New Reloader Stupid Questions

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by mikemenzie, Oct 8, 2018.

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  1. mikemenzie

    mikemenzie
    Ocean Shores, WA
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    Hey all. I did scour the list to see if some of my questions were already answered, and of course some are. But sometimes even the answers are more confusing than the questions. I hope ya'll will bear with me as i ask some things here.

    1. Full length vs neck sizing (vs bump sizing) for bottleneck brass.
    I've heard neck sizing (or bumping shoulder back about 2 thou) is most accurate and best for re-using in same firearm.
    I've also heard that, counterintuitively, this will lower the life if brass vs proper use if full length resizing every time.

    2. Pistol resizing.
    I haven't seen differences for full length as compared to anything else - this makes sense, being that they're straight walled (usually). But i have heard about how some brands or types within a brand of reaizing dies "go down further" and that makes them better - and i've also heard opposite, that ones that don't go down as far are better.

    3. New brass.
    Heard that it's best to load standard or low pressure, fire form, then reload as appropriate, and to not treat the first firing as proper ammo until it's been fireformed first.
    Also heard it's best to full length resize all new brass, and then treat it like good ammo, and just fire and reload as appropriate from there.
    I mention this because i do a decent amount of benchrest and offhand "mini competition" with friends and family. It's just for fun, but still important to do the best i can. So i don't want to load and take out my new brass ammo expecting it to be as accurate - if it's really not going to be as accurate until first fire forming.
    (And of course, after fire forming, see number 1 up there, and should i neck size, bump size, or full length resize...)

    4. Reloading non brass cases, or non standard brass cases. LOTS of yes, no, maybe, don't ever, do sometimes, confusing and contradicting info out there. Consider this a free for all and just give opinions as you feel like.

    5. Lots of back and forth about seat/crimp stations in Progressive presses vs separate seat and crimp stations - and the debate seems to differ depending on straight-walled or bottleneck brass.
    My inclination, since i haven't been able to decide, is to get die sets that include seat/crimp, remove or back out the crimp portion of the die, then follow it with a Lee factory crimp die just to be covering all my bases, avoid over crimp, and maintain safety - and to open a station for a powder cop because as a new reloader i will be using a powder cop just to add to the safety factor.

    Ok folks. I'm sure i had another 50 or so questions, but my brain is going daffy and i'll leave off for now and i'm sure more will come up. Thanks in advance for your great advice, and i hope some of this helps any other new reloaders, even if they're not as derpy as me.

    -Mike

    Oh- in case it matters, I am getting a Hornady Lock and Load AP progressive press. I already have tumbler and media for my lapidary hobby, along with scales, etc. Ooooh....running bullets through my faceting setup. Bet i could get some nifty looking projectiles that ruin all ballistic properties...hrmmm...art for art's sake?
     
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  2. Reno911

    Reno911
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    See red.
     
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  3. tac

    tac
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    'Það eru engar heimskur spurningar, aðeins heimskur svör.'

    Eddas.

    (There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  4. osprey

    osprey
    Wetstern WA
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    I think Reno did a pretty good job answering most of your queries. However I will weigh in on the full length vs neck sizing debate. For big game hunting applications I full length size period. I have played with neck sizing and just barely bumping shoulder back and in my opinion it did not do enough for accuracy to worry about for the distances I am willing to shoot a big game animal. Full length sizing will give you peace of mind that every cartridge will chamber. I believe full length sizing shortens case life vs neck sizing but again on my big game rifles I will not shoot them enough to worry about this issue. Now for higher volume paper punching or vermin thinning at longer distances with smaller calibers, absolutely try neck sizing or setting fl die to just barely bump shoulder back. Brass life should be extended and you can eek out extra precision. I still do debur flash hole on all rifle cartridges but it is only a one time proposition when the cases are new. Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  5. mikemenzie

    mikemenzie
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    Bara döda fiskar följer strömmen.
    Only dead fish follow the stream.

    Another good one :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
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  6. mikemenzie

    mikemenzie
    Ocean Shores, WA
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    @osprey @Reno911
    Thanks for the input.
    Re: fl vs neck/bump
    This seems to be in line with most of the info out there. But - what's common isn't always correct. I wanted to avoid the temptation of falling into common things that may not be correct.
    Now osprey, the way you talk about it makes perfect sense rationally. But then i made the mistake of seeking dissenting info and came across a few vids by competition shooters who claimed the exact opposite: neck sizing and even bump sizing allows the brass body to stretch thinner and thinner with each firing, lowering life of brass vs full length sizing every time - this *could* make sense, to a beginner like myself. And they also claimed full length sizing improved accuracy - this didn't make sense.

    I do have a Keltec Sub2k with poor chamber support. Does this mean i ought to at least use the fullest length sizing die for my 9mm? If yes - which dies offer best results for that? I found a lot of mention of "i prefer dies that go further down" but no mention of which dies are best for it.
     
  7. Reno911

    Reno911
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    I’ve loaded 9mm that I have shot through a S2K, not once did I think, “Are my dies sizing far enough.”

    I’ve loaded tens of thousands of 9mm.

    I’d say just about any die for 9mm is good to go.

    Others may interject their die brand of choice.
     
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  8. jordanka16

    jordanka16
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    Full length sizing properly will not shorten the life of brass, it will ensure your ammo always chambers properly, and it will be more consistent.

    For bolt actions the shoulder should be set back about .002, for a semi auto .004 is good. You measure this with a comparator on the shoulder (Hornady makes a good one) you cant measure on the neck. If you only neck size you will have to full length or body size eventually anyway.

