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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to start loading 30-06... IF I can find a source of suitable powder (Varget, 4895, 5340). I have successfully loaded 30-30 and I understand the basics of case resizing/length/trimming, bullet seating depth, etc.

I might want to do a reduced load for: less recoil, less wear and tear on the gun, cheaper ammo so more shooting, etc.
So my questions are:
1. What are the consequences of going BELOW the minimum load specified in the reloading manual?
2. How much below minimum can I go without having a problem?
3. Are there warning signs that I'm loading too low (or does something catastrophic happen)?

If I cannot load below minimum, how can I find a different powder that will simply give me less power?
 

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1. What are the consequences of going BELOW the minimum load specified in the reloading manual?
Squibs, pressure variations, incomplete or poor powder ignition.

2. How much below minimum can I go without having a problem?
This depends on the powder and bullets you are using. You CANNOT just keep reducing a particular powder less and less to accomplish a reduced load. Many powders have a narrow range of charge weights and can not be reduced below the posted data.

3. Are there warning signs that I'm loading too low (or does something catastrophic happen)?
Squibs for one, unburnt powder, blackened cases, blown primers are a few.

If you would like I have some reduced load data from an old Lyman handbook I can scan and send if you would like.
 

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I use IMR Trail Boss for all my light loads, in every caliber I have,... look into it, you won't be disappointed.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you HiDesertHunter. I appreciate the info. I would like a technical explanation of what is going on inside the case. I can understand how, if the powder volume was so low that the fire from the primer went over the powder instead of into the powder (i.e., case less than half full), that would cause a problem, but I don't understand why the range is so narrow. For some powders the range between min and max is less than 10 percent. WHY? Is this a very technical chemistry thing?
Anyway, I would love to get some reduced load data: [email protected] Thanks so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I use IMR Trail Boss for all my light loads, in every caliber I have,... look into it, you won't be disappointed.
I have used Trail Boss for a long time for cowboy loads in .38s and .357s but I hadn't thought of using it for rifle loads. What volume of a 30-06 case would you suggest? 80% full? That's about how much a load of standard powder would be. I know Trail Boss is very forgiving.
 

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WHY? Is this a very technical chemistry thing?
A lot of it has to do with the burn rate and density of the powder.

A very dense, slow burning powder is going to require a greater % of the case to be filled with it for complete ignition and pressure to burn properly.

Some less dense, faster burning powders can be loaded to less case capacity as they ignite easier and are less positions sensitive than slower, denser powders.

Trail Boss and Unique are two that are good examples of this and there are more as well.

I suggest you Google 'Reloading powder density' and look a a few of the sites for more technical/scientific data with regard to this.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I don't know that anyone can say for sure what all the factors are. Internal ballistics is an astonishingly complex subject.

Anyways, there's LOTS of reduced data out there, especially for cast bullets. No reason to invent the wheel again.

Good luck.....
 

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Some rifle powders will have a sever pressure spike if you go too low. Something to also note sometimes a light load will look to a novice that it had high pressure-protruded primers and sooty necks. As far as wear and tear from shooting standard pressure 30-06 loads you will have more wear from cleaning it than shooting it.
 

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I have used Trail Boss for a long time for cowboy loads in .38s and .357s but I hadn't thought of using it for rifle loads. What volume of a 30-06 case would you suggest? 80% full? That's about how much a load of standard powder would be. I know Trail Boss is very forgiving.

Use the same procedure as IMR recommends,... MAX load-to the bottom of the bullet,... MIN load-subtract 30% of MAX load.

I prefer the most velocity I can get from Trail Boss, since, even max is mild for me.

BUT,... if I don't get good groups from max, I drop down a half grain at a time until I do,... and then, fine tune (up or down) that load by .1 grain adjustments.
 

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The Shadow
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Thank you HiDesertHunter. I appreciate the info. I would like a technical explanation of what is going on inside the case. I can understand how, if the powder volume was so low that the fire from the primer went over the powder instead of into the powder (i.e., case less than half full), that would cause a problem, but I don't understand why the range is so narrow. For some powders the range between min and max is less than 10 percent. WHY? Is this a very technical chemistry thing?
Lee has some very good data and a formula for the powders that behave well with very reduced loads.

Yes it is complex, as Mike said. But the Gist is, how the powder behaves at low pressure. When you open a manual and see the load data (start to max), those loads all pretty much fall within a narrow pressure range. Above or below those ranges, and unexpected or very bad things can happen.


Cheers
 

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I'm going to start loading 30-06... IF I can find a source of suitable powder (Varget, 4895, 5340). I have successfully loaded 30-30 and I understand the basics of case resizing/length/trimming, bullet seating depth, etc.

