To My TFF brothers in arms

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Deacon_Man, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Deacon_Man

    Deacon_Man Member

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    I have all my Lee reloading set installed on my work bench out in my workshop. Today I drove to Cabelas (56mi) north of Fort Worth. I spent $465.00 for all the items I still needed to reload 45acp and 45long colt.
    I did buy the large quanity items so they would last for a while. I bought all the quick locking system for my Lee press. Makes it easy to change the dies.
    I bought RedDot powder. Tomorrow I will start loading. I bought the Lyman reloading manuel. I bought the pre-lube 200gr long colts and the 230 gr 45acp. Do you guys agree that 6.0 gr for long colts and 4.0 for 45acp is a good charge?
  2. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Active Member

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    but have you read the reloading manuel? I had lurked here for almost a year and thought I had a handle on reloading...then I bought a used reloading manuel and found out just how dumb I was! thanks to the people here, I am still dumb but not as DUMB as I was!!
  3. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry we all have dumb moments
  4. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    You start at the light end of the load and work your way up from there.You need to look at your powder chart and see what the starting load should be.I use tight group powder and I started at 4.3grains with a 230gr fmj bullet.Ill go look at my chart ill be back in a sec
  5. ryan42

    ryan42 New Member

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    I just looked it up on my chart that come with my die set and it says redot should never exceed 5.0 so I would say at 4.0 would be a safe start,then as you feel comfortable you can work your way up.I have the same setup you do.I bought 4 bushings that way each die had there own and i didnt have to keep switching back and forth. I should add Im talking about 45acp.Have you adjusted all your dies?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  6. Deacon_Man

    Deacon_Man Member

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    Thank you Ryan for your opinion. I guess it would be best if I kept my DUMB ass off TFF and figure my own problems out.
  7. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    Deacon you know everyone on here will help u so let them they love it
  8. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    don't go. I believe his post was ment in good will. for safety even. reding that luman manualis a good start. I took it even slower. I pretty much got a copy of most of the major manuals.. lyman.. hornady, speer, nosler, lee and some IMR booklets, and phamplets.. plus a relaod annual mag or two with a data section in the middle.

    all good reads. when I work up a load I flip thru all my manuals and see what powders I have to choose from in common.. then see what everybody says on starting and max values.. it's a good 'oops' check. keeps you from misreading a line and blowing something up if you look at 5 different data sets and then develop an average starting load and know a safe max limit. having extra manuals also lets you get VERY speific data as to your projectiles. IE.. when loading hornady projectiles I can referr to their specific part number vs bullet 'type' spire, boat tail..etc.. flat base.. etc.. ).

    every lil bit helps.

    stay safe! have fun reloading!
  9. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Member

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    Stick around! There's a lot to learn here, and your manuals. I also spent a year on this fourm, and other along with reading my manuals. I purchased Lyman's, Speers, Hornady's, and Lee's manual about a year before I purchased my equipment. Between reading paper and here I had a decent grasp on getting started, and what components I needed to start loading. Please spend some time reading the Lyman manual before you get started. There's a lot of great info in there. First setup your dies and make a few dummy rnds (no powder or primers) to verify your dies are setup correct. Measure your OAL, and crimp. If all is good Find the starting charge for Red Dot and your bullet type. Start there and work your way up slowly about .2gr at a time. Load about 15-20 rnds at each charge weight. Check your finished rnds with the plunk test, verify the OAL, and Crimp. Also make sure you have proper case tention on your 45ACP by trying to push the bullet against the bench checking for set back. If all is good it's range trip time. I carry a notebook with me to record my findings as I shoot each load. If you start seeing presure signs stop. It's better to pull bullets, than have KBOOMS! I set my taper crimp for 45ACP to .471-.472" measured at the case mouth with calipers. OAL will vary with gun. I try to avoid going shorter than the recommended OAL per manual. For my 1911's I set my OAL to 1.250" for lead, and 1.260" for plated bullets. Good luck!
  10. Deacon_Man

    Deacon_Man Member

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    Thank you for the positive input. And yes, I have read the Lyman manual. Today I took some old rounds and decaped, resized and put in new primers. I have some of the dies setup.
    My original question was powder charge. My book says for reddot use min. of 4 grains to a max. of 5.3 . I thought I would start with 4.5 grains because my 1911 likes a little hotter round to help with ejecting. Do you think this is a good idea? I am going to tackle the charging and bullet insertion tomorrow.
  11. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    Josh where r u
  12. Gahunter12

    Gahunter12 Member

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    I always start at the min charge, and work up. It's good practice to always do that. When you start venturing out to other powders that are fast burning you won't have a large range between the min - max. A good example is my favorite lead load for 45acp: 230gr LRN/ 4.1gr of WST/ OAL= 1.250". Data shows the min charge at 4.0 gr of WST with a max of 4.3gr. That's only .3gr to work with.

