The Loading Log

  • Is Norma decent brass?

    I have about 40 pieces that a friend shot at my place as pick ups.

    Priced about the same as Lapua when bought unloaded.

    Loaded seems to be a deal.

    $0.30 a round on sale.
    I may order 500-1000 for steel Practice and reload with 69 TMK

  • Norma can be good.

    Can be bad too.

  • 50 6.5LRM, 50 22 Creedmoor, and 100 223AI all getting scrubbed together.

    Then the segregation happened.

  • Here are a coupla hundred ready for the CPS_LITE.....

  • CPS priming bliss... ~260 rounds primed in about 20 minutes... including primer tube fills. This is a relaxed pace, and I was setting those 104 pieces in the loading trays after priming.

  • I'm guessing this is not going to increase my accuracy...unless it is some kind of aerodynamic advantage thing that Berger is trying.


  • Ewe! Yeah, don't think thats to spec. lol

  • haha, I have had one out of 2500 look like that. It appeared to have had a double jacket, as almost the entire bullet was peeling. It was a 140 VLD Target bullet though.

  • All fired again. Fifth loading.



  • Never try to clean pennies and other coins along with your brass in a wet tumbler.

    Just don't.

    So I knocked the primers out of 100 7.5 Swiss, 42 270 Winchester, and 60 30-06 and I looked over at a jar of nasty pennies that were in a car cup holder and had an idea.
    Sure just dump them in with the brass and then take the clean pennies to the change counter at the grocery store.

    Not too smart. When I cracked open the tumbler it had a head of foam on it that looked like a root beer ice cream float.
    All the brass had a caramel color to it.
    Smelled like a mixture of soap and cola.
    Brown syrup looking liquid.

    Tried to rinse it as best as possible then tossed it into the oven for dry.

    Now it all looks like Russian lacquer coated steel.


    Dry tumbler in the future for sure.

  • @hypo

    I have done that before too with similar results. I do some metal detecting once in a while and threw a bunch of dug coins in. Didn't turn out good.

  • Loaded up some more 308. 100 down. 80 to go.

    I found this when I opened a new box of Berger bullets. It is the first time I have ever seen this. Kinda cool.


  • It's cool to see companies do stuff like that.

  • Well I got a phone call from a friend about an hour ago asking if I wanted to go out to the desert and shoot tomorrow. Problem is I shot all but 20 rounds today lol. So I'm loading up 50 rounds tonight so I can be ready to leave at 4am.

  • I'm at a loss and need some advice before I move forward. I have once fired Lapua brass that I'm trying to bump the shoulders back on. I'm using a Forster FL die and the Redding Comp Shellholder set.

    To set up the die I'm putting in the .010" shellholder, turning the die down till it makes contact, and going about another 1/8 turn for a positive cam over. I measure my brass before I size, I then size and I'll get the same length. (base to shoulder) I'll go to the .008" shellholder, same measurement. On and on all the way through to the .002" shellholder.

    Now the five cases I've done so far all chamber very easily after sizing. But again they're not getting bumped back. Am I doing something wrong or should I just run with what I have?

  • @norcal_in_az
    I had the exact same problem out of a forester fl die as well. Forester asked me to send them two fired pieces of brass and two properly sized pieces of brass so they could see what was wrong, but I didn't worry with all the trouble my whidden die sizes just fine. The only reason I was going to use the full length sizer was so I could turn the necks.

  • I have never used the redding competition shell holders. The same thing can be accomplished by just backing the die out slightly. When the die is set up correctly it will bump the shoulder by a few thousandths. If it cannot bump the shoulder then the die is not made to specs. I had one die that after about 50,000 rounds through it, it would not size far enough even when screwed in all the way to the shell holder. I ground off the bottom of the die so that it would size properly...but you may not want to do that with a fairly new die.

    Also keep in mind that the die you have would probably work just fine in a loose factory chamber...but your new barrel and match chamber should be much tighter.

    What are you using to measure how much it bumps?

  • @dddoo7 I'm using the Hornady case comparator.

  • @dddoo7 correct me if I'm wrong @norcal_in_az but you're using a Lee press?

    I was never able to reliably bump size on a Lee press by backing the die out.

  • @rhyno

    Very likely may be the case. I've never tried it on a Lee press.

  • @rhyno @dddoo7 nope no longer using my Lee for this. The Lee is for decapping duty in the garage. This is being done on a Pacific/Hornady single stage press.

  • You could always grind down a regular shell holder a few thousandths...but you really shouldn't have to. Maybe Forster will make it right.

  • @dddoo7 yeah I'll call Forster tomorrow and see what they say. I shouldn't have to grind down a shellholder considering the Redding shell holders do just that.

  • Well I tried my Lee shellholder and with a few adjustments, I was bumping back the shoulder .001-.002.

