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Old April 19, 2011, 06:39 PM   #1
Halagar
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New to Reloading

Hi everyone, it's my first post here. I'm a long time lurker but I do love the forums.

That being said, the missus and I are starting to reload. She's actually more into it than I am. That being said, we did our first batch of 100 .45 ACP. We had ordered some 185 Gr SWCs and are going to give it a go this weekend to see how they work.

We've got a Lee 4 Stage Turret and a Rock Chucker kit to get us started. One thing that we struggled with was getting the powder dispenser from the Rock Chucker set to accurately adjust the amount of powder being dropped. She tried for a week to get it to dispense the right amount, and we finally got it last weekend.

Is there something we're missing, in regard to adjusting this easily? It seems like the adjustment was just very finicky (she tried for a week when I was out of town) and was getting between 4.0 and 6.0. We finally got 5.0 this weekend, but we're planning on loading 9 MM and .40 at some point, and we'd like to make this step a bit easier.

Thanks!!!
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Old April 19, 2011, 08:56 PM   #2
Utahar15
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Will all powder throwers it's tried and error. The have hash marks were you can make notes and get close.

You said you loaded up 100 45's. You didn't what powder you are using. I know with mine (all 3 RCBS, LEE and LYMAN) some will meter different powders better than others.

When I'm working up a new load I start with maybe 25 rounds and see how my gun likes the load. Nothing worst than pulling 90 bullets because you gun will not cycle or didn't shoot right.

Anyhow looks like you got a nice set up there. I don't own a 45 so I mostly load for 9MM and 38/357. Looking to take on the .40 this summer.

I like AA#5, HB-38 and the best. Now I have not tired a ton of different powders, but out of the 4 or 5 I've tried I tend to come back to AA#5 or HB-38.

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Old April 19, 2011, 09:43 PM   #3
mehavey
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Quote:
...struggled with...getting the powder dispenser from the Rock Chucker set to accurately adjust the amount of powder...
Even with the best of powder throws, it's an art.

I start with/keep a full powder reservoir which I vibrate* down to settle the grains as much as possible. Then I throw 10 loads without weighing: Up [snap], Down [snap], then a very short/light "snap'' back down to break loose any powder hung up by static. Then I weigh the next two loads.

Adjust -- then the two loads for weight again.

Adjust -- two more loads for weight.

Being an artilleryman, by this point I'm usually within a tenth or two then I make a very small last tweak/adjustment and proceed to throw 10 cases for real.

Check the 10th case weight and if still on**, throw another 20; then check the 30th casefull. You get the pattern....





*I use a vibrating engraver set up against the plastic tube, or on occasion just hand spin the plastic powder funnel against it so the rim ra-ta-tat-tats against it for 10-12 seconds

**Ball powders will measure like water -- perfectly. Stick powders within 1-2 tenths above/below. Flake powders, well.........
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Old April 19, 2011, 09:58 PM   #4
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some powders measure better and more consistently than others. I like win 231
for most of my lighter target loads as it varies less between throws. I have
used flake powders like red dot and unique and like them but they don't meter as well. When using your thrower get it close to the charge you want to throw
then sneak it in until a little at a time until you get the charge you want. Don't make any drastic changes to the adjusting screw of your measure when finalizing the charge just turn the screw 1/8 of a turn at a time until correct.
Recheck after awhile as powder will settle in the measure and slightly heavier
throws may result. Use a consistent technique when working the handle of your measure. Keep your scale on a level surface away from drafts.
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Old April 20, 2011, 07:08 AM   #5
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You should get a baffle for inside of the powder tube. Then you have to get into the habit of double tapping the handle on the up and down strokes. This will settle the powder into the measure and then help to make certain that it all fall out and into the case.
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:26 AM   #6
Uncle Buck
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I had problems when I started with the powder measure from my Rock Chucker and finally called the company. The lady I talked to walked me through it and although it took about twenty minutes, we finally figured out what was wrong. I had the wrong drop tube installed. (The green thing on the bottom.)

Like the guys mentioned above, she told me different powders will measure differently. Also, she recommended I start with measuring every throw and once I knew it was locked in, to measure every tenth throw.

