Hey /k/omrads, I've been reloading a lot of .223 this week (around 1500 rounds), and I thought I'd share the process with you all to motivate the newfags and summerfags to lurk moar and become fellow /k/ommandos.
Lets start with my reloading bench. Made of an old husky roll-away tool cabinet. 1/52
Just gonna give a quick rundown of how this little set up works.
Got some reloading trays in the top drawer, because that's about all that will fit in there.
Second drawer has most of the tools for reloading, namely dies, brass holders, dispensers, scales, hand-loading tool for primers etc.
The third drawer holds most of the spent casings that we have yet to reload, mostly pistol rounds but there's some 30-06 in there as well.
And last but not least, in the roll-away compartment we house the tumbler, the polish, the polishing media (we use synthetic stuff), and more casings.
This is a little more cluttered than usual, but it should give you all a general overview of the "bench" portion of the makeshift reloading bench.
Well, first things first.
Go to the range and pick up some spent casings that look like they're in good condition, or police the brass that you've shot yourself.
The first thing I do is lube em up and de-cap the casings. I lube every other brass very lightly and the inside neck of every fourth brass, again very lightly. This will make the decapping process easier, especially since most de-capping tools also flare the neck slightly.
Make sure it's lined up...
and press firmly until you cannot push the lever arm any further. Once you get a feel for how much force it takes to de-cap your brass, be wary of casings that take too much force to de-cap; I've lost 2 de-capping pins because I tried to force it through like a faggot.
After it's been de-capped, I like to throw it in the tumbler to give it a nice cleaning.
This part is unnecessary as I will perform an additional cleaning later, but I like to clean it twice.
Next, I clean the primer pockets to prepare for the next step in reloading.
Now the casing is swaged and prepared for accepting its new primer.
After cleaning and swaging the primer pockets, I send them through the tumbler again to get those little pockets as clean as I can so that the primer fits in them with ease.
Now I use a Lee hand-press priming tool to insert the primers into their pockets. If I feel too much resistance when trying to press a primer in, I re-swage it and it if it still refuses to accept a primer, I toss it.
After all of your casings have had the previous steps done, its time for the fun part!
Line up your casings in a reloading tray...
And once your tray is full, its time to set up the powder dispenser.
And what do we do to make sure we have the right amount of powder in each charge?
We measure it with a nice little precision scale that measures accurately to a tenth of a grain at a minimum. This part can be a tiny bit tedious but becomes easier with experience.
As with any precision scale for reloading, the scale will need to be zeroed for the surface upon which you are using it. As you can see here, it still requires a few adjustments.
Adjust your scale until the lines meet with an empty pan in its nest on the scale.
This particular scale adjusts via a screw in one side's leg. After adjusting it slightly...
The lines should meet near-perfectly once zeroed.
Once zeroed, refrain from moving the scale from its current position and avoid bumping or jostling the surface that it is sitting on to retain accuracy.
Now you have to set the scale to measure a charge of powder that you need to pour into each casing to make a safe and successfully functioning round. For this particular .223 load, I need 25.5 grains of powder.
Adjust the heavy weight to the 20 setting...
And move the fine adjustment weight to account for the additional 5.5 grains, then fix it with the set screw.
After setting up my powder dispenser, I pour the first load of powder into the scale's pan...
And promptly pour it back into the powder tank. Often, the first load is inconsistent and you will save yourself much time and headache by starting your measurements from the second pour.
Now, hold the pan below the spout of the powder dispenser again and...
pour the second load of powder. This is the powder charge that I will use to check if the dispenser needs to be adjusted.
Place the measuring pan in its nest on the scale and steady it so that it is not shaking or wobbling from the scale.
Once the scale settles, check to see if the powder charge is the correct weight. This one is a little heavy, so I will need to adjust the dispenser slightly.
This powder dispenser's pours are adjusted by turning this screw; turning it clockwise decreases the charge and turning it counter-clockwise increases the charge. I'll tweak it down a little to correct for the over-sized powder charge.
Set it back on the scale and see if you corrected the issue.
Keep incrementally adjusting the powder charge until the scale settles like so, and you will have a proper amount of powder for your cartrige.
