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I don't have FEAR of compressed loads. And, I believe Trail Boss is the only powder I use that has such a warning. There are a lot of powders that have been around a lot longer with compressed loading data.

I just don't like dealing with bullets backing out after I seat them. That just doesn't sit well with my OCD for consistency,.... that's all.
 

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That is understandable. One of the weird things about the old Hornady Light Magnum loads was that if you pulled the bullet and set the case upright, the powder would gradually swell up and overflow the case, like it were and elastic sponge. Hornady always said it took special loading equipment to make, and that behavior reveals why.

Some issues with compressed loads exist that have nothing to do with pressure include your experience with growth. Another is swelling cases with overly compressed loads. The really excellent Redding Competition Seating Dies come with instructions not to use them on compressed loads. They float the exact engagement angle of the seating ram by applying seating pressure to it with the rounded end of the micrometer adjustment screw. Too much applied force winds up indenting the top end of the ram and perhaps the screw, and that would interfere with the floating action.
 
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Unclenick,... your expert explanation is an even better reason for me, to, NOT do compressed loads,... way, way, way above my pay grade!!!
 

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Then I guess you will not like Black Powder loading as most of the design loads are compressed to some extent, to avoid air space between powder and bullet base is usually the reason. It seems air space in a BP load may cause a ringed chamber or barrel upon firing. I have yet to have that happen, even thouth I have fired less than full case loads of BP using a card wad pressed down in the case before seating the bullet.
44-40 cartridge with 20 grains of 3fg BP, card wad, and a 200 grain bullet yielded some nice indoor range fun with good accuracy.

Chev. William
 

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No, black powder loads are not the same to me.

I shot BP competitively around, well, let's just say, more decades ago than I wish to admit!!!:censored:

COMPACTED loads are a must for BP,... not for smokeless,... two different worlds in my opinion.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Stick powders have been used in compressed loads for a very long time.

You do realize that if it's 1% compressed, it isn't the same as whatever Hornady is doing in their special loads? 10-20%? Just taking a guess.

How much you compress it is up to you. No one says it has to be on the ragged edge of pushing the bullet out, or bulging the case.
 

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Thanks, but, not really interested in compressed loads.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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OK, so 'splain to me the difference.......

You drop a load of powder in the case, directly from the measure. The powder comes halfway up the case neck. The base of the bullet is supposed to be at the start of the case neck. Therefore.... you have to "compress" the powder, half a case neck's worth.

Or..... you meter out the exact same mass of powder from the measure (or weigh it or whatever). BUT, instead of just dumping it in the case, you pour it down a drop tube. Or, you 'swirl' it down the powder funnel, so that it packs into the case more tightly. Then, the exact same mass as above, sits even with the start of the case neck, instead of going halfway up the neck. You seat a bullet to the base of the neck, and have a 100% density load... but not a compressed load.... with the EXACT same mass of powder, as above.

What's the difference? :confused:?
 

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I'd rather have loads right at or above 100% case capacity in my varmint rifles as they produce the best accuracy. Using IMR7828 in a 25-06 with 85 grain BT varmints doesn't seem like it would work but it does.

RJ
 
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OK, so 'splain to me the difference.......

You drop a load of powder in the case, directly from the measure. The powder comes halfway up the case neck. The base of the bullet is supposed to be at the start of the case neck. Therefore.... you have to "compress" the powder, half a case neck's worth.

Or..... you meter out the exact same mass of powder from the measure (or weigh it or whatever). BUT, instead of just dumping it in the case, you pour it down a drop tube. Or, you 'swirl' it down the powder funnel, so that it packs into the case more tightly. Then, the exact same mass as above, sits even with the start of the case neck, instead of going halfway up the neck. You seat a bullet to the base of the neck, and have a 100% density load... but not a compressed load.... with the EXACT same mass of powder, as above.

What's the difference? :confused:?

The difference, to me,... is,... it's not the volume of powder, but, the pressure exerted on the bullet by a compressed load, pushing it out of seated depth. That has been my experience,... your's may differ.
 

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I'd rather have loads right at or above 100% case capacity in my varmint rifles as they produce the best accuracy. Using IMR7828 in a 25-06 with 85 grain BT varmints doesn't seem like it would work but it does.

RJ

100% agreed,.... well, almost! I load all my calibers to as close as possible to the bottom of the bullet, or, I change to a powder that will come the closest to that level. I am down to only five calibers, now! So, after years of searching I have all the powders I need to accomplish the goal of full cases to the bottom of the bullet, that meet my ballistic needs,... without compression.
 

