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Thread: A new "what are you doing in the loading room today" thread

  1. #281
    Brass Trader SafetyJoe's Avatar
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    I use a punch set to label mine. A " W " for wheel weight, a " SW " for stick on wheel weights, a " R " for range scrap, a " P " for pure roof sheeting lead, and a " S " for range pickup slugs. I have a lee hardness tester, but haven't tested any of the hardness yet. I don't load much rifle bullets and when I do the wheel weights have worked fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by DukeInFlorida View Post
    Are they all of exactly the same hardness?

    I commonly create a batch of lead to cast into similar ingots. I measure the hardness of each batch and write that on the ingots with a sharpie pen that way I know if I'm casting rifle bullets to use the harder alloy. And if doing pistol bullets I know to use the softer alloy batches. Having a tub of randomly hard ingots could be confusing in the future

  2. #282
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    I scored a lee 356-124rn mold, .356 bullet sizing die, and 9mm 3 die set today at my local shop. Now I can start loading 9mm, since I just got a steal on a 9mm barrel for my M&P40.

    I think I’m going to powder coat some of the bullets I already have cast though, before I start with the 9mm stuff.

  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbaker78 View Post
    I scored a lee 356-124rn mold, .356 bullet sizing die, and 9mm 3 die set today at my local shop. Now I can start loading 9mm, since I just got a steal on a 9mm barrel for my M&P40.

    I think I’m going to powder coat some of the bullets I already have cast though, before I start with the 9mm stuff.
    That's exactly what I did....drop in barrel for the M&P40...and use the same magazines....powder coat some 124gr bullets...I went truncated cone though...so..not 'exactly' but close enough...

  4. #284
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    I was hoping for the tumble lube TC version, but the RN was all he had in stock. I still need to clean it before I can use it.

    I sized and checked the 452-300 bullets I powder coated, they look like they should do pretty well for 450 bushmaster. I sized up what I had coated of the 309-230 and added them to the collection.

    I still have a couple hundred more of them to coat along with a couple hundred of the 312-160.

    My next step is to process the brass I got from the last couple range trips, sort out stuff to cut down for blackout, and get everything cleaned up.

  5. #285
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    Over the last couple days I’ve cutdown a few hundred for blackout, sized and tumbled all of that plus the other blackout I had.

    Went and did some shooting with my dad for Memorial Day, luckily the rain held off for a bit.

    I deprimed and tumbled all of the 308win I had been sitting on for some unknown reason, there was a lot more than I thought, I almost had too much to tumble in one batch.

    Cleaned all of the 40 I had laying around that was deprimed.

    Being laid off has helped my reloading progress immensely, if nothing else.

  6. #286
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    Just finished sorting through about a gallon of range brass that me and a buddy picked up last week. I washed the dirty stuff and deprimed it and its in line at the tumbler.

  7. #287
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    Prepping to SWAGE 5,000 pcs of 5.7 X 28 FN (as the donor jackets) into .30 cal bullets. Two weights, 150 grains for my 300 Blackout, and 168 for my 308 Win.

    They are about to go through the furnace to BURN off the plastic coating to ash. The, they have to SS pin tumble, with extra ceramic pins, for a few hours to get the rest of the plastic residue off.

    Making cores as I type this.

    I'm wayyyyyyyyyyyyy behind on making 30 cal (.308") bullets.

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  8. #288
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    Duke, how do the 168s compare to something like a SMK? And excluding equipment, how does cost per bullet stack up against something commercial? I’d love to get into swaging for my 308, but I doubt it’d be worth it for me to buy all of the equipment.

  9. #289
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    I have accumulated the gear over time, so spreading out the cost was not all that painful.
    RMatchell just did it recently, and I think did it all in one swoop.

    So, presuming my hobby time is FREE.
    And, I get to collect range lead from my shooting range = free
    And, I have been saving/trading the 5.7 X 28 FN brass for years = almost free (some postage occasionally involved in a trade)

    So, the cost of my home swaged bullets is virtually FREE, not factoring in the cost of the tooling and some simple mods to my RCBS old style rockchucker.

    How do they shoot? I have several "Push Pin Certificates" from hitting 1/4" diameter plastic bulletin board push pins, first shot, with 308's (my swaged bullets) at 100 yds, 200 yds, and 300 yds; using my Savage Mode 12 Long SS barrel (off the shelf, no modifications to the rifle) gun. So, once the load development is done, they shoot equally as well as the expensive Match Grade (pick any manufacturer). They are amazingly accurate.

