Test Gun?


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WNC Seabee
September 16, 2008, 09:57 AM
I've got my reloading supplies on order; haven't loaded a single round yet. But, I'm already worried about screwing up my shiny new $1,000 1911. So, I'm lying in bed last night and decide I should just go get some POS worn out .45 to use as a test gun.

Not testing for accuracy, just testing to make sure my reloads go boom, but not too much boom, or too little boom, or......

Thoughts? Does anyone else use a test gun or am I just paranoid?

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Galil5.56
September 16, 2008, 10:35 AM
WNC,

It can seem like a huge scary jump to start handloading, but if you are careful, deliberate, study before you pull the lever, and stick to the rules you will be fine.:) Be a $2000 gun or $250 dollar beater, you and your fellow shooters safety is paramount, not the fear of screwing up ANY firearm. Blowing up a pistol can result in death, so now you are dead and only out $250, but your nice 45 lives on? Giving in to fear of harming a gun means to me lack of confidence, and IMO this is no way to reload. Be confident, be cautious, and enjoy!

Also, since every gun is different, there is no way I would work up loads in one and expect them to perform the same in another. Yes, generally you can see trends, but I want my loads worked up in the particular pistol. My best advice is start out with a bulky, relatively forgiving propellant like Unique, not wring the last cent economy of low case filling types like titegroup, and ask questions here.

Good luck and have fun!

WNC Seabee
September 16, 2008, 10:43 AM
Good points. Thanks for the feedback.

I've read through the "ABCs of Reloading" a couple times and have been scouring this board while trying not to start another, "Hey I'm new, what do I do?" thread.

Galil5.56
September 16, 2008, 11:22 AM
Sounds good WNC.

For many folks starting out, proper Overall Length (OAL) for the cartridge, flaring, and crimping seem to be problem areas. For flaring it's trial and error, and just enough for the bullet to comfortably start seating is the right amount, and it changes by bullet style, type, brand...

Crimping is really just bell/flare removal with friction and a nice bulge in the case to hold the bullet tight. Your taper crimp die should be set just enough to get rid of the flare, and at the mouth .469" or a tiny bit more is what the "magic" number is. Go too much, and the head spacing will not be correct. I am not a fan of Lee factory crimp dies, and find taper crimping in the last stage perfect. OAL is the most tricky as it takes in bullet shape and style, magazine lengths and chamber depth and barrel leade. To start you might want to try the classic 230 grain FMJ RN bullet of the Winchester or Remington variety seated to an OAL of 1.260" to start in your 1911.

Good luck!

Walkalong
September 16, 2008, 11:42 AM
You have to screw up pretty bad to blow a gun up. If you were being carefull and followed your load books advise, you will be fine. One of the biggest things is looking at each powder charge you seat a bullet over. If you mess up, read a scale wrong, and overcharge a tad, you will not blow anything up with one shot. A double charge is what will get you in trouble, but that is easily seen if you are really watching each charge you seat a bullet over. Never have more than one powder on the bench at one time. X grs of Unique in a .45 may be fine, but that same X grs of Bullseye may not be. Always be sure you have the right powder for the charge used.

The Bushmaster
September 16, 2008, 02:58 PM
Aw come on WNC Seabee Yer a Seabee...Step up to the plate and load those cases BY THE BOOK and go shoot them in your $1,000 handgun. I just finished off 50 rounds in my new Kimber. All handloads and hot to boot. You going to let a Black Shoe Mine Sweep sailor out do ya?

WNC Seabee
September 16, 2008, 03:18 PM
Aw come on WNC Seabee Yer a Seabee...Step up to the plate and load those cases BY THE BOOK and go shoot them

See, Bushmaster, that's your first problem...you expect me to read the book. Uncle Sam's Yacht Club never trusted you boat people enough do do anything without orders in triplicate and an ensign to hold your hand! '

Bees just hammer on stuff with a big enough stick until it works; we don't need no stinking manual.

PecosRiverM
September 16, 2008, 03:30 PM
Oh boy squids:banghead:

:neener:

The Bushmaster
September 16, 2008, 03:32 PM
Aw, but I WAS the MPA and ran ALL of Engineering on a wooden ocean going mine sweep. And I am proud that my mine sweep was the only one on the west coast certified to sweep real mines under my watch...

And have you decided to shoot your fresh new never been done reloads in your new never been shot .45 ACP? Or do I have to look down on you again...:neener:

PecosRiverM...More like an Anchor Clanker, Swabby or Gob, but that's Tar to you.:D

WNC Seabee
September 16, 2008, 04:52 PM
And have you decided to shoot your fresh new never been done reloads in your new never been shot .45 ACP? Or do I have to look down on you again...

I guess I'll shoot them. Wish me luck!

The Bushmaster
September 16, 2008, 05:00 PM
Be brave...Actually it's not as hard to reload as you might think and it is rather hard to error if you are following directions and paying attention to what you are doing. No luck at all...Just knowledge skills and presence of mind...Enjoy...

Let us know how it turns out. Even if you have to have some one else type for ya...:D

Walkalong
September 16, 2008, 05:18 PM
I just finished off 50 rounds in my new Kimber.How is that new Kimber working out Bushmaster?

Friendly, Don't Fire!
September 16, 2008, 05:23 PM
You should be fine.

In fact, you will hopefully be MORE CAREFUL than the average reloader because you are new at it!

scrat
September 16, 2008, 09:35 PM
everyone was nervous the first time shooting their own reloads. Best advice double check everything. Make sure you follow the load data. If you want post the load data you are going to try. make sure to include the bullet weight in grains. powder in grains make, primer make. We can all let you know how safe it is. Then bottom line when you first fire your loads your going to be nervous. but then after about 30 rounds your going to be so excited. your going to want to reload everything you see.. it happens it happens all the time.

The Bushmaster
September 17, 2008, 10:40 AM
In fact you will deliberately shoot all your ammunition just so you can reload it again...Devistating hab...hobby.

That Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II is (as you know by e-mail) doing just fine and I'm just pleased as punch with it.

scrat
September 17, 2008, 06:09 PM
yep. as soon as you load it you cant wait to shoot it all so you can load it again. its a pattern. somedays you almost dont care how well you shoot just as long as you have empty cases to load again

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