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Old 06-22-2012, 09:42   #1
Highspeedlane
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Any Interesting Stories From Your First Handload Venture?

Mine: I assembled my first loads in the late 70's. It was .38 Special, loaded with the Lee loader kit.

With this kit (not sure if it's still out there or not), you drive the case in a die with a rigid mallet or in my case, a hammer handle, then drive it back out.

You primed by tapping the case down on the primer in the combo priming unit/bullet seater (and yes, a few went off that way)

Lee's recommended charge for a 158 grain bullet using Unique was one scoop. IIRC this was supposed to be about 3 grains according to their chart. I took my first loads out consisting of this charge and a 158 grain JHP and shot them through a 6" model 10 S&W at an upright piece of 2 x 8 plank from about 10 feet away.

After observing the impact of the first 2 rounds, I fired the third round and did not see an impact (yes, they felt rather light).

I looked at the muzzle and there was the bullet, stuck half way out of the muzzle. Oh joy. Ended up getting a pair of pliers on it sufficient to yank it the rest of the way out of the muzzle.

Without question I went to TWO scoops of Unique for subsequent loads. No more problems after that (guestimated charge weight - 6 grains Unique with Lee's scooper).

What a primitive way to reload...
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Old 06-22-2012, 10:13   #2
SARDG
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I'm at the other end of the spectrum. Started reloading about 3 months ago and bought a 650 press and lots of other bells and whistles right off the bat AND as a first powder chose [drumroll] TiteGroup.

No problems whatsoever - except I actually downloaded a few initial test rounds from the minimum recommended charge and those 10 - 15 loads wouldn't run any of my 9mil Glocks. Other test rounds worked that day so I went home and loaded up more incrememental test rounds and went back to the range to check accuracy and take 10-round strings over my Chrony. At the end of that second test day, I was pretty happy with a single load and shot that load through about 3/4 of that pound of TiteGroup before switching to N320. Then wash, rinse, repeat with N320. Nothing remarkable in my vast reloading career yet.

I don't like primitive so I'm glad I didn't get started 30-40 years ago.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:38   #3
Colorado4Wheel
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Hardest part of my first time was picking the powder. Bought Bullseye. Load a small batch working up to the middle range. It was uneventfull using my Lee Classic Turret. Well the freaking scale sucked and made me nervous because it was so hard to read and get to balance out that it messed with my confidence a little.
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:52   #4
Zombie Steve
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First handgun load was .45 Colt with a (swaged) Speer lswc. The Speer manual took those up somewhere in the 9.5 grain range with Unique. While not overpressure, far too hot for that (undersized) swaged bullet. Leaded the crap out of the barrel of my Blackhawk.

First rifle load was .308 with a 168 grain A-Max and IMR4320. I was getting pretty frustrated with load development, then when I hit around 44 grains, I had that magic "ta-da" group, and I've been hooked ever since.



BTW - 6 grains of Unique in .38 special and a 158 grain lswc is pretty freakin' hot.
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Old 06-22-2012, 13:06   #5
ron59
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Started almost exactly 3 years ago.
Not ONE interesting story. I like it that way.
Took my time, researched thoroughly, went slow and safe.
Boring as hell, but have reloaded damn close to 50k rounds in that time.
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Old 06-22-2012, 17:26   #6
WiskyT
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I got started during the time of magazine articles telling the legend of the 357 Magnum and and 125 JHP's. We didn't have zombies back then, just rogue tyrannosaurus rex running about and making a mess of things. According to the gun rags, the 125 JHP at 1450fps would stop two such creatures with one shot. So, having scraped up the cash for a Ruger BH and seeing the cost of ammo, there was no such thing as "WWB", only Super X, I ordered a Pro 1000 from Midway for $115.00 and free shipping. After seeing that W296 had the highest velocity, I bought a pound of it and some 125 JHP's. I figured Hornady wouldn't print a load that was dangerous, and the BH was plenty strong enough, so I started out with the max load. It shot fine, but it sure made a lot of noise. The pound of powder didn't las very long either.
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Old 06-22-2012, 23:17   #7
Zombie Steve
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Yaaaaay SuperX!!!!!
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:42   #8
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Originally Posted by Zombie Steve View Post
Yaaaaay SuperX!!!!!
Yup. $30.00 a box in 1985 for what we now call "WWB" and people complain about the price of ammo now.
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