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Thread: My 1st. 9mm

  1. #41
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Ready for cast boolit test

    Everything started coming together. The Star size die from Lathesmith arrive the middle of the week & the Arsenal 358-125-TC was in the mail box Friday.

    I got up early Saturday while it was as cool as it will be & cast over 500 boolits & sized 200 of them that evening. The Arsenal mold is a beauty, but the boolits as dropped measure .35950 instead of the .358 I wanted. Picking 3 @ random weighed 121.2 gr. each. The good news is the size die from Lathesmith sizes them down to .35650: perfect for the .35540-.35550 bore.

    The #1 photo attached tells the story.

    Taking the advice from P Flados my test brass is Federal.

    I'm starting out with the load suggested by LUCKYDAWG13: 3.8 of red dot. My old Lyman pistol & Revolver book shows this as the suggested starting load.

    The #2 photo shows 3.8 of R.D. in the case (I don't see how there would be enough room in the case to add more). Question: are compressed loads normal in the 9?

    It'll take me a while to become accustomed to handling these small components.....I've considered tweezers to handle the boolits in & out of the Star.

    I'll be sure to equip myself with my shooting glasses + gloves before touching that first one off tomorrow morning.

    Henry
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    Last edited by oldhenry; 06-11-2018 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    oldHenry I posted earlier, and feel compelled to apologize for not stating that I have had more luck sizing my cast bullets .357 than .356. Without exception the .357 bullet out performed accuracy wise the .356 bullet in my testing off a bench. With my M&P FS and CZ85 Combat .356 bullets would often tumble within 7 yards. You would see the bullets profile in the tan IDPA targets we were using. The issue went away once I sized my bullets .357. I use water quenched wheel weight alloy for my cast bullets. If you run into this problem or your accuracy is not what you think it should be try sizing your bullets .357 you may find that corrects the issue. You likely won't if your sizing die sizes your bullets .3565. Just a heads up.

    Take Care

    Bob
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  3. #43
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    Unless the powder is particularly dense(AA7,Titegroup), you will find that most 9mm charges pretty much fill the case to the bottom of the boolit. Slightly compressed charges are not at all unusual for this cartridge.
    The 9mm case is small enough it doesn't take much to fill it. This why OAL is so important here. Small differences in OAL make sometimes large differences in pressure in the cartridge.
    When I am starting with a new boolit/powder combination, I always load the boolit to the longest OAL I can get to function and use starting charge weights listed in manuals. This is the safest course.
    Once you establish safety and functionality, you can increase the powder charge or change the OAL to see if your accuracy improves. If you are trying for a particular power factor, you may need to adjust things to get where you need to be.
    If you have access to a chronograph, use it during load development to help keep track of the performance your loads give you. If something starts going wrong, it will normally show up in a velocity change even before it shows pressure signs on the fired case/primer.
    Sometimes with high pressure cartridges(9mm is one), pressure signs are unreliable. Significant or unexpected changes in velocity will often give you a warning before anything will show up on the brass or primer.
    It looks like you are off to a good start and I wish you the best luck.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    After the additional info from robertbank & tazman, I prepared enough for 3 magazines with 3 different OALs.

    The #1 photo tells the tale.
    #1 on left OAL is 1.30
    #2 in center is 1.45
    #3 on the right is 1.75

    The #1 had 2 FTFs & the nose looked like it was having trouble skidding up the feed ramp. Also 1 that fed from the magazine was a misfire:but, re-cocking the hammer & trying again (without moving the slide) allowed it to fire.

    The #2 magazine had approximately the same result as #1.

    The #3 magazine fired all rounds without a hitch.

    All firing was done offhand from 16 yds. & accuracy was good.......all on kill zone of my metal humanoid silhouette target. I even tried some IHMSA chickens @ the same range & they went down quickly.

    PROBLEM: The primers with all loads are flowing (see photo #2). My theory is that the long bearing surface of this boolit in conjunction with a fast burning powder is the culprit.

    A: I'll try some test loads with 1.75 OAL with HP38 (slower on the burn rate scale) @ start load point.
    B: Same OAL with CFE Pistol.

    A contradiction to the above conditions was a failure for the slide to remain back after the last shot (only with #1 & #2 OALs.

    All input is appreciated.

