Just Reloaded my first rounds


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Blank Stare 73
September 3, 2009, 09:17 PM
I am excited and a little nervous to try them out, I guess we'll see in the morning. With the high cost of ammunition these days, I decided to try reloading..........I just want to say thankyou to this site and those on it whose posts I have quietly read and learned from, you are much appreciated.

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Walkalong
September 3, 2009, 09:27 PM
Expecting a range report tomorrow then. They'll shoot just fine. ;)

SalchaketJoe
September 3, 2009, 09:28 PM
Feels kinda nice doesnt it?

Double double check your data and powder charges as you go. I like to hold the tray of charged cases under a light and make sure they are all the same.
My dad taught me to weigh every charge, and i still do for rifle. For pistol, every five or six. But i also sport a single stage press so the goin is sloooooow

Lee Roder
September 3, 2009, 10:28 PM
Congrats. What are you (anticipating) shooting? I'm new at lead and I can definitely now after 3 weeks and 2 range trips load way better ammo than I've been buying. :D First try loads may not show it though so don't be discouraged if your experience is similar to mine. This forum's a great place for help.

Blank Stare 73
September 3, 2009, 10:37 PM
I'm reloading for .45 Colt. I'm having a little issue with the bullet seating height contraption. I went the economical route and got the classic Lee Loader, just to see if I would enjoy reloading before I sunk more money into it............As I've indicated I've got a few rounds that are different heights, I think I've about got it where I want it now, but to be safe I'll stop for now and see how they shoot.

Uncle Chan
September 3, 2009, 10:41 PM
I load thousands of 45LC a year. I have the classic lee handloader, a lee hand press, a lee C single stage, a lee Cast Turret, and a Dillon. They all work fine, but are all fundamentally different. Basically, what I'm saying is if you have a bad experience with the handloader, don't give up. Try something else.

Blank Stare 73
September 3, 2009, 10:48 PM
Oh I have no intention of giving up, I'm hoping to be able to shoot more than ever before, while spending less than I did shooting every so often with the factory loads........I do see, however, the limitations of the dipper that comes with the kit. I have no way of knowing how many grains I'm getting, I assume it's lite. My next purchase will be a scale, for there I want to learn to cast my own bullets.

Lee Roder
September 3, 2009, 11:10 PM
+5 on a balance.

I use an old OHAUS 10-10.10 (like RCBS 10-10) metric scale I purchased 25 years ago as a grad student and weigh every charge just to be sure. I use my dippers just to throw the initial charge into the pan and then just "trickle" (using a dipper which I find easier and faster than using my RCBS trickler) up to my desired weight.

MikeS.
September 3, 2009, 11:49 PM
I started reloading back in April. So I understand the anexity. I used my Ruger SAs in .357 and .44 magnum since they are so heavy duty.

I definitely suggest you get that scale and use it.

Enjoy.

mongoose33
September 4, 2009, 08:26 AM
I wore extra safety glasses and gloves the first time I shot mine. :)

Very few feelings top that of having made, and sucessfully shot, your own ammo. And it's more accurate than factory, too.

Congrats! Let us know how it went.

Blank Stare 73
September 4, 2009, 12:41 PM
Well, all but one of my rounds fired successfully!! The one that didn't fire wouldn't rotate around while in the cylinder because the primer was sticking out too far. Overall I'm pretty happy.............on a side note, While trying to decap some more rounds the pin broke off of my decapping tool, and I just got the thing! I am a little ticked

kle
September 4, 2009, 01:16 PM
If you're going to stick with it, you should get a manual that includes load data for .45 Colt, a scale that can measure in tenths of grains, and a kinetic bullet puller. The manual will let you know the ball-park ranges for charge weights, so that you can safely reload without over- or under-charging the cases. With the scale, measure out 10 charges and then weigh them, and divide by 10 to get your average charge-weight (it's easier for my scale to measure 31.0gr for 10 charges of W231 rather than 3.1gr for 1 charge of W231). The bullet puller is, obviously, in case you make a mistake. Or if you find some discarded rounds at the range and want to dismantle them to recover the components.