Welcome to the wonderful world of reloading.
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:37 AM   #7
champ198
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for rifles i jsut use a powder trickler.....set my scale to balance dead on...set the thrower to throw a charge a few grains lower than what i want....throw the charge...sit the powder pan on the scale...then trickle the last bit in with the powder trickler...this way its exact each time. its a little slower...but for rifles im wanting quality not quantity.

most pistol powderes are much finer size grain wise and will meter easier in most throwers.
im planning on getting a Lee Pro 100 for my pistols...and just single stage for the rifles
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Old April 20, 2011, 07:23 PM   #8
Halagar
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I suspect that we're just going to have to learn then and play with it some more. As I mentioned, we did get it this weekend, was just hoping there was some magic trick. I don't believe it's the green piece, it's the adjustable screws that sets the powder amount I think.

I appreciate the feedback.
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Old April 21, 2011, 12:34 AM   #9
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I use a Lee Perfect Powder Measure. It has its quirks. Yes it leaks a tiny bit. (a sheet of paper under it helps to clean up any over spill.) It meters fine pistol powders like Bull's Eye, Titegroup, AA#9, Aliant 2400, and H-110 to within 0.1 grains with consitancy. Mine also meters most rifle powders well too. So far I have used AA 2015, H-335, Reloader7, and reloader 15, as well as Varget. All drop to within 0.1 grains most throws. Never had it off by more than 0.2 grains with those.

I will warn some powders like Unique, and HiSkor 800x do not meter well from any of the volumetric measures that I know of. Both meter like corn flakes from any measure.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:55 AM   #10
Uncle Buck
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Something to also remember: Keep your powder throwing technique consistent.

When I am using the powder thrower, I have a sharp upwards snap and a sharp downwards pull.

I have found that if I hold the handle and gently raise and lower the powder measure handle, I will get different charge weights.

Have you also made sure the nuts are tight? Mine has a tendency to come loose if I do not lock it firmly in place. (I also forgot to put the little spring washer back in the first time.)

I know they can be frustrating, but you'll get it dialed in and will be having more fun than ever soon.
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Old April 21, 2011, 08:22 AM   #11
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As nobody else has asked . . .

Are you using the pistol rotor on your powder measure? (I'm assuming the RCBS kit comes with a Uniflow) The larger diameter cavity on the rifle rotor makes it very difficult to adjust for small pistol charges.
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Old April 21, 2011, 08:59 AM   #12
overkill0084
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Are you using the pistol rotor on your powder measure? (I'm assuming the RCBS kit comes with a Uniflow) The larger diameter cavity on the rifle rotor makes it very difficult to adjust for small pistol charges.

I was wondering the same thing. My Redding had the Universal Chamber, it was nearly worthless for tiny charges of anything. Ordered and installed the Pistol chamber and even Unique is consistent.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:16 PM   #13
Halagar
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Not sure on the pistol rotor now that you ask...we're using Tite Group...I'm going to have to check that.
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Old April 21, 2011, 06:23 PM   #14
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TiteGroup is a powder you really need to be careful with ....and I like it / and use it a lot ....but the min's and max's on a lot of handgun loads in the book are only 0.4 grains apart ...for TiteGroup.

You should never exceed the published minimums or maximums in the loading manuals ...

so you're smart to get this worked out ...so that you're dropping very precisely - using TiteGroup. I have not used an RSBS powder flow in years ...but yes, they were very finnicky ....and density, humidity, any static in the hopper ....all made a real big difference. Make sure you've wiped the hopper down with anti-static dryer sheets ....and if you see any powder sticking to the sides of the hopper ....dump it out / and wipe it again ...until that all goes away ...
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Old April 26, 2011, 07:50 PM   #15
Halagar
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Well some follow up.

We tried the first 100 rounds, shot about 50 or so and had about 4 fail to feeds. I think we had a very sleight issue with the bullet not being seated deep enough that I'm going to confirm this weekend.

If we're off, we're off very little, but that certainly appears to be enough to cause problems.
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Old April 26, 2011, 08:54 PM   #16
mehavey
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What was your bullet type/weight; powder weight (I asume TiteGrp); and OAL?
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:28 PM   #17
Halagar
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Hi!

This is the afore mentioned "missus".

The batch we did was 185gr SWC bullets and we were using 5 grains of Titegroup.

I tend to be the rather CDO (OCD- but alphabetized, as it should be) of us.. so the little things make me crazy..

Thanks so much for the feedback

And I'm lost on "OAL".. i'm guessing overal *something* length?
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Old April 27, 2011, 09:34 PM   #18
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Hmmm. Couples reloading. That's a first!