    Henry

  5. #45
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Forgot to post the 2 photos

    Sorry about that
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  6. #46
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    The Lyman 4th Edition lists loads for a 120 gr RN with a starting load of 3 gr of Red Dot and a maximum of 3.9 grains which puts you close to the top of range for that powder with little wiggle room. The powder is not listed for use in any of the other 124/125 gr bullets. I don't have a 9MM gun that would run effectively using a 1.75" OAL. I am surprised you have not found them jamming up your pistol. Over time my OAL for my Lyman 356402 TC bullet has settled in at 1.1" in order to function reliably in all my 9MM pistols.

    Personally I think you would be better served by using a slower powder such as 231. At 1.1" to 1.11 you won't be compressing the powder. As an aside most manuals do not recommend compressing ball powders. 4.1 gr of 231 is not a compressed load.

    You should note of the four bullets listed in the 4th Edition that range from 120 gr bullets to 125 gr bullets 1.11" is the longest OAL noted with the shortest being 1.01" for a Lyman HP.

    I have a Excel Spreadsheet with 185 tested 9MM 10 shot loads over a F1 Chrony. You might find some of the loads of interest. All are within manual specs other than 2 Wildcat 45-08 loads. There are 600 tested loads listed; 185 are for the 9MM. PM me your email address if you want it.

    Take Care

    Bob
    ps You might be seeng pressure signs due to the bullets being pushed into the rifling when they seat before firing. You are also close to max. using Red Dot according to the recent Lyman reference so any variance in your charge could put you over. Did you individually weigh each charge or just set a powder measure? Just my guess.

    pps How ling is the bullet you are casting? The Lyman TC bullet I am using casts out at .621" and my cartridge OAL is as stated above 1.1".
    Last edited by robertbank; 06-12-2018 at 01:04 PM.
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  7. #47
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbank View Post
    The Lyman 4th Edition lists loads for a 120 gr RN with a starting load of 3 gr of Red Dot and a maximum of 3.9 grains which puts you close to the top of range for that powder with little wiggle room. The powder is not listed for use in any of the other 124/125 gr bullets. I don't have a 9MM gun that would run effectively using a 1.75" OAL. I am surprised you have not found them jamming up your pistol. Over time my OAL for my Lyman 356402 TC bullet has settled in at 1.1" in order to function reliably in all my 9MM pistols.

    Personally I think you would be better served by using a slower powder such as 231. At 1.1" to 1.11 you won't be compressing the powder. As an aside most manuals do not recommend compressing ball powders. 4.1 gr of 231 is not a compressed load.

    You should note of the four bullets listed in the 4th Edition that range from 120 gr bullets to 125 gr bullets 1.11" is the longest OAL noted with the shortest being 1.01" for a Lyman HP.

    I have a Excel Spreadsheet with 185 tested 9MM 10 shot loads over a F1 Chrony. You might find some of the loads of interest. All are within manual specs other than 2 Wildcat 45-08 loads. There are 600 tested loads listed; 185 are for the 9MM. PM me your email address if you want it.

    Take Care

    Bob
    ps You might be seeng pressure signs due to the bullets being pushed into the rifling when they seat before firing. You are also close to max. using Red Dot according to the recent Lyman reference so any variance in your charge could put you over. Did you individually weigh each charge or just set a powder measure? Just my guess.

    pps How ling is the bullet you are casting? The Lyman TC bullet I am using casts out at .621" and my cartridge OAL is as stated above 1.1".
    Bob,

    My OALs in my last post are missing a zero. The correct AOLs are:

    #1 =1.030
    #2 =1.045
    #3 =1.075

    I corrected my earlier posting.

    My Lyman "Pistol & Revolver Handbook" is the 8th. printing (2/92). The corrected information from you is welcomed & explains a few things.

    I have the new (2018) Hogdon reloading manual (looks like a magazine) & it gives the starting load using HP38 @3.9 & max. @ 4.4 for a 125gr. LCN. I'll try 3.9.

    The length of the Arsenal 358-124-TC is .569.

    I think I'll start out @ an OAL of 1.075 & go up from that in increments.

    I think the Ruger will appreciate the charge/powder change.

    Regards & thanks,

    Henry

  8. #48
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have an older(2001)Alliant manual that lists Red Dot loads for 9mm 125 grain lead. No designation of nose shape was listed.
    The OAL is listed as 1.150. The max powder charge is listed as 4.5 grains.
    It claims a velocity of 1145 fps from a 4 inch barrel.

