Author Topic: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet  (Read 1789 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jimmaki

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« on: October 12, 2021, 02:51:20 PM »
I just got a slightly used Czechmate + all the original big case goodies (4 mags, spare barrel, comp, c-more, etc.)  I"m planning to go USPSA Open div and am finding out that most of the locals load their own major pf ammo.  I've never reloaded but my research so far led me to get the Hornandy L&L AP on sale at BassPro and while it hasn't arrived yet, I'm trying to get ahead of the curve and order the peripheral stuff to get going as soon as possible.  I've ordered the Lyman manual 50th edition but it isn't much help with some specific questions I have this early in the game.

1. I'd like to make my own 9mm Major PF ammo.  My first instinct after buying the Hornandy AP was to get the Hornandy New Dimensions Series II 3-die set.  What I'm not sure of is if I get the Hornandy PTX die and RCBS Lockout die, will some of the dies in the 3-die set go unused?  Not that much $$ I know, but I think I have much more stuff to buy before I'm happily making ammo.

2. On the bullet set/crimp in one station vs two, does it matter than much, or at all, for 9mm major for USPSA match use?   The L&L has five stations so I'm thinking 1. depin, 1-1/2 prime, 2. PTX bell mouth and powder load, 3. RCBS Lockout die (or is a good led light the way to go?) 4. bullet set (and crimp?) or use 5. for the crimp?

3.  I can't tell for sure but it looks like a shell plate comes with the press, but no telling for what size shells.  I hate to order one for 9mm only to find the one in the box works or fil to order one now and find out later they're out of stock, will ship in 6-8 weeks or whatever.  I have a feeling from watching the Hornandy setup vids, that the shell plate if there is one is for .320? 

4. I've zero'd in the C-more using WWB minor ammo.  Waste of time if I plan to make and use Major PF ammo?  Anyway, the gun is dead nuts at 15 yds and a joy to shoot.  Love it.  I've been reading about cracked slide stop pins, and worse yet, broken peanuts on the barrel, and even worse yet, cracks around the slide stop pin holes in the frame.  Yikes?  Best I can tell the gun is circa 2017-18 vintage.  There's a 33 stamped on the barrel lug.  The serial number starts with a B so I'm hoping I have the new and improved version.  The lug looks like the bigger one with the larger radius.  How do I tell what I have here?  Is there a serial number vintage lookup online?

Well, that's all the dumb question for now.  I know you're all probably sick of answering such elementary questions, but I have spent quite a bit of time even in the 1911 forums where many of the reloaders hang out, but they aren't as friendly as you folks!  (just kiddin! 1911 guys!)   Hey, I have two Gold Cup Match 1911s!

Thanks for any help!

Offline Grendel

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8176
  • 'Live Long, and Prosper'
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2021, 05:09:15 PM »
Incoming!



.
Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges - Tacitus

Inter arma enim silent leges - Cicero

I wasn't born in America, but I got here as fast as I could.

Offline SI VIS PACEM PARRABELLUM

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4800
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2021, 07:05:13 PM »
Take cover!!

Offline tdogg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1943
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 01:53:12 AM »
I just got a slightly used Czechmate + all the original big case goodies (4 mags, spare barrel, comp, c-more, etc.)  I"m planning to go USPSA Open div and am finding out that most of the locals load their own major pf ammo.  I've never reloaded but my research so far led me to get the Hornandy L&L AP on sale at BassPro and while it hasn't arrived yet, I'm trying to get ahead of the curve and order the peripheral stuff to get going as soon as possible.  I've ordered the Lyman manual 50th edition but it isn't much help with some specific questions I have this early in the game.

1. I'd like to make my own 9mm Major PF ammo.  My first instinct after buying the Hornandy AP was to get the Hornandy New Dimensions Series II 3-die set.  What I'm not sure of is if I get the Hornandy PTX die and RCBS Lockout die, will some of the dies in the 3-die set go unused?  Not that much $$ I know, but I think I have much more stuff to buy before I'm happily making ammo.

2. On the bullet set/crimp in one station vs two, does it matter than much, or at all, for 9mm major for USPSA match use?   The L&L has five stations so I'm thinking 1. depin, 1-1/2 prime, 2. PTX bell mouth and powder load, 3. RCBS Lockout die (or is a good led light the way to go?) 4. bullet set (and crimp?) or use 5. for the crimp?

