10 August 2012

Things That Go Bang

Today was the day I learned how to assemble some ammo. With materials in hand off I went to Range Partner's abode.

Two of the cases got ruined setting the resizing/depriming die, but they were the only casualties of the day. One of the bullets was also sacrificed to set the depth, but we did manage to finally extract it so that we could re-use the brass.

Forty eight cases deprimed, resized and ready for primers. This is when I found out my brand-new priming tool shellplate is too tight for the cases, they didn't want to seat all the way into the shellplate so we ended up not using it. In a fortuitous turn of fate .45ACP has the exact same case diameter as 6.5x50 Japanese, and since RP was using his progressive press for .45 we just took the turret off of it and used it to put the primers in. I'll have to work the shellplate over with a file to get the cases to fit right.

Anatomy of a primer. I had never seen the inside of one before and at first I thought they were just crimped over like shotgun shells. When we pressed the old primers out I saw that they actually have a three-point insert to hold the bangy bits (if you will excuse my use of the technical term) in place.

The first reload. 129 grain SST Hornady bullets atop 37.0 grains of Hogden 380 powder. In the background you can see RP at the scale measuring out the powder for the next go-round.  This step was kind of anticlimactic, a light pull and it was done. Depriming took a bit more force, but this step takes little to none.

Twenty to a box. The picture is fuzzy, apparently my camera didn't want to autofocus on this one.

Compared to a factory load. Again, sorry about the picture quality, the camera was apparently more fond of the background.

After this we took the rifle out to the range where I verified my inability to hit the broad side of a barn with it. I shot up eight of the reloads and then forty of my factory loads just to see if we could get the rifle zeroed in with varying degrees of success. The good news is, the reloads go bang.

We will have to haul out the bench rest on the next session so that we can accurately zero it in and see where the POI is between the factory loads and the reloads. The good news is the reloads cost half of the factory loads (so why didn't we shoot those? I want the SSTs for another purpose, the factory loads are FMJs) so shooting this rifle has dropped from ridiculous (as compared to ZOMG!) to merely annoying.

I also put a little more than 150 rounds through the Glock, and while I did have two minor FTFs (actually the slide failed to return all the way to battery) on the Tula ammo that were quickly cleared (a quick smack on the back of the slide with the heel of the hand put them both right in where they belonged) both RP's light reloads (70%) and the Winchester white box feeds and fires with nary a problem. I am pretty well convinced the 15 lb springs were just what was needed.

PSA for the day, while at the range wear your hat. One of my rounds went straight up and came down behind my glasses. Hot brass gets your attention!

After the range session we took my 48 newly emptied cases and made 48 more completed rounds, carefully separating out the eight twice-fired cases (good thing the primers were different colors). Those eight went back into the gun safe when I returned home in a box marked Reloaded x II, they will get put back into rotation when the rest of the reloads have been reloaded again.

And now I just need the dies for .45ACP and a reloading press kit and I'll be all set!

No comments: