First Reloading Question....


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mcdonl
January 28, 2010, 02:03 PM
Hi folks. I want to start by saying. I bought a book, but I also like to figure stuff out on THR too by asking, mostly ridiculous questions :)

So, I have purchased a reloading kit. Not optimal, as I it is single stage and I will be starting with 9mm but it will get me by as I learn. It was a good deal in and my price range.

So, I want to start casting my own boollits and I think I want to get the following mold:

Lee 2-Cavity Bullet Mold 356-125-2R 9mm Luger (I read this as producing a .356 diameter projectile that is 125 grains in weight with a "2" give radius?)

Q1.... What is the whole give radius thing on the mold/bullet? I get the size and the weight but not the radius. Is it simply as stated, the radius of the projectile?

Next, I can only find CCI Small Pistol Magnum. My research about SPMP's leads me to believe two things. 1 - It is not a problem to use them as long as you are not at the max load. (I plan to start at the minimum to be honest...) and 2 - The SPMP work better with round powders. Q2 Is any of this true?

That being the case the following load seems to be a good one....

Bullet Weight- 125 GR. LCN (Q3 Does this match my selection of mold?)
Hodgdon HS-6 - (I am pretty sure this is a spherical powder....)
.356" - (This is the correct dimension for my mold.... Q4 Does this assume I am going to run the finished projectile through a sizer? Do I need to go to a larger mold and size down to .356?)
1.125" - (Q5 Cartridge Over All length?)

Minimum Load (This is where I plan to start....)

5.9 - (Q6 Grains of Powder?)
1023 - (Feet Per Second)
24,400 CUP - (Q7 Copper Units of Pressure? This was some interesting reading, but I am not sure how much of it I care about.... :) )

Maximum Load

6.6
1124
30,700 CUP

Q8 How do you find out the pressures any given gun will handle? Do I even need to worry about it with the minimum loads mentioned here?

Well, I guess that is enough to start some dialog. Be easy on me... I am just getting started :)

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kludge
January 28, 2010, 02:25 PM
1. It's "ogive" radius. It's refering to the shape of the bullet nose, as it relates to the bullet diameter. A 1/2 to 1 bullet diameter ogive radius gives the bullet more bore riding length. A 2 to 4 bullet diameter ogive radius give a longer more tapered nose (or ogive) but less of the bullet is riding the bore. "2" is about right for a 9mm (I probably wouldn't go any lower).

2. I would not use magnum primers for 9mm unless you had a hard-to-light powder, which for 9mm you shouldn't.

3. Close enough; LCN probably means "conical nose".

4. If your mold drops .356" bullets you don't need to size. YMMV depending on the bore diameter of YOUR gun.

5. yes

6. yes

7. yes

8. Published load data is generally safe in all guns of that caliber. I've not seen any +P or +P+ 9mm lead loads, so unless your data manual specifically says that it's +P data you'll be fine. Notable exceptions: .38 SPL+P, .9mm +P or +P+, .45-70 strong action loads, .45 Colt Ruger/TC loads.

rcmodel
January 28, 2010, 02:33 PM
What is the whole give radius thing Well, it's actually Ogive Radous. Must be a mis-print ot typo.

A 1 ogive radous would have a point curve the same radus as the bullet diameter.
A 2 ogive would have a point curve twice the bullet diameter.
1 ogive = short and blunt like a round ball end.
2 ogive = more pointed like a bullet.

Yes, you can use mag primers if you start with them and work up your load.

125 GR. LCN (Q3 Does this match my selection of mold?)No. The LCN would be a Lead Cone or Conical Nose, or TC (Truncated cone) like the Lee 356-124-TC.
That bullet has a longer bearing surface, and seats deeper then your round nose mold, and would likely generate higher pressure with the same powder charge..
However, your HS-6/5.9 load should be perfectly safe with any 125 grain lead bullet design.

Lee's tumble-lubed bullet designs can be lubed with liquid alox and sometimes shot as cast depending on the alloy you use to cast them.
Lee makes an inexpensive push-through sizer to size them if you need too..

Those bullet molds with deep grease grooves have to be sized & lubed with a Lubrisizer press.

CUP = Copper Units of Pressure. Measured with a barrle with a hole drilled in it that allows a copper slug to be smashed & measued.

It is being replaced with PSI = Pounds per Square Inch, using electronic transducer test equipment.

How do you find out the pressures any given gun will handle?You don't. In general, all published load data will be safe in any modern handgun in good condition.
Not so much when you get into center-fire rifle calibers, but those pressures are much higher.

rc

MrWesson
January 28, 2010, 02:48 PM
Use a good lube you can use lee alox but heat it up or cut it with mineral spirits(its THICK)

You must have a sizer my bullets from my lee mold were coming out as big as .358 and few were .356. I use the lee lubrisizier and it works.

Make some dummy rounds to test barrel fit no OAL will work for every gun. If they are sticky(harder to remove) from the barrel then you are to long.

Get the 6 cavity mold you would be surprised how many friends(or new people) will ask to buy bullets or trade you stuff you need for yours. And also splurge on a bottom pour pot Ladle casting is old school and a PAIN.

Dont buy truncated cone bullets to start as there is little loading info out there for these bullets and the OAL will be tricky as they sit lower in the case. They have positives and I actually load them but you shouldn't start by using these.

Wear gloves if i didnt my hands would be toast by now. also buy a face shield not safety glasses a full face shield. Eyes are important but facial scars aren't pretty either.

mcdonl
January 28, 2010, 02:49 PM
No. The LCN would be a Lead Cone or Conical Nose, or TC (Truncated cone) like the Lee 356-124-TC.

That bullet has a longer bearing surface, and seats deeper then your round nose mold, and would likely generate higher pressure with the same powder charge..
However, your HS-6/5.9 load should be perfectly safe with any 125 grain lead bullet design.

RC, thanks. This gets confusing...

My source so far for load data has been Hodgdons. So, when I change to the 356-124-TC mold, and put in 124 as the weight of the bullet I come up with the following:

Bullet Type - 124 GR. LEAD RN
Powder Winchester WSF
Bullet Diameter - .355"
COL - 1.169"
Grains of Powder - 4.0
Feet Per Second - 945
Pressure - 22,200 PSI

Grains of Powder - 4.7
Feet Per Second - 1055
Pressure - 27,300 PSI

So this has me with a smaller projectile AND a different weight bullet.

What gives?

mcdonl
January 28, 2010, 03:00 PM
Dont buy truncated cone bullets to start as there is little loading info out there for these bullets and the OAL will be tricky as they sit lower in the case.

Thats what I noticed. What if there is no data for a particular bullet, just go to another powder manufacturers loads?

Thanks for the heads up on the gloves. I have an old welding apron and gloves.

mcdonl
January 28, 2010, 03:03 PM
I would not use magnum primers for 9mm unless you had a hard-to-light powder, which for 9mm you shouldn't.

I hope I do not have to, but if I have all that I need but still cannot find primers I may give it a shot (Pun Intended....)

rcmodel
January 28, 2010, 03:16 PM
What if there is no data for a particular bullet,Then you haven't looked in a Lyman #49 reloading manual.

It's a Required referance book for any bullet caster or new reloader.

They cover just about every shape & weight cast bullet there is.

(Except Lee tumble-lube bullets)

They list 14 powder choices for 120 -125 grain 2-Ogive or very similiar lead round nose.

And another 10 more for 120-125 LTC.

rc

MrWesson
January 28, 2010, 05:34 PM
I guess I should have said regularly available loads for the TC. I have found enough to work up a good load but as a beginner I sill wouldn't suggest it as there is much more info on round nose bullets.

mcdonl
February 10, 2010, 03:47 PM
I would not use magnum primers for 9mm unless you had a hard-to-light powder, which for 9mm you shouldn't

Would universal clays be considered hard-to-light?

