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Old 09-19-2020, 10:03 PM
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Default First time at the range with my reloads

I took my first batch of reloads to the range today and I'm very satisfied with them. Nothing special. The .40 S&W rounds where 165 gr Berry's flat nose plated with a mid-range load of either Longshot or CFE Pistol. The 9mm was 115 Hornady round FMJ with CFE Pistol.

I am not a marksman by any means, but I'm proud of the groups below. I was on the 25 yard range. These 2 where shot with my SD40 VE with its eternally long trigger.

I did have one squib. The bullet made it all the way into the rifling. There probably wasn't a bit of powder in that one. Pretty easy to clear, but it cost me a trip to the house. I hope that is my one and only.

1000 .40 primed brass on the way. 250 bullets should be here Monday. I'll have a couple of evenings of reloading this week.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:20 PM
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Good outing, practice on breathing and squeezing and solid stance. Got the makings of an excellent marksman like the groups in the middle of the target.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:29 PM
.38SuperMan .38SuperMan is offline
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I really enjoy reloading. I find it very relaxing because I clear my mind of everything and focus completely on what I’m doing. In several decades of reloading I’ve only had one squib and that was this year. I was reloading 45LC on a single stage press and was distracted. That’s all it takes.

Fortunately when I fired the round I recognized what happened and I unloaded my Blackhawk and check down the barrel. Sure enough there was a bullet stuck in the forcing come.

Hopefully when we have a little accident we become more careful. I’m a longtime pilot and witnessed a plane crash about a hundred yards in front of me. Seven lives were lost. It was a careless error that made a lasting impression on me. I now triple check fuel, instruments and control settings and the physical structure of the plane before departing. I now apply that same practice to my reloading.

Be safe and enjoy the fun!

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Old 09-19-2020, 11:34 PM
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I eyeball every case that I load for the proper quantity of powder. I use loading blocks so I can see exactly the amount of powder in each case.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:43 PM
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I have found that CFE Pistol powder in the 9mm does quite well in the accuracy department with plated 115 & 124 gr FMJ bullets.

CFE pistol powder is accurate in my 3, 3.5 & 5" pistols with 5.5 grains of powder.

Have fun.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:35 AM
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When I started reloading in the early 60s I had one squib and one double charge. 38 special caliber, luckily I was shooting my brand new M-28 that I had paid all of $70.00 for. Knock on wood, none since.
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Old 09-20-2020, 01:09 AM
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Welcome to the reloading fraternity. I also find it a fine way to decompress and to concentrate on the process and thus producing good ammo.

What kind of equipment are you using? I started out with Lee Loaders in the late 60s and gradually upgraded to my current set up.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwjarrett View Post
I took my first batch of reloads to the range today and I'm very satisfied with them......I did have one squib. The bullet made it all the way into the rifling. There probably wasn't a bit of powder in that one. Pretty easy to clear, but it cost me a trip to the house...
I probably started loading my own back in '77 as I recall, dang fun when you realize you just loaded that round yourself!

I did have a squib once years ago and didn't catch it...cost me a Bar-Sto .45ACP barrel.

I still use a single stage press and use a loading block.

I'll load up 50 with powder, and then use a powerful flashlight to insure that they all received powder and that the level is consistent between them.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Jwjarrett View Post
I took my first batch of reloads to the range today and I'm very satisfied with them. Nothing special. The .40 S&W rounds where 165 gr Berry's flat nose plated with a mid-range load of either Longshot or CFE Pistol. The 9mm was 115 Hornady round FMJ with CFE Pistol.

I am not a marksman by any means, but I'm proud of the groups below. I was on the 25 yard range. These 2 where shot with my SD40 VE with its eternally long trigger.

I did have one squib. The bullet made it all the way into the rifling. There probably wasn't a bit of powder in that one. Pretty easy to clear, but it cost me a trip to the house. I hope that is my one and only.

1000 .40 primed brass on the way. 250 bullets should be here Monday. I'll have a couple of evenings of reloading this week.
If I look back to summer of 2013 I would find my thread titled “Fired My First Reloads”. Everybody remembers their first reloads. I even wore a gardening glove and held the gun high over my head for the first few shots in case “it exploded”. Many thousands of rounds later and either than the occasional light strike (I use a hand held primer seating tool and maybe primer wasn’t seated quite far enough), I have never had one issue. I don’t think I have fired 100 factory rounds since 2013.

