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All very good stuff posted here. I may have missed it but keep all distractions away from your reloading area. IE kids, adult beverages, TV, loud music,
If I stop for a Restroom break I write down what I was doing and were I was at in the process so I know when i come back reason being i have a wife and kids and they will start talking to me and it could be several minutes till i get back to the bench.
When i first started reloading i ask pretty much the same question here, and i was told pretty much what has been stated above. read your manual a few times. check your load data a few times. when in doubt recheck stuff. don't get your powders confused IE H4350 and IMR 4350. same with primes. keep a clean work station. work in small batches 50 or less till you feel more confident. set a routine and follow it every time all the time.
 

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All very good stuff posted here. I may have missed it but keep all distractions away from your reloading area. IE kids, adult beverages, TV, loud music,
If I stop for a Restroom break I write down what I was doing and were I was at in the process so I know when i come back reason being i have a wife and kids and they will start talking to me and it could be several minutes till i get back to the bench.
When i first started reloading i ask pretty much the same question here, and i was told pretty much what has been stated above. read your manual a few times. check your load data a few times. when in doubt recheck stuff. don't get your powders confused IE H4350 and IMR 4350. same with primes. keep a clean work station. work in small batches 50 or less till you feel more confident. set a routine and follow it every time all the time.
Distractions a good point. I know 2 guys, both prior military and both the kind of guys you would to to war with. One flew A 10s and the other an MP, both gun people. In the same year, a 100 miles apart, both of them fell off a ladder with a chainsaw in hand. Both survived the chainsaw, but both had some injuries and met with the ground totally by surprise.

After reading all of the above I am thinking most of us are pretty good about our loads and what we think we are doing. With that in mind, I agree that kids and even dogs running through the room can destroy the thought process which could cause an error. I think that writing it down when you leave is a good tip. I keep my recipe in site, so I know what I am supposed to be doing. Again as many of us have said, a notepad of notebook should always be used. I use 3 x 5 cards myself, just because they are durable and handy and easy to stick in a box of ammo.

Pretty comprehensive list right here OP.
 

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There are a dozen mistakes a person can make reloading ammo. But only one that makes guns come apart. And that is too much powder or too much of the wrong powder. There are some basic things a person can do to make sure that issue does not cause a Kaboom. Here are some suggestions>

1. Never have but one powder on your work or reloading area at one time. If you are reloading a pistol then only your W296 or H110 or Unique or whatever powder you plan on using are near your reloading spot. Same with bullets. I have 200 grain and 250 grain I am loading into the 454. Only the proper one is nearby while loading.

2. Make absolutely sure of the amount of the chosen powder is what you plan. Always look it up in a reloading manual, and check a second source. I suggest you go ahead and write down on a piece of paper what the load is going to be. I have been reloading since 1972 and had no Kabooms yet. Two days ago I loaded some 454. I wrote the formula on a piece of paper that will go in the box with the reloads. These are light loads. It reads like this:
454 Jan 7,2022
Hornady 240 Mag XTP
CCI SRP
Unique 14.6 grains, 1.6 cc
COL 1.745
Plan is for 1,600 fps in Rossi 92
So while I am loading, that paper is laying there reminding what I am loading.

3. Double check every powder charge. In my small load I only loaded 40 rounds as a test round for moderate loads. I used the little Lee Dipper instead of a powder measure. The charge fills about 75% of the case so I cannot get a double charge because it would run out of the case. Never the less, I still look inside every case to make sure the powder level seems right.

4, Immediately upon checking the powder level, I stick the bullet in it so no more powder could get into the case. If I am loading something like 30-06 where I may use the powder measure and cannot easily see inside the case, I add the powder and put the charged case into a cartridge block. Once the block is full, usually 50 rounds, I take a flashlight and look down into every case. I keep a cheap LED tiny light on my reload bench.

5. Powder selection. Most people believe that the powder is going to be the most accurate and safe when the case is as close to 100% full as it can be, that way it is not laying in different positions each time the rifle is fired. So, select a powder that is 70-100% filling. Many manuals like the Nosler manual will show you exactly how much of the case is filled. When you have a case that is more than 50% filled, then you cannot double charge a case without seeing the second charge spill over. Your biggest risk is a double charge.

