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Old April 29, 2013, 09:39 AM   #1
spacecoast
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Started my .25 ACP reloading adventure...

I have accumulated 150-200 pieces of .25ACP brass, mostly Fiocchi shot from my 1908 Colt Hammerless pocket pistol, but also some that I've found here and there at the range. I'll add a pic soon, but these are really small pieces of brass only slightly fatter than .22LR. The headstamps are tiny because the primer occupies almost the entire bottom of the case.

I've only gotten through depriming so far (hand press as usual) and found 3 Berdan primed cases (all three S&B). I also ran into two Fiocchi cases where the primers were so high they prevented the case from fitting into the shell holder. I had to tap them in gently with a hammer and screwdriver. Once the primers were out they were fine to come back out of the shell holder.

I'll be reloading these with Magtech 50 gr. FMC bullets. If anyone has a favorite recipe using Bullseye, Titegroup, Unique or AA#2, please let me know. I have a .17CC dipper (came with the Lee set) but can make a custom one from a .22LR case if necessary. I'm a little concerned that Unique would be very difficult to dip in such a small dipper with any consistency, AA#2 is my finest-grained powder so I'd rather go with that if possible.
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:23 AM   #2
Magnum Wheel Man
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I've got the stuff... got the cases prepped, but haven't started yet... I did buy one of those Load Books brand load manuals for 25 & 32 ACP, as I plan on loading for both... since I haven't charged a case yet, I don't have a favorite load, though there are many in the book... I also have bullets, so I could go at any time...

as someone who loads a lot of tiny cartridges, I find the toughest part is getting good consistent charges, since a fraction of a grain can be a bigger percentage on a tiny cartridge...

if you want some powder options, I can look fresh through my book tonight...
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:39 AM   #3
Vibe
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I had pretty good luck with both Bullseye and WW231 (which I think is close to the same as 296 IIRC). But, while I was using the 25acp brass, I'd necked it down to 22 first, so YMMV.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:58 PM   #4
hammie
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My RCBS uniflow powder measure will throw 1.5 to 2 grain powder charges of WW-231 and unique pretty uniformly (especially 231). I just meter the charge into an empty .38 special case and then powder charge the .25 ACP by dumping the .38 special contents through a powder funnel. It's tedious, but the charges are relatively consistent.

I have used unique in the .25 acp, but the best powder is WW-231 or it's counterpart, Hodgen's HP-38.

I prime the cases, using a Lee hand held primer tool.
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:01 PM   #5
Vibe
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Next time you vist your MD. see if you can get a couple of those ear/nose inspection "funnels". They work pretty well for small cases.
If you think your method was tedious...I weighed each one of mine.
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:04 PM   #6
hammie
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@Vibe: cool idea!
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Old April 29, 2013, 01:29 PM   #7
SL1
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Vibe,

W-231 is NOT close to W-296. While 231 is probably a good choice for the .25 ACP, 296 is definitely not.

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Old April 29, 2013, 01:53 PM   #8
Vibe
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I'm pretty sure, now that you mention it, that you are correct and I was thinking of the HP-38 and my memory wouldn't connect to the right numbers. Thanks. It's been almost 14 years since I did any real loading with the small cases. And since I still have a couple hundred loaded rounds for that rifle (yes I was shooting a necked down 25acp case in a rifle), I probably won't have to dig the dies (and notes) out for a while.
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:10 AM   #9
Knight Diver
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I've had good luck with 1.3 gr of Titegroup and 50 gr FMJ Speer. I trickled them out...talk about tedious! Since then I've made a dipper out of a 25auto piece of brass. For a funnel I took a 223 Rem piece of brass and cut it off behind the shoulder. The mouth fits into the 25 auto brass nicely and the shoulder makes a reasonable funnel.
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Old May 1, 2013, 10:49 AM   #10
TimSr
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I loaded both cast and FMJ 50gr bullets. I'm going from memory, so double check but was using Bullseye, I think at 1.0gr. I think my Unique load as 1.3 or 1.7gr. I remember preferring Bullseye because it metered more consistantly due to its smaller flakes. I'll check my records tonight. Red Dot was also a preferred powder for this round at the time. It has been a while. With 25ACP, primer differences will be a lot more noticeable as the primer is about half your propellant in this round. If you ever wanted to chrono test primer differences between standard and magnum and different brands, this is the round with which to do it!

I saw .25 ACP ammo in the store yesterday for $25 for 50 rounds. They are a pain to reload, but not near the pain in the wallet!

I also loaded a lot of .32 ACP back a few years.
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Old May 5, 2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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My modus operandi is to buy a gun, take it apart, look at the design, lubricate the parts, put it together, work up an overload to see what happens, document the process, and put the gun(s) in storage.

With 9mm in 2000, there were thousands of bullet - powder combinations. It took months, with some underground testing, with only a trigger string above ground. I used spread sheets to record the data

But by 2007 when I got to 25 acp, I had:
a) 1908 Colt
b) Beretta 950
c) Astra
I just used 50 gr FMJ bullets that are .251" in diameter, .452" long.
I just used WSP primers.
I just used Bullseye, AA#5, HS-6, 800-X, and Power Pistol.

I found that Power Pistol makes the most power at the threshold of long brass life, but that has intolerable recoil.

I got through all that in 2 days.
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