Squib already? I haven’t had one yet. I know guys say it happens to everybody but unless I totally change my reloading method I will never have a squib or an over charge. I weigh every charge and seat bullet immediately after I drop the powder. I’m in no rush.

Welcome to the club. When all this dies down stock up heavily in components.
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Old 09-20-2020, 07:09 AM
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I probably started loading my own back in '77 as I recall, dang fun when you realize you just loaded that round yourself!

I did have a squib once years ago and didn't catch it...cost me a Bar-Sto .45ACP barrel.

I still use a single stage press and use a loading block.

I'll load up 50 with powder, and then use a powerful flashlight to insure that they all received powder and that the level is consistent between them.
Same here. Single stage. Don’t see that changing.

I used to drop powder for 50 cases and line them up in loading block, then inspect with flashlight, but one time as I was nearly done with a 50 round batch my hand bumped something and I spilled the case into the open cases. Had to start all over again. So now I drop powder and seat bullet immediately. Also means if I get called away after say 22 rounds I can just walk away and get back to it later.
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Old 09-20-2020, 08:37 AM
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No squibs and no double charges yet and I have been reloading for well over 30 years now. My practice is to always visually verify the powder charge inside the case before placing the bullet.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:08 AM
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I am using a Lee value 4 hole turret press with Lee dies. I can get a good visual of powder with either the Longshot or the CFE Pistol. I put the ammo in my ammo box in the order that I loaded them, so I know it was late and I was tired when I did the squib. I remember thinking I needed to shut down before I made a mistake. Then I decided to finish out the rest of my bullets. I guess I should have trusted my first instinct. No harm this time.

I can see my powder charge ok when it is in the turret, but it would help to have a turret light. Simple enough to make an LED. I'll do that next.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:51 AM
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Always do the flashlight check before seating the bullet, good practice to get into.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:53 AM
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I am using a Lee value 4 hole turret press with Lee dies. I can get a good visual of powder with either the Longshot or the CFE Pistol. I put the ammo in my ammo box in the order that I loaded them, so I know it was late and I was tired when I did the squib. I remember thinking I needed to shut down before I made a mistake. Then I decided to finish out the rest of my bullets. I guess I should have trusted my first instinct. No harm this time.

I can see my powder charge ok when it is in the turret, but it would help to have a turret light. Simple enough to make an LED. I'll do that next.
I've seen your other posts and you seem detail oriented. I know you'll take steps to be sure you never have another no-charge.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:59 AM
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I remember back in 1965, I bought my first Lee loader. This was the original "pound em in, pound em out" type. Only cost $9.95 at the local gun store. I was 19 at the time, and was feeding brand new Colt 1911a1 pistol. After I got 50 rounds loaded, I took gun and loads out to the country. It is such satisfaction to shoot your own first reloads!
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:26 PM
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No more squibs in the .40 loads. I weighed my primed brass. I have a pretty even split between Speer, Winchester and Federal with a few odd ones. The Speers are very consistent, Winchester next with Feds having the most variations. They were close enough that I could guess the manufacturer by weight 9 out of 10 times. I added my 165 gr bullet and 7.1 gr powder charge to form a go-no-go weight range for each brand of brass and weighed the 150 remaining reloads. Only one was far enough off to indicate a possible squib. I used my redneck bullet puller (deluxe edition) and found the case was lighter than most other Winchester brass and the load was light by about .5gr.

So I started off singing Johnny Lee "Looking for Squibs In All The Wrong Places," to Ozzy Osbourne " No More Squibs!" All within a little over a quarter of watching Cowboys and some other team.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:21 PM
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Just looking at your targets I would make two observations.

The target on the left has 8 out of 15 rounds in the 10 ring while the one on the right has a similar group at 6 o’clock. Were the targets shot with different powders? If so the group on the right would be the load to stick with.

Each target has rounds out to the left but none to the right. Apart from sight alignment (it does not take much to cause that amount of drift at 25 yards) where was the sun when you were shooting? If it was from your left that would account for those shots (we tend to overcorrect left trying to get the light “even” on each side). But if it was not then I would suggest looking at your trigger finger placement. Too much finger on the trigger will cause those left shots.

Otherwise, even with those shots in the 8 ring, that is fine shooting indeed.
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:46 PM
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I've taught a lot of folks to handload, from zero to full bore. Some in person, most via e-mail and txt. I've enjoyed bringing others in to this hobby and I love giving back to a community that has given me so much. When I started handloading, the internet wasn't yet a reality at home in any form. I started with a Speer#11 and my local gun store was, frankly, obnoxious and unhelpful. I had no mentor, I had only the manual. I was 16 years old.