You should be able to seat the high primer in a bit better on that one round that caused cylinder binding, and then you should be able to shoot it.

Marlin 45 carbine
September 4, 2009, 01:19 PM
the case may not have been centered in the die is one possiblity the pin broke. if a Lee die they will stand good for it, good customer service.
that Lee press is OK and later on you may get another single stage as a 'companion' and set them up n tandem. that's what I have a Chucker and a Lee in tandem.
if you have a shooting buddy to run the seat/crimp die for pistol rounds after you have it set you'll be surprised how many rounds you can load in an evening.
use that Lee hand prime tool, don't be afraid to give it a good 'squeeze', it does great. point it away from you when seating a primer, any possible set off will be directed in the direction you have it pointed. I've primed thousands and no problems with 'stick-out' or set-off.
and welcome to the Handloading page.

Aliencane
September 4, 2009, 01:55 PM
I went to the range yesterday and shot my first reloads ever (.38 spl). All rounds fired nicely. Didn't seem any different from factory ammo. I'm pleased. This looks like a great hobby for me, and will make range visits a little cheaper.

BTW, since I can't get any primers, I very gently decapped live primers from 9mm Blazer ammo to use in my reloads (I have 1800 rounds of 9mm). I saved the Speer bullets to be used at some later time.

nulfisin
September 4, 2009, 03:14 PM
I'm happy that it worked for you. It would be nuts to try it again. Primers wil be back soon enough and you'll keep your eyes and fingers. Shoot the .9 mm for now.

Walkalong
September 4, 2009, 03:56 PM
Blank Stare 73

When priming your cases just be more careful to get the primers flush so you won't have the problem you had with the one reload. Primers that are not seated all the way are also the number one cause of "light strikes" where the primer doesn't fire.


Aliencane

Decapping live primers is fine. It's done all the time. Best to just use a universal decapper, or say a .45 for a .44 so no sizing is going on, and just gently deprime them. No worries.


Primers are showing back up, so that is good news for everyone. :)

Blank Stare 73
September 4, 2009, 04:29 PM
Well, I'm pretty sure I know why the primer didn't seat right. I was using large rifle primers, mainly because they were all I could find and the gentleman at the store told me they would work fine, but I may have to use a reaming tool. I seated that one without reaming the case first, and that is most likely why it didn't fit.............again I'm new at this, so I used the reaming tool on the remainder of the rounds I loaded and I was able to seat the primers better. I did have one go off on me, but no harm done.

I'm fairly certain if I had large pistol primers this would not have happened, but I won't know until I find some. All in all it has been a little time consuming to start with. I cleaned the brass, now I have to ream all the brass and then size, re-prime, flare, charge and seat the bullet............as far as the decapper breaking, I went to a hardware store and bought a punch which was the right size and it seems to work well.

If the large rifle primers are a bad idea someone please tell me, I'm not one of those guys who thinks I know everything, I just used them based on the advice of an older gentleman who said he had been reloading for 53 years and that they would work.

Thanks

Landric
September 4, 2009, 04:46 PM
Large rifle primers are not exactly the same size as large pistol primers, so its a bad idea to try and use LR primers for LP loads. Small Pistol and Small Rifle primers are the same size, and sometimes can be interchanged, but that is something for a more experienced handloader to work with. In general, its best to stick with exactly what the recipe calls for, especially when one is new at it.

rfwobbly
September 4, 2009, 05:08 PM
I do see, however, the limitations of the dipper that comes with the kit. I have no way of knowing how many grains I'm getting, I assume it's lite. My next purchase will be a scale....

You're correct. If you want to load faster and have more accurate ammo, then forget the dippers. Your next goal should be to discover the best loads for your pistol and know their powder amounts within 0.1gr.

The best way to achieve this is to look around for something like a good used RCBS Uni-Flow powder measure and a RCBS 5-0-5 scale. They've made these items since the 70's so there are plenty of used ones on the market. Use the scale to set the powder drop on the Uni-Flow. From then on, the Uni-Flow will "drop" the exact same amount of powder.

