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OK Reloading Gods,

So today I celebrated my 499th rolled cartridge! :mrgreen: The odd number is because I lost one primer somewhere and didn't want to open another sleeve to round this out. Here's a pic of my handiwork:

$20140628_131318.jpg

I rolled ten 200gr LSWC with Titegroup (TG) at 4.1gr to see how my XD Tac .45 would like it, but that was a FAIL. Thank goodness I only rolled 10 as a test. The 230gr FMJ cartridges also had TG but were at 4.4gr, and the 230gr LRN had 4.3gr of Bullseye.

Now to my questions. First, I was wondering how more experienced rollers evaluate recipes on the range without a chronograph (because I don't have one and I don't know if I need one at this stage). For instance, last week I rolled some cartridges using 6.8gr of True Blue with 230gr FMJ, and I thought that recipe was fantastic based on the consistent 1" groups of 10 shots at seven yards that I got. But then today, I got 1" groups I with the Bullseye and LRN bullets, and 1.5" groups wit the FMJ and TG cartridges. So basically, my test consists of how tight my groups are. I'm sure there has got to be a better way of evaluating my recipes, so I'm looking for y'alls take on what I'm doing and, most importantly, what I'm not doing. All of my cartridges are fired using an XD Tactical .45, and I'm in an isosceles stance when I fire them.

Now for the really dumb question. My Lee Classic Turret and Powder Measure both like to leak powder. I also have the occasional misshaped primer that I bent while hand-priming and is no longer useable. How do y'all dispose of bad, unfired primers and stray smokeless powder when y'all clean your benches?

Thanks as always.
 

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Spray your primers with WD40 to kill them, and sprinkle your spilled powder on your lawn.

Yay fertilizer. ;)
 

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I do load dev starting with avg middle data. Load 5 at a time, then increase the charge 1/10gr for powders faster than unique, 2/10gr for powders slower than unique. Load to just under avg max if you want to go that high. Shoot them in order, note accuracy, functioning & pressures. A chrono helps a lot, but you can just go by the book numbers an estimate. Fwiw, accuracy testing at 21ft is really pointless. The shorter distance doesn't really allow large enough variation among loads. Even real crap ammo will shoot under 1 1/2" @ 21ft. I use 50ft as a min for service rds, 25yds is better. For hunting rds, 50yds min, all off a rest if possible, but if you can shoot, freehand at 50ft is fine.
Spilled powder, just dump it on the grass. Bad primers can be sprayed with a penetrating oil & dropped into trash in small amounts.
 

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As mentioned above, spilled powder is a great fertilizer, toss it on your lawn. A bent primer can be neutralized with a drop of WD-40.


If you are experiencing frequent problems with your primers, invest in a hand priming tool such as a Lee Auto Prime. I sit in front of the TV and prime cases and can feel when a primer isn't seating properly before it gets bent and becomes useless.
 

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1) Always, for safety, start with the lowest starting load you can find--using at least two different sources.
2) If using a Lee PPM, it will leak until broken in or using "dust" like True Blue. If you go to a Dillon, you will often still get leakage. I find the Lee Pro Auto-Disks work great and I can find a good load with one of the cavities.
The Hornady measure is about the best for consistency--get the caliber-specific PTXs if you get one.
3) I have almost always primed on the press. If you really want to hand prime, the best I found was the RCBS bench-mounted primer--very fast and reliable--if that can be considered hand-priming.
4) Accuracy--7 yards tells you how YOU are doing. 25 yards tells you more about how the load is doing. All I load for is accuracy, so I do my evaluation at 25 or 50 yards with a rest.
5) Only loaded for a little over 40 years and used a chrono ONCE. It is needed for determining if your load meets power factor in action pistol sports. It would be fun to have, but it is not needed.
 

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Like Fred, when developing new loads I generally use more mid-range loads to start with if loading for an auto pistol because many of the "start loads" are just too weak to fully function the slide. Starting loads are listed to show the minimum amount that the particular powder used will light up consistently without pressure anomalies. If you need something slower than the mid-range load with that powder will give you, you can then load lighter until the minimal recommended load is reached, or the gun quits functioning, whatever comes first.

For revolvers, there is no such restriction as imposed by the action of the auto pistol, and so starting at the minimum is not as critical, but going below that with a specific powder may induce problematic pressure spikes or incomplete combustion which sprays unburned powder out the barrel.

Remember, powders vary in burn rate and are designed to operate at a certain pressure level depending on the type. If you go outside that pressure level, high OR low, strange things can happen and most of them are unpleasant, so the minimum and maximum recommended loadings are listed for a reason.
 
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