Reloading Bullets – Handloading

First and foremost you have to decide if reloading is for you. Safety and detail is first and foremost. Keeping a clean and organized work station, only having the components for the cartridge that your loading on the bench at one time. This becomes increasingly important when working up experimental loads. Handloading is time consuming, but I find it to be one 7.62×39 hunting ammo of the most relaxing hobbies I’ve ever tried, that being said, you have to decide if you will have the time to reload or if factory ammo is the best route to go.

The first thing to look at is the press. There are single stage presses and progressive presses, the former being my recommendation for the beginner, or even the person who only reloads a few hundred rounds a year. The progressive is more complicated and needs every step to be watched with care. Anybody that has ever used one can tell you that the slightest misalignment or friction where there should be none will cause problems. I started with a single stage, and I still use it even though I have two progressives. They are worth their weight for experimental loads and small batches.

Cases must be cleaned before reloading, which can be accomplished in the following ways, tumbling, sonic, or by hand with a dish soap and vinegar mix. My preference is the tumbler, as there is no drying time, however if you are cleaning cases that were fired with black powder the soap and vinegar mix is the best way to go. the cases can then be dried in the oven on a cookie sheet at the lowest setting.

The cases will need to be lubricated if they are bottle neck, such as most center fire rifle cartridges. This is done with either a wet or dry case lube, with care being taken not to leave more than a light film on the shoulder. This will need to be wiped off after resizing.

A good micrometer will also be needed to assure that case length is within specs, depending on the number of times the particular case was reloaded. Brass will stretch to varying degrees with each resizing. when it reaches the maximum length it must be trimmed with a case trimmer. These vary from hand turning to machine turning.

Shell holders to fit the caliber and press are also a must. In some instances, one shell holder will fit numerous calibers. Here is an example, The RCBS number three shell holder will fit the 22-250, 243, 6mm284, 240 weatherby mag, 250-3000 savage, 25-06, 6.5×57, 270 win, 7x64mm, 280 rem, 284 win, 300 savage, 308 win, 30-06, 7.65 belgian mauser, 7.7 jap, 8mm mauser, 8x57mm, 8mm/06, 358 win, and the 35 whelen.

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