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Fun With Reloading

Information on reloading for precision or money saving, equpiment to use, powder and primer suggestions, all welcome

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SR9
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Fun With Reloading

Postby SR9 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:37 pm

Over the last few months I have gathered the equipment and supplies I needed to start reloading. It has been a bit slower than I would have liked due to component shortages and my budget but it all came together in the last couple of weeks.

Yesterday afternoon I got my press set up and made a dozen rounds of 9mm without powder or primer to check dimensions and basic operation.

Using the speer reloading manual #14 I set up for 124 grain 9mm lead round nose bullets from S & S Casting. The book called for a 1.135 OAL so that is what I adjusted for. Measuring the 12 rounds I put through all were between 1.130 and 1.140 using a mix of head stamps on once fired brass.

They all looked very good.

An experienced reloader here suggested that I try several rounds in a 9mm hand gun before making a bunch. That was good advice.

Since I usually like to cover all the bases I tried them in all of my 9mm handguns with the exception of my carry gun with the following results :

Test conditions : 10 rounds in each magazine except for 1 which held less. Cycle each until empty and note the operation.

Ruger SR9 - cycled all 10 no issues
Ruger P95 - cycled all 10 no issues
Walther P1 - cycled all 8 no issues
Tarus PT92 - No go, would not go into full battery

With the Taurus giving me grief I took a closer look. First I put a Federal AE round in the mag and it worked perfectly. I then removed the barrel and placed the Federal round in, pressed gently and turned the barrel over. The round fell out. I did the same thing with one of mine and it stuck in the chamber. Hmmm.

I then compared the 2 rounds and it was obvious that the Federal round had a much more conical shape. I looked closer at mine and saw marks that looked like rifling marks on the bullet.

The Taurus has been a fine hand gun and shoots everything I have previously put in it. Obviously it has all been FMJ with a more pointed profile. Looks like the PT92 does not like LRN bullets though. I suspect something in the chamber/barrel design is different.

In an attempt to get the PT92 to "like" LRN I took a look at the Speer Manual and they had a recipe for 124gr with an OAL of 1.115. So I tried it and still no go.

Looks like the PT92 will stay home until get some FMJ bullets with a more conical profile.

Anyone have this happen? I don't thing I did anything wrong. Have to say I really enjoyed working on this yesterday.


"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy 1962

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Postby newguy » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:41 pm

Think you did fine. Some handguns just don't like certain bullet profiles. Could also need alittle more crimp. for the Taurus

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Postby CTSixshot » Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:30 pm

One LRN doesn't necessarily equate to another mfg's LRN. Load manuals may list a specific cast bullet (eg., Speer #4602 http://www.speer-bullets.com/ballistics ... spx?id=218) and that COL data may not be exact for another 125gr LRN due to slight variations in bullet profile and ogive. Hence, interference with the rifling, as in your Taurus. Likely a slightly deeper seating will remedy this situation.
If you are seating dramatically deeper, you will reduce case volume below the base of the bullet and will increase pressures, so this isn't always the answer, of course.
When using a generic bullet, you'd be best advised to seat to the nominal book dimension and then do the barrel drop in check. At the point where you eliminate interference for the proper fit, seat about .010" deeper and record that COL for that specific bullet. Test-fire some before going into mass production.
Most auto-loaders use ammo that headspaces on the case mouth, so any crimping will be with the Taper Crimp die; no roll crimping here! Measure the mouth of your factory ammo and measure the same on your reloads.
If you are flaring the case mouth for proper lead in with the cast bullets (minimizes lead shaving, too), you will need to restore that flare back to normal dimensions. This is where the taper crimp performs this step.

Somewhat non-related, you may find certain guns simply don't digest particularly shaped bullets. I recently had a fella with a SIG .45 sample some LSWCs. The shoulder on this bullet just got hung up on the feed ramp or other part of his firearm and they just didn't work. My Ruger will digest them w/o issue.
Even a smooth profile like the Lee 452-230 TC can cause grief if not seated correctly. newguy can attest to this. His 1911 bound slightly on loads that also ran w/o a burp in my Ruger.

FWIW, I have the Lee 356-120 TC and 356-125 2R molds, but I'm not casting much lately nor lending them out. Down the road perhaps we can pour some and give them a try, but I'm sure they are available commercially, too.
http://leeprecision.com/bullet-casting/ ... ble-cavity

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Postby SR9 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:04 pm

Thanks CT, I agree and will load to the nominal speer spec with their min load to start. I will just leave the PT92 to when I get a different profile bullet. I really wanted a something like the speer 3993 fmj since it looked a lot like the commercial stuff I used to shoot.

