testtest

To Reload Or Not To Reload, That Is The Question

LRZ

Operator
Standard pressure 147’s won’t break 1050fps (lower threshold of sound barrier, under normal conditions), even out of a 10” barrel...so no sonic crack when shooting suppressed...very quiet.

147’s often feel “softer” shooting...the recoil impulse is more of a push than a snap..that may be why you like them. I’ve often found they also have better accuracy than 115’s.

My preferred defensive bullet weight in my 9mm's is 147 for those reasons.
I had actually just started reading about subsonic and supersonic ammo, and frankly a little lost. Mind you...I studied music in school, so anything science was a little out the radar for me :LOL: Oh what I'd do differently if I knew what I know now back in the day. Needless to say, all this is very intriguing to me, so I'm excited to learn.

Your explanation of the feel of shooting a 147 vs 115, and accuracy is exactly what I felt. I thought my aim was just getting better, but then it was a total different feel when I went back to the 115. Without even knowing why, I changed my EDC ammo to 147gr that day...glad I followed your lead (y):)
 

LRZ

Operator
I reloaded for rifles and 44 mag up until May of this year. I'm reloading 9mm now and will continue to do so. 9mm has always been cheap and they will stay that way when things catch up again but after seeing the mess that is 2020 so far, I made sure I had what I needed to reload small pistols. I saved thousands of my spent 9mm brass through the years which is a huge plus. I never reloaded to save money. For quite some time it's just been a satisfying hobby. For some rifle calibers, it increased the accuracy of my shooting verses factory offerings in calibers not considered mainstream. For those just getting into it, getting supplies are tough now and there is a learning curve and a lot to take in to make the effort both rewarding and safe! You read. You watch. You ask for advice. You always use established load information and don't push the limits of the SAAMI specs. I think reloading helped establish a deeper respect for the shooting sports overall for me anyway and I would never dissuade anyone from trying it. :)
While I initially thought I'd want to reload just to save money, the more youtube videos I watch, and the more I read about the process, the more excited I feel about doing it. I'm certain I'm going to enjoy it; guess just a little nervous about getting started. I ordered me Lyman's manual so thrilled to get and start reading it. Gotta start somewhere, right?
 

RangerBill

Operator
One other word of advice. Pick a room where there are minimal distractions when you reload. Keep distractions to an absolute minimum. Think of this room as your "Zen Zone". I have seen and / or heard of shooters who have grenaded their firearms, and just about every time, they were distracted during their reloading session, having overcharged the powder by "accident". Or used the wrong powder. ( It's a real attention getter when the competitor next you on the line has a rifle come apart). Many of these people had been reloading for a good long time and knew better. You will be in charge of your own "Quality Assurance". Trust me, it happens to the most seasoned of us. I can't tell you the number of times when I have double checked back on myself and found a potential issue. At that time, I correct it, put things away, and come back another day. Be safe.

Regards,
Bill
 

LRZ

Operator
One other word of advice. Pick a room where there are minimal distractions when you reload. Keep distractions to an absolute minimum. Think of this room as your "Zen Zone". I have seen and / or heard of shooters who have grenaded their firearms, and just about every time, they were distracted during their reloading session, having overcharged the powder by "accident". Or used the wrong powder. ( It's a real attention getter when the competitor next you on the line has a rifle come apart). Many of these people had been reloading for a good long time and knew better. You will be in charge of your own "Quality Assurance". Trust me, it happens to the most seasoned of us. I can't tell you the number of times when I have double checked back on myself and found a potential issue. At that time, I correct it, put things away, and come back another day. Be safe.

Regards,
Bill
Received my Lyman's today, @RangerBill and the 2nd paragraph on "Getting Started" said to find "a place free of all distractions." Good solid direction/advice.
 

LRZ

Operator
Lots of dry fire practice and reading for me this weekend :)

While I haven't 'pulled the trigger' on purchasing a press, I've been creeping at the Dillion and RCBS websites. Not factoring experience (or lack thereof), let's say I'm only looking to reload 9mm for now, and for arguments sake, I pick up a different caliber in another year or two, any thoughts/suggestions one these 3 options?
Dillion 550C ($445), Dillion Square Deal B ($460), RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Master $400?

20200801_192200.jpg
 

BooVuc

Operator
If you were an intermediate reloader, I would look at the Dillon(s). But with just starting, I would purchase the Rock Chucker single stage press. It's just my opinion that you don't start out on a progressive press until you get some experience under your belt. This is the safer way to get into reloading. And the Rock Chucker Supreme Master kit is available way under that MSRP. Between the two Dillons, The Square B is the choice IMHO.
 

LRZ

Operator
I added "Modern Reloading" by Richard Lee to complement the Lyman; both have been very insightful.

