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

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


Post by Jeff-OAUSA » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:38 pm

Please check me in.

Jeff, Highland, CA

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."

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


Post by KK6DYO » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:50 pm

Shortages and Delays

We're in unusual times due to the triple whammy of pandemic, protests, and presidential polling: Gun buys up 95%, ammo 139%

Some sources put the number of first-time gun buyers at 40%.

NSSF 2020 Gun Sales 800.png
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This results in shortages of firearms and ammunition, and even reloading supplies. Some components are hard to impossible to find, or subject to shipping delays. My recommendation is to backorder if possible and/or (if available) be notified via email when back in stock.

45 Brass.png
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SR Primers.png
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MBC Delay.png
MBC Delay.png (153.44 KiB) Viewed 217 times

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


Post by Diesel4x » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:11 pm

Thanks for early check in, KF6RGR Becky and KF6KOC Randy.

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


Post by kevinhum55 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:14 pm

Here for Round 2

Early Check In


I am sharing a couple videos I made during my reloading journey.

I made a detailed video of how I reload for Extreme Long Range shooting. Extreme meaning beyond the transonic zone. Everyone has
their own way of reloading, this is just my way. Reloading is a evolutionary skill and things change along the way. Not all of these steps are
necessary in simple reloading.

Thoughts on the items I use to reload. Not all of these items are necessary but I feel they are very important for accuracy.

Thank You,
Last edited by kevinhum55 on Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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


Post by KN6FPS » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:20 pm

Please check in David - KN6FPS.

I'll one a little bit in to the Net, we have our AVARC meeting tonight.

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


Post by KK6DYO » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:21 pm

Sources of Information

Reloading Manuals

Dave covered this. They're also available in electronic (e.g., Kindle, PDF) versions.

Bullet and Powder Manufacturer Web sites

Lehigh Defense Load Data Library
LehighLoadDataLibrary.png (150.91 KiB) Viewed 215 times

Hodgdon Reloading Data Center
HodgdonReloading.png (370.35 KiB) Viewed 215 times

Forums Devoted to Specific Calibers

.458 SOCOM Forums

Facebook Forums, General Reloading and Specific Calibers
FB Reloading.png
FB Reloading.png (238.43 KiB) Viewed 215 times

Make sure to cross check all load recommendations for sanity and safety with multiple sources!

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


Post by KK6DYO » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:40 pm

Some Favorite Reloading Products

Frankford Arsenal Tumbler Lite

Smaller version of their large tumbler. Great for wet cleaning smaller lots of brass with stainless steel pins. The tub unfortunately is not rubber coated inside, so the cleaning action isn't quite as good, but if you fill it only one-third full, it works fine.
FA Tumbler Lite.png
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Hornady Case Cleaning Solution

I've tried a few. This one seems to clean brass well, returning brass to a shiny gold.
Hornady Case Cleaner.png
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Media Separator

Makes quick work of both separating pins from brass and initial rinsing. Note: This Frankford Arsensal one is still serviceable, but broke the third time I used it due to funky latch mechanism.
FA Media Separator.png
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Allows quick and thorough drying of brass. After rinsing my brass in tap water, I spray it off with distilled water to avoid water spots. Note: this model was $50 less than a year ago and is intended for dried fruit and beef jerky.
Dehydrator.png (169.06 KiB) Viewed 210 times

Inline Fabrication Roller Lever

For me, the right angle handle provides more natural motion for my wrist. This is the short one for cases that don't need much leverage. A longer one also available.
InlineFab Roller Level.png
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RCBS Chargemaster Lite

Automatic powder dispenser and scale.
RCBSChargemasterLite.png (116.35 KiB) Viewed 210 times

RCBS Scale Powder Funnel Pan

Allows easy case filling after measuring out powder charge. I have two so I can be filling one (see RCBS Chargemaster) while filling case with the other. You will likely need to add tape (I used aluminum) to one to get the pan weights exactly the same.
RCBS Scale Pan.png
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Re: OAUSA Net - July 23, 2020 - Ammunition Handloading (Reloading)


Post by cesandvik » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:27 pm

Check in please... K5LFE
Carl Sandvik

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


Post by mudman » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:57 pm

Please check me in to tonight's net, KI7SDI.

Thanks, Jim
KI7SDI, Grants Pass, Oregon

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


Post by DaveK » Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:23 am



As time passes, just about everything improves with technology, ingenuity, and demand, and handloading is no exception. And, while I'm not always complementary toward the legal profession, I believe that the liability concerns of component manufacturers have contributed to handloading safety, helping to make it safer than ever. Additionally, a huge step forward, in terms of safety, is due to an industry wide recognition of the need for specific handloading data that takes component characteristics and firearms Into account.

When you boil the subject of handloading safety down to the ONE thing, it is all about PRESSURE. Most of the catastrophic failures that were pictured in post number one, above, were due to OVER PRESSURE conditions.

During the net, we intend to cover these topics, all of which are pressure related:

loading data manuals
the 4 components of ammunition, and their effects on pressure
visual inspections and what to look for
non lead bullets
life span of brass
barrel twist
bullet seating depth

SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, https://saami.org/)

Among the many things which SAAMI does, it includes publishing pressure standards, which are maximums for different cartridges. Here is what they say:

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) is an association of the nation’s leading manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and components. SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the request of the federal government and tasked with:

Creating and publishing industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality
Coordinating technical data
Promoting safe and responsible firearms use

SAAMI Strategic Goals

1). Create and maintain technically-correct standards for terminology, performance, interchangeability, and safety regarding firearms and ammunition.