Ok.. so I am piecing things together slowly...

Thanks to one of the members on here, a fellow Mainer I have a TON of 9mm brass as well as some 38 special and a few other odd's and ends. You are a good, and generous man. I will pay it forward, I promise.

I have some universal clays powder but still only have small pistol magnum primers.

I have a Lee production pot, lots of WW's, inget molds and a 9mm mold but I am reluctant to load any cast boolits yet because of my lack of primers. My understanding is, the pressures built up in the short 9mm case combined with added pressures built up from lead cast boolits leave very little, if any room for error when it comes to working up a 9mm load with magnum primers. Is this a fair assesment?

Because of that, I picked up a box of 250 Berry 38 special 125g FMJ's to get started. I am told that the longer case and lower pressures will be safer and easier for me to work up a load starting with the minimum using the universal clays powder and magnum primers.

The only thing I am unsure about are the bullets... I guess that the Berry bullets are actually coated, or something or other... no "really" full metal jacket? Anything I should be concerned with?

I will post actual load data when I get the time I just wanted to get this out there for comment.

I may at some point, go ahead and load one or two 9mm with a magnum primer and the minimum load just to see what happens. Worse case is KB, or maybe a load to light to cycle the action?

Thanks gang... So much thinking to do!!

rcmodel
February 10, 2010, 04:14 PM
Berry bullets have an electro-plated copper full jacket enclosing the whole bullet.

They are not really the same thing as a jacketed bullet as the plating is much thinner then a real jacket.

Use mid range jacketed bullet data for the same weight & shape bullet.

Do not exceed 1,200 FPS loads.
Do not taper crimp excessively and cut through the plating.

Cast bullets actually produce less pressure then jacketed bullets with the same powder charge. Nothing to worry about if you just use cast bullet reloading data.

Again, you need to buy the Lyman #49 manual if you plan to load cast bullets.

rc

mcdonl
February 11, 2010, 09:14 AM
Again, you need to buy the Lyman #49 manual if you plan to load cast bullets.

I am on a seriously tight budget but will get it before I load cast bullets. I still have no burner for doing the initial melt so I will not be loading them just yet.

Thanks again RC.. Your a good resource.

Tilos
February 11, 2010, 05:40 PM
Before you consider casting:

If you do not have a source of free lead it would hard to beat the quality and price of the many comercial casters selling bullets today.

You can order bullets day or night from Missouri Bullet and they will be on your doorstep 3 days later.

You spoke of a limited budget and only having a single stage press.
I would advise that you invest any casting related money in a progressive loader first.

Also, please take a look at the health risks for you and you family with bullet casting, not to mention the risk of burns and fire.

If you know the risks, have proper ventilation, then go for it.

Tilos

FROGO207
February 11, 2010, 07:27 PM
As for your primer problem, If you can get to Cabellas the SP primers are available. However the were only available in the amount of 200 per person a day.:mad: If you only need a few both you and the wife can each purchase some. 400 will be a good start. Do call first as they may have sold all out.

Casting bullets
At this point I can cast bullets here but find it more cost effective to work an extra few hours and use the $$$ to buy the lead already cast and lubed.

mcdonl
February 11, 2010, 07:35 PM
Tilos and Frogo... I have about 350-500 pounds of lead in my garage and a source of another 50 or so pounds a month. I already have the lee melter, ingot mold, 9mm mold (ordered) and a turkey fryer in the works... so I am pretty committed.

As far as the press upgrade. I am getting my tumbled, bullet pulled and lyman book this week and next months allowance will go to the progressive or turret press. I have not put much research into that one yet but I will have around $120-$150 to spend. I am hoping that is enough.

frogo... cabelas was all out before I go there. I go by there on my way home everyday. KTP was selling them 200 a day, but it is about 1.5 hours from me.

I am trying to setup a deal with a guy I am in class with. He works at Kittery Trading and I am hoping he will get me 200 a day for a week. Then I will really be all set!!