    When I process the 5.7's, I see brass from three different manufacturers, but I process them all the same. The only thing I take great pains with is making the lead cores. Pure lead, cast in a core mold I got from Brian Thurner. I swage the cores twice. First time gets them from as-cast cores to firmly packed cores, but they vary a boit. The second time through the core swage die, they come out within a tenth of a grain. Added to the variation from brass jacket to brass jacket, the weights from bullet to bullet are negligible. It's really more about the load development (powder load). Distance off the lands make NO difference in my testing.

    I have two buddies who help me pull the hand;es on the various steps for making these. The only difference between the 150 grain and the 168 grain is the starting weight of the lead core. So, my buddies share in the result of the produced qty.

    Lots of information about this swaging thing at Cast Boolits.

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  10. #290
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    That’s pretty awesome. Maybe down the road I can gather the equipment to swage my own bullets. For now I’m stuck just casting the heavy subs for blackout and pistol calibers, but that’s not an insignificant savings.

  11. #291
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    Just a little sorting and a little straightening. I sorted through about a gallon of free wheel weights and about a half gallon of mixed battery cable ends and Duck Decoy weights.

    I also sorted a tub of recently acquired range brass and upgraded my trade list.

  12. #292
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    I have the last of the 308 and 300aac from my most recent range trip in the tumbler. They’ll all get primed sometime in the not too distant future and everything will be ready to load except for some 223 and 6.8.

  13. #293
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    I made room on my work bench....I have 4 more Inline Fabrication flush mount kits on the way....will give me 6 stations to work with. I should have a nice flow for my process soon.

    I also made final payment and got shipping confirmation on my AutotricklerV3....that should be here Tuesday or Wednesday....Thursday I will drop some powder into some 300PRC with the new Autotrickler...and Saturday it is back to TVP to shoot some 1 mile Global BenchRest Association competition. Sure would be nice to pick up my second win for the season.

  14. #294
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    I’d love to make it to thunder valley sometime to try to get the 308 out to 1000, but I doubt it’ll be this year.

  15. #295
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    If you ever go....just yell...I'll meet you there and jump on the spotting scope. Then I could let you hope on my 300PRC and get an easy 1 mile hit on an 18" plate....well..it may take a few rounds...but we'll get you a hit...and man is that addictive when you start hitting 1 mile targets. The bad thing is...he is working on 2000+ Yard targets....maybe 2700 yards by next spring......I'll have to build a 37X rifle now...heh

  16. #296
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    A 1 mile hit is actually on my bucket list, but I think I still need some more work on fundamentals and reading wind and such before I’ll actually get there.

    I’m actually thinking about picking up some type of 22, like a ruger precision rimfire, and working out to 300 since that’s easily available for me, as practice.

  17. #297
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    Today I have to reload 100 rounds of 300PRC. I took down another win in the 1 mile.....and shot some 1000yd in tactical benchrest also....came in second place three times...heh...couldn't win in the playoffs. I was very happy to shoot a 6", 5" and an 8" group in 1000yd bench rest...with an Atlas bipod and a Precision Underground rear bag....so...100% tactical...off a concrete bench.

  18. #298
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    Been sorting, depriming and tumbling brass all week!

    A friend dropped off a 20mm ammo can of brass and enough cardboard boxes to fill another. He will let me have what I want of it for sorting it.

    I tried talking him into putting it on here but he wants to sell it, not trade it!

  19. #299
    Administrator DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    Brass at the scrap metal dealer, is only bringing about $.80 a pound. Hardly worth the effort to even drive there.
    And, unless you have thousands of something, it's hard to find someone wanting only 8-10 pcs of something. Your buddy might be missing the boat, unless he's not a reloader. Non-Reloaders only see dollar signs when it comes to cartridge brass, but are often disappointed when they see how little it fetches in todays market. China's purchases of brass has ceased, especially during the Pandemic, and with the USA's current massive tariffs on commodity goods such as brass.

    Could be a good time for your buddy to start reloading, and trade the brass that he doesn't need for stuff he does need. Then again, some people are hardly able to put food on their table or a roof over their heads. I suppose even $.25 a pound for 100 pounds of brass ($25!) would be worth it in some instances. Picking up aluminum cans, either for the deposits or for the aluminum is another current popular way to make a couple of bucks. These are strange times indeed.

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  20. #300
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    My Buddy is a reloader and is old enough that he considers this as downsizing. He's 10 years older than I am and he has more than even a young persons "lifetime supply" of brass so this is surplus for him. I'll list it on several forums or offer it to some shooting buddies and try to get it into other shooters hands before its sold as scrap.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check