Load data for HSM frustration

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by rocklinskier, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    No offense taken. Do have fun with reloading and be safe.

    For cast,swaged, or plated loads you pretty much do not have to take into account the shape of the bullet but that is NOT true for jacketed bullets. Jacketed bullets are a lot harder for the powder load to move down the barrel. That resistance to movement allows the pressure to build more and can become excessive behind some bullet designs. Do follow the recipes for jacketed bullets and carefully work the loads up. That goes for handguns and rifles.

    Also, you rarely find two manuals that will agree exactly on a recipe. Since all guns are different, all pressure test barrels suffer the same. There is no one source for the testing. Each publisher of the reloading manuals uses data from their test barrel so the recipes differ slightly. Publishers of reloading manuals make sure the loads they list are safe for any industry standard gun but the differences need to be considered. Regardless, use the starting loads and work them up watching for signs of excessive pressure, Never exceeding any listed load maximum. Be wary of "old hands" that think the max's are there as starting loads. They'll never tell you how many guns they have hurt with that approach.

  2. rocklinskier

    rocklinskier New Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    Sounds like logical, good advise.


  3. mgatc

    mgatc New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Florence, SC
    Being relatively new to reloading, I've been very intrigued by this thread.

    I too shoot plated bullets in order to be able to shoot more and save money.
    I have read three of the plated manufactures (HSM, Ranier, Berry) load data. I was surprised at the lack of definitive recipes for their products. I too poured over my manuals trying to interpolate the instructions
    against the vague ones provided by the bullet makers.

    Some might argue that the information provided is definitive. It may be for an experienced loader. For someone just starting, there seems to be a large margin for error if good judgement is not applied. Beginning reloaders do not have the experience necessary to have developed this good judgement. It almost boils down to guesswork which I think we can all agree is not a good practice.

    What would be the reason the manufactures' would not test and develop specific load data for their products? I am sure there is some expense involved but overall it would appear to be in their best interest from a marketing, and perhaps liability, standpoint to do so. I know that I would have a great deal more confidence in buying/using a certain product if definitive data were available.

    I don't know how the business works but wouldn't a powder maker be interested in promoting their product to be used with these rounds and assist in creating recipes? Anyone here that works in the industry?

    Food for thought,

  4. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    Cast, swaged, and plated bullets come in many, many shapes and sizes. There are literally hundreds of small cast bullet makers that sell their bullets all over the USA. Lyman, Lee, RCBS, and others make hundreds of different bullets mold for home casters. No reloading supplier can afford to test all possible combinations including various alloys. It turns out that for handgun loads using cast, swaged, or plated bullets it is not that critical. That is because the lead bullets without jackets all leave the barrel of the guns fast enough such that they all pretty much produce the same velocity for the same weight bullets in the same caliber. "Cast Bullet" loads are pretty universal and normally as long as the sizing is within industry limits, they work for all shapes of bullets of the same weight. (This is not true of jacketed bullets!) Another factor is cast, swaged, and plated bullets are almost always loaded to much lower velocities than jacketed bullets or gas checked cast bullets just to avoid terrible leading of the barrel and to assure any kind of accuracy.

    The reloading manual cast bullet load for a specific weight bullet and cartridge can be safely used for virtually all cast, swaged, and plated bullets. For more cast loads RCBS, Lyman, and LEE publish manuals are the places to look. When it comes to jacketed handgun loads then you need to match components much more closely to the recipes in reloading manuals. Different manufacturer's same weight bullets may have very different recipes because some jacketed bullet are much harder to push through the barrel fast enough to keep the pressures in tow. A review of several manuals when comparing jacketed loads for the same weight of a cast, swaged, or plated load will reveal how far apart they are in load levels with the "Cast Loads" being pretty mild.

    This discussion is for handgun loads and may or may not apply to rifles. Some of it applies for cast bullets in rifles but not that many of us use cast bullets in rifles. Most of us use jacketed bullets for which you must follow the recipes much more closely, using the recipes for the particular manufacturer's bullet unless the manual states otherwise.

    New reloaders should make every attempt to use the components listed in the reloading manuals. There are too many variables in reloading to get wrong. To get good results immediately follow the manuals exactly.

  5. mgatc

    mgatc New Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    Florence, SC
    LD, nice informative post.

    I am only using the plated stuff in the .40 and .357 where the volume necessitates using lower cost products. Published FPS in the LEE manual is around 900 using Unique.

    Are there jacketed bullets available that are comparable in cost to plated?

  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    I have not searched the web for best prices but generally the "Bulk" Winchester and Remington jacketed bullets are less expensive than other jacketed bullets and of course can be driven to full power loadings.

    The pricing from top to bottom goes: premium jacketed bullets, Bulk jacketed bullets, name brand (Hornady, etc.) swaged bullets, plated bullets, local caster's cast bullets, home cast bullets with gas checks, home cast bullets.

    I rarely if ever use plain cast bullets any more. For target shooting I generally use plated Rainier bullets or for my semi-autos use the Bulk bullets. I have not tried any other plated bullets because my source only stocks Rainier plated bullets. I have to use full wad cutters (cast or swaged ?) from Hornady for my vintage S&W Model 52 that shoots 38 Special but it is one of many handguns that I target shoot with. Other than that I just don't buy cast bullets anymore. I don't cast my own (been there, done that, don't like to do that!).

  7. Coyote_Hunter_AZ

    Coyote_Hunter_AZ New Member

    Dec 16, 2011
    Glendale, AZ
    Lee has data (that comes with their die {also available Seperately}, for 38 Special and 357 Magnum, Lead, Plated, and Jacked 125gr .357 bullets, including min. OAL

    So...lets put an end to this "there is no load data for plated 125gr bullets", THERE IS!

    If you reload, you should have a cornograph to to verify that your loads are "in the ballpark".

    Loads for lead and plated bullets are not critical like trying to get maximum velocity with jacketed bullets. Note that most load given for lead bullets have velocities around 800 - 1100 ft/s. That is to keep leadding of the barrel to a minimum. Not because they will exceed maximum pressures. Lead/plated bullets need enough powder to push the bullet out of the barrell so that the next round doesn't fire into an obstructed barrel. They also need to limit the powder to keep the velocities low enough to prevent/reduce barrel leading. A 357 Maggnum will take the powder load/pressures to push a jacketed 125gr bullet to 1800 ft/s. I don't think the gun will go KaBoom as long as you don't try to load lead/plated bullets like you would jacketed bullets.
  8. oldgunfan

    oldgunfan Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    I have some berry's 125grn FN plated 38spl that I have loaded with very good results they don't have a crimping groove so I just made a good guess, just don't crimp them very hard. 4.5grns W231- cci-500 primer 1.430 C.O.L
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