Category Archives: reloading

Reloading Podcast – Redding Reloading Interview and Q and A

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Rob, Dan, and James interview Robin Sharpless from Redding Reloading and answer the following listener questions:

  • Where can I find lead for reloading?
  • How would I go about substituting magnum primers for regular primers?
  • How can I create an extra large muzzle flash for a photo?

Robin also tells us how to make your own custom seating die on the cheap with hot glue!

Join the ammosmith.com forums.

Reloading Podcast – Anatomy of a Projectile

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Rob, Dan, and James answer listener questions and talk about different types of projectiles and their uses.

Types of bullets discussed:
Lead
Copper
Steel
Brass
plastic
partitions
frangible
multi-core
powdered meta

Here is a photo of a few armor piercing bullets. They are from left to right. 7.62mm NATO M61 AP(152gr), M2 30-06 AP (165gr), 300 Weatherby loaded with a moly coated M61 projectile (Experimental only, used to test calculations of energy):

Call (660) 207-1239 and leave questions or suggestions on the voicemail or e-mail me.

Reloading Podcast – Listener Questions and Cartridge Cases

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James and Dan of ammosmith.com join Rob for another Bullet Points reloading segment covering listener questions about reloading equipment and firearm selection as well as the discussing the details of cartridge cases.

Next week’s show will be recorded and broadcast live!  You can join us at:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/personalarmament

Listen live on Tuesday at 10pm Central and join us in the chat room or call in!

Call 660-207-1239 and leave you questions, comments, or concerns on the voicemail or email: personalarmament@gmail.com

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(1:13:21)
We begin by answering some listener questions:

Question #1 from Bob:

My biggest problem in the reloading process is the powder measure. The Lee measure I have is junk and I don’t trust it. Loads measured with Lee spoons need to be checked repeatedly, especially when loading something like 38 Specials when a tenth of a grain is important. Lately I’ve been filling a Lee spoon, dumping it into a tray on my digital scale and trickling powder until I hit the correct weight. Does anyone sell anything that’s reliable for under $100 that will speed up the process?
James agrees with Bob that the Lee powder measure needs replacement and recommends the RCBS Uniflow or if you only load for pistols, the Little Dandy.Dan points out that most scales don’t even guarantee accuracy to the 1/10th of a grain.  It is normally +/- 1/10th of a grain.

James adds that even though Redding and RCBS powder measures are both green, they operate differently.  Remember that the Redding charges on the upstroke while the RCBS charges on the downstroke.

James the cheapskate recommends using a cartridge case instead of a powder trickler.
Dan adds that it is a good practice to weigh charges every few throws(~10) to verify that it is staying consistent.

Question #2 from Dave:

I Noticed that Lee has no Factory Crimp Die for this round. Is a crimp necessary? I am looking to buy a 6.5 Carcano rifle, but want to make sure I will be able to reload the ammo.

I have a Lee Classic Turret Press and so far have only reloaded .40 S&W and 9mm.  Also wondering about getting a bullet mold for this. It does not look like a common mold?

Thanks! Your podcast has helped me tremendously with the reloading!

Rob has trouble pronouncing the cartridge, but James says that most of these Italian rifles are in great condition:  Never been fired, only dropped once 😉  Seriously though, it was a 6.5 Carcano that shot Kennedy.

James says that a crimp is not necessary and he rarely crimps unless it is a handgun cartridge more powerful than .357 Magnum or a big game cartridge bigger than .375 Magnum.  This is to keep the bullets from backing out because of the recoil.  If you don’t have a cannelure or crimp groove, don’t crimp.  You will end up deforming the bearing surface.  That deformation will cause inconsistencies and widen your group.

For the mold, James recommends Mountainmolds.com  for a custom mold.  An aluminum mold runs about $90.  Molds can be made from aluminum, brass, or steel.  They will even make custom top punches for your lubrisizer.

James goes into detail about how to create your custom mold and .

