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new to reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JCools, Oct 2, 2010.

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  1. JCools

    JCools Member

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    Hello,
    I'm new to reloading and trying to keep it simple. So I bought a used rcbs jr2 press @ a gun show. Picked up some 40 s&w carbide dies, made a bench. Then purchased a Lee dip kit, some tite group powder,some 180 gr bullets and down loaded about of data. After cleaning, sizing,and priming (40 s&W CASES) reliized the dip kit could not give me 4.7 gr. Any suggestions? (tight budget, like things simple)



    Thanks
    James
     
  2. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    Your best bet is a scale. You can find a fairly inexpensive one of suitable quality on the web.
    BTW Speer and Hodgdon both list 4.7gr of Titegroup with a 180gr bullet as max. I would reduce that load 5-10% and work up to it. Never start at the top charge in your manual.
     
  3. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    How did you know it wasn't giving you 4.7 grains?

    You didn't say if you have a scale. If you do, well then there's your answer.
    If not, you absolutely have to have a scale!

    This is one of the items that is NOT optional.
     
  4. pmec

    pmec Member

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    Play it safe and get a scale. Best "bang" for the buck!
     
  5. bds
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    bds Member

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    JCools, take the scoop that gives you more than 4.7 gr (I am assuming you are going by the chart) and keep packing some material at the bottom (aluminum foil, etc) until the powder charge comes down to 4.7 gr. Of course, you need to check the powder charge with a scale made for weighing gun powder.

    Here's the load data from Hodgdon's website for Titegroup and jacked bullet:
    But, 4.7 gr is the Maximum jacketed bullet load data for 180 gr with Titegroup. You should start with 4.2 gr to be safe. Make sure your loaded round's OAL (Overall length) is 1.125" for that bullet profile using a caliper.

    Also, you didn't mention whether your bullet was jacketed, plated or lead. If you are using plated or lead bullet, you need to reduce your powder charge even more, like 3.5 gr and start up from there until you get reliable slide function and accuracy.
     
  6. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    I have used 4.2.gr of Titegroup with the auto disk powder measure and had to use the next larger size aperture (.37) than the chart indicated (.34). I have read that it is a common experience for the measure number to be understated.

    Without scales to simply make the question moot, I think this tells us to use the closest measure number that does not exceed the charge weight we want. If slightly over, there is an excellent chance that it would actually weigh out at slightly under or right on. I would try the lower indication first and look for signs of being a mild load. Move up a number and try it. I think there is at least that much room for safe variation.

    With that virtually nonexistent budget, you are a candidate for Lee scales, which do work and which are accurate. The scales of that grade are more than adequate to verify what you are doing.
     
  7. bds
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    bds Member

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  8. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Member

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    JCools, the Lee dip kit as I have found is not even close to the charted weights. The only powder even close is Bullseye. Unfortunatly a scale is in your future. By the way - welcome to THR and Reloading. Now go sell your spare car, vacation home or what ever you have because you'll need cash when you discover your new addiction.
     
  9. JCools

    JCools Member

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    Thanks for the info.Shot the lock off my wallet today, and bought a digital scale.
    Picked up a MTM digital scale (looked better than mechanical) at Bass pro.Plus with a Lee .38 sp carbide die set. In the set came a .5cc scoop which I have in the Lee kit. So I sanded down the extra scoop until I consistanly scooped and poured 4.7 gr on the scale.Then randomly checked during loading seemed to work perfect. Thanks James
     
  10. fourdollarbill

    fourdollarbill Member

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    Good deal, I have many filed scoops and they never wear out.
     
  11. dc.fireman

    dc.fireman Member

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    One last thing:

    Make, and shoot 10 rounds at a time, until you get the one you want ( like the others have said before, 3.5gr., 3.7 gr., 3.9 gr. etc.). It certainly is a pain in the backside to have to pull down 95+ rounds, because they're too weak, to long, too short, too hot, etc.

    and welcome to the High Road!

    -tc
     
  12. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Nobody has asked you what you are going put these reloads in, so I will.

    Seems to me you may be in too big a hurry to get hurt or ruin your gun. If you got MTM's cheapest scale and you're loading max into who knows what brass, with 180 heavies,....and you're shooting a Glock, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Not trying to scare you out of reloading, but I am trying to scare you into doing a little research and loading .40 S&W safely.

    If you have done the research okay, but from what you posted, I get the impression you don't even own a reloading manual.

    BTW, I have a cheap MTM scale that I wouldn't reload with. It never matches up with my good RCBS 10-10.
     
  13. bds
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    bds Member

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    Absolutely agree with GW Staar. Start low at the starting load and work up to be on the safe side.

