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Reloader - New guy

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Maverick_52, Dec 4, 2010.

  1. Maverick_52

    Maverick_52 Well-Known Member

    Hi there guys. I am a brand new reloader with a Dillon 550. Started reloading 9mm with blue dot and trying green dot for the 45 230 grain projectile. I am heading towards using bullseye for the 9 mm, 45 acp and the 380 acp. So, I am trying to talk to practiced reloaders to gather information on what you suggest from your experience. Not only that but could you suggest reading material that might guide me on the right path to learning about powders, loading and such. Thanks

  2. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    I'd try and use as few different powders as possible. less chance of a mixup and less to store and keep track up. I see the ABC's of reloading mentioned a lot as a good read. I personally like modern reloading by richard lee. It's very preachy about how great lee stuff is, but it's got some good load data and information in it.

    You will probably get better response to a specific question than a request for general information.
  3. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Mr Mav -

    Welcome to reloading and Welcome to THR.

    I also use a 550 on 9 and 45 so hopefully I can help. There's going to be 4 things you need that don't come with the Dillon 550...
    • A reloading manual to give you the reloading instructions and recipes for the different calibers
    • A 6" hand-held caliper for physical measurements
    • A powder scale to measure the powder (actually to setup and check the Powder Measure)
    • A local resource, confidant, mentor

    The Lyman manual (~$30) is generally considered the best all-around manual, unless you are married to one of the bullet companies. Then you should buy the bullet company's manual. The Lyman is available in hardback and paperback, so be sure of what you're getting and don't just fall for a low price. All these manuals have excellent chapters on the introduction to reloading.

    I like the digital 6" stainless steel calipers made by the Chinese. These are sold by Frankfort Arsn, Dillon, Harbor Freight, Hornady... for prices ranging from $12 to $30.

    The best balance scale is the Dillon Eliminator for $55. Or RCBS sells the same scale for $75 if you prefer. As for electronic, you'll have to get another person to recommend. Electronic scales less than $200 are somewhat of a fishing expedition.

    You will always need to borrow something as soon as the stores close. You might need help setting the machine up. There are hundreds to things to watch and know, sometimes particular to each cartridge. It really helps to see it being done before you attempt it yourself. Advertise here or at local gun clubs and ranges for experienced reloaders.

    And most important... ask lots of questions!
  4. SASS#23149

    SASS#23149 Well-Known Member

    My Lyman's is my goto book,as it is not brand specific,just goes by bullet weight.
    Get a lyman's and see if Bullseye or maybe W231 won't work for all those pistol calibers.I"m thinking it just might.
    If you have not used the loader yet,be SURE to use it as a single stage for a hundred rounds or so just to get the feel of things. Loading all the stations the 1st time around is just not a good idea.
    IF you think you messed up ,PULL ALL THE ROUNDS,and get back to square 1.IT's very easy to double charge pistol ammo,and you don't ever want to drop the hammer on a double charge.
    for semi auto rounds,you want to load a few,then test them eoither in a guage,or remove the barrel from your pistol and see that they are seating all the way in.
    welcome aboard,and ask all the questions you want,between us we've made every mistake there is. ;)
  5. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    The Lyman and Lee manuals are good for handgun. The specific bullet manufacturers' internet loading data can also be helpful--sometimes.

    I have a friend who tried Blue Dot with 9mm and found Win 231/Hp38/faster powders (if shooting 115gr,124gr or 125gr bullets) to be better choices, but every loader will have his/her preferences.

    Don't follow the "Maverick" definition. Listen to 'rf' and some of the other experienced reloaders and enjoy reloading. It quickly becomes an integral and enjoyable part of shooting.

    Welcome to the obsession--I mean forum
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  6. Seedtick

    Seedtick Well-Known Member

    And I've made some of em twice. :banghead:

    Welcome Maverick, kick your shoes off and make yourself to home. :cool:

    I'm kinda partial to Power Pistol and HP 38 for 9mm & 380 but I've also used Accurate #2 and #5 some too.

  7. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    I too have a 550.
    BE VERY CAREFUL INDEXING dbl charges are disastrous!

    +25 or whatever on the Lyman manual.
    In fact, I'd recommend at least 2 manuals.

    I really like the caliber specific books from Loadbooks USA.
    I have one for each caliber I reload.

    Plus the powder mfgs all have good data on their respective sites.

    Welcome to the addiction - er I mean hobby. LOL
  8. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    Welcome Maverick! All books mentioned are good ones, a specific one also is Hornady, a bullet manuf., any of them will be a good start. As mentioned before my piece here, if you think you've made a mistake in reloading, Good Gawd don't pull the trigger on it! I've reloaded for almost 35 years now, I still pull some dandies once in awhile too, just ask if you're not sure. Welcome!
  9. Col

    Col Well-Known Member

    Hi guys. although I have the LEE second edition,and The ABC of reloading,which are very good I must add,most people here seem to agree that LYMANS 49th edition is the best.For some reason AMAZON UK does not supply the UK with this book.I am sure that
    I am not the only reloader here in the UK who would like a copy but who are unwilling to purchase it from the States and pay the postage.It would be nice if AMAZON reps could read this and maybe address the problem for us
  10. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

    As others have posted, you might want to try a few powders and then settle on one? I dunno. I reload those same three calibers and have been happy with Win 231/HP-38 since day one. It meters well in my Lee equipment but I can't speak to the other brands at all.
  11. Maverick_52

    Maverick_52 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys

    I really appreciate the assistance. I have the caliper, the scale and the manual. So, bear with me if I ask another "dumb" question. There seems to be a lot of differential answers to the grains for a green dot load for a 230 g projectile bullet. Buddy of mine says 6.4 g but from what I can gather from the manuals and internet the range is narrow from 4.9 to 5.3. Thanks for the welcome and yeah I can see how someone can really get into this. Thanks.
  12. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    The bottom line is start with published data and work up to "YOUR" perfect load. Every gun and shooter will get different results with the same load. Find what works for you and your gun.


