Shot my first reloads today


April 21, 2009, 02:53 PM
...and I still have all my fingers.

I did learn a couple of things.

First, I need to up my .38spl DEWC load. 2.7 gn of W231 under a 148 gn DEWC (from Missouri Bullet Co.) leads a bit more than I would like. I may not be creating enough pressure for the base of the bullet to seal in the barrel.

Second, I need to be less shy with the hand primer (Lee auto prime). I had 6 rounds that would not rotate into the firing position with my GP-100 due to high primers. 5 of those were in the first box I reloaded, and one was in the second box from two days later.

The only other interesting occurance was a primer that failed to ignite. It looks like it took a good strike (like the others) but failed to go. These were Remington 1 1/2 spp.

Other than that, the rounds shot really well.

Thanks to everyone here who gave advice. I'm still getting my feet wet, but I am looking forward to making another hundred rounds and running them through the gun.

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April 21, 2009, 03:00 PM
Congratulations! You've learned a lesson on primer seating. The one that didn't go off was probably not seated all the way, and when it was hit by the firing pin, the movement cushioned the blow. If you had struck it again, it probably would have gone off.

Your load is a little light. Bullseye at that load level would have done better, but with Winchester 231, you need to bump it up a little. You'll still get some leading with wadcutter bullets, though. You can adjust your load for the best accuracy and reduce the leading somewhat, so just experiment.

I've been loading since 1963, and I still learn things. It's a never ending process.

Hope this helps.


April 21, 2009, 03:03 PM
good deal.....

im hopin to get out to the range this saturday to test out my first reloads too.......with my GP100 but these are gonna be .357's

April 21, 2009, 03:16 PM
I should have mentioned I did try it twice. Of course, the second strike hit the mark of the first as my gun's firing pin lines up pretty close with the center of the primer. So it very well could have been the poor seating. Live and learn.

April 21, 2009, 06:17 PM
If you have a Lee press and decide that you dont like the hand primer you should check out the Lee Safety Prime. I had didnt like the hand primer and started priming on the press. Absolutely love it. Its all personal preferance so just thought I would suggest that.

April 21, 2009, 08:03 PM
I prime on the Lee Classic turret with the lee saftey prime,in over 10,000 rounds never a problem, not one missfire, make sure the primers are fully seated.

April 21, 2009, 08:14 PM
I do all my priming on press. I use the safety prime on my Classic Turret and the primer tube feed system on my RCII. I don't like to prime off press, to me it adds an unnecessary extra step. That might come from the fact that I started handloading on a RCII using the tube system. If I had started with a hand primer, I might well like that better.

Anyway, the safety prime is a good system. It works a lot better than the other Lee systems I have experienced.

April 21, 2009, 08:33 PM
Am I just weird then? I prefer the hand primer. I can "feel" when they are seated correctly better. Plus it is a HECK of a lot faster.

April 21, 2009, 08:47 PM
I like my RCBS hand-held priming tool. Get some grip-building exercise and seat primers at the same time

April 21, 2009, 10:31 PM
grandog56 said:

Am I just weird then? I prefer the hand primer. I can "feel" when they are seated correctly better. Plus it is a HECK of a lot faster.

Nope, if that is what you like, no reason to change. Doesn't make you weird at all, perhaps I am weird because I don't like hand priming.

I can't see how it could possibly be faster than priming on press though, its an extra step with the brass off-press sometime after decapping and during the loading cycle. I've used both the RCII and the Classic Turret with the on-press systems and without, and the bottom line is that resize/decap and resize/decap/prime take almost exactly the same amount of time, adding priming to the process just requires the use of both hands during the step instead of just one to pull the lever.

April 21, 2009, 10:52 PM
That's the beauty of running your own reloading shop. You can do it any way you want, and nobody can tell you to do it another way. I doubt that few people prep brass the way I do, but after all, it is MY shop.


April 22, 2009, 12:40 AM
Shot my first reloads today

Husker_Fan, You da man!
Congrats. I'm still trying to gather up enough stuff. :uhoh:
Well, actually it won't be my first it will just be my first in several years.


April 22, 2009, 01:05 AM
Follow the directions of a proper Reloading Manual. Too Light is often worse than too heavy. Pre-ignition from too light loads can be worse than adding a grain of powder to make certain. If your car's engine required 87 octane fuel, would you opt for 84 octane? A ping in the barrel is no more desireable than a ping in your car's engine. Both create internal problems! cliffy

April 22, 2009, 10:20 AM
The DEWC load was right about the starting load, so I don't think it is unsafe. It is just not optimal with the lead DEWCs I was using. I just need to bump it up, probably to the same level almost everyon on here who loads 148 WCs with W231 seems to use. I just wanted to work up there myself.

As for priming on or off the press, I made a concious decision to start with off the press priming. Starting off I wanted to minimize the chance of screwing up. I know the chance of trying to seat a primer in a pocket with a spent primer or an already seated live primer is minimal, but I think a newb would be more likely to make that mistake while priming on the press. That looks to be the most likely way of making a primer detonate on the press. When I am more comfortable I may try the Saftey Prime, but for now I want to have my process broken into discrete, simple steps I, as the village idiot, will not likely screw up.

April 22, 2009, 11:01 AM

My sincereres apologies. You are not (yet) a Darwin's Award recipient....

Seriously, congratulations and welcome to sucesful reloading.

Thank you

April 23, 2009, 04:12 AM
Good for you, I'm glad you are reloading and everything went fairly well first time out.

I charge between 3.0gr and 3.2gr W231 under a 148gr DEWC which makes a nice target load.

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