New to Reloading, need some help

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by TaergEno, May 30, 2014.

  1. TaergEno

    TaergEno Member

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    Hi all,

    So I have recently finished purchasing all the items I need for reloading, except for powder, as everyone is out.

    The rifle is a Weatherby Mark V Accumark, chambered in .338 Lapua.

    Now I have not started reloading at all yet. I just finished mounting my press and powder measure to my workbench and that's it.

    I have the Lapua brand brass and I pulled a casing out of the box and measured it with my calipers. It showed the length as ~2.605". The RCBS trimmer chart, and anything else I can find, says to trim the case to 2.714" and the case has a max length of 2.712".

    Is my brass defective because it is too short? Or am I missing something?

    Thank you for any help/info, in advance.
     
  2. justgoto

    justgoto Well-Known Member

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    You'll be fine. I've bought plenty of brass new that was shorter than the trim length; it'll grow.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014

  3. TaergEno

    TaergEno Member

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    Alright, that's so good to know and quite a relief.

    Should I still run the brass through the re-sizing die, to make sure the neck is the right size and all that?
     
  4. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    Unless it come resized and trimmed it will need to go through the press.
     
  5. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would run the case into the sizing die at least enough to ensure the mouth is round. They may not need to be trimmed to length, that's fine, but I would give them a touch with a champher/debur tool.

    Depending on what you plan to do with your loading I would load 2 or 3 'tiers' of ammo, power levels. That depends on what powders & bullets you have on hand and your goals. You don't have to freelance without data, there are some powders & loadings that allow one to load different ends of the spectrum.


    Often as I am setting up a rifle, initial scope zero & such, I start off with modest loads, or odds & ends ammo. Once things are close I use my better ammo.
     
  6. Punisher

    Punisher Well-Known Member

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    Before you measure your case, run it through your full length sizer. The measurement will be different after that. Then you turn or trim, beburr flash holes and primer pockets.

    The amount your case will lengthen on each shot varies with each lot of brass. I can go several firing between actually running my case in my trimmer and just using a chamfering and reaming tool.

    If your brass is chambering in your rifle and isn't growing a second lip around the mouth, I wouldn't worry about it. If you jam the mouth into your chamber too far, the entire neck can come off. I have seen this on a military 30-06 with surpluss ammo. I measured the ammo for the guy that owned that gun. I think the case jammed almost .020 into the chamber. The bolt closed very tight. I wouldn't have pulled the trigger to begin with.
     
  7. dig

    dig Well-Known Member

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    Re: New to Reloading, need some helpl

    Lapua is first rate brass. Lube it, lube case mouths, full length resize and chamfer. With Lapua brass I have found that's all you really need to do. Flash holes are excellent and being on the short side (after resizing) won't hurt a thing. The .338 Lapua is a big cartridge to learn on, start on the low side of charges and measure powder carefully. Have fun with it.
     
  8. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Eno, be sure to clean your dies before using them. Just follow instructions that came with the dies. Many members use Imperial sizing wax to lube the cases. As Dig said, Lapua is excellent brass and comes in better shape from the factory. Good luck
     
  9. TaergEno

    TaergEno Member

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    Awesome, I will definitely take my time and take all your suggestions into account.

    I just noticed in my first post, I wrote the incorrect case length (2.305" not 2.605").

    I even measured my factory loaded .338 Lapua ammunition and the spent cases are also ~ this same size (~2.3").

    Any idea why all the brass is ~2.3" when all the documentation/load data states that it should be closer to ~2.7"?


    I am looking at reloading information and I found the following regarding the items I have:

    I have Swift 210gr Scirrocco II Bullets (O.A.L. 1.393")
    I think I am going to use Vihtavuori N165 Powder.

    According to Vihtavuori loading specifications, they call for a C.O.A.L. of 3.583"

    Now that means that I have 1.278" to go from 2.305 to 3.583. Since my bullets are only 1.393", do I only press them into the brass .115"? Because that seems to be far too shallow.

    Is the C.O.A.L. just a maximum recommended? How far would I want to seat the bullets into the brass?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  10. Punisher

    Punisher Well-Known Member

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    COAL is from SAAMI. Well, some of the old guys have some choice words to say about SAAMI standards. They don't mean a whole lot.

    I don't have a single rifle that shoots worth a crap if I follow SAAMI standards and I have no Idea why since our rifle are supposed to be built to those standards.
     
  11. TaergEno

    TaergEno Member

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    Alright...so I feel really stupid.

    I was measuring a ruler, with my calipers (as a personal friend suggested) to ensure the calipers were reading correctly. As he said that having brand new brass being .4" off from the SAAMI standard was actually quite odd.

    So I was measuring the ruler and the calipers were not exact with the ruler.

    This whole time, while I am measuring, the calipers display would blink on and off, which I thought was normal because it is brand new and was the first time I was using it.

    Since it was off even from the ruler, I decided to maybe try the other battery in the calipers (as I could not think of anything else to do).

    And once I replaced it, the screen stopped blinking and the brass now measures ~2.71"

    So yeah, lesson learned: If a caliper display is blinking, the battery is dying/almost dead.
     
  12. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

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    Yes, good catch on the battery. I keep several on hand just for this reason.
     
  13. Ol'Gator

    Ol'Gator Well-Known Member

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    It does sound like you're wishing to get into reloading the correct way, very important. If you don't have at least one, a couple even better, reloading manuals, do yourself a huge favor and spend the money. An investment that will pay you back for as long as you reload.

    All that said, it's always best to ask rather than guess especially when it come to reloading.

    Have fun,
     
  14. FurTaker

    FurTaker Well-Known Member

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    This may be a little off subject but the caliber applies.... What are people using or how are you experts measuring the amount of shoulder bump on the .338 lapua? Ive only reloaded for about a year and ive always used the hornady headspace gauges to measure the shoulder on fireformed brass and bump it back .002 but I don't believe they make a bushing for the .338 lapua?? I may be wrong, just looking for some input... Thanks!