Stupid question from a newby

fourfive8

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Usually you can come pretty close to factory ballistics but not always. The chronograph is your friend for developing loads and approximating ballistics. Learning to develop loads using standard deviation of velocity with the chronograph is well worth the effort. If nothing else just record your vels on a piece of paper. Use an online standard deviation calculator and presto. You only have to do it once for any load. If Factory is your standard, you can shoot some of your favorite factory rounds for a baseline. Use caution approaching their numbers. Factories have in house labs or use contract labs with pressure equipment to develop loads. No two rifle chambers or bores are the same and that goes for the pressure testing guns used in the labs that develop the published data you see. Learn to identify high pressure signs and watch the chronograph numbers.

A few of my hunting rifles will easily exceed factory velocity ballistics with certain powders. But for hunting loads I prefer the conservative approach with the highest priority being 100% reliable ammo. For example I have a couple of Win 70s in 416 Remington Mag. Both late New Haven. They might as well be twins. I can easily exceed 400 gr factory velocities with each. But, 100% reliability is the goal permanently set in my mind for hunting ammo. I picked a temperature insensitive powder like Varget and an objective velocity of 2350 fps. That proved to be an easy work up and easy objective to reach, very accurate with Barnes TSXs, monolithic solids and Swift A-Frames. No high pressure signs- what's not to like about it. :)

I have this orange bull dot in with my first buffalo pic as a reminder. The PH set up this dot at about 50 yards so I could check my rifle- one of the Win 70s 416 Rem Mag. 400 gr Swift A-Frame 2350 fps Varget. I leaned over the hood padded with jackets and shot once. He checked the hole and walked back to the cruiser... all grins.

Unknown-2.jpeg
 
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Shootist43

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Friendswoodmat, your reasons for getting into reloading is what got most of us started doing it. Take a look at an old post the title of which was " Why do you reload?" or something close to that effect. The fly in the ointment is once you begin reloading, you will probably shoot more often because it is fun and doesn't cost very much. Before joining AH I never shot anything above a 30-06. Now I own a number of 40 + caliber rifles, and believe me reloading for those babies is a lot cheaper than factory ammo!!
 

CBH Australia

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Ask questions and Loren. The start of your said something like you didn't pay much attention to what's in the kit. It's enough kit to get up and running.
But now is the time to pay attention!
You cannot be complacent when reloading.
Most reloading manuals will get you started with the basic kit you have. For a hunter it will be enough to make a safe accurate load, the electronic powder measure speeds it up.
Ask all the questions you need if you need. Plenty here to help and even more info online.
 

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I suggest that you pick ONE cartridge you shoot a lot and start reloading with that cartridge. Buy a couple manuals. a press, powder scale, a digital fractional caliper, dies for the cartridge, cases, bullets and the powders that your manuals suggest for that cartridge and bullet weight. There will also be peripheral equipment that you collect along the way. This will get you started, eliminate a lot of expense (dies and components for the other cartridges listed), and simplify and focus your learning curve.

When you gain confidence and a bit of knowledge you'll collect all the other 'stuff' and then you'll be just like the rest of us... wallowing in gear and components.
 
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I am just getting into reloading— just found and bought a RCBS supreme kit — I have been around it, but it didnt really intrest me so I did not pay attention— please forgive my ignorance but if I dont ask— I may not know
I am shopping for dies right now for the calibers I want to load — those are (not sure if this matters)
22-250
308-
7mm-08
300 win
270 win
375 hh
416r
I see some dies have a micrometer and some dont — is this important?
Some die sets have 2 some have 3 and some have 4 — is one better than another?
I also see electronic powder scales— seems like a good idea— i remember how tedious it was sitting next to my dad when he did this— seems like a small price for automation — are the accurate? Is the green better than the red?
I know I need some trays
A wet cleaner with metal rod media

Assuming I have powder and primers and brass — what else do i need?
Sorry if these questions appear stupid - Please just skip the post if it offends you. Thanks
@friendswoodmat
Mate can't go wrong with Lee dies economical and really good dies.
Unless you are going for ultra accuracy you don't need micrometer adjustable dies.
One thing you haven't mentioned is a volumetric powder thrower. Lee and hornaday are both good but hornaday handles ball powder better while Lee is ideal for stick powders.
Welcome to the world of reloading.case trays to me are dangerous abominations. I prefer to do one step at a time using 2 containers. Use 1 for cases as each step is completed put it in the empty.
Once a case has the powder in it go straight to the press and seat the projectiles. I've seen 100 cases of powder empty on the floor when the person stood up to check them. Not a happy thing to happen. That's why I like charge and seat you can only spill one case of powder.
DONT GET DISTURBED WHEN RELOADING AND ALWAYS CONSULT A REPUTABLE LOADING MANUAL.
Bob
 
