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Why buy ammo? Make ammo!

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posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 01:33 PM
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Actualy Dillon has an easy switch by useing cartridge like caliber change. I'm just plain lazy and am lucky enough to have been able to afford what I have. I'd rather spend time at the range rather than relaod. I do like reloading, but the only time I take real time and bother with exacting loads is for benchrest loads. I find that my setups produce loads that work just fine for everything else. I do take some care when I load but its so much faster with a progressive and I do get very good consistancy!

Zindo




posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 01:44 PM
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For those here that appreciate firearms videos. Kind of off topic but not realy. Very funny!!

www.tv.com...

Zindo



posted on Oct, 14 2008 @ 11:39 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Redneck,
You are correct ..my RCBS is not for high speed reloading. The progressive reloading machines have only gotten better over the years. I also own the Lee three position turrent press but often just go back to my simple single position RCBS.

As to the Contender in .35 Remington. Someone at work needed some cash and sold me the Marlin 336 in .35 Remington. I was impressed with this rifle in this caliber so I thought the same barrel for the Contender was in order. I already had the original barrel purchased for the Contender in .223. Wow!!! In .35 Remington she is a horse in the 200 grain round nose factory load. In the 14 inch barrel the factory loads do not give good powder burn as there is a noticeable bit left in the barrel. I began reloading for this using IMR 3031 and switching to 159 grain .357 JHP bullets. The heaviest JHPs I tried were the 170s. Recoil is still substantial but the powder burn got better in the 14 inch barrel.
In the heavy bullets in .35 Remington I have to wear a glove as the pistol will jam my wrist into the bone and cause numbness. With a glove it is much better. The .223 is very easy to shoot and recoil is quite manageable and the powder burn is clean.
I like the Contender as it has one of the sweetest trigger pulls of any factory firearm I have ever seen. Very crisp clean pull..no take up and no over travel. IT is wonderful.
I like the .35 Remington caliber as it is a horse when one is needed. It is the same with the 30.30. A good work horse when needed. You just have to get accustomed to the recoil.

For the new people out here in reloading. I also own a 7.7mm Japanese Arisaka. This is a unusual caliber in that the ammunition in factory loadings is not offered in most stores. My first 20 rounds were factory Norma ammunition and it was expensive back then. An olde timer, who also had this rifle, showed me how to size my own brass from 30.06 rifle cases. I size them and then cut off the extra length left over and then reload them. The bullets used for this rifle are either in 150 grain or 180 grain in caliber .303. Same bullet used in the .303 British Enfield rifles.
When you know how to do it...reloading gives such dividends verses the expense of some of the hard to get ammunition and or brass as you learn to size your own. I have also sized 7.7mm brass from .270 Winchester brass though it takes a bit more work and lubrication.

Like some of the posters here ...I too think that the body politic will clamp down on ammunition sales when they cannot get enough firearms off the market. Many people have firearms ..they just don't have enough savvy to put back much ammo. In the future ..look for ammunition to skyrocket in price and availability. It is already happening. Even reloading supplies are not immune to this.

As to the question about the Mini 14. I own one too but seldom shoot it anymore. I have also found them to be very reliable but not much in the accuracy department. I prefer the SKS in 30 caliber to the Mini 14. The SKS too is very reliable. I can reload for both of these calibers.

I too reload for a bench rest type bolt action rifle in 30.06. This type of set up takes more time to get the ammunition to perform than factory loadings. The bullets are more expensive and the powder charges more carefully measured. Case necks are turned, necked and also cases carefully trimmed to the correct length. Bullets are also more carefully seated to a specific length. I load 168 grain Sierra boat tailed hollow point match bullets. These are very accurate shooting bullets. Not much for hunting but good for target shooting.

Once again guys...be safe out there and keep them in the X ring.

Orangetom







[edit on 14-10-2008 by orangetom1999]



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 01:55 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by orangetom1999

I checked my set-up last night, and I use an RCBS as well. It's not for high-speed loading, but it does what I need to do, and it is rugged and dependable.

