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New to reloading, and I have questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by MacAR, Dec 21, 2020.

  1. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Just to preface, I have been around guns all of my life. Recently, I got into reloading for my centerfires due to current events. I only load for .222, 30-06, and 38spl. For equipment, I don't have a lot. Lee Loaders in all 3 calibers, a Lee Safety scale, and Lee auto-prime. Quantity isn't a big deal with me; I simply want to replace what I shoot up, as I shoot it. I will add that in the near future, I may be getting a Rock-chucker and some other stuff from a friend. I don't know exactly what yet though.

    Now, the questions:

    1. I am in need of a cheap case trimmer. What would be a good one to look at? Again, speed isn't an issue.

    2. Primers are non-existent here; I have 100 Large Pistol Mag primers; don't suppose I could use those in my '06, could I?

    3. I've loaded a few cartridges using some primed cases I bought. I only had a few, not enough to work up a load, but I've found 50 more and bought them. My question is, should they be resized before loading? And if so, will using my Lee Loader be dangerous or should I wait for the Rock-chucker?

    4. I picked up what I think is a Lyman 55 powder measure. First, does it have a stand/etc. that it mounts to, or does it mount to a press? Second, anybody use one, and care to share any tricks?

    Sorry for such a long, rambling post. But like I said, I'm new to loading. Thanks in advance.

    Mac
     
  2. e rex

    e rex Member

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    I use the Lee case trimmers also, I don't trim revolver brass. Don't use pistol primers in your '06 brass. I fear if you resize your primed brass you will punch the primers out at the same time....so no. Never owned a Lyman powder measure, Just dip and shake the powder into your scales pan.
    Nothing wrong with Lee equipment, just a little slower. Wish you lived closer to the Nebraska panhandle, I'd spare you a few hundred LRPs but this thing will be over sometime, just be patient.
     
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  3. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Kinda figured that'd be the case.

    I suppose I could remove the decapping pin from the die, but good to know.

    So just keep up what I've been doing, then. Gotcha.

    ME TOO!

    Mac
     
  4. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    You don't really mention a budget...

    Although I've never used one, the Lee case trimmer is probably your best bet, budget-wise.

    No, don't use pistol primers in your .30-06 cases.

    Yes, resize any cases that are new to you, and particularly if they are once- (or more) fired by someone else.

    Your Lee loader should work... but the RockChucker will make life easier.
     
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  5. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Budget is pretty limited, so cheaper the better. I'll take a look at the Lee outfit.

    Even for sizing primed cases? If so, great; if not I'll wait on the Rockchucker.

    Mac
     
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I wasn't clear if you were sizing primed cases, or if you had just bought some more fired cases. Either way, I would size them... but you will likely need to remove the decap pin if they have good primers in them... or decap them with a decap die, first... save the primers... size them, then reprime them with the primers. I'm not sure how, exactly, a Lee Loader works.
     
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  7. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Wilson makes excellent case trimmers as well as case gages and tools.
    Pistol primers in a rifle has been discussed ( no joy)

    No experience will Lee loaders but I will say most any RCBS single stage press will do a good job.

    Not sure where you received the primed brass from so a bit of assumption but I think you'd be better off priming and resizing your own new or fired brass from your own chamber rather than add the extra layer of complexity as getting ones brass in order is an important part of the journey
     
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  8. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I like Lee Loaders and I have 8 (along with all my presses, dies and assorted reloading tools). No big deal resizing your primed cases as the Lee Loaders don't deprime when sizing, and I would use something to prevent hitting the primer directly with the mallet (a washer, a socket, etc., with the hole over the primer). I have a nice $$$ case trimmer, but in nearly 40 years have almost exclusively used the Lee and Lyman "stud and cutter" type trimming tools. Every case turns out the same, very easy to use, and inexpensive, but cases must be deprimed.

    Having been reloading for a very long time I might use pistol primers instead of large rifle primers (lots of experimenting with various primer uses), but, two major things to consider; the large rifle primers and primer pockets are .008" taller/deeper than large pistol primers and misfires may be a problem with deeper seated primers. Also large pistol primers may not be able to contain rifle pressures, with pierced and blown primers resulting, not a good thing...
     
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  9. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Lyman 55 measure is great. Stick powder you will cut some kernals, flake is not a problem. Always use the large chamber adjusting screw for the gross setting and the small chamber screw for fine tuning. Search i'net for powder measure baffle template; dyi works great. After you have the measure set up, throw 5 loads, measure and take the average weight as the measures capability for that powder/load. Do not attach your measure or scale to the bench; any vibration will cause inaccuraye readings.

    Get a set of check weights (RCBS $35).

    Depending on how many rifle cases you plan to trim, the Lee works great: need tje adjustable caliber specific holder, rod, and cutter. It's all I've used for 30+ yrs.

    And of course get a manual, Lyman is a good one and study the front part until you understand how the process steps interact.

    Book mark the different powder and bullet mfgr sites and use them as gospel. You may not find exact bullet/powder match, so you will have to learn to interpolate, not hard.

    Stay away from max loads until you know how your reloads react on your gun. Be leary of what you see on the i'net, it only shows what works in someone else's gun, and may not be safe in your gun of different mfgr.
     
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  10. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Exactly this. Pull the decaping pin only as you mentioned earlier not the entire assembly with the expander.
     
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  11. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    The lee loader sets only neck size which can be an issue if you have multiple firearms of the same caliber. Even in revolvers, chamber dimensions can vary ever so slightly meaning that when a case swells upon firing it may not fit in another chamber of the other chambers is slightly smaller than the one the case was fired in.

