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Old August 30, 2005, 12:36 PM   #1
DimitriS
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Reloading for the 30-06

I know alot of threads have been made about starting reloading but I wanted to ask this as I want to be 100% sure of what I will be doing. I dont want to make any mistakes and all the reading of manuals and peoples opinions I can get will help.

Now my situation is that I am not only new to reloading but I am pretty new to guns. So I would like to be able to do this in a safest mannor possible and I have aready read alot of information about reloading and it seems kinda scary

Now here is my question what is your thoughs on developing loads with the 30-06 and what do you suggest would make good powders for me as I would be using the ammo in most weather conditions (from -40C in winter (+ wind chill) to 40C in the summer with humidity) ??

Any feedback both positive and negative will be greatly appreciated as both help me learn as much as they can

Thanks in advance!

Dimitri
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Old August 30, 2005, 01:16 PM   #2
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Hi Dimitri,
And welcome to the world of shooting! Your post didn't state if you already own and have become comfortable with the 30/06. If not, I would suggest starting with some factory-loaded ammo in the 150 gr. bullet range, and shoot a bunch to get a feel for the rifle. This will give you a valuable supply of once-fired brass as a bonus. Then by all means get a couple reloading manuals (one I can personally endorse is Lyman's 48th) and read it and re-read it! There is an extensive section on the 30/06. I am pleased to see that safety is a prime concern of yours. Reloading certainly has the potential to be dangerous if you are uninformed or unsure of yourself. This would be an excellent time to enlist the help of an experienced reloader, if you know anyone who would assist you. Take your time, be sure to understand WHAT you are doing before attempting to do it, and don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. Anyone with reasonable intelligence, a good dose of common sense, and a healthy repsect for firearms and reloading materials can and will have lots of safe and rewarding experiences enjoying this shooting discipline. Be Safe!
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Old August 30, 2005, 01:31 PM   #3
DimitriS
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Thanks for the info! I will look into picking up that reloading manual.

As for if I have the gun or not no I dont own it right now but I will be getting it soon (Need to wait for my 18th brithday to get my PAL ).

I was wondering what type of bullet should I use for different animals since I know the manufactures say what they are for but they want to sell theres over another companies so they will say their product is better. So I was wondering what works better then others for you ??

As for the powders same thing applies what makes a powder better then another other then what companies "claim" ??

Thanks in adavance!

Dimitri
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Old August 30, 2005, 10:34 PM   #4
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venerable "'06"

As you must know by now the 30-06 has been around for a century. It is a very good all round chambering for big game. It is not a real good varmint round. you didn't say what you expected to use it for. For most deer size game something in a 150gr bullet will do just fine. For whitetail here in penn's woods I load a 150 gr seirra spitzer boattail bullet. some prefer a 165 gr bullet. I make my load for accuracy first. and use Reloader 15 with that bullet as it gives me the best accuracy, IN MY RIFLE. your rifle will likely shoot something else better. IMR 4895 is a favored powder for the 30-06. I would add that usually the fastest load is not generally the most accurate load. Many people have their favorite load and it might be the best load for their rifle. You will find when you get into the finer points of reloading that rifles tend to be very individualistic. Many of the data manuals give a starting load and a max load. in the beginning start with the starting load and work up watching for signs of excessive pressure. as others have suggested, get a couple of manuals and read them.
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Old August 30, 2005, 11:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input Wilson! 150gr Seirra's for Whitetails ok I will remember that

Pretty much I willl be hunting moose and deer might get a black bear once in 10 years. So what do you suggest for Moose ?? and also in the same though for black bear ?? Since they are both relativily big.

What about OAL of the ammo ?? I hear you should seat the bullet close to the lands of the rifle for good accuracy. I wont be doing this for the first little while I just want to get used to reloading before I try to get "the best" accuracy I can get but what do you think would be the best way to find the best OAL ??

