First run....hitting at about 60%


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nojoke
October 20, 2011, 06:41 PM
Hey, but that was FUN!

Ok, I went full boar with my progressive and made it as complicated as possible.
Went w/ the LNL....
-case loader
-bullet feeder
-loading .38 special as my first

I thought I had the case feeder dialed in and it was doing ok for the first few then hung up.

Sizing and depriming went off w/out a hitch.

I took the time to smooth out edges on the primer shuttle and the primers fed w/out incident. However, one did get twisted somehow and I ended up crushing it in at a weird angle (could that have been a POP!????).

Powder drop was very consistent at 6.6 grains (measured the first 5 drops w/out variation). But it was more of a mess then I had hoped, there were grains spread everywhere. Maybe I'll hit the drop with a dryer sheet.

Powder check worked well (Dillon)...but maybe not as well as hoped...more later.

Bullet seater was giving me a fit. I might have not spent enough time setting it up, bullets fed upside down and a lot of no feeds. When it did feed, they were set very shallow and tipped over prior to the crimp die. Cranked that down a bit and I think I'm getting better results now.

Seat and crimp was beautiful, if there was a bullet present and somewhat aligned.

When I finished 20 rounds successfully I measured each using the first round as a standard. I got a variation of up to 5.0 grains. I haven't torn the ones that were 1.5 grains or more out of variation, but I will. There were about 8 that fit this category. Not sure if that was case/bullet variation or powder. I'll post back the results later.

BUT....FUN, FUN FUN! :D

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rsrocket1
October 20, 2011, 07:07 PM
So you also learned how to drive by starting in the Daytona 500? :rolleyes:

Why not use the LnL as a "turret press" by loading one shell and watching it go around one station at a time?

Forget the bullet feeder and case feeder for now.

You gonna shoot a 38 special with 11.6 grains of powder when it ought to be 6.6 or risk having those variations in bullets where you aren't sure of?

You should really take it slower. Reloading is not rocket science (trust me), but the consequences could be very bad for those who take it lightly.

beatledog7
October 20, 2011, 07:13 PM
That much finished round weight variance is gonna be case and/or powder. Even same maker .38SPL cases can vary by as much as +/-5 grains. But tearing down the most out-of-norm ones still makes sense, because if it's the cases you'll never notice in firing them, but if your powder charge is off that much it's a double charge or a squib. Of course, you can't tell which.

One hint: hold each round to you ear in a quiet room and turn them over end to end. Can you hear the powder shift? If not, it is clearly suspect. Doesn't work for charges that fill the case, of course, but most common .38SPL loads don't. And just because you hear the powder shift doesn't mean the round is ok. If you have a doubt, pull the bullet!

beatledog7
October 20, 2011, 07:17 PM
Actually, don't use that powder shift check. Cases are fuller than I thought.

nojoke
October 20, 2011, 07:34 PM
Actually, I was surprised at how low the level was dropping 6.6 grains.

There should be quite a bit of shift. The quiet room thing is the biggest challenge. :D

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 20, 2011, 07:50 PM
You have too much going on at once. If you're new to the progressive, stop using the case feeder and bullet feeder. That eliminates two variables and lets you iron out problems with the basic loading stuff.

Set up each station one at a time. Then operate them together and make adjustments so they work smoothly together. Finally, work on developing a working rhythm with your setup. Listen to your press with your ears. If you have things adjusted correctly, you'll get a certain click clack sound out of the press as you operate it.

Do that for a good while until you're very comfortable loading a couple calibers and your rounds have become consistent and you have confidence in them.

Once that you're at that point, you can integrate one (1) only of the case feeder or bullet feeder. Introduce as few variables as possible at a time.

Hope this helps,

Dave

nojoke
October 20, 2011, 07:51 PM
Good news.

The round that was 5 grains off measured 6.5grains of powder when I pulled it apart. I'm going to assume the others are ok.

I can take a pic if ya'll want of the first batch.

