have two No4 Mk2 1955 ( the last year they were made) Enfields made at the ROF Fazakerley that are sequentially serial numbered ( the Brits call it a "brace" , more properly applied to pistols) I call it a matched pair, that I bought unfired still in the factory mummy wrap .. my handloads for them are a half grain different to get them to shoot the same under 200 yards, and one is clearly, if slightly, consistently more accurate .. anything made is made to tolerances and these two are slightly different somewhere inside where it matters when it comes to loads and accuracy and fired brass from the more generously chambered one will not chamber in the one with the tighter chambered one. . I say this because even if you have the same firearm listed as the test firearm for reloading data in a reloading book odds are it still may be different... this is the whole reason for starting 10% down and working up looking for pressure signs.

Is Everybody crystal clear on what exactly they are looking for when it comes to pressure signs?
http://www.massreloading.com/reading_pr ... signs.html

Not all load data in a reloading book is safe or appropriate for every firearm in that caliber anything semi automatic has specific limits on bullet weights and power type and speed that you can use without modifying the weapon ( usually the springs) not everything can shoot +P or ++P There are a lot of commercial 30-06 out there that are perfectly fine for bolt action, but will damage a M1 Garand sooner or later Some reloading books have separate sections for military loads or military loads for semi autos .. some just lump all of them under the caliber.

You want to have multiple sources so you can compare them one to the other .. nd when you find a difference you need to figure out why there is a difference.. it could be just a different test gun , it could be something more significant.. and, of course, if you can't find load data for the powder you have or the bullet weight you have or the powder and bullet combination.. it is because one or the other or both are inappropriate for that firearm or caliber, typically happens with semi autos. Don't try to guesstimate an unlisted powder from it assumed similarity to listed powders .. that is unsafe.
Last edited by Sarge on Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#54 Post by dandad » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:58 pm

Sarge wrote:I would like to add a thought here for starting reloaders . I'm an old pro with explosives and reloading.. starting back in the early 60's working on Professional fireworks crews, graduated to weapons development at Norco Labs, Edwards AFB, and Sandia labs and did a career in the Army in special weapons.

The first thing you need before you start reloading is a set of Safety Rules.. accidents are going to happen, explosives of any type are tricky.. you can control for almost everything but accidents are still going to happen.. rarely but they will happen... Safety rules can reduce the frequency of accidents, but that is not really their purpose.. their purpose is to keep you from getting hurt or killed.

In Reloading and Explosives, the Safety Rules are not like most rules, a lot of people don't like rules because they are just made up by jerks behind a desk to make your life harder.. Not so with Safety Rules for reloading and explosives .. In the explosive and reloading business, something went wrong and somebody got hurt and they made a rule about not doing what caused that accident and called it a safety rule in every case.

Every reloading manual has set of safety rules , many reloading data sites have their own safety rules .. they all say about the same thing is different ways, maybe in different order, some stress one thing over another .. You need to find a set of safety rules that you like.. that speak to you and review them frequently and follow them always My favorite set is http://www.darkcanyon.net/john_wooters_ ... y_tips.htm Take a few minutes with your reloading books and check out the safety rules page and find a set that works for you.

This next link is a website that stresses safety that is popular among pro's who teach explosives, to do the shock and awe with a section of the gruesome pictures to make a point.. you don't have to look at them, that section of the site is clearly marked, but if you have ever been curious about what small commercially available fireworks and such, typical kid stuff homemade bombs, there are pictures in that section.. The Bigger Point is "what you don't know can kill you" I'm not a big fan of the gory pictures .. but I understand why some guys go there.. they are sick and tired of seeing folks with parts blown off and disfigured or worse on the 4th of July, or New years, or because somebody was trying to do something they did not fully understand. http://nobombs.net/brucel/

In reading thru this thread and a few others on here I noticed the recommendation is two reloading books.. I would say three .. and I notice some folks boasting that they don't need no stinking reloading books everything is online.

If you are just using one set of load data, you are short changing yourself. The reason to have multiple sources is so you can compare them .. they are not all the same.. different companies or book writers use different weapons in developing their load , different barrel lengths , even identical firearms, same make same model sometimes need different loads to shoot their best. I'm a collector.. I got lot of firearms , I reload 23 calibers .. and I am sucker for Enfields .. I have two No4 Mk2 1955 ( the last year they were made) Enfields made at the ROF Fazakerley that are sequentially serial numbered ( the Brits call it a "brace" , more properly applied to pistols) I call it a matched pair, that I bought unfired still in the factory mummy wrap .. my handloads for them are a half grain different to get them to shoot the same under 200 yards, and one is clearly, if slightly, consistently more accurate .. anything made is made to tolerances and these two are slightly different somewhere inside where it matters when it comes to loads and accuracy. I say this because even if you have the same firearm listed as the test firearm for reloading data in a reloading book odds are it still may be different... this is the whole reason for starting 10% down and working up looking for pressure signs.

Is Everybody crystal clear on what exactly they are looking for when it comes to pressure signs?

Not all load data in a reloading book is safe or appropriate for every firearm in that caliber anything semi automatic has specific limits on bullet weights and power type and speed that you can use without modifying the weapon ( usually the springs) not everything can shoot +P or ++P There are a lot of commercial 30-06 out there that are perfectly fine for bolt action, but will damage a M1 Garand sooner or later Some reloading books have separate sections for military loads or military loads for semi autos .. some just lump all of them under the caliber.

