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Thread: Reloading

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Reloading

    I felt we needed a thread to help spread the word, and answer questions on reloading ammo. I have been doing it since I was a teenager, I find it relaxing and it saves money. I am by far not a perfectionist at it, I just do what I do to maintain accuracy and have a supply of ammo. But I am sure there are members here who can get down to the more intricate details of reloading for those interested. I will not divulge load data, that is available from the powder manufacturers.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I felt we needed a thread to help spread the word, and answer questions on reloading ammo. I have been doing it since I was a teenager, I find it relaxing and it saves money. I am by far not a perfectionist at it, I just do what I do to maintain accuracy and have a supply of ammo. But I am sure there are members here who can get down to the more intricate details of reloading for those interested. I will not divulge load data, that is available from the powder manufacturers.

    I am in the process of acquiring the necessary equipment. I know so very little about the process. Can you recommend resources? I have "The ABCs of Reloading" but am going to need a step-by-step guide or, better yet, a tutor.

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    I have been reloading going on 50 years.

    Buy a couple of reloading mannuals Lyman and Lee are good ones to start with read them.

    Use the internet there are several sites that you can get good info from and connect with good people a couple of them I use are www.accuratereloading.com and www.handloads.com

    Ask around your local area most reloaders are more then happy to help some on get started.

    Stay away from some one who always uses a max load and think they know better then the manuals.

    Start out slow go for a good reload instead of volume. Once you understand making good reloads and done so for a while then one can think about progressive presses and hundreds a rounds a hour.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    I have been reloading going on 50 years.

    Buy a couple of reloading mannuals Lyman and Lee are good ones to start with read them.

    Use the internet there are several sites that you can get good info from and connect with good people a couple of them I use are www.accuratereloading.com and www.handloads.com

    Ask around your local area most reloaders are more then happy to help some on get started.

    Stay away from some one who always uses a max load and think they know better then the manuals.

    Start out slow go for a good reload instead of volume. Once you understand making good reloads and done so for a while then one can think about progressive presses and hundreds a rounds a hour.
    Tess the above is good advice, Lee Precision is a good source of affordable equipment. Some items you can also pick up from sites like ebay, such as digital jewelry scales, precision calipers. Actually some of these items you can get from your auto parts store. Lee has kits to get you started for a affordable price, if they are not sold out. If you load semi auto spend the money for a factory crimp die, I believe Lee now provides them in the sets. When you first start out you are looking for consistent safe loads that not only function but provide a high degree of accuracy. Things such as consistent case length, and consistent crimp makes a big difference in accuracy, as well as powder weight staying the same throughout your loads.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
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    Re: Reloading

    I started on a Lee single stage, not a bad way to learn and will get you 100 rounds an hour. I tried stepping up to a hornady and hated it. I took that back, got a Dillon and haven't looked back. The only problem now is I do less reloading since you can crank them out a lot faster on a progressive. I'd start with a single stage unless you have someone around that can teach you the ropes and money isn't an issue.
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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Tess the above is good advice, Lee Precision is a good source of affordable equipment. Some items you can also pick up from sites like ebay, such as digital jewelry scales, precision calipers. Actually some of these items you can get from your auto parts store. Lee has kits to get you started for a affordable price, if they are not sold out. If you load semi auto spend the money for a factory crimp die, I believe Lee now provides them in the sets. When you first start out you are looking for consistent safe loads that not only function but provide a high degree of accuracy. Things such as consistent case length, and consistent crimp makes a big difference in accuracy, as well as powder weight staying the same throughout your loads.
    Fortunately, sanfranciscoliberalwithagun has provided a complete list of the appropriate equipment and materials, and an idea what is a realistic price so I don't get taken. I also have someone who has offered to make certain I can get primers, at least initially until the supply of small pistol primers returns. I'll be reloading 9mm and .45, mostly, for me and spouse.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    I started on a Lee single stage, not a bad way to learn and will get you 100 rounds an hour. I tried stepping up to a hornady and hated it. I took that back, got a Dillon and haven't looked back. The only problem now is I do less reloading since you can crank them out a lot faster on a progressive. I'd start with a single stage unless you have someone around that can teach you the ropes and money isn't an issue.
    sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com recommends beginning with a single-stage. He says he still uses his, though he has a progressive as well. The idea is that with a single-stage one learns what each step is and why it's important.

