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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I finally loaded my first batch. I worked up 10 rounds of 180gn TMJ FN with 6.0 grains of power pistol. Oal is 1.123. Fit in my barrel fine, loaded in magazine fine. Does it seem like I am good to go, or are there any other tests before I go to the range, close my eyes, and squeeze the trigger, lol?

Thanks
 

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Sounds like you are good to go. I usually run the cartridges through the gun by hand to make sure they feed OK, but nothing you listed seems to be a problem. AI generally don't get too worked up over OAL, if it fits in the mag it should be fine as far as length goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. It always feels good to get a little reassurance.
 

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9mm you're in trouble.

40S&W it will probably cycle the gun softly.

45acp it probably won't cycle. Kinda short OAL. Probably not 45.

In the future you should specify caliber and cartridge.

:)
 

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9mm you're in trouble.

40S&W it will probably cycle the gun softly.

45acp it probably won't cycle. Kinda short OAL. Probably not 45.

In the future you should specify caliber and cartridge.

:)
Thank you Brother Nick, saved me a post once again :)
 

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I remember the feeling rather well the first time I tested some of my reloads. Driving in the car on the way to the range was way worse than once I was on the firing line and once that first reload fired perfectly life was good again.

Sometimes I still get a little uneasy when testing an unpublished combination near the max loads. I figure if I ever get to the point where I’m not at least somewhat cautious or just plain over confident it will be time to stop reloading or risk blowing myself up. YMMV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
9mm you're in trouble.

40S&W it will probably cycle the gun softly.

45acp it probably won't cycle. Kinda short OAL. Probably not 45.

In the future you should specify caliber and cartridge.

:)
Guess I so so anxious to get a response, I forgot a few details. Yes, .40 caliber. When you say soft, do you mean I should be adding more powder?

Thanks
 

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If you are using a single stage press and have the brass in a loading block, take a flashlight and have one last look to see if all of the powder seems to be at the same level in the cases. Then seat the bullets. It's good insurance against a double charge or no charge - which can be disastrous.

But I realized that reloading is not rocket science when I met some of the people who are doing it! :D You can do it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you are using a single stage press and have the brass in a loading block, take a flashlight and have one last look to see if all of the powder seems to be at the same level in the cases. Then seat the bullets. It's good insurance against a double charge or no charge - which can be disastrous.

But I realized that reloading is not rocket science when I met some of the people who are doing it! :D You can do it too.
Thanks, I am using a Redding T-7.
 

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.40 caliber. When you say soft, do you mean I should be adding more powder?

Thanks
Reference your reloading manual data. Start at starting load. Don't exceed max load.
If your particular manual doesn't have starting load but only lists max load,
it is customary to try 10% less than max load as a starting load.

If you have no reloading manual, get one.

For online data from Alliant go here.

Alliant shows a max load of 7.2 grains. Thus, 6.0 would be rather soft. Yes?

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Reference your reloading manual data. Start at starting load. Don't exceed max load.
If your particular manual doesn't have starting load but only lists max load,
it is customary to try 10% less than max load as a starting load.

If you have no reloading manual, get one.

For online data from Alliant go here.

Alliant shows a max load of 7.2 grains. Thus, 6.0 would be rather soft. Yes?

:)
I guess I relied on this recipe from Hornady:......





more than this from Speer:




which doesnt make sense , due to the fact that I am using Speer bullets.

Another reason why I love this forum. So why the difference between Hornady & Speer manuals?

Thanks, this new to reloading appreciates your time and patience

Mark
 

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"So why the difference between Hornady & Speer manuals?"
One's a max of 7.1 the other's a max of 7.2, no real difference. Starting load only gives you an idea of the minimum that was necessary on the day of testing to reliably cycle totally different actions, or get reasonably decent accuracy above a predetermined pressure level.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
"So why the difference between Hornady & Speer manuals?"
One's a max of 7.1 the other's a max of 7.2, no real difference. Starting load only gives you an idea of the minimum that was necessary on the day of testing to reliably cycle totally different actions, or get reasonably decent accuracy above a predetermined pressure level.

Bob
Thanks, but a previous post stated I might be a little "soft". But according to the Hornady recipe, it appears I am somewhere in the middle. I guess that's where the confusion sets in.

Thanks for the reply

Mark
 

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Looks like you picked the safe side of the middle of the road. I always load up five cartridges, starting at the low end and then work up in .2 to .1 grain increments. .2 at first and look for signs of any high pressure/deviation as you go up. If you see any, stop and back up or when you start getting close to the listed max end, go to .1 grain increments. Shoot the first round and look at the brass. Look at the primer and look for flattening around the edge, look at the firing pin dimple, look for soot and or powder flakes (can be an indicator of low charge) Shoot the next round, repeat. If there are no indications of any high pressure for those five rounds move up to the next set of five rounds. Repeat. Also get a chronograph. You can learn as much from that as any signs given on the fired case.

Also, I try to pick a powder that will nearly fill the case at max load. This way it is difficult, if not impossible to double charge your case. It certainly will be more obvious if you do.

One last safety measure you can resort to is to give the rounds to someone else with the same type pistol and let them try them out while you observe from a safe distance.:D
 

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Yes, as Earl says you did pick a good safe place to start. No criticism there.

The manuals don't always use a starting load that will work in YOUR gun,
they often go way down on the starting loads simply because they are
listing a load on the low end that burns the powder completely and
gives consistent velocity. No promises that it cycles your gun.
You have to test it to see.

That's why we say "Load 5 and shoot 5" before you go any further.
(Load 10 and shoot 10 is just as good, you're OK :) ).
It would be unfortunate to load 500 and get disappointed.
Yes, some guys do that.

Note on OAL: The cartridge overall length listed in the published data
is simply the OAL they used in testing. Shorter OAL raises pressure
in handgun cartridges, longer OAL reduces pressure.
But you always need to be mindful of what OAL fits your magazine
and feeds in your gun. The one they list might not work for you.


The manuals are developed in separate labs, obviously.
They use different lots of powder, different bullets, different brass,
different primers, different guns with different cuts on the chamber,
different OAL, using different pressure equipment at different ambient
temp & barometric pressure. And sometimes their tests are conducted
decades apart. It's no wonder they differ. If you're thinking
they should all be identical, a review of several manuals will reveal
the reason we advocate starting low (like you are doing !!! )
and work up slowly like Earl described.


Every gun is it's own platform for shooting bullets.
You need to work up loads in YOUR gun using the published data
as a guideline, a good place to start and a max load not-to-exceed.

If you have two manuals and the max load differs widely, just
pick one and study it carefully (description, brass, primer, bullet profile,
OAL, etc etc etc) and then stick with it until your testing is complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nick A

Thanks for taking the time writing all that. Sometimes, as newcomers, I think there might be a little intimidation and hesitation for the fear of looking like a complete idiot. So on behalf of all the crazy, silly and what sometimes might appear obvious questions that y'all get, we really do appreciate all the helpful tips

Mark
 

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Nick A

Thanks for taking the time writing all that. Sometimes, as newcomers, I think there might be a little intimidation and hesitation for the fear of looking like a complete idiot. So on behalf of all the crazy, silly and what sometimes might appear obvious questions that y'all get, we really do appreciate all the helpful tips

Mark
Your questions are enjoyed here and the answers are enjoyed here. We all had to start somewhere. It sounds like you are being careful. And certainly nothing wrong about that.
 

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Wodaddy, we've all been where you are & the knowledge I have learned here has been invaluable. The manuals are a great & necessary tool but the answers I got here to my ton of questions was just as valuable, maybe more so because the book doesn't anticipate every situation.
 
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