Glock 21 First Time Reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by cladd, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. cladd

    I just purchased a Glock Model 21 Generation 3 to serve as a companion to my Sig P220 Stainless Elite. I have performed reloading for rifles for years (mainly custom calibers 6PPC/6 Dasher) however I've never reloaded for pistols and now I want to start doing this. I have a RCBS 10-10 scale, RCBS powder thrower along with digital mike etc. My thought is to purchase a Redding 3 die pistol set with taper crimp die, some plated bullets like Berry's (safe to shoot in Glock), Winchester brass with large primer pockets and the appropriate pistol powder. Any thoughts on my choices would be appreciated. My primary focus for this reloading will be target practice and plinking.


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  3. njl


    There's a dedicated reloading forum might get better responses there. The problem these days is finding powder.

  4. Welcome to GT! Yup, I'd recommend heading over to the Reloading section, too. Those guys really helped me get started a few years back because I thought that .45ACP practice ammo was too expensive!

    Berry's is good, so are Xtreme, Rainier, Montana Gold, and Bayou Bullets. The last one (BB) has a really nice coating on it, and I'm thinking about getting some LRN from them on the next order for .45ACP. I have only purchased LSWC 200 gr. from them, but it ran fine in everything I shot.

    I like Longshot, Unique, Power Pistol, AA #5, and N320 for .45ACP. My loads are all from the book, and I load mid- to max range, depending on which guns I'm loading the ammo for. The Gen4 Glocks like it a little hotter, and have issues with underpowered ammo.

    For primers, I've only used Winchester WLP and CCI 300. I have a case of Federal, but I have to work my way through the other primers first.
  5. johme

    I have enjoyed loading 45acp out of my Gen 3 #21. I just shoot fmj, midway blue box brand with no problems. Many powders to use if you can find them. Check the powder companies web site's some are very good. Be care full about buying a reloading book before you can look threw it. Read a lot of different forums and you will start to see a pattern for powders / bullets, etc. Have fun !
  6. :welcome: and congrats on the G21.
  7. I don't use a taper crimp die since the 45 ACP cartridge head-spaces on the case mouth. Some people like the taper, but I found that I didn't need it. It's no big deal and it's just another die adjustment.
  8. I think you mean you don’t use a roll crimp die. Taper crimp die is what you want to use to remove the bell on the case that you put on the case to get the bullet seated.

  10. Welcome to handgun loading.

    There are a few differences, like you will be belling the case mouth mechanically, versus chamfering like rifle. Depending on the powder you choose, you may be able to double charge (which is obviously bad) versus rifle where overcharging the case is less of a concern, etc.

    As pointed out already, powder of any type is pretty scarce right now, so you may be kind of stuck with whatever is available and work around that.

    For target loads, I prefer faster powders like Bullseye. The downside with this approach is a normal charge will be less than half a case, making double charges much more possible. Mid-range powders can be a good "first choice" while you are sorting your process and getting used to double checking everything. Unique is a nice choice in that category.

    For hotter loads, slower powders can work well, Blue Dot or VV-N340 are a couple I use often.

    Have fun.
    #9 WeeWilly, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  11. You may have run across the Powder Burn Rate Chart (or not):

    Faster powder, lighter loads. Slower powder, heavier loads.

    Since powder is almost impossible to get, you have to be flexible in your thinking.

    For .45 ACP, I use 700-X. It is very fast and a poor choice for newcomers to reloading. A little 'oopsie' goes a long way toward kaboom. It is possible to nearly triple charge the case!

    But it's the same story for Bullseye and that is recommended if a lighter load is being considered.

    Everybody would recommend a slow powder like Unique. But you might not be able to find any.

    Haunt your LGS to see what they have. A pound of powder will almost always make 1000 rounds or so. You can also check out Here is the link to the powder search:

    Basically, gunbot wanders through other web sites looking for inventory.

    Here are the two main powder manufacturer's web sites:

    I prefer the Hodgdon presentation.

  12. I mean that I don't put a taper crimp, on my reloads. At one time, most seating/crimp dies for straight wall ACP cases came with a taper crimp instead of a roll crimp die. Those cases are supposed to head-space on the mouth.

    I don't crimp them, just straighten the case wall.

    Somewhere around 1982, I had called a CS rep. at RCBS about something and remarked that I had been using their taper crimp die for the 45 ACP to put a taper crimp on my 45 Colt reloads, instead of a roll crimp. Right after that, they started making taper crimp dies, for rimmed revolver cases. I don't believe it was a huge success, though.
  13. M24C

    Welcome to GT.

