Author Topic: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?  (Read 903 times)

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Offline CCW-Ohio

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Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« on: October 01, 2019, 04:41:46 PM »
I'm looking for thoughts/guidance on first components to purchase as a total noob to reloading. Thought I'd start there. Using the template, see below:   [ Thanks in Advance ]

Firearm
My CZ pistol/rifle model is:  [ P-01 Omega, P-07, and Scorpion EVO Pistol with 7" barrel ]
The caliber of my CZ is:  [all are 9mm]
My CZ has the following changes:  [P-01 13# hammer spring, extended firing pin, CGW hammer, SR Kit -; P-07 CGW SR Kit, 19# hammer spring, extended firing pin; Scorpion: HBI trigger spring kit, ]
I use this CZ in the following ways:  [ all 3:  general plinking, SD - do not carry the scorpion ]
I want ammo accurate at:  [SD distances  - 50 ft]

Components - have indoor range brass pickups, my own and misc. .
I've been reloading for months/years:  [Have not loaded my first cartridge as yet]
Fully describe the maker, weight, and type bullet:  [none yet]
Powder (brand name and load range):  [none yet]
Primer:  [none yet ]
My Cartridge Over-All Length is:  [ ]
Or, if your issue is with Factory ammo, just plainly state what it is  [ Have done a good deal of Federal Am Eagle 115 & 124 gr]

Reloading Equipment
Press brand and type:  [Lee Classic 4-Position Turret kit, mostly not unwrapped]
Dies:  [Lee 4-die carbide set]
Scale:  [Frankford Arsenal DS-750] - also the balance from my new kit
Powder Measure:  [Lee Auto-Drum from kit]
Do you have access to a chronograph?  [N]

Other Info
Exactly what is your load data and where did you get it?  [Lee Book in the Kit, LoadBooks 9mm book ordered from Amazon]
What load manual do you use?  [see above - no centerfolds]
Where are you located - Central Ohio Is your locale in your profile- yes ]

Problem Area
No problems - just want to get started at a good point for my (3) CZ children.

I'd love to be able to compile recommended starting points coming from folks with a variety of amounts of experience.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 07:28:07 PM by CCW-Ohio »

Online Wobbly

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 06:49:37 PM »
Welcome Aboard !

For general plinking and distance target practice, you're going to want to set up just as you would for pistol competition. And that's a good thing because you might want to try your hand at one of those pistol events when your reloading starts to mature.

Press Mounting: You'll want your press mounted on a VERY sturdy surface, and in a very well-lit area. I wouldn't build a bench just yet because all your ideas are going to change over the next 6 months. You might look at the Inline Fabrication press mounts because they really help. Your press and work area is really the place to start. WalMart has some really nice LED lamps that look like 4 ft florescent for right at $20.

Bullets: You want good plated or jacketed. My favorites are the Berry 124gr Hollow Base RN. Buy them from Graf&Sons, Powder Valley, TJ Connevera or one of their other distributors. Probably want to by about 500. There are better bullets, but you're getting into much higher quantities to get them at a good price... so hold off on that.

Powder: Pretty much the standard starting is Win 231 which is also sold as Hodgdon HP-38. It meters well, has a wide load range, hard to double charge, very forgiving, and gives good results. An equal to those is Alliant Sport Pistol. SP is a little newer and does have a slight edge. But that's 3 powders to look for locally. Just buy 1 lb to start. That's enough for about 1500 loads, so you won't run out.

Primers: I like US made primers, but there are certainly good European primers too. The best is Federal #100, but I'd start with 1000 Winchester WSP. In a local store that's about $35-$39. Some are offering rebates, and sales are on all over the place. With a modified hammer or firing pin you might have issues igniting CCI, which are easier to find. Just get a box locally. You won't need Magnum, just standard Small Pistol Primers.

Dies: Your 4th die may be a Lee Factory Crimp Die, which may cause as much trouble as it solves. In my forth position I prefer the Lee Taper Crimp Die which sells for about $13. The FCD may be useful in a 'straight wall cartridge', but 9mm is tapered and that's where the problems creep in.

Case Lube: You'll want some type of case lube. It really helps with the sizing operation, and helps you keep your OAL variation low. Hornady One Shot is easy to find. Lay your ready-to-load cases on their side (try not to lube the case insides) and lightly spray them once. Then dump them into a large baggie for 24 hours. The solvent must evaporate for it to work well. People who complain don't give them time to cure.

Press Lube: Some case lubes do a a good job of lubing the press too. It's dry wax and generally attracts less dust and dirt than oil. The wax definitely shuts down rust.

Kinetic Hammer: You'll be unloading a lot of your first rounds. Buy a good one, like RCBS or Lyman.


That about does it.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2019, 07:47:27 PM by Wobbly »
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Online Wobbly

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 08:07:44 PM »
More...

1. Get a notebook. Keep a notebook. Use a notebook !!

2. This is a good read.... https://czfirearms.us/index.php?topic=59920.0

 ;)
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline CCW-Ohio

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 08:53:46 PM »
Feel like I'm heading in the right direction. I was reading the first-year experience thread last night....

