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kevin c

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    Kevin Chu

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  1. My understanding is that the mag guide extension on the original Seattle Slug was a no go, but I emailed Taylor Freelance about a version without the extension and Robin replied that they were working on the idea. I've been around the sport long enough to have seen trends go back and forth on the relative advantages of a light, easy to transition gun versus a heavy, recoil absorbing gun. Since both continue to win to this day, depending on who's behind the trigger, it seems that the OP could try both to see what suits him best, rather than just following the current trend uncritically, remembering also that the incremental gain from equipment changes is a small contribution to competitive success compared to the attitude and skill of the user. Just my 2¢.
  2. You're asking me for advice after I just cautioned you against it? After I described how I shortened a load and blew up? You're a trusting soul. I'm pretty sure that, unlikely as it may be, if I were to post here three weeks from now that I just got out of the hospital having lost an eye and three fingers from doing something like what you're proposing, those that assured me it was perfectly safe will not raise their hands to assume liability, and the rest may be sympathetic but will also take a polite step back. I wouldn't blame them. Loading ammunition carries inherent risks that can be reduced by good practices, but cannot be completely eliminated. Different powder lots, bullets, brass, loading practices, the guns used and their conditions, and many other things can individually and in combination affect whether the round fires safely. Sometimes despite proving a load safe there can be kabooms because of operator error or equipment malfunction. I can describe some of the measures you can take to be safer, but it's on you to learn and do even more than that to reload and shoot as safely as possible, and, further, that it's entirely on you what happens to you even if you get taught everything right, learn everything right, and do everything right, but it goes wrong because, dude, sh*t happens. First, is the load within published parameters, basically tested and vetted by a company that knows it might get sued for mishaps (even if they're not necessarily at fault)? If so, assuming the same bullet (more on that later), other components in good condition and a sound gun in good working condition, you're good to go. If not in published loading manuals, is the load one commonly in use on shooting forums? This helps some but is less sure than above because, again you're dealing with strangers on line who might use loads on or beyond the edge of the envelope because they're less risk adverse than most, say, for example, willing to use a very heavy bullet with a very fast powder to make major PF (remember 220 grain forties over Clays at 175 PF, anybody?). If the load doesn't fit above, is the powder charge in the low range for bullet weight compared to max published loads? Having room on top shows that higher pressure from more powder is thought safe by the publisher, implying that higher pressure from less internal case volume caused by seating the bullet deeper can be OK too. The problem is that I think powder burn rates change exponentially with changes in internal case volume/pressure, so half the volume may get you much more than twice the pressure with the same charge. At least having higher published powder charges shows there is some volume and pressure change to work with. Published load programs relating measured velocities to theoretically necessary chamber pressures can help here, like the numbers Superdude put up. If the load has been chrono'd in your own gun, so much the better. Is the bullet exactly the same? I have 9mm bullets of the same weight but different styles that differ by over 40 thousandths of an inch in length. You're proposing to shorten the load by 50 thousandths. If your own bullet is 0.040" longer than the one used originally and you load it to 1.075, you've decreased the length of the internal case volume by a total of 0.090". IOW, there could be a whole lot more pressure. A 0.040" longer bullet may not be usable at all, but if your bullet is shorter than the original, again you have more volume to give up. Increased bearing surface on flat sided, lubrication groove free jacketed, plated or coated cast bullets versus traditional cast with lube grooves and oversized cast may increase pressure some; maybe not much but multiple combined factors leading to a stacking phenomenon becomes more of a concern when you push the envelope in other ways. The published manuals I've seen usually recommend starting well below the max load, ten percent or more, which is at least 0.3 grains in many 9mm loads. If you going to load shorter than published but with the same powder charge I'd go even lighter to start with and work back to the velocity you want, which actually might take less powder than the original load. How much lighter is hard to say. If you want to be extra cautious you could start down more than double that and work up slowly. At first you might see low pressure signs (poor slide cycling, soot covered cases from lack of obturation) and low velocities, of course. Those should disappear as powder charge, pressure and velocity increase. Signs of higher pressure are thought to include flattened primers, primer wipe, piercing and engraving, and sharper recoil. Velocity increases, of course. Sometimes the brass can be seen to bulge on the ramp side of the case before it gives way, but this "guppy bellied brass" also can be seen in some guns like older Glocks with factory barrels that didn't fully support the case web (rarer now with a design change). It definitely should be considered a very bad finding if it's new in your gun and associated with the load work up. BTW, those other high pressure signs I described above are not reliable findings. Whatever you've loaded, please make sure the bullet won't setback from its already reduced OAL. Rack a dummy round from a magazine into the chamber a couple times or more (I don't know about you but I will use a racked out round) and chech to see if it shortened any from riding up the ramp and breaking over into the chamber. You can also use your body weight pushing a round nose first into your bench. That's just what I can think of for now. There are other factors to consider that I probably don't remember, but this will get you started. Remember it's still all on you. Good luck and be safe.
  3. My experience is the same as George16's as far as brass thickness and pockets go on S&B brass. My coated cast 147's sized to 0.357 would get shaved. Thinner walled brands didn't have the problem with exactly the same die settings. If a cast bullet is sized larger for the sake of better obturation, my understanding of the Lee FCD is that it can swage down the bullet to the point where gas cutting and blow happen and leading occurs.
