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  #1  
Old 10-14-2021, 06:49 PM
obsessed1 obsessed1 is offline
 
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Default Handloading process

I know we have a reloading do-dont sticky but given the comment in the other thread I thought it would be interesting to hear what others have developed for thier process to mitigate mistakes. Here's the process I have come up with that seems to work for me

I always start by cleaning brass, either vibratory cleaner or ultra sonic. ( if using ultra sonic I dry my brass before moving to next step)

My reloading steps begin with
Quick case inspection ( confirm how many firings on batch of brass)* more on my round count system comes soon
Lube outside ( quick finger applied mink ol )
Lube inside ( every 5th round push case mouth into a container with #7birdshot w powder graphite mixed in)
Resize/ ex-prime
Clean each round after resizing on a cloth on my knee. And give another quick inspection for defect.
After sizing the whole batch I check overall measurements of case to see if trim is needed.
Trim batch if needed.
Chamfer and deburr case mouth if trimmed
Clean primer pockets ( these steps are done on a rcbs case prep station so each case is finished before grabbing the next case.
Next I mark the brass for my loading count using an automatic center punch on the case head ( I can see how many times each peice of brass has been reloaded by counting the tiny dimples on the case head.
Next is priming
All these steps are done in full batches not moving to the next step until the whole batch is complete
Then comes throwing/ measuring powder
I use a lyman gen5 electronic scale. While a charge is thrown I inspect primer to ensure it's there, its seated correctly ect. Then drop the charge into the case. While the lyman is throwing the next charge I seat the bullet on the charged case in my hand and inspect as I drop it into an mtm box.

The only time my system changes is when working with straight wall cases or cast bullets. I bell the case after the prep stuff and before seating primers.

All neck turning and annealing is done during non reloading sessions and brass is then kept in appropriate bins.

All flash holes are deburred and primer pockets uniformed on virgin brass prior to reloading as well.

With this process I can load about 100/ hr (308)on a single stage press and haven't had an error yet with charges getting missed or doubled.
I find I have plenty of time to seat the bullet and inspect the finished round before the lyman has finished weighing out the next charge. I never have charged cases anywhere but in my hand so I cant miss anything. Powder goes in bullet gets seated.

What's your guys best practice/ foolproof process to keep quality high and missteps at minimum?
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2021, 07:15 PM
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My steps

De prime fired brass
SS wet tumble
Dry in oven
Inspect each case and then sort into proper bin by head stamp and number of loads
Lube in a Tupperware with RCBS lube sprayed inside, just throw 20 brass in, a couple drops and then shake around.
FL size just enough to bump shoulder back 0.001”
Clean case with rag
Trim, chamfer, deburr
Neck size (I feel like I get a more consistent neck tension)
Hand Prime
Write the amount of powder on side of case with sharpie if doing a ladder test
Charge each case with RCBS chargemaster
Seat bullet while chargemaster is spitting out the next load
Caliper every few rounds with comparator to ensure consistent seat depth.

I usually do each step all at once so I don’t miss anything. Before seating the bullet I check each case for powder so I don’t have a squib at the range.
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:48 PM
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My do’s in order
Decap
Anneal
Lube with die wax
FL resize with three thou under bushing
Lube inside of necks with one shot
Expand with two thou under mandrel
Trim always
Chamfer/deburr
Brush necks
Lube inside necks
Prime
Charge
Seat

My nevers

Clean
Sort anything
Neck size
Mess with flash holes
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Last edited by chuck; 10-14-2021 at 08:14 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2021, 07:49 PM
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Similar to the op but I use Hornady one shot lube.

I don’t bother with flash holes
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2021, 08:05 PM
renegadeg2 renegadeg2 is offline
 
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Great question. I'd love to hear and learn from others too.

For bottle neck cases on single stage press:

