Reloading - Keep it simple.

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by greyhawk50, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    We have some discussions about reloading and or getting started. I've loaded for 40+ years and concluded that, unless you're shooting competition and lots of rounds, we tend to buy more than we need.
    The idea here is to explain what the minimum equipment needed to get rolling. I'll try to walk myself through my process/equipment in my mind. If I miss anything, help me out. I'll attach a photo of my bench/man cave.
    For Bottle Neck Rifle Cases.
    1, Case prep. Need a lube pad & lube. (unless you're loading pistol ammo and using carbide dies).
    2. Size & de-prime the shell using a press with appropriate sizing die. Wipe off excess lube.
    3. Use calipers to check case length. If needed, trim to length using the Lee Case Trim System and a battery drill. De-burr the neck, outside first, then inside, using a De-burr tool. This is a 2 part process w/o removing the case from the shell holder.
    4. After prepping the shell, place it in a Loading Block. Optional but a time saver.
    5. Case cleaning. (optional in my opinion.)
    6. Clean the Primer Pocket. Prime the case using the primer attachment on the press or a hand held Auto Primer (optional), insert a primer in each case and return it to the Block.
    7. When the block is full or you run out of shells, it's time to add the powder. An adjustable Powder Dispenser is optional. I use a Lee Powder Scoop to get close and top it off with a Powder Trickler. Dispense the powder into the Balance Scales with the preset charge setting. This takes time but every charge is exact. Using a powder funnel, pour the powder into each case. Be careful, one and only one charge per shell. Charge each case in the block.
    8. Install the Bullet Seating Die in the press. Set the case in the shell holder on the ram, insert the bullet and seat it to the desired depth. Check Case OAL. Adjust accordingly. I screw the Seating Adjustment down so as to seat w/o crimping the case.
    9. After all the cases receive the powder, bullet, and are at the proper OAL. I readjust the Seating plunger up and move the Die down to the proper depth to Crimp each shell as a separate and final step.

    Equipment used.
    Loading Manual. Recommended, Road Map to success. (on-line data is available)
    Lube pad & lube. Hand Towel.
    Press with Primer Install Arm & Die Set. (Hand Primer optional.)
    Battery Drill with Lee Trimmer Tools & De-burr Tool.
    Primer Pocket Reamer. (I prefer a Uniforming Tool)
    Powder Scales, Lee Powder Scoops & a Trickler. (Powder Dispenser Optional)
    Powder Funnel.
    Loading Block.
    Calipers.

    Straight Case Ammo like Pistol Cases require a third step (and Die) to Flare the mouth of the case neck. Done as part of the "prep" process.

    This post is intended to express my opinion of how to keep the loading process simple. In no way is it intended to reflects all the information that is gained from reading about or practicing the reloading process. Learn the basic by reading or being tutored and then build on that with experience. There will always be more to learn. Error on the side of safety.
    Did I miss anything.
    And if you want, share a photo of your Bench or Man Cave.
    If you want an "eye opener", find a Bench Rest Shoot in your are and go see how they do it. Those guys load off of the tailgate of the truck or off of a 3'X3' folding table. Who says you need a 12'X12' room full of all the latest equipment.

    Grey
    Boy Scout Pop Corn & Hershey Bars are optional.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  2. axxe55

    axxe55 Well-Known Member

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    great write-up Grey! very well written and informative for those who would like to venture into reloading.

    here are some of pictures of my gun building. i bought a 10'x14' metal storage building to do gunwork and reloading in and move it out of the house.
     

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  3. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    My bench. It's multipurpose, cars, guns, leather, or toilets.:rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Great Job Greyhawk50!!!
     
  5. aka

    aka Well-Known Member

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    maybe the moderators would sticky this for new user to have
     
  6. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Is humidity a problem in any of your set ups I have a garage and a 10x16 shed. Shouldn't your equipment and powders be in a controlled environment?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  7. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    It's a big consideration for me here in rainy WA. I keep all my supplies and ammo in the house in my man cave.
     
  8. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    My man cave is in the basement and, yes, it is somewhat humid. The powder can caps are sealed with the factory seal and I've never had a problem. I just open them long enough to pour and then make sure the cap is on tight afterwards. No problem that I'm aware of. However, my primers are stored in my gun safe upstairs where it is dry.
    If you notice the 2 drawer metal file cabinet that is under the Pop Corn & Hershey Bars? the powder is in the bottom drawer (bullets in the top drawer). The idea is, if I have a house fire, it will most likely burn upward and the powder won't ignite - hopefully. If it does flash off, it will be confined in a pit type area.
     