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2019, 09:04:45 PM »
So far my best (reliable feeding, ejection and accuracy) are with 115 grain bullets.  I reload hollow points and buy factory (Federal) 115 grain FMJ.

I use a very slow burning powder for my reloads.  No way to double charge a case with it.  It requires more powder (less loaded rounds per pound of powder) but, it's accurate as can be and the bullet isn't poking along on it's way to the target either.

Can't say there aren't several different slower burning powders that will insure you don't double charge a case while learning the right things to be vigilant about, and there could be more that will give you good groups.  So far I've tried some other powders for plinking loads but nothing shoots groups like that 115 grain hollow point (Precision Delta bullets or the 115 grain hollow points from Everglades Ammo sells them).

A lot of folks here also like 124 grain hollow points for accurate loads in their CZ pistols.  So far I've not found any loads for 147 grain bullets, or even factory loaded 147 grain ammo,  that shoots good groups in my CZ pistols.

I don't have a scorpion.  I do have a couple of AR15 9mm carbines and both shoot the 115 grain hollow point loads my CZ pistols like very well.  Again, function and accuracy are what I look for.

I've got some 124's to try, just bought a different brand the other day.  Just need to get them loaded up with some different powders/charge weights.

One thing to keep in mind is the chamber on many/most CZ 9MM pistols will require deeper bullet seating than some other brands.  Be sure you do some "plunk" testing to find out what you can do with your pistol.

Inspection of components at steps during the reloading process, inspection of your reloading equipment/process, inspection of the loads rounds and not getting distracted while loading is very important.

I may have the same reloading set up you do.  I'd recommend buying a die plate for each caliber, setting up the dies and locking them down in the plate.  That eliminates any set up variances one reloading session to the next.

I don't use mine as a progressive type unit.  I took all that out and just use it by manually turning the plate and doing the reloading steps in batches.

I resize a batch of brass.  Could be a 100, could be 400.  I inspect the brass after cleaning/before resizing.  While resizing, be ready to inspect a piece of brass if anything feels or sounds different.

Then I prime that batch of brass.  I might only do 100 (for a couple boxes of brass) or I might do more.  Again, you can feel something that goes wrong when you're priming.  Oh, I use a hand priming tool and have for so many years I don't even know where the press mounting priming stuff/parts are anymore.  I look/feel the brass/primers to make sure they are correctly installed.

Then I charge the cases with powder.  Some powder feeds/meters very uniformly/consistently from a good powder measure.  Some won't and there's nothing you can do to the powder measure to make it work better (if you need consistency).  For those powders I use an electronic powder measure/scale to get consistency.  I use a small flashlight to look into each case (there's 50 of them in a tray) and make sure they have powder and are consistent in amount of powder.  You'd be surprised how well you eyes/brain can see small differences in powder level in the case.  If I see one that looks to have more/less powder than another I weigh the powder charge on the scale. 

I weigh 1 charge from every 10 in the cases.  So 5 weighed for every 50 charged.  If I don't find 5 that look wrong I pick enough random one to total up the 5 I need for every 5.

Then I seat the bullets (and crimp the case mouths) a lot of people do this in two separate steps.  I never had a need to do that.  Again, pay attention to the way things feel and if something doesn't feel right/feels different, stop and investigate for the cause.

Keep a reloading log book.  I record date, caliber, primer used, powder and amount used, bullet used, cartridge over all length, when I measure it and how many rounds I loaded.  I then write all that down on a separate piece of paper and put it in the container with the loaded ammo so I know what it is and how long it's been there when I open the can/jar/bottle/jug up.

When I work up loads I choose a powder, based on what I have on hand, or what I read on the internet, and what I see in the reloading data and I start at the starting load and work up in 0.2 grain increments.  Then I go to the range and try it out to see what gives me good groups and functioning.

Be careful.  Be attentive to what you do, what you see and what you hear - and how it feels as you do it.  Ask questions here when you need to.  If you feel something is wrong, stop and start again later when you find out what was wrong (if anything) and feel you've overcome the issue and can finish while making good ammo.

You can make ammo that will shoot better in you guns than any factory ammo you can buy.  I've been trying to make a new 2.0 M&P 5" 9MM shoot better.  I told you the load my CZ 9mm pistols shoot so well (well, sort of, 115 grain bullets and a slow burning powder many people would never consider for 9MM loads).  Shooting that ammo in the M&P is a waste of time.  So I've bought Winchester, Federal and Remington factory ammo for it.  In weights from 115 to 147 grain.  FMJ and hollow points.  The M&P did it's best (not as good as my good CZ's) with factory Winchester 124 grain FMJ (NATO) ammo.  Part of testing is shooting all that ammo in a known good shooting CZ 9MM and none of it shot as well as my 115 grain hollow points or the Federal 115 grain FMJ factory ammo (that's why I buy the Federal stuff, it shoot so well in my CZ's).

