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Just finished reading the First Edition of Modern reloading and it should be I would rather ask the questions than not and pay the price which talking firearms can be more than what someone would like to risk. As stated I am very new to reloading and will take a slow careful approach with helpful advise from the wiser.

My questions:

1st: I have collected most of my brass from the my local range after I bought Federal Pre, Winchester, and Agulia boxed. After I clean that brass how many times can it be reused. Ive read 2-3 times and Ive heard others say with pistol they use it till the case splits "Doesnt sound that good but what do I know so far"

2nd: Does anyone have pictures of certain conditions to look for when picking up the brass at the range.

3rd: I will check my handloading guide but does anyone have any great 9mm load data that works well for the PPQ 4in m2

Thank you for all the time spent reading and helping me on this journey

Sincerely A Handloading Newby
 

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How many times a 9mm (or any other) casing may be reloaded will depend on a number of variables. For simple range plinking with a weaker load one could get 30-40 or more reloads as opposed to a heavy load. More crimp will crack sooner then a lighter crimp. Dirty dies can shorten brass life. Some powders will burn extremely hot and cause increased metal fatigue. Your once fired brass could easily be reloaded 20-25 times whereas nickel casings can tend to crack and chip between 5-10 reloads. Your range pickups could have been reloaded a dozen times already. Generally and without pushing the maximum loads most people I have read get upwards of 25+ reloads. The biggest thing is to simply inspect each casing.

Nope but a Google should pull up lots of images..

Don't take load information off websites! Read the load data from the books for the caliber, powder, and bullet. Even better is buy a few manuals and double check those loads. Start at the bottom, make 10, then jump 2grains up and make 10 more. Now hit the range and test those. You took notes right? Go back and move up but never exceed the max loads.

Don't shortcut yourself, the hobby or increase the risk factor by starting with load data off a website. Work your loads up and be safe to yourself, your gear and most importantly, the person / persons around you at the range. If you're working loads but not seeming right then ask questions about what you may or may not be doing right.

Welcome to reloading .. From one newbie reloader to another. :)
 

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I load almost everything I shoot and have been for most of my life I am 56. When loading for a center fire handgun I go by the book as for as oal etc. When starting out buy bullets, primers, and powder that are listed in the load data if possible. I have been using HP 38 powder in 9mm, 124 grain Berries bullets, with good results. There are many powders you can use that will give you good results don't get hung up on that. At Hodgdon Reloading | Home you can get data for Hodgdon, Winchester, and IMR powders. There are thousands of combinations you can load don't get hung up on trying to find the perfect load.
As far as brass if in doubt throw it out.
Get you a go no go gauge.
Buy good equipment It will hold it's value if you decide not to load and want to sell it. You pay for what you get it is no different in reloading.
Load a couple rounds and make sure they will cycle thru your gun before loading a lot of rounds.
I load shotgun, center fire rifle, and pistol. I use a Dillon 550 progressive for handgun loads it has paid for itself many times over.
 

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My favorite range loads in 9mm are 5.0gr of Winchester WSF with a 124gr bullet and 3.5 gr of Winchester WST. I find these two Winchester powders meter very well and burn very clean. WSF works best in the higher velocity loadings and the WST is best for the mild loadings. One thing about reloading for a German pistol like the Walther or HK is the step chamber. Round nose bullets are not effected too much by this. Flat point, truncated cone, and some hollow points might need to be seated deeper in the case to properly chamber. A case guage will not show how a round actually fits in a certain pistol chamber. Take the barrel out of your pistol and drop one of your new loadings into the chamber. Push on the casing. Tilt the barrel up and if the round falls out freely, you are good to go. If it sticks at all you need to seat the bullet slightly deeper. Load groups of ten for testing until you find the ones that function well and that you like. Good luck and enjoy reloading. It is a great hobby itself. Bill
 

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Pretty much already covered up-thread.
Assuming you aren't loading to USPSA 'Major' (think +P+), nor was the person whose brass you picked up, you'll more or less load them until you lose them or get a case mouth split.

