Honestly, this is a little bit of an embarrassing guide to write. Most of these tips and tricks are things that I learned first-hand. I hope this guide proves to be handy and at the very least helps whet your appetite for reloading and the shooting sports. If you have questions or if there’s an issue with this guide, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How often are you supposed to trim your cases?
In lots of manuals there will be a maximum case length value for your cartridge. I usually trim my cases when I start getting close to that length (typically several firings). I do the whole lot at once so they are all roughly the same length.
Now if you are going for ultra accuracy or something like that, it might be worth trimming your cases more frequently.
When you’re just getting started you can go for a long time before having to purchase a case trimmer.
Buy a second manual
I recommend picking up a second manual fairly soon after you start. It is a great reference for double checking load data. It is not impossible to run into typos in these books. I ran into a misprint for the Overall All Length (OAL) of a round in one of my manuals, so it is good to cross reference.
Write down everything
Buy a good notebook or two and write EVERYTHING down. Write down the specifics of your load, the date, the components you used, what the OAL of your cartridge was, how it shot. Use lot numbers to match batches of ammo to the data in your notebook. This is handy if a bunch of rounds in one batch are misbehaving. The other key point is that reloading is a long term hobby. You will review your notes years down the road, and you will not remember what you loaded up without good notes.
..to be continued