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Thread: Step by Step Reloading for the beginner..

  1. #1
    Senior Veteran Smokehouse69's Avatar
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    Step by Step Reloading for the beginner..

    A guy I know on another forum posted this, it is a pretty good tutorial on reloading.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRD77VET View Post
    Here's step by step instruction ( with pics ) on how to load center fire ammo. I'm doing .223 target ammo for my Bushmaster AR-15 so there are a few extra steps for precision ammo but the same steps can be done for your hunting rifle. The press is a single stage RCBC Rock Chucker, part of the Master Kit I got about 17 years ago.

    No cliffs, details are too important to skim over. Also, safety glasses would be good to wear at all times.

    Click the pictures for large view.



    Here we have once fired .223 brass , a set of dial vernier calipers , primer pocket brushes ( green handles), a primer pocket reamer (black caps on ends), a flash hole deburring tool ( wooden handle ), a reloading manual and in the three green boxes are a set of dies for the .223, a universal decapping die and a set of precision mics ( for measuring overall length of the assembled ammo )





    Above is the decapping die with the proper sized shell holder. The base of the cartridge fits in the holder and the pin ( a replaceable part ) pushes out the used/spent primer.



    As with all dies, set the bottom of the die so it almost touches the shell holder. Leave about .020 clearance ( the thickness of a paper match pack )



    The spent case goes in the holder, the handle is pulled and the pin pushes out the spent primer. Repeat many times.



    Now I have 200 cases that have the primers removed. They have NOT been resized yet.



    Into the vibratory tumbler



    add corncob media and turn on for one to one and a half hours. The basket shakes back and forth and it "scrubs" the brass clean. You can see the parts move in circle from the outside of the basket to the inside on a never ending ride.



    Into the strainer and shake. Move the brass around trying to get all the media out.



    The media gets into the flash hole. Take a small wire and knock out the media as you dump the media in the case back in the bucket.



    Place all the brass in trays to hold them upright and spray them with a lubricant. I like the Hornady One Shot as it doesn't leave a heavy film on the brass.

    ALL bottle neck cases must be lubed before resizing or they will get stuck in the resizing die.



    Using the resizing die, ( same pic as earlier but different die) place the lubed brass in the shell holder and firmly press the handle down. Then in a smooth action, lift the handle back up.
    ( if you don't have a decapping die, use this as your first step )

    What you have just done is run an expander in the cartridge neck and as you bottomed out the stroke, made the case the correct size to use again. The pin would also push out the spent primer if now done earlier However, the neck is too small now . When you move the handle back up, the expander makes the neck the correct size. :thumbs:

    Wipe off resizing lube.



    Now we measure our brass for overall length. The .223 brass has a maximum length of 1.760 but this brass is 1.765. Since it's oversize, it must be cut.



    This is a case trimmer. One of the four plates hold the case, the pilot fits in the neck and the cutter cuts it. The black collar on the outside is the coarse adjustment and the collar next to it is the fine adjustment.



    I've picked the correct size for the case and placed that on the left side pins. By pushing the handle down, you place the case in. I used the allen wrench to put in a .22 cal pilot and brought it against the case. Where the allen wrench is the coarse adjustment. I gently tightened it and turned the fine adjustment 5 lines for .005 of movement.
    I took a cut and found I needed to move it another .005 so I did that. Once you're set, just check about every 10 pieces to make sure you are correct.


    Now I have the correct cut length of 1.750 ( that info is in the reloading manuals ).I will be using three of the tools shown on each piece of brass.
    The chamfer tool is used on the neck you just cut to remove the burr on both the inside and outside. Hold the cutter in your fingers of one hand and the brass in the other. Turn opposite directions to remove the burr.
    The wire brush is used to clean the burned residue from the primer pocket. However, I use the cutter to make all my primer pockets the same diameter and depth.
    The wooden handled tool is used to remove any burrs from the inside of the case at the primer flash hole.


    NOTICE
    NOW
    is the time you look at your brass for cracks in the neck, bad dents or other bad looking things. If in doubt, throw it out



    If you have military brass and you did NOT cut the primer pockets, you will have to swage the primer pocket so you can get a primer in. The correct size swagging button is put in place of the shell holder ( either large or small primer pocket ), the cap is placed and it's run against the stop in the upper die. When the handle is brought back the the start position, you have the correct sized primer pocket.

