Reloading tips for the newbie
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Reloading tips for the newbie

This is a discussion on Reloading tips for the newbie within the Reloading forums, part of the HandGuns, Pistols and Revolvers, Long Rifles, Shotguns, SKS, AK, AR category; Forgive the title, as I have no such tips. Instead, I'm asking for tips and things to keep in mind for a new person wading ...

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Thread: Reloading tips for the newbie

  1. #1
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    Reloading tips for the newbie

    Forgive the title, as I have no such tips. Instead, I'm asking for tips and things to keep in mind for a new person wading into the waters of reloading.

    As a Father's Day gift, my family gave me a kit I'd been looking at for about 2 years now. The local Academy sells the Lee 50th Anniversary Reloading Kit for $150.
    For a single stage press, and all the items you get, the reviews are pretty good.
    I'm looking to start with the 300 Blackout cartridge. So far, I've invested in a 10th Ed. Hornady handbook, a 2-set of Hornady dies, a new pack of 50 brass, and sent off my "get 100 bullets free" form to Hornady for buying the dies.
    I'm having a bit of trouble finding resources for powder locally, and was curious how most folks get theirs. Can it be shipped? Does it cost a lot more to ship due to the nature of the product?
    To keep costs down, I'm not looking at tumblers/cleaners yet, nor looking into cutting my own cases. Maybe later. An automatic powder scale sounds like an awesome gadget, but they are pricey.
    I did grab a Hornady Conversion Kit for my Lee press to do quick changes of the dies, and have a case gauge arriving tomorrow. Won't matter if I can't source powder.
    And I've been told I must wait until Father's Day to actually use it, haha.

    I plan to eventually expand into .223, .270, and 9mm, but I have lots of those for now, and really want to beef up my .300 stock while learning a cool new skill.

    I've read the basics, like "keep your reloading area clean", and "only one powder on the bench at a time".
    Looking more for the "lessons learned" stuff you pick up from actually doing it.
    Any advice is welcome really.
    NewRiverGeorge and RedLion like this.
    "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H. L. Mencken

  2. #2
    The Good Cop


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    Always follow the reloading manuals.
    Never use charge information from an Internet forum.
    I have the same press, Lee dies, a Lee manual.

    Weigh each charge. I know there are automatic powder tricklers, but a good scale and weighing each charge will give consistent results.
    Pay close attention to avoid double charging a case. No radio playing, no distractions.

    Use the correct powder for each caliber. Tite Group, Bullseye, Univeral Clays, etc each has their own applications.

    You will not save any money by reloading, you will just shoot more.
    "There is nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." Winston Churchill
    "Leave the artillerymen alone, they are an obstinate lot." Napoleon
    Member: VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Society of the 5th Infantry Division, Sons of the American Revolution.

  3. #3
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    Keep a good log book when working up loads.

    How much of which powder(s)

    Brand of primer

    Bullet(s) and COL

    Case trim length

    Notes as you work up loads looking for signs of pressure and accuracy as you vary loads/components.

    Be methodical and consistent.

    Label rounds as you work up loads. Label each box of ammo with details of load, then each box with number of firings

    Check state laws regarding shipping powder, TX might be a friendly state. There is usually only one hazmat fee per order, so when you decide on powder(s) it's cheaper the more you buy.

    Places like midway you can order online

    https://www.midwayusa.com/smokeless-...ctedSort=False

    Might want to buy first pound or two of powder local, until you decide on a powder
    Last edited by Mad Trapper; 06-08-2020 at 10:45 PM.
    Denton, Kauboy and Wryter like this.

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  5. #4
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    My local Academy sells powder. Might have to ask.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rswink View Post
    My local Academy sells powder. Might have to ask.

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk
    Mine normally does too.
    Their current stock consists if two 1lb shotgun powders. Everything else is gone.
    Plenty of bullets, grabbed a 50ct of brass, I think they even have the small rifle primers I need, but not sure.
    Just no powder.

    Guy at the gun bar told me they have a line of 100+ people waiting at the door when they open on restock days. I can't stand panic hoarders. Plan ahead, people!
    "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H. L. Mencken

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rice paddy daddy View Post
    Always follow the reloading manuals.
    Never use charge information from an Internet forum.
    I have the same press, Lee dies, a Lee manual.

