OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

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OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#1

Post by DaveK » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:14 pm

AMMUNITION HANDLOADING

This week our net will be on the subject of ammunition handloading/reloading.

We plan to cover an overview of these areas.
  • Why should I handload
  • Components
  • Equipment and safe conditions
  • Learning sources - how to get started
  • Safety and common sense
Time permitting we will discuss:
  • Handloading tips
  • specialized equipment
  • How accurate can I make my ammo
  • Where can I shoot
  • magazines/books
***********************************************************************************************

DISCLAIMER / SAFETY WARNING: Like all of our nets, this net is informational only, and if you intend to engage in any handloading activity, you must educate yourself properly and follow the directions and warnings of any equipment you use as well as the handloading manuals that relate to the particular cartridge you are handloading (reloading.) Handloading requires undivided concentration, an interference free environment, an exceptional focus on safety, the need to employ multiple safety checks on nearly everything you do, careful reading of all instructions and warnings, and a willingness to take the time to thoroughly educate yourself on how to safely handload cartridges.
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#2

Post by kevinhum55 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:56 pm

Early Check In
W6RIP
Kevin

My YouTube Channel is 11DayScrape

Reloading Items for Extreme Long Range Accuracy.
https://youtu.be/qE-WmhTf5qo

A video I was in for Gun Carrier about Long Range Shooting. (slight language warning)
https://youtu.be/XYiGsplmMZE

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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#3

Post by DaveK » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:44 pm

AMMUNITION HANDLOADING

This topic is huge and just one net will surely not be enough to cover it all or even most of it. But, if there is sufficient interest, we can always schedule additional nets.

Our general outline will be concerned with both the basics of reloading as well as some of the finer techniques of handloading. We will break down the subject into two categories for discussion,- progressive handloading and single stage handloading. There are valid reasons for each and the discussion will deal with them.

Handloaders are a very particular group, and opinions, on some subjects, are quite diverse and strong. Make no mistake about it however, there are a substantial number of things on which we can all (or should) agree, and it is there where we sill spend most of our time.

We know that there are people who will listening to this net that have never handloaded, but who want to, people who are new to the process, as well as people who are seasoned handloaders. Regardless of where you stand, this net is an opportunity to ask questions and/or to contribute. Everyone can benefit when we have participation.

So, here is how we see the discussion going;

Why handload
Role of safety
Role of consistency
Equipment
Loading data
Tools
Case prep
Components
Testing handloaded amm0
Where to buy it all
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#4

Post by DaveK » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:14 pm

SINGLE STAGE PRESSES

The way ammunition is loaded is by means of a press. Look at a press as a way to easily and properly remove the spent primer, size the case, re-seat a new primer, and finally, seat the bullet. There are several companies (all USA, at least last time I checked) who make single stage presses, all touting their qualities. Which one is best is, to some extent, a matter of personal preference. There are a few that have withstood the test of time and have also proven their strength, durability, precision, and most important, their consistency. We will list several of the top contenders here, along with a few others. No mention will be made in this post of our top picks, but if questioned during the net, we will mention our favorites, and why. Keep in mind that this is not intended to cover the entire field of single stage presses, as there are many more. When you decide to buy or upgrade, check out the sources I have mentioned elsewhere in this net preview. The pictures below are from the respective manufacturers website.

1. RCBS Rock Chucker - http://rcbs.com/

RCBS Rock Chucker Press.jpg
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2. Redding T-7 Turret Press - http://www.redding-reloading.com/online ... ding-press

Redding T7 Turret Press.jpg
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3. Forester Co-Ax Press - https://www.forsterproducts.com/product ... ing-press/

Forester Co-Ax Press.jpg
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4. Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press - https://www.hornady.com/reloading/presses/

Hornady Lock-N-Load Iron Press.jpg
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5. Lee Precision Classic Cast Press - https://leeprecision.com/reloading-pres ... gle-stage/

Lee Classic Cast Press.jpg
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6. Lyman Turret Press - https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands/ly ... -kits.html

Lyman Turret Press.jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#5

Post by toms » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:43 pm

Componets

There are 4 basic components used to hand load a cartridge as shown in these diagrams:
Case (or brass)
Primer
Power
Bullet

The savings in hand loading is the possibility of reusing the brass. Straight cases can be reloaded more time then a bottle neck case since the brass is "reworked" less to bring it back into specifications.

