Author Topic: New reloading setup and bullet questions  (Read 9600 times)

Offline JC2

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New reloading setup and bullet questions
« on: January 11, 2013, 02:34:53 AM »
Well all I decided to get a reloader even though the last time I did any was with my dad 30 years ago and I surely don’t remember much (plus he was the expert, I was just the third set of hands). I’ve hunted for years but normally just grab a box of whatever is on the shelf that fits my particular weapon.
I must admit I jumped into this because of my doom and gloom belief with everything negative going on about gun control, however, this is also something I’ve wanted to get into. I am still overseas and don’t expect to be home for a few more months but I would like to have everything I need once I get home, plus the sooner the better as it is fitting my doom and gloom mentality?
With that said, here is what I’ve bought so far (all through amazon):

Hornady Reloading Book
Hornady Lock N Load Auto-Progressive Reloading Press
Hornady Lock N Load Case Prep Center
Hornady Lock N Load Powder Measure
Hornady Shellplate Lock N Load AP 45
Hornady Pistol Rotor & Metering Assembly
Hornady .45 ACP/AR/Winchester Mag Pistol Dies(Series II Three-Die Set
Hornady 223 Remington Custom Grade Reloading Dies(Series I Two-Die Set)"
Hornady Electronic Scale
Hornady Improve Shell Plate (17 Remington, 17/222, 17/223, 220VT., 20 Tactical, 204 Ruger, 221 Remington, 222 Remington, 222 Remington Mag., 5.6X50 Ma)


This is what I have that I will reload for:

Pistol (defense)
45 ACP
45 long (use with judge)
380 Auto

Rifle (varmint and deer)
223
30/06
30/40

Now for the question. What bullets? That part has blown me away. I understand FMJ and HP, I also understand grains (somewhat) but when I went on cheaperthandirt – holy cow, not to mention lots of the bullets reflected “out of stock”. One site I saw Cooter mention in a post was completely down.
I figure I don’t need a lot of fancy types of bullets, mostly fmj and a bit of hollow point for self defense.
I think I’m just to the point of what is the part number on cheaperthandirt I need to buy.
Its ridiculous, for example, when I look at the 223, there are 222, 223, 224 and it seems as if the 224 is the bullet I need but if that is the case WTF do they call it a 223 for. 380 seems to come in .355 – really, the same size as a 9mm but a smaller grain I think.

Anyway, any assistance would be great. Thanks.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 03:18:21 AM »
You need to start off by reading your Hornady Reloading Book.  Don't just flip through it.  Actually read it.  If you have to wait until you get back to the U.S., I'd recommend reading an eBook on reloading while you're there.  At least to help you understand the principles.

You're correct on the .380 being confusing.  Here are some of the names it is known by:

"Other names for .380 ACP include .380 Auto, 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, and 9×17mm. It is not to be confused with .38 ACP or 9mm Luger."  -Wikipedia

I would add that it is also not to be confused with 9x18mm, 9x19mm, 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Makarov.  Just to clarify....

Offline CopperKnight

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 07:30:11 AM »
When you check the reloading book under the specific caliber you are reloading it will give you the exact size.  It appears your .223 is indeed a .224 bullet and yes, the .380 is a .355 bullet; the upper end of the acceptable bullet grains (which as you figured out is a measure of weight) for a .380 is the lower end of the range for the 9mm cartridge.

As for why the cartridges are named as they are, Jack did a pretty good show on that a while back.  The reasons range from a company wanting it's own name and size on a cartridge to changing the size in the name just so it isn't confused with something else and every other reason in between.

ETA: Oh, and my first press was a Lock N Load.  It's a good press.  My main frustration was running out of locking rings for ease of use and not being able to close the die case when I left the rings on.  Minor gripes for a good press.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2013, 07:34:37 AM »
I agree, read the book and figure out what loads you want before you buy any powder, primer, or bullets.  Then just follow the recipe!

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2013, 08:10:34 AM »
Another quick tip.  Reloading as a beginner is not the time to get creative.  Follow the recipe.  You want to work up "improved" loads or develop wildcat cartridges, then wait until you have 10 or more years of experience.  Always stay below the maximum recommended powder charge.  Preferably well below it.  Especially important when working up a load for the first time.

Offline ag2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2013, 08:30:31 AM »
Read this book a couple of times.
http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading-Definitive-Novice-Expert/dp/1440213968

Do not load your own defensive rounds.  The rounds you carry should be off the shelf and, for liability reasons, keep the box that your defensive rounds came in until they are gone.

For pistol calibers, consider cast lead for training/plinking rounds (out of a rifled barrel, not polygonal).  These are often less expensive, especially when you can find a local guy who casts them.