    Now it's time to prime the cases. Go wash your hands with soap and water.
    Yes, I am completely serious.
    Oil is about the only thing that will kill primers ( not make them go BANG )


    I have a Lee hand Auto Primer. It has trays for both small and large primers.
    NOTE--- Pistol and rifle primers are NOT interchangeable. Different burn rates, metal hardnesses and heights.

    Also, if you don't wear eyeglasses, put on safety glasses.
    Quote Originally Posted by JRD77VET View Post



    Place the primers on the pan and gently move them around on the grooved surface so they all face up. Place the cover on, place a resized case in the shell holder and while facing away from you, squeeze the handle to seat the primer flush with the bottom.

    Failure the seat the primer flush could result on the weapon firing when the bolt closes.



    Verify your load by checking a few ( several ) reloading books. There MAY be an error during printing.



    I put out ONLY the correct powder for the load behind the scale, in the trickler and into the powder measure. All other powders are on their correct shelf, away from from the scale shelf.
    The red item is a trickler. By turning the hollow shaft, it dribbles powder out so you can get an exact load. If you wish to do this but don't have a trickler, use another empty case and turn that to make the charge exact.



    Adjust the threaded rod for the correct charge of the correct powder. Make sure you hold the pan against the bottom or it will splash out.

    NEVER, EVER use a vacuum to clean up spilled powder. It is possible for a static charge to ignite the powder the vacuum picked up.



    I hold two fingers on the trickler to steady it as I bring the charge exactly where I want.

    Use a funnel to pour the powder into the primed case. Repeat until all cases are charged.

    Work in a specific pattern. I start at top left and move right. Next row down, repeat.



    Now verify that all cases have the same charge. A case with missing powder could lodge a bullet in the barrel ( the primer has just enough energy to move the bullet out of the case )





    Now you put in the seating die and seat the bullets to the overall length in your reloading manual. If you have the seating die too low, you will crush the top of the case by the neck. Bullet height is adjusted by the threaded rod sticking out.



    Check length and finish up.

    Be safe , have fun and enjoy
    Jeff
    COG Member #1069

    "You have obviously got to learn that
    to be civil to a Frenchman is to be laughed at,
    and this I shall never submit to." Horatio Lord Nelson

  2. #2
    Senior Veteran HKILLER's Avatar
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    cool thx smoke answered lots of questions for me.
    IS THERE A SECTION FOR MY DEATH STAR ON MILITARYFIREARM.COM?

  3. #3
    Senior Veteran DaCapster's Avatar
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    Get a chamber/ case gauge, you never be 100% without one, It's the
    .03% round that could blow up your gun.....
    COG#169 Terra Firma....No Doubt!

  4. #4
    Senior Veteran HKILLER's Avatar
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    What does that gauge look like?
    IS THERE A SECTION FOR MY DEATH STAR ON MILITARYFIREARM.COM?

  5. #5
    Senior Veteran DaCapster's Avatar
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    Lots of the big name places have them, best if you get one that was cut with the same reamer as your barrel in a piece of the blank.....but these will do for about 25$
    Last edited by DaCapster; 03-13-2011 at 09:27 PM.
    COG#169 Terra Firma....No Doubt!

  6. #6
    Senior Veteran yellowhand's Avatar
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    Well done, should help a lot of people get past their concerns when first starting out reloading.
    I just wish my stuff looked like his, clean, new lookingLOL
    Mine looks like it produced 100,000 plus rounds, all worn and dirty...
    You may find me dead in a ditch, but I will be up to my waist in spent rifle brass! Airborne...

  7. #7

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    I just got my first kit ever a couple weeks ago a Lee Anniv. special
    "for my Anniv." sure appreciate any knowledge shared here, frankly I am a little nervous about it but I will get over it.
    Thanks for this!
    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
    Thomas Jefferson


  8. #8
    Senior Veteran SSwee's Avatar
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    Just a thought. When seating the bullets and checking the COL, you may see a slight variance. The seating die pushes on the ogive of the bullet and not the tip. To check for consistent seating depth, you would need to use a comparator.
    SS
    Yo COG # 1002

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