Hey everyone. I've been lurking here for a while making sure I understood exactly what I was getting myself into and learning from the tips and tricks posted here as well as reading a few manuals. I finally complete my first batch of 9mm loads and I'm happy to report I still have all my fingers
I reloaded 9mm 115gr LRN bullets from Hunter's Supply with 6.6gr of HS-6 packed in some once fired Blazer Brass. I have a few observations/questions that I'd like to throw out.
-I had a tough time getting my loads to sit in the barrel properly using the drop-thunk test. I had to drop the OAL down fairly close to the OAL min for this load (1.10"). I ended up at ~1.12". Even then I was getting fairly inconsistant seating. I am using a Lee turret press with Lee dies, but I am not using the FCD, but instead seating and crimping in one step. I've seen allot of different ways to set this die, but in the end I put an empty case on the shell holder to set the die depth then set a factory round in to set the bullet seating depth and finally gave half a turn to set a crimp, then reset the bullet seating die to the correct depth.
When I shot the rounds, everything cycled fine except occasionally the first round in the magazine would get fed by releasing the slide the way I normally do and needed a tad more 'oomf'.
One thing I noted is that these lead bullets feel a bit sticky, so I polished them all with a rag before I went out the range. That also seemed to help seating a bit when I was testing in the barrel.
-I checked for signs of pressure and didn't see anything that jumped out me. I did notice that when using the Lee Auto Prime that after I loaded about a dozen rounds the charge crept up closer to the max load. I checked the weight every 5 rounds or so to make sure I stayed within range, but it was not as consistent as I'd like.
-Also, I noticed that these reloaded rounds were very smokey. Could that be from the lube used on the lead rounds?
-Last, I inspected my barrel for signs of leading, but I'm not sure what I should be looking for. Anyone have any insights to how to determine if there is lead in the bore?
Sorry this is so long winded, but I can see why so many people get caught up in the quest for perfection!