Inherited a reloading operation. How do I know if it is “fresh”?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by YellowcatDaddy, Oct 11, 2021.

  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    A generous gift and quality stuff, enjoy your friends wish.
    Dudedog and kcofohio like this.
  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Welcome to this forum.
    You had a good friend.
    Once you load some ammo on a few different occasions you will develop your own system. If after that you feel something is wrong, it probably is and time to check what you just did. I use two loading blocks when I reload and use the batch method.
    First I prepare the brass by cleaning if needed, sizing, reprime, and flare neck for handgun ammo. At this point I might put it away or continue on.
    Then fill a loading block with brass primer up. This will assure the primer is in correctly and the case is empty. I am right handed and work from left to right so I place this block at my left. I then pick up a case flip it over and charge it with the wanted amount of propellant. Then set it mouth up in the other loading block to my right. When all are done I take a good light and looking down into the cases verify that all are charged and filled to the same amount. Tilting the block slightly and shaking it some will sometimes help you see better.
    Then move this block to your left of the press. After this I will put the brass into the press, place the bullet, and seat it. Do this to all the brass at once. Some seat and crimp in a seperate step and recommend you do this at least when you are still learning. I now usually seat and crimp in one step. Then put the finished round in the other tray. Then if you still need to crimp them move the tray to the left of the press and crimp all of them one at a time putting them in the empty block at the right until done.
    This method will help you avoid a double charge. Also if interupted finish the operation with that particular piece of brass or put it back from where you were starting from with that part of process. Reloading is not difficult, you just have to pay attention to details and keep track of where you are all the time to avoid mistakes.
    stormshrike and kcofohio like this.
  3. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    NM-south of I-40
    I have used a two block loading system for years to prevent a double charge . The one closest to the powder measure contains the empty cases and I move the charged case to the second block by the press as I proceed. I have a very bright overhead light that allows me to see into the charged case as I move it to the second block just to check that the power is at the right level.
    FROGO207 likes this.
  4. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    Smyrna Tennessee
    I used to use two blocks but now with the Hornady Lock n Load electronic dispenser I dump the measured charge into a case, set the pan back on the scale to get the next charge, and seat the bullet. Once I gauge the loaded round the powder is waiting on me to repeat. Of course I store my brass primed and ready to load as that is what works for me.

    Some helpful hints if you don’t mind:
    List your location, someone close may be willing to mentor you.
    Never fear asking a question here, it could save you hassle, $, or pain.
    Use a solid bench, mounted to a wall if possible.
    Good LED lighting is wonderful and cheap.
    Keep a detailed log book of everything about every load, the more detailed the better. You won’t remember years later what worked and what didn’t and won’t be wasting components duplicating something that already didn’t work.
    Harbor freight ammo cans are cheap and make great storage for brass in different stages of processing and loaded rounds as well. I label the can by caliber and check off each step as it is completed as I do everything on a single stage in batches. I’ll post a pic of one as an example.
    Never have more than one can of powder accessible at a time. That way you won’t accidentally mix them or use the wrong one. Either would be bad.
    Eye protection is always recommended, you only get two and they are not replaceable. Ear pro is good too when dealing with primers, just in case you don’t like changing your shorts unexpectedly.
    Advise those living with you that while loading you are not to be disturbed while in process, but if they do anyway, consider that round suspect and set it aside to evaluate after you finish.
    Read the first part of the loading manuals at least twice, anything you don’t understand please ask for clarification on here, that covers the process and explains the basics.

    Remember this, we all started with no knowledge of this hobby and started at the same place. Some of us before the internet, so don’t be ashamed to ask questions, the books don’t cover everything and many of us have figured those things out over the years and don’t mind helping new folks out. We all benefit from it, and sometimes we learn too.

    Welcome aboard and truly sorry about your friend.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
    stormshrike and ballman6711 like this.
  5. johnjohn

    johnjohn Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Lafayette La.
    Not an expert by any means, but start a log book and keep good records of all your reloads. You'll be glad you did.
    ballman6711 and Pottimus like this.
  6. RashQuestion

    RashQuestion Member

    Apr 5, 2021
    Sorry for you loosing your dear friend!!!

    Welcome to a great forum!!! I'm glad I found it!!! Extremely helpful!!!

    He left you a very good set up, great quality and most of what you need to move forward. You've come to the right place! Many here will help with varied, deep and quality information for any questions you may have. Keep asking any of those questions and most here will provide you with detailed answers!!! No bad questions!!!

    Keep researching in multiple manuals and double check all the information you receive. Practice safety, safety, safety!

    Good Luck and God Bless!!!
  7. MauriceSam

    MauriceSam Member

    May 11, 2019
    Your friend was truly a great friend to leave this to you, he must have thought a lot about you.
    Titegroup and CFE Pistol are fine powders for your pistol/revolver loading for calibers you mentioned. You'll notice in load data it doesn't take much, hence important to inspect filled cases to prevent double dipping.
    As for being in barn, I am in NW Ark and recently had a good friend give me his reloading equipment. He wouldn't let me pay him, so I load for him. His stuff had been in his barn for over 25 years and had been rummaged by rodents. Only one bottle of powder was no good as someone had poured Green Dot into the wrong bottle and contaminated what was actually in it. (Which is why everyone will tell you to not have more than one powder on bench at a time, and to pour unused powder from dispenser back into original container at the end of your session. You might think you are coming back tomorrow, but life gets in the way and then you get back to load and wonder what's in the hopper)
    Also got a lot of .38&.357mag brass that visibly had mouse piss on it. Took the whole lot and washed/rinsed and then dried at low temp in new wave oven. Removed to inspect and saw that at least half the batch were primed. Tested in revolver, they worked, loaded a few and they worked fine. Two points here, first- primers are pretty tough, I wouldn't use the ones I got for anything more than practice rounds, but these have all worked fine. He gave me over 5k of them between rifle, pistol, and shotgun primers. All the other powders have worked fine, all smell/look good. Second, it reiterates the point of inspecting each piece of brass before starting to process it. I've been loading over thirty years and got complacent on this particular job, it showed me that you always have to play your "A" game and not skip procedures. When I realized that I had not only washed this stuff, but dried it in the oven, (about 140-150 degrees), it made me think of what "could" have happened.
    Good luck, and happy reloading.
  8. WiTom

    WiTom Member

    Jan 2, 2016
    Sorry of your loss of a good friend, may he be remembered in your reloading quest. Take your time, learn all you can learn, stay safe, and have fun doing it, as life is short.
  9. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Upstate ny
    @YellowcatDaddy welcome to the forum. Sorry for the loss of your friend, he gifted you some reL good equipment and powders, having them and looking for them is akin to looking for the holy grail.

    Many of us started preinternet, and gave figured out a lot on our own so when questions arise the only dumb one is the one that wasn't asked.
  10. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Nicholls,GA South Georgia
    Even this is still good ...South GA heat and wet weather ....some freezing temps ....


    CWTISME Member

    Jun 28, 2018
    condolences, Sounds like our world has lost a 1st rate loader. If you want to check your primers load a couple of cases with just a primer (no powder or bullet) .I am sure they will go bang. Double check your self as you load. go slow triple check till you feel more confident. When it comes to powder I have a few personal rules.1. Only 1 powder out on the bench at a time and it is for the load I am making. 2. I do powder as a separate operation (except progressive but then I use a powder cop) I weight each charge and put it in the case then when they are all done I user a flashlight, usually my phone and look down into each case looking to see if they all have some powder and is it filled to the same level. I do not leave it at this point. I load the bullets. Then if I want to set it aside to crimp another day, that is OK.
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