OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading) I & II

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OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading) I & II

#1

Post by DaveK » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:49 pm

ANNOUNCEMENT

Well, here it is, the second and (we hope) the conclusion to the Handloading net. While it is probably a good idea to review the posts from the first net, for those who want to jump to the new posts for session # II, it starts on page 2 with post # 19.


Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

This week we will examine the process of manufacturing your own ammunition. First things first - this is not for everyone, and this is so for some very good reasons, all of which we will discuss during the net. But for those who are handloading and for those who want to start, THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that should always be at the very top of your list, is SAFETY. Safety comes in many forms, and is not just practices that you follow while loading, but also the actions that you take following the loading, all of which will be discussed during the net.

The consequences of careless handloading, at best, can be the destruction of your firearm, and at worst, serious physical injury or death. If this sounds scary, then that's good, because we have your attention. In a safety sense, handloading is just like using a chain saw, or rock climbing, or any number of other activities that require dedicated safety consciousness - a moments inattention can have deadly consequences.

All this is intended to help you decide if handloading is right for you, because the benefits are significant. Since this audience is comprised mainly of Ham Radio operators, you will find that there are some interesting parallels between handloaders and the Amateur community - a passion for building your own equipment.

So, since safety is most important, let's start there. Building safe and accurate ammunition requires several steps, NONE of which can be ignored. This is why you follow the rules of handloading. With a massive explosion going off either in your hands or an inch or so from your face, you might need to think twice, or thrice, about following the rules as you handload!!! This is what the consequences of carelessness look like:

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WHERE TO START

For those who are interested in handloading, and especially for all you "seasoned" handloaders, my advice is as follows: never get to the point where you are unwilling to learn. If you are just starting out, the absorption of information will seem almost overwhelming, and, as they say, it will be like taking a drink of water from a fire hose. Fear not, because there is help at hand, and it comes in many forms.
  • Read, and re-read all the instructions that come with your equipment
  • Just about every manufacturer of handloading equipment will list their phone number on their website. Their technical support people are there to help. Don't ignore this resource.
  • Find a handloading elmer
  • Books, books and more books.
  • All handloading companies maintain a website where a great deal of handloading data can be found
When it comes to written materials that you should consult, there are quite a few, and, to some extent, the choices are personal. To a much larger extent, all handloaders agree (or should agree) on certain sources of information, such as handloading data manuals. Below, I mention one handloading book and 4 data manuals. The manuals are mandatory, and the more of them that you gather over the years, the better.

The handloading book, entitled, "Top Grade Ammo" is one of the best books on this topic I have found, and it covers not just what you should do to safely and accurately make your own ammo, but what you should do after it is made. Both are important!!! Glen Zediker writes this book based on his experiences as a competitive shooter and as a widely accepted authority on handloading. This is what Brownells says about him (https://www.brownells.com/reloading/boo ... 02542.aspx):
Whatever your skill level as a reloader, from rank beginner to a seasoned veteran, Top-Grade Ammo has information and guidance that will help you load better ammo - and do it economically - while having fun.

Zediker, a noted AR-15 competition shooter, doesn’t just tell you what to do but why you’re doing it. He covers loading and reloading for semi-automatic rifles, specifically the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO-based modern sporting rifles, BUT bolt actions and other types of rifles are thoroughly covered, too.
Zediker Top Grade Ammo Book (Medium).jpg
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Available here: https://www.buyzedikerbooks.com/


Handloading, or Reloading Data Manuals are a compendium of loading data which you WILL need in order to safely load your ammo. These books are critical for two reasons:
  • They provide a step by step explanation of the handloading process, as well as the reasons why each step is important. Recommendations on necessary equipment are also part of these explanations. Without at least one current volume of these data manuals, you cannot reload.
  • They provide specifics for:
    -primer size and manufacturer
    -case trim-to lengths
    -bullet choices
    -powder choices
    -powder measurements (weights)
    -expected bullet velocities
    -barrel twist recommendations
    -cartridge overall length
    -bullet seating depth (for some)
Here are some excellent data manuals, some of which should be in your handloading cabinet.


