Posts Tagged ‘Reloading Blog’

DIY 40 S&W / 10mm Quick Changeover Setup

Friday, May 1st, 2015

My metal lathes are tools that I just can’t do without. I am frequently amazed at how often a metal lathe will come in handy around the house and shop, especially for gunsmithing and reloading accessories/tools. I’ve written several times about how I’ve machined shims for various reloading fixtures. Examples include calibrating my Hornady Lock-N-Load Classic single stage with my Hornady Lock-N-Load AP press, and powder measure shims for fast caliber/cartridge changeovers.

Like 44 Magnum and 357 Magnum, 10mm Auto is a longer version of a less powerful cartridge (40 S&W). Because all other external dimensions are the same, you can use the same dies for both 40 S&W and 10mm. When changing from 40 S&W to 10mm Auto, all dies must be “raised” by the difference in brass length *except* the sizing/depriming die which remains down in contact with the shellplate. This sounds like a great time to machine some shims on the metal lathe!

10mm cartridge next to shimmed 40/10mm dies - Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

10mm cartridge next to shimmed 40/10mm dies – Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

The first step in this project was to calculate the required thickness for the shims. This is a simple matter of taking the 10mm brass length and subtracting the 40 S&W brass length from it:

0.992″ – 0.850″ = 0.142″

I took some measurements for the brass that I would be using (new Starline 10mm Auto, range pickup 40 S&W) and adjusted the shim thickness to 0.148″ based on my calculations. +/ .005-.010″ will be close enough to get most die settings within spec. You can then fine-tune bullet seating depth as needed. Next, I took some aluminum tubing (with ID of 7/8″, the same as the OD of reloading dies) and parted off some shims.

Parting off shims on my Logan 11"x36" metal lathe - Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

Parting off shims on my Logan 11″x36″ metal lathe – Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

For a 5-station reloading press a total of four shims are needed if you plan on using all 5 stations (recall we don’t raise the sizing/depriming die). I was able to keep all of the shims I cut within about .002″ of each other, plenty consistent! After a bit of de-burring, I was ready to try them out.

Completed Shims - Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

Completed Shims – Image copyright Ultimate Reloader

The setup process is roughly as follows:

  1. Setup dies for loading 40 S&W – load some ammo and get everything “tuned” the way you want it.
  2. Ensure all lockrings are “locked down” – the Hornady die lockrings make this process easy and consistent- just tighten the allen screw. I’ve found they tighten better if you loosen the die very slightly first (otherwise it’s clamped down against the die bushing and the lockring can’t move as well).
  3. Slightly loosen each die from bushing while in press
  4. Remove dies from press (except sizing die)
  5. Spin dies out of bushings
  6. Insert spacer shims
  7. Spin bushings back onto dies
  8. Insert dies back into press
  9. Tighten dies (don’t have to be super tight)

If everything goes right, you’ll only have to make minor tweaks, and with any luck no adjustments are necessary. I’ll cover more details and show this setup in an upcoming video, so stay tuned.

Thanks,
Gavin

Redding offers Master Hunter 2-Die Set

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

If you are looking for the best quality dies available on a reasonable budget, it’s hard to beat Redding dies. Furthermore, the construction and features of the Redding Competition Seating Die are very compelling (micrometer seating depth adjustment, sliding collar seating stem, etc). Until recently, you had to either buy dies individually from Redding or buy the National Match set if you wanted to have a die set with the Competition Seating Die. While the National Match set is great for applications like semi-auto rifles (I have the sets in .223 Remington and 308 Winchester) – if you don’t need the crimp die or if you only want a two-die set, what you really want is the new (OK, it’s been out for a couple years) Redding Master Hunter two-die set.

Master Hunter Die set from Redding

Master Hunter Die set from Redding

I just found out about the Master Hunter (love the name) die sets while searching for dies for a friend. Now that I know about this offering, I’ll have another great option when I go to load for a new cartridge. Perhaps some of my old dies need upgrading too…

Thanks,
Gavin

Video: Custom Bullet Feed Setup: Reloading 40 S&W on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

Friday, April 17th, 2015

I enjoy the process of designing and building things, and I guess the “inventor” in me can’t help but want to create new products. It’s always a pleasure to see what other people come up with, and to help them market and sell their inventions (Example: Doug Williams’ 38/357 quick switch kit). Recently, one of my readers named David Sparks sent me some information related to his invention, called the “Bully Adapter“. This device is pretty straightforward- it adapts the Lee Multi-Tube feeder kit for the Lee Bullet Feeder to work with the Hornady Pistol Bullet Feed dies. This kit is similar to the Hornady Bullet Feed Tube kits, but offers 4 tubes that can be loaded in place and rotated into position as bullet tubes are emptied.

