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Old January 3, 2007, 09:41 PM   #1
Savage Sam
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Brand new reloader! Tips?

Hi all-
This reloading virgin has finally bought his first reloading setup, a Lee Loader. I will only be loading for the .300 Savage to start off, so anyone with experience loading for this caliber, please share your insight. The two rifles I will be loading for are a Remington 722 and a Savage 99E. I am interested in using such bullets as the original Winchester Silvertip, Remington Bronze-Point, and Nosler Partitions. I have 440 pieces of once-fired brass from my two rifles and several other Savage 99s, along with 50 pieces of new Winchester brass. My reloading setup will be very bare-bones at first, and I will probably not be doing a very high volume of reloading. All the load data is included with the reloading setup, but I also like to check things out on the forum just in case

Here are some specific questions:

1) Are large rifle primers the correct ones to use for this caliber?

2) What bullet weights should I try? I have heard that bullet weights from 150-165gr. work best in this caliber and not to go above 180gr. as a general rule, due to the .300's shoulder angle & short neck. Thoughts?

3) Which powders do what? (I am a complete powder ignoramus) and what powders would you recommend for pushing different bullet weights in this caliber?

4) In general, what are safe loading guidelines for this caliber? Can I use higher pressures in the 722, since it locks up at the front of the action and is a modern bolt action? Or should I just suck it up and buy an '06 or .308?

5) I have read somewhere that the .300 Savage requires some special kind of die. Are there large and small dies and which do I need? A sizing die comes with my Lee Loader, will that size work?

6) I was (am) under the impression that everything I need to begin reloading is included in my Lee Loader kit. Is there anything else that is relatively inexpensive that either I flat-out need, or would make my life a whole lot easier?

Thanks in advance for the replies-
Savage Sam
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:02 PM   #2
Gbro
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Sounds like you need a reloading manual. Every manual i have has a very good section on the basics. The loading tables for the particular cartridge you are interested in will give you the information on primer size, powder, bullet size. etc. there are many reloader whom try and do several diferent calibres with the same powder, rather than have a shelf full of different ones(i am one of those now).

Be careful, keep records, be safe. Read, Read, and reread.

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Old January 3, 2007, 11:09 PM   #3
rgitzlaff
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As another beginner, but somewhat expereinced reloader, I would say to consult your loading manuals for that information. Never trust what someone tells you without checking loading manual first. Start with the listed starting load and work up slowly until you get the load you are looking for or you see some pressure signs, then stop. Maybe ask around in the reloading forum to see what the favorite powders are for that and start there, otherwise, start with whatever you feel like. Good luck man, and keep us posted.
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:20 PM   #4
Dave R
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Welcome to the club! I'll bet you find that reloading increases your enjoyment of all aspects of shooting sports.

You'll probably find this thread gets moved to the reloading forum, too.

All the questions you've asked will be answered in your reloading manuals. I believe Lee's manual will be in your kit. You should have at LEAST one other manual. I recommend Speer's manual. Both because I like the way it handles powder choices (powders are listed in the order of the velocity they generate) and because its the only manual I enjoy reading for fun. The sections introducing each cartridge are well written.

But there are other good manuals.

And because I have Speer No. 13 right here next to me, I'll take a shot at your questions.

1. Yup. Large rifle primers.
2. Speer says bullets over 180gr. can be used, but velocity falls off enough to make that inadvisable.
3. Different powders have different burn characteristics. I like the way Speer lays out powder choices. BTW, they really liked Reloader 15 and VV N140 with the heavier bullets.
4. No, you can't run higher pressure in one rifle than another (unless your very brave and a little crazy). Once you exceed the pressure standards for the cartridge, you run the risk of rupturing the brass, which will do nasty things to you and the rifle, regardless of the actions' strength. All that byrning gas has to go out, and its all pretty close to your hands and face. Stick to published guidelines if you like your fingers, eyes and guns.
5. What dies came with your kit? If they're for 300 Savage, you should be good. "Small base" dies are rarely required.
6. All the basics should be in your kit, but I don't know what it includes. If you don't have a caliper for measuring case length, and a case trimmer, you'll need those. Rifle cases grow with each firing, and you'll need to trim the case length every so often. I occasionally find factory cases or once-fired cases that are longer than spec, you should have that right away.

Good luck! Read up on how to "work up a load" for your rifle. That's most of the magic in reloading--the ability to tune the ammo to find the "sweet spot" for accuracy of your individual rifle.
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:30 PM   #5
taylorce1
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Get a good reloading manual from the bullet makers or the powder manufactures. Read everything pertaining to reloading before you begin, and read things you don't understand at least twice and ask questions. The ABC's of reloading is a good book to get as well.

Prep your cases is the first step if they are once fired brass the case length will probably be ok for a couple of loadings. You will want to get a caliper so you can measure your cases to see if they need to be trimmed and measure the overall length of the finished cartridge. I'm sure Lee has a trimmer for the .300 savage that will be pretty affordable when you need to start trimming brass.

A hand priming tool will help to speed up the process and make priming faster. Full length resize all your brass if you are going to shoot it out of two different rifles this is easier than trying to keep the brass from getting mixed up, if you don't the cartridge might not chamber properly. I try not to miss match head stamps as every manufacture has a little different case capacity, plus I just like everything the same.

I'm sure the powder dipper that you got with the lee will work but I recommend a good scale. A good scale will allow you to tailor your loads better than the dipper. The scale would be my first purchase after the manuals.


If you have any problems chambering a cartridge don't shoot it. Set the cartridge aside and take it apart using a bullet puller. This will allow you to reuse the components after you figure out what went wrong when reloading it. A kinetic bullet puller that looks like a little hammer is a pretty affordable tool under $20, it is simple and easy to use. A worth while investment because you will make mistakes from time to time.

Just add a little more equipment here and there when you have the money to help you with the process. If you really get into reloading you can always add some good new/used equipment like presses and powder measures. These can be found used for good prices at ebay, auctionarms.com, or gunbroker.com.

Just be methodical and precise in what you are doing. Never exceed the maximums published in your manuals for grains of powder. Have fun and enjoy your new hobby.
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Old January 3, 2007, 11:41 PM   #6
Don H
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Savage Sam,

In case you haven't noticed, TFL has a very active Reloading Forum also.
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Old January 4, 2007, 02:42 AM   #7
mrawesome22
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I would ask this question in the proper forum first off. Browse the handloading forum too. There is a wealth of information there.
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Old January 4, 2007, 06:53 PM   #8
Savage Sam
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Yeah, didn't even think of the Reloading Forum. I'll repost there. Thanks for all the answers.

-Savage Sam
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