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Old January 4, 2007, 06:54 PM   #1
Savage Sam
Join Date: May 1, 2006
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 77
Brand new reloader! Tips?

Hi all-
This reloading virgin has finally bought his first reloading setup, a Lee Loader. I will only be loading for the .300 Savage to start off, so anyone with experience loading for this caliber, please share your insight. The two rifles I will be loading for are a Remington 722 and a Savage 99E. I am interested in using such bullets as the original Winchester Silvertip, Remington Bronze-Point, and Nosler Partitions. I have 440 pieces of once-fired brass from my two rifles and several other Savage 99s, along with 50 pieces of new Winchester brass. My reloading setup will be very bare-bones at first, and I will probably not be doing a very high volume of reloading. All the load data is included with the reloading setup, but I also like to check things out on the forum just in case

Here are some specific questions:

1) Are large rifle primers the correct ones to use for this caliber?

2) What bullet weights should I try? I have heard that bullet weights from 150-165gr. work best in this caliber and not to go above 180gr. as a general rule, due to the .300's shoulder angle & short neck. Thoughts?

3) Which powders do what? (I am a complete powder ignoramus) and what powders would you recommend for pushing different bullet weights in this caliber?

4) In general, what are safe loading guidelines for this caliber? Can I use higher pressures in the 722, since it locks up at the front of the action and is a modern bolt action? Or should I just suck it up and buy an '06 or .308?

5) I have read somewhere that the .300 Savage requires some special kind of die. Are there large-base and small-base dies and which do I need? A sizing die comes with my Lee Loader, will that size work?

6) I was (am) under the impression that everything I need to begin reloading is included in my Lee Loader kit. Is there anything else that is relatively inexpensive that either I flat-out need, or would make my life a whole lot easier?

Thanks in advance for the replies-
Savage Sam
-if you can't do it with a .30-06, you probably can't do it.-
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Old January 4, 2007, 07:51 PM   #2
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Join Date: December 10, 2002
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 140
Sam, you picked an interesting caliber to start your loading career. The 300 is or can be a challenge due to the short neck. If you take your time, you will do ok.

I would use starting loads with the lee loader. If for no other reason than the dipper is generally not the most accurate way to charge cases. I would not attempt max loads until you have a little more experience and can recognize pressure signs.

The correct primer is listed on your data sheet that comes with the lee loader. I would urge you to look it up,and not take my or anyone else's word for it. Likewise powder charges; there are sources for charges on the internet and various other venues that are not always accurate. If the load cannot be found in writing by a powder or bullet manufacturer (reloading manual) do not use it. You have a fine old rifle in that 722, and it is not worth risking it by using erroneous data.

It has been many years since I purchased a lee loader, so I can't remember what the kit contains. You should attempt to purchase a decent powder scale as your budget permits. Next in importance is a caliper, to accurately measure minimum and maximum overall length. Once you decide to get more into loading, get a good single stage or turret press. Then, you can decide to get either regular or small base dies. A deburring/chamfer tool is nice, and of course, you will need case lube to avoid the dreaded stuck case.

I hope you enjoy shooting your reloads. Before you know it, you will have accumulated all the extras that help make loading more convenient. More importantly,you will shoot more, which is a good thing!
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Old January 4, 2007, 09:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 28, 2006
Posts: 141
The only things I'll add to what Skipjack said are concerning the Lee Loader. The Lee Loader will make some fine, accurate rounds because it only neck sizes. The rest of the brass is left alone BUT, make sure the brass will chamber in the gun you are loading it for. If the chamber of the gun the brass was originally fired in was a little larger you probably won't get them to chamber. Just something to check before you load em up. And yes, get a scale. Lee sells them for about $20.
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Old January 5, 2007, 07:37 AM   #4
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Posts: 331
I had problems at first with my .308 because i was only neck sizing. After the 2nd time fired, i need to do a full length resize because the brass wouldn't chamber anymore. Just something to watch for as JD mick said before.
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Old January 7, 2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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Join Date: November 21, 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 162
starting up

Don't forget to buy reloading manuals (I use Lyman) and Mfgs. data loads from their websites (eg: IMR or Alliant powders). Follow the manual's recommendations closely and enjoy. John
For those who have had to fight for it, life holds a special meaning that the protected will never know.
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Old January 7, 2007, 09:56 PM   #6
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Join Date: September 12, 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 389
Welcome to a great hobby!

Get at least 2 different loading manuals and read them. Then think about starting to use your loading equipment.
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Old January 8, 2007, 12:16 AM   #7
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-- John D.
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Old January 8, 2007, 09:17 AM   #8
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Location: Jefferson, ME
Posts: 700
Manuals are the best purchase you can make to keep your hands attached to your arms..They explain powder burn rates and what IS safe, and what IS mentioned,Always use start loads unless your sure your increased charges are still safe..NEVER load beyond max loads.There is just no reason(or safety) in trying to fit a Chevy big block inside a compact car and then go and try to win a race with it in tight turns..Its not going to make anything better ,and you will probably just get killed trying..The only reasons to handload IMO,are for making Hunting rounds for your own needs,Better Accuracy(almost always),and Economy(most of the time)..Oh ,,almost forgot for FUN!!!

I also recommend doing things in a way to better get you in a routine of safety..I personaly do every operation seperate because I have a single stage press and hand priming tool.
I lube the brass(spray lube),size the brass(be carefull to check that you don't size the brass to much if it has a shoulder),Trim+debur the brass,clean the primer pockets,etc,etc.I do it all 50 at a time with most steps seperate.
A case gauge is smart.Very cheap and easy way to check your brass for safety and safe headspacing as far as your cartridge goes..just some thoughts..
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Old January 8, 2007, 02:04 PM   #9
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Join Date: January 27, 2005
Location: savannah
Posts: 758
Some things that you will need.

$20 lee safety scale. Get your powder charges spot on.

$15ish, shell holder set. It has 10-15 shellholders for the Lee hand priming tool.
it works for both small and large primers, both handgun and rifle.

$15, not necessary, but nice... a powder trickler.

A lee cutter and lockstud for trimming cases will be necessary, $10-15.

Also, at harbor freight tools, you can get a digital caliper 6" SS for around $20.

I have loaded a few 300 savage, and like the 180 grain winchester CTBT. I pulled one of those out of the far side of two broken shoulders in a caribou. It was DRT, and the mushroom would bring a tear to your eye.

I had no problem with the short case neck.
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Old January 10, 2007, 07:52 PM   #10
kenneth owens
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Join Date: June 17, 2006
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be very carefull reloading is very addictive no really just study,think safety,and shoot away.........................
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Old January 12, 2007, 12:43 PM   #11
kenneth owens
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Join Date: June 17, 2006
Posts: 355
new loader

I did not mean to be so short on my last post find a good manual,find someone near you who reloads ask lots of questions and the most important
safety,safety good luck and have fun
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