I want to know, since T/C Contenders are not in the arsenal of many gun owners, how do you like the .35 Remington? I decided on the 30-30 because I knew some friends had 30-30s that they wanted me to reload some shells for, and this way one die would handle both situations. My accuracy is literally amazing, and I attribute this to the extreme twist that the 3-30 barrel has in the rifling.

I also have a short (10") barrel for .45/.38. I use it to load varmit rounds... usually .38 cartridges filled with rock salt to keep wild dogs/coyotes away. Since it is the only barrel I use rock salt in, and only occasionally at that, I can justify the extra cleaning I have to do. And the .45 powder load makes sure they feel the rock salt!

I get more comments on my Contender than I do on any other firearm I own, and it was one of the cheapest!


TheRedneck


What's the barrel length and twist rate vs range, if I might ask? I'm a bit of a nut for range accuracy. The AR I'm working on will be a 20 inch w/ 1/8 twist and no chrome - best long range for a semi auto in that weapon - just wondering if there's a formula involved but it would vary according to the ammo as well as the mfr of the weapon no doubt.



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 02:53 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Hi Redneck,

Thanks for the thread, good stuff my friend!

I started with a Lee Loader 40 yrs ago. I now do black powder in all calibers form 32-40 to a 1.5" BP cannon.

I'm an Alaskan and do some large game shooting at a hunting and fishing lodge and am their gunsmith. Recently the lodge owner was having a problem with the Win 458 (our main bear defense gun). I wouldn't eject the cartridges.

I checked it out and found that after firing the primers projected enough to prevent extraction.

What I found after taking apart some of the hollow point loaded cartridges is that they were improperly charged or over charged with powder. This was due, we found, to the electronic powder scale not being properly recalibrated. So my advice is to check out the calibration of the scale carefully before each reloading session. Also, be careful about the number/type powder used. A fast burning powder in large, heavy bullet would greatly exceed presure maximums!

Lesson learned! The primer could have failed causing major gas emission backward or sideways. The 458 Winchester is well designed and probably there would have been no damage. But I'd hate to be the shooter if it failed. A primer failure/ back charge can come back in your face or go laterally and burn your arm depending on the rifle design. For example the old Remington Rolling Blocks came straight back at you in the face! Later models eg. the European models had a flip up diverter that sent the gas upward, a great improvement as the firepin diameter was 0.050 permitting lots of gas to escape!

One other point, it's not a bad idea to anneal your brass occasionally especially if it is old or has been fired several times. It prevents cracking and returns the brass to original condition. Just heat the brass end (1/2 to 3/8" or so) using a propane torch to just barely red. Quenching in water is optional. The brass will last much longer and be easier to work with!

Happy reloading!



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 10:51 AM
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reply to post by plumranch
 

Your right about annealing. Even if you use light loads, it still makes the shells brittle after a few uses.
The best way to anneal cartriges is to immerse them, upright in a pie plate of water a half inch deep. Run the propane over the shells till you see a light red glow and let them stand till you can safely touch them to remove from the water. For rifle shells use a little deeper container. You can anneal a hundred pistol shells in about five minutes. Let them dry well and your good to go!



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by plumranch

One of the things I love about ATS is how easy it is to learn something new... and you have taught me two things.

First of all, I have sporadic problems with my Mini-14 jamming, always have had. I've disassembled it, cleaned it, done everything I could think of to it, but I have not checked the primers for unseating! That's on my 'to do' list now, thanks!

Secondly (and thanks to Zindo as well on this one
) is the idea of annealing the brass to increase life. I've gotta try this out too.

You guys keep it up!

TheRedneck



posted on Oct, 15 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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Midway has 55g .223 fmjbt on sale @ 33.29/500, I thought that was a good deal so I bought a 1000. It's still going on.

I work up my loads on a RCBS single stage and then to the Blue Press for production.

Dies?? I have gone to Lee, with get the factory crimp. The Dillon just don't size fully,don't like that!

Roper



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by Roper
 


Roper, call Dillon on the full sizing problem. I was told that dies made before '97 had that problem but the new sizers will full length resize. I have no problem with my .223 rounds chambering and I have the old dies. If your AR does not have the Wylde chambering so .223 and .556 rounds chamber easily, you might wish to have it reamed to the Wylde chambering. It solves the problem with larger 70-85 grainers also.

Zindo



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by ZindoDoone
 



Hey Zindo. Yep I have the Wylde chambering, my AR is a Rock River NM A4.

The rounds would go into battery and eject but when I hand cleared the rifle it was near impossible to open the bolt.

My RCBS dies did a fine job, I just got turned on to Lee at AR-15.com. I like the stuck case remover on the sizer die and the factory crimp die.

I'm concerting selling all of my Dillon and RCBS dies except the powder die.

The RR shoots the 55g well out to 200yds but I do need heaver bullets. I have several different weights but haven't had the time to load and shoot. I did some at 69g and 75g and thought the 69g did a better job.

80g they say won't load in the mags. I have some 68, 70 and 77 grain match bullets that I haven't got to yet. Maybe soon.



Roper



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by Roper
 


80's will chamber but it is a powder and overall max length problem. Try Aliante reloader 10X and crimp to max overall length. Chamber a round and if you just see the mearest sign of the rifleing groovers on your round back off a few thou and they will work in a standard mag with no problems. My Rock River NM chambers them out of a standard mag. I have a 1/8 twist barrel. That seems to work a bit better for heavy bullits in a .223!
My DEL-TON M4 Carbine upper is 1/9 and the 55 grainers are much more accurate in that.

Zindo

[edit on 10/16/2008 by ZindoDoone]



posted on Oct, 16 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by ZindoDoone
 


According to Lyman's book(48th) the 80's have a COL of 2.550, so you have been setting them back a tick? I'll give it a go. Now I use BLC2 and according the the burn rate, reloder 10 is sitting on top one spot. www.reloadbench.com... BLC2 should work?? Ya' think?

Oh yeah my book doesn't have any data on reloder10x, so where have you been starting.

Roper



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by Roper
 


My loads for 10X where my own experimental loads. I realy can't say they are safe for anyone but myself. And when I posted I should have reread my notes, because as you can see below most of my powder is other Reloader 7 and 12 and with 55 grainers right out of the book and 15 for 80's .

55gr FMJBT 20.5 gr Reloader 7 3,080 fps 2.280" Fed 205M Alliant
starting load: 18.5 gr

Pressure: 52,400 PSI

55gr FMJBT 27.5 gr Reloader 12 3,255 fps 2.280" Fed 205M Alliant
starting load: 24.8 gr

Pressure: 52,200 PSI

This is my pet load for 80 grainers. You can see that this powder lets you load shorter without gaining presure and will fit the mags easily.

80gr HPBT 24.0 gr Reloader 15 2,800 fps 2.280" Fed 205M Alliant
start at : 21.6 gr

Pressure: 53,000 PSI

The load you quote for BL-C (2) is for a bolt action as near as I can tell.
Zindo



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 11:03 AM
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You guys have got me wondering about my AR. The barrel reads 1in 7

I have shot 55 grain loads in it and they shoot alright but not as good as I had expected. Have loaded about 50 rounds of Serria 77 grain match ammo for this rifle but not taken it to the range as of yet. Will be looking for feeding problems as well when I do get around to shooting it. This one is a Colt Sporter.

Also considering trying a heavier bullet in the Mini 14 in .223.

Also looking foreward to trying out the 7mm TCU barrel.

Not much range time of late as it has been mostly overtime while it is available.

Orangetom



posted on Oct, 17 2008 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by orangetom1999
 


When talking reloads. like we are, you realy have to test every rifle with many loads before you find exactly what they like to eat. Kinda like kids!!
Your Colt may digest 77's easily and be very accurate. My DEL-TON seems to eat what ever I feed it and they go where I point it pretty good!! My RRA bull barrel is fickel. All you can do is try and experiment.

Zindo



posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 10:08 PM
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I went to Amarillo today and there just happened to a gun show at the Civic Center and what did I find, Reloder 15, so I got a pound. When my dies get
back I'll start the experiment.

