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new to reloading questions

mauidivermauidiver Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
I am brand new to reloading. Just started my bench and got a dumb question. I am looking through my Lyman book at the powder amounts. I am going to be loading 223. The larger the grain bullet the longer correct? The longer the bullet , the more contact with the case correct? If those are correct i would assume that the heavier the bullet and the more contact with the case the more powder would be required to propel it. But when I look at 55 grain using Varget it uses 25 grain ( min load ) and the 69 gain uses 23.4 grains. Why less for a heavier bullet that contacts the casing more?
Another question is does it matter as far as powder loading what brand bullet you use or do you go solely by then weight of the bullet. I understand that different bullets perform different but my main concern is blowing something up in the rifle.


  • mauidivermauidiver Member Posts: 30 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    After thinking about it for too long I finally took the first steps and ordered a reloading press ( lee anniversary and .45 dies )
    I know I still need a tumbler and cleaning medium to prepare the cases. The dies are carbide and it says they require no lubrication; Does this mean I don't have to lube the cases?
    A friend suggested a tray to hold the shells; Can I use the trays the shells come with new from the factory? I've been saving my spent shells for awhile now.
    Any other suggestions?[?]
  • PearywPearyw Member Posts: 3,699
    edited November -1
    Welcome to the world of reloading. You don't have to lube your cases if you are using carbide dies on straight pistol cases. It is better to size new cases and flair the mouth of the case enough for the bullet to enter the case smoothly. I always clean the primer pocket on fired cases with a small screwdriver or a factory tool to remove the residue. You will need a tray to set your cases in after you put the powder in them. This will make it easier to put the bullets in the top of the case before placing them in the press to seat them. The trays that are in most boxes of cases are designed to hold them with the base facing up. They will not work as a loading tray. The loading trays are made of wood or plastic and have holes big enough for the cases to set in them with the base down. You can order these trays from companies such as Midway if you don't have a local source.
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1

    Weclome to the forums! And welcome to reloading. I'll shorten this to say pretty much +1 on what Pearyw said about case lube.

    I will add though the reason for the loading trays is so there is some room around the cases to get your fingers in and out without knocking other cases around. Some trays that bullets come in can hold the cases either way...but I can't do any finesse work in them. The loading trays for 6 or so bucks take a lot of hassle away.

    I also use an RCBS pocket cleaner for the primer pockets. Something I do with .40's but haven't found it necessary with my .45's is to final factory size the cases. According to some the .40 case is unsupported during firing. I think it's as supported as my .45 but the final resizing has eliminated jams. So now I do it with my .45 too, FWIW.

    If you ever have questions about reloading do come back for advice. there is a plethora of information here and a lot of helpful people to go along with it. -good luck
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,322 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have never cleaned a pistol primer pocket except once when experimenting with technique. It didn't make any difference in the loading and shooting that I could tell. Target rifle ammunition is a different matter.

    I loaded a lot of ammunition before I bought a tumbler. Just wipe off the cases and run them through the process.

    A cartridge block is only a few bucks from Midway and is much better than the ammo box insert. Loading single stage it is best to get 50 cases sized, primed, flared, and with powder charge rowed up in that block. Then go down each row under a strong light or flashlight and be sure each one contains one and only one powder charge before seating bullets. No powder and double powder are Bad Things but they are obvious in the block check.
  • ThrockmortonThrockmorton Member Posts: 814 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    1st reccomendation..SAFETY GLASSES.'Stuff happens',even when reloading.
    some folks also wear ear protection when reloading,'just in case.'
    How are you going to prime them? with the Lee RamPrime? it will get the job done but a handheld unit will save a lot of time on that operation.
    Might I suggest you buy and use up a jug of Trail Boxx powder while learing? it's real fluffy and it's 'almost' impossible to double charge a case with it.
    It's a bit more expensive than most others but the safety factor usre is nice,and it works well in my reloads.
    Keep asking quetions,we all were new at it once.
    and we all are still learning.
  • HighballHighball Member Posts: 15,755
    edited November -1
    With a forstner drill bit and a scrap piect of 2x8 or 10 you can make your own case holders...any config you wish.

    Hand wiping cases long as you are ;oading only a few rounds at a time. Gets old in a hurry, tho.

    Get loading manuals..several is better. Actually read them.
  • dclocodcloco Member Posts: 2,967
    edited November -1
    You should clean the primer pockets on any case....especially on pistols.

    One high primer on a magnum revolver or a semi auto will ruin your day.

    Chuck a primer pocket cleaning tool in a drill and go, go, go!
  • Tailgunner1954Tailgunner1954 Member Posts: 7,815
    edited November -1
    Like Highball said, a Forstner bit and some scrap wood, although I find a piece of scrap hardwood 1x6 works good for the shorter cases (save the 2x for rifle loading).
    Primer pocket cleaners can be easly made from a screwdriver
    You can remove the barrel from your pistol, and use the chamber for a case check gauge (drop in a factory load and see how far in it sits, your reloads should go in the same distance, and fall back out, using nothing more than gravity)
    A mix of 4 parts hot water and 1 part vinagar can be used to clean your brass, soak for 10 minutes, stirring occasionaly, followed by a hot water rinse. Allow to dry completly before reloading.
    Whild carbide sizing dies don't require lube, they will run smother with a little bit on the brass. I like Hornady "Unique" case lube, my buddy prefers Imperial "sizing die wax". In both cases, simply having just enough lube to put a sheen on your finger tips will provide all the lube you need for a sizing session (a $4 tub of either will last you 20+ years, which makes them a good buy)
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    Regarding case cleaning, unless you are shooting for matches, it is just a nice option. Just wiping off excess lube with a cloth is more than adequate for everyday plinking. It also works well to scrub them quickly with an old toothbrush and soapy hot water and let dry in the oven on warm for a few hours if you don't have a tumbler. No, it doesn't polish the brass, but it does get it clean.
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