Ammunition Reloading

Discussions, Stories, Hints & Tips about everything outdoors. Biking, Hiking, Fishing, Shooting, Camping etc.
User avatar
paul2012
Tracker
Posts: 187
Joined: August 26th, 2013, 4:46 am
Location: Minnesota, USA
Contact:

Ammunition Reloading

Postby paul2012 » February 25th, 2018, 2:23 am

As to not dilute the thread about surplus rifles I'm making this its own topic. As I said, I am new to reloading and although I've been looking into it and on/off studying it for a while now, there is no one I have a personal connection with that does it to learn from. With that, I'm kind of breaking new ground here and I'm getting all the knowledge I can before I get in over my head.

Especially when the rifle I'm reloading for was actually replaced by the 1903 Springfield because it had a tendency to blow up or twist the bolt if they pushed it too far. Plus there is a bunch more things I need to work out with my Krag, it being a new acquisition from the Cabela's used guns racks and it being an old war horse it'd be best if I take my time. I'm not even sure the jump from 180gr to 220gr can fix the seemingly 2ft high zeroing on the battle sights.For that reason I'm planning on dipping my toes into the water with something a bit simpler like .300 savage for my uncles model 99. I have easy to replicate loading data from the Hornady manual and there is little need to experiment. He doesn't shoot much aside from annual hunting, but having a more consistent load would be nice as stores wont always have it in stock.

Now if I had to ask one thing, it'd be weather or not dies sets come with everything you need as a beginner? (and is there anything that would be nice to have that might not be included in starter kits, all the stuff they come with gives the impression that they've got it all) I've seen a lot of videos where people use different dies from different sets because they like the results better but I was assuming that was because the dies where more specialized, ie a neck sizing die instead of a full case sizing die. It would be nice to know before I get all set up and start pressing only to realize I don't have the right dies. :?

Image
User avatar
SoftShoe
Outfitter
Posts: 1068
Joined: January 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby SoftShoe » February 25th, 2018, 2:56 am

AFAIK Lee is the only company that includes a shell holder with their die sets. IMO Lee is substandard, they are a value brand. They work fine & I in fact do own 2 Lee die sets from when I 1st got into reloading. I dont recommend them though. You are better off getting a higher quality set of dies & buy the shell holder separately. I am a die hard RCBS guy. My reloading bench is a sea of green :lol: but Hornady makes good stuff as well. I have a few sets of Hornady dies that I like just fine.

Neck sizing dies are more of a benchrest shooting thing. They are not recommended in firearms that have an action that cycles. The thought behind them is since the brass has already been fired once it already fits your chamber just fine so you only need the neck sized so the bullet can be seated.

Most rifle caliber die sets come is sets of 2. Full length sizing & a bullet seater/crimper. Pistol dies sets are typically 3. Full length sizer, case mouth flare & bullet seater/crimper. That is all they come with.

To get started at a minimum you need.
1) A press. Preferably a single stage solid press.
2) Powder measure
3) Die set
4) Shell holder
5) Hand priming tool (I recommend not using the press mounted priming tool that most come with, it doesn't have the "feel" needed for good primer seating.
6) Case reamer
7) Dial caliper or go no go gauge for the caliber you are reloading
8) Shell holding block
9) Lube pad
10) Reloading data book
11) A SOLID bench to mount everything too.

Tools that will make the job of reloading quicker & easier
1) Powder trickler
2) Uniflow powder measure (measures by volume, makes measuring powder FAST!)
3) Case trimmer
4) Case tumbler & media separator
5) Bullet puller. Sooner or later you arent going to be sure about a load you made & will have to pull the bullet to check. If unsure its always better to pull the bullet & start over then to pull the trigger & hope it works out.

