Author Topic: New to reloading questions  (Read 898 times)

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Offline DeltaGray

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2020, 04:44:41 PM »
I guessed that there would be a reply regarding case lube.  Wobbly responded. I have used Imperial Die Wax if name is still correct and maybe sold by Redding and/or other companies in later years.  Rifle cases should be lubed for reasons.  For me, that meant to make the sizing process "smoother", avoid scratches and also not get stuck cases.  Dies and die brands may vary but Wobbly provides good answers. I would say to inspect every 9mm case. No charge for that free comment.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2020, 08:07:35 AM »
I took the tube of Lee Case lube and cut it with some Iso-Heet fuel treatment (high %IPA) and put it in a old spray bottle.  It will separate, so you have to shake it before use but it works well and the IPA evaporates fast leaving a thin film of lube behind.  It took me years to use that homemade lube up.  I finally did and now use Hornady One Shot for all my pistol reloading.  I use Imperial sizing wax for all bottle neck sizing.

I have used Imperial Die Wax if name is still correct and maybe sold by Redding and/or other companies in later years.  Rifle cases should be lubed for reasons.  For me, that meant to make the sizing process "smoother", avoid scratches and also not get stuck cases. 

The clear, viscous liquid by RCBS works good too. In truth, even the lowest form of sizing lube will do a great job on straight wall pistol cases. The idea is to smooth out the press operations to an extent that cartridge OAL variations start to disappear. And that place is easier to get to when the Sizing operation offers less resistance.

 ;)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 08:17:06 AM by Wobbly »
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Offline Duke Nukem

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2020, 12:55:21 PM »
Rather than start a new thread with a "new to reloading question", I'll add one I've been wondering about: Starting loads.

I understand that max loads are determined by maximum safe pressure using a test barrel, and I keep hearing that the starting load would be the max minus 10%.  Many manufacturers don't specify a starting load, though.  I noticed the other day that on the Vihta Vuori site one page mentioned backing off 15% from max load for a starting point.  My question is how low can you go?  I have heard that a severely under filled cartridge can also result in overpressure, but can I safely explore the area around -10%, or is that absolute?

Specific example: I'm using Alliant Sport Pistol powder with 124 gr. fmj bullets for 9mm.  If I recall correctly, Alliant says max load for that combination is 4.5 grains.  Backing off 10% puts me starting at 4.05 grains, so to stay within safe range I used 4.1 to start.  My best groups within that small range are with 4.1 and 4.2, but I wonder what 4.0 would do, or if 15% down is safe (I didn't hear that from Alliant), then 3.8 gr. or 3.9 gr. of powder.   

What would be signs of too little powder?  Failure to cycle properly?  Not ejecting the cases very far?  The gun blows up?  Am I courting disaster by even thinking along these lines?  I've seen the chart that Wobbly posted with the pressure curve, and it looks like there is a lower limit, but there seems to be less talk about that then the upper limit.

Offline bang bang

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2020, 01:06:30 PM »
welcome,

you got alot of great info.

but i would use a spreadsheet if you can for your "reloaders notebook".    That way you can make it wider or narrower and add/delete rows/columns as you need.

a pad is great, but its limited in size.   You can always get a cheap/used laptop if you want and keep it near your bench.

As far as what to start out with, consider...

 > why you are getting into reloading.  So, if you want to consider cost of a component or components.  If you find a bullet thats cheap why not use it?  but ask yourself, will it be accurate for your needs?  Or can you use it for your plinking/range rounds?

 > powered?   I like to buy and try.  Everyone will have their own favorite like a car, woman, dog and so forth. Does that mean it will be yours?  Again, its why i buy and try.  It wont be a years wages to buy 1 lb of powder to try.  And then you may find that if it doesnt work great in 1 caliber/round it may work great in a different one.

 > good luck

Offline Wobbly

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2020, 02:38:44 PM »
Rather than start a new thread with a "new to reloading question", I'll add one I've been wondering about: Starting loads.

I understand that max loads are determined by maximum safe pressure using a test barrel, and I keep hearing that the starting load would be the max minus 10%.  Many manufacturers don't specify a starting load, though.  I noticed the other day that on the Vihta Vuori site one page mentioned backing off 15% from max load for a starting point.  My question is how low can you go?  I have heard that a severely under filled cartridge can also result in overpressure, but can I safely explore the area around -10%, or is that absolute?