I will use up what I have in the hand guns I have that will eat it and go from there.

I think I have my crimp down pretty good, though it looks like a hair more crimp than factory crimps. I cycled the samples I made many times and remeasured to be sure they did not move, and they did not. Even in the PT92 the length did not change when the slide slammed home in an attempt to chamber the round.

I will definitely be testing some before making any in quantity. It will be interesting to crono them to see what they do. I do love testing.

I appreciate all the input that I have had from the experienced reloaders out there, it has been a big help.

I have to say that I forgot just how much I miss using all my measuring tools. It was a fun afternoon for sure.
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Postby SR9 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:07 pm

newguy wrote:Think you did fine. Some handguns just don't like certain bullet profiles. Could also need alittle more crimp. for the Taurus


I think the PT92 just does not like the LRN profile. Not a show stopper for sure since the LRN stuff is very reasonable in price and available.

This project is coming along, hope to do some live testing in a couple of weeks.
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Postby CTSixshot » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:06 pm

Too bad you started this late. Earlier in the year, I had about 800 pieces of Hornady 124gr FMJFP and 1100 pieces of Speer 125gr TMJFP (ideally for the 357 Sig, but I've loaded it in 9 and 38 okay).

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Postby SR9 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:26 pm

Well, I new there would be trouble last November but had no idea how bad December was going to be. That said I figured I had a bit more time to get started reloading.

Troubling times for our rights for sure.
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Postby newguy » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:44 pm

I honestly wish i lived out in middle of nowhere seems like alot of the small out of the way shops. Still have stuff in stock not as much foot traffic for people to buy them out.

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Postby CTSixshot » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:49 pm

If I got this right, the Brooklyn Trading Post has powders, primers and assorted reloading gear, but I got this indirectly and I'd suggest calling before venturing over to that "quiet corner".
I see most mail-order sources are out of stock on about every powder and primer variety...

Heck, use all of your fuel and head over to Goshen and Autumn Gun Works, maybe they have some stuff left on the shelf.
http://www.autumngunworks.com/

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Postby SR9 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:08 pm

newguy wrote:I honestly wish i lived out in middle of nowhere seems like alot of the small out of the way shops. Still have stuff in stock not as much foot traffic for people to buy them out.


I hear ya. Thankfully I am in pretty good shape for 9mm now. Actually just got a lod in from Friendswood bullet. They look a little more pointed in profile but won't know for sure until I make some measurements.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - John F. Kennedy 1962



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Postby Mopar » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:18 am

Only things I'd like to add to this is always consult more then one reloading manual. Especially when starting out, if you're using a powder measure pull every 10th round or so and weigh the charge before you seat the bullet. Some measures may vary more then you would think as the hopper drops. Some you need to just give a little rap of flick to the hopper every so many rounds. Some even have built in baffles and/or knockers to help throw consistant charges. Different powders work differently in different measures. Oh, and start with the minimum charge and slowly work up. Max charges are rarely the most accurate anyway.

To tie that all together, had a newish guy recently in a reloading forum experience a kaboom. Nobody hurt, but his revolver was destroyed. After some back and forth in the group, where we each consulted our various reloading manuals, we came up with about 7 differnt "max" loads for his caliber/powder/bullet combo. There was something like a 30% difference from the lowest recommended max to the highest.
His one manual happened to be one of the highest listings, and his intended load was right at max. It also happened that while his first few charges were where he wanted them, once the powder and everything settled in it was throwing charges almost 20% over what he wanted. The .38spl rounds he was making were probably over SAAMI specs for even a .357 magnum. To it's credit, the revolver (think it was a Taurus) still ate half a box before failing.
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Postby CTSixshot » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:33 am

Yes. The .38 Special is really one of the most dangerous calibers to reload due to very high case capacities relative to charge weight volumes. With a scant HBWC load, you can charge a .38 Special about seven times before the case overflows. One good reason to reload on a single-stage press where you can visually check each charged case.

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Postby sjcolwell2 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:23 pm

Yeah I prefer a single stage . I like handling ever case one by one. Takes a little longer but the quality is better. At least that's how I look at it .
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