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Working up loads and repeatability

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2014 at 20:40
EAGLE View Drop Down
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I'm new to reloading and someone told me things that I'm unsure about:

1. If I use Hornady, Winchester, RP, LC or Federal brass that I need to use new brass for finding an accurate load.
    Once I find a bullet, primer powder combo, In order to repeat, I must use a new piece of brass or accuracy will be           different per firing (even if brass is fire formed to Bolt Action ) because of thinner walls, being stretched and trimmed.

2. Laupa and Norma brass are the exceptions, but only up to three firings then toss them.

Is this true and if so, how much variance (if I do my part) ?




Edited by EAGLE - December/28/2014 at 20:55
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/28/2014 at 23:48
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Based on my actual experience:
1.  No, and no.
 
2.  No, and (probably) no, unless you are maxing the loads in some fire-breathing dragon of a rifle.
 
3.  Find another advisor, and lose this "someone".
 
If the original factory ammunition was fired in your rifle, you can almost certainly reload it safely.  Furthermore, your reloads (after the first firing) will all be using used brass. 
 
I'm not personally a big believer in picking up someone else's used brass, because you normally don't know its history.  There are exceptions, of course.  A number of reloaders do this, but they (hopefully) inspect the recovered brass carefully before using it.  
 
Different reloaders favor different brands of brass.  This varies, depending on their experience and the purpose of their reloads (plinking, hunting, or competition).
 
As to how many reloads, that depends upon the brass, the caliber and the load.  You will have a hard time wearing out a box of .38 special brass, for example.  Standard rifle calibers with reasonable loads can take a decent (but limited) number of reloadings without a problem..  Heavy magnum rifle reloads require some caution, and the brass will take a very limited number of reloads.
 
Get several good reloading manuals  Learn what signs to look for in deciding whether the brass is nearing the end of its life.   Talk to experienced people at the range, and see what their experience has been with the loads they use.  And always err on the side of safety.  You can't replace your face!
 
Good luck, and have fun getting into a fascinating and rewarding hobby!  
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 08:36
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I do have 3 or 4 manuals which I read and been reloading for a 10mm (why I started reloading).

This someone approached me when I was picking up .308 brass off the ground at my local range. I told him that I was going to order some Hornady dies and start reloading for my .308 rifle.

Also, he said not to waste my time with RCBS (ok but not great) , Hornady (over works the brass) and Lee (cheap) dies that Redding and Foster bushing types dies are going to be my best bet at an affordable price.

He said that the expander can cause problems (stretch or deform brass neck/shoulders) so this is why he suggested bushing type die without using an expander.


When it comes to people, I always caution with error.




    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 08:51
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Forgot to say, I picked up some 4064, Reloader 15, 210 primers, and 165gr SST. I will start 10% below max loads listed in the manauls (comparing different listing) and work up in .2gr increments (watching out for pressure signs, etc).

Any recommendations on a uniform case trimmer ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 09:50
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If you set up full=length sizing dies the way the manual tells you to, they do work the brass a lot. My recommendation would be to totally full-length size your "range" brass once, then back off the die considerably after it has been fired in your chamber.

 With the help of friend and his tool, (I looked for link, but couldn't find it.) my "cheap" Hornady full-length sizing die bumps the shoulder on my 6.5 Creed brass .002". These Hornady brand brass have 8 firings without annealing, and still very consistent.

As far as case trimmers go, I use a Lyman and Forster. I picked the Lyman for free and Forster was in the bottom of box at a Garage sell for I think $10... The Forster seems to be a bit more "solid", but the Lyman is quicker to change cartridge lengths.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 09:54
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Eagle, there are a lot of different reasons to reload, everything from accuracy to cost and any combination in between. There are also a lot of reloaders with their own ideas about reloading and what it SHOULD be in their eyes. What works for one reloader may not work for another. A general rule to follow should be is, you reload for yourself and yourself only.

Longhunter had some good advice and good answers for your first questions.

As for brands of equipment for reloading, kind of think about it like this; they make Fords, and they make Chevys, both will get you from point A to point B, the only difference is how YOU feel about it.

Since your just starting out set your goals and follow the manuals. Try not to get to annal about things, but try to be consistent.

When I started reloading, it was for the .357Magnum and I wanted the most powerful and accurate loads I could get without turning my revolver into spare parts. After experimenting with different components and learning the basics of reloading, I picked the components I wanted to start with. I worked up slowly looking for signs of pressure, and I found the most accurate load with those components that was safe to use in my revolver. That was 40 years ago and I have been reloading ever since. I have learned a lot since then and I've had a lot of fun too.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 10:41
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I'm not rich and wanted to start reloading for my 700 rifle to get the most out of it for hunting without spending a ton on custom upgrades.

