Long Range Hunting Online Magazine


Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Reloading

Reloading Techniques For Reloading


Reply

My reloading process.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-17-2008, 05:38 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
My reloading process.

I thought I'd document the process I use to reload LR rounds, as someone might be able to point out something I'm missing or do differently than they do. I don't claim any of this process as new/different or created by me. The steps in this process have ALL been documented in books (like "HandLoading for Competition" by Glen Zediker) and articles (like Jerry Teo's great article on this forum). These steps are just the ones I use and have found this process meets my needs.


Starting with new brass, I use a primer pocket uniformer in a cordless drill to make the primer pockets square on the bottom and consistent depths. I inspect each piece of brass at this point and toss any piece that looks odd in any way.


I then use a flash hole deburring tool. I use the Sinclair tool because it indexes against the inside of the cartridge head instead of the neck. The tools that index off the neck require brass that is identical in length to work correctly and I don't trim brass until after it's been fired at least once.

I then resize the brass. This rounds the necks, many times you will find that new brass has been beat up a bit in transit and the necks take the majority of the abuse. Although I full length resize, if the new brass will cycle in my rifle, I won't touch the shoulder at all. I use Redding full length bushing dies and only resize about 1/2 of the neck. I only use the expander ball on new brass (to make the necks round), I remove it from the die when resizing previously fired brass. I use Imperial sizing wax as a lubricant.

I wipe the resizing wax off of each piece of brass, using a paper towel.

Now that the necks are round, I'll lightly deburr the inside and outside of the necks. I use a VLD deburrer for the inside.

I then run a nylon brush in/out of the case necks several times to remove the residual sizing wax from inside the case necks. I clean the nylon brush every 10 cases or so by simply squeezing it in and rolling it around on a paper towel.

I'll prime the brass using a Lee or RCBS hand priming tool.


I use an RCBS chargmaster to throw/weigh each charge. I always calibrate the scale before I use it.


Seating the bullet. I have found that seating the bullet very slowly and rotating it a 1/3 of a rotation a couple times during the initial 1/2 of the seating operation helps with runout.
For example I'll seat the bullet 1/10" and rotate 1/3 turn in the shell holder, then another 1/10", then rotate again and then slowly seat the bullet the rest of the way. Although I have no way to prove it, I think that slowly and gently seating the bullet, allows the bullet to slide into the neck without deforming the concentricity of the neck/shoulder junction.

I then measure the concentricity and seperate the loaded rounds into 3 piles. 1) those with less than .0005" runout. 2) those with less than .002" runout but more than .0005" 3) those with more than .002" runout.

I keep the rounds segregated in my ammo boxes and use those with most runout as foulers and for fun shooting. The others are used as needed. I mark the worst ones with a sharpie marker. A small mark on the primer denotes the shells with the most runout.



There are a couple differences when I reload already fired brass. I remove the expander button from my dies and only resize about 1/2 of the neck. I believe the other 1/2 of the neck will help orient the case into the center of the chamber. I also adjust my sizing die to move the shoulder of the cartridges back about .001" from a crush fit. I've been told that a crush fit is the way to go, but I haven't had consistent results with it. Once I figure out how much to push the shoulder back, I'll write it down in my log and duplicate it with future loads using a Hornady headspace gauge and calipers.

I will also trim the entire lot of brass to the same length which will square the necks. I trim after the first firing and then keep an eye on the length of the brass and trim as required. I have been told that the length isn't as important as the squareness. After trimming, the inside and outside of the neck must be deburred again.


I've made one change to my presses that helps with concentric ammo. That change is removing the C-clip that holds the shellholder in place. I let the shellholder float in the slot, this keeps the shellholder/shell from being forced off center. Some folks will put an O-ring around the slot to keep the shell holder 'in the press', but I've found it is not needed and more trouble than it's worth.

Here are the tools I use to prep the brass. cordless drill with Sinclair primer pocket uniformer, Sinclair flash hole deburrer, Nylon brush, Sinclair VLD inside neck deburring tool, outside neck deburring tool.



Thats about it.

AJ
__________________
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.


My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives

Last edited by AJ Peacock; 09-17-2008 at 06:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-18-2008, 09:46 AM
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Alberta
Posts: 847
Re: My reloading process.

Thanks for taking the time to write that up AJ!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-18-2008, 10:27 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arkansas (Home of Record)
Posts: 1,263
Re: My reloading process.

