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Reloading minimal equipment & low cost items

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Reloading is not hard , it just takes attention to detail and being focused, all the data and information is easily found

there are 2 manuals I suggest everyone has on hand first the Lee modern reloading manual 2nd is the Lyman reloading manual and try to find them used on ebay or even used book dealers older ones for older powders newer ones for the latest powders in production

Lee precision has the best priced and innovative equipment IMHO.

straight wall pistol like 9mm 40s&w 38spl 357 44 spl or mag 45 acp 45 long colt etc etc are very easy and require little to reaload in fact Lee make the Lee loader kit all fits in a small box all you need is a mallet and a caliper and your ready for powder bullets and primers. it is slow but you can load a box or 2 an hour and they even have rifle kits but these only neck size so I would not use this for sem-iauto bottle neck RIFLE calibers IMO.  This kit cost about 40 bucks ONE CAUTION you cannot de-prime a LIVE primer some people do this on cases primed by someone else and or of unknown age or manufacturer or type magnum or standard.

If your planning to reload over pistol and 223 size cases consider a RCBS rockchucker press as the larger diameter  and length case requires more force and a larger heavier press just makes it much easier IMO.

Dies come in all variations I stick with a FL or full length die set because in simi-auto rifles and pistols each case may have different changes when fired so taking them back to factory specs is the one way you can insure all your ammo will fit fire / chamber fully.

I love Lee's Factory Crimp Die/s you will not get the full capabilities of your load unless the tension on the bullet is uniform / consistent it is an extra step but well worth it and easy as pie.

I like to prime my cases on a single stage press using the up stroke using a Lee ram prime and use a primer flipper tray because I never know if I have to do or go I want to be able to stop throw a towel over my set up and com back in a few minutes or a day I can cover my primer flipper and be on my way. This is also the safest way IF and I mean If it does pop it will be loud and into the air no injury of you use safety glasses as you should.

every reloader need s balance beam scale to measure / double check your powder weight people that have more bullets sometimes they get mixed up or you may buy from a sale and need to check the weights

A dial caliper I have a plastic one from RCBS and have tested it and in 30 years it has not changed. Reloading requires knowing 100ths of an inch like .308 bullet diameter and overall length of the finished cartridge bullet tip to base BEFORE YOU CRIMP IT.  A dial caliper is zeroed by cleaning the contact surfaces and closing if the dial does not read zero you turn the dial to "0" and your ready to measure I only do this check or procedure when I pick it up and if it does not read zero closed.

Personally I load 10 of a new recipe and test fire two 5 shot groups if it works great if it is mediocre or poor accuracy I pull the bullets and reload them with a different powder or charge weight.there are a couple of ways to pull a bullet one is a collet puller but they can leave a mark on the bullet another way is a kinetic puller looks like a hollow hammer ```hold the extractor I put some cotton balls inside so when the bullet releases it has a soft landing on the nose and does not deform the bullet if it has an exposed lead tip. 

some tips are military brass is thicker so has less internal space so the powder / starting charge need to be less than max charge and since you should not load a max charge to start unless you have tested it and testing means your primer is not flattened or powder residue around it, if it does then the base may be compromised and the brass can flow into the extractor cut and it does not take much for powder to react differently too much or a very short charge of certain powders can  raise pressure fast so stick with reloading data and bullet depth advised in your manuals trying to magnumize your 32 short break top  revolver  is stupid,  need more power get another gun that has the design to handle the power you want or need.

If you want to cast bullets Lee has the least and best molds the tumble lube (Alox) design molds are fantastic it also has the best lube size kit design and the cheapest by far @ about 25 bucks but you do need a single stage press to use it. I also like their liquid Alox bullet lube.

Survival reloading or "THE LOAD" by C. E. Harris explains how to make 100 yard rifle shells using cast bullets and SPECIFIC pistol powder loads not all pistol powder is right some is too hot. of between 10 and up grains of powder Mr. Harris also had a article on making shot shells and blanks for pistols some years back a article about the cat sneeze or Arcane loading of proper buck shot diameter in shells that are all most silent for taking small game and pests the Finnish people under the Nazi's used this to hunt some just used a single buck shot and the primer shell no powder in a rifle case

I include this information as Survival reloading measures and general interest but without downloading or cutting and pasting the original information and printing it out your not going to have the information if you need it and there are tidbits of info that you really need to know to do this reloading well.

