First Time Loading
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  1. #1
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    First Time Loading

    Ordered the Lee Challenger kit and Lee .40 carbide dies from midwayusa got it set up last night. Stayed up a bit late figuring stuff out, but managed to get rolling and finished my first 50 rounds. First bullet I seated about a 1/4 inch too deep but then figured it out. Had 2 misfires ejected the first one and when I examined it, it looked like a light strike on the primer second one I remembered the double strike capability and pulled the trigger again and it went boom. If I seat primers too deep could that cause a light strike? headspace? bad primer? I just hope its not my firing pin. Loaded Nosler 135gr JHP with Blue Dot powder and CCI SPP. Besides the 2 misfires was very happy with the rounds. Loaded another 50 this afternoon and will see how they shoot tomorrow.

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    I always start with my usual disclaimer. I an not an expert on this stuff!

    The primer pocket is only so deep so I can't imagine seating a primer "too deep", it can only go in a certain distance and bottom out. The believe the .40S&W is a straight wall cartridge and headspaces off the case mouth so unless you have trimmed them down a lot they should all be about the same length and the headspace should be fine.

    Congratulations and be careful.

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    Thanks for the reply I wish I had separated the brass now but foolishly threw it in with the rest. Will examine them all closely tomorrow before shooting the 2nd batch. Guess Im hoping it was a few bad primers.

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    Bad primers are very few and far between. I started hand loading in 1956, been at it ever since. I have had a few misfires over the years that couldn't be blamed on anything but the primer and then maybe I contaminated it. Probably not more than 10 bad ones in almost 60 years. Primers that fire on the second strike are most likely not set deep enough and are fully seated by the first firing pin strike and then fire on the second. Primers need to be bottomed out in the pocket when seated. Hand loading is very rewarding, good shooting!!!!
    jtg452, andreew and AOCM.RET like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by guesser View Post
    Bad primers are very few and far between. I started hand loading in 1956, been at it ever since. I have had a few misfires over the years that couldn't be blamed on anything but the primer and then maybe I contaminated it. Probably not more than 10 bad ones in almost 60 years. Primers that fire on the second strike are most likely not set deep enough and are fully seated by the first firing pin strike and then fire on the second. Primers need to be bottomed out in the pocket when seated. Hand loading is very rewarding, good shooting!!!!
    This ^^^^

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    If you are seating your primers with your press, you might try a Lee Autoprime or the RCBS or Sinclair equivalent hand primer. You will get a much better feel for the amount of pressure you are applying, & how the primer fits into the primer pocket with a hand primer than you will with your press.

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    Congrats on becoming your own ammo factory. With some judicious stocking of components you won't be as vulnerable to spot factory shortages.

    You didn't say here, but if you are using a Mill Pro and haven't cleaned your FP channel that could account for light strikes also...it did on my PT 145.
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    I am using the Lee Auto-Prime tool but may have not pressed firmly enough had a lot better feel for things this afternoon so hope this 2nd batch will all be good.
    darbo likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly111 View Post
    I am using the Lee Auto-Prime tool but may have not pressed firmly enough had a lot better feel for things this afternoon so hope this 2nd batch will all be good.
    Run your finger over EVERY primed round when you pull it off the auto primer. If the primer feels higher than the casehead, it ain't deep enough.

    Personally, I'm anal retentive about checking, double checking and even triple checking things that can explode if I do something stupid with them like primers and powder.

    I check every primer when it's primed, before the case is flared, before I pour powder into it, after the bullet is seated and after the bullet is crimped. Basically, every time I pick it up, I check them. All I do is run my finger over it as I handle it on the way to or, in the case of bullet seating, from the press. Anything that feels funny gets a more detailed examination. Once a round is primed, I place it in the loading block primer side up. I flip them as I pour powder and put them right side up in the other loading block. Then I LOOK at every powder charge. Anything that looks funny- even a little because a little powder goes a long way- gets checked in detail and weighed. Any pour that doesn't 'feel right' gets dumped back into the hopper and redone. I check charge weight every 10th drop.

    When in doubt, check it. If there's still doubt, take it apart and do it over. it's easier and safer to just disassemble a round and start all over than run a risk. Reloading ain't rocket science but it really ain't something that you want to go screwing up.
    RichO and william like this.
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    Most misfires that fire on the second try are most likely high primers, with reloads by a newbie. I know because it happened to me when I first started. It still happens once in awhile with Win. spps. You'll get a feel for it after awhile.
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