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Frist try at reloading
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

OK, so I had posted my first attempt at reloading just before the problem a couple weekends ago with HN and losing some files. And, the post was lost. Anyway, here is what I remenber about that post and what has transpired.

After three years plus of putting it off and thousands of dollars in reloading equipment purchases, and having pr0oblems going up the stairs, (where the reloading stuff is) I have finally reloaded for my first time, some 9MM rounds.

I thought that was a good place to start as we all carry 9MM's.

And, wow I can’t even remember what some of this reloading stuff is, why I bought it, or what to do with it, I blame Barry.

Anyway I had Michael (good to excellent son-in-law, depending on the day), and Doogie (the greatest grandson any man could ever hope for or have) with me so they could learn along with me. Michael is sort of a “throw a little powder in there and we’ll see what happens” kinda guy, so I am trying to train (control his enthusiasim) him. HA, train him at something I am a complete novice at.Well at least I can read.

We loaded the rounds as follows:

Brass: used once, this may be obvious but I have a ton of new brass still in the bags that we have not loaded yet.
Projectile: Hornady 115 gr. XTP.
Powder: Titegroup at 4.5 grs.
Primer: Fed 100

Despite my concerns, as I loaded my son-in-law's brass for him, wanting him to test first (better his hand than mine), when we finally went out to discharge the rounds everything went beautifully. Michael didn’t lose his hand and the milk jugs exploded with great ferocity. Casings ejected properly—no problems. And, inspection of the reloaded casings shows no signs of excessive pressure, no bulging or splitting.

Now here is my conundrum---we loaded at the low end for safeties sake, but I am thinking everything went great why can’t I load to the max listed it is only .3 grs., more and the volume of powder is so low versus he capacity of the shell, I am thinking that max load—no prob.

I am not much concerned with velocity as I believe what the loading reference tables tell me; my real objective is accuracy, and reliability.

So—anybody think I shouldn’t load to 4.8 grs. and call it a day for the 9MM, I have many other calibers both handgun and rifle to load and try.

Also, since I believe the data on the reloading charts/tables and have no plans to load anything not listed or to exceed max on the powder, why would I need a chronograph?

Again, I am not worried about velocity I believe what the tables tell me, I am only concerned with accuracy, reliability, and that nobody loses any body parts when firing my reloaded rounds.

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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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Eremius
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

I wouldn't think .3grs is significant enough to worry about. Remember, "max loads" are not necessarily "max" for your firearm. I have gone far over the max recommended loads a little at a time, checking for any signs of danger with no adverse results. (I happened to be trying to tighten my group when using moly coated bullets but the case pressure was too much by the time I got my groups small enough)

Edit: I was loading for accuracy. If you aren't looking for extreme accuracy, I don't see much of any reason to load them hotter than spec. You may even try underloading them a bit. It's just a matter of finding what works for you.

TL;DR: max loads are guidelines and can be exceeded if you do it slowly and safely
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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

OK thanks Eremius I didn't think that little would make a significant difference.

Here's what I think. For me handguns, (today a necessity but not my first love) apart from hunting with them, which I do not now or plan to do anytime in the future, are for the joy of shooting paper, and shooting idiots that are stupid enough to threaten my family. So anything that will not be accurate enough to punch holes in paper where I think they ought to be at 20 to 40 feet, or make a big hole in a real ignorant (SO_) individual is just not worth my time and worry.

Now, when I start reloading for my rifles, I may be a little more discerning. I am planning on reloading .270, 7 mm mag, 30.06 (idiot son-in-law, I told him to stick to what we had, but no--- his second third cousin by an inbred Schizophrenic thrice removed told him anybody without a 30.06 didn't know nothing), and a .308.


Thanks for the

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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

input.

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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

MOST - (not all) rifle and handgun loads I use that are the most accurate were not the max load or hotest load I tested... I have a .243 that begs for speed and shoots better at max or over max but about every thing else I have likes running at about 85% throttle.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

Les, I'd say that if maximum accuracy is the goal then you need to work the load up, testing each increment. However, if you test the max load and it gives adequate accuracy in all the guns you want to use it in then I'd move on to the next cartridge. The important factor is that you feel good about what you've got.

Personally, for a defensive handgun load, I'd lean toward getting the highest safe velocity with "adequate" accuracy. I'm intentionally vague there because each individual has to decide for themselves how much accuracy they think they need. Defensive handgun shooting is usually a pretty close range affair so one person might want 2" at 25 yards while someone else is happy with 4".

For hunting and certainly target loads then I concentrate on getting the best accuracy and am willing to sacrifice some velocity to get it.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

Good on you for being careful when approaching max published loads, thats why I always have at least 3 load manuals to compare data against one another. Since titegroup is a fast burning powder just behind bullseye in terms of burning speed one can never be to careful about approaching max loads.

