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Reloading info

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  • #16
    Today, I am going to discuss the components "PARTS" needed for reloading. Again, I must stress, a reloading manual is a must to make your own ammo. Probably the first question crossing your mind is, "Why would I want to make ammo? Can't I blow my firearm up?" And I always answer: NO, as long as you load properly and use a firearm that is in good shape. It is cheaper, and in my opinion, safer. I know that I am loading my ammo, and I have no idea what kind of day the person in the ammo plant is having. He could be drunk, or high, or hungover, or mad at the spouse.

    Folks usually then add, "But I do not know what powder to buy or what projectiles to use". Easy, get a manual and read what they suggest.


    • #17
      Here are the four components needed to make your new ammo. The first item is reloading powder. The second are new primers. The third items needed are projectiles, and the fourth is your cleaned brass (more on that later).


      • #18
        First I would like to discuss powders. I would like to say, that powders are not interchangeable. You will note the below reloading data for the 300 Weatherby Mag. Notice that the minimum load for a 130 Gr bullet using 4831 is 83.1 grains. You willl notice that the maximum load for IMR 4064 is 73.3 grains. If you load 83.1 grains of 4064 because you read the data wrong, you will be buying a new rifle. And, with this caliber, this could cost you lots of money. Read your data, double check it, and make sure you know it before proceeding. Another note, loading below minimum is as dangerous, if not more so then overloading. Even though most of us preppers are known for being somewhat non-conformists, this is one case that you need to stay between the lines!!!!


        • #19
          Keepp your powders in the original containers. Do not remove the labels!!! Know what you are using to load!!!!


          • #20
            Next, I will discuss primers. Primers are the component used to ignite the powder, causing it to burn, creating gas pressure that forces the projectile down the path of least resistence (hopefully that is the barell). Primers are an often overlooked part. One brand may not provide the best results as the next, and the old theory of "Mores Law" does not hold true here. There are small pistol standard, and small pistol magnum, large pistol standard, and large pistol magnum, same for large and small rifle. Because you have developed a great load for the 38 special and it uses a CCI 500 (non magnum) primer, does not mean you can toss in a CCI 550 small pistol magnum primer. You will screw up your load, and possibly create too much pressure. I do not recommend experimenting. Follow the book. Keep your primers seperated and do not interchange brands.


            • #21
              Primer information is found in your loading manual. Follow what the book says. Every load has the primer information at the begining of the load chart information. Some, like the write up on this 300 WBY Mag, has additional information on the background info for the round. They also included best results info and other intersting snippits on the round.


              • #22
                Next I want to discuss projectiles. Probably the most controversial, cause a fight, subject. Everyone has their favorite brands, weights, etc. I will give you a few tips. Auto loaders will usually (not always) need to be loaded with FMJ (Full Metal Jacketed) projectiles. There are some exceptions, as in the AK-47 will shoot some hollow points, and some of the new bullet technologies have created some very adequate hollowpoints for the woefully deficient 9 mm's that was limited to FMJ (also called "BALL") ammo. You will notice that millitary surplus ammo is all FMJ. The reason? Some goofy treaty limited the military to FMJ ammo. Thus, being that the military uses the more ammo in a day, then I shoot in a year, FMJ dominates the market.

                Also, some calibers must have a certain kind of ammo to safely function. 30-30's and 30-40 Kraig's in lever actions need flat tip ammo so you do not get them touching off in the tubular magazine. Refer to your loading manual please.

                The 30 carbine (I load this one) needs small grained round nosed slugs. They are the only ones that feed properly. Bolt actions and single shots are much less picky.

                Also here, I must note, that some calibers may not necisarily shoot certain projectiles, and some firearms chambered for certain calibers need special projectiles. A good case in point is the AK-47 and the Mini-30. Both are chambered for the 7.62 x 39. HOWEVER, the foreign rifles fire a .310 or.311 caliber projectile. Ruger, in its infinite wisdom, chambered its Mini-30 for a .308 caliber projectile. If you shoot .308 projectiles through the AK, the bullet will wabble out the barell and make this inherintly inaccurate round even more so. If you shoot the com-bloc stuff through a mini-30 you are taking your life in your own hands.

