when is load data too old?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dammitman, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. dammitman

    dammitman Member

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    I am wondering what would be a unusable load data manual due to the age of the data. i am sure that manuals from the 1970's and older would be getting pretty old but what about late 1980's and all thru the 1990's? would that be good reliable data to use? what do you think?
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    That is a helluva good question.

    Manuals change for three reasons.

    Lawyers. If the new manual has a lower load in it, because of lawyer worries, who cares. Load using the old data if you feel like it.

    Better testing equipment. New equipment lets them find out that a load they thought was producing 20000 psi in that 30/30, and was quite safe, is actually producing 60,000 psi, and it's amazing that a bunch of guns haven't blown up.

    Change in the powder formula. Few years ago they changed the formula for Unique, to make it less dirty. Is the load data still the same? Can I continue to use loads from my 40-year-old Lyman manual? I don't know.

    I don't know the answer to your question, :p, but, like I said, it's a helluva good one. :D
  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Probably, the best idea is, if the new manual's loads are much lighter than the old manual's, write the manual maker and ask why the change. If it is reason # 2 or 3, don't use the old data.
  4. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    I was always told to use the newest data I could find. Some old data is no longer available. Probly a reason for it. I have 3 Lyman manuals, and all 3 pretty much have the same info, just more as each gets newer. But, several loads show lower max loads, the newer the manual. What was safe then isnt safe now? Hard to tell. I'm sure part of the reason is that there are a lot of "cheap" firearms out there, and the data needs to be safe for them, too.
  5. Shortround

    Shortround New Member

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    This is just MY 2 cents worth, so don't take it as being gospel.

    I was going through some of my loading archives this week, since the rain prevented me from doing much of anything else, and found several interesting things.

    Referencing the Sierra # 2 manual dated 1975 AND the data in Sierra Infinity 6.01 showed that some loads were very, very close to one another while others were 4 to 5 grains difference. Throw in a Speer # 14 and things change even more. The long established powders typically varied by nomore than 1/2 grain at max load. The "newer" stuff showed more variation.

    That said, "What was considered good 5, 10, 20, or so years ago might not be good now." Yes, you may have to spend a bit of money to get different manuals, but if you shoot Speer bullets, use their load data to start with. If you shoot Sierra/Hornaday/Swift/Berger use their data until you gain the experience. There are too many variables.

    An experience last year really brought this point home. We were having a match involving National Guard personnel from all over the state. Weapons were M-16A2's and M4's, for the most part. Same lot Lake City green tips was the ammo. Early A2 conversions were tearing the rim off during ejection, later model A2's and M-4's did not have a problem. Lots of chamber marks on those early guns. Turns out that the chamber specs were slightly different thus raising pressures, a bunch. The ammo gurus were not about to suspend a bazillion rounds in this lot just because some few guns were out there giving problems.

    Use the most current data.
  6. dammitman

    dammitman Member

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    nice responces and i mean really! the reason i was asking was because i am needing and wanting as many different loads and data to try for a 45 winchester magnum pistol and many newest manuals dont even show anything for that round. i hate to order another newer manual and when it arrives, it doesnt even have ANY data for that round. i called nosler for instance and they went back for me a to an older data manual and found data but told me to use it at my own risk,(not very comforting). their newest manual doesnt show any data and i like to use their bullets. kinda leaves me in a pinch.
  7. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 Member

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    I have no data in my Lyman manuals for that, so don't buy them in hopes. I'm sure someone will have some newer data.....
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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  9. Rocket J Squirl

    Rocket J Squirl New Member

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    Im still using the load for M2 Ball.

    Im thinking it was made about 1936.

    The loads change because of the projectile advancement.

    If your using tried and true bullets, the song remains the same
  10. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    Never:)

    I don't hesitate to use older data if I use a gun in good condition, I use exactly the components called for & I start at the start load & carefully work up watching for signs of pressure. I remember to start at the start load & that no load above the start load is guaranteed to be safe in my particular gun-hence the careful working up regardless of the age of the manual.

    Your "M-2" load originated in 1940 & replaced the "M-1" load that the M-1 Garrand was developed around that ran at 50,000 psi & had a 173 grain bullet & IMR-18 powder. The new M-2 load had IMR-4895 powder & ran 2700 fps. Then in 1942 the load was increased to a pressure of 42,000 psi & a velocity of 2800 fps. This took 47-50 grains of powder depending on the particular lot of non-cannister grade powder they were using on whatever particular lot of ammo. The cannister grade powder we have available is very similar to cannister grade powder made decades ago unlike what the military has used. The Bullseye powder made today is carefully tested against a sample of the original Bullseye made over 100 years ago. Cannister grade powders are very consistent in this regard.

    I don't hessitate to use older data if I duplicate the components faithfully, make sure my gun is in good condition & I use the start load. Anything over the start load I work up carefully watching for signs of pressure-the same as I do using new data. I always remember that there's no guarantee that your gun will safely reach the max loads listed in any manual.

    I often use load data from "Complete Guide to Handloading" that was printed in 1952 & was the first manual I know of that listed pressures along with loads. This manual is my best source for loads for obsolete guns that I still want to shoot. Newer manuals don't include them. Again, I trust the "start" loads from this manual & work up if I need to get higher velocity. In most manuals those who did the testing worked up the load till they saw signs of pressure & then reduced the load by around 5% and can be from regular guns or test barrels. There is of course no guarantee that other guns will reach the max load safely.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  11. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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