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How anal are your reloading habits

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by HHS, Jan 9, 2008.

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  1. HHS

    HHS TS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
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    I've been reloading shot shells for about 25 years and have gotten into some habits that some find a bit anal.
    1. All my hulls are sorted in different bins. Gun Clubs with silver base, Gun Club with brass color base, Black Remingtons, New AA reds, Old AA reds, AA gray, STS greens, Remington Nitro golds'. Hulls are inspected as I pull them out of the bin.
    2. I will not mix and match hulls, only load one type of hull at a time, using only one brand of primer. (Fiocchi) If I find a good deal on Rem. or Win. primers they only get loaded into their matching hulls.
    3. All reloads go back into their original boxes.
    4. Use only Down Range wads.
    5. 1oz 8 1/2's only go into AA hulls, 1 1/8 oz #8's into Rem. hulls. Shot has been weighed through each MEC bar when they were new. Have not reweighed anything since.
    6. Each box is newly labeled only if a different primer were used.
    7. Powder is weighed only when I open a new jug.
    8. Only reload 100 at a time, then they are boxed, reloader is cleaned, bottles are refilled and start all over. I can reload about 450/hr with my 9000
    I can't remember the last time I had a squiggle load, they've all gone boom when I've pulled the trigger.
    So, all you reloaders, any other anals out there? Am I missing an important step?
     
  2. nipper

    nipper TS Member

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    1,502
    well i just began all this but your method matches me to a tee as of now. i think it also will make everything less complicated at the range, to be able to concentrate on the targets and not if a shell is 1 oz. or whatever.

    bill
     
  3. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Do you carry a wad knocker outer?
     
  4. nipper

    nipper TS Member

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    i dont but i think im going to make one out of a piece of steel round stock i have and go to lowes and get some plasti-coat and make a rubber coating on it.

    bill
     
  5. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,685
    Location:
    Redding, California
    HHS......... I reload my singles and doubles loads in STS hulls and my handicap loads only in Nitro27 hulls. I load the same powder, primer, wads, in both. The STS gets 17.5gr Promo with 1/18oz 7/12's while the Nitro gets 18.7gr Promo with 11/8oz 71/2's. The loader gets a light cleaning and gets air blasted with the air gun, and greased and oiled every 5000 rounds. I weigh about every 100th load, or whenever I change lots of powder. Other than that, I just keep loading. I have been doing it this way since 1963 and I have never had a squib load. I have had a bad primer every now and then, but no problems with my loads......Dan Thome (Trap2)
     
  6. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Mesquite, Nevada
    So much so that Preparation H calls for ad advice. :) Hap
     
  7. BMC

    BMC Member

    Joined:
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    769
    Not sure if this is anal enough or not, but I weigh every powder drop for every shell.
     
  8. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,866
    I mix shells AA and STS but only load them a couple/three times but I never check them for anything. AA or STS wads, a 28 or 29 bushing, some Red Dot, Federal primers and I'm set to load until I can't lift the bucket they fall into and they have to be boxed where they are labeled "1 oz." or "1 1/8 oz." I have a failure rate of about 1 in a few thousand.

    Sometimes I use Gold Medals with appropriate wads but otherwise no specific changes -maybe a 30 bushing sometimes.

    Neil
     
  9. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    3,594
    I agree with sarge, just plain good loading practices for the most part. I DO describe my loading fussiness as anal but wouldn't have it any other way. Someone asked if you carry a wad knocker outer - my answer is NO with my fatal analosity, I haven't needed one for more years than I can remember.....breakemall....Bob Dodd
     
  10. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    2,054
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I load both metallic and shot shell. I am a lot more anal retentive when I load metallic. In metallic reloading about 75% of the effort goes into brass preparation. I keep my brass in lots of 50 and each lot resides in its own plastic box. It would take a lot of typing to describe how I load metallic.