Specific example: I'm using Alliant Sport Pistol powder with 124 gr. fmj bullets for 9mm.  If I recall correctly, Alliant says max load for that combination is 4.5 grains.  Backing off 10% puts me starting at 4.05 grains, so to stay within safe range I used 4.1 to start.  My best groups within that small range are with 4.1 and 4.2, but I wonder what 4.0 would do, or if 15% down is safe (I didn't hear that from Alliant), then 3.8 gr. or 3.9 gr. of powder.   

What would be signs of too little powder?  Failure to cycle properly?  Not ejecting the cases very far?  The gun blows up?  Am I courting disaster by even thinking along these lines?  I've seen the chart that Wobbly posted with the pressure curve, and it looks like there is a lower limit, but there seems to be less talk about that then the upper limit.

I don't know a lot, but glad to share what little there is...

• There are a few powders that have have very strict rules. Maybe just a handful. For some it is absolutely no compressed loads; for others it might be highly controlled load ranges.

H110 (aka Win 296) is one that is just as dangerous too low as too high. Glad I don't use H110 ! For powders like this, the range is usually spelled out very clearly. They don't want to leave anything to chance.

My assumption at this point is that it's the Nitroglycerin content that's the culprit. That compound is widely understood to be unstable, but it's also in smokeless powders. This is what makes most powders Double-based. So I think the VihtaVuori powders can go down 15% simply because their N300 series has Zero nitroglycerin. In other words they are Single-base powders. Having no "nitro" makes the powder burn cooler and behave in a less "edgy" fashion. Thus the 15% allowance.

• For those, like Sport Pistol, where just the top end is posted the rule of thumb is to drop by 10% (or multiply by 0.9 ), but I assume you can actually go lower. Two things will happen... 1. Your auto pistol slide will cease to function and feed properly. (Some of which can be corrected by springs.) 2. You'll simply get to a place where the powder can't burn efficiently, and you'll get a black, sooty residue inside the cartridge case and inside the gun. At that point you're wasting powder, and should simply be using the next faster powder.

More evidence is found in the fact that I'm using Sport Pistol in 38Spcl loads. If any case is "cavernous" and would promote poor burn characteristics, then it would certainly be the 38Spcl !!

We have talked a lot about inefficient combustion. It happens with all "fuels"... how inefficient burns produce soot as a response.


Hope this little bit helps.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 02:44:54 PM by Wobbly »
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Offline Duke Nukem

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2020, 07:46:38 PM »
I don't know a lot, but glad to share what little there is...

Hope this little bit helps.  ;)

Thanks, that helps a lot!  I know it's considered safe to stick within published guidelines, but there's a lot of empty space there.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 01:29:15 PM by Wobbly »

Offline DeltaGray

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2020, 06:56:18 AM »
For Duke Nukem: I liked what Wobbly said about percentage start loads relative even to different powder characteristics.  You have received some good input.  Written notes paper or electronic is good for you to keep as mentioned by others. I think of safety so be careful when changing components such as primer brands, projectile type without a heavy discussion about pressure issues.  Sport Pistol is new for me to test and will try in 9mm first with jacketed. 

Offline black43

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2020, 09:30:34 AM »
Question on the decapping and resizing die.. seems like a real PITA. I’ve torqued the top nut really tight but it seems to still slip a little bit and pin is above flush every so slightly.  No problems with ejecting old primers. My only question/concern is the resizing.. is the decapping independent from the resizing? I.e. if that pin isn’t flush on top, will it cause the resizing to be off? I’ve run some of my dummy rounds into the barrel and cycled them and there seems to be no problems but just wanted to be sure as this is all new to me.

I’ve set up all of the dies except the powder die. I’m going to do that soon. Lots of “dummy rounds” and getting my dies precise. I think I’m very consistently around 1.130 and the TCD seems to be pretty consistent to .377 as well. Other than the powder die and my question above, I think I’m pretty close to being ready.

I don’t have anywhere to try out my reloads since everything is closed where I’m located, so my plan for the next few days is to make batches of 10 dummy rounds and take measurements. From the bullets I’ve pulled, I have a very faint line of them so I think the taper crimp is dialed in well.

Any advice for a good resource on the auto-drum powder measure in the lee classic turret? I’m going to the instructions first, but maybe there’s a good video on YouTube.

Also anyone with the LCT press have maintenance suggestions? I just took some gun oil and went over all of the metal that touches other metal and wiped down a light coating over everything else. And how about the dies? When will I know it’s time to clean them and how to clean them?

Thanks in advance.

