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Gotta learn to load new Brass. Never needed to before now. Tips? Advice? Reference Books? Links?
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Scout728
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July 28, 2021 - 11:35 am
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EDITED:    Lots of valuable advice below.   Many good points made.   I may not have enough room, AND the local general consensus is that I should NOT be teaching myself on a hot load like the .445.   That being said I looked into  reloading services.   The ones that replies stated the did not have the dies, of nobody has asked for that load, in their lifetime.   No luck with Hornady on a die, (Jason? has not returned call/voicemail) in custom dies order dept.

Any recommendations on a reloading service for my new brass?   Any .445 owners do it on the side?    Looking for a few dozen hunting loads, and maybe 100+ for Target.   Nearest IHMSA range is Oklahoma(?), and I’d like to test my mettle @ 200 Meter Ram.

————————————————————–

Seriously a newbie.   New adoption came with a gallon of Starline .445 Brass.   I want to load light at first to get a feel for the babe.

Ultimate goal is to not blow my gun up, and begin competing in some IHMSA competitions in 2022.

Recommended equipment, dies, powder, etc;?

Thanks in Advance.

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Stinger
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July 28, 2021 - 12:46 pm
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I can appreciate where you are, as I was in a similar situation, just over a decade ago. You will find that a lot of hand-loader’s do not offer advise or their own “recipes” due to the liable issue. It is a very dangerous endeavor and not one to be taken lightly. To start with, hand-loading is part; science, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, mechanics, technology, metallurgy and probably a dozen more disciplines all in one process.

The first step is to do the hard, boring part … research and education. 

occasion

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Stinger
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July 28, 2021 - 12:57 pm
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Get yourself “The Hornady Handbook of Cartridge Reloading” and start reading. It has been a success since it was first published and had just been getting better through all its republications. This 900-page manual is thought to be the perfect companion for beginners and novices especially.

cool

th.jpg

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Ole Dog
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July 28, 2021 - 2:17 pm
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Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not rocket science. It certainly is. A rocket is just a little bigger. 

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mister callan
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July 28, 2021 - 3:50 pm
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Don’t load too light. That can be as bad a too heavy. Go middle of he road.

Load SMALL batches at first. (10 rounds maybe, no more) That’s when you’ll make the most mistakes.

Get a bullet puller. You’ll need it for #2 above to reload them with the error rectified.

NEVER extrapolate or “improve” on book load recipes.

Never substitute a component without double checking FIRST.

Buy several reloading manuals. Each will vary slightly depending on the test firearm they used.

Read them ALL & understand them before loading your first round.

Never reload where there are distractions.

Ask questions on-line. But double-check any & all answers.

Matthew Quigley on handguns:

“I said I never had much use for one. Never said

I didn't know how to use it.”

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40Cal
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July 29, 2021 - 7:49 am
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Always use a powder that will fill the casing fully.  Meaning dont use a powder that only fills less than half of the casing (given the grain weight callout in the textbooks or recommendation from manufacturer).  This prevents a possibly double charge which would go kaboom!  Plus, you’d know if you double charged because it would over flow and make a mess.  

second.  If you use polishing media, make sure the exterior of the casings do not not have any residue on it.  Wipe down the casings after polishing or put it in an ultrasonic cleaner.  If you don’t clean it, there will be very fine Particles (that you can’t feel or see) on it that will bind in your die and get cases stuck and/or make it harder to resize. Also, don’t bother with regular does, go with carbide dies and always use a small amount of lube (motor oil will work) on your cases regardless of people telling you not to.  You’ll learn this by experience too.  Cases should go through the die with ease, kinda like lifting a 3lb weight.   I’d say these are some of the biggest things (might be more) that I learned loading rifles and pistols

  

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July 29, 2021 - 2:54 pm
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Zedbra
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July 30, 2021 - 10:33 am
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You will get endless opinions here, so read the books, watch the videos, measure everything, and make certain you have the correct load.  As for full powder loads, many people still feel that way, but I prefer many other powders that require small amounts of grains – to each their own.

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Stinger
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July 30, 2021 - 12:48 pm
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I’ve heard that better burn and gas expansion occurs when there is an amount of airspace within a loaded cartridge, but once again, do your own research, use your brain and establish your own understanding.

We are human and very prone to making mistakes. Once I had used the powder scale incorrectly, to establish the measure for a target 9mm load and because I was miss-reading the scale, had actually loaded 100 cartridges with a double “full” powder load. Luckily, before I used any of that batch, I remembered the finicky scale reading of the measurement and realized my mistake. I used a bullet puller tool to disassemble all 100 loads and re-reload them correctly.