The PPQ with hollow points will need to load fairly short.
My go to load was 4.9gr of WSF with 124gr Montana Gold JHPs, loaded to 1.085"...I'd assumed they would shoot through nearly any gun at that length, but checked on the PPQ when I got her...needed to go shorter to 1.065", and dropped the powder down to 4.7gr as a result. It's still a moderate to slightly warm load around 1100FPS.

Best way to check your gun barrel/chamber and a projectile combo (needs to be done for every different projectile type/mfgr, even JHP from two different mfgrs):
How to determine Max OAL for a CZ Pistol

It's not a bad idea to pick up a chrono - you won't need it often once you dial in some favorite loads, but sometimes you'll need to take whatever bullets can be found, and work back up. It's tough to beat the Pro Chrono for $100 - better than the Shooting Chrony and others until you're spending hundreds more.

You won't always find an exact match for your powder/projectile combo. Take the closest match you can find. If shooting plated or coated, start at lead load ranges (you'll probably wind up in low to mid jacketed data eventually, but work up, different bullets will shoot differently!). If you can't find the same weight projectile listed for some reason, you can start with the data from a heavier similar bullet, as heavier bullets use less powder, so you'll still be on the safe side.

Slower powders tend to be a bit more forgiving and less 'spiky,' so may be considered slightly 'safer' for beginning reloaders. This means I'd suggest Win231/hp-38 (same powder) or SR7625 over, for example, titegroup, for a new reloader.

Have to call this one out - asking for load data from random Internet people, and NOT working up a load in your gun - not a good idea. Hodgdon has lots of load data online. You can pick up mfgr annuals for 1c each with an order from Powder Valley. Alliant just mailed me their 2014 data for signing up on their site, and Western/Ramshot etc. have a downloadable PDF with tons of load data. You can buy a 'Loadbooks USA' for under $10 which has all the mfgr data for a single caliber in one (looks like photocopied but works) book.

You always want to check your data, ideally from multiple sources to see they're in rough agreement with each other, and always start on the light side of a mid-range load, if not at the published start load. Remember that shortening pistol OAL will increase pressure as well, so the potential to turn a mid-range load at 1.15" into a very warm one at 1.07" may exist, with the same powder charge. This is where a chrono helps as a sanity check - you're unlikely to get exact velocities as anyone's manual states, but the range of velocities is worth noting. In other words, if you see their max load claiming 1150FPS, and you're at 1150 with a lower charge (possibly due to shorter OAL), you may want to think before increasing the charge or shooting any hotter loads..

Good luck!
 

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good points by all and keep reading! do not rush into things and take your time setting up your bench......figure out what press you want/can afford. I have a Dillon 550b like rooksd1 and couldn't be happier. take yer time, develop a consistent routine, keep alert and most of all have fun! hell, for me reloading is almost as fun a shooting..............
 

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Wish I could find some HP38/W231 that you folks mention. I've got a very good amount of powder but would love to find either of these :( Anyone find 1,2,4 or 8 pounder please let me know :D

That said.. Lots of people using shotgun powders these days for their pistol rounds since usual powders are not as easily found still. If buying locally bring your manual with you to check what they have. If no handgun look at the shotgun powders.

Also, of the different manuals I have I've found the latest Lee Manual to have more handgun load data then the others. The Speer book, while great for Speer bullets isn't for most others though it had some great info in the 'manual' portion that went into deeper detail then others.
 

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Other than specific load data, you can never ask too many questions about reloading, especially if you are new to the hobby. That being said, if you have tried a load and had difficulty, feel free to post it, as someone in the community has probably experienced the same thing and can help explain where you may have gone wrong.

You will almost never find a good reloader recommending a certain load on the internet. In fact, many of the better reloaders refuse to post load data because of the possibility of having it kaboom in YOUR pistol.

