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New to reloading. I have read many books, Hornady, barns, Hogdon etc. every book is adament about not exceeding the max load for any given cartridge. example 140g spitzer bullet loaded w/ H414 powder, every book give a different max load. Which max load do you follow???
 

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I tend to go to the book of the bullet manufacturer of the bullet I'm going to use and start my load workup there. Sometimes that's not possible, and you'd have to have a lot of books. Some manuals don't list some of the powders, so I'll look at other manuals that do. But the key is, start down at, or near the starting loads and work up, and, there is no rule that you have to get to the max listed loading. Your gun may very well tolerate going over a max load from one manual, but not being past max from another manual, but you really want to be careful when you're swimming those waters.

Also, keep in mind that if you work up your loads on a 50F day and everything appears fine, that same load could cause you trouble on an 80F day.

Welcome, and good luck in your new hobby.
 

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Every gun is different and loads worked up in different guns will always vary. Also the primers and the powder lot can make a big change in results. That is why you should always start below recomended max and work up from there. I have found that a little below max is usually more accurate anyway.
 

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New to reloading. I have read many books, Hornady, barns, Hogdon etc. every book is adament about not exceeding the max load for any given cartridge. example 140g spitzer bullet loaded w/ H414 powder, every book give a different max load. Which max load do you follow???
Every bullet of "X" caliber, and "Y" weight is unique.
The jacket material is different.
The amount of bearing surface is different.
Variations in brass can be significant.
If you look closely the, primers are very likely different.

I think there's a bit of slack on the absolute values for all of the variables. If you use "book" numbers it's very likely you won't hurt yourself, your gun, or the guy next to you.

Handloading is a user dependent responsibility. Exceed the recommended loads, you're on your own. Without a lot of experience, the "on your own" part can be a problem.
 

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By and large, I've found the Lyman reloading manuals to be the most helpful. There's an extensive collection of past and current manuals by all the big guys on my shelf and, yes - you're right. The maximum recommendations do differ.

Lyman will list all the material used in developing their loads and the type of firearm or apparatus used to determine their recommendations, plus give both pressures and velocities attained. This includes powders, primers, bullets and cases. Since they have no axe to grind regarding their manufacture of such, I tend to go along with them. The only time they get company oriented is with loads using cast bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you for your responses. I am safety minded, and do not intend on exceeding the book loads. Just wasn't sure which book might lead me into unsafe territory. i think ill wait to fire my work up loads till i get a chronograph.
 

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A chronograph is a very prudent investment.

I refer to three manuals. First and foremost, I'll follow the bullet maker's manual - bullets have a great deal of influence on the load's performance. Next, I'll crosscheck with the powder maker's manual. Powder makers generally test several bullets and print the data for the bullet that produced the HIGHEST pressures - because every other bullet came in lower and safer. Finally, I'll double check with an independent publisher: Lyman.

If any major discrepancy shows up between the manuals, I'll research before I load. Typos do happen, other errors creep in - and like the bumper sticker says, Shirt Happens.
 
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