As for the powders thanks! I am not sure at all what would be better to use. So all the input I can get helps me decided what to try out first

As for the manuals I am gonna pick them up soon when I got to the hunting supply store I go to since they carry them

Thanks in advance!

Dimitri
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Old August 31, 2005, 12:05 AM   #6
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Welcome to the club!

The club of both shooters and reloaders!

THE best primer on reloading, IMHO, is The ABC's of Reloading published by Krause www.krause.com if not available locally, or you could order it from any of the shooting supply houses. It covers the "what" and the "how" of reloading very completely. It is not a loading manual--You will need one of those too, at least. More manuals are better, as no one manual can cover all possible combinations of bullet and powder. Most experienced reloaders have several manuals, and check all of them when trying to develop a new recipie.

My personal favorite is Lyman's 48th edition manual. Lyman does not make powder or bullets, and therefore IMHO is more impartial. But I check other manuals too.

Any manual you use will have the reccommended OAL for a given cartridge/bullet. The OAL varies with the bullet. For starters, go with the reccommended OAL.

With your extremes in temperature, I'd look into Hodgdon's "Extreme" line of powders; they are made to be temperature-insensitive. With the .30-'06 you have a wide choice of proper powders and bullets--perhaps the widest choices of any cartridge.

The more research you do beforehand, the more informed will be your decisions. It seems at first that there is too much information rather than not enough, but it sorts itself out given time. There are no reloading masters, just students at different levels, so never fear asking a question.

Safety is always the paramount consideration--NEVER exceed the maximum loads given.

Again, welcome to the club!
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Old August 31, 2005, 11:22 AM   #7
DimitriS
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Thanks for the input Smokey Joe.

So this is +2 for Lyman's manual

As for other reloading manual's I will probrobly pick up as many as I can since they dont really expire with there load data and percidures and I rather feel safe that I can check more then one manual for the same load. My chemistry teacher taught us never to trust just one source when we are dealing with dangous stuff

Is it ok if I pretty much always stay about 3% of max below the max even if my gun isnt showing signs of stress ?? Just to be on the safe side ??

Hodgdon's Extreme powders work in all weathers thats good to know. I read it in there little reloading manual they publish but I wasnt sure. Ontario's weather is too wide speard from Northern Ontario in the winter to sourthern Ontario in the summer so something I can count on all the time is great to use

Thanks in advance!

Dimitri
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Old August 31, 2005, 01:48 PM   #8
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Max loads

DimitriS--Staying within the max load is a good thing for 2 reasons:

Safety: Less than the max load listed is very likely to prove safe in your firearm also. You always watch for over-pressure signs when developing a load (the manuals, or better, the ABC's discuss these). Pushing it to the max is just asking for trouble. If you just gotta have that last top 100 feet per second more, what you really need is the next hotter cartridge and a new rifle. Believe me, the deer or moose will never know the difference if your bullet goes right through his engine room at 2600 fps instead of 2750 fps.

Accuracy: The hottest possible load (in terms of pressure and velocity) is rarely the most accurate. And one of the many reasons we reload is for enhanced accuracy--we tune the load to our individual rifle.

Bottom line: The safe side of the max load is a Good Thing.
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Old August 31, 2005, 02:35 PM   #9
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Thanks! Smokey Joe!

Just double checking Since I wasnt sure if staying lower on purpose would be better or not.

And I understand what you mean about the slight fps gains. There isnt much of a point to over do it and stress out the brass and gun if you dont have to.

I dont have a cornograph right now and I dont know if I would need one or not for that matter. What do you think ??

Thanks in advance!

Dimitri
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Old August 31, 2005, 03:26 PM   #10
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Most of this has been touched on already, but I'll summarize.

