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Old May 26, 2000, 02:41 AM   #1
Guy B. Meredith
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Join Date: August 29, 1999
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 1,581
What is reasonable standard and average deviation and hi to lo spread in terms of bullet velocity when bulk loading on a progressive press?

I cranked out my first 200 rounds today after carefully assembling, testing and adjusting my new Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive. I am using RCBS dies and lockout die (never too cautious) to load .38 spls with West Coast's copper plated 158 gr bullets.

Some of my experiences and lessons during the process:

1. The lockout die is a life saver--I messed up several times while distracted by this or that detail and failed to do a full stroke to activate the powder measure. Hard to double load on the auto indexing Hornady, but several cases came up empty.

2. Learned importance of locking everything down TIGHTLY. And then checking periodically. Shellplate and two or three dies loosened up without my notice.

3. Cleanliness will prevent you from coming next to Godliness before your time. Primer mechanism bound up and could have caused accident. Appears to have been a couple of grains of powder jamming the works.

4. Don't get distracted. Had one primer load in anvil side down. (What do I do now, Ma?)

5. Hornady powder measure appears to maintain accuracy very well. Deviation amounted to thickness of the line on the pointer on the scale's beam.

6. It's a lot easier than I thought to reload a couple of hundred rounds. Will do a few more hundred tomorrow and then go out and "test" them, but not before putting in an order for another one or two thousand bullets. Dirty job but someone's got to do it.
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Old May 26, 2000, 08:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
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Frankly, the first thing is safety. Are the loads (yes, ALL of them) safe? You know, correct powder charge, OAL in spec, and sufficient case neck tension to keep the bullet from moving (in either direction) during recoil.
Remember crimp will NOT hold a bullet.

After safety is addressed, the concern is actual field accuracy from your intended launch platform.

Is the load accurate?
If it is then deviations don't matter.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old May 26, 2000, 11:29 PM   #3
Guy B. Meredith
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Join Date: August 29, 1999
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 1,581
Yeah, safety is my compulsion, particularly knowing that Murphy is my guardian angel. Hence the lock out die, the auto indexing and using it for a single stage for the first 50 rounds.

Actually, I would expect the differing velocities to make for more flat or more arced trajectories. The question is how much difference will show up in the real world.

Today I loaded up a some rounds with values that others are using for the copper plated bullets, but did not have a chance to chronograph and do not know the stats. From my PC 627 V-comp they did 10 shots in a 1" group at 15 yards from a wooden rest.

Since I am not very good from a rest, I am satisfied with this performance for action pistol competition.

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Old May 27, 2000, 08:12 PM   #4
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Guy, SD is sometimes misleading in relation to accuracy. Especially in handgun ammo. If is shoots well, forget the SD. I have a load for 38 WC that spread over about 150 f/s, but group very well. Face it, at 50 yards, velocity drop just doesn't matter much.

Having said that, uniformity is always good in any ammo.

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