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Tonight was the first time I was able to load some rounds start to finish. In January, I got my kit. lee hand press, 357 and 30-06 dies. And a few accessories to help me along. Since then, I have been scouring for the components. I had the brass for both, and began by sizing and decaping my 357 brass, but since I haven't been able to locate small pistol primers, I ended up working on my rifle rounds. I picked up some Hornady SST 150 grain bullets, H4350, and CCI large rifle primers. Tonight was the first time I could sit down from start to finish and reload some rounds. Took me a few hours for 13 rounds, but I had to set up the dies, make sure I was doing it correctly, and find tools to help myself along.

Lessons learned:

1. Plastic and powder don't work. The powder would cling to the plastic and made life difficult to measure and get into the containers. Glass is better, but still have to be careful.

2. With the ram prime, you need to secure the case in place with your thumb when seating so you don't bend anything. Ruined 2 cases that way. Need to work the depth of the primer in slowly at first as with seating the bullet in order to make sure it is seated properly.

3. Collet neck sizing die works well, but you have to make sure you set it slowly as too much allows the bullet to fall into the case, so finding the proper spot for getting a good fit takes time.

4. After reading a hint to use a factory round as a starting point for the bullet seating die, it is a great idea, and saved a lot of time. Also, helps to gauge how far in to seat the bullet.

5. Still need to figure out how the case gauge works. Couldn't seem to get it lined up right with the holder and still be tight.

I had a lot of fun, loaded up the 13 rounds, and ready to go. Used 57 grains to start with on all 13 rounds. The Lee Modern Reloading manual and the Hodgdon site said that 56 grains was a starting load up to 62. The Lyman 30 caliber load data booklet I picked up said that 57 was a max load for a 150 grain jacket sp. Seemed within the range of the other 2 so thought it was safe. Figured 57 would be a nice beginning load. Not working for best load at this point. Mainly looking for increased confidence in the process and going to worry about accuracy later.
 

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When loading rounds, always load 5-10 and then shoot them. track how they fire, feed, eject, etc. this will give you a good idea how your loads are working. If you like the load, write down everything from powder, load, primer type, OAL, and bullet type. This is how loads are created. Find the ones that work best for you. Put an asterisk by those load datas as your preferred loads.
 

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To reload on a mag on a pt111 milipro 9mm is kinda hard on tge 10-12 rounds...i wonder how can I make it easier?
Work off of existing reload data you have and load and mark sets of 5 or 10 per load type. Until you find workable loads, it doesn't make any sense to load boxes of 50 or 100 if you don't know the loads will work for your Milpro. I have about 6 different load samples made up in 9mm for my PT709 and haven't had a chance to get to the range to test them.
 
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well I can't help with the lee hand press as i don't use one!
But as has been said already!
what i do when i am looking at/for a new load is this:
research several manuals and find the powder that i like (generally one of the top performers in that caliber/weight), cross reference starting load weights for the round, generally you are looking at about 1 grian or more between start and max.
I start off with start weight, then laaod 5, raise the next by .02 grains and load 5, then raise the next by .02 and load 5, about halfway up the range i begin to load in increases of .01 till i get to max or signs of pressure, i never exceed max loads regardless of no signs of pressure.
as noted i take pen and pencil and make notes on each 5 round group, also inspect each case that is shot for pressure signs throughly.
notes will indicate what works best and what appears to be most accurate, later these loads can be replicated and tried out for pure accuracy if desired.
Not the way everybody does it, just my way.
you just need to figure out what works best of you and you feel confident in that way.
actually when use to work up loads for rifles and my TC's I would only do 3 round groups.
good luck and be safe my friend.
 
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I find that the lee hand press is great to sit at the kitchen table and spend the dayh loading and the coffee pot, In the summer it is A/C and in the winter it is warm and the wife is there for company. Back when we were much younger she would use a Lee hand loader to load 12 gauge so on my days off I could go shoot clay birds.
 

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I also load a few rounds with different powder charges; I find it helpful to make a unique mark on each different powder charge to make it easier to identify my brass, especially at the range I shoot at where there normally is a ton of brass laying around. I found a mark of different colors of testers model paint to be the easiest to identify. I used to use a black sharpie until one time I found a few extra cases with my mark then I made. Seems others do the same thing and did not pick them all up.
 
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I'll actually write my load data on the cases of each round in my test loads with a Sharpee. It comes off when you tumble and clean your brass.
 

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Yep - sometimes I go to the range with enough new powders and developing loads that I can run out of marker colors ( clear is a color too FYI ) - mark carefully - don't make more new loads than you will need to learn what you want to know. Buy a chronograph $80 for a basic Chrony on Amazon or Walmart. Keep more notes than you think you need. Notes are like a haircut if you come up short that's it you've got what you've got. Enjoy the ride and be safe!!
 

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The plastic/static cling issue you mentioned. Take a used dryer sheet and wipe the inside of the tubes or containers you are using for powder. It will reduce the cling. If you are not a note taker by nature, make this hobby an exception to that rule. Get yourself a set of digital calipers and use them, they are a vital reloading tool IMHO. The above advice mentioning small test batches? Also very important and will help you really dial in a workable reload. Hotter calibers require you to inspect your fired cases carefully and closely. Always start at the lightest book load and work up from there for handgun loads anyway, unless you have previous experience with a combination that you've tested successfully in the past. That's how I was taught for what it's worth.
 

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For the Plastic/Powder Cling problem, take the plastic container and soak it in soapy water (dish soap) and let it air dry. Do not rinse it!! The cling will vanish. Works with the Lee Powder Dippers, too.
 
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On rifle rounds for a bolt action I have had good luck smoking the bullet with a candle and seating it out farther progressively until I can see the rifling has contacted the bullet. .010" shorter is my max length and I will try seating the bullet to different lengths between that and the specified length in the manual. I only do this after I have developed an accurate load and when you get it right it can shrink your groups from ho hum to damn!
 
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Speaking of dryer sheets I add a few strips to my rock tumbler with brass and ground walnut shells (Zilla = lizard bedding, great stuff) ants it adds a nice Teflon like feel to the clean brass as well as picking up its share of gunk during the ride! Good stuff!
 

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I'll second the use of used dryer sheets in the tumbers. Wife thought I was crazy until she saw the garbage that was stuck to the used sheets. She now puts them into an empty box for me (I still have to help fold)
 
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When making test rounds I mark the base of the case with number using a black sharpie. Then I note everything about that load in my shooting book. When I take it to the range it is easy to see what loads rounds 1,2,3,or 4 are and then I document the group fired to see how they compare. By doing this I can see what load I am shooting when I open the bullet box and if for some reason they get mixed up there is not a problem identifying them. The marks come off when the brass is cleaned.
 

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To reload on a mag on a pt111 milipro 9mm is kinda hard on tge 10-12 rounds...i wonder how can I make it easier?
If you are speaking of trying to get the last rounds into a new PT 111 magazine you are in the right church, wrong pew! However, if that is the question, get a Uplula loader that works for 9mm. The magazine springs will ease up after a while, but with the loader you will be able to load them much faster always. Here's one link for them, many people sell them on the 'net in Ebay, Amazon, Midway, Cabelas, etc.

Amazon.com: uplula
 
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