Get reloading manuals. More than one, as many as you can find.
Your basic reloading setup should have:

1. Press (of course)
2. Dies
3. Scale
4. Calipers (dial)
5. Primer tray
6. Some boxes to put the loaded ammo in.
7. Powder trickler

Next, you should get:

1. Case trimmer
2. Neck sizing die
3. Bullet comparator
4. Powder measure
5. Chronograph

Reading the loading manuals will give you ideas about what these tools are for, and how to use them.

For small game, (below deer) 110 to 150 grain bullets, soft point design, will do. For medium game (deer) 150-165 will do nicely. For the big fellas (elk, black bear, etc.) I highly recommend 180 to 200 grain bullets.

As for powder, I have found that IMR 3031 and IMR 4985 will cover your entire loading spectrum. For good performance with heavier bullets, IMR 4831 will do the trick, too. Don't be hesitant about trying other powders, either.

Good luck and good shooting!
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Old August 31, 2005, 05:26 PM   #11
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I have quite a few of the Lyman loading manuals on hand, and while they are very informative there are a few things I take issue with. One, I don't think they've reshot data from some of the older cartirdges in years. As the cartrdige in question is the 30-06, let's take a look. In the Lyman #44 manual, circa 1967 the starting load for IMR-4895 using a 150 gr. bullet is 46.0 grains. The maximum load is 51.5 grains. Fast forward to the Lyman #48 manual circa 2002 and you are shown the EXACT same data, with a pressure measurement in Copper Units of Pressure. (CUP) I picked on that particular bit of data for a reason. For many years, I used 49.0 gr. of IMR-4896 with a 150 gr. Sierra Spitzer flat based bullet in GI brass. You could get tons of military U.S. made 30-06 brass cheap back then. The load was maximum in my rifle, a J.C. Higgins model 50, which I still have today. Chronographs were not available back then, so I took some brand new Winchester brass and made up a box of the loads I liked so well back then, just to satisfiy my curiosity as to how fast they might have been going. You can imagine my chagrin when I had trouble opening the bolt and when I removed the case from the gun, the primer fell out. Thinking I might have screwed up setting the powder measure or scale (All charges had been hand weighed.) I was even more surprised when all the numbers checked out. The powder measure was right on as was the scale, which was double checked on a second scale.
Something was radcally wrong here. I loaded up three rounds each of 46.0,47.0, 48.0 gr. of powder and went back to the range. Even the 48.0 gr. charge was a bit too hot for my comfort.
I have a pretty extensive shooting library that I use to try to find answers. This library has well over one thousand gunny magazines accumulated over the years, and sometimes, you can find some interesting facts.
Consider this, when the Lyman #44 was printed, the IMR powders were made by Du Pont. Du Pont used cotton linters to make the nitrocellulose used in making their gunpowder. Du Pont sells out to a newly formed company called IMR. IMR, in a cost cutting move, changes the formula for their powders by using sawdust to make the nitrocellulose. I believe this may have altered the burning rate of IMR powders to make then a bit faster burning. There must be some truth to all this, because a powder charge that was two and one half grains below maximum had to be cut back another two full grains. Something fishy here. The load was not only two grains below maximum, but commercial cases that had more room in them were used.
My point is, Lyman has not retested load data for older rounds like the 30-06 since 1967. That's 35 years of using the same data, based on the 2002 copyright date of Lyman #48. I would be leery of any data in the Lyman book that still shows pressures in CUP form. Anything marked P for Pressure Per Square Inch. (PSI) should be reasonably accurate regarding pressure.
I know it would be extremely expensive to have to retest all that older data, but in the interests of safety, I feel it needs to be done.
FWIW, I have access to about seven rifles in 30-06, and that 48.0 gr. loads showed pressure signs in every gun.
I think this clearly shows that while a manual, any manual, will show so many grains of powder X is maximum, that doesn't hold true for your rifle. You may not even get close as I ran into. I also have rifles that will handle as much as two more grains of powder over maximum. That doesn't mean your rifle will take that load in it's stride. Every rifle is an individual, and loads must be worked up from the beginning load to be as safe as possible.
Sorry if I got too long winded on this, but it is something I've been working on for some time.
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Old August 31, 2005, 07:20 PM   #12
DimitriS
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Thanks for the information Powderman and Paul!