I have scanned from reloading books I have 2 examples of the wide margin of load data from one company to another. Compare the blue-dot powder of the 2 pages and notice the difference in charges.



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Elvis
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

good on you for being cautious Lester. I dont bother to push the velocity either and if your reload 9mm rounds are soft to shoot and hit what you aim/point at I would leave well enough alone.
a wise man once said"If it works why f%*k with it???"
my .223 is loaded rather mild as its alot more fun to shoot that way and does the biz without being harsh on the ears etc.
look forward to you shooting your .270 reloads as its a great cartridge and Ive found it a breeze to load for.

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

One BIG advantage of using a load below Max is it allows a margin for errors or variations in what your powder measure delivers.
Unless you're looking for bench type accuracy, those small variations will be unnoticeable.
It'll make for more pleasant shooting too - I remember putting a lot of "hot" ammunition through a BHP some years ago & by the end of the day my hand just plain HURT.
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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

Smile Hi lester-heres another angle to think about;I have a ruger p89 that is built like a brick and can shoot anything without causing damage to the pistol!It says in the owners amnual that it is built to handle +P+ ammo,and any submachine gun ammo!I also have a kel tech p-11(I think),and I would hesitate to shoot even +P thru that!So if you get to maxload be sure that all of the firearms are going to be able to take the pressures,and the beating of the heavy loads.I've almost always found that the regular or normal loads function better,give better accuracy,and the lighter recoil allows for faster follow up shots-if you might need them.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

very good point TRBLSHTR it would be too easy to forget the load is only ok in this gun and pop it in another at a later date.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

Depending on the level of accuracy you are getting with your 9mm, and it's intended purpose, I would do as Punkin says and look at maximum velocity with an acceptable degree of accuracy. What that means to me is, if the difference between the velocity of the minimum load and the maximum loads is insignificant, and the accuracy is good at the minimum loads, then don't load up...leave it where it is.

Punching paper is fun, but not the "be all, end all"...protecting the family from a grub is...even a 6" group at 7 yards is more than adequate to stop a grub, especially if there is 5, 7 or even 10 shots in that group.

Seriously though mate...the hotter the load, the higher the level of wear and tear on both your gun and you. If you can achieve an acceptable level of accuracy and stopping power from a load, pistol or rifle, that is at the bottom end of the pressure scale, then that is where I would be loading. Cheaper and as I say, less wear and tear on everything.

Cheers, Vince

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Eremius
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

Dawgdad wrote:
MOST - (not all) rifle and handgun loads I use that are the most accurate were not the max load or hotest load I tested... I have a .243 that begs for speed and shoots better at max or over max but about every thing else I have likes running at about 85% throttle.

My .22-250 seems to like speed as well.

For paper punching I would save the powder and load 'em light.

You might want to do some reading on defensive rounds though. There is a tradeoff between speed and muzzle flash which you need to keep in mind when reloading. You want your round to go as fast as possible while keeping flash to a minimum. I would strongly suggest shooting a few rounds in the dark to see how badly they flash. I was surprised by how much difference there was between my paper puncher rounds and a self defense round (Hornady Critical Defense).

Additionally, you may want to research open cavity hollow points. I have heard from a couple of sources that the open cavity ones tend to clog up if you have to shoot through a wall or even a heavy coat, in effect, becoming a FMJ instead of opening up like it should.
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MacD
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

I am also about to embark on reloading 9mm. I am a bit apprehensive as the spread between start and max is so small compared to rifle loads. I am real careful measuring powder, each and every load, but scales do have a margin of error of usually 1/10th of a grain. A balance scale like my Lee can even have an error of 1-2/10ths caused by it not being absolutely level on the bench. I have also read that OAL is really critical on handgun cartridges. Finally since the 9mm head spaces on the case mouth, no crimp or only a slight crimp using a tapered crimping die is recommended. Am I just being a bit paranoid??

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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Frist try at reloading Reply with quote

I weighed every load on both a balance bean and secondarily on an electronic scale, and I plan on continuing to do that. I don't use enough ammo to develop a level of confidence in either.

Maybe one day in the future.

I have a Hornady (or Horny) powder dispenser and the micrometers attachments for both rifle and handgun poeders and have heard thay are excremely accurate, but I have not used them yet and can't say how accurate they might be.

My thought is that powders differ in many ways and while one canister may meter accurately through the micrometer the next may not. But, of course this is ignorance of experience on my part speaking. I've reloaded once, what do I know.

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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. -- Thomas Jefferson

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."--James Madison

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson.

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