Discussion on reloading process

jdjtexas

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Nov 23, 2021
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Texas
Newb post #2
I’ve been reading and watching and think I’m at a place that makes sense as far as process is concerned. I’m new to reloading so things will change over time but I’m simple and I like to follow checklists.

1- decap as a stand-alone operation
2- lube case (imperial)
3- full length resize (decapper and expander removed) WHIDDEN bushing click die is what I’m looking at
4- neck lube & neck tension w/mandrel
5- trim case chamfer and deburr
6- prime case
7- powder charge
8- seat bullet (looking for bullet seater recommendation ; considering the bullet specific WHIDDEN or a Forster)

Plan is to anneal eventually but I think I can get pretty far with the brass I have before I add that to process. I would like to hear thoughts on the frequency.

Am I forgetting anything? Things to consider? I left out cleaning brass but understand there’s different opinions on this as with most things.

Press is a co-ax
Brass is ADG
Only focused on reloading for 6.5 PRC
 

gbett308

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IMO... just being consistent in all steps and paying attention to detail.
  1. Cases trimmed to near exact length.
  2. Group by case weight after prep.
  3. Load/separate bullets by weight.
  4. Overall cartridge length same
  5. Case length same
 

Reelamin

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Newb post #2
I’ve been reading and watching and think I’m at a place that makes sense as far as process is concerned. I’m new to reloading so things will change over time but I’m simple and I like to follow checklists.
Awesome to hear and I seem to go against the main river current here. I make it up river just fine with a lot less effort. I will hit your list and this is only my limited input. I hope to just give a general coverage to your post.
#1 I do is keep a binder with written notes on everything you did as you go. I list it all to the specific rifle and put in cartridge sections.
1- decap as a stand-alone operation
Just started doing this the last 5-6 years. The previous 40 years I just de-capped when I sized. I have not seen one bit of difference in this. The only reason I started doing it was because I started using a tumbler style cleaner. I also clean my case before I do anything with it. Never have I cleaned a primer pocket.
2- lube case (imperial)
Sure it works I have used the pad, aerosol spray, imperial, home brews, etc. etc. I currently use the Frankford arsenal because it works and is cheap. Make sure you shake it every time or the dang spray nozzle plugs up. I also now put them in a tupper ware bowl spray and mix them up by hand because it is more uniform and faster.
3- full length resize (decapper and expander removed) WHIDDEN bushing click die is what I’m looking at
I neck sized until they got tight then FL sized. Standard dies. Started bumping the shoulder instead of FL 2K about the last 10 years and using bushing dies. Again, I have not seen any significant difference in my results.
4- neck lube & neck tension w/mandrel
Nope done with dies.
5- trim case chamfer and deburr
Always chamfer and deburr to start. Again, I don't remember the last "bolt" gun I ever trimmed for. I don't even measure them....don't care just start loading them from new. I will trim initially for my 223 and 308 bulk ammo and then....uh only if I have to and usually its after 5 or more firings....yes in different guns. I have not trimmed a pistol case in probably 35+ years. When one gets a bulge or messed up I can feel it on the progressive and I just throw it out. If one wont chamber I just throw it out.
6- prime case
Use a Lee hand primer old and new version. I have used RCBS, Hornady, and I prefer the Lee.
7- powder charge
Yep used balance and electronic scale. Balance is very very accurate and electronic is faster for me. I also used the electronic dispenser ones two different RCBS and Frankford. I have the original RCBS from late 90's on the shelf collecting dust and sent the newest versions back.
8- seat bullet (looking for bullet seater recommendation ; considering the bullet specific WHIDDEN or a Forster)
Yep, with the seating stem that comes standard in RCBS, Redding, Hornady, and Dillon dies. I load, fmj, soft point, ballistic tip, hollow point, match, round nose, even load the super high BC bullets just fine with them.
Plan is to anneal eventually but I think I can get pretty far with the brass I have before I add that to process. I would like to hear thoughts on the frequency.
Never annealed a single case for 40 years, and never had one non 223 neck split even up to 10-12 loadings. The LC military surplus stuff would split one in a 100 after 4-5 loadings. I started annealing "oh because you have to do this". I have an anneleze and so far (3 years) only saw a difference in the 223 bulk brass for plinking. Not one bit of difference in the bolt action or 308 bulk brass, so I anneal if I have nothing better to do.
Am I forgetting anything? Things to consider? I left out cleaning brass but understand there’s different opinions on this as with most things.

Press is a co-ax
Brass is ADG
Only focused on reloading for 6.5 PRC
RCBS, Dillon, and Hornady standard press. I only owned and used Rock Chuckers (have two) for entire 45 years. I shoot Winchester, Federal, and Remington brass. I have tried Lapua and not worth the extra cost. I also am shooting some Nosler because I could get it this last year and it is their seconds....rifle shoots .5" at 100 so I'm happy. I also shoot all different kinds of 223 brass. I just got some ADG in 338 Edge because I wanted the head stamp to say the cartridge. All of it works great.
 

