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Old January 17, 2012, 09:04 PM   #1
thedaddycat
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Getting started in reloading...

I'm going to get into reloading so I thought I'd post in this forum to let you know what I'll be doing to start out. Any helpful suggestions are appreciated.

I have a couple of friends who reload already so I'll be working with them. Long ago I had thought about reloading and had even bought some primers and stuff but never did much of anything as it was easier to just buy more ammo and shoot. Back then I had enough money and not enough time so I just shot factory ammo and saved the brass. I gave them all my supplies when they started to reload.

Fast forward a few years and now that my three daughters are teens it seems like it's a constant stream of "Daddy, i need a new dress for Homecoming" and "Daddy, I need money for the band trip", etc. Plus the oldest one likes shooting my handguns and has no issue with shooting up as much of my ammo as she can... lol So now I'm going to reload some of that brass that's been around for years and years.

I'm going to start by doing the case prep on the fired brass. I'll be getting a O frame press and decapping die from one friend, plus a tumbler and sifter to clean the brass. I'll also borrow his Zip-Trim and the case length guages for the brass I'll be doing, along with a primer pocket cleaning tool. Once he walks me through it again(I've done it once before at his house) I'll be bringing the brass and equipment home so that I can work through the fired brass and get it ready to load. He told me to sort the brass by manufacturer once it's tumbled and I go through it with the primer pocket cleaner.

I'm going to start with .30-06 as I have a bunch of brass from milsurp ammo I shot through the M1 at NRA high power and DCM matches, along with some Winchester and Remington factory brass from my dad's last 40 years of deer hunting. All told I figure there are somewhere around 800 cases to go through, maybe more.

Once I have the brass all cleaned and sorted and bagged I will get with him to do the actual loading. We already have a couple of different primers, powders, and bullets to make different loads with. I think there are Remington, Winchester and CCI large rifle primers, and I know he mentioned Varget powder along with Reloader 10, 15, and 19 (I think those were the numbers he told me). I also bought some .30 cal. 150 grain PSP and 150 grain SST bullets. Since I have plenty of factory ammo for hunting if I want to use the .30-06 (usually I use my M 94 .30-30) we figured we would reload at the lower power levels safe to use in the M1 Garand.

So anyhow, I'm open to suggestions for loads you guys have found good for the M1. We shoot steel plates out to 300 yards with it for fun, though at some point I may decide to shoot in matches again. Also, any helpful hints or suggestions are welcome as always. And if I have any ideas that are just plain wrong, please let me know before I actually put any loads together.

Thanks in advance to everyone for their input. The floor is open.....
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Old January 17, 2012, 09:06 PM   #2
hikingman
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Congrats, and you're getting busy, already. I'm not familiar with the M1, enjoy!
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Old January 18, 2012, 11:47 AM   #3
larzb93
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rumor has it, there is a special load you need to use for the M1. a normal ought 6 round will bend or break something.
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Old January 18, 2012, 01:19 PM   #4
MR-7-45
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When loading for the M-1, use IMR4895 and a 150 gr bullet. The issue is the gas port and operating rod. Commercial loads in the M1 will eventually damage the operating rod. They do make an adjustable gas plug.

Here is a link for M1 load data credited to the NRA
http://masterpostemple.bravepages.com/M1load.htm

If I remember correctly milspec brass may have crimped primer pockets. Those pockets can be swaged to accept a good primer.

You want to make sure to fully seat the primer since the M1 has a free floating firing pin and a primer not seated properly could result in a "slam fire".
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Old January 18, 2012, 02:36 PM   #5
thedaddycat
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I am aware of the issues with the operating rod and also cracking the back end of the receiver if you use a steady diet of commercial loads made for modern hunting rifles in the M1. My other .30-06 rifles are a M 17 Enfield bolt action and a Remington 742 Woodsmaster semi-auto. I have 800+ rounds of factory ammo, mostly Remington Core Lokt but also a few boxes of Federal and Winchester. These are in bullet weights of 110, 150,165,180, and 220 grains and I can use them in the other rifles if I want to go play with them.

