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Old August 17, 2013, 12:42 AM   #1
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1st loads on the Lee Classic turret press

I put the new press to use with some 9mm materials. I set up the auto disk measure to throw 4.0 grains of Titegroup to put behind a Berry's 115 grain round nose bullet.

The brass is some FC cases that were purchased as once fired. I sized them when I got them and cleaned the primer pockets. As they were already sized I primed them with my RCBS hand primer as it was quicker than trying to figure out the Lee safety prime. As this was my first attempt with the auto disk in this press I weighed several charges before proceeding with the actual loading and weighed several of the metered charges while doing the actual loading. Most of the charges were right on 4.0 grains on the RCBS digital scale with none going over. The lowest was 3.8 grains.

One thing I did notice was there was some variation in the individual case weights. More than I would expect. OAL of loaded rounds was consistently on the only at
1.104 inches.

I'm a novice with the pistol reloading and my previous loads were up to 4.5 grains so I'm hoping this load will cycle the M9 okay. All of The loaded rounds fiT easily into the cartridge gauge.

A quick dumb question. Is there anyThing to be gained if I were to seat the bullets out a bit more? If so what would be a good OAL to shoot for with these bullets?
All in all, not a bad first go and I can see where this machine can be a time saver down the road.
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:09 AM   #2
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I have loaded 9 mm on the short side quite a lot. I have one pistol that needs to have a shorter OAL. I found I can use 1.130 even for that pistol with round nose bullets. I tend to load for the pistol requiring the shortest length. A longer OAL reduces the pressure and with some powders you don't get spikes as soon when you do this. This is probably why many people suggest you load to the longest OAL your pistols allow you to use.

I work up any new load prior to making up larger batch. I increase my powder by .1 grains for each step. Some powder measures won't allow you to do this so you might have to go in .2 grain steps. When testing loads I shoot from sand bags to help reduce the human factor to determine which amounts of powder work best. My first concern is does it cycle the gun? Once I reach that level I start looking for accuracy. Most of the time I find a spread of .3 from minimum to maximum that are the best in accuracy. My test loads are only 10 for each powder charge. I fire 5 at a time saving the other 5 to compare things one more time. Once I determine what works best I will load up 50 rounds with that powder weight for more testing to see how it functions and how clean it burns. Occasionally I have to add .1 grain of powder to get it to burn cleaner but it is still in the sweet zone.

I prefer to load in the middle of the group of test loads that worked best so if my powder drop varies a little I shouldn't notice it while shooting.

Early on I weighed some brass but now I don't for any pistol ammo. It seems to just be a waste of time and effort. I also don't trim pistol brass to some determined length either. I do load a fair amount of 9 mm each month and I'm just relating what works for me. I also find it easier to get the crimp right using jacketed bullets rather than plated or lead. This is the main reason I prefer to load jacketed.
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:45 AM   #3
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You will find that the Lee Classic Turret is a real gem - consistent, reliable, and a breeze to work with. It is all I use for .38 spl, 9mm, .40 & .45 acp.

There is no need to clean Pistol primer pockets and you will find that, once you get the Safety Prime figured out, it works well and quite reliably. I used to weigh cases but stopped when I couldn't figure out a good reason to do so. It is my understanding that you can seat bullets a bit longer as long as you don't exceed OAL but I doubt that there is any reason to do so. If you are deviating from the bullet manufacturer's specs then you are in uncharted waters. The bullet was designed for a specific length for a reason.

Enjoy your Lee.

Last edited by grumpa72; August 18, 2013 at 07:22 AM. Reason: typo
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Old August 17, 2013, 08:23 AM   #4
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So far I have learned no lesson that says hand gun primer pockets have to be cleaned. I let the press do its work of depriming and sizing, with priming on the up stroke, slick as you please. I don't think you really have the idea until you get the priming going.

You will have to incorporate the knowledge that some brass needs to be culled. For example, Sellier & Bellot has crimped primer pockets and will be troublesome to prime with automation unless reamed. Fortunately they have red lacquer across the primer and are relatively easy to spot. Of course, Berdan primer stuff has to be culled too. "Fired" brass comes at a price of handling them before use.

Last edited by Real Gun; August 17, 2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old August 17, 2013, 03:40 PM   #5
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Most of my 9mm is loaded to a OAL of 1.125 but I have some as low as 1.065 thats ina 124gr LFN(lead flat nose) the abbreviatiosn are another learning curve. What happens when you legthen a case OAL it reduce (depending on powder charge) the pressure. 4.0gr of titegroup sounds like enough that your not going to have cycling issues, but that also depends on the pistol. On the flip side reducen the OAL will increase the pressure , I'd have to check my manuals for the OAL for that particular bullet. Hodgdon says

"115 GR. LRN Hodgdon Titegroup .356" 1.100" 3.9 1075 25,800 CUP 4.3 1151 30,500 CUP "

directly from there website , If my memory serves me correctly berrys says to load theres to lead data. Hope that helps.

Last edited by Forrest68; August 17, 2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old August 17, 2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Remeber you can also use the press in single stage mode. I generally size and prime tons of brass and store until I want to make up a specific load. This will also allow you to get the hang of using the priming despenser.
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Old August 18, 2013, 06:37 PM   #7
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1st loads on the Lee Classic turret press

I loaded some more ammo last night and got a chance to fire a few of them this afternoon. This feels like a mild load and should work fine for a plinking round.
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