    Before you start priming and charging cases please build yourself a couple dummy rnds. I have a dummy rnd or two for every bullet type I use in each caliber I load. You can use the dummy rnd to check for function and use for your plunk test with the barrel removed. Start with your OAL long at 1.255"-1.260" and slowly work down til your case head spaces correctly off the case mouth and the rnd passes the plunk test with a nice crisp "Plunk". If your lead bullets have a rim around them like my MBC lead bullets you will find they may have to be seated at 1.245"-1.250". This will depend on your camber and barrel. Once you get the OAL where it passes the plunk test check for fit in your mags. Make sure the nose doesn't hit the mag housing when they are loaded (OAL too long). Also make sure you don't crimp those lead bullets too much. If you do, you can damage the bullet which can cause presure issues, and leading. Measure your bullet diameter and the wall thickness. Ex: .452" BD + .10" +.10" for case thickness on each side of bullet= .472". In this case you should set your OAL to .472".
  13. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

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    Lot's of good advice provided. I would add that you should start the load at the minimum and load enough to fill a magazine. Then increase the powder by .01 grains and load another magazine's with and so on until you have reached recommended maximum loads. Make notes at the range on performance of each load. Once you have determined the best overall load for your gun then you can start mass production.
  14. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I have looked at three of my manuals and none of them give a load for 230 grain .45 ACP bullet with Red Dot powder. With that being said, if you want to go with 4.5 grains of powder, why not? If it is between the min and max loads, it should be safe. I load all of my rounds starting a mid-range. I may got up and I may go down, according to how they perform in the gun that I am loading it for.
  15. mikld

    mikld Member

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    IMHO, reloading manuals are like the Bible; you can't read them once and get all the info you need. I've been reloading for 25+ years and still start with the starting loads when I reload with a new component (bullet, powder, primer, etc.). Before you start with your own load ideas, I'd suggest you start with tried and true loads, you'll experience fewer problems that way.They're called starting loads for a reason, use them...
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
  16. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

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    A couple things that may or may not be in your manual.

    Start off with a couple rounds to make sure they fit-feed and fire. Nothing worse than having to pull bullets after the fact.

    Load a dummy round or three and do the "plunk" test. That is to take the barrel out of the gun, drop a dummy round into the chamber. It should "plunk right in and fall right out when turned upside down. Forget the case gauge, use your barrel.

    Do not get hung up on the OAL listed in the manuals. OAL is firearm specific not manual specific. After all, if the OAL used in the manual will not feed and fire in your pistol there is really no need to worry about pressure, is there. Find the longest OAL that fits-feeds and fires in Your pistol, start low and work up.

    According to Lyman 4.3gr of Red Dot is the "Start" charge for 225gr Lead RN. Max is 5.3gr. I would start out at 4.5gr.

    Depending on what bullet you are using in the Colt Lyman lists Start charges of 5.6gr and 6.1gr of Red Dot with 200gr lead. You should be fine at 6.0gr.
  17. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    good info.

    I also suggest you work up your loads using some sort of ladder test.

    when i work up new rifle loads.. I load about 5 at mionimum and then start creeping up in .5g increments, making 3 rounds each till I get about 1gr away from max.. and then stop.. and go fire those noting where my best accuracy and groupings came from.. then the 1-2 that gave me best.. I go redevelop those with .1-.2 gr differences up and down till I 0 in on the load that is best accuracy and grouping.. then i record that in my notebook for future relaoding.

    I do this on multiple powder types.. then compare the data sets.. see what powder and what load grains give me best. I also usually try 2 different projectiles.. or 3.. etc. for instance.. in 30-06 I worked up some 180g flat base spire points.. no crimp, for a bolt gun.. and then 150g and 170g spbt with a cannelure and crimp for semi-auto guns.

    I then can compair all those data sets to see what I need to load, depending on what I am shooting. paper targets.. deer etc.. bolt gun.. or semi auto.. i got it all down in my spiral notebook.. so next batch is via cookbook.. :)
  18. Deacon_Man

    Deacon_Man Member

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    You guys are really great, thanks for all your advice. I did use some old brass this morning acp and long colt to work up some dummys. When I had everything set to spec I started loading. I loaded 40 .45acp and 40 .45 long colt. Lee's instructions for setting up the dies is really great. I loaded about .2 grn above start load. When I finished all the loading I drove into Weatherford to the indoor range (Lone Star Gun Range) and tried my ammo out. Let me tell you it all fired just great. That was some of the most accurate rounds I have ever shot. My grouping is now half what it was. I never knew hand loaded ammo was so much better than factory made. I have had a lot of fun learning how to setup and load.
    I know I have just scratched the surface in the learning phase of reloading. All I will ever load is handgun ammo,I am not able to withstand the kick of a riffle due to health problems.
    Once again thanks to all of you for your help.
    John
  19. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    every hand load I have mad including the first one out of the press is as accurate or beter than a white box of winchester off a walmart shelf. I figure if I can use that as a minimum standard. IE.. consumer grade commercial ammo as my minimum quality level, and then go up from there at 1/3 to 1/2 the price.. I'm doing great..
  20. jlloyd73

    jlloyd73 New Member

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    If the loads are available in a book or on the web from Hornaday I just go right in the middle of the charges. I haven't had any issues yet. I figure if someone already took the time to gather that data it should be reliable. I rather spend my time on case prep and making sure the charges stay consistent. BTW the LEE stuff has never done anything other than the exact same charge every time....good stuff. With that being said I am not doing competitive shooting either.........so as long as it goes bang and is consistent/safe I am fine with that.
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