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    Reloading Podcast 499 – Handloading down the bottleneck rabbit hole I

    enJune 09, 2024

    Podcast Summary

    • Hand loading safety practicesFollow safe and published reloading practices to ensure safety and avoid damages, starting with lower-grade equipment can drive the market towards better options.

      While listening to the reloading podcast on the Firearms Radio Network, it was emphasized that individuals should follow safe and published reloading practices, as the hosts disavow any responsibility for damages caused by listeners' actions. The hosts shared their personal experiences, including graduating a granddaughter and dealing with storm damage, while also discussing the importance of hand loading and the process of setting up a hand loading bench. They also mentioned the benefits of starting with lower-grade reloading equipment and how it can drive the market towards better equipment. The podcast episode aimed to help listeners begin hand loading instead of just reloading.

    • Brass sizing processProperly sizing brass casings using body and bushing dies, and annealing them, ensures consistent chamber fit and improves durability and performance.

      During the process of reloading ammunition, it's essential to properly size the brass casing. This involves using a body die to size the body of the casing and a bushing die to size the neck while also ensuring the shoulder is properly aligned. The use of these dies allows for more control during the sizing process and helps prevent issues with the brass fitting into the chamber. Additionally, annealing the brass casings before sizing is important to ensure their durability and proper function. This process involves heating the casings to a high temperature, around 1100 degrees, without destroying them. Annealing helps the brass casings become more malleable, making them easier to size and ensuring consistent performance in the firearm.

    • Annealing processAnnealing softens brass for even resizing and proper expansion during firing, using various heat sources, and quenching does not alter brass structure but cools it down faster.

      Annealing is a crucial process in reloading ammunition to ensure consistent performance and prevent brass from becoming too hard. Annealing softens the brass, allowing it to be resized more evenly and expand properly during firing without requiring higher pressure. The process can be done using various heat sources, including torches or induction heating, and the brass is annealed once it cools down after being removed from the heat source. Contrary to popular belief, quenching the brass in water or oil does not affect the structure of the brass but is done for the convenience of the reloader to cool down the brass more quickly. The cost of an annealer can range from around $300 for a flame annealer to more expensive options with additional features.

    • Brass Annealing and MeasuringAnnealing brass before cleaning and measuring it for reloading improves its malleability, increasing its lifespan and performance, while accurate measurement ensures consistent headspace and prevents bolt closure issues.

      Annealing brass before cleaning it or measuring it for reloading can help improve the lifespan and performance of the brass. The annealing process opens up the crystalline lattice structure of the brass, allowing it to be more malleable and easier to work with. This can result in more loadings per piece of brass, saving hand loaders money. Additionally, measuring brass before cleaning it can help ensure consistent headspace and prevent issues with bolt closure. However, measuring brass with dial calipers can be difficult and unreliable, and it may be more accurate to use a micrometer. Overall, annealing and properly measuring brass are important steps in the reloading process for maximizing brass life and performance.

    • Brass lifespanCheck primer pocket for cracks or splits, thinning in case head and web may indicate brass nearing end of life. Use a tool to ensure correct datum point and proper chamber fit to prevent damage and ensure optimal performance.

      Reloaders need to be aware of the signs that indicate brass has reached the end of its life in order to prevent damage to their firearms. The primer pocket is the first area to show signs of wear, with splits or cracks appearing at the junction of the neck and case head, known as the "donut." Thinning may also occur in the case head and web, leading to incipient head separation. A tool like a bent paper clip can be used to check for this issue by feeling it drop into the case head. Other important considerations include ensuring the correct datum point for each cartridge and sizing the brass to fit properly in the chamber. These processes can help ensure optimal performance and prevent damage to the firearm. This discussion was part of a longer podcast, available around the 53-minute mark.

    • Brass movement in cartridgesBrass in cartridges moves towards the neck upon firing due to chamber pressure, with the amount of movement depending on the brass's yield strength. New brass may need to be fire-formed for proper chamber fit.

      The brass in a cartridge moves towards the neck each time a gun is fired due to the pressure inside the case. This movement is caused by the firing process, which pushes the brass forward. Brass moves at varying pressures, with different cartridges having specific chamber pressures. For example, 308 Winchester has a chamber pressure of around 58,000 psi. The brass stretches and begins to move towards the neck as it is fired repeatedly, with the amount of movement depending on the brass's yield strength. To ensure proper chamber fit, new brass may need to be fire-formed. The brass's expansion can be measured using techniques like adding tape to the cartridge head and testing the bolt drag. By removing the firing pin, the drag caused by the main spring can be eliminated, allowing for easier determination of chamber fit.

    • Brass measurementAccurately measuring brass length with a headspace comparator, go/no-go gauges, and firing pin removal ensures safe and effective firearm function and prevents excessive pressure.

      Measuring the length of fired brass cases is crucial for ensuring proper functioning of a firearm and preventing excessive pressure. The speaker, Paul, emphasizes the importance of measuring the headspace of cases with a headspace comparator to determine the maximum allowable length for a specific firearm. He also mentions the use of go/no-go gauges and the removal of the firing pin for accurate measurements. The discussion also touches upon the potential consequences of overloading cases and the importance of checking the chamber condition. Additionally, Paul mentions that inconsistencies in brass wall thickness can affect pressure levels and cause potential issues. Overall, the key takeaway is the importance of accurate brass measurement and monitoring for safe and effective firearm use.

    • Camera equipment upgrades, Lab Radar LXThe group discussed upgrading their camera equipment, shared experiences with the Lab Radar LX shooting range finder, compared it to Garmin, and mentioned a new camouflage brand called Camerado.

      The group is planning to upgrade their camera equipment for future podcast events and are open to donations or old DSLR cameras. They also discussed their experiences with the Lab Radar LX, a shooting range finder, and compared it to other brands like Garmin. The group found the Lab Radar LX to have a better app and more features, but noted some issues with the original version's Bluetooth connectivity. They also mentioned a new camouflage brand called Camerado, which aims to combine functionality and style. The group also answered some listener questions and gave shout-outs to various individuals. Finally, they encouraged listeners to check out their merchandise and support the show through Patreon.

    • Mental Health ImportanceMental health is equally important as physical health, seeking help is a sign of strength, and it's okay to ask for assistance when struggling.

      Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it's crucial to seek help when needed. The conversation touched on various topics, including the potential for unexpected changes and the importance of the Second Amendment. However, the speakers emphasized the significance of mental health and encouraged listeners to reach out for help if they're struggling. They emphasized that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you're having thoughts of suicide, call 988 or 1-800-273-8255 in the US for assistance. Remember, it's okay to ask for help, and mental health is just as important as physical health.

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