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Winter, Vacation, Work, and other things in the way...

Posted 01-22-2011 at 22:48 by MakeMineA10mm

I've had a lot of work lately, and that has slowed down my reloading a little. Worse still, I am heading out to vacation tomorrow, so will be out of town for a week. No reloading...

But, progress is still kicking in MMA10mm's reloading room!

I've gotten all my "mistakes" rounded up on my 44-cal swaged JHP bullets. Was able to cannelure them all and segregated according to seating depth. (They all weight the same, but there is some variation in bullet length. To make the load-testing information I garner worthwhile, I want the seating depths to be the same, so there will be some OAL of loaded rounds variation.) Total there were 14, so I got that many rounds loaded. I've started with 17.5grs of AA#9, and have stepped up to 18.5grs of AA#9 (which is my standard 44 Magnum load with the 265-270gr bullets), and lastly 19.0grs, which should be at or within a grain or two of max. Now, if Winter would get out of my way, so I can have a nice day at the range with the chronograph set up, I'd be able to test these loads and verify where I'm at as far as pressures and velocities.


In the mean time, I have continued nibbling away at the 30-06 arsenal brass. I've continued to work here-and-there on primer-crimp removal and annealing. When I stopped today, I boxed up all of the cases I had done, and ran out of boxes... Started bagging... Figure I've got about 725-750 of the cases done. I'd estimate I have about 250-300 more to do. And, I haven't even started on the 400 more brass that I got in that killer deal on New Years weekend... I'm also getting suspicious that Jeff Bartlett actually sent me more than 1000 pieces of brass, but I'll know better when I get all of them annealled and boxed.

Thinking ahead, the next step in this 30-06 project is going to be the size & trim step through the Dillon Rapid-Trim 1200B. Well, don't have a die for the 30-06 for it... So, I ordered the die (along with 500 pieces of 7.92x39 Kurz primed brass, which is on-sale for a killer price) from Graf and Sons. Also thinking of this step, I'm going to have a LOT of large brass to lube for running through the die. (The Dillon Rapid Trim uses a modified full-length sizer die as the base, so the cases get FL resized, and the motor with cutter mounts to the top of the die and trims the mouth as it extends during the sizing process.) So, I started researching case lube...

I found a lot of interesting information. For small batches, I have been using a quart of straight 30-weight motor oil. Just a little on a rag or pad, and I can lube quite a few cases, but not 1000... I found a lot of guys are using STP oil-treatment. It seems this is the same stuff that RCBS re-labels and sells as their brand of case lube. It does have the properties that make it an ideal case lube - slippery and film-forming. However, the lube that is attractive to me is a lube that is used for drawing copper into bullet jackets, drawing brass from slugs into cases at the factories, and swaging bullets. I'm also looking for this same substance to use in my own bullet swaging... It's Lanolin.

Found out that Hydrous Lanolin (the stuff that's good for case-sizing) is usually found in the baby-care aisle and is sold as a cream that sooths and moisturizes mommies when they are getting rough from too much breast-feeding... Found a tube of that (on sale, no less!!) at the local pharmacy, and found 91% Isopropyl Alcohol. The recipe is to to warm both the alcohol and the lanolin in the kitchen sink under hot tap water, and then combine them in a clean pump-spray bottle and shake well. Three or four spritzes into a gallon zip-lock bag with 100 30-06 cases, and shake the bag a little, and I'll have perfectly-lubed cases... That should make the trim/sizing operation much smoother, as the lubing is the most problematic/troublesome part of the process...

So, I just need to get the last 200-300 cases de-crimped and annealed and I'll be ready to size & trim when the die comes...

I did some figuring while bored at work the other day, and decided that (without counting a financial aspect to my time) these 1000 cases will have cost about $136, if my estimates are right. I also figure I'll have between 24 and 28 hours of work into them.

At the 700-750 case mark, I stopped doing the annealling, and switched to cleaning off my reloading bench. Still have some work to do, but a big bite has been taken on that project. When I get it totally done, I'll get some pics up of the bench, too.

Sorry, but for the next 8 days, I'll be out-of-town, so no updates for awhile.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    lunker's Avatar
    Your "mistakes" still look like you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of them.
    Posted 01-23-2011 at 12:03 by lunker lunker is offline
  2. Old Comment
    MakeMineA10mm's Avatar
    Thanks lunker! Yeah, from a self-defense point of view or short-range hunting (<30m), I'd agree. I plan on putting one of these into the water jugs to test expansion and penetration, so we'll see what that looks like.

    But, one of my main thrusts with these is to make something so consistent that it would be a viable hunting bullet (accuracy, expansion, & penetration) out to 125+ yards from my Marlin 1894 carbine, therefore, ultimately I want better QC.

    After pondering these pressure/load tests, I also think I'm going to make up 5 rounds with the rim/extractor groove/part of the web removed. I'm going to make them heavier, so the finished weight is the same. (Sawing off the rim/web area removes about 15grs weight, so to keep pressure factors comparable, I'll add some weight to the core.)
    Posted 01-29-2011 at 05:57 by MakeMineA10mm MakeMineA10mm is offline
    Updated 01-29-2011 at 05:59 by MakeMineA10mm
  3. Old Comment
    lunker's Avatar
    The Marlin 1894 is a really great gun. I often regret having gotten out of reloading in 44mag. I miss my Marlin and my Ruger Bisley SBH too. At the time only only used lead in my reloads, and the amount of smoke they generated made people think I was firing a blunderbuss. Since we can't hunt with handguns in New Jersey, I decided I could drop the caliber. My mistake.
    Posted 01-29-2011 at 09:22 by lunker lunker is offline
    Updated 01-29-2011 at 09:23 by lunker
 

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