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roysroyce
12-15-2016, 9:50 AM
Just began reloading, going to actually fire them in the next few weeks...

What advice does anyone have?

Working off of the assumption that once you're at the range, it's too late to be cautious w/ firing your reloads. Can I be any safer while firing? Safety glasses?, Gloves? I"m shooting an AR style rifles, so maybe not put my face right behind the sights?

I'm trying to be super cautious, and during reloading (I've loaded up 15 cartridges **VERY FIRST 15) and I've logged everything I could to ensure no mistakes have been made. But now that all the "technical" manufacturing is over... What can I do to be more safe at the range given these are my first reloads?

Appreciate the help...

rsrocket1
12-15-2016, 9:56 AM
Yes, shooting those first reloads can be a nervous experience. Mine were 45ACP rounds in a 1911 and I wanted to tie the gun to a tree and pull the trigger with a string.

Provided you loaded to mid range loads (between min and max) or even min loads, you will be OK. The rounds may not be MOA accurate, but they should all go bang and hopefully cycle the action. It might make you feel better if you loaded just one round at a time and not fill the magazine but other than that, eye and ear protection is all you ought to need (as always).

roysroyce
12-15-2016, 10:09 AM
Yeah, I didn't mention but was only going to load 1 round in the mag. But yeah... I also thought about firing it from some other device where I wasn't so close to it.
thx

kengotit
12-15-2016, 11:36 AM
Or two rounds to see if it's hot enough to load the next round/or cycle the gun

davek8s
12-15-2016, 11:54 AM
I've been reloading for almost 6 years now. My advice would be to load up a mag and put lead down range.

If you did your homework, checked your powder charge and OAL you'll be fine.

I will admit that I was nervous the first few times i shot my reloads.

Desertdoc
12-15-2016, 2:38 PM
I guess, I was different. I was uptight and read, re-read, then read information again. Then I asked questions, then I watched youtube, then I did things step by methodical step, and asked questions at each step in the process. Then, when I was at the range I knew for a fact my **** was right.

Desertdoc
12-15-2016, 2:46 PM
Just began reloading, going to actually fire them in the next few weeks...

What advice does anyone have?

Working off of the assumption that once you're at the range, it's too late to be cautious w/ firing your reloads. Can I be any safer while firing? Safety glasses?, Gloves? I"m shooting an AR style rifles, so maybe not put my face right behind the sights?

I'm trying to be super cautious, and during reloading (I've loaded up 15 cartridges **VERY FIRST 15) and I've logged everything I could to ensure no mistakes have been made. But now that all the "technical" manufacturing is over... What can I do to be more safe at the range given these are my first reloads?

Appreciate the help...

Did you read, re-read your mainstream published reloading books? I hope you did not follow someone elses load data developed just for their guns.

Did you check, recheck then have someone else check your work and math?

Too late once you are at the range? If there is EVER any doubt, STOP and start over. I do not care where you are or who is with you.

One round in the mag at a time. Did you seat the primers deep enough?

The time for QA is not at the range. It MUST be started at step one, and continued throughout the process at each step.

NorCalFocus
12-15-2016, 2:48 PM
What charge did you put in the cases and how did you come up with that charge?

Outside of just making sure you did everything correct, you should also be sure your working up in pressure.

Heydeck52
12-15-2016, 3:35 PM
I feel you on this one. Just made my first batch of .308 for my Howa. Started low according to the Hornady manual then went up to right below max. I'm heading out to San Joaquin Rifle and Pistol on Sunday to test them out. Any takers on first shots? :D

waveslayer
12-15-2016, 3:46 PM
Can you share your loads with us? Powder, brass, primers, bullets, charges, seating depth, rifle, gas or bolt, etc..

You can use people's loads as long as you know your rifle's max charge. They are all different

My wife thinks I only have 3 guns

NorCalFocus
12-15-2016, 5:24 PM
I feel you on this one. Just made my first batch of .308 for my Howa. Started low according to the Hornady manual then went up to right below max. I'm heading out to San Joaquin Rifle and Pistol on Sunday to test them out. Any takers on first shots? :D



How many rounds of each charge?

I adopted a step of loading 1 round per charge in 1/2 grain steps and shooting those first to find the max charge for my rifle.

After that I can narrow down the area in which I want to test different charge weights.

Heydeck52
12-15-2016, 6:02 PM
How many rounds of each charge?

