max load?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jbeam, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. jbeam

    jbeam New Member

    Jul 2, 2011
    ive reloaded some 223 rounds with hodgon target. there loaded with hornady 55 gr vmax bullets. According to my hornady manuel, the max load is 26.4. but if i go on hodgons website it says 27.5c. which im not sure what the c means. and then i looked on another loading site and they say 28 grains. my plan was to load the 26.4 and measure the pressure band and make sure i wasn't getting excessive pressure. if anyone has a website or any input on this i would appreciate it. and also the max loads in the reloading books, are they usually the max you can possibly go, or the companies recommendations that you shouldn't exceed?
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    The "c" after a powder charge means "compressed". There is so much powder in the case that when you seat the bullet it squishes the powder granules together.

    With black powder you need it to be compressed.

    With smokeless, I've always heard it works best with a load using 70 to 80 percent of case capacity. That's not compressed. Whenever I've tried to load something, and the manual says, "compressed", I've changed to a different powder, so compression was not required.

    Not necessarily sayin' compressed loads are dangerous. Sayin' I don't load 'em.

  3. reynolds357

    reynolds357 Former Guest

    Oct 24, 2011
    Max load is actually rifle specific. Work up to maximum loads with caution. When you get real good at reading cases you might get brave enough to venture over them. I love Compressed loads. Compressed Rl22 is my mainstay. (not in .223 of course)
    Usually, not always, max data on a compressed load is listed as how much powder you can get in a case and seat the bullet on top of. That depends a lot on the individual rifle. I have one load I use an ultrasonic toothbrush to load.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  4. oldpapps

    oldpapps New Member

    Mr. Alpo is correct.

    Each loading test set up is going to have variables; chambers, throating, barrel and rifling differences, brass, primers, bullets seating depth and test temperatures and humidity. Each of these will have some effects on the tests and accumulation of a number of them could relate to measurable differences in what is set as 'MAX' safe loadings.
    Additionally, it is my opinion the 'The Lawyers' do have some effect on just what 'MAX' my be considered.

    As for 'C', compressed, charges. One view is a full case is more consistent. I have yet to see conclusive evidence of this. My view is having to compress the charge doesn't give me any lea way in moving to a greater loading. I also don't load just for greater velocities (any more) and want to be able to search for the best loading for each of my weapons.

    I always compare several sources for loading data and weight the listed data to give me a safe starting point. Then work to the best load/most accurate loading. As you have found wide differences in loading data, you evidently are doing the same.

    Be safe and always error on the side of safety.

  5. steve4102

    steve4102 Former Guest

    Jan 27, 2006
    Bad plan. The proper and safe way is to start low and work up to 26.4gr or 27.5gr looking for signs of High Pressure along the way. Never start at a Max load.
    Published data(manuals) are not "recipes" and they should not be treated as such. That is why they list a start charge and a Max charge and that is why data varies from one source to the next.

    As for compressed loads, I like, no I love em. I find compressed loads to be far more consistent and accurate than my non-compressed loads.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    And to add to both Alpo and Steves advice, The reason you see different max loads listed for Varget in the .223 is because the different sources use different components. Use the data that best matches your components and start at starting charge and work your way up. Dont push the envelope with reloading until you have gained enough experience to be comfortable doing it. Ill tell you a secret too, If you truly understand the power youre dealing with when you reload, then you will never really be comfortable pushing the envelope. ;)

    Unless youre a nutty wildcatter, god love em, we would have near the cartridges we have today if there werent envelope pushers.
  7. hunterfisher

    hunterfisher New Member

    Mar 3, 2010
    Just be careful when you'er playing wit max loads. It's not only dangerous, but it also can burn-out your barrel a LOT faster. I think some reloaders put to much emphasis on speed. Especially hunting loads. JMO
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2007
    Heart Of Texas
    Im with ya on that hunter, especially on this side of the planet. Most common animal killed with hunting rifles is Whitetailed deer or something very similar in size and shape. And most hunting cartridges will burn a hole clean thru them.

    All a hunter needs from his weapon to cleanly kill deer sized game is appx 500 ft lbs of energy on target. Since 99% of centerfire hunting cartridges develop more than 3 times that amount, it is my strong opinion that handloading hunters should focus on developing an accurate load, not a blazing fast one, and get good at putting that bullet on a quarter at 100 yds.
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