my order shipped today, few questions on powders.


April 26, 2008, 01:03 AM
as discussed last weekend, i made my order today to get back into reloading.

here is what is currently enroute:

lee loadmaster kit with .223 pacesetter dies and the perfect powder measure
.45acp carbide die set.
large primer feeder setup (for the pistol)
large pistol case feeder
rifle case feeder
lee safety scale
frankford arsenal tumbler

here is what i plan to order tommorow:

case trimmer
2l shell plate for the 45acp
extra turret for the 45 die set (was told this is the setup for easy caliber changes)
some walnut and corncob media.

as for my questions on powders, i would like to stay with hodgdons just to keep it as simple as possible.

the .223 will be fired from bushmaster, colt, and dpms ar style rifles with 16 and 20" barrels with the standard 1 in 9 twist rates. the bullets will almost always be 55-62gr fmjbt, and i will just be competing with my buds and their whitebox winchester factory stuff at 100-200 yrds.

the .45acp will be fired from 4 and 5 inch 1911 kimbers and colts, same kind of fun against the same buncha friends with their same whitebox winchester factory stuff.

now then, i guess to start, one really important thing for me is, which powders will the perfect powder measure agree with the most?

for the pistol?

for the rifle?

my research has made me lean towards hodgdon universal for the pistol

and h335 for the rifles. am i on the right track?

and thx again guys. your experience is truly appreciated.

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April 26, 2008, 01:14 AM
You'll have to work up a load for both(and each pistol) using data from your manual. It depends on what bullet you plan on using too. Don't shoot .223 myself. However, my Colt Series 70 likes 230 grain RN or FP cast bullets with 4.5 grains of Bullseye. It's is a nice light target load that'll shoot circles around any factory ammo.

April 26, 2008, 01:31 AM
1. If your press kit did not include the Pro / Deluxe Auto Disk Measure, get one of those as well.

2. Be sure the Pro disk setup includes a swivel adapter and a riser and the adjustable charge bar--then set it up permanently on the .45 ACP die set.

3. Personally, I prefer to use my Load-Master with a 5-die setup--e.g., I use the Universal decapper in station one, then the sizer with no decapper in station two, over the primer subsystem.

IOW, order at least one universal decapper (for the .45ACP set), a Universal charge die (for the Perfect powder measure).

4. If you did NOT get the .45ACP 4-die set, then order the .45ACP FCD die.

5. Order some spare parts for the primer subsystem--particularly the small and large 'feeders. '

6. You may well want to add extra primer trays, and the case feeder / collator parts once you get the hang of it.

Do NOT start out with .223; start with the .45ACP. When you do start rifle, remove the indexer rod and plan on indexing manually. Personally, I would load .223 on a single stage until I got the hang of it--on a progressive, it's problematic for a newbie.

Add at least two manuals--I recommend Lyman 48th, and perhaps Speer.

For .45ACP, I like to load Win 231, or Win WSF, depending on bullet weight. AA#5 is another good one...I'm just learning rifle (on a Lee Turret, run as a single stage) with .223, and H335 is what was recommended to me for that caliber (by my LGS, whose owner is a .223 long-distance guy.) personally, I don't care for H. Universal, and I am not sure about its desirablility for .45ACP. (Others should be along to offer their powder comments, too.

You do have a caliper, don't you? And, consider getting a max cart gauge--works better than using the chamber(s) for checking, at least for the .45ACP.

Any other questions, just ask.

Jim H.

Mt Shooter
April 26, 2008, 01:46 AM
send all loads to me for personal testing 1K each should do :evil:

April 26, 2008, 01:48 AM
thx jim, very informative.

i will take your advice on the pro disc setup for the .45

i do have a set of good digital calipers already that i use to measure commutators on small electric motors before and after i cut the comms on a lathe. i think they go up to 6 inches, and of course, down to .001

another question i had was this. i found an old abc's of reloading manual for sale in great condition for just a couple of bucks. would the older book suit me for my apprenticeship period, or should i go for the latest edition? (i think its the 2nd edition)

i already have a lee/mec combo reloading manual from years ago that covered shotshells and centerfire reloading

(ive reloaded tons of shotshells with it)

April 26, 2008, 01:50 AM
send all loads to me for personal testing 1K each should do

lol, no prob shooter.

just send your mailing address to:

doublecharger @ yahoo . com


April 26, 2008, 01:55 AM
Thanks for the thanks...

1. Good on the Pro Auto....

2. Good, you know machines....

3. the ABCs manual is a good overview, but that fact doesn't make it as a load resource--and you need more than just the online stuff. Personally, I have the ABCs from about '90, and then when I returned to reloading last year, I bought the latest--it helped to bring me up to speed on current gear. I would guess the used version would be a quick read, and probably all you would need since you've done reloading.

Since you've reloaded, the fundamentals are probably there--just be aware that the Load-Master can have steep setup and tweaking curves; see the for support and assistance.

Jim H.