Thanks for everything Frogo!!

ranger335v
February 11, 2010, 07:42 PM
IF you are going to buy a new manual to get info for lead bullets, don't go half-way with the Lyman #49, get Lyman's cast bullets manual and/or their pistol/revolver manual.

Ogive = say "OH-jive".

OAL? Actually, you can simply seat any lead bullet in it's crimping groove and you'll be fine.

mcdonl
February 18, 2010, 12:36 PM
Good News!! I just used the following 9mm load with great success out of my Hi Point 995TS and Norinco L213!!

Ranier 115gr FMJ's
4.5 grains of Universal Clays
Federal Small Pistol Magnum Primers

The loads were accurate (See note below...), worked the action on both guns perfectly and the cases were not damaged in anyway and the primers have a nice firm detente from the firing pin but no other damage or disfigurement.

Note: How do all of you test a gun/load that is outside of the norm? I feel like a fool. I pretty much rest the gun on the bench, put on a heavy glove, safety glasses, pucker up my sphincter, look away and pull the trigger :) The last 5 rounds in each gun I actually aimed properly. So, accuracy was not over the course of all 20 rounds, just the last 10 and I didn't exactly setup a real target. This was just a test to see if I would KB.

Is this the SOP? How do you all do it? I did this because of the use of the Magnum primers.

My Lee 356-125-2R mold came in today so I will soon be casting. I hope I have as much luck coming up with a load with this primer/powder combo as both are readily available locally!

jfh
February 18, 2010, 01:16 PM
Well, for loads "outside the norm," I do my homework on anything from burn rates, finding (subjective) commentary on similar powder, etc.. I've found that such searching usually results in finding someone else's data that at least appears "reasonable." With that info at hand, I sort out a lower-end charge / recipe, and then I contact the powder manufacturer.

Manuals--old or new--are not exhaustive; not all the testing done automatically gets published. The manufacturer may well have the data you are looking for, or will probably tell you why they don't. Or whatever--there's no doubt you will get a response. It may be a CYA answer, but it may also be the answer to exactly what you want to know at that point in your preparation.

Jim H.

mcdonl
February 18, 2010, 01:28 PM
Jim, is your answer that you would not bring a load that is not proven to the range? That's a perfectly safe and reasonable answer.

I am just looking to find out how someone fires a weapon when they are uncertain if it is safe or not. I remember doing something similar, maybe even a little crazier involving string when I fired my first mosin....

bds
February 18, 2010, 01:41 PM
I am just looking to find out how someone fires a weapon when they are uncertain if it is safe or not.

For safety concerns, if I have any doubts about a loaded round, I don't fire it.

I pull the bullet and measure the powder charge etc. - you could always reuse the primed case with another powder charge/bullet.

rfwobbly
February 18, 2010, 02:00 PM
Exactly. Safety is always the first priority.

Then ask yourself, what is it that makes you uncomfortable?

• Is it not a published load? Then buy a Lyman or some other competent RLM.
• Is it the powder charge? Then buy yourself a good scale.
• Are you unsure of the bullet? Then buy the exact bullet in the manual and shoot those enough to get "the feel" for that weight bullet/powder combination.

Walk before you run.

Hey_Allen
February 18, 2010, 02:14 PM
I'd understood that the typical correction in powder charge for switching to magnum primers was to back off another 10% due to the hotter ignition.

I've not worried too much on my starting loads, as they are designed to be safe in any healthy firearm of the caliber, assuming that you have paid attention and taken care to load them correctly.

jfh
February 18, 2010, 03:13 PM
mcdonl: No, I am not saying one cannot fire an unproven round--sometimes, one may need to work it out on your own.

For example, a couple of years ago, I wanted to try WSF in 38Special and / or 357 Magnum cases. I could find no data, and other than some comments here, in this forum, there was no information. I called Hodgdon, and I truly got such CYA answers that I didn't know what to this. However, I did have recipes for a cartridge of similar pressure and capacity--so, I applied a judicious sense of reloading sense and even more caution and loaded some up.

