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  1. #1
    6.8 SPC Lover
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    Question Basic advice to start with reloading 6.8

    Sorry if this is a lot of pain in the ass questions but Iíve scanned the reloading threads and forums for quite a while and there is just so much information to process. Pointers in the right direction would be helpful and I donít mind buying a book.

    I have someone who has been reloading match ammo for about 10-15 years that will let me use his equipment so I need to know what necessities to order first then I can transition into buying the rest of the equipment.

    I know I need the dies and a shell holder. I think most brands with work with most presses.

    Will a small base 2 die set be enough
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=718983

    or do I need the 2 die set with taper crimp?
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=511804


    I'd like to go with something not very hot for starting out and fairly low cost but still with decent performance. I don't hunt at the time so this will be purely sport/target shooting. Iím shooting for about 100 rounds to start with.

    What is going to be the best place to order to try to get the most value and keeping shipping costs low? Cheaper Than Dirt seems to have most everything except powder so in that case Midway may be better.

    SSA seems to have the best value on brass and if Iím not mistaken I can reuse it 8 or more times.

    Will hollow points or ballistic tip be best? I'm thinking 110/115 grain BTHP.

    What powders and primers are the best values? Iíve heard Wolf primers are good.

    I know OAL is a concern depending on the magazine. What should I shoot for with an ASC magazine?
    If force can take away liberty, force is necessary to preserve it. It is the hatred of violence alongside the willingness to use violence that preserves liberty. In order for us to live as free men, we have to hate the violence that takes away liberty, yet at the same time, we must embrace the violence that preserves it. That is the paradox our founders appreciated and made work for over 200 years.
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  2. #2

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    To answer your questions about which dies are better, I'll point you to a thread I started a while back. You'll find the most relevant answers to you towards the end of the thread: http://68forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21619

    As for shellholders, be careful, as all are not interchangeable between brands as you mentioned. Find out what loading press your friend is using, and buy the holders of the same brand. Dies are another story, as nowadays most popular brand of dies have the same thread. Not knowing what your friend's press is, I would double check, at the off chance of him owning something different. Find out what it is, and post it here, and I'm sure someone here will chime in on this.

    SSA brass is the most popular brand of brass here with the better specs (smaller primer pocket), so you have to buy the proper primer for it regardless of brand. I'll leave bullet recommendations for someone else, as I'm not an expert on this.

    Finally, if you buy powder and primer on the internet, you will incur an additional $20-$25 hazmat fee, so you might want to try finding both locally once you decide on brands, especially that you will be starting small, meaning that you might want to buy only a 1 pound can of powder, and a couple hundred primers.

  3. #3
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    I use the RCBS two die set, small base, and it works well. If you have the cash, go ahead and order the competition dies that allow you to insert the bullet into the die from the side. These hold the case much more rigidly, and allows for a more consistent seating in regards to straightness. The adjustments will be much easier to set up and change as needed since you will be able to measure the COAL and determine from that how many thousandths of adjustment you need, and then just dial it in on the die. As far as getting cases to load. I would suggest that you buy some of Gunny's ammo at Good to GO ammo. It's got all the right components, it's $15.20, and you can't really buy new SSA brass and load your own for that if you add in your time. Just shoot it, and reload that brass. If you get bullets that are 95gr and up, get AA2200 powder, it is a major step up in performance. Under that, I recommend Reloader 7, just my fave, bit a lot of better loaders than me use it. There are others.
    "Don't go ninjiin nobody that don't need ninjiin."

  4. #4
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    I would certainly add a Lee Factory Crimp Die to the die set ... allows a very predictable crimp and is easy to adjust.

    Sooner or later everyone has to pull a few bullets. Good to have a bullet puller. Great way to avoid having to use it too much is to also acquire an L. E. Wilson cartridge chambering gauge and use it when setting up the loader. Drop the sized case into the gauge to make sure the shoulder of the case is set back far enough but not too far.

    I think it is a good idea to gauge check every loaded cartridge to be fired in an autoloader.

    AA2200 is good to go.

    Not a bad idea to use either CCI 41 military primers or CCI 450 small rifle primers as they have harder cups, will hold up a bit better to pressure, and are more resistant to slam fires.