Then, after installing the primers, set the cases (mouth up) into a loading block. Offer the loading block to the Uni-Flow and go down one row at a time until every case in the block has powder. With the loading block back on the table top, use a flashlight to check for "no loads" and (worse yet) "double loads". Now you're ready to seat your bullets. See attachment.

This is absolutely the fastest and most accurate way to load bulk pistol ammo without having a progressive press.

Hope this helps!

Walkalong
September 4, 2009, 06:21 PM
Large rifle primers are not exactly the same size as large pistol primersYep, they are "taller", plus they have thicker cups, which in its self makes them a bit harder to seat.

Blank Stare 73
September 5, 2009, 06:28 AM
Well, I certainly appreciate and value all of the advice, I will definately get scale and powder measure if that will make the loads more uniform and speed up the process a bit............Once again this forum proves itself an invaluable resource.

krs
September 5, 2009, 01:06 PM
You can get away with using small rifle primers in pistol cartridges, but not large rifle for the reasons that Walkalong gave. Maybe that's where your store man got confused.

Thing is though - using large rifle primers in large pistol cases can put the primer into the headspacing because they're taller, and if you have an inertia firing pin you could get a slamfire going into battery. Dangerous stuff.

It's best not to listen to store salesmen unless you KNOW they have personal using knowledge - like they are longtime reloaders.

The reason your depriming pin broke is probably not the pin's fault. If you make even a small mistake you can snap pins easily. Things like rotating a turret or progressive press while the pin is too close to a ram are the kind of mistake, and so is not having the case lined up on the ram so it jams as you go up into the sizer die. It's part of what eventually comes natural, but don't blame a pin for breaking. If you don't figure out where you went wrong you'll break lots of depriming pins.

rick300
September 9, 2009, 10:54 PM
Blank Stare, I'm also a newb so take this with however grains you may, but I believe your approach to this new hobby is a little bit casual. First you started without a scale and second you substituted primers (on your first loads?). I'm sure ther are plenty of reloaders here that can do these things at will, but they have been reloading for most of my life and I'm not a young man. I'm having "loads" of fun reloading but if I can't find a load in any of my books I ask here before I procede. So far these people seem to be more than happy to help. (Thanks all!) Nobody here ever put me down for asking a question and I'll continue to ask to keep shooting safe. I strongly suggest that before you make more substitutions you ask questions. Just saying, be careful.....Rick

RoostRider
September 10, 2009, 01:01 AM
Using a scoop powder measure is fine, so long as you have the chart for the powder you are using.... I did it for years before I got 'fancy' and got a scale.... I never loaded to the top of the chart, because I knew there was some possible error in there...

I dispose of cases with live primers that I can't use.... I would rather loose a primer than even have to deal with the noise of one going off in my reload room.... much less the heart palpitations that must follow...

I would never use a recovered primer anyways, because primers are assemblies, and you stand a good chance of screwing up the assembly by pressing it out backwards from the way it was designed to be installed.... sure, it might work most of the time.... how much does a primer cost these days?

I would also NEVER have started my reloading using substituted components because the "sales guy" said it would work fine... unless I knew the sales guy had a vested interest in my safety, and was well educated on the subject.... (both must apply)

I agree that you are taking a rather cavalier attitude towards beginning reloading, and it may come back to bite you in the end... careful inspection of every component and every process is integral to getting ammo that is even safe, much less the ideal of most reloaders of having better ammo than is available for retail sales.

Making your own ammunition can be fun, and save you money, if done correctly and safely. I can understand the desire to 'jump ahead' even though you don't have all the components you need. But that is not the type of thing you should take so lightly. The ignorance of the 'sales guy' at the shop you consulted is obvious by his negligent advice (they call them different things BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT).... if he has been reloading for over 50 years he has seen countless fools reload haphazardly and pay the price in one form or another... I question his claims and his credentials as a reload advisor... but he wouldn't be the first "know it all" counter guy at a reload shop that I have ever met...

