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Reloading Berger Bullets


Miscellaneous Questions:

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Unread 02-13-2009, 03:47 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 22
Miscellaneous Questions:

I am starting a new thread only because I am having the devil of a time finding the previous one on which folks were giving me some great advice on beginning to reload again in a more precise manner. I have purchase the excellent DVD s from Sierra and today I ordered (from several sources) an extremely complete set of reloading gear--I still have a few questions:

1. I purchased an RCBS precision mic guage for both .300 Win and .300 RUM--even though I am uncertain whether they will give me correct head space information where my chamber may be tighter than normal. Of course I want to use this tool when setting up my sizing die to determine when I have set it such that it will be no more than say, a thousandth off--headspacing on the shoulder--even on the belted .300 Winnie. Am I wasting my money because I have a somewhat tighter chamber than normal? Maybe a different way of asking this is as follows: Would any builder--when he uses a "tight chamber" be likely to use a different headspace (from base to shoulder) than normal SAAMI specs?

2. I ordered the RCBS Rock Chucker press and plan to use the Sinclair press stand for it--which is convenient for not having to have a permanent bench--but it inclines the press slightly backwards (20 degrees of vertical??). Will that be suspect when seating bullets with a micrometer seating die in which the bullet and cartridge are supported? In other words--is tipping it over at an angle a problem?

3. I have all the "right" equipment (if not the skills ) to get everything tight and right--with one remaining vulnerability--as I see it: and that is getting the neck out of concentricity when pulling the expander ball through. I don't want to get into more exotic methods which would not utilize the ball--so how do you folks feel about polishing it--say, using 4/0 steel wool, rottenstone mixed with mineral oil, and the ball chucked in a drill? I'm not talking about taking off a lot of metal as Tubb does in the Sierra video--but polishing the dog-doo out of it.

4. If you are using a brand-new beam-type scale and level it for the surface you have it on (prior to weighing charges) are you fairly safe in not checking it out with check weights?

5. Although I loaded for years, I just now heard about most of the precision methods--let's take case indexing. Just suppose I decided I wanted to--I can see how it would work if you load single-shot fashion--but what about placing 2 or 3 rounds in a blind magazine--also indexed with the thin side (indexed) side of the case up??? Will the cases have a tendency to stay in that position as you chamber them? ( I know I should experiment on this and will do so--but right now, I'm afraid a loud noise in the bedroom might make my wife burn the pasta.

For those who may be interested, (or want to question my sanity ) here is what I ended up purchasing--I would appreciate feedback even though I have done the deed:

RCBS Rockchucker press/shell holders, and Sinclair portable stand.
(Precision dies will come from rifle builder)

Stuck case removal kit
Wilson Sinclair Ultimate Case Trimmer Kit (with micrometer)
(Case holders for both my cartridges)

Sinclair primer pocket uniformer/handle

Sinclair VLD Champhering Tool

Sinclair Gen II Flash hole deburring Tool

Dial Caliper

RCBS Mic gauges for both calibers

NECO Gauge for run out, neck wall thickness, and concentricity

Lock and Load Chamber all with cases for both my calibers

Sinclair Priming tool and Lee priming tool shell holders

Sinclair Premium Neck Turning Tool and carbide mandrel

Forster Collet style bullet puller and .30 collet

(2) 50 piece Poly loading blocks

Redding 505 beam powder scale
Lee scoop set (I believe in going high-tech!)
Redding Powder Trickler
Satern Aluminum Powder Funnel

Oh, yes: a Competitive Edge Chronograph and tripod.

Can anyone think of anything I left out????? I have the reloading manuals.

Last edited by Uncle Russ; 02-13-2009 at 04:15 PM.
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Unread 02-14-2009, 01:32 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Re: Miscellaneous Questions:

Well, first off if you want to find your old tread it is pretty easy to do so by going under "quick links" choose "member list" then look up your name and go to your profile. Go under statistics, and choose "find all links". It will come up.

Anywho... I tried to look up the RCBS precision mic guage, but midway was out of order so I can't help you with that question cuz I simply don't know what this tool actually does. However, When I check my headspace in a rifle I take a fired case that gives me a slightly sticky bolt lift and I use a Hornady Lockn load headspace guage to measure the shoulder to base of the casing. Then I simply use that reading to set my die for partial full length sizing.

I believe the headspace can vary a few thousanths from one rifle to another regardless of saami specs. Just due to the smith and the actual reamer being used. Not every reamer is going to give the "exact" same demensions. That is why neck sized only cartidges don't fit in every rifle of that caliber.

I don't "think" that your 20 degree incline is going to make a difference but I'm not sure. If it were me, (being an anal sob lol) I'd try to get it level.

I use very fine steel wool or 400 grit or finer emery cloth to polish my neck expander balls. I incert the expander ball holder into the chuck of a drill and simply run the drill and grip the expander ball with the polishing material. I've noticed that my RCBS dies do a better job after polishing.

Scale: I would use a good quality bullet to check the scale if you are not sure if it is spot on. It may not be right on to the .1grain, but it should give you the same reading today, tomorrow, next year, and next century. The key is to make sure it is at least very close to being right and that it is giving you totally consistant readings. You will be using this same scale to work up loads anyway. If you get a new scale you should simply compare the old one to the new one. If the new one reads a known load .2 grains heavier than the old one, than you will have to adjust your load datta accordingly. Of course the best thing would be to get a weight kit to check it, but all you really need is to keep one bullet sepperate and record it's known weight and use it for a check. (preferrably a very heavy bullet so it will exagerate any problems you have with your scale).

as far as indexing goes, I think it would depend on the type of magazine. If you have a single stack mag where bullets are fed straight up, I think it would work OK. I do think bullets would have a tendency to slightly spin while being chambered in a stagger stack fassion -- just guessing here though. I'm not sold on the whole indexing thing unless you are going to simply neck size. If you have zero runout, and a fl or pfl sized case it shouldn't matter which side is up cuz they are all identical. If you have a slightly untrue chamber and neck sized ammo, I could see some advantages to this.
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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