I adopted a step of loading 1 round per charge in 1/2 grain steps and shooting those first to find the max charge for my rifle.

After that I can narrow down the area in which I want to test different charge weights.

Probably was a little overzealous but I started with 35gr of rl15 and made sets of 10. Ended up at 42.5grs right before max load. 168gr A-max winchester brass and cci 200 primers.

Reading around online for awhile I see people loading 43grs and up so I'm thinking I'll be fine.

NorCalFocus
12-15-2016, 6:10 PM
Probably was a little overzealous but I started with 35gr of rl15 and made sets of 10. Ended up at 42.5grs right before max load. 168gr A-max winchester brass and cci 200 primers.



Reading around online for awhile I see people loading 43grs and up so I'm thinking I'll be fine.



I'm not real familiar with RL15, but 35g in a 308 case with a 168 seems low. I'm running 42.8g of 4064 with a 178 Amax.

You should be fine with pressure. Let's us know how it goes.

'09CTS-V&'87Turbo-T
12-15-2016, 6:16 PM
Without sharing your load info it is very hard if not impossible for people to help you. I shoot pistol, not rifle, but depending upon your charge weight, bullet weight uniformity, & case weight uniformity it might be possible to verify that your charge weight consistency is close enough to ensure there aren't any "no charges" or "double charges" I do this on my handgun reloading, but I am sure that my situation is different than yours.
Might also consider pulling a couple of bullets, or is that possible with rifle ammo?

Cincinnatus
12-15-2016, 6:22 PM
Speaking from exceptionally painful experience....

Make sure the amount of powder you have for each round goes into each round. Check your last round for the correct amount of powder...

Nothing quite like double-loading a cartridge, pulling the trigger, and having the gun literally blow up in your hand, drive shrapnel into your face, bleed profusely in the lane, and have three different LE groups show up at the range to document the fiasco.

It was a friend's ammo I shot, nothing I loaded, but I paid the price. One Wilson KZ-45 pistol now worthless (great paperweight, tho), one dimple in my cheek where the muscles trapped a piece of shrapnel, and a black eye.

stilly
12-15-2016, 7:01 PM
Just began reloading, going to actually fire them in the next few weeks...

What advice does anyone have?

Working off of the assumption that once you're at the range, it's too late to be cautious w/ firing your reloads. Can I be any safer while firing? Safety glasses?, Gloves? I"m shooting an AR style rifles, so maybe not put my face right behind the sights?

I'm trying to be super cautious, and during reloading (I've loaded up 15 cartridges **VERY FIRST 15) and I've logged everything I could to ensure no mistakes have been made. But now that all the "technical" manufacturing is over... What can I do to be more safe at the range given these are my first reloads?

Appreciate the help...

Do you have a girlfriend?

Do what I did... "Hey honey! Check out these new loads, I made them ESPECIALLY for you! Go ahead and give them a try..."

After 347 successful ladder loads tested, I married her.




j/k. It was actually 512 loads.

Ranchogunner
12-15-2016, 7:05 PM
So did you use published data for the powder and bullet you are using, and did you cross check that with (at least) a second source of published data? And did you stay away from the maximum loads and start with a medium or light load? If you did that, then there should not be anything to really worry about. If you DID NOT do that, and just guessed at the gunpowder to use, and how much of it to use, then there is a whole lot to worry about. But I cannot imagine anybody doing that.

Also did you pay very close attention when you were loading that the powder was dispensing properly? If you don't have one, I would recommend using a powder checker to make sure you don't dump 2 loads or no loads into a case. I use the RCBS powder checker for rifle, and the RCBS lock out die for pistol.

stilly
12-15-2016, 8:24 PM
Okay so here is how you can give yourself a HUGE boost of confidence and maximize your success at testing ladders...

1. As already stated, Gather information on the load you want to make. PUBLISHED data is what you want, like from the manufacturer's website or reloading books. Cross check each with each other if you so desire. It helps but make certain that they are talking about the same powders and projectiles.

2. Write down the min and max loads. If you see two places that list different starting and max loads, pick the load range that BOTH OF THEM HAVE and start at the bottom. OR, start about .1gr about the bottom (because nobody starts at the very bottom anymore...).

3. Once you have decided on the load to start with, document it on an index card or load card. Then, follow your documentation and build the load according to what you wrote down.