Stop and re-evaluate your process and see where the mistakes were made and correct for them. Be vigilant with every step of the process. Follow the manuals (including the recipe right down to the primer) until you are comfortable enough with the rules to test them, and you will be just fine.

Blank Stare 73
September 11, 2009, 08:06 AM
Well, I can assure you I am not being cavalier and crazy,perhaps a little ignorant, but considering up until last week I had NO Knowledge of reloading whatsoever, I feel pretty good.

He sold me 9 1/2 rifle primers, told me I may have to ream out the primer pocket (turns out I did) and so far i've reloaded 100 rds. I fired a couple of cylinders worth yesterday and they worked great. So, now I know I can use 9 1/2 rifle primers with .45 LC cases if need be.

I can certainly see how some would think I'm being a little cavalier, but I just honestly wanted to learn how to reload and not spend $1.00 per round. I am extremely happy so far.

Thanks to those of you who have been helpful and encouraging.

lonewolf2810
September 11, 2009, 09:42 AM
Nobody is saying anything bad just please be careful. You should make another purchase of the Lyman Re loaders Handbook. It has served reloaders everywhere with some great info.Lyman (http://www.amazon.com/Lyman-Reloading-Handbook-49Th-Edition/dp/B001FBFW6U) has one of the best reputations anywhere in the reloading field. Good luck and happy reloading.

Ben Shepherd
September 11, 2009, 10:07 AM
Blank Stare 73- You may have created issues for yourself now. By reaming those pockets a bit deeper for the rifle primers to seat, I'm hoping that when you try the pistol primers they aren't too deep for the firing pin to ignite reliably.

More than likely you'll be fine, but it is a distinct possibility.

Anyway- Welcome to the world of reloading.

Blank Stare 73
September 11, 2009, 11:11 AM
Blank Stare 73- You may have created issues for yourself now. By reaming those pockets a bit deeper for the rifle primers to seat, I'm hoping that when you try the pistol primers they aren't too deep for the firing pin to ignite reliably.

More than likely you'll be fine, but it is a distinct possibility.

Anyway- Welcome to the world of reloading.

Thank you and yes, I did have the presence of mind to ask that question of the gentleman at the shop where I purchased these. I said "we'll now that I'm reaming them out will I always need to use the larger primers in these cases?"

He said the same thing you just did.

I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I'm reloading thousands of rounds a year so I started as economically as I could. I bought a few hundred of those primers just to try out to see if what he was saying was true.
If I can just reload for .45 Colt and enjoy shooting it economically I'll be happy.

sniper1259
September 11, 2009, 07:02 PM
Blank Stare 73

as you are just starting out in reloading, please remember the first 2 rules of reloading;
1 safety above and beyond all
2 see rule number 1

you are the first person i ever heard of reaming out the primer pockets to fit larger primers
and as this is just a little deeper, it shouldn't be a problem. HOWEVER, just for the record, i have been reloading for over 30+ years. if you are serious about loading, just remember the dimensions that the cases are made to are industry standards. try not to deviate to much and what you have done so far isn't too much if you did it accurately ( i would like to know how you did this and what tools you used from a curiosity point of view)

i have loaded for the .45LC and its a good accurate round and if used properly can light a match without breaking it ( a favorite trick of a close friend i load for)
as for the dipper in the kit, it is only a starting point!! get a good scale asap BEFORE you load another round!!! and use the ref manuals for the data on the powder loads. if you don't have a book try this site foe some of the loads available on-line; http://data.hodgdon.com

weighing the powder load is not an option when setting up for a loading session.

almost everyone in the business makes a powder measure (Dillon makes the best) but it still REQUIRES a scale to make sure you DON'T put TOO MUCH in the case.

you don't want to have your gun surgically removed from your nose ( i have seen this happen) and the scale prevents a painful trip to the surgeon.

