First batch! UPDATE! Success! - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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First batch! UPDATE! Success!

Well last night I was able to sneak away for an hour and complete my first set of handloads! I only did 19 rounds, but that's all I had materials for.

Some of you may remember I was just trying to mimic some handloads that a friend (who's since moved to AZ) made up for me last year. He gave me all the left over powder, primers, bullets, and brass that I'd purchased for him to make handloads for me from and I bought an exact set of the Hornady dies he used. I took the remaining ammo he'd loaded for me and carefully weighed and measured the length of each to give myself an average weight (410.3 grains) and length (3.18") to target. The components were Winchester brass, a Winchester Large rifle primer, 49 grs of IMR 4064 powder, and a 168 gr Barnes TTSX.

Last night I finished up my loads and they average the same weight and length of the leftover loads. That's as close as I know how to make them so I just have to shoot them to find out how close they really are. Any opinions on how well this should work?

(In case you're wondering, the load in the back right corner of the loading block was my very first round that I completely processed. It has a dented case and the tip of the bullet was damaged when I "pulled" it with the hammer style puller. I marked it so I know when I shoot it that it might not fly well relative to the other rounds.)

Here is a pic of my first batch of handloads:

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 12:29 PM
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

Are those 30-06s? Save one of the reloads so you can compare it to a fired case. You want to learn not to set the shoulders back more than necessary.

I am confused by your statment: an average weight (410.3 grains) and length (3.18") to target. Is the 3.18 the COL? You are not trimming the cases to get that average weight of 410.3 are you?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

Yeah, .30-06.

The average weight of the cartridges loaded by my friend that I have remaining was 410.3 grains. The average length of them was 3.18" (tip of bullet to end of brass via my RCBS electronic calipers).

As the brass has only been fired twice, I didn't do any case trimming, I only used the deburring tool I have on the mouth, 2 twists on the inside, 2 on the outside, just to clean it up some. I checked the case length on a Maximum case length tool I had given to me (you can see part of it just behind the stand to my powder dispenser to the left of the photo) and they all fell under the maximum length.

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 01:05 PM
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

I assume you are using the average weight to try to figure out the powder charge? Why not just pull a bullet out of one of the rounds your friend loaded and dump out the powder and weigh the charge. Too many variations in brass/bullet weights to estimate. Better to measure exactly.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

No, I did pull the bullet and weighed the powder charge plus I knew from what my friend told me it needed to be 49 grs (but I wanted to double check that 49 grs on his scale was 49 grs on mine as well, it was). I just figured I'd weigh the whole cartridge as just another way of checking my loads against his. Probably un-necessary, but just something I did.

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2010, 09:09 PM
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

Now ya got some shooting to do. Now have a Molson for me

Venison - The other fast food
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-10-2010, 09:40 AM
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

I think you did well.You had a couple minor problems but seem to have fixed that.Kudos to you Adam.I am in the same boat as you.I have reloaded hand gun ammo but never for a rifle.My mistake was not changing the die.I bent a decapping pin.Oh and you can't straighten them they break.Takes me longer to reload but I weigh every powder charge.Learned that early with pistols and a Little Dandy Powder Rotor.

Bob Seger,till it shines.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

Woo hoo! They print EXACTLY the same as the handloads that my buddy made up for me that I had left over! I'm SO pumped that they worked as planned!

I went to the range Saturday and warmed up with some .22 plinking to work out the kinks as it's been about 6 weeks since I've been out shooting. Once I felt comfortable with my trigger squeeze and follow-through again I got out the 06.

I had a target at 50 yards and 100. I popped in a handload that my buddy loaded up and shot, dead center (left and right) & a few inches high, perfect. Then I got out one of mine (the blue one in the pic above). Being that I've never reloaded before, I was a little leery that I may have done something wrong so I adjusted the ear plugs and shooting glasses, gritted my teeth and prayed all went well. I touched it off, recovered from the recoil and it hit right beside the first shot! woo hoo! I put in another one of mine and cut the hole from the first! Nice!

Now it's time to move it out to 100 yards. I shot one of the old loads and it was about 3" high but dead center (left and right), exactly where I wanted it. Loaded one of mine and shot, about 2.5" high, and 1.5" right. Hmmmmm Decided to shoot 2 more of the old loads to see how my 3 shot group was and then shoot 2 more of my loads to see how it was.

Touched off the 2 old ones and had a decent group (2-2.5") right where I wanted (I'm not the greatest shot, my gun will definitely shooter better than the guy pulling the trigger can shoot it!) Loaded 2 of the new ones and shot both of them and they were intermingled with the 3 old loads! Seemed my first shot at 100 yards with the new loads was just pulled a little bit by me.

While these might not be stellar results for you guys, for me, I'm pretty happy. I'm sure with a rock solid rest and a better shooter pulling the trigger I'd have sub-MOA groups. With more time and practice, and maybe some load tweaking once I'm postive I'M not the problem, I'm sure I can get it there myself!

Thanks for all your help!

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 11:05 AM
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

Glad to hear. It's good to get you confidence boosted. I had to start out with try, try again. Most people would have given up, but I'm stubburn that way.

Now that you can shoot much more cheaply you can get enough practice to go from minute of deer to minute of angle.

Venison - The other fast food
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First batch! Finally got some handloads made!

LMAO, for sure!

$ wasn't really the issue, it's TIME! I have an almost 2-year-old at home...need I say more?

"I suppose it is the way of hunters. We are very odd fellows." ~ Peter Hathaway Capstick
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