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Reloading Techniques For Reloading


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Help beginner improve his reloading.

 
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  #1  
Old 02-20-2012, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sublimity. OR
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Help beginner improve his reloading.

A little background info:

I have been reloading for about a year, which has lead me to this sight, which has taught me that there is still a lot I need to learn about it.

I reload for 3 Weatherby rifles. A Vanguard .22-250, a Vanguard .270WIN, and a MarkV .30-378, I also have friends come over to reload for some other calibers on occasion.

My setup is pretty basic (all RCBS), I have a Rockchukar press, a chargemaster 1500 scale, (I dispense powder by hand, but do it very accurately.) A manual case trimmer, a hand priming tool, and a pair of Cabelas digital calipers, (the nicer ones.) I use the basic RCBS die sets. I also have a Chrony Alpha that I use, and I usually get my loads all within 50FPS of one another, but sometimes it is as much as 100FPS.

I Chamfer and de-burr the necks with a cheapo hand tool, and also have a cheap primer pocket brush that I use every time.

Things I have never done: Neck turning, primer pocket uniforming or flash hole deburring, weight sorting my brass, checking concintricity/runout, or case tumbling/cleaning... (I blow them out with my air compressor really good every time.)

What I want to do is produce a better handload, without having to buy all new dies. I am pretty much an MOA shooter right now, but I would really like to start getting some smaller groups. I just learned about runout and want to know if neck uniforming/trimming or maybe one of the RCBS 3 way chamfer/deburring trimmer attachments would help. Also, I just learned about the Hornady concentricity gauge yesterday, but after a little research it seems that is not really an ideal solution and the Sinclair concentricity gauge is a lot better, even though it does not make "corrections."

All my rifles have good triggers, and there are Zeiss scopes on the Vanguards. I just bought a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22X56 for the .30-378 but it's not even mounted yet! I have Medalist stocks for all 3 of them on order from Stockey's.

What can I do, that I am not already, to produce a better handload?
What is really important and what is just a bunch of hype? There seems to be mixed opinions about some of this stuff, and I am a little confused!


I know this was a pretty long post. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:22 PM
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Re: Help beginner improve his reloading.

Start by sorting your brass by weight into lots of +/- 2 grains. 245, 247 , 249 ect. That alone will do alot to reduce your extreme spread. Also, when resizing brass that was fired only in your gun, try neck sizing only. This is done by backing your resizing die up till a pennie will fit above the shell holder with the handle all the way down. You will get alot of advice on the amount of clearance but a pennie up to a nickle works for me. This loaded ammo will only work in your gun because it is fire formed to exactly fit your chamber. Load a couple and try them for fit before you do all of them. They should close easily .If they close tight, go back to full length sizing. Those two things don't cost anything and may help quite a bit!
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:25 PM
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Re: Help beginner improve his reloading.

Wow, where to start. Ok I wills start by putting on my Nomex suit!

Alrighty then:

-- Case Sorting:
- a) Start by full length resizing your cases. Now Trim them all to the same length. I will usually do minimum trim to the very first time, but it does not have to be minimum, as long as it is not longer than max. Next you need to use a chamfer tool and hit both the outside, and inside of the neck.

- b) If the cases are of the correct headstamp (not formed from some other case), you probably do not need to inside ream to remove the "doughnut". Instead, you can get a outside neck turning tool and approximately 70% turn the necks. You may be suprised to see how Un-Uniform the thickness is. Some folks say to do a 100%, and this too is fine really, but I have found that about 70% seems to do pretty good for me.

- c) !!! *COMPARITIVE INTERNAL CASE VOLUME* !!! <-- before you flame me READ THIS !!!
Okay? Cool lets continue: Get some 91% rubbing alcohol. Now, prime the cases with spent primers. Be sure you have blown out your cases of course. Also check to make sure the flash holes do not have any obvious burrs, if they do you should remove those burrs *VERY* Carefully. One of the biggest things people too do screw up a perfectly good case is to "debur" the flashole and get over zealous about it. A little tiny tiny bit goes a DAMN long ways when you mess with your flashole! Now grab a case and fill it to the top with the 91% rubbing alcohol and weight it. Dump the alcohol and give it a minute or two to dry ( you can even use a hair dryer to speed up this process) and re-weigh the case and write down its comparative weight diff, set it aside in the other reloading block and make sure you keep track of that case. Now, move on to the next and next and ... so on. You want your COMPARITIVE INTERNAL CASE VOLUME'S to be very close to one another!

This is usually about as wild as I get with my cases, and I usually can get into single digit ES by doing this.

Have a good one,
Gary
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:46 PM
KRP KRP is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Re: Help beginner improve his reloading.

I would simply go back and fine tune loads before anything else mentioned.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:20 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Re: Help beginner improve his reloading.

Thanks for the replies so far guys!

Well, it sounds like some sort brass sorting is in order... I will try both methods, and see what I come up with.

I will also look into getting a case neck trimmer. I just measured my neck wall thickness on some of my .270 brass for the first time yesterday. I just used my calipers and spun the brass around and measured at different spots around the neck. There was 0.002" - 0.003" of variance on average.

Stupid question because I am too lazy to look it up, Resize then neck turn? Or vice versa?
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:47 PM
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Re: Help beginner improve his reloading.

resize first
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:07 PM
KRP KRP is offline
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Re: Help beginner improve his reloading.

You can't accurately measure neck thickness with calipers. I really think you are being overwhelmed and distracted by information on the internet and should go back to the basics first.
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