  • Working on my test rounds. I did a pressure ladder last week and narrowed down to what I hope to be my low node. Also I used the posted load data on Gunhive to find out if I was in the right range of charges and sure looks like it. I have 3 rounds each of 41.0, 41.3, 41.6, and 41.9 grains of 4064. I also pulled some of the last rounds I had loaded as they seemed to be on the edge of hot. I reloaded five of those at 41.0 for fouler/sighters.

    I have a business trip tomorrow and Wednesday, so I'm hoping to sneak away for a few minutes on Thursday or Friday to shoot these.

  • I punched a few 458 Socom's out yesterday and with any luck will hit the range today ahead of some rain that's forecast down here. I screwed together a Savage with a McGowen barrel for a bolt rifle instead of going the AR route. The last time i worked on this project was back in January and my hundred yard efforts weren't too impressive. Fifty yards with a Vortex Strikeagle for optics was great, double the distance not so great. I think I will set a conventional scope on it this time and shoot a couple of loads that showed promise the last time. Round count on this barrel is less than fifty so maybe things will tighten up. At least my reloads are getting a little less expensive than that first round.d5umpD3.jpg

  • I apologize, I am having a hard time navigating this forum. A couple more pics, maybe.xj0eiK6.jpg

  • 458 socom is such a neat cartridge. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • @bigfoot Nice!! Did you tune that balance?

  • I bought that scale on a bargain table in a local shop years ago when I was building up my reloading gear. I did all my loading at a friend of mines that had everything imaginable for reloading. He even got a visit from the ATF one time for buying a huge quantity of pull down powder, they thought he was a terrorist I guess. Later we went separate ways and I used this scale for a while but never knew anything about correctly zeroing the thing. The beam was always downhill and hardly any adjustment on the little wheel to get zero. I shook the pan one time and could hear the weights in it and after a trip to my old friends and looking at his scale I knew something was up. His beam was level and mine pointing downhill. I added some lead shavings and finally got the thing level and last year added the needle and got the camera set up so I had to tweek the weights again. As far as tuning like messing with the notches or pivot surfaces, no. I just made sure there are no burrs and blow the pivots out with canned air before I set up the scale. I guess it's accurate to within itself and I have a cheap back up digital I wouldn't hit a hog in the ass with that agrees with it. I did fill it with plaster of paris and it's set up on a level solid ash bench 11/2" thick so it's pretty stable. If they made a better beam scale I guess I would buy one but they all look alike to me and I don't have the coins for a high dollar digital or a promytheus scale. I have a target from today I wouldn't mind posting but don't know where to post it.

  • @bigfoot

    You need to start a completely new thread for posting your targets. Title it “bigfoot’s RRT”.

    RRT stands for range report thread.

    This is the category to post in

  • Got it, Thanks.

  • How bad is it to shoot cases with loose primer pockets? I have pieces of brass with only a few firings on it, but the pockets are for sure looser than my other 150 pieces. Can I shoot these then toss em, or should I take the primers out and not even load them?

  • There's loose, then there's dangerously loose.

    Too loose and they'll straight up fall out during recoil. That's bad. Another thing is that when the round fires gas will leak past the primer, go through the bolt, between the cocking piece and shroud, and into your eye.

  • I 50 pieces of Remington brass that's once fired. I'll toss the 50 loose pieces of Lapua and just load the Remington brass. I'll just use these 50 for just fun rounds. I'm. It going to chance it.

  • Loaded 150 round for my .308 last night. Found out the inside chamfer bit I got with my Hornady Trio has too steep of angle. Some of my bullets were getting shaved. Used my Lyman hand tool with less of angle and they slide right on in.

  • A friend of mine I go to the range with wants to go chronograph some pistol rounds before he starts cranking them out on his Dillon so I have a few loads I need to get done so I can use his chronograph. The weather here isn't terrible but might get a little misty so I've got some time before we go next week. I bought a bolt .223 rifle a while back and did some load testing last summer and hit one that looks pretty promising with Tac powder and Berger 55 grainer's. I think I will splurge and start with new brass. If I recollect I did my tests with weight sorted Remington range brass and did a few duplicate loads with full length sized and once fired neck sized only for the heck of it. We'll see what happens with new brass from another source. The brass i will be using is General Dynamics .223 Remington not 5.56 x 45 NATO, at least it's labeled Remington.. Gonna run it through my FL sizing die and trim it good and square before I load it up. This stuff looks good, flash holes centered, no big burrs and appears to be annealed. I weighed twenty and ran the numbers through a SD calculator and came up with .457, I guess that's tolerable. I ain't too crazy about weighing every piece of brass for the category of shooting I do. I've got a .260 I have had for I know nine years I have hardly shot maybe twenty rounds, might charge a few of them up too.