Those who do post load data will almost always state that the load they mention performs well in their pistol but will rarely recommend you blindly try that load in your gun. Every gun performs differently and you will ultimately be loading for accuracy out of your gun, thus the infinite differences in load data.

All the powder manufacturers post load data on their websites and many bullet manufacturers will also either post load data, or have it available if you send a direct inquiry. This information precludes the need for having many manuals, but most of us old-timers have several manuals on hand anyway. Not to say we don't reference the online data from the manufacturers, but most of us that have been reloading for a long time still use many resources to double check against each other. This usually explains why long time reloaders still have all their fingers, eyes and ears.
 

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One advantage to loading shotgun is you always have pistol powder maybe not the best but it will work fine. I have a friend that loads Green Dot for everything. (shotgun, 9mm, 40 s&w etc.)
 

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Adding to my prior post, as I'm now trying out some other projectiles.
I've got some SNS Casting Hi-Tek coated 125gr RN bullets, and those too need to be loaded short vs other guns, in this case loading to 1.085" w/out hitting the start of the lands.

I'd like the option of loading longer (e.g. RNs out to 1.15"), but I'm not sure on having the stepped PPQ chamber reamed.
 

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Adding to my prior post, as I'm now trying out some other projectiles.
I've got some SNS Casting Hi-Tek coated 125gr RN bullets, and those too need to be loaded short vs other guns, in this case loading to 1.085" w/out hitting the start of the lands.

I'd like the option of loading longer (e.g. RNs out to 1.15"), but I'm not sure on having the stepped PPQ chamber reamed.

For the PPQ I was loading between 1.135 to 1.140 for my best results, and depending on powder. I tried at 1.145 and could chamber, but never had the powder/accuracy mix that made it work right for me.

I use Bayou (which is who SNS gets their coating from), and since SNS is relatively local, I wanted to try them since I could drive and pick-up. In January we tested SNS and had issues because the cone of the bullet was much wider than Bayou, and we were forced to load 1.070 for our CZ's to even get them to chamber. SNS at 1.085 was getting stuck. Putting it in perspective I still load my Bayou out to 1.125 with success.

I'm sure they were working on it, but we gave SNS the feedback when we shot with the Stinar's in early February, and now they have a new new slimmer profile. I may look again at 'em next winter, but for this year, I'll continue with Bayou.

Here's the new SNS: SNS New Low Profile 125g
 

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All I will say is if you use Power Pistol start at the bottom. I find a lot of loads with that powder are out of whack for me. Around 5gr PP is a nice 124gr load but some manuals start there or higher. You don't want to guess and rattle off a bunch on the Dillon only to find they're hotter than you want. I do 50 round test lots and run a couple of different guns to verify function in all of them. The Walther will eat bunny fart loads that other guns like an M9 will malfunction on like crazy so you need to test in these days of low powder supply where people often can't get their usual choice.
 

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For the PPQ I was loading between 1.135 to 1.140 for my best results, and depending on powder. I tried at 1.145 and could chamber, but never had the powder/accuracy mix that made it work right for me. ...
You should know saying something like 'Bayou' w/out weight or profile isn't useful.. ;)

The above is with the newer SNS 125gr.
Meanwhile, I can load Xtreme 124gr plated RNs quite long.
Here's a list of my actual measurements (which for anyone following along, subtract a bit from this at the very least for max OAL I'd load to...or better yet, confirm in your own barrel!).
Montana Gold 124gr JHP: 1.075" (loading to 1.065)
SNS coated 125gr RN: 1.095" (loading to 1.085)
Nosler 115gr JHP: 1.070" (load to 1.060")
Xtreme plated 124gr RN: 1.180" (loading to 1.15)
Xtreme plated 124gr HP: 1.105" (loading to 1.090)
Hornady 115gr FMJ: 1.167" (loading to 1.15)
Ranier plated 115gr RN: 1.105 (loading to 1.09)
Speer 124gr GDHP: 1.156" (loading to 1.125)
Hornady 115gr XTP: 1.080 (loading to 1.065)

I just picked up some BBI 124grs, haven't checked max OAL with them yet, as they literally just showed up yesterday. These may allow loading longer, as they're somewhat of a rounded nose flat point.