3.  I can't tell for sure but it looks like a shell plate comes with the press, but no telling for what size shells.  I hate to order one for 9mm only to find the one in the box works or fil to order one now and find out later they're out of stock, will ship in 6-8 weeks or whatever.  I have a feeling from watching the Hornady setup vids, that the shell plate if there is one is for .320? 

4. I've zero'd in the C-more using WWB minor ammo.  Waste of time if I plan to make and use Major PF ammo?  Anyway, the gun is dead nuts at 15 yds and a joy to shoot.  Love it.  I've been reading about cracked slide stop pins, and worse yet, broken peanuts on the barrel, and even worse yet, cracks around the slide stop pin holes in the frame.  Yikes?  Best I can tell the gun is circa 2017-18 vintage.  There's a 33 stamped on the barrel lug.  The serial number starts with a B so I'm hoping I have the new and improved version.  The lug looks like the bigger one with the larger radius.  How do I tell what I have here?  Is there a serial number vintage lookup online?

Well, that's all the dumb question for now.  I know you're all probably sick of answering such elementary questions, but I have spent quite a bit of time even in the 1911 forums where many of the reloaders hang out, but they aren't as friendly as you folks!  (just kiddin! 1911 guys!)   Hey, I have two Gold Cup Match 1911s!

Thanks for any help!

1.  I can't support a complete newb starting his loading career loading 9mm major on a progressive press.  I will say that you can start on a progressive assuming you are a detail orientated person that is diligent and thorough.  I'd highly recommend at minimum you start loading standard pressure 9mm initially to get your process and method polished before you even think about trying to load 9 major.  I will also say you need to find a mentor that can help you get setup and running.  You will be overwhelmed at first but with time and practice you will get it sorted.

2.  Most folks would seat the bullet in station 4 and crimp in station 5.  I highly recommend the RCBS lock out die.

3.  I don't think there is a shell plate in the box.  You will also need the powder through expander for each caliber you intend on reloading.  I like the PTX offered by Double Alpha.  It has a Lyman M expander geometry to help the bullet seat straighter.  I don't recall if the LNL AP comes with a PTX powder measure stop?  There are a ton of other items you will need, I'm just trying to recall specifics for the LNL AP.

4.  Your zero point is going to change with different bullets and velocities.  I wouldn't worry about the slide stops, peanut, or frame.  The gun is designed to run major ammo.  Keep the gun sprung proper, replace parts on a schedule, and run the right powder to feed the compensator and you will get many years of trouble free use.  The 2 digit number stamped behind the serial number on the slide is the year of manufacture.

If I were you, I would get a set of 45 ACP dies and start my reloading journey feeding those Gold cup match guns.  Much safer and more forgiving to load for the 45 ACP given it's much lower pressure regime.  You will be able to make very accurate 45 ammo and be much safer as you get up to speed honing the process.

You seem to have done a little research, have you picked up any guides/reloading books?  The ABC's or reloading is good.  The Lyman has a good guide too.  Your not going to find too much reloading data for 9mm Major in any of the data sources (Lyman, Hornady, etc...).

Oh and good luck finding components to be able to reload at all.  Primers are nearly impossible to get right now in my neck of the woods.

Cheers,
Toby
This forum rocks!

Online Earl Keese

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4712
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 05:24:23 AM »
Everything Toby said is accurate. I'll add that it's unlikely the OP will get much support if any in this endeavor. I started out with a progressive but wouldn't have dreamt of starting out trying to load 9major. That's just flirting with disaster. Good luck.

Offline JBruns

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2021, 07:13:12 AM »
2. On the bullet set/crimp in one station vs two, does it matter than much, or at all, for 9mm major for USPSA match use?   The L&L has five stations so I'm thinking 1. depin, 1-1/2 prime, 2. PTX bell mouth and powder load, 3. RCBS Lockout die (or is a good led light the way to go?) 4. bullet set (and crimp?) or use 5. for the crimp?
I don't know much about that gun or that machine, but I am a long time reloader. If you have an extra station and have separate dies for seating and crimping, go that way. But if your die set crimps and seats with one die, no worries there either. IMO, they are equal.

