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Getting ready to load my first round.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Silver02ex, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    After much research, books, manuals, data, You Tube videos. I'm going to start to reload (9MM). This is going to be my set up:

    Lee Hand Press (Due to not having a bench set up or room in my garage)
    Lee Carbine Dies:
    CCI small pistol primer
    Mix once or twice fired brass
    WIN 231
    Berry's 115gr RN

    I plan on starting with 4.3 grains and working my way up .1 at a time. I figured I would do about 10 rounds for each load and test out to see which one works the best.

    Any advice to a new loader?
     
  2. oa98pistol512

    oa98pistol512 salem area Member

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    Yes after firing check case for flatened primer first sign off to much powder... the 9mm is the most forgiving pistol round when it comes to reload..IE powder range can be quite dramtic without kb (chamber exploding rupture) other calibers (45 and 45acp) be very cautious especially with guns you dont have round count on start at minimum and see if gun cycles may have to use different powders for different 9mms etc...Just go slow pay attention and no drinking.Oh and chamber length is different in each gun seat a dummy bullet to correct depth (without a load in it) and make sure bullet is not too long by chambering in gun. You can tell by it is will be difficut to extract or chamber bullet.
     
  3. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack Western WA Active Member

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    A powder measure and scale will be helpful once you get some hours in. I'm assuming you're using the yellow powder dippers? I also started on a Lee Hand Press. I still use it to seat bullets and flare cases on small volume stuff.
     
  4. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    The dies comes with a .5CC dipper, but I plan on using a scale for awhile til I get the hang of it. I also looked at different measurement to get an idea what numbers I should be looking for on my caliper.
     
  5. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I remember someone on here talking about using a dummuy round and dropping it into the chamber, and seeing if it will twist and have any issues falling out if it was upside down.
     
  6. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    hmm... plated bullets are made from cold swaged soft lead cores, measuring 0.356"...

    do not over crimp and do not undersize your bullet with your dies... meaning you don't want your finished bullet measuring something like 0.354" inches - or you will keyhole, lose accuracy, and may foul up your barrel. crimp enough to take the bell off from the expander die operation.

    also with either dummy rounds or live rounds, manually cycle them from your magazine and measure with your caliper if there is any set back. or you could do a 'thumb pressure' test with either a digital postal scale or even bathroom scale and measure. remember that your bullet is held in place by neck tension from sizing the case, and not so much from the crimp.

    the key measurements I would be looking for in your finished rounds are this: bullet's measuring 0.355" - 0.356", no more than 0.001" - 0.002" of set back from a 30 - 40lb 'thumb pressure' test + cycling through your gun (preferable zero bullet set back), over all cartridge length of at the very least 1.135" inches... saami spec o.a.l. is 1.169" inches, most guns cycle them fine. I personally like to load mine on the long side, up and including the max o.a.l. depending on load... also measure the length of your bullet, in theory it should be seated around 0.20" inches deep behind the brass no matter what kind of style of projectile you are running.

    the key is to measure everything with a caliper to maker sure your dies are set up properly - measure and measure again! you must be paranoid when reloading.

    no room for a press??? try the Lee Precision Bench Plate #90251

    are you using the Lee 3 or 4 die set? what kind of gun are you running? what's your goal in reloading? (for target/plinking? self-defense?) and don't forget to weigh and re-weigh your charges!!!

    best
     
  7. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    Lee dippers and bushings are famous for not dumping as much powder as their chart says,so be prepared for this when u check it on a scale.dip the dipper thru once,then level off with a playing card or some kind of card.once u fill a bunch of cases TRIPLE check the powder levels with a flashlight.even a double charge,which will easily fit in the case,can end in disaster.
    using a seperate die to seat,then crimp,takes more time but 2 are WAY easier to adjust than the combo die is.
    wear eye protection,and ear plugs ain't a bad idea either.
     
  8. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I plan on using 4 die Carbine set, and using it on an Springfieldr XD-M9. All these rounds will be for target/plinking. I have my PDX1 for defense. That's interesting that you brought up the final size of the bullet being .355-.356. I just pulled out a few S&B and MFS 2000 which (I believe) are also plated bullets. They range from about .353 - .354 for the S&B and .353 - .354. The USA AMMO (Reload FMJ) 3 random ones I pulled out where exactly .351.
     
  9. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    I measure the diameter of the projectile right on top of the brass where the taper crimp is - on a finished round... right near where the bullet engages the brass.. I do not pull the bullet to measure... I'm assuming you are pulling the bullets with a kinetic hammer bullet puller... I measure with the caliper's end, where its 'fingers' are at its thinnest (at the end, where it tapers). I am by no means an authority on precise measurements though...

    but at 0.351" inches??? OUCH! that projectile is definitely not going to engage the rifling in your barrel! as standard 9mm barrels are 0.355" inches. I would be contacting USA AMMO.

