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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting ready for range day. It's gunna be the first time this year we will be shooting, so I want to have plenty. I'm making more 300 win mag rounds working my way up to find a good load. I'm loading a compressed load and while I'm seating the bullet I'm hearing crunching of the powder. Is that normal? It just kinda makes me feel like I put too much in when I hear that noise. Gunna shoot both 9mm's, the 22 that my son just bought after selling his SW M&P 15/22. He bought the ruger 22 take down, the carbine one with the wood. And the savage 300 win mag. So we will have a long day. But that noise, is it normal to hear it, while seating a bullet if its a compressed load?
 

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I really try to stay away from compressed loads, myself. But to try to answer your question, I am going to guess that it is a normal sound to hear, but you must have some really good hearing!

As I just said, I try not to do it BUT today I loaded up some 7.62X39 and with 27.1 grains of IMR 4895, which is the only powder that I have that will work with them. It turned out to be a slightly compressed load. I did 20 of them and quit, I will not load any more until I can find some powder that I don't have to compress.

I made a list of every powder that I can load in them. I will go over to my LGS tomorrow to see if they have ANY of them.
 

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yes. you are compressing the powder. only stick powders crunch. its perfectly normal and as long as you are following proper load procedure youll be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well I was using H1000 and its a pretty big and thick extruded powder. It sounded like stepping on potatoe chips. Pretty loud. I just heard that some of the most accurate loads are compressed, at least that's what some guys here at TFF have said. Yeah I measured it very good and accurate so thanks.
 

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They are. compressed loads are generally very very consistent. problem is there is very little room for error. Everything must be exact and carefully assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Ok I'll wait and use them last if I can find a accurate load with a smaller load ill stay away from max and wait till I get some more time under my belt before going max. They are all 3.34" crimped with the lee FCD all look good, but ill take your advice first. Thanks JLA
 

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AR guy:

I too avoid compressed loads. There are tons of powders out there that do not end up with a compressed load.

Then there is the correct approach to reloading with any new components: start low and work up. If the load is already compressed how are you going to work it up? Or did you start at the Max load or a load given to you by someone and it is not out of a manual. If the either of those is true DO NOT SHOOT THOSE RELOADS. Be safe and start at the staring load from a manual or from a manufacturer's Web page. BE SAFE!!!

LDBennett
 

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Like Josh and LD said, I usually tend to stay away from compressed loads too.
But...I DO tend to prefer a load that is very near 100% load density (when the powder takes up all the free space in the case that isn't occupied by the bullet in the neck).

I do have one compressed load for the .257Roberts that is a very consistent accurate load in one particular rifle. That load is the one exception in my loading notebook at the moment.
It was worked up by the previous owner but I backed off and worked up to it again myself since it is a max +P .257 load. The accuracy and consistent velocity didn't fall back into place until it's 0.5gr into compressed territory.

Needless to say, if you're running compressed loads you need to keep all of your components the same...changing brands of cases or even lots of brass can change the internal volume enough to cause a big change in how a compressed load performs. This is part of the smaller margin for error that Josh mentioned.


Like a compressed load, one that is just a bit under 100% density will give little room for powder shift in the case and generally still give you good consistent results.
I don't know if there are any scientific test results out there that show it though. It's just one of the methods that I learned by my local resident "old farts" when I started reloading and it has almost always worked for me.

BTW...you can hear ball powders crunching together too. No where near as loud as an extruded powder and you'll more likely feel it when you're seating the bullet rather than hear it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No, no one gave me these. I made them I started at min. 76grs. And made 77, 78, 79, 80 and max 81grs. (3) each for groups. I used H1000. After all you guys said I probably won't even bring them to the range. The only different component I used were the shells. So with that being said, Ill just dismantle and reuse the parts. Like I said above ill wait till I get more time under my belt before I go close to max. But I will go shoot the others and have a good time. I'm sure there's a good load with a lesser charge. Just gotta find it the tune it up. Thanks all.
 

