Thursday, June 28, 2012
The how to reload; Brass Shotgun shells with Black Powder. Part II
Let’s get started. Part 2
By now you have either gathered up the items you need or have them on order. So now you are ready to get started. So put your safety glasses on and let’s get going. (Author’s comment, If you have to be told to wear safety glasses then you might not want to do this on your own. I don’t want to sound like a smart ass. There are so many critical people who would comment on not using them, then there’s the Lawyer thing. That alone is enough said on the subject.) First my Brass has all been used. If yours has been used, then run them thru the Tumbler or Vibrator with what ever method you like for cleaning brass. That is a whole different subject. For the sake of this article from here on thru we will intend the brass has been used. However if yours is new out of the box, then use what parts of this section you need and retain the rest for future use. After cleaning and running thru the media separator, I then begin removing spent primers. This can be done with a homemade tool and or a awl or a Lee replacement decapping pin, in this case I use the brass mandrill lower left of picture in Photo #1
Placing the cleaned hull on the on the depriming anvil (center) a 7/8” deep well socket will work. I am able to drive the spent primer from the inside of the hull out thru the center hole in the anvil. A good solid blow from a mallet is required. This method also
Ensures the brass has not been deformed or smashed. With the brass mandrill you can sometimes take a brass or rubber mallet and tap/shrink tap the hulls back to shape. Now that you have deprimed the hulls. It is time to clean all your primer pockets. This is a tedious task. It is not hard to do but takes a bit of time. Commercial primer pocket tools are readily available from any the companies that offer reloading tools and accessories, you can also use a pocket size screwdriver with a flat tip. Just give it a couple of twist and scrape any excessive build up out. Picture #2 I am using a commercial bought tool.
Tap or blow out any loose particles. When you are happy with each piece. You’ll know. Well move to the top end and give it a quick cleaning. I do this for one reason basically. I want to give a good clean surface for the glue to dry on the last step. So here’s how I do it. I use a ¾” plumber’s pipe fitting brush. Seen on the table above, with the wire loop handle. I give few quick turns of it in the mouth of the hull. You need not go all the way down unless you visually found something needing removed.
I must warn if you clean all the way down with a new brush you may really have to pull and twist hard to get it out. It will come out it just takes a little muscle. I will try to show a picture of how they look later when they are clean in the final chapter.
Picture #3 cleaning the mouth of the hull. Now you may substitute some fine 400 grit or finer sand paper or some 0000 steel wool. Just make sure blow out any fragments’ and dust.
The dog is there to point anything I drop.
This process all done and you have visually inspected for cracks and any other deformities we can move on and prime the hull. Again I am not here to pimp any Name Brands. Anything you see me using is by choice, not product placement. In the photo below #6 and photo #7 not a real good photo and I hope it will still help. I have placed the new primer on a solid block of steel. This came with my reloading set. However many other things can be used? I however don’t use this method and am only showing this because it is the most basic way of placing a new primer in a hull. I will show my preferred way of installing a new primer further into the chapter. Center the cleaned ready hull over the primer.
Photo 7a Misc. tools and Measuring scoops etc.
Notice the recess in the end of the mandrill to go over the inner primer pocket, I believe a deep well 5/8” socket could also replace this tool.
Now with the Mandrill and a Mallet I give the mandrill a good solid whack. Pushing the empting hull down over the primer, and into the pocket. Now check your work. This is a critical step and the most dangerous of all the steps. Making sure you do not have a “Hi Primer”. This can be the slightest or to the most obvious. A small stiff strait edge drug across the bottom without restriction should indicate if it is set properly. If not set the mandrill in the empty hull and give it another good whack. The first couple of times take a bit of practice, till you gain a feel for it. Now let me give you the WARNING and my reasoning on why this is the most dangerous part of the process. Primers react to a blow of a some what dull point of a firing pin causing a chemical reaction within. However a firing pin is not the only way to cause this reaction. Friends I have detonated several primers when setting them this way. I have suffered no injuries from it unless you count the stripe in my boxer’s. This said don’t disregard this as being okay or safe. There is a flash of flame. BTW that’s what they are supposed to do. So open containers of powers may flash up, you could burn your fingers and also cause small particles of junk to blow in your face. Wear your safety glasses! I have found one devise I really like. Assuming you already has a loading press of some type. I have a found a 12 gauge shell holder. I use this to prime all my hulls now and feel much safer doing so. Well worth the 15 bucks or so it cost me. Seen in Photo #8/ #9 below. I have in this case simply removed the tool head on the loader and use it with the ram and priming ram to seat primers.
The Primed Hull ready for your load. Now why you wait for the “Brown Truck” to deliver the rest of your goodies practice this. Watching for high primers; note here also. These can really impede your times in a time event. Causing your double barrel shotgun not to go to battery.