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Discussion in 'Reloading' started by SQLGeek, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. SQLGeek

    SQLGeek Vodak, The Choice of a New Generation TGT Supporter

    Sep 22, 2017
    Spent a lot of hours at the bench and came away a little frustrated.

    So I'm officially a reloader now. I loaded my first 20 rounds of .45 ACP.

    Went with a 200 gr Berry's plated flat point over 4.2 gr of HP 38 and CCI 300 primers.

    First set my dies up and loaded a dummy to plunk in my M&P 45 barrel. It was at this point I think I screwed up in my bullet choice starting out. Took me a while to get the hang ofe flaring, seating and crimping.

    The Lyman loads for 200 gr all had an OAL longer than I could get to plunk or chamber. Found a Hodgdon load for JHP with an OAL of 1.155. even that wouldn't work. Seated down to 1.152 and it finally worked with a crimp of .471.

    My first crimp looked like I put the thing through a hydraulic press. Oops.

    Satisified with the dummy round, I set my lock rings and started sizing and priming. The Lyman turret priming system sucks and the damn plunger fell apart twice on me. Finally got that sorted and had twenty primed cases.

    Went to dinner and came back. Started working up a powder load and of course I don't have any cast data for this OAL. Berry's seems to say either cast or jacketed data. With my OAL so short I went for just above a starting cast load in my Lyman manual. I suspect these might be too light so I'm going to be shooting these slow and ensuring I don't get a squib.

    My RCBS 505 scale wouldn't repeat for shit when trying to zero for check weights. Bought it used and don't trust it so I put it on the shelf and took out my little Lyman electronic.

    That was cooperating so I started loading cases. About half way through I realized I forgot to flare the case mouths. Crap.

    Dumped the powder and flared them.

    Charged the 20 cases which took forever because I haven't gotten my powder measure going yet so I was trying to get the hang of scooping and trickling. Got powder everywhere.

    Spot checked a few cases and they were coming back consistently on the charge.

    Seated and crimped the 20 rounds and the OAL was pretty consistent. Chambered a few and they cycled.

    Boxed them up with a card indicating the load.

    Took a bunch of notes during the process.

    We will see how it goes. Pretty sure I won't blow up my gun. Wish I had started with 230 gr round nose bullets.

    What an ordeal. I'm sure it will get easier heh.

    deemus, bigwheel and TxStetson like this.
  2. Dawico

    Dawico Uncoiled Lifetime Member

    Oct 15, 2009
    Lampasas, Texas
    It will get easier and the love will grow.

    Flat nose bullets in autoloaders can be problematic. 230gr round nose would definitely save some headaches.

    I am concerned that your RCBS scale was giving you issues so you went with a cheap electronic. That is just backwards and goes against every experience I have ever had.

    You can't beat a manual scale for repeatability and reliability. Cheap electronic scales are quite the opposite unless quality has improved greatly which I doubt.

    That 505 is very sensitive and any little breeze or pressure on the bench will show up on the dial. That is a good thing as you know it is reading every change. I have never had a cheap electronic scale read changes like that.

    Don't get me wrong, two scales to check each other with is a good thing. Practice with the manual scale more and you will see how any change in pressure will make it move. Eliminating any wind in the room will help.

    Good luck and enjoy.
  3. vmax

    vmax TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Apr 15, 2013
    I found out that my 1911s dont like flat nosed bullets
    TxStetson likes this.
  4. SQLGeek

    SQLGeek Vodak, The Choice of a New Generation TGT Supporter

    Sep 22, 2017
    With the bullets, my M&P has reliably fed factory flat points before so I figured these would be OK. They probably will feed fine now that I have the OAL dialed. I just need to find a good charge now. This is why I went with HP38 though as there's a nice, forgiving range between minimum and maximum charges.

    I've heard this and tend to believe it but it was a chore with the check weights to get it to do anything the same twice. I didn't have an air source and I wasn't blowing on the pan. The bench was level and all I was doing was weighing so vibration wasn't a concern.

    I ensured the blades were sharp, the pieces they rest on were clean and debris free. I wiped down everything with a used dryer sheet to cut static. Pretty much all of the troubleshooting steps I've read about in my research.

    The scale zeros fine and settles quickly with the pan. I set the poise to 2.0 gr and throw a 2.0 gr check weight on there. Usually no problem. Put another 2.0 gr check weight and set it to 4.0. OK.

    Take the whole thing off and dump the weights. Set to zero and replace the pan. It comes back heavy off zero. Rezero the scale. Set the poises to 4.5 gr. Add the check weights. Scale levels. Dump the weights, replace the pan and add the same weights back. Scale comes back light. Or heavy. Depends which time I was trying it.

    I just couldn't get it to repeat for anything.

    The Lyman was repeating consistently and I spot checked 4-5 charges when I was done and they all came back right at 4.2.
  5. Toolfreak

    Toolfreak New Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    Allen Texas
    I remember doing my first reloads in 45 not so long ago and it took me forever to get 50 of them done. Alot of double checking and then starting over a few times and alot of test cartridges for bullet seating. Just be patient and before you know it your confidence will grow and it will be more fun than frustrating!
  6. EZ-E

    EZ-E Freedom vs Tyranny 2020 TGT Supporter

    May 4, 2017
    Congrats on your first batch of .45 loads. Im getting the hang of it the more I mess with my press... it can be rewarding in the end though.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
  7. Charlie

    Charlie TGT Addict TGT Supporter

    Mar 19, 2008
    Kerr County
    Congrats also! I guess I've been lucky, never had an issue with flat nosed bullets.
  8. SQLGeek

    SQLGeek Vodak, The Choice of a New Generation TGT Supporter

    Sep 22, 2017
    Thank you, appreciate that.

    I haven't taken to making more yet. Just resizing a bunch of clean brass. I'll probably work up another batch with a heavier charge tonight or tomorrow. I think I'm going to get my powder measure up and running first though.
  9. SQLGeek

    SQLGeek Vodak, The Choice of a New Generation TGT Supporter

    Sep 22, 2017
    Back at it today. I degreased and setup my powder measure and ran a bunch of powder through to lubricate the drum.

    I'm impressed with how consistent it was with HP 38. I had it dropping 4.6 gr every single time. This will definitely speed things up.


    @Dawico you will be happy to know I got my 505 running fine. I couldn't tell you what I did differently but it ran great. My Lyman electronic was being temperamental today and kept coming in a grain or two heavy. The picture below looks a little under but that must be perspective because it was dead on.


    Was getting ready to load up 20 rounds with 4.6 gr and my wife came in and told me we were going to dinner with friends.

    Oh well, will resume tomorrow.
    deemus likes this.
  10. bigwheel

    bigwheel Active Member

    Oct 19, 2018
    Fort Worth
    Good job! Congrats on the new hobby. Its fun for some but can drive non math majors crazy especially after a few beers. A dedicated reloader needs to be an anal retentive type person. Hang in there.

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