Some of the rifles used were older military and the buck shot had to be he correct size or paper patched to fit snug in the case / barrel so it turns your military rifle into a super pellet rifle.

Other information is out there from making a wax bullet with only a primer for revolvers and even some buckshot single to multiple pellet rounds and bird or close range snake shot.

 A requirement is to have a buckshot or heavy bullet mold to cast with that fit your rifle bore properly some have paper wrapped / patched different smaller bullets to fit the bore of a larger caliber within a close range of diameter.

This information transcends common firearms and modern powders I will not edify further there is plenty of information on black powder and unconventional arms to hunt and defend if your unable to retain your property and want more than a sling shot to hunt with. some people thing that because we live in modern times we have no need of antiquated information but even a doctor has to know how to wrap a wound with gauze and that use of wrapping a wound with material has been around for thousands of years . mankind has moved forward and back many times and may so again even if only because law or society defines weapons illegal.





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I know it does happen mostly because of a lack of attention to detail and work at a pace and with equipment  you manually operate.

bolt operated like the M14 the Garand do not like over charges or powders that run high pressure curves nor do they like heavy bullets so a person needs to consider military pressure bullet weights and Powder burn rate as it is engineered into the design as any other part of that rifle.

To me a lee loader, Lee powder dippers, scale a loading block, manual and a priming tool and a caliper your making good quality ammo and do one step at a time and check before you put the bullet in your good. Later you can get a press and a few other items and build up.

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For some reason I think I need to explain my reloading setup I have a plowing disk about 18 inches in diameter welded to a 2 3/8ths pipe joint about 30 inches tall and on that a piece of steel plate 12X24 inches. On one side I have a Herters press similar to a Rock chucker I have all the accessories primer arms and shell holders I had a Rockhucker but a friend really needed a press and since I only load a handful of cartridges and he was loading belted magnums I gave it to him.

a lee turret press on the other side for basically pistol and a I frame older Lee inexpensive press for using with the Lee bullet sizer die and the Lee ram prime. I never like primer tubes as you have to fill them so where is the speed improvement I like priming on the upstroke as It allows you to "feel" more so if the primer is canted or catches on the primer pocket you get a sense and can take action.

Am not into speed, quality and consistency   and safety check each drop of powder to insure the level is consistent with other cases and like to be able to stop at any point cover and come back at any point in the process and start right in.  I have reloaded commercially with automatic machines and a well known maker of progressive machines and when they work you can load so fast it looks like a river of brass on the manual / progressive it's good until you have to fill primer tubes for both stop load brass bullets powder for the automatics and try to get back to cranking the progressive then as it always does something breaks like a decapping pin or a stone in a case or a case gets crunched m Teh really crazy thing is you have to buy bullets by the pallet and powder by the drum primers by the case and if you want to make money you need to go to the source hazmat will cut your profit to nothing --- so when I reload now I do it for my own pleasure and accuracy and anyone can make ammo that can shoot 1 inch groups as it is the capabilities of the weapon and the shooter or a gun vice or rifle sled if it does not shoot well and that rifle is capable move up or dow on powder in or out with your bullet higher weight bullet or different design nose base or ogive. Most manuals mark most accurate loads so start there IMO.

I have a desk that contains my "tools"w/ 7 drawers  w/ dies for each caliber rifle I have Wilson case gage for each caliber a FL - full length die set a factory crimp die and a collet for each caliber for the collet bullet puller I use a Forrester. Rifle cases need to be lubed for sizing so you need a lube pad and lube i like Forrester brand but I have used STP motor treatment and many others I would never put it in a car r truck :D

I have extra decapping rods and exclusive decapping die that is all it is for I keep 2 and 4 or so decapping rods on the turret press I do pistol by decap and size and prime all in the same die /station for rifle I like to do each process individually mostly with a battery operated drill it can be a cheap one it does not need to spin fast or powerful all your doing it chamfering you can do a thousand in a couple of hours even with removing military crimps.

