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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my dad and my BIL have both gotten handguns recently and are all excited about reloading. My dad has a 9mm, my BIL a .40 and I have both.

I guess my problem is that my best friend has me paranoid about reloads and the possibility of the gun going "ka-boom" in my hands. Some of this is because a guy that taught our CCW class had this happen to him and he's been reloading for 30yrs.

What typically causes a major malfunction of a reload and can it absolutely be avoided if you are being strict about the process of reloading?

Also, can you guys give me a good idea as to what the cost will typically run for reloading a 100 rounds?

Sure I'd love cheaper ammo but I'm not thrilled about the idea of having to pick up brass and spend time reloading and adding the possibility of ruining a gun and sustaining injuries. I'm definately the type to shoot more often than my dad and BIL so I'm not so sure why they are so hot about wanting to reload.
 

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Typically the cause for a KB is a double charge, that is charging the case with powder twice. Following good reloading practices, inspecting your cases before seating the bullet, making sure you use the correct powder and charge for the bullet you have will keep this from happening. Also using medium burning powders will give you a greater margin of error, and cut down on double charging. I've been reloading for 30 years with no KBs.
 

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I'm a relative newbie to reloading (started only about 3 months ago). I've been reloading 9mm and .223, and will start .45 reloading very soon.

Some of the most interesting advice/suggestions I've read here on reloading is using a slower burning powder which will take up more volume in the case. That means, using Unique powder for example, a double-charge for me would spill over the case, i.e., it would be obvious.

I've been reloading on a single-stage press. When I've charged all the cases with powder, they're sitting on a loading block (plastic or wooden block with holes to hold the cases so they don't spill, etc.). I inspect them all to make sure they all have the same amount of powder in each.

I've also used powders that are faster burning and required fewer grains of powder for a typical load. There's actually a small cost savings with these (fewer grains per round = more rounds per pound of powder), but I like the idea of a margin for error w/ the powder spilling out if I double-charge. Even so, a double-charge of Titegroup or Bullseye would be quite apparent IF one inspected the cases before seating the bullet.

(I'm getting a Progressive press--Hornady LnL AP--but I will, I'm sure, end up getting the "powder cop" die from Hornady, that gives you a visual signal if the charge isn't right.)

As far as savings, it's cheaper to reload, though you have to figure in your time. If you buy your components in volume--at least 1000 primers at a time, at least 1000 (and better yet, 2000) bullets at a time, and get powder in bulk, and use recovered range brass--the cost breaks down to something like this for 9mm:

Powder costs maybe 2 cents per round, maybe 2.5 cents for 9mm.

Bullets are costing me 6.8 cents per round.

Primers are about 2.5 cents per round.

So you're talking under 12 cents per round for 9mm.

I'll save quite a bit once I have the progressive going, where I should be able to do several hundred an hour. Then, of course, you have to figure in the cost of equipment.

But for me, it's also a hobby/interest, so I don't consider this in strictly economic terms. Handloads perform better than factory ammo for me, with just basic care and attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the answers guys, it makes more sense now. Sounds like if something bad happens, it's definately your fault (not some mechanical "accident").

I know that my BIL has some access to lead so they'd like to mold/cast their own bullets. I think now I'll be a little more receptive to reloading.
 

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Reloading ammunition is a manufacturing process, and you must have quality control, to be safe and successful. This means inspecting and verifying all components and operations, as well as double checking your load recipe.

As stated above, double charges will causs KBs, but so can using the wrong powder. Just pay close attention to what you are doing, and if your not sure something is right, stop and make sure. Don't reload unless you can devote your full attention to it.
 

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Thanks for the answers guys, it makes more sense now. Sounds like if something bad happens, it's definately your fault (not some mechanical "accident").

I know that my BIL has some access to lead so they'd like to mold/cast their own bullets. I think now I'll be a little more receptive to reloading.
A KB is almost 99.9% the shooter/handloaders fault. THe greatest cause is double charge of uberfast burning powder. The 2nd is a squib load that pushes the bullet just into the bore & then you fire another on top of that (more often w/ revolvers). Some rare occasions can occure when, again loading uberfast powders, you have a bullet setback (bullet pushes into the case upon chambering). With uberfast powders, this can almost double pressures. All can be removed by vigilant reloading practices.
For the most part, your best practice handloads will cost 1/2 of the cheapest factory ammo. Use lead bullets & save more, cast your own from scrounged lead & you can shoot 40 for the cost of 22lr.
 

