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Thread: Reloads and reliability??

  1. #1
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    Reloads and reliability??

    I'm not an avid reloader; but because of ammo scarcity and shooting a lot more it has me buying components and thinking about presses. For those that do reload a lot; how do you make your loads reliable? Or what makes reloads unreliable? Shooting a lot of AR centric matches the most common failures I see are when the shooter reloads their own ammo. I also bought 1k of .45ACP hard cast reloads back in 2013; and that was a terrible batch of ammo that frequently had failures.

    The two calibers I am trying to load for specifically are 556 and 6.5 Creedmoor. For the 556 I have TAC and 77gr SMK's and for the 6.5 I have Hornady 140 BTHP's and IMR 4065. Now I just need to find primers and I will have all my components. I have friends that have presses already, but I might get my own. For a match I typically need 60-80 of the Creedmoor and like 150 rounds of 556. Would I be able to get those kinda numbers with a single stage press?
    "Just throw Krylon on it"

  2. #2
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    Been reloading for almost 3 decades & never had a failure...to me, if you are meticulous & educate yourself then the only concern you have is a bad primer that is out of your control. I will disclaim that the only progressive I have done is for 12ga. Everything else has been on a single stage rock chucker or CO-AX. Still, I would not worry running a dillon.

    Problem you will have is components are as difficult & high priced as ammo due to demand.
    "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."
    Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, 1941




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  3. #3
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    Yes you can get those kind of numbers with a single stage press. But you have to tell us or yourself really if it’s feasible based on your lifestyle. Do you have a wife and three kids all in one or two different sports and a job that keeps you busy throughout the year? Then loading 150 rounds of 556 per week will be daunting on a single stage press and IMO you wouldn’t keep up. If you are a single man and can devote a day a week for reloading then ya. Go for it. I’ve loaded for 556 on my single stage, I did 200 rounds and it took me a full day. I’m meticulous and yes that included 4 hours in the tumbler. Figured I wasn’t getting ahead for that round and my amount of shooting with it.

    I only reload for my bolt action rifles now simply because my dope is so damn accurate and yes reliable. Never had a reliability issue with reloading.

    Never tried a Dillon. Maybe one day I will if I start reloading for my pistols and ARs.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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  4. #4
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    If you can find primers. It should not be an issue. Primers are an issue thee days.

    PB
    "Air Force / Policeman / Fireman / Man of God / Friend of mine / R.I.P. Steve Lamy"

  5. #5
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    Properly assembled reloads are every bit as reliable as factory the key is properly assembled. I am not a super meticulous guy, but have been reloading for decades with no issues. And if you properly plan things out even an old fashioned single stage can be efficient and not that time consuming ( most of what I load is pistol ammo, with rifle you get bogged down with checking case length and I absolutely hate trimming rifle cases.!)
    With a single stage the key is to keep ammo loaded. Don’t let a big bucket of brass pile up!
    Let’s say I accumulate 200 empties.
    Toss in tumbler then go do something else ( just a minute or two here)
    Remove from tumbler ( another 2 minute job)
    Next day after dinner size/deprive and expand cases ( 20 minutes )
    Next evening using my hand primer tool prime cases ( 15 minutes)
    Next evening powder and seat bullet (30 minutes)
    So 200 rounds loaded in about an hour.
    Breaking up the steps makes it much less of a chore, and allows for better attention to detail

  6. #6
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    When loading precision 6.5 Creed and 5.56, with pre-cleaned and sized brass, I can clean the primer pockets, seat primers by hand, trim (if needed), charge powder with a RCBS Chargemaster and seat fifty rounds in about an hour. This provides 1/2 MOA ammo.

    For bulk 5.56 for practice/range use, I forgoe the trimming and pocket cleaning (the brass I use never lasts long enough for these steps to become necessary). Again using pre-cleaned and sized brass, I can easily load 100 rounds in fifteen minutes, though this is on a progressive press.

    Most of the failures I've seen from reloaded ammo have come from inconsistent/inadequate primer or projectile seating or insufficient powder charge due to failure to clean out dirt or tumbling media from spent brass.

    Your needs can be easily met from a single stage press- it may just take you a little longer.

    FWIW, while I've found TAC to be excellent in 55 and 62 grain general use ammo, I've had much better results with 77 grain SMK's using ~23.5 gr IMR 8208 XBR loaded to mag length.
    Last edited by gunnerblue; 09-22-20 at 21:58.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnburglar View Post
    Or what makes reloads unreliable?
    Stupidity, Laziness, Mechanical incompetence... or any combination of these three.

    Focusing on output volume alone is another thing that can burn you even if the three previously mentioned traits are not an issue.

    I've found discarded reloads out at our old shooting area where primers are mashed in sideways, not seated correctly, etc. There was a batch of crap out there one day that was beyond belief.
    Last edited by markm; 09-23-20 at 08:49.
    "You people have too much time on your hands." - scottryan

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnburglar View Post
    Or what makes reloads unreliable?
    Not following the recipe...

    If you just follow instructions (well-established load data) and best practices, then it's really hard to screw it up.



    Quote Originally Posted by CAVDOC View Post
    Properly assembled reloads are every bit as reliable as factory the key is properly assembled. I am not a super meticulous guy, but have been reloading for decades with no issues.
    Agreed. I've had issues over tens of thousands of rounds and decades of reloading, but they were all my own fault, and I knew I was pushing the bounds of reliability, and I wasn't surprised when things didn't work...

    Examples:

    1. Loading .40S&W longer than SAAMI-spec (for reasons I can't even remember anymore) resulted in misfeeds.

    2. Loading .38 Short Colt crazy light (for "powder puff" loads that fit in .38 Special chambers) resulted in bullets stuck in barrels.

    3. Loading .40S&W with light powder charges.

    4. Not sizing "Glocked" brass enough to fit in non-Glock chambers.

    5. Split/Stuck 10mm Magnum cases, loaded very hot...


    Now you're thinking: "What a knucklehead!"

    In my defense, I think part of the fun of reloading is being able to play around with different parameters (within the bounds of safety, of course), and it's hoot when something unconventional works...

  9. #9
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    The only issue I have had was when I loaded a 100 or so rounds of 5.56 ammunition with too long an AOL. I got to tear that batch down and re-load them.

    I have a factory loaded (bulk) 9mm that was never crimped and won't chamber and another with no flash hole between the primer pocket and primer.

    As long as you are attentive, reloads are reliable.

    Andy

  10. #10
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    For reloading 223, bullet length variation and loading too close to max length has tripped me up before. Give yourself some room for error or by better bullets.

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