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First time reloading, I would like a sounding board.

skwirrelskwirrel MemberPosts: 181 Member
For Christmas I got a Lee Loader and various other pieces of reloading equipment. I have a nice Ruger 77/22 and a few boxes of empty .22 Hornet that have been through it.

I trimmed the length, cleaned the primer pocket, and ran them through the loader.

I decided to try Hornady 45 Grain hornet bullets, Lil Gun powder, and Winchester primers.

I chambered an empty case with a bullet on the end and it came out to 1.850”. So I finished mine at 1.825”.
The bullets ended up being way to long for the magazine, so I took it apart and “stretched” it out.

Using dippers, I loaded 5 with 7.0cc, 5 with 7.5cc and 5 with 8.0cc. So that should be 10.3 gn, 11 gn, and 11.8 gn.

I weighed each one to be sure there was powder in each. Turns out I didnt put powder in one, so its a good thing I checked. If you were wondering why I didnt weigh the powder on this scale, its because its not a very accurate one, but good enough for crude work.

Then it snowed and I haven’t been out to test them yet.

How am I doing so far?
Live long and prosper.
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Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    There's no reason to be without an accurate scale. Here's the type I'm using, and it's accurate down to 2/10 grain. If I really need to get it down to 1/10 g. accuracy, I break out the RCBC scale, but this one's a LOT faster.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/300g-x-0-01g-Mini-Digital-Jewelry-Pocket-GRAM-Scale-LCD-/370546703910?pt=US_Pocket_Digital_Scales&hash=item56464dfe26

    The price is right, too!
    Jerry
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Shoot them, record. Appears you missed one, so in my eyes....you effed upped royal.....there is no room for mistakes on rifle ammunition....you got off lucky this time.....what if it was the opposite and a double charge? I ain't gonna cut you no slack on this, and you know why.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,189 Senior Member
    Yep...you really need a scale..."should be" doesn't figure into reloading...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    It doesn't sound bad. Hodgdon calls for an overall length of 1.75" with that bullet, a starting load of 12gr and a max load of 13gr with that powder. What kind of scale do you have?
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Teach wrote: »
    There's no reason to be without an accurate scale. Here's the type I'm using, and it's accurate down to 2/10 grain. If I really need to get it down to 1/10 g. accuracy, I break out the RCBC scale, but this one's a LOT faster.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/300g-x-0-01g-Mini-Digital-Jewelry-Pocket-GRAM-Scale-LCD-/370546703910?pt=US_Pocket_Digital_Scales&hash=item56464dfe26

    The price is right, too!
    Jerry

    Thanks, I went ahead and bought one.
    Live long and prosper.
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Yep...you really need a scale..."should be" doesn't figure into reloading...

    Dont progressive loaders load by volume? I didnt see how using dippers could go wrong. Anyway, I ordered a scale to calibrate my dippers.
    Live long and prosper.
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    It doesn't sound bad. Hodgdon calls for an overall length of 1.75" with that bullet, a starting load of 12gr and a max load of 13gr with that powder. What kind of scale do you have?

    Its a digital archery scale meant to weigh arrows and broadheads...
    Live long and prosper.
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Shoot them, record. Appears you missed one, so in my eyes....you effed upped royal.....there is no room for mistakes on rifle ammunition....you got off lucky this time.....what if it was the opposite and a double charge? I ain't gonna cut you no slack on this, and you know why.

    ? What the????????????
    Live long and prosper.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,189 Senior Member
    Those dippers have been around forever and work, kinda sorta...However, a couple of reasons that people reload is for accuracy and consistency...you don't get that with dippers... and your question regarding progressive loaders....this is why I use a single stage press....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    The dippers are fine and dandy if you are consistent with your technique. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using them. I would want to confirm the weight of the charges on a scale and see how consistent I was before I pulled the trigger on one of those puppies though.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Shoot them, record. Appears you missed one, so in my eyes....you effed upped royal.....there is no room for mistakes on rifle ammunition....you got off lucky this time.....what if it was the opposite and a double charge? I ain't gonna cut you no slack on this, and you know why.

    Double charge? The case only holds 13 grains of Lil Gun. How could I get 26 grains into it?
    Live long and prosper.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    I started out using dippers, and there's nothing wrong with them as long as you stay to a midrange load. The hand-scribed scroll Lee sent with the kit said so, back before they started contracting their printing out to Mr. Gutenberg! The big problem with a small-capacity case is the possibility that maybe only one dipper will be in that acceptable range, limiting your options for tinkering with the load. Also, dippers have a nasty habit of getting a lot of variation from one dip to the next. I developed a dip/shake/slice over the top routine, using a piece of index card to try to get the powder charge as uniform as possible. A scale is MUCH more accurate, and faster.
    Jerry

