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High Altitude
04-05-2011, 16:47
I am just starting to get into reloading. I am going to go with a Lee classic turret press setup and start with 9mm. I have some general questions.

Is there a good scale for not a lot of money that would work for a beginner? What do you guys think of the lee safety scale? I am trying to find a scale that would work for now and then I would probably upgrade in the future.

Any suggestions on your favorite websites to buy components at? I am trying to get a handle on costs so when at the local gun shops or gun shows I know if something is priced well.

Suggestions on what powders to use for 9mm for a beginner reloader? I am thinking Unique but are there some others.

Are Wolf primers reliable?

Last, I just purchased ABCs of reloading. If you where only going to purchase 1 or 2 reloading manuals, which would you suggest?

Thanks guys, hopefully in the next few weeks I can start making some ammo.

WiskyT
04-05-2011, 16:53
The Lee scale is cheap, accurate and a bit of a PITA to work with. More money will get you more convenience. I used the Lee scale for decades until I inherited my father's Lyman (Ohaus) beam scale.

Unique is a great powder for 9mm.

I like the older mauals better. Less perpetuation of urban myths in them. I have the Hornady Third edition and like it a lot. It doesn't have all the new powders in it since it's from the early 1980's, but Unique has been around for literally 100 years, so it has Unique data for 9mm. Check out Ebay etc for a copy. There are lots of good manuals, but I really only use the Hornady 3rd edition.

fredj338
04-05-2011, 17:22
The Dillon beam scale, best bang for the buck IMO. I wouldn't buy a Lee scale, but I'm a hater when it comes to cheap/poorly designed equip. Newb powders for the 9mm begin w/ Unique IMO, WSF, PowerPistol, HS6, Universal, all good choices. Wolf small pistol primers have been problematic for some reloaders. They do not have the best QC & not all that much cheaper than some other brands, shop around. PowderValley, Natchez, Midsouth, Graf's all good places to buy in bulk.

IndyGunFreak
04-05-2011, 17:26
Well, you can buy the Lee scale, get mad, break it, then buy a quality scale, and you'll be behind the $30 you spent on the Lee Scale.

Get the Dillon Beam scale.

1 or 2 loading manuals?
Lyman 49th
Loadbook of your caliber choice....

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=185458

dudel
04-05-2011, 17:42
Well, you can buy the Lee scale, get mad, break it, then buy a quality scale, and you'll be behind the $30 you spent on the Lee Scale.

The only reason to get a Lee scale is so you can truely appreciate the replacement.

Since you have ABCs, you might want to consider the Loadbooks for the caliber(s) you will be loading. Heavy on data, light on technique.

Colorado4Wheel
04-05-2011, 17:56
I will sell you my Lee scale $20 shipped. PITA but works fine. Enjoy.

Have you read my Sticky?

High Altitude
04-05-2011, 18:12
I will sell you my Lee scale $20 shipped. PITA but works fine. Enjoy.

Have you read my Sticky?

I have. All the information on the forum has been very helpful.

Poppa Bear
04-05-2011, 18:20
The big question here for scales is: How are you dropping the powder?

Are you hand weighing each charge?

Are you using a separate powder measure that drops uniform charges?

Are you using an automatic powder measure that is part of your LCT?

I have a decent beam scale (Redding) that I use every so often to verify charges. I drop 10 (TEN) charges and measure the total. After loading for a while I will drop another 10 and make sure that the scale still balances out to zero.

If you go the automatic route you can get away with a beam scale.

If you go the hand measure route you are better off getting a digital unit and a trickle unit.

Since you have the LCT I would recommend that you invest in the Pro Autodisk Powder Measure. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=348753

I would also buy the Adjustable Charge Bar. As long as the charge volume is of a decent size it is very uniform in its drops and can be dialed to less than 1/10th of a grain accuracy. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=150005

sig357fan
04-05-2011, 19:25
I just recently place and order with Kempf Gun Shop, actually called in the morning and talked to a guy to place my order, all the items I wanted were in stock and it shipped that day and was received a few days later.

https://kempfgunshop.com//index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

I use a lot of Lee products but have never had a Lee Safety Scale, I use a RCBS 505 purchased 20 plus years ago and is still my main scale.

buy a good scale-once, considering that it is possibly the one item most responsible for safe reloads, don’t skimp on the scale.