    I will insist on following reputable loading information and on learning the proper way to do things. I like my hands and eyes.

    Appreciate the encouragement! I'm really looking forward to this.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I felt we needed a thread to help spread the word, and answer questions on reloading ammo. I have been doing it since I was a teenager, I find it relaxing and it saves money. I am by far not a perfectionist at it, I just do what I do to maintain accuracy and have a supply of ammo. But I am sure there are members here who can get down to the more intricate details of reloading for those interested. I will not divulge load data, that is available from the powder manufacturers.

    Thanks WW for starting this thread. Been meaning to start reloading for a while. Watching a few vids, but do wonder, what are good prices and sources for brass, primers and powder? Also, do you suggest making bullets or buying?

    I am primarily interested in 9mm, .40 and 7.62.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JTHunter View Post
    Can we post load data from the loads we have worked up?
    I only have two calibers, .243 and .380, that I reload but a total of seven different bullet weights.
    That is up to you, you are the one that will be held liable. I personally will not do it as the data that is proven safe is available from the powder manufacturers. Though I will not myself post data I can post the link to Hodgon because that is the manufacturer that I use. Keep in mind that crimps are just as important on bottom loads as they are on top loads. A crimp is necessary for the powder to develop enough pressure to avoid a bullet stuck in the barrel.

    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Re: Reloading

    Just curious, would you recommend buying cast lead bullets online or at the local store? I bought copper jacked from a local, but it was all he carries. If you can/do, do they come pre-lubed?

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpguy View Post
    Just curious, would you recommend buying cast lead bullets online or at the local store? I bought copper jacked from a local, but it was all he carries. If you can/do, do they come pre-lubed?

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I cast my own, but if you do buy them they are cheaper online usually, and most times they are lubed already. I make my own lube for mine.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Re: Reloading

    Picked up a gallon and half bucket of wheel weights today. I should have a turkey fryer Monday. I want to try to keep the temps around 620 degrees. Would there be a temp gauge that anyone recommends?

    Also, I see some of the weights have Al on them. Would these be aluminum coated or are they all aluminium?

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpguy View Post
    Picked up a gallon and half bucket of wheel weights today. I should have a turkey fryer Monday. I want to try to keep the temps around 620 degrees. Would there be a temp gauge that anyone recommends?

    Also, I see some of the weights have Al on them. Would these be aluminum coated or are they all aluminium?

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    That is not aluminum, it is zinc, do not use those weights. Zinc puts off a gas when it melts, you can tell by the sound, lead when dropped sounds like a thud, Zinc has a metal sound.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member Lurchiron's Avatar
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    I have 6 or 7 auto & small engine batteries laying about. What would be the best way to seperate and prep the lead for use???

    Thanks
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurchiron View Post
    I have 6 or 7 auto & small engine batteries laying about. What would be the best way to seperate and prep the lead for use???

    Thanks
    That is a very, very BAD idea! Modern lead batteries do NOT contain pure lead plates. They are alloys containing a significant concentration of highly toxic metals like arsenic and cadmium. What's worse is that the dross skimmed from melted plates produces poisonous arsenate gas after absorbing moisture. Unless you have a facility where you can safely vent poison gas I'd suggest you forget the idea completely.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    That is a very, very BAD idea! Modern lead batteries do NOT contain pure lead plates. They are alloys containing a significant concentration of highly toxic metals like arsenic and cadmium. What's worse is that the dross skimmed from melted plates produces poisonous arsenate gas after absorbing moisture. Unless you have a facility where you can safely vent poison gas I'd suggest you forget the idea completely.
    http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/v...ad.php?t=21151

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/arch...?t-412441.html
    And we are not just talking sick, you very well could die a miserable death from messing with battery lead. Don't do it!
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Sell the batterys then use the money to buy wheel weights.
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    Re: Reloading

    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    Sell the batterys then use the money to buy wheel weights.
    This, batteries are bad news.

