Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

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Re: Starting from scratch

Postby Iplayfarmer » 05 Jun 2017 16

Great to hear that you got good accuracy your first time out!

A few things that I haven't seen mentioned (could be here and I just missed it)...

- Some kind of caliper for measuring overall length of the cartridge with the seated bullet.
- case prep/cleaning type of equipment.
- lots and lots of little bins: cool whip, sour cream, yogurt, etc. containers work just as well as the purpose made bins. You'll eventually be sorting head stamps, separating out damaged brass, gathering rounds in various stages of brass prep, and storing reject rounds for pulling and reusing.

I actually really like HP38 powder. I have bigger guns if I want more recoil. If you can get good accuracy without big recoil, why not? I use Trailboss for cowboy action competition loads, and I use H110 for the hot stuff. I've also used HS6 with similar results to HP38. I pretty much stick to Hodgdon powders because their website is incredibly useful and very user friendly... hodgdonreloading.com

I bought a cheap digital scale from Amazon or Ebay. (Don't remember which. Both have them.) It's good to 0.05 grains and is very repeatable. I have high dollar scales at work that I can compare it to, and it measures just fine. It feels like a toy, but it gives me accurate and precise measurements every time that I can be confident in. The thing I like about a digital scale is that I'm not weighing into a pan and transferring into the case. I tare the case on the scale, drop my charge, and then trickle into the case to make up the exact weight I'm looking for. It eliminates one step, and to me seems to eliminate potential inaccuracies due to unseen spillage, etc. when dumping powder out of a pan into the case.

One hint for a loading tray... I gather up trays from factory boxes of 45 ACP ammo. These are about the right size to hold a 357 case mouth-up and still have some room in between to grab the cases out of the tray. I've gone so far as to glace into the trash at the range for empty boxes of 45 ACP.

I'm with you in that I load with my kids. It's some of my favorite time that I spend with them, and they are very helpful.
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Re: Starting from scratch

Postby GasGuzzler » 05 Jun 2017 17

I have dozens of big plastic coffee cans for sorting. I add a strip of masking tape with handwritten contents.

+1 on the small digital scale. Most people don't trust them but I've got a +/- document I made that compares it to both an RCBS and Lyman beam scale.
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Re: Starting from scratch

Postby btoran » 06 Jun 2017 09

Your mileage may vary but for a light load for 357 target shooting, i use 5.2 Grn of HP38 and a 125 grn LRNFP from SNS. The bullet is epoxy coated, so no worries about handling lead (my kids like to help too). pretty accurate and virtually no kick. just need to be careful not to double charge the case as it's possible. i use a lee classic turret, which is what i started over a year ago, and works great after a bit of performance tweaking (reverse rotation, automatic ejection, bullet drop tube). enjoy.
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Re: Starting from scratch

Postby Archer » 10 Jun 2017 00

The small digital scales have come a long way in the past 15-20 years. Many smoke shops in CA sell them, especially since they made medical AND recreational MJ state legal.

I've got at least one from a couple decades ago sold as a 'reloading scale' that I wouldn't trust as a kitchen baking scale. I haven't exactly been in a hurry to replace it since I've got 3 Ohaus beam scales built for RCBS and Lyman that are reliable.

The whole MJ legalization by the state stupidity is a completely different subject and the Feds have modified the 4477 to stress that MJ possession and use is STILL federally illegal and grounds for denial on the Fed form. You wouldn't believe the smell wafting off some of the idiots who walk into a gunshop and want to start filling out an application OR who were smoking on the way to pick up their gun after the CA mandated waiting period or how irate they get when the shop personal explain to them that BECAUSE they smell like skunk or because they admitted on the form they smoke MJ with or without a medical MJ card they aren't getting their gun. I already know one guy who got T boned by a woman so high on MJ she couldn't stand up straight and at times I've smelt it going down the freeway and on one occasion saw the car in front of me at a red light looking like a Cheech & Chong prop it was so full of smoke that smelled of skunk once it got underway.
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Re: Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

Postby GRV01 » 16 Jul 2017 05

So i got the Lyman Cast Bullet guide since im shooting and reloading only powder coated lead (ACME but more MBC) and im loving it. Fourth edition is 10 years old already but i got a great HS6 357 rifle load that was 3 grains higher than max listed in Lee's 2nd Edition from last year and shot great

HS6, 9.8gr (.7CC Dipper), 158gr Powder coated LRNFP (MBC) or LSWC (ACME). Etimated fps was 1100 IIRC

Now all i need is a white tail, or javelina if/when we move to AZ

While looking through the data in calibers i dont own but want in the future i saw some 454C loads in the low 30kpsi in weights i hope to load 45LC in. Ill post them when i get home, but what are your thoughts on using those loads in 45LC in a Rossi M92 *being sure to stay as close to 30kpsi or below as possible*?
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Re: Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

Postby severnsider » 01 Oct 2017 13

Although I've been reloading for quite some time (and with good success) for .308, .223 and 8mm rifles, my first foray into reloading for the .38/.357 is giving what can only be described as "variable" results.
I've been trying to find a load which will work well at 50 yards with my 20" stainless M92 which has, I believe, a 1:30" twist.
Presently loading 158gr hard-cast RNFP over 4.6gr Bullseye with a light crimp. Off-hand and using the rather coarse factory "semi-buckhorn" sights everything is landing in a 5" circle at 50 yards....... well not quite; the first shot always seems to land low.
With limited supplies of powder available, I have BE and Unique. Just wondering whether, given the slow twist, a lighter bullet might be more suitable?
I have found lots of useful information on this site, but it seems as though successful loads vary considerably.
I don't do shooting off bags or bench-rested, although having seen some of the "sub-inch groups at 100 yards" posts here perhaps I should start sitting down to shoot!
Great forum; I'm looking forward to reading much more on here.
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Re: Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

Postby mr surveyor » 01 Oct 2017 19

just a suggestion, but you may want to try A2400 or AA#9 with those 158's .... and solid (or semi-solid) bench rest. I just lay the gun across my range bag. With the "long barrel", slower powders will be your friend. The 1:30 twist rate is not gonna kill it.

just my experience


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Re: Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

Postby severnsider » 02 Oct 2017 00

Thank you - the two powders that you mention do seem very popular. It's a bugger knowing what to try when starting out for the first time. I'll look out for A2400 and see if I can get some locally.
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Re: Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

Postby GasGuzzler » 02 Oct 2017 06

2400
H110/W296

I like BE for 9mm but it's a bit fast for slow twist 158s. That's also a light load for 158s. I use more BE in 9mm. I have tried up to nearly 6.0 BE for .357 but like above I like other powders better.

My best revolver load for 2400 with a similar bullet is around 15.0 grains. Works well in my 20" SRC92 as well.
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Re: Starting from Scratch, and still Learning

Postby HarryAlonzo » 02 Oct 2017 10

Alliant 2400 is a bulky powder, yes? All the better to fill the case? Better case fill = more consistent velocity?
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