attachment=1]Sierra Reloading Data (Medium).jpg[/attachment]
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Attachments
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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#2

Post by rlamishaw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:12 pm

Basic rules for dealing with byproducts of our sanitation needs:

1. Low Impact camping
  • a. If you bring it in take it out
  • b. Keep bodily waste (even shower water) at least 200 feet from camp and/or any water source (stream, river, lake, etc.)
2. On the trail. During the day, sometimes we just “gotta go” and a quick stop is required.
  • a. Gentlemen to the left, ladies to the right
  • b. “Gotta pee?” Men have it easy, ladies not so much. Depending on the co-ed nature of the trip and a guy’s modesty men only need to remember to “face downwind” and we’re pretty much set.
  • c. Special needs of women: Being male I’m not really familiar with all the special requirements that ladies have and limit myself to “ladies to the right”. For more information and an excellent article on the subject I highly recommend Kelly Hodgkin’s excellent article at Greenbelly.co (link https://www.greenbelly.co/pages/best-fe ... on-devices) where she address this subject in more and better detail than I ever could.
In camp:

Privacy/shower tents, range from cheap pop-up types, to better external frame types to those that attach to the vehicle.

Typical inexpensive privacy tent can be found in the $20 to $60 range fairly easily with better external frames units (like the one below) going for about $100. These are good for changing cloths, as a “privy” when used with one of the toilet systems described below and as previously discussed these are also used as shower enclosures.
Privacy tent.jpg
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Units that attach to a vehicle and open out on swig arms are fast to deploy and convenient to use. This one from Ironman is about $300, others are available from Alu-Cab for close to $600. More are coming on the market all the time so do some research if you’re interested in this type privacy shelter.
vehicle attached tent.jpg
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As a privacy tent for toilet breaks swing out units are great, the only problem is that the shower area is next to the vehicle and shower run-off can get pretty muddy. If you have a Roof Top Tent make sure this doesn’t interfere with your tent access. The plus side is that if your hot water system is connected to the vehicle you can set up a very convenient and efficient shower system.

Relieving yourself without a privacy shelter or toilet seat may required that you just go behind a bush. This is a time honored and simple technique, but sometimes not so easy, especially if in a busy, even if primitive, camp site. However, if it's your only alternative and you can't use a poop bag, you can dig the cat hole which should be 6-10 inches deep (about the length of the shovel blade) and 4-6 inches in diameter. In a hot desert, where human waste does not biodegrade easily because there is so little organic soil to help break it down, the cat hole should be only 4-6 inches deep. This will allow the heat and sun to hasten the decay process. When finished, the cat hole should be filled with the original dirt and disguised with native materials. One other thought is that even if you dig a cat hole you can line the hole with a plastic liner to carry out your waist. Just fill the hole in, so no one trips over it, and you've left nothing behind.

Even if digging a cat hole for pee or stool at least carry out your TP, don’t bury it as it takes a long time to decompose and if dug-up by an animal will fly around the camping area making it very unpleasant and unsanitary for other campers, sometimes even months later. The best solution is to carry a small “zip lock bag” with you when you go to relieve yourself. You can put any used TP in the baggie, close it and just take it with you and throw it into your trash container. A dozen or more small zip-lock type bags don’t cost much, don’t take up much room and the closed bag won’t smell or cause you any problems.

Carry a small toilet kit.