I might want to do a reduced load for: less recoil, less wear and tear on the gun, cheaper ammo so more shooting, etc.
So my questions are:
1. What are the consequences of going BELOW the minimum load specified in the reloading manual?
2. How much below minimum can I go without having a problem?
3. Are there warning signs that I'm loading too low (or does something catastrophic happen)?

If I cannot load below minimum, how can I find a different powder that will simply give me less power?
 

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hay i am new to the site you can use light bullet for less recoil, and still have 3200 fps. Reloader 15 good
 

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Hodgy recommends H4895 for reduced loads. I don’t know whether they will continue to do so now that the Australian Thales plant is out of production, but they’ve recommended it for years.

Accurate has lots of reduced data with A5744.

Speer’s manuals always had reduced loads with a couple now-discontinued IMR powders, if you have some old stock. I think it was 4759 they listed for the ‘06, but I may recollect incorrectly.

Unique can work if you want.

Trail Boss was already covered.

Vihtavuori’s Tin Star may be a good alternative to Trail Boss. Not sure they have data for this app.
 

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There is no minimum load, no matter what Lee calls it. It is a starting load-- a 10-12% drop from max load that is considered a safe place to start load development with a mix of guns and components.
You can reduce loads as long as bullet exits barrel; however, as you move down you should also move to faster powders.
 

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The “warning sign” the OP wants to indicate a too-light load is a stuck bullet. Lots of good advice above.

Note: protruding primers and sooty necks are both signs of low pressures, not high.



.
 

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What volume of a 30-06 case would you suggest? 80% full?
I've used Trail Boss for fireforming brass and practice loads for ?? years. Everything from .223 to .375 H&H. I use the lightest bullet available for the caliber, and the '06 works great with Speer 100gr Plinkers and 110gr SP/HP bullets. If you can find a supply, 115 grain Magnus cast bullets are excellent. All rounds for rifles look the best at 95%-99% load density. A charge that's touching the base of the bullet when dropped, settles to < 100%, and you can hear that when you shake the loaded round. Many rounds loaded at 60%, (minimum) to 80% will not fully expand the brass and you get a lot of smoke and ash on the brass, accuracy is erratic and poor most of the time.

The big advantage with TB, is the barrel barrel heats up, even with a fairly rapid rate of fire. You can shoot lots, without worrying about toasting the barrel. Most loads are accurate enough to bust an egg at a 100yd offhand shoot.
 

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The big advantage with TB, is the barrel barrel heats up, even with a fairly rapid rate of fire. You can shoot lots, without worrying about toasting the barrel.
Yikes, sorry. That should read NEVER HEATS UP. :(
 

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Hodgy recommends H4895 for reduced loads. I don’t know whether they will continue to do so now that the Australian Thales plant is out of production, but they’ve recommended it for years.

Accurate has lots of reduced data with A5744.

Speer’s manuals always had reduced loads with a couple now-discontinued IMR powders, if you have some old stock. I think it was 4759 they listed for the ‘06, but I may recollect incorrectly.

Unique can work if you want.

Trail Boss was already covered.

Vihtavuori’s Tin Star may be a good alternative to Trail Boss. Not sure they have data for this app.
if don't mind recoil shoot 4350 50.0 gr. 120 gr. bullet
 

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Look in your reloading manuals or look on manufacturers web site load data centers for reduced loads . H4895 has a simple reduced load formula .
Cast lead bullets have been used for reduced loads ... Lyman has two reloading manuals, the 50th Anniversity has some and Lyman Cast Bullet Manual #4 is all cast data .
Western Powders - Accurate 5744 has reduced loads on load data site , free New and expanded load data guide edition 7.0 and their new big extensive Reloading Manual .
Reduced Loads are out there , find them and stay with published data .
There are some powders that you should not reduce ... yes bad things have happened .
When fooling with reduced loads the thing to look for is a bullet that gets stuck in the bore , you hear a noise , feel a light recoil and don't see a hole in the target ...STOP , you might have a stuck bullet ... fire again and bad things could happen ... bring a range rod with you to get the stuck bullet out ! You are NOT going to shoot it out with the next round fired !
Gary
 

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Western Powders - Accurate 5744 has reduced loads on load data site , free New and expanded load data guide edition 7.0 and their new big extensive Reloading Manual .
Reduced Loads are out there , find them and stay with published data .
Great suggestion. Too bad there isn't any out there.

Finding load data = easy. Finding powder = not so easy. :(
 
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