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Old 02-10-2013, 02:38 AM
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Hotwheels81 Hotwheels81 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Valleyview AB
Posts: 1,376
Default Step by step reloading for beginners




Midnight Saturday, just got home from a long shift at work and decided to do a little hand loading demonstration.





To start with, set up a full length sizing die in the press following the manufacturers instructions.





Our next step is to lubricate the cases, you can use just about anything for a lubricant, just remember that whatever you use must be able to be cleaned off. My personal preference is Imperial sizing die wax but for large batches on our progressive we use a non stick cooking spray for economy purposes.





Now all we do is run the brass into the full length sizing die until the shell holder bottoms out on the die, then pause for a second and lower the ram to remove your freshly sized case.





After you full length resize your brass for the first time it will probably need to be trimmed. Consult a loading manual to find out what the maximum trim length for your specific brass is.


In this case we are reloading 308 Winchester in once fired federal brass. Our maximum length for the case is 2.015". While most of our brass is very close to that size, some of it is in excess of .030" which is dangerously long that need to be trimmed so that every piece of brass is a consistent length.





I use a Lee trimmer that can be attached to a drill. They are very simple and inexpensive but only trim to one pre set length.





So there we have it, most of the Lee trimmers that I have used will trim your bras from .005" to .010" under the maximum trim length. I have used other trimmers that are adjustable and some brass was trimmed a little bit too short but as long as its no more than roughly .020" under what the book says I don't think it would ever be a problem to shoot.





So now that our brass has been resized and trimmed to length we will chamfer the inside and outside of the case. What I am doing in this batch of reloads is working up a hunting load for this coming fall season for my savage 308. The load I want to try is 180 grain bullet over a Winchester large rifle primer and Varget powder.


My manual says the starting load is 41 grains of powder and the maximum load is 45 grains with a minimum overall length of 2.800", now that I have chosen my load I will prime my cases and get my scale setup

*Warning*
USE THE STARTING LOAD AND WORK UP






When you prime your brass you should watch for primers that push in with little to no effort, that is a sign of a worn primer pocket and it makes the brass unsafe to shoot. You should flatten the brass with the worn primer pockets and discard.





It is extremely important to zero your scale every single time you start a new batch. Once your scale is set up and zeroed it should not be moved until you are finished.






Starting from zero we follow the instructions to set the scale for our desired weight, once I dial that in I set my powder thrower to throw a charge just under my goal and use my Lyman trickler to get the charge weight perfect on the scale, you don't need a trickler, I use a spoon more often then anything else but it makes for a pretty picture!

Once we have our charge measured its time to dump it into a primed case and setup our bullet seating die, you can practice on empty unprimed but resized cases to get the OAL correct and keep one as a dummy round to setup the die next time but once you have done this a few hundred times you get a pretty good feel for making small adjustments until its where you want it.




And there we have it, fresh off the press hand loaded test round #1




A word on Over All Length

Bullet length varies, I have never found a batch of Sierra Hornady or Berger bullets that were the same length consistently, but that's ok...

Bullets aren't seated into the case by there tip, they are pushed into the case mouth on the area close to where the bullet tapers out to its true maximum diameter, to measure that accurately you need a tool that measures from that point to the base of the case and such tools are available but I won't get into that at this point.....

For the average Joe or Jane who wants to get into loading there own ammo I suggest you use the OAL listed in the book, setup your seating die and measure the first round so it's close to perfect and just run with it, as long as your OAL doesn't exceed .020" and keep growing then chances are all your seeing is a variation or imperfection in the very tip of the bullet.


This is meant to be a step by step for the novice reloader, if you have questions please ask and I will do my best to answer... If I get a positive response I will go more in depth into things such as die setup for various different effects and maybe even a step by step for precision reloading.
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