                Also, take a 303 Brit. One would assume that it is a .303 caliber slug, right? Wrong, it takes a .312. How about a 38 special? 38 caliber projectile? Wrong. It takes a .357 diameter slug. Another case in point is the 44 mag. 44 caliber? Nope...... it is a .430 caliber slug. You get the idea. But, you are saying, how do you know? THE MANUAL!!!!!

                At the begining of each section for each caliber, there is a small chart that tells the primer used, the bullet diameter and other important facts. See the photo below of the informatin for the 460 Weatherby.

                Also some loads may not be appropriate for some rifles. Many of the modern cardtridges were originally developed for black powder cases. Later, with the invention of smokeless powders, a rifle was developed to shoot the same round, but would take the new smokeless rounds. The smokeless rounds develope higher pressures and should not be fired through the older black powder rifles. How do you know? Check with a gun smith.

                Again, here is why a reloading manual is important. Here is part of the write up at the begining of the 32-20 loading section. Valuable advice, I would say.

                Last edited by Rustyshakelford; 12-07-2008, 01:41 PM. Reason: Added some things.


                • #23
                  Finally, I want to discuss brass. I know a lot about brass, as I ran a once fired reloading brass business for 5 years. It was all mine. I did everything from gleen the brass at the ranges, to processing it, to sorting it and selling it at the gun shows and on gunbroker and e-bay. If you are using new brass, everything is ok, correct? WRONG. New brass can have defects, rarely, but it does happen. I am just going into brass selection this time. I will go into processing your brass later. There are types of brass. Bottle necked (rifle mostly) and straight wall. Mostly pistol. Examples of bottle necked (rifle brass) are .270, 50 BMG, 30-06, 7.62 x 39, weatherby, .308, 300 Win mag, etc. Some rifle rounds are also straight walled. 45-70, 45-90, 500 NE, etc. These rounds have a couple of types. There are rimmed, and rimless. An example of a rimmed cartridge would be the 7.62 x 54 R. A rimless one would be 30-06. There are also belted magnums. I will deal with pistol rounds next post.

                  From Left to right

                  7mm Weatherby Mag. Belted rimless

                  270 rimless

                  32 Win Special (similiar to the 30-30) Rimmed beltless

                  30 Carbine rimless straightwall

                  38 special rimmed straightwall.

                  Essentially a rimmed case is one where the rim is wider then the base of the case. Note the 38 special compared to the 30 carbine.

                  A side note here. Many calibers that are considred "rimless" have been made in a rimmed version, but if you buy a box, it will say "308 rimmed" or something to that effect. They are excedingly rare and were developed for single shot rifles so as to be ejected easier. Most folks will be loading somewhat standard calibers. These rimmed cases are somewhat valuable and collectable, so you probably wont run into them.
                  Last edited by Rustyshakelford; 12-07-2008, 02:54 PM.


                  • #24
                    In general, most revolver cases are straightwalled rimmed and most auto cartridges are straightwalled rimless. There are some exceptions. Some revolvers will shoot the 45 auto using a "moon clip" to hold the case in the cylinder, and some autos shoot rimmed cases like the Coonan shooting the 357's. Also some of the fancy new auto pistols shoot a bottle necked case like the 5.7 FN, and some of the fancy, not so common rounds where they took a 45 case, necked it to 40 or 9mm and created a barell for it. I am not posting a photo on this, you get the idea.


                    • #25
                      What I would like to do now is start on case selection. The first subject I would like to discuss would be Berdan primed vs Boxer primed. I am a virtual plethera of worthless knowlege when it comes to brass. Boxer primers were invented in Europe, and Berdan primed brass is an American invention. However, that being said, today you usually only see Berdan primed stuff coming from Europe and the US is almost exclusively Boxer primed. Do not attempt to load Berdan primed stuff without proper tools, and special primers. Whats the difference do you ask? Glad you did. See the photos below.

