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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I finally collected enough brass to take my first batch of reloads over the weekend and learned a few things about the round that werent as common of knowledge that I am glad I learned and figured that I would pass along to anyone interested:

1) Although the cases are made of brass, they are coated in lacquer. This is to aide in getting the ammo to feed and load into the magazine as easy as possible. It almost acts as a slight lubricant in reorienting the case in the magazine. i actually stripped the lacquer off of 10 rounds with some paint stripper to see if this made a difference, and it actually makes the round feed poorly, so dont remove the lacquer and dont tumble it with any overly abrasive media. Just keep the lacquer on.

2) Since the casing is so small, I overlooked a key point any reloader should look for: crimps! I ended up having to decrimp every piece of brass prior to priming which wasnt a huge ordeal, but a little time consuming.

3) A good chamfer is definitely in order on these little cases. Otherwise they can really scratch the copper jacket up on your bullets.

4) Adhering strictly to the COAL is very important here as the magazine does not allow for much deviation from the 1.58" COAL. Also, I tested a slightly shorter bullet seating of 1.56" which caused the primer to "flow" slightly and gave a couple small smilies on the brass which definitely indicates that much shorter and there could be some serious pressure issued. (Note: this was with a 40gr V-Max)

5) Powder: I am using Ramshot's True Blue pistol powder which is one of the only companies with published load data (along with Accurate Arms). And I am not about to trust someone's load data from an unknown source online, so I'm going to be limited a bit to powder selection until some other reputable sources publish data. Maximum charge of powder with this powder is 5.6gr, which means I can load a little over 1200 rounds with one pound of powder! (Reload cost with 5.2gr of powder is $0.19 per round, and factory is $0.50 per round!)
[attachment=2:t8o8dmsr]Ramshot Load Data.png[/attachment:t8o8dmsr]

6) Although I used only one powder, I started off with the minimum charge of 5gr and worked up to 5.4gr. The lower charge of 5gr failed to cycle my action reliably and failed to chamber about every third or fourth round, so I wouldnt call this a reliable load. This also happened a couple of times with a charge of 5.1gr of powder. Starting at 5.2gr, every round chambered and fed reliably so I would consider this a good starting point if you were to load for this round. The 5.3 and 5.4gr loads performed well but I didnt detect much difference in accuracy to make me say one load over another is better at this point in time.

7) While priming the brass, I noticed that it was helpful to slightly twist the casing while squeezing my RCBS priming tool. Because the case is so small, the primer pocket is smaller than the rod which presses the primer into place which means the primer can shift around slightly in the priming tool. By twisting while lightly squeezing, this helps orient the primer better and prevents damaged primers (I lost five or so primers while learning this).

My conclusion thus far: the 5.7x28 can be a fun little round to reload. But it has very tight tolerances that if ignored, can cause dangerous results. Adhere closely to recommended load data and specs. It definitely makes shooting this round a lot more affordable and gives you a reason to buy a new oddball caliber! Would I suggest taking the time and effort to learn how to load for this? Yes.

I know many of you may not care much about this thread, but I know there are some guys who are interested in the 5.7x28. And I figured that I would pass along what I have learned thus far. And maybe this will be the info that gets you to commit to finally buying one of your own!

Here is the Accurate Arms published info as well just in case you are interested:
[attachment=1:t8o8dmsr]Accurate Arms Load Data.png[/attachment:t8o8dmsr]

If anyone ends up buying something chambered in 5.7x28, let me know and I will gladly give you all of the information that I have learned outside of this thread
 

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Great post Bax. Thanks for taking the time to share your findings. I will probably never purchase a 5.7x25, but you touched on some fundamentals of reloading that apply no matter what cartridge one is reloading. When I mention in conversations that I like to reload, I’m often asked “Isn’t that dangerous”? My answer is “No, but it can be hazardous if you don’t pay attention”. The detail in your post is a great example of paying attention. Thanks again for taking the time to share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, I wanted to post up a little more that I have learned to help anyone interested in loading for the 5.7x28 FN. But I think this would also be helpful for anyone who is loading a small cartridge like the .22 Hornet and needs to pull a bullet for some reason. Many of you may laugh and say that you already know how to pull a bullet, but I doubt many of you have had to pull one from such a tiny cartridge, so this is why I am posting this up.

Bullet Pulling for the 5.7x28 FN:

The other day I was loading up some new rounds to test out and I over adjusted my die and seated the bullet far to deep. Crap! Well, I did what any reloader would do and pulled out my RCBS Impact Bullet Puller like the one below.



Well, the problem with the impact bullet puller and the 5.7x28 is that the cartridge is far too small in diameter to work with the little adjustable case holder that the puller comes with and when I tried to get the bullet to pop out, the case just flew right on past the case holder and didnt dislodge the bullet to the lease degree.

Now what?

After thinking for a moment, I decided to insert my shell holder from my press and use that instead. So I placed the cartridge in the shell holder, turned it upside down and inserted it into the bullet puller and screwed on the end piece to secure the shell holder. Three firm whacks later, the bullet popped out!

I know this is a silly story, but Im sure many of us have seated a bullet too deep and didnt know how to get the bullet out. So I hope this will save you some time and frustration rather than running out and trying to find a collet bullet puller that could mangle the bullet in the process.

In case you aren't sure how the impact bullet pullers work, here is a video showing one in action. And oddly enough, this guy had the same problem of the bullet popping out of the little adjustable case holder just like I did.

[youtube:1w6qui1o]http://www.youtube.com/v/27a0Ivwogzk?version=3&hl=en_US[/youtube:1w6qui1o]

Hope this helps someone one day
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh and one more thing that you might find helpful:

You will need to trim your cases and quickly find that RCBS (or any other reloading supply company) does not make a shell holder for your case trimmer. Elite Ammunition makes shell holders, and Go / No Go Gauges for the cartridge as well. These are very helpful with reloading this little round.

http://www.eliteammunition.net/reload.html
 

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Bax* does your gun have flow around the primers like this? These are factory loads out of an acquaintances' gun. It looks kind of scary to me, but I guess it could be normal; it appears they need to stake the primers.

[attachment=0:1eoocljo]Primer 2.JPG[/attachment:1eoocljo]
[attachment=1:1eoocljo]Primer.JPG[/attachment:1eoocljo]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My memory says no, but I will take a look at them tonight when I get home.

As I have been working on hand loads, I have learned that the Five Seven pistol and PS-90 handle hand loads differently according to guys on the FiveSevenForum.com forum. So I would assume there are some differences in the way the factory ammo behaves in them as well.

What kind of 5.7 does your acquaintance have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, I took a look at the once-fired factory loads and noticed that nearly every single primer had been flattened after firing but they weren't flattened to the point of looking like excessive pressure. But I didn't see any flowed or pierced primers in the box of 50 that I looked at.

Each of these cases were the SS197 40gr V-Max bullet, and I didn't mark the SS198 27gr HP brass that I shot so I cant compare factory rounds for you to compare.

Here is a crummy pic from my camera phone in my shop that may show you what my PS90 once fired brass looks like:
 

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The fired ones look the same to me. That must be how they are. He is shooting the little FN rifle also (man, they are little). It seems to hit everything he points it at. And the bullet seems fast, noticeably faster than .223.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They are actually pretty slow bullets sadly. They shoot around 2400 FPS out of the rifle which isnt very impressive IMHO.

Ballistically speaking, I feel like the 5.7x28 lacks a lot of wow. But it is fun to shoot and fairly cheap to shoot once you take into account the cost of the hand load (about one-third the cost of factory ammo). However, this was not intended to be a long range caliber, and more so designed as a personal defense weapon so I cant really say this thing should shoot great at 200 yards. But I bought it for just having fun at the range and for bunny bustin, so it doesnt need to have a lot of thump to it.

I just finished loading up some Varmint Grenades for it the other day.... hoping to test them out soon 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of the most frustrating parts about reloading the 5.7x28 for me has been dealing with the crimp around the primer. Because of the size of the case, my fingers tend to get pretty tired and sore after using a decrimper like this one on my case prep center

[attachment=0:3djm8vgw]Decrimper.jpeg[/attachment:3djm8vgw]

So after some toying around, I have decided that the best and most efficient way of removing the crimp around the primer pocket is to use a pocket swaging tool like this one made by RCBS

[attachment=1:3djm8vgw]Pocket Swager.jpeg[/attachment:3djm8vgw]
Here is a quick how to video on how to use the tool:

After trying a couple of different methods to remove the factory crimp, I have come to the conclusion that this is the most efficient method that takes the least amount of time and compared to using a case prep center tool that grinds the crimp out, this pocket swaging tool saves your fingers from getting beat up and takes much less time.

And one last thing that I have failed to mention in previous threads is that when trimming the case to length, you will discover that there is very little information out there that states the actual trim-to length. So to save you some time, I am trimming my cases to 1.135" which is actually a tad longer than what RCBS suggested but I found that trimming shorter caused inconsistencies in accuracy in the loads I have tested thus far and after consulting with a few other 5.7x28 shooters, the 1.135" case length seems to produce the best results.
 

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Bax, not sure how many brass you have but a guy I know had a few hundred of empty brass the last time I was over there and he didn't know what to do with them. I could ask him what he wants if your interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bo0YaA said:
Bax, not sure how many brass you have but a guy I know had a few hundred of empty brass the last time I was over there and he didn't know what to do with them. I could ask him what he wants if your interested.
I would love that honestly. I will gladly pay him for the brass. Thanks for the heads up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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What kind of accuracy are you getting from that little guy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cooky said:
What kind of accuracy are you getting from that little guy?
Accuracy is to say the least "Meh"

Its not amazing honestly but I owe that mostly to the use of a red dot sight (6 MOA dot). The groups are a tad over an inch at 50 yards but I would think they would shrink a bit if I had a conventional scope on here, it would likely shrink my groups dramatically.

That being said, its fun to shoot and kind of a fun rifle to have people ask what it is when they see it
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am moving this to the reloading recipes forum not because I am publishing load data, but because I think there is some info on here that guys will want to know if they look into reloading for this goofy little cartridge.
 

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Awesome thread filled with good info. Have you ever used the round on varmints? If so, what is your effective range and what kind of damage are you doing to the critters?-----------SS
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I loaded up some 36gr Barnes Varmint Grenades last year and shot a jack with it at around 30ish yards. Visually it looked like 22mag damage. But when I rolled him over, his whole shoulder was detached.

But I have yet to shoot one with a vmax bullet.

Soup cans break open, but I honestly would have thought they would have received more damage than they did.

Overall impression of the round is that it is fun to shoot with little recoil. Ballistics leave a fair amount to be desired on targets. For personal defense, I'd think you'd need to do a five tap to stop someone with regular ammo. But I bought this mostly for bunny bustin, so it's good enough for my intended purpose.
 
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