I do plan on having fun and enjoying it to the fullest.

Thanks for your input.

Happy New Year!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 11:03
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I do have another question about fire forming brass to my bolt guns chamber and working up loads:

Do I start working up loads after my brass has been fire formed ?

Thanks in advance for helping.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 20:02
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 I'm going to be nice........... Fire your reloading advisor.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 20:04
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I've posted this before somewhere in here but again.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/29/2014 at 20:12
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Don't let Louis's buddy load your shells either.
Might be trouble.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2014 at 04:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2014 at 14:07
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The cheapest and most accurate, and fastest and easiest to use, would be the caliber specific case trimmers from Lee, the ones that allow you to chuck the case in a drill, and they have a guide rod that goes inside the case and serve as a stop for the cutter. 

In one set you get a caliber specific case gauge and shell holder and in the other kit you get the lock stud and case cutter. After you buy the lock stud and cutter, all you need is the gauge and shellholder for each caliber. I have one set for each caliber and the consistency, ease of use, and speed, are amazing.  I gave my almost new Redding trimmer to a friend. 

Don't forget to get a RCBS chamfer and deburring tool

After you fire the cases in your rifle, adjust the sizing die up, screw out 1/8 or even 1/4 or a turn, size two or three cases and check to see if the cases chamber. If they do, you are good to go. The less you form and size cases, the longer they last and more accurate they shoot. Brush and lubricate the inside and outside of the necks, brass will stretch less that way. Don't forget to clean and remove all lube before loading primer, powder, bullet.  

I have Remington 6 mm cases that i have reloaded 18 times. Every year i hand load them once, check the load and the scope, and go hunting. Same 20 cases, same bullets, same powder, same rifle, same scope. 
Over the last 18 years point of impact has changed less than 1" at 100 yards. I did anneal the case necks a few years ago. Trimmed once. Full re-sizing two or three times, the rest neck sized as described above.  Your information in the original posting is extreme, unlikely. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2014 at 14:31
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I wrap #0000 steel wool around a barrel brush of the same caliber and clean the inside of the case necks that way. 
Using this system, I don't have to expose the inside of the case necks to lube, thus eliminating powder sticking to the lube when charging the case.    
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/30/2014 at 15:06
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I use Lapua and Norma brass whenever I have a choice.  That shortened my prep time considerably.
 
I neck size whenever possible.  That lets me use the cases many more times than with full length sizing.

I seldom load anything super hot, so that probably helps.  I found that when I have a good barrel, accuracy is largely due to the bullet choice.  Once I find a bullet that barrel likes, many different powders work well with the best accuracy usually found when loaded 1 - 1.5 grains below max.

ILya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/31/2014 at 19:09
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Thanks for the feedback and Happy New Year
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 10:36
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

I use Lapua and Norma brass whenever I have a choice.  That shortened my prep time considerably.
 
I neck size whenever possible.  That lets me use the cases many more times than with full length sizing.

I seldom load anything super hot, so that probably helps.  I found that when I have a good barrel, accuracy is largely due to the bullet choice.  Once I find a bullet that barrel likes, many different powders work well with the best accuracy usually found when loaded 1 - 1.5 grains below max.

ILya


I'm with you ILya as I use Lapua and Norma brass in my 300 WM (Lapua), 30/06 (Lapua) and 280 Ackley (Norma 280 brass). Ditto on the neck sizing which I've never had a problem chambering so long as I'm keeping the brass with one rifle only. Along that line, using other people's brass, range brass, once fired stuff from retailers etc is bad JuJu for me. Even though you can run them through a FL die, there can be differences from chamber to chamber that the FL die won't correct, usually at the base of fired brass. You will (can) see hard chambering at that point so I don't bother dicking around with that route.

Some extra tips from me would be to trim all your brass to the exact same length. This helps a lot with neck tension which leads to consistent accuracy. Doesn't matter how long they are, only that all are the same length. I usually take mine back 5 thousandths.

Another trick I picked up (not sure if any one of these nuggets of advise will help but together they will help not hurt your handloads) is to leave the de-priming pin/stem loose in the resizing die whether you're using the FL or Neck die. The thought here is that necks can get pulled from one side to the other when the brass is run over the sizing ball as it exits the die. That leaves the neck cocked and will not help get the bullet straight as it heading for the rifling. What I do is to just install the de-capping rod as I would normally and not use the locking ring as this allows the de-capping rod to have some play (sort of self centering) as its run through the die. There are also "floating" type de-capping rods available from Redding too with carbide buttons.