Quote:
My point is, Lyman has not retested load data for older rounds like the 30-06 since 1967.
That is a scary thought to me and thats why I am posting this thread.

Quote:
I would be leery of any data in the Lyman book that still shows pressures in CUP form
Does this apply to every manual that still lists in CUP form that they might also be outdated ??.

Quote:
FWIW, I have access to about seven rifles in 30-06, and that 48.0 gr. loads showed pressure signs in every gun.
Well I worte this into my little reloading notebook I got to write down all of this with big red letters.

Quote:
For small game, (below deer) 110 to 150 grain bullets, soft point design, will do. For medium game (deer) 150-165 will do nicely. For the big fellas (elk, black bear, etc.) I highly recommend 180 to 200 grain bullets.
Thanks! I will remember this it will help me in decided what bullets to get.

Thanks in advance!

Dimitri
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Old August 31, 2005, 11:03 PM   #13
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OAL and powder

It has been my observation that a charge can vary as much as .3 gr in the 30-06 and you will never notice the difference unless your at or near the max load. If you find the sweet spot for oal it can make your load twice as accurate. You can wear out a barrel tinkering with different powders, brass, bullets, primers and OAL. For hunting big game at nominal ranges, I would say anything close to 1 MOA accuracy is good enough. Nominal range for a 30-06? 300 yards altho harvesting dear out to double that is possible with the 30-06. but most people can't shoot that well. If you realy want to shoot the long range stuff you will need a chronograph and a ballistics program to accurately know the ballistic path of the bullet. For a first chronograph that won't bust your budget I would suggest the Chrony line. I started with the Alpha Master. but upgraded to the Gamma. I did it because I just like to get new toys and the difference on the upgrade between the beta and gamma models was only 10 US bucks at the time.

As a final note i would warn you that reloading can be very addictive. It becomes a hobby within itself. When you get to the point your going to the range to shoot up perfectly good ammo so you can try a new load you know your hooked.
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Old September 1, 2005, 11:03 AM   #14
DimitriS
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Thanks for the tip Wilson!

I am going to look into a Crony then In a catalog that is up to date for a hunting store up here (Le Baron) they list the Betta and its 143$ Canadian is that good ??

So a .3g difference doesnt matter as long as I am close to max. That sounds good.

Quote:
As a final note i would warn you that reloading can be very addictive. It becomes a hobby within itself. When you get to the point your going to the range to shoot up perfectly good ammo so you can try a new load you know your hooked.
Humm I hear that alot and from the people that I have met in real life that reload. I could use another hobby now that the job I am trying to get into used to be my hobby :P

So should I be looking into faster or slower burning powders ??

Thanks in advance

Dimitri
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Old September 1, 2005, 12:52 PM   #15
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fast or slow

DimitriS--First off I am going to suggest that since you have lots of questions (very good ones BTW) you REALLY need The ABC's of Reloading that I mentioned--everything you have asked about is discussed at length in that excellent volume. And getting answers from such a book is quicker than one-at-a-time over the I'net.

Re powders for .30-'06: You want a powder that pretty well fills up the case. At least 90% filling is "what to look for" but not always attainable. With large bottleneck rifle cases the powder will always more than half-fill the case, which eliminates the possibility of a double charge, a thing pistol reloaders have to concern themselves with.

'06 rounds want about a medium-speed rifle powder, and there are many to choose from. To an extent it depends on the weight of bullet you propose to use. Check in a loading manual and there will be several recipies for each bullet weight. Powder choice also depends on whether you propose to load cast lead, or jacketed, bullets: You'd use a whole different set of powders for cast than for jacketed. Some loading manuals (Nosler for one) state with which load they got the best accuracy; that is always a good place to start in your own experimenting.

