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Old July 21, 2018, 09:04 AM   #1
jcolon95
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First time reloading

I just recieved my 50th anniverary lee press. I will be reloading shortly. But i have a question about the casing. If i shoot 147grain 308 cartridge, can i reload the same casing with 168 grain projectile using the proper primer and amount of powder.
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Old July 21, 2018, 09:14 AM   #2
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Please don't even start to reload until you get a good reloading manual. I'd suggest the Lyman 50th, it's the one I use the most and I have several to choose from. As I'm reading your post it looks to me as though you're asking if you can use the same powder and powder weight for two different bullets. The short answer is NO. If you're asking if you can use the same empty case to load two different bullets with different powders and different weights, the short answer is YES. An empty case can be reloaded with a large variety of bullets and powders. In fact, most "hard core" reloaders never use anything but brand new unfired cases and just load whatever they want....per book guidelines. I've been doing this for around fifty years now and still have all my fingers and both eyes. Never had one thing go wrong...yet. I follow the manuals and I read them over closely before I ever loaded my first empty case. Congrats on your new press and you're doing the right thing by asking if you are in doubt. I will caution you that there are people on the internet that will give you some very bad advice and say "I do it all the time", even though it's in complete disagreement with any and all loading manuals and web sites. Good luck and have a long and safe career reloading.
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Old July 21, 2018, 09:28 AM   #3
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I'm not trying to be snarky here, but you are starting out with a dangerous hobby by making two mistakes. First, if you are asking a question that fundamentally simple, you haven't done any studying or reading on the subject, have you?

Second, you went to a public bulletin board and asked this simple question, something that any reloader should already know. You should NEVER ask advice on a bulletin board and blindly follow it, and seriously, questions like this should be handled through books, or professional sites. You shouldn't be asking me something like that, because I may be just as dumb as a pound of lead but think I am the reincarnation of alberto whinestein, or whoever that guy was.

Be careful about the questions you ask and the advice you get. There are people who will tell you to never wear a seatbelt, never use a turn signal, and always add a gallon of diesel to every tank of gas to raise the octane level.
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Old July 21, 2018, 09:46 AM   #4
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I suggest you find an NRA Certified reloading instructor.
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:35 AM   #5
jcolon95
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Thank you for your responses. Before i start any project, i always research and ask questions. I also believe that this is great place to ask a hand loading question. If the question is so basic then i should get the same response from people who have been doing this for a long time. I do understand this can be a dangerous hobby if you dont use common sense. The only stupid question is the question that is never asked. Opinion from exprienced reloaders is what i am looking for. So thanks again for those who answer my basic question.
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:43 AM   #6
Russell P
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What powder do you have in mind for your loads? Generally heavier bullets get less powder in them. Even bullets of the same weight but different structure need different loads.

Give us something to work with here.
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:46 AM   #7
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While this is a fundamental question, jcolon95 is quite correct: the only dumb question is the one you don't ask.

In answer to the original question:

Quote:
If i shoot 147grain 308 cartridge, can i reload the same casing with 168 grain projectile using the proper primer and amount of powder
Answer: Yes. The case determines the dies you use, and .308 dies can be used to load any weight bullet. But bullets of different weights usually have different lengths and shapes. Your dies -- especially the seating die -- have to be adjusted to seat the bullet you're loading to the correct depth (which you get by looking at the cartridge overall length -- COL or COAL -- in the loading data). If you're talking about reusing commercially loaded cases that originally held 147-grain bullets, that's no problem. If you mean you want to switch between loading 147s and 168s, then you'll use the same dies but the seating and criming die(s) will have to be adjusted when you switch bullets.

I also agree with the suggestion that you take a class on Metallic Cartridge Reloading from an NRA-certified instructor.

Disclaimer: I am NRA-certified to teach Metallic Cartridge reloading -- but I'm not in Florida, so I'm not selling you my services.
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Old July 21, 2018, 11:51 AM   #8
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I believe the most recommended text is The ABCs of Reloading. It'll tell you how to reload (and why), explain components, and show what equipment is used.

Each cartridge combination is defined in reloading manuals (Lyman 50th, Hornady, Speer, Nosler, manuals) and for safety sake need to be adhered to. With the 308 you're dealing with pressures up to 62,000 psi and mistakes can be at worst deadly, often ruined guns and harm to the shooter. Your manual will give you safe loads (size/weight of bullet with a specific powder and a range of safe powder charges), so for a new reloader; research "how to", research/determine what you want your loads to do, use/research references to determine powder type and use the manuals to tell you how much to use.

Sounds complicated but really it's simple rocket science...

Go slow. Double check everything. Most important, have fun...
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:00 PM   #9
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Welcome Noobie!
You can reload any empty case with any bullet available for that caliber, using the proper powder charge for that weight of bullet.

