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Old June 20, 2012, 06:32 PM   #1
Sparks1957
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New to reloading

Bought a Lee Classic turret rig a couple weeks ago, and finally got it set up out in the shop over the past couple days.

Got the 9x19 dies adjusted properly today... had too much flare on the brass for awhile, and too much crimp on the seating die, but got that worked out. Will have to pull a few apart, but that's how you learn.

The Lee powder scale that came with the kit was a pain in the backside to use (and I'm a chemist used to weighing stuff!), so I bought a small digital scale that is much easier to use.

Loading Berry's 115 gr FMJ over Winchester 231... loaded just a few, and will take them out to the range in the morning to see how they work.

I have been reading and studying this forum a lot, and I want to thank all of you for the knowledge and experience you've passed along (especially Lost Sheep, whose posts are especially thorough and easy to understand)

I'll let you know when I have questions!

Sparks
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Old June 20, 2012, 07:17 PM   #2
tkglazie
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Welcome to the addiction! I have to laugh a bit at your post, in a good way. As I was reading it I was preparing my reply to include "make sure you read any and all posts on the matter by Lost Sheep" and lo and behold you beat me too it!

I am only 3-4 months and about 2500 rounds ahead of where you are now so take this for what its worth, but it seems like you are off to a good start. You have already chosen an excellent reloading setup for 9mm, chosen a good powder and certainly have some good info available to you on this site.

I have not loaded 115gr bullets for 9mm yet, I stick to 124gr and 147gr so far myself, but I have great success with hp38/w231 with both. I have also had great luck with Vihtavuori N320 for 9mm.

Good luck, be safe, and happy shooting!
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Old June 20, 2012, 09:16 PM   #3
Lost Sheep
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Thanks for the kudos, guys. I often wonder if my posts are worth their bandwidth.

I agree about the Lee Safety Scale. It is accurate (which cannot be said of all of the cheaper digital scales, so keep the Lee to verify what your digital tells you), but hard to read. Put it on a solid shelf, in good light, at eye level and where you can get your face close to it. You will like it better.

I don't know how long you have been a "chemist used to weighing stuff", but reading a vernier seems to be a lost art. If you know how, the Lee scale is as accurate as any balance beam on the market.

When I got my first Lee Safety Scale (in a trade, without instructions), I hated it. But then I got a set of instructions and discovered the little lock on the back side of the beam and found it to be, at least, usable. I still prefer my RCBS 10-10, but the Lee is usable, so do not hate it any more.

I look forward to future exchanges.

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Old June 20, 2012, 10:47 PM   #4
Misssissippi Dave
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I have used W231 powder for 9 mm. I found it to be a little dirty on the burn. I did also find out going 0.1 or 0.2 grains higher helped to get it to burn cleaner. I stay away from a max load by at least 0.1 grains with any powder. If I think I need more than that I switch powders.

I'm using AA powders for 9 mm presently. I just like the results better. VV powders are great but I don't like the cost of them.

I have read a lot of Lost Sheep's posts. I agree with a lot of what he says. I have found a few things he has written about worked better then what I had been doing as well. I think the only places I might disagree with him is about personal opinion in presses. I just like progressive presses a lot more then slower presses. Normally a different press won't change the finished product beyond the time it takes to get there. Once exception might be extreme accuracy loading.
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Old June 21, 2012, 12:26 AM   #5
chris in va
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Consider making your own powder dippers, once you establish a good load. I make mine from stiff wire and cut down fired 9mm cases. And duct tape.

It's considerably quicker than weighing each charge and reasonably accurate.
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Old June 21, 2012, 08:45 AM   #6
Sparks1957
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Just got back from the range, testing those 9mm rounds I made yesterday. They shoot really well, more consistent than the PMC I've been shooting lately. Burned pretty cleanly too.

I'm using the Lee Auto-Disk powder measure, and it is throwing the correct amount of powder pretty reliably, within 0.1 grain.

Off to do up some more...

Quote:
I don't know how long you have been a "chemist used to weighing stuff", but reading a vernier seems to be a lost art. If you know how, the Lee scale is as accurate as any balance beam on the market
Actually, I'm a pharmacist by training (30+ years ago), and now teaching chemistry to advanced high school kids because it's way more fun. I guess I just don't have the patience to mess around with any technology when something that's easier to use exists, to be honest. I don't doubt the accuracy of the Lee scale, but it's not user friendly... I'd rather use a Vernier or a Mettler

Last edited by Sparks1957; June 21, 2012 at 08:51 AM.
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Old June 21, 2012, 11:44 AM   #7
mikld
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Welcome to the addiction. I've been reloading, off and on, for 30+ years and sometimes I don't know if I reload to shoot, or shoot to reload.

Sounds like you are seating and crimping in one operation. Most of us around here separate the steps into two operations which leads to less problems with OAL consistancy, case buckling, crimp amount, etc. But, you've already worked that out...
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Old June 21, 2012, 03:01 PM   #8
marklyftogt
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I reload pretty much the same way. I have found that if I use a EGW chamber checker to check the reloads before I head to the range that it heads off problems.

http://www.egwguns.com/chamber-check...mber-checkers/
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Old June 21, 2012, 03:35 PM   #9
DFrame
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Welcome to the addiction. I've been reloading for over 40 years now. Nothing quite so satisfying.
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Old June 21, 2012, 04:58 PM   #10
handlerer2
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Welcome aboard! I started reloading in 1976, 30-30, 7mag and 9mm.