* Decap (using universal decapper.. so flash hole is cleaned during tumbler)
* tumbler to clean (I also use frankford rotary media separator to quickly empty brass. 99.9% media is removed in a few seconds)
* Inspect for oddities or damage (which is easier to see on cleaned brass)
* lube ONLY outside of case using mink lube or hornady unique (that stuff is great. Never had a stuck case with this stuff. For speed, I use a latex glove, dab of lube on glove, and roll 5 cases at a time. Super fast for high volume 223 kinda stuff... but also 3006, 300wm, 4570)
* full length size (bump shoulder by 2 thou or so. Haven't yet tried neck sizing)
* (optional / for more percise loads) check a sample of cases for neck wall thickness and consistency. I don't have a neck reamer to correct... so I screen what I don't like.
* measure case length for 50% or all cases and see if trimming is needed.
- if trimming is needed. Trim. Dechamfer. Primer pocket cleaner and light uniformer (on case prep unit).
- I not, Pocket cleaner and light uniformer only
* prime all cases (I use frankford which has a micrometer to ensue every round is super consistent and flush with or just below case head)
* (optional / for more percise loads) sort finished brass by weight, and pick a batch to load - I have yet to try this but I hear it's effective.
* NO lube on inside of neck (i.e not to disturb neck friction/resistance. Not good for consistency from what I hear). My typical dies have very consistent neck tension as it is.
* powder charge all cases ( I use electronic auto charge, but not happy with consistency for stick powder.... so I double check on beam scale - especially when aiming for percision loads)
* quick inspection with flash light (missing charge, spilled powder...)
* seat all cases (I use micrometer add-on for hornady seater... or the universal frankford seater with micrometer)
* NO crimp
* confirm cartridge OAL with hornady bullet comparator gauge. Set aside deviations > 2 thou for correction later. (Happens occasionally with compressed or hot loads)
* (optional / for more percise loads) check all cartridges on concentricity gauge and correct deviations > 2 thou (which is sometimes 20% or rounds in my setup)
* one last inspection of the block of finished rounds.

Lastly, pray that it all comes together

I avoid powder charging and seating in same swing.... helps me avoid errors.

This process if freak'n slow... but for a good load, I get very low SD and extrme velocity deviation on the chrono.


Btw.. digressing a bit... what load development steps do you folks take? My process was not working well. This is my revised approach (just haven't had the chance to try again recently)
* pick a seating depth to start... like 20 thou
* 10 shot chrono method, and record speed for each. For safer results, I use 2 rounds for each charge and observe average and deviation per charge.
* Pick a promissing speed node and charge. If speed node is not apparent, or speed variations don't make sense ... some ingredient is off. Stop and try different components (bullet, primer, powder)
* if speed node looks good, then move on to try different seating depths in large steps ( berger method. 10, 40, 70, 100 thou)
* Pick best group and fine tune seating depth by 10 or 5 thou.

I noticed that best speed node occasionally has large horizontal dispersion on group size. That's a good thing. The next step of seating depth adjusents can correct that.

What's your method?

-Reza
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  #6  
Old 10-14-2021, 09:14 PM
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I just have a Lee Anniversary press. Simple.

I set up 40 unprimed brass

I look at each of them

Caliper each brass to make sure they are all the same. Put them in a grey shell holder

Put new primers in. Put them back in the grey shell holder

Digital scale to measure load

When the brass is loaded with powder charge, I put it in a red shell holder

Once all cases have powder I start putting bullets in

I caliper each round after I seat a bullet

I dont trim much.

I reload for 30-06, 300 win mag and 300 wsm.

To clean brass, i use the chemical they sell for ultrasonic cleaners. I pour some in hot water in a little rubbermaid container.
I put in 40 brass with primers removed. Swish it around a bit. Use a primer pocket brush to the primer area, and a 30 cal brush to insert into the case and give it 6-8 back and forth brushings.

Once they are all cleaned, i rinse them in hot water, shake them off, and put them on a cookie pan and cook them in the oven for an hour at 170 degrees. They always come out dry.
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Last edited by huntinstuff; 10-14-2021 at 09:28 PM.
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2021, 09:27 PM
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This is for my precision bottle neck cases (.223rem, 6.5CM, 6.5x47L, .308win, .338LM):

1. De-cap
2. Wet tumble
3. Anneal
4. FL size
5. Measure shoulder bump and then a check by chambering
6. Prime the case
7. Charge the case
8. Seat the bullet
9. Check CBTO
10. Shoot

SOME NOTES: each process for precision bottle neck cases has only a +/-.0005” variance, I rarely trim, neck tension is .003” (bushing sizers), I never use expander balls, primer pockets and flash holes usually don’t need attention because of wet tumbling.

For straight walled cases (.38spl, .357mag, .44spl, .44mag, .45LC, 45-70):

1. De-cap
2. Wet tumble
3. FL size (check with a case guage)
4. Neck expand
6. Prime the case
7. Charge the case
8. Seat the bullet
9. Crimp the neck
10. Shoot

SOME NOTES: I never trim straight walled cases, COAL variance is no greater then .005”, these calibers are for revolvers and rifles.

