First time loading


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I sat down last night and got some reloading done for the first time. The wife was laughing at how long it was taking but I then explained to her that this is the first time of doing it, so I am double checking everything so I am happy.

Put some .243's together with 100gr SPBT and a sprinkling of 3 different measures of H380 so I am out tomorrow to see how they perform.

If I remember the camera, I will take a couple of pics to show the group size.

I am expecting the first to be a flier as there must always be some sort of nervous trigger pull on the first ever reloaded round, so I will make that the fouling shot for the barrel into the backstop....



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It does help when the Reloading equivalent of the "London Knowledge" lives just up the road and is happy for a random visit or phone call, just to confirm beginner questions.

Cherrs to EMcC...



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Keep us posted mate, you wont look back!! I still remember firing my 1st home loads!! I gave the rifle to some one else :lol: :eek: Ive got some new loads to test fire Im thinking about going out on monday to try them.



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Well here are the results from my first reloading attempt.

I loaded up 10 100gr SPBT using 35gr or H380.

I shot this batch first, but I am too embarrassed to show the results, I couldn't get these to group within 3".

Next up was the same setup sing 35.5gr of H380.

Again these would not group, don't know why so after 5 rounds fired, I gave up with that load.

Last up was the same again but using 36gr of H380. This seemed to work for me.

2 Five round groups, happy with the results.

I had problems with all the loads, especially the first 2 loads. 3 of the rounds would not enter the chamber, I assume that this is due to OAL being to long....But I don't understand why this was not the case with all the rounds? They were all loaded the same night with no disruption to the die.....All the rounds that loaded were all a tight fit in the chamber, to close the bolt. No cases were difficult to eject so over pressure wasn't an issue for me. I think I still need to reduce my OAL but this was measured against a factory load.

I will reload some 35.5gr again and reduce the OAL this might increase the pressure to the same pressure in the 36gr loads. I will also reload some 36gr's and retest the load.

Happy for advice and thoughts.

Cheers TJ


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After you resized your cases did you trim them to length and shamfer the necks inside and out . As some cases seem to stretch more than others on firing the first time . Give this a try a cutter and stud only costs pennies and a case chanferer the same it may be your case is slightly longer in some loads and this is why your bolt stiff to close not that the bullet sticking out any farther as you say they all measure the same loaded . Also if the case is slightly longer the resistance on the head inside it will be greater this can alter point of impact at the target give it a try this may help . Its the time taken on case preparation that makes all the difference in working up a good load , i even trim and chamfer all new cases as these vary as well . good luck you cant be far of with your last load with that group . MUDDY


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Hi Tartin, Just make up a Dummy round (no primer or powder) with that bullet seated to the origonal length.
You can then try it in the rifle and if necessary reduce the OAL bit by bit until it chambers easily. You then have a permanent record for future re-loadings.


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Did you lube your cases properly, I have had the same thing recently, and it was not related to overall length

Some of the cases I had simply did not resize properly, and I can only put this down to case thickness variation.

I deprimed some of the rounds I had already primed, and sized, and guess what? they would not slide back into the reloading die.

I had to relube the, and resize them, I actually rotated each case in the die and kept resizing until it slid up and down in the die with little or no effort.

I think some cheap brass has made its way into the system

I have yet to trim a .243 case and some of mine have been loaded 3 or 4 times. I have not measured any lengthening of the cases at all.

The Remington brass i was given would fit straight into my rifle without resizing.

hope this helps


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I load for a mate and if I am using my brass I have to full length resiz for his chamber. My chamber is slightly bigger than his. I only ever neck size when loading for my self with my old brass.

Was it all your own old brass you loaded up?



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Poddle your explanation was exactly what the problem was.
I took the ones that would not feed and - yes you were correct.
Having been full length sized once they still would not go in the die without being forced a second time.
I have found this to happen now and again over the years as some brass sizes and stays, whereas some sizes and 'springs back' or seems to, but then decides to stay put when re-sized a second time.
The only real answer to prevent this happening again is to feed all the empty cases in the rifle chamber, having been resized, before loading the charge.
A bit laborious I know but when reloading for others that is the only way to guarrantee a smooth feed.
Another thing that does help , as previously mentioned, is to turn the case in the shell holder when sizing and size it twice.


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If your accuracy isn't great and chambering is tight, it might be possible that the bullets are not seated in straight... Not easy to measure.

I've got a Redding competition seating die in 243win that I'm not currently using, if you fancy try it? It has a sliding sleeve that lines up the bullet, which helps, though if your necks are too far out then it may not help.


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don't assume that the factory load bullets have the same ogive as the ones you are reloading with.
Nosler BT's are usually very accurate but a little to destructive for my liking, and certaibly too expensive when compared to others leading brands..
When I do reload developement I start at the start load and work upto max in .5gn increments, marking each round on the target to see which group best, and then play with the oal..
The closer to the lans usually results in better accuracy but more recoil.
To get the oal, just colour a bullet with a black felt pen and place it in a fired case that has been trimmed to size, leave it long and when you load it it will leave marks on the bullet both on the ogive and where it has been pushed into the case, measure the oal. If the bullet sticks in the bore just push it out with a cleaning rod and use a case that is slightly tighter, but do not use a sized case..



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Matt said
"If your accuracy isn't great and chambering is tight, it might be possible that the bullets are not seated in straight... Not easy to measure."

Matt look at the target above, I don't think he has a problem with accuracy do you!! :rolleyes:


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One problem solved, Poddle came up with a suggestion and Eddy put it to the test and found it to be correct, and made TJ a happy man. If only the Government could solve problems and make people happy as well as this site manages, wouldn't it be good :D :D

With regard to bullet seating I always seat mine halfway and then rotate the case 180 degrees and then complete seating them. I realise that it is not as good a method as target shooters need but for my hunting purposes it seems to work OK


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Hello All,

Cheers for all the advice on this, much appreciated.

Matt, Thanks for the offer, hopefully I'm sorted now.




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Hello Again.

I was out withBucksden last night, just to get some standing practice in for my DSC Bucksden also wanted to zero his new toys.

I was using the same reloading equipment/parts as I was at the start of this thread. I had a problen with 5 rounds last night though, they were flyers, all over 2" away from aiming point, to the left :cry:

I am weighing each powder load (Electronically) prior to charging the case.

Any ideas?

Once fired brass (full length resized) , CCI 200 Large Primers, Nosler 100gr SPBT, 36gr H380.


Offroad Gary

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i counted my spent cases last night - 28 in total, split over 2 barrels (.243/.308) of my superior german takedown rifle (stop it Gary-dont go there :evil: ).

i'm sure you shot more than me, through your very high quality stainless synthetic...243...(play nicely now ;) )

how many did you shoot?, i recon she got too hot. we were only out about 1 hour or so??