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I'd recommend a mentor and an RCBS charge master ;)
@Tanks
You can buy a good volumetric thrower and electronic scales and have change left for primers,powder, projectiles and another set of dies instead of a charge master.
Yes they are good but I personally don't think the money is worth it but to each their own.
Bob
 

friendswoodmatt

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I bought an RCBS charge master lite— I watched a ton of reviews and it looked to be the one that was most consistent, as well as had a loud beep since I dont hear particularly well. The kit I purchased has a powder charge thrower as well— It just seemed for me and my batch loading approach the charge master light was the simplest most straight forward approach I could take.
So far equipment wise I purchased an RCBS Supreme kit
dies for various rifle calibers I want to load — all FL
Frankford Arsenal case length trimming kit for a drill— (has a micrometer adjustment stem)
Lee case holders
Frankford Arsenal wet media tumbler and pins
Bullet puller
Inline fabrication plate for bench mounting
New bench top — Butcher block
Digital calipers
Reloading manuals — I have nosler, and a couple others — as well as a couple caliber specific ones
The plan is to only load one caliber when I need it— not do a bunch of all calibers
Clean with the tumbler and let dry in my tool room in the barn— then bring the brass inside
Put into trays and lube cases
Deprime and size on the bench
Hand prime with the tool provided in kit
Get the bullet seating die set to correct length
Use the charge master lite to throw charges — and verify with other scale
Load cases with powder and seat projectiles at same time
I am not (at this time ) planning on loading rifle specific cartridges for specific rifles - as for most of the calibers we shoot here I have multiple rifles in the same caliber — for example—we have 3 7mm-08’s and they all shoot sub M.O.A with the same ammo — so I am not chasing any further accuracy than this— so I am not going to load for a specific rifle — just have a bin of rounds we can grab when we need to put them in our packs
Normally we dont shoot a ton here — and we dont shoot a lot of different bullet weights if we can source the bullet weight we want— for example — the 308’3 all like 165 gr and 168’s — so provided I can find those projectiles — I will only load those projectiles— I am simply ensuring I can get ammo when I need it— that is all — I will keep the supplies we need inside the house and periodically I will load up a large batch of ammo for a caliber when it becomes depleted — like 300-500 rounds of 308. Then be done with it for a while.
The shooting range out to 350 is next to the back porch and we have a big bucket we collect all the brass in — i simply sort it into coffee cans and when a can looks pretty full— or the ammo bin looks low — I will reload that caliber
 
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kdenn

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I'm not a seasoned reloader but I've taken an NRA approved class and bought basic equipment and added some luxuries along the way. My advice is go slowly, double and triple check at first. Reloading can be Zen like as everything else just fades away. It can be very rewarding to make your own ammo that fits your gun. Enjoy and be safe.
 
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To me, the most important things to invest in initially are reloading manuals. Yes, we’re all intrigued by the data but the info about reloading methodology, safety and ballistics is what you should concentrate on when starting out. It’s also a good thing to review now and then. I like the Sierra and Norma manuals best.
As far as equipment or supplies: Hornady One Shot case lube, an electronic powder throw and scale (mine’s a Hornady but your choice) and a case trimmer (mine’s a Lyman Brass Smith Case Trim Xpress that I think is great).
@meigsbucks
The hornaday no10 edition is good as well. It also give advice on bullet selections for different game sizes as well as a comprehensive step by step guide on reloading especially the all important die set up.
Bob
 
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I bought an RCBS charge master lite— I watched a ton of reviews and it looked to be the one that was most consistent, as well as had a loud beep since I dont hear particularly well. The kit I purchased has a powder charge thrower as well— It just seemed for me and my batch loading approach the charge master light was the simplest most straight forward approach I could take.
So far equipment wise I purchased an RCBS Supreme kit
dies for various rifle calibers I want to load — all FL
Frankford Arsenal case length trimming kit for a drill— (has a micrometer adjustment stem)
Lee case holders
Frankford Arsenal wet media tumbler and pins
Bullet puller
Inline fabrication plate for bench mounting
New bench top — Butcher block
Digital calipers
Reloading manuals — I have nosler, and a couple others — as well as a couple caliber specific ones
The plan is to only load one caliber when I need it— not do a bunch of all calibers
Clean with the tumbler and let dry in my tool room in the barn— then bring the brass inside
Put into trays and lube cases
Deprime and size on the bench
Hand prime with the tool provided in kit
Get the bullet seating die set to correct length
Use the charge master lite to throw charges — and verify with other scale
Load cases with powder and seat projectiles at same time
I am not (at this time ) planning on loading rifle specific cartridges for specific rifles - as for most of the calibers we shoot here I have multiple rifles in the same caliber — for example—we have 3 7mm-08’s and they all shoot sub M.O.A with the same ammo — so I am not chasing any further accuracy than this— so I am not going to load for a specific rifle — just have a bin of rounds we can grab when we need to put them in our packs
Normally we dont shoot a ton here — and we dont shoot a lot of different bullet weights if we can source the bullet weight we want— for example — the 308’3 all like 165 gr and 168’s — so provided I can find those projectiles — I will only load those projectiles— I am simply ensuring I can get ammo when I need it— that is all — I will keep the supplies we need inside the house and periodically I will load up a large batch of ammo for a caliber when it becomes depleted — like 300-500 rounds of 308. Then be done with it for a while.
The shooting range out to 350 is next to the back porch and we have a big bucket we collect all the brass in — i simply sort it into coffee cans and when a can looks pretty full— or the ammo bin looks low — I will reload that caliber
@friendswoodmat
One thing you haven't mentioned is a,stuck case remover. A cheap investment when you get a case stuck in a FLS die.
Don't think it won't happen it will one day to 99% of reloaders. Better to have one on hand than trying to get on when it happens.
Bob
 

