The Loading Log

  • @orkan hmmmm didn't know that. I'll have to see how different on paper.

    Well I did think it may effect it. Because some would crunch and some wouldn't. I thought that can't be consistent.

  • It's another distinctive reason why the Prometheus is so superior to other means. Consistency in operation and significantly reduced powder handling.

  • It has been a busy month for processing brass. Many many pulls of the press handle. The vast majority of these are from this month. This is a 100 disc cd cylinder with 308 case for size reference. These are the spent primers.



  • Loaded up 200 rounds of AR blasting rounds yesterday.

    Today I’m going to start working on load development for the 178 ELD-M bullets. Starting off with annealing and sizing this morning.

  • I pulled my 300 Blackout upper from the back of the safe this week and cranked up the press for some 110 grain Zombie loads. I bought a box of 500 Z Max 110's at my favorite estate sale and got the recipe book out today. When I first got my Remington 300 BO I had a Wilson Combat barrelled upper put together at the same time and waited for the can but went ahead and loaded just a few supers and subs and once I got the can you know what happened. Subsonic baby, at least for me. The AR and supers lost all appeal. I haven't loaded anything but subs for the past three years. I bought some Gemtech BO brass a while back so that's what I loaded with four powders all hovering around nineteen grains with the 110 grain Z Max pills. I used Lil Gun, H110, Win 296, and 4227 for powders. I lightly flare the case mouths so these stubby flat base bullets get an easy start so I ultimately have to run them back in a Lee factory crimp die to push the flare out. About like you do on a 45acp or similar. As soon as these holiday are over and the wind settles down I will see what happens. Got some piggies that need thinning out down south.

  • Trying to find a load for the 95 smk in my 22 creed with H4831SC and RL23.

    Something sub 3200 fps.

  • The fruits of my labor. They say H110 and Winchester 296 are the same guess I'll see. Got some 260, Blackout and SOCOM ready.

  • I was fixing to shut down for the night but I thought I would throw this out. I set up today to convert .233 to 300 Blackout and after about an hour of finding all my fixtures and stuff to get going I asked myself is this worth it? I got .223 brass for free (once fired) running out my ears but man it's like making a jig saw puzzle. I guess if you're bored it ain't too bad a way to burn up a rainy day. I band saw nine pieces at a time then run them in a Lyman trimmer mounted in a drill press to square them and get a controlled length before going into the die. The worst part of this process is the burrs from the trimmer and they have to go before sizing. Guess It's OK if you shoot a heck of a lot of Blackout and leave the brass on the ground. I have some new Gemtech but haven't splurged for lapua yet, doubt if I would leave them in the dirt if I could find them after firing. As far as accuracy between the home rolled versions and ready to go I don't know. I really don't have a what I would call a match grade rifle just an AR upper built from parts and an off the shelf Remington 700 seven twist specimen that I shoot sub's out of. I guess it's how you value your time vs what you can afford.

  • I have converted somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 pieces of 223 to 300 bo. If you have the right equipment it is not too bad, but the right equipment is not cheap either. If you use all lake city brass it is much easier too as LC is the most consistent “range brass” I have seen. Junk brass will cause you fits from breaking decapping pins, to being too thick on the neck to chamber, to being too hard to size properly. All in all, I would at this point but factory brass if I were loading for 300 BO.

    If you want to talk equipment that will make it easier let me know. I can probably save you some time and money with what works and what is too much trouble. However the cost of good equipment will probably buy you a lifetime of factory brass.

  • I bought 500 pieces of 300 blk from Carolina Brass a few years ago for 60 bucks if I remember right. It’s all converted mixed LC brass. I’ve been extremely pleased with it, and for what I do with that rifle its plenty consistent enough.

  • @bull81
    Twelve cents a piece sounds pretty good vs what I have in equipment dollar wise and I will take dddoo7's word on the cost of high volume equipment cost. If I didn't already have a Jet band saw and drill press I would have never attempted to convert in the first place. I stick with Remington brass and haven't had any dimension problems so far but a wierdo will sneak in every now and then and cause a delay. Once I am running I can get the cases ready for sizing at about the rate of 200 an hour, or at least I used to. After I get this run over I might just order some converted brass and invest in a good storage vessel. I'll check the prices at Carolina Brass, thanks.

  • @bigfoot
    No problem like I said it was several years ago when I bought mine and haven’t check back since so the price/availability may have changed

  • When I was up and running, I could have them ready to size at a rate of about 3,000 per hour. The machine would run at close to 4,000 per hour, but there are always things to slow you down. I could easily outrun the Dillon case feeder. This assembly was designed to pull from two case feeders at once. When set up it would cut one piece every pull and one piece every push.

    After this they were run through a Dillon 1050 which would decap, swage, size/trim, and final size. The 1050 would drop one piece with every pull of the handle and could run at about 2000 per hour.

    Next they were tumbled. I could tumble about 1500 at a time and would take about 3 hours.

    Last was annealing. I had my benchsource set up with a Dillon case feeder so that it didn’t have to be babysit quite so meticulously.

  • @dddoo7
    Man, that's mass production. I'm only supplying an army of one. Pretty good set up for sure. I wouldn't want to arm wrestle you if you pull that press by hand.

  • @bigfoot

    I do pull it by hand, but I am still quite scrawny. Lol.

    It is actually faster than most auto drives, just takes more attention. It also allows me to feel if something is not right and stop before it breaks. I have gone through quite a few decapping pins due to the primers with two holes instead of one (berdan I think). If that is not caught, then the not removed primer is swaged into the pocket and can bend the swage rod. Not a good thing.

  • @dddoo7
    I understand what you are saying about feeling what's going on when the Dillon cycles. A friend of mine uses one and cusses 45 acp with small primers. Messes up big time. Berdan primers are a no no also for sure. The saw you use is the time saver for sure. I have seen guys use a tubing cutter to cut the brass. Talk about agony. Is that something you came up with? I thought my band saw fixture was the berries until I watched that thing decapitate at high speed. Right now I have a sorry blade in my saw that won't cut the ends off clean and I have to break them off before I go to the next step. Really slows me down and I need to take my fixture and a drawing to a shop with a mill and have one made out of aluminum. I made the first one out of wood and never changed it. I have to tighten the wing nuts pretty tight to hold the brass so it won't spin. I f you read this and have time may I ask what you are trimming to the first time after forming? I know there is about a .020 tolerance and I always trim to 1.363 or thereabout and if my blanks are trimmed right I only have to clean up around .005 to finish. Like I said I only do this for my use and so far so good with converted brass. I did have two of the Gemtech new pieces I bought push out of the Lee shell holder when I primed them with my CPS Lite. The rims were really thin and I tried another shell holder and it seemed more snug and it didn't happen again.

  • The drill press in the video trimmed to within 0.020”. The final trim and first size is done with a Dillon trimmer on the 1050. Then I final size mostly just to round out the necks.

    The harbor freight mini chop saw works, but wears out pretty quick. I have been through four or five of them before I built the drill press saw (not original idea). The mini chop saw with a push through jig will trim about 2000/ hour once you get used to it, but you have to be fast to do that. At that rate, the saw will burn up anywhere between 700 pieces and 3,000 pieces. If you let it cool every 100 pieces or so it will last longer, but what is the fun in that? The chop saw will for sure be faster than the band saw though, but only if you use it enough to get the technique down. The chop saw also requires much more attention to go fast where as the drill press saw is as simple as keeping the hopper full and moving the Slide.

  • It helps a lot if you have the band saw blade turned the right direction. Don't ask me how I know this.

  • 260 Remington resized and polished in rice for two hours. Ready for the next loads with 95 grain V Max and 100 grain Sierra hollow points.

  • I did some measuring today with some new 6.5mm projectiles I was blessed with and came up with some over all lengths for starting loads I will try in my 6.5x55 Swede. The amount of lead in the throat portion of the chamber these military rifles have is pretty excessive. They were originally designed for I believe 160 grain round nose bullets that are extremely long so lots of free bore. Somebody once called them "Flying Telephone Poles". Getting close to the riflings ain't going to happen so I want at least one diameter in the neck to start with and try to keep everything concentric. These are all boat tail designs so that amount has to be subtracted from the over all length of the projectile to get a depth. Just adding and subtracting and it's not written in stone but a starting point. I'm not too crazy about a small amount of bullet length in the neck especially with a Mauser bolt the way they strip the rounds to chamber. Can be a rough ride going in there. Physically they all look almost alike but the ogives are different on each one and the boat tail portions are different lengths as well as the projectile's length itself. It will be interesting to see how they shoot with the same powder charges but different internal capacities and ogive lengths.

  • I didn't quite word that right. The lapua are 136 grain so they will have a different charge weight for sure. The other two probably the same weight. The Sierra's are 142 gr and Hornady are 140. Hopefully points of impact won't be too drastic from each one.

  • While it was raining and trying its best to freeze earlier this week I got in the closet and gathered up all the loaded 6.5x55 ammunition I had. As I mentioned some were corroded and the more I looked at them the more I doubted I wanted to mess with them. There was some loose ones that I had no idea the powder or charge weight and two boxes that were marked that were 2.5 grains over maximum according to the new data I have now. Time for the bullet puller. I don't have a collet for 6.5mm so after about an hour with the hammer puller I got it done. At least I salvaged some brass that appears to be unfired. The primer pockets were spotless so they should be good. The Norma stuff I know was once fired and a handful of Winchester. Several of these old rounds were pretty stubborn coming loose and I had to pound the heck out of them to dislodge the bullets. These had to have been loaded twenty years ago maybe longer by a friend of mine. I didn't have a press then I supplied the dies and components. I bet they would have gone bang I just wouldn't want a boom.


  • Last week I loaded some 6.5x55 rounds for a trial run for my Swede. All in new Lapua brass and all fresh powder less than three years old except one load using an old lot of Winchester 760 and an identical load with a new lot just for the heck of it. The powders used were H4831SC, Varget and the Winchester. Load data was from the Hodgdon website for Swedish Mauser's not modern 6.5x55. Better safe than sorry. None of the charges were maximum and none were minimum, middle of the road. Because this rifle has been in storage so long it's time to start over, forget about the old stuff in the closet and their labels. Every one of the new loads I ran were fine. No sticky bolt on opening, nada. Groups were what I had hoped for a couple weren't too pretty and I'll work from here. I still want to try the 4350 powders and maybe another. The dilemma is the primers or the fact the primers backed out on every round fired. Just a little bit maybe .004 or more. It's hard to measure, if the firing pin dent was centered no problem. They're not flat and no leaks maybe this happens all the time I just didn't expect this. I have measured this Lapua brass as best I can comparing unfired against fired and I don't see any radical dimension changes with the exception of the neck OD which might be to spec. Unfired it measures .2915, fired is .300. Comparing the Lapua to Remington and Winchester is an eye opener. The American pieces start out under size of the Lapua and react different in the chamber after firing as well. I have read Lapua and Prvi brass was the correct dimension for this caliber the rest weren't. Norma might be included also with the Lapua and Prvi as well. I shot mostly domestic brass in this rifle and it killed everything I shot. I never put much effort in target work with this rifle I hunted with it and for all I know the primers backed out then. Something is causing this and I hope it's not worth losing sleep over. Maybe a bad extractor or just not enough pressure.

  • @bigfoot What did brass headspace measure before/after?

    Not uncommon to see this on virgin firings if headspace is over .005" gap. Also not uncommon if running reduced charge loads.

  • I did my measurements with the 375 headspace insert and unfired was 1.762 average from five new brass out of the box and fired was 1.761-1.760 and the overall length of the brass shrunk about .005 on average once fired. I did push the fired primers out beforehand being they were proud. The body just ahead of the bottom web was barely measurable. I would need an optical comparator to get it exact. Hard to measure on the taper.