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Old June 10, 1999, 11:25 PM   #1
Join Date: June 2, 1999
Posts: 42
I have been reloading for 45ACP, 38/357, and 9mm for about a year now. I am thinking of beginning to reload some of my SKS and 30-06 ammo. I have the RCBS Rock-Chucker, Lee Scales, RCBS Little Dandy and Lee Perfect Powder measures, calipers, and blocks. I am a complete newbie to the rifle ammo. I want to know what additional equipment I will need to purchase in order to get into loading for these rifle calibers. Is there any special considerations that I will encounter with these that I have not seen with pistol ammo? General Recommendations??
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Old June 11, 1999, 11:56 AM   #2
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Join Date: November 19, 1998
Posts: 986
No time to get into your requested details (maybe this weekend)


Please know that the short bearing surface of carbide/titanium nitride dies is part of the key to us getting away with NOT using case lube on straight-wall pistol cases. Even the tapered 9mm uses only about a 3mm-long tapered sizer surface.

With rifle dies for bottleneck cases, the bearing surface is everything from about 1/4-inch forward of the case head. Even with carbide in say, .30 carbine, there's no way to avoid the need for case lube.

I tried experimenting with Break Free as case lube for .223s once. I missed about 1/4 the diameter of once case and it got STUCK. Ruined the die trying to get it out.

So, like the guy who says "use sunscreen," I sez, "don't forget your case lube."
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Old June 11, 1999, 12:18 PM   #3
Mal H
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 15,460
Other than the obvious things like dies and shellholders, you don't need any additional items, but there are some things that are nice to have.

case mouth chamfering and deburring tool - touches up the case mouths, also makes seating bullets a little easier.

primer hole deburring tool - removes the burr on the primer hole inside the case - required on some new cases.

primer pocket cleaning tool - these can be motorized or manual, they simply rotate inside the primer pocket to clean it and allow the primer to seat better.

There is more stuff you'll pick up as time goes on (trimming tools, case length guages, OAL guages, etc., etc., etc.).

Pay heed to Cheapo's admonition about using case lube and don't forget it when resizing. But when you do forget (we all have at one time or another ), a stuck-case-removal tool comes in mighty handy. They're cheap and will pay for itself the first time you need it.

If you don't have any loading manuals, buy two or more and read the front sections of them. They have very good advice on most all aspects of reloading.

Lastly, reloading for semi-auto and lever rifles takes more care than bolt actions. If your ammo for the SKS is not as functional as factory loads, you may need to get a "small base" die. They are better at full length resizing than standard dies. Also, for semi-autos, you will need to pay more attention to the crimp. You may need to get a crimping die like the Lee Factory Crimp die.
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Old June 12, 1999, 08:47 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 24,125
I concur with the prior posts. I'll add a few comments.

Deburring of primer pockets is needed mostly with GI brass that hasn't been reloaded. In any primer pocket, clean out the black residue--it's brittle, and is easily removed with either the end of a screwdriver or the metal brushes designed for that.

Definitely get the chamfering tool,and lightly work over the case mouths.

If your '06 is a bolt action, you need only neck-size if your brass was originally fired in your chamber. The cases will last longer.

I have liked the Sierra loading books, since there is so much technical info in them as well as good loads.

Starter '06 loads would be:

100-grain Plinkers--50 grains of 4064.

110-grain for varmints--50 grains of 3031.

I prefer boattail bullets for my hunting; 150-grain--49 or 50 grains of 4064.

Dupont 4895 is another good powder. And, many of the newer powders work quite well.

If you want, gas-check lead bullets around 150 to 180 grains are great plinkers with 20 grains of 2400.

Short-range "hand grenades" would include the 80-grain .32-20 bullet swaged down to .308, and loaded with 50+ grains of 3031. This will give 3,800, maybe 4,000 fps. (The bullet might vaporize, but what the heck...) Back during the drouth of the '50s, when jackrabbits competed with our cows for grass, I found this load to be very interesting...

A last play-time load is the .32 caliber )) Buck, ahead of 5 grains of shotgun powder, Bullseye, etc. Great squirrel load.
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Old June 13, 1999, 12:16 PM   #5
Join Date: June 2, 1999
Posts: 42
My greatest concern is with the trimming of the brass. Is it necessary to do this after every firing? Any comments on the best tools for this, (brand, motorized or manual, etc)? Thanks for ya'lls help!
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Old June 13, 1999, 07:59 PM   #6
Don Morgan
Join Date: June 2, 1999
Posts: 43
For the 30-06 I would at least mic them first to see if they need trimming or not. I shoot a lot of Wildcat cartridges that I'm constantly trimming all the time. I use an RCBS Power Trim Pro Case Trimmer that saves me a lot of time when I compete in Silhouette Matches.
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Old June 15, 1999, 07:11 PM   #7
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Join Date: March 11, 1999
Location: The Sunny South
Posts: 2,174
MO, You will need to get something to trim cases with, It all depends on how much you shoot as what would be the best thing to get.
If you shoot a lot look at a Dillon trimmer.
You will need a set of calipers. Dial calipers are easier to read than vernier. Case gages are a good bet if you are going to load for a semi auto or any rimmed magnum.
Trim dies are another thing you might want to check out. IOW, yes MO, if you wish to reload rifle cartridges you will appreciate hating trimming!
Have fun and be safe, Hank
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