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Old July 6, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
Prof Young
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Fire first loads with caution?


So it was a couple years ago, but when I shot my first hand loads I mounted the gun, 44 mag, in a gun vice and pulled the trigger with a ten food lanyard. Anyone else that cautious on their first reload?

Live well, be safe
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Old July 6, 2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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Only for a millisecond and sloughed it off because when I started pressing my own for my guns, I had already been loading with my dad for oh, at least a good solid ten years or so.

But it did run through my mind on my first mag of 225 gr LRN 45s that I made. But I had hand weighed them all because I had no measure yet so I laughed and banged away.
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Old July 6, 2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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Not nearly THAT cautious!

I was "apprehensive", but I knew that starting at starting loads was going to be safe. Plus, I'd read enough here to know that even gross over-charges are sometimes no where near the guns limits.

Still, I'm a little cautious even now as loads approach max. My experience in spotting pressure signs and/or worn out cases is limited at best.
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Old July 7, 2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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Ignorance is bliss, but risky.

When I started loading I didn't know enough to be scared of anything.

I had 50 rounds of factory 38 Special (the only 38s I have ever shot) and 6 rounds of .357 brass loaded with the mentoring of the guy who sold me my loading equipment. After that, I read, loaded .357 brass to mid-range power levels and exercised my caution in front of the press more than behind the trigger.

If I was unsure of a load, I would not have loaded it in the first place. But if I were unsure, I would have taken the cartridge apart rather than shoot it.

Be safe, always, all ways.

If you ar absolutely sure of your ammo, fear not. If you are not absolutely sure, don't shoot. Each round you light up is like sky-diving. If you are unsure of you parachute packing, would you jump?

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Old July 7, 2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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NOPE. With some of the crazy stuff I did as a kid, there's NOTHING I could do reloading to compare--it's as safe as a padded room. AND I'm rather OCD about it. CRAZY, none the less (I don't know too many people who turn 5.7 brass into 30 caliber jacketed bullets--I do). But but the time I squeeze a trigger, I already have nearly every aspect of what to expect figured out. The trigger is just confirmation that I was right.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:37 AM   #6
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I thought long and hard about it. I didn't know anyone that could mentor me, so I had to trust what I learned on my own. This forum was the most informative source for me personally. Reading and following the sticky for the new reloader at the top and lurking around reading answers to questions from other newbies was how I finally got to the point of pulling the trigger on my first 30.06 reload.

At my wife's urging, I actually took a long string in my pocket when I went out back to shoot the first reload. For the thousandth time I mentally went through the reloading steps and checks I had learned to get to this point.

I pulled the trigger and CRACKKKKKK!!! Everything went as it was planned except for the gigantic flinch of my trigger finger.

THANK YOU to all who take time and show the patience to post answers to all newbies that come here.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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I forgot to mention...

Both of my sons now enjoy reloading their own!!

Last edited by graham82; July 7, 2012 at 09:46 AM.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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THANK YOU to all who take time and show the patience to post answers to all newbies that come here
I would like to add my thanks to the collective wisdom on this board, it's been very helpful.
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Old July 7, 2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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I did not fire my first reloads remotely with a string on the trigger, because they were .38 Special target loads in a .357 magnum revolver. I was sure I had plenty of margin.

On the other hand, I have clamped a couple of OLD rifles into supports and fired really mild handloads in them because there were some doubts about the RIFLES, rather than my handloads.

However, that sort of activity is frowned upon by just about every range that has ever existed, so you need to find another safe place to do it. If you think about setting off a grenade in the location and it still seems OK, then you are probably good to go.

But, if I see you doing that in the shooting bay next to me, I am going to leave and call the range owner and/or the police.

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Old July 7, 2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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I dropped in a cylinder full for my GP 100 and had at it.

Prior to this, I bought Lyman's 49th edition reloading book and spent quite a bit of time reading it, powder manufacturer's data, numerous reloading forums, and hand weighed my first batch on a scale since I didn't have my Uniflow II set up yet.

I figured if I can machine parts to within .0005" or so, I can turn out safe ammo.
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Old July 8, 2012, 08:53 AM   #11
David Bachelder
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I admit. I was a little concerned. I held the pistol up and let her rip ..... no problem.
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I load, 9mm Luger, 38 and 40 S&W, 38 Special, 357Magnum, 45ACP, 45 Colt, 223, 300 AAC, 243 and 30-06
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Old July 8, 2012, 09:00 AM   #12
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I too was apprehensive - Made sure I had someone with me with a cell phone just in case I couldn't dial 911 if needed but all went well -
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Old July 8, 2012, 09:09 AM   #13
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I wasn't quite that bad. For the first couple of rounds I grabbed the gun weak hand, aimed at the target, turned my head and pulled the trigger.
I don't ever remember being absent minded.
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Old July 8, 2012, 11:45 AM   #14
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I remember shooting my first loads, lined up on the target, closed my eyes and squeezed the trigger followed by a huge relief LOL
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Old July 8, 2012, 12:17 PM   #15
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It's been so long ago I don't remember. I know it feels great to craft and shoot my own ammo for my guns.
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Old July 8, 2012, 12:26 PM   #16
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I have to admit I was apprehensive.

