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Nervous Newby

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by K-DUB, Apr 16, 2009.

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  1. K-DUB

    K-DUB Member

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    Well guys and gals its almost time. I have been reading everything I could get my hands on about reloading for the past two years.

    Put off acquiring all of the components for reloading because of my families tight budget, but I couldnt stand it any longer, so I decided to sell one of my guns to get started in something I have wanted to try for a long time........................Reloading my own ammunition.

    Is it normal to be nervous on your first range trip with ammo that you produced yourself? I am.

    I tend to be over cautious on some things and reloading falls into that category for me right now. I need some of you older hands to give this little birdy a push.

    I started off with .40 caliber tonight. Inspected brass, cleaned brass in tumbler, resized and deprimed my cases, primed 10 cases, started out with ten rounds loaded as follows.

    175 grain LSWC over 5.2 grains of Unique (5 rounds) and 175 grain LSWC over 5.4 grains of Unique(5 rounds). I wanted to start slow on the bottom end and work my way up.

    Seated the bullets to 1.130 (minimum is 1.25 oal and max is 1.35 oal)
    Put a light crimp on my bullets with the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die.

    Am I missing anything? Would you guys suggest on loading a single round at a time until I see that my loads are safe?

    I am excited, but a bit leery about pulling the trigger on that first round.
    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Why did you seat the bullet below the minimum COLA? You can increase the pressures too much when you do that along with other problems. I don't reload for the 40 S&W and don't know if that charge is within the normal range but I do know you shouldn't have gone below the minimum COAL. (sorry to throw a damper on your excitement)
     
  3. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    Pretty much.

    Good idea.

    Check your head stamps, Remington seems to be real loose even after crimping. If you can push the bullet into the case with your fingers it's either too little crimp or the case has a problem, (Remington).

    I haven't use Unique but in general your doing it right. Start low and work up.

    Where did you get the min/max OAL? I use Sierra and Hornady manuals and both show COAL at 1.25 so my settings were between 1.20 and 1.23 COAL. Did you cycle some test rounds, (no primer, no powder), through the chamber to make sure they ejected properly?

    I use the same die. One thing I do is check the bullet after crimping by pushing the bullet with my finger into the case after I check it with caliper. If the bullet moves at all I add more crimp.
     
  4. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    I'd be willing to guess he meant 1.230, not 1.130. In his nervousness most likely typoed. :neener: Another good reason to double check all info you get on the web, we all make mistakes.

    to start off I would load one round at a time, check the brass after each round is fired, and load another if no problems. Sounds like you are off to a good start. Good luck and stay safe.
     
  5. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Your procedure appears to be correct with bullet weight. Just verify your OAL again. A trick you can use is, take your removed barrel and use as a bullet check gauge. If you loaded round drops into the chamber and is flush with the rear of the chamber you ark OK. A word of caution however , if you have a Glock 40 S&W, do not shoot lead bullets in it's hexagonal barrel. It will lead up badly , increase pressure, and possibly cause a KABOOM. For what's worth, when I first started reloading over 40 years ago, I was reloading 357 cases with a 148 gr LWC bullet and the starting load of then Hercules Bullseye, and I was so nervous before my first shot, I nearly wet my pants. Please don't tell my sons that. Enjoy your first loads! :)
     
  6. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    OAL concerns like everyone else. 1.23 is still not within the published parameters? Now 1.33 would be?
     
  7. rdhood

    rdhood Member

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    I am looking at the Lee data sheet that came out with my dies, and it shows a diagram of the round with a max OAL of 1.135 inches/28.83mm. I know that the Blazer Brass that I originally shot had an OAL of 28.64mm. I have loaded and shot a thousand .40s&w at 28.64mm/1.13in with no problems whatsoever. The Min OAL that you guys are quoting is for maximum loads.

    P.S to the OP: yes it is typical to get nervous. Heck, I just started reloading 7.62x39 with a couple of different bullets , and I get nervous. Things that run through my head: Did I use enough crimp/will it set back when auto loading and blow up? Did I exceed max oal for this particular bullet profile, which is not quite the same as retail profile?

    the trick, I think, to making safe pistol rounds is to get the correct amount of powder in the cartridge, and get the bullet on it set at the right depth. That means setting up the dies and powder charge to give you an appropriate OAL and amount of powder, and then creating a workflow that prevents over/under charge while maintaining the correct OAL. For me, that means a turret press that has no pauses between the charge, seat bullet, crimp. Once you trust that your powder measure is throwing the correct amount of powder every single time, you have to trust that it will continue to do so. Once you determine that your bullet seating and crimping is correct every single time, you have to trust that it will continue to do so (but check every 50 or hundred rounds). If you pay attention to what you are doing, then you will trust the rounds that you have made.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009
  8. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    I suppose every new reloader/handloader gets apprehensive - prolly well to be that way.
    always check your primer seating and double-check powder charge.
    IMO the Lee FCD is a very good loading tool. just a light crimp suffices - even lighter for cast slugs.
    welcome to the club.:D
     
  9. K-DUB

    K-DUB Member

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    Thanks guys for the comments.