Online Wobbly

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10980
  • Loves the smell of VihtaVuori in the morning !
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2021, 08:05:08 AM »
Toby made some really excellent points, which I will try to underscore with some comments of my own....
1.  I can't support a complete newb starting his loading career loading 9mm major on a progressive press.  I will say that you can start on a progressive assuming you are a detail orientated person that is diligent and thorough.  I'd highly recommend at minimum you start loading standard pressure 9mm initially to get your process and method polished before you even think about trying to load 9 major.  I will also say you need to find a mentor that can help you get setup and running.  You will be overwhelmed at first but with time and practice you will get it sorted.
I can't support a novice starting on 9Major with ANY press! Here's what you don't see when you get all enthused watching those videos...
  • Correct. 99.7% of that ammo is hand loaded because 9Major will destroy a normal CZ
  • All the 9Major guys have been loading for generally 10+ years
  • You'll also need a chrono to measure bullet velocities
  • To use a chrono you need to be a GC member, or have your own private range
  • And as mentioned you'll need to have your own cashe of pre-2020 reloading supplies. More on that below.
Even starting on regular power 9mm, you're going to have an accident. There's about 10 ways this can happen. You need to be the type to sit back and analyse, learn, and modify your loading process. Lots of videos out there about 'starting to reload', not many showing the very steep learning curve, the huge outlay of cash, and the extremely real dangers this can entail.

Standard 9mm Luger is already a "high pressure" cartridge, and plenty dangerous on its own. Toby was right when he suggested starting with 45ACP. Standard 45ACP is about half the chamber pressure of standard 9mm.

2.  Most folks would seat the bullet in station 4 and crimp in station 5.  I highly recommend the RCBS lock out die.
Process is EVERYTHING. Having the need to even ask this question shows me how ill-prepared you really are.

4.  Oh and good luck finding components to be able to reload at all.  Primers are nearly impossible to get right now in my neck of the woods.
Most guys feel lucky to find 300 SP primers. Where will you find 5000 ? (And you'll most likely need Small Rifle Primers for 9Major, which are even harder to find.) You'll need a huge stash to start because of all the testing involved. Then there's the VERY specific powders you'll need to use. On top of all that is all the brass you'll be running through. It's not unheard of for 9Major brass is distorted to the point that it can't be reloaded, which means you'll need a double pile simply to start.


I'm enthused about your dream. I'd really like to be more supportive, but in each direction I look I simply see huge barriers.

All the best.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 10:02:03 AM by Wobbly »
In God we trust; On 'Starting Load' we rely.

Ask me about used Dillon reloading equipment.

Offline George16

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2021, 08:59:42 AM »
Everything that was said previously is right on so I’m not going to rehash on those.However, there are ways to reload 9major ammo safely. I load and shoot 9major ammo for my two czechmates but before doing so, I had been loading regular 9mm, .45acp, .223 and .308 for awhile. All the safety precautions apply and more so for 9major since the loads are not listed on reloading manuals. You also need to have a chronograph and know the telltale signs of over pressure.

9major is way past the max loads listed for a paricular combination of bullets, powder and OAL. This is what makes it so dangerous. If you want to know more about loading for 9major, I recommend you to become a member of the Brian Enos forum. It’s a forum mainly used by competition shooters and have a dedicated sub forum for loading 9/.38 ammo to include 9 major.

If I were you though, I’d just buy 9major ammo from Everglades for now while learning how to reload. Just make sure you let them know that you’ll be using the major ammo on your czechmate. By the way, are your barrels reamed or stock? This is important because Everglades ammo OAL might be too long for your barrels.

Here’s a link to Everglades 9major ammo.
https://www.evergladesammo.com/9mm-major-power-factor-124gr-jhp-ammo-new-50.html

Good luck and enjoy your czechmate.

Offline SoCal

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 423
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2021, 09:31:56 AM »
another source of 9 MM major ammo.

https://atlantaarms.com/search.php?search_query=9%20M%20major&section=product

76Highboy Reloading on U-Tube does EXHAUSTING tutorials on the LnL.  Way too long but covers lots of tips for the beginner.
If I had known how much better being retired is than working I would have done it FIRST.

