A Reloading Thread.. - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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A Reloading Thread..

In 2014 I talked my wife into letting me get a NIB, 500 S&W Magnum with the 8-3/8" barrel and interchangeable compensator.. While I REALLY liked the gun before buying it, after shooting her, It was True Love!!!!! The gun goes from Mild to Wild in a big way depending on what round yer using!! After trying several different size bullets/manufacturer's I settled on the 350gr JHP Reduced Recoil bullet made by Winchester. A Very accurate round that has recoil comparable to a S&W Model 29, 8-3/8" barrel using a 240gr OTC Remington. About 2-4" barrel rise using one hand and a smooth recoil! 100 rounds at the range shouldn't be a problem!!


And then I discovered a problem... Ammo for this Beastie was rarer than Hen's Teeth!! Heck at that time, ANY ammo was scarce!! So after much thought I started looking into reloading...


Now I went into this venture with 2 things I needed to accomplish to make it worthwhile:


1- This should give me the opportunity to "Tailor" my rounds to what the gun "Liked" and to give me a plentiful supply of ammo.


2- The bullets for this thing runs about $3.00/round OTC so I was looking to make the gun affordable to shoot at the range!! As I said: She's FUN to shoot!!


I spent about 2 months doing research on what rig I needed and wound up getting the RCBS® Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit from Cabelas for my base loading kit and added other stuff like digital scales, caliper, etc. as I went.. For the Boollets I use the 350gr Hornady XTP JHP which I'm intending to use for hunting and for target practice I use the Berrys 350gr Round Shoulder Boolets!


Next was choosing/finding the powder... After a TON of reading reloading powder specs and much searching I decided on using Titegroup which I finally found in a Mom and Pop sporting goods store.


So, Now we're getting ready to make bullets.. Looking back I should have done more research and gotten a different powder to use.. Why?? Well, as I discovered, Titegroup is a very "dense" powder and, according to the 1200fps muzzle velocity I was looking for, I was gonna be using about 12.2gr of powder. The minimum size charge for the 350gr boollet is 11.0gr with a chamber pressure of 23,100psi and a max charge of 18.5gr with a chamber pressure of 50,000psi. The 500 is rated for a max pressure of 60,000psi so there's really no problem at 12.2gr's of powder...


Unless you have a double throw of powder..... Doing the math, You see the problem!! 12.2gr does NOT fill the case very well and as I don't want to turn the gun into a Hand Grenade I am VERY anal when reloading and have set rules I follow to prevent a double powder charge..


I always clean/deprime/prime in lots of 50.


When throwing the powder, pressing the bullet, I do those in lots of 1...… With no interruption between throwing and pressing, the casing goes straight into the press with powder and is pressed.. No exceptions!!! Also I weigh EVERY throw with a digital scale and recalibrate every 5-10 throws..


Is this being too carefull?? Does this method take a lot of time?? Possibly but, I know for SURE what's in each round and I have all the time I need.. I work Cheap!!!


The Cost?? I thing I have about $450.00 invested from press to the initial purchase of supplies like boolets, powder, primers, etc. The savings I think are Very good as I can make an XTP, JHP for about $.85/round while the Berrys go for about $.38/round!! I think I've loaded about 400 rounds so far and I believe I've covered my initial cost at least!!


Feel free to offer suggestions on what I can do better, and powder suggestions are always Welcome!!


A few pic's...
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Don

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 01:56 AM
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Boy that brings back memories!!!!


Back in the mid 70's I became interested in becoming a better shot and quickly found that the cost of ammo was too dam high for all the practice I wanted to do. I went the same route that you did, , ,read everything I could get my hands on, , , and started reloading my own. My routine was "reload 8-10 boxes during the week after work", and shoot every Saturday. It was 38 spec. wadcutters with Red Dot powder, , some .357 rounds mixed in just to break up the "fun". I became a respectable shot and represented the PD honorably, with a few decent size trophies that are STILL in their showcase in the Lobby. Both of my daughters would help/watch me for hours, , ,their memory of those times still make them smile.



I was pleased with the RCBS Rock Chucker I used for the whole time, but I don't think it was the "Supreme Master" model, , ,or even if they had more than one model in those days.



My routine was very similar to yours, except that after a buddy of mine had a "slightly" loose primer, or one that wasn't "seated" properly, he blew up a cylinder after a shot, the shell on the right side blew from the recoil and the primer striking the back face of the frame. I added the routine of setting the cleaned, primed shells on a mirror glass to see the primer, and if the shell would wobble slightly and make sure the primer was seated correctly.


I couldn't justify the "high-quality" dies that didn't require "brass lube" due to the higher price. The lube was the most annoying part of the process, , , , but it worked out fine. I still have my "set-up" but don't do any reloading now, , , ,it'll probably get put out at the next "garage sale" and go to a good home where it can be used more. It's still in great shape and a "beginner" would love to have it I bet.


Thanks for the topic and I hope you continue to enjoy the fun of shooting.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoepc View Post

So, Now we're getting ready to make bullets.. Looking back I should have done more research and gotten a different powder to use.. Why?? Well, as I discovered, Titegroup is a very "dense" powder and, according to the 1200fps muzzle velocity I was looking for, I was gonna be using about 12.2gr of powder. The minimum size charge for the 350gr boollet is 11.0gr with a chamber pressure of 23,100psi and a max charge of 18.5gr with a chamber pressure of 50,000psi. The 500 is rated for a max pressure of 60,000psi so there's really no problem at 12.2gr's of powder...


