Okay, I'm ready to start!
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Okay, I'm ready to start!

This is a discussion on Okay, I'm ready to start! within the Handgun Ammunition and Reloading forums, part of the Handguns category; I'm all set up. I've got a Lee Classic 4-Hole Turret mounted on a bench with everything adjusted except for ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
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    186

    Default Okay, I'm ready to start!

    I'm all set up. I've got a Lee Classic 4-Hole Turret mounted on a bench with everything adjusted except for the seating depth on the bullet and the factory crimp adjustment. The only laugher was my consternation about the Pro Auto Disk Powder setup; I couldn't get it to function. I watched the Lee video on their site and thought I knew what I was doing, but all was for naught. After a half-hour of piddlin', a thought occured: put a casing in the shell holder. BINGO! Without a casing in place the powder will not dispense!

    To date my expenses were approximately thus:
    The Lee Classic Turret in Kit form which include:
    45ACP carbide dies and the Factory Crimp
    Pro Disk Auto Loader
    Lever Prime Systems for small and large caliber pistols
    Caliper for measuring the length of the rounds
    Powder scale
    Bullet puller
    500 Starline Casings
    500 Ranier 230gr. FMJ Round Nose Bullets
    Thumler Case Cleaner (Tumbler) and included media.
    All this was $499.92 All this was ordered from Kempf Gun Shop - www.kempfgunshop.com

    The workbench from COSTCO cost $54.99 This is a set of shelves that looked perfect for my needs.
    The extra plywood I bought to beef it up to my expectations and a 48in. flourescent light fixture cost $68.00

    The CCI large pistol primers were $24.99 for 1000.
    Hodgdon H38 powder was $18.99. (By my figuring, there's enough powder in that pound of H38 to load 1666 rounds of 45ACP.) Buying these 2 items locally elminated the $20 Haz Mat mailing fee. BTW: Hodgdon H38 and Win 231 are the same powder.

    Total setup cost including the extra primers and powder: $667 ballpark.

    Now, here's my question for you veteran casing stuffers: should I load all 500 or load 50 to see how my setup and settings shove the bullet down the barrel? I am not, am not interested in scooping loads. These will be "starting" rounds.
    I know a man by the name of Mel;
    he can't see but he sure do smell.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Honolulu, HI & Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default

    I would strongly recommend that you load a few first (50 still sounds like a high number). Load maybe 10 - 20 rounds and test fire them before continuing any further. This is a great way to "QC" your work. It's better to find out sooner than later if you made any mistakes. I had a friend load 500 9mm rounds once. We got to the range, fired the first shot out of his CX-4 Storm and realized that all 500 rounds were "squib loads". Apparently he used some automatic powder scale. I was "eyeballing" his work while he was loading, and thought that the powder charge looked a little light. He assured me that his "high tech" machine was accurate to the single grain. Apparently his "high tech" machine was on the money, the operator on the other hand had made a grave error in setting the weight of the powder charge. Luckily nobody was hurt, and I had brought along a bunch of factory ammo. ;) This is the same guy that once "loaded" two muzzle loading rifles while we were doing a public shoot only to find that he didn't put any powder down the barrel.

    Key thing to remember when reloading is to check and double check what you're doing. If possible triple check and maybe have an experienced helper around. Keep your distractions to a minimum. The wrong powder charge, primer, etc can have serious consequences.


    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default

    +1 for loading a few to test first. My first batch consisted of 10 rounds. I loaded just one in the mag and fired. I then recovered the case and inspected it for signs of pressure. After that checked out I loaded up 2 rounds and fired. This was to make sure I had the primer seated correctly and the second round was not going to slam fire. Checked those cases for pressure, then loaded up a full mag and went to town.

    I have the same setup that you have and its been a great press. The powder pour is very consistent. I visual check each case before seating a bullet and every 10 rounds I weigh the charge. I have yet to have one off by more then .1 grains.

    Have fun and be safe!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KimberPB View Post
    I visual check each case before seating a bullet and every 10 rounds I weigh the charge. I have yet to have one off by more then .1 grains.
    I must be anal retentive because I weigh every charge.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdMaxx View Post
    I must be anal retentive because I weigh every charge.

    When I'm loading Plinking ammo I just spot check wieghts every 5 to 10 rounds. If its off more then a tenth I'd pull them and start over. But like I said if its off it's off like a tenth of a grain.

    Now if I'm going load workups, loading for accuracy, or hot loads I hand weigh each change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Gray Court, SC
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    I only weigh every change when I'm loading ammo for extreme accuracy. Not only do I weigh the charge I weigh the brass, bullets and trim as necessary. Everyday shooting loads I load 5 to 10 rounds and fire them. If good to go I run about 50 through and check everything again. Exceptions are my C&H progressive presses. They have a powder bushing and they are preset. Not much you can do but pop out a live round on every pull of the lever.
    USAF Retired, CATM, SC CWP, NH NR CWP, NRA Benefactor
    To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them... -- Richard Henry Lee, 1787

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oakland county, MI
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    Ok before you get started get a notebook and write down everything you do. If anything is on your bench that does not pertain to the loads your working on put it away.
    1. Keep all loads labeled and separated.
    2. start with the low end of powder in your manual. measure each load on your scale and write it down. Load five rounds.
    3. increase the powder charge without going over the max. measure each load on your scale and write it down.
    4. do this until you get to the max load. write everything down.
    5. go to the range, shoot each group on a target, write the date, load, weather condition, brand of case,primer and distance shot from.

    I would test all loads at 21 feet if you can at your range if not 25 yards will be okay.
    keep each group apart so you can check them out at home.
    After the range you can find the best load for your pistol and adjust your powder measure,make about fifty rounds and go back to the range and make sure your happy with the load. If not you can adjust the next loadings.

    I know it seem like a lot of work but very important to be safe not sorry.
    Once you get yourself a load you like set up the press and start loading. check the powder charge every ten rounds and after fifty rounds if it's still on you can check every forty rounds.

    You'll have lots of time to go out and load 500 rounds a sitting once you fine the load you enjoy shooting.
    I've been reloading over 25 years and the hardest part was to go slow when you got enough supplies to load a thousand rounds.

    Take it slow and enjoy, Don't forget to write everything down so you don't miss any steps and have a record of what worked and what don't.

    ps. If you change anything ie. brand of bullets back the load down and start just like the beginning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Oakland county, MI
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    Default

    Forgot to say Ben you did a great job getting everything before trying to load. you did get a reloading manual?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central Florida
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    Thanks one and all for the great advice! I'll be reading all of your posts more than once, just as I have the manual that I purchased. (I would have bought at least one more manual but everything seems to be on backorder.) I never really expected anyone to say that 500 rounds would be a good place to start, and wasn't even sure about 50. But, you know, being a greenhorn... I'll take some other ammo with me to the range, along with a small amount of my own that's been checked and double checked. Thanks again. ;)
    I know a man by the name of Mel;
    he can't see but he sure do smell.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
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    I agree with all. Load a few and see how it goes. I am sure you will be fine. I have never had a round not function properly. However, each time I adjust for a different set of dies I load a few as a test. Enjoy your new hobby. Congratulations!
    David

    The only person available to protect you 24 hours a day is you.

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