My very first cartridge.


Jorg Nysgerrig
December 30, 2007, 12:53 AM
So, I got some reloading stuff for Christmas and got around to loading my first cartridge today.

As you can tell, it might have gone better. :rolleyes:

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December 30, 2007, 01:09 AM
i think that may be a compressed load. :uhoh:

what did you do?

December 30, 2007, 01:17 AM
Been there, done that! Don't let it get you down. When you get the die adjusted to the depth you want to bullet to be, I suggest loading a dummy round for future reference. I have dummy rounds for all calibers I reload for.

Mal H
December 30, 2007, 01:26 AM

That's one for the dud bucket at your range! I wouldn't even try salvaging the components. :)

That bulge at the base of the case? That's probably highly compressed powder. But, the primer looks nice!

Do you know what went wrong?

Jorg Nysgerrig
December 30, 2007, 02:30 AM
Short version: I didn't adjust the bullet seating die from the "factory default" setting.

Longer version: Well, it was a pretty simple mistake. I set up the the Lee Turret I got for Christmas (thanks mom!) and was putting the dies in so I could finally give this a go. I followed the instructions to install the decapping/sizing die, the expander/charging die, and the bullet seating die. When I got to the factory crimp die, it said to adjust it with a loaded round, so I decided that was as good of a time to try to load that first round as any. I popped the case into the shell holder and did the first pull. Seemed to go easy enough and the primer popped out as expected. I actuated the safety prime and seated the primer. I inspected the case and decided that went well enough, so I went to the charging step. That seems to go OK. I weighed the charge and it seemed the auto-disk was throwing the right charge, so I put the case back, charged it again (I'd discarded the first charge, mainly because I spilled it reaching for the reloading manual to double check the volumetric info for the weight) and let the turret spin to the bullet seating die. I placed the bullet on the case mouth, pulled the lever gently, the round slid effortlessly into the die and when I lowered it the case, I had that gem staring back at me. The instructions had said to adjust the die to the proper seating, but I wasn't sure how to do that without trying it first. Little did I know that the die came from the Lee factory in the "All the way screwed down that you can seat the bullt directly on the primer" position. Between a combination of not being familiar with the dies and not knowing the "feel" of the press, I managed to smash the bullet right into the case like that without realizing what was happening.

Afterwards, I did something similar to what gunman42782 suggested and used a guinea pig case and bullet to go back and adjust the expander die and the bullet seating die to a more happy place. It still could use a little fine tuning, but I figure that'll come as I get more familiar with the equipment and the process. I decided to save adjusting the factory crimp die for another day.

But, the primer looks nice!
Yes it does. If you look at it straight on from the back and cross your eyes a little so the bulge blurs out, it looks like a damn near perfect round. :)

December 30, 2007, 02:46 AM
This may be elementary to the more experienced reloaders on this site but I recently did much the same thing as I am new ti all this as well. I took a tap and tapped the primer hole on a “dummy” case then, whenever I was setting up the seating depth, I could just run a screw threw it and push the bullet back out to get another attempt at the ideal OACL without having a bunch of throwaways. I hang on to them to check myself whenever I change dies.

December 30, 2007, 03:24 AM
ive done that before! part of it is just getting a feel for the press and becoming familiar w/ dies. once u get it set up the way u want, ull be chugging along in no time.

December 30, 2007, 06:44 AM
There's a lot of little things you'll end up doing in your reloading career that will annoy you because avoidance would have been simple. It's the big things you really have to take time to avoid, as they tend to hurt you. Congrats on that first round. :D

December 30, 2007, 07:33 AM
You'll find out with new dies that the best thing to do is to take a bullet that is close to what you want, insert it into the shell holder, lift the seating ram all the way up. Then you screw in the die, when you feel the tension while screwing in the die, stop and tighten the seating screw on the die. That will get you in the ballpark with no ruined brass.

Yes, for those of us that don't read directions until absolutely necessary (ALL OF US MEN) I have done that too. Trial and error go hand and hand with testosterone.

December 30, 2007, 04:37 PM
I seem to remember seeing a 9mm that looked like that once, only I didn't seat it quite as deep. It looks like you know now to start with the seater all the way out and work down to the correct OAL. I do the same where I have a dummy round with no powder or primer to reset the seating die for all of the different bullet profiles and calibers I reload.

evan price
December 31, 2007, 12:12 AM
What I do is take a sized empty piece of brass. Screw the die all the way up, remove the seater plug entirely. Raise the ram. Screw the die down until it just hits the case. Lower the ram, screw down the die 1/4 turn, run the brass up and crimp it, check the crimp. If OK, take out that brass. Put in a factory-new equivalent round of ammo. Raise the ram to bring the finished round up into the die. Now put in the seater plug and start screwing it down until it just touches the top of the new bullet already set to the "right" OAL. Lower the ram. You should now be in the ballpark.

December 31, 2007, 01:03 AM

I am sure weall have at some point. I try and make it a practice to back all my dies out and work them in during setup. Remember when you change bullet, style, brand, batch, etc. you need to make minor adjustments to your seating die as well.

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