Choosing components

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by RockinRiley, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    How do you choose components when you are just starting out? (I will be loading only 9mm, and also want to be IDPA compliant as I just did my first practice session and really enjoyed the RUSH it provided, you must think ALOT!)
    I have not yet received my press. I think I will get it in the next week or 2. Those of you who helped on my previous reloading thread, thank you very much. I decided to buy locally at Duncans my Lee pro 1000. They will set it up and train me on it. They charge a little extra, but it makes me feel very comfortable. Now on to my question. I have just thoroughly read the lee 2nd edition and enjoyed it. I am really looking forward to reloading and now have ABCs of reloading and Reloading for Handgunners on its way. I am looking at the data in the lee manual and disappointed that there are different powders for ALL the grains bullets (some have only 2 or 3 powders listed). It is very hard to make up my mind on a powder or bullet.
    Bullets, I am trying to decide between Berry's (plated) and Dardas(lead).
    Powder, I have no idea! I look at the Lee book for Copper plating and they did not use the same powders for 124 and 147 grn, it is very difficult to come to any type of decision! (Also, if you provide input for me, keep in mind I have the pro 1000 on its way and I have read not to use flake with the powder measure. Not really sure what powders this means, but understand the powder must be a flake consistency and can understand why it would have measuring problems.) I see alot of net recipes, (concerned because as you read a person using it then 3 or 4 threads down, someone says this is a hot load!) that use bullseye, titegroup and vv something.

    I did go with Ultrasonic for cleaning and cleaned 350 brass already, it is a little time consuming, but can make sure that my 2 and 3 year old do not get any lead contamination! (I am really thinking of Berry's for this very reason also!)
    Thanks ahead of time!
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I shoot mainly for fun, so I want accurate and cheap ammo. So I selected powders for economy and found accurate loads with those. I probably wouldn't make PF with W231. Bullseye is a proven powder in IDPA; go with it for a first option and get something that is almost guaranteed to work. Then you can start experimenting with other powders.

    Do you have a chrony yet? It's a great tool for any reloader, but a must have if youre going to be loading for matches.

    I would stick with Dardas, I think that equal or better accuracy can be achieved with lead than plated bullets.

  3. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    When I buy pistol bullets, I mostly use the Berry's because they are inexpensive and are accurate. I am like woolley, whereas I shoot mostly for fun and I agree that Bullseye would be a very good powder for you to start with. A little Bullseye goes a long way and I think it would meter pretty nice in the Lee measure.

    An example of a flake powder would be Unique!

    I used Bullseye for years but I have almost quit using it because I think it is very dirty. I now use Titegroup for a good many of my pistol loads.

    As a kind of side note, I cast bullets for just about every pistol that I shoot, but I shoot more Berry's than I do my own cast bullets.
  4. medalguy

    medalguy Member

    Feb 20, 2009
    New Mexico
    Check out several vendors before buying bullets. I have used Berry's for several years but lately their prices have risen to the point that I can buy jacketed bullets for very nearly the same price. Jacketed are easier to work with than plated and you can load faster if you want.

    Here are a few distributors I use for bullets:

    Roze Distribution
    Montana Gold Bullets
    Missouri Bullets

    There are others, search forums for names and sites.

    For powders Bullseye is good, also W231 is good. There are several that will work but you may prefer one over another for ease of metering or reduced flame or smoke. You will just have to try a few and see which works better for you.
  5. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    All great advice, for probably the best prices on 9mm bullets comes in the lowest for me.

    As a new reloader I would recommend Aliant Power Pistol for your loads, why? It's a tad slower burning than some aforementioned powders, so it requires a bit more powder for a correct charge. If you make a mistake by way of a double charge the amount of Power Pistol will spill out of the case indicating an over charge. Do the same with Bullseye that requires less powder and you have yourself a hand grenade. Just my thoughts to keep it safe as you learn reloading.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  6. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA
    Using a Dillon 550B

    9mm 115g plated round nose
    Winchester small pistol primer
    Used brass from the range cleaned and inspected

    I did 400 rounds this past weekend in a session. I took them to the range and they functioned flawlessly in my Glock and Hi-point carbine. I do not have a chrono so I don't know PF but they were knocking down steel plates at 15-20 yards and hitting paper at 100yards.
  7. RockinRiley

    RockinRiley Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    all great info, thanks everyone. I do like the fact of knowing the power pistol is the slow and bullseye fast. I am going to ask when I go to pick up the press also what they recommend.
  8. PanhandlePop

    PanhandlePop Member

    May 27, 2011
    Good advice above. My 2 cents would be to start with a jacketed bullet (go with Precision Delta if cost is an issue) as they tend to be a little more forgiving (case flair, crimp) for a freshman reloader. Get your feet wet then go with whatever bullet you choose. For powders in the 9, there are a bunch of good options; I've used Bullseye, 231, Unique, #5, and WSF with good success. I especially like WSF with heavy bullets. Just take your time to thoroughly learn the process, be smart/safe, and just wait for the excitement of the first time you touch off one of your own creations!
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