stickmaker: (Default)
Whoof! That's a hundred rounds of 10mm finished today. 8.4 grains of 800-X, behind a 180 grain jacketed flat point.
stickmaker: (Default)
I have a little over five thousand rounds of .40 S&W. A bit over half of those are my handloads. That's enough, for now, I think.

I've been shooting a lot of .40 lately, and so have others. People who just leave their empty brass lying around after they finish. This born packrat can't stand the thought of all that shiny brass left to corrode or even (Gasp!) be picked up by someone else.

I find reloading fun and relaxing. It requires just enough attention that I have to focus, but I can do it well while listening to news or music. Even if I never shoot all these rounds - and those I've reloaded in other calibers - the money I spent on components and the time spent on the process were worth the result. And the size of my right bicep. :-)

I still have over a gallon of empty .40 brass, but I have more for other calibers. I'm currently out of 10mm bullets to use in reloading the .40 cartridges, and components are still hard to find. That's fine; even shooting twice a week I'd need a year to use what I have. (Fifty rounds, twice a week, times fifty-two weeks equals 5,200 rounds. More than I actually have. Of course, I don't shoot .40 ever time I go to the range, and I don't usually go twice a week. I average a bit more than once a week through a year. So, say I have a two year supply, without buying or reloading more.)

I've been reloading for nearly three decades, and even during the past couple of years - when I was doing so much .40 S&W - I was reloading other calibers. My favorite recipe for the .327 Federal Magnum uses the same powder charge as my usual .40 load, so I didn't even need to change the powder measure. I focused on reloading .40 because I was new to the cartridge and didn't have a stock on hand. Given the ammunition shortage and subsequent price rise over the past couple of years, reloading the .40 (and other calibers) not only saved money, at times it was the only way to get ammo for practice.

So I'm focusing on other calibers, now. I'm not buying more factory .40 or more bullets for rolling my own.

Unless I see a really good deal. ;-)

Reloading

Jul. 19th, 2009 01:39 pm
stickmaker: (Default)
I love shooting the .40 S&W. Reloading is a different matter. Actually, it's the resizing that's the problem.

I prefer RCBS equipment. I keep hearing that they're not the best, so when the only carbide die set I could find for the caliber was Dillon Precision I bought it. It was a three-die standard set... only it wasn't. It had a resizing-decapping die, a bullet seating die and a crimping die. No belling die.

Anyone who has ever loaded a straight-walled case knows that belling makes bullet seating much easier. I found myself ruining a good third of my cartridges, because the mouth crumpled when I seated the bullet. So I mail-ordered a belling die from RCBS.

On top of that, no matter how I adjust the decapping pin, about one case in three needs more than one trip into the die to actually remove the expended primer!

That still leaves another problem, the worst. Many of the cases have a shiny belt around them about a third of the way up after resizing. This is not merely cosmetic, but can be felt by running a finger over it. It even shows on the inside in extreme examples. I throw most of these away, since a significant amount of brass has been shaved off. I don't want a case separation.

While some of all brands of cases seem to be affected, CBI, Fiocci and Winchester are the worst, in declining order.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Once the hoarding binge is over I'm going to buy a RCBS carbide resizing-decapping die. I doubt I'll buy Dillon Precision again. I'm tired of this.

Reloading

Apr. 29th, 2008 12:51 pm
stickmaker: (Default)
Just finished my first rounds of .45 Colt. Starting with a modest load, just 7.0 grains of Unique behind a 250 grain bullet. Thats less powder than I use in my favorite .45 ACP load, though that uses a 186 grain bullet.

I made these extra pretty, not only running the brass through a tumbler for an hour but also a liquid case cleaner. They look nice. :-)

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