So the gun forums opened a huge new world to me when it came to learning and sharing about handloading.

I say all of THAT^^^ in hopes of telling you honestly where I come from and my motivation for what I'll say next. I'm a helpful person, it is NOT my goal to be condescending, mean or hurtful. I'm here to help, even if it doesn't sound like it.
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I took my first batch of reloads to the range today and I'm very satisfied with them. <SNIP>

I did have one squib. The bullet made it all the way into the rifling. There probably wasn't a bit of powder in that one. Pretty easy to clear, but it cost me a trip to the house. I hope that is my one and only. <SNIP>
No, no, and No.

Your first EVER time out and not only did you make a squib, but you feel satisfied with the experience.

I'd set the bar a lot higher than that. I think it would help you to set some tangible checks and balances in place to prevent failures like a squib and/or potentially catastrophic failures (such as another squib with different results or double charged rounds or worse)

I can definitely help with these checks and balances, I'm more than happy to give very specific suggestions on how and what to change, and how they work and how they can benefit you. I'm not here to condemn you, but your first ever box of ammo to the range and it was a failure on a realistic scale. Calling it otherwise could be deemed optimistic, but that surely isn't helpful. You are very lucky that a gun didn't get wrecked... or worse.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:09 PM
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Just looking at your targets I would make two observations.

The target on the left has 8 out of 15 rounds in the 10 ring while the one on the right has a similar group at 6 o’clock. Were the targets shot with different powders? If so the group on the right would be the load to stick with.

Each target has rounds out to the left but none to the right. Apart from sight alignment (it does not take much to cause that amount of drift at 25 yards) where was the sun when you were shooting? If it was from your left that would account for those shots (we tend to overcorrect left trying to get the light “even” on each side). But if it was not then I would suggest looking at your trigger finger placement. Too much finger on the trigger will cause those left shots.

Otherwise, even with those shots in the 8 ring, that is fine shooting indeed.
Yes, two different powders. On the right, CFE Pistol, On the left, Longshot. CFE is a lot easier to throw consistently.

I was under an awning and I was shooting at high noon. It's my trigger finger. I have to work on placement and pull.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:48 PM
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Love my powder check die in my Dillon 650. When one loads a high volume it gives peace of mind to have that gadget double checking me. I always carry a range rod, just in case, for other people to be able to tap out a stuck bullet and not have to end their shooting session.

Last edited by BE Mike; 09-20-2020 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:52 PM
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Good to see someone coming into the activity of reloading.

One thing I'll add about the squid.

I had 3 in 200 rounds when I first started and talked to some people. I found the single worst piece of advice for large volume PISTOL reloaders is to fill half the block with empty cases, charge them and move them to the other half of the block. If you use this technique you end up with BOTH empty and charged cases in the block at the same time.

While I"m sure this technique works well for people who are going to load exactly 20 rifle cases for deer season it's a total failure for pistol loaders.

I save my brass until I have at least 1,000 cases. I clean, size and prime, switch dies, I was loading for years on a single stage press, etc. This way I do everything in batches of 1000 and never have charged and uncharged cases on the bench at the same time.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
I've taught a lot of folks to handload, from zero to full bore. Some in person, most via e-mail and txt. I've enjoyed bringing others in to this hobby and I love giving back to a community that has given me so much. When I started handloading, the internet wasn't yet a reality at home in any form. I started with a Speer#11 and my local gun store was, frankly, obnoxious and unhelpful. I had no mentor, I had only the manual. I was 16 years old.

So the gun forums opened a huge new world to me when it came to learning and sharing about handloading.

I say all of THAT^^^ in hopes of telling you honestly where I come from and my motivation for what I'll say next. I'm a helpful person, it is NOT my goal to be condescending, mean or hurtful. I'm here to help, even if it doesn't sound like it.

No, no, and No.

Your first EVER time out and not only did you make a squib, but you feel satisfied with the experience.

I'd set the bar a lot higher than that. I think it would help you to set some tangible checks and balances in place to prevent failures like a squib and/or potentially catastrophic failures (such as another squib with different results or double charged rounds or worse)

I can definitely help with these checks and balances, I'm more than happy to give very specific suggestions on how and what to change, and how they work and how they can benefit you. I'm not here to condemn you, but your first ever box of ammo to the range and it was a failure on a realistic scale. Calling it otherwise could be deemed optimistic, but that surely isn't helpful. You are very lucky that a gun didn't get wrecked... or worse.
7, I take no offense to your critique. I shouldn't appear so nonchalant about it. I'm experienced enough to pay attention to every pull of the trigger and recognize what happens if another round is fired. The same with lite pin strikes - I call them "Click, no boom" I've had a could of those on factory ammo recently.