Image
User avatar
walt133
Hunter
Posts: 947
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 5:05 pm

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby walt133 » February 25th, 2018, 11:11 am

IMHO Mec is one of the best reloading machines you can get. Hornady makes good stuff too. As Softshoe stated Lee is substandard/ for the beginner. And you always always want to use a single stage when starting out. I am pretty much just quoting SoftShoe here I think he pretty much answered all your questions. ;)
User avatar
paul2012
Tracker
Posts: 187
Joined: August 26th, 2013, 4:46 am
Location: Minnesota, USA
Contact:

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby paul2012 » February 26th, 2018, 1:28 am

Another question I have is does anyone know or even think that the iron sights situation is fixable through these means? With all my previous firearms the approach has been to adjust the sights to align with the ammunition but with these being old fashioned battle sights from the days when they still had magazine cut offs because officers did not think soldiers where smart enough to handle more than 1 shot at a time, they do not make it easy to adjust. My sinking suspicion is that I'm going to have to take this to a gun smith and look at the options, If the sights where actually properly fitted by the united states armory then I'd be hard pressed to touch them. But if they where just slapped on by someone who thought that the sights being marked for carbine rifles and assumed that it would zero properly only for it to end up at cabelas after he couldnt hit anything with it, then perhaps id be better off just replacing the sights completely. Like I said, I'm the only one around me that has had to do any tinkering into ballistics and what not aside from just zeroing in a new rifle scope so I'm really on my own here. Its a good thing I am sorting through these things early as my hopes are to have the ol' Krag ready by next hunting season.
SoftShoe wrote:4) Shell holder

That seams to be the last key piece I am missing then, which is a shame because I don't think Cabela's has the #11 size I need for 30-40 :/
Can different brand shell holders work on other brands presses the same way dies do? (different brand dies work in different presses right? I didn't really check I just bought some RCBS 30-40 dies cause the Hornady ones where out of stock and more expensive)

Image
User avatar
SoftShoe
Outfitter
Posts: 1068
Joined: January 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby SoftShoe » February 26th, 2018, 9:33 am

paul2012 wrote:Another question I have is does anyone know or even think that the iron sights situation is fixable through these means?


2ft is allot so you can probably get it closer but I dont know about getting it to POA. You have the right idea by using a lighter bullet, less recoil = lower bullet impact. Another thing you might want to try is shooting gas checked lead bullets. They tend to slide down the barrel easier resulting in a lower POI & finally if that doesnt work, 30-40 was originally a BP cartridge. Load it up with the Holy Black & see what that does to your groups. It will be even more fun to shoot. People that dont shoot BP are often worried about its corrosive qualities. I shoot a great deal of BP rounds for CAS & so long as you clean the gun when you get home you will never have any troubles with it.

paul2012 wrote:That seams to be the last key piece I am missing then, which is a shame because I don't think Cabela's has the #11 size I need for 30-40 :/
Can different brand shell holders work on other brands presses the same way dies do? (different brand dies work in different presses right? I didn't really check I just bought some RCBS 30-40 dies cause the Hornady ones where out of stock and more expensive)


Yes shell holders are universal & will work in any press. A quick google search revealed that Amazon has the RCBS# 7 shell holder in stock for $7.

Image
User avatar
walt133
Hunter
Posts: 947
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 5:05 pm

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby walt133 » February 26th, 2018, 11:15 am

SoftShoe wrote:You have the right idea by using a lighter bullet, less recoil = lower bullet impact.
I would think a heavier bullet would have a lower impact. Especially over a long distance.
User avatar
SoftShoe
Outfitter
Posts: 1068
Joined: January 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby SoftShoe » February 26th, 2018, 11:32 am

walt133 wrote: I would think a heavier bullet would have a lower impact. Especially over a long distance.


It does if you stretch out the range but at 100yds you will see a lower impact with light bullets. Its all about the recoil impulse. Heavy bullets generating more recoil will see some muzzle lift in the few hundredths of a sec they are traveling down the barrel. Its especially noticeable in handguns because of the inability to grip the pistol as tight as you would a rifle.

Back to the OP, there is a mechanical fix for the Krag as well. IIRC the front sight is pinned. Drive the pins out & install a home made blade that you have filed down out of some steel. Make it intentionally tall & take a file with you to the range & knock a 1/32" off after every group until you are on paper. You might want to develop your pet load (what shoots best in the gun) for it 1st though as this adjustment is semi permanent.

