In addition to the previously-described mouse-fart load @ 3.9 gr, also added a batch at 4.2 gr and a batch at 4.5 gr so that I could step up. Even the 4.5 gr was a PF of 128.5 per manufacturer data, so not exactly stout. Then I drove my happy ass to the range and shot them (out of my G19, natch) and I still have a face!
3.9 gr, as predicted, was really not enough to consistently run the slide. 4.2 gr was nice. 4.5 gr was totally fine, but not that far off the snappiness of my Freedom stuff, so I think I'll give 124s a try. But even if felt recoil was exactly the same as the Freedom stuff, they were noticeably more accurate: I made one ragged hole at 7 yards without concentrating much at all, which I have never been able to do with the Freedom rounds. And even using N320, it's still half the cost of the Freedom stuff. Might be squeeing like a Japanese schoolgirl right now.
Did have one failure to fire out of 33 rounds. Trigger went click, no bang. Racked the slide, retrieved the offender, and saw an indent on the primer, but it didn't go bang. Tried it again with the same result. Doubt the primer (Federal small magnum pistol) was at fault, so I assume I fucked up by not seating it deep enough?
It just occurred to me that you are using Freedom Munitions brass. Are any of those cases stepped inside? If so you should discard them. They can rupture at the step.
No stepped in the ones I loaded. I'll keep an eye out. I did find a bunch of Aguilas with cracks, which made me give that particular headstamp a wary eyeball.
From personal experience they don't survive getting run over by a ATV.
This smells like a good story.
I am a huge fan of the prochrono digital. $100ish and it always clocks everything. Every time.
+// .005” is exactly the variation you should expect from a progressive press. Don’t worry about it. That’s all good.
Just load 124/125 coated bullets from whomever makes you happy, and forget about people chasing the magic bullet and powder combination to turn them into a GM.
I’ve run 124s, 130s, 135s, and 147s each for at least a full year of practical shooting. I am back around to 124s. They shoot soft enough to do the job just the same. If you grip the gun hard there’s no difference between a 147 and 124 in your scores
ProChrono is bought and arriving tomorrow.
I've been enjoying the "cheap-ass bullets" thread. Super tempted by the pricing on ACMEs, but probably not tempted enough to overlook the stories about finding the wrong weight of bullet randomly mixed in. Leaning towards just buying a shitton of 124s from SNS or BBI with the holiday pricing and either liking them or learning to like them until I run out.
Wondering how much time the OP spent deciding on bullets out or bullets forward.
Luckily, I'm an IDPA fag; I don't have a choice. #ThanksTwinkie Otherwise I would be doomed.
I would add to what Will said by stating the best way to start reloading is on a single stage press. Focusing on one step at a time learning what it takes to make quality ammo, plus it truly gives you a strong appreciation for progressive machines later on.
Having mentioned earlier that I liked things to be as manual as possible for learning purposes, I did consider this argument prior to purchasing the 550. I found it a sound argument, but then I rejected it, because lazy.