Posts Tagged ‘Reloading Videos’

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.


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.


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!


Glock 20: The Ultimate 10mm and 40S&W Shooting Setup

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

For a long time I’ve been looking forward to producing a blog/video series covering 10mm Auto and 40 S&W. What’s not to like about taking 9mm to the next power level? 40 S&W essentially does that. Want to go extreme? 10mm Auto packs a major punch, it’s the most powerful semi auto handgun cartridge that can be considered “somewhat mainstream”. It’s been a while since I’ve loaded 10mm Auto- probably a good 10 years. So I thought this would be a great time to go deep on 10mm Auto and 40 S&W here on Ultimate Reloader! For years I’ve wanted to get my hands on a Glock 20, the full-size 10mm Auto pistol that pretty much sets the standard by which all others are measured by (10mm chambered 1911 pistol fans may beg to differ :)). What’s great about the Glock 20 is that you can get a “drop in” 40 S&W conversion barrel which essentially turns your Glock 20 into two pistols – one that shoots 10mm Auto, another that shoots 40 S&W- and the conversion process takes only about 15-20 seconds.

Glock 20 10mm pistol with Lone Wolf 40 S&W conversion barrel - Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

Glock 20 10mm pistol with Lone Wolf 40 S&W conversion barrel – Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

I missed out on a great deal on a used Glock 20 with conversion barrel about a year ago, so when I spotted an un-fired Glock 20 at my local gun shop, I bought it on the spot. Some people buy multiple guns chambered for the same cartridge so that reloading “overhead” can be kept to a minimum. My approach was the opposite: I want to experience and show as much reloading content as possible for each firearm I own. Such is life when you blog about reloading (and/or when reloading is your passion as it is for me).

The Glock 20 is a no-nonsense no-surprises consistent performer - Image Copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

The Glock 20 is a no-nonsense no-surprises consistent performer – Image Copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

Glocks are a matter of personal taste. People either like them, or don’t like them. Shooters will go on and on about the grip angle, the trigger, etc. To me they feel good, shoot good, are *very* easy to work on and take down, and I also appreciate the proliferation of aftermarket accessories. To put it simply: I’m a Glock fan. I don’t have a “Glock Perfection” bumper sticker on my truck, but I l like Glocks a lot.

Glock 20 Specs, from the Glock 20 product page:

  • Chambering: 10mm Auto
  • LENGTH: 209 mm / 8.22 in.
  • WIDTH: 32.50 mm / 1.27 in.
  • LENGTH BETWEEN SIGHTS: 172 mm / 6.77 in.
  • HEIGHT: 139 mm / 5.47 in.
  • BARREL HEIGHT: 32 mm / 1.26 in.
  • BARREL LENGTH: 117 mm / 4.60 in.

One of the aftermarket items I had my eye on was the very reasonably priced and high quality 40 S&W conversion barrels from Lone Wolf Distributors. Not only does this give your Glock 20 the ability to shoot 40 S&W ammunition, it also features a more “tight fitting” more fully supported chamber, and conventional rifling.

The Lone Wolf 2040N conversion barrel - Image Copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

The Lone Wolf 2040N conversion barrel – Image Copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

This barrel is CNC machined from 416R stainless steel forgings, and heat treated as well. The polished feed ramp helps a wide variety of ammunition feed reliably. Want to shoot hard cast lead bullets in your glock? The conventional rifling and high-quality machining make this no problem, in fact Lone Wolf states: “Ok to use lead, plated or jacketed bullets” on the official product page. Sounds good to me!

The machining on my Lone Wolf conversion barrel is top notch - Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

The machining on my Lone Wolf conversion barrel is top notch – Image copyright 2015 Ultimate Reloader

At just over $100 (I paid $114.) I feel this barrel is a great deal, and it definitely makes the Glock 20 more versatile. I also love the fact that while I may need to “de-bulge” range pickup brass, any rounds I shoot using this barrel will not suffer from “the Glock bulge” because of the more fully supported chamber in this barrel. That’s a plus for sure!

I’m looking forward to bringing you all some great stories about 10mm Auto and 40 S&W shooting and reloading. If you have specific things you’d like to see, or stories you’d like to share, please leave a comment!


Lee Loadmaster Video Breaks New Record

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

I’ve found that there’s a HUGE demand for 45 ACP reloading content. It’s because of this that I prioritize this kind of content (9mm, 45 ACP, .223, …) when I go to produce content related to a specific reloading press. Recently, one of my videos set a new record for Ultimate Reloader – over a half million views for a single video!


This happens to be one of my old videos filmed with an old camera, and not-so-awesome microphone, but I think this video is really about the content- showing a press in action, talking through the features, demonstrating the reloading process. That’s what I started out focusing on, and it’s what still motivates me to bring this content to you all. It’s great to have this virtual “community” to share with and be a part of. Thanks to you all for your continued enthusiasm and support, I couldn’t do it without you all!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll have a totally new Lee Loadmaster video available soon, showing something no one has seen before (that’s also something I like doing- showing something new :) ). In the mean time, here’s an example of a newer Lee Loadmaster video filmed with a better camera and a *real* microphone. Enjoy!


50 BMG Reloading: Getting Closer to the Goal

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Well, I’m one step closer to reloading for the 50 BMG. This week I got in a shipment of Hornady A-MAX 750 grain match bullets. WOW! these things are HUGE. Check out how big the projectiles are compared with a full .223 Remington cartridge:


Just for fun, I decided to compare the weight of the .223 cartridge compared with the 750 grain Hornady projectile, here’s what I came up with:


750 grains / 168.7 grains = 4.45 times the weight!

If we compare the projectiles alone, we have:

750 grains / 52 grains = 14.42 times the weight!

If you study the ballistics and shooting practices, 50 BMG is more like dealing with artillery than it is like shooting traditional rifle ammunition. That’s what makes me intrigued and excited about shooting and reloading 50 BMG! Unfortunately, the cost is also more along the lines of artillery (sort of :) ).

Let’s compare the cost of the projectiles:

  • 52 grain match bullet: ~$150. / 1000 = $0.15 each
  • 750 grain match bullet: ~$50 / 20 = $2.50 each

Comparing the cost we have:

$2.50 / $0.15  = 16.7 times the cost

BUT: If you have shot 50 BMG you know that the “experience” of shooting a round can be WAY more than 16.7 times the cost of shooting a single .223/5.56 round. Some times you need to feel the “blast wave” from a 50 BMG muzzle brake. Some times you need to feel your eyeballs rattle in their sockets. If you’ve had a tough week in the office or on the job site, you can’t put a price on what it feels like to unleash that kind of power. It’s an experience that’s best shared with friends.

Shooting 50 BMG at the Ultimate Reloader outpost with friend “Jim the Plumber”

It’s also great to have you all (the readers/viewers on Ultimate Reloader) to share all of this with. So as I plan out the content and my own personal goals with 50 BMG, I’ll keep you all updated regularly, and will have some great stories and videos that I’ll be sharing. Just like the cartridge itself, this is going to be epic! If you have anything in particular you’d like to see, please leave a comment and I’ll put it “into the hat”.

Thanks all, and “happy shooting”.