Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Getting Loaded

Practice Makes Competence

I met the Cisco Kid yesterday for a sushi feast, then went back to his place to reload some .45 Long Colt rounds. I priced a box of .45 LC at Carter's Country, and they were asking $50 for 50 rounds. Ouch...

CK and I went halves on a progressive reloading press a while back, and I'm not making as much use out of it as I ought to. Problem is, I mostly don't think about reloading rounds until I go to the gun range.

Well, my inexperience operating the press came back to bite me...

What was intended to be a 2-3 hour session went over 10 hours, and still only resulted in 90 usable rounds. Broke a depriming pin, spilled a bunch of powder, and somehow managed not to drain CK's liquor supply when the frustration level peaked.

We've discovered that if you don't clean out the primer pocket after decapping the old primer, the new primer won't seat deeply enough, and you can't close the cylinder on the revolver as a result.

Of course, decapping 400+ cases means you have to run them through the press twice, pausing in the middle with a tiny steel brush to scrub them all out. A cigar helped that task immensely...

A glitch in the indexing of the case holder made that a long, frustrating task.

Adding insult to injury, it turns out that you are not supposed to use copper-jacketed bullets with the gunpowder I used. The friction rate is much higher than a lead bullet, and you might get a pressure spike and explode your gun. These are fairly light loads, but no use gambling with your life. Looks like I'll be pulling 100 bullets out of their cases one at a time, and starting over...

Ah, well. I've still got 225 rounds on hand for the upcoming trip to Tennessee. Between those and the 100 rounds of buckshot for the coach gun, we ought to be able to get by...