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#269695 - 05/06/14 04:02 AM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: ireckon]
LesSnyder Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1473
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
ireckon.. the straight wall pistol calibers typically use a sizing die with a carbide insert that doesn't need any lubrication.. for the .40SW use a Lee sizing die as they size further down the case, which heads off some chambering problems down the line... typically the sizing die also punches out the spent primer, a new primer is inserted by hand or by a primer punch built into the loader, powder is dispensed by volume, and is dropped through a hollow die that bells the case mouth slightly so the new bullet can be inserted easily... the seating die pushes the bullet to the correct depth in the case, and a final taper crimp die re forms the belled case mouth parallel (most modern autoloaders headspace the cartridge on the case mouth)... a revolver will have a roll crimp that rolls the case mouth into a cannelure formed into the bullet, so the bullet does not move under recoil...single stage presses require that the die is changed for each step, so you typically work 50 pieces of brass at a time... a progressive press is a continuous process where the cartridge cases are moved from one station to another with each pull of the handle, and after a complete rotation you get a loaded round with each pull of the handle... you need a good reloading manual... a powder scale to adjust the powder charge dropped by the powder measure... drop 10 charges and move the decimal ie... 43 grains for 10 drops is 4.3 grains per single drop... a caliper to measure the overall loaded length is helpful... stand up to reload, and place a light over your loader so you can inspect that the cases have been charged...a bottleneck case like the .308 takes a lot more pressure to work it through the die, and is typically lubricated... an expander ball will be forced down and back up the case mouth.... bottle neck cases grow with multiple firings, while straight wall cases typically shorten.. military brass may have the primers staked in, and you will need to ream or swage the primer pockets the first time... cases will need to be checked for overall length, and if they get too long, will prematurely grab the bullet in the cannelure, and push the shoulder back while the bullet is being seated, causing chambering problems....start with the straight walled pistol calibers first....if you load primers into tubes, don't stand over the tube in case of a sympathetic detonation... all lead compounds are poisonous, so wash you hands and don't smoke or eat while reloading...other than Lee dies, I recommend the higher end presses from Dillon like the 550 and up...most of the manuals have step by step instructions.... the .40SW is a high pressure round, so do your research on the burn rate recommended for the powder...I got good standard deviation with Win 748 powder in my M1A....I don't load .40SW any longer, so am not up on the current powders, but I think most of the USPSA guys use something along the burn rate of Hodgdon Tite Group


Edited by LesSnyder (05/06/14 04:05 AM)

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#269697 - 05/06/14 05:45 AM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: ireckon]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
For starters, get a books titled "The ABCs of Reloading". It is straightforward and thorough, but none of that "long haired" language that makes for a hard read. I've loaned my copies to several who expressed interest in reloading.

If you can, find a mentor; someone mature enough to provide safe and patient instruction.

Some places, like Sportsmans Warehouse or Gander Mountain stores, will host basic reloading classes. It makes it pretty handy as they usually demonstrate equipment you can buy right there in the store.

Start with a basic O press. Get a good set of carbide dies for the 40 S&W and some full length dies for the 308.

Unless you shoot thousands of rounds a year, the economics of reloading aren't terribly compelling. For me, reloading was a natural progression of learning ballistics. I wanted to learn more control over the variables, and reloading affords me the opportunity to maximize the optimization. Once I started shooting competition, reloading allowed me to tune my rounds to the guns I use, and still saved me a few bucks.

It also made the transition to muzzleloading fairly straightforward.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#269698 - 05/06/14 07:52 AM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1930
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
...but shooting isn't a particularly difficult skill...

I'll admit it doesn't take a whole lot of skill/practice to shoot 1 MOA at 100 yards with a rifle and ammo that are capable of that. You're not going to be doing that on your first outing with a rifle, but you can build to that level fairly rapidly with some training and practice. However, progressing beyond that level of shooting ... I disagree ... it DOES take skill and practice.

Quote:
...once mastering an air rifle, 1000 yard shooting with 7.62, .303 etc shouldn't be a problem...

??? Have you actually tried shooting at 1000 yards? Even a high-end expensive PCP air rifle isn't going to come close to preparing you. Air rifles are nice, I like and shoot mine frequently. And they do help in practicing some techniques for powder burners. But not for 1000 yard shots. Comparing yourself to a skilled 1000 yard sniper because you're good with an air rifle is a bit much. Most people couldn't even hit a school bus at 1000 yards. Myself probably included, and I have many decades of target shooting under my belt (non-competitive).

