Saturday, January 20, 2007


Well, after discovering that my reloads keyhole, there was much deliberation with the smiths at work. What did I get out of that? That Lee's reloading manual and dippers aren't to be trusted, and that I need a scale.

So I'm getting a scale; there's a Jennings HP-50X on the way from ebay... $30. Heck of a deal, shipped priority so I should have it soon.

On recommendation also, once the scale is here I'll be making a dipper for my .38 "mouse fart" loads out of a .22lr case. 4.2gr ought to do it.


Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

They keyhole because of too much or too little powder? Huh?

You do need a scale, but I can't see that the standard deviation would be that much with the dippers. I can see a problem trusting my (for example) probably 20-30 year-old Lee slide-rule powder calculator, but I assume it would "throw" a consistent charge.

Even my reload-junkie friends still use their Lee dippers, they just weigh and double check the dippers on that specific batch of powder first.

I was just looking for my lube-sizer and I found another batch of reloading dies. That's from my habit of picking up any available die set where the price was =< $10 and it was a caliber that was a) common, or b)something I owned a firearm in already. Too many gun shows.

I'm going to have to do some inventory and then a few “beginning to reload” posts myself.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Dr. StrangeGun said...

The trouble's not with the consistency, it's with the size. I was under the impression that the .3cc dipper would do decently as the starting load since that's what the Lee manual describes, but it's actually a little below and I was probably getting 550-600fps. The next size up in dippers, the .5cc, would be an overload as described by several other manuals, which all also put the .3cc dipper (or with unique, 2.7gr) as far below starting load.

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Standard Mischief said...

Ah, I get it. Bullet was -way- too slow, thus keyhole.

yep, my slipstick says Unique:
.3cc = 2.7 grains
.5cc = 4.6 grains

not a lot of choices there and checking the speer manual I can see how it would be tough to find a dipper that would give you a 10% under starter load.

Then I suppose you'll file the.22 case dipper until it's exactly where you want it. I understand now.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Ninth Stage said...

You got good advice, use a scale.

If you are shooting these out of a Smith you should know that the twist is on the slow side for a HBWC. IIRC the twist in an S&W is 1 in 18.5" while the Colt Python is 1 in 14" to stabilize HBWC.

The twist required to stabilize a bullet is related to the length of the projectile so in a Smith a BBWC would likely perform better.

Lastly the powder you're using, Unique - it's likely that you purchased it for it's versatility but put simply, Unique sucks for most light handgun loads. Use Bullseye or VV320 for mid range target loads.

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Lee stuff works, but start looking for a deal on a decent adjustable powder measure. Now that you have a scale, an adjustable measure opens up all the different load possibilities, and is a lot more accurate round-to-round than the Lee scoops.

8:34 AM  

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