Question #3 from Derrek:

I have been loading handgun cartridges for about 2 yrs and I am about to buy my first new rifle.  I thought I knew what I wanted, then the internetstarted to make me question my decision.What I thought I wanted was a Remington 700SPS 308 with the 20″ barrel.  My “do-all” rifle.  Primary use would be hunting deer in northern MI where a 125 yd shot would be the max for the area that I hunt.  BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to show off a little at the range either, out to 200 yds.  Someone once told me that a .29 sectional density at about 2300-2500fps is the “magic” formula for taking deer size game.  I don’t know how he came to that figure, but I don’t have any reason to doubt him.  According to my manuals, all the bullets that are capeable of that SD and velocity are 200 gr and heavier.  According to a couple other sites, the 1:12 twist rate of that rifle won’t stabilize a bullet that heavy.  That along with the notourious long throats of the 700 (that I may not be able to load the magazine with ideal OAL cartridges) has me wondering if I would just be better off starting with an entirely different platform.

Savage’s Model 11FCNS uses a 22″ barrel which should be better as far as velocities, and a 1:10 twist which should give me more bullet choices.

Dan believes Derrek is on track with the .308 cartridge for the uses he mentioned.  He also recommends Savage products when looking for a platform.  We then launch into an all-out Savage love fest.

Cartridge Cases

Most casings are made from brass, steel, or aluminum.  James and Dan have seen cases with plastic hulls and brass heads.

We start to list and go through the names of the parts of the case.
First we begin with the primer pocked and flash hole and James complains about Berdan primers.
Next, we move on to discuss the different types of rims:

These types are rimmed, rimless, semi-rimmed, rebated rim, and belted. These categories describe the size of the rim in relation to the base of the case.

Rimmed:

Examples of rimmed handgun cartridges include the .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, etc. Rimmed rifle cartridge examples include the .22 Hornet, .303 British, 7.62x54mmR, and more.

Rimless:

On a rimless case, the rim is the same diameter as the base of the case; it is known as an extractor groove.
Examples of rimless handgun cartridges include the 9 mm Para, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Rimless rifle examples include the .308 Winchester, .223 Remington, and .30-06 Springfield.

Semi-Rimmed:

The .25 ACP, .32 ACP, .38 ACP and the .38 Super are some handgun examples, while the .444 Marlin is a rifle cartridge that is semi-rimmed.

Rebated Rim:

Rebated rim cartridges have a rim that is significantly smaller in diameter than the base of the case, serving only for extraction.

Belted:

After the rim comes the extractor groove, the web, and the case body.  Next, we discuss the Wetherby shoulder vs. the sharper angled regular case shoulder.
Rob starts complaining about the incorrect anatomical references in case nomenclature.

Call 660-207-1239 and leave you questions, comments, or concerns on the voicemail or email: personalarmament@gmail.com

Bullet Points – Reloading for Customization

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Dan and James of ammosmith.com come on the show to discuss customization.

One of our listeners offers his process for selecting a powder for reloading.

1)Loading manuals (compare several because they don’t always agree, use different components, and different guns)
2) Barrel length compared to what the manual used (like you said…shorter barrel, use one of the faster burning loads listed in the manual).
3)Charge weight (less powder means less expense, but several factors affect safety and uniformity)
a. Compare charge volume for safety. It’s easy to double charge a low volume of powder in a large case, so I choose a charge weight that will overflow the case if you accidentally double charge it.
b. Meterability- Fine grain ball powders meter more uniformly through a powder than flake or extruded versions
c. Case volume for uniformity- A small charge in a large case will lay along the bottom of the case (not in contact with the primer) and cause velocity uniformity issues.
4)What powder I have on hand- I try to buy powders that may be used in several different cartridges. For example, I have lots of Blue Dot because it works in a wide range of larger cartridges. I keep Unique and Power Pistol for the small to medium cartridges. For riles, IMR 3031 covers a lot of cartridges I normally shoot.