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In 50 years of reloading I have used "skeeter" loads up to heavily compressed loads. I have come to believe that if you are having to compress the load you are using the wrong powder. Let me explain a bit:
When I started reloading the powder selection was very different than it is today. Mostly stick powders and some flake powders for pistol or shotgun. In rifles you had 4895, 4064, and a few others. They ignited easily and you needed to pack the powder to get the amount you needed for velocity and accuracy without over-pressure. With the selection of different powders today there is little need to compress loads. We have powders that carry warnings against compressed charges in most cases. The older powders are still around and they are used in cases that require that you fill the case. There are a few things that make it easier.
1. you can use a sub caliber bullet or a piece of rod to set on top of the charged case and vibrate it to settle the powder.
2. you can go old school and use a 6 to 8 inch drop tube.
3. you can sometimes seat the bullet out farther (given the room in the magazine and chamber throat)
Or you can select a powder that you don't have to compress to get the same accuracy and velocity. This may take a bit more "fiddling" with the charge weight and primer but the end result is the same.
In today's world you have a choice that wasn't available in the "old days". Select your powders to do the job you want in a way that works best for you.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I've tried the "miracle" powders (Hybrid 100V, Superformance etc) trying to do just that and got tired of replacing strings on my Stradivarius fiddling with loads, primers, seating depth etc and went back to "old school" powders (4350, 7828, RL19, Benchmark)

I'm not sold on the new stuff. If you are and it's working my hat is off to you.

RJ
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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The difference, to me,... is,... it's not the volume of powder, but, the pressure exerted on the bullet by a compressed load, pushing it out of seated depth. That has been my experience,... your's may differ.
You dodged the question. Loading technique can make a large difference in whether the powder is 'compressed' or just more efficiently packed into the case.

Jack O'Connor's famous .270 Win load with surplus 4831 would have been severely compressed, if it fit in the case at all. LOTS of reloaders used that load, or tried to.

So.... if the powder is just a 'little' compressed, to the point it NEVER causes the bullet to creep out of the case, what's the harm? :confused:

I've loaded .35 Rem rounds that have sat in the box for a decade, with (literally) as much Varget as I could compress under the bullet in them, and they've never moved.

Just because a load is listed as 'compressed,' doesn't mean it will be with YOUR components, and load technique. Nor does it mean that if a load is NOT listed as compressed, that it might end up being so, anyway, with YOUR components and load technique. Think about it.....
 

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You dodged the question. Loading technique can make a large difference in whether the powder is 'compressed' or just more efficiently packed into the case.

Jack O'Connor's famous .270 Win load with surplus 4831 would have been severely compressed, if it fit in the case at all. LOTS of reloaders used that load, or tried to.

So.... if the powder is just a 'little' compressed, to the point it NEVER causes the bullet to creep out of the case, what's the harm? :confused:

I've loaded .35 Rem rounds that have sat in the box for a decade, with (literally) as much Varget as I could compress under the bullet in them, and they've never moved.

Just because a load is listed as 'compressed,' doesn't mean it will be with YOUR components, and load technique. Nor does it mean that if a load is NOT listed as compressed, that it might end up being so, anyway, with YOUR components and load technique. Think about it.....


Hmmm,.... I'm sorry, but, what was the question I dodged? I guess I missed it. I have never thought of myself as a "dodger", of anything, to be honest!

Now, in my reloading world, a more efficiently packed into the case charge of powder,... isn't a compressed load, unless the definition of compressed has changed , since the last time I read about it.

Now, if the powder is just a 'little' compressed, to the point it NEVER causes the bullet to creep out of the case, I see no harm. But, what I would see, is a compressed load that I don't want to do,... is that alright, with you?

Since you have loaded .35 Rem rounds that have sat in the box for a decade, with (literally) as much Varget as I could compress under the bullet in them, and they've never moved,... I guess I am suppose to be impressed and admit that you are a much better reloader, than I am.

As to my components and load technique being compressed or not,... I have thought about it, for quite some time in fact,... which is how I came to my conclusion, for me,... that I don't do compressed loads. I'm sorry, but, I just can't seem to grasp the problem you have with that! But, thanks for your input, just the same.
 

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I didn't say I was a "better" reloader. What I said was, there are "compressed" loads that are just ..... fine. Either what I have loaded, or what others have loaded, or what the loading books indicate are "OK."

What I'm hearing from you, is that NO compressed loads are ever OK, and that is contradictory to my experience. As well as others on the forum, and many others in the industry.
 

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dogdoc, to get back to your question about why some manuals list loads as compressed when others show the same loads as not compressed - some people have pointed out the difference in components and loading techniques. But I also recall reading, many decades ago, that some producers of reloading manuals use a calculated volume for determining whether a load is compressed, rather than dumping in a powder and seeing how full the case is. So some loads listed as compressed are not actually compressed at all. I have seen this myself, where a load shown as compressed was not, with my components.

As you can see, there are a LOT of variables. I wouldn't be too concerned about the differences in the manuals. As for my personal experience, I have used compressed loads with extruded powders in a number of cartridges including .223, .308, 30-30, 35 Rem, 338 WM, and 444 Marlin, and never had a problem.
 

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I didn't say I was a "better" reloader. What I said was, there are "compressed" loads that are just ..... fine. Either what I have loaded, or what others have loaded, or what the loading books indicate are "OK."

What I'm hearing from you, is that NO compressed loads are ever OK, and that is contradictory to my experience. As well as others on the forum, and many others in the industry.

Well, you may wish to reread my posts, because you are hearing wrong. They are all here to do so.

What I said was, I don't do compressed loads, that compressed loads are fine, I just don't like them. And, that I have found powders to do what I want without being compressed.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

To the OP, try compressed loads and decide for yourself,... as it should be.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Fair enough.
 
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