Have fun, you two! Sounds like you're going to, though.

--Wag--
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:35 AM   #19
mehavey
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OUTSTANDING !

With 5.0gr of TiteGrp it looks like you're in the correct velocity range, so the failures-to-feed may be due more to the SemiWadcutter design (with that square "ledge" occasionally catching on the loading ramp) than anything else. The 45 ACP likes round-nose bullets best of all, so try some of them next time you have a chance.

Exact seating of the SWC is a bit of an art to make it feed better, and this is one of the better pictures to give you an idea:


There is also good discussion here:
http://smith-wessonforum.com/reloadi...rain-lswc.html

Note that seating things so the SWC "ledge" sorta "rounds over" smoothly to the case mouth is the secret.

By the way, what make bullet was it?
And OAL = Over-All Length; sometimes called COAL (= Cartridge Over-All Length)





Sexist Alert!!! In the 42 years I've been teaching pistol shooting to beginning shooters inside the military and out, women have learned better/shot better than men when first picking up the .45 ACP.

Then... after the first five rounds or so... they tend to look back over their shoulders at you and ask, "...what was the big deal?"

Last edited by mehavey; April 28, 2011 at 06:42 AM.
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Old April 28, 2011, 08:42 AM   #20
Uncle Buck
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Quote:
Sexist Alert!!! In the 42 years I've been teaching pistol shooting to beginning shooters inside the military and out, women have learned better/shot better than men when first picking up the .45 ACP.

Then... after the first five rounds or so... they tend to look back over their shoulders at you and ask, "...what was the big deal?"
Shh! We're Not supposed to admit that in front of girls!

My wife was the same way. She out shot me the first couple of times, before I was able to "Teach" her the correct way. (The correct way is to let me get a better score, so now I think she throws a few shots just to keep me happy.)
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:19 PM   #21
Halagar
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This is the Mr. posting at the moment..

That picture of the SWC seating helps, I think we're just a bit too far out still and I can definitely see how the square edge could catch. What leads me to believe that is the fact that one of the shells was jammed in the magazine of my wife's 1911 and I had to extract.

on an unrelated note, both my wife and my sister in law are better shots than I am *sigh*. I got a 500 S&W that we fired for the first time last weekend and the two ladies hit bullseyes with their first two shots...more to the point they literally hit the same damn spot whilst my shots weren't nearly as tightly grouped...very disconcerting.

I think we're going to seat them a bit deeper with the remaining shells (just a bit) and try some more this weekend hopefully..

Also the make of the bullet is SWC's from SNS Casting. Great prices ships right away and the bullets look very consistent. A few guys at the range that we frequent use them.
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Old April 28, 2011, 06:35 PM   #22
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I've been reloading a while. Different powders meter differently. Somewhat of the growing pains of reloading.

Overall it is a great hobby. Enjoy!
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Old April 28, 2011, 07:04 PM   #23
mehavey
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Quote:
500 S&W that we fired for the first time last weekend
With a scope on it, that 500 can be a 1.5 moa tackdriver (350gr HNDY XTP/WW296/43gr @ 1,678fps ±18). 440gr Leadheads like Lil`Gun & TiteGroup for 2 moa, and ridiculously lower SD.

Lovely Gun -- eats anything -- and not nearly The Monster as the hype would engender.
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Old April 30, 2011, 08:27 AM   #24
Halagar
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*Lil Missus*

Okay.. question.. what's the waxy band around the bullets for? I thought at first maybe they were some sort of marker for how deep they should sit.. but that's obviously not it. Is it to help seal the cartridge so that all the (can't find the word I want here.. but the reaction that pushes the bullet down the barrel is what i mean) stays where it's supposed to?

Because I love and adore my hubby.. I won't start the "tapered crimp" conversation here

but btw love.. itys!!!!

PS.. I really should log on with my own computer huh? I think I'll register my own name
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Old April 30, 2011, 08:48 AM   #25
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The wax lubricates the cast bullet on its way down the barrel, not needed with jacketed bullets, but reduces the leading (smearing of lead) in the barrel with cast. Revolvers should be roll crimped, autos taper crimped. Stick with that till you know better. Never ever roll crimp an auto!!!

*Lil Missus*
Does your hubby know how lucky he is to have a better half who enjoys the same hobbies he does?
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