Where to start

Where to start

This is a discussion on Where to start within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; As stated before, I am fairly new to reloading. I am getting ready to load 2 new calibers so my question is do most people ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Techer40's Avatar
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    Where to start

    As stated before, I am fairly new to reloading. I am getting ready to load 2 new calibers so my question is do most people who reload start at the minimum powder charge or somewhere in between?

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    Member Array Techer40's Avatar
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    BTW I am starting on loads for .40 and .45 ACP. Starting with plinking rounds and working up to rounds for defense of furry critters and snakes while hiking in the woods this summer.

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    The 40 has a much smaller range of tolerance than the 45 due to pressure, Iíd begin with the 45. Load a small batch of 45ís to perhaps 50-60% or so of the top end and take them to the range for a test drive. Gain some confidence and go from there......
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    VIP Member Array Havok's Avatar
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    Youíre best off starting at the bottom, especially being new. Donít go over max without having a good understanding of pressure signs. If you havenít done so already, I would buy a manual, I like the Lyman, but there are plenty of others, and read the whole thing to get a good understanding of the process. Donít trust random load data posted on any forum, no matter how much you trust the person posting it. On thing I will say as Iíve recently started loading .45, is that the two different bullets and powders Iíve used, none of the lower charges cycled the gun. I actually started a thread yesterday about this. Up until I reached max, it would not cycle with that powder. Iím not saying to start at the upper end of the spectrum, but donít load a bunch of rounds that may not work. Pulling bullets sucks.
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    Member Array Techer40's Avatar
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    I do have a manual and have read it. So what I am getting so far is start in the middle of the range for powder. I would load a few and shoot them just to see how they perform. No need to load a bunch of ammo I don't like to shoot. I'm game for useful advice on this subject and thank you for those who have already responded.

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    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techer40 View Post
    I do have a manual and have read it. So what I am getting so far is start in the middle of the range for powder. I would load a few and shoot them just to see how they perform. No need to load a bunch of ammo I don't like to shoot. I'm game for useful advice on this subject and thank you for those who have already responded.
    When reloading in winter months, go with minimum charges. Those charges will have more velocity/pressure in the summer. I do have to ask, if you donít like shooting, why are you bothering with reloading? Most all reloaded do so for economic reasons. I can easily shoot around 400~500 rounds in one session.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    When reloading in winter months, go with minimum charges. Those charges will have more velocity/pressure in the summer. I do have to ask, if you donít like shooting, why are you bothering with reloading? Most all reloaded do so for economic reasons. I can easily shoot around 400~500 rounds in one session.
    I think what he was saying is he'd just make small batches to start with, in case there is some load he does not like to shoot. And that is for sure the best practice. Stay close to the minimum to start with. Load 10-20 of them and go try them out. Work your way up from there.
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    Distinguished Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    I've been reloading for almost 40 years. If I'm starting with a cartridge I've not loaded before, I always begin at or near the start load point. For cartridges with which I have experience and when using a new powder or bullet, I'll often begin closer to the mid-range and then work the load up or down based on my load objective and experience with the mid-range load.

    For the OP, as a person fairly new to reloading, begin with the start load and work up if necessary. Usually start loads are just fine for plinking/target shooting and you save a little money by getting more loads out of a pound of powder.
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    I am about five years in to loading. My experience is that the bottom loads in the manuals are usually so weak that the brass wonít expand enough to keep soot from going down the sides of the case. Mid range works better.

    But being new I think you should start at the bottom and work up from there. I have five different manuals and trae them as opinions. There are too many variables involved to take any of it as gospel. Be safe and find out what is best for your gun and the components that you are using.
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    Member Array Techer40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flintlock62 View Post
    When reloading in winter months, go with minimum charges. Those charges will have more velocity/pressure in the summer. I do have to ask, if you donít like shooting, why are you bothering with reloading? Most all reloaded do so for economic reasons. I can easily shoot around 400~500 rounds in one session.
    Its not that I don't like to shoot, I just don't want to have ammo I'm not happy with. I do shoot a bunch which is the reason I decided to get into reloading. I guess I should watch my phrasing...

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    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jejb View Post
    I think what he was saying is he'd just make small batches to start with, in case there is some load he does not like to shoot. And that is for sure the best practice. Stay close to the minimum to start with. Load 10-20 of them and go try them out. Work your way up from there.
    Yeah, I did misunderstand. Of course, make small batches. I've reloaded for more years than I care to mention. If I'm trying a new powder, I start at, or near the bottom and usually load between 10 to 20 rounds and look at the primers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Struckat View Post
    I am about five years in to loading. My experience is that the bottom loads in the manuals are usually so weak that the brass wonít expand enough to keep soot from going down the sides of the case. Mid range works better.
    I've found this as well. You can also have cycling problems with semi-autos.
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    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Techer40 View Post
    Its not that I don't like to shoot, I just don't want to have ammo I'm not happy with. I do shoot a bunch which is the reason I decided to get into reloading. I guess I should watch my phrasing...
    I guess I should read more closely! When new to reloading, take baby steps. Start at the bottom and work upwards. Starting in the middle of the table works best with slow burning powders. Since you live where it gets pretty cold in winter, I suggest you save loading to maximum until warm weather arrives. What powders and bullet weights are you planning to use?
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    The powder I'm using is CFE Pistol so I think it should work pretty well

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    VIP Member Array flintlock62's Avatar
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    CFE is a good powder. I've started using myself lately
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