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Old August 15, 2008, 02:25 PM   #26
Alleykat
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Record keeping is one of the fundamental rules for reloading. Both a permanent record of loads done in a notebook, AND something written on the box containing the ammo.
I must just be an old scofflaw at heart. I do mark the individual containers for my reloads, but don't bother to keep a notebook.
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Old August 15, 2008, 04:40 PM   #27
rolyasm
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yes, I know, I'm retarded. I do know the type of powder, bullet and the case. I just didn't write down how much I used. I know the range, but that's all. I was hoping to get a weight so I could start there. I used a Berry's MFG 230 gr with Winchester 231 powder. I did make some notes, so I know it was between a 4.2 and 5.0 load, but as I have learned I should do, I didn't write down the exact amount. My primers were CCI large pistol. I know I put powder in them, and new primers. The only things I can think this could be is either I totally looked up the wrong load of powder, my scale is off (it was a hand me down from grandpa), or I am having some serious issues with technique (like crimping). I know for a fact that the bullets are close to the same size as factory, have powder and primers and by just looking at them, nobody seems to be able to find the problem. The guy at Gallinson's did say that my case mouth might need a bit more crimping, but it was hard to say. He though it was flared out just where the bullet met the case. The other thing he said is these bullets sometime behave as if they were lead and not jacketed. Anyway, thanks for all the help/chastisement. I am sure after some reading and a bit of help I will straighten this out.
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Old August 16, 2008, 06:09 AM   #28
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lots learned

I have oneathem 'adjustable' rubber stamps; I have three-ring binders; I use Lyman Reloading Data Log books (that I put in seperate binders under "9--357" and "40--45").
I record stuff in the Lyman Logs, 'lot' it with the rubber stamp, and also insert note-cards with the 'lot' number on it in each ammo box.

Mostly; on some (rare) occasions I don't write up test loads, much to my eventual detriment.

That way, when I grab a box of ammo from a shelf or crate, I can instantly look up its specifics.

Wish I'd kept good records from when I started (I started a while ago....)
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Old August 16, 2008, 08:08 AM   #29
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I wish I'd kept good records from the beginning. At first it was (225gr LRN 5,0 Unique) thats it! Now I list cal., bullet, bullet size/lube, powder & chg wt hand weighed or powder measure, brass brand, X fired/trimmed, primer, crimp, OAL, number of rounds loaded, lot number, and date loaded. In the log and on/in the box of rounds.

Life is good now. Awhile back I got to appropriate the mamas shelving unit when she bought new furniture. I stacked it up high with lead reloads. Hmm those lil plastic shelf clips don't hold up well to 1K's of lead reloads...crash and it all came down one day, spilling bukoo rounds all over the floor and they all mixed on the shelf & floor. I was able to sort out every single round and get them back in the proper boxes. I reinforced the shelves for sure.
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Old August 17, 2008, 09:28 AM   #30
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literally

My shelves are supported by concrete blocks (bullets are made of lead.....).
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Old August 18, 2008, 10:04 PM   #31
rolyasm
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So I spent the morning reading Speer's loading manual. My version, the 1975 version, was pretty good, but this was insightful to say the least. I pulled the bullet from one of my casings and measure the powder. It was the lowest recommended for my load at 4.3. A couple of questions.
1) The bullets I am using, Berry's MFG 230 do not show up in my Speer manual. I also checked Hornady's and a few others and not there either. How do I find a load for an "unknown" bullet? Do I call Berry?
2) Do you all buy all the manuals, as they are all specific for their brand, or do you just stick with one brand (Speer, Hornady, etc?)?
3)I didn't know that oil can affect primers. This may have been part of the problem, when I would pull the trigger, the firing pin would fire, and nothing would happen. The primer DID have an indent, so maybe this was sloppiness on my part. Any thoughts?
4) Still confused about crimping. Speer says to crimp, but another manual said don't crimp as the mouth of the case in .45 is what is needed to seat the ammunition properly (I think this is referred to as headspace). So two new, printed publications, two totally different techniques. Who is right?

Also, what is everyone's custom to working higher on the load? Do you do ten cartridges at one grain, ten at another, and so on up to the max and then go the range to see which performs the best? I will be keeping a lot better records.
Thanks for all the help. I needed the kick in the pants to get me on the right track.
thanks again.
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Old August 18, 2008, 10:48 PM   #32
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1) The bullets I am using, Berry's MFG 230 do not show up in my Speer manual. I also checked Hornady's and a few others and not there either. How do I find a load for an "unknown" bullet? Do I call Berry?
You can go to Berry's website for tips on how to load their bullets. Essentially you'll find, plated bullets occupy a niche between lead bullets and true, jacketed bullets. You'll be fine using data for similar styled lead bullets or, mid-ranged jacketed data. It is generally recommended not to exceed 1200 fps with plated bullets although in your case, that's not going to be a problem.

