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Reloading help

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by FreshAir, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. FreshAir

    FreshAir Washington Member

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    I know many have walked this path before me so i figured this woud be a great place to ask …….

    I am wanting to get into reloading to try and improve accuracy and be able to shoot more(.223/30-06). I have read as much as I can understand on the web but still have a few questions relating to equipment and getting started. I want to buy a kit that gives me a good value but will not severely limit me in the future.

    With zero experience and no one to hold my hand through the process should I get started with a single stage or step up to a turret/progressive press?

    Any classes I can take or are there any members who like beer and want to take a new re-loader under their wing?:bluelaugh:

    Thanks for the help:thumbup:
     
  2. RockKrawler

    RockKrawler Gresham Member

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    Depending on where in Washington you are,look into the class that JohnH holds for new handloaders.
    He has a forum on here,look up the date of the next class and see if it fits your schedule.
    Everything i have heard from folks that have taken it,a good investment.
    Actually had someone over tonight that had taken the class recently ( Gunny) and heard nothing but good.
    RK
     
  3. Thule

    Thule Monroe, WA Member

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    If you're just starting out and want to reload rifle rounds for accuracy then just stick with a single stage press. Get the fundamentals down and go from there. I have a progressive press as well as single stages and I still use a single stage press for rifle loads.

    Do you shoot other calibers besides rifle? If you shoot shotgun or pistol you might want to consider starting with one of those first. Shotgun < Pistol < Rifle. You can start with rifle but if you'd benefit from loading shotgun or pistol the learning curve isn't quite so steep.
     
  4. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    What part of washington do you call home? If you are anywhere near Vancouver/PDX, I would also recommend JohnH as a great resource. Find his classes, which are in Milwaukie, under the supporting vendors section of the forum. His is called something like Good Roots Brass and Reloading Supplies. The time and money ($45) is well worth it.

    I took his class, and it gave me the confidence to actually use the equipment that I had been amassing. I am still fairly new to the whole reloading scene, but if you are in the neigborhood, give me a holler and I would be happy to share whatever knowledge that I have with you. Heck, we could even drink that beer you were talking about! :thumbup:
     
  5. FreshAir

    FreshAir Washington Member

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    Thanks for the info guys! That class sounds like it would be perfect for me to get started. I might hold off on getting equipment till after i attend to make sure i get what i really want/need.



    Spray-N-pray-

    I am located in vancouver and i might just take you up on that offer.... thanks. :thumbup:
     
  6. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

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    I started out with the Lee anniversary kit but upgraded my press to the RCBS Rock Chucker after finding out that .308 Winchester rounds require quite a bit of torque for resizing. The best advice that I can give you beyond taking the class is to get a rock solid bench to mount your press to. If you can find one of those old steel desks from the 70's you will have a much easier time resizing. If you use a wood bench I would mount a steel plate to the bench between the press and wood for more stability.
     
  7. smurf hunter

    smurf hunter Auburn, WA Active Member

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    I'm a newbie myself and just got the anniversary kit. My wood workbench was a bit low (I'm tall) for me to see what was going on, so I mounted the press to a cut section of 4x4 (fence post) and C-clamped that to my bench.

    That raised it a few inches higher, and added a lot of rigidity. It has the side benefit of being easily removed if I need to space for some other use.

    I'm loading 38spl and 357mag right now.
     
  8. alfack

    alfack Marysville Member

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    I think it seems more daunting than it is, when you are first starting. The trickiest part is setting your dies to the proper height. If you can read a scale and a caliper, you can reload easily.

    I started on a Dillon 550, then bought a single stage press for some rifle reloading. Between the manual that came with the 550 and Hornadys' book of reloading, I was able to figure it out.

    At first, it is confusing on what all you will need. It becomes readily apparent when you actually give it a shot, though.

    I think all you need is a good book. I've heard "The ABC's of Reloading" is good, but have never seen a copy.

    Good luck.
     
  9. giddyupgo55

    giddyupgo55 Vernonia Active Member

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    A couple of other sites you might look at, Reloadbench and Reloadersnest. You can pick up a lot of good info from those guys along with what you receive here.
     
  10. FreshAir

    FreshAir Washington Member

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    Thanks again for all the info guys:thumbup:....