A simple toilet kit that you take with you like a “grab bag” is a great idea for use at full service restrooms or when in the bush. You don’t want to have just finished your business only to find that the restroom is out of TP or that you left the TP or wipes in the car. A convenient “luggage cube” (sometimes called packing cubes) make a good carry bag for your kit. Carry an extra toilet poop bag, a couple of zip-lock baggies, some TP, moist wipes (both for your bottom and your hands), and your pretty much covered. I carry a small collapsible shovel in my bag just in case. Just crab the kit whenever you have to respond to the “call of nature” and you’re all set.
Last edited by rlamishaw on Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:05 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#3

Post by rlamishaw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:17 pm

Portable toilet Seats

Using a portable toilet seat and waste bags are a great way to be much more comfortable and have no adverse impacts on the environment. Toilet seats can be very inexpensive (if tippy) to robust and very stable but more expensive devices. You want to be sure that whatever device you use is stable, tip-overs can be pretty messy.

Some examples of several types of products suitable to over-landing and camping in primitive sites.
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Typical inexpensive folding seat. Often sold with waste bags.
Light weight and may not be stable on soft ground
typically in the $20-$40 range
Cleanwaste Toilet image.jpg
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Reliance and Cleanwaste Folding Toilet (there are others)
More stable but bulkier, good medium priced alternative
at around $30 to $45
Thunder box1.jpg
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Thunder Box, Australian
Steel sides that fold flat
Very compact, secure and very stable.
Somewhat expensive at $120 to $150
Last edited by rlamishaw on Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#4

Post by rlamishaw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:22 pm

Use Toilet Poop Bags to contain waste and allow you to pack-it-out safely and conveniently:

As camping toilet bags go, any plastic bag will get the job done. But, if you want to buy some camping toilet specific waste bags, there are some decent options, many of which contain a chemical to solidify waste.

For example, Double Doodie Toilet Bags make for handy waste management. They are double sealed and include a chemical that solidifies urine and solid waste to prevent spillage and smells. Cleanwaste also makes some good products. Be sure to look at the specs for your camping toilet before you go buying waste bags all willie-nillie.
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Not all bags will fit all toilets. Some camping toilets need specially shaped, and designed bags to hold the waste. Otherwise, you could be looking at a leaky situation, and that can be a real mess when poop is involved.

You can also buy the waste treatment chemical separately and carry a small amount to use in whatever poop bag system you use.
Mini Poo Powder.jpg
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Poo Powder is a proprietary waste treatment powder that gels and solidifies liquid waste to a solid, preventing spills and splash backs. Others include Eco Gel Port-A-Potty. All these type produces help to neutralize odors and typically contain a decay catalyst (available from Amazon and other places).

Camping Toilet T.P.

There’s nothing wrong with bringing a roll of your favorite “at home” toilet paper if you use a poop bag, or baggy to pack the TP out. If you insist on digging a cat hole and leaving the TP behind at least be sure it’s a specifically designated biodegradable paper.

Another option is a pack of Coleman Camper’s Toilet Paper, (about $6). They’re a compact roll that helps to minimize pack bulk and the packaging doubles as an easy-to-use dispenser.
Coleman Campers Toilet Paper.jpg
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As we’ve already said bring along some small to medium size zip lock type bags which work well to hold used TP.
Last edited by rlamishaw on Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#5

Post by rlamishaw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:25 pm

Progressive Reloading Presses

Most manual reloading presses process one round at a time performing one step at a time. A progressive reloader or progressive press are much different as they perform multiple tasks with each handle pull.

A number of manufacturers make progressive presses, some of the better known are, (in no particular order):

• RCBS Chucker 7
• Hornady Lock-N-Load (which will be used to illustrate the process here)
• Dillon Precision XL 650
• MEC 9000E
• Lee Precision LoadMaster

And there are others.

The common feature of a progressive press is that it has room for multiple “stations” (typically 4 or 5) with each station holding a die or tool that performs one, or more, functions. For example one station might de-prime a used case, resize that case and prime the recently resized case all with one pull and/or push of a handle. Pull the handle again and the round automatically indexes to the next station where it can load powder, another pull and the round indexes to place the bullet, another pull and the the round progresses to where the bullet is seated and crimped and so on. Put simply each time you pull the handle each round progresses around the carousel of stations where another task is performed until you have a loaded round. The loaded round is then dumped into a bin or bag of some sort.