————————————————————————————————————————

Annealing the bottle neck cases (every firing) has given wonderfully consistent neck tensions and case longevity. (As an example, I can get up to 18 cycles with my .338LM cases, 20+ cycles with my .308win cases, etc.) I use the chambering check because all of my chambers are tight and have extended free bores. (And I seat ‘em long!)

I didn’t mention drying above since that’s a given. And I no longer load for speed like I did when I first started. My cases thank me. Precision, accuracy, and repeatability are not a function of speed.

Straight walled cases seem to last forever. I have some .357mag cases that are into the 30’s for cycles.

And with everything in life….YMMV.

Last edited by 6MT; 10-14-2021 at 09:37 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2021, 10:21 PM
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Pretty much the same as Chuck for me, I use Imperial die wax on the bodies and motormica on the necks. I do have a tumbler, but, seldom ever use it, have 4 guns I do turn necks for and do the flasholes for, as they are a once only process. I still neck/bump size some cartridges, as I'm lazy when it comes to some of them, which don't need FLS all the time, as they are not bolt actions. I have one I absolutely have to FLS, no other types of die available for it, without spending big bucks on custom ones. But, the basic processes are the same.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2021, 09:19 AM
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Inspect, then lube 10 at a time upright w/ Dillon case lube (spray).
FL resize & decap
Wipe off lube
Measure length
Trim if necessary
Clean primer pockets
Chamfer necks (inside and outside) and check for split necks.
Dry tumble w/corncob media 3 hrs.
Tumble in media separator
Blow each case out w/ compressed air. Peek through flash holes for media.
Put finished cases in bins containing only finished cases w/ common headstamp
When I'm ready to charge/seat, I place finished cases in reloading tray.
Set up powder thrower and digital scale
Throw, weigh each charge, top up with trickler
Charge all cases in tray, then inspect to be sure each one is uniformly filled.
Seat bullets (generally 20 thou short of lands)
(I'm going to start playing with seating depth).
Put loaded rounds in MTM boxes and lable
Record all info in binder

I don't see any need to tumble cases prior to resizing as I store them in MTM boxes to keep them clean. Wet tumbling just adds another step (drying). Corncob media absorbs any lube inside cases.
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Last edited by gunluvr; 10-15-2021 at 09:27 AM.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2021, 09:24 AM
mrcrossbow mrcrossbow is offline
 
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Let wife know I'm about to reload don't bug me.
let my 6 yr old know and he knows now don't bug me
turn off phone
inspect cases
remove old primers
clean primer pocket
toss in tumbler to clean
check oal case length
lube case
neck size
remove lube
Bell case
prime
double check notes for load
add powder
put charged case in other case holder
seat bullet
check oal length ever 5 or so.
walk out side test 2 or 3
finished.
let wife know I am now available to do stuff
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2021, 08:22 AM
buckman buckman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obsessed1 View Post
I know we have a reloading do-dont sticky but given the comment in the other thread I thought it would be interesting to hear what others have developed for thier process to mitigate mistakes. Here's the process I have come up with that seems to work for me

I always start by cleaning brass, either vibratory cleaner or ultra sonic. ( if using ultra sonic I dry my brass before moving to next step)

My reloading steps begin with
Quick case inspection ( confirm how many firings on batch of brass)* more on my round count system comes soon
Lube outside ( quick finger applied mink ol )
Lube inside ( every 5th round push case mouth into a container with #7birdshot w powder graphite mixed in)
Resize/ ex-prime
Clean each round after resizing on a cloth on my knee. And give another quick inspection for defect.
After sizing the whole batch I check overall measurements of case to see if trim is needed.
Trim batch if needed.
Chamfer and deburr case mouth if trimmed
Clean primer pockets ( these steps are done on a rcbs case prep station so each case is finished before grabbing the next case.
Next I mark the brass for my loading count using an automatic center punch on the case head ( I can see how many times each peice of brass has been reloaded by counting the tiny dimples on the case head.
Next is priming
All these steps are done in full batches not moving to the next step until the whole batch is complete
Then comes throwing/ measuring powder
I use a lyman gen5 electronic scale. While a charge is thrown I inspect primer to ensure it's there, its seated correctly ect. Then drop the charge into the case. While the lyman is throwing the next charge I seat the bullet on the charged case in my hand and inspect as I drop it into an mtm box.

The only time my system changes is when working with straight wall cases or cast bullets. I bell the case after the prep stuff and before seating primers.

All neck turning and annealing is done during non reloading sessions and brass is then kept in appropriate bins.

All flash holes are deburred and primer pockets uniformed on virgin brass prior to reloading as well.