  • Just sized 200 pieces of .223 and now they're in the rice.

  • So much for the new brass. It appears there needs to be another step in prepping this stuff. I full length sized and trimmed twenty pieces using a RCBS die and primed them with my CPS Lite then charged them with powder. I set up a Wilson chamber type seat die and went to seat a Berger 55 grain flat base and it wouldn't go. Shoved a little harder and it went but the seater stem cut the heck out of the bullet. Tried one more and it wouldn't go either, dang. I pulled the bullet I seated and it was scratched all to heck from the neck of the brass. Dumped the powder out of all of them and looked at the inside of the necks, scratches galore or tool marks, whatever you want to call them and some kind of red oxidation I guess from annealing. I even tried running them back through a Lee collet die to try to iron out some of the scratches
    and deepening the chamfer. I already use a Lyman low drag tool but they still were hard to seat, way too tight. Finally I took a neck brush to them and got all the red stuff cleaned out and almost all the scratches went away also. I'm bad about taking brass right out of the bag and loading it but not this stuff. I store my brass in an air conditioned room year around and this is the first I have ever seen the red oxidation on new brass inside the necks. Guess I should have payed closer attention when I broke them out.

  • Eventually everyone comes to the conclusion that I came to about 15 years ago: When it comes to brass... buying once fired or range pickup brass is pointless.

  • Just cranked out 200 rounds for my AR on the progressive. 68g Hornady Match bullets, 24.5g of Varget, WSR Primer, Lake City cases. Great load for 1" groups at 100 and shooting steel.

  • aXKTL4D.jpg

  • I finally got some N550 powder, not what I was looking for but what was available. Loaded my first rounds without knowing a starting load charge for this powder with 154 Hornady interbond bullets. The cases look 3/4 filled of powder, is it dangerous?
    The plan is to do a pressure ladder.


  • Anything over 70% case fill is typically plenty safe.

    I prefer 90% or better, but sometimes what you get is what you get.

  • Thanks, that calms me a bit.

  • Just got done loading 250 rounds for the SCAR and 500 rounds for the 9. The problems of not reloading in a while.

  • @jibnast What was your 9mm recipe?

    What 9mm dies are good for a single stage?
    Forster doesn't show any 9mm dies online where I am shopping.
    Redding, Hornady, Lee and Lyman are the choices.

    About to place an order
    Starline +P 9mm brass 500 pieces
    Berry's 147 flat nose 1000 count

    Just checked my Redding 3BR match ready powder measure and it threw 3.7 grains of CFE223 ball right on every time when checked with my 10-10 beam scale.

    Ran the measure all the way down to zero then up to one and threw a charge.
    Backed it off some to 0.5 on the micrometer measurement and it was right on 4 grains.
    A single hash mark less and it threw 3.7 grains 10 times in a row with a single tap to settle the powder charge and then a smooth dump stroke.

    Saved me $50 for not having to buy the pistol metering chamber.
    Will spend that on bullets.

    Also got 2 new 20'X20' tarps to put down where I shoot to make recovering the brass easy as folding it up

    How many uses can you get on straight walled brass?
    Hornaday 3 die set is on sale or is crimping in a taper crimp die separately from seating better like a Lee 4 die set?

    Redding sets are twice the price

  • @hypo
    My load is 4.9 CFE Pistol with the Xtreme 115 RN I have another 500 to load and will switch to the 124 HP. I load on a Dillon 550B with Dillon dies. For load development I use my Foster with the the Lee four die set but if I was looking at producing large quantities I would look into a seat and crimp at once. Any particular reason you are going to load the 147’s and what is the end game for the rounds.

  • I have been trying different ammo and some of the Browning 147 flat nose was the best shooting at less than 900 FPS.
    Noticeably less blast and recoil.
    Has to be a 125 power factor or higher for USPSA minor power factor class.
    PF= grains times velocity / 1000
    147*860= 126420 =126.4 PF
    minimum load from Hodgdon with CFE Pistol is 3.7 for 864 fps with a 147
    4.2 for 963 fps both from a 4" barrel
    mine should be faster with a 4.89" barrel
    I guess I can start with 3.7 and meet PF for a match.
    They will chrono your ammo at a big match.

    After that Winchester NATO 124 FMJ was decent.
    All I have is my Forster press right now.
    Are you using a separate expanding die in the 550?
    Or is the Dillon an expand and powder through die?


  • Dillon is expand and powder through all in one die.

    I have used the lee dies quite a bit before I started buying dillon and they were decent. I had some rcbs dies but I hated seat / crimp in the same die as it was a pain to adjust.

    You can use Dillon dies in a single stage as long as you buy a expanding die to go along with the set. Dillon expanding die is proprietary.


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