First Handloads Downrange…

…and both my Kimber Stainless Target II and I are in one piece, and I for one am raring to go again!
As mentioned earlier, I made some 10mm ammunition early last week on my RCBS turret press, and yesterday and this morning I sat down and made some more. Specs once again, for the record:

Bullet: 155-grain Hornady XTP
Load: 14.3 grains of Accurate Arms No. 9
Primer: CCI 300 Large Pistol
OAL: 1.250″

I checked the weight of the charge and the OAL several times before I went out to the range with my ammo, but still I was nervous, wondering: Would I have a misfire? What if I had a bullet seated too deep? Or an excessive charge? Maybe that’s normal for first-timers, but in any case I need not have worried. The gun ran like a champ, ate every last one of them. Granted, I only took about 40 rounds, but I was still worried — at first. I got to the range, put a round in the mag, put it in the gun, thought, here goes nothin’.
BOOM!
Ok, that wasn’t so bad, gun and I are still in one piece, let’s try it again…and again! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Just like any other day at the range, hey, not so bad, and the gun’s still more accurate than I am.
I wasn’t so much testing for accuracy today, though; I just wanted to see how the gun would run with my homemade ammo, and what kind of speeds I was getting. Which is where things got interesting.
The load was the minimum according to the Accurate data, rated at 1244 fps. But the chronograph told quite a different tale. I clocked several shots, and here’s what I got (all in fps):

1337
1511
1451
1483
1435
1459
1530
1447

The readings above 1500 fps are suspect, I would think, as is the 1337 fps reading, as all the rest were fairly close to one another — from 1451 to 1483 fps, that seems fairly consistent, but we’ll see what happens on the next range trip. I am thinking it’s pretty accurate because I didn’t have too much light — in fact, I got error messages on a few shots because it was saying I was using the diffusers on a cloudy day — and the diffusers weren’t installed.
In any event, it was a smashing success. I can’t wait to load and shoot some more.

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