Unless you have a double throw of powder..... Doing the math, You see the problem!! 12.2gr does NOT fill the case very well and as I don't want to turn the gun into a Hand Grenade I am VERY anal when reloading and have set rules I follow to prevent a double powder charge..
.
It may be difficult to come up with a powder that fills the case well and doesn't become a full house load. Most of the powders that I use that fill the case well (different rounds,but magnum pistols, I don't have a S&W 500) are magnum powders that don't down load well. Like H110, W296, IMR4227, Aliant2400, AA#9. Bullseye is a good powder for target loads but it doesn't take up much space, you could put 5 or 6 charges in a case usually.

With no God over the state, the state then becomes not the defender of liberty but the definer of liberty.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BLUTHUNDR31 View Post



My routine was very similar to yours, except that after a buddy of mine had a "slightly" loose primer, or one that wasn't "seated" properly, he blew up a cylinder after a shot, the shell on the right side blew from the recoil and the primer striking the back face of the frame. I added the routine of setting the cleaned, primed shells on a mirror glass to see the primer, and if the shell would wobble slightly and make sure the primer was seated correctly.


I couldn't justify the "high-quality" dies that didn't require "brass lube" due to the higher price.
I recently had a high primer in a 44 mag, I'm going to blame it on my son as he had primed a bunch of 44s, that round wouldn't rotate to the firing position in my SBH even though I couln't see the difference, maybe .010 too high.

Carbide pistol dies IMO are definitely worth the price if you load more than 20 rounds at a time.

With no God over the state, the state then becomes not the defender of liberty but the definer of liberty.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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The "Supreme Master" moniker was more the name of the kit I believe as the press itself is a basic Rock Chucker Single Stage.. Also I watch those primers close also!! I'll run my finger over the base and if there's any question I'll check with a metal 6" ruler. I like the mirror idea though!!


Dave, I think the search for is gonna be ongoing... It's gonna be the opposite of the old Miller Lite commercial where they were saying "Less Filling!! Taste's Great!!".. Mine's "More Filling!! Less Power!!"!!!!

Don

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 12:46 PM
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The problem I had hand loading using factory and my own custom bullet molds was verifying improvements and results.

I had to get a chrono and later a Ransom rest just to make sure I was either improving or not on specific loads.

It's hard to do a lot of one hole groups at 30 yds plus and therefore knowing if you really found gold or not.

I enjoyed shooting and reloading made it affordable. But it takes a lot to get the consistency you want. And I think any step toward that goal is worth the time and effort.

Now, chunking out loads to sell at the gun range was another thing.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 02:26 PM
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Don't know about velocity/pressure, but a lot of guys are having good luck with "Trailboss" in large capacity cases. The internet is your friend when looking for data, just use common sense and work-up your own loads when trying new components.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rudy View Post
The problem I had hand loading using factory and my own custom bullet molds was verifying improvements and results.

I had to get a chrono and later a Ransom rest just to make sure I was either improving or not on specific loads.

It's hard to do a lot of one hole groups at 30 yds plus and therefore knowing if you really found gold or not.

I enjoyed shooting and reloading made it affordable. But it takes a lot to get the consistency you want. And I think any step toward that goal is worth the time and effort.
I have a chronograph and use it a lot but don't have a ransom rest. I'm generally able to call my shots so I know when it should have been in the 10 ring and when not. Consistent velocity is most important but it is amazing what difference a different powder and even a slight difference in powder charge can make. I'm a newby at casting bullets and have some things to learn in that skill.

With no God over the state, the state then becomes not the defender of liberty but the definer of liberty.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 05:51 PM
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I have a chronograph and use it a lot but don't have a ransom rest. I'm generally able to call my shots so I know when it should have been in the 10 ring and when not. Consistent velocity is most important but it is amazing what difference a different powder and even a slight difference in powder charge can make. I'm a newby at casting bullets and have some things to learn in that skill.
The best thing is to get a bottom pour melter. I liked the Lee ones. Well made and good prices. Their liquid Alox works well once you get a system going. Gallons are cheap compared to the squirt bottles.

Hardest part is finding a good cheap source for lead. I was lucky, the gun store I worked at had a range and we got the brass and cleaned out the trap.
Smelted about 400 lbs a month out of there. Had 1500 ingots stored when I sold it all to SB in SC. His pickup bed was loaded and sagging when he drove off with the stuff. Thew a tarp over it. Told him it looked like he was importing aliens in it.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 06:20 PM
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The best thing is to get a bottom pour melter. I liked the Lee ones. Well made and good prices. Their liquid Alox works well once you get a system going. Gallons are cheap compared to the squirt bottles.

Hardest part is finding a good cheap source for lead. I was lucky, the gun store I worked at had a range and we got the brass and cleaned out the trap.
Smelted about 400 lbs a month out of there. Had 1500 ingots stored when I sold it all to SB in SC. His pickup bed was loaded and sagging when he drove off with the stuff. Thew a tarp over it. Told him it looked like he was importing aliens in it.
I have a Lee bottom pour melter. I use alox but it sure is messy. I devised a method of lubing bullets with hard lube, not great but it works. I actually made a size and lube die for 44 bullets. Had a few 5 gallon buckets of wheel weights, a lot of sorting to get the zink weights out but came up with a good bit of good lead. Probably enough to cast all the bullets I'll ever need. If I could just devise a good trap I could recover some of it.

With no God over the state, the state then becomes not the defender of liberty but the definer of liberty.


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