4. I will prime the brass and then pull it off of my turret and tare it out on my American Weigh Gemini 20 digital scale. Then I will trickle in the amount of powder I need, THEN, I will dump it into a pan, see that the shell case makes the scale return to zero again, then pour the powder into the shell and see that the result is repeatable. Sometimes there is a slight variance of .02-.04gr but rarely. Then place it back into the turret.

5. Seat to the desired and predetermined depth, then crimp. Your depth means your COAL should be no shorter than the shortest in the books you pulled data from, but if you have two books stating slightly different starting points, the longer COAL will give you less pressure, so you may want to start there and work your way shorter. I did that with several of the 105gr SWC in 9mm.

6. On game day, I treat those bullets as all others. I load them, point and shoot. If you act funny, your ammo will catch on and think something is wrong and then you are doomed...

And there ya have it. Just act normal and check your documentation and all that you did in performing it correctly and you should be fine.

robert101
12-16-2016, 2:50 PM
Nice explanation.

roysroyce
12-16-2016, 4:10 PM
hey guys, I've put together my loads... I'd love to hear the feedback in hopes of catching some big mistake that might cost me...
Honestly I read that I should "log" but wasn't 100% sure of what exactly to capture. So I'm sure there's some things that don't really matter, but just trying to make sure my first rounds won't ruin my life/gun.

Log-
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/E85X7uoQ5P5EybTzzkCI9n1DJQjhVo63CNlCJ5PkHgk

Finished rounds
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/mItfLVML9BoCABQ35QFJZJUl7jdXSXnf4WaXLOxubdy

I found that I made mistakes in reading the scale (increments of 5 or 10?) so I had to go back to my log many times and update it cuz when measuring the power/case (all though I measured each powder charge at 23-24.5 gr) it was a few (like 5gr) off.. but that was because of my inability to read the scale :/
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/GOKys58Mgp6iABjxXPReGdWpri1co3HpiM0YCdran0L
and
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/G3sblBCGbrlx3RwGMUhfF8b0oOlZARlwe1u11H9qqao

Look forward to what anyone has to say...

roysroyce
12-16-2016, 4:25 PM
good explanation Stilly... I had heard that a double-charge is probably the most dangerous thing, so what i did was weigh the case w/o power, then weight it with powder. Knowing that it should be 23 (min) heavier.
I basically weight and measured at every step.

As this was my first time dumping powder into cases, my first time I couldn't believe how much powder I was dropping. the funnel I was using didn't seem to fit like I would have liked over the .223 case (I assumed it would sit slightly inside the case (experience w/ pouring oil in a car, like). Buy my funnel sat flush and maybe a tiny bit outside the case. So I had to be very careful. (so now I'm thinking I'm skimping my load). But again, I measured the weight after, so hopefully that puts a "check mark" over that question.

BTW, my funnel is an RCBS 22-50cal funnel. Is there no attachment for the bottom that makes is pour directly into the case?

I hate to say this, but.... I do have some extra parts from my kit that I have yet to know what they're for :) :) :)

So why not put em here and maybe if they're IMPORTANT and someone knows you can let me know.

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/nEcqNBk19UnLH0XNA1lNBOShzCvBNy4Jnlh6FCc4oOc

Cleaning looking (I actually used this a little to clean my primer pockets) but is that for the the inside of the casing?

Green plastic that is very similar to what I put below my powder measure... is it just a different size ummm (powder measure dispenser thingy)?

No idea what the large nut and blk items are in the bag ;)

KahrMan
12-16-2016, 4:27 PM
I've been reloading for almost 6 years now. My advice would be to load up a mag and put lead down range.

If you did your homework, checked your powder charge and OAL you'll be fine.

I will admit that I was nervous the first few times i shot my reloads.

^Good advice!

Barbarosa
12-16-2016, 4:35 PM
ALWAYS wear good safety glasses when shooting (and reloading).

You sound like a cautious person so you probably did a good job reloading. Just load two or three rounds and fire away. It's not like you're shooting Freedom Munitions reloads.

Capybara
12-16-2016, 4:49 PM
I donned a flak jacket, plate carrier and a helmet, put my pistol into a Ransom Rest with a long string, dug a foxhole 50' away and yelled out, "Fire in the hole" and yanked on the string as I flew through the air, leaping into a slow motion tactical roll into the foxhole. Man, did people look at me. Better safe than sorry I always say.