    Castpics web site has many older manuals for free download. That is where I got this one.
    Last edited by tazman; 06-12-2018 at 10:29 PM.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    oldhenry 3.9 gr is pretty lighter than you need go. Lyman's 4th lists the min 2.9gr to 4.4gr of 231/HP38. Your vel. will be running about 1,100 fps on average. Your bullet is shorter than the Lyman would load shorter to get the same vel and pressures. The TC bullet you are using is extremely accurate. You will do well with it.

    Thanks for clarifying the OAL I figured something had to be wrong with your numbers.

    Take Care

    Bob
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  10. #50
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    The 3.8 Red Dot load does not sound hot at all to me.

    We have burned a lot of loads with 3.9 of Promo (cheaper / big jug only version of Red Dot) under 120s and 125s. These loads were all at the "just enough to get reliable slide hold back after the last round" level for my boy's Glock 17. This was my first load where I achieved no leading accumulation. This is now our standard "target load" and I would recommend Red Dot at this same critera (just enough for reliable slide hold back) for anyone that wants a low cost / high volume target load.

    The cases are close to full as this powder is at the low end of the scale for density and the 9mm was designed to be loaded "case full". I really like the look of your #3 load better than the other two. With the boolits seated less deep, your Red Dot loads have a little more breathing room.

    For hotter loads, I have used Unique and TiteGroup. Last Friday, we just finished off a run of probably 200 - 300 consecutive rounds of 4.4 gr Titegroup (book max) under 120 Lee TCs with no leading accumulation in his factory barrel.

    With good target and book max loads, I am now sufficently satisfied such that I have no plans for any more load developmnet for this gun.
    Last edited by P Flados; 06-13-2018 at 10:09 PM.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Magazine issue that may effect feeding

    Photo #1 is a top view of the Officer model magazine. Note the adapter @ the inner rear wall that I assume serves to reduce the inside length. Also note grooves on both sides that I assume are to reduce the width to accommodate the 9mm.

    I notice that 5 rounds are easy to load, but the 6th & 7th are almost impossible to load. It seems like the follower makes contact with something inside the magazine that will not allow the follower to go any further(more than just spring pressure). Increased pressure will finally overcome the obstacle, but the final 2 rounds are difficult (almost impossible) to make contact with the rear adapter. My #3 AOL & the #4AOL & #5OAL in photo #2 feed OK if 5 rounds are loaded. When 7 are loaded a FTF usually occurs on the 2nd. shot.

    When I remove the magazine to clear it, the top round is 1/3rd forward exiting the magazine lips. Re-installing that round into the magazine fires OK & the rest of the magazine usually feeds OK.

    From this I think the FTF is a magazine problem as well as an OAL issue.

    Photo #2: AOL on the left (#4) is 1.090 & #5 on the right is 1.10. I loaded 5 of the #4 AOL with 4.0 gr. HP38 & they fired w/o a hitch. I loaded both magazines (7) with OAL #5 & chambered a round separately. I attempted to fire this 15 & ran into the problem usually after the 1st. or 2nd. shot.

    HISTORY: Prior to the reloads I'd fired 65 Fiocchi 124gr. FMJ without a problem.

    Following the test of the #4&#5 OAL I fired 15 Fiocchi loads & the problem occurred after the 2nd. round. Photo #3 shows 3 empties from those 15 rounds. The one on the left looks normal. The center one shows primer hit beginning to flow. The one on the right is one that failed to feed, but fired after re-chambering: it is no where near normal.

    I plan to call Ruger tomorrow to see if they're having magazine issues with the Officer Model. I don't see any way to disassemble.

    P Flados,
    After seeing this primer from a factory load, I've changed my mind about the Red Dot load. I was blaming the primer appearance on Red Dot.

    The plot thickens.

    Henry
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  12. #52
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    oldhenry I think you are really over thinking this. Of the three cases you show, the first two look completely normal. Every gun or model has their own way of marking the primer base. The third shows pressure signs. How did it sound or feel when you shot it? The 9MM is not all that hard to load for. Stick to within manual specs for the bullet you are using and go shoot. Most 9MM guns are designed for self defense, LEO or Military use. Some are capable of remarkable accuracy in the right hands most do the job they were designed for. You got a good gun and it should serve you well.

    Take Care

    Bob
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  13. #53
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    I agree that I don't think you have a situation with the ammo.