Pour and check an additional powder charge to verify consistency on your powder dispenser.
Now we start pouring the powder.
Try to keep a consistent rhythm and process as you pour. Take this to nearly-autistic levels, as the more of a rhythm you build, the less likely you will be to miss or over-charge a casing.
Keep each pour as consistent as you can, and work your way down the rows of casings until you have to turn the tray around to finish the process.
This abrupt change of pace when you have to flip the tray may cause you to break your rhythm and make a mistake.
It does for me at least...
After pouring powder in every casing in the tray, shine a decent source of light down the necks and visually inspect every single casing to verify that all of them have a powder charge, and are visually similar. This will be your main defence against squibs or double-charged rounds.
After confirming that every casing has an appropriate charge, pour one last load of powder onto your pan and measure it with the scale.
If the scale still zeros out then you are ready to go. It may not zero out perfectly, but there's no need to be as perfect on this last pour. As long as it is very close to your intended charge you are fine.
Time for (in my opinion) the most rewarding part of the process!
Loading the bullets into the prepared casings.
Place the prepared casing into the casing-holder of your press, and hold the bullet just inside the neck of the case.
Hold the bullet over just inside the neck and follow it up until the tip of the bullet has entered the die, then release it. If you are pinching your fingers, then you need to release the bullet sooner. Similarly, if the bullet is falling out before you can press it into the case, you need to hold it longer.
Press the lever arm all the way down. You should meet a consistent level of resistance throughout the action once the tip of the bullet meets the die. If you feel the bullet or casing catch on the die, then back the lever arm off, and re-guide the bullet back into the die.
And voila~ a completed cartridge.
Reloading is a way of increasing the amount of ammunition you gain per dollar spent, and also (in the cases of dealing with long range precision and accuracy) a guarantee of consistency in your loads when using match grade components.
This boolit is a spec ops operator that graduated top of his class in the navy seals.
His identity is being withheld to ensure the safety and welfare of himself and his team.
Loading him into his tacticool gorilla-warfare style assault gear.
Hey OP, thanks for the tutorial.
But I got an odd question about reloading for you.
My dad passed away and for some reason he collected several buckets of old lead tire weights and roofing lead, I think he was going to make fishing sinkers since he wasn’t into guns. Anyway I was thinking about smelting the lead down and making ingots for casting bullets when I get the equipment to do so.
My question for you is will hard cast bullets foul up a barrel of a rifle or pistol as compared to jacked bullets? In other words are the hard cast bullets safe to use in my AR or AK? I have watched Hickcock45’s video explaining the differences between hard, soft, and jacketed bullets. I was wondering if you had any experience in this since you do reloads. TIA
Hey anon, glad that someone found it a little useful!
To answer your question: yes, using lead cast bullets will definitely increase the fouling in your barrel faster than a jacketed bullet. This doesn't mean that you are wearing or degrading your barrel any faster however, it simply means that you will need to clean your barrel more often.
If you clean your barrel after every time you shoot it, unless you shoot a large quantity of bullets in on session, your accuracy should not be affected by this additional fouling.
This videos might also be of some interest to you, and remember to pay close attention to the tin content in your lead alloy that you intend to cast with!
Sweet thread OP.
I haven't been doing much lately but here's a picture I took last time I was at it.
It depends greatly upon the quality of cartridge you want to end up with.
Start with the casings, as those are nearly identical; go to the range and grab yourself some .44 mag brass (be sure to ask if you can take it if someone nearby is shooting it).
Go online or buy yourself a ballistics book to find the appropriate type and charge of powder. By varying the powder type and charge, you can push the envelope of what your gun can handle, or scale it back to some gallery loads for beginners.
Next are your projectiles. This greatly depends on the results you are looking for. If you want a high precision load for target competition shooting, grab match grade high quality stuff like Hornady. If you are plinking or just practicing, get whatever you can find for cheap that still has the appropriate diameter for your gun. If you are going to cast your own bullets, slug your barrel so you know what diameter cast to buy.
let me know more specifically what you are looking for and I will try to help more.
