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Need some reloading help.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2008 at 00:44
snowflake77 View Drop Down
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I just purchased a 300 WSM and a Swaro 3-12X50 PH SR and would like to play with some loads over the summer.
I am looking for a decent set of dies that can get me accuracy out to at least 500yds.
I need a case trimmer, neck turner? and it looks like a gauging tool Casemaster?
I read this link and found some pretty good info that maybe you folks can expand on or consolidate for me.  http://www.gunnersden.com/index.htm.rifle-reloading-bullet-run-out.html
Will be dealing mostly with hunting loads.
I really don't have a budget but would def. like to keep it to a minimum.
I am not completely new to reloading just a greenhorn.  My wifes grandfather gave me his reloading bench that has minimal equipment on it. 
I am curently equiped with an old rcbs press, scale, hand primer loader, powder dispenser and a few other tools. 
Any help you can offer would be great and will be transfered to accuracy in the field.
Thanks,
Flake
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2008 at 07:22
Bigdaddy0381 View Drop Down
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I am curently equiped with an old rcbs press, scale, hand primer loader, powder dispenser and a few other tools. 
Any help you can offer would be great and will be transfered to accuracy in the field.
Thanks,
It sounds like you have the basic start. I would grab some rcbs FL die set and a neck sizer die and some componets and go to loading.Most if us here can tell you to do it this way or that way but you will find YOUR way. I would Grab atleast 3 manuals and do about 2 months worth of reading and studing the loads you want to use then get to loading.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2008 at 09:51
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BigDaddy is correct. My press is also old. Just make sure you use dies that are still in good condition. Lee makes inexpensive stuff.
To start you need a case resizer, a priming tool, a scale, a powder dispenser and a bullet seater. All the other stuff can come later after you have mastered the basics. A tumbler takes the elbow grease out of cleaning the cases, but Brasso and a rag works just as well.
If you know someone who reloads, let him take you through the steps and go for it. Work safe!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2008 at 20:01
snowflake77 View Drop Down
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Thanks for the tips!  If anyone else would like to chime in please feel free.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/27/2008 at 22:10
sakomato View Drop Down
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Hey flake
 
I have chased concentricity for quite a while and have just about beat it's ugly head back into it's hole.  It started with me getting the RCBS Casemaster.  Back in those days I had the usual equipment, an old single stage press someone had given me and the typical Full Length Dies.  I tried the o-ring under the lock nut on the decapping stem, tuning the decapping stem, rotating the case while sizing, etc. etc. etc.
 
My advice would be to get the concentricity gauge and buy the following set of dies (I would post a link but this site does not let you reference a M-I-D-W-A-Y link):
 
1.  Lee Collet Neck Sizer - On sale for $22.99 (for the 300 WSM you get the Lee Seater too, which you need to put in a drawer and forget about).  The Lee Collet squeezes the case neck between the collets and a floating mandrel to size the neck.  A fired case will expand the neck to the chamber walls and your chamber will be very concentric.  Check one on the concentricity gauge and you will notice that there is very little runout, you introduce runout by the sizing operation.  Since the mandrel is floating the Lee Collet does not push the neck one way or the other during the neck sizing operation.  The normal dies have an expander ball which jerks the neck and introduces runout.  There is the added benefit of not needing to lube the inside of the neck and then try to get all that lube out.
 
2.  Redding Body Die - $21.79.  You will need the Body Die to push the shoulder back when you develop a crush fit.  You check for a crush fit by chambering the case in your rifle and seeing how hard it is to close the bolt on the unsized case as opposed to how hard it is to close the bolt without anything in the chamber.  Depending upon your chamber, brass and load you may be able to neck size a couple of times before you have to push the shoulder back.
 
3.  Redding Competition Seater Die - $79.99 Shocked.  I know, expensive, but worth it.  You could get the Forster Ultra Micrometer Seater for $59.99, but I don't have any experience with those so can't recommend them.  I normally get the RCBS Competition Seater but they don't have one listed for the 300 WSM so may not make one, but if you can find one get the RCBS.  It has a side window for loading the bullet and a floating collet to support the case so the bullet gets started straight to begin with and stays straight during the seating process. 
 
