Further Adventures of a Reloading Newb

10286491

The Remington Bulldog Cartridge-conversion is complete, so the next logical step is to set up to reload .45 Colt. To that end I became the proud owner of a set of Hornady Custom dies. I paid a little more than I would have online, but once you factor in shipping I was actually ahead, plus I got to support my favorite local gun store. Also picked up a shell-holder, a box of CCI Large Pistol Primers and 100 185gr. cast SWCs. I’d actually planned to go with a heavier bullet, but they were right there and the price was right so what the heck.

Consulting the internet for reloading data I figured that 8.5 grains of Unique was a reasonably conservative load and ought to be about right to start. After a nice dinner with the Light of My Life I headed into the shop to have a go. I read the instructions, set the powder-drop and got going.

The de-priming die worked exactly like the .38/.357 dies I have been using so that was easy enough. The I looked at the expanding die. This did not look like the .38 die, so I read and followed the directions. There were a couple of small bobbles but I got on track quickly enough. Switching the Hornady hand-primer to Large Pistol primers was dead-easy, and before long I was ready for the final step- seating the bullets. I checked the directions again, which were alarmingly vague, and set it up the way they seemed to indicated…

“Woah! That’s not right!”

IMG_0561

I adjusted the die in a way that seemed sensible, then tried again…

“That’s… uh… better?”

IMG_0562

OK, it was at least symmetrical, but it still wasn’t going to be easy to chamber… Back to the instructions. After carefully re-reading the directions the light-bulb came on and the problem was obvious…

“Yep- got it! These directions are useless.”

That being the case I filed them appropriately and took the die apart and examined it. Once it was in pieces it was pretty obvious how it was supposed to work. I reassembled the die, mounted it in the press and fiddled a little. Voila! Success. The bullets are seated quite deep, but being relatively light-for-caliber the nose of the SWC is quite long. The specified maximum overall length for .45 Colt is 1.6″, so I loaded these to 1.58″ with a fairly stout roll-crimp.

IMG_0563

I now have 41 loaded cartridges, two candidates for the bullet-puller and a good working understanding of Hornady’s seating die, which is actually pretty neat. The Custom die has a sleeve that goes over the cartridge and bullet and aligns the bullet so that they seat straight every time, then a plunger seats the bullet to depth- useful, that.

I also learned an important lesson- if the instructions suck don’t try to use them.

Good to know, that last one. I’ll let you know how these shoot next week; too busy for a range trip the next few days. Y’all have a good weekend!

Michael Tinker Pearce, 18 May 2017

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s