    To the point of getting a reloading press, that’s a huge step in the right direction. Even for low volume shooting it’s a much more repeatable and useful tool. Only issue there is that you will likely have to buy dies unless you get lucky and the current owner gives you dies for the calibers that you need to load. If you have to buy dies, they are standardized in thread pitch so any modern die set that you buy will work no matter the brand of press or the brand of dies. RCBS is kinda mid-grade on equipment in that they are affordable and of high quality. There are others that are cheaper and quality is a topic of much debate. There are more expensive and quality is good but at diminishing levels of return on cash outlay. The good thing with reloading though is that basically all of the well known brand names do a good job of customer service if/when service is needed. RCBS is known to just ask what you need replaced and will mail you the parts. Lee will do the same, but may have a small charge for their parts. In the end, all equipment is pretty good, and where you stand on cost vs quality will make the decision on what to buy.

    For load data, all of the big powder makers have data available on their websites. There are a few apps that access the data and consolidate it. I like “Reloading Assistant”. The data is great, but it is only the most popular data that the makers expect to be used. If you call, or email them then they often have other data available if you can’t find what you need published.

    On the topic of data, please do yourself a huge favor and only use published data that is available from a reputable source. Jimbob may offer you a pet load for your use that works well in his gun, but you never know how accurate it is, or if your gun is as strong as his is. Does his scale read properly? You just don’t know so err to the side of not blowing your gun up in your face.

    Ask a lot of questions. Reloader are generally helpful and friendly. You found a big group here that love helping others get going. There are decades of experience here in lots of folks. I personally have been loading for 28 years now but not nearly as often as a lot of guys on here. In our time we have made mistakes, learned from them, and have often acquired spare tools that we can share if it’s needed. Please don’t hesitate to ask.
     
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  12. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I will definitely not use the LMPs in the '06. May try to trade them off to someone for some LRPs or SRPs; we'll see. It's my hope that my friend has dies for the calibers I have, but if not I've found some for the .222 and '06. I'm pretty sure he used to load 38/357. My current load data is coming from Hodgdon and Hornady, and I have zero intentions of approaching max loads yet. I have enough problems with my shoulder as it is! I found some instructions for the Lyman 55, but until I can buy or make a stand of some kind, I'll just stick with my Lee dippers and weigh each charge.

    Which brings up another question, and an observation:

    If load data from Company A uses x grains of powder for B brand of bullet, could I use a different brand in the same grain weight? I can't see where that'd hurt a thing so long as the bullet weight matches.

    I dipped and weighed 10 charges with my Lee dipper the other day; there was a 0.9 grain spread. That doesn't seem like it'd lead to accurate loads, which is why I decided to weigh all my charges rather than trust the dipper to be "good enough".

    I'm sure I'm over complicating things; I'm really good at that. But I like my guns and my self, so I'd rather not do anything that might hurt or destroy either of us.

    Mac
     
  13. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Sort of but not really. Depends on bullet design, same weight isn't the issue but the internal case volume. If 2 bullets of equal length, material and shape have the cannalure in different places the oal will be different which means the cases internal volume will be different. If you're not loading at max this matters less.
     
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  14. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Not necessarily. It all depends on construction and how much bullet is in the case. What you have to watch for is keeping internal volume close as possiable. This may require using a different OAL.
     
  15. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    Ok, well that makes a lot of sense. I'm currently using a Hornady 3031 150 grain SP; my load data calls for a Nosler BT 150. I'll have to measure the Hornady when I get home, but I believe they are very close if not the same size. My OAL at the cannelure for the Hornady's is 3.248 - 3.249"; book calls for 3.250". Think I'll be ok there?

    Mac
     
  16. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    In a rifle cartridge not in a tubular magazine crimp is not needed at all. You should have enough neck tension that the bullet never moves. If you dont polish down the expander ball a little and resize.
     
  17. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    I probably could've said that better. I'm not crimping the rounds, but seating the bullets to the cannelure in the case. My OAL is still very, very close to what the books say.

    Mac
     
  18. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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  19. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Same as I use. The only criticism I have is the die they sent me marked for 454 casull is actually a 45 colt die, I set the length all the way out and it just trimmed and trimmed some more until I looked and it had cut the case to max 45 colt length. I've still got to contact them about it. Otherwise it works for what I do. And yes, I trim straightwall pistol brass- for consistency and getting the crimp groove in the same spot consistently . usually once it's done I don't need to do it again.
     
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  20. Virginia Jim

    Virginia Jim Member

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    In a pinch, you can use anRCBS internal/external chamfering tool to trim cases. Alternatively take a little off the inside and outside until you get the length you want. Make the last cut to the inside.
    You may already have one among your working tools.
    B98853AF-EA79-4B62-9C93-65585270F397.jpeg
     
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  21. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Had a cheap lee zip-trim that worked great. Like a mini lathe with a ripcord to do the spinning
     
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  22. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Per Westkentucky the lee loader only neck sizes your brass. If you get brass that has been fired by someone else and not full length resized it will probably not fit your chamber without first full length sizing it with regular dies first.
    When starting out I would set my scale with the weight I wanted and scoop a light charge and use a small spoon to shake the powder in to top up the charge. It worked well. Getting a press and some regular dies should be a priority for ease of working brass.
    ETA:Getting a press would be like going from a Radio Flyer wagon to a F150 long bed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
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  23. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Also these days finding dies at a reasonable price might be near impossible.
     
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  24. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    That's exactly what I've been doing, and so far its working. At some point I'll upgrade, but so far the old Lee's are doing pretty good.

    Mac
     
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  25. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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