    EDIT: A .357 case and Bullseye powder will accept a double charge easily. So will some other powder/case combinations.
    Jerry
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    that's not my point Skwirrel.....it's about the diligent consistentcy....you admitted you missed a charge....that would cause a squib...right? What if you didn't notice that an fired another into that squib? Just trying to look out for you brother.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Teach wrote: »
    I started out using dippers, and there's nothing wrong with them as long as you stay to a midrange load. The hand-scribed scroll Lee sent with the kit said so, back before they started contracting their printing out to Mr. Gutenberg! The big problem with a small-capacity case is the possibility that maybe only one dipper will be in that acceptable range, limiting your options for tinkering with the load. Also, dippers have a nasty habit of getting a lot of variation from one dip to the next. I developed a dip/shake/slice over the top routine, using a piece of index card to try to get the powder charge as uniform as possible. A scale is MUCH more accurate, and faster.
    Jerry

    EDIT: A .357 case and Bullseye powder will accept a double charge easily. So will some other powder/case combinations.
    Jerry

    Thanks. When I get my good scale I will check my dippers, and my tehnique on it.
    Live long and prosper.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Here's my advice on reloading for the Hornet and other similar small capacity cases, both pistol and rifle. Get a good scale and USE IT! And here's why; with small capacity cases like the Hornet, .32 ACP, .25 ACP, .380, etc., a couple tenths of a grain over can mean a lot of difference in pressure and accuracy. I use a powder measure, but throw short charges to the pan and use a powder trickler to get each charge up to weight. If I KNOW the charges are all the same, then I can look elsewhere like cartridge overall length, seating depth, etc. to work up an accurate load.

    And the reason is this; the minor variations from a powder measure don't have near the effect on a large case like in the 30-06 or .308 family because a tenth of a grain over/under is a very small percentage of the total. That percentage is much higher in the very small cases.

    On that uncharged case, kick yourself in the backside. Be obsessive/compulsive on checking that cases are charged properly and not over/under charged. Powder measures do bridge a charge on occasion and dump too little in one case and then too much in the next. Stick powders are the worst for that bridging, but some of the larger flake and ball powders will do it on occasion.

    Always, always be mindful of the published cartridge overall length. Seating with the bullet deeper than published can cause pressure to be higher due to reduced case volume. And seating the bullet long to touch the lands can cause a pressure spike.

    The dippers are O.K. for measuring an amount of powder to put in the scale pan and weigh the charge, either adding or subtracting as needed. But they are not good for consistently throwing the same weight charge. And the bigger the dipper, the bigger the error.

    One more thing; the charges you listed should be 0.7, 0.75, and 0.8 cc. I guess it's nitpicking, but that misplaced decimal point caught my eye right off the bat.

    Now, go shoot those loads as time and weather allow, and start working up a load. The Hornet is a fun little cartridge, and can be quite accurate with a load it likes. You might try some of the 35 or 40 grain bullets, too. If you have problems with the little Ruger, there is a 'fix' for that floating bolt head that can tighten up headspace and can improve shot to shot consistency. It's easy to do, too.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    If you have problems with the little Ruger, there is a 'fix' for that floating bolt head that can tighten up headspace and can improve shot to shot consistency. It's easy to do, too.

    What is the fix?

    Also, you are correct on the decimal point...typo.

    One more thing, I often hesitate to post on this forum, because so many people just cant wait to bash someones head in. You however, are a beacon of light. Thank you.
    Live long and prosper.
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Don't feel that way....90% of us are here to help.....of that 10% will make a joke.....roll with it bro, nobody means any harm, and really.....we don't want any harm to come to you.....you'll notice, very few jokes about reloading....this is an area that I become an **** for safety's sake. Please feel free to ask anything.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,509 Senior Member
    Ahhh. . .the Lee Loader. . .WELCOME TO HELL!!!:wink:

    Seriously though, the thing is capable of loading some pretty good ammo, but unless your OCD is worse than mine (highly unlikely), ten rounds will have you :drool:

    The dippers are a decent way to roll - as stated, volumetric charging is nothing new or rare - though I would tend to stick with loads that are well inside the "safe zone" rather than look for a dipper that will get you close to a listed max charge. One approach to getting better consistency would be to pour powder into the dipper rather than scoop it full, then carefully sweep the excess off with a straightedge.

    It's been so many years since I seriously used one that I can't recall my exact sequence, but I would probably recommend getting all the cases ready to take charges and then do final charging and assembly of single rounds one at a time. This will go a long way to preventing skipped or doubled charges.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    I is one.....shut your pie-hole and cook your beenies n weenies over the fire......Turdemass Rex!.....:tooth:
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Kinda makes you think why they don't make a Lunar charger...being it's a full moon tonight.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,189 Senior Member
    One way you can avoid the uncharged case....don't charge a bunch of cases at a time...charge ONE...then complete the loading process...then go onto the next one....one at a time...you're not really saving any time by charging a bunch of cases ahead of time anyway... additionally, if you get interrupted and have to leave the bench, you're leaving with completed rounds....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JLDickmonJLDickmon Senior Member Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    throw those pooper-scoopers away and buy a scale and a powder measure.

    pull all your bullets (use the collet the bullet puller comes with, NOT a shell-holder) because you are nearly a grain and a half BELOW Hogdon's starting load..
    You're gonna lodge a bullet in the barrel.

    while you're at it, buy a Lyman 49th edition and READ IT.
    Never laugh at your wife's choices.
    You are one of them.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    skwirrel wrote: »
    Double charge? The case only holds 13 grains of Lil Gun. How could I get 26 grains into it?