I have an Adjustable Charge Bar for the Auto Disk measure but have only had good luck with ball powders.

I get load data from POWDER MANUFACTURERS WEBSITES or printed reloading manuals, I have several I’ve gotten over the years and often compare the data between them, BUT I ALWAYS START AT THE MINUMUN AND WORK UP until I get the results I’m looking for.

Good luck,

sig357fan

Poppa Bear
04-05-2011, 19:50
The most important tool you can pick up as a reloader is a good Chronograph.

It is important to compare several books as well as several reloading sites on the net to determine what an acceptable starting charge is. Comparing the listed velocity of the book or site to what your chronograph shows can quickly let you know how much room you have to work with.

Reloading data is a suggestion of where to start and what lengths to load to. I worked up a new load for my .40 and just changing the OAL by .01 changed the velocity by 25 fps. Changing the charge weight by .1 grains changed the velocity by 50 fps. This is all data that requires a chronograph to determine.

Books and sites will give you a general idea of what to expect from a certain weight of bullet but no book or site can list every possible bullet profile and weight. Sometimes you just have to make an educated guess as to where to start. Shooting the test loads across a chronograph lets you know how the combination actually performs. We had a shooter that we chronographed last night who's 9x19 loads were averaging 1,450 fps. He knew they were hot but he did not know they were that hot.

albyihat
04-05-2011, 21:50
+1 for the dillion beam scale.

DWARREN123
04-06-2011, 04:59
I use a Lee single stage kit and use the scale. All the Lee stuff has worked well for me including the scale. Unless you are going to reload extreme target type ammo or really large amounts the Lee equipment should work well.
If you want target type ammo then maybe upgrade to a more expensive system but many folks reload with Lee.

High Altitude
04-06-2011, 16:29
OK guys I am getting ready to order some equipment on-line but today I went to the local gun shop to get some components. I picked up 1lb of Unique and 500 Federal small pistol primers. These are the ones in the blue box, number 100, say champion on them. These where the last 5 boxes of small pistol primers in the store.

I have a question about bullets.

Since I am going to be shooting these rounds out of a glock with the stock barrel (9mm) I was looking for FMJ bullets but they didn't have any. They did have Berry but I believe these are plated.

Is it OK to shoot these bullets out of a Glock with the stock barrel? Are they going to lead up the barrel?

Next on the list........... I am trying to beg the wife for a small space in the house to set up a very minimal reloading bench :whistling:

firefighter4215
04-06-2011, 16:38
The Lee scale works fine for me. In retrospect a digital scale would've been better. But I got it new on ebay for $17 after shipping, so for now I'm good to go. Very simple to use.

ETA--plated bullets are fine for a Glock. No leading.

shotgunred
04-06-2011, 16:42
Nothing wrong with berrys.
Right now I am buying Precision Delta as they have the best current value in 9mm. But you do have to buy 2K of them from them. $79 a K.
http://www.precisiondelta.com/detail.php?sku=B-9-124-FMJ

Most of the time you are going to get a pretty good discount by buying your primers by the K instead of the hundred.

FMJ bullets = Full metal jacket A type of bullet.
berry= a brand of bullets


FMJ - Full metal jacket
CMJ - Complete metal jacket
JHP - jacked hollow point



Berry
Precision Delta
Ranier
Montana Gold

albyihat
04-06-2011, 16:46
Berrys are fine for a glock. Plated bullets load more like lead then Jacketed, so keep in mind that data for jacketed bullets will produce different results for plated the only way to know is to chronograph and watch for pressure signs. I have loaded thousands of plated in my stock glock and had no problems keep loads to the low end and you will be fine. If you get a chrono you can start to play with the load more. With plated bullets I generally get the same velocity as jacketed but using less powder. I think berrys recommends keeping velocity under 1200fps I know Rainier says to do this.

sellersm
04-06-2011, 16:46
Berry's plated bullets are fine. If you look on their website, you'll see they recommend starting loads as you would for lead bullets, and don't exceed the mid-range of the recommended charges (not max!!). I've not had any problems with various plated bullets in all my handgun loads.