James talks about his solution for using small powder charges in large cases.  You can find polyfill at your local fabric store.  It is like quilt filling.  After you charge the case, insert a tuft of polyfill on top of it to keep the powder directly over the flash hole.

James will be testing a product from Southwest Shooting Authority called PB Blocker.  This product is supposed to greatly reduce and in some cases, eliminate lead fowling when using cast bullets in a stock Glock barrel.  Look for the video review on the ammosmith youtube channel and we will discuss the results right here on the show.

Rob answers a question from a listener about reloading or handloading for shooting competition:

…I’ve recently gotten into IPSC shooting. I’m new and still learning, but it would be nice if you did a show on how to reload for IPSC competitions. Specifically, how do you work up to a good competition load when handloading? What are the mandatory velocities for different competition calibers (9mm, .40 Cal, 45 ACP) I don’t know much about the competitive world yet, but out here that’s about the best way to “train” (given our strict ranges).

Rob shares his experiences in handloading for the Area 5 Championships.

Power Factor = (Weight of the bullet in grains) x (Velocity in feet per second) /1000

Example:  147 grain bullet x 900 fps /1000 = 132.3

Minor Power Factor for USPSA, IPSC, or IDPA = 125
Major Power Factor for USPSA or IDPA = 165
(Major Power Factor varies in IPSC depending on the division)

Rob started with the minimum load in the reloading manual and worked down from there.  I chronographed 10 bullets at each .1 grain increment until I reach the appropriate velocity.

Be sure that you don’t try to get the velocity too low.  It can be very disappointing to miss your power factor.  Be sure to take the temperature into consideration when loading for a match.

James adds his experiences with changes from temperature variations.  Always reload in weather that is similar to where you will be shooting or adjust accordingly.  Also try to choose powders that are known to be less temperature.  This info can be found many places including web forums, but call manufacturers and confirm.

James mentions a manufacturer warning about Blue Dot Powder.

Rob also changed the recoil spring to correspond with the light load.

James also mentions that reduced recoil loads will greatly reduce wear and tear on the brass and firearm.

Dan tell us about customizing his .45-70 loads for hunting, plinking, etc.

James tells us about customizing the 9.3×62.   It just happens that the 9mm Makarov uses a bullet of the same diameter, but about a third of the weight.  James uses a light load of unique with a Hornady XTP Hollow Point to create a small game load that has barely any recoil.  Something similar can be done with .30 Carbine bullets and .30-06.  James also loaded up a “buckshot load” in .357 Magnum for his mother.  He can’t count, but at least he was helping his mother.(5 shots x 3 lead balls = 15 projectiles)

Rob talks about using custom reduced recoil loads to introduce inexperienced or recoil sensitive shooters to more powerful guns.  James adds on that everyone should have some reduced recoil loads with them at the range to use if you share your gun with a new shooter.

Dan talks about customizing your ammunition for maximum potential.  He mentions the anemic 10mm factory loads and Rob chimes in with the 6.8 Rem SPC as another example.

Dan talks about using reloading to produce obsolete ammunition or ammunition that is not in production.  This can turn a family heirloom or piece of history into something so much more than just a piece of art on display.

James mentions a method of measuring and determining the caliber of an old gun that may not be well marked.  He uses Cerrosafe casting alloy.

Dan reminds us of one of the biggest reasons to reload custom ammunition:  Load tuning for accuracy.

Rob offers up a “Reloading Tip of the Week”:

Cover your reloading equipment when not in use.  Throw a garbage bag over the presses or even your chronograph.  You can also use a pillowcase or shop rags.

Please call (660) 207-1239 and leave questions on the voicemail or e-mail me.

Bullet Points – Why Reload?

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James tells us about his plans for his camping trip.  Something about dragging maxpedition bags filled with rocks behind a hummer, more video with a Barrett M99, and “some other stuff.”

Here is the Barrett M99 video:

Here is the Maxpedition Volta Battery Case we are talking about:

Rob tells James and Dan about Rangelog.com.  Dan is a bit skeptical, but he likes the idea of using it for reloading logs.

