Very satisfying new hobby


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balderclev
April 28, 2013, 07:59 PM
I've been reloading now for a couple of months. Reloading 223, 308, 45acp, 40s&w, and 38 special.

Finally got enough components in to be able to experiment with different powders.

I'm a computer programmer with 42 years experience and never thought I would find something that gave me the gratification and enjoyment that programming does.

Like programming, there is no one solution to a problem and the wait time to see results is short. I'm 61 and have been shooting since I was 6 but just got into reloading. This is an expensive hobby currently as I have had to pay premiums to get powder and primers. I think I have $2000+ invested in everything including components so far. Now I have several pistol and powders for my rifle and pistols. I've discovered the accuracy difference in fire formed cases for my rifles.

I weigh every load because neither of my electronic measures are more accurate than +-3 gr. I check OAL on my loads periodically when I cannot visually check them (if they have a cannelure).

I work up loads from close to the minimum to mid-maximum and can actually see the difference in accuracy in the rifle loads. I'm not much of an expert in pistol shooting so I look for soot, ejection, etc. in that regard although I see that I am getting better now that I shoot a lot more pistol.

I drink and smoke, but not in my reloading sessions. I've read everything I can get my hands on and lurk on several different forums sometimes asking for advice. Eventually I hope to be able to provide advice for others.

Anyway, thanks to all here for helping a noobie to get started.

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SuperNaut
April 28, 2013, 08:04 PM
Great Post!

SleazyRider
April 28, 2013, 08:08 PM
Curious---what kind of equipment did you wind up with?

balderclev
April 28, 2013, 08:43 PM
Sleazy,

Got the Hornady LNL kit

Mostly Lee dies with some RCBS and one Hornady. I like the Lee dies best.

Use the Hornady kit powder meter as a start and then trickle to the load.

Lee de-primer die.

Hornady trimmer with a drill adaptor (hate trimming but using a lot of mil brass)

RCBS caliper.

RCBS chamfer/deburring tool

RCBS primer pocket uniformer

RCBS primer pocket cleaner

Countersink bit for removing crimps

RCBS electronic weight measure along with the one included in the Hornady kit

Can't think of anything else, but probably more.

jfh
April 28, 2013, 09:01 PM
The proverbial add-on advice: You may well end up liking the 'trickling every load' routine for rifle, but it will drive you nuts for handguns.

Get a balance beam measure as well, and learn to use it--I doubt you will have any problem there. After years of fiddling with both kinds of scales, I now prefer a balance beam and only use electronic scales for spot checking or tare weighing.

Jim H.

SleazyRider
April 28, 2013, 09:06 PM
Thanks, Balderclev, and I pose the question simply because I'm ready to "take the plunge" (into reloading) myself at age 60, after a lifetime of shooting just like yourself. Bad timing, however, as just about everything for reloading seems to be "out of stock" these days. I'm patient, however.

Nice choice of equipment!

Rem700CDLSF3006
April 28, 2013, 09:16 PM
i love to do it

gamestalker
April 28, 2013, 09:39 PM
Really great post! Welcome to the world of reloading and THR!

GS

"When seconds count, the police are only minutes away"

kingmt
April 28, 2013, 10:04 PM
You could trade your LNL measure for a Pro Auto Disk. You'll be much happier.

balderclev
April 28, 2013, 10:17 PM
The two operations that take the most time are the powder measuring and the trimming. The trimming I suspect only is necessary on the once fired rifle brass and then seldom when only neck sizing. The LNL kit powder meter I have from Hornady is probably OK for rifle. With the small loads for pistol even with the pistol insert is still not accurate enough for me to feel comfortable with.

I've got so much invested now that I hesitate to spend another $200 or $300 in a more accurate powder dispenser. My wife keeps up with what I spend and assume she can buy an equal amount from ebay. So you see, it costs me double what I spend!

gab909
April 28, 2013, 10:40 PM
Balder, then whatever you do, don't take her to the range. She might enjoy it and then you are going to have to double your reloading supplies, guns, but then you get a reloading partner. It is actually really enjoyable with the better half most of the time. Except when she outshoots you or tags more squirrels

Bush Pilot
April 28, 2013, 10:41 PM
The two operations that take the most time are the powder measuring and the trimming. The trimming I suspect only is necessary on the once fired rifle brass and then seldom when only neck sizing. The LNL kit powder meter I have from Hornady is probably OK for rifle. With the small loads for pistol even with the pistol insert is still not accurate enough for me to feel comfortable with.

I've got so much invested now that I hesitate to spend another $200 or $300 in a more accurate powder dispenser. My wife keeps up with what I spend and assume she can buy an equal amount from ebay. So you see, it costs me double what I spend!

What do you consider "not accurate enough" on your handgun loads?

balderclev
April 29, 2013, 09:16 AM
Bush Pilot,

My powder meter throws charges that can be +-3gr off. When throwing pistol charges, a difference of .3 gr seems quite a bit when I may only be wanting to throw 3.3 gr total of say 700x. My total range of powder when testing 45acp loads was from 5.0 to 6.5 gr at .5 gr increments with Unique. That's only 1.5 gr total range and .3 gr is 20% of it. If loading close to max, it could actually force me over the max load.