Re: Speed of burning: Each powder made has a different speed of burning when ingnited by the primer. Fast-burning powders make all their pressure very quickly, and are of use in pistols where barrels are short. They also are used in shotgun loads. Very slow burning powders are used with large magnum cases and heavy bullets and long-barreled rifles, so as to push the bullet at an ever-increasing speed down the bore. There is an entire spectrum of burning speeds to choose from. In any case, "slow" and "fast" burning is a relative thing--We are talking a fraction of an instant even with the slowest of powders.

Too fast a powder is dangerous--The pressure builds up quickly, and keeps on building until the gases have somewhere to vent. If the pressure is high enough that venting will be out through the side of the barrel, ruining the gun and probably injuring or killing the shooter.

'Way too slow a powder I expect would merely result in a disappointing "Schloof!" when triggered off, and mebbe a bullet stuck in the bore. Have never read of any experimentation about this, and am not inclined to do it myself.

Anyhow, get yrself The ABC's of Reloading, and spend a couple of evenings reading it through. Krause has just put out a new edition of same--should be right up to date. www.krause.com
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Old September 1, 2005, 02:31 PM   #16
DimitriS
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Thanks for the input Smokey Joe!

Quote:
you REALLY need The ABC's of Reloading that I mentioned--everything you have asked about is discussed at length in that excellent volume. And getting answers from such a book is quicker than one-at-a-time over the I'net.
I am going to pick up that this weekend and maybe some other manuals too.

The thing is I rather have people that know about it tell the do's and dont's because a book is written by a aurthor and getting more then one opition/answer on things is always good, that way I can be more sure what I am doing and if it will turn out ok

Just like that little tid bit about IMR powders its something you would only find out if you been reloading for a while so now I know to look out for thouse kinds of changes that might happen to powders over the long run. And one more reason to be extra careful with powders so you dont do something really bad while reloading even if your in the "safe" zone

Asking questions can only do 2 things I think 1) Let you learn more from people who know what they are saying and 2) Annoy people that think your asking dumb questions (and I dont think I am doing number 2 now since I dont see any negative comments only great ones)

So thanks for all the help so far and if you know anything else I should know please post it.

Dimitri
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Old September 1, 2005, 10:58 PM   #17
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chrony etc.

Midway list the beta master chrony at $130 US what the current exchange rate is I have no idea. When I said you can be off by .3gr and not see a difference I mean not near max load. I would suggest after you get a few data manuals. and have decided on a load do not exceed the lowest max load listed. but still start at a listed starting load. If there is any doubt at all about a load. ASK!


As I was told in the USN instructor course a long time ago.
"The only dumb question is the one you didn't ask." eg not asking is dumb. I have refrained from giving a lot of advice on finding the best load. I think that should come after you have a firm grip on the fundimentals.

I hope you get many years of enjoyment in your new found hobbies.

Amost forgot. the major powder mfg have load data on their web sites.

Last edited by rwilson452; September 1, 2005 at 11:01 PM. Reason: more
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Old September 2, 2005, 12:17 PM   #18
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Dimitri,

I recommend you buy Hodgdon's Varget for your first powder. I spent a lot of time working up 30-06 loads for the M1-Garand for matches. The two powders that filled the case best with the 150-175 grain match bullets and gave good accuracy and consistent muzzle velocity were Varget and the no-longer-made Scot Brigadier 4065 (so named to show it was a little slower than IMR 4064).

Varget is part of the Hodgdon Extreme powder line, so it has extreme temperature stability. If I recall correctly, these powders show almost no change in burning rate from 0°F (-17.8°C) to 125°F (51.7°C). The Varget grains are a bit coarse. For this reason I like the inexpensive plastic Lee Perfect powder measure for Varget. It has a patented wiper that doesn't cut or hang up on stick powder grains as much as my metal drum measures do. I haven't put Varget in my Dillon, so I don't know how the slide bar type of measure would handle it?