Rob will be shooting the Area 5 Championships on June 10 as a part of squad 109.

One of our “rebellious” listeners emails in a question:

I have a show suggestion. I got into reloading this year, and now I’m considering casting my own bullets. I’m somewhat confused regarding the lack of a reloading manual when you cast your own. Where do you get reliable load data? I’m looking to cast for 44mag, 38 special and 357mag. Do molds come with reloading data? I’ve read that there are some standard loads for specific weights of WC and SWC. Is this info reliable? Thanks for your help.- Bob

James recommends the Lyman load data book.  Also, when using a unique alloy, find the load data for the most similar bullet(same shape, weight) and use that as a reference point.  James also recommends going the community route with loaddata.com.  He has found lots of good loads for specific components.

Rob, Dan, and James jump into why people reload.  Rob mentions customizing special lead-free hunting loads for California and the ever quotable James helps us get into the minds of the California animals: “It’s not like they eat lead shot because it tastes good.”  He also tells us about the politicians.

James also tells us how to “stick it to ’em” by casting your own lead-free bullets with Bismuth.  Plus, it’s slightly heavier than lead.

Dan uses a big word and dashes our hopes in one fell swoop: “It’s a misnomer that you’re going to save money reloading.”  He then backs up and punts with: “There are cost savings involved… over time you will definitely recover that cost.”

Dan says he started reloading to create more accurate ammunition.  Rob points out that even reloading for precision ammo is still saving money compared to similar commercial ammunition.  Dan gives us a specific example of how a hunter shooting just 200 rounds can still save money reloading.  He also notes that with less common calibers, commercial ammunition is much more expensive and he probably wouldn’t be able to shoot his .45-70 if he didn’t reload.

James goes into the specific numbers of reloading .45 ACP.  He currently reloads 50 rounds of .45 ACP for less that $2 with range brass and cast bullets.  Rob gives an example of loading .308 WIN.  James recommends buying factory second bullets.

Dan reminds us to extrapolate the cost of brass over several loadings to get the true cost.  Dan also talks about the hobby aspect of reloading and the satisfaction, etc. “If I can’t be shooting, I’d rather be reloading.”

James also brings up the fact that reloading helps you have the ammunition you need even during shortages or times when ammo is unavailable.

James show off his .40 S&W jacketed hollow-point bullets made from 9mm cast bullets jacketed with 9mm cases:

Call (660) 207-1239 and leave questions on the voicemail or e-mail me.

Bullet Points – Exploding Vacuum Cleaners

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Dan and James of Ammosmith.com come on the show to answer a listener question and finish discussing the basic reloading equipment list.

Universal Reloading Tray

NRA Recap, Feedback, and Equipment

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On today’s show James and Dan of Ammosmith.com discuss the NRA Annual Meeting, answer some comments and questions from listeners, and continue with the minimum equipment list.

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(39:09)

Minimum Equipment List for Reloading Part 1

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Dan and James of ammosmith.com come on the show to discuss the minimum equipment list for reloading.

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Reloading Safety Part 2 with Q&A

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James and Dan from ammosmith.com come on the show to continue last week’s discussion of reloading safety.  We also answer listener questions about reloading and casting lead bullets.

Reloading Acronyms

Video of the week:

 

Reloading Safety Part 1

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Dan and James of ammosmith.com come on the show do discuss reloading safety.
A safety resource
Kaboom!

Governor Perry Vs. Wiley Coyote

Single Stack Nationals
Who’s gonna be there?

High-Capacity Shotguns by RCI

Why call it a .38?
What is a heeled bullet?

Going Tactical

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Dan and James of Ammosmith.com come on to introduce our new segment “Bullet Points.”

Rob also finds something in the news that brings a new direction to the podcast 😉

Doctors Remove Explosive from Head

Tactical Energy Drink

Tactical Monitoring Headphones:

Magpul Tactical iPhone Case

Image Credit

5.11 Tactical iPhone Pocket