    Weigh each charge. I know there are automatic powder tricklers, but a good scale and weighing each charge will give consistent results.
    Pay close attention to avoid double charging a case. No radio playing, no distractions.

    Use the correct powder for each caliber. Tite Group, Bullseye, Univeral Clays, etc each has their own applications.

    You will not save any money by reloading, you will just shoot more.
    I'm glad you mentioned weighing every charge. That seems like the only way to be sure. A lot of manuals say to just run your powder measure a number of times until it's consistent, and you're good, but that seems like it would be risky. I know some folks recheck every so many rounds, but if the recheck shows wrong, you have to pull bullets on every round you made since last check. Bleh...

    Is there any time saved, or is it perhaps dangerous, to pre-measure and weigh each charge before you start dropping them in cases? Like 50 tiny cups you verify before you start pouring any in.
    Maybe thay doesn't save any time, but it would give me a visual triple-check.
    Would this be a bad idea, waste of time, or does anyone do this?
    bigwheel likes this.
    "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H. L. Mencken

  8. #7
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    I have no experience with the Lee equipment you received as a birthday gift. But I do know that RCBS and Dillon make quality powder drops with excellent repeatability providing you use the correct powders. Now, if I am making rounds that need to be very accurate, I weigh every charge. But if I’m cranking out hundreds of 223 or 9mm, I just use the powder drop. I always load “spherical “ powders as they meter much more accurately. And when using the powder drops, I never load to max capacity. Load a little light to give yourself a safety factor in case a powder charge might be a little heavy. But typically my powder drops are all within + or - 0.1 grain weight.

    If you are loading 300 blackout for use in an AR style weapon, buy and use “military” primers. Because of the design of the bolt/firing pin in an AR, it is possible for the gun to fire off a whole magazine (like a machine gun) when using soft primers. Military primers are much harder and designed to prevent thus from happening.
    Last edited by Chiefster23; 06-09-2020 at 03:36 AM.

  9. #8
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    CAUTION! Reloading can become a sickness. There is always a new piece of equipment, gadget, or gizmo that looks cool and can increase your accuracy and loading rate. You are always searching for the “perfect bullet” or the “perfect powder”. You will be testing for the most accurate bullet load for each gun. Soon you will be investing in a chrono to measure bullet speed. I started with a simple single stage press on a corner of a bench. I now have 3 presses, one entire 8 foot long bench, dedicated metal storage cabinets for dies and misc. stuff, and numerous 40mm ammo cans dedicated to powder storage. BE WARNED!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kauboy View Post
    I'm glad you mentioned weighing every charge. That seems like the only way to be sure. A lot of manuals say to just run your powder measure a number of times until it's consistent, and you're good, but that seems like it would be risky. I know some folks recheck every so many rounds, but if the recheck shows wrong, you have to pull bullets on every round you made since last check. Bleh...

    Is there any time saved, or is it perhaps dangerous, to pre-measure and weigh each charge before you start dropping them in cases? Like 50 tiny cups you verify before you start pouring any in.
    Maybe thay doesn't save any time, but it would give me a visual triple-check.
    Would this be a bad idea, waste of time, or does anyone do this?
    I've loaded 10s of thousands of rounds. You only need to weigh the charges until you get a consistent drop that is in the range you want to be. The Lee powder measurers are very good as are the Hornady. I have personal experience with both and trust both.

    You should so a visual check of each case to make sure the powder is in there before you put the bullet on though. That is always recommended. Or you can go the easy way and get a RCBS lockout die. It measures every charge for you and locks up the press if you have the wrong charge in the cartridge. It is well worth the piece of mind.

    Also, don't load to the max charge. There is no point in it. Just find a good shooting load in the middle of the recommended range and go with it. A little more piece of mind that a slight overcharge won't cause issues.

    ^^general reloading advise for plinking ammo. Precision rifle is a whole different matter.

  11. #10
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    Lube....and lube again.

    Nothing worse than having a case stuck in your die.
    AquaHull likes this.
    Romans 10:9 KJV
    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 

 
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