Offline jimmaki

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2021, 11:19:45 AM »
I want to thank everyone for your very thoughtful replies.  Yes, most of the marketers selling reloading equipment of course fail to mention any self-defeating drawbacks and dangers to using their wares by the uninitiated.  I also am now finding out that sourcing the expendables, like primers, is reminiscent of finding toilet paper during the first round of pandemic shortages; hard to find, and when found, in limited supply, rationed and overpriced.  As Yogi would say ... "It's like deja vu all over again."

I ordered some 9mm major from Everglades last week, I'll call them right away to make sure what they send (if it's not already shipped) will work in my Czechmate.  Thanks for that warning.  Also many thanks for the lead to Atlanta Arms.  I think I checked them out a while ago but will revisit their current prices/availability.

I joined the Brian Eno forum and will seek out help there as well.  Thanks for the pointer.

I haven't been notified by Bass Pro that the Hornandy LNL AP is ready for pickup yet.  I'm thinking the $70 I saved on their 10% + $10 one-day-only-sale plus 4% cash back is not worth rushing into this, so I'm grateful for everyone taking the time to offer them opinions and am going to take your advice and slow down the train to think things through and look at alternatives.  Bass Pro will hold the press for 30 days at that price before returning it to stock and refunding all my money.  In the meantime I will try to find a local mentor in the the gun club where I am a member, hopefully one who has a lot of experience reloading 9mm Major. 

I'm not discouraged so don't read anything negative into this reply other than gratefulness for your candid warnings giving me new perspectives I failed to appreciate.  As the saying goes ... just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should.  Maybe my main failing is falling for the marketing hype.

I'll let you know where I end up.  Thanks again all!  Great forum and members here!

 
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 11:24:08 AM by jimmaki »

Offline George16

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1402
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2021, 01:30:48 PM »
I would also highly recommend throating/reaming your barrels so you can load longer OAL. Having the barrels reamed/throated allows for more flexibility in ammo choices.

You can pm MemphisMechanic over at the Enos forum for reaming your barrels. He did the barrels of my czechmate and I can load up to 1.175” OAL (I load at 1.165” OAL for my 9 major ammo using 124 Gr Precision Delta JHP and either AA7 or Shooters World Major pistol). He did a great job on my barrels, had a very quick turnaround and cheap too since the czechmate barrels are not hardened like the shadow 2 barrel.

I would also recommend you to go to a match or two and ask for guidance and tips from open shooters. They are always willing to help out a fellow shooter and competitor.

Offline tdogg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1943
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2021, 02:41:45 PM »
The Hornady LNL AP is a fine press.  It is fully capable of loading most all your needs, assuming your shooting volumes are in line with the time you want to spend reloading.  If you are shooting 10k per month, you may want to consider higher volume equipment.  You have to decide what you are willing to spend based on how much you intend on shooting.  Everyone has to start somewhere, most don't start right off the bat on a progressive.  It is completely doable though, you just need a mentor to help you get up and running.

Cheers,
Toby

This forum rocks!

Offline lewmed

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
  • 135th & 240th AHC Vietnam 1967-1968
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2021, 04:10:41 PM »
There are many firearms forums but this one is by far the best.  I wish you good luck on your endeavor take it slow and stay safe.

Offline armoredman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19303
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2021, 08:49:36 PM »
I would have heartily recommended a single stage for starting out, for certain, but since you already have the progressive, PLEASE go very slow and check every station often. This is where the little details will trip you up, like checking cases for those stupid internally stepped brass, or AMERC brass, (pitch it),or Perfecta, (pitch it), etc. I doubt you could have chosen a worse time to get into reloading, but more power to you and we will do what we can to help! MidwayUSA sometimes has primers - sign up for alerts on their site. Pricey, at $75 per thou plus haz mat, but not as proud as Brownells at $125 per thou. Haunt your local gun shops that carry reloading supplies - you'd be surprised who does, as CAL Ranch does down here and that was where I scored some primers and powder recently.
Please e careful when trying to make Major with a 9mm, as it will destroy the gun. Might I suggest buying a 38 Super? However, please ask all questions you have, we love people who want to lear from those of us who know things, (not indcld9ing me, I know nothing!), and good luck...

Now, what is with the dragon and the cathedral?

Online Earl Keese

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4712
Re: So new to reloading I don't know what I don't know yet
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2021, 09:02:10 PM »
Mr. A - he's wanting to load for a Czechmate so 38 Super is no bueno.