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New to reloading….

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by UnderKule, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. UnderKule

    UnderKule Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Ohio
    All,
    I just pulled an old single stage RCBS press out of the father-in-laws basement and thought I would try my hand at it. Of course I have now spent more money than I wanted to get things up and running.
    I have never reloaded anything before. After receiving more equipment in the mail yesterday, I have loaded my first 50 rds of 9mm. I used the unique powder that he had stored from 1977. I am anxious to go fire one to see if the powder will even work. I used a 115 gr hornady XTP over the Unique with a carefully measured 5.5 gr of powder.
    Fingers crossed… ‍♂️
    Anyway, I am sure I will have many questions in the near future and look forward to any and all guidance you all can provide.

    Thanks,
    UnderKule
     

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  2. THEWELSHM

    THEWELSHM Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
    Messages:
    233
    great press take your time mate..

    thewelshm
     
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  3. UnderKule

    UnderKule Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2021
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Ohio
    Will do, still over cautious because it is new. Trying to get the basics mastered before moving on to anything custom or special. Reading through some of the threads has been difficult because the lingo is foreign to me. I will catch on fast though.

    in the mean time, anyone have reload info for 6mm arc? I take it you can use the .243 bullets?
     
  4. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2019
    Messages:
    491
    I hope you got some reloading manuals in that mail delivery.
     
  5. Mk-211

    Mk-211 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2019
    Messages:
    563
    I would stick to learning pistol reloading before jumping into rifle.

    Pistol is really forgiving, rifle isn't, be safe start out slow and easy.
     
  6. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    2,725
    Location:
    Central Virginia
    Congrats.
    And never stop being extra cautious.
    Better to be safe then to mess up and have bad things happen.

    Get as many manuals as you can and watch as many videos as you can.

    As you’re learning, reloading isn’t hard, you just have to be really good with the attention to detail.
     
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  7. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    SE Idaho
    That sounds like a good plan. I'm sure you will catch on real fast - the jargon, or "lingo" won't be foreign to you for long.:thumbup:
    Truth be told, I had to "Google" the 6mm ARC because it's newer than my "Cartridges of the World" book, and I couldn't find it in any of the loading manuals I have handy. But yeah, it looks like it takes .243 bullets.:)
     
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  8. mdi

    mdi Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
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    4,136
    Location:
    Orygun!
    Welcome to the wonderful, oft confusing and frustrating world of reloading! Just a couple thoughts; My manual shows Unique loads for 115 gr JHP to run 4.4 gr to max. 5.8 gr. I'd suggest a new reloader start closer to book starting/min. loads. Where did you get your data? And loading 50 rounds right off, especially by a new reloader may result in 49 cartridges needing to be disassembled. I've been reloading for quite a while and still start a new to me cartridge/load at/near book min. and rarely more than 12-14 rounds...

    Go slow. Double check everything. Most important have fun...
     
  9. UnderKule

    UnderKule Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2021
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    12
    Location:
    Ohio
    I bought a Lyman book. Very informative!! I got my reload data from the Lee die set that I bought.
    I did 50 to start so I could get used to setting up the dies. Luckily, I just took 5 rds out back and they all fired properly.

    as far as attention to detail, I have a character flaw that doesn’t allow me to say, “that’s close enough”. LOL! I literally took about 3 hours to load the 50 rds. Low and slow!!! All new micrometers and I double scaled them. First digital and then on the counter balance. To be honest, I was very hesitant pulling the trigger on the first round.
     
  10. UnderKule

    UnderKule Member

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    Here is where I used the load data from
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. UnderKule

    UnderKule Member

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    Wow, but this is very different….
     

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  12. Ferris

    Ferris Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2021
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    31
    I somewhat disagree here. Years ago I went pistol shooting with a family friend that reloaded. I was picking brass shards out of my face for a week. When I started reloaded I went straight rifle scared to get into pistol because of that, now I reload 5.7 so all fear is gone. But it's easy to double charge a pistol and nearly impossible to double a rifle charge.

    Either way op enjoy it's a fun hobby.
     
  13. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2021
    Messages:
    812
    Location:
    West TN
    I have a few points of advice for 9mm that may not be mentioned in your manual:
    1. Make sure to plunk test your rounds in your barrel or buy a case gauge. Its very easy to have a round with an imperceptible bulge or length problem that will prevent your gun from cycling.

    2. ALWAYS run your brass through the re-sizing die, even if you deprime separately, and even if it is new brass.

    3. Always manually cycle a few rounds thru your gun before firing any. This will expose a few defects such as a bulge you didn't catch, a Coal that is too long for your gun, or insufficient tension or crimp. The latter two usually result in the bullet staying in your chamber while the case gets spit out and powder is spilled inside your gun.

    4. Something I experimented with but didn't work, and the thought may cross your mind: If you do get a loaded round with a bulge, do not try to run it thru the resize die, this will release the case tension and the bullet will get loose. Best to disassemble those rounds and see if they can be resized.
    That brings me to my last tip:
    Get a bullet puller so you can disassemble rounds. I use a collet type that I install in my press, but there are other types.
     
  14. Mark_Mark

    Mark_Mark Member

    Joined:
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    3,919
    welcome to the exclusive club called, “This Old Press that I dug out of” your 9mm looks good! pop away and enjoy.
     
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  15. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,437
    Location:
    Freeport, IL
    We're here to help.
    There are NO stupid questions, just ones you don't ask that get you killed or worse.

