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Tips, Tricks or Short Cuts for Reloading

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Charger, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. Charger

    Charger Oregun City Area Member

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    I did a search in this forum and could not find any thread for Tips, Tricks or Short Cuts.
    So I though I would start one.
    I wish I could start off with one but it has been many years since I have reloaded.
    I will be getting back into reloading and getting a Dillon 550b for Christmas.
    So If you have any tip on cleaning brass, saving money, reloading, dies, websites, power, primers, or equipment I would like to hear it.

    OK I guess I should clear up what I meant short cut = time savers
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    best tip I could give you is take no shortcuts when reloading.
     
  3. rick benjamin

    rick benjamin USA, Or, Damascus Secure the drama Silver Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    I agree with Mark, no shortcuts.

    I clear the workbench of everything except what is needed for that caliber.
    As single stage is my speed, I perform one task for all the brass, then move to the next.
    I set the charged cases in a wood block drilled for the case base.
    I use a bright desk lamp to look down at the powder levels in the cases.
    The amazing human eye catches small differences at a glance.
     
    Benchrest, Mikej, sterzenbach and 3 others like this.
  4. hoody

    hoody Tigard/Beaverton area Active Member

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    If you're just starting, you probably still have a stash of factory ammo. Save the packaging! I put my reloads into old factory ammo packaging with stickers indicating what's in them. I wish I had saved more packaging!

    Buy stickers by the 1000 at an office supply store. I can't believe how many stickers I go through.

    A squeeze puffer is cheaper than canned air.

    Don't store your dies where they might rust. Oil them when you put them away, clean them (remove oil) before use. Don't store them in the garage.

    A flat bottom Tupperware with a smaller lid that fits inside makes a great primer flip tray.

    I write load specs on strips of paper that goes in with loads (eg each box). At the range, I write notes about the results on the paper. I save these in a recipe box on my bench for reference.

    A small paint brush is ideal for cleaning up brass shavings.

    Double check that you have the retaining pin in your primer pickup tube before filling it. (face palm)
     
  5. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons Bonney Lake Active Member

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    You can make your own case lube with lanolin and alcohol. Use 95% isopropyl alcohol for best results.

    Use non ammonia car wax/polish to improve corn cob media results. Cheaper than store bought fir ammo brass polish.
     
  6. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have reloaded with a 550 for 25 years. I always only have one type of powder on by bench at a time.
    I know how to check my electronic scale the brass cup weighs 144.4 grains. Check it often. Lightly tap
    the powder measurer to settle the powder before weighing. When first setting up a charge weight
    10 or more charges of the weight you want before proceeding. I put a sticky note on the scale of my
    desired charge weight. I leave the primer empty box, bullet container with bullet weight on the container
    and powder on the bench to double double check while reloading. Have your manual open to the page
    showing your receipe. Then after loading 25 rounds check powder charge.
    Rifle case prep. I measure every case alow a bit for they will stretch when sizing. Through the ones
    too long in the need to trim pile. For best accuracy in a rifle use cases of the same manufacture and
    year. A RCBS precision Mic is vital for adjusting the sizer die to size the brass so it will fit a AR chamber.
    I reload rifle calibers for semi auto and I do not crimp any rifle loads. They are more acurate this way
    and the bullet cannot be pushed back into the case.
    RCBS Precision Mic 223 Remington
     
  7. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    I agree, take no shortcuts.

    I wish I could clear my reloading bench like rick does but I can't. Besides if I did my wife would think something is wrong with me and I'd likely be lost until I found everything again. However, after loading the primer feed on my Dillon 550B I load another primer tube and set it right under the machine. (Basically reloading batches of 200.) Since there are four different toolheads on my bench and even though I don't change powders very often, I CLEARLY mark, usually with the wife's label maker, which kind powder I have in each (powder hopper).

    Also NO distractions when actually reloading. No radio or TV and the door is closed. This is why I don't get a lot of reloading done on Saturdays or Sundays during football season. :laugh: Depriming is a horse of a different color though. It's pretty mindless and if I screw up then it's no big deal. The piece of brass gets tossed and I get back to business.
     
  8. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, I guess I am doing things pretty much correctly...one caliber at a time, brass, powder and primers segregated on shelving, toolheads marked on their stands (Dillon 550B), the bench cleared except for the tools needed. Two manuals open, scale at the ready, loads checked throughout the process. I also keep an index file of past loads and record all pertinent load data. Completed rounds into marked, dated boxes, into ammo cans and stored in the safe. Its a BIG safe. Country music on the radio, but door closed. No TV, pets, spouse. Maybe my Redneck heaven...
     
