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Thread: dragonmouse's learning curve

  1. #1

    dragonmouse's learning curve

    • Reloading press used (list modifications if relevant):550b
    • Caliber:45ACP
    • Bullet (Weight, Coating, Profile, Manufacturer): 185gr mcwc
    • Powder manufacturer, type and charge; volume, type (ball, stick, flake):4.5 gr wst ball
    • Dies used: RCBS
    • Primers used: CCI 300
    • Cartridge Overall Length (COAL):1.145
    • Chronograph data (if possible):
    • Goals intended with this load: target, plinking
    • Results - accuracy, smokiness, clean burning, flash, temperature, smell, brass deformation, etc.poa/poi really clean, easy recoil, shooting 10ish yards just to test function
      first time we tried these had all kinds of issues with feeding, going into battery, using 1.210 for col and .0473crimp. My old lyman book had these way short at 1.135 and that left no shoulder to crimp on. Col as above and crimp was .471 One stovepipe in that 21. all the rest did well. I had one set of winchester brass that really didn't do well belling and resizing and that was one of those rounds. Maybe just coincidence.

      Problems encountered and fixes applied:
      I will get to the range with some more of these in the next couple of weeks, but since I have 500+ of these I will be using them even with some minor feeding issues. I have some 200 lswc's loaded as well will give load info on them as time allows. and as this journal grows maybe I can learn to post pics.
    Last edited by LittleLebowski; 05-23-2017 at 05:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Had a small issue when I went back to finish up yesterday, I broke the powder measure on the dillon. I had one for the small bars and one for the large bar so I simply swapped out the bars and reset for weight and kept on rolling. The part of the powder dispenser that the operating lever screws on to (the piece that moves up and down)for that measure broke clean off. No bind just one round to the next and the little roller wheel ended up in the floor. I stopped and got to checking and realized there was the casing piece laying on top of the press. Have sent dillon and email along with some pictures and will see what they do if anything before I purchase another one. Just wanted to make sure I didn't have something set wrong that caused it, but it has loaded several hundred rounds in it's current configuration so I really don't think so.

    Also in the last couple of weeks using unique for the 45 colt I noticed that my weights were really variable, as much as 3tenths. I am way on the bottem for that load so was just checking every five or so rounds but it makes me wonder if maybe that piece has been giving some, causing that variation. I am not loading the volume a lot of you folks are so I weigh more often than is probably necessary and visually check powder level in the case on EVERY load. When time allows this week will throw out a story about why I pulled 100 240gr jhps two weekends ago. Stay tuned!

  3. #3
    Ok here is the story, with a bit of backstory first to help explain my lack of understanding. About 5 or so years ago I was
    gifted with some reloading stuff as long as I paid the shipping, good deal right? 15 boxes over 1000 lbs delivered ltl and about 800
    or so dollars and I was suddenly in the reloading hobby. A progessive dillon, a rock chucker, a shotgun press and enough brass
    bullets,shot, dies etc, for multiple calibers I didn't even own. So I jumped in with both feet, read cover to cover three different manual's,
    set up with dillon's help and tried my hand at some 45acp,colt and 44mag rounds. Did well, minor problems but still real early in the learning
    curve. Did well enough for a few hundred rounds monthly or so and had a good time.
    Fast forward through a couple years off from reloading due to lifes issue's, and now few months ago, reread the basics, buy some extra
    powder, and primers and here we go again. New birds head italian clone in 45 colt and managed a respectable round for poa/poi. 8.5 grains unique over 255gr keith style lswc, Moved to the
    45acp, loaded a few hundred 200gr lswc's and then I relocated this box of bullets. They were 240gr sierra jhc in .4515.
    I thought cool maybe a little heavier round for my sig simply to play with maybe take the odd nanny doe really close come deer season. (legal in this state as long as 4in barrel)
    Couldn't find much for load info and rather than starting on the bottem as I only had 100 of em I thought well take the 230 gr jhp numbers that in my
    Lyman book maxed at 6.5 unique IF I remember right, I don't have it at my elbow atm. So I figured mid range to be around 6.0 should be plenty safe, ok maybe a tad warm
    but the sig is rated +p so should be well below pressure. So load em up!

    Reckon I'm OK at this point?

    Well after a whole lot more reading I was becoming skittish about shooting them, since I err on the side of safety and was not finding anything good about
    heavy bullets in the acp, I was really questioning whether I should just pull them and start over and use them on the colt as that has easy loads for that bullet.
    The second thing that happened is I found out that Unique was no longer metering well. I had never had, had a problem but I was getting the occasional heavy
    weight +4 tenths or so. I suspect that the press was flexing that piece that broke later, on on load for a light load, then dumping heavy the next time. I will
    verify that when the new part gets here by running 50 or so weights with all stations loaded just to see.
    Switching to WST meters so much better in 100 weights I only got 1 tenth difference on both the balance beam and the digital so that's where I stand on that at the moment.
    Anyway with that kind of spread I couldn't make me shoot them especially since I am still a little confused which will build more pressure lead or jacketed. I will prove
    that to myself over the chrony, when I go shoot the next time as I have 185gr in both to compare. Either way I pulled all of the 240s weighing about 50. The lowest weight with a target
    of 6.0 was 5.6. the highest was 6.7 so I feel I did the correct thing as that is to much difference in my opinion, newbie as it is.
    So I wouldn't mind some feed back as to what I might do different, I have addressed all the problems that I can see, but other eyes might point out something
    I havn't thought of and that is the idea of the journal right? I just don't see how I can be more careful, and that was frightening. I caught it yes but there's just so much
    I might miss.