For my .338 I use a full length sizer to partially full length size the case. I don't have a concentricity gauge (next on my list) but get pretty accurate ammo. I tried to take out the sizer stem and the necks were tight enough to shave the bullets when they were seated. I after a few rounds i put it back in. Can you only get away with this with the bushing style full length sizers? I'll probably just send a couple of fired brass to Lee and have a collet nick sizer made and bump the shoulder back when needed.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-18-2008, 10:30 AM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: My reloading process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bravo 4 View Post
For my .338 I use a full length sizer to partially full length size the case. I don't have a concentricity gauge (next on my list) but get pretty accurate ammo. I tried to take out the sizer stem and the necks were tight enough to shave the bullets when they were seated. I after a few rounds i put it back in. Can you only get away with this with the bushing style full length sizers? I'll probably just send a couple of fired brass to Lee and have a collet nick sizer made and bump the shoulder back when needed.
Pretty much, unless the brass thickness in the neck and your sizing die are 'perfect for each other'. Otherwise, it over sizes the neck down and with no expander to open it up, you will get the shaving you describe.

AJ
__________________
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.


My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-20-2008, 08:25 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
Posts: 1,596
Re: My reloading process.

"Although I have no way to prove it, I think that slowly and gently seating the bullet, allows the bullet to slide into the neck without deforming the concentricity of the neck/shoulder junction."



I suspect that if you use your concentricity gage to check progress after each step, you may find that a "rotational seating" process accomplishes nothing. A bullet that starts tilted tends to stay tilted.

No sizer or seater can correct for non-concentric necks so the cases must be good or turned to be good. Or at least better.Straight bullet seating is more dependant on straight necks than any other single factor. Straight necks depend more on the nature of the expander, or the sizer itself if no expander is used, than most folks assume. That's the prime reason for the success of Lee Collet Neck Sizers, they produce straight necks quite well.

For sure, no electronic powder dispensing system adds anything to the accuracy of the finished product.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-20-2008, 08:58 PM
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: My reloading process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomtube View Post
"Although I have no way to prove it, I think that slowly and gently seating the bullet, allows the bullet to slide into the neck without deforming the concentricity of the neck/shoulder junction."



I suspect that if you use your concentricity gage to check progress after each step, you may find that a "rotational seating" process accomplishes nothing. A bullet that starts tilted tends to stay tilted.

No sizer or seater can correct for non-concentric necks so the cases must be good or turned to be good. Or at least better.Straight bullet seating is more dependant on straight necks than any other single factor. Straight necks depend more on the nature of the expander, or the sizer itself if no expander is used, than most folks assume. That's the prime reason for the success of Lee Collet Neck Sizers, they produce straight necks quite well.

For sure, no electronic powder dispensing system adds anything to the accuracy of the finished product.

I don't turn the cartridge to make the bullet line up better, I turn the cartridge to remove any misalignment in the cartridge/shellholder. I just turn it a little to remove any stress/misalignment that might have occurred. Sometimes you can feel the cartridge is a little (.001" or so) off center in the sleeved seating dies. Spinning it a little seems to perfectly center the cartridge under the bullet (at least thats how I see it).

I have seated the bullets quickly without turning, and slowly without turning, and the best concentricity measurements I achieve are with the process I've documented above. Take some of your perfectly straight necks and seat the bullet quickly with a lot of force and see what happens to them. My process certainly doesn't fix bad brass, but I believe it limits additional runout. If you have a better way to 'limit additional runout during the reloading process' please enlighten us.

As far as the electronic powder dispensing system adding or subtracting, you are probably right. I do believe it is accurate enough for anything I am doing. I've weighed several small items repeatedly with this scale. I've written the weight on the items with a sharpie marker. Every time I weigh them, they register the EXACT same amount. That amount may not be the 'actual mass of the item', but for my loads, as long as I can recreate the load EXACTLY, I am happy. Repeatability is the key, and the Chargemaster lets me do that quickly. I know the chargemaster is faster for me than any other accurate method I have used.

AJ
__________________
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.


My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-21-2008, 12:08 PM
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 83
Re: My reloading process.

Why do you store ammo point down? I always box my ammo with the bullet up, so theres no weight on the bullet to potentially change the seating depth. This also helps me identify the ammo in a box at a glance without having to handle the ammo.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads for: My reloading process.
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Melonite Process BountyHunter Rifles, Bullets, Barrels and Ballistics 33 05-27-2014 07:31 PM
Process for choosing a gun IdahoJoe The Basics, Starting Out 11 09-01-2011 09:12 AM
How to legally tag &process? mnhunter2 Antelope Hunting 1 10-04-2010 07:07 PM
want to upgrade my reloading process Jimm Reloading 4 05-22-2005 06:14 PM
Your reloading process. The long version. 4ked Horn Reloading 31 03-31-2005 02:50 PM

Current Poll
Do you archery hunt for elk?
YES - 34.32%
116 Votes
NO - 48.52%
164 Votes
Not yet, but I plan to. - 17.16%
58 Votes
Total Votes: 338
You may not vote on this poll.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:29 AM.


Powered by vBulletin ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Management Powered by vBadvanced CMPS
All content ©2010-2014 Long Range Hunting, LLC