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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Let's try to get back to a good discussion and put the hurt feelings aside. Tit for tat isn't what we want here.

Here's my take - being a dedicated handloader, the goal is to develop as near as perfect load for a given firearm. Lots of varying projectiles and propellants will be used in doing this, plus jockeying seating depth and propellant weights. All this to provide a particular load that stays within published loading data (Lyman mostly used as they don't have a dog in this fight) and doesn't exhibit hard bolt closing/opening, prmer cup edges still round and no abnormal case appearance. In addition to that which provides the best accuracy, be it a lower velocity or higher. Also, if a hunting firearm the COAL is controlled by acceptable magazine length for proper feeding regardless of seating depth.
 

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I like reading these threads, even if I don't agree with everything, because there's usually something to learn. It's so easy to think that when you've done something a certain way over lots of years and thousands of repetitions without a mishap that it's the "best" or "only" way to do it, or that my opinion is best. I've learned that there can be a variable in the mix I wasn't aware of and it can sneak up on you and something bad happens. Smart people keep looking, listening and learning. Someone (wiser than me) said: "Humility is the hallmark of a truly educated person". As reloaders and shooters, we're messing with powerful and dangerous stuff, we should be the most reasonable and open-minded people on the planet.
 

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I like reading these threads, even if I don't agree with everything, because there's usually something to learn. It's so easy to think that when you've done something a certain way over lots of years and thousands of repetitions without a mishap that it's the "best" or "only" way to do it, or that my opinion is best. I've learned that there can be a variable in the mix I wasn't aware of and it can sneak up on you and something bad happens. Smart people keep looking, listening and learning. Someone (wiser than me) said: "Humility is the hallmark of a truly educated person". As reloaders and shooters, we're messing with powerful and dangerous stuff, we should be the most reasonable and open-minded people on the planet.
Well said.

I've been shooting LONG distance with mainly gas guns for 40 years, always end up learning something new.

It's one of the reasons I stay friends with people in the industry, especially the old Sinclair guys. Phil Hoham is exceptional and currently with Berger. Rich Machholtz at Sierra is another one. When the Sinclair guys sent me the Sinclair nuts to play with, I really was taken back at first. Humpy was a big help on that one (another user here).
 

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Sad to say there is no way to determine pressure with your load except a strain gauge that differs from CUP. Primers are not an indication at all. But sticky brass or a stuck bolt is warning you that you tread where Angels fear to tread.
A time ago the expansion ring was measured to compare to factory loads, still a good thing.
Every time I bought a new big bore revolver, I spent months doing research before a drop of powder was loaded. This is serious stuff.
Even a powder change can drive you nuts. Or a primer.
Unclenick has a lot of good info. Maybe the best.
My big problem is there is no info on some calibers so I get twisted because of safety.
 

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This thead is a little over the top, if one checked out everthing mentioned he would be overlapping and one would probably just give up handloading all together, like reading a prescription medicine warning!

Ive worked up loads for a lot of wildcats and old calibers where little if any information was available such as the 10.75x68 and a few others.

first get a base to work with, that would be a powder from a similar caliber then dosedeproprite a similar but milder version of that cases water capacity and your ready to go. The sighs will come, but be prepared to understand what they relate..The first load will be mild, and you start working up a grain at a time until you get a clue pressure is just around the cornor, to most that would be a flat primer, but primers are a poor indicator in that they can be shades or hardness or softness, so keeping the flat primer in mind go fourth where millions have gone before, the next sign could be a flat primer that has a indention around the center of the primer where the firing pen struck, so now you have another indicator of pressure but you may continue, at this point be on the look out for a black ring around the primer outside and be looking for a square shiny extractor mark on the case head, now your in no mans land and you are at least at max..My next step is to mic my case heads and no expansion there is recomended, however most of us will go to 0.005 as max allowable expansion, During this whole cluster keep in mind that sticky bolts are a sign of pressure, a crack as opposed to a boom is a sign of pressure, time to cut back a grain or two. Now using one case over and over again, but first with the second reload reisized see how the primer fits, too lose, your too warm. back off a grain, and looking for lose primers continue reloading that one case and it should, as a rule, be good for 10 to 14 loadings before case fatigue lifts its dirty head, and its time to buy a new batch of cases. and your load is max for that particular gun...I also use a Chronograph as I proceed..As you can see one pressure indicator may or may not be an accurate picture of pressure but two usually is time to back off at least a grain or proceed 1/2 gr. at a time..Like anything else you develop a since of whats serious and whats a matter of design or what got past the inspectors..When in doubt chronograph the load...Excessive case streatching in a bolt gun means your not trimming as a rule, or if your shooting a lever action is just part of the reloading process.