You want to have multiple sources so you can compare them one to the other .. nd when you find a difference you need to figure out why there is a difference.. it could be just a different test gun , it could be something more significant.. and, of course, if you can't find load data for the powder you have or the bullet weight you have or the powder and bullet combination.. it is because one or the other or both are inappropriate for that firearm or caliber, typically happens with semi autos. Don't try to guesstimate an unlisted powder from it assumed similarity to listed powders .. that is unsafe.
What a great post. ! Image Image thank you sarge.

This should be blogged...and you should consider writing more on reloading here. I sure could learn from it.


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Re: Getting started in reloading

#55 Post by Sarge » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:44 pm

Thank you for the kind words.. I plan on chiming in when it looks like I can be helpful.

If you have any specific questions I'll do my best to answer them.

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#56 Post by dandad » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:25 am

Sarge wrote:Thank you for the kind words.. I plan on chiming in when it looks like I can be helpful.

If you have any specific questions I'll do my best to answer them.
And I'd like to ask if I make silly wrong statements on the subject of relaoding I am all open to constructive criticism as it will not just help me, but everyone else. And Im not void of making incorrect statements as I may have learned wrong , or just imagined things lol. But yes, anything you can teach, correct, suggest, at least from my point of view is very welcomed.

Ive been reloading for years, but mostly self taugh or Dad taught. So anything from a pro is very appreciated.

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#57 Post by Sarge » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:11 am

No .. everything so far looks pretty solid, or it's matter of opinion, with the one exception that I tend to write safety rules on peoples forearms where they can see it in indelible sharpy and go around labeling index fingers with " this is my safety" .. but I am weird as all get out and everybody here is on the other side of the screen where I can't write on them.

It's the Sarge thing..

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#58 Post by sikacz » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:50 am

Sarge wrote:Thank you for the kind words.. I plan on chiming in when it looks like I can be helpful.

If you have any specific questions I'll do my best to answer them.
Welcome! I might have missed your intro in the new member intro section, but if you didn't post one please drop in and tell us about yourself.
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#59 Post by Antiquus » Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:09 am

Lee stuff is the floor for reloading. You can spend a lot more to reload faster, but what goes downrange won't know the difference unless you are shooting bench or F class rifles and in that case spend a fortune for Redding stuff. But by floor, I don't mean cheap, every Lee thing I look at I see the hallmarks of every penny of cost knocked out of it, while maintaining functionality. So it all works - depending somewhat on your mechanical aptitude, but it's a great place to start, gets you thinking in the right direction, and does the fundamental job correctly. After a while you will want to branch out to better brands, but I'll bet you keep that old Lee single stage, just in case. I still use mine exclusively, although the powder measure is a late 60's find off Ebay, and the scale changed to a cheap digital which had a reputation for being accurate, and has remained so. However the Lee stuff goes into the "backup" category, it still works fine.

Get a set of check weights. Seriously, this is a safety issue. The Chinese cheapies off Ebay work fine, but they will be denominated in grams and 1/10 gram - you can convert on Google. Just type in ".100 grams in grains" (1.543 grains btw). This is especially important for beam scale users, but mistakes can be made with any scale. The Chinese sets are made using a microgram scale, common for chemical work, and they have about 100x the resolution of what they are checking, so good to go. My cheapie Lee beam had .2 grain error through it's whoie 200 grain range, which was reassuring, and good to know. But at least twice check weights have caught me screwing up the zero set on the beam, which might have lead to the charge being .5 grain higher than I wanted. That can lead to some impressive pressure spikes in a small cased high pressure round like 9mm.

Tumbling cases does put dust in the air which does contain lead, so do it outside because any room you do it in is going to get contaminated. Early on I decided to ultrasonic clean, which gets the inside way cleaner that any other method. However just hot water and citric acid or Lemmeshine can be used too, and work fine. Tumbling polishes the outside, and if you want that New Ammo Look, that's the way to go. Water/ultrasonic doesn't put the dust in the air, so I can do it inside, and is so quiet my wife can sleep in the next room. Disposing of the wash water poses a problem, I pour mine down a drain in my garage, which goes nowhere except under the slab. I've seen setups for wet tumbling, using something like a rock polisher - and closed container that is rotated - which I think would be a better approach. But I'm too addicted to cases with clean insides to change away from ultrasonic.

Getting a good selection of reloading data is helpful, as others have said. Every powder manufacturer has data on their website, and if you buy Lee dies, they come with a bunch of reloading data in the dieset. They are pretty interesting, and differ from the powder manufacturers usually on the conservative side. My favorite site for reloading data is Wolfe Publishing's website, but access costs $35/year. However, I've found loads in there for things impossible to find elsewhere. In all of that, still buy a reloading manual, and read the how-to safety sections, so you don't overlook anything important.
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Re: Getting started in reloading

#60 Post by pokute » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:42 pm

The wet tumbling rock polisher thing gets the cases super clean everywhere. It does this because you use steel pin media with it. The cases come out looking brand new. It took me a while to switch to it, but now I love mine.

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#61 Post by CaptainShankypants » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:05 pm

ThirstyHersh wrote:
shinzen wrote:A chrony is on my list- haven't picked one up- Definitely on the check weights though, a scale's no good if the damned thing is off.
When I use one I shoot off the bench at a target downrange. It probably adds a little accuracy because of concistancy. But mainly because I shot the first one I had with the fifth round I fired. Nailed it too. Proving once again that it's hard to soar with the eagles when you wallow in your own filth.

Share and enjoy!!

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines... :laugh:

Thinking it's chrony time for me too, but it's hard to get it past the red line at the local without the RSO getting snippy...

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Re: Getting started in reloading

#62 Post by m1ckDELTA » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:14 am

I read though this thread a few weeks ago and made the decision. Thanks.

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