Shooters Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Probably been asked before by others, but I'm interested in what you have to say. I'm sure you noticed.

Data Manuals from powder companies tend to be a little more conservative in their charge amounts than those from the bullet companies.

Which do you prefer to use, the information from powder companies or bullets companies?

What guidelines do you set for yourself?



I know now that I REALLY should get a chronograph next!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,124 Posts
Ira41,
I'll use any commercial data available. The key thing is to make sure that you take into account the test gun and to use the specific components that where used by the people who developed the data. The most important thing is to work your way up. Data for TC's or test barrels can be very different that data developed in a revolver. I tend to favor data that has been developed in pressure barrels if I can, this way you are almost assured of it being safe. I was told by one of the techs at Hodgdon that using sticky extraction in a revolver as a basis to "back off a little" is very foolish. The reason he gave me is that once you've reached this level, the gun is at it's limit or "about to come apart" was the exact quote. Flat primers are a useless indicator in magnum revolver loads, as they will ALL be that way. Blown primers and enlarged primer pockets are indicators to back off, but that is common knowledge. I feel pretty safe replacing jacketed bullets with cast bullets if the amount of bullet behind the cannelure is reasonably close, but in this case I always start at a lower charge weight than I otherwise would. I'll shoot new loads in a Ruger SA before they ever see my S&W's, better yet shoot them out of TC barrel is you have one.

When looking at data, I like to cross reference between as many sources as I can. It is getting rather expensive to keep up with all the new loading manuals though, e$pecially Hornady. If I cross reference the data and one source seems to use quite a bit more powder, forget the velocity-it's usually a result of the test device, I'll make sure to use the exact components that where used in that test and to work up very carefully from the START load of that data unless it is abouve the max load of other data suppliers.

Some people advocate the use of a chronograph to determine what the maximum load is for a particular weapon. When they reach the advertised velocity in the manual they stop whether or not the maximum charge has been reached. The key to this technique is to NEVER exceed the maximum load listed even if the velocity has not equalled the published velocity for the load. I think that this can be a safe and effective method, provided the test gun and the loaders setup are the same or very similar. An example of area where this technique could go terribly bad is as follows:
My 14" TC in 357 Maximum with 26.5gr of AA1680 behind a Hornady 180gr SSP for about 1950-2000fps with a Federal 205M primer.

Say I pass that data on to someone who is shooting a Dan Wesson 8" .357 Maximum revolver and they try to duplicate my VELOCITY!,or they have a 10" TC in the same caliber and want to duplicate my velocity.

This is where the fault of the chronograph technique will get people in trouble if they don't analyze the data and test guns that where used to develop it.


As you may have noticed from the data I sent you, there was a difference of about 50fps from the same load in 2 revolvers made by the same mfg with the same barrel length and the same frame. The difference was barrel material and possibly cylinder/barrel gap. I haven't measured the two revovlers barrel cylinder/gap as yet and have not slugged the barrel on the stainless gun either. The statement here is to point out the difference in test guns that are, in essence, the same thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I agree with all you said, especially about the misuse of the chronograph.

I never try to duplicate other peoples loads.

My reason for wanting a chronograph is so that I can study what my reloads are doing. I want to learn about the low and high velocity differences on my reloads, the extreme spreads, etc. So to make my loads more consistant if I can.

I don't know what my reloads are doing unless have one.

I never thought about it before, but your spreadsheet caused me to think about some things.

Thanks for your reply!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,124 Posts
Ira41,
When you are doing the shooting, you are also aware of the velocity of each individual round as well as the hi/lo,avg,es, and sd. If you get a chronograph, I would suggest one with a printer if it's in the budget. The place where a chrono can really come in handy is to see what effect changes in your loading technique are causing. I've seen the difference between a regular roll crimp and a Redding profile crimp die on the chronograph. With low velocity lead bullet loads, the difference was very pronounced in a few different cartridges. Another area where they are very helpful is seeing the actual velocity of YOUR load in YOUR gun. This helps a great deal if your are using a gun at longer ranges, you know the trajectory, or what it should be at least. It's interesting to chrono a load, sight it for dead on at 100yds and see how the actual drop at 2 or 300yds is in comparison with what your software or loading manual tells you it is. If you don't KNOW, you're just guessing. That would be my summation of the value of a chronograph.
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
7,768 Posts
Hi, Gents:
May I add a bit to kciH's good posts. If you compare the data in several manuals, you'll find most of them agree on the maximum load, within a few percent, but there'll be one that's high or low. The spread is often greater with a new powder or cartridge. Velocitys vary more. When I start working up a load I start at the low end of the middle group and see what happens. That usually works. Then I compare my velocity to the manuals. One of them will agree with my data. Then if I try a different powder or bullet weight I use that manual as my prime reference.