Offline Luvmy45

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 12:27:01 PM »
Excellent advice given so far... the best one is READ THE BOOK!!!!

I would get 2 additional dies for your kit.

Taper crimp die for you semi-auto pistol loads... DO NOT ROLL CRIMP semi-auto reloads... DO ROLL CRIMP revolver loads.

Lee Factory Crimp Die for you .223, if you are reloading for an AR type platform, if your loading for a bolt gun, not needed, but not bad to have.

For starters get the following if you can find it.

For 223:
55gr FMJBT type bullets.. .224 as you noted
These are your basic all around bullets and should be the cheapest to buy. And a good starting point.

For 45 ACP:
230gr RN are the basic all around bullet to start with, if your loading for a semi auto pistol, I would start with the 230gr. Lead, Plated or Full Metal Jacket FMJ are fine. (I would start with the plated, as they are less messy and cheaper than FMJ (Berry's Bullets is a good starting place)

Start with those 2 loads and get them working then you'll have a good feel for what you are doing and can tackle the other cabilbers in your arsenal.

Cheaper than dirt is not cheaper than dirt... Widners, Grafs and Sons, Midway are better places. Cabelas if you have one close by is a good place to order on line and pickup at the store with free shipping.

Oh one other note on the press you bought... just because it's progressive doesn't mean you can't do 1 at a time. Don't start mass producing ammo, do them one at a time, load a few chamber check them and then shoot them and see how it's working, work out the issues on 10 bullets at a time, not 100. :-)

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 12:32:00 PM »
Oh one other note on the press you bought... just because it's progressive doesn't mean you can't do 1 at a time. Don't start mass producing ammo, do them one at a time, load a few chamber check them and then shoot them and see how it's working, work out the issues on 10 bullets at a time, not 100. :-)

+1  Luvmy45, good catch on that last tip.  Didn't even think about that one.  Definitely go ONE AT A TIME when you first start out.  Work your load up and prove it out as you go.  Mass production can wait until you've found what works best for your firearm.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 12:32:28 PM »
Lots of good suggestions so far.

+1 on read and then reread your reloading manual before buying any components.
You need to fully understand the process, and the components used.
I also advocate getting other manuals as well.
The Lyman manual is an excellent starting place, as are several others.

Most reloading manuals are put out by bullet manufacturers or powder distributers.
While it makes some sense to use data produced by the manufacturer for their own bullets, you also have to take into account that the chamber of their test firearms will not be exactly like the other bullet manufacturers or your guns.
This is one reason why different manuals will have different velocities and max loads listed for a bullet of the same weight.

Respect that maximum charge load stated in your manual.
A load that produced maximum safe pressure in the test gun used by the manufacturer, may well be unsafe in your firearm.
Learn how to recognize high pressure signs on your fired brass.
By the time some of these signs show up, you may well be in dangerous territory and need to back off.

Best performance of reloaded ammunition is usually in the 65%-85% of max load range.
There really isn't any need to load "Hot" loads.
Nothing you shoot will notice the difference of 100 FPS either way.

+1 on using cast bullets for practice.
Practice ammunition doesn't need to be jacketed to make a hole or dump a coffee can.
A good mid-range cast bullet load will be easy on the gun and your pocketbook.

Each cartridge has a bullet weight that produces the best performance.
A look at what bullet weights are available in factory loads can help you decide what to start with.
Very light and very heavy weight bullets for a specific cartridge fall into special use categories that are pretty restricted.
Until you have a couple of thousand rounds loaded under your belt, stay with the average weight bullets.
(Couple of thousand rounds??!! ... if you are a shooter, you will be surprised how soon that will be. ... I reload over a thousand rounds a month.)

Never get in a hurry.  Loading ammunition isn't a race.
You have chosen excellent equipment, go slow at first until you develop confidence in your reloading.
With experience, you will develop muscle memory and a rhythm that will chew through empty brass like mad.

I've been reloading since 1962 and still have both eyes and all of my fingers...
Shortcuts are for losers.... Learn to do it right and you will always be safe.

Welcome to a new world of shooting.

Always remember:  IF YOU NEED MORE POWER THAN LISTED LOADS .... BUY A BIGGER GUN!

Steve



Offline JC2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 10:51:40 PM »
@Flippy - Well I did decide to get the kindle version of the ABC’s of reloading. I think it was a good 12 dollar value and it should help me get up to speed at least in terminology and the overall process (no substitute for hands on – but it’s a start). I must admit though – I am a bit leary now after reading the first few chapters – did you know the author has no hands?

