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Safety and efficacy of reloading for Glock 17

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by PaunchyP, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. PaunchyP

    PaunchyP

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    So I've been reading in some of the other forums here on GT and have found a couple of threads regarding misfires and problems with reloads for the G17. I was pretty much sold on getting into reloading and after I read the stickys in this forum I decided on what equipment I thought I'd like to start with. However, I'm beginning to rethink this if there are safety and efficacy issues with the G17. I'm new to shooting handguns so I don't completely understand some of what was being said but one thing was that it's bad to use reloaded ammo in a Glock because it has an unsupported barrel. I think they were saying this caused problems with feeding and the seating of the round in the chamber. One guy mentioned a case where the side blew out of his brass on a reloaded round. If anyone can give me a dumbed down explanation and give me guidance on moving forward with or steering away from reloading for my 17 it would be greatly appreciated.

    -Paul


    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engin
     
  2. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

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    Most of us start reloading when the amount of shooting we do each month extends our budgets to the breaking point.

    Cheap, re-manufactured ammo is available in 9mm. If your round count gets above 200 rounds per month, then perhaps reloading is a good idea. If you are a casual shooter, or not yet involved in a shooting sport, then reloading probably doesn't make sense.

    New handgun shooters should always have a .22 pistol to practice with. When you've put tens of thousands of rounds through your .22, and thousands through your Glock, or become involved in a shooting sport, then you might start thinking about reloading.

    I have lots of friends with expensive loading equipment that has sat idle for years. They just don't shoot enough to warrant the expense of reloading.

    With respect to the gist of your question: Hell yes, reloading is potentially dangerous and a person must be well educated in the process in order to be safe. Get involved in a shooting sport and the folks in that community will teach you everything you need to know about shooting and reloading. Get a .22 first.
     

  3. PaunchyP

    PaunchyP

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    I'm already shooting 500+ rounds per month out of the 17 and I feel like the addiction is just getting ramped up. My thought was I will watch my usage and educate myself with reading plus I know a couple of guys that reload til December and make the decision then. You know just in time for good ole St. Nick to help me out with all of the equiepment. ;-)
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

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    I know any number of people who reload for all calibers of Glock with no problems. The horror stories are nearly always about something other than a G17.

    There is so much cheap 9mm out there that you have pay attention to detail to save money by reloading. You have to buy components in quantity, especially shopping for the best buy on bullets. You have to be anal about picking up your brass... and anybody else's who does not recover it.

    Or you can load for purpose. A name brand JHP will run the cost of reloads up to the price of Cheapmart Econoball. But it will be more accurate and can simulate your defense ammo.
    A 147 grain bullet costs more than a 115, but I find subsonic loads more comfortable and controllable to shoot, worth it to me in matches.
     
  5. unclebob

    unclebob DFC, MSM, 13 Air Medals.

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    You need to decide if you want to get into reloading? We already know that you shoot 500rds a month if you start reloading figure on doubling that amount. You need to start thinking about if you plan on getting into any competition? How much do you want to spend on reloading equipment? And how much time do you to spend on reloading? Also do you have or planning on reloading for other guns? That will determine on what press will work for you.
    Reloading for a Glock is just like loading for any other gun. I have reloaded and shot over 200,000 rds. through 17 different Glocks and have not had any trouble that you mentioned. Most of the time it is the person that was doing the reloading fault and not the gun.
    :welcome:
     
  6. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    I thought the "unsupported chamber" thing for Glocks went away a couple of decades ago. Yes, there was an early problem with the .40 S&W (bad brass was a big part of the problem) but I have never heard about a problem with the 9mm.

    Do you have any idea how many hundreds of millions of rounds of ammo are reloaded by hobbyists each year? And yet somehow, we're all still here. I suspect that every competitive shooter is reloading and, at least for IDPA, most are shooting 9mm. Millions of rounds of 9mm...

    I don't have a Glock 9 but I do load for an XD9 and I do it using brass I pick up off the range that has been shot in a Glock. I can tell it's Glock brass by the rectangular extrusion in the primer. AFAIK, only Glock has a rectangular opening for the striker. The brass is fine and I have yet to see any that appears to have the 'guppies' of the old time .40 S&W.

    But, if you're worried about it, use an aftermarket barrel.

    There is the issue about shooting lead bullets in Glock barrels. Glock is pretty clear in the Owner's Manual about not doing this. Of course, they, and every other manufacturer, recommend against shooting reloads. Yet here we are! Shooting reloads... Hundred of millions of them.

    Yes, there is risk in reloading. It is possible to overcharge a case and blow up a gun. It is also possible to not charge a case, stick a bullet in the barrel and then chase it with another round. This 'squib-bang' event is almost guaranteed to blow up the barrel.