9mm-luger-components-9mm-luger-900Mike Coviello.jpg
9mm-luger-components-9mm-luger-900Mike Coviello.jpg (13.24 KiB) Viewed 38171 times
Componets Rife Cartridge.jpg
Componets Rife Cartridge.jpg (14.72 KiB) Viewed 38171 times
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#6

Post by toms » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:12 pm

Progressive Reloading Presses


The progressive reloading presses have all the stages the cartridges needs to go through in a circular pattern. Once the case is started it has the primer pushed out, the case is resized, and a new primer is inserted then on to the next stage for power, then the bullet is seated and crimped and ejected into a tray. Each pull of the lever activates all the stages.

Some presses are more manual then others. For example, you may need to rotate the base plate by hand or it can be indexed as part of the process of activating the lever.

Progressive presses allow you to turn out higher quantiles of finished ammo in a shorter time but may have slight variations the amount of power dropped. I have noticed .1 grain difference in loading Bulls eye. This could vary with different types of power shapes.

As in the Single stage presses, most of the premier single stage press manufactures offer a Progressive press.

1. Dillon Manufacturing
2. RCBS Pro chucker
3. Hornaday Lock-n-load progressive
4. Lee Pro 1000 Progressive


This is a picture of a Dillion 550 with all the attachments. It indexes manually which makes it a good progressive to start with as you become accustom to all the step and work out a system to ensure correct and accurate reloading. However, it will handle both rife and hand gun cases. So it will grow with you and may be all you ever need.
RL_550_cat_shot.jpg
RL_550_cat_shot.jpg (105.06 KiB) Viewed 38170 times
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#7

Post by DaveK » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:41 pm

WHERE TO BUY EVERYTHING YOU WILL NEED TO HANDLOAD

For better or worse, the vast majority of us will not be able to take a quick spin to our local sporting goods store to buy what we need. The only exceptions are those who live near the sources I mention below. So, bottom line, (and this is not a bad thing), we will need to do our shopping on line. Each of the retailers or manufacturers I mention below, not only have a TERRIFIC selection of quality handloading components and equipment, but they have very knowledgeable staff that can help you make the right choices and answer your technical questions. What's so great about them is that many of them don't just sell these things, they engineer, design, and manufacture them as well. They really know about handloading.

These companies carry and/or make high quality handloading supplies, and I recommend that you put each of them in your bookmarks. As you might expect, some offer slightly different stuff, but they are all excellent. Time permitting, I will discuss some reasons why they are standouts.

1. Sinclair International - https://www.sinclairintl.com/

2. Brownells - https://www.brownells.com/

3. Mid South Shooters Supply - https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/

4. Precision Reloading - https://www.precisionreloading.com/index.php

5. K&M Shooting - http://kmshooting.com/

6. Forester - https://www.forsterproducts.com/

7. Gunstop Reloading Supplies and Ammunition - http://www.gunstop.com/

8. L.E. Wilson - https://lewilson.com/

9. Harrell's Precision - http://harrellsprec.com/index.php
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#8

Post by DaveK » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:44 pm

HIGH QUALITY COMPONENTS

Both space and time do not permit a full listing of every component on the market. Experience and testing have formed most of my recommendations, and here are a few.

Bullets

Here is a category that could take up several nets, all by itself. In years of shooting, I have used most of the offerings from the players in this field, and have found that the vast majority make outstanding products. With a constant eye on CONSISTENCY, I have discovered that there are several companies that have earned a reputation for excellence. I mention only a few here just to give an example of the extent to which bullet technology has improved.

Cutting Edge Bullets - https://cuttingedgebullets.com/

CE's bullets are about as precise as humanly possible, with the aid of computer guided machines. Their product line is entirely copper and suitable for both long range target shooting and hunting. They are packaged individually to protect each bullet. To look at them, brings to mind a work of art. If one has an objective of consistency, Cutting Edge bullets is at the top of the heap (along with a few others.) Incidentally, their line of bullets should be of interest to those who are now required to use non lead ammunition, (and they are certified by the State of California.)
Our Manufacturing Process

CNC Swiss Style Automatic Lathes are second to none when it comes to machining small precision parts.

