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How did I do on my first set of dummy rounds?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Silver02ex, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    This is my first time reloading. I finally got to making a set of 10 9MM dummy rounds. All 10 rounds chamber and eject great. I was aiming for 1.130 OAL and
    .376 on my crimp. These are the numbers I come up with. so how did I do? The number I picked was based on the average of factory ammo, such as Remington, Federal, Winchester. These are using Berry's plated 115 GR and I will be staring with a low load of 4.3 and working my way up to 4.7 Gr of Winchester 231 powder. I plan on making 6-8rounds of each grain as I step up.

    1.125 .374
    1.129 .375
    1.131 .376
    1.130 .374
    1.133 .373
    1.133 .376
    1.136 .377
    1.133 .376
    1.127 .373
    1.134 .377
     
  2. OR4X4

    OR4X4 Hour south of portland Member

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    .011 variance in COL seems high. Mine aren't that far off. What dies are you using? Do you have them tightened well?

    (both dumb questions, I know, but something is off.)
     
  3. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I think i might have been playing with the seater die to much... I did 5 more

    1.150
    1.149
    1.150
    1.150
    1.149
     
  4. OR4X4

    OR4X4 Hour south of portland Member

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    That's lookin more like normal.
    Put some primers and powder in 'em and have fun :D
     
  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Typical loaded cartridge length quality standards I typically observe are +/- .003" and that's with god knows what kind of reload brass customers send in.

    The important thing you should take away from this, is make yourself a little card that has the pertainant details for each cartridge you load.. bullet wt, OAL, powder wt, brass type (headstamp), primer type, primer depth etc. Having that kind of data is handy if lets say you have a load you really like, but components become unavailable and you switch to something else for a while. Maybe when those components come back you would want to switch back makes it a lot easier than re-inventing the wheel. If you want to be really anal, don't forget to chronograph 10 rounds and write the velocity data along with the standard deviation and extreme spread on the card :)
     
  6. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    You are swaging/undersizing/squeezing your Berry's plated soft core lead bullets (diameter = 0.356" inches) with your Lee Factory Crimp Die. By either the die body, too much crimp, or a combination of the two.

    I have smaller diameter FMJ bullets (diameter = 0.355" inches) and my CRIMP is 0.378- 0.3785" inches with Remington brass. Bullet diameter still measures at 0.355 - 0.3555" inches, as it was not undersized by either the Lee FCD nor its taper crimp.

    Advice: Back out the Lee FCD body and/or back out the Lee FCD's taper crimp setting. Constantly check bullet diameter when adjusting, including set back.

    ---

    IF I had your CRIMP measurements, even with my smaller diameter 0.355" inch FMJ bullets...

    w/ the formula [ CRIMP = 2x brass thickness + Bullet diameter ]

    0.373" inches of CRIMP = an undersized bullet with a resultant diameter of 0.350" inches!!!
    0.374" inches of CRIMP = 0.351" = 0.004" too small!
    etc...
    even with a 0.376" inches of CRIMP my bullet would be undersized at 0.353" inches...

    If I was loading 0.356" inch diameter bullets, I would expect my CRIMP to be 0.3785 - 0.380" inches with the same Remington brass.

    ---

    9mm Parabellum's maximum neck diameter specification is 0.380" inches (9.65mm), some reloading books specify up to 0.381" inches. Meaning you can CRIMP up to that size and still be in specification - without compromising on the neck tension and set back of course. It just depends on bullet size and brass thickness.

    -

    Most factory ammo are in fact slightly undersized by 0.001 - 0.003" inches to accommodate the varying tolerances of... guess what??? the varying internal dimensions of all the various firearms out there in the world.

    Factory ammo is a one-size-fits-all solution. Reloaded ammo is custom ammo, with more care it will be match grade goodness.

    Why copy the undersized dimensions off of mediocre factory ammo??? Go by SAAMI specifications, your reloading book, and don't undersize bullets if you want consistent accuracy.
     
  7. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I think what I did in the first batch was, having the seating die too far down causing it to be crimpped and seated at the same time. When I made the 2nd set I was getting 1.149-1.150. I got the seating part down, now I have to get the crimpped to .379 and see how that cycle. I forgot to mention that I'm using Lee 4 die set.

    Private, thanks for the explantion, I was aiming for .375 since that's what most factory loads are. I see your point about how that can crush the bullet.
     
  8. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    I think i finally got the hang of it now. I made 5 each starting with 4.3 Gr and a worked up to 4.7. I shot the best with 4.6 Gr. Most of them average 1.139-1.141 OAL and crimped at .378-.379 I was able to keep them mostly the same length except 2-3 (out of 50) that had an OAl of 1.135-1.136. No issue with FTF or FTE. Now i'm very addicted! Here's my first batch of 50:

    dsc1001k.jpg
     
  9. Private R Wiggum

    Private R Wiggum RCMP Barracks Member

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    oooo! nice, shiny, and no kabooms???

    congratulations on your first successful reloads!!!
    :yes:
    portable lee hand press huh? i run a lee single stage, takes me 2 days to reload 1000 rounds :rollingeyes:

    it's becoming a chore - too broke for a progressive...

    did the starting load of 4.3 grains cycle your slide reliably??? i'm trying to achieve +P level velocities with standard pressure levels from certain choice powder selections :paranoid:

    the confirmation of measurements are very important in keeping reloads as consistent as possible, and provides confidence in one's handiwork. an even more accurate way to measure bullet diameter & length, finished crimp, or even the brass case's base diameter - right above the groove (comparing pre-fired vs after-firing to see if loads were indeed too hot) is with a micrometer, instead of a caliper - i've now just learned - only if you're really paranoid or pushing the limits (not recommended of course).

    the biggest thing i've learned from reloading is that neck tension itself (from the case sizing operation) provides almost all of the holding power for the projectile in preventing any catastrophic setback. the taper crimp is mainly for removing the bell/flare (never over-expand - as it can compromise neck tension) and is used as a finishing operation to keep that neck tension in place - meaning that the crimp by itself should never be the only thing holding the bullet in place. and don't get resizing lube inside the cases' mouth!

    good job :winner:
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  10. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    This can be a bad thing, in that depending on how malleable your brass is, it is less malleable than copper and lead.
    When a soft lead bullet is swaged it will have little to no spring back. When less malleable brass is swaged it will have more spring back than the soft lead plated or jacketed bullet, so over crimping can cause less neck tension.

    So sometimes More is Less ;)
     
  11. Silver02ex

    Silver02ex Hillsboro, OR Member

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    There was no issue with the slide and 4.3 GR. I think the XDM is pretty forgiving with low charge, also there wasn't a single FTF or FTE. It wasn't the most fun loading 100 rounds with the hand press but it's getting much easier now that i've gotten use to it. I will be loading 380 auto and .45 Auto next year so I may have to look into a turret or a progessive press.