    There are 'kabooms' from time to time. It also happens with factory ammo every once in a while. But as a reloader, you have every opportunity to correctly charge the case, you make the decision to stay away from maximum loads, you get to choose which powder you use and you get to decide how much velocity it takes to punch a hole in paper. No whining if you make a bad choice!

    This is a reloading forum. Of course we reload!

    Richard
     
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Get a copy of "ABCs Of Reloading". It is even available as an eBook from Amazon. Read through it a couple of times and read the excellent stickies at the top of this forum.

    As to the "couple of guys that reload"? You can only learn what they know and you won't know what they don't know. Get a book and then talk to them. You may find out that the book explanation of the fundamentals is pretty helpful. At least you will get the terminology down.

    A typical press like the Dillon 550 does 4 things in sequence:
    1. Decap, resize the brass and insert a new primer
    2. Bell the case mouth and charge with powder
    3. Seat a bullet
    4. Taper crimp to close up the case mouth.
    It doesn't make a lot of difference which press you get, these are the steps (assuming the brass has been cleaned). For pistol loading, it doesn't get any more complex. Just 'rinse and repeat' to crank out about 500 rounds per hour on a 550. There are faster presses that cost more money and slower presses that cost less money but the Dillon RL550B is the workhorse of the reloading community.

    Richard
     
  8. PaunchyP

    PaunchyP

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    Well I was thinking based on reading the sticky that I liked the LCT kempf kit. Sounds like you get a lot for the money. I have several riffles and figured if loading for the 9mm goes well I will buy more dies and learn to reload those as well. Also my wife and I are very like to start conceal carry within the next year so we will be looking at two more handguns then as well. Haven't really started shopping at all so idk if we would stick with the 9mm or choose a different caliber. Either way I would plan to reload practice rounds for those guns as well. I'd love to get into some shooting sports/competitions but at this time am not aware of what's available in my immediate area or what the cost would be. I know I wouldn't want to travel much due to our work schedules so that may be the deciding factor there. Regardless I really enjoy and spend enough time at the range shooting enough rounds that I think financially it could be be beneficial.

    @Richard: Thanks for the encouragement. I assumed the opinions here might be biased towards reloading, but I also figure you guys know enough to tell me if those are legitimate concerns or operator error and if any of what I read was specific to the G17 or 9mm round. Also looking for opinions as to whether the benefits out weigh the risk given that 9mm is relatively cheap and abundant. Some of the other rounds I wouldn't be able shoot regularly at the market price that's why I chose the 9mm to start but it seems like I could still save money reloading and perhaps cover the cost of equipment in less than one year.
     
  9. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Well the expense in reloading i sbuying the gear. So if yor friends have gear & not reloaing, it's a fear factor not cost IMO. Yes, reloading is potentially dangerous, so is shooting ro driving a car. Do it worng, bad things will happen. Don't pay attention, bad things will happen.
    Having said that, reloading for a GLock is no diff than any other gun. WIth the possible exception of load an all lead bullet (debatable) the GLock i sactually a bit easier to get good results with do to the slightly generous chambers. So if you want to start reloading, even for 100rds a month, good for you.
    The smart way, take a certified class. The next best is read a ton. Start with ABCs of Reloading & a good manual like he Speer #14 or lyman #49. Read the reloadign sections twice, then you can consider buying gear. Go slow, ask questions, it isn't harder than learning to drive a car.:dunno:
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  10. techiej

    techiej

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    Between my son & I we shoot about 7-800 rounds of 9mm and 250-300 rounds of 30-06 per month.

    We are starting to reload and based upon our current ammo usage we were able to buy a filly equipped Hornady LNL AP w/case feeder, bullet feeder, a case prep station and all the goodies (including building a heavy duty set of benches) and calculated a break-even point (including cost of consumables) of about 2 1/2 years.

    So we went for it and are enjoying the reloading process as well.

    There is a bit of a learning curve - especially with a progressive -- but it gets much easier with time. If you can, see if someone can show you how to reload on their press before deciding.

    If you don't enjoy reloading, then no amount of savings will be worth your time...it is a hobby in and of itself. The $ justification just makes it easier to sell the wife on the "investment".
     
  11. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

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    OP, I'll be short and to the point. Learn the process, pick your equipment, buy your components to load a standard 124g FMJ load with a good metering, reasonably density powder to help avoid double charges, use the primer of your choice. Find data for and develop a good mid range load at about 135 power factor for your G17 and move on.
    I don't know why the whole unsupported barrel thing in Glock keeps rearing it's ugly head lately. It has NEVER been an issue in 9mm only in the early .40's
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  12. PaunchyP

    PaunchyP

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    ^^^^^^ Thanks!!!
     