    For shot shell, I am not anal but do try and be careful. I load for practice, ATA and games. I keep my hulls separated by brand and type. I have a system whereby I can determine the load by hull type and primer. I only use a couple of loads for practice and ATA but have several different loads for games. My games loads are kept separate and their brass is marked with a black marker.


    For years, I used 700X and PB and am now migrating to Alliant E3 and Green Dot. I also use Alliant Herco and Blue Dot for some games loads and have done so for over 20 years.


    I tend to load about 500 shells at a time on my MEC Grabber set up with an adjustable charge bar. I inspect my hulls before loading. If I produce a load with a deformed crimp, I put it into my practice bucket.


    I empty the powder and shot from the reloader between sessions. When I start, I put the powder, shot and primers into the loader and arrange my bins for hulls, wads and loaded rounds. I mildly vibrate the loader for about 30 seconds using the handle to simulate a reloading session and to settle the powder.


    I then charge (no crimp) one hull five times returning the powder and shot to their respective hoppers. I then carefully weigh the powder and shot for several loads until I get consistent readings on a Pacific balance beam scale. I then begin loading and check the powder and shot weights every time I add primers.


    I have had a few bloopers over the years, mostly due to screwing the powder bottle down too tight. When this happens, you either get no powder or a partial charge of powder.


    When I load shot larger than 7 ½ for games, I carefully watch the shot drop and vibrate the handle if I get a hang-up.


    Sometimes, a primer will refuse to come out during de-priming and I will have to knock it out with the de-priming tool from an old Lee loader.


    Sometimes a primer will fail to drop or will drop upside down at the priming station. When this happens, I insert a primer manually if one failed to drop. If the primer is upside down, I remove all of the partially loaded shells, correct the primer and individually load each hull.

    I use paper labels on my boxed reloads to indentify each load.
     
  11. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Sort hulls and load only one kind at a time. Only load straight-walled hulls, i.e. no remingtons or AAs (except for sub-gauge). I size and deprime hulls first on a MEC Sizemaster before running them through a progressive (Hornady 366 or P/W 900 Elite).

    I have been reloading for 40+ years and have never needed a wad knocker. Shells without powder are readily recognized and disassembled. I guess it has something to do with not crushing the shit out of the wad. That way if there is a round without powder it will be easy to identify by the concaved crimp.

    Jim Skeel
     
  12. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Ha. I do all the above, and when I load rifle, I segregate all brass by headstamp AND weight. Even my Patrol Rifle used for classes and never shot over 100 yards in training gets precision ammo.

    As expensive as components are, why put good stuff into a questionable hull, or use haphazard loading techniques?
     
  13. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    5,722
    I also sort my empty hulls and put them in seperate large boxes, Green STSs for 16 yd, AA new Grey & Nitro 27s for Hdcp. I use promo powder for 16s and Solo 1250 for Hdcp. The RIO Blue and Green are Backup loads for buddies 1 1/4 oz #6s,
    shootoff shell is New Grey AAs with Orange Claybuster 33.5 Grs Longshot
    with 1 1/8th oz #6s for the long shot, have mostly been using the RIO primer in everything. I have noticed that Federal Gold Medals plastic seperating about half way up the hull and have to check Bbl for obstructions. Mostly with slow burning powder like 800X, Buddy backup is 26.5 Grs 800X w/orange claybuster wad in the RIO hull. Been shooting this load for over 2 years now, it works great.



    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  14. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    3,781
    I load both and tend to do things in mass quanity. I am a stickler for making sure that nothing is inside the hulls as for many years I was ( Still am sometimes) a hull scrounger. I guess it really goes back to finding emptys with feathers in them I got from dove hunters. I will put a big batch of hulls on a table and then use a flashlight to look into them. I seldom find anything that needs to be removed but I do find the odd spider or clump of debris. I don't understand guys who have multiple squibb loads or "Off" sounding shots. Some people really should not be reloading. We have one guy at our club who blew up two guns and another guy who blew up one gun. These guys all blew up rifles. I met three guys hunting that said "They had blowed up three guns and wasn't saving no money what with the blowed up guns and went back to shooting factory" Now that is the gods honest truth as they said it to me. It was all I could do to keep a straight face. They KNOWED I was shooting reloads by how high I was shooting birds because with the reloads you could use " Extra powder" That explained to me how they blew up three guns in a hurry. The truth can be a scary thing. Jeff
     
  15. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,651
    HHS:

    Your list of anal habits didn't mention the loading date as part of your shell box label. Every box I load is labeled identifying the components (powder type and amount, wad, and shot weight and size) as well as the date the shells were loaded.