That is why the reloads are going to be lighter loads just for the M1. It gets more use than the other rifles for "Fun Days" at the range. Thanks for the link and the load information, I will check it all out. BTW, my M1 is a Springfield Armory rifle made in 1954.

I also have dies for 6.5X55 and 7X57 Mauser that my friend has used with my brass. At some point I will be getting to those, too.

Thanks again for your input, I truly appreciate it.
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Old January 21, 2012, 11:56 AM   #6
thedaddycat
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OK, so I got some of the stuff to start case prep from my friend yesterday. Included is an O frame press, decapping and primer pocket swaging dies, and the Zip Trimmer. We did not have all the brass, but I had 500 to start with.

Thje first thing I did was to sort the brass by manufacturer. I put each kind in a large ziplock bags with an index card indicating what it was. As I complete each step on that bag I write the completed step on the card so that way anyone who may work with that brass in the future can tell exactly where in the process it has been worked to. There are three of us kind of sharing resources for reloading. I have bought some of the components and dies, they have presses, dies and other associated gear.

Here I am decapping, and for the milsurp also swaging the primer pockets. I put fired brass in the left bin, decap it, and move it to the right bin. When the whole lot is done I use the primer pocket cleaning tool and move them back to the left bin.



Once I got through all the brass on hand I moved to the trimmer. Untrimmed brass is again on the left, and I stack the trimmed brass up in the right bin so I can get a count on the ones that made it this far. These bins will hold nine .30-06 brass across the bottom. I stack them 11 rows high and put a lone one atop the stack for an even 100 brass. Then I start on the next stack and repeat.

I only had two cases that got pitched. One had a cracked neck, the other I could not get the primer out. Since I didn't want to force it and break the decapping pin, it got tossed.



Unfortunately the tumbler is at another friend's house right now so I didn't get to polish the brass. I did as much as I could with the tools I had. I have a small sonic cleaner that I may try to use on a smaller bunch of brass just to see how well it works. We are getting about 6" of snow today so I have nothing else on tap for today.

So, any comments or helpful hints on what I'm doing so far are always welcome and appreciated. Does it look like I'm doing OK with this so far?
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Old January 21, 2012, 01:21 PM   #7
howlnmad
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It looks like you've got a good start on prepping that brass. Since you're not cleaning them first, just be sure to wipe them off before you resize them. A bit of dirt can really mess up a die. And since it appears you are sharing rounds, be sure to FL size them all.
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Old January 21, 2012, 07:01 PM   #8
thedaddycat
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We are not sharing this ammo, it will be for my M1 Garand only, with the possible exception of maybe my M 17 Enfield. We are sharing equipment, supplies, and labor.

They are mostly pistol and AR shooters. On my end I kicked in several thousand primers, various boxes of bullets, powder and a bunch of brass(probably about a thousand 5.56 brass and several hundred various pistol brass which they shoot). Though I was going to get into reloading a long time ago, I never did anything with it except getting some of the supplies. However I did save all the brass I ever shot, which is why I had so much around when they started getting into reloading.

I bought dies for .44 Special/Magnum, 6.5 and 7mm Mauser, and I think also the .30-06 dies. They don't have anything chambered in these, but I do. They have the presses, tumbler, other dies, and components. The tumbler was at the other guy's house when I went to get the press and dies I used, and we got a foot of snow last night into today so I didn't have it but figured I would do the other steps since I wasn't doing much else today. The brass I prepped will get cleaned before it is reloaded. I will get a bunch of other brass to prep the next time I go over with this brass. For example, there is somewhere around 200 brass for the 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser. This is all once fired brass that I shot. I'm the only one of us who has a rifle chambered in this round, but I let them borrow it whenever they want(I've known one of them for over 30 years and the other about 15 years. I trust them with my old rifles.). There is also close to a thousand 5.56 brass which I will prep. At some point it will get reloaded (and I'm certain it will be FL sized) and we'll have a range day and shoot up a couple hundred rounds wacking steel plates out to 300 yards.

