HOW I DO IT.
Ok guys here we go. time to look at reloading.
my situation. i live in lincolnshire. i shoot mainly roe deer but sometimes bigger deer. i shoot over big fields quite a lot and the range is sometimes quite long. so i need to deliver a bullet which will kill all uk deer at quite long ranges (stalking speaking). i have a 7mm08 which i shoot 139's out of so i don't want to duplicate my loads, it is not a very accurate rifle so it is not really suitable for this.
I have a parker hale .30-06 model 1200. it has a 24 inch barrel and is very accurate. this will be the tool for the job. Which bullet shall i use? the rifle is capable of firing bullets from 110 gr to 220+ but what will be best. I will find out the twist rate.
i make a small mark on my cleaning rod near the rotating handle. and put a tight fitting patch on the jag,
i push it in until it is well in the rifling and the mark is near my thumb. ai then mark the rod where it goes into the breech.
i push it in until the mark appear again near my thumb, one full turn. then mark the rod again where it goes into the breach.
i measure the gap and it is 9.75 inches long.
so my rifle has a twist rate if 1:9.75 (ish). i come into the house and do a bit of surfing. checking out this site, this sites archives, the high road and reladers nest. This tells me that this twist rate is really quite fast for a .30-06 and is ideal for heavier bullets. so i look about and see what i can find in relation to velocities, ballistic coefficients and styles. i use hornadies ballistic calculator (amongst others) to see what i like the look of best. I find that a 165gr boat tail bullet is good for 3000 fps and has a really flat trajectory.
i like the soft point bullets not the ballistic tips (personal preferance only). so i give midway a quick check and find they have 165spbt bullets on offer R E S U L T.!
So i buy 200 (about 3 months ago) and they sit on the shelf. my life has been a bit upside down.
now i have a quick surf on the hodgdon site and look at what they say about powders. thier testing is with a 24 inch test barrell (same as mine) and they give IMR4350 as the best performer with 165gr with 60 gr compressed load it says 2934. I remember reading 63gr on another site but i can't find it so i will stick with hodgdon data. The Imr4350 is a slow burning powderso in a big 30-06 case it will be the ticket to push that bullet out of the long barrel
so next i need to get the oal length checked. the ogive is different on these than the stubby little 150 gr.
starting with a full length resized case, trimmed to length. (details on how to do this will follow).
set your seating die up so that it is slightly not touching the ram. this is important. if you make them touch you will get a taper crimp on your rounds which in my opinion isn't needed.
unscrew the seating depth adjuster a long way
seat your bullet very long but so it will fit in your magazine
colour the bullet with a marker pen
load it into the rifle from the magazine if you have a forced feed rifle like a mauser. go steady as you cam the bolt over, any resistance means the bullet is too long. it maybe it gets stuck in the rifling and you need to push it out
don't worry about this, it's ok if the soft bit is slightly deformed. it doesn't touch the rifling and the seating dies normally have quite a wide cup.
if the round comes out ok, check the bullet for little marks at equal intervals around the bullet. this is where the rifling has touched.
keep turning the seating depth down half a turn at a time until this stops happening and the bullet comes out ok. the pen is not disturbed.
lock down your depth. this is ok for a start point. (i know some of the more technical guys will think you need gauges, and to be fair, to get the best results you do)
next step is to resize your brass and de prime. there are different ways to do this, some only necksize, it increases your brass life. i full length because i don't have nexk sizing stuff. brass prep is really important and you can do a lot on it.
this time set your press so that the die touches the ram at full extension.
your depriming pin should stick out .25 inch or so.
lube your cases, i use a 1;8 mix of lanolin and isopropy alcohol from ebay. i spray it on with an old frylight can.
press it. then inspect the case, the one below is no longer serviceable, it is clear that it has stretched
take your cases after inspection and clean the primer pockets. i am using an rcbs tool
i think this is important because it allows you to seat the new primer correctly and fully.
then trim to length, i am using the lee case length gear with lockstud, this can be used in the drill press.
then chamfer the case, this is important, it helps the bullets seat especially in flat base bullets
do the outside slightly as well to remove burrs i am using the ace RCBS tool.
Your cases now need cleaning. i do mine fist off with hot washing up liquid solution, the lanolin is greasy and primers don't like it. Then i run them through an ultrasonic cleaner (sometimes) if you are using a lube that doesnt damage priming compound then you can miss this out, if you want. don't put them in the oven to dry
prime. there are lots of ways to do this i use a lee auto prime 2 press mounted system. i like it, but whichever you do follow the instructions and wear goggles.
i try to stick to always using the same primers. i don't use match or magnums i normally use federal.
powder. use stuff that you have openned the seal on . NEVER use a powder who's providence you don't know.
i am using a lee perfect powder measure and a lee scale together. the dropper does not like the long kernals of imr 4350 very much
i have calibrated it according to the instructions first off.
i have set the measure to throw loads slightly lower than my starting load then i trickle it in with the spoon!
i have followed the recipe for the load data.
this case is filled from the dropper at a minimum load, you will notice how far up the neck it is. so with long kernalled powder slowly poor it in from the pan into the funnel
this case has 60 grains in it
the powder is near the bottom of the neck. it saves the kernals being crushed and going up beside the bullet and causing you a bulge in the neck
when you have them all done, visually check in the loading block that you can see powder in them all.
seat the bullet using the press, boat tails sit in the neck easier for this process.
there it is you finnished round.
label it carefully. make sure your dies are locked in the right position
remember, you do this at your own risk. I appologise for my heath robinson set up. tomorrow i will post the results
I have never seen the reloading process before and it looks very interesting.
is it expensive to get started and is it worth doing for a 243?
How many rounds do you think it takes to make the investment pay off.
Sorry about the barrage of questions.
Nice use of a beetle as a work bench
reloading your .243
Yes it is very worth reloading a .243. you will be able to load bullets like noslers 95gr partition, which is a superb bullet. you will save a load of money. the kit does not need to be expensive. a lee breechlock challenger will get you going for under £100 with the advent of midway, you can order it all on your plastic then pace up and down until your treasure turns up.
however it is not a hobby it is an addiction
Johny federal has a massive reloading factory, i expect he spends trillions of dollars on kit. i expect he doesn't buy one tin of powder at a time and still owe his mate for it.
i use my, as you can see, heath robinson setup. how come my ammunition is so much better than his? it is much more accurate and i can choose a premium bullet and still do it for half the price.
I have seen swampy's rounds in action,accurate and seemingly viable , I have been offered the opportunity to reload , which I dwell on , after all the amount of rounds I put through in comparison to a target shooter are somewhat less! I tend to zero on factory and that is that, does the job!
Though curious about reloading, and the guys at my club , (ask why I dont) I figure at the moment I may stick with Mr SAKO and Mr Fed . Seems such a complicated matter !then there's the wife , bless her I could stay out two weeks and come back mucky , no questions asked!! but ammo factory in the attic!!!
Swampy, thanks for the insight into how you reload. I'm just starting and so far have read a couple of books and watched a very experienced reloader at work.
great write up steve and great pics , its a pity you had to use a ropey looking guy with the goaty as the hand model.
on a slightly more serious note for the people out there tha are thinking of trying out reloading DONT as it is adictive, great fun ,and you do save some money.
i have only just finished reloading some 75gr for the 243 and worked out they are 1/3 of the price of what i would of paid in the shops
How many do you have to reload to pay for themselves in the long run.
I pay £20 for a box of 75grn rem accutips and the same for 95 grn???