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Reloading May Be in YOUR Future, Part II

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  • Reloading May Be in YOUR Future, Part II

    I am not going to go through all the little nuances of reloading in these articles, as it would take forever to do so. I will show you where to go and the best way to get there though; the rest is up to you. After reading your manual(s), get yourself a place to build or set up your bench. Remember, this is your place; no one should be running in, no radio, no TV, nothing distracting you period. Distractions are dangerous! Now that you found that perfect place, and you have your bench in kit form or the materials to build it, securing it to the walls and floor is important, as you are going to be putting a lot of pressure on the bench when resizing your brass. Your top must also be strong. The bench I built has a 2X4 base secured to the wall and floor, with 5/4 boards and 3/4” plywood top. Yes, it is too sturdy; I like it that way. Now how you setup your bench is as personal as the clothes you wear; the only thing I would suggest is that you put everything in the order of operation. You don't want to have to move around a section of the bench to get to another operation. By this, I mean you don't want to go around the press to get to powder scales, etc...

    When working up a load for your weapon of choice, I recommend you start with the lowest amount of powder and slowly go up from there. I use case boxes and mark the loads with different color markers on the primer ends. I always shoot five shot groups, so I load the five rounds for each weight of powder, and then I shoot them at the range to see how they group. The manuals will have what they consider the "maximum load". That term is both good and bad, do not assume that your gun will hold the max load; their maximum load could be too much for your particular weapon, and blow it up in your face. Even a brand new gun could be damaged by too much powder, so start low and check for signs of extreme pressure (ie, bolt stuck when trying to eject the spent round, one sign that there is too much pressure/powder in the loads). Remember the fastest bullet may not be the most accurate. Part of reloading is being meticulous about doing the same thing, the same way, every time. This makes for good accuracy, and accuracy is why you or I reload. Anyone can go to the local department store, buy a box of shells and shoot them. Now to put 5 bullets in the bullsye at 100yds, or shoot a l/2 in. group at the same distance: that takes meticulously hand loaded ammunition.

    I probably should have mentioned it before this but: Do Not Assume Anything! If at any time you are unsure of what you have done, or are about to do, STOP AND START OVER! It is better to have wasted some time than to get hurt because you didn't know what was going on. When I got into this hobby, I asked an old friend of mine named Leo, "Should I full-length size or just neck size my cases?” in reference to my 22-250. I had some cases that were shot from another gun. Anyway, I said I didn't know, and he stopped me right there. "Full length size all the cases because you don't know. Always know!" I have never forgotten what he said. Therefore, if there was a number one rule, it would be "Always know!"

    Well I guess you are on your way up the reloading road. Remember: read the manual (s). They are your best source of information. As always, if you have a question I can help you with, please contact me on this forum and if I can I will answer ASAP.

    Be Safe,

    Big John