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#269701 - 05/06/14 03:04 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: benjammin]
LesSnyder Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1473
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
AFLM... my sport of choice is multi gun (3 gun) with a 9mm pistol, 5.56 autoloader rifle, and 12ga autoloader shotgun...before the .22lr shortage, I purchased a conversion unit to shoot .22lr in my 5.56 AR... later a dedicated upper was built...this allows me to use my competition lower, with its good trigger to practice with.... some day we may be forced to do as they did in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and go to air rifles


we follow USPSA multi gun rules, time to exchange magazines is critical.... the score is the total time you take to negotiate the course plus any penalties...center fire rifle targets are typically 400m or less for a 10" MGM flash target.... we shoot reduced range(35y) with the .22lr, and most of the .22lr magazines hold 25 or so cartridges and are easily exchanged, so at this point in time the PCP air rifles aren't competitive... I shot quite a bit of air pistol in my garage in my early days of competition

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#269702 - 05/06/14 05:12 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: benjammin]
JerryFountain Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
Les,

Is that picture the Gun Crafters Range?

ireckon,

Although I agree with everything Les says above, You can start at a lesser level (both cost and space) depending on how much you shoot and what. You "can" save money, again depending on what you shoot and how much. I returned to reloading because I am not using my 9mm (9 ball used to be cheap in bulk) as much (IPSC then IDPA then Polite Society) and shooting my 45/70 more (at $2 to $4 per shot). Much as I like the Dillon, I have used my hand press (an RCBS) for the past several years and except for full length sizing the 45/70 cases it is more than up to reloading 50 to 100 rounds after a weekend of shooting. It also takes lots less space and is easier to put away if you don't have a permanent setup.

benjammin has a good idea in a basic O press (again mine is an RCBS) but I have used C presses, Lee Loaders and Lyman tong tools and been happy with all of them for limited loading (a few 10's of rounds at a time). I would recommend you start with the basics (buying many of them used is a great idea, but not dies). Consider asking around, when shooters move to a progressive press, many of them sell their old single stage one.

A good start would (IMO) include the following:

A preferably several good reloading books.
A good basic press.
Dies for the calibers you use most (or that you don't shoot because they are the most expensive). Although a full length die is important for autoloaders if your .308 is a bolt gun you only need a neck sizing die. It will make the brass last longer and improve accuracy if you only have one .308.
A good LOADING scale (don't try to use a kitchen or office scale). Maybe the most important thing you have.
I recommend a good hand primer, it gives you much more control than the one on the press.
The rest is consumables (primer, powder, bullets, lube, etc.)and things you will have around the house (boxes, paper towels, etc.).

Over the years you will end up with LOTS of useful things in addition to these basics and each one will improve the process.

Respectfully,

Jerry

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#269703 - 05/06/14 06:13 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: ireckon]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 941
Loc: Germany
I started reloading last year. I my case the supply situation for ammo for my varmint rifle is less then satisfying (+ the .44 Mag. ammo isnīt exactly cheap).
I took a mandatory reloading class and bought the RCBS master kit. The kit has everything except the dies and components. I am satisfied with it. The kit comes with the Speer Relaoding Manual. The manual is fairly good has a step by step guide. I reload about 300 to 400 rounds per month ( 7x64, 5.6x50, 6.5x55 and .44 Mag).
Straight wall cases are easier to handle. The bottle neck cases of the .308 need a little more care. Every second or forth reloading you may wish to anneal the neck to prevent fatigue. It helps to keep the cases in lots to keep track of their history.
I found it important to set up a process that is followed strictly. That avoids mistakes. You also should have only the components you actually want to use on the table, so you can be sure about the primers and the powder.
If you decide to use a tumbler, check each and every flash hole. One grain of the tumbler media in the hole might spoil your day at the range.
Remember: The more you reload the more money you save. I managed to double my expenses for ammo by reloading.
_________________________
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

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#269704 - 05/06/14 06:42 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: benjammin]
LesSnyder Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1473
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Jerry... yes, Gun Craft Range in Ruskin


an RCBS Rock Chucker with compound linkages is a good single station press...

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#269706 - 05/06/14 07:05 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: LesSnyder]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4594
Loc: SOCAL
I have an RCBS Junior from the early 80's -- I almost went with the Rock Chucker back then, but got a good deal on the Jr. The Rock Chucker is more robust and has always been a great single stage press. I only reloaded .38Spl/.357Mag & .44Mag back then though and the Junior was more than adequate. I still save my brass -- .38/.357, .44, .45 ACP and .308Win. ya never know, one of these days I may find a need...

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#269707 - 05/06/14 07:23 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: M_a_x]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1930
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: M_a_x
If you decide to use a tumbler, check each and every flash hole. One grain of the tumbler media in the hole might spoil your day at the range.

Why do you de-prime before tumbling?

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#269708 - 05/06/14 07:48 PM Re: 20,000 pieces of brass [Re: haertig]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 941
Loc: Germany
A coworker broke the pin by de-priming after tumbling. I do not want to risk that.
_________________________
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

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