Fully equipped combat veteran ready to make the tally-ban and al-kayduh shiver in their boots.
I know this picture. I have seen it maybe six or seven times so far. I know what I'm getting into when I enlarge it and scroll down through it.
Looks like somebody was having a slow day. Gave me a good chuckle to see all those things stacked so precariously.
I thought you might, but I figured it would be worth the effort if you didn't have them yet.
After you have finished your batch of cartriges, its time to store them in a safe, air-tight, water-tight location to ensure their successful function in the future. Surplus ammo cans are always the way to go.
I prefer to load mine on stripper clips before storage, so that I can easily grab the clip and spoon feed them into a magazine instead of loading them in one at a time.
I had an idea to try and make my own person AP rounds by putting a tungsten penetrator in a lead casting. This is more for "because I can" than for any major reason. I'd also like to make cheap plinking ammo.
I have some experience with IMR 4064. In the case of using a coarser grained powder don't trust the dispenser, the cheap dispenser's are notorious for having issues with such powder and require constant tweaking of the charge once poured.
I usually poured from the dispenser, weighed and adjusted the load with a tiny scoop to ensure the proper load. Usually it would be either high or low by a couple of granules and was never consistent with the amount it was off.
Naw, it's cool. Of all the people I know that are into shooting, it's very rare to find someone who actually reloads. In fact I've been saving my brass for the last several months to get me started with the raw materials.
nigga please. OP needs to slug his barrel with a piece of pure lead to find out the land dia. Then he needs to size his bullets about .001 or .002 larger.
Why don't you post a clear shot of the powder canisters?
Yeah then your best bet is to scavange your local range for .44 magnum brass and go through a similar process that I have depicted here.
If you're starting from scratch, then I would suggest a lee bench press, but do NOT get Lee dies. I use RCBS dies and tools, and haven't been let down since I got them, so that's a good place to start.
You will also need some method of cleaning them (unless you buy new brass online). A standard tumbler will do the trick, and even a cheap one should do its job.
I can't help you too much with casting, but you can refer to an earlier reply I made with videos to help you with that process. Those links and the related videos of them will make things a lot easier on you.
If there was anything I missed regarding your questions let me know so I can try to answer them.
I timed my routine wrong and had to wait on the tumbler.
Here's the full version
Oh my, quite the mess you have going there.
Had fun with this picture on the last reloading thread.
If you've already played let someone else guess.
Can anyone find the piece of Lake City brass?
I would have slugged the barrel, but I got this gun from a friend who ordered a fancy-shmancy crome-lined match-grade barrel of .223 diameter, and I am using .224 diameter bullets.
Also, I thought the first pic clearly displayed it as BL-C(2). If it didn't, then heres some clarification:
And here is the same picture on hard mode, part II, who can find the piece of Lake City brass?
You need to be especially careful of the proportions though.
Make sure you use the proper diameter bullet, the proper type and size charge of powder, make sure you make the distinction between milspec and commercial brass (milspec has thicker walls and may cause an increase in pressure), and follow the recipe to a tee.
Otherwise, yeah, put the volatile lime in the explosive coconut and shake it all up.
Yeah, but take into consideration that my impromptu bench press is mobile and on wheels. If I were to wheel it around with much more than is already on it over the uneven surface of my garage floor, thats a recipe for disaster.
And remember the most important rule in reloading!
If you are reloading, MAKE SURE THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO BE RELOADING AND DO IT RIGHT.
Just a friendly reminder that if the cost of reloading is equal to or above the cost of comparable ammunition required for your task at hand, just buy the stuff!
Great thread, lots of good info.
My dad was killed in a rollover in 1989 when I was 1, and I never knew what that tool was in the garage until I got into shooting.
Too bad we moved and left the press behind.
I built a thing to prepare for reloading!
Now I just have to bite the bullet and buy the $400 of shit to actually reload.
When I owned an M39 I would load brass Winchester and PPU cases with .308'' dia 168gr's and I could dot your i's and cross your t's at 100 yards.
And I never had to run windex down it's sexy barrel. It was a 114 year old gun, and I preferred not to abuse it's mirror shiny barrel.
