First try at metallic cartridge reloading.

First try at metallic cartridge reloading.

This is a discussion on First try at metallic cartridge reloading. within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; After seeing ammo increase in price to the point that I can hardly afford to shoot, I decided to take the plunge and start reloading ...

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Thread: First try at metallic cartridge reloading.

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Question First try at metallic cartridge reloading.

    After seeing ammo increase in price to the point that I can hardly afford to shoot, I decided to take the plunge and start reloading metallic cartridges.

    I have reloaded thousands of shot shells in 12 and 20 gauge, and was set up for .410, 16 and 28gauge as well. When I moved from FL to Kansas last year I sold all my reloading stuff, which consisted mainly of two MEC 600 presses and all accessories needed. I had one press set up for 12 and the other for 20 gauge.

    To get me going on metallic cartridges, I bought a Lee hand press, a set of carbide dies and a Lee auto-prime along with all the necessary case prep tools and a scale. Total cost was about $180.00 to get started.

    I live in a small rental with no garage or shed and have no room for a loading bench, but with the hand press I can collect dies that I need, and when I finish law school and get settled somewhere, all I will need is a bench press. I will already have the dies and other stuff necessary to upgrade.

    For now I prep cases and install primers on the couch while watching TV and then move to the dinner table for charging and seating. The hand press is slow, but does a nice job. I only shoot a maximum of 50-100rnds per week. Some weeks none. I try to get to the range once a week but sometimes only make it two weeks a month depending on how busy life gets.

    I started off with 38 spl., since that is my primary carry caliber and my wife's HD caliber in her Ruger Security-Six. Also, my daughter has a 38/357 Winchester 94 trapper so we can have some "long gun fun". So now I can reload for three guns with only one set of dies. I reloaded my first box last night and just shot them up at the range today.

    So, you guys can look forward to me asking some dumb questions here and there if I run into any issues or problems in the future.

    I'll start with a couple now to get ya'll warmed up.

    Will the standard crimp on the Lee die I have now be sufficient for the tube magazine and lever action feed in the Winchester or should I go ahead and get a factory crimp die for .38/357?

    I plan to add die sets for .45acp and .40cal and perhaps .223 in the near future. Probably with a factory crimp die for each of those. (4 die set) The regular crimp works good for the revolver as far as I can tell, but in an autoloader I'd feel better using the factory crimp die.
    Am I misguided, or is this the best course of action in regard to making ammo for autoloaders?
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I actually use the seat and crimp die that comes with the set in all my handgun reloads everything from 9mm,45 acp,40 S&W,44 mag without any problems with bullets setting back during chambering,as far as a lever guns they feed smoother than semis which just strip a round from a magazine
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I had figured the regular crimp would work on the Winchester, but wanted to get another opinion before trying it. It seems to hold the bullet well and sizes the flare out of the case well when crimping/seating.

    Sounds like it will work on everything else too. I'll try it on some auto cartridges too when I get the dies, but I think I will go ahead and get the 4 die sets anyway since they are only a few dollars more. I picked up 50rnds of once fired .45 brass at the range today. :-) Now I'm a brass scavenger too I guess.
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    When loading for a tube fed rifle (Marlin, Winchester, Etc be sure to use Flat nose bullets as the nose of the bullets rest against the primer of the round ahead of it.

    Pointed bullets can cause you to have more excitment then you counted on.
    Last edited by Beans; July 17th, 2008 at 06:10 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    As far as rifle dies they come with a lee factory crimp die IIRC
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beans View Post
    When loading for a tube fed rifle (Marlin, Winchester, Etc be sure to use Flat nose bullets as the nose of the bullets rest against the primer of the round ahead of it.

    Pointed bullets can cause you to have more excitment then you counted on.
    I think I may try to get some of those lever-evolution bullets from Hornady to see if they are just hype or if they really work. They make them for .357, but I don't know if they sell the bullets themselves. If I can't get those I will probably use a 158gr flatnosed jsp for hunting. The local gunshop carries these in 158 gr,

    MidwayUSA - Federal Premium Vital-Shok Hunting Ammunition 357 Magnum 180 Grain CastCore Flat Point Box of 20

    so I will buy them or load something similar.

    I bought the carbine as a deer rifle for my daughter, and in a couple of years she will be ready to use it. (She's 8 now, I bought it for her when she was 3 mos. old) First I want to make sure that it has enough effective lethality for a clean kill. I plan on hunting with it this season for deer and if I make a trip to FL, I will try it on a hog too. Thruthfully, I like the gun so much myself I wish I had bought two or maybe three back when they were only $325.

    A little off the topic, but here is an article on the gun that I bought her, and while I bought it before this was written, the reasons stated by the author where exactly my thinking when I made the purchase. The author suggests some factory loads as well as some handloads for hunting.

    Winchester Model 94 Ranger Compact .357 Magnum
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    I have loaded and shot thousansds of rounds through my 38/357 lever gun with nary a problem. I do roll crimp the 357 stuff a bit harder than the 38's tho. Flat point bullets are a MUST, unless you want to load them one at a time.

    The new pointed bullets from Hornady might be ok, but kinda expensive for plinking.

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