- Make sure primers are seated .003" to .005" BELOW FLUSH to ensure reliable ignition.
- Before chamfering case mouths, make sure the mouth is round and not dented. Running the neck about .100" will round bent mouths. No need to lube for this step.
- On thin-necked cases like the 32-20, 38-40 and 44-40, we recommend that you seat and crimp in separate steps
- Cleaning primer pockets with an RCBS primer pocket brush removes residue build-up that can cause hard seating.
- Excessive oil in semi-automatic firearms can attract residue and cause malfunctions. Use oils sparingly.
- Use a magnet to separate steel military cartridge cases from brass cases.
- Keep powder scales at least three feet from fluorescent lights to prevent inaccurate readings.
- If a carbide sizer die starts to scratch cases, it's likely that brass smears have built up on the insert. Use a piece of crocus cloth wrapped on a wood dowel to remove the smears Crocus cloth is in the sandpaper section of your hardware store.
- Don’t use a knife or nail to clean primer pockets. These damage the pocket walls and can cause gas leaks.
- Check cases fired in semi-auto firearms for rim burrs. These can cause malfunctions. Remove with a fine file.
- Tumble cases first, then resize/deprime.
- Sort cases by manufacturer. It is the first step in giving you more uniform handloads.
- Reloading military rifle brass that may have been fired in an automatic could require resizing with a Small Base Die (available from RCBS) to ensure they fit in your commercial chamber. Only needed for the first resizing.
- When weighing powder, set your measure to throw a few tenths grain light, then trickle powder into the pan on the scale to achieve the proper weight.
- After you determine the proper seating depth for a particular bullet, make a dummy round to assist in setting-up the seating die in the future. Leave it unprimed, label it with a marker, and store in your die box.
- If you must decap live primers, wear eye and hearing protection and use slow, steady pressure to lessen the chance of detonation. Do not allow decapped live primers to build up in the primer catcher.
- Remove crimps found on many military primer pockets before reloading the cases. RCBS makes a dandy Pocket Swager to do this.
- Shotshell primers marked "157" will only fit in older Remington cases (60's and early 70's vintage). They are too small for use in newer shotshell casings.
- A VERY light touch of case lube inside the neck of the case will stop that annoying noise made when the case is pulled over the expander ball. So will a clean expanded ball.
- To lube a large quantity of cases, spread newspaper and spray the cases with RCBS Spray Lube, then discard the newspaper.
- Both CCI "Mil-Spec" primers (Nos. 41 and 34) are MAGNUM primers and intended for use in military-style semi-auto rifles where a slam-fire may occur. Don't substitute for standard primers without adjusting the load.
- The 7.62x39mm cartridge generally use 123 grain .310" diameter bullets (like Speer's #2213). Smaller .308" bullets may not give acceptable accuracy.
- Inspect cases before and after resizing. Crush bad ones with a pair of pliers to ensure they do not get back into the "good cases" later.
- No, it's not a good idea to substitute Rifle primers for Pistol primers, even though they may fit in the primer pocket. There are several differences that affect safety and reliability.
- A felt-tip marker can be used to identify loaded cartridges of different bullet weights that appear the same after loading (example, 130 gr. and 150 gr. .270 caliber bullets). Bright colors make identification easier.
- Old double-door-style dart boards (garage sale item?) can be converted into great storage cabinets for loading dies.
- In areas where it is legal and proper to shoot from a vehicle (ex., prairie dog hunts), a piece of heater hose split lengthwise will slip over the car window glass and give you an adjustable rest. It also protects your gun and window, and allows you to close the window.
- Hunting in the rain? A dab of masking tape over the end of the barrel will keep the rain out. Shoot through it if needed, or remove before firing.
- Have a "cross-over" problem? Your master-eye is not the one you use for shooting. Put a strip of that "frosty" cellophane tape on wax paper. Cut or punch out a 1/4" dot, peel it of and place it in the center of your master eye on your shooting glasses. This forces you to use the eye that's behind the sights.
- Do your favorite "sneakin' and creepin" hunting boots squeak? Sprinkle baby powder in them. Then the only noise that big buck will hear is your heavy breathing.
- "Keep your powder dry" is still good advice today. So are, "avoid temperature extremes," "not in sunlight" and "store in its original container".
- Thinking about adding an extension to your powder measure hopper so it will hold more? BAD IDEA! The hopper height is sized by the manufacturer so measures will burn, not explode, in a fire.
- Use 1000 ft-lbs energy as an approximate minimum for reliable stopping power for deer, and 1500 ft-lbs for elk. Let's not leave wounded game in the field.
- When you're flying to a hunt on a commercial airline, remember: the ammunition and the gun cannot be in the same piece of luggage.
- If you are going on that "hunt of a lifetime" with your custom 436 Doublenecker Improved Waldogrinder, ship some ammunition ahead to the outfitter. Exotic places seldom sell exotic ammunition.
- When developing a new load, load 4 or 5 rounds, then test them for feed, fit, and function in your firearm (observing all safety rules, of course). It is far easier to pull a few bullets than it is a hundred or more.