With this process I can load about 100/ hr (308)on a single stage press and haven't had an error yet with charges getting missed or doubled.
I find I have plenty of time to seat the bullet and inspect the finished round before the lyman has finished weighing out the next charge. I never have charged cases anywhere but in my hand so I cant miss anything. Powder goes in bullet gets seated.

What's your guys best practice/ foolproof process to keep quality high and missteps at minimum?
Your idea of stamping the case head is a great one will start using it on my brass. Thanks for the tips.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:31 PM
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I posted my thoughts on the other thread about my belief that doing all cases one step at a time in batches is my preferred method and reduces the chances of error but I will add one more thing. I know it has become more popular since the advent of Chargemasters to charge one case and seat a bullet in it, but I would never throw powder/weigh powder on the same bench that my press is on. I don't want the vibration of the press messing up the scale/weighing process. Also, by charging and seating you miss the double check step of using a flashlight to confirm all cases filled to same level before seating.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean2 View Post
I posted my thoughts on the other thread about my belief that doing all cases one step at a time in batches is my preferred method and reduces the chances of error but I will add one more thing. I know it has become more popular since the advent of Chargemasters to charge one case and seat a bullet in it, but I would never throw powder/weigh powder on the same bench that my press is on. I don't want the vibration of the press messing up the scale/weighing process. Also, by charging and seating you miss the double check step of using a flashlight to confirm all cases filled to same level before seating.
I worked around that by having my scale on a totally separate table anchored to bot wall and concrete floor. My press is on the opposite wall so absolutely no interference. When I throw powder I always look at the height the powder sit in the case and compare to confirm no error with my meter scale...you have valid points about the double and triple checks though...I just hate having a pile of cases open on the bench with charges in them....evening they are in a loading block..
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Old 10-17-2021, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obsessed1 View Post
Next I mark the brass for my loading count using an automatic center punch on the case head ( I can see how many times each piece of brass has been reloaded by counting the tiny dimples on the case head.
This looks like a good idea. Any pics or further details to share?
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SuperCub View Post
This looks like a good idea. Any pics or further details to share?
I use a auto center punch from princess auto. Use an old useless peice of brass to play around with the weight setting..I go for a very slight indent. You notice a tiny amount of brass will flow back around the divot. This gets flattened on firing leaving nothing more than a pin hole not deep enough to harm the case head but very visible. Simply count the pin holes to know your firing count on that brass. I'll try to load some pics later
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:48 AM
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Do you think it would affect headspace?
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck View Post
Do you think it would affect headspace?
Never ever had an issue. I neck size most of my " precision " rifles and shoulder bump 2 thou on all my other hunting rifles. I use rcbs precision mic and Hornady comparator for measurement. I've never had a issue closing the bolt in either case. The biggest problem is once you have enough firings you need to start dimpling over the case head stamping so unless you know your brass type it might get hard to read..
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck View Post
My do’s in order
Decap
Anneal
Lube with die wax
FL resize with three thou under bushing
Lube inside of necks with one shot
Expand with two thou under mandrel
Trim always
Chamfer/deburr
Brush necks
Lube inside necks
Prime
Charge
Seat

My nevers

Clean
Sort anything
Neck size
Mess with flash holes
A few questions Chuck:
- how do you lube the inside of the neck with the one-shot?

-do you clean this lube out somehow? (alcohol on q-tip etc?)

-what are you lubing the necks with before seating?

I'm working towards a process similar to yours, but I'm still trying to figure the best way to deal with neck lube.
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:59 AM
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Here's a pic of a once fired brass. The new mark punched in is right in between the win and winchester. I have brass that have 20 dimples on the case head as mentioned there's no option but to put them on the stamping. Filing the tip into a very sharp point results in a finer dot similar to a pin *****

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Old 10-17-2021, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no-regard View Post
A few questions Chuck:
- how do you lube the inside of the neck with the one-shot?

-do you clean this lube out somehow? (alcohol on q-tip etc?)

-what are you lubing the necks with before seating?

I'm working towards a process similar to yours, but I'm still trying to figure the best way to deal with neck lube.
I use a Q tip or bore mop and I don’t remove it. I lube prior to seating with the same method. One Shot is actually a dry lube even though it goes on wet.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:45 AM
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Good thread fellas. This is how people learn. Lots and lots of good experience here to take note of. This is what AO was full of years ago. Keep up the great work.
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Old 10-17-2021, 12:08 PM
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O1

Good pictures of the punch process. Kind of a neat idea. I keep all my brass in a MTM cases marked for rifle etc. I also record each time I load, as well as trim and FL size that brass on the lid, so accomplishes the same idea. It is interesting just how often you can load the same piece of brass if you don't over work it. I have some 7 Rem Mag that is over 20 and only ever been neck sized, that I still use for target rounds. I have some 22 Hornet that is still going strong after 25, only neck sized, that I load for gopher safaris.