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  18. #18
    Regular Member Lurchiron's Avatar
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    Hi,ho...hi,ho; it's off to the salvage yard they go.
    I shall put them in with the next aluminum can run...
    Bale da Hay

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    (Fully warily let him watch,)
    Full long let him look about him;
    For little he knows where a foe may lurk,
    And sit in the seats within.

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    Accomplished Advocate BB62's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting this thread, WalkingWolf.

    I have been looking into reloading lately, but have been at a standstill recently because there seems to be so much to consider:

    - Powder differences: how many types does one need to have?

    - Bullet differences: lubed or not, lead or jacketed?

    - Case differences: what are the differences?

    - Primers: how many different kinds does one need?

    - Reloading machines: single. progressive, or non-hand powered?


    Then there are similar questions for shotgun shell reloading...


    I will review this thread next week when I'm back in internet range, but those are the kinds of things I'm trying to find out - and I will review any and all resources and information offered on this thread.

    Thanks again, WW.

  20. #20
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BB62 View Post
    Thanks for starting this thread, WalkingWolf.

    I have been looking into reloading lately, but have been at a standstill recently because there seems to be so much to consider:

    - Powder differences: how many types does one need to have?

    - Bullet differences: lubed or not, lead or jacketed?

    - Case differences: what are the differences?

    - Primers: how many different kinds does one need?

    - Reloading machines: single. progressive, or non-hand powered?


    Then there are similar questions for shotgun shell reloading...


    I will review this thread next week when I'm back in internet range, but those are the kinds of things I'm trying to find out - and I will review any and all resources and information offered on this thread.

    Thanks again, WW.
    Unless you become hardcore you probably for handgun can get by with one powder. I use about five powders, I use two grades of black powder, Universal Clays for most loads, and Winchester 296 for hot handgun loads. A person can fine tune more with more powders, but the difference in results are minimal for most.

    I always lube my bullets, but there are different ways to do it, I use two methods with the same lube. I pan lube by melting lube into a pan placing bullets into the pan and allowing the lube to cool. Then pushing the bullets out of the cooled lube leaving a ring of lube in the groove. Some bullets are designed with tumble rings for tumble lubing the whole bullet. I do this also I melt the lube enough to cover bullets, pick them up with forceps and set them base down on wax paper. When cooled they are ready to load. I don't have a lead problem so far, my lube is a mix of beeswax, candle wax, animal tallow, and ivory soap. So far it has worked in everything.

    There are not too many variables on cases, they are mostly brass from different manufacturers. Nickel plate is better for handgun in most cases, they do not tarnish so can be cleaned in soap and water. There are cases where one size case can be cut to fit a shorter caliber, or in some cases make wildcat calibers. You will not have to worry so much about this. If you can get nickel cases get them, if not you can use a cleaning solution, or a tumbler to clean them. If you use a tumbler, make sure you wipe of any dust from the tumbling medium, it will scratch the inside of the sizing die.

    There are only a few differences in primers. Handgun small and large, standard, and magnum, same for rifle primers. I use standard for all my loads, IMO magnum are only needed when pushing the limits. I find proper crimp more important than primer power levels, especially on light loads. Most people think a crimp is not needed on light loads but it is, because if the powder does not build enough pressure the bullet may end up lodged in the barrel. IMO more guns have been blown up by light loads than heavy loads.

    For Handguns a single stage works fine, the fancy setups come with a big price tag. Shotgun needs a different press, and different primers, but the costs are basically on the same level. Some of the handgun powders out there are actually shotgun powders.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Regular Member stickbow95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    That is not aluminum, it is zinc, do not use those weights. Zinc puts off a gas when it melts, you can tell by the sound, lead when dropped sounds like a thud, Zinc has a metal sound.
    This ^

    Also, maybe you already know this, but if you aren't sure which ones are zink, just don't let your smelting pot get over 650'ish. Zink melts at 787.2 F It will float to the top of your 650 degree pot with all the other steel and etc. Additionally don't use your smelting pot for pouring bullets, too many impurities.

    I have an RCBS lead thermometer. It works great.

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