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Old February 15, 2013, 11:24 AM   #1
HilbillyInCA
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New Reloader - I'm Hooked

I've been lurking these forums, and a few others for some time, gathering all the info I could on reloading. Finally, the ever-increasing ammo prices, panic buying, and pending ammo registration laws in the great state of CA, helped motivate me to move forward.

Please take a look and help me make sure I'm both on track and safe. I trust my manuals, but I'd love opinions from experienced reloaders.



I performed my due diligence. Massive amounts of web research, reloading manuals, etc.
My local gunstore had a Lee 25th anniversary Challenger Breechlock kit for about $150, and he happened to have a couple boxes of 200gr LSWC for my .45. I found CCI LPP Magnum primers at two other local gunstores.
I picked up 1200 of these, since finding standard LPP seems to be an impossible task. Another store had Winchester WST powder.
None of the above (other than the press) would have been my first choice, but limitations in supply forced my decisions.

Long story short, I loaded up 15:
200 gr LSWC (Silver State Bullet)
4.4 gr Winchester WST (starting load from Hogdon data)
OAL was 1.25 (halfway between 1.225 and 1.27, and seemed to be a preferred length among 1911 owners)
I used a Lee 4 die set, with the factory crimper.
I removed my barrel and confirmed the cartridges fell in and out on their own. And they did not extend too far out.

I'm shooting a Kimber Pro CDP II.
My results:
My stock Kimber mag would not feed. The first round got hung up when cycling the action. A few times.
However: I have three Kimber Tactical Mags, and all three fed with one FTE out of the 15 test rounds.
Ammo shot very accurate at 15 yards and I was pleased with it.

Questions:
1. Should I be concerned about the Kimber stock mag not working with these SWC rounds? I rarely use that mag as is, just wanted to test it.

2. As mentioned, I used the starting load of 4.4gr Winchester WST. I was more worried about the Magnum Primer and was petrified of blowing up my weapon (or my fingers..). Would bumping up the load t. 4.5 possible resolve my FTE concern? Or should I perhaps do a larger test run (50?) of 4.4 grains and determine powder changes after that?

Given it's my first run, might the one FTE have possibly just been a bad crimp, or other issue? I checked every round's OAL with calipers and each was right at 1.25.

Thanks again for all the valuable information you guys put up. It has proven most helpful, and I look forward to many years of reloading!
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:33 PM   #2
Shootest
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I would not be concerned with the stock mag as it will most likely work with a different bullet or OAL. So set it aside for further testing later when you have more experience.
Much too often way to much is made of the difference between a mag primer and a standard. I would only be concerned with the hot primer if I were working with max loads. Keep working up toward the max load .1 grain at a time while checking for high pressure signs and I think you FTE problems will go away.
Good luck and welcome to the hobby.
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:43 PM   #3
Tooltech
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I use a Missouri Bullets 200 gr lswc (Bullseye #2) over 4.7 gr WST in my CDP II.

Dead accurate, smooth shooting, and cycles every time. Even with the stock mags. Although I prefer Wilson 47D's.
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:47 PM   #4
HilbillyInCA
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Tooltech, thanks for the info. would you be so kind as to let me know what your C.O.L is as well?
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Old February 15, 2013, 02:52 PM   #5
Tooltech
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When I get home tonight I'll double check, but I initially set them with just a thumbnails thickness of the shoulder showing above the case.
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Old February 15, 2013, 08:10 PM   #6
Misssissippi Dave
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I would think you could go to 4.6 grains with that primer. Beyond that I would be watching carefully for any pressure signs. WST is a great powder in .45 apc. When you start to get groups that are spreading out as you go up in charge, you have already reached the limit from what I have seen. WST does burn clean and measures well. Increase only .1 grains of powder at a time.
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Old February 15, 2013, 09:50 PM   #7
Tooltech
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Hillbilly, with the bullseye #2, I have the loaded to 1.262", just remember, there are many different lswc profiles, and mine may not be the same as yours.

I also have a plated swc, that I load to 1.250" using the same thumbnail rule. The plated bullet has a slightly shorter ogive.
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Old February 16, 2013, 06:13 AM   #8
HilbillyInCA
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Thanks for the info and the tips. Much appreciated.
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Old February 16, 2013, 08:07 AM   #9
Misssissippi Dave
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The load I prefer to use in .45 apc is using a different bullet. I use Montana Gold 185 grain jacketed hollow point with 5.2 to 5.4 grains of WST powder. I do vary the OAL depending on the pistol. Most of my loads have 5.3 grains with an OAL of 1.210. This is with a standard large pistol primer. This is my preferred load for my SA Range Officer.

The Montana Gold bullet is not designed to expand. It is made to be accurate. It does that well. I find loading jacketed bullets to be easier to get right compared to lead or plated.

When I was working up a .357 mag load I wanted to use up some mag. primers I bought by mistake. The powder I was using didn't require a mag primer and very few do. I liked the load so much I went out and bought more mag primers. My savings by using less powder, because of the change in primer, isn't much. I figure it is about $1 per pound of powder used. I know I can use mag primers if I can't get standard primers. I just have to back off the powder and work it up again slowly. I have read several reports of using small rifle primers in pistol loads. I would do that only as a last resort. Large rifle primers probably won't work in pistol loads.

I haven't had much trouble finding WST powder even now. It burns clean and works well. Large pistol primers seemed to be one of the last primer sizes to leave the shelves of most places. Montana Gold has had their ordering web page down for a while now. My guess is they are just not taking orders until they get caught up shipping bullets out. I also think it may take a few more weeks before they start taking orders again. I'm hoping this summer things start to return to normal for getting components. I only need some more bullets in the future to continue loading.
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Old February 16, 2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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I have a few suggestions on your load development.

Make up another 4 batches of 8 rounds each as follows:
#1 - 4.6g WST with OAL set to get just a fingernail thickness above the case (likely to be 1.215)
#2 - 4.6g WST with OAL set to 1.23
#3 - 4.8g WST with OAL set to lowest again
#4 - 4.8g WST with OAL set to 1.23

Look for signs of pressure, good function, accuracy, clean burning & least fouling in that order.

As a side note, I was interested in you bullet manufacturer and found some possible history in post #3 of the following thread, which of course should be verified. http://www.uzitalk.com/forums/showth...mj-9mm-bullets

http://www.xtremebullets.com/category-s/1820.htm
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Old February 16, 2013, 04:42 PM   #11
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Just remember that you should only 'crimp' enough to remove the bell, but that amount of 'crimp' is mandatory for most straight walled pistol cartridges. It won't feed well if it has any bell left.
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