First Loads - Am I gonna blow my face off?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by seattledave, Apr 10, 2011.

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  1. seattledave

    seattledave Member

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    I've just completed my first handloads and intend to take them to the range tomorrow, but having never reloaded before in my life I have an irrational fear that I'm gonna burn the range down.

    I have loaded 25 .357 magnum cartridges to the following specs: Remington brass measuring 1.280" after sizing, primed with CCI 550 primers, and loaded with a 125 grain Hornady XTP JHP bullet over 11.6 grains of Bluedot powder. Final OAL of all cartridges is 1.590".

    Does this load seem too heavy for the first time out or am I worrying too much? Any feedback from experienced reloaders would be appreciated.
     
  2. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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  3. Geckgo

    Geckgo Member

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    My 49th ed Lee handbook says suggested starting grains for blue dot is 10.4 and max listed at 13.3, I would think you are in the safe zone, just examine the shells when you are finished for pressure symptoms I guess. Good luck. When I get some money back in my pocket I'm hoping to get into reloading.
     
  4. 918v

    918v Member

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    Yup, you will blow your face off. FWIW, my first handload consisted of a Sierra 110gr JHC over 15grs of BD in Winchester brass and CCI550 primers. Even if I didn't hit anything, I would have surely set it on fire.
     
  5. seattledave

    seattledave Member

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    Oy! That's unsettling. If the powder maker doesn't recommend using Bluedot for 125 gr bullets I guess I am back to square one. Kinda sucks as Bluedot and 125 gr bullets are all I have and reloading components are hard to find in my area. Can anyone recommend a powder that you CAN load safely for 125 gr XTP's?
     
  6. 918v

    918v Member

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    2400
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Any of the following
    4227
    296
    H110
    Longshot
    SR 4756
    HS-6
    Auto Comp
    Universal
    231
    HP-38
    SR 7625
    PB
    TiteGroup
    700X
     
  8. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

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    Hows about buying yourself a reloading manual?
     
  9. 918v

    918v Member

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    Who needs a stinking manual???
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Blue Dot works OK with reasonable charge weights and 125 Gr jacketed bullets (11.5 Grs gave me 1340 FPS with a 125 Gr Powerbond bullet @ 1.573 O.A.L.), but it's not the best choice out there. More recoil for the velocity than some powders and lots of muzzle flash. Of course, some folks like the muzzle flash.

    I much prefer Unique or N340 to Blue Dot for medium plus loads in .357 with 125 Gr bullets. AA #5 is pretty good too. Longshot is another pretty good one.

    I don't shoot any full load, romp stompin' earth scorching 125 Gr .357 stuff, but would look at Enforcer, AA #9, 2400, H110/W296, or N-110 for that.
     
  11. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    For a very versatile powder, I'd start with Unique. This is one of the most versatile powders on the market. It will provide really predictable results, and you can download it to 38 Special or pretty good Magnum loads. There is tons of loading data for about every handgun bullet/caliber combination out there.

    Note, if you are set on max velocity, I would go with 2400. It is easier to work with than 296/H110. With Unique and 2400, you can load the whole spectrum.

    Next time, pick up some 158gr JHP bullets. You can use up your Blue Dot with that.
     
  12. seattledave

    seattledave Member

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    I have a Lyman manual thanks. It lists blue dot for use with hornady XTP's and I based my load on the Lyman loading info. However, since this was my first time loading, I thought I would post the load info to get some real world feedback before going to the range. Apparently it was a good thing I did because I found out that the manufacturer no longer recommends it for 125 gr bullets. Sooooo... to those who offered helpful info, I thank you. To those with snarky comments about getting a manual, well you know what you can do =)
     
  13. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    It's pretty bad that it requires a link to another website forum to get info on a powder warning.

    Alliant does a real good job of hiding it on their website. It is under "Getting Started" I think they should have it posted on their home/main page.

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/getting_started/safety/safety_notices.aspx

    Probably would be good to break those rounds down.
     
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I would recommend that you find some Alliant 2400. Its my go to powder for 357 mag and hot 45 colt stuff.
     
  15. clutch
    • Contributing Member

    clutch Contributing Member

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    Just checked 47th lyman, that is middle of range. I think you are good to go.

    Wear eye and ear protection and inspect first fired case focusing on primer. Use a factory loaded empty in the magnum class as a reference. Seriously flat primers, that would be a clue to an over pressure condition.

    If you touch off your first round and go ouch, what the heck, well likely you screwed up somewhere.

    While you are at it, look at your scale one more time, what are the balance weights set for?

    Welcome to the fraternity of handloaders, the fact you are questioning yourself puts you in the thoughtful class of reloaders. I have a gut feeling you will do fine.

    Clutch
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  16. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    You have a Lyman manual......that's it? Are you a serious reloader or what?

    Geezus, another candidate for the Darwin award - first, do NOT believe ANY thing you read on the internet that does not come from a maker of the powder or bullet..............

    This is not rocket science, but a small modicum of common sense IS required - if that is not your cup of tea, leave it someone else - not everyone has that ability and that is OK
     
  17. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    You should be just fine with that load. But as others have suggested there are better suited powders out there for your application.
     
  18. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I don't think that was exactly called for, to be honest. It certainly was neither helpful nor high road.
     
  19. clutch
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    clutch Contributing Member

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    Oneounceload,

    He is a beginner and he knows it.

    12th ed Speer obviously for their 125g bullet calls out 11.5g start and 13.0g max. It is an older manual and technology has marched on, and formulations may have drifted.

    Seems to me he is being responsible by asking for informed opinions.

    Clutch
     
  20. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    It's on this site too.

    POWDER RECALLS - - Compiled information Post #19

    Seedtick

    :)
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. I reloaded for years with only my Speer manual that came with my Partner press kit. Worked out just fine. I did not even have the experts on the internet to help, much less data on the powder makers sites.

    That load is just fine. No need to worry. As already posted, there are better choices, and as I posted earlier, reasonable loads with BD and 125 Gr bullets are not going to get you in trouble. BD is very position sensitive and light loads with 125's can be bad news. 11.6 Grs is going to fill about 95ish% of the space under the bullet.

    I would still pick up another better suited powder when you get the chance. :)
     
  22. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Even Lyman 49 is still showing Blue Dot for 125 gr .357s.
    I doubt the powder has changed, just that Alliant has discovered some freak occurence that might cause trouble and are unwilling to risk liability over it. Note that nobody on that Glock thread actually had any trouble with it.

    Me?
    I only used it with 158 grain bullets. I don't like light bullet magnums with ANY powder, the kick, flash, and blast are worse.
     
  23. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    +1

    Yep, he's doing alright.

    Seedtick

    :)
     
  24. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I think he is safe too. I just wanted to bring that up because I felt he should know about it, if he is going to reload that combo.
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Sure are. Of course, some folks like that. Not me though.
     
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