    I did have a typo, I should have put seating depth is set at 1.30 (in the middle
    of the accepted range) is this correct?

    I will try the bullet less powder and primer in my chamber when I get home today to see how it chambers.

    Thank you guys for the feedback.
     
  10. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

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    Our main concern is that OAL affects pressures and a hundredth of an inch can make a big difference. Never go below minimum. Doing the middle of the range as you have done is a good idea.
    When you get to the range be confident. If you know you did what you're supposed to your ammo will work fine.
     
  11. K-DUB

    K-DUB Member

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    Went back and checked my oal on all 10 rounds and I think I am in spec.

    I chambered all 10 rounds in my XD .40 and they all look like they are going to
    cycle.

    Thanks guys for the help, I am sure it wont be the last time I have a question.
     
  12. Rodentman

    Rodentman Member

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    I reload .40's to Lee's Max OAL of 1.135" with 180g FMJ's and 6.2g of Power Pistol.

    Works fine in the Kahr PM40 and Sig P229.
     
  13. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    1.123 OAL on 180gr lead FP

    this in my p239 replicates a Speer 180gr SD round.

    for crimp, bullet will not move when pushed hard against the edge of the bench

    i'm making a couple hundred now for a pin & plate shoot tomorrow
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    K-DUB,
    Now go out and shoot those rounds and give us a range report. You will be fine and your ammo will probably be better than factory ammo... :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  15. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    Ok, there seems to be some confusion here...

    The max COL for the .40 S&W is 1.135". A round loaded to 1.300" COL would probably not function in most .40 S&W pistols.

    Remember, if you're a reloader with dyslexia, then you have to be EXTRA careful...
     
  16. deacon8

    deacon8 Member

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    Sounds good. Shoot them and go from there. It doesn't seem like you are in danger or anything. Reloading is good, fun, and your confidence will build the more you do it and the more you experiment.
     
  17. Afy

    Afy Member

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    It is normal to feel nervous.. every time you begin loading a new caliber.
     
  18. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    And a range report will be in order...
     
  19. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    Is there is missing "1"?

    If the spec for COAL for .40 S&W is 1.135, you are probably seating to 1.130, in the middle of the range 1.125-1.135.

    The caution about getting the right numbers is correct. You can't reload safely if you are having trouble reading your calipers... :)
     
  20. ar10

    ar10 Member

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    One thing you could do is measure the COAL of a NIB round that you've shot before. For example I've measured a number of Winchester/Blazer rounds and they averaged 1.17 through 1.23. In addition both of my manuals, Sierra and Hornady, show the COAL as 1.25 and that was my benchmark. The bullets weight 180gn (Hornady and Magtech) and 165gn Frontier bullets using HS-6 powder and Federal SPP's
     
  21. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm member

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    I load the longest that will cycle the gun. Start at the max OAL. Put a dummy round in the mag at that OAL and rack the slide. If it fed and ejected, use that OAL and test with live ammo at the range.
     
  22. K-DUB

    K-DUB Member

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    Thanks guys, will give a range report after tomorrow afternoon.
     
  23. K-DUB

    K-DUB Member

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    Went to the range today.

    I was a little apprehensive at first but everything went just fine.

    Started off with 4.7 grains and worked all the way up to 5.5 grains.

    I was shocked that the 4.8 were the most accurate.


    Thanks guys for all the help.
     
  24. Martyk

    Martyk Member

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    If you think you're nervous now... wait until you're dumping 50 grains of powder into a rifle cartridge for the first time :eek:

    I loaded pistol for years with 5~6 grain loads so I had to call a friend to make sure I was reading the manual correctly when I started seeing 45 ~ 50 grain loads that almost filled the case to the top. Well needless to say, I'm still here blogging so it's all good. I think that little bit of fear helps to keep you safe.

    It's a great hobby, have fun! Here's a little something for you to play with. May help you justify the expense of the equipment. http://10xshooters.com/calculators/index.htm
     
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