+1 on the Dillon beam, and +1 on the Lee Pro Autodisk to go with the LCT.

As to the reloading bench, Franklin Arsenal makes a very small footprint stand that gets favorable reviews. Or mount your press to some wood and then use C-clamps to clamp it onto a desk/table that you already own.

Welcome to the reloading world!

cowboy1964
04-06-2011, 16:50
I started with the LCT, 9/45, and Unique powder. No problems. I stick with CCI primers. Have shot a few hundred Berry's in 9mm, no issues. Berry's is the cheapest non-lead bullets I've found.

Unique fills up the 9mm case pretty good so I get a few flakes of Unique jumping out on the downstroke after charging the case, not a big deal since I reload in the garage.

Poppa Bear
04-06-2011, 16:51
The last order I made was for 10,000 primers and 16 lbs of powder.

Primers were about $27/K including hazmat and shipping.

Powder was about $122/ 8 lbs including hazmat and shipping.

Bullets are Precision and are about $90/K.

Buying bulk online can save you a ton of money.

fredj338
04-06-2011, 22:06
I started with the LCT, 9/45, and Unique powder. No problems. I stick with CCI primers. Have shot a few hundred Berry's in 9mm, no issues. Berry's is the cheapest non-lead bullets I've found.

Unique fills up the 9mm case pretty good so I get a few flakes of Unique jumping out on the downstroke after charging the case, not a big deal since I reload in the garage.
I think PD is still cheaper than Berry's, unless you are finding a deal, & they are jacketed not plated.

cowboy1964
04-06-2011, 22:11
I think PD is still cheaper than Berry's, unless you are finding a deal, & they are jacketed not plated.

PD is 7 bucks cheaper per 1000 but are on backorder. Thanks for the heads up though, I had never looked at PD before.

Loudcherokee
04-06-2011, 23:19
+1 billion on the Dillon Eliminator beam scale. It's what I ordered after one night of fudging with the Lee safety scale. Haven't looked back since.

I personally hate the Lee safety scale. If you got the LCT kit, it's going to come with one, and you can see for yourself. It IS an accurate as heck scale, but to me was a major PITA to zero, and read the dang thing without a magnifying glass to look for those almost non-existent in the first place white lines behind those tiny slits in the sliding piece on the end of the beam. You also have to unhook the powder pan from the beam each time you go to pour your powder. The dillon comes with a nice removable powder pan with a thumb handle. Later on, if you plan to do precision rifle or sort brass and bullets by weight, the Lee scale has a max capacity of 110 grains. The Dillon scale goes up to 511 I think.

As far as manuals go, I learned a lot from the Lee manual, if you can get past all the Lee product plugs throughout the manual, but what do you expect? lol. Aside from that, the Lyman manual has a ton of info too.

Also, if you ordered the LCT KIT, go to Midway and get the powder measure upgrade kit. It comes with a new hopper that has nice brass thumbscrews instead of the wood screws that will strip over time, the elastomer wiper in the powder measure has 99% STOPPED my powder leaks, and it also comes with the micrometer charge bar for free. That's a $14 piece by itself. The last piece it comes with is the swivel mount, which is nice for adjusting the powder measure position independently of the die so you can ensure it doesn't hang up on your safety prime when it revolves around in the turret. The upgraded powder hopper can also be turned off by turning it clockwise. Makes it easy to change disks without spilling powder everywhere or even having to empty the measure before removing it from the press.

I just started out with the Lee Turret. I love it. I loaded a bunch of .308 rifle rounds in single stage mode, and still load my .308 in single stage. I also load .45ACP and .223REM, and do both of those in turret mode. It's super easy once you get all the dies set up correctly and get your powder measure throwing the right charge. Here are a few things that I've learned since starting out, in relation to the press only.