6. Probably as important as anything is to not have interruptions or other people in and out while you are reloading. Somebody moving a powder around might cause you to pick up the wrong one. Then of course no drinking when reloading and just common sense safety things like that. Also, there is never anything wrong with using a checklist and keeping a log. You will want a log anyway so you know what did and did not work for a particular gun. I make comments in my little log, like "good accuracy-1 inch groups". I have one for Trail Boss the wimpy powder, that says, "too hot at this level", and others like "great light level load". The 454 that I loaded recently will have comments in the log about accuracy and velocity and recoil.

7. The last thing is select a loading recipe that is near the bottom of the load in the manuals. Most books will give you starting and max loads, like 50.0 grains, 52.0 grains and 54.0 grains. When you choose the hottest load you know you are approaching the danger zone, so start low and work up, that way you do not start with that fear.

Anyway, just go slow, pay attention and enjoy creating your own much cheaper which will let you shoot about 3 times more.

And enjoy the process.
Sound advice from RFF. I always favored the more bulkier (?) powders like Trailboss because it would be near impossable to double charge a case.
 

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Sound advice from RFF. I always favored the more bulkier (?) powders like Trailboss because it would be near impossable to double charge a case.
Yes sir, good point.Trail Boss was created just for that safety powder and a good tip, OP.

I do not know if you could blow a gun up with too much Trail Boss but I do know that they can be loaded too hot for comfort. I load for a 454 Casull that I shoot in the Rossi model 92 lever gun. It will take 65,000 cup or 55,000 psi or so. In the gun that is 5 pounds and 8 ounces, lots of people want a moderate load for shooting just for fun. Funny but we load it down to about 44 mag levels, which is really a pretty serious amount of power. It a regular powder like 1680, H110, or W296 and 250 grain bullets the 20 inch barrel will zip along at maybe 2,200 fps, (2,680 foot pounds) about what you want for a sabre tooth scalley batasorus. So,I thought loading it down to about 1,600 fps, foot pounds, 1,421 foot pounds (a 223 is about 1,250, a 30-30 about 1,800) was a good idea, and it is. But......

I loaded up about 20 test loads, with Trail Boss at 100% full case to the base of the bullet, a pretty common practice, and fired them. I have the chrono results in my logs but do not recall off the top of my head, but I wrote in my log. "too hot-do not load at this level". Still not sure what the issue was, but they were too hot. I will post the load as a problem load later. Otherwise, Trail Boss has a lot of uses. Not my favorite but it has it's place. I actually have 3 of those 9 ounce bottle now. For those who have not used it, a regular powder bottle that holds 1 pound, only hold 9 ounces of Trail Boss.

Keep safe.
 
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I have heard horror stories of what has happened to some people when they did not reload correctly. Upon firing the gun...from minor distruptions to major shrapnel. I am not only worried about myself but also about my gun - they are not so easy to come by these days. Is there a safer way to test a few rounds besides putting them in my dearly beloved and pulling the trigger, especially since I am a newbie?
I have heard horror stories too. From reloaders that don’t follow the basic safeguards-lol. Pay attention to the powder charge. Avoid hot loads and stay within minimum and maximum charges in the manuals. If you’re still ascared then reloading may not be for you, and you should buy factory ammo. LMAO
 

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I have heard horror stories too. From reloaders that don’t follow the basic safeguards-lol. Pay attention to the powder charge. Avoid hot loads and stay within minimum and maximum charges in the manuals. If you’re still ascared then reloading may not be for you, and you should buy factory ammo. LMAO
I'm not sure about the rest of the people who gave honest serious advice but I don't see any humor in this . Maybe I'm just a crudgedy old man but LMAO Just doesn't seem appropriate . Hopefully the o p will take all the advice and not only enjoy the hobby of loading their own but pass it down to future generations .

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This might be a dumb set of questions for the OP, but what manual did you use? Also what components were used? What is the OAL of the cartridges? And what powder charge did you use? Will they chamber?
I believe you posted this in the wrong discussion . It doesn't fit into the topic being discussed .

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Nope, surely did not, I'm trying to find out what he did, used so people can determine if his loads are supposed to be safe according to the manual
OK , gotcha . You are assuming he has already loaded some rounds and is second guessing himself about firing them . I was thinking on the lines that he had not loaded them yet . If he has loaded some then I stand by my advice to pull them and start over if there's is any doubt . That is the only safe way . IF IN DOUBT DUMP IT OUT .