after you load I like to break down my dies and clean all the case lube out / off and put them back in the case I even like the red 4 die boxes as they hold both dies factory crimp die and the wilson case gauge and shell holder all in one

Micrometer / caliper manual you can have a digital but if you trust to have good batteries lots of luck with that learn how to use a manual / veneer caliper.

a balance beam scale and Lee powder scoop set and even a cheap digital scale but you really need 2 ways to test weights and there are "test weights" of known / marked weight. and they are cheap insurance.

if you load rifle you need a RCBS stuck case remover PERIOD make sure you have instructions its easy but if your pissed you may need a refresher as you rarely need this.

Broken shell extractor for each rifle caliber you own you may never need one but when you do they ain't on every store shelf

brass hammer double ended hammer plastic rubber ends maybe a rawhide mallet this works well on Lee "loader dies"

cleaning rod solid and a  Solid brass rod that will fit your barrel long enough to show on both ends with some extra

both a standard screwdriver set and a gunsmiths set so you don't chew screw heads.

assorted stuff like wire brushes stainless brass and plastic come in a set for a buck 50 at the dollar store.

1/2 inch and 3/4 inch wrenches open / box end long style for taking apart dies.

Allen wrenches both metric and standard 

dental picks stainless assorter tip designs

punch set for solid and roll pins also center punch set and an assorrtmet of different rod sizes

magnifier / eye loops and flashlights

real metal military ammo cans not plastic crap water tight air tight and durable I keep everything including polishing media I only use corn cob I like CHINEY B) brass.

Microfiber hand towels and good paper towels

4 ought steel wool  assorted wood dowels to split and hold steel wool to burnish clean with CARE.

Mineral spirits a quart Q-Tips short pistol cleaning rod and bore brushes and patches and never NEVER EVER leave a rag with spirits or solvent linseed oil etc wadded up inside certain chemicals or oils will create a chemical heat and burst into flames Keep powder separate form other things I don't care what I keep primers in an ammo can and only have out a single 100 count box at a time I also have  4 primer flipper trays marked for small pistl and rifle them large pistol and rifle close them after I load what I want or when I stop.

well I am tired  but if you get into reloading and or firearms it is a hobby and a blast even if it is only a Lee Loader for a single caliber it is still a hoot that's how I started with a "tong tool"  loading 38 special had a single cavity mold and a cookie cutter lubeer with a pan a pound of Unique powder primers and life was good I think I loaded the same couple hundred shells for a year they were black dirty my model 10 smith, old Studebaker truck didn't even have a drivers license and didn't care my other guns were a double 12 ga and a 1917 Enfield in 30-06 I lived in our sand pit and a couple hundred acres  except Saturday night dances or dates and movies summer was the pool and square dancing Bar-B-Q's fishing trot lines and water skiing and work work work I loved it 13 a job and all kinds of fun like rodeo school sports I never wanted to grow up watermelon wine or lone star beer smoke some non filtered camels YEEHAAAA we even carried pocket knives and I don't recall a school shooting EVER ! and we had access to alcohol guns knives vehicles horses lariat ropes  fist fights were not too rare and black eyes even many of the girls sported one at least once either by some crazy sport or nutty horse or bike rope swing you know fun Sh*t we got more stitches from fun than fighting -- oh well looking in the rear view good memories and friends too bad children cannot have that life we had back then.

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I thought I should mention head space and case length and that there is a tool called an L. E. Wilson cartridge case gauge it is machined to measure head space and overall length  here is a link to the instructions.

case gage from L.E. Wilson

Headspace Side


Another tool is a bullet puller I like the Forrester standard because you control how tight and I can feel it better than others I have tried each caliber requires a collet and this works better if you have crimped the case mouth than a kinetic or hammer type, I would have both IMO.

