yay -- first reloads, 26 for 26 :)


March 15, 2008, 08:39 PM
First: 26 is an odd number for a set of reloads, I realize: as I described in another thread, I made some boo-boos along the way --14 in all. The 26 45ACP cartridges in question are the ones that looked right, felt right, weighed right, measured right - and they all shot on command :)

I used 230gr speer gold tips, with once-fired Remington brass (my own), CCI primers, and 6gr of Unique powder. (Actually, I think it was closer to 5.99 :)), and all fired through my S&W 625.

Loaded them all on a Lee Classic Cast press. I am stll building up some questions / quibbles about the press and the reloading process generally, but all in all it was not so bad, esp. now that I (believe I) understand the reason I flubbed quite so many cases in this initial batch.

Definitely a little dirtier than the low-end factory ammo I've always used before, but I think just as accurate. (Makes me want to read some of those older queries on here for cleanest-burning .45ACP.) One cartridge that (by intent) had something closer to 6.0001gr definitely was louder than the others -- I can see how loads must be worked up to sloooowly.

I have not carefully inspected the fired brass yet to look for any of the bad things, but on a first glance, it looks perfectly nice. I did use sharpie to leave a green marker on all the cartridges on / around the primer, so if I decide that *any* of them look bad, I may just toss the lot (being so few anyhow) into the recycle bin.

Bonus: the only guy at the range today (besides me) who was picking up brass ended up giving me a few handfuls besides. I was happy to give him *more* of the calibers he was picking up (since I'd found quite a bit, and don't yet reload for .38sp or 9mm), but he declined and reversed -- generous. The gods of brass evidently want me to get a .357, to fire the brass I have been gifted or just picked up over the past year.

Many thanks to the people of THR who've helped me in reaching this early stage of the game, from choosing equipment, to finding a load recipe, to troubleshooting. I have all my fingers, therefore I salute you the conventional way.


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dave from mesa
March 16, 2008, 01:28 AM
Congrats Tim
So what did you change to make things right?

March 16, 2008, 05:11 PM
Thats similar to my starting load of 5.0 unique, cci brass, wolf primers, 230gr roundnose winchesters I'm learning to load on for my 1911. I'm a newbie reloader, but isn't 6.0 grn's pretty near the max? I don't have my speer manual (#14?) in front of me that came w/my rockchucker master kit.


March 16, 2008, 05:19 PM
Congrats! Welcome to the obsession. :)

March 16, 2008, 05:26 PM
You can always spot a new reloader...
they pick up ANY brass,no matter what it is...'just in case'.
.been there,done 'er. :)

March 16, 2008, 05:30 PM
Yeah and those little mag lites work great for checking primer holes :)


March 16, 2008, 06:05 PM
Depends on who's loading info he is using. Lee is saying six grains max so is Speer GD-HP 230 grain. But Speer TMJ 230 lists top load of Unique at 6.5 grains. Alliant lists for 230 GR FMC at 6.0 grains of Unique max. Sierra lists 6.2 grains start and 6.8 grains max for their 230 grain FMJ match.

My info is from Loadbooks and not directly from the bullet manufacturer, although it does say unabridged. I would be curious as to what Speer actually says.

My LEE dies list starting at 6.0 and Max at 6.0.

:confused: As thick as mud sometimes. I think he is ok. I would most likely shoot them, and he is erring on the low side of six grains.

March 16, 2008, 06:37 PM
What I have started doing for getting START/MAX load data is add up 3 of the published data loads start data. Then average them by dividing them. There is my start point. then I do the MAX loads from the same published data. That is my MAX load.

Sometimes I take the MAX load and the Start load, add those together, and then average them. that is my Starting load.

Just my own theory. Thought I would share.

March 16, 2008, 11:24 PM
"You can always spot a new reloader...
they pick up ANY brass,no matter what it is...'just in case'."

Heh, guilty on that count.

At the price of brass these days, and terrible "ammo fingerprinting" measures constantly being floated, I'd rather be far wrong about the value of grabbing any free brass I encounter! :) At the very least, it may mean I can give some to a friend later; I think a lot of brass pickers are getting it strictly for the scrap value, which is a shame, given all the effort that's already gone into making that particular bit of metal into a reusable case!

I'm also young, and though I may never be rich, I do intend to buy some more guns between here and the hereafter, so I can think of no reason not to have some brass in all the calibers (at least the conventional calibers I prefer) I can get. Except, of course, for the storage space it may one day eat up!


March 16, 2008, 11:47 PM
dave from mesa:

I actually didn't change anything -- by the time I was smart enough to complain, I was dumb enough to have gone through my first batch of 40 attempts. The ones that were good, I believe I just guided better with my fingers into the press, whereas the ones that were wrecked and wretched-looking, I didn't.

What I've learned for next time is to be slightly more aggressive in belling the case, such that bullets can slip enough into the casemouth that it's not a delicate balancing act in the first place.

I've also learned that (while operating the press slowly and carefully) I should make sure primers are all fully seated; I had to re-do a few of them in this batch which seemed to be slightly elevated.

Yes, I spotted that before I charged the cases :) I actually alternated between two different loading blocks, so I was drawing from a block of empty / decapped cases, putting primed cases into the second block, then once all the priming was done, reversing the direction as I charged the cases until all were charged, then reversing again as I added / seated the bullet in each. When all the primed (but still empty) cases were sitting in their appointed slots, primers up, I scanned them and ran my fingers over them, and gently put certain of them into the press for a better seating.


dave from mesa
March 17, 2008, 12:03 AM
Been loading on a Dillon 1050 and 550 for about 10-12 yrs. Loaded 1000's & 1000's & 1000's of rounds. To this day any time I get in a hurry I get F-upped ammo.
Slow and easy is the only way to go.
Killed a ground squirrel with a 223 that had a big chunk of my left finger in it. Being in a hurry got blood all over the press and my bench.
Slow and easy.

note to self: never pull the handle on a 1050 before the bullet is on top of the case! :banghead: :cuss:

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