@CopperKnight – I have always skipped over jacks shows on guns (not that I’m a know it all, just was never interested in the ballistics and such) – ill have to go back and track down a couple of those episodes.

@ag2 – I’ve read that many times about not carrying rounds that you load yourself. It might be good advice but I believe it is like an old wives tale. In previous research I have found nothing that would make that statement true. I think if you follow the reloading specs then there is no issue, but with that said, it is also an individual that must make their own decision in the end.

@everyone else and all the other advice/recommendations/knowledge – thanks. I’m sure I will have a number of questions once I start getting some hands on time and I’ll try not to bother you all too much with mundane questions until I get back home and can actually see and feel what we're talking about.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2013, 11:16:28 PM »
@Flippy - Well I did decide to get the kindle version of the ABC’s of reloading. I think it was a good 12 dollar value and it should help me get up to speed at least in terminology and the overall process (no substitute for hands on – but it’s a start). I must admit though – I am a bit leary now after reading the first few chapters – did you know the author has no hands?

In all fairness, I haven't read that book.  It isn't the one I recommended you read.  Personally I have a Lyman's.

Offline JC2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2013, 11:19:14 PM »
No you didnt recommend that specific book - but you did recommend an ebook. Thats just the one i happened to buy from amazon based off of reviews on amazon.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2013, 11:54:47 PM »
Fair enough.  I hope you get all the answers you're looking for.  And after looking at your avatar, I was wondering who let you borrow my tractor.   :o

Additionally, I've never seen any court case that supports the idea that loading your own self defense rounds could be problematic.  All the information I've seen indicates that the issue is whether the shooting is justified self defense or not.

Offline JC2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2013, 02:51:30 AM »
Not trying to move this thread into a different direction - but yea i really like that tractor  :D. I do wish i would have gotten the 4240 over the 3940 and that is because the FEL would have a little more beef to it. The cab is a no brainer - i would highly recommend a cab to whatever tractor someone is looking to buy. The cab makes working with the tractor just absolutly enjoyable.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2013, 03:33:08 AM »
Mine is an older 3350.  I didn't want one with the cab only because there are a lot of trees on my property and I like the ability to stand up and look completely around the tractor.  Additionally, I live in Florida, so unless it also had A/C, that cab would be a sweat box.

Sorry for getting so far off topic....

Offline JC2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2013, 03:39:29 AM »
AC works like a charm and the wife has already replaced the door twice. She claims the tree branches just jumped right out at her:)

Offline flippydidit

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2013, 03:52:25 AM »
All the ones I looked at with A/C were out of our price range.  I didn't want to have any more debt, so we went with the one that didn't require financing.  It's nice to have a paid off tractor.   ;D

Offline ag2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2013, 01:06:40 PM »
@ag2 – I’ve read that many times about not carrying rounds that you load yourself. It might be good advice but I believe it is like an old wives tale. In previous research I have found nothing that would make that statement true. I think if you follow the reloading specs then there is no issue, but with that said, it is also an individual that must make their own decision in the end.
@JC2
The advice to carry only commercial, defense rounds has been given by Massad Ayoob and also Michael Bane.  Both of these gentlemen are well respected (and well known) in the industry and bring much more experience than I could ever dream about.  Massad is an active police officer, firearms instructor, prosecutor, and frequently called as an expert witness for other cases.  I would encourage you to pick up a couple of his books.  "Concealed Carry" is one of his that I recently finished reading in which he mentioned this concern.  It is mostly about how to carry and dress, but he also discusses legal issues throughout the book based on actual cases.  "In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection" is on order.

Since we know that our current administration HATES the 2nd amendment twice as much as we cherish it, I feel more comfortable simply keeping commercial ammo in my dedicated CC magazines.  Your opinion may vary, and that is okay, but I just thought I would humbly share a bit more info.

I hope you enjoy reloading as much as I do.

Offline Luvmy45

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2013, 06:46:04 PM »
Returning to our regular scheduled thread on ... reloading with a tractor  ;D

Whatever you do for personal defense rounds... don't go out and load those first without loading a few thousand rounds and shooting them and making sure you are making ammo that will function in your gun.

That should go without saying, but sometimes it's good to say it. ;)

You've got some good gear... hope you get a chance to learn how to use it soon!

Offline vlholyoak

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 09:38:21 AM »
I am looking to begin reloading and have ben trying to determine which press to get.  Jack recommended the Lee Anniversary Press a while back and I found it on amazon for $170 as a full get started kit.  This seems much cheaper than some of the other brands which leads me to believe that it is probably not the higest quality, but then again it seemed to get Jacks approval.  I dont foresee myself trying to arm a small army with the press so It is probably good enough for my needs.

