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Old August 12, 2012, 04:49 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Range report...or...beginning of a learning curve.

Uberti Cattleman

5.5 inch barrel in .45 LC

I am not used to this pistol so I can't speak for accuracy accept to say that it points pretty good and hits (with my old eye) pretty much what I aimed it at.

I had three rounds with me.

Winchester Cowboy Rounds using an RNFP 250 grain slug, Some Mexican Cowboy Rounds with a RNFP 200 grain slug, and the rounds I loaded with a 200 RNFP and 35 grains of FFFg 777.

The Winchsters seem to cut a better group than the Mexican rounds at 15 yards. recoil of both rounds in minimal. The Mexican rounds got 525 to 575 FPS on a QE Millenium II. The Winchesters were a little hotter at 640 to 690 fps. My rounds got up to 980 fps with the average being somewhere around 940. Recoil was significant and accuracy was about what I expected for my first time out with the pistol.

Of course the bought Cowboy rounds functioned well. I wish I could say the same for the rounds I loaded.

This was my first attempt at cartridge reloading. Two of the rounds would not cycle through the action since the primers had not been seated far enough into the case. Numerous rounds did not discharge on the first shot. No primer detonation, nothing. Had a dent in the primer but no bang bang. All but one went off on the second try. That one came home with a dent in the primer but still a fully live round.

I think I may have improperly seated the primers.

I would be happy for some recommendations.
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Old August 12, 2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like the primers aren't seated fully and the hammer is seating them. What are you seating them with? A hand held priming tool is better than a press mount, you get a better feel for when its seated.
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Old August 12, 2012, 05:30 PM   #3
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Maybe you should test the primer depth by dry firing some of the primed cases before completing the rest of the reloading process.
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Old August 12, 2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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Also, when cleaning the brass for reloading, don't forget to clean out the primer hole of powder residue...did that one myself, once, real short learning curve!!
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Old August 12, 2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the wisdom.

Hawg,

I am using the press but I do have a hand primer. It is presently for sale on eBay but if it does not sell, I will hang onto it and see if it has a place on the table. I never figured I would need two ways to put primes in cases, but your comment about a better feel from the hand primer makes a lot of sense.

Articap,

Good point on firing some primers before I go to the range again. The LGS is selling WLP primers for 3.00 a hundred. (Plus ten percent off for retired Navy.)

SLTM1,

Also good info. I will be cleaning these cases for the first time. 100 are Remington cases and the other hundred are from the Cowboy loads I shot today.
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Old August 12, 2012, 06:41 PM   #6
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You have to get on that priming tool like you mean it.
A steady pressure to fully seat the primer will not fire it but you have to get it all the way down.
It is not much trouble to swipe a fingertip across each primer to be sure it is a little below flush, once you develop the reflex.

Popping primers in empty brass will not tell you much and will give you an unpleasant surprise as the primer pocket pressure backs them out and binds up cylinder rotation.
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Old August 12, 2012, 07:30 PM   #7
Chowmif16
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Welcome to BP pistol cartridge shooting!

Doc,
Hope you had a good time! The difference in kick is significant isn't it?
I have had at various times the same issues you had today. I think the other replies addressed the likely reasons and solutions.
I use my progressive press to seat the primers, and just pay careful attention to the pressure that I apply on the down stroke and to how it feels. The comment about cleaning out the primer pocket is spot on. I had a recent spate of primers that were not fully seated because the primer pockets were not cleaned out well enough (laziness), and would bind the gun . I usually just single load them into my lever gun so I don't have to pull the bullet.
I would be interested to hear how many BP rounds you shot and if the gun started to bind up from fouling. I have had that issue and am working on finding a load that is accurate and will shoot all day without binding or excessive fouling. I think I'm getting close and will continue to post my results.
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Old August 12, 2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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What they said about primers. They need to be seated FIRMLY to be reliable, in fact they are actually swaged, or crushed, into the pocket slightly when properly seated. If they are not seated correctly they will not work.

