For entertainment's sake, here's me with my first handloading experiences:
Tinkering with the Tong Tool...
So, as I shamefully admitted in a recent thread, I don't actually... you know, reload yet. I do, however, have a metric buttload of borrowed reloading stuff here in my apartment, and I've saved a ton of brass over the years. Last night I re-found my big ol' brass box. This sort of inspired me. About four minutes ago, I got even more inspired when I saw an object in a red box labelled "Lyman Ideal 310 Tool, complete with dies" for .44 magnum. I pulled out the pliers-shaped gizmo, and noticed one die with a long pokey-looking thing that looked as though it might knock a spent primer out of a case. Feeling a rising sense of discovery, I dashed off to my brass box and brought back a freezer bag full of spent .44 Mag shells. Threading the likely-looking die into the pliers and then sticking a shell in...
[Tom Hanks voice from Castaway]I have made fire![Tom Hanks voice from Castaway]
...or at least I'm well on my inquisitive way to doing so.
Having gotten bored with depriming cases, I decided tonight to screw what seemed to be the next logical die into the holder; the "muzzle resizer" die.(This was followed by Mike Irwin's priceless retort: "Wesson Oil? My God you are such a girl!")
Ugh! Grunt! I think the case is stuck!
A little half-moon of brass came flying off the rim...
Give the die a fraction of a turn and...
...out pops the (mangled) cartridge case.
This must not be right. There must be a way to keep this from happening... I ran inside and soaked a paper towel in Wesson oil and rubbed it on the outside of a case.
Cool! That was easy!
Still, maybe I'm not doing this right. After we finish setting up for the gun show tomorrow, maybe I'll ask ol' Charlie for some pointers.
Hey! Cool! Found a case lube pad in that big box in the corner!
Let's try a couple more...
Whoops! Crushed one...
Wonder how this "priming chamber" works.
Nope... doesn't go in that way... wait... eureka! Way cool!
Let's prime these cases now!
...after an interlude containing a minor setback around the fire at My First Deer Camp,
When we left off, he-man JShirley, unaware of his own strength, had just busted the decapper pin on my little 310 Tool by a campfire in GA.
Back home in TN, I pondered long and hard... What to do?
I went digging around on the shelf among the die boxes, curious as to what might be there. Hmmm... A complete Lee press with dies and dipper for .357... That's pretty cool... Wait, this isn't shaped like the other die boxes; I wonder what a "Lee Loader" for .38 is?
Cool! Just a couple of pins, a die-looking thingy, and all I need to find is a hammer! I grab some powder, a handful of spent cases, some primers, a box of 148gr HBWC's, and the Lee Loader and head for the concrete steps out front.
The first bullet winds up seated too deeply. Following safe cartridge disposal procedures, I chuck it into the bushes. The next one turns out fine. (The .5 dipper of Green Dot and Winchester small pistol primers, in case anyone's wondering) Seating the primer on the third one results in a *BANG!* (at 0200 hrs... ), a seating rod launched six inches into the air, and black tats on two fingers and a thumb. The fourth cartridge turns out fine. It being freezing, and 0230 to boot, I went back in. Two days later, I launched them from my 627, and both went off fine and shot where I pointed....
I just got a Lee Turret Press in at work, pre-loaded with .38 Spl dies, and have both a full set of dippers and an Auto-Disk powder measure on order (we'll see which one works out better.)
Just think how much money I'll save if I spend all this money!
Ah, reloading. Never have I had more fun spending dollars to save dimes!