Hodgdon's manual runs Varget at 47 to 51 gains with 150 grain bullets, 47 to 50.5 grains with 165 and 168 grain bullets, and 44 to 47 grains with 180 grain bullets, all in Winchester cases with Winchester LR primers. I shoot 49 grains of Varget behind the 175 grain Sierra Match Kings in Remington or Lake City cases with Federal 210M primers. The Remington brass I have exhibits the same water capacity as Lake City military brass, which is why this load works for both. As you change case brands and/or bullets, seating depths. primers, or guns, you need to back the powder charge off by 10% and work up again to be sure you have a safe combination.

The traditional IMR 4895 doesn't fill the '06 case well. Even government match ammunition will vary 80 fps depending on whether you've tipped the muzzle up or down just before firing. This is due to the powder shifting fore and aft. It is one reason for using a powder that fills the case well.

For heavier game, look at 180 grain bullets. That is about as heavy as I would want to go unless you can test your loads at the actual longest range to be fired (300 yards for you). Some guns don't have a fast enough rate of twist to stabilize longer bullets well.

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Old September 2, 2005, 01:54 PM   #19
DimitriS
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Thanks for the load/powder advice Nick and Wilson thanks for the wisdom!

Wilson I wont go near the max EVER (is too scared to risk it ) so seeing a difference of .3g of powder in a load will never happen I dont think

I cant get anything off Midway but that cost tells me the store up here isnt over charging me or anything

Nick thanks for the load advice! I aready marked it down in my binder I am keeping all reloading information I think is important organized .

Nick how good is Lake City brass to reload ?? Is it pretty much the same as factory brass or do they make it different ??

Thanks in advance!

Dimitri
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Old September 2, 2005, 07:30 PM   #20
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Dimitri,

The military brass is harder than commercial brass. As a result, it can't be reloaded as many times before the case necks start to split. That said, if you are willing to go to the trouble, you can re-anneal the case necks to get a little more life out of them. Evans Manufacturing LC, of Waterloo, Iowa makes neck annealing fixtures for both .308 and .224 size case necks.

Since you intend to use a bolt gun, you can also choose to reload by sizing only the neck of the case and not the whole body. Such cases go in tight, and don't feed from a magazine very easily, but they shoot more accurately and don't wear out the brass as quickly. If you are on a budget, consider the Lee collet crimp die for this purpose. Otherwise, the Redding neck size-only dies have sizing inserts you can buy to choose your neck tension.

Military brass sometimes has less powder capacity than commercial equivalents. Get in the habit of taking a new case from each lot you buy and putting tape over the flashhole, then weighing it on your powder scale, filling it with water to overflow and weighing it again. Subtract the weight of the empty case and you have the water weight capacity of the case in grains. Use this information to match loads. If you have more water capacity in a new group of cases it will likely take more powder to get to the same pressure in them. If you have less water capacity in a case you will need to reduce your load.

It is a good idea to back loads off 10% and work back up again whenever you change any component. Things can fool you. A case might have more water capacity but also have a thicker neck wall, resulting in higher start pressure and the need to back the load off rather than increase it. Just remember, you will get to go to the range and shoot when you work up a load. It's all good.

Nick
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Old September 2, 2005, 10:34 PM   #21
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LC brass

the mil spec brass is made to a closer tolerance than regular commercial brass. it is thicker thus holds less. The LC brass I got was "remanufactured" So I shoot it up. I adjust my die to full length resize but not deprime. then I do the water test. I will sort by weight capacity. I then use a universal decapper so as to not rework the brass. I will use about 50 out if 200 cases. Or about 50% of what a standard deviation is. I will then just reload that brass until it wears out. Works for me. If you don't have a lot of brass or don't intend to be that picky. LC brass will serve you well. I have not found the Mil-spec brass made overseas to be that close in tolerance. After tweaking the load I have found my model 70 will perform to a 1MOA standard with sorted commercial brass. good enough for Bambie's buddies. The trick here is consistancy. I may be being anal retentive but I trickle charge all my rifle ammo. Nick is correct in saying the Lee perfect powder meaure is accurate with large grain powders. It tends to leak with ball and flake powders. I also use the Lee autoprime hand primer with my Rifle ammo. as with any other equipment read the directions closely and follow them.
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Old September 2, 2005, 11:23 PM   #22
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Lee, Whee!