I like the Dillon equipment and after checking it the Dillon scale (made by Ohaus) is perfect for the job and isn't "touchy" like others. this is what i use and i own 5 of them.
(you got into this to save money, I'm in it to make money, full time no less!)
as i load thousands of rounds a week in more calibers than i wish to list here, feel free (and this is to all) to contact me anytime to get help at sniper1259@comcast.net
ill be happy to help

ps you are going to find this is really a lot of fun!!! i kept logs of the rounds i have made, just under 2.4 million so far!!

RoostRider
September 12, 2009, 01:55 AM
As noted, I wouldn't go substituting parts unless I knew what I was doing...

That being said, you have now modified your cases, and as noted, they might light strike now when loaded with the proper primers.... and it might not happen the next time, but after several more reloadings, or never, or just when you really need it.... as such, I would keep those cartridges separate, and dispose of them as soon as I had the proper primers...

I honestly think that going with advice from the sales guy about modifying loads in unconventional manners not endorsed by, well, anyone but him, is kind of cavalier when it comes to something like reloading (no one ever thinks they are being overly cavalier)... I have never heard of anyone doing that, and it clearly isn't a standard anyone would recommend...

I am in no way trying to talk you out of reloading.... you got a great attitude about it, and once you get it down I would recommend experimenting some....

billw_willy
September 12, 2009, 02:18 AM
Blank Stare 73,
I understand you are using a Lee Loader. I started loading 38 Spl with one in 1963, didn't do well as the loader would not size the cases enough to chamber my S&W M10. Since then I have accumulated a very large amount of loading equipment. If I just started now with the knowledge I have, I would get a Lee hand press and a Lee 3 die set, a loading manual or two and a 20 # furnace for casting bullets in a Lee mould, some free wheel weights for metal, a Lee sizing tool with Lee Liquid Alox and a few small tools to prep the empty cases. Even then, a new guy should have a mentor to show all the little steps and tricks not mentioned with the equipment. I have done this with new bullet casters and have shown how to load 32-20's in 30 Carbine dies, for example. There is so much information on this list and all you have to do is ask questions. You should buy surplus and used equipment for half or third of retail and save a lot of money. It is a mistake to buy something you think is useful and turns out not needed or has been damaged and worn out. Some small tools can be made with scrap metal or worn out screwdrivers and other tools.

Editing: I forgot to mention getting a powder scale. I have several but prefer my old cast iron Redding. I have several powder measures but the Lyman 55 and RCBS Uniflow can be had for about 1/2 price. The least expensive is the Lee Plastic measure and works well surprisingly, rather difficult to adjust but is accurate in measuring powder, as all powder measures do very well. I will use Lee dippers for loading only a few test rounds and they are accurate if used in a consistent manner. I could easily leave out other equipment such as a micrometer or dial caliper, some expensive and some very inexpensive and all work well.

Try some want ads in your local paper especially the local free ad papers that seem to exist all over along with the usual daily papers. I have bought a lot of equipment with primers and powder from those quitting reloading for some reason.
Bill McGraw

Blank Stare 73
September 12, 2009, 02:59 AM
I'm looking at buying a press, scale, and some dies from a fellow I met on here who lives near me. I just bought a Hornady hand held priming tool today..........like it alot saves alot of time and not as nerve racking as beating the primers in with the Lee loader, wish I'd known about it sooner.

The same gentleman at the store was telling me about casting bullets today, but I just can't afford all the equipment right now. I've been using Magtech 250 grain LFN from Cabella's mainly because their all I can find right now, and they are relatively inexpensive. In a way, I feel like I'm spending $100 to save $20......:D, but I enjoy the learning and doing of it and I know it will save me money in the long run.


you are the first person i ever heard of reaming out the primer pockets to fit larger primers
and as this is just a little deeper, it shouldn't be a problem. HOWEVER, just for the record, i have been reloading for over 30+ years. if you are serious about loading, just remember the dimensions that the cases are made to are industry standards. try not to deviate to much and what you have done so far isn't too much if you did it accurately ( i would like to know how you did this and what tools you used from a curiosity point of view)

The one I use looks like the one in the link below. It has really worked to give that little extra space for the taller primer.

http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item.asp?sku=000157810215

Ben Shepherd
September 12, 2009, 12:08 PM
I don't think I'll ever get to the point where I'm reloading thousands of rounds a year

That's what we all said in the beginning........:D

The more expensive commercial ammo gets, the more I load. And lately, that's been A LOT. I can load 44 mag for about 9-12 dollars a box depending on the slug I use, or buy it for north of $40/box? No contest there.

rfwobbly
September 13, 2009, 01:29 PM
Mr. Stare -
Here's more photos in an effort to help.