Dial caliper mechanical not battery operated


Kinetic bullet puller there are other makes this is just a picture for reference


One last thought are dies Rifle dies are generally steel and need to have the case lubed or else they case will get stuck and too much lube you get case dents and I like to clean my dies out after loading by disassembly and using starting fluid dry wipe and store until the next time.   There are carbide  bottle neck rifle dies but I am not experienced with them,  There are dies coated with exotic metals but they still need lube
I would not buy steel pistol dies as carbide is priced competitively  and you do not need to lube, I like to make sure my cases are polished / clean as dirt will scratch the cases and over time can scratch the carbide insert that takes a lot but it can happen in time.
If you do not have the basic tools should a time come when there is some restriction or trouble getting components if you don't have it your snake bit, I know it can be expensive but if that is a problem you can start with your main pistol caliber and then get your main caliber rifle survival reloading would be rifle using  cast bullets at lower velocities using the information above in a medium bore caliber 30 cal and a bolt rifle you could use a set of Lee Loader dies these only neck size a rifle case but if you use it for only a single rifle the cases will not need to be full length sized but if you had 2 lets say Moison Nagant rifles you would need to keep the brass separate  as each can have a different enough head space one may not chamber the others cases.
I don't know everything about reloading but I have dabbled in most and there are always people that will know more and are able to afford some of the best and more accurate equipment but for the average shooter if you make it using some of the tools listed you can make ammo that can make groups as good as 99% of the shooters are able of doing with a rifle or pistol that is capable IMHO 

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A little advice when setting up your decapping and sizing die for bottle neck rifle cartridges it is important that you put the ram all the way up screw in the die till it touches lower the ram and turn down the die one quarter turn more this will allow the brass to be fully sized or else they may not fit as the shoulder of the case may not be moved back enough and we are talking a couple sheets of 10# paper stock or about 0.004 thousands of an inch. this is also why I advise a L. E. Wilson case gauge as it shows you both rim and case mouth in one tool just having the right length is not enough the shoulder has to be at the correct angle and the base flat and within 0.005 thousands and that is built into the gauge neck length of  0.010 thousands so your neck does not intrude into the rifling NOW let me say that no 2 rifle chambers are the same and many you will never get to the rifling as the "throat" is too long some old rifles are supposedly shot out and that is kinda a misnomer although some of the rifling forward of the chamber is rough or gone what is left may impart plenty of accuracy. 

I have seen revolvers with bulged barrels from firing another bullet into a stuck bullet that shot straight as a string and muzzles that looked like hammer sh*t still shot like a champ there are many points / areas on a weapon that can make it inaccurate sometimes it is not just one. A 1911 style it can be a combination of link and barrel bushing people have blamed a shot out barrel when part of it was the pistol was not maintained / lubed properly or was poorly smithed by the previous owner.

Belted magnums like 7 mag etc head space off the belt and shoulder unlike rimless that use the shoulder and base, you find military brass fired from a auto weapon can have issues with the rim being pulled as well as the shoulder pushed out your die will handle most of that there are some that may need to be discarded, brass is recyclable so save it and take it in when you get a coffee can full.

Fluted chambers make for a very reliable weapon but the case / shell is junked you do not get something for nothing.

in a straight wall case like 45-70 38 special etc there are many you want to check that the case will set in the chamber / cylinder as the bulge at the base my not have been sized and your shells will have to be forced / pushed in if your die is not set right. the rim is where your head space comes from. straight wall cases last much longer than bottle necked ones reloading wise that is.

Lee sells a bulge buster die for straight wall semiauto cases like 45acp 40s&w 9mm 38super etc these cases head space on the mouth or the case. they are not actually straight but close enough for the topic here stated

Most of this information can be found on the Interweb, isn't life grand back when I had to find a guru and we did not have cell phones so I had to wait until they were home so it took a while to get the knowledge we have at our finger tips today. I also love the rubber tires better yet steel belted radials those wood wagon wheels sucked :lol:

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Though I like the Lee factory crimp dies, everything else by Lee (save their bullet moulds) that I've tried, I've thrown in the big box of forgotten reloading gear. Their powder measures especially suck. I can see the merit of having the Loader dies (and the knowledge how to use them!) with the little yellow scoop and all to reload for a certain caliber - but let's face it: the only reason I would have one of those is to reload ammo on the run - but if I'm on the run, I'm not carrying around heavy projectiles, gunpowder, and easily-compromised primers with me. I keep all that shit at my reloading station. Aaaaaaaaand if I have a reloading station, I'm not gonna use a damn Lee Loader setup. I'm going all out.