    I'm a compulsive hull scrounge. So I do a lot of hull sorting:

    By brand - Gold Medal, Top Gun, STS, Gun Club, etc. and then by other distinguishing features - for example, silver vs. brass colored heads on Top Guns and Gun Clubs.

    AA are always sorted old style - red, old style - silver, new style - red and new style - gray. Old style ribbed Gold Medals are always separated from the smooth new style Gold Medals. In addition, Remington STS, Nitro 27s, and Remington Premiers are always separated one from another.

    I organize and store hulls in 'flats' that I make by cutting target boxes about 3 inches high. When stood on end, empty hulls are the same height as the flat. A flat will hold about 230 - 240 hulls. Flats can be stacked one on top of another from floor to ceiling for compact storage.

    After I sort premium hulls into flats, I put them under a bright light so I can see the condition of the crimp area. I also check for any junk/debris in the bottom of the hulls. I then separate them by condition as follows:

    new


    very good


    good


    poor


    Load and Launch

    L & L shell boxes are so labeled and those hulls get pitched when fired. I usually mark the base of L & L hulls with a magic marker. If I happen to scrounge a hull with such a mark on the base, I know its one of my rejects and it goes in the dumpster.

    I only scrounge new Gun Clubs, Estates, and Top Guns. They only get loaded once so they are by definition, L & L.

    How nuts am I??

    sissy
     
  16. Hipshot 3

    Hipshot 3 TS Member

    Joined:
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    I become VERY anal! I get a case of the ass everytime I cover my shoes with shot!
     
  17. Bridger

    Bridger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    712
    yeah, I'd say that was pretty anal. Why separate hulls if they take the same powder drop and use the same wad? Don't get that at all. Metallic reloading is a whole new ballgame and there you should be much more attentive to detail. But as has already been noted, shotshell reloading is not rocket science. Weigh your charge with each new keg of powder but using Clays I have yet to see the need to make a change. I try to inspect hulls as they are fired and cull the bad ones or do so before I throw them in the hull box. I guess its always better to err on the side of safety and if there is any good reason to make a change I'll do it but nothing stated so far makes me feel like I'm doing anything unsafe. I know a guy who washes every hull before he reloads it which I think is really anal but to each their own.
     
  18. CharlesR1100

    CharlesR1100 TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    436
    I add to your lists the following:

    1. Wash and dry all shot shells in the Maytag while used primers are still on the shells. Anal, yes. But makes for a great looking and easy reload.

    This is the biggest and safest improvement you can make in your reloading. Shells are now clean, empty, warm and shine. Free.

    2. Wipe the base of the new primers, while still in the shipping tray, with a silicone gun cloth prior to putting into the MEC.

    3. Wipe the bottom of the metal primer feed tray, and each station and primer hole in my MEC 9000, with the same silicone gun cloth. Anal, yes. But really makes the primer problem vanish.

    4. I use the small MEC bottles on the machine to load the shot and powder. I preload the correct amount of shot into lexan bottles. Easier to refill the machine. Each 25 lb shot bag is divided into 3 lexan bottles.

    5. I am not into labels with printed data. So I stick colored stick-on dots on the boxed ammo to tell me what color of shell and whether 8s or 7.5s.
     
  19. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    9,442
    I have 22 reloading machines. At least one in every room of the house, garage and basement too. When we go on vacation I bring a reloading machine with me. My wife likes to shoot too. HMB
     
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