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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious as to other'so SOP when it comes to new firearms and your ammo selection. Assuming the weapon is totally unique from or a different caliber than your existing firearms, do you start off with your own loads or do you run a few factory first?
 

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I only got one new caliber since I started reloading and I fired factory loads since I didn't have the die set yet (or brass) until had the supplies and equipment.

New existing calibers I will generally fire whatever I have on hand but usually make sure I have some factory stuff with me on the first range trip in the event it doesn't like my reloads which are often lighter than factory.
 

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If it's a planned gun purchase and I had time to acquire the tooling and components the first shots would be with handloads. If not I may buy some factory ammo for a trip to the range.
 

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With completely new calibers I'll often go with Factory ammo just because I don't have the brass yet. If it's a new weapon but a caliber I have dies and components for I'll use handloads

Either way, the second time they go to the range (and from then on) they get reloads.

Grumpy
 

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Reloads only, if I can get the components.

Like Ol' Grumpy, I only use Factory if I can't get brass or dies for obscure cartridges. For common cartridges, reloads only right from the start.
 

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Only factory FMJ for the first few hundred rounds. If there's an issue, the discussion with the manufacturer is easier if it's only had factory through it, and I want copper in the barrel before lead.
 

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I frequently use factory ammo in a new firearm to make sure it works. I don't want the manufacturer to try to void any warranty if something is wrong and I had shot my reloads through it. That may not be a valid concern. I do have quite a few firearms I bought new that have never fired a factory round while in my possession.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies, and I guess a reflection of both thoughts I was having myself. I had plenty of brass and primers/powder, so I stopped by Bass Pro after the LGS and picked up the dies and bullets. I had the thought of factory cartridges to test/confirm functionality and to eliminate all manufacture ability to blame the ammo. I also saw the price of factory ammo as I was holding the dies and bullets. I had no idea .380 was at or higher than .45. Needless to say I came home and spent a few hours at the press before heading to the range. I am happy to say I found a winner right out of the chute and couldn't be happier...was also able to take my wife and twins to dinner with the money I didn't spend on factory cartridges which was a bonus.
 

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Factory first. For several hundred rounds or more. This eliminates issues with my loads causing malfunctions and lets the firearm get broken in. No manufacturer or smith will use reloads to determine whether or not a gun functions properly.



Jeff
 

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Thanks for the replies, and I guess a reflection of both thoughts I was having myself. I had plenty of brass and primers/powder, so I stopped by Bass Pro after the LGS and picked up the dies and bullets. I had the thought of factory cartridges to test/confirm functionality and to eliminate all manufacture ability to blame the ammo. I also saw the price of factory ammo as I was holding the dies and bullets. I had no idea .380 was at or higher than .45. Needless to say I came home and spent a few hours at the press before heading to the range. I am happy to say I found a winner right out of the chute and couldn't be happier...was also able to take my wife and twins to dinner with the money I didn't spend on factory cartridges which was a bonus.
Happy things worked out for you. Obviously your loads functioned well and no issues arose. Running a couple hundred factory rounds through is a sound practice, but it's not the only way to go. Since you did not report any failures to feed or failures to eject you should be good to go. Actually I've found the .380 an easy round to load.

Grumpy
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Happy things worked out for you. Obviously your loads functioned well and no issues arose. Running a couple hundred factory rounds through is a sound practice, but it's not the only way to go. Since you did not report any failures to feed or failures to eject you should be good to go. Actually I've found the .380 an easy round to load.

Grumpy
The only thing curious were a few ftf. It was always the first or second round, every other was flawless. Upon inspection of the "dud" cartridge one could see a very light, off center, dent in the primer. Just to scratch an itch I loaded the final mag of the day with the handful of ftf's...each one went bang on the second go. I have NEVER had that with any caliber or load I've used so I can't really say what the problem was...

Probably should mention .380 caliber, Browning 1911-380. Winchester small pistol primer, 2.8 gr Titegroup, 100 gr Berrys plated hbrn.
 

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Just to scratch an itch I loaded the final mag of the day with the handful of ftf's...each one went bang on the second go.
Sounds like those primers weren't fully seated. The first firing pin hit seats them and the second hit fires them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sounds like those primers weren't fully seated. The first firing pin hit seats them and the second hit fires them.
Maybe, I've never had the issue before, but this is my first go at .380. Interesting/coincidental that out of 12 mags of 8 all, 5 of the ftf's were either the first or second in the mag and the pin strike was off center on each. I don't know how to post photos or if I could even find any of examples in the bucket of brass, but imagine a very light hit at 1 o'clock, literally at the edge of the primer, followed by the familiar large dimple at dead center from when the round fired.
 

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Factory ammo is a source of brass so it's not a waste by any means-well, if it's brass of course and excepting that aluminum Blazer stuff and foreign steel cased stuff that I don't have any AK's to shoot it with!

My two most recent purchases have had a few factory rounds through them but they are a fraction of the total round count.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
With that pin strike being way off center, a headspace issue, perhaps? Do the rounds all reliably pass a plunk test?
I did not give these rounds the plunk test. No explanation as to why I did not, but will on future rounds to confirm/eliminate as the issue.

Rod/Trigger Creep: do you know if this is a more common issue to the .380? I've not ever had a primer seating issue on any caliber, rifle or pistol, and I used the same ram prime technique this time as with the others. I looked at a few primed brass I did not load and all seems in order. Can one visually see a primer not fully seated? Even if it not obvious?

My only other thought is that Hodgdon's info calls for a cci spp and I used Winchester. Winchester is all I've ever used in anything, so I didn't expect it to be an issue...
 
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