sgt_zim

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@friendswoodmatt - are you still in Friendswood?

If so, I have 3 or 4 different powders that work for 308 165 and 168 gr bullets.

Also, if you go to midway right now, they have 8# kegs of a Hodgdon powder called BLC2. It's a pretty common 308 powder as well, though I don't have that particular one.

for 308, i have had terrific success with the following powders
Varget (I haven't found any since before the rona)
Alliant 2000MR
Win748
CFE223

not for nothing...Nosler says BLC2 is the most accurate/consistent powder for their 165 and 168 gr bullets
 

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It looks like you have a great starting setup!

Some thoughts I may have missed in your equipment post:
I,ve had bad experiences with Hornady’s One Shot myself, so I mostly use Imperial wax. Never had another stuck case. If you use it, One Shot, get a stuck case remover.

I use a wet tumbler with Dawn and Lemishine to keep my cases clean.

Presses, being an experimenter, I’ve owned several...RCBS, Lee, Hornady, Lyman, C&H...and maybe another I can’t recall. Currently I use a Lee Classic with quick release dies and a first gen Lyman rotary head. I like the quick release concept. It seems accurate enough for my purposes.

Vernier (if you can read them), dial, or digital readout calipers are a must!

I enjoy a clamp on table light with an inspection mirror to help my old eyes see case imperfections.

Case trimmer, chamfering and deburring tools...this is the biggest pain, IMO, of reloading.

If you want to reload a case more than 5x, learn to anneal. Or just buy new cases.
 

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@friendswoodmatt - are you still in Friendswood?

If so, I have 3 or 4 different powders that work for 308 165 and 168 gr bullets.

Also, if you go to midway right now, they have 8# kegs of a Hodgdon powder called BLC2. Its a pretty common 308 powder as well, though I don't have that particular one.

for 308, i have had terrific success with the following powders
Varget (I haven't found any since before the rona)
Alliant 2000MR
Win748
CFE223

not for nothing...Nosler says BLC2 is the most accurate/consistent powder for their 165 and 168 gr bullets
Reloder 15, 168 SMKs and don't look back.
e-big-grin.gif
 

sgt_zim

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I ended up with all of those different 308 powders early on in the rona shortage. figured I'd buy powders that were suitable (and had published loads) for a wide variety of bullets - Hornady, Nosler, Berger, Sierra, and Speer.
 

Wyatt Smith

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@friendswoodmat
One thing you haven't mentioned is a,stuck case remover. A cheap investment when you get a case stuck in a FLS die.
Don't think it won't happen it will one day to 99% of reloaders. Better to have one on hand than trying to get on when it happens.
Bob
There’s no need to buy one. When I get a stuck case I remove the decapping pin, drill and tap the primer pocket to 1/4 20, then use a socket for a spacer, thread the bolt into the case and tighten in until the case is free.
 

tarbe

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Whatever you do...keep detailed records.

Record what you built, and record (as best you can) how what you built worked. Group size, velocity, any other pertinent info related to pressure (extraction, primer condition) or really weird stuff like hangfires!

I have 3 3-ring binders that chronicle my loading adventures with 46 cartridges over 46 years - and counting!
 

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To add to list, I got a cheap food dehydrator to dry cases after cleaning, before tumbling.
Pay attention to details, keep records of loads and data. I found that I have not saved any money at all reloading, shoot alot more though.
If possible and practical buy your powder in 8lb kegs. Every lot of powder will vary a little. By doing this, you will always have good supply and not have to rework a load with a different batch of the same powder.

Good luck
 

Shootist43

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Re. stuck case removal, I have removed the die and stuck case from the press and put it into a deep freeze. The case will contract more than the die, and you can sometimes just "tap" it free. However if the case won't come out, I'm going to try Wyatt Smith's method.
 

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