April 26, 2008, 02:14 AM
just be aware that the Load-Master can have steep setup and tweaking curves; see the for support and assistance.

yes, ive heard that the loadmasters can be fickle, and i will definitly check out that forum.

i really think that one thing ive got working for me is that i have a sincere love of all things mechanical and troublesome. really anything robotic or automated. im one of those weird fellows that thinks cracking an egg with a 47 step electro-mechanical device is better than eating it, lol.

and also, im in no hurry here. im actually more excited about the levers and sliders and actuators and monitoring the clearances and tolerances, etc, etc, etc,,,,

making ammo will be a byproduct of mechanical music.

Jim Watson
April 26, 2008, 07:55 AM
You do have a manual, don't you? The ABCs is elementary stuff. Some say that the older editions by Dean Grennell are better reading, although they lack the plugs for current model equipment in the current edition.

For load data, you need a manual. The magazine format Hodgdon book intermediate between a manual and the free papmphlets is handy but no substitute for at least one full manual.

As said, H335 for .223 is fine; or BLC2.

HP38 for .45 ACP to stay with Hodgdons. Off the Win 231 production line, it is old tech powder and some say it is "dirty" but there is a lot of data and experience with it, nearly as much as for Unique. They push stuff like Titegroup but you will read of little peculiarities with it. HS6 is the only powder I have fouled out a gun to the point of malfunction with.
I am now loading Clays but that because I have drastically cut my load to reduce recoil.

April 26, 2008, 08:13 AM
just send your mailing address to:

doublecharger @ yahoo . comGood stuff.

I am going to disagree with jfh, for a change, and recommend against the Lee FCD die for the .45 ACP. No need for it and it can cause problems(another discussion)

I do agree with his recommendation of WSF, 231, or AA #5 for powder. They will all work very well. W-231 & Bullseye are probably reloaders favorite .45 powders. I would add Clays, AA #2, WST, and Competition to that mix as well, but, you cannot go wrong with W-231 and it is probably your best bet to start with. Hodgdon Universal will work fine, and give good accuracy, but I have gotten away from it in the .45. I do like it a lot in the .40.

You have picked two of the easier calibers to start with. Nothing easier than .45 and .223 is very straight forward as well, with lots of data and reloaders personal experience out there to tap into. A huge selection of bullets to choose from as well.

Sounds like you are off to a great start.

April 26, 2008, 10:16 AM
re the .45ACP FCD die:

Walkalong is correct--insofar as it is true that one does not need the FCD die to load good .45ACP ammo. (As he said, that's another discussion.)

However, I was / am running in my LoadMaster-experienced-user and in my inherent teacher-with-ulterior-motives mode--and as such I was recommending the FCD for two other reasons:

1. To make a full-five die set to fill the turret (and thereby making it liklier to get get more constant LOAs) and

2. Provide the benefit of separated seating and crimping.

IOW, 3-die setups (on a Load-Master) can be problematic if the user hasn't got the press tweaked up--IMO.

re the powders--listen to Jim Watson and Walkalong. As an aside, other than fulfilling your own need for one less variable (brand Name), their is no particular reason to stay with Hodgdon--the issue really is to get started with powders that will meter well for you in your gear, and the ones listed do that just fine.

Order / buy some WLPs and WSRs, and get some .45ACP bullets from and you should be good to get started. After you get two manuals, that is.

Before I forget again--view--download from the loadmasterforums site--the help videos. The setup tips there, particularly for the case feeder and for the primer subsystem, are invaluable. IOW, go buy some STP if you don't have it now.

Jim H.

April 26, 2008, 11:35 AM
"Less filling/tastes great".

Neither are likely to change sides. ;)

April 26, 2008, 10:59 PM
from jim watson
You do have a manual, don't you?

hi jim, yes i have an old one but i ordered one from lee called modern handloading. and i would like to have one from hodgdon as well before i start (in other words, i will have one before i start)

The ABCs is elementary stuff. Some say that the older editions by Dean Grennell are better reading, although they lack the plugs for current model equipment in the current edition.

funny you should mention that bacause today i got a 1977 version of this book from that author on ebay for 6 bux, 10 shipped. and its in excellent condition.

As said, H335 for .223 is fine; or BLC2.

HP38 for .45 ACP

these are the powders i will start with, and then experiment with some others later. i dont want to get too involved in debating which is best yet at least till im comfortable with all the aspects of reloading metallic cartidges.

so i will take you up on those suggestions. i was already kinda eyeballing the h335.

thx everyone so far.

all i actually ordered today was a 5 hole turret and the vintage abc's of reloading.

oh ya, and the lee modern reloading manual.

i will order a pro disc powder measure and a universal charging die for the 45 turret tonight or tomorrow.

i still have a few things to get like 2L shellplate for the 45acp, bullet pullers, media, case trimmer,,,,,etc.

speaking of case trimmers, i was looking at the one where you pull the little cord like starting an engine,,,,,,,,,,,any experience with these anyone?

i think i will try to have everything by next weekend. (minus primers, powders, bullets)

Jim Watson
April 26, 2008, 11:21 PM
You get theoretical objections to the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die.