    You hit the nail (primer?) on the head. It won't be long before you'll ask, "Which is the best chronograph for xxmm testing?"

    Enjoy and stay safe.

    I would email or write them directly. They may respond favorably. Remind them we are steadfast ALLIES in a dangerous world. It might also help if you mention there is a market available to buy the books. :D
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  13. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I'd recommend you get a bullet puller too. (looks like a plastic hammer and fits well in a stocking)

    45 is very easy to load for and there is a wide range of what you can do with it. load it hot, mild, anywhere in the middle. thus, the wide range of load variations in the manuals. I'm not an old timer, and I don't have a lot of old manuals laying around, but I hear that today's listed maximum loads are less than old school max loads. (I don't know if that is for legal reasons for for legit reasons)

    "The bottom line is start with published data and work up to "YOUR" perfect load. Every gun and shooter will get different results with the same load. Find what works for you and your gun." or work down. personally, I'm recoil shy to I end up reducing some of my loads almost 15-20% off the recommended load.

    2 pieces of advice:

    a) never reseat a primer after powder has been added, and
    b) never be afraid to pull apart or throw away a suspect cartridge. saving 15 cents on supplies is not work blowing up your gun or your person.
  14. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Mr Mav -

    First things first. And this is awfully hard for some young whipper-snappers to get through their thick skulls..

    There are NO "dumb questions" !!

    So I'm glad to see you back and asking. We'll be old friends in no time at all. Until you get my bill on the 31st. :D Until then, let me see if I can help...

    Loads can vary for 2 main reasons...

    Pressure Relationships. As reloaders we are ultimately concerned with safety. That means keeping the pressure UNDER the limits of the barrel. Chamber pressure is a function of many things, but mainly volume inside the cartridge case (as measured externally by OAL [overall length]) AND the amount of powder (aka "the load"). I hope you understand that for a larger volume (larger OAL) you have to burn more powder to generate the same pressure.

    So to answer your question, you can't simply talk about the powder. I think if you'll go back and look, you'll see that the sources that told you more powder ALSO told you a longer OAL. So pick an OAL that feeds well in your gun, and then follow that load.

    Materials & Weights. Lead bullets being softer and more easily formed to the barrel take less pressure to push down the barrel than a chunk of lead clad in fairly hard sheet copper. That should be fairly intuitive and easy to understand.

    It also takes more energy to get a bowling ball moving at 10 feet/sec than it does a baseball at the same speed. So we also see that the weight of the bullet also plays an important part in determining the correct load.

    So to answer your question, when you talk loads, you also have to talk bullet materials and weights. Loads for lead bullets will use much less powder than a load for the same weight jacketed bullet. Therefore, you cannot compare a load for 230gr lead bullet with a load for a 230gr jacketed bullet. Nor can you use the load for a 230gr bullet on a 200gr bullet. And neither situation can be reversed.

    You have to be ABSOLUTELY clear about your bullet weight and material you intend to use, and then look those up very carefully. If your Lyman book does not have something that pleases you, then there are plenty of authoritative sources on-line, like the powder manufacturer's web sites. Always go to your powder maker's web site first. If it's not there, then call them on the phone. They have the information you want, they simply can't publish it all.

    Finally, I know you like your buddy, and I'm sure he's almost as nice as I am, but let me point this out. If his name did not appear in the paragraph above, then he is no longer on your list of "trusted sources". Because nice guys have a way of visiting you later in the hospital and saying stuff like, "Did I say 6.4gr. Gosh I meant 4.6gr." Follow? We're NOT making a pizza here, where you can double the number of black olives on a whim. Capiche ?

    Hope this helps!

    PS. If you'll just keep repeating that purple part at the top of the page you'll be OK.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  15. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    wobbly, I thought you could safely use load data for the next heaviest bullet if your bullet weight wasn't listed. (ex: use 230 grn lead instead of 200 grn lead if there was no load for 200 grn)

    Obviously it wouldn't be optimum, and 30 grains is a bit much, and you should always use caution, but I thought the rule was you can go up, but not down. I think I read it in the lee manual.
  16. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    Greyling -
    You might be able to pull that off, but let's remember...

    1. That's not something I want Mav trying his first day on the job, and

    2. Of all the published handgun loads out there, 92% of them must be about the 45ACP. It has to be one of the most understood and reloaded cartridges in the world. If we wanted to use 100gr on a 9x25 Dillon, then I might say OK, because there's nothing out there. But in this case there's absolutely no reason to guess.

    Let's teach him to crawl first.

    Hope this helps!
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Alliant lists the charge range for Green Dot as 4.9gr to 5.4gr for a 230gr FMJ/JHP bullet in the .45 Auto. With a 230gr LRN bullet the charge range is from 4.4gr to 5.3gr Green Dot.
  18. Ghosty1

    Ghosty1 Well-Known Member

    i dint get a welcome, and im a new reloader too.

    and i shoot nines...well also..others...

    dang! sucks to be m

  19. Ghosty1

    Ghosty1 Well-Known Member

    oh yea, this too, unless i really mess up, thats a progressive reloader...
    for a nine?

    go turret or single stage if you are new. at least thats the advice i got, and i took it.
    lee (insert judo chop here), all dies for mauser as well. yea, that mauser....

    progressive.....to each his own. i need to learn more.....

  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I'll welcome you to the forum but you have to promise to start using capitol letters where they belong when you post. LOL

    Welcome to the forum Ghosty1...

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