At any rate that's the way Ive played the game for over 60 years, and in that time I have blown a couple of primers, stuck a bolt, maybe two but one was with a reloading book load misprint.. I have separated a few cases but never damaged a gun and only once got a few little smokey curly ques in my forehead, such is the life of a hunter shooter, gun nut but its an indicator of how well our guns are built, Ive never seen a rifle blown up, only pictures and those guns were the result of stupid, like a case full of Bullseye that was left in the powder measure, and the owner thought it was H4831, You can't fix stupid..

So now you have the hard truth, that you will never read again, gun scribes stay off the subject or play it so safe as to never get involved in this pressure hand loading thing and frivolous law suits and if you feel its just too risky, stay away from working up loads, shoot book loads and not max book loads, as a couple of grains short of max will not hurt a thing,or just use factory ammo..

Ive been a handloader for so many years its scary, and I chose to do it a little bit at a time, as most have..and your on your own and flying by the seat of your pants much of the time..I don't really recommend it these days as we have so many new caliber its simply not needed and a couple of hundred FPS means nothing just go with a larger caliber, the days of the wildcat reloader are over, plain and simple, all a wildcatter can do today is try and justify his new pet that was designed 50 years ago..

some may have a different approach to the subject and disagree with my analogy and I appreciate any different view on the subject, I could get away with some additional knowledgy and **** I may have left something out!
 

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Can't disagree at all, makes good sense. Trouble today is there are so many new powders and I have read that this one is close in burn rate to that one so I will start there. Pucker city! We have all worked loads where none was on paper if we have enough calibers But I step back some until I can find something or I call the powder maker or bullet maker.
The funny one I had was with my 10" pistols, 7R and 7BR. They are rifled for heavy bullets for steel. I wanted to shoot the 120 gr for deer, NOTHING worked. I found my Varget and called Hodgdon. They got a chuckle out of it and I heard laughing in the back ground, told me it won't work.
I did it anyway and it really worked, got to 1/2" at 50 yards and the 7 BR is running 2175 fps, didn't chrono the 7R but it shoots the same groups. Clean burning with no pressure signs. I had to think but with powder that slow I did not worry much as long as I had enough. How in the world it works in the little things and short barrels does not make sense.
Primers are funny, depends on the gun. Normal loads in the .44 mag can flatten primers but even overloads in BFR's where brass got sticky had normal primers. Tighter guns will not show primer indications.
But I appreciate your post, good job.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
To UncleNick and others,

I have a new S&W M29 with some 80 rounds through it. In one range session, using True Blue, at moderate loadings (13.2 gn, 13.7 gn and 14.3 gn) -- max is 15. 3 grains) with Sierra 240 gr jacketed hollow points in new Starline cases that had been resized before loading and using Winc. LP primers I had sticky cases for some of the powder charges.
I know it's been a year, but I was rereading the thread and apparently had missed seeing your question originally.

Out of curiosity, I ran your load in QuickLOAD, and it thinks 13.2 grains of True Blue is right about maximum. Ramshot's own loading guide lists 13.2 as maximum (though it uses a 240 grain Nosler bullet instead of the Sierra). I can only conclude that Sierra somehow got hold of an extra slow lot or that the Super Blackhawk is enough beefier than than the m.29 not to show sticky extraction with their loads or some combination of the two. If their top loads were pressure tested later, then the slow powder explanation makes sense. Perhaps it was an early lot and the specification or source of the powder has since changed. There is obsolete data out there. It's the reason to check multiple sources of load data before selecting a starting load. It's also the reason you always start with the lowest bottom load and don't jump into the middle or near the top. This is the third example I've seen over the last couple of years where one load data source's bottom load turned out to be a maximum load in someone else's gun.



