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Discussion Starter #1
Just a thought here on the subject of mentors.

What about developing a regional list of mentors available, listed and permanently posted on the forum for those that may desire a hands on or locally available contact person for the purpose of mentoring.

Of course, in the interest of assuring as high a level of "mentoring" as possible, also putting in place some sort of "scoring" system, whereby those that access listed mentors can speak to their experience as well as to the level/quality of the mentoring they received from that source.

I enjoy mentoring and working with new or inexperienced hand loaders and would like even more opportunities to, "mentor".

Thoughts? Is there any way to implement such a file?

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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CDOC I would welcome the opportunity to mentor anyone in southeastern Va on handloading. I am not an expert, I am knowledgeable, and follow the rules and check and re-check each step of the way. I really enjoy the hobby as it allows me to shoot all I want and then some. When I speak with fellow shooters I always suggest that they get into reloading, have not had anyone take me up on the offer yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mruvna,

And I have had the experience of starting to develop hand loads for a friend and it quickly became clear, on the first time to the bench, that he simply did not want to go to the time/effort of the load development process.

Unless I know the person's abilities from the bench, I really prefer to shoot the test loads myself. Not that I am any wiz bang bench rest champion, but I have been there and done that long enough to know if it is the rifle or loads or me that might be causing questionable test results.

Russ shot the first of the test loads on that time out, and I never did know what level of reliability the results were. Then he went home with the rest of the loads and I don't know if they ever were fired.

Learned a lesson there.

So, as you have done, I also try to encourage folk to hand load, but now am up front with the fact that there is some effort and expense involved in an effort to weed out situations such as spoken of above.

My thoughts of a listing of available mentors is more for providing beginning or interested handloader's a ready source of advice/experience then trying to get non-interested people to go there.

Great day to ya!

CDOC
 

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I think it's a great idea, I even inquired about the same thing on the boolit casting forum some time back. A really good point was brought up in those discussions, and that is; bringing a stranger into your home or workshop.

I'm so trusting of most folks (well, I will correct that and say that I trust my "instincts") that I never thought of that as a problem. But now that I think about bringing a stranger into my "Gun Room" as the wife calls it, I see their point. I would be more than willing to help out a fellow member with the basics of shooting, reloading, archery or anything else that might help them along. But I would want them to be a reasonably long standing member, and would definitely meet them "off site" before agreeing to go further. My instincts would guide me from there.

But I still think it's a great idea. Starting off doing something like reloading ammunition can be intimidating to some folks. I wasn't smart enough to be worried when I began. I bought some books a Dillon Press and accessories and jumped in with both feet! :biggrin: Turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made, I just don't know why it took me so long to start into casting. :dontknow:
 

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I seem to have the ability to see what's in a person and not what they portray themselves outwardly. Most folks that come here do what I call "Taking inventory" which can either bite you in the keester if your not careful, or...not. I've had years of experience dealing with people, but in my line of work it was dealing the "Higher ups" as apposed to the general public type of dealings. Totally different mind-set with the way things are said and done and I find its generally better if brought up quickly, but politely.

I have a Mentor offering already, not that I mind teaching others, but a lot of what I do is a bit above what I call beginner level. Some of my pet-peeves are so minor it generally only takes being verbal and it stops. People that want to debate there actions when they're told to please don't do it again are on the "Your an idiot" list, probably for life but that was there choice and not mine. We have so much stuff around our house, anything from sewing items to painting to mechanics tools it isn't funny. Most don't but some folks just come in (with permission of course) and start grabbing things, that's when my I'm getting PO'd meter almost gets pegged and they're told to NOT pick anything up. Reason I even bring that up is because the wife was working with a wooden model, thing is it has about 30 different parts and the glue was drying, to late by the time they grabbed it and 2hrs of work went town the drain.

I'm trying to get the LGS to teach reloading, but he seems to a bit slow with progress. He says he only wants to start with straight walled cases, he says lots of folks might not get bottle neck reloading. I've been in the reloading game so long at this point I do it all and I take it for granted it's easy and don't think about how hard it is for other folks.

About the only thing I even get concerned about is when folks want something, that I have, just for the asking, it doesn't work like that in my world. Living where I do seems to have advantages, I can see someone coming in 1/2hr before they get here, so as far as those unannounced visits go they just don't happen.

OK I'm starting to ramble here...
 

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I think it's a great idea, I even inquired about the same thing on the boolit casting forum some time back. A really good point was brought up in those discussions, and that is; bringing a stranger into your home or workshop.

I'm so trusting of most folks (well, I will correct that and say that I trust my "instincts") that I never thought of that as a problem. But now that I think about bringing a stranger into my "Gun Room" as the wife calls it, I see their point. I would be more than willing to help out a fellow member with the basics of shooting, reloading, archery or anything else that might help them along. But I would want them to be a reasonably long standing member, and would definitely meet them "off site" before agreeing to go further. My instincts would guide me from there.