Some powders have a large data spread and that's where you should be cautious. Near as I can figure, H322 started out as surplus IMR 8208, then Hodgdon had Nobel of Scotland make new stuff. When they quit Hodgdon got Mulwex of Australia to make it. Then Mulwex developed their extreme technology. So the max load with a 50 grain bullet in a .222 is 22.5 grains or 24.0 grains,depending on your manual. There's no way I can use 24.0 grains of early Australian in my .222.

Bye
Jack
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
This could get me in trouble, but...

I generally end up using the highest maximum published by a reliable source, with a couple of caveats. First, I always work up from below, second I use a chronograph to verify that velocities are reasonable, and third, I don't use maximum most of the time. I develop accurate max loads for hunting purposes, but for most of the year I shoot reduced loads. Saves wear and tear on the gun, brass, and me. I'm still reloading some of the same brass I bought with my 30-06 about twelve years ago.
I've only found one published max load that I wasn't real comfortable using in all my years of reloading.

IDShooter
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
548 Posts
The problem with all of this is that we are dealing with the RISKS associated with high pressure without accounting fully for the risks associated with the loading manuals themselves. Rick Jamison has written extensively about this.

The truth of the matter is that we can't eliminate risk, and so we wind up comparing the risk attendant to different loading practices, including the use of reloading manuals.

Loading manual risk is REDUCED when we match the published loading components and barrel length exactly and use a chronograph to estimate max pressure by carefully increasing charge weight to achieve the max listed velocity while looking for the traditional signs of excessive pressure. When loading manual data are used in thousands of different firearms, velocity is a far better indicator of pressure than charge weight.

When using only published charge weights as indicators of safe pressures we are more likely to develop a load that shows no signs of excessive pressure, but which is if fact too hot than we are if we use max velocity as our pressure indicator.

This is true even if we exceed the max listed charge weight to achieve the max listed velocity.

Now, this is NOT an endorsement of exceeding max charge weight, but it does put the loading manual data in perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,168 Posts
Reloading!:D Maunals:D I myself use these as a guide to achieve an accurate load for "MY Firearm" !!:cool: Since every gun is different my loads will probably not be good for your firearm!! I've found that -Primers don't make much difference -though I use almost exclussively CCI's for every load I make. Now where you can and will get into trouble is cases and bullets, change one of these and it's start all over time!:rolleyes: So I tend to find what works well with my firearm and stick with it-if it ain't broke don't fix it!! Also since I cast my own for most of my shooting I have quality control
and can test/change as I see fit. Ah reloading so much fun! :D :) :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
89 Posts
ira41,

The difference in loading manuals info reflect several different factors. I think the first and most important is that it helps to show just how individualistic all firearms can be. What is great for one may be trash for another. One fact that is often overlooked is the method used to determine loads. Sierra likes to use a universal reciever and a 26" barrel. Speer and Hornady like to use commercial rifles. Sometimes with a custom 24" barrel. Sometimes the standard length barrel is used. These factors all are causes for different loads results. A load that has been developed in a 22" barrel may well be over safe pressures in a 26" barrel. When I start to develope a new load, I pay particular attentions to the manuals that used the barrel length my rifle has. Initially I load up to 2 grains over what the books list. I usually start in the lower 1/3 of the suggested loads and load in half grain increments to the heavier load. I then let my rifle tell me where I should stop. Sometimes it is higher than the book loads, sometimes, it is lower than the book max. In this instance i don't care what the books say. If the load is below the book max. and my rifle says it is too hot, it is time to quit. I consider the manuals as a well informed guide, not as gospel. Every case fired should be closely examined, be fore the next shot, for pressure signs. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,981 Posts
Nothing really to add, but if you want a very good reading on pressures, get the A-Square reloading manual. It has a section in there that completely blows apart most of the "myths" that we have all used for way too long in regards to reading pressure signs, such as flattened primers, sticky extraction, case head expansion...
Just don't read it before you go to bed; it is very scarry reading.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,503 Posts
Would be a lot more wary of data that doesn't change over time in the same company's manual...sure indication they haven't tested that data for a long while.

Seldom go for the top loads in any caliber (the philosophy being that if I have to run one to the bursting point to get sadisfactory performance, what I really need is a differnt caliber) so seldom have any problem.
 

·
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Joined
·
24,014 Posts
I've always found the most accurate load for just about any firearm is a little below maximum suggested, anyway. The best method for me is to find a powder/bullet combination that pretty well fills the case and still allow bullet seating without undue compression. One good indication of a satisfactory load is good accuracy, longivity of brass, and ease of opening.

A warning here - some powders don't take kindly to reduced loadings. Be careful how you're using it.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top