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The re-loaders bench...

smooth

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#1
I was recently given some older, mostly RCBS, re-loading equipment from a fellow employee. Having never re-loaded, I've kinda dove head first into the rabbit hole. And now have about $500 worth of supplies on order. I'll start off slow, and try to mimic some FGMM 168 grn in .308 (only dies I've purchased so far).
reloading.jpg


Lets see your bench.....
 

newmisty

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#2
Excellent score smoothie. Slow and steady. Keep us updated please.
 

Lt Dan

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#3
Watch out for those reloading dies, they multiple like rabbits.
Did you also get a good reloading manual?
Should be lots of youtube videos to watch on the subject.
When I started out, not even the internet had been invented for most people of modest income. We gathered most of our info from those books and magazines.
Don't worry if you make a mistake or two, just don't try to load those mistakes into your firearms. I've a rather small collection of my mistakes, saved so I'll try not to make 'em again.
Good luck and good shooting!
 

ErrosionOfAccord

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#5
Got in a hurry once and threw the recipe together. About blew my hand off as I had forgot that the grain measurement was to be worked up to and was the absolute max. Remember to reduce your powder measurement by 10% if that is what the book recommends. Other than that have fun. I have a ton of supplies I need to use up.
 

smooth

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Watch out for those reloading dies, they multiple like rabbits.
Did you also get a good reloading manual?
Should be lots of youtube videos to watch on the subject.
When I started out, not even the internet had been invented for most people of modest income. We gathered most of our info from those books and magazines.
Don't worry if you make a mistake or two, just don't try to load those mistakes into your firearms. I've a rather small collection of my mistakes, saved so I'll try not to make 'em again.
Good luck and good shooting!
Thanks Lt. Yeah, the press and powder tosser came from my friends father who passed. They came with a couple of manuals from the early seventies. I've been reading his notes, pretty interesting. I bought a new manual and have spent countless hours on the youtubes. Tons of conflicting info out there. I'll just start with the basics for now. Then start playing with more detailed aspects. One of the youtubers kept a shelf of shame. All of his reload failures. Hopefully mine will be a small collection.
 

oldgaranddad

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#7
I was heading down the same road (I actually have that same press) until I found a OCD anal retentive shooting buddy who reloads. I bring the supplies and dies and back come bright shiny awesome better than spec ammo. Mind you, this guy reloads to relax! He gets into a methodical trance as he does it. To each his own.

Just the money I save on .45-70 Government fodder for my "thumper" rifles helped me get one kid through college (partly).

I still get plenty of M2 Ball .30-06 from various Garand organizations but when that dries up I have the components all lined up and ready to go.
 

smooth

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#8
I was heading down the same road (I actually have that same press) until I found a OCD anal retentive shooting buddy who reloads. I bring the supplies and dies and back come bright shiny awesome better than spec ammo. Mind you, this guy reloads to relax! He gets into a methodical trance as he does it. To each his own.

Just the money I save on .45-70 Government fodder for my "thumper" rifles helped me get one kid through college (partly).

I still get plenty of M2 Ball .30-06 from various Garand organizations but when that dries up I have the components all lined up and ready to go.
I dont shoot much 30-06, but did load up on a bunch of the Greek Ball surplus from the CMP, all boxer primed. Guess I need to go get some dies (wabbits)... just cuz
 

Aurumag

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#9
When I was 11 years old, a friend's dad had a reloading setup for 12 gauge.

His dad taught me how to reload, and I got pretty good at it.

Every time I visited their house, I would head straight to the press and start working.

After I had reloaded about 200 shells, he took me to the range and let me fire his 20 gauge.

He was very pleased with my work, and yes, reloading is very zen.

I had all but forgotten that childhood vignette.

Thanks for the reminder Smooth and happy reloading.
 

searcher

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#10
Congrats on a nice score.

Looking forward to updates.
 