Also I seem to recall hearing that some refurb Krags the rear sight was put on backwards. The notch for the rear sight should be on the forward part of the sight base (towards the muzzle) which is exactly opposite how nearly all rifles are made. The 1916's were done the standard way & most likely the gun plumber doing your refurb was used to 1916's & put it on backwards.

Image
User avatar
walt133
Hunter
Posts: 947
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 5:05 pm

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby walt133 » February 26th, 2018, 11:50 am

SoftShoe wrote:It does if you stretch out the range but at 100yds you will see a lower impact with light bullets. Its all about the recoil impulse. Heavy bullets generating more recoil will see some muzzle lift in the few hundredths of a sec they are traveling down the barrel. Its especially noticeable in handguns because of the inability to grip the pistol as tight as you would a rifle.
This does make sense, but how about just using a heavy bullet with lighter amount of powder? Obviously if the OP is shooting at 50 yards this doesn't make sense, but if he wants to regularly shoot out over 100 this would probably be a good fix. Experiment with different weight bullets and amounts powder, until you get it dead on at 100, and then a half inch low at 200 and so on. I admit I didn't read the whole thread so not sure what he wants to do with it. ;)

SoftShoe wrote:Back to the OP, there is a mechanical fix for the Krag as well. IIRC the front sight is pinned. Drive the pins out & install a home made blade that you have filed down out of some steel. Make it intentionally tall & take a file with you to the range & knock a 1/32" off after every group until you are on paper. You might want to develop your pet load (what shoots best in the gun) for it 1st though as this adjustment is semi permanent.

Also I seem to recall hearing that some refurb Krags the rear sight was put on backwards. The notch for the rear sight should be on the forward part of the sight base (towards the muzzle) which is exactly opposite how nearly all rifles are made. The 1916's were done the standard way & most likely the gun plumber doing your refurb was used to 1916's & put it on backwards.


I think you are right on here. We have done that with pistols before and it does work well. But like SoftShoe said, be sure you have the load that you want before committing to the new sight.
User avatar
SoftShoe
Outfitter
Posts: 1068
Joined: January 10th, 2018, 1:40 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby SoftShoe » February 26th, 2018, 12:05 pm

walt133 wrote: This does make sense, but how about just using a heavy bullet with lighter amount of powder? Obviously if the OP is shooting at 50 yards this doesn't make sense, but if he wants to regularly shoot out over 100 this would probably be a good fix. Experiment with different weight bullets and amounts powder, until you get it dead on at 100, and then a half inch low at 200 and so on. I admit I didn't read the whole thread so not sure what he wants to do with it. ;)


Well you could do this but if the bullet is traveling slow enough to drop 2ft at 100yds (I believe that is the distance he wishes to shoot) just think what the drop would be like at 200? 300yds would be like artillery fire :lol: As an aside that is fun! Years ago I used to compete in 1000yd BPCR competitions shooting a Sharps in 50-110. Its been long enough that I dont remember what the ballistics were & I am at work so dont have my log at hand but the TOF was so long I could literally fire a shot, light a cig, lean over to the spotting scope & watch the bullet impact.

Image
User avatar
walt133
Hunter
Posts: 947
Joined: November 30th, 2016, 5:05 pm

Re: Ammunition Reloading

Postby walt133 » February 26th, 2018, 12:13 pm

SoftShoe wrote:Well you could do this but if the bullet is traveling slow enough to drop 2ft at 100yds (I believe that is the distance he wishes to shoot) just think what the drop would be like at 200? 300yds would be like artillery fire As an aside that is fun! Years ago I used to compete in 1000yd BPCR competitions shooting a Sharps in 50-110. Its been long enough that I dont remember what the ballistics were & I am at work so dont have my log at hand but the TOF was so long I could literally fire a shot, light a cig, lean over to the spotting scope & watch the bullet impact.
Very true! I really didn't read the whole thread. :D So his POI is 2 feet high at 100 yards? That is beyond ridiculous! I would have to say making a new front sight and filing down is his best choice then...

Return to “The Great Outdoors”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest