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Friday, November 6, 2009

JJ: Reloading

Right after I got my first bolt-action rifle, a Winchester New Model 70 in .30-06, I got my first reloading outfit, with help and advice from Donal and Gordon . In the interest of space and money it was minimalistic but adequate. Like the old buffalo hunters of the century before, I got a tong tool, a device that resembled a nut cracker with assorted dies that screwed into it for removing the old primer, resizing the neck of the case to hold the bullet, putting in a new primer and seating the new bullet. I got a little Ohaus 5-0-5 scale to measure the powder. Measuring scoops worked fine for the old hunters, but modern powders needed more precision. This duplicated the setup Donal used for his reloading. Gordon used a more modern setup with a press attached to a bench that gave a lot more leverage and allowed him to combine the reloading steps. The resulting ammo wasn't any more precise but using that press saved a lot of time. Gordon taught me the basics of reloading by having me sit in on some of his ammo-making sessions and drummed in caution, precision, and safety. I guess the lessons took, because I've never managed to overload a cartridge. Since the results of excessive pressure in a gun can be devastating, this is a GOOD thing. TBC (Me)