Thursday, May 17, 2012

Selecting Components

A reloading manual such as this Hornady edition is well worth the price and should be in your library.
   Selecting Components

 After you have primed your cases the next step is selecting the correct powder and bullet. There are about 150 types of powders available to the reloader but for most applications you have about a dozen to select from. There are powders made for rifles, then there are some for handguns and shotguns. In order to select the correct powder a reloading manual is necessary. Using the wrong powder will create nothing but bad situations. You can either blow up your gun or create duds depending on the type of mistake you make.

 The manual will give you several good powders for the cartridge that you are loading. These loads  have been developed in a ballistics lad by trained ballisticians so the data is reliable. I have been to a couple of bullet manufactures and I have seen the painstaking work that they go through to insure that the data is safe to use. Do not go above max listed loads or use powders that are not listed for that application. There are reasons for those listings. Also some information indicates that you should not use less then listed as that can cause a gun to blow up.
Case cleaner is necessary for a reloading operation

 Reloading ammo is a very safe hobby but you need to follow some rules and use common sense. Attention to detail is vital as well as having enough time to perform these tasks. As in any aspect of shooting safety is always first. One of the things that new reloaders tend to do is to try and squeeze the last foot second of velocity out of your loads. That practice isn’t always safe because if you change a component such as bullet brands pressure can go up. Also max loads are seldom more accurate or reliable. Remember your goal is to produce safe loads that function and are accurate. You will make some mistakes along the way but that is part of the process of learning.

 Once you get the powder and amount established then you need to select a bullet. The loading manuals have all of the standard types listed for the powder charge. Be sure that you use the bullet meant for the powder charge that you are using. For instance if you are loading 9 mm’s with a 115 grain bullet don’t switch to a 124 with the same powder charge. You should make a slight adjustment to compensate for the extra bullet weight. Never use a 147 grain bullet with a charge meant for a 115 grain slug. That will almost certainly create a dangerous high pressure situation. You will have to either reduce the powder amount or use a different powder altogether.  Don’t be cute and attempt to exceed the max loads. Even if you don’t blow up the gun case life will be shortened as high pressure will expand the primer pocket, rendering it useless for reloading. Modern guns are strongly built to withstand some abuse but that doesn’t give you a license to be foolish. The goal is to have safe loads that function in the gun.

Using the correct bullets will enhance your reloading experience.

 One of the good manuals is the Hornady 8th edition manual. Because there are so many new products coming on the market which includes powders, bullets and new calibers. The 8th edition covers many of the new developments plus has a lot of good reloading tips for reloaders of all levels. There are 1066 pages chock full of good info and I strongly recommend that you have a copy in your library. It is well worth the investment. For more info go to

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