  4. #4
    A bit of frustration today, went to town got a few hundred 230gr tmj in .451 for the sig and a lb of Unique just because.
    Came home with the idea of resetting the press for 44 rem mag to load some 240gr jsp with h110. Also was going to finish
    the pack of primers with a few 240gr lswc's. Looking for a recipe for the lead it seems as if loading lead bullets over h110 really doesn't do well, these are not gas
    checked and everything I have been reading says it's just not a good idea, so just do the sp's and
    then change out the powder station and finish up with the unique. That's a pain but ok just roll with it. The dies in the tool head needed reset as it's been couple
    of years for the ruger. Checking the measurements on the bullets for oal and confirming weight just to be sure, I found the first issue. I had apparently mislabeled the
    box of bullets, they were 200 gr instead of 240's. so back into the house from the loading shed, find new recipe and once again h110 supposedly doesn't really do
    well for lighter bullets?
    Wait a minute, my Lyman manual lists h110 for 180s but nothing for the 200s? So getting conflicting information I just said heck with it will just use the Unique and do some
    moderate loads for both the jsp's and the lswc's. Back to the shed and continue setting up for the jsp's. Primer decap is set, I do primer load as last step so I am not fighting
    live primers to do my few test rounds for length and crimp, powder dump is empty but set the slight bell and move to the bullet seating station. Backed bullet seating stem out
    set die to contact the case and start the seating stem down. When I felt it touch the bullet I lowered the ram to find the bullet seated about 1/3 into the case. Thats the TOP of
    the bullet. WTF????? Redo the whole process and once again there is no resistance from the bullet being pushed all the way into the brass.
    With a tiny amount of bell on the case mouth there is no way it's overbelled so what diameter are these critters? I had the box marked .429 in great big black marker.
    Break out the calipers again and lo and behold the actual measurement is .426 Somehow that one box of jsp's are for 44/40 and not 44spec/mag. I had loaded maybe 100
    of them a couple of years ago, for my ruger redhawk, they chambered fine and was using really light loads of unique (7.0 gr) just for fooling around with. I gave up on
    that load because it was terrible for accuracy. Now I know why.
    Bottem line these jsp's are not for this caliber so I just wasted a couple of hours. Oh well let's salvage the day and load the lswc's. Well guess what, these are 200grlswc as well. Since they are not gas checked I
    will keep them less than 1200 fps, According to my Lyman manual and multiple online sources I should be able to start with around 9gr and gradually work up to around 10 grs or 10.5 of unique for numbers in that range. Oal for 240s is generally 1.610, and I am about 1.640 to crimp on the crimp groove with these 200s so probably losing a bit of velocity there but with about a thousand or so on hand of these, I am hoping to find a sweet spot that the ruger likes. Mostly for target shooting but after chrono work and maybe a bit of testing on
    a brisquit I might consider them for whitetail at short (under 50yds) ranges.
    As usual any comments are sure welcome, If someone had one of those load data programs to punch in the 200lswc and unique I wouldn't turn down some additional info.

    On a side note I did find a box of 100 180gr jhc speer in .4295, and the Lyman shows 29gr of h110 as a starting load up to 31.....something I would have to look for max. Think I am going to load bout 24 of them at min load, just to see how big a halo of fire I can make for memorial day Starting over tomorrow maybe a bit more productive day/sigh!

  5. #5
    1. Get organized, know what you have, quit picking up one bullet thinking it is something else.
    2. Dillon will replace your broken part, no charge, no questions asked. They will give advise on how to get the new part in right.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Watson View Post
    1. Get organized, know what you have, quit picking up one bullet thinking it is something else.
    2. Dillon will replace your broken part, no charge, no questions asked. They will give advise on how to get the new part in right.
    Thank you for the response.
    Yes dillon is sending the replacement part, as to the organized part, thats more difficult. I got all this reloading stuff gifted, unfortunately most
    of the bullets were not labeled anything except caliber. I have found that I had a learning curve with a set of calipers that I didn't know was there and
    most of my issues that caused, have gone away after a bit of training. After a two year hiatus from the reloading I came back to find that there was much I had been
    doing wrong the first time. I made the mistake of going with numbers that I measured back then instead of redoing it all again. Lesson learned.
    On another note, I don't believe the 200 gr lswc's are going to work very well above really light loads. It seems the lube on them has dried to much and anything over
    about 7grns of unique causes serious leading and keyholeing. After 18 rounds at 10grns I got a mess in the ruger to clean up. These were actually marked and measure .4295 with a
    medium crimp in a lee fcd.
    Not sure what I'm going to do though because they shoot so low at that loading with the sights set at magnum velocities that even plinking isn't much fun. I'm not fooling with the sights that
    much from time to time. On the upside the 250gr lswc's in the colt replica,over 8.5 Unique,were dead on at about 20 yards out of the little 3.5in taylor. Will run the chrono next weekend
    for the 45acp, and the colt, but the 44 mag is on the shelf until later in the summer short of factory loads.

  7. #7
    While I have relubed bullets with inadequate lubricant, it is not worth the trouble unless you have a lot of them. Probably the simplest thing to do with those 200s is to give them to a caster who will melt them down.
    Code Name: JET STREAM

  8. #8
    yeah my thoughts exactly, will hold them as casting is something I will try in a few years as I get closer to and retire. Right now will concentrate on the things I can do well.

  9. #9
    HAS ELECTROLYTES LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Working on straightening out your first post, give me time.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleLebowski View Post
    Working on straightening out your first post, give me time.
    I guess you can tell I'm not really great with a computer, I figured out I did it wrong and I think I know what I did, so I get it right next time
    but trying to edit that might not have turned out so great. I'll try harder!

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