LNL stations.jpg
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Hornady Lock-N-Load Dies

Different models can have different numbers of stations with each station holding any number of different type dies or tools. These dies and tools can perform whatever function a single stage press can do as well as automate some manual steps (i.e. loading powder into the cartridge). Each pull moves the partially loaded round forward and a new empty case is placed in position (either manually or automatically depending on your press), a new primer is staged and the process continues.
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Basic Lock-N-Load system
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Accessorized Lock-N-Load "Ammo Plant"
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RCBS Progressive Press

Advantage and disadvantages of a Progressive Press

Progressive presses are made for one thing: volume reloading. It is very common to be able to load 200+ rounds or more per hour, my realistic throughput is usually about 100 rounds per hour. The advantage is that for high volume shooters bulk loading ammunition is easy, fairly quick and the per-round cost is much less than commercially available ammunition. Also, as with any hand load, you can tailor the ammunition to meet your specific needs. Additionally, at least for the moment, hand loading does not require you to register ammunition purchases.

The disadvantage for a precision hand loader is that a certain level of “control” and consistency is lost. For example, powder is held in a measuring device of some type where it is automatically measured by volume in an adjustable hopper. The limitation with volume measurement is that it’s not as consistent as measuring the power by weight. The result is that one round may have a little more powder than another meaning that it might have a little different velocity and thus accuracy may vary between rounds, particularly problematic at longer ranges. Additionally, some volume power measures are very sensitive to the type of powder you use (ball, stick, flake) and thus some powders may not work well with some presses. However, with practice and experience and some flexibility in the powder you use these issue can be fairly well mitigated.

In short if you shoot a lot, a good progressive press may be for you but if extreme consistency, and accuracy, is your primary requirement, well maybe not so much.

For more information you can contact me or do a Google Search for “progressive ammunition loader” and you’ll get dozens of web sites and videos that compare presses and explore the subject in mind numbing detail.
Last edited by rlamishaw on Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#6

Post by lrsrngr » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:31 pm

KK6CTT for the on-line check-in please.

Reloading has been a wonderful way to squeeze a few more FPS from the old standard 30-30 WCF (1895) where .308 spire point bullets can be used to replace the normal diet of round nose and flat tip bullets designed for sitting safely in any ole lever rifle. Of course these bullets are NOT to be used in the magazine tube of a lever for fear of bullet tip-primer strike in the magazine tube but for those who have single shots like the Thompson Contender/Encore, H&R or NEF; single-shot, breach-loaded firearms, this is just one example of squeezing a little more juice out of a round that is habitually loaded for new and old lever guns and terminal performance suffers.

This is also the case when loading for the 45-70 Government. The 45-70 was originally made to be shot with 70 grains of black powder and a 405 grain lead bullet vs. smokeless powder and the more common ammunition is again, loaded to be "safe" in many platforms. However, if you have a rifle like the Ruger #1, in 45-70, that locks up like the main gun on an Abrams tank, you can definitely squeeze a lot more out of the old 1873 cartridge. Proving, once again, that reloading has a functional aspect in many of the more obscure calibers and platform offerings but you HAVE TO match the ammo to the platform without mistakes.

Conversely, when you have a heavy hitter that you want and can (look at the loading data sometimes a caution for minimum loads) reduce loads for lower recoil or to provide for a "subsonic round," this can also be done. Loading down to shoot "training" or "plinking" ammunition has always been a cost saving option as well.

Proceed with caution but have fun with it.

By the way...I am a point of contact for the NRA Members Council of California Inland Empire group and we have Women on Target seminars geared for first time or "rusty" woman shooters who would like to brush up on their skills. We have a seminar scheduled for 09/12/20. We would like to begin a series of meetings and range events that address new firearm owners as well; something that the current trend of new firearm ownership calls for. If there is interest, we could put together a reloading seminar for those who are interested in the local area. I am good on QRZ if you would like to contact "Rick" via email.