I'm 100% BIG GREEN - RCBS, baby! Their customer service is unparalleled (though Dillon is also excellent). The Rock Chucker press, their powder measures, and their balance scales are all awesome and will last forever if maintained. I use a smaller RCBS Partner single-stage press to to 99% of my single-stage loading - and that includes one-at-a-time priming the way Snake mentions in the OP. I do have a Forster Co-Axial - a super high end single stage press, but I just like the RCBS setup better - it's what I've always known and it works well for what I need.

I also run a Dillon Square Deal B - actually two of them - one on 9mm, one in .45 ACP. I had issues with the primer feed mechanisms, so now I use the Dillon to deprime and size the cases, then prime by hand (I like that method better anyway - 100% of the primers go in the correct orientation), then use the Dillon to dump powder, seat, and crimp. It's still very fast - I can bang out 2-300 9mms an hour if I have cases primed ahead of time.

So, anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'd rather not invest money in stuff like the Lee Loader die/scoop sets to load on the run - I'd much rather buy the good stuff, have it set up, spend the time cranking out ammo and storing it, then carrying loaded ammo with me instead of the Lee Loader. :)

Reloading desk1.jpg

reloading desk2.jpg

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Drew_Forge good to see you back in the fray.

You have enough that most of this is for other readers on this post

Hey I have some RCBS and in the day I had a box of extra parts like pins and rods the one thing I did like was I could use an expander to make custom brass off a common case and as well size down the neck only issue is I had to use a reamer to make the proper I.D. (inside diameter) and sometimes outside reaming and trimming but considering having the parent case and the proper equipment you could make most all of the calibers you need. Here is an article on Parent cases and their kin  Cartridge parent cases

Here is Chuck Hawks main page a lot of great information and articles.  Chuck Hawks main page

learning how to anneal brass is part of custom and survival case and cartridge making and it is not difficult.  the way I have done (because I do not need to do many at a time) so for many years is to have a glass casserole dish  because they have a flat bottom and with the proper height can hold enough water to quench the cases. Water is used as a heat sink to prevent the 2/3rds under water not to be annealed reason so the pressure will not low through the case and the exposed 1/3rd to take and hold eat and once tipped into the water becomes dead soft and can then be worked / sized to what you choose. Remember that cases cannot be altered by extremes but in steps some times the brass needs to be annealed again if there is too much work hardening  or steps and there can be loss as I have crunched cases necks split but that does not mean they are junk as there can be calibers that could still be made if they are cut down.

some of the parent cases I have messed with are 45LC 30-30 30-06 and 300WM or 7mag.

One winter I made .410 brass cases from 303 Brit 2 1/2 inch cases and 9.3X74R makes 3 inch cases once formed these cases can last many many loadings more than I will ever fire in 410 shotgun. and these use large rifle primers and can be loaded by hand.

RCBS Rock Chucker is the best single stage press at it's price point that can size p to 50BMG IMHO.

There are only a couple die companies who's price longevity and just to keep it simple are RCBS and LEE I have some RCBS dies and all the parts for making custom brass I need and it never hurts to have a stock of decapping pins, not because they are bad but some much crap can find its way into a brass case like gravel polishing media and sand most times will hardly cause them to bend and that can be remedied by a brass hammer but I know if you only have the one that bugger will break just to spite you.

I use the Lee plastic dippers for a start point and top off with a powder trickler for small batches. found ball powders that give good accuracy so when I do more loading I use a volumetric powder measure and check every 10 or so and since I do not load a bullet in it should there be a problem I just would need to dump 10 cases at most and recharge them.

Pistol powder I try to use a powder that is double charged will overflow the case or full enough to see I have not made those mistakes in many many years but only because I am over cautious most accidents the person is not hurt but his weapon is but I sure do not want to be that one in a million and that is where concentration attention to detail and double checking pay off and that is before you load the first cartridge. Research your caliber consider the powder choice for future use on other calibers I do not like too many powders as once you research them you find they are next of kin in burn rate why duplicate.