 
I have not found a regular seater (Lee, Redding, RCBS or Forster) that does not introduce some runout so the Competition seaters are worth it if you want to minimize runout.
 
4.  Lee Factory Crimp Die - $9.29.  Not absolutely necessary for reducing runout but they will help to make bullet grip and bullet release consistant and reduce standard deviation of velocity.  For $10.00, what's to lose.
 
After chasing runout for quite a while, this is the set of dies I came up with to resize and introduce the least amount of runout possible. 
 
There is also another step which is neck turning which will make your neck thickness uniform.  That is another whole thread and complicated by itself.
 
As a final touch I have a Bersin Tool which can be found on Kinneman's website with which you can gauge runout and actually reduce it by pushing on the bullet with a threaded bolt on the side
 
 
but they are expensive.  There is another way to actually reduce runout by using the Casemaster, marking the case and gripping the neck with an RCBS bullet puller with a 338 collet (applicable in your case for a 30 caliber neck) or drilling an appropriately sized hole in a block of wood and bending the neck.  Not as exact as the Bersin but a helluva lot cheaper.
 
The gist is that the more you do and the more you detailed you get the less runout you will have.  Does it make a difference in a hunting rifle?  Not really that much.  If you just get the Lee Collet that will solve about 75% of your runout problems and reduce it to where it is less of an accuracy problem than other factors such as bullet, powder and seating depth issues.
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/28/2008 at 05:39
8shots View Drop Down
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Some good info. Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/28/2008 at 08:46
snowflake77 View Drop Down
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Sakomato,
That was exactly what I was looking for.  Thank you for your time in that very detailed post.  If I have any questions in the future I hope that you would not mind a pm or two. 
Thanks to all that posted.
Flake
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/30/2008 at 04:47
niles coyote View Drop Down
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Great Info sakomato!!!

 
We share the same preferences on our dies.
 
Snowflake, unless you have a custom chamber I think you can get along with out the neck turning (I do), just get norma brass. Its more consistent than winchester.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 10:12
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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I think niles is offering some very good advise. If you are looking at shooting handloads out of a hunting rifle, even a very accurate one no less, I don't think you are going to see the benefit from turning necks and getting crazy with concentricity and runout. These practices are better left to rifles that are benchrest quality. If you get good dies (I like Redding), good brass (Lapua, Norma, Nosler Custom brass) this will be more effective than the time spent tying to bring regular factory brass back into spec.
I do the following:
 
1. Sort by weight
2. trim to size
3. chamfer/deburr
4. Full lengh size (I neck size there after not alway recommended)
5. hand prime
6. weigh charges w/electronic scale
7. seat bullets (try ballistic tips first)
8. check for functioning through action, CAREFULLY.
9. Go to range and have fun.
 


Edited by Roy Finn - March/31/2008 at 10:18
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 10:30
snowflake77 View Drop Down
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What I have picked up since starting this post.
Rcbs CaseMaster new For 69.00 Gander Mountain screw up. Thanks GM
Reading Comp. Seating die new 70.00 Ebay
Reading Body Die new 20.00 Ebay
Lee Collet Neck Sizer set new 29.00 Ebay
Need:
Brass, electronic scale, trimming setup to mount to bench. 
Thanks for the tips and help.
 