Start slow, pay attention - and the final piece of advice in this post - I have never had the best groups from the maximum charge loads listed in the reloading books.  Just haven't.  Not with pistols or rifles.  The best groups are usually 150 fps or so slower than the fastest (highest pressure) loads.  Oh, the M&P may end up being an exception to that experience as the NATO ammo is usually pretty fast.  I bought a different powder to use when working up the 124 grain loads for the M&P.
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Offline tdogg

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 10:52:28 PM »
Welcome, this forum is one of the reasons I started reloading.  There is a wealth of knowledge here and folks are really helpful when needed.

I'd second Wobbly's recommendations.  Especially Sport Pistol.  It's cheap, accurate, economical, and meters really well.

Your going to want a good set of calipers.  I prefer non digital variants, you don't have to worry about the batteries dying at the most inopportune time.

You'll also appreciate a dedicated powder funnel.  This will aid in returning powder to the jug when finished as well as when filling the powder measure.  I have a few but any small (3-4 inch) funnel will do.

Good lighting is really important.  I started making my own press mounted LED lights.  They really help see what your doing and make it easy to inspect for powder during loading.

Finally, I keep an electronic logbook in Excel.  It has my load data and my shooting data.  I can keep track of components shot and round counts on each gun.  I backup my e-log on an external drive so as to not loose the data.  It would really be a shame at this point.

Read the stickies at the top of this forum.  There is a ton of info there to help you get started.  Once your ready, post up any final lingering questions and we can help you get it sorted.

Cheers,
Toby

Online Wobbly

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2019, 05:48:50 AM »
• A very good slower burning powder is Alliant BE-86. We have lots of test data on that too.

• I prefer a digital caliper. Most useful is the 6 inch length. I own and use dial and vernier type calipers, but the digital is simply quick and easy. And you can do tricks with the digital, like zeroing at any length, the others can't do. The $12 version from Harbor Freight is the same as everyone else's $30 version. The Chinese batteries only last a week, but once you install the pink bunny rabbit's version you'll be OK.

 ;)
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2019, 06:18:37 AM »
Now I have to go look up BE86 info.  Going to a big gun store Sunday morning and might have to buy a pound to try out.
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 12:45:57 PM »
When testing for accuracy, performance, ALWAYS use the same headstamp brass!  All brass is NOT the same.

If it looks like brass cases - check with a magnet - there are brass PLATED steel cases.

If there is a "step" inside the brass (freedom munitions crap) - it is scrap!

Oh yea - notebook for all results.

And in case no one else mentioned it...
  Log all of your results!   :o  Oh wait - I did mention that already....oh well- get the hint?   ::)
Some trust in chassis, Some in Horsepower, But we trust in the Lord our God.

If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.

Online Wobbly

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2019, 08:03:05 PM »
If it looks like brass cases - check with a magnet - there are brass PLATED steel cases.




If there is a "step" inside the brass (freedom munitions crap) - it is scrap!




 ;)
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline George16

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2019, 11:28:44 PM »
Using a notebook is ancient technology  :P O0.

Buy a pro chrono with the Bluetooth interface so you can upload all your info directly into your phone instead of writing it down individually into your notebook. Then you can transfer all the info from your phone to your iPad/laptop/desktop and download the numbers into an excel document.

Online Wobbly

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2019, 05:50:15 AM »
Using a notebook is ancient technology  :P O0.


Hey now ! I represent that remark !   ;D
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Immature reloaders ask: What's wrong with this gun?
Mature reloaders ask: What did I do wrong?

Check out my reloading equipment for sale CLICK HERE

Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2019, 07:19:26 AM »
Using a notebook is ancient technology  :P O0.


Hey now ! I represent that remark !   ;D

I do both - my phone attaches to the chrono.  I download everything to the computer.  I massage it into a spreadsheet (each string of shots) which INCLUDES a picture of the target.  Then I print off the better ones and place them in a 3-ring binder for quick and easy reference.  I access the 3-ring binder frequently.
Some trust in chassis, Some in Horsepower, But we trust in the Lord our God.

If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.

Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2019, 08:52:41 AM »
The battery in my notebook has never died at a crucial time.  I admit the data in it is several years old and it has room for several more years.  It won't get traded in.  It won't get a virus.  Dropping it won't break it.

My Coupe has all that voice control stuff in it.  I have never used it.  My wife always sets her new car up to use all that and yeah, it's cool but I haven't "needed" it yet.

I made a move from steel framed pistols to polymer framed pistols, okay?  I'm resting there now before I think about moving forward farther in the technology game. ;D
I stopped carrying the SIG 556R.  SIG changed models and couple/three times and stopped supporting it with parts.  So, I stopped supporting SIG.  Back to the tried/true AR15 Carbine.

Offline Dan_69GTX

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Re: Good Starting Place Considering What I shoot?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2019, 09:12:37 AM »
M1A4ME - I think you got the right idea.

Hopefully your notebook doesn't reboot too often!  I hate it when the pages stick together.   Plastic screen protectors help with that!

 ;D :o O0
Some trust in chassis, Some in Horsepower, But we trust in the Lord our God.

If it goes "boom" or "vroom" I'm intersted.