This thead is a little over the top, if one checked out everthing mentioned he would be overlapping and one would probably just give up handloading all together, like reading a prescription medicine warning!
Everything listed in the OP turns out to have been published as a pressure sign by someone at one time or another. It's not intended to be a checklist you go through with every load you develop, but rather to provide an overview and background for what to be aware could show up and to maybe give folks some new clues as to what they are seeing. It's also meant to show that alternate explanations exist for most of the common pressure signs under one set of circumstances or another. Knowledge is power, or, this case, allows control of power.
 

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The primer cup is the weakest link in the chain of GAS SEALS that makes the gun work. The primer cup shows the FIRST signs of excess pressure and so become the FIRST thing to check. If you pay attention to the primer condition, you'll never have to measure case heads or anything else.

If you want to know what a safe primer looks like, shoot a factory round made by the primer maker (that leaves out CCI) in a clean rifle and keep that case as a indicator. Pay closest attention to the gap between the primer and the primer pocket. When it gets as narrow as the factory round, you're just right. The gap is THE BEST indicator because other factors can affect other indicators. (Weak FP spring can cause puckered primers and a misshapen FP can cause a pierced primer totally independent of pressures.)
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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If you want to know what a safe primer looks like, shoot a factory round made by the primer maker (that leaves out CCI) in a clean rifle and keep that case as a indicator. )
Who, then, makes "Blazer" ammo? Not the bercdan primed aluminum cased stuff, but the boxer primed reloadable stuff with "Blazer" head stamps on the case that comes in boxes marked "CCI Blazer" :confused:

And then even that is not a good parameter to go by as the factory round may have too much pressure in Bill's gun and be normal in Sam's

RJ

Any reference to Bill and Sam is purely hypothetical and in no way is meant to be demeaning to ANYONE named (or nick-named) Bill or Sam
 

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Probably CCI, but I don't use CCI primers so it's moot with me! In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a brass-cased Blazer, but it would be something I skipped over anyway.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Belk, you 'n me was talking at the same time.

RJ
 

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Belk, you 'n me was talking at the same time.
That shows we don't have enough to do or the weather is bad. #2 for me.

A factory round in a factory gun is safe in Tom, Dick, Harry, Bill and Sam's gun. Notice I said CLEAN. I'll BET you can't tell the difference in pressure by examining the primer of the same caliber shot in a hundred different rifles. The primers will look the same because the pressures are VERY near the same between guns by different makes. SAAMI has done a great job in making sure that's true.

When a customer brings in a rifle showing pressure signs with factory ammo, it's time to take the copper out of the barrel. You don't even have to look at it first. Just go to work.

RE: get out more.
Remember when GHW Bush was asked about the price of a gallon of milk? I sympathized. I wouldn't know within 80% error what a gallon of milk cost....or a box of factory ammo. I don't have a single clue even though I check out EVERYTHING of interest to me on every trip to the gun shop.
I call it "Being focused on what's important." ;) When you're in full geezerhood you have to conserve brain power.
 

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A factory load is loaded on mass-assembly equipment that the non-caring guy has little control over anyway. Manufacturing is great for making a lot of things the same. Thank goodness we don't have gunsmiths filing their own taps and screws anymore!
The drawbacks are that if something goes wrong, a LOT of wrong parts or products are made in a short length of time and sometimes it's hard to tell the good from the bad. Inspecting ammo has to be much easier than fig newtons for fly parts.

