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Old January 15, 2010, 11:26 AM   #51
mongoose33
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Cowtown, I started reloading w/o anyone to show me how. Learned it all from books (ABCs of reloading, reloading manuals), and online assistance of which there is actually quite a lot.

There are youtube videos that show the process which can help demystify it.

I think the key to learning this way (no one to show you) is twofold:

1. Single stage press to start. You need to learn the steps, and one at a time until you get it figured out is, IMO, the way to go.

2. Make up dummy rounds--no primers, no powder. Learn how to clean, decap, resize, expand case mouth (if necessary), seat bullet, get correct OAL, crimp if necessary.

Once you can make up dummy rounds, to the right OAL, that will chamber in your gun, then you can move on to priming the cases (which isn't difficult), and adding powder (which is even less difficult other than ensuring you have the correct load).

It would be better and faster to have a friend show you, or a reloading class to instruct you, but it's not at all impossible to go it alone. I started reloading in September 2008, with .223. Added 9mm and .45, then in December 2008 I bought a progressive press (LnL AP).

And while I'm no expert and can't compare myself at all to guys who have been reloading 30 years, I'm able to produce good ammo that's more accurate than factory, and far cheaper. The internet greatly speeds up the learning process.

So I think you can move along at a fairly decent pace in learning, always resolving discrepancies and uncertainties before you proceed, and get to where you can produce ammo in a week or two. Really.
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Old January 15, 2010, 06:18 PM   #52
SKULLANDCROSSBONES65
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G'day. I asked a question about turning spent .22lr shells into .224 projectiles once. I had contradicting responses, a few people provided links and articles to support the process. Asked another question about Brass verses Copper jacketed projectiles and got contradictory advice. Those that actually knew what they were talking about provided links and references that could be checked. Sometimes it's not the answer that is wrong, but the question.

Safety from knowledge.
Knowledge is power.
More power to you.
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Old January 15, 2010, 06:47 PM   #53
wncchester
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"Overall, is reloading too dangerous for the average reloader/shooter?"

Welllll, it's probably safe enough for those in the upper 90% of intelligence, nothings safe for the rest.
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Old January 15, 2010, 07:31 PM   #54
twice barrel
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I agree you don't NEED a manual...but you're gonna want one. And with your round selection you could get by without a scale and just use the Lee dipper and chart that accompanies a set of Lee dies...but why would you do that?

You don't need a kit and can do just as well or better by selecting each piece from various manufacturers as suits your own taste...or you can just get a kit and start assembling some ammo. Over time you'll discover what you like or don't and make adjustments.

If you can operate and maintain your own lawmower without injuring yourself or others there's a high likelihood you'll be able to follow directions or figure out after a few "googles".

#1 rule is don't rush anything.

You can come here for help just about any 'ol time too,

TB
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Old January 15, 2010, 09:09 PM   #55
dfe2240
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I think it's important that anyone new to reloading understand that it is a mechanical process. As such you need to have the appropriate skills and understanding. They're required for the reloading process as well as to maintain the equipment. If you don't know an open end wrench from a ratchet, you're probably not going to be be a competent reloader. On the other hand, even if you have years of mechanical experience, you won't be a competent reloader unless you "learn the trade". That usually requires a few manuals and "the right equipment"-- at least if you want to control the steepness of the learning curve.
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Old January 15, 2010, 09:42 PM   #56
1chig
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AMEN farmal and also i reload for all my guns. Dont know how many i have right of the top of my head. Reloading is safe if you make it that way.Study up and good luck .
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Old January 17, 2010, 11:37 PM   #57
oldNewbie
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Read, research, reload, be safe

In my long and distinguished reloading experience (1 month tomorrow since I bought my setup), I've made one mistake, and that one could have been crippling or fatal. I was at the range firing my .38 Special reloads just yesterday, when after about 200 rounds I fired and heard a primer pop but no powder explosion. It was time to Stop Shooting and inspect the weapon.

The gun wasn't jammed but sure enough, there was a bullet stuck in the forcing cone. The mechanism of my revolver would have allowed me to fire another shot, and if I had, the explosion could have destroyed the gun and untold parts of myself.

The only possible explanation was that somehow I had missed powder-charging that one case, out of the 400 or so that I have reloaded. I don't know how that happened, and it's all the more reason to be more careful and more vigilant in the future. I have a single-stage Lee press and use the Lee Perfect Powder Measure to throw the powder charges into the cases, visually inspect the powder level in the case, then seat the bullets one at a time. Except for one time I missed it somehow.

How did I know to Stop Shooting and check out the weapon? I read a lot about reloading before even getting started. My Dad taught me basic firearm safety when I was very young. I knew enough to ask the question "where did the bullet go?" when there was a pop instead of a bang.

Before I started, I read the ABC's Of Reloading, the Hornady Handbook Of Cartridge Reloading, and read a lot of sensible Internet articles and watched a number of you-Tube videos on the subject. Even so, mistakes are made. "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance".

Think of it as an engineering challenge. A round of ammunition is a machine comprised of several components with a dedicated purpose, used in another complex machine with its own components and purpose, the gun. The brass has to meet specifications of length and be in serviceable condition with no splitting or cracking, because it is a pressure vessel for the powder charge, which must meet specifications for pressure release on ignition to propel a given bullet weight and type at a specified velocity within the specs of what the gun can handle. The variables are numerous in attaining the end result. Different powders with different burn rates will create different pressures and muzzle velocities for different purposes. You may want a lighter load with wadcutters for less recoil plinking targets and a heavier charge with semi-jacketed hollow points for self-defense or hunting. When you reload, you take control of all this.

For me, it might be the most fun of any hobby I've ever taken up (next to flying). Like it is said about flying, "Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect." The same can be said for reloading.

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Old January 18, 2010, 06:29 AM   #58
HiBC
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I was checking out some bullets on Hornady's site,and found some nice instructional stuff.Check out "Internal Ballistics"

It will help you understand in depth the "why" of many things.
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