.308 LRTR Loading Process
Long Range Tactical Rifle
This is my first attempt at precision reloading for Long Range Tactical Rifle. I have beg, borrowed, and stolen many great ideas from friends, listerv, web sites to come up with this initial method. It is not perfect and I only have about 30 rounds loaded so far. I have yet to Chono anything, hopefully to be rectified this weekend. (Feb 23,2008)
Here we go!
Step 1 - Case Cleaning: Tumble clean brass, in Cabela's tumbler using walnut media and a little Cabela's polish Additive. I have read not to load more than 50 cases at a time to minimize the cases knocking up against one another and causing dings on case mouths, I have yet to notice dinging doing up to 100 cases.
After cleaning I seperate the media from the cases, currently by hand with a shaker tray thingy, not very fast, but it is what it is right now.
Step 2 - De-Priming: case is performed on a separate single stage press using a Lee De-Capping die. I have heard that this keeps the primer residue off my main press, (Dillon 550) and helps to keep it clean. I do this after cleaning so that the primer pocket is cleared as I de-prime. (The Hornady single stage press was my first reloading press 15 years ago, it had been in retirement for a long time, but it seemed like an easy thing to make it the de-priming station press)
Step 3 - Lube cases with Hornady One Shot spray lube in a heavy-duty plastic bag. I saw a web site that had this and found that it works quite well. Spay the cases in the bag, roll the cases around in the bag, then open the top and let the alcohol evaporate for at least a couple of minutes. No sticky cases!
Step 4 - Sizing case on Dillon 550B with first tool head. It has mounted in it:
Redding Body Die: Case Check. The Body Die setup will be based on a measurement from 4x fired cases to set the shoulder back .002” to .003”. I have read that after several firing the body need to be set back a bit, don't know why yet, but I had the die as a part of the 3 die redding set so I set it up this way.
Redding S-Die with Titanium bushing: I have removed the decapping pin, since this is done is step 2, this die only resizes the neck.
Lyman Type M Die: This die expands the Neck ID to between .304" and .305", there is a tapered step on the mandrel as well, and about 1/32" of the neck is expanded to .308" or so. I have read that this allows the bullet to set very easily and lined up. So far it appears to work very well.
Step 5 - Tumbling to clean Lube: I have added another round of tumbling after I size the cases, this removes the lube and give me nice shiny cases. I don't worry about the media getting in the flash hole, because the new prep station has flash hole uniformer that will remove any foreign matter that may be there.
Step 6 - Case Trimming: Cases are then put in the Lyman universal trimmer with the power tool attachment. I had a old battery powered drill with a screw driver attachment that works quite well for this. I find I can whip through 20 cases in less than 5 minutes. Overall trim length is set to 2.000"
New Way - Updated 3/16/08
Step 7 - Final Case Prep Station: I finally got a RCBS Case prep center tool, what a difference this thing makes! Starting at the top of the 5 motorized prep stations and going clockwise around the star I do the following:
- Lyman Primer Hole Uniformer ( I had no idea that the primer hole was so ragged till I did this step)
- Small primer pocket cleaner (for .223, skipped with .308)
- Inside Chamfer the mouth
- Outside debur the mouth
- RCBS Primer Pocket Uniformer, set to depth of the primer I am using
OLD WAY - Step 7 - FInal case prep: If power should become an issue, I can still prep all my cases by hand without power.
- Inside and outside Chamfer the mouth with a RCBS/Wilson tool
- Clean primer pocket.
- Clean the inside of the case mouth with the brush
- Primer hole deburr (Lyman tool not shown)
That completes the case prep. Now my brass is ready for the next step...