A super new reloaders procedures


Broken Bottles
March 31, 2013, 05:19 PM
So I was wondering if you guys could look over my loading procedures and see if there's anything I should change before I get too set in my ways. I haven't even loaded a hundred rounds yet so I'm still VERY new to this.

Cases are already sized and primed
Check my scale(Lee Safety Scale)
Run a case into the Powder Through Expander
Measure a charge and pour into the funnel
Pull the case out and look inside then place a bullet in the mouth and set aside
repeat that four times minus checking the scale.

Switch the die to the Seat and Crimp die
Run a primed, charged, and slightly seated bullet into the die
Check the crimp then check the OAL
Put a loaded round into the carton then repeat four more times minus changing the dies.

Every five rounds I'll recheck the scale.
Every ten rounds, I'll chamber a round(following all safety precautions) and check to ensure smooth feeding.

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March 31, 2013, 06:24 PM
Looks good to me. Why are you chambering a round every ten if you know your OAL length is good to go?

Matt Dillon
March 31, 2013, 06:32 PM
Broken bottles:
It is wise of you to seek advice. My question would be, why are you only working in batches of five? Every time you change out a die, you are introducing a new variable, as you may tighten the die slightly differently each time. I submit to you that consistency is the key to uniformity and accuracy, so, I would run all your cases through your expander die in one batch, before filling them". Then there are a couple of ways you can think about filling and seating the cases. Some people drop the powder and immediately place a bullet and seat it. Others fill all their cases with powder (especially when using a powder measure! The look into the case mouths and go back and forth examining the levels of powder, to ensure all cases have been filled uniformly. This is really important if you are dropping a powder that does no meter uniformly, such as Unique. This then gives you the opportunity to weigh the cases that may have a little too much, or a little less powder than the other cases in the rows of the loading block. Then once you ate satisfied that ALL the cases are filled uniformly, seat the bullets at that time, without banging out the die until. You ave seated ALL the bullets uniformly.
did you place a check weight on your scale before starting to weigh your powder?
Did you double and triple check your scale's settings before beginning to weigh the powder?
Did you inside and outside chamfer the case mouths after trimming the cases?

Just a couple of things to think about!

March 31, 2013, 07:06 PM
I'd try some of those round that you made at the range. If all is well go to batches of 100 of more. I would only check the first 2 or 3 on a scale then just eyeball the rest in the block.

Broken Bottles
March 31, 2013, 07:44 PM
There was a seemingly valid reason why I was chambering a round but I can't think of what it could have even been. :uhoh:

I'm working in batches of five for a few reasons. I don't have much brass at the moment and I don't get to shoot nearly as much as I'd like to(averaging out to about 200 rounds a month :mad: ) so having a lot of loaded ammo for my leveraction isn't too big a deal. I also enjoy reloading and spreading it out and taking my time seems to relax me even more.
I have the Lee Breechlock Challenger kit and each die has a bushing so I don't have to worry about any tightening of the dies really. You do raise a point I didn't consider though.
I use a 13.7 grain check weight and use the instructions that came with the scale to ensure zero. I check with the weight first then with just the pan on the scale(the way the instructions explain) and then double check that it's at 0.0g with the pan again.
I've been champfering the cases after trimming.

I have tested the reloads once and the original batch of 50(four different powder levels) and they all worked fine.

You guys have given me some things to think about and reconsider, thank you.

Lost Sheep
March 31, 2013, 08:29 PM
I generally load (when I load in batches) in batches of 50. (20 if rifle ammunition). Whatever the size of box is that I am putting the ammo into.

I use a 50-cavity loading block (basically a plank of wood with 50 blind holes in it) or a commercially made one (usually plastic and costing about $7).

After charging 50 cases (but not placing a bullet on any case) I shine a light into all the cases in mass. That way I can check for any uncharged case, and compare powder levels in all the cases. I can pull a (statistical) sampling and check charge weights at this time, too.

Then, I can take each case, set a bullet, seat the bullet and place them in a second loading block (or back in the same one if I only have one.

Then I can crimp them all.

Kudos to you for thinking out your algorithm of operations.

While I gave one answer to your precise question, I think I can do better for you by suggesting principles.

Your loading bench is essentially a factory floor and deserves the same degree of planning as any factory does, including quality control points.

A short (and undoubtedly incomplete) checklist of considerations:

Physical layout of your components.

When your hands move, the distance they move and when only one moves or both.

Whether you quality check an entire batch, each individual round, every nth round as you process or a sample of n rounds out of each batch. And, of course, what you examine at each quality checkpoint.

And so forth

On checking the powder measure and scale. Once you have "proven" the consistency of your powder measure, you can adjust how often you check the powder charge weight. Some powder measures are so consistent that you can simply check the first throw of the day and the last. Some, you are best advised to check every throw. And measures behave differently with different powders. Check every combination, determine how that pairing behaves and set your parameters accordingly.

Good luck

Lost Sheep

March 31, 2013, 08:29 PM
What lever action are you loading for? My favorite gun I load for is my Marlin 30-30, that's my go to gun for fun & small game (hogs & deer).

Lost Sheep
March 31, 2013, 08:37 PM
I generally would not break out my gear to load just a few cases. The smallest batch I ever loaded was 50. Usually it was 100 to 200 at a session.

If I were working up loads (say, 5 at one charge weight, 5 at a slightly greater weight, 5 more greater still,etc) I would still charge a major batch of 50 (each minor batch of 5 at its own weight) and keep them in separate rows in the loading block, and ultimately in separate sandwich bags (with a label inside) until getting them to the range.

That is how I would do it.

Ultimately, you must do what works best and most safely for yourself. And I expect I will find no fault with it.

Lost Sheep

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