    If you are using a charge that nearly fills the case, you will not double charge. Be sure you are using the correct powder and watch that you don't undercharge. A very light charge is very dangerous due to the shell exploding or lodgeing a bullet down the barrel. Dippers are fine,I've loaded many rounds with them, but I would recommend a scale for a more accurate load if you are looking at a more accurate load. Take your time, think what you are doing, wear safety glasses,keep a clean and quiet work area. Enjoy the progress.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,951 Senior Member
    Wanna know how to avoid missing a charge? It's really simple....


    Look in the case. I batch load, so when I've charged 50-100 cases at a time, I have them in loading blocks. I shine a light into the case and physically look to make sure there's powder in them. Weighing cases won't do it, especially with some pistol rounds, as variations in brass weight, primers, and even bullet weight can mask an uncharged case.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    Wanna know how to avoid missing a charge? It's really simple....


    Look in the case. I batch load, so when I've charged 50-100 cases at a time, I have them in loading blocks. I shine a light into the case and physically look to make sure there's powder in them. Weighing cases won't do it, especially with some pistol rounds, as variations in brass weight, primers, and even bullet weight can mask an uncharged case.

    That's exactly what I do. There are several small LED flashlights on my reloading benches and I inspect the entire block of 50 charged cases by shining a light and looking into the cases.

    BTW, I reloaded some Hornet ammo for a buddy who has a Ruger 77 and he gave me some of his empties and asked if I'd load up some of the "ballistic tips" that I shoot out of my Hornet. Mine is a single shot Contender and I load the BT's too long to even fit in his Ruger Magazine! In fact, the 40 gr. tipped bullets could not be seated to properly function in his magazine.

    Just a heads up, in case you were wanting to load up some more pointed polymer tip bullets in your Hornet. The Ruger magazine won't let you load some of the better shaped tipped bullets! Check before you buy..
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    One way you can avoid the uncharged case....don't charge a bunch of cases at a time...charge ONE...then complete the loading process...then go onto the next one....one at a time...you're not really saving any time by charging a bunch of cases ahead of time anyway... additionally, if you get interrupted and have to leave the bench, you're leaving with completed rounds....

    I agree, one at a time.

    I think I will prep all of the cases, priming them, and then put it all away for a later session. That way when I load it will be the focus, rather than the whole process.
    Live long and prosper.
  • skwirrelskwirrel Member Posts: 181 Member
    shooter wrote: »

    Just a heads up, in case you were wanting to load up some more pointed polymer tip bullets in your Hornet. The Ruger magazine won't let you load some of the better shaped tipped bullets! Check before you buy..

    I had to get creative with the magazine, now it will accept anything up to 1.830".
    Live long and prosper.
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    skwirrel wrote: »
    I had to get creative with the magazine, now it will accept anything up to 1.830".

    You must have really "got creative" because the 40 gr. Nosler BT's had to be seated so deep to fit his magazine that the bullet ogive was below the case mouth!!! That was unacceptable and I went with the typical semi-pointed hornet bullets for him just to fit the mag box. They have the ballistic coefficient of a toaster! :nono::uhm:
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,244 Senior Member
    skwirrel wrote: »
    One more thing, I often hesitate to post on this forum, because so many people just cant wait to bash someones head in.
    If I were you, I would avoid CPJ and NN. If you check their signature lines, you will see that they got an issue with your kind. Be afraid-- very afraid!
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    skwirrel wrote: »
    What is the fix?

    Also, you are correct on the decimal point...typo.

    The Ruger bolt on the 77/22 RH is a two piece affair held together by a pin. Some have a bit too much play between the forward breech block and the rear half of the bolt. This can cause the bolt face to not be in good contact with the cartridge case head with the bolt closed.
    Here's the fix: You will need an automotive feeler gauge set to do this. With and empty case in the chamber, close the bolt. Using the feeler gauge leaves, find the amount of space between the front and rear halves of the bolt. It should be in the few thousandths of an inch. Subtract one thousandth from the value you got with the feeler gauge. (If the bolt half interface is tight with the bolt closed on and empty case, disregard what follows. A couple thousandths gap is not a problem.)

    Next step: Obtain steel shim stock that is closest in thickness to the value you need and wide enough to make a collar for the bolt halves interface. Drill a hole in the center of the piece of shim stock big enough to fit over the round shank on the forward half of the bolt. Slide this piece of shim stock over the round collar on the forward half of the bolt and mark it with a felt tip marker. Remove the shim stock and trim with scissors or other cutting implement to fit it to the contour of the bolt. Carefully sand off any burrs. Reassemble bolt with shim in place and check that bolt will close on the empty case. If it does, you're finished. The shim tightens up the headspace and gives more consistent shot to shot performance. Some of the 77/22 RH bolts had a little too generous space between the bolt halves and the shim corrects this condition.

    Tip on drilling the shim stock. Start with a 1/32"-1/16" drill bit and go up in steps to the size you need to fit over the bolt collar. This will prevent making a big honkin' burr on the shim stock hole. Use a piece of smooth finish sanded wood as a backing for the shim stock.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
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