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About jim6918

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    Johnstown, Colorado
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    Jim Howell

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  1. Yes, I've heard that before. However, I decided to use a universal decapping die mounted in a separate dedicated toolhead in my 550C. Sure, I could have bought a separate hand decapping tool and die, but I like to sit at my stool and pull that handle. One of these days, maybe I'll hit the jackpot. I want to keep as much gunk off my machine, so I clean first. I am using a Hornaday Sonic Cleaner, perhaps I used the wrong terminology. Like I said, I looked at all the options and decided this fits my personality.
  2. This is kind of funny. About a month ago, I posted a question about whether to hydro clean brass before decapping. Based on the description of the steps I was taking to prep my brass, several people said I was taking unnecessary steps. I am sure the people who responded are into high production. Basically I sort of did what I wanted anyway. Now I sort by caliber, hydoclean, clean, decap, clean again, and tumble. I know there's an extra step of two, but I'm retired and looking for things to do to occupy my time. My brass looks almost brand new. LOL
  3. Thanks again. A guy shouldn't ask for advice and not follow it. When I go downstairs this morning I will try to back off a smidgen and see what happens. I wan't to get maximum re-use out of the brass and don't want to do a thing to weaken the case.
  4. Thanks everybody. My OAL for the 115 gr. FMJ is 1.10, which is right on spec for the charge, so I am not sure I am over-seating. Yes, I know there are recipes out there for longer case lengths, but right now, without a Chrono, I am going according to the manuals; and they work great in all my 9mm weapons, and pass all the tests. I know, I know, a Chrono is my next purchase I was very careful setting up the powder die. There is not much bell. You can barely feel it when you run your fingers over the edge, and the bullet just sorta rests on the bell before seating. It sure doesn't drop in. Decapped and sized case is .380. After belling, the diameter at the bell is .395, which is .015, about the thickness of a business card. Photo attached. Belled case is on the right of course. I hate to back off the bell any more as I could then have trouble seating the bullet.
  5. Dillon 550C using factory Dillon dies. Loading a bunch of 9mm, 115 FMJ, and noticed that there are extremely fine brass particles collecting in and around station 4 and the ejected cartridge chute, not a lot, but enough to see. Dust sized particles. Smaller than a single grain of powder. I took great care setting up the crimp station. Finished round '"mic's" out to exact specs, and all rounds pass a case gauge and plunk test. No bulging of cases observed. Shot 50 rounds of this load last weekend in two different weapons, G17 and Sig MPX, with 100% success. Clearly I am a newbie. Is this something I should be concerned with?
  6. jim6918

    Keeping Powder in the Press

    The Pyrex variety are at least $40 each. They are nice, but I agree, $120 ($40X4) will buy a fair amount of supplies.
  7. jim6918

    Keeping Powder in the Press

    I thought I read someplace that the user shouldn't tap or do anything else to the tube to settle the powder; that it should just settle on its own weight?
  8. jim6918

    Keeping Powder in the Press

    Thanks everybody. Good advice. My 550C is in a heated dry basement. So far I have managed to keep my recipes for 9mm, .380, and .40 S&W to W231. I use separate quick change kits for all calibers, and I have been dumping one powder tube from the caliber I won't be using for a while into the one is will be using to top it off. So far I haven't let a tube drop below 50 - 60%. I run about 15 tests to make sure the powder has settled before I start loading.
  9. How long do most of you keep your powder in the powder tube of your press? I load every couple of days and have yet to completely go through a whole tube of powder. I guess I was a little surprised to see some powder manufacture recommend removing all powder from the tube and putting it back into the original container if it wasn't going to be used in a couple of days. Maybe I should only load 1/3 or 1/2 a tube at a time.
  10. jim6918

    9MM and COL Variations

    Yes, but wouldn't you think that if I am using 115 gr. FMJ factory ammo, wouldn't it at least be close to reloads using the same projectile. We are talking about 115 FMJ compared to 115 FMJ, not RN or FN.
  11. jim6918

    9MM and COL Variations

    Thanks everybody for the valued opinions. I really had no idea that there would be so many variables to reloading when I started a couple of months ago. My #1 goal is always going to be safety, not only for myself, but also my family who will be using my loads. That's why I don't pull that handle until I am 100% sure of what I am doing. There will be no extremes coming from this house, thats why I am always looking for the middle of the road recipes that will work in my weapons.
  12. jim6918

    9MM and COL Variations

    I gauge and plunk everything I've loaded so far. The plunk test works fine for my G17. I can have it apart blindfolded. Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean. The MPX is a horse of another color, just for a plunk test.
  13. jim6918

    9MM and COL Variations

    I have been getting ready to load my first 9mm's after doing bunches of .380 and .40 S&W. Of course I have been researching heavily different recipes. I will be using 115 gr. FMJ's. contemplating either TG or W231 (which I have lots of already). I see, what seems to me to be, a wider range of COL than the 40's or the 380's. From 1.100 up to 1.165, with an assortment in between. The commercial 9mm I have used most recently, Fiocchi 115 gr., is 1.135. The Fiocchi shoots fine in my Sig MPX and a G17, although the Fiocchi does seem a little long for the magazines. The range I use is about 30 miles away, so I just can't run over with 20 or 30 to test. I am a newby and don't have a chrono, so I would like to stick with good middle of the road recipes. Any thoughts?
  14. I do just this thing. Usually 10 loads for an average. Thanks
  15. The only bench resting I will be doing is when the breakfast burrito I had before heading to the range starts backing up on me. Seriously, I am trying to find a good load for my son's S&W Shield .380 EZ, , so I am currently loading 4 test loads including the max, so I don't want to overclock anything.