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Old March 17th, 2013 #1
Mr A.Anderson
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Default Loading your own ammunition

A bit of a carry over from the Ammunition Reloading Thread. Just got my loading bench set up today, and loaded my first batch of .308 Winchester.

The equipment cost me about $325 (press kit, die set, brass tumbler, digital caliper, load manual).

Powder costs about $30 a pound (approximately 160 loads), the bullets I bought cost $33.95 per 100 count, new brass was $31.50 per 100 count (although I did have 44 pieces of spent brass), and primers are $4.99 per 100 count.



The entire process was a bit easier than I remember as a teenager.
 
Old March 17th, 2013 #2
Mr A.Anderson
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I first cleaned and polished my personal brass in the tumbler. This brass was several years old, so it took the better part of an afternoon to get it all cleaned up. I am using Lyman Turbo Tufnut media.

 
Old March 17th, 2013 #3
Mr A.Anderson
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I have a plastic loading block that I am using right now, and will continue to use for the spray lubrication. Once the casings have been lubed, I run them through the full resizing die that de-primes the casing and shapes it back to original condition.



 
Old March 17th, 2013 #4
Mr A.Anderson
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The primer pockets are quite dirty as you can see, so I use a primer pocket cleaner. A few twists, and they are much better.







I finish the case prep by taking a deburring tool to clean the mouth up.

 
Old March 17th, 2013 #5
Mr A.Anderson
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Next step is to prime the casings. The auto-feed primer made this much easier that I remember doing without one. I never had to touch or handle the primers, and the thing worked like a charm.





I took a medium neck brush, and cleaned out the casing once again before I filled them with powder.

 
Old March 18th, 2013 #6
Mr A.Anderson
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For this load, I'm using IMR 3031 powder with a 43 gr load (98% case fill).

It took a while to get the powder measure to drop the right load, but once I got it dialed in, it worked perfectly. I checked the weight of my powder every 10 loads, but the measure never needed readjusted.



 
Old March 18th, 2013 #7
Mr A.Anderson
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I'm loading Hornady 150 gr SST BT bullets. The factory setting on the bullet seat die was a little off, but very close (5/100th of an inch off) so I had to make a few adjustments to get the bullet seat depth just right.



 
Old March 18th, 2013 #8
Mr A.Anderson
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44 rounds later.




All in all, it was quite a simple process. Using the spray lube, auto-primer feed, and powder measure definitely made things easier and less messy.

Will try my hand at loading some 9mm next weekend.

Each round cost $0.58 to load (not including the costs of equipment) since I was recycling brass. They would cost $0.88 to load using new brass.

Comparable .308 Winchester ammunition, if you can even find it, is selling for $2.00 per round.

Cost to benefit? At $0.88 ppr, I only have to load 290 rounds of .308 Winchester to make up the difference in the cost of the equipment. Add to that, I have 800 rounds of 9mm ammunition to load, and you can see how this pays for itself very quickly.

The whole process took me about 2 hours today, but will be able to do that in about half the time now that I have everything dialed in.

Last edited by Mr A.Anderson; March 18th, 2013 at 12:29 AM.
 
Old March 18th, 2013 #9
keifer
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This was very informative. Thanks.
 
Old April 12th, 2013 #10
Mr A.Anderson
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Loading the 9mm Luger is a bit more extensive, with a few extra steps. I assume all straight cased rounds will be the same.

Once the casing is sized, the bullet does not want to fit into the mouth of the casing. There is an expanding die that opens or flares the casing mouth to make bullet seating easier.

I've found that once the expanding die has been used (and the bullet seated), that it is necessary to use the crimp die to re-size the mouth and "pinch" the bullet in place (measured with a micrometer to spec).
 
Old April 13th, 2013 #11
Mr A.Anderson
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In progress pictures of my 50 round .308 Winchester custom made loading block by Simmon. Using Poplar, double stacked, a Roman Single Ogee router bit on top of a bead trim.

This hasn't been puddied, stained, or poly'ed yet.

Can't wait to get this one. I have already used the other 2 loading blocks he has sent me, they work great, and they are as beautiful as I wanted them to be.


Last edited by Mr A.Anderson; April 14th, 2013 at 08:42 AM.
 
Old April 14th, 2013 #12
Dakota Dave
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Myself and a close brother are getting the stuff to reload as well. Got a brass tumbler for $10 at an auction the other day. I am lucky to live in an area that has tons of gun owners which leads to gear coming up at auction.
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Old May 20th, 2013 #13
Mr A.Anderson
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Have run into a situation where I need to load some Berdan primed brass. I have to order some additional dies to do this - and find a drill press.

 
Old May 24th, 2013 #14
MikeQuigley
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That's a lot of good information.
 
Old May 24th, 2013 #15
Brooklyn Rick
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Hey Mr.A, do you use flatbacks or boat-tails when you pack a round?
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Old May 25th, 2013 #16
Mr A.Anderson
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Both, actually. The .308's and the 8mm I am loading are a Ballistic Tip Boat Tails and the .223 are Horndady Match Hollow Points (flat base).

The boat tails are much easier to load as the design of the bullet allows it to feed into the mouth of the casing much easier. With the .223, I use the campfer tool on the opening a bit to help the feeding process.
 
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