Not sure there is enough room on the head for that many marks. but it would work great for most uses.
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Old 10-17-2021, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sns2 View Post
Good thread fellas. This is how people learn. Lots and lots of good experience here to take note of. This is what AO was full of years ago. Keep up the great work.

this is great !!
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Old 10-17-2021, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean2 View Post
O1

Good pictures of the punch process. Kind of a neat idea. I keep all my brass in a MTM cases marked for rifle etc. I also record each time I load, as well as trim and FL size that brass on the lid, so accomplishes the same idea. It is interesting just how often you can load the same piece of brass if you don't over work it. I have some 7 Rem Mag that is over 20 and only ever been neck sized, that I still use for target rounds. I have some 22 Hornet that is still going strong after 25, only neck sized, that I load for gopher safaris.

Not sure there is enough room on the head for that many marks. but it would work great for most uses.
Yah I keep my brass in 100rd batches in bins. I always use that batch but I don't always load 100@a time. So keeping track of an entire batch became very difficult. I try to always have 50 rounds loaded available for every rifle...I found keeping track with a pencil was difficult as I have 24 different rifles i load for....I came across the punch idea in an old loading book I read( don't recall the book or author ) but I tried it out a number of years ago and it just seemed to work so I kept it up.
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Old 10-17-2021, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obsessed1 View Post
I use a auto center punch from princess auto. Use an old useless peice of brass to play around with the weight setting..I go for a very slight indent. You notice a tiny amount of brass will flow back around the divot. This gets flattened on firing leaving nothing more than a pin hole not deep enough to harm the case head but very visible. Simply count the pin holes to know your firing count on that brass. I'll try to load some pics later
Thank-you
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Old 10-17-2021, 07:37 PM
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I will drop powder in whatever lot of brass I intend to load. Before seating bullets, I look in each one with a flashlight and make sure a charge was not missed.
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Old 10-17-2021, 09:04 PM
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Ay the range with my BPCR rifles I shoot 5 cases at a time, then reload them.
I do this by decapping , then dry brushing the case .
Prime the case .
Throw a charge and dump the powder into the cases, tapping each one slightly.
Insert a wad, either vegetable Fibre or poly, and seat the powder with a tool I made using my Lee hand press or the Rockchucker if I brought it .
I then take a chunk of lube and scrape it over the case mouth so I get a small amount of lube into the case .
The bullet is then lubed and set into the unsized case, and seated .
Then shoot again .
When I get home the cases are dumped into a soap an water wash untill I clean them .
Cat
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergerboy View Post
I will drop powder in whatever lot of brass I intend to load. Before seating bullets, I look in each one with a flashlight and make sure a charge was not missed.
I do it that way now as well. Charge all the cases in the lot with powder and set them in the loading tray and inspect the same as you.

I used to charge them and go right to seating the bullet but realized how that could go wrong if I messed a step.
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  #29  
Old 10-18-2021, 08:17 AM
elkhunter11 elkhunter11 is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Camrose
Posts: 40,830
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I Use Imperial sizing wax on the case body, and their graphite lube on the necks and resize and decap, using whichever die I prefer for that usage. With my big game loads, I use neck bushing FL dies, and with my target loads, a neck bushing die. I check overall length and trim and chamfer if anywhere near the maximum length. I use the RCBS Universal Priming tool to prime, and since I use a Chargemaster to pour powder charges, I seat a bullet immediately after pouring a powder charge, while the next powder charge is metered. I anneal cases after a few loadings, and wet tumble in stainless pins, after annealing.
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:38 PM
Kawibunga Kawibunga is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Calgary
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Excellent thread for guys like me who are looking at starting reloading. I also went through the original newbie thread on reloading and the booboo thread. Thanks for all the great info gents!

I've been a CDTSA range member for quite a few years, but have barely used it, yet won't let it expire as its tough to get back in. But I took my teenage boys finally out to Milo last month for the first time. And we went through boxes of 303 204 243 and a few 270 WSM. It reinvigorated my joy of punching paper and range time in general! Then i realized what it cost and what I could save by reloading!! Plus I think it would be fun.......

So a turret press is going on my Xmas list......... and I'm sure I'll have questions over the next few months.
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