                      Boxer primed brass has a complete system within the primer. When the firing pin strikes the primer, everything needed to start ignition is in the primer cap. It is easily identified by there only being one firing hold in the bottom of the case. This is a .40 cal pistol round.

                      A berdan primer contains the ignition compound, but uses the bottom of the brass as the "anvil" or crushing area. They can be easily identifed by the dual holes in the bottom of the brass. This is a 30 carbine case out of South Korea.

                      The majority of brass out there is good boxer primed brass. Win, R-P, Federal, Weatherby, Norma, etc are almost all boxer, unless they are many, many years old.

                      Again, make sure to inspect your brass. You should not run into any berdan primed stuff, but certain calibres have a chance of having some cases with these nasty little suprises tossed in. 30-06, 308, 30 carbine, 7.5 x 55, 7.5 Jap, 6.5 Carcano, 7.62 x 39, 7.62 x 54R, 8mm Mauser, 7mm Mauser.

                      My suggestion, inspect the brass, look down the hole and check the primer hole.

                      *******I wanted to update this. If you accidently run a Berdan primed case through your dies, you will more then likely, break the pin on your dies. BEWARE. This sucks. It can take a long time to get a new one, but usually RCBS or LEE wont charge you as it is cheap.
                      Last edited by Rustyshakelford; 12-08-2008, 10:47 AM.


                      • #26
                        Great stuff! I love the pics! I still have the RCBS single stage press I bought before I went into the Army. I have many fond memories of G squirrels I popped at well over 300 yards with loads from that press, I even dropped a rabbit at over 400 once!
                        The road to serfdom is paved with free electric golf carts.


                        • #27
                          Nickel vs Brass.

                          In fear of sparking controversy, I am going to address the Nickel brass vs Brass. Near as I can tell it is a regional thing. Nickel brass is brass with a nickel coating. One note here, Federal brand Nickel brass is complete crap with a poor coating. I do not recommend it.

                          Up north a lot of people swear by Nickel brass. I can understand it in theory. Nickel does not shrink and swell as much as brass, and does tend to chamber better, as it is a "slicker" metal. Here in the south many folks have the theory that Nickel brass tears up your dies. This also makes sense as it is harder then regular brass.

                          Nickel does have some advantages that I like. It almost never wears out, and it is slicker.

                          Regular does have its advantages, as it is softer and easier to work through ones dies, and if you are making oddball calibres, or fireforming brass to make ackley or some of the stranger calibres I would only use standard brass.

                          I use both.

                          Just an FYI, the nickel brass on the left is for a 300 Win Mag, and the standard brass on the right is for a 7mm Rem Mag.
                          Last edited by Rustyshakelford; 12-07-2008, 03:43 PM.


                          • #28
                            Some examples of brass that is not worth reloading.

                            Upper left, case damage around the opening 40 cal. Middle row from left to right
                            7.5 x 55 with a hole in the neck
                            308 with sever water damage , enough to change the chemistry of the brass
                            223 that had corosive powder in it. Note the damage in the middle
                            8mm mauser with Turkish markings, hole blown in the middle (its small)
                            7.62 x 39 Steel case. Do not reload
                            7.62 x 54R Steel case
                            Bottom row, left to right

                            Aluminum case. Do not reload 45 auto
                            Smashed case (also aluminum) 10 mm auto
                            223 smashed in the center. Obviously shot from an AR

                            There are many other examples of bad cases. Use common sense. You do not want to damage your firearm, or blow your hands off.


                            • #29
                              Ok, done for the evening. Will continue next time with case preperation, including cleaning. Hope this is of help to some folks.


                              This is for informational purposes only.


                              • #30
                                Thanks for the info RS :) Man what good sharp pics your camera takes:eek:


                                Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to
                                beat you to death with it because it is empty.

                                The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.