    I started reloading the 45 just this past year. Done 40 S&W for over 20 years. The 45 is a lower pressure cartridge, compared to most other handgun cartridges. The nicer thing of handgun cartridges is you really don't need to lube the cases with a carbide die. The base on the 45's don't bulge as much. So resizing is easy. With the 45 there is tons of reload data. Been around a long time. The faster handgun powders are the most common for loading the cartridge. But you can use slower powders on the burn charts. Many around hear will recommend either unique or bullseye. I personally don't like the powders for how dirty they leave your gun. But the classic handload for 45 ACP ball is 5 grains of Bullseye 230 grain load. Though I can get accurate loads with those powders I can get just as accurate loads without the mess. My favorite powders for 45 acp are VV-N310, N320 (hard to find and expensive) WST, WSF, HP38 and or 231. The powder choices are going to be usually slimmed down, by what you can find locally. Buy 1 pound if possible till you find the loads you like. Good luck in your search.
  14. So if you don’t use a taper crimp die to remove the bell on the case on a 45acp case. What die do you use?:dunno: Your only other choice is a roll crimp die and that is something you don’t use on a 45acp die. Taper crimp die is for just removing the bell on the case. You really are not crimping anything.
    The taper crimp die for a 45 long colt. Unless you are shooting cowboy loads. Not using a roll crimp is a good way for the bullet to move forward of the case when shooting and lock up the cylinder.
  15. I think there is a little 'semantics' thing going on. In the end, most people use a taper crimp on a .45 ACP with the understanding that it isn't a crimp. It really is just a straightening out of the bell at the case mouth.

    Taper crimp dies are also used with rimmed cartridges like the .38 Spl 148 gr HBWC. No roll crimp for these target rounds. If you look for .38 die sets at Midway, you will see two varieties: Roll crimp and taper crimp. Separate sets.

    In my view, it is much easier to do the taper crimp operation in a separate die. Yes, it can be done in the seater die but it makes the die harder to adjust and, since most presses have at least 4 stations, there is no reason not to use a separate taper crimp die.

    As to lube? Well, I'm a converted 'don't need it with carbide dies' kind of guy. A little Hornady One Shot does wonders. It makes the sizing operation easier on the machine, the brass and, most important, me! There is no need to remove the lube after loading.

    The cool thing about reloading is that everybody gets to make their own decisions. If it works, do it!

  16. cladd

    Thanks so much for all the excellent information - really helps me in my decision making process. I scored a find today at my local gunshop - a 4 pound container of Bullseye powder so I'm good there. Question - I have probably 500 rounds of Winchester white box - 230 grain - I assume all this brass is reloadable?

    Thanks again
  17. I would say "yes" but I have to admit that I'm guessing. Try it and see...


  18. The WWB brass will work fine.

    4.6gr of BE under a 230gr plated bullet should cycle just about anything you shoot.

    That is is also my default charge for 200gr LSWC's

    Have fun.
  19. #1. I don't put such a drastic bell on the case mouth, that it needs much straightening out. Just enough to get the bullet started, in the case without messing up the bullet or case. It would feed alright even if it wasn't run through any sort of crimp die.

    #2. A tamper crimp will indeed, crimp the case mouth, if it's set up right. That's why it's called a taper CRIMP die. If it's applied properly, it will impress a chamfer (bevel) around the case mouth.

    #3. You can remove the bell, from the case mouth with either a tamper or roll crimp die. Just don't screw it down as far. The amount of crimp that you apply (or don't apply) IS adjustable.

    #4 You can load your 45 Colt cases any way you want to, but mine don't allow the bullets to jack out, from recoil, if taper crimped. BTW, no such thing as 45 Long Colt, but there was a 45 short Colt, at one time. The army bought them because they only wanted 28 gr of powder.
  20. I agree with everything else you posted there. There's no reason a roll crimp can't be used on those rimmed cartridges. I will repeat a little history, though."

    Quote from Post #11: "Somewhere around 1982, I had called a CS rep. at RCBS about something and remarked that I had been using their taper crimp die for the 45 ACP to put a taper crimp on my 45 Colt reloads, instead of a roll crimp. Right after that, they started making taper crimp dies, for rimmed revolver cases. I don't believe it was a huge success, though."

    .38 Special 148 gr HBWC rounds did come with a roll crimp, until about 1982. You couldn't buy a taper crimp die from Midway or any place else, until around 1982. They weren't being manufactured. Evidently it was a bigger success, than I thought, if they still make those things.
  21. A 230 gr. bullet is "standard" in .45 ACP, although many people prefer to shoot a lighter weight, such as a 200 or 185 gr. I use the Rainier plated bullet, which basically uses lead bullet load data. This, on top of XXX grains of Hodgdon Titegroup powder (see Hodgdon web site for proper powder charge), a Winchester LP primer in Winchester brass, makes a very accurate load in my G21.

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