Sunday, December 14, 2014

Endeavouring to Persevere

I joined a facebook group about reloading a year or so ago.  I thought I might learn something.  I did learn that people are powder coating and painting lead bullets and that they work about as well in handguns as plated bullets but, for the most part, the group doesn't seem to be exactly my cup of tea.  

It seems like most of the posts are by people who want to know how far to seat their bullets off the lands in their rifle, people who seat their bullets to the cannelure but aren't happy because they think they are too far off the lands when they do that, people who want to talk about stainless steel pins for tumbling media or people that want someone to tell them their load data so they don't have to look it up for themselves or actually do any shooting to develop a good load.

Occasionally, some old curmudgeon will comment something to the effect of "why don't you buy a book, go to the powder company's website, read the label on the can of powder and do what it says or shoot your gun to find out what it likes?"  For the most part though, people will chime in with answers.  

Most of the time the answers seem reasonable.  Sometimes some of them are just plain dangerous and the people that post them are too ignorant to know it.  Some day, someone who doesn't know better will actually do what some of the stupider people say and somebody or their gun will get hurt.

By contrast, a month or so ago, I helped a buddy get started reloading for his 30-30.   We went over the basics of using the various tools that were in the box of slightly used equipment that he bought but we didn't actually load any ammo because he hadn't decided where he wanted to set up his reloading operation.  We planned to get together the next weekend and load some ammo but one thing after another kept getting in the way and it didn't happen.

A couple of weeks ago, my buddy called me to tell me that he wanted me to come look at the ammo that he had loaded.   He proceeded to tell me about every step of the process and about how well it shot and wanted to know where he could get more powder and bullets.  I went by last weekend and we did some shooting and his ammo was plenty good enough for anything  you'd expect to be able to do with a Marlin 336 .  Funny thing is, my buddy is recovering from a divorce and doesn't have internet.  Can't afford it just yet.   How the heck did he load good ammo on his first try without someone to show him what to do and without access to the internet?   Lacking digital sources of misinformation, he had gone all analog.    

I had given him an early 1970s vintage Speer reloading manual and told him that the data was out of date but the "how-to" section in the front would tell him what he needed to know about the process.  That crafty devil sat down and read the book.

There's even more.   It seems that the powder measure and the powder scale came with printed documents called "Instructions."   After reading the book, he read those "Instructions"  too.   Then he applied what he learned from the book and the "instructions"  and loaded some pretty darned good ammo.  Who knew that books and instructions still work?

The last time I looked at the facebook page, some guy was asking whether he needed to keep his powder refrigerated.  I'm not making that up.


Anonymous said...

I was in the facebook reloading group for a very short time last summmer. I left it because of all the foolish and dangerous advice. Some of it was pretty scary.
I learned to load the same way as your friend - by reading books and instruction sheets. That was before the internet.

Lantry said...

To me its just strange that so many people that are into reloading don't even think of looking at books or the powder and bullet companies' websites for their information. They run off to facebook and ask a bunch of strangers. Its like a digital, internet co-dependency thing.

EGGBONE said...

What ever happened to common sense? Read multiple to handloaders...and read some more. Handloading is a very precise science, but any layman can teach him(her)self to do it with the proper tools, both physical and mental, and time. Online information can be very useful, if you use multiple CREDIBLE resources, not stangers in a strange land(facebook and the like)!

Murphy's Law said...

Not only do I read the instructions and look up the powder companies' data, but I try to double-check the data from a secondary source if possible. Reloading is a "one mistake" game and shortcuts and "experimentation" just don't get it done.