But I still think it's a great idea. Starting off doing something like reloading ammunition can be intimidating to some folks. I wasn't smart enough to be worried when I began. I bought some books a Dillon Press and accessories and jumped in with both feet! :biggrin: Turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made, I just don't know why it took me so long to start into casting. :dontknow:
That's why I thought it was a great idea to meet a MO member while in FL recently.

I might be in MO soon and would meet someone in or near NW St Louis. Maryland Heights, I think. Get a burger with my wife while we're in town.
 

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This is a great idea. I've wanted to get into reloading for quite some time but don't have anyone to teach me how, and the idea of trial/error is a bit intimidating. SEPA for me as a student if the list gets built.
Hey Ben,

Welcome to MO.

Reloading is as "simple" or as "fussy" as one makes it.

Would suggest a couple of Manuals. H'Day, Lee, Hodgon, Lyman.............

Read the Manuals (really like the H'Day for the "new" reloader...........explains things so a "non shooter/reloader" can understand them).

Manuals can be found "used". Much like a variety of excellent reloading equipment...

Once one has perused a Manual (or three), one has a good idea if reloading is for them. (one does not save any money by reloading..........one shoots a whole lot more) LOL

In this day & age, with computer pics/vids....etc.........one can do quite well with advice from members of this forum.

Ah, you ask what you "need", to get started?

Glad you asked. One click http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/reloading/43570-show-off-those-reloading-benches-33.html and you will see reloading "set ups" from simple, to "over the top". Benches, presses, cabinets.........etc.

Surely in 45 pages of FINE reloading benches, you will find a "set up" that "works" for you! LOL

Hope this helps.

Later, Mark
 

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Thanks Mark! And yes, I like how you included the "what do you need" because that was going to be my next question! Appreciate the reference material. I'll start there.
Hey Ben,

Manuals! Can not have enough. Old ones, not so old ones, new ones.........Allows one to "compare". (bullet makers typically only list "their" bullets, powder makers only list "their" powders)

Press. Scale. Powder Measure. Case Prep tools. Tumbler. Loading blocks..........etc.

Here are some good links Environment Test , Precisioneered Reloading - RCBS , Home - Redding Reloading Equipment: reloading equipment for rifles, handguns, pistols, revolvers and SAECO bullet casting equipment, Welcome to Lyman , Hornady.com - Accurate, Deadly, Dependable - Hornady Manufacturing, Inc , Lee Precision the Innovative Leader in Reloading Equipment , Dillon Precision: Reloaders, Reloading Equipment, Bullet Reloading, Bullet Reloaders

A couple of purveyors MidwayUSA - Shop Shooting, Hunting, & Outdoor Products , https://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/ , World's Largest Supplier of Firearm Accessories, Gun Parts and Gunsmithing Tools - BROWNELLS

There are other makers/purveyors, these are the most common.

When you build a bench, build a sturdy one. If living in an apartment, one can mount one's tools on a plank, and use a B&D "Work Mate" for a bench. When not in use, fold and store in closet.........

Lots of options. Variety of "needs" (the high volume pistol shooter, has different "needs" from a casual hunter)

Look them all over.

What do you shoot the most? Do you shoot a lot of calibers? Do you shoot 200 rounds a year? Or 50,000? Are you "feeding" the shooting addiction of "offspring"? LOL

Fellow can go through a lot of rifle ammo, if he has a couple of "offspring" that also compete in Service Rifle! LOL

Which is why I like the "Show off those Benches" thread. Something for everyone!

Later, Mark
 

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Great idea! I think it not necessary though, to bring someone into your "gun room" to mentor them.
Example: When I bought my RCBS Master Reloading Kit 20-something years ago, there was no "on-line" for me. I knew a couple guys at work that encouraged me to go for it, and I read the Speer reloading manual, but it left me with a lot of questions and fuzzy info. One of those co-workers loaned me a 2 volume series on reloading that was not only concise, but crystal-clear. My point is, the right guy (with good verbal and communication skills) can mentor anyone, anywhere in the country, from his computer; it's really no different from the newbie reading a book. The author of a book has no 'feedback" or feel about the guy reading the book either; but in communicating directly, you can get some sort of a feel for whether the guy is paying attention or watching flies on the wall. I would consider mentoring someone via PM or email. Just my .02 cents worth.
 

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I would be willing to mentor in SW Ohio, or anywhere else online. If you were to assemble a Mentor List, I'd be OK with my MO contact info on it.

I've been shooting for more than 50 yrs, both rifles and handguns, and reloading for 48 yrs, single stage and progressive presses, but not shot shells. I do a lot of my own trouble shooting and make minor repairs and alterations on my guns.
 

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This is a great idea. I've wanted to get into reloading for quite some time but don't have anyone to teach me how, and the idea of trial/error is a bit intimidating. SEPA for me as a student if the list gets built.
Reloading is a great deal of trial and error by its very nature. That shouldn't discourage you. The rules for safety are definitely not trial and error. Read some of the reloading manuals as other guys have mentioned and commit the procedural things to memory. It's a lot like learning your scales or chords when you're learning how to play piano or guitar. It seems kind of hum drum, but you will never learn to play Moonlight Sonata or Limelight if you haven 't first practiced your scales/chords. The big difference is that it is a lot easier to learn the basics of reloading than it is to practice your scales or learn your chords.

