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I spent the evening after work reading some and watching you-tube 9mm reloading videos and I jumped right in.I made a dozen or so dummy cartridges with no primers or powder in them.The first mistake I made was after removing the old primer and reshaping the shell I seated the shell too deep at first making my bullets push in to far.After many die adjustments and caliper measurements things are looking much better.I'm looking forward to preparing some live rounds to test fire soon.I plan on making a small batch first hoping they"ll feed properly first.
We"ll it's 2:00 AM but I'm off tomorrow.I might be able to get further along on this new venture.
 

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Good for you!

Reloading is very rewarding, and addictive. The learning curve is steep when you're learning the process, but then you're always learning and refining your technique, eg. how to make those fine tuned adjustments and keep them consistent, etc.

Let us know how they come out.
 

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flyingtiger85:

The trick to learning reloading is to read, read, read. No reloader should be without a reloading manual with all the recipes for cartridges he or she reloads for. In addition, if the process is completely foreign to the new reloader then a video might help immensely. But under no circumstances should anyone reload with out a manual for "recipes". The front of most all manuals have a "How-To" section and some, like the Hornady manual, have a "Why do it that way" section with diagrams to help understand the processes. DO NOT use reloading data from friends or given out over the internet. If it is not a published load (or from a manufacturer's Web page) don't use it!

You must have a scale and a caliper to assure you will get the load correct. failure to measure the powder or to not seat the bullets to the correct depth could be hazardous to your gun or worse yet to you. The instruction that come with most die sets are your friend. They tell you how to set up the dies in the press...Read Them.

Here's to good reloading but be safe.

LDBennett
 

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For Die adjustments I still often rely on the great self-help videos at the Lee website - http://leeprecision.com/help-videos.html

Most times any problems with a finished round get solved quickly that way. There are no doubt youtube videos out there as well for various other brands.

From single stage through trurret and then progressives, it all comes down to having the dies set properly and the correct powder amount thrown.

Good luck and be safe. I remember how confusing it all was when I first started reloading a few years ago, the initial learning curve IS a bit steep but well worth the climb. It really isn't all that hard a thing to do.
 

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For die adjustments, start "too big". As in seating the bullet, back the die/seating stem way out and slowly bring the depth into adjustment.

To check feeding/chambering, remove the barrel from your gun and use it as a gauge. The "plunk test". The finished round should drop into the chamber easily, all the way in. If not, bullet seating and flare removal should be checked, and die adjustment corrected.

Welcome to one of the most satisfying and addicting aspects of the shooting hobbies...
 

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Its often easiest to always start with the seating stem (also a good idea with expander die) screwed out enough that you know its too high. Then start screwing it down a little at a time untill its where you want it. Then lock it in place. I keep a good record of what i load. Makes it easy to find out just where what die is set at. It may be awhile before i get back to loading something in particular. I can look it up, see exactly what the die was last used at, bullet, depth, etc. Makes it alot easier for me. Still, my kinetic bullet puller is always handy and does get used, usually to bump it back out a little when i go too far. Just remember to check everything, and then double check.
 

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If you use Alliant powder and get data from their online site be careful with it. I used their site for 357 mag loads once and the charge listed was too much. Had a hell of a time getting the cases out of the cylinder. I personally prefer Hodgdons online data due to the amazing accuracy I get from their data. Reloading manuals are a must though. They're full of great information that every reloader needs to know.
 

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While the test as shown in the picture in response #5 is a way, there is something missing: will the resultant round fit the magazine and load into the chamber reliably from the magazine.

In addition, the adjustment of the normal combo seating/crimp die is a two part adjustment. First seat the bullet with the seating stem way down so that the case does not get crimped by the die. You do it in little steps and stop when you have it the correct OAL (you can do worse than use the dimension in the reloading manual). The seated cartridge is now your "Gage" cartridge. Back the seating stem all the way out and back the die body out a few turns as well. Now run the Gage slowly up into the die and observe the crimp. Slowly and repetitively adjust the die body down until the crimp is correct when the press ram is all the way up and over center. Put the Gage back on the shell holder and run the ram to the top. Now gently lower the seating stem until it just touches the Gage bullet nose and lock it down. Run a few rounds through the die and verify that both the seating depth and crimp are OK. If you over crimp the cartridges the mouth of the case will expand and not fit into the chamber. There are measurement in the reloading manual to help determine when you have gone too far or you can use the barrel as shown in #5 above. Also make sure the finished cartridges will fit in to the magazine. Get them too long and they won't. Observe the reloading manual minimum seating depth because if you set them too deeply you may get increased pressures.

LDBennett
 

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When I started setting up my dies I did what LD Bennet said and read the heck out of anything I could get my hands on.However when I set the bullet seating die I took a factory round and put it in the press and turned the collet until it touched the factory bullet and it worked perfect and I havent touched it since.Good luck and let us know how it turned out.
 

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ryan42:

If you choose to crimp you pretty much have to do it the way I said in the above post. There is no shortcut but there is an easier way.

You can separate the bullet seating process from the crimping process with a separate crimping die. More on that later.

If you shoot rifle cartridges in a bolt gun and transport the ammo in a ammo box and don't put more than a one in the internal magazine then there is little reason to crimp the ammo you make up for it.

But if you hunt and cary loose ammo in you clothing or if your gun carries more than one round in a magazine or revolver cylinder and the gun is even a milder recoiling gun or the gun is a semi-auto then you need to crimp. The last thing you want is for the recoil or poor handling in the field to push the bullet too deeply into the case. That raises pressures and could hurt the gun or maybe you. That also goes for pistol ammo especially in semi-auto and revolvers. Crimping is necessary to maintain the quality of the ammo.

For rifles you can use a separate die from LEE, the Factory Crimp Die (Lee FCD). It closes a collet around the case to horizontally crimp the case as compared to the standard way a regular seating/crimp die does it, horizontally by pushing the case against a ledge inside the die. In the regular seating/crimp die you risk buckling the case shoulder if you over adjust the die and all the cases are not the same length.

The separate crimp die for pistols is just a crimp only die done in the same way as the seating/crimp die but without the bullet seating part of the die. So is the pistol version of the Lee FCD. But the LEE Pistol FCD has a sizing ring in the base that makes sure all crimped pistol ammo is the correct size to fit in any chamber of the correct caliber.

LDBennett
 
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