I had done my homework, worked carefully, and have enough experience with various explosive materials that I wasn't really nervous however. It was a relief when they fired normally.

The other day I went to the range and spent a couple hours shooting only my own reloads in 9mm and .380; it felt really good.
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Old July 8, 2012, 12:31 PM   #17
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My first loads were for a 30-40 Krag that were done with a lee loader. Followed the instructions to the letter and double checked. Took the rifle and 5 rounds that I had loaded. Set up a target at 100yds, put the the bead on the target, pulled the rifle in hard to the sholder, cheek hard to the stock, clinched my teeth, and squeezed the trigger. The rifle jumped and roared at the same time. I couldnt tell if I had hit the target or not because I blinked when it took me by surprise. I ejected the case and inspeceted it for any signs of pressure and found none. The following 4 rounds were a little less climatic. Target had 5 holes about 2" apart. Phew!
No such thing as a stupid question. What is stupid is not asking it.
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Old July 8, 2012, 01:25 PM   #18
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I started with a Lee Loader back in the 60's with a Remington 721 in 30-06. I was using 150 gr bullets and IMR4831. I never gave it a second thought.
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Old July 10, 2012, 02:16 AM   #19
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i read something about in the olden days, they used to make the mason stand under his new bridge when the first person walked over it.
Following suit i fire a randomly picked handful of bullets out of every batch i load and shoot them before i let my friends have at them. i always put on over sized glasses for these test fires and then go back to my comfy ones
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Old July 12, 2012, 05:47 PM   #20
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No, I've never locked a gun in a vise to test fire any of my reloads...

I'll admit to being cautious.....but I never go below the published minimum ..and never at or over the published maximum.

I'm always a little more cautious ...if I change anything in the round ( powder or bullets )....but if a load has a min of say 5.8gr and a max of 6.3 grains.../ when I'm working up a load....I'll make up some at 5.8 / some at 5.9, etc up to maybe 6.2 ...( maybe 5 rounds at each level ---then I take them to my range and test them). Then I settle on my goal - say 6.1 ...and make sure the press is doing precisely that ( and always make sure my powder check die is adjusted and working properly ! ).

When I do my test loads...I weigh each one 100% ..../ so there is no doubt what is in that case ...when I take them to the range !

I fuss a little more with bullet depth ...espcially if I change bullets...but for the last 10 yrs or so / I haven't loaded much of anything other than Montana Gold / and a few Berry's plated for bullets...and I have a lot of notes in my reloading spreadsheets ...on the specs the last time I loaded that bullet. Its rare these days, that I want to reload something different.

For the most part ....I'm almost 100% loading - using Hodgdon Universal in all of my handgun loads and Montana Gold bullets :

115 gr FMJ bullet in 9mm ...Montana Gold
158gr Jacketed HP in .38 spl and .357mag
180 gr FMJ in .40 S&W
230gr FMJ in .45 acp
240gr JSP in .44 mag

they're accurate / very consistent ...and relatively no reason to try all kinds of different things...
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:45 PM   #21
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I was a little nervous the first time I fired my first reloads. I put the rifle to my shoulder, lined up my sights on the target, turned my head and proceeded to yank the trigger. The round touched off without a hitch. I was much relieved and proceeded to finish out the clip. The rifle ejected and reloaded itself just like it had with factory ammo. I was pretty happy with myself that day.
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Old July 15, 2012, 09:59 PM   #22
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I did not fire my first reloads remotely with a string on the trigger, because they were .38 Special target loads in a .357 magnum revolver. I was sure I had plenty of margin.
Same here. And my next loads were 9mm target loads for a P89. I loaded a good 1000 for those 2 guns before loading for my "regular strength" Bersa model 83 and pre-64 winchester model 94 .32 special.
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Old July 16, 2012, 05:36 PM   #23
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No, I have always started with min recommended loads and worked up from there.

Ecclesiastes 12:13  ¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
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Old July 16, 2012, 06:35 PM   #24
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I have been re-loading since the early 1970's and do not remember being too leary of firing off new rounds since I go by the books all the time. In fact after all of these years I still weigh each and every powder measure though I have some semi-auto powder dispensers at hand. I do remember my first time re-loading as a teenager with my .357 Magnum kit from Lee where I would sit at the kitchen table with a hammer to tap in the bullets. I was always sure the bullets would explode while hammering even with the correct shell holder being used. It always made me nervous. To this day I still wince on the rare occassion I use a inertia bullet puller and I whack the unit on my work bench pretty hard!
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Old July 16, 2012, 06:55 PM   #25
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The first time I fired a muzzle loader, which I had built from a kit, I tied it to a tire, hid behind my truck, and fired it using a long string to see if the whole thing would come apart.
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