Intent is to do some back to back testing (and chrono-ing) vs the SNS and Xtreme, with the MGs as the baseline. Hoping to come up with a less expensive alternative to the MGs (~9.8c/each by the case), then will pick up a case or two at ~7c/each.
 

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Sorry, I thought you were talking specifically about the SNS 125g, of which the Bayou 124g would be the direct comparison. I never dreamed someone would take it any other way. My apologies.
 

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Sorry, I thought you were talking specifically about the SNS 125g, of which the Bayou 124g would be the direct comparison. I never dreamed someone would take it any other way. My apologies.
Ahh, I haven't tried Bayou's as of yet, as I believe there's still no online ordering.
SNS also has two different 125gr, the 'old style' with lube groove and the 'new style' with no lube groove. In the case mentioned above on Max physical OAL in my PPQ, it's with the 'new' style.

The BBI coated 125gr are sort of a 'round nose flat point' if that makes any sense. I was hopeful these were going to let me load longer, but no go. 1.075-1.080" is about as long as I can go on these.

Oh well. I've got a good number of variants loaded up for my next range session. I don't mind loading short so much, other than if loading much shorter than published or even 'reasonably reliable source' load data, the shorter OAL will increase pressures, and it's a non-linear 'adjustment.'

Plated and coated are always 'fun' in general, as most but not all are faster than FMJ/CMJ/JHP/jacketed bullets, but not always a good match vs lead data, either.

Will see how things go. I'm guessing the money loads to be around 4.4gr WSF for the SNS 125gr PRN @1.08, ~4.8 for the Xtreme PRN @1.15, 4.4-4.6gr for the BBI 125gr CRNFP, and maybe 4.6gr for the Xtreme PHP @ 1.10, but will see (have loads from start to a step below max for all).
 

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Just throw another wrinkle out there, these guys have the same coating as SNS/Bayou, in a bunch of different weights and profiles.

9mm / .38 Super, IbejiHeads

Also, if you prefer blue (and a different coating material) these are kind of nice in that there's no lube groove. I talked to the SNS guys a couple weeks ago and they're coming out with these profiles as well.

Small Flat Rate Boxes S&H Included
 

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Just throw another wrinkle out there, these guys have the same coating as SNS/Bayou, in a bunch of different weights and profiles.

9mm / .38 Super, IbejiHeads

Also, if you prefer blue (and a different coating material) these are kind of nice in that there's no lube groove. I talked to the SNS guys a couple weeks ago and they're coming out with these profiles as well.

Small Flat Rate Boxes S&H Included
Ibejiheads doesn't say they use the Hi-Tek coating, just
fully coated with our proprietary non toxic dry lubricant.
?

I've got some Blue Bullet sample packs (250 of each in 125 and 147gr) on hand. Have to load the 125gr (no lube groove, new style) to 1.075" (actual clearance is 1.085"), and the 147grs a bit longer at 1.09".

Here's the chrono results from some of those loads.
Favorite loads for the day were 125gr SNS, 4.4gr WSF, 1.085" OAL (PF 128), 4.6gr Xtreme 124gr RN 1.15" OAL (but didn't make PF), and 4.0gr WSF, Bayou 135gr coated, 1.085", 126.6 PF.

http://i.imgur.com/KJL9gHl.png
 

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I've shoot 124 gr berry's plated round nose.

had pretty good success with 4.7 gr of WST loaded to 1.137-1.14

ran out of WST, now working up a load for VV N340. Started off at 4.0-4.1 gr, loaded to 1.14, shot fine, accuracy as good as the shooter.
 
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