Written by Sierra Bullets Advertising & Marketing Coordinator Amanda Stice
Can you teach a girl to reload? I’m not sure what ballistic technician Duane Siercks did to anger our boss, but a few weeks ago he was assigned the job of teaching three of us women in Sierra’s front office to reload. Duane has been reloading for over 35 years and has two daughters that he has taught to shoot, so he bravely and enthusiastically accepted the challenge. We were told to meet him in Sierra’s underground range at 3 p.m.
With the Sierra Bullets 5th Edition Reloading Manual, eye and ear protection, zero previous experience, and lots and lots of questions in tow, Billing Clerk Tanya Byler, and Sales Manger Betty Howard, and I headed to Sierra’s underground range for Duane’s Reloading 101 class.
Step One: We each picked out ten .223 cases and carefully inspected them.
Step Two: We lubed the cases by rolling them back and forth on a lube dampened pad. (This step was a bit messy – luckily Duane thought ahead and had rubber gloves and paper towels available for us so Tanya wouldn’t mess up her nail polish.)
Step Three: We sized each case and removed the spent primer in the RCBS single stage press. (This piece of equipment looks like it might require a lot of brute force, but don’t be fooled, it really doesn’t.)
Step Four: We inserted new primers with the RCBS single stage primer. (We found this tool a little awkward to get used to and use but if you were doing hundreds of rounds it probably wouldn’t take too long to get the hang of it.)
Step Five: Once we had the cases all ready to go, we looked up the load data information in Sierra’s 5th Edition Reloading Manual.
Step Six: We added powder to each case with the Redding powder measure and inspected them to make sure they all visibly had the same amount of powder.
Step Nine: Send Duane (or whoever you happen to have handy) down range to retrieve your target. Then use calipers to measure your group size. This is done by measuring across the widest part of the group and subtracting the width of the bullet.
Reloading equipment can look a bit intimidating and even dangerous. If you are looking to learn more about reloading, I would recommend you work with someone who is familiar with the processes to get you started. Duane set up the reloading equipment appropriately for us and supervised that all of the steps were done safely. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Trust me, it’s not as overwhelming as it looks. If you can use the equipment in your kitchen (or even if, like me, you aren’t the greatest cook) you can learn to reload. And if you can reload, you can spend more time at the range and having fun with other shooting enthusiasts. The three of us girls (not sure if Duane is ready again yet or not) are already excited about our next adventures at the reloading bench and the range!
If you have any questions about getting started reloading or Sierra bullets please call our technical support team at 800-223-8799 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.