How do you work up a load for a rifle?
Personally I will look at published load data for my bullet/calibre/powder combination. Then I will go 10% under recommended maximum safe load. I will seat the bullet 10 thou of the lands as a starting point with all bullet types. Then I will work up my powder load in .3 grain increments until I get a good tight group with 5 shots NOT 3 shots. Once I have determined a nice group I will try a further .1 of a grain either way to see if it tightens up a little more. Then I will tune the seating depth keeping the best powder weight I have already determined. I adjust the seating depth of the bullet according to bullet type now. A VLD type bullet tip I will try against the lands and 10 thou in to the lands (jammed) a flat base or boat tail I will try touching the lands and I will also try 20 thou off the lands and 50 thou of the lands (jumping) I will further refine seating depth according to what my 5 shot groups tell me.
What reloading kit do I need to get started?
I get asked by a lot of shooter’s who are new to reloading to which equipment they need to start with. I have come up with this selection of products that I think will cover all requirements for an entry level. The equipment has been picked because I think it represents value for money and performs a good basic starting point in to the world of reloading.
LEE Breech Lock Kit. This kit is a perfect basis for a no frills basis to start with.
MTM Case Tray. Extra case tray for ease of use.
Case Lube Kit. The perfect way to lubricate cases.
Digital Callipers. A good way to check OAL (Over All Length) of your case after bullet seating.
Lyman Manual. Whatever you buy get yourself a decent manual.
Kinetic Hammer. At some point you will make a mistake, I still make them after 25 years of reloading, this is a cheap and effective way to pull your bullets apart.
Can you tell me what powder will be ok for this calibre/bullet combination.
I use almost exclusively this website (www.reloadersnest.com) for researching load data and bullet/powder combinations.
Is it cost effective?
This is probably the hardest question I get asked frequently to answer. It depends on many factors such as calibre, grade of kit you buy, and the quantity you will be reloading on an annual basis. If you factor out the initial cost of buying the gear and treat it as a long term purchase and just work out costs on consumables you will be in the region of a 20% saving on commercially bought ammunition.
What press should I buy?
This is again a hard one to deal with. My personal thoughts are that unless you will be reloading for high volume pistol or gallery type calibres I would recommend a single stage press. As far as I am concerned there are two main reasons why I think this way.
- As a new comer to reloading with a single stage press you can concentrate on one station at a time as compared to a progressive press which could have 4, 5 or 6 stations going on at the same time.
- Generally speaking single stage presses are built stronger and have less play in them. (less moving parts)
How do I determine what neck bushing size I want?
There are two ways to work this little sum out : Firstly you measure the wall thickness of your neck (with a ball micrometer not calipers) and double it and then add the calibre size to that total then subtract .001″ – .003″ of the sum total to finish with the bushing size. Secondly you measure across the neck of a “LOADED ROUND” to get the sum total then subtract between .001″ – .003″ .001″ being the loosest and .003″ the tightest.
My Type “S” Die will not size the neck of my cases and/or my bullets fall into my case with no neck tension.?
Answer: Type “S” Dies require a Bushing to size the neck of the case. Bushings are not included with the Die and are available for purchase separately.
What Bushing do I need for my Type “S” Die??
Answer: There are two methods for choosing the correct bushing. They are as follows:
1) Measure the neck diameter of a LOADED round or a “dummy” round that you’ve produced with the brass & bullets you plan to use. Now, simply subtract .002 from the diameter you measure to select the correct bushing size.
a. The use of a Micrometer is advised for these measurements but a Dial Caliper may be used if a Micrometer is not available.
b. Measuring a sample (several) loaded rounds and using the average is advisable.
My loaded rounds measure .300 at the neck.
.300 – .002 = .298
Thus, a .298 Bushing would be appropriate.
2) If loaded/dummy rounds are not available, mathematically create the diameter of a loaded round using the brass & bullets you plan to use.
a. Use a Ball or Tube Micrometer (micrometer designed to measure curved surfaces) to measure the thickness of your case necks. Note that a Redding Case Neck Gauge (PN 26400) may also be used to measure case neck thickness.
b. Multiply this number by 2 to account for each side of our theoretical “loaded round.”
c. Add a bullet diameter
d. Now subtract .002 to select the appropriate bushing size.
Example: My case necks are .014 thick.
?.014 x 2 = .028
?My bullet Diameter is .284
?.028 + .284 = .312
?Now, subtract .002 to select the appropriate bushing size.
?.312 – .002 = .310
The neck of my rifle’s chamber is .XXX, Can I select a bushing for my Type “S” Die based on this??
Answer: No, bushings can be selected using one the two methods outlined in FAQ # X. Bushing size is dependent on case neck thickness and bullet thickness, not your chamber.