Lastly, so long as your magazine length allows, I seat all my bullets to just slightly kiss the rifling. Guys like to experiment with seating depths to find the best accuracy, but I've always gotten the best from the kiss. In all honesty, once you don't see rifling marks on your bullets, you're really not 100% sure of exactly how much jump to lands you have anyway. All kinds of tools out there to try to establish an exact seating jump, but I've see bullets from the same manufacturer undergo slight changes and ogive measurements change. I've seen this with Nosler BT as they've "toughened" them up by using thicker jackets which changes the ogive distance
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 10:38
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Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

I wrap #0000 steel wool around a barrel brush of the same caliber and clean the inside of the case necks that way. 
Using this system, I don't have to expose the inside of the case necks to lube, thus eliminating powder sticking to the lube when charging the case.    


I do the same using a cordless drill to speed things up.

HNY

Roy
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 13:02
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Originally posted by Steelbenz Steelbenz wrote:

 I'm going to be nice........... Fire your reloading advisor.


Wish your pic would have included the next line. "Failure is................"

It would be helpful to share what qualifies as failure. For me it is a split neck or deformed neck or a primer pocket that is too loose. There are others but they escape me right now.

While on the subject and to offer more info for Eagle, how many of you go beyond cleaning the primer pocket and drill out the port? Either just for cleaning sake or actually drill oversize. I've been told drilling slightly oversize helps with consistency when shooting competition but, must admit I'm alittle skeptical. I mean if there was carbon buildup or obstruction sure, your not going to get a clean exchange. But with todays primers you should get a very consistent ignition if the ports are clean. Right?? 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 13:23
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I have a tumbler and stainless media. I deprimed (no resizing) and tumbled.

My question is should I tumble after resizing, trim, debur (neck & flash hole), etc or will the banging around deform the necks ?

So I guess using once fired LC brass would be ok (FL resizing) for an AR, but I should buy new brass for my bolt ?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 13:55
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I would tumble prior to resizing to make sure the brass is clean before running dirty brass in your die. 
I would then deprime then too. You need to be mindful not to get media stuck in the flash hole if your tumbling after deprime. This may not be an issue for you, since your using steel media, but it can be an issue when using other types  

FL sizing once fired brass for AR is OK. I'd resize a few and throw them in the chamber to make sure they work right before doing the whole show only to find out you didn't run the die down far enough.
 
I personally like to crimp rounds dedicated for an AR. I know some here will argue it's not needed, but I do. Wink 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 14:29
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

Originally posted by cheaptrick cheaptrick wrote:

I wrap #0000 steel wool around a barrel brush of the same caliber and clean the inside of the case necks that way. 
Using this system, I don't have to expose the inside of the case necks to lube, thus eliminating powder sticking to the lube when charging the case.    



I do the same using a cordless drill to speed things up.

HNY

Roy

The cordless drill is a great asset!! Helps get a lot done in much less time. Here are a couple gadgets I made to speed thing along.

For annealing I took a short 1" aluminum drop and turned one end down to a 3/8 shaft and drilled about 1" deep the other end to fit whatever case I wanted to turn. It doesn't have to be a snug fit just open enough to drop in and go.


For trimming you need some specific tools but, if you have access this little trimmer is unbeatable.

Took a 1" stainless drop and drilled (then trued with a 3/8 reamer) one end to receive a 3/8 endmill and drilled and tapped for a set screw to hold the endmill. Then drilled a 1/2" hole in the side of the stock about 1/2" from the other end for shavings to exit. Drilled a pilot hole for the chamber reamer and turned the chamber reamer in about 3/8". This is a case specific tool but as long as you have some 1" stock and access to the caliber chamber reamer you need you are GTG. You could do most of the work in your shop and then have a gunsmith chamber it. Probably for their base labor charge. Anyway, If you have a case already the finish length you want hold it in the chambered end and slide the endmill in until it touches the case neck. Lock it down with the set screw and run a couple cases to check for length. Some minor adjustment mat be necessary but once you get it set it is the most consistent and fastest trimmer you will use.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 14:30
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As I'm testing the loads I work up, I hang a different target for each load but fire my reloads in random order. IOW, worked up load #7 still fires at target #7 but might be the first round shot. Then I may shoot load #3 at target #3 and so on. This will keep barrel temp, cleanliness, weather conditions and so forth from giving you false information. Other people use the "ladder method." You can read about the differences here:

http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/ocw-vs-ladder/4529811360
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 15:08
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This is a great and helpful thread since I do not have a mentor :)

Tejas,

Link doesn't work.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/01/2015 at 15:23
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Check in when you have a question. The Hive here will get you squared away. 
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