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Heard that crunching sound myself when I was loading 4-5 different bullets with the same low end min load of 8208 & BLC2 for some 308s in Lapua brass. I asked myself why with min load? Then I got out Hornady OAL sticks and tried every bullet out in the chamber to find out where ogive length was. Of course all the bullets had ogive at different places which would affect seating depth. Then I noticed that some of the same exact bullets outta the box were not consistent, would vary by 50-60 thousands when I used OAL guage. When you are attempting to work up a load so you end up .020 off lands, I guess that might be a problem? I'd check like 10 different bullets, and 8 would be within 2-3 thousands and 2 would be 50 thousands less (where the ogive was on the bullet). I even checked the shorter ogive lengths several times to be sure it wasn't operator error, ha. So that got me wondering? I found the Barnes TTSXs to be very repeatable and close. The Speer grand slams were all over the place. The over run nosler partition spitzers were very close, but the same caliber protected points (which were seconds) were way off. So, it got me wondering if it dummy me doing something wrong or do some bullet manufacturers quality control need some improvement?

Should I start checking every new bullet as I pull it outta the box for ogive with the mitotoyo? Anybody else ever notice this?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The only compressed load was the 81 gr. All below 81 gr. are not compressed. At least 81 was the only one with the c next to it.
 

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if it came out of the manual.. and the only one the manual stated was compressed was the 81.. and that's what you observed.. all uncompressed except your 81 that went crunch. i'd say things are looking normal.. minf you.. I rarely load a max load . I get close.. but generally not max.
 

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Zhurh:

I would not expect premium bullet like Sierras, Speers, Hornady to be inconsistent but I don't measure them. I reload for most bolt guns just off the lands. "Seconds", who knows. I have had bulk Remington's have the cannalure in different places in the same bag of bullets but those are not premium bullets.

Bullets are made in automated machines that have to be set up for specific calibers/cartridges. I would not be surprised at variation between lots made on the same machine but it may be they mix lots and are not that consistent in a box or bag. Then there is the high volume they are currently operating at with the hoarding for components and ammo that is currently going on. Quality is hard to maintain when everyone setting up the machines is tired from too much overtime or having to work night shifts when they are day persons. In general buying bullets produced in this time period is risky, I guess.

I have many guns in which the OAL is dictated by the magazine or long chamber that leave too much of the bullet hanging out of the case when setup to be just off the lands. Those guns get the book OAL. Only a few of my bolt guns get the "off the lands" OAL. I have not had any problems with random hard bolt closure over the last 25 years but today it may be that the quality of anyones bullet is in question (???).

So... You may be forced to measure and sort bullets, especially if you are seeing 50 to 60 thousandths differences.

LDBennett
 

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Ive gone well over max before. One example in particular was with a .308 I was experimenting with back when Alliant first released the Power Pro line. I was loading 2000MR and 175 gr sierra matchkings. Listed max for that bullet was 47 grains. I load to 50 before I got a loose primer pocket. Avg velocity at 50 gr charge was 2985 fps with a 175 gr bullet out of a 26" barrel. That's just about 300 Winmag velocity yet I had very little signs of excessive pressure, and the only obvious sign was loose primer pockets after just 2 load cycles.

Careful doing it none the less tho. This is just an example to show that if done properly and careful, one can load into the forbidden zone safely so long as they mind those pressures and proceed with EXTREME caution.
 

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JLA:

So you are advocating overloading cartridges?

To the rest of you:

Without the proper pressure measuring equipment the home reloader should NEVER EVER load beyond the listed loads in reloading manuals or as found on manufacturer's web pages. You could get lucky and you and the gun survives but then again you could damage the gun or find yourself in the hospital with very damaged body parts.

Safety is paramount in reloading. I have seen a few mis-steps by otheres in reloading and it is not pretty. Follow the manuals! BE SAFE !

LDBennett
 

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trailboss is one that doesn't like / specify compressed loads. in fact says NOT to compress.. etc.
 
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