With the recent shortages of ammo a lot of people have taken up reloading. I’ve been doing it over 40 years and the first thing I tell people new to it is DON’T rush into it! Reloading under current conditions can certainly save you money and even increase accuracy in some cases (though modern ammo has become so accurate in most cases it won’t). That being said there are A LOT of safety factors that need to be learned. Reading books on reloading and learning the basics should be done first and working with someone that’s experienced can be valuable. We all like to look for shortcuts to save time and that’s the easiest way to make a mistake. Any mistake with things that go BOOM can be catastrophic!
I load some very dangerous loads and what that means is High pressure small volume cases. The 22TCM is one such round. It’s not hard to load and can even be loaded on a progressive press IF the proper safety precautions are taken. You should work loads up from minimum on any listed cartridge. One thing to look for is shiny rings that appear on the case near the shoulder or the head (top and bottom). This first picture shows how much a shoulder moves after firing on a 5.7x28mm,
Every time a round is fired the case becomes more brittle at critical points and resizing stresses the metal. Some cases are more malleable than others but pro shooters will usually re- anneal their cases at the neck after every firing to stress relieve them. This requires some specialized equipment that most of us don’t have and don’t need if we have an adequate supply of brass. Here’s what happens with a case that was fired one time too many.
This is a best case separation because it didn’t cause any damage, usually you won’t be that lucky!
Tcm cases are much more rigid than 5.7 cases and the necks are prone to cracking.
That’s a toothpick next to those cracks which gives you an idea of how small they are. Shooting these rounds would most likely result in damage to the gun at minimum! These rounds were reloaded 4 times without annealing. One last picture here to show what case head separation warning signs look like. These are from my 6.5 Grendel and were due to the wrong powder/primer combination.
The ones on the bottom are extreme and you usually will get a line without the expansion before separation happens but that’s the location to watch.
Sorry if this is long winded but I just want people to have fun and be safe when they reload!
Only use one powder at a time and don’t mix powders. When done don’t leave powder in the dispenser, put it back in the original container and then back in it’s place. Don’t leave multiple containers on your bench. Make sure your using the proper primers, don’t use magnum primers when standard are called for. I find it’s best to do everything one step at a time and I’ll de-prime, clean, then lube, trim and chamfer cases. I then size, re-prime and wipe down my cases before charging and seating bullets. That’s just how I do it, I’m sure other people do it different but I’m getting older and this helps keep me from blowing parts off!