The most important thing to remember when you've mastered your basics (and the easiest to forget) is to quit monkeying around with your recipe when you've found the load that works. If you're changing bullets, then that's one thing, and it also sort of depends on what the purpose of a given rifle/load is.

For example, I've found "the load" for my .308. Unless Hodgdon changes the formulation of Varget, or Hornady stops making 308 brass, or Berger discontinues/changes their 175 VLDH geometry, the recipe for my rifle, which will put 5 bullets in a single, ragged hole at 100 yards, is:
Berger VLDH 175 gr .308
Varget 42.5 gr
Hornady match .308 brass
CCI primers.
Avg velocity: 2607 fps

The only thing that would be "better" than that recipe is a hotter load that could produce the same precision as what I already have. But honestly, going from an average of 2607 fps to 2650 or even 2700 (ain't bloody likely for a 175 gr 308 cartridge), what does it actually get me? Maybe save me 5 or 6 clicks on my scope at 600 yards? From where my scope is zeroed now, I have something like 50 full minutes of up elevation available on my scope, and I only need 38.1 minutes to be able to reach 1000 yards. Going to 2700 fps would save me 3.1 minutes (12 clicks) at 1000 yards. So there is zero reason for me to ever muck around with the recipe I have, which I know works.

I have a similar recipe for my 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser using ELD-X 143 gr. It'll go under .5 MOA, so that recipe is set in stone. I will play around with Norma Orxy 156 gr until I get a precise load for it, but the recipe for the Hornady bullets is not ever going to change.
 

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The best way to mentor is to start with what they need to do to make safe ammunition that goes bang. Save the esoteric stuff like measuring concentricity, weighing cases, etc. till they can do the first part. The hardest things for beginners are the ones requiring judgement e. g. is this particular case reusable. That can only be taught in person.

In teaching people to reload I get the most resistance to the first and best advice: Buy the Sierra, Hornady, or Speer manual and read the how to section before you buy anything.

You need to know what & why they want to shoot before you can teach them how to evaluate their loads. If someone wants to reload to make some hunting ammunition for their favorite deer rifle evaluation is straight forward. They need to know if the load they made have sufficient accuracy and terminal performance for their hunting. If they want to go deeper and find the "best" load, then they are going to need something more rigorous than a three-shot group of each sample. It takes time to find out why they are reloading but worthwhile. They may not even know till you explore the reasons with them.
 

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I'm here in Libertardland but I personally load for 26 different calibers and have been since the early 70's. I also am well versed at making my own unavailable brass out of other parent brass. I also cast my own boolits for odd ball pistol calibers. I don't claim to be an expert but have been loading for 30 yrs + and have never had a blow up yet. I have knowledge on both progressive loaders and single stage loading. I also load for 50 BMG. I welcome mentoring any newbie who wants to learn and be self sufficient in making their own ammo.
 

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When I was in business I sold a lot of 1st timers loading tools. A few were loading to get the most shots out of a dollar. They were the biggest PIAs and had the most problems. It's hard to get through their heads that under loads can cause as many problems as overloads. Most problems came from newbies and pistol cartridges. None what to read the sections on powder burn rates and other dull materials. The guys getting into loading for Varmit rifles were usually more attentive to all aspects of loading. I had a couple guys that wanted to go micro match measures with H&R handy rifles. Had one gun come in with a box of Sierra 224 bullets he bought off me and complained they weren't uniform weight, he had run them all through a Lee balance beam powder scale.
 

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When I was in business I sold a lot of 1st timers loading tools. A few were loading to get the most shots out of a dollar. They were the biggest PIAs and had the most problems. It's hard to get through their heads that under loads can cause as many problems as overloads. Most problems came from newbies and pistol cartridges. None what to read the sections on powder burn rates and other dull materials. The guys getting into loading for Varmit rifles were usually more attentive to all aspects of loading. I had a couple guys that wanted to go micro match measures with H&R handy rifles. Had one gun come in with a box of Sierra 224 bullets he bought off me and complained they weren't uniform weight, he had run them all through a Lee balance beam powder scale.
That's funny!:smokin:
 
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When I was in business I sold a lot of 1st timers loading tools. A few were loading to get the most shots out of a dollar. They were the biggest PIAs and had the most problems. It's hard to get through their heads that under loads can cause as many problems as overloads. Most problems came from newbies and pistol cartridges. None what to read the sections on powder burn rates and other dull materials. The guys getting into loading for Varmit rifles were usually more attentive to all aspects of loading. I had a couple guys that wanted to go micro match measures with H&R handy rifles. Had one gun come in with a box of Sierra 224 bullets he bought off me and complained they weren't uniform weight, he had run them all through a Lee balance beam powder scale.
All correct----that is why they should have mentoring by an experienced loader. I have seen many who think that you can just substitute items in the recipe. I ask what they are loading and they start out at MAX loads. SOme of the newbies think that they can just learn it watching you tube. I've seen a few AR blow ups and damage jams from faulty reloaded ammo.
 
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