Offline tdogg

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2020, 10:37:28 AM »
Black,

The sizing and decapping are in the same die but are separate semi independent operations.

You set the sizing depth by adjusting the die up or down.   For pistol sizing, the die should be all the way down just shy if the case holder.   A piece of paper is a good shim when setting it.

The decapping pin needs to be able to release in the event you try a decap a berdan primed brass (or any other type of obstruction).  The decapping pin does not need to be flush with the top.   In fact the thickness of the webbing in the case head varies slightly by manufacturer and it will self set its depth of the decapping pin in use.   Additionally, you could remove the decapping pin all together and still size brass (for when you purchase primed pull down brass that you feel needs to be resized).  Regardless if the decapping pin is removing the primers when sizing it's working as intended.

If you have set your taper crimp with an unflared case (has not been through the expander die) then chances are you will have to set it again.  The flare operation at the powder through expansion step will open up the mouth of the die to accept the bullet at seating.  This flare will impact your taper crimp setting and you will need to tune/set it again.

I highly recommend setting the dies in order of use as that will ensure your brass is representative of the actual process it will see during loading.

Cheers,
Toby

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 11:44:41 AM by tdogg »

Offline Wobbly

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2020, 02:05:06 PM »
Question on the decapping and resizing die.. seems like a real PITA. I’ve torqued the top nut really tight but it seems to still slip a little bit and pin is above flush every so slightly.  No problems with ejecting old primers. My only question/concern is the resizing.. is the decapping independent from the resizing? I.e. if that pin isn’t flush on top, will it cause the resizing to be off? I’ve run some of my dummy rounds into the barrel and cycled them and there seems to be no problems but just wanted to be sure as this is all new to me.

You must have Lee dies. Not all die brands have those issues. The collet type decapping pin gets dead center (a very good thing), but they can also slip in the collet (not a great thing). Like Mr Dogg said, you do want it to pop up rather than break, but you also want those primers popping out without the decapper sliding up.

All I can say is the adjustment takes 2 wrenches. One on the die body and one on the collet.

The die itself doesn't need to be super-torqued into the die turret. You want the die body to come as close to the shell holder as it can get without actually touching.

I’ve set up all of the dies except the powder die. I’m going to do that soon. Lots of “dummy rounds” and getting my dies precise. I think I’m very consistently around 1.130 and the TCD seems to be pretty consistent to .377 as well. Other than the powder die and my question above, I think I’m pretty close to being ready.

Like the Sizing Die, each of the other dies is doing multiple tasks. The Lee Powder Die is adding powder, expanding and flaring. Expanding is set, but you'll need to move the Powder Die up and down to get the right belling on the case mouth. About 0.010" larger than a std case should do it.

I don’t have anywhere to try out my reloads since everything is closed where I’m located, so my plan for the next few days is to make batches of 10 dummy rounds and take measurements. From the bullets I’ve pulled, I have a very faint line of them so I think the taper crimp is dialed in well.

Yes, and that's exactly what you'll end up with... a faint line in the waist of the bullet. Great !

Any advice for a good resource on the auto-drum powder measure in the Lee Classic Turret? I’m going to the instructions first, but maybe there’s a good video on YouTube.

If there is, it's on Ultimate Reloader.Com ....  https://ultimatereloader.com/lee/

Also anyone with the LCT press have maintenance suggestions? I just took some gun oil and went over all of the metal that touches other metal and wiped down a light coating over everything else. And how about the dies? When will I know it’s time to clean them and how to clean them?

Die care...
• Lubricate the Lee dies because the exterior will rust due to the salt in your finger prints. Gun oil or case lube.

• Maintenance period will depend upon how you clean your cases. If they are freshly tumbled and have just a faint coating of corn cob, then not often. If they come to the press directly from being picked up, then more often. Cleaning excess die lube is not a concern.

• The main reason to clean dies used to be the Alox coated bullets, which built up like ear wax in about the same time period, but coated bullets have almost completely displaced those.


Additional...
We talked about using the Powder Measure a little. Wiping the hopper with anti-static wipes. Using a baffle. Filling the hopper at least half way. Striking the rotor against the body after each movement. Never using the first 10 dumps.

When you adjust the PM I want you to use the "averaging method". That is, if you need 4.1gr, then I want you to dump 10 drops and adjust until you get very close to 41.0gr. That's the best way to set the measure. As was said, there is variation in all things reloading... including the powder drops. So if you are aiming for 4.1gr sometimes you'll get 4.05 and sometimes you'll get 4.15gr. With the averaging method you'll get the measure set as close as can be.


