Fired my first reloads today.
This is a discussion on Fired my first reloads today. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I fired my first reloads today at the range. Let me tell you, it was interesting.
I bought Lee Pro 1000, set up for 9mm, ...
November 18th, 2007 08:09 PM
Fired my first reloads today.
I fired my first reloads today at the range. Let me tell you, it was interesting.
I bought Lee Pro 1000, set up for 9mm, played with it to see how it worked. I had been collecting brass in anticipation of doing this. Read manual after manual, researched all the sites I could find on the subject, spoke with guys who reload at my range etc.
I got all my stuff together, scale, bullet puller, good work bench etc etc. I ordered everything from Midway USA, what a great place to shop :) I ordered everything I needed except primer and gunpowder, then I read some more.
I finally bought primers and gunpowder at a local gun show yesterday, and proceeded to try to make some bullets to try out at the range today. Lets just say after checking and rechecking, I think I must have weighed the powder throw at least a dozen times. I decided I would make 5 bullets and see how they shot.
Well made it to the range this morning, I put a few factory rounds thru my Taurus PT99 to get warmed up, then I put the reloads in. I think I had my eyes closed on the first round, but voila, it went BANG!
So did the next 4 rounds, after all had been expended, I think I took a breath! Hah! It works! hehe! I had a good range session today!
For those that might be interested in specifics. I used Hodgdon HP-38 powder, Winchester small pistol primers, Winchester 115gr FMJ hollow base bullets. Brass was mixture of WWB, Amer Eagle, Magtech. I think I just found a new hobby.
November 18th, 2007 08:09 PM
November 18th, 2007 08:18 PM
I remember (way back!) - the anticipation of those very first few reloads ..... knowing I'd checked and checked - and checked again to be sure I had a safe load etc.
Nice tho eh - when they make a safe bang - the bullet hits target and gun cycles
Now, probably soon be time to load in bigger quantities and also adjust load to optimum - may well be a shade up or down the powder charge, always staying below max ...... to find the ''sweet'' load which runs best for tightest groups etc.
You mean ''cartridges''!! "wink: Welcome to the wonderful world of reloading!
I decided I would make 5 bullets
Chris - P95
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November 18th, 2007 08:24 PM
Nice job. I remember checking everything countless times every step of the way. Now 5-6 years later I have loaded 1,000's of rounds for my .40 cal. as well as for my buddy.
I also custom load my deer hunting rounds as well.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
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November 18th, 2007 08:57 PM
You do feel like a first time alchemist, don't you? You have your confidence and carry on but never get complacent!
For my Taurus PT 92 and FNP-9 I use Rainer 124 gr bullets with TiteGrup powder & winchester small pistol primers. Brass is whatever the heck I pick up at the range.
You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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November 18th, 2007 09:59 PM
With ammo prices getting higher and higher, I'm thinking about getting back in to reloading myself.
I'm heading over to Midway USA to check prices now!
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November 18th, 2007 10:37 PM
Sounds good! Like P95 says now it is time to play around a little bit. Don't forget to inspect your spent rounds for signs of excessive pressure. Personally, I tend to load mine towards the lower end of the power spectrum. Stretch the powder out a little more and it's also easier on the brass.
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November 18th, 2007 10:58 PM
Heres a little tip for you. You can fine tune your load for each specific gun so that it shoots the best it can shoot.
Start with about an 80% load and load 15 rounds. Shoot 3 groups of 5 each and write down on your targets what the powder charge weight was then set them aside.
Load 15 more rounds with 2 grains of powder more and do the same thing over and over until you get to the 100 percent load by the book.
Then check your targets. You will notice that your groups will be bigger or smaller in accordance with the powder charge. Your groups will start out big,get small, then get bigger. Look at the target with the smallest group and use that load as a future guide for that particular handgun. Of course, good record keeping is essential here.
Using the smallest group as a basis, then vary your charge up or down a grain and repeat the process. Once again go with the smallest group, and then fine tune your powder charge by 1/10 of a grain variation. Some times the 1/10 gain variation will make a difference, sometimes it wont....but going from a 2 grain to a 1 grain up or down difference will.
Once your et the smallest possible group, then load that round for all your target practice. When you do that, you'll know that you have fine tuned your load as best you could. You need to realize that changing ANY component, such as brass or primer of powder will make a difference, sometimes a vast difference. Even a primer can do that. I had a load tuned for my Anaconda .44 mag that was great. I ran out of Winchester primers and substituted with Federal because that was all that I could find. It made a huge difference, as the shots were all over the paper. Eventually I got some more Winchester Primers and the groups went right back to normal.
