Thinking again about reloading...my journey so far...

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flyerdoc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
150
OK, I used to shoot SASS some years ago and thought I'd reload .45 Colt. I wasn't exactly sure I wanted to do it so I went on the cheap and picked up a very inexpensive LeeLoader (wack-a-bullet) kit, some Remington 45 colt unprimed new brass, Oregon Trail Cast bullets (250g RNFP .452).

Fast forward 10 years, all sat unopened all this time, until yesterday. Spring cleaning in mind I thought I'd get rid of anything I hadn't been using, clothing, electronics, yes even gun stuff. Could part with everything except the reloading stuff, which meant I had to use it to keep it. Well, I went to purchase some new powder but there was no Trail Boss to be had, man behind the counter said the only thing he had that would work would be the Hodgdon Hi-SKOR 700X, ok I ran off a few rounds, (store charts showed a load between 4.5grains and 6 grains).

I should mention I'd be firing these through a Howell conversion cylinder on my Ruger Old Army. So, I hammered up a few rounds with 5 grains to see if the ammo would work. And how! LOL, that was fun, squeezed off 3 rounds of factory ammo, then 3 of my homemade...the factory ammo hit the bullseye at 10 yards, my ammo had a bit more kick and shot an inch higher than the factory. I think if I reduce it to 4.5 grains I would probably mimic the factory loads dead on. My only concern was with less volume would I run into a "settling" problem with the powder. As it is with 5 grains there seemed to be a lot of air under that bullet.

I am going to continue my whack a bullet loading technique until I decide reloading is not for me or it IS for me and possibly graduate to a hand press, or a single stage press or turret press...the possibilities are endless.

This is new to me but shooting the homemade stuff was like sending a more connected piece of yourself downrange. Very satisfying.

Your comments welcome.
 

mikld

Blackhawk
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Apr 22, 2009
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Oregon
Careful, you'll get hooked! I started with a Lee Loader in '69. Reloaded .38 Specials for about 18 months and then bought a single stage, dies and a scale. I'd highly suggest a couple reloading manuals and mebbe a copy of The ABCs of Reloading. Stick with loads from your published reloading manuals and pay very little attention to forum experts, range rats, gun counter clerks, pet loads websites, or gun shop gurus. While they may be trying to be helpful, you don't know fer sure if their data is safe.

Go slow, double check everything, and have fun...
 

NikA

Buckeye
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Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
Reloading has enabled me to comfortably buy revolvers in .32, .41, .44, and .45 calibers and not have to worry about the availability of ammo. It sure makes the gun buying process more fun, and given the price of a box of ammo for some of these calibers is the same as a new set of dies, it certainly opened my mind to new opportunities. After all, if all I have to do is spend more time making ammo, why not buy another gun?

With a fast powder like 700X, the air space underneath the bullet will lead to some inconsistency but not anything to be overly worked up about, as long as there is enough pressure to seal the brass in the chamber. People that chase the ultimate in load consistency typically use a filler material like dacron in these cases, but you'd have to be an expert shooter to tell the difference in most cases.
 
Joined
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Location
Milo Maine
flyerdoc Congrats Welcome to the wonderful world of reloading. Nice
extension for gun enthusiast. Yes as mentioned you can get hooked but
the satisfaction is well worth it. I find it peaceful and relaxing, and
shooting is more fun a win win. ps
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,350
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So. Florida
The Hodgdon website shows a start load for .45 colt 250gr LRNFP bullet and 700x powder at 4.8 grain.
http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol

I would try that. The fact that there is a lot of space in the case is not a problem as long as you are careful not to double charge any cases. To get more consistent results at the firing line hold the barrel up in order to settle the powder next to the primer before shooting. :D

you could probably go down to 4.5 grain without any problem but I would not go any lower than that. :D
 

flyerdoc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
150
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions...I am in the process of reading some reloading manuals know to increase my knowledge. Will probably stick just with 45Colt for now and see how it goes. I am not a high volume shooter so if I can bang out 50 cartridges a week that will be plenty, should be easy to do in my spare time.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
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Apr 10, 2005
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Dixie
I started with one of those LEE kits too.
Other than being a little slow to use, the only down side which I experienced is that it's quite-possible to have a primer go off while seating it. The first time that happened to me, it scared me perty-good and put a little blood blister on the thumb I was holding the rod with.

Just sayin' that you might want to wear a leather glove on whichever hand you use to hold that rod. That, and don't forget the safety glasses.

DGW
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,350
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So. Florida
flyerdoc said:
I am going to continue my whack a bullet loading technique until I decide reloading is not for me or it IS for me and possibly graduate to a hand press, or a single stage press or turret press...the possibilities are endless.

Your comments welcome.
A single stage press would be a good investment. A Lee Challenger kit worked great for me for over 10 years until I wore-out the press. :D
 

flyerdoc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
150
Yes, I know the single stage would be more efficient, but it would require buying dies etc. With the small amount I'm reloading right now I can't justify it...YET ;)

Also, I like the flexibility of loading wherever and whenever...no bolted down press to hold me down. If anything I might pick up a hand press and continue the voyage. In the future I can always use the hand press as a quick deprimer. Nothing will go to waste I'm thinking.
 

clintsfolly

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Aug 24, 2009
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outside lansing mi
Careful I started with a Lee wackem kit 45yrs ago. Move up to a press scale and powder drop. Now have Dillon 550b with 7 conversions kits,my RCBS press and last count 35 sets of die, 20+molds and two lead pots, over a ton of lead( need to find more), many lbs of powder and cases of primers. Been a great time and I have learned lots and shoot way more then if I didn't load and cast. The main thing to remember you will not save a dime loading but will shoot many times the ammo
 

Clovishound

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
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802
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Summerville SC
Buddy loaned me a hand loader several years ago to get started reloading. It is a great introduction to reloading, and is great if you want to be able to do some low volume reloading at the range. If you have already dipped your toes in the water, I would recommend a bench mounted press. A decent one isn't that much more than the hand loader, and they make life so much easier when reloading even a fairly low volume of rounds.
 

flyerdoc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
150
Well, the Lee breech lock hand press kit is on its way and I should have it Friday. Hope to be making ammo this weekend. I went with the hand press not out of cost consciousness, but out of convenience/portability. I don't need a dedicated workbench to clamp the press to and can bring it to my desk or range etc.

I would post some pictures but haven't figured out how to do that on this site...is there a primer somewhere on the forum where I can get info on posting pics?

Thanks!
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,350
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So. Florida
flyerdoc said:
Well, the Lee breech lock hand press kit is on its way and I should have it Friday. Hope to be making ammo this weekend. I went with the hand press not out of cost consciousness, but out of convenience/portability. I don't need a dedicated workbench to clamp the press to and can bring it to my desk or range etc.

I would post some pictures but haven't figured out how to do that on this site...is there a primer somewhere on the forum where I can get info on posting pics?

Thanks!
Good for you. A great step. As for the pictures there is a primer at the top of the 'The Gallery' section. Basically it says you have to find a site to host your pictures like 'photobucket' , upload some pictures and then post a link to a picture in your post here. The link will show up as a picture. If you have problems posting a picture you can PM or email a picture to someone else and they could post it for you. :D
 

flyerdoc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
150
Jimbo357mag said:
Good for you. A great step. As for the pictures there is a primer at the top of the 'The Gallery' section. Basically it says you have to find a site to host your pictures like 'photobucket' , upload some pictures and then post a link to a picture in your post here. The link will show up as a picture. If you have problems posting a picture you can PM or email a picture to someone else and they could post it for you. :D

Thanks Jimbo, I have a snapfish account so I can download pics from there. BTW, that video in your signature was very good, I am an incurable PanAm Clipper fan, the Grumman Goose that Jimmy Buffett has is great, but that Duck might be the ticket at some point lol!
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,350
Location
So. Florida
flyerdoc said:
BTW, that video in your signature was very good, I am an incurable PanAm Clipper fan, the Grumman Goose that Jimmy Buffett has is great, but that Duck might be the ticket at some point lol!
I saw that Duck at the Homestead/Miami air show before Kermit Weeks moved his museum planes up to Orlando after Hurricane Andrew. The SST that used to fly from New York to Miami did two low passes at that same show. :D
 

HumphreyDaBear

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 9, 2024
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70
Location
Hoosierville
I got out of reloading for years. When I started again, the reinvestment burned, but as NikA stated, it allows me to get the caliber I want, without taking into account availability of ammo. I currently have 2 Lee Challenger presses since I don't have the need for high volumes of ammo as I would as a competitive shooter. The prices of components has increased significantly and the availability has decreased, but is improving. If a friend calls up and wants to go shooting, I know I have the ammo I need, and will shoot consistently. Granted I went overboard setting up my reload center, including a digital powder thrower and secondary digital scales, to go with an already owned triple beam. But to me, it's worth it. Keep learning as you go, don't let others treat you as ignorant for asking questions. Some people just roll that way.
 

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