NRA Members Council IE 320.jpg
There are several Members Councils throughout California. Find one near you here: http://nramemberscouncils.com/
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Last edited by lrsrngr on Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:37 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#7

Post by DaveK » Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:16 pm

HANDLOADING/RELOADING GENERAL TOPICS

1. WHY HANDLOAD/RELOAD

A topic that will be examined in greater detail on the net, but here are a few reasons:
  • save a lot of money
  • make ammunition that suits particular needs
  • make ammunition not available on store shelves
  • make ammunition that out performs anything on the market
  • satisfaction of being able to create your own ammunition

2. COMPONENT AVAILABILITY

The availability of reloading components, are, unfortunately, items that are subject to panic buying, resulting in "out of stock" conditions, sometimes lasting for years. Right now is one of those times. Despite industry wide shortages, or in some cases, complete unavailability, there are still ways to get what you need. More on the net.

Where, you may ask, can we get components. 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


3. LEAD SAFETY

Even if you don't shoot cast lead bullets, all jacketed or plated bullets contain lead, as do some primers, and chances are that when you handload or shoot, you will be exposed to lead. If you shoot or cast lead bullets, the potential for contamination is even a greater concern.

So, for those out there who need another reason to wash your hands, lead contamination is a good one. Regular soap will not do the job. Some years back the Center for Disease Control (the CDC), developed the technology for safely removing lead, and licensed the production to Hygenall Company, who now makes soap and wipes that do the job, (and, made in the USA - https://hygenall.com/shooting-sports/)

Hygenall products remove 99% of many heavy metals, including lead, from the skin. Both the soap and the wipes should be permanent part of your shooting bag, and used every time you handload or visit the range. Here is why:

Hygenall LeadOff™ Tactical Hygiene™ Series products do everything that regular soap does, plus one more thing that regular soaps are not very good at: remove lead and other heavy metals. Hygenall LeadOff Tactical Hygiene products are designed to replace regular soap and wipes in your home and vehicle, on your workbench, or bathroom sink at home.
Hygenall2 (Medium).jpg
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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#8

Post by toms » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:36 pm

Time to Recover Capital investment

In a recent discussion we were discussing the saving associated with reloading and the question was asked
how long does it take to recover the initial investment in equipment.
I have analyzed many times the cost savings of on one box but never looked at the investment in equipment.

At recent prices the components to load 9 mm ammo looks like this:

0.120 Berry's Bullets RN Copper plated 124 gr
.0359 Primer
0.047 Powder HP38 @4.7 gr (.01 per grain)
-------
0.2029 Total per round
10.15 per box 50

The "essentials" reloading Package from Dillion Precision for thier RL 550C progressive 9 mm package
$855.91
You receive everything in this picture.
550C_The_Essentials.jpg
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I have used this press for 30 years. Mine is a 550B. The 550C has minor modifications from the 550B.

I recently ordered (when CA has a 24 hour stay on ammo shipped direct to you) 1000 rounds of load 9 mm ammo that totaled $16.49 per box including shipping and tax. (We pay a heavy penalty on shipping cost & hazard shipping costs since we tend not to spread it over thousand and thousands of pounds of bullets, primers, and powder when orderings on line.)

So a savings of $6.34

It takes 135 boxes (or 6,750 rounds) to recoup the investment.

There have been years in the past when I would shoot 3 to 5 boxes a week.
During those years, I recovered my investment easily with in a year and my press has been working for 30 years.
See you on the Trail!
TomS
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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#9

Post by NotAMog » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:44 pm

Please check-in -

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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)

#10

Post by k9atk » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:25 pm

Please check inn
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Cool topic my dad got me into reloading cool hobby for a chick kd0exi and my husband kd0rha interested in it now. Thanks dad K9ATK ROCKS WORLDS MOST AWESOMENESS FATHER

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