Sounds like things are going very, very well.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 02:13:43 PM by Wobbly »
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Offline George16

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2020, 02:18:25 PM »
Duke Nukem, I have done a lot of load development with sport pistol since it’s now my main powder for competition in USPSA. I shoot it with precision delta’s 124 Gr JHP at 4.0 Gr. I had also used RMR’s 124 Gr match winners using the same amount of powder.

The lowest amount of powder I tried and still cycled my shadow 2, TSO and MPX was 3.64 Gr at 1.125-1.128” using PD 124 Gr JHP. For RMR match winners using the same amount of powder, I had to shorten the OAL to 1.102-1.104” so it’ll work on my shadow 2.

I also tried 3.2 Gr of sport pistol with RMR 147 RN And it was very soft shooting. I didn’t like it though since the dot is too slow to come back compared to the 124’s.

I also tried it on my czechmate with a compensator for bleeps and giggles but I won’t tell you the amount I used  ;D.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 02:29:55 PM by George16 »

Offline black43

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2020, 04:59:03 PM »
I set up the powder measure and did 30 drops and measured each. I didn't adjust the weight of the drop at all, just tried to check for consistency.

1. 3.8
2. 4.0
3. 3.8
4-5. 4.2
6. 4.0
7. 3.8
8-9. 4.2
10-13. 4.0
14-15. 4.4
16-17. 4.2
18-30. 4.4

So by the end, it was consistently 4.4. I wasn't too happy with the cheap made in China scale I bought, so returning that and upgrading. My scale was bouncing between 4.2 and 4.4, for instance. I doubt it's accurate to .1. So, decided the scale is not something to go cheap on, and will repeat this process multiple times with the new scale. As mentioned previously in the thread, using the Lyman data, I'm going to start at 3.9, 4 and 4.1 when I eventually start loading them for real. That will require minor adjustments to the 'key' in the auto-drum powder measure.

Next up is setting up the primer arm.

Offline George16

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2020, 06:59:53 PM »
Op, the Ohaus is a very nice and accurate scale. I use it to verify my digital scale when reloading.

https://www.amazon.com/Ohaus-5-0-2-Reloading-Scale-Metal/dp/B0733LX8V1/ref=sr_1_31?crid=39CSVKIOBXYA5&dchild=1&keywords=ohaus+scale&qid=1585177032&sprefix=Ohaus%2Caps%2C168&sr=8-31


[Extra Note: This scale will also have gem stone pivot points so that the beam is more sensitive, and magnetic dampening to slow the beam down so that a reading is obtained faster.]
« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 07:42:34 AM by Wobbly, Reason: Mods added note »

Offline DMY

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2020, 12:09:38 AM »
Good thread. I have a few more comments to add.

In spite of relolading for about four decades, I'm still learning. For me, reloading makes shooting more interesting and enjoyable. When you get that personal best grouping, it only motivates you to try to get even better.

Second, I used two tubes of RCBS lube in the short, fat, toothpaste-like tube for the first 30 years. Still had plenty left in the second tube, but the plastic was brittle and broke at the wrong end. I guestimate having resized 50,000 cases with the first two tubes. Finally threw it away and bought the water-based squeeze bottle. The latter is about half-full after resizing 30,000 or so cases. I put a lot of cases on my original 40 year old lube pad with  two or three lines of lube. There is usually have enough lube on my glove to only need to use a lubed case from the pad every five to eight csses.

Last comment is to buy a tumbler to clean your brass. Shiny cases are pretty. I've always used dry media. Lately, it's been lizard bedding from Petco, Nu-Finish car polish from Walmart, and a partial, used dryer sheet. I used corn cob for a long time before I realized that Lizard bedding doesn't stick in the primer flash hole and is much cheaper.

Offline DMY

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Re: New to reloading questions
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2020, 12:19:11 AM »
Sorry, three more comments.

I use a RCBS Lil Dandy which uses non-adjustable rotors to measure and throw powder. One would think that the weight of each throw from a fixed volume would be very consistent, at least within one container of a given powder. However, there are slight variations which i theorize is due to temperature and hunidity.

Next, I've read, but cannot confirm, that sometimes florescent lights can throw a digital scale off. I don't think this explains my comment above, because I check my digital scale with a beam scale.

Lastly, good lighting makes reloading easier. Even a white reloading bench top helps.

 

anything