Seating on the press is fine, you need to develop a feel for it though. There is a certain "spring" to the feel of the handle when a primer properly seats. Hand seating tools or bench tools are also good, they just slow down the reloading process a bit, but if volume is not important, they are good. The old Lee hand loading tool is a classic, the RCBS bench tool is wonderful, and I am sure that there are newer tools that are just as good. I have not bought any reloading gear in the last 20 years, as all of my old stuff works fine and there is no need to replace it. I have probably primed 10,000 cartridges with my Lee hand priming tool. Nowadays I use the press more as I reload on a Dillon RL-550 progressive press mostly.

I think all of us went thru the primer seating issues when we started. Don't be brutal, but get on the handle hard to get them seated. In

Willie

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Old August 13, 2012, 04:17 AM   #9
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Guys

I suppose that insufficient pressure when seating the primers was the real issue.

I hope this is at so that next time I can focus on accuracy.

I noticed it is real important to pull the pistol apart and wipe it down good to keep it free.
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Old August 13, 2012, 05:23 AM   #10
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Here is a question....

I am a cheapskate. I hate the idea of throwing away brass cases.

As I said, I brought three live rounds home with me.

Two rounds have the primer insuffuciently seated. They won't cycle through the revolver. They are still completely live rounds. Intact primer, full of powder and bullet still crimped on top.

For those two rounds can I put them back into the press, force the primer more completely into the case and then fire the rounds essentially clearing the case through the muzzle?

The other round has a dent in the primer but did not go off after about four tries.

I would like to safely salvage the case.

Should I just accept the loss of sixty cents here?
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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Doc - congrats on your new chapter in BP - sounds like you got a nice pistol!

I haven't started reloading yet but wanted to make a quick comment -

Even though it is "at your expense" on the learning curve - what you are going through is helping a lot of us that are on the brink of getting into reloading. Your problem with the primers is something that I would never had considered - I assumed (which we all know what "assuming" does) that seating the primers would be a snap with a press but obviously you have to develop a "touch" for it.

I hope you'll continue to post your experiences as the answers to your questions are extremely helpful and a lot of info that is usually learned through experience is going to help others to avoid the pitfalls that all of us have when we first try something new.

Since this is a CAS forum as well, I hope that at some point a sticky will be added in regards to the tricks of the trade for reloading BP cartridges. A lot of info can be picked up off of the reloading threads but I have to believe that BP cartridges are an "animal to themselves".

Good luck in your new venture my friend and we are all gaining a lot from your experiences and the advice of the "veterans of BP cartridges".
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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Triple B

I watched a very good video of a guy loading BP "gallery loads" with round balls.

I think it was a different video in which a gentleman was using a cardboard spacer over a light load of powder and then cornmeal as filler over the spacer to ensure no air gaps. (Sounds mighty familiar.)

I can tell you that with the full 35 grains of 777, as F16 says, it kicks like a mule. You have to wait about five minutes between rounds for the smoke to clear.

I've got bruises and cuts on my fingers from the trigger guard.

The EPA came out to where I was shooting and declared the place an air purity hazard.

God, I love it!
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Two rounds have the primer insuffuciently seated. They are still completely live rounds. Intact primer, full of powder and bullet still crimped on top.

For those two rounds can I put them back into the press, force the primer more completely into the case?
NO! You can, however, pull the bullet using a collet puller or inertial puller, dump the powder, reseat the primer, or even pop it out and put in a new one....... but do not try to seat the primer farther in a live round.... under any circumstances.

(Even though it would probably only blow out the sides of the case in the event (however likely or not) that it did happen to fire..... it's much more (to me) than a 60 cent risk)

Last edited by Beagle333; August 13, 2012 at 08:18 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:26 AM   #14
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Beag,

Thanks for the response.

I never thought of a collet to pull the bullet out. I just happen to have a bunch. I bet I have the right size.

