Question on Hard Cast Lead for Newbie


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y2k600f4
January 3, 2008, 02:00 PM
Hi, I am new to the forum but have been reading the many great post for awhile. I am also new to reloading and I am just getting ready to order a Lee Classic Turret package which includes (Lee Classic Turret Press, small and large primer feeders, Lee pro auto disc powder measure, auto riser disc, lee rifle charging die, lee safety scale; lee 4 die set in 9mm,38/357,45ACP along with a few spare turrets, and the Lee Modern Reloading 2nd edition). I have read many posts that say I should go with a different scale and add a few other books (still reading posts) and I may either order those now or later. I plan on starting off reloading some 9mm and I am in the process of ordering some hard cast bullets and narrowed it down to either mastercast or keadbullets (both seem to be excellent companies). I have yet chose a powder brand or load but wanted to first get the bullets ordered. My choices are the mastercast (2%/6%) 9MM 125 gr CN or keadbullets (2%/8%---harder bullet) in 9MM 122 gr FP, 125 gr RN or 147 gr FP. I am leaning towards the Keadbullets 125 gn RN as recomended by Keadbullets. They will be used primarily for indoor range target shooting and some outdoor plinking and right now will be used in either a SA XD-9 or Taurus PT99; but may be shot in other guns in the future including glocks. My concern was I read that the factory crimp maybe a problem due to the harder bullet ??? Will this be an issue on the classic turret ? Any opinions or recomendations on the 9mm bullet would greatly be appreciated or any other coments on my reloading setup. Thanks in advance !!

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trickyasafox
January 3, 2008, 02:24 PM
I wouldn't worry about the crimp- the hardest lead bullets are still only about a 1/3 as hard as most jacketed. As long as you don't over crimp the rounds everything should run right along smoothly.

not that you asked for it, but unique is a pretty versatile powder and would load all those calibers you listed with lead. . .

Good choice on the press, as for the bullet choice- not sure- do your firearms like heavier bullets? if so the 147gr might not be bad. the 122 or 125 would be good if your firearms perform better with lighter to mid weight in 9mm.

I'd see if you could get a sample pack of about 50-100 of each type of bullet to see which feeds and fires best in your respective pistols, then order a metric poop-load of them (technical term there :) )

welcome to the board!

evan price
January 3, 2008, 02:30 PM
I load the K.E.A.D. hard-cast 9mm 125-grain in my Lee Pro-1000 using only the original seater/crimper die in a Lee 3-die set. I have absolutely no problems with this bullet and I am loading them right around the max recommended loads for today's light 9mm with no issues (4.4 grains Titegroup). The bullets are very uniform and I have had zero issues. I knocked out 500 of them this New Years Eve.

They are sized to .3565 so they do a good job of sealing. The lube they use is very good, it does not get gummy or sticky when warm like the cheaper waxy lubes.

The harder alloy does not cause me any problems with regards to crimping or seating however on a 9mm you don't need much crimp, just enough to unbell the expanded mouth and a touch more. I honestly don't see the need for an FCD for 9mm- it's a solution to a problem that just isn't there IMHO.

No smoke, no leading issues, and a nice accurate load.

My neighbor and I both have Springfield XD-9 4" pistols and this load is nice in that. It also cycles & feeds my Sigs, S&Ws and my Kel-Tecs (including a Sub2000 Carbine) absolutely reliably.

K.E.A.D. will ship 3000 of the 9mm in a single box for $128 insured Priority Mail. They do this by putting 750 bullets in the 500-count sized small cartons. You need to call in and ask for this if you want to get the best "bulk" deal.

Another option is the 115-grain FMJ HB-RN from TJ Conevera; they are a "true" FMJ Winchester and they are right now $69 per thousand shipped. Winchester bullets are what they are, I have never had a problem with them either.

I don't work for K.E.A.D. or TJ Conevera; I am just a satisfied customer. I have not used Mastercast so I can't compare however I have used softer alloy bullets and K.E.A.D. I like better- I can push them a little harder without leading, almost as fast as a Rainier plated.

YMMV, good luck.

Shoney
January 3, 2008, 02:52 PM
WELCOME TO THR!

Good choice on press.

Be aware that your indoor range should be extreemly well ventilated if they allow lead bullets to be shot. You are at risk of lead poisoning. Read the sticky at the top of the "Handloading and Relaoding" page.

Good Shooting!

y2k600f4
January 3, 2008, 03:18 PM
trickeyasafox....thanks for the excellent info !

evan price.... The harder alloy does not cause me any problems with regards to crimping or seating however on a 9mm you don't need much crimp, just enough to unbell the expanded mouth and a touch more. I honestly don't see the need for an FCD for 9mm- it's a solution to a problem that just isn't there IMHO.


Thanks for the tip !!! ...something I need to look into before I order the Lee dies. I originally was going to go with the Lee pistol 4 die sets. From the info from Lee: "The Lee Deluxe Pistol Die Set combines the world's most popular carbide three-die set with the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die at a great price. No other die set at any price will produce more reliable or accurate ammo. By separating the seating and crimping operation, you will benefit by a greatly simplified adjustment. More importantly, the Carbide Factory Crimp Die post sizes your case assuring you that any round that passes through the die will chamber properly in your gun. This-plus all the other exclusive features that come standard with our pistol dies, make this the best die set money can buy."

Shoney...thanks for the tip on lead poisening. My range's website has no restrictions on shooting lead and they state *We cycle OUTSIDE air over the shooter to provide a safe shooting environment. During WINTER months, wear appropriate clothing.
. It gets cold in the winter !!!

evan price
January 3, 2008, 03:32 PM
Lee Reloading:"By separating the seating and crimping operation, you will benefit by a greatly simplified adjustment. More importantly, the Carbide Factory Crimp Die post sizes your case assuring you that any round that passes through the die will chamber properly in your gun."

Y2K: Again, this is my opinion, but any casing that goes through your resizer/decapper should now be sized to fit your chamber, and as far as setup of the seater/crimper goes, it takes me a few minutes, that's all.
I have never had a properly-prepared 9mm fail to chamber in my gun, and I checked them pretty religiously by removing the barrel and dropping rounds into the chamber to see if they would fit- they always did.

Lee dies are IMHO the best value out there. The addition of the FCD is possibly useful in some calibers such as .45s with finicky pistols but it's also a great way to get people to upgrade to 4-station turret presses or Loadmaster progressives... "Really- You need this extra step, but you have to upgrade to use it...!"

y2k600f4
January 5, 2008, 08:36 AM
FYI here is George's take on his bullets (KEAD) and FCD....

Factory crimp seating die might be a problem. I know the 45's don't work well with them - larger diameter, etc. Bottom line - my alloy is too hard to compress with that seating die. That die is trying to compress a loaded round - and my 2/8 bullet possibly might be too hard and you don't want to force anything.......

You might see if the Lee folks have any thoughts on that.........

hawkeye1
January 7, 2008, 08:58 AM
I don't think regular velocity pistol bullets matter too much about hardness. I use straight home cast wheel weights for my pistol bullets and have absolutely no leading problem.

I would say pick the bullet based on the style of bullet, weight and type of lube. Use the one that works well in your pistol.

FWIW I like SWC in most of my everyday shooting. They cast well. Shoot well. Reload well. And they print nice holes on the target.

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