They are typically used in machining complex parts in a single operation verses multiple operations using other methods. This is accomplished by the machines being equipped with live tools (meaning tools that rotate) for milling, drilling, tapping, reaming, etc. for machining done crosswise through a part. A hex, square, or any other shape can be cut on a part with these tools as well. Our machines are equipped with a pick-off spindle, or sub-spindle, so after a part is machined on the front spindle, the part can be grabbed with the sub spindle and cut off to prevent the part from falling and getting damaged. Once the part is in the sub spindle there are separate tools that can be used to machine the part on its backside which also prevents having to perform another operation on another machine. This is how the shape is cut into the rear of our bullets.

Once the part is machined complete, the part is ejected into a rubber lined part chute and onto a conveyor. The part then travels on the conveyor to the outside of the machine.
Here are a couple of pictures of rifle and handgun bullets:

CE Bullets Handgun.jpg
CE Bullets Handgun.jpg (18.72 KiB) Viewed 38099 times
CE Bullets rifle.jpg
CE Bullets rifle.jpg (10.41 KiB) Viewed 38099 times


Berger Bullets, http://www.bergerbullets.com/

Berger bullets have a well earned reputation for precision, which in their case has seen constant improvements over the years. Again, if consistency is your goal, Berger is at the top of the heap (along with a few others). Their bullets are all of a jacketed lead core design and are suitable for hunting, long range shooting and competition. They sell both loaded ammo and bullets.

Here is what they say:

All tooling is precision made using dimensional tolerances in the .00005. Using precision-made tooling is an absolute requirement. The companies who make our tooling are specifically in the precision tooling business. We meet with them regularly to communicate our tooling needs and special projects. Those who understand precision tool making know that these things are possible but not without deliberate effort and experience.

J4 Precision Jackets are the only bullet jackets in the world known for less than .0003 total wall thickness variation on every size and lot. This has been true for decades and is provable by checking any lot. There are those who claim that they can meet this tolerance and we know that they can every once in a while, but to do this with every single lot is something that only J4 has perfected. Anyone who wants to can order jackets and check them yourself. This is an absolutely critical aspect of precision bullet performance and we are the only bullet company with this capability.
A couple of pics:

Berger classic-hunter.gif
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Berger vld-design.gif
Berger vld-design.gif (8.91 KiB) Viewed 38099 times


Lehigh Defense - https://www.lehighdefense.com/

Lehigh Defense offers an impressive line of bullets and loaded ammo for self defense, long range target shooting, and hunting. A great deal of their line is lead free and certified by the state of California for use in hunting. The Lehigh technology in making their bullets is quite unique, and a visit to their website will be very informative. Several versions of Lehigh's bullets are suitable for hunting, and here is what they say about one such bullet.

Controlled Chaos Technology

Controlled Chaos The development of this technology was the result of an animal control agency's request for a no lead .243 bullet that would provide extensive wound trauma with little minimal pass through energy. Basically the idea was to burst the bullet into numerous particles at a predetermined depth creating many wounds and a large temporary cavity with shot placement at or near the central nervous system. The agency had tried copper matrix frangible rounds and found the penetration depth and particle size were less than what was require for proper terminal performance.

The bullet is designed to penetrate to a specific depth and to fracture as the internal hydraulic pressure exceeds the hoop strength of the nose design. At the time of fracture, a massive energy spike is released as the particles break away and radiate outward from the initial trajectory path.
Lehigh  bullet.jpg
Lehigh bullet.jpg (122.52 KiB) Viewed 38091 times

Brass (cases)

Much like bullets, there are several brass manufacturers whose products are top notch. Again, if exceptional consistency is your objective, the field narrows. I will only mention three companies that offer some of the finest brass. I have used Norma and Lapua brass and can confirm their excellence. I mention Nosler due to several very favorable reports I have read.

I will single one company out, not because it is superior to the others, but because it ships its brass in a very nice, very durable, reusable plastic container - Lapua!