    Notice that the middle round also has a bit of 'scraping' of the crater (on right side). To me this looks like you have a very 'tight' extractor. It is holding the case tight against the breech face. During cycling there is some movement that scrapes the 'crater'. Since the gun is new the edges of the firing pin hole are probably very sharp. Any movement of the case would cause what you see. There is upward pressure from the rounds in the magazine during the recoil cycle. As the number of the rounds in the mag changes, so does that pressure.

    If you check from the next mag load, is the scraping the same from magazine to magazine, ie, does the #2 round always show it? If so, then the movement of the case against the breech is different during the extraction and is unrelated to the load.

    Do you have different magazines to use? FYI, the Officer's model of the 1911 has always been a bit picky, especially in the .45 version and magazines are a big part of a well functioning pistol.

    PS the magazines look like they disassemble the same as the gov't model. Push down on follower and use pin to hold spring down. 'Wiggle' out the follower, then release spring (carefully ).

  14. #54
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Robertbank,
    No difference in recoil or sound. Charlie b's explanation makes sense.

    Charlie b,
    Thanks for the explanation of the primer appearance + the magazine info.

    Henry

  15. #55
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldhenry View Post
    Robertbank,
    No difference in recoil or sound. Charlie b's explanation makes sense.

    Charlie b,
    Thanks for the explanation of the primer appearance + the magazine info.

    Henry
    I am betting a high primer than where the force of the firing pin fully seats the primer. More often the cartridge fails to fire. In your case it still did. The indentation is not very deep. Again I think you would be well advised to spend a lot more time learning how to shoot the pistol then worrying about the looks of your case after they fire. Charlie is right oin how to remove the mag spring. Removing one coil ought to solve the difficulty in loading them if the followers are contacting the springs to early as you load the magazine.

    Take Care

    Bob
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  16. #56
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    I agree that the primer appearance is probably something going on with non-uniform feeding resulting in the gun firing with the slide not fully forward.

    I was having similar problems when I was first trying to get an aftermarket barrel to work. The aftermarket barrel had one of those typical "throatless wonder" chambers that just did not like my boolits.

    In addition to the concerns you originally noted, I spotted an additional "indicator". Here is what I found on the Glock with the aftermarket barrel before I fixed the throat. There is a good chance that the same sequence is true on your gun. When the slide goes full forward, it lifts the rear of the barrel up. If it does not go full forward, the barrel may not be in the "full up position". When this happens, the firing pin will hit "off center". The farther "out of battery" the slide, the more off center the primer strike. If the slide is too far back and the extractor does not grab it good enough you can also get a FTF with a very light strike mark on the primer.

    For quite a while I was watching primers and I got pretty good at noting when the gun was not reliably getting the slide fully forward "into battery". The slide not getting full forward can be caused by a bunch of stuff (including ammo issues). Figuring out that this situation exist and understanding what it means is the first step to figuring out the cause or causes.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbank View Post
    I am betting a high primer than where the force of the firing pin fully seats the primer. More often the cartridge fails to fire. In your case it still did. The indentation is not very deep. Again I think you would be well advised to spend a lot more time learning how to shoot the pistol then worrying about the looks of your case after they fire. Charlie is right oin how to remove the mag spring. Removing one coil ought to solve the difficulty in loading them if the followers are contacting the springs to early as you load the magazine.

    Take Care

    Bob
    Bob,
    In my case a high primer is not the problem. In fact I had to regroup & take extra care in seating them.....I was applying too much pressure & feared some were too low (the WSPs have a different feel from the Fed. #150s that I've been seating in my .45ACP & .44 Spec.). As you will recall I was getting some misfires sometimes....usually on the 2nd. shot from a 7 round magazine.

    I know that everyone loves Winchester primers, but I've had bad experience with them lately.

    BTW I phoned Ruger today to find out if they were having any magazine problems with the Officer's mdl..
    The nice young lady was not aware of any problems, but said she'd send me 2 new magazines. I told her I was going to attempt to repair mine, but she insisted & is sending them. She'll even make sure that the ones she sends will load 7 rounds properly. This is the reason I buy Rugers.

    Todays response from P Flados hits the nail on the head. I also think the misfires are a result of the bbl. not being fully in battery. I think the magazine is the culprit allowing the long round under the one being fed to slow the forward movement of the slide. The light firing pin hits on the misfired case is not centered & they are not round.......they're more like a short shallow line.

    I could be wrong.........I often am. The replacement magazines will prove it one way or another.

    Please understand, your interest & help is very much appreciated.

    Regards,
    Henry

  18. #58
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P Flados View Post
    I agree that the primer appearance is probably something going on with non-uniform feeding resulting in the gun firing with the slide not fully forward.