My Type “S” Die came with a black expander button that is too small to size the necks of my cases, what is this used for?
Answer: This item is called a Decapping Pin Retainer. As its name implies, it is designed to hold the decapping pin firmly in place while not sizing the case necks.
Do I need to use the expander button that came with my Type “S” Die?
Answer: It is advisable to use an expander button to maintain consistent neck tension if the case necks have not been turned to a uniform wall thickness. However, the expander button can be replaced with the Decapping Pin Retainer (included with your Type “S” Die) if the user does not wish to use an expander button.
I have damaged my Decapping Rod / Decapping Pin, is this covered under Redding’s Lifetime Warranty? ?
Answer: This damage usually happens when the user adjusts it incorrectly. If the Decapping Rod Assembly is adjusted so that the expander button hits the head of a case during the sizing operation, (adjusted too low) the Decapping Rod will bend or break.
The Decapping Rod Assembly should be adjusted so that the decapping pin protrudes from the bottom of the Die approximately 3/16 of an inch (about the thickness of two Nickels).
While not covered under Warranty, Redding Reloading will happily replace one (1) Decapping Rod for a customer who damages theirs. Subsequent Decapping Rod Assemblies can be purchased from a Redding Dealer or from us directly.
Note that this does not apply to the Competition Neck Sizing Die. Competition Neck Sizing Dies must be sent to Redding Reloading for any repair work.
Please email [email protected] .com should you require a replacement Decapping Rod Assembly.
My Redding Bullet Seating Die is leaving a ring around the Ogive of my VLD Style Bullet, What should I do about this?
Answer: Redding has developed a Bullet Seating Micrometer that will replace the existing seating plug in your standard Redding Seating Die. They are available for bullets with standard profiles or VLD Style Bullets. Please see a current Redding Reloading Equipment Catalog or WWW.Redding-Reloading.com for more details.
My Redding Competition Seating Die is leaving a ring around the Ogive of my VLD Style Bullet, what should I do about this?
Answer: Redding has developed a replacement Seating Stem for use with VLD Style Bullets. This VLD Seating Stem will replace the existing Seating Stem in your Die. These items are available for purchase from select Redding Reloading Equipment Dealers.
My Decapping Pin keeps falling out of my Decapping Rod, is my decapping Rod broken?
Answer: No, your Decapping Pin is not broken. To remedy the situation, remove the Expander Button and Decapping Pin and squeeze the “jaw” that holds the pin gently with pliers. Now, install the decapping pin (this may require some force) and the Expander Button.
Does Redding manufacture a Decapping Pin for use with small Flash Holes?
Answer: Yes, These small pins (part number 01059)
I am new to reloading but I want the best Die Set that money can buy. What Dies should I purchase?
Answer: Redding Dies, of Course!
While it may be tempting to order our Type “S” Dies or Competition Dies right out of the gate, most new reloaders would be better served with a standard Full Length Die Set. These Dies can produce extremely accurate ammunition and are much easier to use than Bushing/Competition Dies. Moreover, a Standard Die Set is a fantastic way to learn the mechanics of reloading.
I have my Full Length Resizing Die/Body Die adjusted so that it is touching the Shellholder and I cannot push my shoulder back. Is there something wrong with my Sizing Die?
Answer: Probably not. In most instances, using Cam-Over will allow the reloader to push the shoulder back sufficiently.
To set a Full Length/Body Die up to Cam-Over:
1) Install the appropriate Shellholder into the Ram of your Press.
2) Raise the Ram so that it is in its uppermost position.
3) Screw the Full Length Resizing Die/Body Die down into the press until it firmly contacts the Shellholder.
4) Back the Ram away from the Die.
5) Screw the Die down FURTHER into your press an additional 1/8th to ¼ turn.
Note that you will feel the Ram/Shellholder contact the resizing Die before the stroke is completed. Completing the Ram Stroke will feel as though you are snapping the latch on a toolbox.
These directions apply only to standard Single Stage Presses. If your single stage press was not manufactured by Redding Reloading Equipment, please contact the manufacturer to see if using Cam-Over is appropriate for your particular Reloading Press.
My Titanium Carbide Resizing Die is leaving a ring on the bottom of my case, is there something wrong with my Die?
Answer: The size of the carbide ring inside a Titanium Carbide Sizing Die must be small enough to allow the case to accept a bullet with adequate neck tension. Thus, the bottom of a case may be sized a little more than it has to be. Usually, backing the Die away from the Shellholder to size approximately ½ of the case or enough of the case to hold the bullet will rectify the problem.
Redding’s Dual Ring Carbide Sizing Dies were developed to solve this problem…..