I have to go with the guys here, at the very least get a couple reloading basics manuals and read them, if available, take a class.
LGS (Local Gun Shop) that sells reloading components can hook you up with someone that can teach you.

BASIC NOOBIE SAFETY:

Buy a GOOD QUALITY pair (or three) of safety glasses. This is mandatory.
It's hard to enjoy anything when you are blind.
I suggest hanging a pair on the press somewhere it can't be operated without removing them.
Safety glasses do zero good unless you wear them!
I can't stress this enough, and I won't even let students/spectators in my reloading area without safety glasses.

ONE, and ONLY ONE, powder container on the bench at a time.
Mixing powders is a common mistake and NEVER ends well.

Buy a balance beam scale and learn to zero it and use it.
'Scoops' are VOLUME, and cause issues since powders have different shapes, compositions that make for different weight in the same volume, and ALL powders are listed by weight, NOT volume.

Powder/Component manufacturers produce 'Booklets' given away FREE at the retailers.
These list bullet shapes/types/weights, powder weight charges for each, primer recommendations.
They are FREE!
You NEVER take the word of ANYONE on the internet!
You check EVERY TIME with the powder/component manufacturers before trying ANY load.
First off, the internet LIES.
Second, printed material has MISPRINTS.
Check 3 REPUTABLE sources, compared side by side.
If two of three agree, then the load is *Probably* safe.

An example is Hodgen produced a booklet to go with Varget powder,
That booklet from the manufacturer listed 55 grains as a starting load.
It was a misprint 55 grain bullet weight as the powder charge, since about 26-27 grains of powder fills the case up.
The misprint was corrected in the next printing of the booklet from Hodgen... And warned of the misprint in previous booklet.

NEVER MIX POWDER! Mixes can interact badly, even if they are similar, and cause horrendously bad things!

Never leave a power container open!
This includes the can it came in or the powder bin!
PUT A CAP OF SOME KIND ON POWDER CONTAINERS.
If a primer goes off while priming cases, it can set the entire can/bin off!

ONE OPERATION AT A TIME!.
Size your brass, check your work, at the very least see if it fits in the chamber.
If the brass needs it, trim your brass.
Prime all your brass before powder is opened!
If primer doesn't go off during insertion, it's probably not going to.
Powder your cases in order, NO DISTRACTIONS! Use a scale every time.
Look into cases to make sure none are missed or double charged.
Then set the bullets.

These are just a few of the rules, you REALLY need a good basic manual or two, read cover to cover.
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:02 PM   #10
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Here is a book written by a certified reloading instructor specifically for new reloaders - I've looked at a copy, and it covers many of the questions that you will have as a beginner. It covers everything from selecting your components and equipment to testing the loads at the range. I suggest you get a copy, especially if you can't find a reloading class near you.

https://shop.reloadingbasics.com/pro...you-w-shipping
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:21 PM   #11
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A 147 grain .308 cartridge isn't .308 Win. It's milsurp 7.62NATO. Assuming it's got a Boxer primer(1 primer flash hole) it's readily reloadable. However, it's also a bit thicker than a regular commercial .308 Win case. So you'll have to reduce the start load by 10% and work up. The Max load will also be 10% less.
You'll also have to remove the primer crimp. No big deal, just a one time nuisance. Done with a regular chamfering tool.
Otherwise, a case is a case. The bullet weight makes no difference.
"...a dangerous hobby..." There is absolutely no danger involved that reading the manual doesn't make go away. Reloading is so safe that the assorted insurance companies don't care about it when it comes to home insurance. At least the ones that are not anti-firearm ownership to start with.
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:30 PM   #12
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I would read at least 3 reloading manuals and make sure you understand what you are reading. If it is not clear then call the people who publish those books. Sierra, Hornady, Lyman, Speer, etc. They can clarify any misconceptions. Stay with basic reloading until you are comfortable with your results. Then you can go onto the more advanced parts of the hobby.

Some of the BIG issues are as follows:
NEVER have more than one brand & type of powder on the bench at a time. NEVER!
NEVER have more than one brand & type of primers on the bench at a time. NEVER!
NEVER have more than one brand & type of bullets on the bench at a time. NEVER!
ALWAYS double check your powder charges from the measure to make sure your measure is set up correctly.
ALWAYS look into the case to verify there is powder inside before seating a bullet.
Keep good records of everything you do and properly label your ammo.

There are many more safety issues that you need to know and reading several manuals will answer your questions.

Be VERY careful about taking the advice of others on the 'net. Most info is good but you would be surprised how much dangerous info is posted. If it doesn't sound right, question it with another source. Could be a simple typo and then maybe is isn't.
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Old July 21, 2018, 12:34 PM   #13
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JeepHammer mentions a lot of very good details to follow. I'll add that he mentions trimming cases WHEN needed. Any decent manual will have, at the beginning of all cartridges, this:
Maximum C.O.L.[cartridge overall length]
Max. case length
Case trim length
These are important to know. Oh, a good set of calipers. Always helpful.
Being new to this hobby, you'll have questions. Ask away.
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Old July 21, 2018, 01:07 PM   #14
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Jcolon95,

A good resource to become familiar with is the SAAMI web site. They have all the cartridge standards and drawings for ammunition currently produced on a large scale, and they maintain the standards those manufacturers work from.

The drawings are in both separate files and in the standards, should you want to download those (it's all in PDF format). One thing you will learn from those drawings is that for each cartridge there is just one set of case exterior dimensions, so all loads for that cartridge are developed in the same exterior case shape. With very few exceptions, cases are interchangeable. There are, as T. O'Hier suggested, differences in internal capacity by headstamp, but if you stick to the minimum or starting load data for your first test loads, you will be fine with any of them. From there you work up your load while watching for pressure signs appearing in your gun with your components.

Good luck, and enjoy the handloading hobby. Most of us derive hundreds of hours of pleasure from it every year.
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Old July 21, 2018, 03:15 PM   #15
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I want to add my voice to those who have suggested getting at least one published reloading manual (everyone has their favorites, but they all say the same thing on this matter). Go to the section at the front that talks about "How to Reload". Read it thoroughly.

Read it again.

There will be a test.

The test comes when you start assembling these little pipe bombs that we call cartridges and you either have years of safe, fulfilling recreation or you end up with the nickname "One Eye". Reloading can be done safely, but it takes knowing where the potential dangers lie and approaching the hobby with a serious, sober attitude.
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Old July 21, 2018, 03:35 PM   #16
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The oldest of firearm safety rules include "alcohol and gunpowder don't mix." That applies not only to handling guns and loaded ammunition but to reloading as well. Implicit in that statement is that you not only don't want to be intoxicated but that you don't want to be sleep-deprived or distracted, either. The mind should be clear and focused on the task at hand.
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Old July 21, 2018, 03:43 PM   #17
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There would be a LOT more people nicknamed 'Cyclops', 'Lefty', 'Hook', 'Hamburger Face' if a lot of popular firearms weren't overbuilt stupid safe...
But you can't plan for everything someone will do to a firearm/ammo.

I shudder when I think about wire wound & damascus barrels of days past!
Half the shooting population would be one handed & one eyed today were that technology still used...

As for 'Not Dangerous' or 'Completely Safe'...
Another 'Expert' speaking with complete authority on a subject he obviously doesn't understand.

People, Humans as a group, are IGNORANT & LAZY.
It's simple human learning curve & nature.
Since humans DO NOT pass education/information down genetically, they have to learn everything as they progress through life.
Just because your grandfather or father knew exactly what he was doing, doesn't mean the so or grandson can walk through a doorway without bumping his head...

Humans, by nature, won't seek information/knowledge/experience for the sake of learning, save a very few...
The great sleeping wad of humanity won't seek information/knowledge past what is required to do a specific task.
Once they are fed, watered & comfortable, they quit.
(See any middle aged fast food workers or manual labor factory employee)

This explains why 'experienced reloaders' can't use a case gauge, use polishing media for basic cleaning, don't recognize the inherent dangers of reloading.
They haven't burned or blown themselves up (yet) so it MUST be 'Safe'.

I immedately think of the guy that had been reloading for years, always had a light on the bench.
The light gave up, getting older he got one with a Magnification Lense built into it.
That magnification lense was exposed to direct sunlight and set his bench on fire with about 8 pound bottles of powder sitting on it.

Now, since he hadn't had serious issues with powder on the bench (a mortal sin in reloading), and his old light never set the bench on fire before, he ASSUMED the new light was safe...
He's lucky the wife wasn't a complete idiot and had a kitchen fire extinguisher!

There is a current thread, on this section, of this forum, RIGHT NOW, about complacency where pistol primers were installed in rifle cartridges...
This means ALL basic, common sense rules of reloading were ignored!

Pistol primers separated, in storage & use, from rifle primers.
(Magnum primers sould be separated from standard primers also)

Double, then TRIPLE check everything...

The internet is FULL of pictures of open primers on the bench while OPEN containers/bins of powder are on the bench.
This means REMARKABLY bad housekeeping, or even worse, primers going in while there is OPEN/UNCOVERED powder RIGHT THERE!

In posts right here people CLAIM no overpressure signs while WAY over the recommended maximum, then in the same paragraph say the bolt is 'A Little Sticky' opening the rifle...