I started this thread to get input on whether to reload or not-I am now certain that I am going to. So that being said, I was hoping I could get confirmation and/or clarification on some of the things I think I understand so far:
- when looking at load data, I'm looking for info on the powder for the bullet, not the bullet for the powder
- does "brand" of bullet matter? With scarcity of everything these days, I did some online window shopping and all I could find were ones made by RMR. Nothing but great reviews, but following up on what I said above, would you just look for load data based on the gr of the bullet? For example, let's say I got their "9mm 147 Gr. RMR Full Metal Jacket Flat Point." The Lyman's only has "147 gr TMJ" load data, while the Lee has "147 gr Jacketed," "147 gr Lead," "147 gr Copper Plated." Would I be looking at either the Lyman load data or the 147 gr Jacketed from the Lee?
- how does Round Nose and Flat Point affect seating the bullet? Is this why/where the OAL info is important/used for? The Lyman says "the best seating depth for any specific load and firearm combination can be determined only by trial and error." Yikes! So does this mean I should only be loading a handful at a time until I find the perfect combination?

I don't think I'll be reloading anytime soon. Other than not owning a press yet, it seems primers are nowhere to be found. So until supplies become available, I'll just keep reading and asking questions.
 

RangerBill

Operator
That is a good question. Let me start by saying I have not heard of RMR bullets. Generally, bullet weight and powder charges go hand in hand. From there, it can get a bit specialized. Many of the Hornady XTP bullets are what we would call a "truncated cone", meaning the side of the bullet is 90 degrees from the base, and at one point on the ogive has approximately a 30 degree angle to the hollow point, giving it a sharp shoulder. The same weight and caliber Speer Gold Dot bullet has an arc to the profile more like a rifle bullet. Bullets with a truncated cone (and this includes the semi wad cutter type target bullets) may have to be seated deeper in the case to facilitate feeding and chambering. In a pistol case, you are generally using a powder with a fast burn rate, and if you seat a bullet too deeply with a particular charge, chamber pressures can increase significantly. When I use XTP bullets in my pistols, I use the data given in the Hornady manual (Powder charge and seating depth for a particular bullet), and that will ensure proper feeding and chambering as well. Another factor in bullet seating depth is what will fit in the magazine. I do own an old "Star" Spanish 9mm that will NOT chamber anything loaded with XTP bullets. It will shoot the traditional 115 Gr FMJ bullet all day.

You will notice in your manuals there are data for cast lead bullets as well. The "plated" bullets available, as well as "coated" bullets will use cast bullet data. These type bullets are meant to reduce or eliminate leading in barrels, and should be loaded to velocities meant for cast target or plinking rounds. When Rainier Ballistics was still in business, (plated bullets) their website only advised loading to cast bullet velocities. Berry's Manufacturing, another maker of plated bullets, will show a "do not exceed" muzzle velocity on the box label. Other than that, they do not provide data for their bullets. I hope this helps.

Regards,
Bill
 
Last edited:
I will repeat what I said previously that a progressive is no big deal. I am the least mechanical person around and I can use one. Best bet find someone that has one, a Dillon, so if you run into trouble you can get advice. Something to remember also is that when purchasing bullets there is usually only a small price difference between FMJ and JHP. Not to recommend using handloads for EDC although all the horror stories have no basis but Rob Leatham at an open house once told me that JHP's are slightly more accurate than FMJ. If good enough for Leatham I will not argue. Also when shooting in competition loading to just make major has a lot less recoil than a manufactured cartridge.
 
I will repeat what I said previously that a progressive is no big deal. I am the least mechanical person around and I can use one. Best bet find someone that has one, a Dillon, so if you run into trouble you can get advice. Something to remember also is that when purchasing bullets there is usually only a small price difference between FMJ and JHP. Not to recommend using handloads for EDC although all the horror stories have no basis but Rob Leatham at an open house once told me that JHP's are slightly more accurate than FMJ. If good enough for Leatham I will not argue. Also when shooting in competition loading to just make major has a lot less recoil than a manufactured cartridge.
Just make "major" or minor?
 

LRZ

Operator
That is a good question. Let me start by saying I have not heard of RMR bullets. Generally, bullet weight and powder charges go hand in hand. From there, it can get a bit specialized. Many of the Hornady XTP bullets are what we would call a "truncated cone", meaning the side of the bullet is 90 degrees from the base, and at one point on the ogive has approximately a 30 degree angle to the hollow point, giving it a sharp shoulder. The same weight and caliber Speer Gold Dot bullet has an arc to the profile more like a rifle bullet. Bullets with a truncated cone (and this includes the semi wad cutter type target bullets) may have to be seated deeper in the case to facilitate feeding and chambering. In a pistol case, you are generally using a powder with a fast burn rate, and if you seat a bullet too deeply with a particular charge, chamber pressures can increase significantly. When I use XTP bullets in my pistols, I use the data given in the Hornady manual (Powder charge and seating depth for a particular bullet), and that will ensure proper feeding and chambering as well. Another factor in bullet seating depth is what will fit in the magazine. I do own an old "Star" Spanish 9mm that will NOT chamber anything loaded with XTP bullets. It will shoot the traditional 115 Gr FMJ bullet all day.