I am a little concerned however, I seem to recall reading somewhere that it was good for handgun rounds up to 223.  I would also like to reload my 30 06.  Would this press be able to service them all provided I had all the required die sets, or do I have to purchase seperate presses for handgun and rifle loads.

Thanks in advance

Offline Luvmy45

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 12:18:43 PM »
For casual reloading the anniversary press is a good deal...because it has EVERYTHING you need to get started except the dies.

If you progress down the reloading path at all, you will end up replacing most all of the equipment there for better equipment, so the question is... if you start reloading, will you stop or grow your skill?

Personally, I like reloading but it doesn't really save me money per se, I just spend as much on reloading supplies and shoot more than if I was buying off the shelf. I started with a single stage... and now wish I had just started with a Dillon press of some sort, as I would have been better served.

As for 30.06... not sure on that...

Offline inconel710

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2013, 12:41:57 PM »
I picked up a used Lee Anniversary kit for $80.  It didn't have everything and the previous owner had broken some things, but the press itself is rock solid.  I've already broken one RCBS die in it. :)

The Lee press will handle anything you can fit in it.  I reload 30-06 in mine, no problem.  Lee has the lowest reputation out there, but they do make decent gear and they stand by it.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Lee single stage press to anyone - it's hard to screw one up and I don't see any reason to buy one at RCBS or Redding prices.

I will say that I don't like the Lee powder measure that came with it.  It would vary the powder charge about half a grain with each throw, so I just use it to get in the ball park and then trickle in the rest to get the right charge.  Time consuming, but like you said, I'm not supplying an army with it.

Bottom line - if you're getting started and you want to see if reloading is for you, then the Lee press is a good place to start.  I've built up enough experience now to really appreciate the idea of getting a Dillon 550BL someday.

Offline Gene.243

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2013, 01:33:19 PM »
I think the advice to reload one step at a time is good.  There is the subject of squib loads that you do not want to learn about the hard way.  If your powder measuring system throws a smaller than normal charge it may develop higher than normal pressures.  On normal ignition the primer ignites the cross sectional area of powder and the flame propagates through the powder from rear to front as expected.  However if the cartridge is less than half full The area the length and width of the cartridge gets ignited then the flame propagates sideways too quickly through the rest of the powder resulting in enough overpressure to destroy the chamber... barrels and actions become shrapnel. So looking at each load is very important to me.  I'll stick with my single stage press.
Gene

Offline ag2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2013, 02:36:54 PM »
I think the advice to reload one step at a time is good.  There is the subject of squib loads that you do not want to learn about the hard way.  If your powder measuring system throws a smaller than normal charge it may develop higher than normal pressures.  On normal ignition the primer ignites the cross sectional area of powder and the flame propagates through the powder from rear to front as expected.  However if the cartridge is less than half full The area the length and width of the cartridge gets ignited then the flame propagates sideways too quickly through the rest of the powder resulting in enough overpressure to destroy the chamber... barrels and actions become shrapnel. So looking at each load is very important to me.  I'll stick with my single stage press.
Gene

Most excellent point.  But, if you happen to run across a progressive press at a garage sale, don't turn it down.  You can still use these as a single-stage press.  That's what I did (and sometimes still do).  Use it as a single stage until you are comfortable.  The nice thing about that is you can set up your dies and leave them adjusted the way you like.

Offline JC2

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2013, 05:49:53 AM »
One of the best pieces of advise to me was - grab a book and start reading. I would add to this also though - check out youtube. Some great reloading videos out there and that gives you that visual if you don't have someone around to show you the ropes.

Offline armymars

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2013, 11:00:57 AM »
Going back in the thread about the 380 acp having a .355 bullet. This goes way back to muzzle loaders. The bullet was about 36 cal. with a patch in a 38cal. muzzle loader pistol. Somethings are just hard to die.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2013, 12:55:14 PM »
My recommendation would be start with a single stage, as there is always a use for a single stage on a bench later on when you expand.

I like Lee products, good value for the $$.

Start buying reloading books, like cook books they all have something useful. Also, any good reloading book should start with a lot of discussion on safety and the dangers involved in reloading.

Primers are the most dangerous part.

Offline inconel710

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Re: New reloading setup and bullet questions
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2013, 11:10:09 AM »
Going back in the thread about the 380 acp having a .355 bullet. This goes way back to muzzle loaders. The bullet was about 36 cal. with a patch in a 38cal. muzzle loader pistol. Somethings are just hard to die.

The other reason is "It's just marketing!"  :)

Three-eighty just rolls off the tongue smoother than three-five-five and sounds more American than 9mm Kurz.