I like to attach my powder hopper to a small board rather than the bench so that it can be gotten out of the way when not in use. Obviously it's only being used during one step of the multi-step process, so why clutter up your valuable bench space the rest of the time is my thinking.

The loading block shown is an ancient Midway product. Most of the new ones are molded plastic. When I started off, my brother the home woodworker handyman, made several for me out of scrap lumber. All you need is an 8" piece of 2x4 and a $3 plug cutting bit from your local hardware or home improvement store. The holes only need to be deep enough to keep the cases upright so that you don't spill any powder.

rfwobbly
September 13, 2009, 01:47 PM
The same gentleman at the store was telling me about casting bullets today, but I just can't afford all the equipment right now. I've been using Magtech 250 grain LFN from Cabella's mainly because their all I can find right now, and they are relatively inexpensive.


Take a look at the offerings from Missouri Bullet in your caliber. I think you'll find that they have a wider selection, cost less, and arrive at your doorstep faster than Cabellas.

While bullet casting can be a fun side show to reloading, there are just as many tools, tips, tricks, etc, etc needed as in simple "metallic reloading". Since casting involves the melting of lead products, due to the fumes it is also an outdoor-only activity. What percentage of your local weather will allow for that? To stay on the safe side, I highly suggest you concentrate your efforts at the present time on getting your loads consistent enough to work out the best loads for your gun. Put off the other "bunny trails" for awhile longer.


PS. Are you recording all your work in a notebook?

Blank Stare 73
September 15, 2009, 12:48 AM
While bullet casting can be a fun side show to reloading, there are just as many tools, tips, tricks, etc, etc needed as in simple "metallic reloading". Since casting involves the melting of lead products, due to the fumes it is also an outdoor-only activity. What percentage of your local weather will allow for that? To stay on the safe side, I highly suggest you concentrate your efforts at the present time on getting your loads consistent enough to work out the best loads for your gun. Put off the other "bunny trails" for awhile longer

I agree with putting off the "bunny trails" for now. For the time being I need to get a scale and powder measure to get my loads precise and to do away with the powder dipper. It works fine, I mean I shot several of the reloaded rounds that I made using the dipper, it's just if I want to "experiment" it is simply not possible, other than to "eyeball it" which I don't want to get into.


Take a look at the offerings from Missouri Bullet in your caliber. I think you'll find that they have a wider selection, cost less, and arrive at your doorstep faster than Cabellas.

Thanks for the tip on the Missouri Bullets, they are about half the price of Cabellas! I'll definately have to check them out. You Da Man!

Faitmaker
September 27, 2009, 05:00 PM
Consistency during reloading helps a lot. You should pull the lever or squeeze the hand loader exactly the same way with exactly the same pressure every time. That will take some experience but don't give up.

I've never snapped a pint but I have pushed one out by accidentally depriming a burdan. Took a bit more pressure than it should have and instead of backing off to find out why, I pushed it. The Lee pin pushed out the backside, just the way it was designed and I realized that it was a Burdan. Two flash holes instead of one and I was pushing against case, not a primer.

I've deprimed a lot of live primers. Just be gentle. I've not had one go off yet. Yet. I usually have to when I've screwed something up in the progressive (priming a shell ruined in the depriming stage because I'm going to fast).

I've had a lot of oopses since I started reloading but fortunately, none of them made it to the finished round bin or those that did were minor (primer not in completely when I first started). I did have a few light loads because a friend of mine wanted to learn and wasn't as attentive as I would have been. He shot those though :)

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