  13. Colorado4Wheel

    Colorado4Wheel

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    Reload with confidence. Nothing different about a G17 and nearly any other gun besides the lead bullet debate.
     
  14. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    If you go with the Kempf kit, select the Pro Auto Disk upgrade. This particular incantation of the LCT kit comes with something that is important but not usually included (I forget what) but most important, it doesn't include the Lee scale which isn't highly regarded around here.

    Remember that it takes 4 handle strokes to produce a single loaded round. Take that 200-250 rounds per hour with a bunch of salt! If a Dillon 550 that requires one stroke per loaded round produces 500 rounds per hour (and I have NEVER gotten close to that!), how can the LCT get much more than 125? Whatever...

    Disclaimer: I have two 550s and have never even seen an LCT.

    Watch the reloading videos on YouTube...

    Buy a decent scale. It will last a lifetime and is independent of caliber, weapon or loading press. Either the Dillon Eliminator (beam scale) or D-Terminator (digital) will be fine. Buy some RCBS check weights. If you buy a digital scale, don't spend less thant $100. The cheap ones are not good enough!

    Richard
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson

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    The edition of Glock owners manual I found had nothing to say about lead bullets.
    "No liability whatever can be accepted if inexpertly manufactured or inexpertly filled ammunition is used."
     
  16. SARDG

    SARDG

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    That poster:
    a) used a cheap digital scale
    b) did not calibrate his scale for more than a year, and
    c) had no check weights

    If you were to follow that lead, you can almost certainly be guaranteed similar results. If you can read and follow printed instructions, you should have no problem with any kind of press. Based on the use of the 4 syllable word efficacy, and even spelled correctly, I'd say you have a head start. :supergrin: And based on some recent posts, I am beginning to think that common sense may be the biggest virtue for reloading.

    I am but a common 'girl' (well, 50-60 years ago maybe) and I began reloading about 6 months ago with a 650 press and Titegroup powder - both apparently a questionable choice for a beginner. I began reloading to make match ammo - not save money. Coincidentally, I suppose I save a few bucks, even using premium components. I feel it is a completely safe hobby and ALL my reloads so far have been shot in my Glocks - 9mil mostly, and some .45; right now, perhaps 15K rounds / year. I’d shoot more, and reload more – but I’m retired and don’t have much time. I started with a 650 because I like to get what I need up front and not deal with upgrading soon after.
     
  17. ColoCG

    ColoCG

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    I'm not sure about you and your Dillon550, but I guarantee you can load more than 125 on the LCT.

    I think if I was trying I could do 125 on my SS,not continiuously but for a run.:supergrin:
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  18. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

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    Yes, everybody wants to talk about burst rate, not sustained throughput over several hundred rounds. My 1050 will do 1200 rounds per hour - for about 5 minutes when it runs out of primers. I was sizing over 1400 .223 rounds per hour on my 650 - but I didn't need to set a bullet or add primers.

    Heck the LCT might be FASTER than a 550 according to this review at 7:08. He claims 500 rounds per hour!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRn_twi9B0g"]Lee Classic Turret Press Review 2 - YouTube[/ame]

    One of the commenters to the video says he gets 100 rounds in 45 minutes (about 133/hour) running really fast and suggests that 100 rounds per hour is a good rate for a beginner.

    As I said, I have never seen one of the LCTs. But I know for a fact that 4 handle pulls per round is a lot slower than 1 handle pull per round. And I know that if I include loading primer tubes (and I do), I don't come anywhere close to 500 rounds per hour on the 550.

    Richard
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
  19. ColoCG

    ColoCG

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    Richard , when I mentioned not that many continuously I was referring to a SS.

    No, you will never get 500rd's per hr. on a LCT. And a hundred rds per hr. may be a good rate for a beginner, But with practice and more experience 200rds. per hr is very doable for anyone with experience without trying to hard. More can probably be done but it may be pushing it for some people.

    If you don't believe me ask others who are familar with the LCT, C4W for example.
     
  20. shotgunred

    shotgunred local trouble maker

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    Most people load a hundred and then do the math. But I was curious about the real 1 hour output is.
    SO I did some testing a couple of years ago. I will see if I can find it. What I did was have someone who had a press for a while reload for 1 hour straight. They could preload how many primer tubes they had on hand but if they needed more they had to load them on the clock.
    I did the 550 myself. My 1 full 1 hour rate was somewhere in between 500 and 550, the guy that did the 650 managed to crank out a little over 1100 in 1 hour.