Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by taliv, May 10, 2020.
All Palmetto Reloading Gear/Accessories! Palmettostatearmory
I also use a dry erase board
Over the years I find myself refining my process of reloading. I am too CDO err I mean OCD to do otherwise. I load with a single stage press using the batch method. I hand prime off the press. I am thankful that another reloader sold me an Ohaus 10-10 scale early on and use that. I set the measure with the scale and check drops periodically. I will use a strong light to check all charges in the loading block before seating bullets. I put a sticky note on my measure with the complete load and caliber. One propellant on the bench at a time. Never reload when tired or distracted. I also try to find a set of used dies so I can set the seating die for each bullet I use and leave it alone. So far this has worked out well but I stay alert to mistakes every session.
I use this for all my powder measuring. https://www.hornady.com/reloading/precision-measuring/scales-and-accessories/lock-n-load-auto-charge . No mistakes. I also only have one component for the load I'm working on my reload bench. One powder , type of primer, type of bullet ,type of brass. Every other component that I use for reloading different rounds is put away in a cabinet and not on my bench. Keeps mistakes to a minimum or non-existent.
I have the 'greatest hits' tabbed in my books, even though I have most data printed off and in a cartridge-specific file folder, I still go back to the books for other data (OAL, trim to, etc) and the tabs help me from making a mistake like that.
I also write the load I'm loading on a sticky note... right there for all to see. I double-check everything before I start and after I'm done, and if I'm interrupted somewhere along the process (dinner is ready!)
Same with my 5-0-5... so I try not to load xx.0 grain charges, almost everything like that is xx.1
I have used a RCBS 10-10 scale for years and I am also checking constantly to make sure the weights are in the correct notch. Once in a while I forget to change the setting and load one or two rounds before I notice the mistake. I shoot steel targets with the problem loads or pull the bullets if I am concerned about the load.
It reminds me of my trying to start my generator during an ice storm when the electricity was off for several days. I would get out of bed and go outside at 6 in the morning while it was still dark and to get the thing running I had to fill it up with gas and then turn on the gas, turn on the switch and set the choke. Every morning I would forget one of the three and it would take more than one pull as I stood there wearing only a pair of sweat pants, T shirt and house slippers. I never did get that dang thing to start on the first pull. Some of us are slow learners.
Thanks for an idea I should have figured out by now!
I've been taping notes up on the wall behind my press, but the dry erase board will work much better.
I prepare a load sheet days before my loading session, and I recheck all my load parameters before I start. I don't reload unless I'm in the right frame of mind. More than once I walked away from the reloading bench because I was tired or otherwise distracted and not focused on my task at hand. I always reload days before my range session, and I never rush. All this helps me to minimize risk and errors.
 ...one more thing, I take a few breaks during long sessions.
I started working up a load for a Proof barreled rifle yesterday and ran the new Lapua .308 Win brass through a Redding neck sizing die to make sure the necks were true. For some reason I used a .329" neck bushing rather than simply use a bushing that's the same size as the new necks i.e. .335". The necks new in box give about .005" of neck tension but my mistake resulted in .011" of neck tension which is excessive for sure. The necks looked weird, almost like they were scratched, but I think the excessive reduction in O.D. caused a corrugated effect on the outer circumference. Moving forward I'll probably neck size fired brass with a .338" neck bushing.
You know the old saying, “don’t try to catch a falling knife”
Well, the same applies to calipers. This happened this morning. Wish I could say it was the first time but it’s not
Better to have a couple of puncture wounds than a paper weight! I managed to reload for close to 20 years before dropping the Chinese made calipers that came with an RCBS reloading kit that I bought in 1993. That one fall ruined them and in the trash they went. These days I have two sets of digital Mitutoyo calipers and one analog Mitutoyo with no plans to drop any of them.
Resized a few tumbled .22TCM cartridges before I realized “man, this seems a lot harder than usual!”
Yeah... I forgot the case lube. At least I didn’t stick a cartridge in the die— but that die required a thorough cleaning and polishing to get the smeared brass out before I could proceed.
I have been reloading on my Dillon 650 for about 25 years now... one of the things I like about a progressive is that it is harder to make mistakes like too much powder. I always weigh the charge at least 3 or 4 times when changing the weight and always check the book at least 2 or 3 times. Once I have it set properly there really isn't much of a chance that I will mess something up an hour into reloading. I find rifle rounds off the progressive plenty accurate for hunting and most shooting.
I have two words for this “check weights” . I do not load with out them . With them and the scale I have to get two things wrong to appear to be correct .
Meaning even if I pulled out the wrong check weights the scale would have to be set to the incorrect weight as well . Not only that it would have to be set to what ever amount of check weights I pulled out .
I think my biggest mistake back in the day was thinking I knew the charges I wanted to weigh out . There was more then one occasion I thought I was going to load weight A and after looking to confirm it was weight D not even B or C . I can’t tell you how many times I thought it was 6.5 when it was really 5.6 or 43gr instead of 41gr . It was at that point I stopped even thinking I knew what weight I need .
I now use an index card box with partitions labeled for each cartridge and some for specific Firarms . I have all my good loads separated by cartridge , printed out on index cards to pull out and keep in front of me as I load .
I have a new load for 357 magnum of 5.6 grains of tight group pushing 158 grain bullet . The problem is I can’t see the powder in the case when I’m loading it on my Lee classic turret press . It was very unnerving so my workaround is to throw the charge separately using my Hornady powder measure into a 45 ACP case first . This lets me see a consistent level being thrown and I dump that into the expander powder through die on the press .
I’ve only done this once because this is a new load for me but it seems to work and I feel a bit safer that way being able to see the actual charge that’s being thrown .
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