    A little update: I ended up getting a "New - out of box" anniversary kit from a guy in sandy $ 40.00. It did not come with a scale so i had to get one of those from Cabelas. The deal was just too good to pass up:D
    I also picked up...
    Lyman Reloading manual
    Lee Zip trim
    RCBS case lube pad
    Lee case lube
    RCBS FL die set for .30-06
    WLR primers
    IMR 4350 powder
    Nosler 180 gr Ballistic tips
    total investment so far is below $170

    I have spent a ton of time reading every piece of information i can get my hands on. I set up my dies and made some dummy rounds to check my measurments and make sure everything worked in my rifle. I felt comfortable and last night i put together my first 20 rounds(50 gr, 50.5 gr, 51 gr and 51.5 gr).

    My next question is if anyone has data for this combo or can run some quick load data for me so I know what max load parameters would be for the components I selected? The Lyman manual does not show this exact bullet and Noslers site does not show IMR4350.

    Federal brass trimmed to 2.484"
    WLR primers
    Nosler 180 grain Ballistic tip
    IMR 4350
    3.344" OAL (o.o29 jump)


    I cant wait to get to the range.... :D
     
  11. smurf hunter

    smurf hunter Auburn, WA Active Member

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    As a newbie loading pistol rounds, I was in a similar boat with my Lyman manual. I was using a new powder that wasn't listed.

    Luckily Cartridge Loads - Hodgdon Reloading Data Center - data.hodgdon.com is available.

    It happens to have a recipe for IMR4350 using a 180gr:


    180 GR. SIE SPBT IMR IMR 4350 .308" 3.300" 53.0 2586 48,300 PSI 56.5C 2752 57,200 PSI

    With regards to specific bullets, as long as you match up the weight and basic style (FMJ, lead nose, etc.) I can't imagine any safety issue if you substitute bullet models and makes.

    According to hodgdon you should be between 53and 56.5, but MAYBE your projectile is different from the recipe I pasted. I would defer to a 30-06 expert if that round is too light.

    A light load can serious problems as well. Be safe.
     
  12. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Freshair-
    my two cents: get rid of the lube pad and go with Hornady One-shot. You should also peruse reloadersnest as well as any of the bullet or powder manufacturer's websites, they typically have good starting data. You should also get yourself a set of calipers and one of any number of devices for measuring both COL and your rifle's particular chamber length.

    Not to overwhelm you with info, but getting the proper seating depth in a rifle cartridge is pretty key to accuracy. Additionally, it typically gives you more powder options. What I mean is, in the case of most of the rifles I reload for the limiting factor of COL is the magazine length. With the bullet set out further, you can put more powder in the cartridge. More powder = speed, and speed kills.

    All that being said, reloading is about 80&#37; science and about 20% alchemy. Apply the scientific method to your reloading and you'll be well on your way.
     
  13. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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  14. FreshAir

    FreshAir Washington Member

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    Smurf Hunter-
    I found that load on Hogdon but since it was not the exact bullet i figured i would ask. ***I got an email back from Nosler this afternoon and they sent me more complete load data. They show max load being 55 grains with a COL of 3.340". Bullet must be longer..... i guess:confused:

    2506-
    I will check out the one shot and Reloadersnest.... thanks for the lead.

    I have a background in metal work so I had my calipers in hand every step of the way. I rigged up a dummy round to get my rifles actual COL. I came up with 3.373. So as I sit, I have 0.029 to the lands, how close should I get?

    I am trying to get my way to an Elk load for this season... what bullet do you like in the 165-ish range?

    Chrono and a tumbler are on the top of my "get" list

    And again.... Thanks to everyone for the help/info :thumbup:
     
  15. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    One Shot is outstanding, IMHO. A tumbler is nice, but not necessary. You can clean the shells nearly as well with the Lee lock stud that fits in the jaws of a hand-held drill, and some steel wool. Cleans mine up nicely.

    As far as elk, you're probably going to want to go a bit higher than 165gr. Once again, IMHO. 180gr is probably the lowest I would personally be comfortable going after elk with. The 180gr Win/Nosler Ballistic Silvertips and some H4350 make my 30.06 sing! And the recoil isn't that hard on the shoulder.