    By far and away the best help are Reloading Manuals.
    I currently have about 20, & it ain't enough. :eek:

    Lyman's 50th is the current edition.
    If you like Hornady's bullets, they print a good one, I "think" 11 is their current.
    Powder manufacturers all have free online manuals.
    There's a series called "One Book, One Caliber."
    They're about $7-8 each.
    There's no "How To" section, just LOTSA load data.
    Where as MOST of the other manuals have pretty good to great "How To" sections.

    Finally, welcome to THR &n welcome to the addic ... Oh , wait, no
    Hobby, ya that's it, just a hobby. :scrutiny: :confused:
     
  16. UnderKule

    UnderKule Member

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    Location:
    Ohio
    Hahaha! Thank you all for the welcome.
     
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  17. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    4,045
    Location:
    Memphis
    I did some water jug testing with a friend and I believe a max load of unique of 5.8 grains made a nice flower out of those 115 xtp. I was using a glock so +p is ok and a normal max load that I worked up to was no big deal. Unique give great case fill in 9mm.
     
  18. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2018
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    2,560
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    My biggest piece of advice for any new reloader is to go slowly, Do Not Hurry. Do not allow distractions. When you feel yourself losing concentration, walk away. Next start buy building a repeatable routine. One you can repeat w/o thinking about it. Stick to your routine. Then when something happens and something doesn't feel right. STOP. Investigate because your routine is telling you something is amiss!

    Next pay attention to your surroundings, not just your sight but also your sense of feel. Again if something feels wrong ask yourself why.

    I tell people I sort all my brass by headstamp. Not because it makes a huge difference when I shoot but because it makes a huge difference when I reload. I want each pull of the handle to feel just like the one before it. I don't want to struggle with cases that are different hardness or case wall thickness where one will feel smooth and easy and then the next feels like it is going to get stuck. Or seating primers and then one won't go in because the pocket is that much tighter.

    Reloading is as safe as any other hobby if you make it that way. I have seen experienced woodworkers that are missing digits because they got careless and complaisant.
     
  19. stillquietvoice
    • Contributing Member

    stillquietvoice Contributing Member

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    Upstate ny
    @UnderKule welcome to the forum.
     
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  20. Iwsbull

    Iwsbull Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    156
    I do have bad news as it is addictive and there is always new combos and equipment you want to try. The good news is that everyone here will support your decision to spend more money, think of us as a support group.
     
  21. THEWELSHM

    THEWELSHM Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2016
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    233
    But wasn’t it great when you did mate...:)

    Thewelshm
     
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  22. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Location:
    G_d's Country, WI
    No such thing as 'over' cautious. Develop a routine with numerous and redundant safety checks in it. There have been some good suggestions thusfar.

    Here are a few more:
    1. Only have one powder on the bench at a time.
    2. Charge one case, look down in the case to be sure the powder level looks correct (easier to do with rifles than pistols-as has been mentioned, it is easier and more likely to double charge (or even triple charge with certain powders) pistol rounds than rifle rounds.),then place the charged case in the press, set the bullet on top, hold it to guide it in, and seat.
    3. You'll see pictures in the manuals of trays of charged cases sitting, ostensibly to be able to compare powder levels, but this is unwise. if you make a mistake with a tray, that's a lot of reworking.
    4. Yes, 6mm ARC uses .243 bullets.
     
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  23. chamokaneman

    chamokaneman Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2020
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    The differences between all the different data sources can be confusing. I pulled the data up on my Hornady app and they're calling the max for 115 grain XTP's 5.4 grains of Unique albeit seating substantially deeper than your Lee data called for. Kind of cool though, that we get to review as much of the information as we can and make our own decisions on risk, hopefully conservatively..
     
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  24. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,152
    Location:
    Southern California
    This is the perfect example as to why folks say “get a few reloading manuals”. ;)

    One thing you can do is go to the source of the powder and see what they recommend. Alliant’s data is quite annoying to me as compared to what it was years ago, but you can use it to see how it compares to loading manuals.
    https://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/powderlist.aspx?page=/reloaders/powderlist.aspx&type=1&powderid=3&cartridge=23

    Also, when you see data in one manual that is different from another look at what barrel lengths they are using for their test loads. Also look at overall cartridge lengths and what pressures they say the load produces. This info may help you determine why numbers in load data may be different, but one thing I always do is balance the data against the powder manufacturer’s numbers. They make the powder, they ought to know their stuff. ;)

    Oh, something I forgot to mention. About 20 years ago Alliant changed Unique powder a bit. They made it burn cleaner. Some older reloading books might have data that doesn’t jive with newer book data. I don’t think powder quantities for Unique changed all that much but just be aware of that if you find some cool old reloading books somewhere.
     
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  25. Seymour380

    Seymour380 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2020
    Messages:
    78
    Welcome to reloading! A couple tips I have learned since I started in 2014:
    1. Do not reload when tired or hungry. I like reloading in the morning after a couple cups of coffee.
    2. Keep meticulous notes so that you can follow-up on your test load results, good or bad.
    3. Be careful with old load data. Some of the old reloading pamphlets I have acquired have load recommendations that are very "hot" compared to more recent data.
    4. Keep your reloading area clean, quiet, and free of distractions while you are focusing on reloading.

    Best to you with your new hobby!
     
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