I reloaded ammo for my first time today! (pics of old handguns too)


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CPshooter
December 15, 2008, 12:33 AM
Today I took a drive with my girlfriend to her grandparents' house for an early christmas visit, and her grandpa happens to be a total gun-nut. Not the kind of gun-nut that likes high-tech tactical stuff and polymer handguns, but the kind that knows the history behind every one of his guns and owns guns older than he is(mid-70s??). He also spends more time in his gun area/hangout room than he does with his wife, which I thought was funny.

Anyways, he was kind enough to insist that I learn to reload some .45acp and take it home with me to shoot it in the 1911 I just bought. (It is a series 80 Colt Commander, and my first 1911) He also owns 3 or 4 Colt 1911s, one in .38 super.

I was really excited about it, and loaded up 26 rounds before I left. He reloads dozens of types of ammo for all his rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Also, he casts his own lead bullets out of wheel weights and says he even makes his own jacketed handgun ammo too. He just told me to grab a couple handfulls of empty .45 shells that were in a plastic bin, and I reloaded them using Unique powder, CCI primers, and cast lead bullets. I had a great time doing it, and I really learned alot. Now I just need to get a decent, but affordable setup for myself so I can shoot all the time for minimal ammo cost. Btw, I can see why some of you say that reloading is very addictive!

Here is a picture of the ammo I made on the left, and some "factory match ammo" he also gave me on the right:

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/photo-34.jpg

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/photo-35.jpg

Here are some old handguns of his that I took pictures of. I don't even remember what he said they were..he showed me so many guns that I forgot what was what. One of these might be a Harris and Rich-something from the 1920s??? I'm not really sure..interesting guns though. I got to hold them all. I especially liked this weird "riot gun," which was an old 5 or 6 round 12ga shotgun that he said police used to use back in the day. I believe it was made by Winchester... It had a hammer that you could cock back manually with your thumb. I wish I took some pics of it.

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/photo-32.jpg

http://i110.photobucket.com/albums/n106/TonyG749/photo-33.jpg

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CPshooter
December 15, 2008, 12:52 AM
Also, I don't expect my reloads to be all that consistent.

First of all, the device used to fill the empty shell up with powder was like a funnel that had a knob you turn one way, then you turn it back the other way. This seemed to get stuck sometimes, which according to him is caused by the flakes of gun-powder getting jammed in there. He said it's not a big deal, but I don't see how you can make accurate (aka consistent) loads without measuring the exact weight of the powder for each round.

On top of that, the cast lead bullets weren't exactly flawless and some had dimples or ridges. He used a press or something to shave the cast bullets to the correct diameter/shape, but they still aren't nearly as consistent as FMJ loads. I used steel wool to give the bullets a light polishing and they looked nice and shiny afterwards.

The last thing I want to mention is that I thought it was strange that he puts a special grease on the ridges of the cast-lead bullets. I had no idea bullets were supposed to have grease on them. Isn't hot grease going to fowl up a barrel even faster?

Is the barrel on my Colt Commander at any risk of damage from using reloads like these? Or is ball ammo easier on rifling due to it being soft lead? Any input would be appreciated!

FlyinBryan
December 15, 2008, 01:34 AM
its normal to lube cast bullets.

different ppl use differnt lubes.

i prefer the wax type. you melt it and pour it in a shallow pan with bullets all sitting in it nose up. you only pour enough in to cover the lube groove, then let it set up and harden (like candle wax), then pull it out and push the bullets through to end up with lubed bullets.

from what you described the only thing i would be worried about is the powder measure you used, and whether or not you over/double-charged any cases before seating your bullets.

as far as the lube harming your gun, i doubt it.

as far as double charging one, your gun would be destroyed in one shot, as well as your hand/arm/face/etc,etc,etc.

did you weigh the charges?

if so your probably fine.

not much powder goes into a 45acp case.

it should look about 1/4 to 1/3 full depending on the powder used.

it sounds like you were using a powder trickler, in which case you should have weighed every round.

if you did, your ok.

FlyinBryan
December 15, 2008, 01:44 AM
He said it's not a big deal, but I don't see how you can make accurate (aka consistent) loads without measuring the exact weight of the powder for each round.

dude,

i just reread and im glad i did.

i would absolutely not shoot those rounds if you dont know how much powder is in each one.

a 45acp case filled all the way or even close to all the way up and fired will explode your pistol on the first shot.

im talking blow the mag out, possibly setting off the ones in the mag, blow the front strap AND YOUR FINGERS off the pistol.

it could actually kill you to fire a double charged 45acp round.

you would definitly be going to the emergency room.


if you dont know for sure they are reloaded properly with the correct amount of powder, DO NOT FIRE THEM!!!!

reloading is fun, but its got to be by the book, and from a scientific standpoint.

dont shoot those till you know.

buy a bullet puller and check them out. they cost 15 bux.

CPshooter
December 15, 2008, 01:50 AM
Thanks for the reply FlyinBryan.

then pull it out and push the bullets through to end up with lubed bullets.Push them through what?

as far as double charging one, your gun would be destroyed in one shot, as well as your hand/arm/face/etc,etc,etc.

did you weigh the charges?

if so your probably fine.

not much powder goes into a 45acp case.

it should look about 1/4 to 1/3 full depending on the powder used.

it sounds like you were using a powder trickler, in which case you should have weighed every round.

if you did, your ok.I did not weigh the charges, but I did visually double-check to make sure there weren't any double-charges. Again, he said I didn't need to weigh anything, and that the device that rotates one way (to collect the powder from the "powder trickler") and then the other way (to dump the collected powder into the empty shell) is accurate enough.

If I start reloading myself, I would be sure to weigh each charge, and I would use a device that allows me to SEE the weighed out powder going in, so that I know each round gets the same exact amount of powder by visually confirming it in addition to weighing it.

CPshooter
December 15, 2008, 01:55 AM
i would absolutely not shoot those rounds if you dont know how much powder is in each one. First of all, I really appreciate all your help. That's why I decided to ask before I shot my reloads...but again, I DID visually check to make sure all the rounds had the same level of powder in them (approx 1/3 full), and that there weren't any obvious double-charges. I'm sure I didn't overcharge them, but reading your last post freaked me out a bit!

Ken Rainey
December 15, 2008, 02:30 AM
It's always better to be safe than sorry....it sounds like he knew the powder and how much the trickler was set for so you should be ok, but if you have any doubt, then don't fire them. Yep, reloading for a .45 is the way to go...more accurate ammunition for less money. A lot of people use Unique powder, I prefer Bullseye powder and load for accuracy instead of power but you can taylor your loads to your needs. Shooting reloaded ammo will make your pistol dirtier faster but not so much as to make me not want to shoot it...I always clean my pistol after each firing anyway...;)

FlyinBryan
December 15, 2008, 09:38 AM
lol, im sorry i freak you out a little. it freaked me out a little when i got to thinking about it.

if your sure they are not doubled, your all good.

as far as pushing them through, i meant pushing the bullets out of the hardened lube.

like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prD0pW8s7-c

The Bushmaster
December 15, 2008, 12:46 PM
Check out the reloading section of this web site...

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