I don't know, let's find out.
Brass: $30 entry fee to local range. (Raahaguee's)
Boolits: 3 x $35 for 1500 X-treme bullets
2 x $20 for 1000 unknown milspec bullets from a close friend with a warehouse of surplus reloading crap
Primers: 2 x $35 for CCI Magnum Small Rifle primers + shipping from MidwayUSA
Powder: 7 x $30 for 7 cans of BL-C(2) from a LGS that was going through a closing sale (orignially price tagged for 36 apiece)
It took around 38 hours of leisurely work for me to get 1500 rounds from start to finish, not counting wait times for tumbler loads to finish polishing, but including time spend cleaning primer pockets and loading the cartridges onto clips.
>tldr; $455 for 2000 rounds worth of ammunition and 38 hours of leisurely (but diligent) effort.
Which is why I tried to throw that qualifying "comparable ammo" tidbit into it. Berdan primed surplus is in no way comparable to boxer primed hand-loads. But I'm glad to hear you have such an awesome rifle! My mosin eats these and puts out a good 1.5 MOA at 100yards. I'm a skinny guy though so I can handle only about 45 shots before I'm done for the day.
I'm sorry, I let my autism get the better of me. Allow me to ammend my statement:
I've had bad experience with two Lee dies previously, and they have a slight questionable-ness about their quality because of their prices. Lee dies may in fact have improved their QC since, and if anyone wants to comment on the subject then please reply to this with your input.
question for OP and any other reloaders in the thread;
I bought everything I need to reload without looking further ahead in the process. Now I have several hundred dollars invested, and I can't find powder to save my life. At least powder I need. I can't find any powders to reload .223, .45acp, 38, or deagle brand deagle food online or locally.
Where do you guys get yours?
There is nothing like doing it for the first time though, and inevitably fucking something up, causing you to re-do 3 hours of work.
I wish you luck bud, start small, think big.
(not op by the way)
The 223 bullets are 40/500 now on xtreme bullets, how long ago did you get them for 35/500? Either way its a good price for 223 bullets.
Also op, what part of socal are you at? South OC here.
>mfw I noticed the file names half way through the thread
Thanks for the OC OP. I've been slowly acquiring the tools and components to start reloading .308 and this thread is good encouragement.
Check online forums that cover areas that you live near. For me, who lives in Kommifornia, Calguns is my best friend.
Also, look for more expansive loading charts that include a wider variety of powder brands. You may actually have access to all the power you need but just not the information on how to load it. Try youtubing those loads and see what they reccomend.
I bought them just a few days ago from someone on calguns. They thought they wanted them but they weren't happy with them (they were trying to cut corners with their hand-loaded "match grade ammunition" and it wasn't working). Always check forums and auction sights for better deals!
An important distinction! Yeah, remember the most important rule that I posed earlier with the picture of the nugget food!
>I thought no one would notice
>mfw I finally contribute to the board I love so much.
>Ohshitnigger I think I'm actually tearing up
I'm in southern OC too! I live just off of StgCynRd.
What do you find is the most effective way to pull projectiles? I've been crimping my loads but I squib'd one and it's dun stuck in the case. I've used pilers before but it's not pretty. Anyone had experience with an inertial puller?
Powder retention isn't a problem as I missed filling that case anyway. Will it still work if you crimp to the cannelure? Mind you I am loading for .243 bolt action so crimping might not be the best idea.
So far I load 300blk. Just getting set up for 308.
1.1k 150 gr fmj bt and two gallon ziploc bags of brass.
Thanks, I'll have to look around for one. Does anyone have any good tips for optimising seating depth? I've been crimping on the cannelure (95 grain Hornady SST) but that seems a bit deeper than factory loads.
Inertia/kinetic bullet puller. Its the teal-ish color hammer looking gadget in my 4th post.
Give those a whirl.
I just spent from midnight to 0130 local pasting that shit together hahaha fuck
cheers, based JMB
OP I just got a job in a mom and pop tackle/gun store and I will be in charge of the reloading supplies. I wanna say thank you for the time and effort of the thread and look forward to making some of my own in the future - screen caps saved.
