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assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

 
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:09 AM
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assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Hello,
I am just getting into reloading and have a few questions that a bit of input would be greatly appreciated. I picked up a remington 700P 338 lapua MLR a few months ago and have been picking up reloading equipment ever since. I picked up a Hornady LNL single stage press just so I can take it nice and slow and learn each step very well. I have no experience in reloading so I have been searching through boards and reading any books that I can but there are still a few questions that I cant answer.
So far for the Lapua I have picked up a set of FL dies and a neck sizing die. I picked up 250 of the SMK 300 gr. bullets, 100 new Lapua brass and 1000ct large magnum primers, the federal 215 primers and a couple pounds of H1000 powder.
Here are my questions...and if anyone has suggestions for better components on my choices then please pipe in, I welcome any suggestions.
Is there any prep work that needs to be done to brand new brass?
What is the difference between the FL dies and Neck dies? I know what they both are but I've heard a lot of different input on when to use them. I have heard that if you are only using one rifle then only the neck sizing is necessary and i've heard that you should FL size the first few times but then change to the neck sizing after that. Of the information out there I am just not sure which to use when and do not want to start out screwing up brass I just picked up. I don't have monetary problems so if there is anything that I am overlooking that would be an extreme benefit for me to pick up or necessary for good reloading then let me know what you think would help.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:22 AM
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Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Jeremiahgus,

Welcome to the reloading fraternity. It sounds like you've gotten started on the right foot here and are already interested in qulaity components, and that's good. You didn't mention a manual, but that's one of the first items that I'd recommend for a new reloader. Actually, I'd recommend that you get several. Sites like this can be a great source of helpful information, an sometimes good loads can be passed on, but having lab tested data that was developed with proper pressure testing equipment is definately the place to start. Besides, most have pretty good descriptive sections on the "how to" of the reloading process, and some invaluable information on reading pressures, working up a load, etc..

The H1000 is a good choice for the 338 LM, and one that I used to use a great deal in accuracy testing with this cartridge. Vihtavuori's N570, N170 and N560 are all good choices, too. I'd say you chose well with the Fed 215s, they're my first choice for this round, hands down.

New brass; yes it needs to be prepped, and we recommend that you at least run it through a neck die just to ensure roundness and uniform neck tension. F/L sizing is a perfectly good option here too, just remember even new brass needs to be lubricated for a trip through a sizing die. Contentious topic in some parts, but I recommend F/L sizing every time. The N/S approach doesn't really yield any better accuracy in about 99% of the cases, and it opens the door to a host of other problems. I can assure you, you'll never see these problems until the worst possible monment, when they pop up out of nowhere. To F/L size everytime is just a cheap form of "Murphy Insurance" to make sure he doesn't pay you a visit. I would also recommend (especially in light of my suggestion for F/L sizing) that you obtain AND USE a headspace gage when setting your F/L die up. Chamber type gages like the Wilson arte inexpensive and easy to use, and worth their weight in gold when it comes to avoiding problems. Not enough people use them, which accounts for a significant percentage of the problems I hear them complaining about. Gages are our friends. Use 'em.

Not sure that I would have chosen the 338 LM as the round for a first time reloader, but at least it's not a temperamental one. Sort of like a big 308 Win to load for; most combinations work well, accuracy comes naturally, and it's not beset with a lot of the quirks that some of the other very large capacity cases are. Just remember to start low, and work up slowly as pressure signs allow. Stop when you have questions, and be sure those questions are answered to your complete satisfaction before proceeding again.

Hope that helps, and we'll look forward to hearing of your progress.
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Lapua USA
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:26 AM
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Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Thomas View Post
Jeremiahgus,

You didn't mention a manual, but that's one of the first items that I'd recommend for a new reloader. Actually, I'd recommend that you get several. Sites like this can be a great source of helpful information, an sometimes good loads can be passed on,


Not sure that I would have chosen the 338 LM as the round for a first time reloader, but at least it's not a temperamental one. Sort of like a big 308 Win to load for; most combinations work well, accuracy comes naturally, and it's not beset with a lot of the quirks that some of the other very large capacity cases are. Just remember to start low, and work up slowly as pressure signs allow. Stop when you have questions, and be sure those questions are answered to your complete satisfaction before proceeding again.

Hope that helps, and we'll look forward to hearing of your progress.
I do have a hornady reloading manual and I picked up sierrra's manual as well. I bought two other books on reloading and have them on my kindle but they really didnt touch on the questions I had. I appreciate the help and will post my progress on how everything fits together for me. As for starting with the 338 lapua was because I didnt want to start with my 50bmg first, I thought the lapua would be a better round to learn on. I dont have any small rifles.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:47 AM
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Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Well, if you have any other questions, just let 'em fly. Lots of folks on here will be more than happy to help.

Sorry to hear the Sierra manual didn't answer all your questions. Hey, I tried to cover all the bases but had limited page count to work with!
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:48 AM
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Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Welcome. I'm kinda new here myself. Lots of help people and info on this site. You might want to buy a primer pocket cleaner and uniformer. Try to get the best stuff you can as most will probably last a lifetime. Above all, remember to pay attention when reloading!! Bad things can happen.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:31 PM
B23 B23 is offline
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Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Semi related to your topic but certainly relevant to it is a reloading DVD such as the one Shawn Carlock just came out with. Shawn does a excellent job of explaining things and the how to's in ways that anyone can understand. Actually seeing something being done as it's being explained is always a huge plus in my book. Well worth the 30 or so bucks.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:45 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Re: assistance first time reloader 338 lapua

Yeah I've heard about Carlock's DVD on reloading and my dad told me he already had it on order...unfortunately he is in Alaska and I am in San Antonio so i will just have to wait a few weeks before I am up there on vacation to check it out.
I know there is a lot of experience on here so I am going to take it nice and slow and be safe with it. I'll make sure to pass on anything I learn here from you guys as well.
I just put a headspace guage on order so I will just wait until it gets here before I load anything up. The primer pocket uniform tool was something that I had overlooked as well.
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