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Reloading Centre Fire Ammunition

These pages are intended to be part of a practical hands on course and to be used as an “Aide Memoire” for the students on their completion of the course course. The writer takes no responsibility for the information given in its content.

We must first ask ourselves the question why do we want to reload rifle or pistol calibre ammunition. The reason may be for acquiring ammunition at a reduced cost, to load a round that is specifically made to suite the rifle or pistol to improve accuracy or alternatively just to add an extra dimension to our hobby.

Firstly we must understand that when we deal with any type of propellant or explosive we need to take certain safety precautions. Any powders need to be kept in a secure dry place that is away from sources of heat, inflammable liquids, and exits of building or under stairs. It is best to kept it in a wooden box with dividers separating the individual containers. However, for the storage of Black Powder it is mandatory (for further details see appendix)

To reload we need specialist reloading equipment. I do not think it matter too much which make you use and at the end of the day it comes down to personal choice and what you can afford. Below is a basic list of what you will require.

Essential Basic Loading Equipment

  • A Strong Table or Bench to use as a base for you loading equipment.
  • Reloading Press Single Station or Turret Design.
  • Set of Full Length .308 Resizing Dies
  • Case Lubricant and Lube Pad for Resizing Cases
  • Re-Priming Tool or Die
  • Primer Pocket Reamer
  • Case Length Trimmer
  • Internal and External Case Chamfering Tool
  • Venire Calliper
  • Powder Scales Calibrated in Grains
  • Loading Block (to put cases in while loading)
  • Inertia Bullet Puller (hammer type)

Consumables

  • Large Rifle Primers Packet of 100
  • Hogdons 4895 Powder 500gram Tub
  • Bullet Heads box of 100

For the purpose of this first illustration we will take as an example the .308 Winchester. We will use a 150grain F.M.J Bullet with 44 grains of Hogdons H4895 Powder. This load will give us a velocity of 2830 Feet per second.

Always remember when you are reloading and working with propellants of explosives, Accuracy is more important than speed. Also do NOT reload when you are tiered or have been consuming, alcohol or taking medication. Finally NEVER use more powder than what is given as the maximum load. If you are in any doubt about what you are doing, stop and ask before you start.