You will notice in your manuals there are data for cast lead bullets as well. The "plated" bullets available, as well as "coated" bullets will use cast bullet data. These type bullets are meant to reduce or eliminate leading in barrels, and should be loaded to velocities meant for cast target or plinking rounds. When Rainier Ballistics was still in business, (plated bullets) their website only advised loading to cast bullet velocities. Berry's Manufacturing, another maker of plated bullets, will show a "do not exceed" muzzle velocity on the box label. Other than that, they do not provide data for their bullets. I hope this helps.

Regards,
Bill
Thanks for the info, @RangerBill Yes, everything I've read has promoted strictly following the data in manuals. Other than looking online, it seems Richard Lee's Modern Reloading contained a lot more loading info than the Lyman. Where I started getting confused was all the abbreviations and variability, so to speak. I've been googling ammo synonyms a lot, so your example of plated and coated using the same data absolutely helps.

I bit the bullet and got the Lee Classic Turret and have it almost all set up. @StillLearning has been somewhat of a coach and I've had a lot of "ah ha" moments from his explanations/advice. While I don't think I'll begin reloading for at least a few more weeks (still want to finish reading my manuals first, but also very busy at work and need to be mentally clear headed), I did sit and go through some of the processes of reloading last night. While trying to get all my settings right, it was very exciting to deprime 20-30 rounds, and seat 4-5 bullets. I didn't quite understand why @StillLearning suggested I get a bullet puller, until I seated the first bullet that fell all the way in into the casing. By the 3rd my measurements were much better.

Which does bring me to a question about seating. Let's say I seat a bullet, and it's just past the max OAL. Is it OK to 'shorten' the die, and put that same cartridge through the die again to seat the bullet a little deeper? Or do you just forego that particular cartridge and run the next one?

Lots of new exciting stuff for me. Have about 1500-1700 rounds of ammo left, so I think they'll be enough to hold me over until I officially start reloading! 🙂
 

RICKYs2

Elite
I been reloading for over 35yrs. So right now all my stuff as paid it self over a few times. First thing fly's off the shelf is loaded ammo and them come the reloading stuff. So if you are not well stock on primer and bullets you are in the same boat as the people looking for ammo at jacked up prices. I learn this from the peanut farmer president. stock up when you can. Here in Miami regular price on brass 9mm is 0.19 and steel at 0.16
 

RICKYs2

Elite
I will repeat what I said previously that a progressive is no big deal. I am the least mechanical person around and I can use one. Best bet find someone that has one, a Dillon, so if you run into trouble you can get advice. Something to remember also is that when purchasing bullets there is usually only a small price difference between FMJ and JHP. Not to recommend using handloads for EDC although all the horror stories have no basis but Rob Leatham at an open house once told me that JHP's are slightly more accurate than FMJ. If good enough for Leatham I will not argue. Also when shooting in competition loading to just make major has a lot less recoil than a manufactured cartridge.
IMO I don't use reloads for SD at anytime. Reloads are a hobby to me used for training and having fun. Not going to chance a bad primer or hundred of thing the can go wrong in reloading on my family or me. I take a lot pride in my reloads and my friend has me reloading for them, but not for SD.
 

olov850

Alpha
Are you in Cook County?

I live in IL and I can get ammo shipped to me. I don't live in Cook County though. I've used Target Sports and Buds gun shop. They'll both want a one-time cell phone snap of your FOID card and then you're good to go.

Somewhere on the internet is a comprehensive list of which vendors will ship ammo to Cook County residents.
 

LenC

Alpha
IMO I don't use reloads for SD at anytime. Reloads are a hobby to me used for training and having fun. Not going to chance a bad primer or hundred of thing the can go wrong in reloading on my family or me. I take a lot pride in my reloads and my friend has me reloading for them, but not for SD.
Another reason to not use reloads for SD is that everything will become an issue if you find yourself in court over a SD event. Having to explain why you loaded your own and why you thought you were capable is not something to look forward to!
 

LenC

Alpha
I just acquired a Springfield XD-M 4.5" OSP in 10mm. My other pistols are 9mm and .22 cal. I thought about reloading when I started in 9mm but like others noted, the Walmart price for range ammo was so low that I couldn't justify it.

I am used to about $0.19/round for 9 mm FMJ. I just got two 50 round boxes of white box Winchester FMJ for an average of $29 + tax for each box. The $0.56/round has definitely gotten me to thinking about reloading for 10mm, so I really appreciate this particular thread.
 
First I will say I DO NOT reload for self defense. But second someone needs to explain to me how it would ever come up. You clean and polish your brass, you load your bullet and you shoot it. Now even if your gun is taken into custody there is name brand brass of course. I have never heard of any prosecutor taking apart a cartridge and weighing powder and such to determine if it was a handload. How does anyone know?
 

HansGruber

Professional
First I will say I DO NOT reload for self defense. But second someone needs to explain to me how it would ever come up. You clean and polish your brass, you load your bullet and you shoot it. Now even if your gun is taken into custody there is name brand brass of course. I have never heard of any prosecutor taking apart a cartridge and weighing powder and such to determine if it was a handload. How does anyone know?
Mixed headstamps would give it away, as well as extraction marks in cases. So would, say, a Hornady bullet in a Winchester case.

I suppose if one used virgin brass, matching component bullets...it would be not very apparent, though.
 
Top