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#509073 - 11/27/07 08:55 AM Safe reloading pressures?....
tndrbstr
16 Point


Registered: 10/06/05
Posts: 12157
Loc: knox co tn

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In the thread about the boy getting injured with the hand loads in the general forum there is repeated referance to being on the look out for signs of excess pressure. Just what signs of pressure start to develope that signal someone that the maximum limitations are being pushed? Other than an obvious catasrophic faliure? Hard case ejection, primers being unseated, shoulder fractures,....?
Then there are comments about specificly developed tested or proven reloads that should be used just for the single firearm they are developed for. I have always read to NEVER try reloading without the books that dictate loads, combinations, and specs that are proven reliable and safe. I would think that staying within this guideline that any combination (within the books guidelines) would safe for any rifle that is in sound working condition. I guess on this question I am asking, are some of these specific loads outside the parimiters of the guides but still deemed safe due to things like the chamber depth,ect.... of individual rifles because of varied machineing tollerances and such?

Although I used to reload all of my shot shells in the day,I don't load my own ammo for my hunting rifle. Honestly, to me other than the added satisfacton of developing and shooting my own make-ups I can't see the advantages, with my shooting abilities, over the hornadys that I always buy off of the shelf. They have always been extremly consistant shooters. But I do understand the satisfaction that comes from the extra personal involment that contributes to the enjoyment of the activites we persue. Its kinda like makin my own beer I guess.... \:\)

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#509106 - 11/27/07 09:29 AM Re: Safe reloading pressures?.... [Re: tndrbstr]
Worm
18 Point


Registered: 09/06/00
Posts: 21700
Loc: Huntingdon, Tn

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Personally I always look up loads in several books then search the bullet manufacturer and powder manufacturer on the internet. I always start a load at the minimum working up 1/2 grain or so toward the maximum.
Each round removed I give the primer a good look. Looking for a crater around the primer, primer indention flattening out from pin strike and primer backing out. Usually when you see a small melted crater around where the firing pin strikes you know it is time to stop.

Only one powder on the bench at a time.
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#509411 - 11/27/07 01:53 PM Re: Safe reloading pressures?.... [Re: Worm]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5027
Loc: Mississippi

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Usually, for me it goes in this order (although not necessarily... some guns will skip one or two steps!)

flattened primer, then primer cratering, then ejector mark on case head, then sticky bolt lift. Fortunately, modern rifles are capable of handling significantly higher pressures than maximum without failing (for at least a few shots).

For a rifle to completely detonate and injure the shooter, a MAJOR error had to have occurred in either the manufacturing process of the rifle, or in a major screw-up in the reloading process (wrong powder, wrong caliber, wrong bullet, etc). I tend to use powders producing load densities of around 90-100%, so even if I crammed the case full of an appropriate powder, the entire gun should not detonate.

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#509430 - 11/27/07 02:02 PM Re: Safe reloading pressures?.... [Re: tndrbstr]
Tiny
16 Point


Registered: 02/09/02
Posts: 17732
Loc: Knoxville

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Tndrbstr,

Reloading compares to cooking in some ways the Reloading Manuals are ones Recipe Book.Change any part of the recipe you will change the results,ie Brand of casees,primers & bullets,seating or overall loaded length,and the Firrearm being used in.All reasons for the "Start Low and Work Up" one reads in the manuals the gun rags fine print or around here.

The Data or Recipes listed in the Reloading Manual are kept within SAMMI specs for the listed calibers,and should be ok for most firearms of the same,same as the ammo makers.However since no 2 firearms are the same,powders vary in burning rate form lot to lot one should always "Start Low and Work Up",as just because its a listed load dosen't make it 100% safe.

High Preesure Signs are Sticky Bolt Lift or Extraction from the chamber outside the norm for the firearm.Flating of the primers,Shinny or Brght marks on the Case Heads are those that show up most often frist.

I have encountered one or more of the above before even inside the Listed Data and believe it or not with Factory Loads.

You mentioned the repeated use "developed for a specfic firearms". That is what all of us reloaders around here do for the most part.Were generaally looking for the most accurate load recipe we can find for a specfic firearm.This load may or may not be good or safe in another of the exact same make and model.Reason we start low and work up as well as Double Check the data shared.While one of us may find we can go outside the data another may find it hard to get to the middle of the road.

I hope this helped,you have good ol common sense about reloading. ;\)

BTW Factories sometimes have goofs on there ammo as well.
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#509441 - 11/27/07 02:14 PM Re: Safe reloading pressures?.... [Re: megalomaniac]
Whelen Man
TnDeer Old Timer
8 Point


Registered: 03/12/99
Posts: 2327
Loc: Athens, TN, USA

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Remember, just because a load is listed in a reloading book that doesn't mean it is safe in your rifle. Those manuals list starting loads and maximum loads and always instruct all loaders to begin with the starting load and slowly work up to the max load while watching for signs of pressure. Some rifles or load combinations reach that before others. Never begin with a book listed maximum load if you value your head. I always load within book values since they have better means of testing pressure than I but that doesn't mean I load all rifles to the maximum listed load. Some peak out sooner and become dangerous. The factorys load slightly anemic just for safety's sake.

Some modern factory loads are hard to beat by reloading and others are run of the mill. Most factory cartridges have a wide range of velocities from different cartridges within the same box. Good reloads can reduce that variation by a factor of 3 or 4. That equates to high and low shots at long range. Some load combinations just shoot much better out of some rifles. I've got a 22-250 that shoots inch and a half groups with factory ammo but shoots one-quarter inch groups with handloads. That's one reason why I handload. Also, I tend to go for the obscure cartridges and the only way I can get ammo is by producing it myself.

Of course if you're shooting deer at not over 100 yards though the whole things a moot point. It's a big target with a lot of room for error. It's all about what you want.
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