Roper



posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 10:25 PM
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Originally posted by ZindoDoone
reply to post by orangetom1999
 


When talking reloads. like we are, you really have to test every rifle with many loads before you find exactly what they like to eat. Kinda like kids!!
Your Colt may digest 77's easily and be very accurate. My DEL-TON seems to eat what ever I feed it and they go where I point it pretty good!! My RRA bull barrel is fickel. All you can do is try and experiment.

Zindo


Zindo,
I agree ...that has been pretty much my experience. I have tried different combinations in my 30.06 but then again...30.06 and .308 also have one of the widest bullet and powder selection both by which to experiment. Precisely ..experiment with what will work for your specific gun. For pure accuracy I have found the sierra match bullets to be very consistent and accurate. I am only recently experimenting with the Hornady line of bullets.

Loaded up about 50 rounds of 7mm TCU ammo yesterday out of .223 cases. I damaged about 7 cases doing it. A bit of lube in the case necks helps. The tapered neck expander seems to work well ..especially when properly lubed. These first 50 rounds will be fire formed.
Will be mounting the scope on the barrel tonight with the blue loctite.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 10:25 AM
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Hey guys,

Got to shoot my 7mm TCU yesterday. It shot great. Recoil was more considerable than with the .223 barrel due to the weight of the bullet. 120 grains verses 55 grains of the .223s I had been shooting..

One thing became very obvious...the amount of impact down range verses standard .223 ammunition. THe energy delivered on impact. I found a few metal cans downrange and set them up. This caliber really knocks them around and up in the air.

The other factor of note to me was that upon the first fire forming of the cases...how much it sharpened up the cases to the barrel chamber dimensions. The shoulder sharpened up considerably with the first firing.

I decided not to mount the scope for this until I had more fire formed cases.

Initial batches of cases were the 120 grain poly tip bullets. This go around I have reloaded some with 140 grain poly tip bullets. We shall see how they perform as well.

This has been an interesting set up to date. This set up has also given me a window into why many people want the AR rifles chambered in an intermediate but larger caliber like 6.8mm or 6.5mm verses the full sized .308 type battle rifles.

Nonetheless...guys..for those of you interested in reloading for the first time. This is just some of what one can do with the right tools and set ups.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Oct, 20 2008 @ 11:46 AM
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reply to post by orangetom1999
 


Many people don't realise that the brass actualy almost liquifies on ignition and forms to the chamber. It also lengthens the case so you need to check overall length more often if you use high pressure mag type loads or in the case of experimental highbred loads or wildcats. Case trimming is an essential part of maintaining accuracy as well as safety. If you have to trim 3-4 thou at a time you are ending up with thinner cases and a larger problem of case spliting and detonation. Its a good idea to weigh cases when you get them new and keep a record of their weight after every other loading and trimming to estimate how thin your cases are getting. Look for primer cratering as well as very fine splitting of the casemouths! Sometimes even minor knicks on the case mouths are a sign of serious case thinning or a need to trim cases.

Zindo



posted on Oct, 21 2008 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by ZindoDoone
 


You know Zindo..I just bought one of those 6 inch digital dial calipers at the local auto parts store. I also have a regular analog dial type with which I check case length. You are correct about the cases stretching out after so many firings. I also own a Sinclair Case trimming rig.
Same thing with the primer pockets. They can get loose enough that the primer does not stay in the pocket.
I have had several cases in 30.06 develop cracks in them. Depending where the crack is located I will size them smaller in a 7.7mm Japanese full length sizing die for this caliber...Then trim off the excess length in the Sinclair Case Trimmer. Now I have 7.7mm Japanese brass.

I had not thought of keeping records of cases. With so much .223 brass it may be a problem.

I think with some of my special chamberings ..like the bench rest rounds I reload would be more applicable. These cases are neck turned and more care in seating and maintaining concentricity is done here. I had made in a machine shop a special V block to do run outs with a dial indicator for the bench rest set up. These cases would be more applicable to keeping records than the standard set ups..Thanks for the idea.

Very interesting explanation of how the brass fire forms.

Thanks,
Orangetom



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