Cincinnatus
12-16-2016, 4:50 PM
I donned a flak jacket, plate carrier and a helmet, put my pistol into a Ransom Rest with a long string, dug a foxhole 50' away and yelled out, "Fire in the hole" and yanked on the string as I flew through the air, leaping into a slow motion tactical roll into the foxhole. Man, did people look at me. Better safe than sorry I always say.

Pics or GTFO. :D

kcheung2
12-16-2016, 5:29 PM
hey guys, I've put together my loads... I'd love to hear the feedback in hopes of catching some big mistake that might cost me...
Honestly I read that I should "log" but wasn't 100% sure of what exactly to capture. So I'm sure there's some things that don't really matter, but just trying to make sure my first rounds won't ruin my life/gun.

Log-
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/E85X7uoQ5P5EybTzzkCI9n1DJQjhVo63CNlCJ5PkHgk

Finished rounds
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/mItfLVML9BoCABQ35QFJZJUl7jdXSXnf4WaXLOxubdy

I found that I made mistakes in reading the scale (increments of 5 or 10?) so I had to go back to my log many times and update it cuz when measuring the power/case (all though I measured each powder charge at 23-24.5 gr) it was a few (like 5gr) off.. but that was because of my inability to read the scale :/
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/GOKys58Mgp6iABjxXPReGdWpri1co3HpiM0YCdran0L
and
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/G3sblBCGbrlx3RwGMUhfF8b0oOlZARlwe1u11H9qqao

Look forward to what anyone has to say...

WHOA WHOA! Five grains off? Or do you mean half a grain (0.5) grains, which is still a lot. In reloading decimals matter. Are you using a balance beam scale or an electronic scale?

The green translucent tube is for the bottom of the powder drop. There should be 2 of them. One for larger necks (such as .308, etc) and one for smaller (.223). Use the right one or you'll get spills. The brushes are for cleaining inside of cases. Again one for big cases & one for small. The black parts are for the in-press primer setup. The nut probably for the powder dropper, although mine looks different.

HIghly recommend you get an electronic scale if you don't already have one. Makes measuring much quicker, and you can just tare (zero) out the case weight and measure the charge weight easier.

Sunday
12-16-2016, 5:49 PM
Just began reloading, going to actually fire them in the next few weeks...

What advice does anyone have?

Working off of the assumption that once you're at the range, it's too late to be cautious w/ firing your reloads. Can I be any safer while firing? Safety glasses?, Gloves? I"m shooting an AR style rifles, so maybe not put my face right behind the sights?

I'm trying to be super cautious, and during reloading (I've loaded up 15 cartridges **VERY FIRST 15) and I've logged everything I could to ensure no mistakes have been made. But now that all the "technical" manufacturing is over... What can I do to be more safe at the range given these are my first reloads?

Appreciate the help...If you have followed proper loading procedures all will be fine. Hint there is no need to use max powder charges.I started loading in the middle 70's with a Rock Chucker and then in 1991 moved to a Dillon 550 and load a total of about 5,000 rounds of 9mm, 38 sp, 40S@W, 45 acp, 223, 30-06 and 300 Weatherby mag. loading is very easy you just have to be precise concise and exact. A loading manual should be the Bible for reloading. If you screw up it is you that screwed up.

Malthusian
12-16-2016, 5:55 PM
Okay so here is how you can give yourself a HUGE boost of confidence and maximize your success at testing ladders...

1. As already stated, Gather information on the load you want to make. PUBLISHED data is what you want, like from the manufacturer's website or reloading books. Cross check each with each other if you so desire. It helps but make certain that they are talking about the same powders and projectiles.

2. Write down the min and max loads. If you see two places that list different starting and max loads, pick the load range that BOTH OF THEM HAVE and start at the bottom. OR, start about .1gr about the bottom (because nobody starts at the very bottom anymore...).

3. Once you have decided on the load to start with, document it on an index card or load card. Then, follow your documentation and build the load according to what you wrote down.

4. I will prime the brass and then pull it off of my turret and tare it out on my American Weigh Gemini 20 digital scale. Then I will trickle in the amount of powder I need, THEN, I will dump it into a pan, see that the shell case makes the scale return to zero again, then pour the powder into the shell and see that the result is repeatable. Sometimes there is a slight variance of .02-.04gr but rarely. Then place it back into the turret.

5. Seat to the desired and predetermined depth, then crimp. Your depth means your COAL should be no shorter than the shortest in the books you pulled data from, but if you have two books stating slightly different starting points, the longer COAL will give you less pressure, so you may want to start there and work your way shorter. I did that with several of the 105gr SWC in 9mm.