I've watched production reloading with checks and test performed 'on the fly'. From IR powder level measuring to body smoothness and concentricity, primer seat depth, bullet depth and crimp are inspected and rejects automatically kicked off the line at a rate hard to comprehend. Random samples were pulled apart or shot for data.
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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A factory round in a factory gun is safe in Tom, Dick, Harry, Bill and Sam's gun. Notice I said CLEAN. I'll BET you can't tell the difference in pressure by examining the primer of the same caliber shot in a hundred different rifles. The primers will look the same because the pressures are VERY near the same between guns by different makes.
A case in point:

One of the guys I work (Sean) with got himself a Ruger Precision in 6.5 Creedmoore and was shooting FACTORY 140 grain Hornadys in it right after he got it out of the box. Every other primer failed and the ones that didn't were flatter 'n a pancake. Turns out there was a recall on the ammo but the store where he bought them (and where HIS WIFE WORKS behind the gun counter) failed to heed (or read) the email. He showed 'em to me and I told him not to shoot anymore and when I got home I got on the internet and found the recall and told him the next day, but in the mean time he'd shot the rest of TWO BOXES. Hornady refused to (as they should have) return his money or replace the ammo because he shot all he'd purchased.

Sad but true and it proves that ALL ammo made for a specific caliber is safe in ANY rifle as the exact same ammo in question fired just fine in my mate Geoffrey's Savage in 6.5 Creedmore. Geoffrey's primers looked "normal" when compared to Sean's

RJ
 

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Your friend Sean seems to have gotten a rifle with maximum headspace....or is that why the ammo was re-called because it was too 'short'?

ANYTIME there is a failure with factory ammo, STOP and find out why.

I've seen cases with no flash holes and uneven necks and even found a 25-06 in a new box of 30-06s, but I'll stand by my statements. Use (good) factory ammo in guns marked to the caliber and in good condition as a base line to work from in handloading. I trust (most) factory ammo more than I do anybody but my handloads!
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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I was told that the case of the ammo in question was too long causing the bullet to be crimped by the end of the chamber in some rifles. Sean told me this. Not sure of his source as after searching I cannot find where Hornady has recalled any 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, but they did reduce their loads as some shooters were experiencing primer failures with loads at 62,000 psi, so Hornady reduced the pressure to 58,000, then again to 57,000 psi.

RJ
 

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RJ--My most recent ANSI/SAAMI Z299.4-2015 doesn't even list the Creedmore so I can't compare case lengths with chamber lengths, but there's normally .015 to .025 clearance.
I can find no reference to any ammo being recalled, either.

I saw one of the very first Browning BARs sprung to the point of being junk from one round of factory 243 Win. but the barrel had been full of grease. (Browning found out people do NOT always read the manual first, so they prepared their guns to be shot right out of the box after that.)

As a gunsmith I'd LOVE to inspect that gun and ammo to find the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
RJ--My most recent ANSI/SAAMI Z299.4-2015 doesn't even list the Creedmore…
It's on page 39, but the drawing, like many in the current standard PDF file, is a fuzzy mess of inadequate resolution scanning.

Attached is a drawing I did for someone to show the principle difference of the 6.5 Creedmore chamber with that of a 260 Rem. It gives you some idea, anyway. I seem to have left off that the Creedmore rifling is faster and that the throat angle is smaller. I should fix that drawing.

There was, indeed, a recalled lot of 6.5 Creedmore ammunition. Happens from time to time.

I once shot a number of rounds of aging National Match ammo ('64) in Garands and noted, with its poor case fill, the velocity differed about 80 fps depending whether I tilted the muzzle down to get the powder away from the flash hole, or up, to get it over the flash hole before leveling to fire. The latter was faster, of course. But it also flattened the primer, where the slower ignition even left it pretty well rounded. I wish I'd had the test gear at the time to tell what the actual peak pressure difference was, following those practices.

One exception I heard of for the primer as first pressure indicator is some revolvers, probably lighter constructed ones, have been reported to start having sticky extraction before the primer looked like it was taking too much pressure. I have no explanation for that, but also don't know the specifics.
 

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I have no explanation for that
Many revolvers have extremely rough chambers to keep the case forward and not sliding back into the recoil face. Rough chambers, especially six at at time can be hard to extract unless the gun is clean and slightly oily.
 
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