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New to reloading. Real world advice?

Discussion in 'Reloading Ammunition' started by Bean, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. 11Dark11

    11Dark11 .22LR

    Messages:
    28
    I grabbed the Lee 50th because it was well priced and if I do not like reloading I did not brake the bank.
    Eddie Stewart likes this.
  2. Wiley

    Wiley .22LR

    Messages:
    11
    Reloader Special 3 press for me, Hornady digital scale, most of the rest of my stuff is Lee. Brand really isn't that important, you'll get good service from RCBS, Lee, Lyman, or Hornady.

    Advice for a new handloader:
    1. Don't exceed max loads. Maybe later, after you've got a good chronograph and know how to find pressure signs.
    2. Start low and work up.
    3. Be meticulous in detail, in both your work and your records.
    4. Don't handload when you're tired. Ever. Mentally or physically.
    5. Get a chronograph.
    6. Learn how to do a ladder test to find the load you want to center on.
    7. Learn how to shoot good groups so you can find your accuracy load. Use 3 shot groups at each powder charge you want to try.
    8. Minimum and maximum loads usually aren't the ones that will be most accurate.
    9. A wise man once said that only accurate rifles are interesting. That goes for handloads as well.
    10. If a gun doesn't like a load, change the bullet or the powder before changing anything else.
    11. Every gun likes a unique load (powder, charge weight, bullet, primer, brass, seating depth, crimp).
    12. Load the powder into your brass the same way every time. Differences in the way you put in the powder (swirl load, drop from the dispenser, pour from the pan) can cause greater vertical stringing due to different velocities than changes of one or two tenths of a grain in charge weight.
    Scoop likes this.
  3. Scoop

    Scoop .30-06

    Messages:
    1,599
    Great advice. The only change I'd make is to print those first 4 out and hang them above the bench as safety reminder.

    1. Don't exceed max loads.
    2. Start low and work up.
    3. Be meticulous in detail, in both your work and your records.
    4. Don't handload when you're tired. Ever. Mentally or physically.
    Thanx, Wiley.
    nitesite likes this.
  4. Wiley

    Wiley .22LR

    Messages:
    11
    I'll add one thing I just thought of: Ball powders are easier for new reloaders to work with than stick powders. IMR 4064 is probably the most versatile powder I've ever found. It's also a pain in the patootie to measure. My powder throw will drop loads of CFE223 within +/- 0.1 grains all day long. I drop directly into the cases with that stuff. 4064? Drop into the pan, trickle the last 0.2 grains, swirl load.

    FWIW, I weigh every fifth charge when charging directly from a powder throw. I really dislike surprises when I pull a trigger.
    nitesite likes this.
  5. saleen322

    saleen322 .410

    Messages:
    47
    I have been loading for about 50 years. Currently we have dies to do over 80 different cartridges. I highly recommend a strong, cast iron, O-frame press as it maintains tolerances very well. RCBS Rockchucker, Lyman Orange Crusher, etc are all very good. Some 20 years ago I started keeping load data in an Access database which not only preserves the information, it can be retrieved and grouped as needed in a couple of key strokes. The obvious thing is to record what works but I also track what doesn't work. The database shows trends and now we can predict where to start for an accurate load. For example: we had used Unique for a wide variety of mid range handgun loads but Power Pistol which has a similar burn rate showed consistently better accuracy and as a plus it burns cleaner. Only good records can provide this feedback. There is a lot of good equipment out there and don't be afraid of used stuff. Store your ammo out of direct sunlight and in a dry area. It is nothing to grab a box loaded 30 years ago and it still shoots like it was loaded yesterday when stored correctly. Hope this helps.
    nitesite likes this.

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