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Once fired brass cases especially unknown source military brass

I ran across some good looking once fired brass federal and after a few checks it has some real problems.  the head space was off, after I ran it through an RCBS trim die i had to file it down a good 10 thousands + on some cases.

I myself put the ram of the press up all the way screw in the sizer/decap die till it hits and lower the ram and screw in the die a 1/4 turn more. doing this the brass is fully pressed into the die and the base/rim is pressed back into place if the rim was pulled from firing in a semi or full auto weapon I have never seen a rim deformed by a bolt action except in overloading and having to tap the bolt open and tap it back with a brass hammer. in some cases it can set back the bolt making dangerous head space trouble. remeber to fully depress the handle of your press hold it down and then release do not short stroke or get in a hurry.

First sizing/ decapping, trimming ( I use an RCBS trim die and a file )  after this use a chamfer tool in and outer edge to just remove any burrs. Then  cleaning / polishing  and then reaming / cleaning removing mil crimp if any in primer pockets.  Last I drop the cases every one into a case gauge I use a L.E. Wilson both ends have a groove the base is 5 thousands when to case is properly sized the base should fit flush or between the 2 levels, on the other end is 10 thousands and your case neck should not extend past the top edge or lower than the lower edge, meaning your within 10 thousands, with the case fully in the gauge both ends within the limits your in spec.

After loading OAL or Over all length should be checked as well bullets should not be engraved by the rifling or push the bullet back and is some the bullet can get stuck and cycling the bolt the case will be pulled free powder spilled into the magazine, and the bullet remain in the barrel. This is why I use a factory crimp. a simple tap with a cleaning rod will remove the bullet< IF YOU BROUGHT A CLEANING ROD WITH YOU

if you want to double check / know for certain . REMOVE YOUR FIRING PIN and cycle the loaded finished shells through the chamber with a stripped bolt  closing the bolt on each. but the case gauge test should be enough.

WARNING using a bolt with the firing pin in and not a stripped bolt there is a very possible danger of firing a a live (fully loaded) round.

If all this sounds extreme consider you get to your hunting location and your shells will not chamber ! or in a emergency the case gets stuck in the chamber and will not allow the bolt to close or not be able to extract the case.

I have worked in the "industry" and seen a lot of problems from dirt gunk or broken parts to mistakes in case prep and loading. Over the years I have acquired tools and tricks to handle most problems , for the person new to loading  / reloading it is good to read and find out the problems before and have a good regimen of preparation and be dutiful. reloading is simple but there is a process and tools to insure your end result is withing specifications, I load so it makes no difference what rifle or persons other rifle it will function as I try to load to factory specs, Neck sizing  is fine if you have one rifle in that caliber if you have 2 different rifles one case fired in the other may not chamber at all in your gun. Neck sizing is easier on brass but in high powered rifle near maximum loads the brass is probably not going to last more than 8 reloadings and around 3 or 4 loadings you should anneal your cases as fired brass gets hard and cracks / splits.

No matter what the load data states start below max and work up a load, always look for signs of pressure or problems a smoked case means you have under loaded the case did not seal the chamber a hard extraction another sign also look at the primer the firing pin dent should be obvious if it is flattened high pressure if the primer is pushed into the firing pin hole  not good and worse if the brass is mashed into the recesses like the extractor you really did not use the right powder charge or ignored the charge weight limit.

Loading data is predicated on caliber, bullet weight proper case caliber length size and head space and total overall length. Bullet design is a factor some have more bearing surface due to length and nose design that is why loading manuals list different bullets and different loads in the same caliber.  THIS IS AN OPINION  if a bullet design is similar and the weight is the same I personally don't get worked up about the load data in a similar bullet weight and design but I would still start at the lower load data and work up for a new brand or design of bullet for safety sake IMHO.

Straight wall flanged pistol calibers  like 38 special 357 magnum NEVER use data for magnum in the special case the interior space is insufficient driving pressure up use the proper data for the proper caliber and bullet weight. load data on the Internet is to be considered suspect unless you can find the load at the powder manufacturers web site don't use it ! I download and buy load manuals for my data and check between manuals alder manuals have higher loads, in my personal opinion because lawyer / lawsuit not to mention some inferior guns that are poorly made and may not can handle full house loads like a name brand weapon.