Can you explain for me what you are looking for when "sorting by weight"
Flake
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 12:57
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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What I mean is to weight sort cases so that they are close in weight. When I used Remington cases, sometimes the cases would vary in weight by 5 grs. I have to say that when I started using Lapua/Norma cases, this exercise is no longer necessary. When cases vary in weight, it leads to inconsistent pressures and hence inconsistent groups. Say, when using Remington cases in a 30/06 that the average case weighs 168 grs. I would come across a case that weighed 175 grs from time to time or a case that weighted 162 grs. This will cause inconsistent pressures and ruin accuracy. This would happen when weighing cases from Remington, Winchester and Federal. Since using Lapua and Norma cases, I have found that sorting is less important due to their quality control, meaning that I no longer see big weight differences like I once used to. Like I said earlier, when dealing with hunting rifles, I don't see that big of a difference in accuracy with handloads so long as you pay attention to the basics from the start. I realize that Norma and Laupa cases are more expensive than regular commercial brass, but I feel my time reloading is worth the extra expense. I can tell you that Lapua, for instance, says that their cases last for at least 10 reloadings and I have found that to be accurate. When I use Remington/Winchester/Federal and I load at near maximum capacities, I see no more than 5 loadings before primer pockets start to become very loose rendering them unusable. The general theme here is what is your time worth to you. I hope this helps. If not please let me know. There are guys here like Rifledude and Dale Clifford that can be of great help also. Not to single them out, but I feel that they are two of the more knowledgeable reloaders we have here. Again, please feel free to ask any qustions you are unsure of.I will be glad to help if I can.
 
Roy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 18:24
snowflake77 View Drop Down
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Makes sense to me.  Thank you for explaining.   I am sure it does not matter in most hunting  situations but for those of us that still want to go 500+yds it does.  Will be looking for some norma or lapua brass.

Do any of you have a system as to keeping track of how many times a case was reloaded?

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 18:32
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thanks for the compliment Roy, (those things they said while you were gone just weren't true). and as Roy suggests the deviation in pressures, thus velocities is determined in a large part by internal volume, the closer the case wts. the closer the volumes.

one very important part of equipment missing from the list (unless I missed it) is a chronograph, and if your going to shoot 500+ this will be essential.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 18:42
sakomato View Drop Down
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Originally posted by snowflake77 snowflake77 wrote:

Do any of you have a system as to keeping track of how many times a case was reloaded?

 

Hey flake, looks like you are man of action and making a lot of progress.  I keep track of how many times each case is fired.  It will make a difference in several things.  Brass hardens the more times it is fired and has less springback and that less springback will effect your case dimensions after a sizing operation.  For example if you used your body die to set the shoulder back then there will be a small difference in shoulder position between a case that is 3 times fired and one that is 8 times fired.
 
The way I mark the cases is with an electric engraver on the case head immediately after depriming
 
 
here you can see the 2 scratch marks I had previously put on and filled in with a magic marker and the new scratch mark to mark the 3rd firing of this case
 
 
and here it is filled in with magic marker
 
 
It is the only way I have found for me to keep track of the number of firings on a case.  I don't tumble my brass so I don't have to worry about the magic marker coming completely off but sometimes the marks get dim.  Even so I could get a magnifying glass and look for the engraver marks.
 
Works for me but sometimes I wonder if I go a little too far with this stuff!  Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 18:54
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just a thought, load in batchs, keep a log
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/31/2008 at 22:42
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I just use a simple "Sharpie" on the outside of my reloading boxes. Easy to remove when necessary with any bore solvent.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2008 at 09:32
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I thank you for filling me in with your "logs" of reloading cases.  I am adding equipment to my bench rather quickly and I thank you all for the help.  The faster the collection grows the less gripe I will here from my wife by adding here and there.  I would rather hear it all at once. Lol 
Where do you guys get your brass from?  I see that competitor has a lot of the things that I wanted to buy but everything except one item on my list was on back order.  Do you know if they are quick to replenish their stock? 
I see that there is a forster on the bench.  Is this all that I will need to trim and debur the cases?
How do I upload a picture on this forum?  I took a picture of the forster and it doesn't look like I have administrator's approval yet?  Not sure.
Thanks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2008 at 20:11
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i know this really doesnt have much to do with equipment but i highly suggest you trying reloader 19 with 180gr bullets in your 300wsm, that combo was magic in my old rifle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2008 at 20:17
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Thanks pyro I will give it a try.  I used 22 in my ultra mag and wanted to pick up some 19 so now I have a good reason. 
 
Can someone tell me how to post a pic on the forums?
Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/04/2008 at 20:40
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hit reply and then a tool bar will come up and a tree looking button is in the tool bar click the tree and then go from there.
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