CLEAN YOUR DIES, especially the powder dropping die, AND the riser if you get one. Just spray it out with a good degreasing cleaner that will not leave a residue, and you can scrub it with a small nylon brush too if you want. There is a film of oil inside the dies, maybe a preservative type of oil or lubricant left over from manufacturing, that powder WILL stick to, and eventually fall into a case without your knowledge, and could cause a hot, possibly damaging charge if it ignites the powder. It will also cause erratic charges. I figured this out after about the 20th round. Luckily I was still using the press in single stage and was weighing all my charges to check my powder measure before it was completely set up, and hadn't seated any bullets yet. I removed the powder measure to change disks, and looked down into the drop tube, and there was this GOB of powder and oil. I had forgotten to clean the drop tube on the riser that I had just purchased.

If you plan on doing more calibers, buy an extra turret. One of the easiest things about the Lee turret is caliber changes. You just pop out the turret and shell holder, change your powder and disks if you need to, and go. I made my caliber changes even easier by spending an extra $30 on another powder measure and riser. This way I don't have to clean out the powder measure if I'm changing powders from say, Win231 for .45 to Win748 for .223. I literally just pull the turret out, pop in the other turret with the powder measure for that caliber already mounted, and the shell holder, and go. Oh, and the primer arm, if changing from large to small primers or vice versa.

If you get the turret press that stores the primers in the base of the press, this will eventually get full, and you'll need to unmount your press to clean it out, and spill spent primers all over the place while doing so. If you get the classic turret, the ram is hollow and spent primers will drop down through the ram and out of a tube at the bottom.

My press is the newer model that stores the spent primers in the base. It got full, so I had to unmount it, and clean all of the primers out of there. While I had the press off the bench, I decided to remedy this. Right in the middle of the spot where the press mounts, I took a 1/2 spade bit and drilled a hole straight down through my bench. I then took a file and dremel, and "chamfered" the hole to where it angles down into the hole from all edges. That way the primers will hit the slope and roll down through the hole. On the bottom of this hole, is a small funnel, and on the bottom of the funnel, is a 6 inch piece of tubing going into a round container for my spent primers. Now all I need to do is empty this container when it gets full to get rid of the spent primers.


LC

IndyGunFreak
04-07-2011, 03:31
Also, if you ordered the LCT KIT,

Lee doesn't make a kit w/ the LCT, their kit comes w/ the "Auto Turret" and the dreaded Lee scale... There's a huge difference in quality between the Auto Turret, and the Classic Turret.

To my knowledge, the only "Kit" available for the LCT, is the one at Kempfs, and I'm pretty sure they assemble it, they don't order it from Lee like that. As you've found, the "spent primer" system on the LCT, is superior to the Auto Turret (but it sounds like you came up w/ a workable solution)

Loudcherokee
04-07-2011, 11:18
Lee doesn't make a kit w/ the LCT, their kit comes w/ the "Auto Turret" and the dreaded Lee scale... There's a huge difference in quality between the Auto Turret, and the Classic Turret.

To my knowledge, the only "Kit" available for the LCT, is the one at Kempfs, and I'm pretty sure they assemble it, they don't order it from Lee like that. As you've found, the "spent primer" system on the LCT, is superior to the Auto Turret (but it sounds like you came up w/ a workable solution)

Ahh, I stand corrected. I just read up on the kit at Kempfs, and it looks like they do assemble it. It also doesn't come with a scale. I was getting it confused with the Lee Deluxe Kit that comes with the different turret press.

LC

whatsupglock
04-07-2011, 11:23
Hodgdon Titegroup and wsf are good powders for 9mm. I am a fan of Titegroup. It seems to be very "forgiving". You can play with the load a little and not have any pressure signs. I've loaded a metric crap ton of ammo with Titegroup and it is a very, very nice, accurate powder. It is a little dirty and it does burn really hot, but man does it work well. It's also not very temperature or pressure sensitive. Very consistent.

mbfjr
04-07-2011, 12:42
I'd like to ask those of you who reload.... what is the bottom line cost per loaded round in 9mm? By the time you add up the cost of the components and shipping charges, is there a substantial savings? Enough to recoup the cost of the reloading equipment? When I add it up from what I'm seeing, it looks like 15 cents a round or so... and I'm referring to 9mm range ammo, 115g FMJ.