Today there are rifles that shoot pistol calibers and some load data is specifically for those weapons using them in a pistol not listed  is dangerous most data for those are printed with a warning only to be used in  certain rifles and pistols if your pistol is not listed your going to have to find a way to discern between like use nickeled cases for one or the other. This is also good to adhere to for +P loads I would not use them in south American brand pistols that is just my opinion take it or leave it.

If you cannot or will not accept the rules or data as written your playing with loosing a finger, hand, disfigurement,  sight or loosing everything you have if it harms another person ! Custom gun makers have used 6 shot frames and turned them into 5 shot for thicker cylinders to handle custom or more powerful cartridges.  357 mag is longer so some nitwit cannot put it into a 38 special or other similar diameter chambered pistol because if it fits they will shoot it ! and BOOM. seen people buy 38 super and try to use them in a 38 special and say,  "well it's a 38" that is scary my friend.

It is alright to be ignorant but don't try to hide it, ask questions any gun shop employee worth their salt will explain everyone was not born knowing and reading sometimes does not make it any clearer sometimes show and tell and hands on is the better teacher.

Last if a firearm does not fire when the trigger is pulled hold it in a safe direction and wait a few minutes and be prepared for it it may go bang I doubt it but it has happened, after a few minutes eject the round and leave it on the ground don't play with it until a safe time has past remove the magazine look through the chamber first if nothing is there look through the bore if it is not plugged by a bullet load up and try again if you continue to have trouble there is a problem STOP and figure it out or have a range officer or employee try to help you with the cylinder open or the slide locked back insuring no shell is in the weapon barrel or cylinder.if this is not possible leave the arm on the table with the slide locked back  or cylinder open pointed down range / safe direction and get help if you need to after a while take a rag and stick it in the action where it cannot close and take it to a gunsmith more so be more careful with a rifle or shotgun if the action will not open the cartridge is still in there and if the firing pin is stuck or some other problem putting it on safe is not SAFE sometimes putting it on safe or bumping the rifle will cause it to fire if at all possible try to open the action with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction but not if your on a range break where people go to their target I have seen this and it is scarier than loosing a wheel on the freeway it is rare as chickens teeth but it can and has happened DON'T LOOK DOWN THE BARREL

If you work in a shop long enough you'll get the gun in a box stuck bolt locked up action bullets stuck in the barrel and people asking for ammo not knowing what gun they have. I think sociologists and psychologist should have to work behind the counter of a gunshop / range while they get their degree many interesting case studies to be encountered and how people process or interpret verbal information some of the looks you your coworkers or they have are priceless  IMHO.

One of the strangest things was a robber with a 45 government came in and stuck up the place the counter man fell flat rolled and drew his rod  a 357 S&W and both shot at each other through the glass counter with glass face top and 3 shelves and fiberboard sliding doors the counterman hit the turd 2 times the turd fired 4 times dropped the pistol and ran all 4 bullets 230 grain ball were laying in the bottom of the case.  all the shots fired within 4 feet between the shooters, The turd survived and went to the hospital and jail no firearms were injured in the case, but all the glass in that 8 foot case was shattered.  Penetration I don't believe in it,  looks good in gel blocks but vehicles any barrier and people at different angles add in close or far lighting wind sand it's Monday and nothing does what it should have 2 gang bangers shooting each other on one street kills someone in their home in bed on another street.  A friends son was shot and wounded while they watched fireworks on the 4th of July by a illegal alien shooting in the air a 1/4 mile away . He fell like he was pick handled they saw the blood and called 911 not knowing what happened they caught the shooter that in itself was amazing but life it a crap shoot. Another friend had lung cancer he was getting better had a dizzy spell fell in the tub hit his head and died 3 days later.  all this to tell you, pay attention follow the instructions and out of the blue you may still have a problem, and nothing is impossible.  Factory ammo is not perfect either I have had squibs failure to fire (duds) hang fires dead shells spit balls and bloopers I always check my barrel / weapon one time I found a big dead waterbug in the barrel of my shotgun I was going to use some home rolled shells from a friend if my gun had blown up what would I have thought ?  take nothing for granted IMHO.


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