My money is on this one, because of the discoloration on the neck looks like all the LC M80 brass i have shot.
>implying you don't clean the lube off of your casings with a quick tumble after resizing
ishiggy diggy do
To everyone else, I'm back from my slumber and ready to help!
No, you're retarded.
Not tumbling before resizing results in the grime from the casings mixing with the lube, shitting up your dies, eventually damaging them (yes, steel dies -are- going to get damaged if you keep running brass through them coated with what is for all intents and purposes an abrasive paste), and resulting in improperly sized cases.
To have their cases clean for resizing is the sole fucking reason people tumble their brass. If you just wanted them clean from the outside to feed reliably and keep shit out of the action and magazine, you could wipe the rounds down after seating the bullets and call it a day.
Learn something about reloading before handing out advice.
This. I tumble once before resizing and then tumble again after case prep is done to clean off all the brass shavings and dirt that gets on them from handling.
Question for the thread: I'm sitting on primed pieces of brass I need to reload to test out accuracy differences from various seating depths. I am still waiting for my order that includes the seating depth gauge (or whatever it's called) but I would like to get started on these loads without it if possible.
Any recommendations for what I can do for figuring out my ideal seating depth? Also, what graduations should I adjust by when testing seating depths?
Well I see someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed today Mr. Grumpy-Frumplekins.
Take a closer look at the first picture that I posted with the brass about to be de-capped. Does that look dirty?
Well fancy that, I cleaned my brass before I started reloading it! I figured it was implied that you wouldn't pick a brass up out of the dirt at your local range and throwing it into your press would be a bad idea. But, if it eases both your autism and helps beginners who can't use common sense, allow me:
Make sure the brass is tumbled and clean before re-sizing, as unchecked dirt and grime can create an abrasive paste that will slowly erode your dies.
Does pic related help at all?
Well you can take a measurement of both your casing and your bullet before seating it, and take the OAL of the cartridge once its seated and halve the difference to find your seating depth with a caliper. Once you have the seat depth you can label each batch of rounds with their respective depths and take that to the range.
>I figured it was implied that you wouldn't pick a brass up out of the dirt at your local range and throwing it into your press would be a bad idea
Really now? Because this...
>share the process with you all to motivate the newfags and summerfags
...makes it sound like you're making a 101 guide for newfags to reloading.
If that's the case, there's a couple of things you should avoid doing...
>The first thing I do is lube em up and de-cap the casings
...like completely omitting a fucking critical part of the process that could result in people damaging their shit, because you "thought it was implied", retard.
Herpa derpa, don't halve the difference, just take the difference.
>don't do calculus while trying to give advice
I would suggest incrementally increasing your seating depths by quarter-turns on your die's depth setting, starting high and seating it more and more, making batches of 5 or 10 cartridges for each depth.
at the range I would suggest firing groups of 5 with each depth (making sure to carefully record the results of each batch!), and letting the barrel cool between batches so that you have a consistent control.
Which is why I encluded in my remark to you
>beginners that can't use common sense
Alas, I digress. It should have been included in my original remarks, as it is a step I take. I had already cleaned all my brass when I started taking pictures so it slipped my mind because I consider it to be more of a "pre-reloading" process, and as such I have tried to amend the error.
Now you can either contribute further to the thread or leave.
"Now class, let's calculate the force required to seat a projectile with diameter 5.56mm to a depth of 4.5mm with a coeffecient of friction of brass on copper of .135."
>WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME
I actually want to learn some ballistics that's more than just "this here rule of thumb works real well for me" but it's hard finding a good source. downloaded an aerodynamics book and stability is a small chapter that doesn't really help me in terms of ballistics
Usually I test from the bottom of the cantalure (the ring of impressions around the radius of the projectile) to the top. If the accuracy is highest between those two points, then you will have your ideal depth. If seating to the top or bottom of the cantalure produces the best result, you may have to seat it deeper/shallow-er to find your sweet spot.
it will take a long time, but good things come to those who are patient.
Bumping for posterity
>two more until this thread falls into the abyssal cataloge