Noobe with 2 Questions (for now)

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by PastorDan, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. PastorDan

    PastorDan

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    I just started relaoding, I am curently loading 9mm and 223rem. I am using the current Lyman manual and started with the min sugested loads. I am loading Unique and Varget (respectivly) and my first trip to the range with my loads will be Sat. The first question is this. When working up a load what incriments are recomended? How much more powder do you add before you notice a difference. I don't have a chrono yet so it will all be based on feel and function. I would like to get the velocity on my 223 up as long as accuracy does not suffer. I am not looking for a recomended load (I am looking forward to figuring that out on my own) I am just looking to know how to go about the work up.

    Second question - Brass Cleaning. A friend helped me get set up but never mentioned anything about cleaning the brass. I am gonna guess that I will need to invest in a tumbler and separator sometime in the near future. Is it ok to reload without cleaning? What is a good product to buy for cleaning (YES money is an issue, I have sold of one hobby to pay for my journey into reloading).

    Any and all info you can send my way would be great.

    And don't worry, I will post a range report when I get back on Sat, if for no other reason than so you will know I did not blow my hands or face off.
     
  2. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Jack is not here to help so I will say what he says. You don't need a tumbler. Just wipe them clean. I work pistol up in .2 gr increments for the min to the next charge and then .1gr someplace around the mid level load. I would hope the min charge barely cycles the gun. Then you are at least at close to a min charge.
     

  3. n2extrm

    n2extrm

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    Pastordan,
    Welcome to GTR and a great new hobby.

    First off I am careful not to load too many rounds when starting to explore a new load. Probably 10 in a rifle maybe 20 in pistol. That way if it doesn't work you don't have alot of bullets to pull.

    Some times with a autoloader it is not good to start at the very bottom of published data. It may not cycle the action on your gun. Alot of people will take the average middle of 3 sources of data for the powder you are using. basically middle of the road.

    Everyone does things different I like to load pistol in .1 grain increments. I try to stay away from a max charge of any powder. For rifle I load in .2 grain increments. Again I try to stay away from max loads. Most of the time you can find a great shooting load without getting near max. Without a chronograph you will never know the true velocity of what you are loading. Watch for other signs of pressure, case bulges, flattened primers, even ejection from autos will tell you a lot. A google search will bring up tons of pictures.

    You don't need to have shinny brass to reload, but it looks so cool. I would simply wipe the cases down. Removing the dirt will help preserve the brass and dies.

    I use a simple tumbler, Lyman treated media and I put a light timer on the plug. I set it for how ever long I want (usually an hour) and let it turn it self off.

    Alto of guys use lizard bedding and there are alot of threads here on adding new car finish and mineral spirits to it. I believe it works but for me it's not worth the time and I can never seem to find lizard bedding around here. What ever you do please don't put your cases in the dishwasher. I hear of people doing this once in a while. Keep in mind all the lead residue you are putting in the dishwasher. Not good for the family.
     
  4. PastorDan

    PastorDan

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    Thanks for the imput. I have 23 rounds of 9mm and 15 rounds of 223 so if it does not work I won't have to much to deal with. I have a basic set up and it will work well for me. A Lyman Spartan single stage press and a small bench in the tool shed.
    Good to know I don't need to buy a tumbler, more money for bullets.
     
  5. rjrivero

    rjrivero

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    For .223 I would definately clean the inside of the neck as well as the outer casing. You don't want the carbon scoring to scratch up the neck expander.

    For strait wall pistol calibers, just make sure the casings are clean. A rag with a little car polish does the trick quite nicely for low volume loading.

    Be sure you lube those .223 cases becuase cases stuck in your sizing die SUCK.

    I don't consider a Chronograph to be optional. Rarely will you find the "Exact" recipe for your load. As in the same brass, same bullet, same casing. You're almost always going to find you have a component that doesn't exactly match the recipe. A chronograph will let you know if you're still in that "safe" ballpark.

    It's hard to explain, but there are some loads that "feel mild" but the peak pressures are WAY HIGH. Reading primers and bulging cases are a good idea ALWAYS, but it does take some practice to find some of these signs.

    I always feel better shooting my loads over a chronograph.

    As for the tumbler, you can get a cheapo from harbor Freight that will do just fine. I used a collender with a 5 gallon bucket as my separator for many years before my wife took it in a divorce. :rofl:
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  6. ChrisJn

    ChrisJn "Old Bill"

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    Consider starting your powder load in the middle of that recommended by the powder manufacturer and work DOWN in .1gr decrements.
    So far with .40S&W, .38Special and .380 I have found the sweet spot about .3 to .4 down. My groups have got a lot tighter.
     
  7. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Nope, you do not need a tumbler but clean brass is preferable for reloading vs dirty brass. At least wipe them of well & you can load until you get tired of looking at them. Heed n2e's comments about loading in small lots. You need no more than 10rds for any pistol as a first run, 3-5 for rifles. I hate pulling rounds apart.
    How much you increase charge wts is completely dependant on powder choice & case size. It does little good to go up 0.1gr increments in the 44mag w/ slow powders like H110 or a 06 w/ 150gr bullets. The reverse of 0.2gr w/ say TG in the 40 w/ 180gr bullets, well that could be very bad very quickly. My rule of thumb:
    For small pistol cases, those holding less than 8gr of powder, 0.1gr increments for powders faster than W231 & 0.2gr for powders slower. In larger magnum cases, I don't use anything faster than W231, so the increments still apply. For slower powders than say WSF, 0.3gr increments seems fine. In rifles, small 223/308 size cases get 0.2gr increments & std 06 size gets 0.3gr & magnums get 0.5gr increments. These are general guides I use, YMMV.
    W/O a chronograph, you will have only a ball park idea of vel, very ball park. Book vel can vary as much as 200fps in rifle loads & 100fps in handgun from what you may actually get in your guns, so it is a WAG. What you are looking for are loads that function 100%, give good accuracy & acceptable pressures. For that reason, I seldom use starting loads, they just don't provide the functioning or accuracy. I avg 3 printed data sources & use the middle data. Work up & down in your increemnts looking for reliability, accuracy & signs of low or high pressures. You'll find a sweet spot, every gun has it's own. Find a load you like & then find a guy at the range w/ a chrono & ask nicely if you can shoot them over it. I often test other loads in their guns for them. I won't let them shoot over my screens unless they want to give me a Visa card as deposit so I can replace the screen they hit.:crying:
    If you have a HarborFreight or sandblasting place near you, they sell 20# bags of walnut media for snadblasting pretty cheap. Crushed walnut is crushed walnut.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  8. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

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  9. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

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    All the above posts are spot on, and I'll re-emphasize the need for relatively clean cases - it allows you to do a good inspection of your brass before you invest the time in reloading it. Also keeps your equipment clean, from dies to chamber.
     
  10. DoctaGlockta

    DoctaGlockta

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    Loading clean brass makes the experience a whole lot better IMO. When I started I cleaned brass with a sonic cleaner, then used lemi-shine, tried copper glo and finally after all of that got a tumbler with some crushed walnut and a little dab of NuFinish polish. I wish I hadn't screwed around with the other before my tumbler. Frankfart Arsesmell sells an inexpensive tumbler. I haven't burnt my garage down yet with it or woken up the neighbors. Good luck.

    Art
     
  11. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

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    For pistols I start at min and work my way up.
    First I want full function.

    Then I test 15 rounds and bump up.02 and do it again until I find acceptable accuracy. Once I find it I stop. I have no interest in pushing the rounds as fast as physically possible. In my book that is just extra wear and tear on you and your gun.