    I was having similar problems when I was first trying to get an aftermarket barrel to work. The aftermarket barrel had one of those typical "throatless wonder" chambers that just did not like my boolits.

    In addition to the concerns you originally noted, I spotted an additional "indicator". Here is what I found on the Glock with the aftermarket barrel before I fixed the throat. There is a good chance that the same sequence is true on your gun. When the slide goes full forward, it lifts the rear of the barrel up. If it does not go full forward, the barrel may not be in the "full up position". When this happens, the firing pin will hit "off center". The farther "out of battery" the slide, the more off center the primer strike. If the slide is too far back and the extractor does not grab it good enough you can also get a FTF with a very light strike mark on the primer.

    For quite a while I was watching primers and I got pretty good at noting when the gun was not reliably getting the slide fully forward "into battery". The slide not getting full forward can be caused by a bunch of stuff (including ammo issues). Figuring out that this situation exist and understanding what it means is the first step to figuring out the cause or causes.
    I think you are 100% correct & I think the magazine is the root of the problem. Today I loaded only 5 instead of 7 & shot 25 rounds without a hitch...........I cheated & used Fed.#100 primers.

    Regards,
    Henry

  19. #59
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Empty your gun and with a mag in or out of the gun hold the slide back slightly. Cock the gun manually and pull the trigger. I have several 1911's and none will drop the hammer if the slide is out of battery. Too, if the gun was firing out of battery you would have more issues then a flat primer.

    I don't get the connection between the gun firing out of battery and the magazine. What am I missing?

    Good Luck

    Take Care

    Bob
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  20. #60
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    I tried 1 time, maybe it'll work this time

    Quote Originally Posted by robertbank View Post
    Empty your gun and with a mag in or out of the gun hold the slide back slightly. Cock the gun manually and pull the trigger. I have several 1911's and none will drop the hammer if the slide is out of battery. Too, if the gun was firing out of battery you would have more issues then a flat primer.

    I don't get the connection between the gun firing out of battery and the magazine. What am I missing?

    Good Luck

    Take Care

    Bob
    Bob,
    Thanks for your reply & I appreciate you sharing your 1911 expertise. Please forgive me not answering sooner.....yard work interfered.

    I should apologize for the phrase "out of battery". "Not fully in battery" would have been more accurate as what I was trying to say, but as it turns out both would be wrong.

    I tried your test & the results depends on the word "slightly" (I don't mean to sound like Bill Clinton). To explain, check out the attached photos.

    Photo #1: (out of sequence...it is showing as the last one)The guide rod with the slide fully closed.
    Photo #2: (out of sequence.. it is the 1st. one)The guide rod with the slide slightly retracted.
    Photo #3: (out of sequence.... it's the 2nd. one)The rear of the slide slightly retracted (same retraction as #2).

    The hammer fell with this amount of retraction. To be fair: with this amount of retraction, there was no perceptible downward movement of the rear end of the bbl.. Any more rearward movement of the slide rendered the gun unable to fire.

    Relationship (suspected relationship) between the magazine & problem:

    Background: rounds #1-5 loaded normally. Rounds #6 &#7 difficult to load & unable to push them back against rear wall of mag. Round #8 single loaded into chamber & slide fully closed.
    #8 fires.
    #7 fails to fire. Cock hammer & #7 fires. If I chose not to cock & attempt to fire again, the magazine would look like photo#4 & #5 (round #6 out of place).

    I deduct that round #6 slowed the forward movement of the slide & it may not be in the full forward position.

    Photo #4: (out of sequence & is 3rd.)magazine with 7 rounds. Note rear of cartridge not against rear of magazine.
    Photo #5: (out of sequence & is showing as 4th.)Round #6 forward from magazine
    Photo #6: Side view of #5(out of sequence & is showing as 5th)

    Preparing to make the photo of the slightly retracted slide, I pressed the front side edge of the slide against the window frame of my reloading room & slowly increased pressure to retract the slide slightly. When retracted in same amount showing in the photo the hammer fell with enough force to close the slide & put a dent into the window frame. That hammer has mucho force.

    I tried 2 other times to write this & when finished, it would not upload. This may explain why the photos are out of sequence. The out of sequence photos are confusing, but this is the best I can do.

    Regards,
    Henry

    P.S. I'll try to relist photos in proper sequence. My service is wireless & we've been having bad weather here.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check