You all do this game the way you want to/have done, but claiming this 'Hobby' doesn't have the potential for disaster simply isn't true,
And it's damn dangerous to tell a newbie any part of this doesn't have the potential for disaster...
You SERIOUSLY undermine/negate any/all specific safety warnings when you post something that inaccurate & just plain WRONG.

Last edited by JeepHammer; July 21, 2018 at 04:18 PM.
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Old July 21, 2018, 03:47 PM   #18
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Also, don't let yourself become distracted.
If the kids are running around, and the wife is yelling, it's not a good time to be reloading.
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Old July 21, 2018, 03:49 PM   #19
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Echo, echo, echo
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Old July 21, 2018, 04:28 PM   #20
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My favorite picture so far is the lit cigarette curling smoke in the ashtray right next to a powder trickler and about 50 powdered cases in a loading block right next to the powder trickler...

My second favorite was a guy complaining his universal decapper was setting off primers he was tearing down, with about 4 ounces of powder in an open container right next to the press...

I printed both as examples of what NOT to do for New reloaders in class.
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Old July 22, 2018, 06:36 AM   #21
jcolon95
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Well i will start with this statement, you can't fix stupid. With that said, i thank you all for your opinions. Anyone going into any venture without arming themselves with knowlegde needed to safely complete the task is looking for tragedy. As a marine vet i fully understand the possible dangers of reloading ammo. Which is why i am gathering my information not only through books, but from the experienced reloaders that can tell you what the books dont. I believe that anyone that have been reloading has vital information that is both good and bad and it is up to the individual to make a well informed decision. I look forward to sharing my experience in the near future when i reload my first cartridge. Thank again for all your input.
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Old July 22, 2018, 07:11 AM   #22
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jcolon95,
I hate to see a reloading question answered with a lot of condescending remarks about the new persons knowledge . Don't be afraid to ask questions , just totally ignore the snarky answers . I don't understand why some seem to do this . You will quickly realize who gives solid information.
I started in 1967 with two reloading manuals and wish there had been a place to ask questions . Some...a lot actually, of information isn't in the books ...I learned a lot the hard way ....I am always glad to share that knowledge , if you have a question ...ask it, I for one will try to help sans sarcasm
Gary
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Old July 22, 2018, 10:00 AM   #23
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I like Jcolon95 already.
Inactive Marine, so thick skin. Knows how to pick the pearl out of the hog crap.
Ignorant means uneducated on the subject. That is easily solved by education.
Stupid is when you refuse to educate yourself, or ignore education handed to you.
In this case, he'll take things serious...

Military in general, and Marines in specific are trained to absorb information, improvise, adapt, overcome. Only about 3% of the population is current/former military so they are the vast minority.
The majority question things as simple as safety glasses...
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Old July 22, 2018, 10:26 AM   #24
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jcolon95, Welcome to the world of reloading. From the looks of it your question wasn't very well received by some of the Experts! It really was a simple question that really only needed a simple answer.

In todays world you will find many more resources available to you than I did way back in 1980. About all one had was the published books and whatever monthly magazines one could find on the racks that had articles. Today there are still the books, still some magazines and now the web with forums, blogs and youtube videos.

You haven't mentioned anything about the type of reloading you will be looking to do other than this question about rifle bullets, so we assume that is one aspect. I will suggest that to actually get started and easily learn the basics that the simple revolver pistol cartridge is the easiest to learn on.

Also if you can find a mentor to work with it certainly helps and besides it's nice to have someone to talk to about it.

Anyways, good luck, don't get discouraged and enjoy the new hobby because it is fun and very rewarding.
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Old July 22, 2018, 10:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcolon95 View Post
Well i will start with this statement, you can't fix stupid. With that said, i thank you all for your opinions. Anyone going into any venture without arming themselves with knowlegde needed to safely complete the task is looking for tragedy. As a marine vet i fully understand the possible dangers of reloading ammo. Which is why i am gathering my information not only through books, but from the experienced reloaders that can tell you what the books dont. I believe that anyone that have been reloading has vital information that is both good and bad and it is up to the individual to make a well informed decision. I look forward to sharing my experience in the near future when i reload my first cartridge. Thank again for all your input.
Good thinking jcolon95. One thought though. When you ask a question on a forum, you are going to get opinions as often as facts (now the "old guard" here are gonna object to that statement!). You are getting information from an anonymous screen name and the info can be real, factual or complete BS. For a new reloader that hasn't developed his "Reloading BS Filter" it may be confusing and/or hazardous. Personally I'd say find a good, well recommended text and stick with that, and just smile and say thank you to forum experts, range rats, gun counter clerks, and gun shop gurus, at least until your BS filter is working...
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