LESSON: First, learn the basics, understand the principles & fundamentals and then start off slow and easy …

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stonebuster
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July 31, 2021 - 10:18 am
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I started reloading 357/38 last December and and after @ 4000 rounds will share some of what I’ve learned so far. Get yourself a couple good reloading manuals to read thoroughly. I use Hodgdon HP-38 so I use Hodgdon loading data. Powder & bullet companies publish data for their products. Use starting load data and work up. Go slow especially to start, don’t worry about speed and eliminate distractions in the loading room. Buy a press that suits what you’ll be reloading. I decided a Lee Classic 4 die(carbide)Turret Press would work for me vs a progressive to start. You’ll develop a system that works for you after you’re at it for a while. Get yourself a bullet puller, I chose a Kinetic Franklin Armory. It’s very important to keep a notebook/journal detailing everything you load and label every box/bag of ammo with data and dates. Do just a few to start so you don’t have a lot to pull if they don’t perform properly. My system includes visually inspecting every case for powder before seating a bullet and weighing @ every tenth powder drop on a scale. It seemed intimidating at the start but I’m beyond that now and really enjoying it. I’ve got a good system now that works for me and minimizes the chance for a mistake. You need the time, space and to enjoy what your doing. Like ammo, components are expensive and hard to find sometimes. The primers are the hardest to find for a reasonable price. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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40Cal
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August 4, 2021 - 12:38 am
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I’ve been an automation engineer for 20+ years, so I’ve seen a thing or two and my comments are based on data, statistics, experience, not opinion.  Progressive presses are great and they have mechanisms in place to prevent mistakes, but it will inevitably happen – guaranteed.  Maybe it’s a backward primer, missing primer, missing powder, etc.  the best way to minimize errors is to process one step at a time, such as only sizing on 100 cases, then moving onto installing the 100 primers, and so on.  The task is repetitive, but less complicated than going the progressive route (where all the processes are happening concurrently). 

Weighing the powder (with a digital scale) for each boolit is a good suggestion too.  Powder drops on the press typically deliver precise and accurate doses, but not always (again, Murphy’s Law), so measuring with a scale serves as good validation. Digital Scales can act funky sometimes and they have hysteresis, technically they should be checked for accuracy/repeatability and recalibrated as needed, but no body does and that’s a discussion (on strain gages) for another day. If it’s acting weird or off, you should be able to power the scale on/off and it will be fine.

Lastly, enjoy and don’t be intimidated. It’s fun loading bullets and a little nerve racking making your first batch, but it’s easy if you’ve done your homework. You can be as precise and anal as you want, or not (perfect cases, power weight tolerances, case length, yada), all as long as you follow the text book recommendations and stay safe. Problem is, do you have enough room for all the dies, powder, equipment etc as realize you can make any caliber? Then you’ll need all the guns to go with it.

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rwsem
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August 4, 2021 - 5:35 am
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40Cal said Problem is, do you have enough room for all the dies, powder, equipment etc as realize you can make any caliber? Then you’ll need all the guns to go with it.
  

Or too much room and bam!  another addiction:

Reloading-Rm-MAR-2020-1.JPGImage Enlarger

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

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Scout728
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August 8, 2021 - 10:58 am
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Edited original posting instead of adding new topic on same subject.  Thanks

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rwsem
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August 8, 2021 - 1:04 pm
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Don’t be shy of a little DIY reloading.  Watching Youtube is the next best thing to having someone with you.  Use reputable sites like Midway USA, Hornady, etc…Use 44 Magnum dies if you can’t find 445SM.

Technically, the glass is always full; half liquid, half air....

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Stinger
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August 9, 2021 - 12:19 pm
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Scout728 said
EDITED:    Looking for a few dozen hunting loads, and maybe 100+ for Target.     

I’ve bought .445 SM ammo from Black Dog before and it was good. Not sure whether they will load your brass or not, you’ll have to contact them, but at least you know where you can source some rounds.

goodluck

445 SuperMag – Black Dog Ammunition

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mister callan
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August 9, 2021 - 6:04 pm
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I’m not sure if .445 is available, but check out the old Lee classic”Whack a Mole” reloader its small, inexpensive & a valuable learning tool. I’ve taught utter newbies to reload with one on a picnic bench ion the Ozarks. Its that simple, inexpensive & small footprint. It may also load a compatible load like .44 Mag or something?

Also you can load fully functional & very effective loads that aren’t “Balls to the wall”, think of it as a training exercise where you learn with “training wheels” the skills that let you make safe, accurate “Full House loads”, its almost worth it just for the experience, which will cross over to your shooting skills.

Don’t let the cautionary tales put you off. Safety IS important, but its also pretty simple to not get “caught out”! Its a basic, fairly simple procedure as long as you follow the instructions & don’t “Get Clever” before you “become experienced” My buddy was loading 90 rounds every 60 minutes & they all ran perfectly fine.

FWIW I have a Lee Whack a Mole in every caliber I load, even though I also have a Dillon RL 550 semi-progressive press!

Matthew Quigley on handguns:

“I said I never had much use for one. Never said

I didn't know how to use it.”

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