They worked, kind of--enough for the chrono to show that, in the 357 case, WSF is position sensitive and cranky--but extremely soft-feeling in subjective recoil.

This is a relatively-low pressure loading, vis-a-vis most rifle cartridges. I don't know enough to do that in those kinds of (bottleneck) rounds.



Jim H.

mcdonl
February 18, 2010, 03:26 PM
For safety concerns, if I have any doubts about a loaded round, I don't fire it.

I pull the bullet and measure the powder charge etc. - you could always reuse the primed case with another powder charge/bullet.

But, in this case I loaded the round. I was just unclear about the safety of the round as there is no data showing the small pistol magnum primers for 9mm. I would of prefer to shoot a tested load, but with the current primer market I had to make due.

Exactly. Safety is always the first priority.

Then ask yourself, what is it that makes you uncomfortable?

• Is it not a published load? Then buy a Lyman or some other competent RLM.
• Is it the powder charge? Then buy yourself a good scale.
• Are you unsure of the bullet? Then buy the exact bullet in the manual and shoot those enough to get "the feel" for that weight bullet/powder combination.

Walk before you run.

None of the above, it was the primer choice. Small Pistol is not available to me, but Small Pistol Magnums are. I have 2 manuals, the Lyman 49th being one of them. But, I could own EVERY manual on the market and my guess is none of them would have a 9mm load using the SPM primers. But, the majority of the people have said go for it with the minimum load that uses the same bullet/powder and I should be safe, and I was.

I've not worried too much on my starting loads, as they are designed to be safe in any healthy firearm of the caliber, assuming that you have paid attention and taken care to load them correct

I find these to be true words. It worked well for me.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Hondo 60
February 18, 2010, 08:26 PM
mcdonl
I've been in your shoes with the primer issue. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Small Pistol Magnum Primers are ok to use as long as you don't load hot.

Start with a minimum load & try it. Unless your weapon is compromised it won't blow up.

smoking357
February 18, 2010, 09:15 PM
Dude, casting is cool to know if the SHTF, but with so many casters out there, I would no more cast my own bullets than make my own shoes.

smoking357
February 18, 2010, 09:23 PM
Note: How do all of you test a gun/load that is outside of the norm?

If it's outside of SAAMI, you don't - ever. There are so many powders, calibers and bullet weights that there is no published loading for every permutation. If you're going to avoid published loads, buy a chronograph. Learn what the max velocity is for your caliber, and gradually work up a load until you get the velocities you desire, and stop. If you have loaded rounds in your progression that are above your desired velocity, dismantle these rounds, and reload them with the correct powder charge.

For example, I prefer a 245 gr. bullet going around 1100 fps. Takes a pin off the table with authority, but doesn't bruise my hand.

mcdonl
February 19, 2010, 08:48 AM
"Dude, casting is cool to know if the SHTF, but with so many casters out there, I would no more cast my own bullets than make my own shoes"

I suppose, but it looks like it is going to be fun. I have no delusions that I will save time or money, or make a superior bullet then one on the market already. I want to do it for the enjoyment of doing it.

kludge
February 19, 2010, 11:00 AM
WRT the primers... lacking a chronograph, and using SPM primers, and knowing that the load functions in your gun, and is accurate, you could just leave well enough alone.

Even though I have a chronograph, for range ammo, I often use the start data, and if it functions and is accurate, I usually call it good. I don't have any good reason to experieince more recoil or muzzle blast or beat up my gun, or my hand.

On the other hand if I wanted to duplicate the recoil and POI of a defensive carry load, I have my chronograph, and I can do that too. Working up safely while monitoring function, velocity and POI on the target.

I would also use the chronograph when working up a load for hunting or match loads, since they will generally not be the start load, and usually somewhere near the max load. The chrony will help tell me when it's time to stop, regardless of what the data book says.

The exception to that would be the .454 Casull I use for whitetail hunting... the .454 is overkill for whitetail, and the starting loads are more than enough punch, as long as I get reasonable accuracy.

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