Today I thoroughly went over all my reloads by brand of brass, load and bullet to ensure the weight eliminated the possibility of a double or a squib. I pulled bullets on several. No other problems found.

Yes, going forward, I would love to know your checks and balances.

Interesting to me is the fact that so much reloading equipment is backordered but so few new people are showing up on the forums. I know there are a lot of new freeloaders out there.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:46 PM
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Well I am old and use a single stage and don't get into a rush and check the power in all the cases in my 50 case holder, before I set the bullets.

1968 to today..........
no squibs yet but I did have a few X-Lite target loads in 38 and 9mm that I am glad that made it out the end of the barrel.

In my new testings with the 38 special and the 130 HST Federal bullet I am still wondering how that bullet cleared the J frame M49 1 7/8" barrel doing just.....
546 fps !!

Stay safe.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:36 PM
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Squib on your first loads, eh? Guess you had to get that out of your system right away. You'll get it all figured out soon enough. Routine, routine, routine!

I started reloading in 1975, and since then had only a couple of dud primers--until last year. Worked up some loads for an AR wildcat I have and left the powder out of 5 rounds. Missed the whole row somehow. The surprising thing is I never heard the slightest primer pop and the bullets didn't budge a bit on any of the 5 rounds. Other than dented primers, they looked perfectly normal. I thought dud primers until I pulled the bullets and no powder came out!
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Old 09-21-2020, 12:08 AM
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Same here. Single stage. Don’t see that changing.

I used to drop powder for 50 cases and line them up in loading block, then inspect with flashlight, but one time as I was nearly done with a 50 round batch my hand bumped something and I spilled the case into the open cases. Had to start all over again. So now I drop powder and seat bullet immediately. Also means if I get called away after say 22 rounds I can just walk away and get back to it later.
I can see that happening, and I'm very careful handling that loading block with 50 open powder charges sitting there!

I just like to inspect all 50 charges for comparison before seating the bullets.
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Old 09-21-2020, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by AJ View Post
I eyeball every case that I load for the proper quantity of powder. I use loading blocks so I can see exactly the amount of powder in each case.
Same here. Just a word of advice- keep your mouth closed when peering into the cases if there's bacon frying somewhere in the house. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:00 AM
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BE Mike BE Mike is offline
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Some things can get by me even though I've reloaded for going on 50 years. Yesterday I loaded 1,000 rounds of .45 ACP. I counted and inspected each piece of range brass and thought I had recovered all the 9mm and .40 S&W, but somehow one .40 S&W got by me. Being stuck in the .45 ACP case, it showed up when I tried to load that case which had made it all the way from the hopper and feed tube of the case feeder on my Dillon 650. My point is, we are all human and can make mistakes.
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BE Mike View Post
Love my powder check die in my Dillon 650. When one loads a high volume it gives peace of mind to have that gadget double checking me. I always carry a range rod, just in case, for other people to be able to tap out a stuck bullet and not have to end their shooting session.
BE Mike, the Dillon powder check and I already don't get along. I can't hear the alarm in this video. That frequency is gone with my hard rock and mechanic ears. The narrator keeps saying something about the alarm and I can't hear a thing

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Old 09-21-2020, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kbm6893 View Post
I know guys say it happens to everybody but unless I totally change my reloading method I will never have a squib or an over charge.
Said every guy that ever blew up a gun with an overcharge. That's dangerous thinking in my opinion. No process is foolproof without vigilance. Adding as many checks as practical reduces the odds of errors.

I know of a KABOOM with that same process. So it's "possible". The inspection in a loading block adds another level of safety in my thinking. If you somehow double charge one you have no chance to catch it seating the bullet immediately. The aforementioned KABOOM was a mystery as to how he could have double charged it, but it was obvious he did.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jwjarrett View Post
BE Mike, the Dillon powder check and I already don't get along. I can't hear the alarm in this video. That frequency is gone with my hard rock and mechanic ears. The narrator keeps saying something about the alarm and I can't hear a thing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UafkPd06_F0
I understand that RCBS has a lock out die that would work for people with your disability.
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