+1 here for the Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die--I have 'em in several cartridges and they work slick. Resize the neck, leave the rest of the case alone--case goes right back in to the same bolt action just fine.

Likewise the Lee Auto-prime. It has its detractors who think the RCBS unit is better (both are hand-held and work similarly) but I have never had any trouble with mine that couldn't be traced to operator error, in untold thousands of rounds.

BTW, the Lee Zip-Trim gadget is Grrrreat for trimming cases to length, using Lee's case trimmer setup. I have the universal socket for it. No electricity, just pull the string like starting a lawn mower. All the cases come out the same length, between the max length and the trim-to length.

Oh, I am NOT a flack for Lee! Just a very satisfied customer.

BTW, Lee isn't perfect--the Lee loading manual is one long ad for Lee products, and just copies stuff from other manuals I understand. Read a scathing review of same--have not looked into the manual myself. And I'm not in love with their cast aluminum single-stage press, nor their progressive. They came out with an iron frame single-stage press--that's more like it!

Customer service is just fine IMX.
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Old September 3, 2005, 12:34 PM   #23
DimitriS
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Join Date: August 14, 2005
Location: Anywhere in Ontario, Canada
Posts: 626
Thanks Nick, Wilson and Joe!

Quote:
Get in the habit of taking a new case from each lot you buy and putting tape over the flashhole, then weighing it on your powder scale, filling it with water to overflow and weighing it again. Subtract the weight of the empty case and you have the water weight capacity of the case in grains. Use this information to match loads.
Nick will do

Wilson thanks for the information on the difference then the LC brass and commercial brass

Quote:
BTW, Lee isn't perfect--the Lee loading manual is one long ad for Lee products, and just copies stuff from other manuals I understand.
And Joe that case trimmer I got to look into. And thanks for that heads up about there manual

So I take it iron presses are better then alumium ones ?? For longativity right since iron is stronger then alumium ??

Thanks in advace!

Dimitri
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Old September 3, 2005, 08:50 PM   #24
Smokey Joe
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Iron Presses

DimitriS--Re iron presses--You're right! A cast-iron O-frame single stage press that isn't cracked or broken (something I have never heard of) IS in proper alignment and is plenty strong; you won't/can't hurt it.

They are also heavy. They also last close to forever. If you get a RCBS rock-chucker (the gold standard of single-stage presses) or the very similar Lyman unit, or for that matter the Lee iron O-frame, or the Dillon or Hornady O-frame, and use it hard and keep it clean and lubed, your grandchildren will still be reloading on it and planning to pass it on to their grands.

Redding has a turret press (7 places for dies so you don't have to insert, remove, and adjust) which is also cast iron and appears to be built similarly, although a little spendy. No personal experience, but Redding makes good stuff generally.

They are all built like the proverbial brick pizzeria.
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Old September 3, 2005, 11:25 PM   #25
rwilson452
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case trimming

The Lee case trimming stuff is about as fool proof as you can get. I bought the new Lee Classic Cast Press. I haven't got but around a 100 rounds in it yet but I can't picture it wearing out. It was made with the 50BMG in mind. Yes it's heavy. Bolted to the bench, who cares about heavy? I like it. By eyeball i would say it has a longer throw than the rockchucker. Can you do 50BMG in the chucker? the method of spent primer disposal is very nice. My son doesn't reload. he's to busy using up your tax dollars. in a few years perhaps the grand kids will get into it.
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