I found reloading for the pistol to be more challenging than reloading for rifles. My first stab at 9mm was rather disappointing. There is, IMO, a steeper learning curve for pistol reloading. My first try was, of coarse, the trickiest in the book, I found out later. I was trying a Speer,100gr hollow point, on top of Blue Dot. They all went bang, but, I couldn't hit a darned thing with that load.


I had at the time a Browning Highpower, a VN capture, with the Chinese armory stamp. I was advised by a gunsmith, to try a different bullet, a 147gr FMJ and a different powder, to seat and crimp in seperate operarations, and load to factory coal. It was a vast improvement, and offered encouragement, after my disappointing first try.

Moral of the story. Don 't get discouraged if your first try isn't impressive, keep trying, and don't hesitate to ask for advice. Also, read every word in a good reloading manual, and every word in the instructions included with the dies. Good luck and good shooting!
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Old June 22, 2012, 05:44 PM   #11
Sparks1957
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Thanks for the warm welcome and encouragement.

So far, it is going quite well. Loaded about 300 rounds of 115gr plated 9mm Berrys over 4.5gr Win 231 so far.

Will load another couple hundred, then I'll set up for .380acp next.

Have read my Lyman's 49th and Lee's Modern Reloading cover-to-cover getting ready, and will again.
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Old June 22, 2012, 06:23 PM   #12
SIGSHR
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Welcome to the Club! I admire your gumption in reloading 9MM in your first attempt, like so many of us I started with 38 Special, revolver cartridges are a better way for a beginner to start, not as sensitive to OAL or case mouth flaring, etc.
I found rifle cartridges a bit more challenging, can't use carbide dies, have to watch the shoulder, etc.
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Old June 22, 2012, 09:45 PM   #13
osageid
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I made a post saluting the experts here, Lostsheep was one of many who I was referring too! Got to love class acts! As far as reloading I am so into it now! Omg if I could only keep in supply with components lol!


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Old June 23, 2012, 02:21 PM   #14
Sparks1957
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Loaded my first .380 rounds this morning. Maybe because I started with 9mm with its tapered case, .380 seemed really easy to get adjusted properly, as far as the flare and crimp dies were concerned.

Will load a few more later, and take them to the range in the morning to try them out. Loading 100gr plated Berrys over 2.9-3.0gr of Win 231, by the way.
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Old June 23, 2012, 07:27 PM   #15
tkglazie
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2.9-3.0 will get you right about 740fps with that bullet, assuming you loaded to a length of around .980". By comparison, factory Independence 95gr FMJ was in the mid 800s.

I have loaded that bullet all the way from 2.8gr to 3.3gr.

(out of a bersa model 83)

(edited to remove an unproven load, 3.5-3.6gr hp38)

Last edited by tkglazie; June 24, 2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Old June 24, 2012, 07:26 AM   #16
Sparks1957
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I'm curious what pressure that top load is generating, I bet it's pretty high
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Old June 24, 2012, 09:45 AM   #17
tkglazie
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You are right Sparks. Good catch, I checked my notes, that was a box of 50 that I had worked up to get to max to see what that would do to POI. These are untested and most likely will be pulled. When I first posted it I thought I just hadnt chronoed that load.

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Old July 5, 2012, 05:37 PM   #18
tkglazie
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Update on the load data that I previously deleted (I had unintentionally posted unproven data).

Load- Berry's 100gr over 3.5-3.6gr HP38 at .980". I tested this load extensively today in my Bersa 83 today and absolutely love it. No signs of pressure, no problems whatsoever. Very accurate load that runs about 920fps. Recoil is solid, this is a relatively heavy bullet for a .380 that is moving at a good clip, but I liken it to shooting 147grain 9mm bullets in the 900-950fps range. More of a "push" than the normal snap/flip you often find in a small .380. I actually enjoyed shooting my old Bersa for a change (cleaning that gun, on the other hand is a PITA).

This cartridge will be my new go-to. It seems to replicate the recoil and POI of the Hydra-Shok 90 grain that I keep in the gun for HD/carry purposes. Highly recommend.

Last edited by tkglazie; July 5, 2012 at 07:35 PM.
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Old July 5, 2012, 05:43 PM   #19
Sparks1957
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Cool, thanks for the update.

I've been loading the 100gr Berrys over 3.3gr of Win 231, and have been pretty happy with the results in my Bersa and my CZ-83. No chronograph here, but excellent accuracy

Started with 3.0gr, and they were anemic. Very poor accuracy as well. Much better results with a bit more powder.
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Old July 5, 2012, 07:54 PM   #20
tkglazie
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Actually, now that I think about it Sparks I think I am going to try the lighter charges again as well. As I mentioned before, I originally went up to 3.5-3.6 to try and get my POI down. I got a new recoil spring for the Bersa before I testing the heavier loads (didnt have the stones to test them with a 25 year old spring) and could not believe how much stiffer it was. I wager the old spring was killing my POI and accuracy. Heck, that's probably why the gun was so enjoyable to shoot this time. Even though I like this hotter load for its similarity to my hd/sd rounds, I might like a lighter plinking load as well now that they probably wont be shooting 3-4 inches high at 25'.

Glad to know someone is reading anyway. Happy shooting.
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Old July 5, 2012, 08:12 PM   #21
ScottRiqui
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I laughed when I read the part of your post about "too much flare" and "too much crimp". Before I started reloading, I read a bunch but I guess I didn't look at enough pictures - the first few .38 Special cases I processed had mouths that looked like trumpets!
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