Big Bore Reloading Questions
This is a discussion on Big Bore Reloading Questions within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearms & Ammunition category; As AkMike recommended, I've decided to start reloading. The ammo prices in the big bores certainly justify it, and my ...
06-18-2013, 04:08 PM #1
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Big Bore Reloading Questions
As AkMike recommended, I've decided to start reloading. The ammo prices in the big bores certainly justify it, and my sons will probably enjoy it.
I've ordered a book on the subject, and hopefully it will answer most of my questions.
JJ at Champlins re-regulated the Heym that he converted for me from 458 Win Mag to 450 NE with 450 gr NF solids. The rounds he used he loaded with IMR 3031 powder. Are there significant differences in the various powders offered? If I start loading for a 450 NE and 470 NE, then expand into .375 H&H and .416 Rem, is IMR 3031 a good choice?
The Lee Classic Press was recommended for easier clearance with the long NE cartridges. Do Hornady dies work with a Lee Classic Press? What about other presses? Hornady has said that their classic press will work, but it takes some effort to get the bullet in initially.
Now I just have to convince the wife that this is really a money-saving endeavor. Might be tough because I use that argument often, and usually it turns out to be wrong ....Shakey Katy, TX
06-18-2013, 05:44 PM #2
There is lots of powders to choose from and burn rates will show you what does what. Get a burn rate chart off the net or in a loading manual. Hodgdon has a good one you can download off the net.
Get at least two or three manuals to compare loads too. All manuals are NOT created equal!
You will find 3031 on the fast side for rifles but it works well in large bore, straight wall cases from the .45-70 on up, but so will others. Virtually all die sets will work in any press as long as they are set up for standard size 7/8 dia dies and most if not all are. The opening or window of the press can make a difference in the ease of loading the long boys. RCBS, Redding, Lee and others make a tall press for the big boys. Until you have some time under your belt, use book maximums as max and dont do like many old timers do and "start at max and work up from there". We all like to get the most velocity we can but no animal on earth can tell the difference between 100 feet per second. Load for what shoots most accurately. Certain rounds like certain powders best. For instance the .30-06 almost always shoots well with 4350. The .338 Win mag loves the 4831's and Reloder 19, the .458 Win is well loaded with Reloder 7 and 3031. One disadvantage to 3031 is that it is bulky and takes up much room in cases that need all the help they can get, like the .458 mag. When loading for a .405 Win project some time ago, I switched to H335 (a ball powder) over 3031 as it takes up less room. Welcome to handloading. Its a great hobby and you will learn more than you ever imagined. Good luck with the wife, you're on your own there!
06-18-2013, 07:16 PM #3
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Find a friend or colleague that reloads and look at his set up, let him show you how. Books are great but nothing like hands on experience. Also, look at the lay out, you don't need alot of room but it should be well thought out and organized, everything in a logical sequence.
I ONLY use IMR 4350 in my rifles, and I ONLY use Magnum primers, I once ALMOST got myself into a heap of trouble by having too many powders and primers, etc... I mis-read the charts and gave myself a 10 grain over the max load and shot it not once, but twice (bolt had to be pounded open, primer blown, so like an idiot I shot again - same result).
Lots of info on the internet from various bullet and powder companies, some are more conservative, so work up slowly (1/2 grain increments) - I don't bother with tenths of grains, alot pf people do, I don't - my preference.
Many years ago I bought a 375 H&H too good a buy not to, at the time a box of 30.06 were about $8 and 375 was $30 that's when I started reloading, now all the ammo is expensive and reloading makes alot of sense. We're having the same issues with components as with ammo - a large shortage - but it's getting better.
As mentioned, to the best of my knowledge all dies are standard thread and interchangable - I use RCBS but that's what I started with and I am a loyal customer.
One last bit of advice DO NOT clean your dies with parts cleaner or brake cleaner. I did, and today I had to buy a new set for my 7mm rem mag. Use only dish detergent and water of you need to really clean them, then compressed air to dry them out and a light coat of oil. Just my 2 cents..
06-18-2013, 07:33 PM #4
Far be it from me to argue with you about what works for you, but in the interest of the discussion, it is not generally recommended to use magnum primers as an all situation primer. First of all its not neccessary for most loading, and can increase pressures in some loadings. About the only place I use mag primers is in pistol loads using H110/W296 and with rifle ball powders like W748 or W760 and of course there are others, but I dont mostly use them preferring extruded powders for most of my loading. I am still laughing about your boo-boo with the overload! I use many different powders for my loadings but I load for many rifle and pistol cartridges. One powder wont cover it, not even a dozen. If I only loaded for a .30-06 I could happily get by with 4350. I agree with your other points.
06-18-2013, 08:22 PM #5
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There's no doubt that within even a relatively short amount of time or rather shots taken, you will save money loading your own. I've calculated it a number of times from .416 Rigby on down to .270 Winchester and comes out virtually the same everytime, my loads cost about 1/2 as much as the comparable factory load.
I'm with ses on the powders. They make a huge difference between calibers and even between size of the projectiles you're using in a given caliber. For instance my .375H&H loves 300gr A-Frames with IMR4350 behind them. But when using 250gr North Forks, the rifle wants H4895 or Varget. My .300WM prefers H4831 and to a somewhat lesser extent IMR7828 or RL25 with 200gr loads.
That said, greyfox has a very good point. As you collect powders it can be easy to mix one with the other. My loading bench is in my garage, but I keep all of my powder in a cabinet in our laundry room. When I'm loading, I bring one and only one powder to the bench. And though I can recite in my sleep the various loads I have for various calibers and by which bullet I'm using, I always check my notes/manuals and confirm. Double checking the bullets being used and once again the powder before I load.
The family has also learned to not disturb me when I'm loading. When trimming brass or priming, I may be inside and can handle the usual requirements of dad and husband. But when I go to the garage and start pouring powder and seating bullets, they all know to leave me alone, that I cannot talk or be distracted.
I've had an incident like grey's (though I only pulled the trigger once, sorry grey) and it's really not funny when you sit and think about what might could have happened. On another forum, a fellow ran an experiment loading up pistol powder in a rifle cartridge just to see what would happen. From a distance using a string and behind cover, they pulled the trigger and the rifle literally blew apart into several pieces. I doubt you'd want your face next to that.
I'm not saying this to deter you, but just to emphasize being safe and conservative as you start off. These are habits you always want to maintain.
One last point, hopefully JJ will provide you the load specs for your double. Even though you have the exact recipe, powder manufacturers do occasionally change the powders slightly. You need to be aware of this and always start a bit below and work way back up to your designated load.Bonse Aba
06-19-2013, 04:27 AM #6
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excellant points that I'd neglected to mention, Phil. The case prep is sometimes a tthe breakfast table , in the a/C, talking to the family, but RIGHT, when it's the powders and primers, DO NOT DISTURB!!
As far as the primers, I load 243, 270, 7mm and 375 and only have one primer for all, just my thing,
I should mention that using magnum primers your max load will be about 1 to 1.5 grains less than published.
No offense taken sesto, If I only had a 30.06 I'd probably use 4064 exclusively.
08-27-2013, 01:01 AM #7
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I found it interesting to know that you have a .450 NE and are planning to reload cartridges for it. I too would like to do so and would be grateful for advice regarding where to source dies and reloading data from etc. Please do keep us informed of progress made by you in this direction.
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