The plan for now is that I will be doing a lot of the case prep so that when we get the chance we will have a bunch of everything and can concentrate on just the assembly of the rounds. That way I can watch and learn and then practice under "adult supervision".... lol

Last edited by thedaddycat; January 21, 2012 at 07:08 PM.
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Old January 21, 2012, 07:55 PM   #9
Fullboar
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I think what he ment by sharing was you are using these reloads in more than 1 gun. Also if you have shot all this ammo in different guns you will have to full length resize them all anyway and most shooters full length resize if using in a semi-auto too.
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Old January 21, 2012, 08:47 PM   #10
thedaddycat
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Ahhh...... OK, now I get it. I know that this .30-06 brass was from the M1 and M 17 plus the stuff I got from my dad was shot in his Remington, so it will all be full length resized. Maybe I'll set one set of cases aside for just the M 17 and then those can just be neck sized. Is that the usual practice when reloading for bolt actions? Should I only be neck sizing the 6.5 and 7mm Mauser, since I only have one rifle in each chambering?

I was reading on the C&R forum that the fired brass from .303 British used in the Enfield rifles should be kept segregated and marked for each rifle it was used in and then neck sized. It had something to do with working the brass less as the cases are fire formed to that chamber. As I understand it this gives much longer brass life. The discussion was about the specs the Brits had, something about being able to pick up any ammo on the battlefield and still have it chamber and fire. I have two SMLEs (no .303 dies yet though) but they don't get shot much and it's probably not worth investing in the dies for a box through each per year.
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Old January 22, 2012, 06:35 AM   #11
Fullboar
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Yep if you are shooting these loads through the same bolt action gun I would just neck size it. I hardly ever full length resize any of my rifle brass especially if its used for just 1 bolt action gun. But if its new brass, has been shot in a different gun, you plan to shoot it in a different gun or you are using it in a semi-auto or it needs to be put back into spec then it needs to be full length resized.
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Old January 22, 2012, 11:26 AM   #12
Cowboy_mo
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LC - Lake City brass

If you already know this, just ignore me. Lake City military brass has the primers "swedged" in place because they are used in full automatic weapons as well as semi-auto. Before you can re-prime this brass, the "swedge" must be removed. There are a couple of ways to do it but it must be done before you can install a new primer. You only have to do this step the first time you reload the brass. It is excellent brass but that first reload requires an extra step.

Enjoy the new hobby

edit: Guess I should have explained the possible methods to remove. You can use a case deburring tool to "cut" the extra piece out of the primer pocket but it is tedious and you have to be careful not to enlarge the pocket. The other alternative is a tool that RCBS makes which actually "pushes" the swage back into the edge of the pocket and sizes it for a new commercial primer. Perhaps one of your friends already has this tool. I was lucky as a long time reloader friend of mine has one and taught me how to use. it.

Last edited by Cowboy_mo; January 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM.
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Old January 22, 2012, 05:10 PM   #13
thedaddycat
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"Here I am decapping, and for the milsurp also swaging the primer pockets."

Thanks for making sure I was aware, Cowboy. My friend had the RCBS swaging die so I used that. I was not aware of the deburring tool that could also be used.

I do have another question though. Once I have trimmed the cases, don't I need to debur and chamfer the necks? I was looking at the Cabela's catalog and saw the tools for doing it. If so I will have to go through those cases and do that to them.
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Old January 23, 2012, 10:14 AM   #14
howlnmad
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daddycat,

Yes, just a light chamfer on the case mouth and deburr the outside. I like the lyman VLD (very low drag) chamfering tool. To much and you knife edge the mouths and shorten case life.
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