IndyGunFreak
04-07-2011, 12:57
I'd like to ask those of you who reload.... what is the bottom line cost per loaded round in 9mm? By the time you add up the cost of the components and shipping charges, is there a substantial savings? Enough to recoup the cost of the reloading equipment? When I add it up from what I'm seeing, it looks like 15 cents a round or so... and I'm referring to 9mm range ammo, 115g FMJ.

I reload 9mm for about .11 a round, even after shipping, etc..

Read post #62...
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1267966&page=2&highlight=calculator

fredj338
04-07-2011, 13:02
Hodgdon Titegroup and wsf are good powders for 9mm. I am a fan of Titegroup. It seems to be very "forgiving". You can play with the load a little and not have any pressure signs. I've loaded a metric crap ton of ammo with Titegroup and it is a very, very nice, accurate powder. It is a little dirty and it does burn really hot, but man does it work well. It's also not very temperature or pressure sensitive. Very consistent.

TG is not what I would call "forgiving", especially if you run the top end of it's range. Pressures are NOT linear & can spike once you pass a certain point. TG is an uberfast, none are forgiving, that lives in the medium burn rate range, from Unique thru HS6.:wavey:

High Altitude
04-07-2011, 15:08
Well guys, I got the bullets today. Berry's 9mm 115g Round Nose, DS.

I would of prefered 124g but they didn't have any.

I am still thinking about a small reloading bench to put in the house. I found this pic, what do you guys think?

http://209.197.93.201/ReloadingBenchA.jpg

WiskyT
04-07-2011, 15:31
If you get the turret press that stores the primers in the base of the press, this will eventually get full, and you'll need to unmount your press to clean it out, and spill spent primers all over the place while doing so. If you get the classic turret, the ram is hollow and spent primers will drop down through the ram and out of a tube at the bottom.

My press is the newer model that stores the spent primers in the base. It got full, so I had to unmount it, and clean all of the primers out of there. While I had the press off the bench, I decided to remedy this. Right in the middle of the spot where the press mounts, I took a 1/2 spade bit and drilled a hole straight down through my bench. I then took a file and dremel, and "chamfered" the hole to where it angles down into the hole from all edges. That way the primers will hit the slope and roll down through the hole. On the bottom of this hole, is a small funnel, and on the bottom of the funnel, is a 6 inch piece of tubing going into a round container for my spent primers. Now all I need to do is empty this container when it gets full to get rid of the spent primers.


LC

Yeah, you're supposed to drill out the bench to allow the primers to fall through. I took two pieces of coat hanger and drilled them through the bench on either side of my Pro1000. Then I pushed them down flush with the bench top so they stuck straight down under the bench. I bent each into a hook and hung a soup can under the press to catch the primers. When it's full, I unhook the can, dump it, and replace it.

WiskyT
04-07-2011, 15:43
I am still thinking about a small reloading bench to put in the house. I found this pic, what do you guys think?



I don't hate it.

IndyGunFreak
04-08-2011, 02:32
Well guys, I got the bullets today. Berry's 9mm 115g Round Nose, DS.

I would of prefered 124g but they didn't have any.

I am still thinking about a small reloading bench to put in the house. I found this pic, what do you guys think?

http://209.197.93.201/ReloadingBenchA.jpg

You could do a lot worse. Just make sure it's mounted good.

whatsupglock
04-08-2011, 07:06
TG is not what I would call "forgiving", especially if you run the top end of it's range. Pressures are NOT linear & can spike once you pass a certain point. TG is an uberfast, none are forgiving, that lives in the medium burn rate range, from Unique thru HS6.:wavey:

This is true if you're trying to push the high end. But if you're making practice loads that shoot really soft and accurately and are very consistent. Titegroup is the way to go. But it is hot, Hot, HOT.

JPP
04-08-2011, 08:27
I reload using 115 gr Berry Double Plated RN bullets and Unique.
My total cost is 14 cents per round of 9mm.
I have enough stocked up to reload 4,000. The savings will be significant since prices are rising now again. I have enough brass to last my lifetime.