    Having only been reloading for a year, I'm no expert. But I will say this, one of the best feelings in the world is shooting your OWN handloads for the first time, ones that YOU put together! The next best feeling? Finding that combination of components that REALLY makes your rifle or pistol sing! It's most satisfying!

    Good luck and have fun. Stay safe!
     
  16. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    I shoot 165gr Nosler Accubonds out of my 300 winmag and 165gr Scirrocos out of my ultra. For a 30-06, 180gr is probably not going to kill you but be aware that if you can push a 165gr bullet to 2900 fps, sighted in at 250 yards, it will drop about 17 inches at 400 yards and arrive with 1735 pounds of energy. In order to get the 180gr bullet to exceed that energy at that range, you'll have to push it to 2800 fps.

    That being said, 180gr at 2800 fps serious skookum. Like iusmc2002 says 165 may not be the ticket, a lot depends on what and where you plan to hunt. Elk are tough critters, so you may want to consider looking at even heavier bullets. I shot my first elk with a 308 but now only use a 338 with 250gr SGKs. It gives me peace of mind knowing I can anchor an animal from any angle.

    Seating depth is one of those things that depends on the rifle, the bullet/case/powder/primer combination. 0.025 is a pretty good place to start and if I remember correctly gives the least amount of pressure. Go get a few different bullet weights and see what feels good, shoots well, etc.

    Good luck.
     
  17. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    A few quick notes: I suggest strongly (since you want to load for accuracy) buy yourself a good set of neck sizing dies. The RCBS off the shelf neck dies are good (don't buy the single die, it's usually $2 more to get a second seater which you can setup for a different bullet) however, if you want to be really fancy, CH4D makes a neck sizer with interchangable bushings so you don't have to run an expander ball through the brass afterwards.

    Also, if you are using range pickup brass in a bolt action, you will want to Small base size (yes, another die) otherwise you will probably find the bolt handle a bit hard to close. Frankly, I think you will find the lee press is a bit light for what you are trying to do, I snapped one of those in half resizing .308 brass some years ago. Save your money and keep your eyes open for a used RCBS rock chucker, or partner press (The partner has a bigger opening, but not as much compound leverage) you can find these used for $20-50.

    For lube, if you go to the health food store and buy liquid annhydrous lanolin and mix it 1:10 with annhydrous alcohol (sold at paint stores) and then dump it in a spray bottle, you have dillon spray on lube. You can make a gallon for about $20.

    You will probably also want to add a case tumbler... Sometimes harbor freight sells them cheap and they work. You can also find a company that sells blasting media, and buy corncob media by the sack for 1/10th of what anyone else sells it for, usually you want 20/40 or 14/20 grit. Dillon case polish is the best I've found.

    I think you have the best powder for loading up .30-06 with heavy bullets. Since you were mentioning accuracy, Varget is a great powder, and is very temp-stable so you don't have huge variations over temperature. Also, stick-type IMR powders will perform substantially better in the cold and wet of the PNW vs ball powders.
     
  18. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    Pick up some Sinclair sizing wax; I think they bought out the Imperial sizing die wax name. Best stuff I use my fingers to apply to each case(that Pad would be nice, just a little goes a long way)
    Get a quality Digital.
    My Rifle liked 54.5gr of H4350 using a Hornady 165. Best groups it has ever shot. Work up.
    Get the Hornady Reloading Annual for around $8.
    Your set, Good Luck
    Get a good dial caliper; check every different bullet used for OAL in your rifle's chamber.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  19. FreshAir

    FreshAir Washington Member

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    I thought i would post a little follow up and say thanks again for all the great info.
    i had a chance to shoot my first batch of reloads the other day with great results. the wining load for the .30-06 so far is 55.0 grains of IMR 4350 under the Nosler 180 gr BT.

    0803101340a.jpg

    I put together another batch with the OAL slightly longer to see if that changes things for the good or bad but have not fired any yet. So far the little lee press works awesome and i am VERY happy with everything. The only problem is i official have the sickness and my "want" list is growing by the day.:D
     
  20. alfack

    alfack Marysville Member

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    Good going! I like IMR 4350 for 30.06, too. It is the most accurate powder I have tried for this caliber.