If I kill myself during this learning process, I'll let y'all know.
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Old August 13, 2012, 09:29 AM   #15
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Doc, get one of those plastic pullers that looks like a hammer. You unscrew the end and slip the bullet rim into the shell holder. Screw it back together and whack a table or a block of wood. The bullet is forced out of the case from inertia and the powder is saved too.
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Old August 13, 2012, 11:04 AM   #16
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Hawg et al.

I have a collet for the milling machine which fits the bullet right well.

I am going to fix the shell holder into the milling machine, tighten the collet onto the bullet, then retract the spindle such as to pull the bullet out the case.

I am getting ready to jump on a train for Orlando or I would already have done this.
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Old August 13, 2012, 11:08 AM   #17
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BTW, Hawg,

The communists on eBay pulled my auto primer listing. So There is no danger of its being sold.

You would think that after spending trillions of bucks trying to beat the socialists in Russia, it would not be likely that the main threat to liberty comes from within.
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Old August 13, 2012, 12:16 PM   #18
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Never underestimate the tyranny of liberalism. Actually ebay is a doing a lot better. They're allowing gun parts again.
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Old August 13, 2012, 06:10 PM   #19
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If your improvised collet puller idea does not pan out, you can always remove the die from your reloading press, seat the cartridge in the shellholder, raise the cartridge up thru the now-open throat of the press, grab the bullet with a set of vise-grips, and when you lower the handle the bullet will be pulled out. You ruin the bullet but not the case.

An inertial bullet puller is the "pencil eraser" of the reloader. You'll end up with one, but for now you ought to be set if you do the above.


Willie

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Old August 13, 2012, 07:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson
Popping primers in empty brass will not tell you much and will give you an unpleasant surprise as the primer pocket pressure backs them out and binds up cylinder rotation.
If the primers are capable of backing out by dry firing them in an unloaded case then couldn't they also back out when fired from a loaded case?
If so, wouldn't learning about that be meaningful?
Or maybe they could be dry fired in a break action derringer or single shot rifle, pistol or .410 shotgun if one were available?
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Old August 13, 2012, 08:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
If the primers are capable of backing out by dry firing them in an unloaded case then couldn't they also back out when fired from a loaded case?
The pressure from firing forces the case back into the recoil shield preventing it from backing out or reseating it if it does.
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Old August 15, 2012, 07:56 AM   #22
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Hawg,

Regarding your comment on eBay.

I agree with you when you say they are getting better.

In my book, they have moved from completely irrational and dangerous communist, pinko, anti American, Anti constitutional, SOBs who are terrified of law suits, to ignorant, undertrained, inconsistant, liberal, SOBs who are terrified of the lawyers who have them terrfied of law suits.

That is real improvement.

Every time I sell something or buy something on eBay (634 feedbacks - 100% positive) I have to pinch my nose.
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Old August 17, 2012, 10:21 AM   #23
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the ONLY time I get misfires is with Winchester primers.LOTS of folks wll disagree that they are a problem,but I KNOW that they are a problem when I shoot them.ymmv
As to cleaning primr pockets,I got bored lasst week and cleaned pckets on my 45 brass,and what a difference it made when I loaded them !they 'snicked' into place beautifully. ! I guess once a year is not quite often enuff, lol.
and,as others have said,seat them firmly ! and wear eye protection at the bench,'cause 'stuff' happens !
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Old August 17, 2012, 11:03 AM   #24
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Quote:
the ONLY time I get misfires is with Winchester primers.LOTS of folks wll disagree that they are a problem,but I KNOW that they are a problem when I shoot them.ymmv
Maybe you have soft springs. CCI primers are hardest, followed by Winchester. I use CCI. If I cant get them I get Winchester.
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Old August 17, 2012, 06:55 PM   #25
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I believe Winchester primers are rebranded CCI's.

Is that incorrect?
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