    I'm assuming your caliper is accurate, meaning if you measure your plated Berry's plated bullets they should measure 0.356" inches...
    lead & plated bullets are always sized to a thousandth of an inch thicker because they are softer than jacketed.

    other advice I could relay is be aware that your Lee bullet seating die can give you somewhat varying o.a.l., because the seating plug is hitting the ogive on your round noses, as it is not hitting nor seating from the tip of bullet, it's not that the die is inconsistent. for ultra precision and control one would have to look into other brands of dies.

    some other random thoughts: treat plated bullets as lead bullets... should always measure 0.356" inches. jacketed bullets regardless of style, always at 0.355".
    but I'm not too worried if my finished plated rounds are at 0.3555" inches, or jacketed at 0.3545" inches. the point is that it shouldn't be squeezed/swaged/undersized at all during the reloading process.

    since you are using the Lee 4-Die carbide pistol dies... with the 4th/last die - the Lee Factory Crimp die has a very steep angled crimp, thus don't over do it. this die also has a carbide sizer plug that can resize your brass to saami specs if your bullet was seated crooked or off to one side (ie. bulged), and may swage/undersize your bullet even further...
    lastly try not to over expand/bell, or not enough. you do not want to work the brass too much (run the risk of decreasing neck tension's hold of the bullet). with not enough expansion you could shave the plating off when you seating the bullet.

    dippers??? I know they work consistently but... Lee Perfect Powder Measure in conjunction with a scale!

    it's all about that sweet spot!

    definitely check out BrianEnos.com's reloading forums, they have a lively and expert discussion on reloading for competition... those folks go through tens of thousands of reloaded ammunition in a hurry, so they know what works!

    I hope I'm not confusing nor overwhelming you with random information, learning is part of the fun - cheers :peace:

    single action XDM-9 with match grade barrel??? :worship: NICE! that definitely deserves match grade DIY ammo!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  10. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Another thought I had was, for my next batch of bullets that I plan on ordering. Should I go with a FMJ such as Montana Gold or Delta Percision, and not go with Berry's anymore? I've heard the FMJ are more forgiving when crimpping and it doesn't "crush" like the platted bullets, or it doesn't really matter which I pick?
     
  11. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    it doesn't really matter, your dies need to be adjusted to accommodate the varying components' dimensions.

    i think reloading is akin to fine tuning.

    i once undersized a batch of montana gold CMJ (complete metal jacket) round noses from too much crimp, undersized at 0.353 - 0.3535 - 0.354" inches, no wonder I couldn't hit anything at 7 yards - it was embarrassing. no doubt the bullet was simply sliding across the barrel with no spin stabilization! re-dial-ed in the dies, then got around 2" inch groups at 25 yards...

    anyhoo try not to overthink it as I sometimes do.

    like taking into account brass thickness/volume/length varying from manufacturer to manufacture or even lot-to-lot.
    some people sort brass by headstamp, some don't, some folks over at BrianEnos.com's forums load mixed brass for '9mm Major' loads on a Lee Pro 1000! I simply try to strive for consistency. see what combination works and what doesn't work best - with due diligence of course.

    Delta Precision requires a 2000 minimum order, or a there will be a surcharge. I can't image reloading that on a hand press! Berry's plated should be fine up to 1200 fps if I'm not mistaken...
     
  12. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    These crimp size you're talking about is the mouth of the brass correct after the crimped has been applied? I took some Federal and measured them and it shows about .373 - .375.... the bullet seize is .353 - .354.
     
  13. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    all sizes quoted are measurements of the bullet/projectile's diameter in a finished round. I wasn't talking about crimp measurements.

    crimp measurement is 2x brass wall thickness + bullet diameter.

    measuring the diameter where the bullet is seated into the brass.

    brass thickness can vary, some people have crimp measurements of anywhere from 0.375 - 0.378" inches.

    currently I have a batch of completed montana gold 124gr CMJ RN with 0.376 - 0.3765" inches of finished CRIMP.
    bullet diameter is perfect at 0.355" inches ( measure anywhere from where the brass meets the bullet, up to where the bullet's ogive starts).
     
  14. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    also I have a batch of completed 115gr FMJ RN with 0.3775 - 0.378" inches of finished CRIMP - that's because I'm using thicker WCC NATO brass.
    bullet diameter is perfect at 0.355" inches.
     
  15. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    Just so we are clear, the red arrow is where I measure my crimp correct? Where the bullet and the brass overlap.
    bulletprofile1202657.jpg
     
  16. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    affirmative.

    regarding your measurements on various factory loaded ammunition... I think they are purposefully undersized at the factory to accommodate the all the varying tolerances guns have out there - less chance of incompatibility, over pressure, or set-back??? this is just a theory I'm working on...

    I'm trying to get confirmation to this elsewhere - as I don't have any factory ammo, haven't used them for awhile, nor have ever measured them... in essence DIY reloaded ammo is inherently different than store bought ammo.

    or if anyone else out there can be so kind to measure their factory ammo for reference that would be great!
     
  17. Mecanik

    Mecanik La Center Active Member

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    I love it when someone joins the ranks of the reloaders. Makes me proud.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.