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reloading bench back in business

My reloading bench ran its first set of test loads in the new homestead. Getting it operational tends to be well below the CRITICAL and Urgent level activities. However it sure is nice to get there.

My reloading skills exceed my shooting abilities, but I work to achieve the best mechanical accuracy to minimize the inaccuracies that arrive when my finger starts dancing on the trigger.

My first two batches of load test firings were not as careful as the third one, but all suffer from eyes that cannot focus very well on both the near sights and far targets simultaneously. Lately my eyes have also been watering quite a bit which compounded the problem. The final, and most significant caveat, is my limitations as a shooter.

Once in a while I knew full well when I blew the shot. For example, in my final pairing one of the 7.4 grain loads launched before I was fully ready. I don’t blame the reloader or the load for that flier. [Dang shooter needs practice…and, therefore, lots of reloads to launch at targets] I would mention that it was a bit gusty, but at 20 yards I don’t think that was any factor at all.

Nevertheless, I got a pretty good idea of what Accurate #5 powder charge pushes 155 grain Montana Gold bullets out of my 40 caliber pistol most accurately. Needless to say, accuracy at this level will serve perfectly well to teach the shooter when he is hitting and when he is missing whatever target he is trying to center punch.

By the way, I did add four clicks left and two clicks down to my sights after this test. Group size is the only critera for load testing. Sight adjustment moves the group to center as long as there is an actual group to move.

P.P.S. As most reloaders know, none of this counts for any other gun than the one involved in the testing. Reloading manuals give starting loads. THAT is where you should start. Then test, test, test from low power to high.


My new 20-yard shooting range


My first group of targets 7.0 – 7.9 grains


Final contenders – oddly 7.5 was not very good


I am settling on a 7.4 grain load