I'm a bit nervous about all this and apprehensive about my work. :eek:

In case some have missed my other threads, I've been setting up the press for over a week now, tweaking each station. I know its a lot but its how I've wanted to set it up in my minds eye. I am very slow and deliberate as I stroke through the stations.

On a side note, all those you-tube threads showing the LNL skating through round production should be ashamed of yourselves. It looks like ya just start cranking out ammo with no issue or sweat. I'm betting it's taken a lot of trial and error to get those presses that dialed in.....:)

Out to have some more fun!

nojoke
October 20, 2011, 08:13 PM
http://members.cox.net/ned946/dillon%20powder%20ck/first%20batch.jpg

http://members.cox.net/ned946/dillon%20powder%20ck/first%20batch%20zoom%20in.jpg

hAkron
October 20, 2011, 08:51 PM
Weight variations when using mixed brass is totally normal.

I have the RCBS lockout die and I absolutely wouldn't want to be without it. For ~$50 it's cheap insurance!

I have also been quite happy with the universal case mouth expander sold here http://www.powderfunnels.com/ it drops in to your powder meter and frees up a station for your lockout die.

Blue68f100
October 20, 2011, 11:25 PM
Start by running 1 through at a time like previous suggested. On the LNL a single round will have a different length than all stations full due to base flex. All brass varies in weight, as well as primers, and bullets (bulk). Depending on powder you may have some there too, that is too small to detect with the normal scales. Best check on the powder dump is to measure 10 drops individually, then weight the 10 as a whole. This will give you the finer resolution.

Your rounds look good, with a little variation in length.

The brass feeder is a little picky to setup. But once you mess with it a while you will learn it twerps. Some rounds are easier than others.

grumpy66
October 20, 2011, 11:51 PM
Going left to right,
Nojoke, in reference to your bottom picture,

First one, slug looks to be seated too deep, too much crimp...notice the bulge?
#2, not seated deep enough, still a slight bulge.
#3, good seat, still just a bit too much crimp.

Overall not bad though.

nojoke
October 20, 2011, 11:59 PM
Grump,

Yes, I noticed that as well. I was thinking I was just a hair tight on the crimp. However, when I pulled the one 5 grain over round, it unseated fairly easily (two whacks is all it took).

Thank you.

Height issue - I'm not sure how to address. I didn't adjust the seating/crimping hornady die at all in that little run. Not sure why it would vary like that....maybe I didn't fully stroke that round.

Dynamite Rabbit
October 21, 2011, 12:10 AM
You're using Winchester bullets, correct? I bought a whole bunch of 125 grain Win. hollow points, and the cannelures are all over the place. I can't tell for sure if that's the problem with your middle round that looks like the bullet's seated high, but you might compare a few bullets.

ArchAngelCD
October 21, 2011, 02:23 AM
So you also learned how to drive by starting in the Daytona 500?

Why not use the LnL as a "turret press" by loading one shell and watching it go around one station at a time?

Forget the bullet feeder and case feeder for now.

You gonna shoot a 38 special with 11.6 grains of powder when it ought to be 6.6 or risk having those variations in bullets where you aren't sure of?

You should really take it slower. Reloading is not rocket science (trust me), but the consequences could be very bad for those who take it lightly.
I have to agree with that post. You have been asking a lot of questions in several threads so I have to guess you are a new reloader. It's always better to start slow and learn the ins and outs of handloading before you push out ammo fast.

Handloading isn't just for making ammo, it's a separate hobby in itself. Take a little time so you can enjoy it, it's the only hobby I know of that directly supports another hobby. (shooting)

nojoke
October 21, 2011, 02:36 AM
I'm up to a whopping 20 rounds.

Honestly, I enjoy the mechanical wizardry of all this stuff. I am a very technically inclined individual. That's not to say that I'm not thinking about every suggestion, becasue I am.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have very consistent loads, decent looking seating and crimping. Am I missing something at this point?

Thank you for all the support and replies so far. It's all good stuff.

