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Old August 28, 2008, 12:46 AM   #1
azsixshooter
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Join Date: April 22, 2007
Location: Pinckney, MI
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Finally "popped my primer"!

I finally loaded and fired my first 20 handloads. What an awesome feeling! I just wanted to give a big thanks to all on TFL who have helped guys like me get started. I've spent months pouring over threads, both old and new, here and I believe it's a big part of the reason why my first experience was such a successful one.

The one thing I did wrong (that I could see) was I failed to deburr/campher about half of the cases. I case-trimmed half of them and deburred those, but then forgot to do the ones I had sitting in the loading block. They scraped up the bullet jackets a little bit when I seated the bullets and probably led to some slightly less accurate rounds. My best group was 1.1875" with shot 5 going through the same hole as shot 4. I fired them all while sitting on a bucket and shooting off the tailgate of my truck at 100 yards. So while I didn't get sub-MOA this time I'm not too worried. This is my first centerfire rifle (CZ 550 American, 6.5x55SE), I've only had it about a month, my handloads weren't all perfect and I could have been shooting under better conditions. I don't know how humidity affects shooting, but a storm had just passed through and it was a very humid 101.4F out.

Thanks again to all of you who share your knowledge and experience here with those of us who are trying to learn this most enjoyable hobby. I think it's safe to say I'll be handloading for life!
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Old August 28, 2008, 07:42 AM   #2
Yoosta B. Blue
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Good going, azsixshooter. It is indeed a wonderful feeling to load 'em up and then send 'em on their way. It continues to be yet more fun and enjoyment as you tweak your loads and seek all those means that you can employ to put together that "perfect round." Stay with it!

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Old August 28, 2008, 07:54 AM   #3
Sevens
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Terrific! Now, when you pull that FIRST trigger, did you turn your head or otherwise prepare for a meltdown?! Back when I started (.38 Special, 158 gr SWC), I pointed the revolver at the dirt back stop, closed my eyes and turned my head!

Of course, all was well, but that first shot, you know...
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Old August 28, 2008, 08:02 AM   #4
cnjaxx
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I remember my first loads. It was a rush like no other. Now I have gotten to the point, where I won't eat a piece of meat shot with a store brought bullet. Taste bad
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Old August 28, 2008, 12:33 PM   #5
scsov509
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Quote:
I pointed the revolver at the dirt back stop, closed my eyes and turned my head!


Ah that wonderful combination of fear and exhilaration that is so uniquely associated with those first reloads. Mine were 158 SWC's fired through my 4" 357, and I remember pointing downrange with one hand, turning my head away, closing my eyes, and I think even shielding my face with the other hand.
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Old August 28, 2008, 02:10 PM   #6
azsixshooter
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No, I wasn't too worried about it blowing up. I loaded them all up with the starting load and I measured each load really carefully and triple-checked everything. And I have faith in the Mauser action

I'm more worried about getting sloppy when I get more comfortable with reloading so I'm going to try and be ever vigilant. I even caught myself loading primers into the tray yesterday without having my safety glasses on. I guess I'll stick a little reminder sign up by my table so I don't forget.

Today I'm going out to shoot some more. This time I up'ed the load by .5 grains and loaded 3 rounds each from 47 grains up to 49.5 grains. Then I had a couple of extra cases so I loaded one 50 grain and one 50.5 (max). I want to see if any of them show any signs of excessive pressure. Once I know they're all safe I'll feel better experimenting around in that range for accuracy.
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http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2...s-no-more.html
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Old August 28, 2008, 02:28 PM   #7
mikenbarb
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Ahhhh, The memories of my first .300mag hand load(not the one to learn with). I think I ran thru the process 50 times before I touched it off and after it went boom, I had a crap eating grin from ear to ear. Ever since then I have been addicted to it and cant get enough.
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Old August 28, 2008, 07:23 PM   #8
azsixshooter
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Well, yesterday I figuratively popped my primer, today I literally blew one. I fired a max load and when I opened the bolt the primer was loose in the action and there was gas leak all over the case head. I could even see the case stamp in reverse embedded into the powder blast on the bolt face (this was the 20th shot fired so it was kind of dirty).

I'll start another thread to get advise about that blown primer, all the other loads I fired were fine, no major signs of excessive pressure. The first 3 I fired with 47 grains of AA3100 had just the slightest imprint of the ejector slot on the head, but the bolt opened easily and the primer looked fine. Since I didn't see multiple signs of excessive pressure I decided to try the 47.5 grain loads and those were fine and I didn't get the little mark on the head at all. In fact I fired all the way up to 50 grains with no problems until I hit the max. Had a nice day despite that happening and managed to get a couple of nice sub-MOA groups even with a steady wind blowing my target around most of the time.
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http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/2...s-no-more.html
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