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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/10/2010 4:39:25 PM EDT
When working up a load, how often do you end up @ the published max load? -How often do you end up below the published max? -How about above the published max? -It seems from what I've seen on here most people generally end up with a few tenths of, or even slightly above the published max, and that the general concensus is the more velocity the better. The working up part seems mostly to be a safty issue to prevent you from accidently going to hot when trying a new load or to see just how far you can push it. The only exception I can really find is with large pistol cal.'s used for target shooting, where people are trying to minimize recoil.

Thanks!
jtr
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 5:04:49 PM EDT
Approximately 80 % of the time velocity obtained is LESS than published data. One reason is shorter barrel length than they use to test the published data. Another can be cases used with different internal capacity or different primers I use versus what they tested with. And my biggest complaint is it seems some data sources can't be factual and probably lawyer approved. I get disappointed by data sources that are not even close to my results while I'm pleased when data actually is very close to my results. Bad thing about having a chronograph, it tells the truth. Before having a chrono I just assumed that what I loaded gave me a certain published velocity. Most of the time velocity is LESS.
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 6:05:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2010 6:05:26 PM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 9/10/2010 11:04:29 PM EDT
Rifle - near top end on 308 - over on 223

Pistol - 45 it ranges - over on 9mm


But I work up everything on pistol - generally start midway on rifle as 308 don't seem to shoot very accurate below 85% capacity

Link Posted: 9/10/2010 11:27:48 PM EDT
The difference in load data for 6.8SPC and the newer 6.8SPC-II is greatly different and my loads are as much as 3gr's over the max listed SAAMI data and most of the time shoot the best, same with .223 but not quite so much, Pistol I play it safe and start at the very least and work up until I find one that shoots good, I dont care what the velocity is in my Pistol rounds because of the range of use so I have never even ran one across my chronograph.

Link Posted: 9/11/2010 12:24:20 AM EDT
usually my loads are about 3/4's of the way from min to max loads
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 8:46:51 AM EDT
It depends. If the load is strictly for paperpunching then it's usually at midpoint or lower, especially for handgun. Anything for hunting or defense is right at max or sometimes over. The loads in manuals seem to be conservative and attorney approved for CYA. I still have my loading manuals from the 70's and even back then recommended powder charges varied (for the same bullet) among the publishers with Hornady often showing heavier charges.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:47:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By LtBlue425:
It depends. If the load is strictly for paperpunching then it's usually at midpoint or lower, especially for handgun. Anything for hunting or defense is right at max or sometimes over. The loads in manuals seem to be conservative and attorney approved for CYA. I still have my loading manuals from the 70's and even back then recommended powder charges varied (for the same bullet) among the publishers with Hornady often showing heavier charges.


This.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 10:55:34 AM EDT
It just depends. My auto pistol loads are usually about 3/4 up the table. most of my rifle loads are at max or near.


.44 mag is the only "magnum" handgun I have right now, and I have some very hot loads that I have worked up that are safe in my gun, but above what you can find published.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 2:46:22 PM EDT
I have a couple of rules I use that my chronograph helps me establish.

Uncharted territory requires a work up from below. Meaning new cartridge, different bullets or new powder. I start rifles just under the midway point listed by the "bullet's manufacturer".

All handgun loads start lower.

Never exceed published maximums as listed by the bullet manufactuer.

Never exceed the maximum velocity as listed by the bullet manufacturer. I take barrel length into consideration. I have several 24" and 26" .223 and .308 rifles that the loads get run through first.

Some powders have a history of unpredictability, Blue Dot comes to mind. I popped primers with starting loads in .41 Magnum and velocities were equal to the listed maximums. Just think if I would have jumped in head first.
Link Posted: 9/11/2010 9:28:35 PM EDT
I like to look at several published sources and average them out for a better handle on maximum. This seems to work well.
Hunting loads for me usually end up around the maximum level. Magnum handgun loads are usually a bit lower. Cartridges like the .45 ACP and .38 Special, which are low pressure loads to begin with, end up at the upper end of the data. I usually try to end up at factory level velocity which tends to be around the manual maximums. In fact, keeping an eye on duplicating (or not exceeding) factory velocity is a good idea with any load (providing you are using powder of a proper burn rate) - but you really need a chronograph to know for sure.

There certainly are exceptions and variations among guns. My S&W 686 .357 Magnum will not take maximum loads. You need to back off published loads by at least 1.0 grain with that gun. It was a mystery until I got a chronograph and found out that 1 grain or so less than maximum gave maximum velocity. So that can happen with some guns and illustrates why we work up to maximum.

One .243 original Ruger M77 easily handles maximum + loads. At "book" maximum this gun gives way less than maximum velocity when chronographed. I have later learned that those older pre-MkII Rugers had outsourced barrels - many of which had unusually long throats. Mine is one of those. I tend to seat the bullet out further and the long throat tends to bleed off some pressure before the bullet engraves the lands.

Another original Ruger M77 - .270 Win has a normal throat and my loads are 0.5 to 1.0 grains under averaged book max. This just illustrates possible rifle differences - even with the same brand/model.

There are also certain gun/cartridge combinations that are special cases wherein experienced reloaders often exceed published maximums. Virtually always these are older cartridges like 6.5x55 Swede, 7x57mm Mauser, 257 Roberts in modern strong commercial bolt actions. Another example is the .44 Special in a Ruger Blackhawk or the .45 Colt in the same gun. The low pressure "maximum" data for this pair is often exceeded by experienced reloaders in the strong Blackhawk revolver.

You certainly need to put thought and research into your reloading - and be able to analyze results - and swallow your pride when the facts disagree with your ego.
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