Old pro tips to all the new reloaders.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Apex-Predator, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Apex-Predator

    Apex-Predator New Member

    Thought it would be helpful to all the new and soon to be reloaders out there if a few of us put our heads together to make a list of tips from real world experience (including our mistakes we have made), I am by no means the veteran reloader here I am sure, but I will start off since it was my idea.

    1. Always work up your loads, this is not pressure lawyer talk, I have had dangerous pressure signs on a mid range load.
    2. Never skip steps in your brass prep, you will be mad as a wet hen when your reloads won't chamber because you did not properly resize or trim.

    3. Never use motor oil as case lube, I know the internet says it is a good idea but trust me good commercial lubes will save you headaches, and are much less messy.

    4. Double check to ensure there is no cleaning media left in your brass when you resize, broke a depriming tip this way, going to an ultrasonic brass cleaner makes this very easy, walnut media is hard to get out of smaller caliber cases I highly recommend ultrasonics for them, and never ever tumble 9mm, 40, and 45 brass at the same time you will have a bunch of triplets stuck together LOL

    5. Remember not all models of bullets will run the same pressure with the same powder charge, always step down a touch when changing from brand X bullets to brand Z and work back up.

    6 Pressure signs are not always the same from one firearm to another and most likely they won't be as obvious as they are in the manuals. I have one rifle that flattens primers even on mild loads, another rifle won't show extractor marks even at excessive pressure signs everywhere else, know ALL your pressure signs.

    7 Ensure your primers are fully seated, slightly protruding primers can create misfires that will really have you scratching your head due to slippage in the pocket. I had fits with this one because my hands are too small to properly use the hand primer I had.

    8 Don't try setting any speed records, if you need to push a bullet faster there is always a larger case, longer barrel and slower burning powder to do it safely.

    9 Start with something easy if possible, don't jump into any wildcat like a 243-06AI, or a monster that requires special powers like 338 Lapua, or an ultra magnum for sure. The two easiest rifle cartridges I have ever worked with are the 30-06 and 6.5x55, both have been accurate, forgiving, versatile, and required bare minimal load workup in quality rifles. 40 S&W and 44 magnum were the two easiest pistol cartridges for various reasons.

    10 Last but not least there is no such thing as a stupid question, me and I am sure some of the other guys here are always to help out any way we can.
  2. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    The Thumler's rotary tumbler is a good choice because you can wash your brass in warm water and Tide. Does a better, faster job than solid media IME. It can also be used with solid media if that trips your trigger.

    When using a powder scale, either electronic or beam balance, ALWAYS CHECK IT'S CALIBRATION WITH QUALITY SCALE CHECK WEIGHTS.

    Always completely remove all case lube from cases before shooting them. One manufacturer of spray lube says it isn't necessary with their spray. Don't believe it.

    Keep your dies clean.

    If a "deal" on reloading tools or components seem too good to true, it probably is.

    When actually loading, do not eat, drink, smoke or listen to Loud music. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU'RE DOING. Enjoy your beer or mixed drink after you're finished and the powder and primers are put away.


  3. tri70

    tri70 New Member

    Remove powder back to the container when you are done with the current reloading session. To prevent squib loads and bullet stuck in your barrel.

    Store all primers in an air tight container, zip lock bag would be minimal. To prevent miss fires.

    Mark all loads with comments used, bullet, powder, primer,col and date. This will keep you shooting what your gun is sighted in for. You don't want good loads mixed with bad loads.
  4. Apex-Predator

    Apex-Predator New Member

    Forgot to mention that one, never forget that one, during a move I had my old beam scale get knocked off zero by three hole grains, imagine my surprise when I got to the range shooting my "proven loads" that were so overpressure they ruined the brass. Checking scales every single time is not alot of fun, but it is much easier then pulling a whole batch of bullets.
  5. Curt

    Curt New Member

    Great tips guys.

    I remember most of them from when I was a kid reloading with my dad. Hopefully when I get proficient my children will be interested.

    Didn't see any tips to always refer to the manual so there's my two cents.

    I plan on reloading a small quantity at first. Test them then increase production. Reloading supplies are hard to come by so I don't want to waste them.

    This is one time my wife is happy that I'm anal about details.
  6. Txhillbilly

    Txhillbilly Active Member


    There's no need in doing that.
    I've always kept my primers in a wood cabinet or on a shelf. I also have always loaded my ammo in a barn or portable building,and until I built my current one,none of them have ever been insulated.
    In over 30 years,I have never had a misfire from storing my primers this way.

    If you kept them in a metal container in an area that humidity was high,then you may have a problem from the metal sweating.
  7. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    Case length and OAL of loaded rounds can cause severe problems if over length. Primer pockets that are over size and deformed flash holes can give false pressure signs and poor accuracy.
    Trimming case necks and not turning necks can cause pressure spikes and lost accuracy. Cases should be watched for incipience above the case web. Pushing case shoulders back changes your head space.:)