Quote:
2) Do you all buy all the manuals, as they are all specific for their brand, or do you just stick with one brand (Speer, Hornady, etc?)?
More manuals is always a good thing. Access to virtually all powder manufacturer's data is also available on-line as well. Interpreting data (which seems to conflict at times) is as much an art as a science. Best rule...start at a known safe level and work up incrementally inspecting for pressure signs as you go.

Quote:
3)I didn't know that oil can affect primers. This may have been part of the problem, when I would pull the trigger, the firing pin would fire, and nothing would happen. The primer DID have an indent, so maybe this was sloppiness on my part. Any thoughts?
Oil is the nemisis of primers. "Don't touch" is the best policy but if you do, be sure fingers are clean and oil-free. On the other hand, if the rounds that failed to fire the 1st time did light properly on a subsequent strike that's a good indication you didn't have them seated deep enough to bottom out in the pocket...(1st strike finished seating & 2nd strike fired them).

Quote:
4) Still confused about crimping. Speer says to crimp, but another manual said don't crimp as the mouth of the case in .45 is what is needed to seat the ammunition properly (I think this is referred to as headspace). So two new, printed publications, two totally different techniques. Who is right?
What confuses a lot of new reloaders is what "no crimp" means as it applies to straight-walled pistol cases. Provided that the case is "belled" or "flared" to seat the bullet, the bell should be removed by a taper crimp. Better said, enough crimp to remove the bell. This should be, very close to bullet diameter + case wall thickness x2. Although you do apply a taper crimp to achieve this, the result could be technically described as no-crimp (you're only removing the bell) but I find that misleading and confusing. As a side note, using the Berrys plated bullets I'd check a few when adjusting the crimp...if you apply too much and cut into the plating it will destroy accuracy...a light indentation is normal and no problem.

Quote:
Also, what is everyone's custom to working higher on the load? Do you do ten cartridges at one grain, ten at another, and so on up to the max and then go the range to see which performs the best? I will be keeping a lot better records.
Everyone has their own system here and it varies considerably. I probably load more rounds of a trial than most people and bench rest a few 10-shot groups. Benching gives me a pretty reliable feel for the accuracy potential of the load and if it don't shoot, I discard it and go on. How much incremental change in charge weight depends on the bullet, the powder and how close to top end you are. Faster powders can tend to spike very quickly and without much warning so if you're loading Clays (or similar) under heavy bullets approach upper limits very cautiously.
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Old August 18, 2008, 10:48 PM   #33
Ed the Rangerat
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From Berry's website:

*How do I load Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets?
Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

Please proceed carefully.
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Old August 20, 2008, 04:13 PM   #34
rolyasm
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Thanks all. Lots of good reading.

Today I read in my XD-9 manual where it says only to use factory ammo, not hand-loaded. Do most gun manuals say this; is it simply a way of protecting themselves if one of us blows up our gun using hand-loads? I can't imagine that for some reason my XD will only take factory ammo.
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Old August 20, 2008, 04:24 PM   #35
D. Manley
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Today I read in my XD-9 manual where it says only to use factory ammo, not hand-loaded. Do most gun manuals say this; is it simply a way of protecting themselves if one of us blows up our gun using hand-loads? I can't imagine that for some reason my XD will only take factory ammo.
Precisely...just a standard disclaimer.
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Old August 22, 2008, 08:31 PM   #36
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crimping it can help
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My loads are 45. acp, 9mm, 38., 357., 7.62x39,
223., 308., 16 and 12 gauge
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Old August 22, 2008, 08:55 PM   #37
Hawg
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Your bullets are being shoved down into the case further because they're not crimped. .45 ACP should be taper crimped not roll crimped. The best way to get correct OAL on a 230 gr. RN is to measure a factory load with a set of dial calipers and duplicate the length. Some bullets like heavier LSWC's will need to be shorter in order to feed through the mag. The stovepipes are from too little powder or in other words, wimpy loads. They're not pushing the slide back far enough. I don't have my manuals handy so can't give you good loads for W231 and 230 gr. RN's but I use 5.0 grs. of 231 behind a 255 gr. LSWC. I seat them all the way down to the shoulder so they'll feed through the mag without binding. Seating them that far down raises pressure. Anything less and the slide doesn't lock back on the last round. 5.0 grs. of W231 with a 230 gr. bullet seated normally is going to be too weak.
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Old August 22, 2008, 09:12 PM   #38
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W231 is all I load for .45 ACP and its a fine powder.