BigJim#1-8

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#11
I was recently given some older, mostly RCBS, re-loading equipment from a fellow employee. Having never re-loaded, I've kinda dove head first into the rabbit hole. And now have about $500 worth of supplies on order. I'll start off slow, and try to mimic some FGMM 168 grn in .308 (only dies I've purchased so far).
View attachment 100307

Lets see your bench.....
Nice smooth,
You can duplicate the FGMM Load with Varget, IMR4064 & a variety of other powders, Varget & 4064 seem to be most popular. . I believe 42-44 Gr of Varget does the trick depending on your rifle.
Remember: Start at lower end of the recommendations & work your way up checking for signs of high pressure.
Ex, Difficult extraction of fired brass, flattened primers, etc...
 

smooth

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#12
Nice smooth,
You can duplicate the FGMM Load with Varget, IMR4064 & a variety of other powders, Varget & 4064 seem to be most popular. . I believe 42-44 Gr of Varget does the trick depending on your rifle.
Remember: Start at lower end of the recommendations & work your way up checking for signs of high pressure.
Ex, Difficult extraction of fired brass, flattened primers, etc...
Thanks Jim, I got some IMR4064 in route. Plan to use Federal 210 primers with the Sierra HPBT's and FL resized, once fired FGMM brass.
Recommendations duly noted.
 

smooth

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#13
Was cruising the LGS this afternoon when this box caught my eye.
score.jpg

MidwayUSA lists them for 54.99 before shipping.
Might have to find an excuse to run back to town tomorrow and pick up a couple more.
Gonna need another set of wabbits
 

Someone_else

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#14
MidwayUSA lists them for 54.99 before shipping.
More than ten cents for just the bullet?! And they are just 55g FMJ, not some super special bullet?! F that! Even six cents is high, but it is certainly better than ten.
 

smooth

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#15
More than ten cents for just the bullet?! And they are just 55g FMJ, not some super special bullet?! F that! Even six cents is high, but it is certainly better than ten.
I'm not seeing anything under $.09, and thats when buying 5000? These are for re-loading .223 cartridges
 
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Someone_else

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#18
Oooh, shiny and pretty! I am very slowly getting into reloading, so please read this question as legit. Why ten rounds for every load, and twenty for your highest? I would think that the first sets would be to find out the minimum and maximum loads, and then work within them to find the load with the best accuracy. Yes, I am ignorant, just getting started in reloading. (But my emotions are still colored by many thousands of rounds of 8mm and 7.62 I bought between 8 and 10 cents per round.)
 

ErrosionOfAccord

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#19
One of the more interesting theories I’ve read is barrel whip vs exit. Your barrel whips, or vibrates at a particular frequency and you are trying to match that frequency to point of exit. Other words, you want your barrel to be in the center of its vibration when the bullet makes it exit. If yo are looking for accuracy a lower speed may be better for accuracy.
 

smooth

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#20
Oooh, shiny and pretty! I am very slowly getting into reloading, so please read this question as legit. Why ten rounds for every load, and twenty for your highest? I would think that the first sets would be to find out the minimum and maximum loads, and then work within them to find the load with the best accuracy. Yes, I am ignorant, just getting started in reloading. (But my emotions are still colored by many thousands of rounds of 8mm and 7.62 I bought between 8 and 10 cents per round.)
These are the very first rounds I've ever re-loaded. My initial goal here was to replicate the 168 Gr FGMM commercial round (43.4Gr) in .308. Simply because my rifle will do "close" to .5 MOA with that cartridge. Tough to beat. Thats why I loaded 20 with that powder charge. The lessor loads are mainly for observation of performance, and safety. As my manual lists 43.5 gr of IMR4064 as a max load for a 168gr bullet. I'll shoot the round with the lightest charge first and work my way up. Why 10 rounds per powder charge? No strong particular reason, I've read where more experienced folks will load 5 rounds per charge. If by chance the harmonics of my barrel agree more or similarly with one of the lighter loads I would want the extra rounds to prove it so.
I'm also just learning, so JMHO. Next investment will be a chronograph.... So consistency of velocity can be evaluated as well.
 
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obilly

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#21
been reloading for years. i have never loaded a round with max charge. what kind of crimp are you using?
 

smooth

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#22
been reloading for years. i have never loaded a round with max charge. what kind of crimp are you using?
No crimp, no cannelure . Just neck tention
 

obilly

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#23
must have for bottle neck cartridges to ensure consistency in neck tension and velocity, no cannelure needed .

https://leeprecision.com/factory-crimp-die-308.html

must have case lenght headspace gauge , if your resized case or reloaded cartridge fails this test do not try to load it into your weapon, check all cases after resizing and after using factory crimp die.
all my brass is trimmed exactly to the lenght of the case lenght headspace gauge.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016251573/le-wilson-case-length-headspace-gauge

rcbs bullet puller for reclaiming those test rounds . the impact bullet pullers just don't cut it.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/680804/rcbs-collet-bullet-puller

