Proper planning prevents Piss Poor performance….ezpecially when machines break

So I am doing inventory of my ammo, as acquaintance had asked if I might take her and her two teenaged girls to the range…I said yes, (they have both expressed an interest in pistols), and she asked me for advice…

Sure!, I said, how about Saturday?

It was on.

So Thursday, I am going through the ammo shelf, preparing I have .22LR, check. ,380 ACP (reloads)(holy shit, I have a BUNCH of those…), check. .38 special? Check. .45ACP? Getting low, but ok for now…..9mm….9mm…Shit. All I have is Self Defense loads, no ball….and no reloads.

So Friday, I get home from work and go down to the loading bench…..I haven’t loaded in about 3 months, as I have been busy, and haven’t been practicing as much as I should. Looking at my notes, I haven’t loaded 9mm for nearly 6 months.

Set the press (Dillon 550) up for 9mm(Lugar),….I have a few hundred cleaned cases in a ziplock bag…. find a half box of 125g (hard) lead truncated cone bullets on the shelf and do my checks…… OAL, ok. Powder charge is set up for 3.5 g of 231. Cool. Toss some primers in a tray, load the tube, and away I go.

I check, on average, every 10th case.

Good thing. For some reason, the powder measure was tossing 2.5 to 4.6 grain loads. 2.5 won’t function most autos, but will (generally) push the bullet from the bore. But my load data shows 4.1 is a max load.

4.6 bad.

So I threw those loads into the reject can for later disassembly.

Put that powder in a different can , and tried a new batch.

Same deal.

Throwing weights from 2.6 to 4.6 grains.

Took the whole powder measure apart….down to individual parts.   Nothing apparently wrong. everything that should move, does so smoothly. Everything that shouldn’t, doesn’t. I dunno. Mebbe a cat hair (we have 6) ? piece of dirt?

Put it back together? Tosses powder loads at 3.5g to 3.7g. not great accuracy, but acceptable for training ammo. Still not sure what happened.

But I loaded 200 rounds, weighing every single one. Single loading the Dillon press is inefficient… Can’t be too sure here. My pistols will probably handle 4.6 grains of 231, but that is a fair overload, so I’d rather not find out.

Gonna have to call Dillon Precision on Monday. I know that they will either help me fix it or replace the powder measure. (lifetime warranty, and they mean it)

In the meantime, I have ammo for the Ladies.

MC is going with me to be an extra set of eyes and all that. It’ll be fun.

2 thoughts on “Proper planning prevents Piss Poor performance….ezpecially when machines break

  1. Would 4.6 grains rate them +P? I think that's mighty close friend.

  2. Likely higher pressure than that.

    Plus P is usually 10% over normal pressure.

    this would be closer to 13% more powder. .

    Plus maybe a bit of compressing the powder.

    Might be very bad….

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