6. On game day, I treat those bullets as all others. I load them, point and shoot. If you act funny, your ammo will catch on and think something is wrong and then you are doomed...

And there ya have it. Just act normal and check your documentation and all that you did in performing it correctly and you should be fine.

Reloading is about attention to detail

Develop a system, make a pre-check list and make debrief notes, down the road, the notes may help you

I run an excel spreadsheet with all the minutia of detail. I makes notes on any issues that I may have had, whether a load felt a little hot or under powered and any press related issues. I also tally the money saved on each round

I add up the columns for the year and know how many bullets to buy when they are on sale for next year

Most important rule is only one powder to the loading bench

Same with primers, check and recheck to make sure they are rifle, small pistol or small pistol magnum etc

I always recheck the published load data, even if I loaded the same load a week earlier

I clean up 100% before changing calibers and I always empty the powder hopper. If I load and pull a bullet the same day, I will re-use the powder. Otherwise I throw the powder away, even if I know what the load is from my box label or spreadsheet

I use a progressive, so notes are important when learning the characteristic of the machine. They are also helpful in preventing the same future mistake

Good luck, reloading is fun and I find it relaxing

Joezamboni
12-16-2016, 6:47 PM
I load on a turret press. With 223 rounds I separate brass so it matches. Hopefully improving accuracy but also making it so I can simply weigh finished rounds two at a time to see if there is a variance in weight that can't be attributed to case, projectile, or "acceptable" charge differences. If it's more than 1 grain per complete round it goes in the inaccurate load bin. If it's over 1.6 grain I break it down.

I measure each powder charge for 308 individually though.

Michael in California
12-16-2016, 7:02 PM
Maybe I'm different. But I didn't find my first reloads to be intimidating.

If you are sure you used a proper powder with anything not near the max, it will just work. Physics is physics.

The biggest fear is the double charge, and you seem to have double and triple checked for that along the way.

Choot 'em. If fearful, take a friend who can drive you to the hospital if you end up with a face full metal, but I usually do this completely alone. I find the alone time peaceful. :)

roysroyce
12-16-2016, 7:58 PM
Kcheung2 - yeah I was talking 5 Grains off, but I had no idea what a case is "likely" to weight, and the increments on my manual (not digital) scale are by 5's and I was thinking they were 10's (or something...?) so I really wasn't off until I started measuring it AGAIN w/ the powder and realized.. .ut oh, something waaaay wrong, but powder was correct (cuz I measured that too) it's just that the math wasn't adding up. (cuz yeah a digital scale would fix that).

roysroyce
12-16-2016, 8:05 PM
Thanks guys... I feel confident in my checks and rechecks... just since it's my first time, I don't want to have false confidence...

1) Digital scale should help my stupidity w/ my scale increments (or It'll eventually become natrual)

2) Check charges is the other most important thing.

3) Jump in a fox hole :)

Lastly... When i seated the bullet (w/ my press and a cannulare bullet) I hear of Crimping it... is that a separate process or am I ok w/ just seating it?

Capybara
12-16-2016, 8:55 PM
Pics or GTFO. :D

http://i1078.photobucket.com/albums/w489/capybara84/Foxhole_zpshntze6pi.jpg

JMP
12-18-2016, 2:59 PM
It seems like folks are focusing on charges. That is very important; however, an improper fit of the ammo with the chamber and bolt is very often the cause of problems.

JackEllis
12-18-2016, 5:17 PM
I'm also pretty new to reloading. To avoid double charging, I weigh the cases, weigh the bullets, put both into a spreadsheet (on an iPad I can take to the bench). I weigh filled cases and then filled cases with bullets. right now I'm doing .30-06 and while it is pretty hard to double charge without over filling the case, I still want to make sure the charges are accurate.

I also sample cartridge lengths. What I have found is that OAL can vary by close to .01", and that has to be due to variations in the shape of the bullets.

Sometimes load data can be wrong, too. I'm loading 150 grain Hornady GMX with H4350. Hornady claims you can use SST load data but 58.5 grains leads to a compressed charge even though the max allowable charge is 60.9 (I have a note into Hornady about this). Another good reason to work your way up instead of starting closer to the max load.

lostinsurf
12-26-2016, 3:35 PM
Watch for squibs! If it doesn't have a big bang, STOP! Clear the barrel.

More often a culprit than double charge.