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/284323/rcbs-collet-bullet-puller-collet-30-caliber-308-diameter

if you are using new brass, even if it is fully processed ??? everything must be done to it as if it were a used piece of brass except cleaning the primer pocket,
even a silght chamfer and debur of the case mouth.


all of above is JMO. i hope this might help you, i had to learn this the hard way.
 

smooth

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#24
must have for bottle neck cartridges to ensure consistency in neck tension and velocity, no cannelure needed .

https://leeprecision.com/factory-crimp-die-308.html

must have case lenght headspace gauge , if your resized case or reloaded cartridge fails this test do not try to load it into your weapon, check all cases after resizing and after using factory crimp die.
all my brass is trimmed exactly to the lenght of the case lenght headspace gauge.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016251573/le-wilson-case-length-headspace-gauge

rcbs bullet puller for reclaiming those test rounds . the impact bullet pullers just don't cut it.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/680804/rcbs-collet-bullet-puller

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/284323/rcbs-collet-bullet-puller-collet-30-caliber-308-diameter

if you are using new brass, even if it is fully processed ??? everything must be done to it as if it were a used piece of brass except cleaning the primer pocket,
even a silght chamfer and debur of the case mouth.


all of above is JMO. i hope this might help you, i had to learn this the hard way.
Thank you Sir, will definitely look into your suggestions. And appreciate the links.
 

smooth

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#25
reloads.jpg

Winner.
reloads 2.jpg


42.5 grains shot very good as well. This was actually 6 shots. I should have stopped at 5. All in all pretty happy for the first round....
 

smooth

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#27
Smooter what's the set up? Rifle, glass, rest, yardage ect and did you have a sammich before these groupings?
Wanka, I'm shooting a Savage .308 model 10 FCP H.S. Precision. It's a 24" heavy barrel out of the box rifle. Glass is a bit out dated, but has treated me well..(We have gotten to know each other, and within 300 yards I have Her pretty well doped) 62450 Bushnell Tactical Elite. Pretty clean but, has a mildot reticle with MOA turrets ($850) Second focal plain. I would have gone a different direction knowing what I know now. Yardage was 100 Sir, pretty typical for load figuring I suppose. I was pleasantly surprised with these results, but wish I'd had a chronograph to help prove consistency of velocity.
Yeah, A good sammich about a half hour before shooting groups is a requirement. Oh yeah, rest? prone on a bipod, with rear bag. When shooting the different loads I would shoot 5 rounds and let the rifle cool (cheap IR gun and measure the chamber temp) before sending the next set.
4.jpg
 
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Crockett

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#29
Additional thoughts . . .

Many maximum loads were higher in past reloading manuals, so I always pick them up for reference. Though the older max loads didn’t cause any issues, many of the current reduced max loads are considered more conservative. Why? Maybe due to different pressure measuring methods or changes in powder and primers. Note also max loads can be purposely reduced so the load is also safe for use in early or less stout firearms. Some current firearms are capable of handling much higher pressures such as Ruger’s 44mag Super Redhawk. Always exercise caution regardless of where the load data is obtained.

You can get all the powder manufactures manuals free. Some you will need to request a booklet, and others have online manuals and data.

Never go under the minimum loads as things can also go boom.

Never have different cans of powder, bullets, or primers on the bench at the same time.

Always double and triple check everything. Read the label be certain it is the correct powder, bullet, and primer. You could misread the scale resulting in an improper load.

You will find that your mind will drift. I do not trust anything I did subconsciously so when that happens to me, and I cannot fully convince myself that all is okay, I will do what is needed until I am satisfied. If you have any doubt at all scrap or disassemble up to and including the entire lot if necessary. A double powder load, or not putting a powder charge in a case are common issues which can be easily checked with a flashlight.

Do not trust your memory, write everything down. Avoid memorizing loads. If you are like me sometimes you will question or doubt last night’s memory.

When working up a load I always throw the powder short and then trickle up to weight. Most of the time I cannot help myself and throw short and trickle up for all hunting and long-distance cartridges.

Ball powder throws more consistent charges than flake or stick powder.

If I am not trickling up then I usually weigh 10 thrown charges before starting to determine consistency, and then recheck periodically.

