Tips for reloading accurately and safely.
If you have a reloading tip you would like to share, please E-mail me Or post it in the Forums.
1) Before reloading several rounds; you should just reload 5 and see how accurate they are. Not only accurate but if you have a chronograph you should test the speed as well. Submitted by: CEO
2) Before fitting your lead into your casing, just take a glance inside the case to make sure the powder is there, and that it has not been filled twice. This may seem like common sense, but it can be overlooked. Submitted by: CEO
3) Always have only one canister of powder on your bench at a time. Submitted by: DaveT
4) After reloading a while, it might seem like second nature, but for those starting out-- Don't overlook that manufacturers may package bullets that don't weigh what they should. Be on the alert for the possibility of having bullets, lighter or heavier, than what the box states. It doesn't happen often, but does happen. Submitted by: vmt_hntr
5) I always tumble my cases before doing anything else. But the neck area seems to demand the most attention. I use 4/0 steel wool to clean this area before tumbling. Powder residue seems to be real stubborn. And use a bore brush of the proper size to get that powder residue out of the neck.Submitted by: vmt_hntr
6) Always tumble fired straight wall pistol cases. Especially when using carbide sizer dies. Just a bit of powder residue or dirt on the outside of cases, will soon make permanent scratches on the inside of that expensive die.Submitted by: vmt_hntr
7) I never realized how 'crooked' my ammo was, until I got a gauge to check both the case neck run-out and the loaded round bullet run-out. It is also useful for correcting the die set-up for the press, if sizer is making case necks crooked too, or seater die is putting bullets in cases crooked. This is more useful for bottleneck cases than straight-walled ones.Submitted by: vmt_hntr
8) I've heard of and seen some guys put their reloaded rounds in a baggie! Now I realize it cost a bit more for ammo boxes, but come on here...you went to all the trouble to make good ammo.....put that ammo in a plastic ammo box ....where it will be safe from being knocked around and handier at the range. Submitted by: vmt_hntr
9) When working new brass, always 100% inspect each new case for flaws. Recently I worked up 50 pieces of new 7MM WSM brass and found one case with a split between the neck and shoulder area. If I had fired this case, violent gases would have escaped and burnt a pitted mark in my chamber. Submitted by: DaveT
10) Powder and primers, when stored properly, will remain quite useful for a very long time. But in order to rotate your stock, mark it with the month and year of purchase. This will at least let you know the age of your 2 primary components. Submitted by: vmt_hntr
11) As you prep new brass, check inside of each case to insure there is no foreign residue or brass shavings. Factories do a marvelous job of making brass, but oversight still exists. Submitted by: vmt_hntr
12) One should be on the lookout for any irregularities while reloading. Your brass should be checked at every stage of the reloading process to ensure that, when finished, you have produced what was intended..quality and safe ammo. Submitted by: vmt_hntr
13) I wish I had a run-out guage. Never seem to have enough "toy money" left over to buy one. What I do do to minimize run-out, is use a partial stroke during seating. Starting the bullet with a "short" stroke, rotate the case in the shell holder180^ +or- and finsh the seating with a full stroke. If your initial start is slightly crooked, this rotating will straighten it. If your seater plug isn't a 100% true, rotating will mininmize the "off-center" torque to some degree. But VH is right, the run-out guage is the only way to really know how straight they are. Submitted by: onesonek
14) Those using progessive presses like the dillon should not leave any cases "midway" through the reloading cycle. I always run the shellplate "dry" before leaving the room,never know how long you will be away and one false step..... Submitted by: 45nut
15) When choosing a new powder i always look for the best velocity and one that fills the case the most. Most often a compressed load or near compressed load will give the best accuracy. Submitted by: shrpshtrjoe
16) When using any progressive reloader, establish a "neutral" stage...a point where if you are distracted for a moment (such as refeeding primers) you can resume at exactly the same step in the process. On my Pro2000, my rhythm is brass, bullet, pull, push, turn. I will not stop until I complete this series of steps. This way, when I resume, I know where to pick back up. Submitted by: Greg
17) I always store my reloaded ammo loaded with cast bullets with the base on the bottom. Keeps the powder away from any wayward lube. Submitted by: Robert B.
18) I am relatively new to reloading and was having trouble getting good concentricity out of my case necks. I purchased a neck turner hoping this would alleviate my dilemma. Unfortunately this helped some but didn’t solve the problem completely. I was working with about 200 pieces of once fired RORG military 5.56 mm brass which should have been my first clue (It was manufactured by the lowest bidder). I found if I ran the shell cases through my full length sizer die again, turned them 180 degrees and ran them through once more, they straitened out considerably. The starting point was .002” to .005”. About 30% of the cases finished out in the .000” to .0004” range (primo ammo), another 40% in the .0005” to .001” range (practice ammo). The rest I sent to the scrap pile. Submitted by: Pace
19) I have a Dillon 550 progressive reloading press. It occurred to me to put a decapping pin die (lyman has one for $16) on the sizing station, turn off the power and adjust the expanding die at the second station to just straighten the oblong deformed case mouth, 45 cases seem to be the worst, put the sizing die on the third station, remove the decapping pin, and properly expand the case for loading in the fourth position. Take the processed cases, run them through the RCBS rockchunker to decrimp the primer pocket with a RCBS primer pocket swaging tool, clean everything, hand prime and inspect for the first loading of the case, then use the normal progressive loader setup without the sizing die / depriming rod. Use the progressive loader without primers for the first run of the cases.
Thin walled cases seem to be easily torn, crumpled in the reloading process. The progressive takes out more cases than I ever remember loosing to the single stage press. The sizing die would straighten some of slightly out of round cases. Cases I thought would make it, would crimp and tear. The above was plan B. With having to untie the jammed primers and crumpled cases, this process seems to make more sense for speedy reloading on a progressive loader. I don’t have a baseline for number of cases lost vs plan B, My gut says I saved cases, primers, time. I’m looking forward to the next reloading of these cases.
Submitted by: KWalker
20) To stop adding powder 2x when reloading ,when I add the primer to the
cartridge I have the cartridge primer up on top, this to have the cartridge
upside down so when you put the powder charge in you have the cartridge up side
up.Then you know you have the powder charge in. This is what worked for me.
Submitted by: Paul