There are several attributes that one looks for in excellent brass, and this is a topic which we will discuss on the net (time permitting.)


Norma - https://www.norma.cc/us/Products/Components/Cases/
Norma products are known worldwide for high quality. Cartridge cases are an important factor in this reputation. Superior quality ensures a long life and many reloads. Norma cases are made of the best possible raw materials with the narrowest tolerances, and they deliver accuracy round after round.

The case neck is annealed to become softer. This prevents gas leaks and enables the case to hold the bullet firmly for at least 10 years without cracking as a result of aging material.

Further down on the case body, the hardness increases to avoid unnecessary stretching. If it is too hard, it would bring the risk of cracks.

Furthest down, around the primer pocket, the brass should be firm. Here, the hardness is nearly twice that of around the neck.

The structure of the material reveals the hardness. During processing the large, soft grains are broken down into smaller ones, which makes for a harder material. At the annealing, small grains become bigger and the hardness decreases.
Lapua - http://www.lapua.com/en/reloading-compo ... llets.html

The base, body and neck of Lapua brass have been designed to maintain exact tolerances over multiple reloading cycles. Advanced metallurgical research and manufacturing techniques ensure that Lapua cases are leaders in uniformity and quality.

Lapua cases are the best in the world, a statement supported by all top marksmen. The .220 Russian, for example, is the number one brass choice of the best benchrest shooters all over the world. All our cartridge cases are strong and uniformly precise. Lapua brass is manufactured to be reloaded, again and again. For reloaders who require absolut reliability from their ammunition, Lapua's pistol and rifle cartridge components is the answer.

The Lapua case heads are drawn exceptionally hard for unmatched reloadability and for an exceptionally long life cycle to serve top shooters time and time again. The brass dimensions remain constant and will hold primers tight in their pockets even after many reloadings.
The brass body

The brass body section of Lapua cases is hard and resilient for unmatched durability. It is easy to extract after firing, whether the reloader opts for full sizing or neck sizing only.
The case neck

Strict tolerances in concentrity and wall thickness are used in manufacturing of the case neck. The neck and shoulder of Lapua cases are annealed to withstand repeated reloading.

Nosler - https://www.nosler.com/brass/
Build the perfect load has long been the motto of hand loaders loyal to Nosler brand bullets–and was the sole reason we developed Nosler® cartridge brass. Introduced in 2005, the Nosler® cartridge brass line is ready to load. Manufactured with the traditional Nosler philosophy of uncompromising attention to detail, Nosler® cartridge brass is created to exact dimensional standards and tolerances, using quality materials for maximum accuracy and consistency potential while extending case life. Nosler® brass also undergoes the rigorous quality control that premium Nosler bullets have experienced for over 60 years.

Fully prepped, ready to load
Case mouths are chamfered and deburred
Nosler Brass is hand-inspected and weight-sorted
Flash holes are deburred and checked for proper alignment
Quality made, Nosler Brass is packaged in quantities of 25, 50 and 100 count boxes
Each piece of brass is full length sized and trimmed to proper lengh
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#9

Post by KAP » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:12 pm

Dave and Tom
Please check me in
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Re: OAUSA Net - February 22, 2018 - Ammunition Handloading

#10

Post by K6QCB » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:29 pm

The best advice I can give to handloaders, especially someone new to reloading, is to throw away the lube pad they give you free with your press. When resizing bottleneck cases it is very difficult to get the amount of lube right rolling the cases over the lube pad. Save yourself the frustration of dented or stuck cases from too much or too little lube. Get a spray case lube like Hornady’s Case Lube. There may be other brands but this is the only one I have tried and it is very easy to use. I have never had an issue with a dented case from too much lube or a stuck one from too little lube. It takes the frustration out of lubing bottleneck cases and makes resizing easier. Tip: spray holding the can below the case mouth at a slight upward angle so you don't get case lube inside the case.NOTE: You don't use case lube with straight wall cases in a carbide resizing die. Warning: There is more to safe reloading than this tip I have given here, please study reference materials and/or seek help from an experienced reloader before attempting it on your own.
Case Lube 001.JPG
Case Lube 001.JPG (624.14 KiB) Viewed 38072 times
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