  9. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    I'm glad about no one having any WD40 on their reloading bench.I here thats bad JUJU anywhere near firearms. Just a little inside joke :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  10. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Strange that you mentioned WD-40. First off, as far as I can tell, it isn't made from fish oil like some people think.
    The oil that is found in my man cave is Clenzoil. It is pricey but when you calculate the cost of a spray can of Rem-Oil, it's actually not too bad. And I like the way it works.
    http://www.clenzoil.com/field__range.aspx
    What does everyone else use??
     
  11. aka

    aka Well-Known Member

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    I have used a variety of sprays and Lubes. Depending on what I am doing with them. I haven't owned a can of WD40 in years now. Not even for automotive use. The Clenzoil looks interesting, I might have to try that in the future.
     
  12. marnewick

    marnewick Member

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    Nice photo's of your benches. The one thing I am very envious of is the wide variety of powders you have available in the US, we only have one manufacturer in South Africa ( Somchem) and we have to try and duplicate published loads with our limited powder as no powder can be imported. We can get any bullets and all the other equipment at a price. Somehow we manage to still get great loads happening.
     
  13. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member

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    This may be could be used for a "stickey " at the top of this section along with a few other contributing fposts to help cover some of the basics for folks new to or interested in starting reloading .
    What do you all think ????
     
  14. DUTCHS

    DUTCHS Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I agree 1894! I just started a thread and this could help me avoid a lot of questions, although, I will still have plenty, this is a great start. Thanks!
     
  15. duster066

    duster066 Well-Known Member Supporting

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    I'll do it! If I can figure how.:eek:

    Ah heck that was easy.
     
  16. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Its stated early in this thread that case cleaning is optional. I thought this step would be critical for the use of dies
     
  17. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Since I made that statement, I'll let others weigh in before I comment.
    What do you all think????

    Our hunting club is hosting a NBRSA (Bench Rest Shooters) this weekend. I was there Wednesday to help with the preparations. I went back today to watch the shooters practice. They shoot 4-6 rounds and then reload the same cases. None of the shooters (that I observed) were using a Lube Pad before they sized. They were all using Imperial Case Sizing Wax. They just touched their finger tip in the wax, dabbed a little on the neck and shoulder, then sized. They stated that it was super slickery and wiped off easily w/o gumming up the inside of the die. This would eliminate the need to buy a Lube Pad and the juice. As for the juice, there is a debate as to which is best, water base or petroleum base.
    I ordered some today and will give it a try. If I like it, I'll have a lube pad and lube to offer on the pay it forward thread. :))
    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/519525/imperial-case-sizing-wax-2-oz
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  18. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Just an update. I went to the Bench Rest Shoot at the Club today. Not to shoot but to work. Here is a photo of a couple loading benches. Excuse the cell phone photo. How the pros keep it simple.
     

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  19. FOUR4D4

    FOUR4D4 Moderator Moderator

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    Reloading OK so its not rocket science. I'm still leary of that on little mishap.Case inspection is being one point to look out for and your powder charge being the other.Any other word of caution?
     
  20. greyhawk50

    greyhawk50 Well-Known Member

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    Those are good points. Just start off slowly and pay attention to details. Have a mentor if one is available or buy one of the aforementioned loading guides. Knowledge of the process always helps. Take it easy and double check each step until the process becomes second nature. Two points that I consider critical are the case length and the over all length (AOL). If either of these are too long, it causes excess chamber pressure.

    As for cleaning the cases; In my opinion, it is optional. (I am more concerned with cleaning the primer pocket with a uniforming tool rather than a primer pocket reamer.) Others may disagree. I feel that it is cosmetic at best. I've loaded for over 40 years, never had a problem and have never owned a tumbler. On occasion, while the case is chucked in the battery drill/shell holder, I will polish them with extra fine steel wool or extra fine 3M Scotch Bright. The discoloration is caused by oxidation. For the beginner, a tumbler just adds to the initial cost of getting started. If, after getting under way, having the finished product looking bright and shiny make you happy, by all means, buy a tumbler and media. Myself, I'm more concerned with media residue left inside the case than a little discoloration on the outside. And none of the animals that I have harvested have ever complained about being shot with a dirty shell. :eek: (Oh, there I go again - being a smarty pants) Just joking.