  5. #5
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    Bossier City, LA
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    All good advise so far, I would recommend getting the Hornady head space kit instead of a drop in gauge. Use it to measure your cases and set head space off of that instead of sizing back to SAAMI min, the drop in gauges are useless if your rifles chamber is long, you don't want to be setting the shoulder back .010+" just to make the brass fit the gauge when it's not needed or safe, I just seen a rifle like this last week.

    Any die set will work, SB isn't needed but if that what you want they are OK when set up properly, they can cause unsafe head space very easily if it the brass is not measured properly and the die set accordingly but as long as you have the head space kit you will be OK.

  6. #6

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    I'm using the the RCBS small base dies listed above. I think they are gtg! I would get the le Wilson case gauge as well. Bullet puller is a must (mentioned above). I have bought once fired brass where ever I could find it. Unlike 223/556 and 308 I don't believe you need hundreds (2 or 300 is enough to get started) of pieces of 6.8 brass. Even if you get some new brass plan on measuring and sizing it. Most of the once fired brass I bought needed no trimming but some did so you need a trimmer. I have a Forster trimmer.

    Make sure you work up the loads don't just take something off the internet that someone says works and go with it.

    I have been using H335 with 110 grain HPs and I'm going to load some 130 gr Speer HCSPs with it.

    Hope that helps!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqwerl View Post
    Sorry if this is a lot of pain in the ass questions but I’ve scanned the reloading threads and forums for quite a while and there is just so much information to process. Pointers in the right direction would be helpful and I don’t mind buying a book.

    I have someone who has been reloading match ammo for about 10-15 years that will let me use his equipment so I need to know what necessities to order first then I can transition into buying the rest of the equipment.

    I know I need the dies and a shell holder. I think most brands with work with most presses.

    Will a small base 2 die set be enough
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=718983

    or do I need the 2 die set with taper crimp?
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct...tNumber=511804


    I'd like to go with something not very hot for starting out and fairly low cost but still with decent performance. I don't hunt at the time so this will be purely sport/target shooting. I’m shooting for about 100 rounds to start with.

    What is going to be the best place to order to try to get the most value and keeping shipping costs low? Cheaper Than Dirt seems to have most everything except powder so in that case Midway may be better.

    SSA seems to have the best value on brass and if I’m not mistaken I can reuse it 8 or more times.

    Will hollow points or ballistic tip be best? I'm thinking 110/115 grain BTHP.

    What powders and primers are the best values? I’ve heard Wolf primers are good.

    I know OAL is a concern depending on the magazine. What should I shoot for with an ASC magazine?
    You don't need match grade dies, so a standard two die set is just fine. I recommend the Hornady New Dimension dies. They are excellent quality and the seating die is designed to align the bullet with the centerline axis of the case. Small base dies are not needed unless you have very tight chamber, so don't waste money on them. You also do NOT need a crimp die for the 6.8. If your dies are correct and you're doing things right, there is plenty of neck tension without having to crimp. Crimps on bottleneck rifle cartridges don't do much for accuracy either, in my experience. The military does it because of potential use in automatic weapons, where setback or bullet walking can cause jams that are catastrophic.

    I would not recommend trying to create 'soft' shooting loads. Semi-auto rifles like the AR require a certain level of pressure and burning rate for the mechanical timing to be right. Stay within those limits to keep things working properly.

    If you're going to order components online, stay with the better companies (Midway, Midsouth, 3rd Generation, Powder Valley, Graf & Sons, etc.) and buy quality components. Most of the stuff you get from CTD is just that, cheap in quality. People here can give you a whole bunch of good vendors that are way better than CTD.

    Probably the best bullet in 110 gr. for general purpose use (including hunting) is the Hornady 110 gr. BTHP w/c. A lot of people like the Sierra Pro Hunter, and the 95 gr. TTSX is another favorite for hogs. Use the CCI mil spec primers, either #34 or #41, depending on which case brand you have.

    OAL is the longest length that will feed consistently from your mags, whatever they are. Barrett are high quality mags, but have the shortest internal length. I think PRI are the longest internally, if I remember correctly. As long as the bullet doesn't get rammed into the rifling on chambering, whatever length works in the mag is fine.
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