  4. Speaking in general here. Think for a sec what you're doing: you're asking complete strangers on the internet whether it's safe to do something. Yes, this is sort of an extended shooting family, and the advice here is usually very good, but I seriously doubt anybody here or on any web forum is going to take responsibility if advice given goes seriously sideways. Even advice given by people who you know for a fact are very accomplished and have gained your respect can go wrong. For instance, a IPSC world champion personally recommended a load to me that promptly blew up my gun because he assumed I knew to load it 65 thousandths over SAAMI spec, but as a novice reloader I didn't know to ask. Short version: you're probably going to be OK, but it's your gun, your ammo, your body and ultimately your responsibility. If you're not sure (and the fact you're asking says that's so), but want to proceed, then work up to it, watching for pressure signs.
  5. What I'm reading here is that some primers (Winchester here) don't run through automated systems very well, I'm guessing because of differences in allowed tolerances. In terms of function, though, of the 100K + I've loaded, all went bang (except a single primer missing an anvil that was caught before it ever got put into a pickup tube). For the speed and convenience of automated systems (vibratory primer tube loaders and highly automated motor driven progressive presses), highly uniform input/feedstock works best. So maybe the WSP/WSR/WLP/WLR don't fit the bill. But if the primers are loaded with a manual pick up tube from a hand shaken flip tray, and loaded on a press powered by your arm (and therefore slower and less demanding on the system), the result is still good ammo. So the Winchesters are still an option, depending just how much and how fast ammo production is wanted. Just my 2¢.
  6. While clean is good enough, and the gun and the target don't care, I admit I like shiny brass, at least on the exterior where I can see it. To that end I wet tumble my brass in citric acid and car wash and wax, primers in (because I didn't have the universal decapping die or a press to fit it, don't use the pins because they're a pain, and don't care if the case interiors and the primer pockets are new case clean) and air dry in the sun. I do let the brass stay out in the sun for several hours before I store it. Now that I have the universal de capper and a Lee APP, I may decap just to get the brass to dry faster. So far I've had no problems with corroded in primers with brass that's been stored for a year. With the car wax they're staying more shiny than dry media tumbled brass. As best I can tell, my CasePro doesn't do much for extractor rims or primer pockets, though I've read claims that it helps both. Like Sarge, I sort by headstamp. If nothing else, the ES and SD of ten shot strings drop, even if I can't shoot well enough to see an accuracy difference or shoot in a discipline where my score will change because of it.
  7. I have used both Bayou Bullets (back when Donnie Miculek owned the company) and Precision, in the 147 grain versions. As far as I can remember, I had no problems with either. Equivalent accuracy, and, even though the BB version had a lube groove and the Precision didn't, the powder charge was the same within one or two tenths of a grain (OAL adjusted for equivalent internal case volume). I favored the Bayou's only because they were bevel based, and a lot easier for me to load. I shoot a similar lube grooved, bevel based home cast bullet now, that I HiTek coat myself (I'm cheap and retired ;^D).
  8. I've used both Precision and Bayou Bullets 9mm 147's, and was very satisfied with both. These days, I cast my own 147's, and use the HiTek coating that Bayou Bullets uses. Very popular with the action pistol crowd in Australia, where it was originally developed. Donnie Miculek sells it in the US.
  9. It's great having an accurate, high quality and consistent chrono that you can use to develope and test loads. There's no way of knowing, though, what the match you spend your hard earned dollars and vacation time on is going to use at their chrono bay, and even if you did, it's still a different machine used under different conditions than those at home. Given the above, I'd think it still sensible to give yourself an adequate PF cushion.
  10. As j1b said, there's lots of good advice here, the most pertinent for a newbie to the sport being to stop worrying, just go shoot, be safe, and have fun. That being said, I'll add something that a European champion (Saul Kirsch) teaches. Paraphrasing, it's a game of both accuracy and speed, where the faster you go, the more accuracy you give up. Kirsch points out that you have to have the accuracy in the first place, so that you have something to give up to go faster. So, for me, that means developing accuracy as well as the other skills as you progress. My $.02 ETA: If I haven't already, I'll see you at RRGC.
  11. I'll be 63 at the end of this year. I've been a USPSA member for nearly 26 years. Been shooting Production after starting out in Limited (I can still see the sights despite presbyopia - search for threads about "monovision" correction). I still beat "kids" half my age and commonly finish in the top ten in my division and in the upper third overall in our 120 competitor club matches. I have very slowly but steadily gotten better over time, not worse. And have no doubt that, if my body holds up, I'll continue to improve if I put in the work. I'm convinced my longevity and performance in the sport is due to the fact that I just love shooting action pistol. I like to see improvement, but winning or beating others was never something that was important to me. So, for the OP, if fun is what you want, or the challenge of developing a skill that isn't largely dependent on the strength, speed and reflexes of youth, then go for it.
  12. While I worked it was one practice a week of 250 to 300 rounds, and dry fire two or three times in the same period. Matches (USPSA) two to three times a month. I'm retired now. Practice is three or four times a week, 200 top 300 rounds, very little dry fire. Matches two to four times a month. i hold an A card, have for years. With more practice I have gotten more consistent in matches and classifier scores (though ironically my percentages have dropped because previously I'd have rare good scores mixed in with a zillion low scores that would get thrown out, leaving the anomalous highs in my best six for long times, now most of my scores are within the A range). I'm not so sure that a lot less dry fire is a good thing...
  13. I rhink it was Saul Kirsch who basically commented that you need enough accuracy to get all A's, and then you add speed to your performance that makes you give up some of that accuracy. More speed, more loss of accuracy. Seems like the consensus is to get 90 to 95 percent of the points. D class will do that a lot slower than GM class. Training gets you more speed with the same points. But Kirsch says being able to get those points in the first place is just as important as getting the speed.
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