ArchAngelCD
October 21, 2011, 02:46 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have very consistent loads, decent looking seating and crimping. Am I missing something at this point?

Thank you for all the support and replies so far. It's all good stuff.
I don't think anyone said you were doing something wrong including myself. All I was saying is, take some time to enjoy yourself while reloading. It's fun and it's relaxing if you allow yourself to enjoy, that's all...

nojoke
October 21, 2011, 08:33 AM
Thanks Arch,

I am really having the time of my life. I've gone full circle, from never even thinking about ever owning a firearm to a small manufacturing site! The only thing that really makes me take pause is the potential of what *might* happen if I'm not on my game. I know it seems like a contradiction with my initial set up, but I promise you that the lever is depressed, I stop, look at each station, stop again to think and look again and with great trepidation, move to the next station. I pull out any round that even has a hint of not being correct. Probably why I'm saying the, "....60%" success rate.

As suggested, I'll only produce one round at a time for a while, checking powder drop each time.

At this point, it sounds like I need to back off the crimp die just a bit.

Again, thanks to all the helpful suggestions. I would not have ever embarked on getting involved w/ reloading if this resource wasn't available...its great. :cool:

nojoke
October 21, 2011, 06:52 PM
Dynamite Rabbit,

You're using Winchester bullets, correct? I bought a whole bunch of 125 grain Win. hollow points, and the cannelures are all over the place. I can't tell for sure if that's the problem with your middle round that looks like the bullet's seated high, but you might compare a few bullets.

You are right on the money.
I measured the lot and the variance in length of the 20 rounds was less than .0012" The cannelures are off quite a bit. Actually if you look closely at that zoom pic you can see the difference in distance from the top copper edge down to the start line of the cannelure.

orionengnr
October 23, 2011, 09:25 PM
In your pic, that first round looks like it has a crack running northwest to southeast, starting ~1/16" below the mouth.

Hope I'm wrong, but please take another look, just to be sure.

nojoke
October 24, 2011, 09:56 AM
I noticed that and wrote it off as a scratch at the time.
I'll go back and check.
What is the issue with a crack in that area?
What is the anticipated malfunction?

DaveInFloweryBranchGA
October 24, 2011, 11:56 AM
weakness in one area indicates potential problem in another, possible failure/kaboom

nojoke
October 24, 2011, 03:14 PM
Is weakness normal for once fired brass?
How closely do most inspect brass prior to reloading?
If that is a fracture it almost seems to be a metal defect...its so long.

Cherokee
October 24, 2011, 07:41 PM
The integerty of the case is questionable if there is any crack or split. Remember, that is a small bomb that will be in close proximity to your hand and you don't want its container to have gas leaks which would likely come back in your face. Brass should be inspected before loading, I do it after cleaning. Fired once or fired 20 times, cases all get inspected for defects, split necks, body splits. New cases can fail and some cases can last a long time, depends upon the loads used in it. Also, when priming the cases (I hand prime), if the primer seats too easily, the pocket is probably enlarged and should be set aside for the scrap yard.

nojoke
October 31, 2011, 05:03 PM
Good times!
Thanks for all the help - pulled the questionable one out of the batch and the rest looked good.

Just got back from shooting my first reloads:
-I took a box of factory Winchester .38 special
-20 rounds of 6.6 grain Power Pistol and 110 grain bullets also,
-20 rounds of 6.8 grain Power Pistol and 110 grain bullets.

Winchester primers

I used the factory stuff as my baseline to compare with:
Shot 8 of the factory ammo thru the S&W 627 - light recoil
Shot 8 of the 6.6 grain with similar or slightly more recoil w/ increased flash
Shot 8 of the 6.8 grain with a bit more kick and flash.

There was quite a difference in those .2 grains

I did notice that the factory ammo is very easy to mount in the moon clip but the reloads are a bit of a bear to get them to seat

One round in particular had what looked like a comet spinning off to the side and was wondering if that was some remnant walnut shell from the vibratory cleaner?

It's fun to shoot your own!

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