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I'm not sure about the rest of the people who gave honest serious advice but I don't see any humor in this . Maybe I'm just a crudgedy old man but LMAO Just doesn't seem appropriate . Hopefully the o p will take all the advice and not only enjoy the hobby of loading their own but pass it down to future generations .

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😂 lol
 

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For whatever it's worth. This is my notebook that I use. On the right are testloads I want to do. The circled charges are someone else's accuracy load. Sometimes the accuracy load is outside the load data chart but I'll include it and just proceed with caution.by observing tight bolts and flattened primers and sore shoulders. If there is a star next to a circle, that is an observed node(s). One the left side is information I find online. I add the next set of testloads on the next page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Thanks to all. Yes, I have not yet begun reloading - I realize both how useful this is as a skill and hobby and how dangerous this could be - which is why I turned to some experts! Seems the most important steps are 1. Good information 2.Caution 3. Caution and finally, 4. Caution.
 

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good information and discipline plus quality control will see you through.

good point about the distraction thing.
all of my dogs, and even the ones that don't live here, but visit often, all will stop at the door to see what i'm doing.
none of them will cross the threshold.
 

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This is really good info from all of you. Here's my input:
I use my turrett press as a sincle stage and do one step at a time.
Size and prime then set in the reloading tray with the primer facing up. Do all 50 the same way. You will need to know how to tell the difference between a new primer and used one. Important if teaching someone how to reload - no kidding he must get task saturated very easily.
Measure & weigh powder, turn over the primed case and add powder - very easy to tell which case is next because it's primer is showing. Do all 50 the same way.
Important lesson learned - when you get powder in all 50 cases take a look and see if the powder is the same height. The Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure didn't throw a charge in three .357 cases. I was using H110 21 gr I happened to weigh the first 50 I reloaded and three didn't weigh the same as the other 47. Had to buy a bullet puller and fix the problem. That's the reason I do it as a single stage press.
Add bullet, set and crimp, and place in the tray bullet end up. Check the COL on the first round, 25th and 50th. Easy to see which round is complete and which one is next. Do all 50 the same way.
Then transfer the finished rounds into a box or cartridge case and label the box - I also put a date on the label.

My son bought me the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge Digital Powder Scale that I use regularly now, but I also have the Lee Precision Micrometer adjustable powder measure and a powder trickler. I bring this up because most people don't weigh every powder charge - I do but it's my quirk for personal satisfaction, I know each round is consistent across the board.

Have fun reloading, be safe, as one post said, write your load data down and I label each turret/die set as well. I also took the time to create my own reloadning book of knowledge and wisdom with data on each firearm I own. Also have the Shell Holder Chart, Primer by Manufacturer, Application, and Caliber / Prmer Size Reference Chart, a very important section on "That Was Dumb" and another section "That Was Smart".
Capture data that is important and relevant to you, your firearms, and Load Data. Example: My Weatherby Vanguard 300 WSM the COL is 2.860 inches however, I found 2.886" COL using Hornady 180gr SST made it a tack driver. I didn't seat or crimp the bullet completely (no primer or powder for this task), loaded the bullet and allowed the bolt to push it all the way forward to where it touched the lands and could lock the bolt. Then ejected the cartridge and measured the COL and subracted .004" giving me 2.886". Not all bullet manufacturers design the ogive the same way and that's what I attribute to the COL variance. It works for me and I do that simple process for all my rifles.

The info in this thread, It's just knowledge being passed down by somone that had to correct an issue or improve a process. I know that I and the others that have shared their tidbits of wisdom do so in the hopes you will grow in the sport and continue shooting and reloading and having fun. Take care everyone.
v/r
Wicked109
Bob
 

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I have heard horror stories of what has happened to some people when they did not reload correctly. Upon firing the gun...from minor distruptions to major shrapnel. I am not only worried about myself but also about my gun - they are not so easy to come by these days. Is there a safer way to test a few rounds besides putting them in my dearly beloved and pulling the trigger, especially since I am a newbie?
Get a chrono graph. At least you can limit the "test" down to just the first shot. Even better you can start LOW and work your way up to what you want and you KNOW what you are getting.
 
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