L.Sherm

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#1 good, you cannot measure fired case to the datum line with primer in the case accurately.
#2 Good, dont over do it.
#3 Bushing dies can be used with expander if there set up properly, and what I mean is bushing just sizes neck under so the mandrel just barely opens up neck to proper size and float the bushing.
You can size your necks with just bushings if your necks are consistent or use mandrel to size.
#4 i only use graphite lube on brand new case necks after that brush lightly and the carbon in neck is the best consistent lube there is, I never clean my cases. Wipe the outside and done.
#5 i trim all new cases to exact same length after once fired to atleast .010 under max length then chamfer and deburr untill need trimming length again.
[email protected] good
#8 i use 80% all inline wilson dies made from my chamber reamers and some they sell for cartridges they produce.
You can feel seating force seating bullets and I will sort one out if I feel a difference for sighters or fouling clean barrel.
The other beauty is if your into really straight ammo it won't be the seaters fault if you have the appropriate stem, also doing seating depth tests at the range is a breeze load everything long and adjust at the bench no loading different seating depths and not working and having to pull apart later.
If your just getting into reloading you can use a rubber mallet to get started its crude but works you just can't feel seating force.
Keep your cases sorted by times fired if you dont shoulder bump will be all over the place.
If you anneal keep it consistent when you do whether its 1,2 or 3 times.
I do clean my primer pockets everytime I do not want carbon buildup and the anvil not seating at the bottom of the pocket.
 

nealm66

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washington
I just recently did load work up for a 6.5 prc and some of the brass was from a custom factory ammunition from Texas that was high pressure. I found that I needed to remove the expander/deprimer and work it up and down, going down a little further each stroke till it was sized so that it didn’t get stuck in the die. This was Hornady brass and a browning long range rifle and the once fired brass had grown quite a bit. Hopefully you understand what I’m saying because a stuck brass really sucks.
 

QuietTexan

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What are you trying to accomplish? Without that you're just going to get an endless string on conflicting opinions based on other people's goals. One guy says nope don't use mandrels use a die, the next guy says use a mandrel, there's no way to reconcile those opinions without context of what they're doing. Uber-duber accurate bench rest loading techniques might be useless if you need to take a shot when it's 10 below after you just dropped the rifle into three feet of snow and had to dig it out and snow got into the chamber when you ran the bolt. High-volume loading tools might be the reason you're inconsistent enough to miss if you're trying to make a first round hit at 800 yards on an animal.

Start with what do YOU need, and make people defend their opinions in the context of meeting YOUR goals.

WHIDDEN bushing click die is what I’m looking at
Have one, like it, has worked fine resizing Lapua brass shot from a factory 6.5 CM chamber so far. I like that it came with a comparator that is nicer than the Hornady set I generally use, that's a solid $50 value compared to buying one from Short Action Customs. I'm still not decided on if the "click" feature is better than using scriber to mark the lock ring on a Forster die, but will say it's for sure not any worse for having the clicks. I would recommend (regardless of what you're trying to accomplish) also getting an FL die from Hornady or RCBS or Lee etc in addition to the Whidden or Forster, because sometimes you need to squash a case to minimum spec and a cheap die saves you from having to re-adjust the more complicated die.
 
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L.Sherm

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One guy says nope don't use mandrels use a die, the next guy says use a mandrel, there's no way to reconcile those opinions without context of what they're doing
In the end either way is sizing your brass neck to a desired size, so whats a different context its just different strokes for different folks
 

Stammster

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I deprime with a FA hand deprimer, then clean (wet tumble) before doing anything else. Keep crap out of the dies and off the press.

After all the prep is done (resize, trim, chamfer, deburr, etc.) I wet tumble again for 10-15 min to remove any lube and brass shaving.

Dry thoroughly before priming, charging, and seating.
 

jdjtexas

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Texas
In the end either way is sizing your brass neck to a desired size, so whats a different context its just different strokes for different
I deprime with a FA hand deprimer, then clean (wet tumble) before doing anything else. Keep crap out of the dies and off the press.

After all the prep is done (resize, trim, chamfer, deburr, etc.) I wet tumble again for 10-15 min to remove any lube and brass shaving.

Dry thoroughly before priming, charging, and seating.
Your cleaning process makes good sense to me however I keep hearing from guys saying they never do or they stopped doing. I’m definitely not apposed but I like simple and if I can do it without cleaning that’s one step I’ll remove.
 

jdjtexas

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Texas
What are you trying to accomplish? Without that you're just going to get an endless string on conflicting opinions

Start with what do YOU need, and make people defend their opinions in the context…
I am looking to load the best ammo I can that is safe and stable for hunting scenarios. I am not the worlds greatest shot but I am not the worst either. I am very comfortable with a gun in my hand. It’s hard to put a number on an “ethical” shot so I’ll leave that aside but I want to also practice out to 1200 or so with this same ammo. Precise/Safe/stable I guess sums it up.
 

QuietTexan

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In the end either way is sizing your brass neck to a desired size, so whats a different context its just different strokes for different folks
For sure, neither is wrong (and I do both). Even though both get to similar results I view the processes as being different enough to serve different purposes. I was mainly highlighting this as a concurrent example of why it's very easy to get conflicting answers in this game, and why it's important to critically analyze the intent behind each process.
 

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