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Old April 3, 2013, 09:54 PM   #1
llangston1
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New to reloading 45 ACP Questions

I am just starting to reload. I bought a Lyman Crusher II and a bunch of 45 ACP supplies (dies, bullets, brass, primers and powder)from a local Craig's List ad. The seller had already loaded around 20 rounds but after looking at them I noticed that many if not all of the primers are not fully seated in the brass. They definitely are not flat across the cartridge base and will rock when set on a flat surface. My question is should I just try and shoot these rounds or pull them apart and rework them? Also the powder that came with the deal is Hogdon Clays. The bullets are Ranier 200 grn wad cutters and hollow points. Can anyone suggest a good load with this powder for those bullets? Ranier says to use lead cast bullet load data rather than FMJ data. I checked the Hogdon web site for loads and there is not much range between the low of 3.9 grn and the high of 4.3 grn. I got a new Hornady 1500 digital scale but its accuracy is only .1-.2 grn. Even if I start at the low end the scale inaccuracy might place my load near or at the high end. Any suggestions other than get a different scale or powder?
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Old April 3, 2013, 11:08 PM   #2
dmazur
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Shooting any cartridge with a high primer is inviting bad results.

IMO, one of two things could happen -

1. Slide doesn't go far enough forward to permit firing. FTF = go home with fingers intact and pull rounds apart and reload them to specification.

2. Pistol is out of spec and permits firing without being fully in battery. On feeding second cartridge, slide closes with more force than your initial chambering and that impact sets off the high primer OOB, resulting in a ruptured case, magazine being blown out of the well, and splinters of walnut in your palm. OOB = go to hospital. After recovery, pull rounds apart and reload them to specification.

With high primers, there really isn't any way to tell which of these is going to occur.

As to consistently measuring powder, I believe many reloaders use some kind of volumetric dispenser (powder measure or dipper) and weigh charges to make sure the average is the desired weight. I get +/- 0.1 gr with a Dillon powder measure.

If you are trying for a 3.9 gr charge, your scale should show 3.7-4.1 gr.

A scale which can't measure within 0.1 gr consistently is not very useful, IMO.

Beam scales aren't very expensive, and they aren't subject to fluctuating power supplies, fluorescent lights, etc.
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Old April 3, 2013, 11:36 PM   #3
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Personally there is only one other person that I would trust reloads from, my grandfather. He has been doin it since the 60's, very smart, and doesn't push his luck. As far as i'm concerned, I'd pull the bullet, de-prime it, and start from scratch. Much safer way to do it.
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:52 AM   #4
sourdough44
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I use 6.1 grns of H Universal with a 200 grn plated bullet in my 45s, cycles fine. With only 20 rounds I'd pull them & reuse what you can.
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Old April 4, 2013, 09:34 AM   #5
serf 'rett
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Pull the bullets out. Dump powder in cases on your lawn (you have no way of knowing what kind of powder was used and the loss is minimal). Reseat the primers.
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Old April 4, 2013, 09:44 AM   #6
serf 'rett
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Second recommendation, which should have been first.

Unless you have a mentor, you need to get a couple of reloading manuals and read them to become educated on the reloading process. In my opinion, online bullet or powder recipes should only be used by folks who are familiar (which entails a degree of understanding and experience) with reloading.
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Old April 4, 2013, 10:10 AM   #7
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I am relatively new to reloading as well, so I don't want to pose as some sort of expert. But, I would encourage you to get your hands on a copy of "The ABCs of Reloading." You can pick it up on Amazon for $17 or possibly check it out from your local library for free as I did. It is not a load data manual, but a good overall treatise on reloading. From there I would pick up one or more loading manuals such as Lyman's 49th edition. Do this before you load your first round. The temptation is strong to jump right in, but don't underestimate the danger to yourself and others from doing so.

Get a kinetic bullet puller and pull the 20 mystery loads. You can re-use the bullets and brass, dump the powder. Do a search for how to decap live primers.