    As to using digital scales. I recommend you follow the instructions and use the check weight that comes with the MTM scale to verify that the digital scale is accurate BEFORE you weigh any powder charges.

    Be safe, but have fun.
     
  14. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Your advice about digital scales is normally good, but with my MTM scale, it will weigh the check weight perfectly and then won't weigh the same twice on a single load of powder. Don't know about you, but that scares the hell out of me.:eek: The only use I have for that scale now is checking for squibs or double loads in a questionable batch. You get what you pay for.
     
  15. bds
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    bds Member

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    GW Staar, I would have contacted the vendor I bought the MTM scale from or the manufacturer. Vendors like MidwayUSA have very good return/customer service policy.

    I am one of those that use the "cheap" Frankford Arsenal digital scale from MidwayUSA. I have verified the weight readings with manual scales I and other reloaders have regularly and readings have been consistent. I keep the scale indoors (within the temperature range specified on the back of the scale), keep it level and change the batteries.

    I do agree with this statement to a certain extent as more and more reloaders are happily using the "cheap" digital calipers from Harbor Freight claiming that they are the "same" Chinese made calipers with different brand name stamp.

    The reason why I recommend buying "brand name" digital scale even though they are all made in China is that if you have reading inconsistencies, you can deal with an American company who put their name on the product. Also, I HOPE that quality control would be better for these "branded" products.

    I have helped several new reloaders select their reloading equipment in recent years and I either recommend the RCBS 5-0-5 manual scale or the Frankford Arsenal ($25 on sale) and tell them to keep it indoors and treat it carefully. We all use Pro Auto Disk as our powder throw and know the verified specific weight range each disk hole "should" be dropping for different powders. I go through the motion of checking the first few powder throws to make sure the powder in the hopper has sufficiently settled, but most of the times the charges are right on.
     
  16. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    In my opinion the best place to spend extra money for reloading is on the scale. Get a real good one once. Not 3 shaky ones whose prices add up higher then the good one anyway.
     
  17. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    All you need is a scale that gives you the right answer. You don't necessarily need "a good one". If you aren't weighing every load, premium scales are a waste. Otherwise, you verify the weight thrown by your volumetric measure, and the scales then sit on the shelf.
     
  18. orrwdd

    orrwdd Member

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    Nothing beats a balance beam scale for accuracy and consistency.

    Bill
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I prefer balance beams, but many folks like the digital scales. It doesn't matter, as long as you have a scale. One can not reload safely without one, so you made a good decision to spend money on a scale.

    Your next smart money is on a good reloading book. The ABC's of reloading and the Lyman # 49 are probably the most often recommended here. I like my Speer manual. I seem to have lost my older Lyman manual. Read, and read again, then ask more questions. We'll be here, hopefully with some good answers.

    Welcome to THR
     
  20. noylj

    noylj Member

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    How to scoop

    Just a note: do not "scoop" the powder. You should lower the scoop into the powder and let the powder flow into the scoop. Raise the scoop and knock off the excess powder with a business card or equivalent thick paper.
     
  21. mboylan

    mboylan Member

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    IMO, you are starting out with the wrong powder. It does not take up much space in the case. That makes it easy to overlook a double charge. Which brings us to the second reason. TG is one of the fastest and hottest burning powders out there. The pressure curve is obscene. It's good for bunny-fart loads. When you get to higher charges, it doesn't take much to blow up your gun. The .40 is built for slower powders.

    Get a really good scale and stay away from the max.

    Heavier bullets and higher velocities need slower powders. Lower velocities and lighter bullets need faster powders. 4.7 gr of TiteGroup is going to be on the light side of pressure for 155 gr jacketed bullets. It's going to be on the heavy side of pressure for 180 gr lead bullets.

    PS. I used to use TiteGroup for my mid-powered .40 competition loads. I long ago switched to VV N320. For general purpose .40 I would go with a slower powder like Power Pistol. I used TiteGroup as my bunny-fart 9mm powder for many years. Recently switched to VV N320 for that too after trying Solo 1000. The reverse heat sensitivity of Solo was not something I could live with.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  22. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I would suggest a good set of check weights. Lyman and RCBS come to mind and I use Lyman. I still use a balance beam RCBS scale and check it for the exact charge I'm going to use at the beginning of each reloading session. That may be overkill but I've never blown anything up in over 40 years of reloading. I started doing this after my teenage son and some of his buddies knocked a scale off my bench after being warned to stay away from the bench. That's what I believe happened although I could never get an actual admittance. I caught it the first time I tried to use it after their jam session in the garage. Should have sold his guitar to pay for the scales. No obvious damage but it was WAY off in measurement. Needless to say it found a home in the trash container.
     
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