Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

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SoupOrMan
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Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by SoupOrMan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:05 am

I was finally had the time and inclination to buy the dies I needed for my dad's pistols and some of my rifle calibers. Most of it arrived today. Now Dad can bring over his 9mm and .380 and I can send him back out with enough practice ammo that he might actually go more than twice a year. I also have .223 and 6.8 Remington dies to learn the fine art of crushing cartridge shoulders...

I also bought a bunch of extra square ratchets for my Lee turret press. I kind of mangled mine thanks to letting the press sit too long without oiling the turret bearing.

As for the reloading process it's much better. I mounted the press to the huge workbench my dad and I built last Christmas and loaded a batch of .38 Special. I used 4.5 grains of Universal for powder and put that under a 158-grain plated hollow point bullet from HSM, which I think is just a house brand for Midway. The bullet has a nice cannelure but the hollow point doesn't look like it will expand for anything. The difference in loading is night and day compared to the old Kobalt machine stand I originally used for it. Powder throws deviate by maybe .1 grain either way every 10 or so rounds as opposed to .2 grains around every 5. Overall length didn't deviate more than .001" throughout the batch whereas I would get anywhere from 1.425" to 1.477" depending on if the machine stand flexed or not.

The real test will be with reloading rifle ammo but right now I'm pretty happy with what I'm getting for handguns.

The machine stand is the perfect height to make a solid stool so I can sit at the bench and work. I may need a decent cushion for it after a while.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

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Weetabix
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by Weetabix » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:30 pm

Good on you! You're inspiring me. I'm working on purging the basement so I can get that set up. I think I'll start with 38spl since I believe I've heard it's least challenging.
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SoupOrMan
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by SoupOrMan » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:38 pm

It's pretty forgiving, yes. Now that I've got a sturdy enough bench I'm willing to take the plunge with rifle ammo.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds

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Jered
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by Jered » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:16 pm

I found rifle ammo easier than pistol ammo.

If you're using the correct powder it's impossible to double charge a rifle cartridge.
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Netpackrat
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by Netpackrat » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:44 pm

Still slowly building the reloading bench in the new house. Basically down to trim now; it's usable although I haven't done any loading yet. Will post pics when finished.
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McClarkus
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by McClarkus » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:04 am

I also got into the winter recharge thing. One note to consider - .380 has given me more fits than all the others combined. My German PPK/S is very persnickety. A COAL max limit and a lot of test fires helped smooth things out a bit.
One secret to life. Step #1 - Find something you enjoy doing. Step #2 - Find someone foolish enough to pay you to do it.

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SoupOrMan
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by SoupOrMan » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:35 am

Trying to get as close to COAL on .40 is a pain in the back side. It seems more like voodoo than anything else. One round will give me 1.122", the next will give me 1.155", the next will give me 1.080." Eventually it settled down after adjusting the die. Then again, the Winchester brass I'm using is on its 7th or 8th reload. It might be ready for the recycling pile.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds

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Netpackrat
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by Netpackrat » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:58 am

SoupOrMan wrote:Trying to get as close to COAL on .40 is a pain in the back side. It seems more like voodoo than anything else. One round will give me 1.122", the next will give me 1.155", the next will give me 1.080." Eventually it settled down after adjusting the die. Then again, the Winchester brass I'm using is on its 7th or 8th reload. It might be ready for the recycling pile.
I have found with the SDB I need to have a case in the resize station when setting up the seating depth, if I want OAL of subsequent rounds to match that of the initial setup round. Not having the drag of a case in the sizing die is enough to throw off the seating depth by a few thou.
Cognosce teipsum et disce pati

"People come and go in our lives, especially the online ones. Some leave a fond memory, and some a bad taste." -Ass-op

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SoupOrMan
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Re: Slowly, slowly building the reloading pile...

Post by SoupOrMan » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:24 am

I'm using Lee's Classic Cast Turret Press. The Auto-Disk powder feed is fantastic. If I remember to keep the thing oiled, the automatic indexing system it uses works great. I just can't get the seating down. I've thought of using a factory round before to set it up with a "known good" cartridge, but my sense of not wanting to damage a perfectly good cartridge gets the better of me.

Thankfully, Longshot is a low-pressure powder for .40. It's pretty forgiving to my handguns.
Remember, folks, you can't spell "douche" without "Che."

“PET PARENTS?” You’re not a “pet parent.” You’re a pet owner. Unless you’ve committed an unnatural act that succeeded in spite of biology. - Glenn Reynolds

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