    Oh, and if your neck tension is good you shouldn't need to crimp rifle rounds, even semi auto. Lever actions you do need to crimp.
     
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  9. tac

    tac
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    'A blautur strákur flýgur hraðar á miðnætti.' :)
     
  10. ma96782

    ma96782
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    osprey made a lot of good points about F/L re-sizing for rifle (bottle necked) cartridges.

    Then add.....when loading for a semi-auto rifle. Yup.....you'll probably want to F/L re-size. LOL, then the next question will probably be about, regular resize dies or small base dies?

    IMHO, since you're just starting out........

    If you have a reloading mentor......follow his/her lead.

    If not.......you got a reloading manual? Right......some, have a step by step procedure to follow.

    When you're ready to go......

    Go ahead and reload some rounds. Try to make rounds that will be "close enough" to a factory round. All while keeping in mind, using data published in your manual and the warnings.....start low and work your way up. Watch for signs of overpressure. Don't worry too much about the tiny bit of accuracy (or theoretical accuracy) that you may or may not see at this point. FIRST, get some experience. Then, come back and we can talk again.

    Aloha, Mark
     
  11. tac

    tac
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    I've been shooting my Swiss rifles since 1989, latterly, that is to say, for the last ten years or so, with PPU/Grafs brass (it's ALL made by PPU - Wolf as well]. The current wisdom is to FLS every case, and I've followed that, despite having both K31s [tight chamber] and a K11 [not so tight chamber]. With the usually maligned Lee dies. No crimp on 168 or 175gr bullets either. I've been getting around twelve reloads out of every case so far before spotting the eventual cracked neck - and I don't anneal the necks. My loads are not squeakpips, either, as near as possible duplicating GP11, thanks to the advice from Piérre and Latigo over the years.

    Same deal with .308Win - twenty reloads so far with Lapua brass. Mind you, I have the same 100 cases I bought in 2002. I know each of them by name now...
     
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  12. osprey

    osprey
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    Benchrest is not my game and there may be validity to your findings but don’t get caught up in the weeds with these issues. Buy a loading manual or two and thoroughly read the front section on how to reload. Buy a good single stage press and a set of fl sizing dies for the caliber you shoot the most and give it go. As your experience grows you can tackle some of these techniques and theories. More importantly for a beginner are things like starting with the low end of published data, paying close attention to detail to prevent things like double charges, do not make component substitutions from published data until you have more experience. A mentor can certainly shorten the learning curve but if you are a student of the process, the knowledge can be gained on your own. Again, don’t get too bogged down with everything you read. Start by learning the basic techniques and branch out as you see fit. Enjoy!
     
  13. jordanka16

    jordanka16
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    I just use Lee dies for 9mm, I use all kinds of range brass fired from who knows what, and have never had any issues.
     
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  14. Mikej

    Mikej
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    I would say it does matter. In my opinion being relatively new to the hab..HOBBY myself, a single stage is the best way to learn. I guess unless your already a tool and die maker, mathematician, transmission mechanic, watch/clock repairman etc. There's "Feel" to a lot of the process that's not as apparent on a progressive setup. And, all the old timey custom ammo makers say you'll always need a single stage. I'll probably never have a progressive because I like the process of the slower pace of rolling my own with single stage.
     
  15. tac

    tac
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    Mike is right.

    In 1978 I bought my RCBS Rockchucker.

    It's still my go-to press for rifle. I prolly shoot around 80 - 100 rounds of all kinds of rifle stuff every month.

    In 1980 I bought my Lee turret press for the relatively large amount of pistol stuff I was shooting. I also invested in their nifty squeezy hand primer putter-inner. I can now pop walnuts with the thumb and forefinger of either hand.

    Now I only have one cartridge-firing handgun it's my go-to pistol press again.

    With a process as important as putting together a small pipe-bomb that you set off either next to your face or in your quaking hands, the motto for any noob should be KISS.
     
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  16. bbbass

    bbbass
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    I have both progressive (Dillon 550B) and single (RCBS Reloader Special) stage... I load all my pistol ammo on the progressive, and all my rifle ammo on the single stage. Since my .223 reloads are for bench rest, I don't worry about mass production for that caliber that would require a progressive.
     
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  17. Mygrainman

    Mygrainman
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    Fixed it!
     
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  18. Dyjital

    Dyjital
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    Hmmm.

    Lots of questions there.

    How many hours do you want to read a response?

    Properly full length sized brass only bumps the shoulder .001-.002”, same neck tension as neck sized only but you get perfect feeding. I bump my shoulder back .005” instead of neck sizing. Rifle doesn’t know the difference but my bolt handle sure does.

    This also varies depending on if you use a semi auto, pump or bolt rifle. Only a bolt should you attempt a neck size or shoulder bump.
     
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  19. JRuby

    JRuby
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    I have been reloading since 1982 and I still like reading threads like this as I am still learning
    I recommend one tool and that is a good kinetic bullet puller. Think of it as a eraser. I know of no one that doesn't make a mistake once in a while.
    Read the manual get your tools and components and start reloading. You will be surprised how easy it is to get started. You will run into problems and you will find what works for you and what doesn't
    It is a hobby treat it like one.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  20. JRuby

    JRuby
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    My first press was a partner press bu rcbs
    I have since acquired better tools but I still use that press for priming brass cases. I think that little press would do most of my reloading if it was my only press. You dont need to have the best equipment to start.
     

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