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First time reloading with poor results

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by varodd, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. varodd

    varodd Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    Well, I finally setup my Lee pro 1000 last week and reloaded my first 12 .357 rounds. My charge was based on the data from IMR's website.

    .357 brass
    .357 Hornady 140g JHP
    11g IMR 4227 (Start load)
    Mag Remington primer

    So I painstakingly setup my press and dialed in my power dispenser to throw 11g every pull. I knew what my final assembled weight was to be and 1 at a time reloaded 12 rounds. I checked the weight on each assembled round and boxed them up.

    The next day I went to the range to try them out. I loaded my Taurus up with 7 and took aim, pulled the trigger and felt a pop smaller then a .22. I knew something went wrong and stopped, emptied the gun grabbed a cleaning rod from my bag and discovered my bullet 3/4 the way down the barrel.

    My question is what happened? There was no unburned powder in the chamber so my only guess is that it was a blank load and only the primer pushed the round down. I have since gotten some additional reloading guides and it looks like the start charge should have been 15g. Could it be that it was under charged and it only got 3/4 the way?
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    No powder and only a primer will certainly push a bullet partially down a barrel.
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    11 Grs of IMR 4227 with a 140 Gr JHP is way underpowered, but here should have been unburned powder all over the place. If there wasn't, it had no powder.

    That's more like it.
  4. salpal48

    salpal48 Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Long Branch New Jersey
    I have 2 lee Pro 1000 9mm and 45 lc. In my experience if the chain on the powder measure does not have the correct tension will not return under the powder drop or the powder tube is in the off position Or the disk is not correctly positioned in the tab.
    At first operate the machine 1 cartridge at a time checking each position

    This happened when I set mine up.
    Im not a progressive fan , but The old way of single stage loading is always the way to start out.
    I have a lot of machines some old and new , I always revert to a single stage
  5. varodd

    varodd Member

    Feb 14, 2013
    I know the powder system was working fine as I was charging and removing a round from the line to check the charge several time till it was dialed in before pressing my first bullet in. The only thing I can think of is that when I put the emptied round back in to the charge station to finish the sequence I did not run it back up to receive a fresh powder charge.

    I will be getting a single stage press soon to add to the bench. I got the progressive one for when I make plinking ammo and while it was in stock before the prices got jacked. My plan is that all my hunting ammo will be done on a single stage.
  6. hey_poolboy

    hey_poolboy Well-Known Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Central Ill.
    Sure sounds like a squib round. (no powder) 11 gr. is super light, but I would have guessed that the projectile would have cleared the barrel.

    Read up and get several reloading manuals. I've never used the pro 1000, but a buddy of mine has one and he says they're pretty finicky. Check the powder drop every time. I'm partial to turret presses. (for handgun) I can easily visually verify each charge. That, and I can't afford a Dillon. :(

    Good luck. Pay attention and study up and you'll do just fine.

    Sent from my Triple core DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
  7. soloban

    soloban Well-Known Member

    Sep 8, 2009
    Madison, AL
    Ditch the 4227 and get some H110.
  8. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Well-Known Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Southwestern Ohio
    The good thing was that you made the right decision when you heard the light report.

    As for loading, I read several load books to get a good starting base for new loads. Most manuals give you the best bullet/powder combinations and I tend to try them first.
  9. witchhunter

    witchhunter Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2012
    Lassen County, California
    Check your crimp also, as the .357 needs a good crimp to obtain consistant loads especially with light loads.
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    A couple things possible that may have been the cause. First, as stated, the cartridge was under charged. My Hornady book lists 14.4 as starting charge and under charged can indeed cause such an event, except, you stated it was a very light pop which is very indicative of no powder. And if it was an under charged load, you should be seeing lots of powder skeletons, or evidence of unburned powder.

    A heads up on powder charging with slower burning powders, don't reduce charges to less than published starting levels. And IMR-4227 is one of those slow burners, but it is a powder with a really broad charge range that extends from the 14.4 to 19.0 with that 140 gr. projectile.

    But considering you picked a slow burner, you may want to just pick up some H110 / 296 to get you what it seems you are working toward. It's a full tilt magnum powder, and is not a pressure spiking monster to work with. It does what it is designed to do, which is to deliver full magnum performance and very consistently when properly used, magnum primers, stout crimp, and mid to upper end powder charges is where it functions most reliably.

    Don't beat yourself up though. Once you understand and practice the use of different powders and the general process of reloading with good results, you'll likely get bitten by the bug as myself, and many others have.

    I will add one last tip though, before seating your bullets always, always, visually inspect each case to be sure it has been charged accordingly. I use a small pen light to check them before I begin seating. I have yet to miss an uncharged case, and I have missed a few in my time, it happens to the best of us. Squibs as you know, can be every bit as dangerous and destructive to you, and your firearm, as a double charge can be.

  11. dirtengineer

    dirtengineer Well-Known Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Southeast WA
    Squib for sure. Somehow you didn't get the powder in the cartridge.

    One way to find out for sure, go shoot one of the other rounds. Worst case is you get another bullet lodged.

    I would probably leave it a mystery and pull the rest if it were me...
  12. sellersm

    sellersm Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2011
    CO Rockies
    +1 to what gamestalker said: visually inspect EVERY case to ensure it has powder (and appears to have close the right amount)!

    Also, have you ensured that your powder measure is actually dropping the amount of powder you're expecting?

    Given that you don't mention unburnt powder all over the place, sounds like a squib. We've all had them (well most of us anyway). Learn from it and move on, changing what's necessary so it doesn't happen again...
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    If you are fairly sure it's possible you didn't throw the charge into the case fine, but if you're not then another problem might be present. Sometimes when you have one round with no powder it means you have another with a double charge. Even though 11.0gr 4227 is a light load in the .357 Magnum under a 140gr bullet a 22.0gr load would not be a good thing.
  14. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2009
    Charleston, South Carolina
    As stated, you probably had a squib round. Honestly, it might be worth spending a little time on a single-stage before stepping up to the progressive. IMHO the pace and more deliberate actions do really well to teach you the steps that you'll see in motion once you go up to progressive.

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