High Altitude
04-08-2011, 10:08
I reload using 115 gr Berry Double Plated RN bullets and Unique.
My total cost is 14 cents per round of 9mm.
I have enough stocked up to reload 4,000. The savings will be significant since prices are rising now again. I have enough brass to last my lifetime.

What charge do you use and have you chronographed it?

I also figured my cost at .14/round but I bought everything local and in the smallest quantities (1lb powder, 100 primers, 250 bullets). I think I could get it down to .11 pretty easily buying in bulk.

I have been able to find most of my brass for free at ranges on public land... Lots of people still don't reload and have no problem giving away their spent brass.

fredj338
04-08-2011, 13:52
This is true if you're trying to push the high end. But if you're making practice loads that shoot really soft and accurately and are very consistent. Titegroup is the way to go. But it is hot, Hot, HOT.

Semantics maybe, but "forgiving" to me means you have wiggle room, runs fine w/ small changes like OAL or doesn't get scary @ the top end or when going from light to heavy for caliber bullets. TG is NOT that powder. WSF is forgiving, Unique is forgiving, even W231 has wiggle room, TG really doesn't. It runs fin at bunnyfart to midrange vel laods, but there are better more "forgiving" choices.:wavey:

sig357fan
04-08-2011, 16:19
Here’s the small reloading bench I built in the house to get out of heating the shed in the cold months.

215694

I liked it so much that I do all my reloading on it regardless of the temp. outside.

Built for about $50.00 from a filing cabinet from Wally World, 2 x 4’s, plywood and a table leg from HomeDepot.

Top measures 22” x 30” of ” plywood with a 1 inch overhang on three sides for clamping a board mounted Uniflow powder measure on a stand.

Press is bolted to a ” steel plate drilled and tapped for my different presses.

table leg under the press is to support the press during full length sizing of rifle brass.

Shelf above is mounted to the wall for my scale to keep it isolated from press operations.

Since I took this picture I’ve add a light that clamps to the shelf to shine down on the press opening ala Rust FN’s idea for a small flex head flashlight, also changed the plywood top to add the overhang.

Cabinet is lockable and has room for my powders, primers, tools, dies and powder measure.

loaded ammo and other supplies are kept on a shelf in a closet in the room

sig357fan

fredj338
04-09-2011, 09:49
Clever, nice use of recycled goods.

WiskyT
04-09-2011, 12:03
It looks like it should be chasing David Janssen. Jack will know what I mean:supergrin:

Heres the small reloading bench I built in the house to get out of heating the shed in the cold months.

215694

I liked it so much that I do all my reloading on it regardless of the temp. outside.

Built for about $50.00 from a filing cabinet from Wally World, 2 x 4s, plywood and a table leg from HomeDepot.

Top measures 22 x 30 of plywood with a 1 inch overhang on three sides for clamping a board mounted Uniflow powder measure on a stand.

Press is bolted to a steel plate drilled and tapped for my different presses.

table leg under the press is to support the press during full length sizing of rifle brass.

Shelf above is mounted to the wall for my scale to keep it isolated from press operations.

Since I took this picture Ive add a light that clamps to the shelf to shine down on the press opening ala Rust FNs idea for a small flex head flashlight, also changed the plywood top to add the overhang.

Cabinet is lockable and has room for my powders, primers, tools, dies and powder measure.

loaded ammo and other supplies are kept on a shelf in a closet in the room

sig357fan

cowboy1964
04-17-2011, 14:54
My 9mm using Berry's 124gr works out to about 13-14 cents. I could bring this down a few pennies if I use lead bullets. It takes awhile to make up the cost of the gear if you're only shooting 9mm but I also shoot 45 ACP and the savings are quite a bit more substantial.

RustyFN
04-17-2011, 19:05
Berry's plated bullets are fine. If you look on their website, you'll see they recommend starting loads as you would for lead bullets, and don't exceed the mid-range of the recommended charges (not max!!).

Actually Berry's recommends jacketed data. This is from Berry's web site.

Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

I have loaded a lot of Berry's bullets in 9mm. I always use jacketed data and have never had a problem. You do want to make sure to use a light crimp.