Bully Adapter Installed on Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

Bully Adapter Installed on Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

The “Bully Adapter” kit is comprised of an adapter body, and a small bullet sleeve. In the following picture, you can see the entire assembly ready to put together (shown in the video below):

Bully Adapter Components with Hornady Bullet Feed Die and Lee Multi-Tube Adapter

Bully Adapter Components with Hornady Bullet Feed Die and Lee Multi-Tube Adapter

The entire setup shown above consists of:

  • Bully Adapter Body
  • Small bullet sleeve
  • Hornady Pistol Bullet Feed Die (40/10mm shown)
  • Lee multi-tube feeder body
  • Lee multi-tube feeder tubes (comes with both large and small, large shown)
  • Lee multi-tube bullet drop funnels (large and small)
  • Hornady die lockring allen key (used for Bully Adapter body set screws)
  • R-22 O-Ring (my addition to the Lee multi-tube feeder kit)

And here’s what the assembly looks like assembled:

Bully Adapter Body - Very Nicely Machined

Bully Adapter Body – Very Nicely Machined

In the following video you can see the same setup I showed in the last post, but this time with the Bully Adapter setup installed. I found that this setup will hold about 100 40cal 200 grain XTP bullets, so you can load primers *and* bullets at the same time- that makes this setup much more practical in use.

Here’s a video I put together showing how to put the components together, install the die on the press, and load in full progressive mode with the Bully Adapter.

If you want to know more about the Bully Adapter, check out David’s website: http://www.bullyadapter.com/ (I just checked, and the price looks quite reasonable!)

Thanks,
Gavin

Video: Loading 40S&W with the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

40 S&W is one of the most popular cartridges with handgun shooters, and it’s not hard to see why. Packing a powerful punch in a package smaller overall than 45 ACP, it’s a great cartridge for target shooting as well as defense/carry. Recently, I picked up a Glock 20 and 40 S&W conversion barrel, and decided to put together a bunch of content on both 40 S&W and 10mm auto. First up, loading 40 S&W on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP.

40S&W-completed-cartridges

A beautiful sight: completed 40 S&W cartridges

 

Before loading any cartridges, I ran all of my range pickup brass through a GRX die, you can read more about that process here. Some reloaders have issues with 40 S&W and the Hornady case feed system, some complain that the small drop tube is too tight. I haven’t yet had that problem, but I did have a similar issue: cases did get hung up occasionally at the mouth of the upper drop tube adapter (aluminum bushing). I took the “sharp” edge off the inner chamfer, and all was good.

Upper drop tube adapter after slight modification

Upper drop tube adapter after slight modification

After that process was complete, I  finished setting up the press for 40 S&W loading. Here’s my die station utilization:

  1. Size/de-prime
  2. Expander
  3. Powder charge
  4. [reserved for next post/video]
  5. Seat/crimp

This is just one of many good options for how to use the die stations on this press. The components used for this loading session consisted of the following:

  • Hodgdon CFE pistol powder
  • Hornady 200 grain XTP hollow point bullets
  • Federal small pistol primers
Components used for loading 40 S&W during this session

Components used for loading 40 S&W during this session

The dies I used are Hornady New Dimension (3 die set), and I decided not to use any case lube to avoid having to clean off any residue. The loading went smoother than I thought with no lube! I’ve been using these dies for both 40 S&W and 10mm auto, and they have been working great. I’ll be posting a cool way to use these dies for both cartridges without having to re-adjust here shortly.

Hornady Custom Grade Dies work great for loading 40 S&W or 10mm Auto

Hornady Custom Grade Dies work great for loading 40 S&W or 10mm Auto

Because I’m shooting this 40 S&W ammunition from my Glock using the Lone Wolf 40 S&W converstion barrel, I don’t have to worry about bulged brass, as long as my brass doesn’t get mixed up with other people’s brass. The reason for this is because the Lone Wolf barrel has a fully supported chamber unlike the “stock” Glock barrels.

Now, to put this all together, here’s a video showing the smooth-and-fast loading sequence:

…but things are about to get even faster- and with a bit of a twist. Stay tuned!

Thanks,
Gavin

It’s Official, RCBS Pro Chucker 5 and 7 Content Coming!

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

rcbs-progressive

I wanted to give everyone a quick update on the new progressive reloading presses from RCBS. I have been working with RCBS on planning a series of content that will highlight the new “RCBS Pro Chucker 5″ and the “RCBS Pro Chucker 7″ progressive reloading presses. I am happy to announce that Ultimate Reloader will be getting these presses in when they are available. I’m planning extensive blog/video coverage, and hope to give everyone all of the info they may need about these new presses.

RCBS Pro-Chucker 5 5-station auto-inexing progressive reloading press

RCBS Pro-Chucker 5 5-station auto-inexing progressive reloading press

RCBS Pro-Chucker 7 7-station auto-inexing progressive reloading pres

RCBS Pro-Chucker 7 7-station auto-inexing progressive reloading press

If you have specific ideas for content, please leave a comment here! I’ll share more information when available. Thanks everyone!

-Gavin