« on: March 28, 2021, 01:05:43 PM »
Thought it might be interesting to keep a single thread with our reloading adventures instead of starting a new one every time we want to write something. If it keeps going fine. If it dies, it dies.
I have two areas where I work on my guns, cases and reloading. I keep all of my case prep stuff out in my garage for dust reasons. I also clean my guns and cast lead boolits out in the garage for fume reasons. I do all my resizing, reloading and most of my gun repairs in my reloading room. I have two presses. I have a Lee 4 hole turret press and an RCBS Rockchucker single stage. I reload most of my pistol cartridges on the Lee and all my rifle cartridges on my Rockchucker. I reload for 8 different pistol cartridges and 10 different rifle cartridges. Most cartridges I reload for are common calibers but a few are specialty and obsolete cartridges. I also swage primer pockets and boolits on my Rockchucker. When it is warm outside I can work in the garage or the house. But when it is too cold out I leave all my case prep projects outside until it gets warm.
Today I sat down and cleaned primer pockets on 300 rounds of 9mm and 100 rounds of 7.62x25 Tokarev. I had previously sized and cleaned the cases and trimmed them if necessary. But we got a cold snap for 2-3 weeks so I left them in the garage until it warmed up today. I cleaned some dies that I had not touched for several years and were filthy. I emptied my ultrasonic cleaner of the dirty cleaning solution. That had been sitting since it got cold.
My brother and his family came and visited me a couple of months ago. He brought me a one pound coffee can of my father’s 9mm mystery reloads. My father taught me how to reload but he was not one to keep copious records and be detailed and careful when reloading. The can is full to the brim. And there was a slip of paper that said “125gr” that’s it. No date, no powder, no charge info. I suspect these were reloaded sometime in the mid 1980’s. Knowing my father he used Sierra 125gr 9mm FMJ seconds he bought from the Sierra factory when it was still located in SoCal 25 miles from his house. Also I know all he ever bought were CCI small pistol primers. As far as powder is concerned the weights varied greatly from 5.2gr-6.5gr. I took apart 16 rounds to study them. First, the COL was waaaaay too long. About 0.15” too long according to my Sierra manual. And while it was tough, I could not tell if there was a crimp. Fifteen out of 16 fit my gauge. And a couple of rounds the primer was not inserted all the way in. After taking them apart I noticed the powder was round flakes and medium gray in color but there was about 10% were dark gray to black flakes. Knowing my father he used mostly Herco and Bullseye powders. I have the new formulated Bullseye and it didn’t look like it at all. And I don’t remember what Herco looks like. I used Unique back then and it is possible he may have used some of my Unique. But it didn’t look like it at all. I decided to disassemble all of them, resize the cases with the primer in place, reset the primer farther into the case where applicable and reload them using 3.9gr of Bullseye. I already did this to 100 rounds for a proof of concept and they worked fine for practice ammo. Though they were were not terribly accurate at 10 yards. I started on the first 50 today. Disassembled them, resized them, set the primers back and loaded them up with Bullseye and seated and crimped the bullets. They are running through my dry tumbler right now to shine them up and get rid of the tarnish and dirt. This is going to take quite a while to get through the entire coffee can.