New Reloading Setup
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default New Reloading Setup

Well I finally got the Lee Classic Turret mounted and working. Not the prettiest setup but the bench was a $20 goodwill find that weights about 150lbs (which yes is sitting backwards so I could clamp the board down) the board is a 1x8x30 piece of maple with ran about $8 so total bench materials including hardware was just about $30 not too bad.

I made 10 rounds of .45 acp but I have a little bulging where the bullet was seated. In the close up pic of two bullets the left is a factory speer round and the right one is the round I made.

I used 4.2 grains of w231 and the overall length is 1.265.

This is my first batch of home made ammo, so a quick question to all of you veterans out there does the loading info sound correct?

img_0025.jpg   img_0024.jpg   img_0023.jpg  
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #2
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A little bulge is normal just make sure they chamber. Make sure you have enough taper crimp to keep the feed ramp from pushing the bullet into the case. Cycle a few and see if the overall length changes.

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Old 01-03-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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you could have faced the desk in the right direction and just drill three holes thru the top. Mounted the press directly to the desk top and saved the maple....just a thought.

all in all, looks good. Have fun!

as for the .45acp......i had to seat deeper. AOL was more like 1.1 (if i remember right, without going down and checking my notes) to get 'em to work. But i was using a 230 gr. hp.

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Old 01-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
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FMJ I could have done that but at this point I didn't want to drill into the desk until I got a feel for how the press would work and make sure I have it where I want it. So for now I will deal with the desk being backwards (it also helps with the dogs and my son with wanting to play underneath the desk.) But in the future I will tap straight in. Well these are fmj and I remember the MOL being 1.275 I didn't want to seat too deeply and increase pressure so I was trying to keep it as close to the outside of the spectrum as possible. Also the Speer rounds I have are all 1.260 so I kinda used those as a starting point.

I did make my first noob mistake the other day, I started removing the powder dispenser without turning it to the "off" position and spilled a little powder on the floor.

RJD they do fit into the barrel of my 1911, now the only hard part is waiting until I can get to the range to test them out. As long as the function I will start mass production.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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Hi, the setup looks good. I would suggest a chair however as you're going be spending large amounts of time building cartridges
The Bulge is normal as RJD says, but you can straighten it a bit by using one of Lee's factory crimp dies.
I've got a turret setup and after powdering and seating, I run all my cartridges through a factory crimp die.
Honestly, with my new Para P14, my cartridges cycle better than factory PMC bronze that I purchased to break the gun in.

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Old 01-04-2012, 03:14 PM   #6
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I have a chair but it just didn't make it into the picture. I was so excited getting it setup that I either stood or kneeled when reloading the first 10 rounds. I am using a lee 4 die set which includes the factory crimp die but apparently I do not have it setup properly since there is still some bulge. For that matter I don't know if I have any of the dies setup "properly". As far as the crimp, I am not using any crimp in the 3rd or bullet seating die, I have that turned all the way out and I have the factory crimp die adjusted to remove the taper at the opening of the case. I can see marks on the rounds where it is being crimped around the bullet. Also, I do hear of some brass being thicker which causes bulge. I am using a bag of Remington unprimed brass I got at Cabelas, anyone know if that is on the thicker or thinner side?

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Old 01-05-2012, 11:42 AM   #7
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Not sure about the brass, but you will still see a slight bulge to the case even after the factory crimp. It's normal, so don't be a feared !
As long as the brass cycles without issues, then you're going to be fine. Always be careful of the amount of powder in .45 acp.
The case is big enough that a double charge could occur. If you pay attention however, the likely hood is reduced to nil.
If you don't have one already, you may want to invest in some manor of brass catcher. Brand new brass is fiendishly expensive.

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Old 01-05-2012, 12:24 PM   #8
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Also, do you know the best way to check the OAL for a cartridge ? It should be the longest that will reliably feed and as close to the lands as possible. Make a couple of dummy rounds No powder or primer, Start with max OAL as given in your manual. Not going to say, cause the manual's not handy right this sec. Check that the rounds will fit into the magazine, if not, shorten until they do. Now load the two rounds into the magazine. Cycle the action and make sure they feed reliably. Next, disassemble the gun, and load a round into the barrel from the chamber side. While holding the end of the round, tap the barrel on a wooden surface straight down - muzzle end. Check to see if you can rotate the round. If so, this is a good place to start with cartridge overall length. If it doesn't turn, then shorten until it will. You want the round as close as possible to the lands without actually touching. That is usually, but not always the most accurate cartridge length.

In rereading the prior posts, I see that you said 1.265 fit's in your barrel, so you already know this. But I'll post it anyway for anyone else that's new to reloading and might benefit.

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:38 PM   #9
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That is good info, never thought to try it like that. Since I have a 1911 with a mag that loads 7 rounds I'm going to pull a couple of the rounds so I can get some use with a kinetic bullet puller and get used to that while I am waiting to get to the range. But I did load all 7 rounds in the magazine and cycled the slide manually and all of them went it and came out without a hitch. But I will try the spinning a round in the barrel tonight for the fun of it.

As far as brass catcher I am already planning something. I plan to get a fishing net with a fine knit web, cut most of the handle off. I have some extra PVC laying around to make a base and attach it all together, then cut different lengths of PVC as the connector from the base to the fishing net to catch for prone, sitting, standing, and go that route. But yes brass is definetly the expensive part.

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