So, I hand weigh every load. Currently, my sessions are only for about 50 to 100 rounds so it's not too bad.

flipajig
April 29, 2013, 10:23 AM
Welcom to the world of hand loading.
I have two RCBS Uniflow powder measures set up on my bench one is set up with the Large powder cylinder and one with the Small powder cylinder I also have a Micro Adjust on it and I'm able th throw accurat charges of Unique or any other flake type powder with it.
For my pistol rounds I use a Lee Clasic 4 Hole Turet press with the auto disk powder system works verry well for me.
When loading for my rifle's I weigh each and every charge!
I want tobe as consistent as possible I trim all my cases ream all my case necks the same on each and every one. Same head stamp same primer same number of fireings neck size only for my rifles and Specialty Pistols.
Flip.

Arkansas Paul
April 29, 2013, 10:46 AM
balderclev, are you buying your powder and primers locally?

Don's Weaponry and Ft Thompsons both stock reloading tools and components. Gander Mountain does too, but they're the last place I check as they are the most expensive.

That Bass Pro is coming on up there at the 30/430 interchange. Hopefully they'll stock some too. I know some do and some don't. (At least the one in Branson, MO doesn't)

Welcome aboard. Nice to see another fellow Arkansan here.

balderclev
April 29, 2013, 11:34 AM
balderclev, are you buying your powder and primers locally?

Don's Weaponry and Ft Thompsons both stock reloading tools and components. Gander Mountain does too, but they're the last place I check as they are the most expensive.

That Bass Pro is coming on up there at the 30/430 interchange. Hopefully they'll stock some too. I know some do and some don't. (At least the one in Branson, MO doesn't)

Welcome aboard. Nice to see another fellow Arkansan here.

Paul, Found some primers at Mack's one day. They had just arrived and sold out in 30 minutes. Other than that, everything has been internet purchases. Haven't seen anything in the local suppliers since I started reloading.

I too am excited about the Bass Pro coming in. I live in Benton so it's going to be nice to have a real LSG store closer than NLR.

WinchesterAA
April 29, 2013, 12:36 PM
Hey, you're like a 35 year older version of me! Have you had the desire to make a comprehensive cross-platform stateful shooter's app yet?

What about the arduino powered ammunition factory?

balderclev
April 29, 2013, 01:10 PM
Hey, you're like a 35 year older version of me! Have you had the desire to make a comprehensive cross-platform stateful shooter's app yet?

What about the arduino powered ammunition factory?

Aw Winchester, I let the youngsters do the coding nowadays. It's a young man's game you know. I just point them in the right direction and crack the whip now and then:cuss:

7.62 Nato
April 29, 2013, 01:26 PM
Welcome to the addiction !

mstreddy
April 29, 2013, 02:46 PM
My powder meter throws charges that can be +-3gr off. When throwing pistol charges, a difference of .3 gr...

OP - are you using the pistol or rifle rotor in your powder measure? The Hornady LNL powder measure has one for each and having the rifle rotor, with a greater volume capacity, makes it hard to fine tune pistol loads.
I know that they "used to" come with both, but there are some folks that have only gotten one of them in a kit. Did you get the 2 rotors? If only one, then check whether it's the rifle or pistol.

balderclev
April 29, 2013, 02:55 PM
OP - are you using the pistol or rifle rotor in your powder measure? The Hornady LNL powder measure has one for each and having the rifle rotor, with a greater volume capacity, makes it hard to fine tune pistol loads.
I know that they "used to" come with both, but there are some folks that have only gotten one of them in a kit. Did you get the 2 rotors? If only one, then check whether it's the rifle or pistol.

Using the pistol rotor for pistol loads. LNL only came with rifle so had to buy the pistol rotor.

mstreddy
April 29, 2013, 03:04 PM
OK, then next question -- do you have a baffle in the measure?
And make sure there is no binding in the operation of the measure.
Did you clean off the rotor and measure body with a degreaser and then lube using the Hornady one-shot lube? And wipe down the measure with a dryer sheet?

Is this on the progressive or single-stage?

I haven't tried the powder you are using, but with W231, RL15 and 2400, my LNL powder measure drops with a +-.1 all the time.
Maybe Walkalong will chime in, he's a LNL owner too.

balderclev
April 29, 2013, 03:22 PM
Mstreddy,

Yes to all except the dryer sheet.

Single-stage press

mstreddy
April 29, 2013, 03:29 PM
Balderclev,

OK, I'm fresh out of ideas. I asked on the progressive vs single stage as the linkage for the case activated powder drop has to be adjusted properly.
On single stage the drop should be consistent. Let's see if Walkalong or another of the very experienced LNL users chime in with some thoughts and ideas.

champ0608
April 29, 2013, 08:28 PM
It sure is a great hobby. I've been loading for 12 years now, and still enjoy going out to the workshop and loading some for the weekend. I only load .45acp, and I've only every used a Lee Classic Loader, so there isn't a whole lot to it (for me) but I still like the process. I got in to casting my own bullets a few years, and that makes it more exciting (and takes me back to a time when guys had to cast their own musket ball.) I love it.

CharlieDeltaJuliet
April 29, 2013, 10:10 PM
Reloading was a something I dreaded to get started in, this was years ago. Now, I honestly enjoy reloading as much if not more than shooting most of the time. It is my "quiet time". I find it is now one of the most relaxing things I do. I am glad that the reloading bug has bitten you too. Enjoy it.

armarsh
April 29, 2013, 10:24 PM
You could trade your LNL measure for a Pro Auto Disk. You'll be much happier.

This is excellent advice. I'm running a LNL with an autodisk. It does an acceptable job with the tougher to meter like Unique. The Pro
auto disk is less than $50, including the riser.

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