Do not smoke, keep the area clean, keep a fire extinguisher handy.
 

mayhem

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#30
Don't do much any more, but when I did it was my "ZEN" time. I shut and locked the door, no phones or anything to disturb the chain of thought. It only takes one FU to have a bad day.

Close friend had a .25 x 30-06 (this was before the .243), and he loaded a 1/2 dozen hot and the spotter for him said he could see the copper jacket pealing off the bullet on the way out to the 500 yrd target. If I recall, that story was also told in the book UC, so who knows. Me I'm to much of a scarred-cat to push the limits. I always went for a consistent, reliable load.
 

smooth

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#31
Gentlemen, I've fell deep into the rabbit hole lately. Signed up for my first long range PRS match June the 2nd... I'll be happy if I dont embarrass my self. But I've upgraded a few things and learned quite a bit. Hopefully I'll learn a bunch more and meet some more good folks. Thats the goal anyways... I've been trying to practice pulling the trigger while in very different positions and such. It's not easy. LOL. Learning different methods of load development for long range shooting. This last year has totally changed where I'm going and what I want to do with this.

Savage .308.jpg
Savage .308.jpg
 

ErrosionOfAccord

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#32
I fell off the horse during a life change and still haven’t gotten back on. That was a decade ago. Back then my trajectory was the same as yours. Maybe I’ll dust the bench off one of these days. Good luck at the range.
 

smooth

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#33
Ah, I should have reported here after that match I guess. Anyways out of 43 shooters, 33 turned in their score card. I placed 25th. But I was fine that. This is a whole new type of shooting. I basically have to throw every fundamental I had ever learned out the winder. Fee recoil? yeah, you control your rifle with your weak hand. There is no (TIGHT) holding the butt in your shoulder pocket. ECT... ECT... I timed out on all but one stage. Simply could not get comfortable enough justify sending a round in certain positions. I'm not as limber as I used to be LOL.

EDIT:signed up for another match, beginning of July. I'm sure I'll shoot better, but I know that there will be some more accomplished shooters there (it's actually a points match). But Im simply going to earn...
 
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smooth

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#34
So, just got back from shooting another match and thought I would update this thread. I broke down about a month ago and spent some real money on a Kahles 634I optic. Its freaken amazing, and has had a pretty significant impact on my ability to compete in these types of PRS competitions. Probably hard to believe but I'm shooting around 1/3 MOA with this Savage factory barrel with 5 shot groups.
.33 group.jpg
.33 group.jpg
 

smooth

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#35
So here is a pic of a guy in my squad you decided to go Yoga style on one stage. Target was a 6" plate at 270 yrds then an 8"plate at 330 yards repeated 5 times for a total of ten shots with a 2 minute time limit. No bipod ,rear bag, shooting sticks or rest of any sort allowed. He actually scored 7/10 which was the best that I had seen. I think I got lucky with 3 points on that stage...
Vil at PRS.jpg
 

917601

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#36
I loaded 30.06 AP during winter, ....finally got my 16"/50 HE to where I can move it around....65" long, one ton as it sits.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
 

smooth

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#37
Wish I could re-name the title of this thread, because I dont really care to start another.. But the last match I shot there was a Gentleman that had a simple custom piece of equipment that was so genius I had to build one and thought I would share it as well. An aid to a rangefinder...
range finder 2.jpg
I bought this little vice from Harbor Freight for $14.99. Then cut out a piece of steel, and drilled the holes to mount the vice on one end of the steel .Drilled and tapped another hole 1/4" threads on the other end of the steel piece to accommodate the quick mount base of my spotting scope. So the hardest part was finding and buying another dovetail quick mount from Leupold so I wouldnt have to swap them out in between ranging and spotting.
range finder 1.jpg
But after way too much searching I finally found one for about $23. Stupid pricing, but I bought it anyways.... End result...
range finder 3.jpg
It freaken works great. Ranging targets past a few hundred yards is near impossible by hand. And this cheap little bit of imagination is quite effective. LOL
 

ErrosionOfAccord

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#38
Dad has one of those fancy ranging Burris scopes. When he upgraded his glass he moved the ranging scope to an old empty rifle stock. You can hold that rig steady enough for 1000 yards with sandbags.
 

smooth

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#39
re loading bench.jpg


Reloading bench actually found it's way into a dedicated room. Insulated, heated and humidity controlled. Certainly small potatoes for some you guys. But pretty exciting for me. Way more comfortable than reloading in the corner of the shop or on the dining room table, depending on the season.