Good luck and be safe.
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Old April 4, 2013, 11:05 AM   #8
bossman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serf 'rett
Pull the bullets out. Dump powder in cases on your lawn (you have no way of knowing what kind of powder was used and the loss is minimal). Reseat the primers.
Good advice. Clay's powder is a fast burning powder so I would want to make sure of the powder weight. Not saying it won't work but I like to know what the powder weight is. I never shoot someone else's reload only my own. Take the above advice it's the right thing to do.

Welcome to a fine hobby, just take your time and all will be good.
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Last edited by bossman; April 4, 2013 at 11:15 AM.
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:40 PM   #9
oldpapps
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llangston1,

Shale we do some deductive reasoning?

The first look at these 'suspect' loaded cases. What does the new to reloading loader see? "not all of the primers are not fully seated in the brass" & "definitely are not flat across the cartridge base and will rock when set on a flat surface" (your words). As stated above, 'that ain't good', my words.

Let see.... do we/you want to chance that these loads are not going to blow up our costly weapon... hand... head? Quality workmanship on those primers give me less than a warm feeling about the rest of that load.

Now that that has been determined. Pull the bullets, there are many ways to do it. The powder purchased with this was Hogdon Clays. But is that what was put into these cases? Revert to the above logic. Small amounts of smokeless powder burns pretty (in a safe and open location - concrete is good). What about those primers? Only 20 or so.... I would play with them. Safe and empty weapon, pull back the slide and lock it, drop one (1) primed case into the chamber. With the barrel pointed in a safe direction, drop the slide, just push the slid lock down and let er fly. Did the primer pop? If not, pull the trigger. You now have brass with a dead primer, ready to start the loading process.

I don't use any of the 'Clays'. With that said, start at the 'starting load' listed and work from there. As long as the scales are consistent, don't over think the process. I would 'zero' the scales and load the 'starting' amount of the selected powder in accordance to what is listed in your trusted reference material. Don't load more than a sampling. Test these. Two round in a magazine, load from that magazine, fire the first. Did everything happen that is supposed to? Eject, strip the next round, chamber the next round? Fire the next. Did the slide lock back?
If all did not do as it should, determine the problem and correct (too light of load to function? seating depth or feed ramp not mating?)
Slowly adjust your charge/s until you get the loading that meets you desired results. Remember, the listed MAXIMUM load is not a challenge.

Load with care and enjoy,

OSOK
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Old April 4, 2013, 12:51 PM   #10
cerberus65
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My brother gave me some "gun show special" reloads once. They had the same problem you describe: primers not seated flush consistently. I was briefly tempted to try them but the more I looked at the rounds the more I disliked what I saw. Some rounds still had slightly belled case mouths. Some of the cases were either trimmed crooked or the bullets were seated crooked. After kicking myself for even considering trying them (inconsistent primer seating should have been enough to warn me away from firing them), I got my kinetic bullet puller out. The empty cases went into a gun one at a time to have the primers popped and then they all went into a bucket for eventual reloading.

So if you're going to decide on a majority vote, mark me down in the "heck no, I'm not shooting those" column. :-)
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Old April 4, 2013, 07:38 PM   #11
llangston1
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thanks for all the responses. I have a hammer type unloading tool so I will just take the loaded rounds apart and start over. thanks again
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Old April 4, 2013, 08:48 PM   #12
oldpapps
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'Hammer type' is kinetic. Got a new one after I wore one out.
If it breaks, contact the maker. Most will take care of you.
My first one became a toy for my son.. He would pound on the floor (concrete work area) as I loaded. Humm, he's 36 now, I didn't have the heart to complain about it's longevity, best I can figure, 25 years or so.