I haven't used Berry's bullets; quit using plated bullets back in the late 80's.

basic stuff-
  • Full-length resize your fired, deprimed casings.
  • Expand the neck just enough to start the bullet w/o shaving.
  • Prime case.
  • Pick a charge on the low end of the range given by the powder manufacturer, for the weight of bullet you are loading. Weigh out your selected, exact charge, measured in grains and tenths of a grain, if applicable.
  • Seat your bullets to the correct overall length (OAL) for the type of bullet you're using.
  • Apply a firm taper crimp to the loaded case. 'Firm' means to close the case mouth against the sides of the bullet. Push loaded round with the bullet against a wood surface (such as your reloading bench, etc.) applying about 10-15 pounds of pressure. Measure OAL; the bullet should not have moved and your OAL should be the same as before. On my press, I can feel just a little 'bump' at the end of the crimping stroke, when this degree of crimp is reached. Yours may be altogether different.
  • Load 10-15 rounds and check for function & accuracy. Note results.

You want your loads to be-
  • Safe
  • Reliable
  • Accurate
  • Powerful enough to accomplish your intended task, within the limits of your selected cartridge

You accomplish this by checking and double checking manuals, charge weights, powder containers, etc. Remember, this stuff is supposed to be fun and economical. It will be neither if you wreck the gun and yourself in the process.

Be extra careful while you're learning.
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Old August 22, 2008, 09:32 PM   #39
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Sarge gave good advice. The only thing I'd do different is I wouldn't load that many rounds on the low end of the scale while trying to find a load that will simply function. I think five or so is plenty for function tests. It's a pretty sure thing(to me anyway)that loads on the low end aren't going to function well in a .45 ACP semi auto unless it has a light recoil spring. Once you have a power level that will function you can work on accuracy loads.
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Old August 23, 2008, 10:14 AM   #40
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To add to what Sarge and Hawg said, I always make 5 test rounds of each test load for each .45 that I have. I do this because I do not want to find that one recipe does not function well in one of the 45's. If I get into some serious competitive shooting, then I'll load specific to each weapon.
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Old August 23, 2008, 10:51 AM   #41
Sarge
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I generally load 15 rounds or so for auto pistols & rifles, so I can run a couple of mags through the gun for sort of a function-check. If I'm loading for a bolt or lever action however, five rounds is plenty to get a chrono reading and a 200 yard group.

I'm probably the most boring reloader you'll ever meet. After doing this awhile, you will get pretty good at estimating where to start a given load. I can usually get where I want by the second or third attempt, assuming I don't already have a 'house' load worked out for a specific cartridge. Once I find what I need, I'll stick with it for decades.

My standard .45 ACP load is 5.0 grains of W231 with a 200 grain LSWC of the Hensley & Gibbs #68 pattern. I use a Winchester WLP primer and any old brass; OAL is 1.250 and I run a snug taper crimp. It functions great, gives 826 fps on average and shoots into the same group as WW/USA 230 grain JHP's (my carry load) at 50 yards.



Not much more I could ask of a .45 load, than that.
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Old August 24, 2008, 06:18 PM   #42
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I think you need to make friends with an experienced reloader and invite him over to watch you load.

It's hard to tell, but it seems likely to me you are not seating the primers fully, either because the press or tool you are using is not pushing hard enough, or because the primer pockets are dirty.

The post above that told you to check the barrel every time the round is "funny" is very important for your continued health.
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Old September 2, 2008, 11:19 PM   #43
rolyasm
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I have read and re-read. I found a good chapter in speer about using the carbide. I have resized, decapped, measured and expanded the case mouth. Ready to load some powder after priming. I am a little uncertain where to start. I know Berry's says "Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads," but I am still a little hesitant. Winchester 231 for the 230 gr HDY FMJFP ranges 4.2-5.3. For 230GR LRN, it is 4.3-5.3. Anyone have an opinion on what they would do? I know the last load I probably used 4.0, which I am sure was a big part of the problem. Should I maybe do 5 at 4.3 and 5 at 4.8 (midrange) and leave it at that? I don't think I will be buying bullets anymore that aren't listed anywhere. It just seems to uncertain. The process seems to be going well, and with my new handheld primer device, I think this batch will be successful.
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