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From: John De Armond
Organization: Dixie Communications Public Access.  The Mouth of the South. (Steve Bridges) writes: (Mark Smith) writes:

#For even more safety, why not make up a dummy round that is sized just as
#your "production" rounds, but without primer and powder.  That way, you
#could mike out the round, chamber the round, and even drop the hammer with
#no danger at all.  I've done this for all my rifles and handguns, to keep a
#dummy round around in case somebody wants to see how well it works.  I also
#do this with the first round of each reloading batch to make sure
#everything is adjusted correctly.

This is my approach.  I normally set the neck sizing die a tad bit loose
for length adjustments so the bullet can more easily slide into the case
when it contacts the rifling.

If you assemble non-firing rounds, it is vital to drill a hole or two through
the side of the case.  This is to make sure the non-firing rounds can be
identified at a moment's notice.  This is to make sure you don't inadvertently
load one of these dummys into a magazine of live ammo.  Could be tragic
in a self-defence weapon or a dangerous game rifle.

One other thing I do, based on attending the school of hard knocks, is
drill a 1/8" hole from the rear of the bullet through its entire length.
What this does, in the event a primer gets loaded for whatever reason,
is vent the primer gases so that the bullet is not fired into the barrel
where it gets stuck.  I've found this to work well for the calibers I
normally load, .45 acp, .308 and 30-06.

Finally, I soft solder the bullet into the case.  This ensures dimentional
stability even if the round gets dropped on its nose, slammed by a bolt or
whatever.  It also helps the bullet stay in if a primer gets fired.

Another tip:  If you want a very cheap snap-cap, simply fill the primer
pocket of one of these rounds with RTV silicone sealer.  Choose one of
the very hard RTVs.  One of the hardest I've found commonly available is
the Permetex blue gasket sealer.  This makes a nice resilliant cushion
for the firing pin.  Some people make up plug cutters and cut out little
pieces of tire rubber and insert into the primer pocket but I've found
RTV to work just fine.


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