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  #1  
Old 01-03-2010, 09:45 AM
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Default First handloading effort

Fifty .38 Special rounds. Remington brass, CCI 500 small pistol primers, 5 grains of Unique, 158 grain LSWC.

Going to the range on Monday. Will report back with resuts.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:56 AM
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Welcome to the club. My first reloads were 3.0 of Bullseye and a 158 gr LRN. That was almost 40 years ago and I am still at it.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:00 AM
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Way to go! It will be hard to buy ammo now that you know what you can do and how accurate your own loads are, and the cost.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:51 PM
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Since you say this is your first hand loading effort, I'm going to preach a little bit.

The loads you list are probably safe, but I will point out that you are .3 grain over Alliant's standard .38 load and .2 grains less than their max +P load.

It is very bad practice to pick a load at or near maximum and start with it. Reduce listed maximums 10% and work up (with a very few exceptions like H110 and W296). This is a standard safety practice, those that don't follow it do so at their peril.

Congrats for getting into the game!
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:04 PM
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Welcome to the world of reloading Pigirondan! You will never look back! As mentioned above, you are starting at the higher end with those loads. They will be fine in a .357 mag revolver, and probably OK in a +P rated gun, but I wouldn't shoot them in an old vintage Colt Detective Special.

Starting low and working your loads up is great advice from imashooter2. Buy yourself a chronograph if you really want to make yourself crazy! Different combinations of primer types, powder types, bullet styles and weights, brass types, and firearm types will just about make you nuts! You will eventually find some "pet" loads that will be incredibly accurate in your particular guns.

Best of luck, follow the load guides, be safe, and have a blast!


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Old 01-03-2010, 05:57 PM
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This is slightly off topic, but it has to do with beginning to reload. I started about 4 months ago and have reloaded about 500 handgun shells. I had what I assume to be the standard type of beginner problems, but for the most part all the reloads functioned properly. My learning curve seemed to be steeper than it should have been because I couldn't find any decent information on reloading operations. The information I did find deals with theory, how to set up a press, what the actual operations do and the importance of accurate load data, but I leaves the impression that all you have to do is fall off a turnip truck, buy a press and ou're ready to reload. I didn't find anything that deals with common beginner mistakes-- like not checking cleaned cases closely enough to make sure they're free of media, checking to ensure that primers feed properly, making sure primers are properly seated. I also didn't find any mention of things like paying attention to the feel of the handle when you insert a primer and the fact that with a progressive press, the effort required to knock out the spent primer and resize the case makes it impossible to feel the bullet being inserted into a reprimed and loaded case. Does anyone know of a book or web site that covers this type of information?
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigirondan View Post
Fifty .38 Special rounds. Remington brass, CCI 500 small pistol primers, 5 grains of Unique, 158 grain LSWC.

Going to the range on Monday. Will report back with results.
Good for you, welcome to reloading!! Those rounds will shoot fine. My first reloads were 20 rounds of .38 Special, Remington brass, CCI 500 primers, 148gr DEWC over 3.2gr W231. (still one of my favorite loads)
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:31 PM
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I NEVER go below the starting load when working from a modern manual. Too many stories of a squib in the barrel and the next shot = disaster. Just my .02.

That being said, those loads are on the hotter side, and are not really a good starting point. Depending on barrel length, those should come out around 800-900 fps.

Have fun, and shooting will never be the same.

Last edited by ajpelz; 01-03-2010 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:56 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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YOU ARE HOOKED, YOU ARE HOOKED, YOU ARE HOOKED! (Just like the rest of us! )

Welcome to the forum and reloading.

The caution that ima mentions is a good one and I second the notion. Start out with good procedures and your reloading experience will be enjoyable.

Since the manuals didn't have your gun to pressure test loads in, they are only guessing what you will get when you put the components together. Educated guess, yes, but a guess just the same. That is WHY we start low and work up.

In this caliber, if you start at the minimum in a newer manual you will be fine.

Have fun though and be safe!
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2010, 09:35 PM
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Thank you one and all. I will be using my 2 year old Model 10 for the testing. I've ran a lot of +P through it, even quite a bit of Buffalo Bore +P.

My goal is to work up an accurate (and warm) load for my 80's era Model 15.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:43 PM
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welcome to the forum and to reloading. I understand where you want to go, but don't try to get there too fast. Work up your loads from minimum load data instead of starting near the top.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2010, 09:51 PM
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What intrigues me is why there is such variation between published loads and velocities using Unique.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:05 AM
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The same reason why you start low... every gun is a law unto itself. Barrel and chamber dimensions vary as do brass and even powder lots. A moderate load in your gun with your components might well be dangerous in mine.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:44 PM
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Fifty for fifty. One round was a bit snappy compared to the other 49. Nothing major, just noticeable. The Model 10 handled it just fine.

Thank you all for the encouragement.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:43 PM
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I shoot nearly the same loads out of nearly the same gun. I have a M15 and others.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:07 PM
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Welcome Pigirondan and enjoy your new reloading addiction.
It just occurred to me that I loaded my first 357 magnum round exactly 12 months ago.
I am now getting a bit more adventurous and trying different powders and projectiles.
Canít think of a better way to spend a couple of hours out in the shed of a night time and I get a kick out of knowing that the bullets that I take to the range are the ones that I made myself.
Campfire
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:56 PM
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congrats...as others mentioned...shooting will never be the same again!
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  #18  
Old 01-06-2010, 09:30 AM
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My goal is to handload a round that feels the same as my so-called carry load, which is the standard pressure Buffalo Bore 158 grain SWC-HP.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:34 AM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Question OK, how did you do then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigirondan View Post
My goal is to handload a round that feels the same as my so-called carry load, which is the standard pressure Buffalo Bore 158 grain SWC-HP.
I guess my title is my post too. How did you do in duplicating? What about velocity? Did they match?
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:21 AM
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It felt the same, IMO. I've yet to use a chronograph. In that same vein, it was no where near as snappy as the Buffalo Bore +P 158 grain SWCHP.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:50 PM
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In my limited experience I have found that faster powders with the same weight bullets seem to be "snappier" in recoil while getting nowhere near the velocity of the slower powders.

If it were me, and I have done this, I would look to a different powder than Unique for these kinds of loads. I would use SR4756. Better metering and with older data will out perform Unique for your application. Believe me, I have done the tests.

As a suggestion though, don't try to work up loads without a chronograph. You have absolutely no way of knowing whether you are getting over the edge or not. I'm not saying that the loads you are using now are, not at all, but how will you tell when you do go over without a chronograph?

A simple tool for under $100 from most sources.

FWIW
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357 magnum, bullseye, chronograph, colt, detective, model 10, model 15, primer, projectiles, remington

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