New to reloading, advice?

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by rivalarrival, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    I recently learned how to reload shotgun shells with my grandfather's old press. I've been wanting to reload pistol and rifle cartridges for awhile now, but couldn't justify the price tag to reload just some 9mm and .223. Then I picked up a few more guns and my brother went and bought a 500 S&W. At $1-2/cartridge for factory loads, we decided it was time to get started.

    I picked up a Hornady Lock and Load Classic kit, dies and shell holder for 9mm, and we're going to build up a reloading bench this week. I've been reading through the Hornady reloading manual all evening, and I've got the general idea of what needs to happen.

    Any advice before we start messing around with stuff that goes bang?
  2. heandc

    heandc New Member

    Important not to go below the min. charge and do not go more than the maximum charge, also the maximum overall length is critical. DO NOT go under this length on a high pressure round like the .500 S & W or 10mm. Pressure problems happen quickly. Work up to max. charges slowly. Do not use magnum primers unless the recipe calls for it. Watch max. overall length. It is a safe and fun hobby as long as you pay attention.

  3. 40caljim

    40caljim Active Member Supporter


    Always remember the golden rule.....faster is not always better. Bullets are like snow flakes, everyone is different. Every bullet has a specific speed ("sweet spot") where it stabilizes. Stay away from maximum loads. Work up loads that work in your guns and stick with them. Reloading can be very rewarding especially in hunting rifles. Theres no better feeling than bagging a trophy with a bullet that you built yourself by hand.
  4. havasu

    havasu Well-Known Member Supporter

    And don't smoke while reloading!
  5. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Fixed it for ya! :D
  6. havasu

    havasu Well-Known Member Supporter

    Even better, but since I was once a smoker, I don't want to be one of those preachers we all despise.
  7. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Yeah, we'll mostly be reloading for target shooting. No need to break wrists and erode barrels for paper zombies. We'll save the hot loads for hunting season.
  8. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Well, after a few long hours tinkering this evening, we finally got everything set up and adjusted, and the results speak for themselves:


    9mm, 124grn TMJ in front of 4grn Unique, the lightest load the book mentioned. It was getting pretty late, but I cracked one off into the dirt with no ill effects. We didn't want to get carried away without a little testing, so we stopped after those 16.

    Going shooting tomorrow. should be fun. :)

    The dies for my brother's S&W 500 should be coming sometime next week. Then we'll get serious. :)
  9. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    4 grains of Unique refused to cycle the action on my Glock 26. Stove piped most rounds, several FTE, FTF, etc. At 4.3 grains, the cartridges tended to dribble out, rather than eject with any authority. A couple FTEs. At 4.5 grains, everything started working normally. Worked up to 5 grains without issue. Loaded up 2 boxes at 4.8 grains, and we'll see what happens tomorrow.
  10. AZPaul

    AZPaul Junior Member

    I always load mine in the middle charge of max and min.
  11. 9mm loads

    I have been using 4.8 grains of 231 with 115 gr fmjs for 20+ years and works great. I use 4 grains under a 124 lead bullet, 4.4 with a 124-125 fmj. Universal is also a good 9mm powder. Look here: