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Reloading Training

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by redcastle, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. redcastle


    Nov 26, 2011
    I've not been able to successfully set my press up and am have trouble with the scale.

    I think at this point I want to put an end to the madness and get on with the enjoyment of reloading. I'm looking for classes that I may attend that will help me get over the hump.

    I've read up on reloading and have an idea about the process but I think it would be wise for me to work with someone who has experience and can get me started.

    I'm in the Chicago suburbs and am willing to drive a reasonable distance to attend a class.

    Any info about possible classes would be greatly appreciated.:worried:
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  2. TX Archer

    TX Archer

    Jun 4, 2011
    Austin, TX

  3. redcastle


    Nov 26, 2011
    I just checked out the link and found a class near by. Thanks a bunch. I'm stepping back from reloading for now because I really don't know what I'm doing. So it's time to seek out some knowledge and get experience.
  4. It would also be great if you could find a mentor somewhere, as a follow-on to the class.
  5. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    Get a copy of "The ABCs of reloading" You should always have one anyway.
  6. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Why not post what press you have and what other equipment you have, and it's quite possible someone here can help you through your issues.

    As for the scale, am I correct in assuming it's a Lee beam scale?
  7. Have you called the press manufacturer? Most have tech support folks who can help.

    Have you looked at You Tube? Lots of self help videos there.

    Have you asked around for help at a local range or gun shop?

    How about where you bought the equipment? Any help there?

    Typically, gun people are all about helping a brother or sister out, so I'd keep trying PLUS follow the advice of those here on books, web sites, etc.

    Good luck!

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  8. redcastle


    Nov 26, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies. The equipment that I'm using came in the Lee Deluxe Reloading Kit: Lee Turret Press w/Auto-Index, Safety Powder Scale, Auto-Disk Powder Measure, Primer Pocket Cleaner, Chamfer Tool and Case Trimmer. I bought the dies for 9mm rounds from Lee along with a riser to lift the powder container.

    The scale is not a good piece of equipment. I replaced it with a Redding Model No. 2 scale. I went on and found the data for the 9mm 124gr cartridge I was trying to make. I then zeroed out the scale and double-checked the data for the correct disk cavity size (.40), the type of powder (WSF), bullet (FMJ), bullet weight (124gr) and suggested starting load of 4.8gr. I took 16 measurements which averaged 4.42gr with the low being 4.3gr and the high being 4.5gr. I did this because I wanted to be sure the equipment was working properly.

    I notice some powder on the surface underneath the auto-disk after I took the measurements, which means that could be the difference between what I was measuring and the amount that should have been dispensed into the casing. I also looked at the scale after completing the measurements and it did not appear to be zeroed anymore.

    I don't know if the variance in the measurements is acceptable or what the tolerances are. It seems like I'm dealing with several problems at once: Inaccurate volume of powder being dispensed, possible false data and a possible unknown problem with the scale as well as the auto-disk dispenser.

    I thought at this point I needed to get some experience on some equipment that works properly so I thought it would be a good idea to take a class. I'm just starting out and I don't know if my procedure is faulty, if the equipment isn't operating properly or a combination of both. I don't even know where to begin with setting up the crimping die or if 9mm pistol rounds even need to be crimped.

    I've gotten good responses from everyone in this forum but it can be a bit overwhelming at the number of responses and the information being offered. I just don't have a reference point to work from. Hence, the thought of taking a class!
  9. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    A good mentor is great, next best thing is a good class taught by someone knowledgable. The hardest way to learn is on your own reading a book, how many of us old guys learned. It's one reason I teach a NRA class, it shortens the learning curve quite a bit & I am always available for questions for my students.
  10. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Regardless of the scale you select, and the Redding will be fine, you need some check weights. You want to check the scale with a weight as close to the charge weight as possible.

    I have the large set but I don't know why. The smaller set is adequate for powder. The larger set for check bullet weights.

    I'm not an expert in Lee powder measure. In fact I have never even seen one. But from what I read, you really want the Pro version because it doesn't leak as bad. If nobody else jumps in, start another thread specifically about the press and powder measure. Several folks around here have experience with the Lee product line.

    Plus of minus 0.1 gr is no big deal as long as you aren't anywhere near MAX. I didn't check your load so I'm not sure where it is in relation to MAX.

    WSF should meter nicely and I too take an average of 10 measurements.

    You MIGHT help yourself by wiping down the plastic surfaces with a dryer fabric softener sheet. This tends to knock down static cling - in powder as well as clothes.

    One problem with scales is that they need to be on a level surface and away from any air currents. Even movement in the neighborhood of the scale can add or subtract a couple of tenths. I wouldn't be too quick to condemn the scale. Get the check weights!

    Taking a class is not a bad idea. Like most around here, I started with a book. Speer #10 in my case. There were no classes.

    Do yourself a favor and toss the Lee FCD. Get yourself a real Lee Taper Crimp Die for the crimping station.

    All the crimp needs to do is close up the case mouth where it was belled before seating the bullet. The crimp should not dent the bullet and MUST NOT cut through the plating on plated bullets. Pull a crimped bullet and check. I didn't notice if you have a ballistic bullet puller but you WILL need one.

    Look at the longitudinal edge of the round and see that the case mouth nether protrudes or recedes from a straightedge. If you have any doubts, look at a factory round. Your case will be bottle shaped and the factory round won't. Doesn't matter, look at the area around the case mouth.

    There is a lot of information in the user guides that come with the equipment. "ABCs Of Reloading" is a frequently recommended book. It is available as an eBook from Amazon.

    Every reloading manual will spend the first 100 pages or more going over the process. You will need at least 3 loading manuals: Hornady 8th Edition, Speer #14 and Lyman 49th.

    I would start with either Hornady or Speer with Speer spending the most time on discussing the process.

    The big picture is simple:
    1. Clean up the fired brass
    2. Decap, resize the case and install a new primer
    3. Bell the case mouth and add powder
    4. Seat the bullet
    5. Taper crimp
    Don't let it overwhelm you. Once you make a few rounds, you'll wonder what the fuss was all about.

    At least you are starting with a reasonable powder. BTW, the Hodgdon site lists 4.7 to 5.3 gr with an OAL of 1.169" (the SAAMI maximum OAL). You will probably load to 1.150" so somewhere around 4.8 gr seems reasonable to me.

    I think your 4.5 gr load may be a little light but it's a good place to start. As long as the gun cycles and the groups are good, there is nothing to be gained by adding powder. At least during the early days.

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012