  9. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    There are some things done that don't really need to be done that will save time.

    Clean brass - a lot of effort is put into making brass shiny. Take a cloth to the range with Simple Green or some other mild cleaner that doesn't react with brass. Quickly clean and inspect your cases and the necks at the range between groups, and then reload as they are. Big time saver.

    Cleaning primer pockets - usually a waste of time. I've skipped this step on an extremely accurate 6BR with no change in accuracy.

    Weighing every charge - provided you have a decent powder throw, you know how to use it consistently, and you don't shoot over 300 yards, the minor variation in powder charge out of the throw won't impact accuracy. If you don't use wind flags, mild winds will have more impact on accuracy than the powder charge ever will.

    I like reloading, so I clean my brass, clean primer pockets and weigh every charge. But I know I could save time if I gave it up
     
  10. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    My hornady use a powder adjustment stem. I bought one for each caliber and I will buy others for different charges in the same caliber. A real rime saver for me.
     
  11. stavros4570

    stavros4570 eugene,or. Member

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    I Tumble and trim every second or third firing, depending on the loads fired. For me the brass cleaning is about the inside of the case. Haven't seen the need to clean primer pockets every time, every second firing is plenty. A clean and uncluttered bench is a must. Producing high quality ammo is about sameness. Start with sameness on your bench and in your proceedures.
     
  12. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    The only shortcut/time-saver I can suggest is load less. Instead of banging out 500 .45 Colts, make 100 instead. That'll save you some time!
     
  13. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Keep at least 2 manuals handy for references. A journal on your reloading values. Check every loaded round as you package, just in case a primer rolled, case cracked, or some other flaw surfaced. Good Luck, GOD's speed and Have a wonderful Holiday
     
  14. HotRod61

    HotRod61 Happy Valley Active Member

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    Ron has good advise. He is one of the top shooters in high power. Now if he would just let me know his load data.lol:bluelaugh:..HotRod


    QUOTE=ron;1020863]I have reloaded with a 550 for 25 years. I always only have one type of powder on by bench at a time.
    I know how to check my electronic scale the brass cup weighs 144.4 grains. Check it often. Lightly tap
    the powder measurer to settle the powder before weighing. When first setting up a charge weight
    10 or more charges of the weight you want before proceeding. I put a sticky note on the scale of my
    desired charge weight. I leave the primer empty box, bullet container with bullet weight on the container
    and powder on the bench to double double check while reloading. Have your manual open to the page
    showing your receipe. Then after loading 25 rounds check powder charge.
    Rifle case prep. I measure every case alow a bit for they will stretch when sizing. Through the ones
    too long in the need to trim pile. For best accuracy in a rifle use cases of the same manufacture and
    year. A RCBS precision Mic is vital for adjusting the sizer die to size the brass so it will fit a AR chamber.
    I reload rifle calibers for semi auto and I do not crimp any rifle loads. They are more acurate this way
    and the bullet cannot be pushed back into the case.
    RCBS Precision Mic 223 Remington[/QUOTE]
     
  15. oremike

    oremike Creswell, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The only tip I have is to tumble like sized cases together rather than each caliber separate, I find I can tumble 338, 30.06, 45 Auto and 45LC all at the same time and .357, 222, and 7 TCU together.
     
  16. hoody

    hoody Tigard/Beaverton area Active Member

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  17. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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  18. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I do this as well as a quick weighing. If you're using a small dose, 6-8 gr or less, it may be a waste of time. But if a round takes larger amounts of powder you may save yourself some trouble. The only round I ever messed up on that made it into a gun was a "practice" 30-06 that didn't get weighed. It wouldn't have been hard to notice it was missing 47 grains of powder.
     
  19. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    I only have one shortcut. I weigh each charge so rather than trickling out the whole thing, I use a set of Lee dippers, use one that is less than but closest to the charge I'm using then finish up with the trickler. Makes it go a little quicker when you're using a single stage and is the only reloading shortcut I really consider safe for that particular process.


    elsie
     
  20. HotRod61

    HotRod61 Happy Valley Active Member

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    Don't want hijack the thread. Yeah Ron I know you would. Just kidding around..HotRod

    Thank you HotRod I am willing to share my favorite loads with anyone. As other shooters alot better than me
    have shared there load data with me.[/QUOTE]