That it will squeeze the bullet down and the lead won't rebound but the brass will, actually reducing the crimp. Not something I have seen in my use of them.

That it will deform the bullet and reduce accuracy. Well, if you are loading bulk cast bullets in mixed brass, if the round won't chamber, it won't shoot and hit anything, will it? If you are using jacketed or handcast bullets in the same lot number of brass for NRA 50 yard slowfire, you probably shouldn't use the CFC. But it might help make reliable plinking ammo, and stuff good enough for the big close target of IDPA.

I used it in the press for a good while but did not like the bumpity bump of the sizing ring going over the grease grooves. I gauge my loads 100% and it is not much extra trouble to CFC the oversize in a single stage.

April 26, 2008, 11:34 PM
yes, i had planned on getting it ever since jfh suggested it.

its not that expensive and i would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

April 27, 2008, 12:01 AM
jfh, shouldn't he get the large pistol primers for the .45 ACP?

April 27, 2008, 12:31 AM
Ed E: thanks--I just corrected that. (It's me who is using up WSPs right and left.)

Jim H.

April 27, 2008, 01:01 AM
Just a couple of clarifications (and some elaborations here):

1. You really won't need the universal charging die for the .45ACP turret / die set; it's used in the .223 turret / die set with the Perfect Powder measure.

2. Install a Universal decapping die in station one of the .45ACP turret, then the Sizer die (with the decapping pin removed) in station two, the .45ACP charging (Powder Through Expanding Die, or PTED) die in three, the seater / crimper die (with the crimper backed out; for seating only) in four, and the FCD (Jim Watson calls it the CFC) in station five--backed out to provide a minor taper crimp only.

That set up on a Load-Master 1) minimizes primer insertion problems once the setup is complete, 2) allows a setup that minimizes LOA variation, 3) provides for separate seating, and 4) with separate crimping, allows for tweaking the final crimp easily.

3. Install the Perfect Powder Measure "permanently" with the .223 turret / die set, or on the bench top, and learn a rifle workflow that makes sense to you. This workflow may well be different from your pistol workflow--but you need to read more before you get worried about these issues.

4. Install the Pro Auto Disk Mesure "permanently" on the .45ACP turret / die set. I recommend forgetting the Lee disks, and just start with the adjustable charge bar, but you may want to try out HP38 with a disk set. Be sure to always use the manual pull back on the powder measure. This setup version will reduce anxiety about powder drops. (Get extra chain on hand, BTW).

FWIW, Jim Watson's read of the FCD use is about what mine is--it isn't what you want for building bullseye ammo, but it's great for building your favorite recipe / sweet spot .45ACP ammo. To get minimum (taper) crimp applied, do the final setup by adjusting the die body to absolute minimum, then dial in the minimum stem / taper crimp. With luck, you'll get little or no post-sizing (the "double bump;"). Post-sizing really is a function of the length of your bullet and the thickness of the cartridge wall, and the (lead) bullet diameter, AFAICT.

The key to getting the appropriate turret setup is to get the first two dies setup virtually "identical" for depth and pressure on the shell plate, then adjust the other three dies to provide about the same pressure / contact if you can. This part is subjective and really depends on "averages"--typically, the average LOA of the case.

For media, I prefer crushed walnut, BTW, and a capful of NuCar auto polish every so often.

For case trimmers, I am not up to speed on current cost-efficient packages. You will not need to trim your pistol cases, only the rifle cases, so somebody else can speak up on that.

Jim H.

April 27, 2008, 08:47 AM
I used it in the press for a good while but did not like the bumpity bump of the sizing ring going over the grease grooves. I gauge my loads 100% and it is not much extra trouble to CFC the oversize in a single stage.
Jim is the only one who has come up with a good reason, for me at least, to use the FCD for pistol rounds.

Other than that, I still think it is widely misused to "fix" poorly made ammo when it should be just plain fixed right.

April 28, 2008, 01:10 AM

only thing i ordered today was a bullet puller.

its a hornady smack it on the bench type. looked at the rcbs and frankford models, but a good deal on shipping made the hornady the best deal. i hope its a good one.

here is an update of what is ordered. its going to be an exciting week cuz everything starts getting here on tues. and should be trickling in all week.

loadmaster press for .223
45acp dies
loadmaster large feeder primer setup
rifle case feeder
large pistol case feeder
balance type powder scale
brass tumbler
vintage 1977 version abc's of reloading
lee modern reloading manual
5 hole turret (for the 45 dies)

still got a few things to pickup like

case trimmer
2L shell plate for the 45
some polishing/cleaning media

and i think i will get the pro disc powder measure with the charge bar to setup for the 45.

i will get back after it tommorow night.

lastly let me say thx guys to everyone who has helped me so far. this website has surely put out some fine handloaders.

now sleep

April 28, 2008, 10:04 AM
I have been converted. I would suggest you try this brand of powder to start with, and you might save a lot of time.


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