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.40 cal for the cost of .22? <faints>
With free lead for bullets, you only have primer & powder, that's about $1.75/50, pretty close to 22lr.:shock:
 

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What would a good source of free lead be? Also, how much bigger a deal is it to clean the bore when shooting unjacketed lead bullets?

Thanks, sorry to threadjack but it seemed to be along the same lines.
 

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I use wheel weights. I don't have any problem cleaning the bore. I guess if you're the "wolf is dirty and I would never use it in my gun" then shooting lead isn't for you.
 

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Also, how much bigger a deal is it to clean the bore when shooting unjacketed lead bullets?

Thanks, sorry to threadjack but it seemed to be along the same lines.
I've loaded and shot unjacketed lead through my XD. The cleaning takes the same amount of time no matter what I shoot.
 

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That fills the case. For the 9mm and 40 that would be Unique. There is not enough room in the case for a double charge. Bluedot and some others will do the same. I like Unique because it has a low flash at night in the 40,

Thanks,Keith
 

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I echo what most have said....I reload for 9mm, .38sp, and .45acp....when I'm in the shop, I don't play music, no tv, no phone, nothing to take my attention from what I'm doing....I am more leary of new mfg ammo, than my reloads.....over the past year, I have heard of no less than 6 kb's with factory ammo...Winchester and Federal....only one was in a non supported chamber.....the worst was in a RIA .45acp with Winchester white box....they at least replaced the weapon.....

Reloads are as safe as any ammo, if you pay attention to what you are doing, and don't excede what the manuals say. I used primarily Unique, but also use some HP-38. HP-38 seems to have a wider load range than Unique, but, Unique shoots better.....
 

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What would a good source of free lead be? Also, how much bigger a deal is it to clean the bore when shooting unjacketed lead bullets?

Thanks, sorry to threadjack but it seemed to be along the same lines.

I use a bullet to clean the barell if it's pretty leaded up...Take a swab of Hoppes #9 and let it sit for 15 minutes and then I drive a bullet down the end to opposite end with a brass rod, follow up with a couple more passes of solvent and she's clean as a whistle.
 

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I use a bullet to clean the barell if it's pretty leaded up...Take a swab of Hoppes #9 and let it sit for 15 minutes and then I drive a bullet down the end to opposite end with a brass rod, follow up with a couple more passes of solvent and she's clean as a whistle.
ThAT's way too much work & you risk damage to the muzzle crown. If you have a stubborn cleaning problem, get some ChorBoy, copper wool, wrap a bit around an old bronze brush & hit the bore w/ that & some Kroil oil or bore solvent. You need only 3-4 passes to take out the most stubborn leading.
 

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Anybody weigh each round after loading? Thought just came to me....anybody?
 

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Anybody weigh each round after loading? Thought just came to me....anybody?

I've weighed components for rifle rounds but only for highpower and long range competition. Way too much trouble for the little or non existant increase in accuracy. If you ask this to see if it is a way to find under or over charged loads, it is not a good idea. Between the variation of case and bullet weights, a couple of grain difference in charge weight would not be able to be detected.
 

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I use wheel weights. I don't have any problem cleaning the bore. I guess if you're the "wolf is dirty and I would never use it in my gun" then shooting lead isn't for you.
Wheel weights huh? That is a great idea. Do you just go to tire shops and ask if they have a pile of old ones you can have?
 

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years ago yes they would just GIVE them away;).now with the cost of lead going up alot of the tire shops around here sell them to the foundries.I still have 1 shop that gives their ww for free.I go by once a week and pick them up.I have well over 1000 lbs stashed away.
if you can't get them for free hit your local junk/scrap yards.ww have been running about .60 a lb give or take here.
with 7000 grs to a pound a 124 gr 9mm bullet thats 56.45 bullets to the pound:D or 112.9 bullets for $1.20 then add your time lube and equipment.
I started casting about 30 years ago and love it.it is fun and just another part of our hobbie.
pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Great info guys, thanks for posting. I'll have to get on the look out for lead.
 
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