The Idiot’s Guide to Reloading

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
I’m thinking about writing it...

So FINALLY ready for my first proper go at reloading. Primers & powder from FA Anderson & replacement priming tools parts from SGC all ready to go. Loads of research done. All data checked. Safety precautions done. Now time to load a few rounds from min charge in .5gr increments.

After 30 mins yes there’s a bit of spilt powder on the bench (!) and my eyes are playing up reading the scales but I’ve got 9 rounds made up. Seated the next bullet head (joke!) ‘projectile’ And noticed the press arm went a little further. “Ah. It’s like a 2 stage thing, I’ve been doing it wrong!” I thought. Measured oal and adjusted for the deeper seating. All good. Took me another 6 rounds to notice this!:

BEE31346-C26C-4804-A58D-26E3CCEB4FA1.jpg

Kinda unwanted mushroom shoulder catastrophe. Oops. Was using a lee collet bullet seating die that I thought was straightforward. So what to do? Please feel free to advise on any of the following.

1) I now need a bullet puller! Agreed.
2) Can the brass be FL resized or should I chuck it?
3) How do you safely remove (if not chucking brass) live primers and dispose of them?
4) What caused this aside from me being a heavy handed gibbon?
5) Should I write & publish the book?! ;)

Thank you, P
 

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Cottis

Well-Known Member
Did you bulge that shoulder by seating a bullet? I am not a big fan of the Lee bullet seaters but never saw that before. Seating a bullet should not take much effort. The ram on a press exerts a good deal of pressure with very little input from the user.

The best way to dispose of a primer is to ensure it is fired and then deprime the case and chuck the spent primer.

I would read more books rather than writing one. If you lived close by, I would give you a crash course but I am hardly local.

Every body who has ever reloaded has required a bullet puller from time to time ha ha ha. Deffo worth buying one
 

takbok

Well-Known Member
Advice from me would be not to start reloading until you have the rifle. Much better to check that your cartridges headspace properly in rifle and that coal fits before loading lots. But maybe you've found a rifle in the last few days?
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Thought I knew the ropes (being a gibbon n all) but the learning curve sometimes unexpectedly gets steeper! They’re a good bunch on here IME and sure someone will come along to reprimand and then sort my s@*t out :)
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Advice from me would be not to start reloading until you have the rifle. Much better to check that your cartridges headspace properly in rifle and that coal fits before loading lots. But maybe you've found a rifle in the last few days?

Totally understand how back to front it sounds. But know it’ll be a Tikka of some sort in .308, therefore 1:11 twist. Just loading a few to reloading manual/SAMMI spec in advance. :)
 

Miki

Well-Known Member

That took a lot of skill to do that, I doubt will ever fit in a rifle... in fact you shouldn't try it.

FL resizing compresses the case back to a given size, it doesn't make it longer/bigger, that takes about 50,000psi on the inside.
That pressure changes the shape of the case to the shape of your breech, which is not the same shape as anyone elses breech although it won't be any smaller than SAMMi
Once you've fired a few rounds then you can measure the cases, set up your press etc and start reloading so that your 'homeloads' fit your rifle.

There is a technical term for that round you've made .... f**ked
Poncing about with powder & live primers and compressing it very tightly into a confined space is dangerous,very dangerous.
Please don't do that as if you do manage to make it all go BANG the 'Elf and Safety'/Police will use it as a reason to restrict the rest of us from reloading....
 

Jon Smith

Well-Known Member
That took a lot of skill to do that, I doubt will ever fit in a rifle... in fact you shouldn't try it.

FL resizing compresses the case back to a given size, it doesn't make it longer/bigger, that takes about 50,000psi on the inside.
That pressure changes the shape of the case to the shape of your breech, which is not the same shape as anyone elses breech although it won't be any smaller than SAMMi
Once you've fired a few rounds then you can measure the cases, set up your press etc and start reloading so that your 'homeloads' fit your rifle.

There is a technical term for that round you've made .... f**ked
Poncing about with powder & live primers and compressing it very tightly into a confined space is dangerous,very dangerous.
Please don't do that as if you do manage to make it all go BANG the 'Elf and Safety'/Police will use it as a reason to restrict the rest of us from reloading....

As you would appear to be a member of the elf and safety gestapo maybe you could explain the highlighted sentence with cited examples of the 'very dangerous' bits please.
 

Home Loader

Well-Known Member
Sheprador1973 scrap the rounds you have already made with the bulge.

reread the die set up instructions, as you have most likely had the bullet seating die set to deep. When setting up a die I find it useful to use a sized but case without the powder or bullet to test the full stroke of the press to check your clearance’s.
 