As you have already figured out, reloading in itself becomes as much of a hobby as shooting.
When you start shooting as much as I do, eventually you may need to get into casting just to keep your costs down.
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November 19th, 2007 08:44 AM
Thanx guys! It does feel good to put something together and having it work the way it is supposed to. Will probably make another batch this week to test some more.
P95 - Cartridges! I will remember that :)
Hotguns - Thanx for the advice. What is the difference between Federal and Winchester primers that would cause that much variation? The Lee manual does not recommend using Federal primer, curious as to why.
November 19th, 2007 09:06 AM
Time Out!!!!----------Time Out!!!!----------Time Out!!!!----------Time Out!!!!
I'd bet that HotGuns meant to say 2/10 (.2) grains of powder. Even though his post says "until you get to the 100 percent load", thought I'd toss out the warning anyway. When starting with an 80% load, an increase of 2 grains of almost any powder used for 9mm would result in an overcharge. Other than the typo, HotGuns gave you some good advice. The only thing I would add is that if you can get access to a chronograph, it's always a good thing at some point to load up ammo with the same bullet and velocity as your carry ammo so that you can actually practice with what you carry but for a much reduced cost over factory ammo.
Load 15 more rounds with 2 grains
of powder more and do the same thing over and over until you get to the 100 percent load by the book.
As far as the primers, changing any component can reflect in the performance of the ammunition. In benchrest rifle shooting, I've seen a brand change make as much as a 1" change in group size at 100 yards. Even this dramatic of a change would only be 1/4 inch at pistol ranges (25 yards), so I've usually found playing with primers for standard pistol rounds to be unnecessary, though in HotGun's example with his 44, it was. He probably could have corrected the situation but it would have meant starting from ground zero and working up to a new load with the different primer. Much easier just to go back to the primer that you already have the load worked up for and that has proven accurate. The reason for Lee's recommendation to NOT use Federal primers is that Federals are softer than most other brands (CCIs are usually the hardest) and on a progressive press like yours, there is a little greater change of setting off the primer during the operation of the press.
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November 19th, 2007 04:09 PM
CvHoss, thanx for the info on the primers. I actually do have a chronograph, from my paintball playing days. I never thought to do what you stated, but that is a good idea.
Hehe I thought that was what he meant when he said 2 grains, my mind automatically thought of it as 2/10ths.
November 19th, 2007 06:47 PM
+1 those guys. Its fun to work up loads and find what works best. If you really want to develop some good loads a chronograph is a must. There's still nothing wrong with loading up some cheap blasting ammo either.
Pretty cool when the gun doesn't blow up huh? And the bullets even hit the target! I remember my first loads - I had the mag well empty in case the gun exploded. Naturally they were fine...still a great step to take.
November 19th, 2007 07:56 PM
Good job Arkangel! I've been reloading since the 70's, and I still check and re-check .....you can never get so good that you could afford to be careless!
BTW How much HP-38 did you use?
November 19th, 2007 08:05 PM
Pretty cool when the gun doesn't blow up huh? Hehe! You think?
Actually it has happened to me before, with this same gun btw, I was using factory reloads (M&D?), the gun cycled and when I squeezed the next one the gun came apart in my hands. Needless to say I was shocked, but since i couldn't fix it at the range and I was only 10 rounds into my session, I picked up my revolver and kept on shooting. Then something was bothering me later on and I didnt know what it was, I put my hand to my face and came away with a bloody hand, apparently something came back and hit me on the bridge of my nose and it was bleeding. I finished up at the range and took the broken gun to my gun guy. You should have seen his face when I told him what happened, but basically he put the gun back together and it function checked ok.
It has never given me a problem since, and till yesterday it has never seen another factory reload.
November 19th, 2007 08:12 PM
Freedom, I hope that I never get careless or complacent. I started off with 4.6 grs of HP-38. The recoil was mild, the gun functioned flawlessly, and the grouping was good. Manual states 5.1 grs is max so I have some wiggle room. We shall see how it goes, I plan on staying where I am till I get more comfortable with the whole setup then I will see about making changes.
November 20th, 2007 07:18 PM
I felt the same way, didn't even care if it hit my target, just worried that the
I think I had my eyes closed on the first round, but voila, it went BANG!
gun would not blow up in my hands. I even bought some sturdy eye protection for that day..
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