2). Continually improve and share our expertise with policy makers and strategic partners related to technical performance and safety regarding firearms and ammunition manufacturers’ issues.

3). Continually improve the forum by which members consider and analyze appropriate standards and policies regarding firearms and ammunition.

4). Monitor, anticipate, and address new technology, opportunities, challenges, and emerging trends impacting the mission of SAAMI.

5). Increase SAAMI’s public visibility as “the experts” in our fields.

Our Mission

To create and promulgate technical, performance and safety standards for firearms, ammunition, and components; and to be the preeminent global resource for the safe and responsible transportation, storage, and use of these products.


Loading data manuals use the SAAMI standards in the preparation of these manuals. They also conduct extensive testing, with very expensive equipment, in dedicated laboratories, to insure that their load recommendations are safe. When they give loading data, it is the result of this testing, which is why it is wise to follow their recommendations.

There are several companies that publish this information, and with no exceptions, (of which I am aware), they all are excellent. Three things are important for the handloader:
  • have a current manual
  • have more than one manual or data source
  • have loading data that matches, as closely as possible, your particular components and firearm,
The most important advice in all this is to begin every new cartridge handload at the minimum, working you way up incrementally, and do NOT EXCEED powder recommendations. While this is THE most important consideration, don't under estimate the importance of component selections, e.g. primer, bullet and brass.

Every handloader will settle on a favorite handloading manual. Mine is Sierra. More on the net, but here are two pages from their manual for the .223 Rem:

Sierra Loading Data .223-2.jpg
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Sierra Loading Data .223-1.jpg
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While it may seem like a luxury, a chronograph is a very important safety factor in the process of making your own ammunition. Technology has made some significant changes in the chronograph market, the most notable of which is cost. For about a $100.00 you can get a high quality chronograph that will give you the important feedback on your handloads you will need. More on the net.

Here is an example of a chronograph set-up:

Shooting - chrono,  bench, target cam6 (Large).jpg
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Shooting - chrono,  bench, target cam4 (Large).jpg
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Yes, different bullets will create differences in pressure. One of the more recent developments in handloading is the need to recognize the loading requirement for copper bullets,(which can differ significantly from lead.) This picture gives a visual reference on how these two metals differ. More on the net.

Lead vs Copper.jpg
Lead vs Copper.jpg (888.26 KiB) Viewed 183 times


Powder, brass, primer, bullet, and Bullet seating depth. More on the net


For those who are not familiar with the reason for varying bullet seating depth, there is just one word that explains it - ACCURACY!! AND, it works. The Barnes Bullet company routinely recommends varying this depth, and says this (http://www.barnesbullets.com/load-data/):
When loading a Barnes TSX, Tipped TSX or LRX bullet, your rifle may prefer a bullet jump of anywhere between (a minimum of) .050” up to .250” or more. This distance off the lands (rifling), aka "jump" may be limited to the rifles throat length, magazine length and bullet length.

When selecting the cartridge overall length (COAL) we recommend starting with a minimum “jump” of .050” off of the lands. You can test different seating depths and find a “sweet spot” that your particular firearm prefers. We suggest working in at least .025” increments as follows seating the bullet deeper to allow a further jump.

But, BE CAREFUL. In the quest for the greatest accuracy, many handloaders get very close to the lands, and some even use dead length seating (having the bullet actually touch the lands.) In the context of this discussion, it bears emphasis that land engagement WILL increase pressure, which if acknowledged, is easily solved by reducing the powder charge.

Here is an example of over pressure, due to bullet seating depth. Note the primers are flattened and cratered. The solution was simply increasing seating depth.

30-06-2.jpg (1019.65 KiB) Viewed 183 times


As mentioned earlier, safety isn't only what you do when creating your ammunition, but it is also your observations of certain signs once you have fired it. In addition to the chronograph (which should be your first indicator of pressure), your fired brass can also show signs of over pressure, but not always. Some of the signs to look for are primer condition (as above,) pressure rings, blown primers, primer pocket enlargement, case head expansion, and ejector imprints on the case head. Also, difficult case extraction can be another indicator. The best explanation I have seen on pressure evaluation is in Glen Zediker's book, "Top Grade Ammo", from page 254-268, and appropriately entitled, "PRESSURE."

One important note here. The absence of visual signs of over pressure does not mean that everything is just fine. Because manufacturers build a certain amount of safety margins into their products, which may temporarily prevent any observable signs of over pressure, you may find that a constant diet of the high pressure stuff, eventually results in a spectacular failure. That is why there are limits. Observe them!!!!!!!

Here are some pictures that MAY indicate high pressure:

ejector imprint

Over Pressure - ejector imprint.jpg
Over Pressure - ejector imprint.jpg (44.77 KiB) Viewed 183 times

blown primer

Over Pressure - blown primer.jpg
Over Pressure - blown primer.jpg (16.67 KiB) Viewed 183 times

pressure ring

Over Pressure - pressure ring.jpg
Over Pressure - pressure ring.jpg (127.8 KiB) Viewed 183 times


Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

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