New vs Old Reloading Data

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by mameral, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. mameral

    mameral New Member

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    I recently started compiling the necessary equipment to reload some rifle ammo. One of the books I purchased was a 1967 Hornady handbook. I also purchased the metallic cartridge reloading 3rd edition. Well, my question is that the Hornady book has much hotter top-end loads. Does anyone have any comments on this?? Thanks.
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    I agree that older books sometimes show hotter loads. You can thank all the liability litigation for that. However, I would NEVER start out with a max load. Rule is, drop load 10% and work up from there. And this includes anyones data. Stay safe, not sorry!
  3. mameral

    mameral New Member

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    I agree with the safe rather than sorry point. Faster isn't always better. The somewhat amusing thing is that the load I was looking at, a Rem 222 is about 10% less than in the old book. Interesting, isn't it?
  4. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    I have books dating back to the early 70's when I started reloading and have always bought updated books about every 5 years. When I look up a load, I usually sort through 5 or more books, both old and new and average it out and start at about mid point between max and min and work up .5 grains at a time until I can see that the groups are shrinking and then expanding again. I will concentrate on the tightest group and work it further at .1 grain at a time until the same thing happens. I will usually load 10 rounds of each loading and go to the range and fire them all. This has always worked for me. Stay safe!
  5. mameral

    mameral New Member

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    That is a really good idea. I am not getting into reloading for more velocity necessarily, but for better accuracy. Thanks for the advice.
  6. Craig

    Craig New Member

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    I have notice the newer the book the lighter the load, generally.
  7. Ronald J. Snow

    Ronald J. Snow New Member

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    Gentlemen:

    I have been reloading for too long and have had all the manuals at one time or another. In reviewing those I have presently, I find some interesting facts.

    Those companies using rifles rather than universal receivers have more changes. Different makes, models, barrel lengths, brands of cartridges and primers make a difference too. Each brand and style of bullet contribute to the variety of factors.

    Another thing I have noticed is that the powder manufacturers have changed their formulas. I have always used IMR3031 and Unique for most of my loading. Both of these powders have had changes over the past 25 years.

    If you expect results like the manual lists it is absolutely necessary for all the components listed to be exactly the same as you are using. Change one component and the entire receipe requires change.

    In other words and in my opinion. If you see suggested powder grain weight differences, check your old manual to see what other components have also changed.

    Sorry to be so long winded. Ron
    Last edited: May 5, 2004
  8. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Ron, I absolutely agree with your statement. Make sure all components are listed and used when looking up load data. If what you are using is different, then drop the listed data 10 to 20% and then work up from there. Those that use military brass can be absolutely assured, that any manufacturers listed max load will be beyond max in your gun. This is an absolute fact and also applies to pistol brass. Military brass is THICKER than civilian brass ALWAYS! This means less case capacity and higher pressure with listed loads. Brass inner dimensions changes from lot to lot AND manufacturer to manufacturer!!
    Last edited: May 4, 2004
  9. rvance

    rvance New Member

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    I recently made up some loads from an old Speer manual for the 357 rifle, and they turned out to be the most accurate loads I'd ever tried in the 357.
    You should excercise caution with any data that is old as powder has changed over the years.
    Good luck,
    vance
  10. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast New Member

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    All of which supports my practices of producing a large quantity once I've developed a load and of buying my components in bulk.

    But while powder (especially) and other components have been modified over the years, I still believe the largest factor in the lighter loads is our good friends at ATLA.
  11. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

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    I carefully compiled load data and chronograph results with my pistols from the mid fifties on. None of my original data means anything today. Powder facilities have changed (not necessarily powder FORMULAS) to the point where some remaindered powder compared to modern powder (Unique is a case in point) is like comparing two entirely different powders. Also the differences between LOTS of powder vary more than I remember from earlier reloading.
    Thus, what I've done is to consult the powder manufacturer's loading data (it is free) and I've come pretty close to the published velocities. You have to remember what Ken Oehler has said all along: Velocity from small chronograph setups can easily vary 50 feet per seccond from velocities taken with larger and more sensitive equipment that costs a great deal more. The important thing is UNIFORMITY of your loads, not precise velocities.
    Anyway, muzzle velocities, as published, are NOT MUZZLE VELOCITIES at all, but INSTRUMENTAL VELOCITIES, taken several feet in front of the muzzle. It requires complex calculations to determine actual muzzle velocity, and for all practical purposes, instrumental velocity is adequate for amateur ballistics experts.
    It is interesting to note that in the 1960 era, Unique powder gave slightly to considerably more instrumental velocity than I read when testing loads with current lots of Unique and a much more sophisticated Oehler chronograph (I started out with a Model 10). You can draw your own conclusions on this. I chose Unique because it is one of the few powders from the earliest era of handloading that is still in production.
    Also, muzzle velocity may be as much as 35 feet per second slower than instrumental velocity due to the "wine cork syndrome", which is a very poor analogy, but understandable. You press the wine cork with two thumbs to dislodge it. The cork moves slowly up the neck of the bottle and then pops free and flies off at a much greater velocity than it attained moving up the bottle neck. Same with a projectile. Rifle bullets gain more velocity than handgun bullets and bullet shapes enter into the increase.
    Usually, all of the above is entirely meaningless to amateur ballisticians/shooters. You are looking for UNIFORMITY and GROUP.
    A very brief discussion of this velocity increase phenomenon appears...and this is the only place I ever found it...in the 1916 Savage Lewis Machine Gun Catalog, available in reprint from Riling Arms Books.
  12. houdini

    houdini New Member

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    i am allways looking for new loading data to keep up to date on whats new.
  13. knitepoet

    knitepoet New Member

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    Another reason that load data has changed (more often to the lighter side) since the early 70's is the fact that they have better, more accurate testing equipment now. Plus the change from using the crush method(CUP) to the piezo quartz(PSI) Also, in some cases SAAMI has dropped it's specified maximum pressure in some rounds (357 mag is the first one that pops in my mind)
    I read something a while back in "Handloader" magazine (I think) and they were talking about their amazement at how close some of the data was between OLD manuals and new, considering the old was mostly "seat of the pants" data while the newer has the latest and greatest technology behind it.
    Paul
  14. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

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    Knitepoet:
    It isn't at all unusual for The Handloader to publish an article that is 180 degrees out from my research. (I've been a gun writer for going on a half century.) I suspect that ambient temperatures down on that Arixzona sand pile VS the temps in the rain-soaked NW accouht for some of it.
    And, speaking of degrees, ..... I wonder how many other members of the Craft there are hereabouts other than you and me.
  15. knitepoet

    knitepoet New Member

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    There's been a few that have PM'd me ect since I started posting here:D
    Paul
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