Be safe,

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Old April 4, 2013, 10:45 PM   #13
Misssissippi Dave
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I would pull them as well. If I didn't load them, I don't know what is in them. It is far better to just pull them and reuse what you can safely use. I prefer WST for a soft accurate shooting load in .45. I also have a much wide range from min to max than you will get from Clays. W231 and WSF also work well. If you are looking for a powder to push the bullets faster WSF works well in mid to upper levels. WST and W231 work better for softer shooting loads. There are really a lot of powders you can use safely when loading .45 with jacketed bullets. Are the jacketed or are they plated? Plated bullets will either use mid to upper range lead data or low to mid range jacketed data depending on the bullet. Jacketed bullets normally have exposed lead in the base.
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Old April 4, 2013, 10:59 PM   #14
SIGSHR
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Dean Grennell said he set his scale to measure 10 charges from his powder hopper, when 10 charges read exactly 10 times the load he wanted, he knew it was set properly.
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Old April 5, 2013, 02:15 PM   #15
Edward429451
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Pull them and reseat the primers. Use these rounds for range ammo. Lots of good powders out there for 45acp. WW-231, Bullseye, Unique are three that immediately.
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Old April 5, 2013, 02:31 PM   #16
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3.9 grains of Clays is Hodgdon's recommendation for a 200 grain jacketed bullet. The starting load they recommend for lead is 3.6 grains to start and 4.3 grains maximum. That's all find for target loads. If you want more velocity, you'll have to look for a little bit slower powder, like Universal Clays.
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Old April 5, 2013, 03:37 PM   #17
maillemaker
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Yup, glad you decided to pull them.

For only 20 bullets, there is no reason not to.

It sounds like someone tried their hand at reloading and gave up. If they screwed up the primer part, who knows what else they screwed up. I would not trust their ammo.

Pull the bullets, dump the unknown powder in the grass, re-seat the primers.

Steve
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Old April 7, 2013, 08:29 PM   #18
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Reseat them, and seat all new primers, using an RCBS hand-priming tool.
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Old April 7, 2013, 08:38 PM   #19
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Oldpapps is right

A loader who stopped after 20 rounds and is selling his equipment?

A loader who did not seat his primers properly? Maybe did not measure the powder correctly, either? Or read the load recipe correctly?

There was a thread from a .45 ACP shooter who had scared himself out of reloading any more after he blew up his gun. He was using one of the three "Clays" powders. (I suspect he used the wrong one.)

I encouraged him to post back the exact powder he used, but he has apparantly left the forum.

The coincidence is too suspicious for me.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=515704
(not the same guy, as the O.P. on this thread mentions that he got a different manufacturer's equipment for Christmas. But they could be related to each other.)

Pull those bullets, dump the powder in the cases (it makes decent fertilizer when diluted - full of nitrogen, you know). Look very carefully at the label(s) of any powder he sold you (consider disposing of it if it is at all suspicious) and proceed from there.

Good luck.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; April 7, 2013 at 08:51 PM.
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Old April 7, 2013, 09:47 PM   #20
orionengnr
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Quote:
Safe and empty weapon, pull back the slide and lock it, drop one (1) primed case into the chamber. With the barrel pointed in a safe direction, drop the slide
If you have a 1911, do not put a round in the chamber and drop the slide.
Actually, if you have any pistol you care about, don't put a round in the chamber. Certainly not twenty times,
Some may put up with it, some may not. It's not good for any of them.

The pistol is designed for the case rim to slide up under the extractor as the slide moves forward. The extractor is not designed to "snap" around a chambered round.
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Old April 8, 2013, 08:23 AM   #21
oldpapps
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orionengnr,

I agree, under normal operations always feed from a magazine.

However, few auto pistols will feed empty brass and this brass was not only empty (we hope it had been broken down), it had high primers. Slamming the slide forward can lead to 'follow down'. But, 20 or so times... Hopefully the primer would be seated deeper. At the worst, it would be a slam fire and would impress the need to have primers fully seated.

I have only encountered one broken extractor (the break was on the rear half) and that was a 'stainless steel' one in a 'Vega' (they were all stainless, I never thought much of them. It wasn't mine. They were a pita, nothing lined up and everything had to be fitted. Haven't seen one in 30, maybe 40 years. No loss). I did have a chipped extractor come in one time, but, the extractor still worked and the owner didn't want to replace it.

I would hope that any blue/carbon steel spring steel 1911 extractor will hold up to this small amount of abuse. If not, this is the time to find out.

Load with care,

OSOK
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Old April 8, 2013, 08:53 AM   #22
2rott
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I agree, don't shoot those bullets. Either pull them or discard them safely. It's only 20 of them. My local range disposes loaded ammo. Maybe yours does too.
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