Highlandsjohn

Well-Known Member
Hello Shep, As has been said by the previous posters,reloading is quite straightforward, so long as you stay with the recipes and instructions. It can be easy to mistake stuff said on the net so there is no substitute to reading and rereading the manual.
It is a great temptation to make some rounds but it's best to check your brass will fit your rifle before hand. It's a pain having to dismantle live rounds if they don't chamber. It's a shame there is not someone close to give you a little help, not having a Highland holiday soon by chance. :D

It would not do any harm for you to share your load/recipe with someone as it is your first. Did you full length size your brass,sorry if I missed it.
I have a very well used bullet puller (hammer type) with one collet to fit the 308 case, pm me your address I'll send it foc to get you going. There are plenty of utube instruction clips, along with the manual to assist,good luck. john
 

Dalua

Well-Known Member
You say you used a 'Lee collet bullet seating die'.

I use Lee dies for .303 and AFAIK if it has a collet in, then whatever else it might be it is not a seating die.

Could you put up a picture the die you used to seat the bullet?
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Hi all.

Many thanks for your thoughts and welcome advice. I hope the tongue in cheek nature of my post didn’t imply I am being frivolous, negligent or irresponsible. I thought by sending myself up a tad I’d get your attention and support with what is clearly an embarrassing newbie error, hands up. I have read a HUGE amount and wouldn’t have attempted reloading unless 100% (well, maybe 99!) certain of procedures and safety issues.

As expected on this great forum I have recieved some helpful advise, some supportive pms and even offers from members to meet up. Thank you!

For clarity brass was FL sized to fit any (.308) chamber before first fire forming. Brass is once fired (not by me) PPU, bullets Sierra 150gr SPBT, primers standard CCI LRPs And powder Reloader-15. Using lee press and dies. Starting load (cross referenced from reloading manuals, Sierra and Alliant websites) is 41 gr. I’m initially working up in .5 gr steps to 45.5 gr. Obviously on firing I’ll be looking carefully for pressure signs as I go (flattened primers, sticky bolt, extractor marks and base web fit in a shell holder). Sound ok?

Based on advice I think I’ll do the following:

Pull the bullets and keep if undamaged.

Pour powder back in the tub (only have RL15 so no chance of a mix up)

Deprime (still not sure how with live primers tbh)

Chuck brass (imo not worth the risk trying to rescue)

Re read die manual to check I’ve set it correctly

Have another go while going slow & steady!

Many thanks to all. I’ll follow up with outcomes:)
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Did you trim the cases after full length resizing? Check the rest of the batch before progressing.

I did have the same shoulder swelling disaster using someone else dies with my first attempts...never quite sure what happened...I presumed we had used the wrong die. It hasn't happened using my own set of Lee Ultimate dies with its Easy Adjust Dead Length Bullet Seating Die.

Alan
 

walshie

Well-Known Member
Last year I was making a batch of 50 x 223. 49 came out perfect, one came out the same as yours and I have no idea why, especially as the others were fine. The only thing I can think of is dodgy brass.

20170822_131403.jpg
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Did you trim the cases after full length resizing? Check the rest of the batch before progressing.

I did have the same shoulder swelling disaster using someone else dies with my first attempts...never quite sure what happened...I presumed we had used the wrong die. It hasn't happened using my own set of Lee Ultimate dies with its Easy Adjust Dead Length Bullet Seating Die.

Alan

Sorry, forgot to mention. Yes all cases trimmed and checked. Also my bad. Am using the Lee ultimate set too...not a collet seater as I said. It’s the same Easy Adjust Dead Length bullet seater.
 

Yorric

Well-Known Member
Sheperador
Cases ring bulged like that are usually the result of setting the seating die body too deep in the press when using a combined seating & taper crimping die. -- The crimp is being applied before the bullet is driven home causing the two stage feel to the action & bulged case. --- Solution -try backing off the die (unscrewing it) until it no longer touches the top of an empty case.
Then seat a bullet to the specified "Case over all length" & crimp it in place as two separate processes preferably using a Lee Factory Crimp Die (or the seating/taper-crimp die by resetting it deeper & backing off the bullet seating plug).

It also appears that you have a neck sizing die. -- I would advise a beginner to use a full length sizing die to reduce the likelihood of problems as you learn.

Ian
 

Sheprador1973

Well-Known Member
Sheperador
Cases ring bulged like that are usually the result of setting the seating die body too deep in the press when using a combined seating & taper crimping die. -- The crimp is being applied before the bullet is driven home causing the two stage feel to the action & bulged case. --- Solution -try backing off the die (unscrewing it) until it no longer touches the top of an empty case.
Then seat a bullet to the specified "Case over all length" & crimp it in place as two separate processes preferably using a Lee Factory Crimp Die (or the seating/taper-crimp die by resetting it deeper & backing off the bullet seating plug).

It also appears that you have a neck sizing die. -- I would advise a beginner to use a full length sizing die to reduce the likelihood of problems as you learn.

Ian

I think you are spot on Yorric. Had another go this morning and readjusted the seating die. No problems and I made sure not to give it any 'elbow' this time! All rounds completed and in the safe now. Just need to pull and deprime the bulgy ones...Many thanks to all.
 
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