NOOB Reloading Practices


April 17, 2007, 06:24 PM
It is rather obvious that there is an increase in the number of noob reloaders.
Most I think are motivated by increase ammo costs, and well who can blame them?:confused:

Reloading should be reserved for those that have the time and inclination to do it right.
This is from the Sierra XRing

Max Load: When and Where
by Rich Machholz

We get asked countless times for load data and we do every thing we possibly can to accommodate the caller. But when the conversation begins with "give me your max load for. . ." we have to pause. The best advice I can give is never, never start loading with a max load. The key to that statement is "start". A load labeled max isn't a load that will reduce your rifle to a pile of recyclable material. It is a load that registered maximum allowable pressures with that particular combination of components in that test rifle. Using a max load is allowable and even desirable sometimes. If the proper steps are taken when working up a load to a near max or maximum load level, no unusual dangers should be encountered. But skip a step and look out! Here is a recommended procedure. Pick your powder, case, primer and bullet combination with a compatible overall cartridge length. Check your favorite manual or consult several. Pick a load level no higher than mid-range for that powder bullet combination. Increase your charges incrementally no more than 1% of the total case capacity of your cartridge for that powder and fire at least three cartridges for each charge level. Examine each series very carefully watching for excessive pressure symptoms such as a combination of cratered primers, flat primers or even a slight hitch in the bolt lift. There can be a bright spot on the base of the case indicating brass flow. Any of these by themselves may not be indicative of extreme pressures but all of them combined will surely tell the experienced reloader that he has gone beyond the maximum charge level for this combination of components in that rifle. The prudent reloader will reduce this load to a level that eliminates the brass extrusion. Although this is a max level load it only rates a yellow caution when repeated because it was carefully worked up and established in this rifle even though it may or may not be above the maximum loads shown in various manuals. It was proven safe in this rifle with these components at that temperature. But to start at a maximum charge level established even after careful research from several different and reputable manuals then averaging for a maximum start level would be foolish and possibly very dangerous and definitely rates a red stop light. DON'T DO IT!!

And there is tons more information

What most NOOB reloaders do to show their true colors is asking for this and that because they failed to get the resources! Most of the full size reloading manuals either publish an accuracy load or suggest that "XX powder is best suited", The ground work was covered already!
Invest in yourself and get a few full size reloading manuals! Read them! Then read them again! These companies have forgot more then most boards combined know!

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April 17, 2007, 06:50 PM

I agree there are a lot of newcomers to the hobby of reloading. Granted there is and ample amount of documentation out there to help you get started on you own. However, I don't think there is the number of live resources still available to help all these newcomers get started. Many of us were taught by someone else and had them there looking over our shoulder to make sure we were doing it correctly. I think forums like this is now filling the gap for those that don't have someone to help them get started and oversee them.

I for one don't feel that there are dumb questions and I am not annoyed with redundant questions, yes there Search function but some times the information still isn't readily available or match your exact question. Then there are times it is easier to ask then sift through the threads.

April 17, 2007, 11:39 PM
you are soo right.

especially when making your own bullets (casting) rather than max load. im looking for whats the minimum amount i can start with. As im concerned about leading the barrel. so i need to start at the minimum. with test loads then work my way up. What im looking for is distance, pressure, speed, accuracy, drop, grouping.

Then if my load only shoots accurate with minimal drop at 50 yards i know i can add more powder. i keep adding to where signs of leading or increased velocity is over 1400 or case pressure is too much then i back off. Im not looking at the fastest most dangerous high powered round from my rifle. im looking for the most accurate. this is not always true at high pressure high speed loads. Its not always about how much powder you can put in. Its about what powder rate can give you the best accuracy and groupings at a specific range (in yards).

I here a lot when people learn that you reload. """"( you ever add a lot more powder to get a HOT LOAD)""""". i tell them hellllll no.

i start off low increasing load charges to perfect accuracy at a given range. Sometimes its not the biggest bullet and the hottest powder.

Its the bullet that gives you the best accuracy with the right powder combination and charge that give you the best results.

Once new reloaders learn this then they too can not only benifit from the cost of reloading. (which i never cared about). B UTTTTT. they can start to learn what works right that gives them the best accuracy. To shoot like a pro. Once you start to find the right combination. Your shooting will get better and you will be stuck on shooting even more. Its like developing the perfect basketball that will make you play better than a pro nba player. once you find the right ball that makes you (with practice) shoot better than michael jordon then your going to want to play every day against any person.

April 18, 2007, 12:02 AM
As a noob these forums are a great resource. I think It really helps to hear what other people are doing. I've tried a couple of different powders that the description in my manuels just didn't thrill me but have worked out great. Just being able to ask the seemingly obvious question or two could keep some people out of trouble. there's no stupid questions just stupid answers

April 18, 2007, 12:12 AM
Most of my loads have been worked up or down from the mid range, or the bottom of reputable load data and I always cross reference one or two reputable sources. Trust No one, many here are happy to point you to a path, but we should not tell you how fast to travel it.

April 18, 2007, 12:40 AM
There are reasonabe questions and there are stupid people. And, if you do not believe there are stupid people go to any ER in the country. There are examples of stupid people every day! Men have real habit of doing things without reading the directions. Reloaders can be cheap rat bastards, but there is no excuse for not doing your home work. :banghead:

Simply put reloading requires leg work, and if the reloader has no intention of being prudent they deserve to be advised of such! I sure woud not want to be shooting next to some noob reloader who pulled a load out the air risking KABOOM!:what:

April 18, 2007, 03:43 AM

I agree there are stupid people and those are the ones that don't ask questions. Granted there are some questions that make just make you go huh? Also no argument that we are cheap bastards too. Hell I am so cheap I didn't buy a .40 S&W until I had scrounged 500 rounds that sized and gaged properly. In fact I even make my own case lube and have a custom media and wax combination in my tumbler, both of which I found on this forum. I have been reloading for 33 years and I am still learning new things. It's the idiots that don't ask questions that scare me.:what:

April 18, 2007, 03:53 AM
This forum has been very helpful to me, i was a little nervous reloading without ever seeing it done or having someone watch me as mentioned above, but this forum made it possible and now i am shooting reloads with great success. But I understand what you are saying about people asking for max loads, not one of my questions here ever asked about max loads, etc, i used the start load in my manual and cross referenced various manuals, i actually prefer the lowest load. Its def. a sign of a possible problem reloader if they want the max load right off the bat.... +1 on not wanting to be shooting next to a new reloader loading max loads.

April 18, 2007, 04:14 AM

If the the truth be known that many of Ka Boom due to reloading are probably caused by veteran reloaders like me. I learned to reload when I was 12 and now I am 45 so my reloads were worked up years ago. In time you will gain many manuals and you will notice that the load data for powders have been significantly reduced over the years. Take for instance my 9mm load that I had loaded for years taken right out of the Sierra manual back in in 1992; 115gr HP, 6 grains of Unique. The max load back then was 7.0 grains and today it is listed as 5.5 grains of Unique for 115 gr bullet. Times change so do guns and powders ao it is important to stay current. By the way, I have lowered my 9mm load down to 5.5 grains; the accuracy didn't change and I only lost 250 fps but still over 1,100 which is enough for expansion.

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