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Thread: First Loads done!!! Now Questions

  1. #1
    Member GITDEMBARS's Avatar
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    Default First Loads done!!! Now Questions

    Ok so I've been lurking here for several months trying to wrap my brain around this whole reloading thing. I've been collecting parts and pieces since December and last night finially reloaded my first bullets. Things went smoother than I had expected, in other words I didn't cuss nearly as much as I thought I would for the first time. So now for the questions.

    1. How accurate are manuals?

    I reloaded some 225 gr 338 win mag using Reloader 19. I used the load data from the Speer #13 which states start with 74gr with a max load of 78. Once I was done I started flipping through my Lyman 48th edition it states start with 68gr with a max of 75gr. I have no interest in trying to exceed recomended loads but now I'm afraid I may be close.

    2. Does accuracy mean my fps is close?

    I still don't have a chrony but I can't wait to try these loads out. If my rifle is zeroed with factory ammo and my reloads hit in the general vacinity does that mean I'm at least close on advertised fps?

    Being this is my first try I'm really just trying to make sure my bullets leave the barrel through the right end but seeing them on paper would make me feel alot better.

    Thanks for any help you guys can offer. Also, thanks to everyone here for helping to feed this new found hoby/addiction.

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    First off, congratulations on your first batch of rounds. It is both a hobby and an addiction or an affliction...depending on how you look at it. I'm not as experienced as a lot of guys on this forum, I've only been at his reloading thing for about 10 years. With that being said, all relaoding manuals seem to be a little different. I've noticed that the Speer manuals are usually a little "hotter" than say the Nosler mauals. My best advice is to follow the loads out of the book that goes with the bullet your reloading. Start at the minimum and work up in half grain increments while checking for pressure signs.

    It's going to be hard to duplicate factory loads as far as velocity goes. They hav eaccess to powders that we can't get.

    Hope this helps.

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    Congrats! It is a warm fuzzy to poke holes with your own handloads.

    The manuals are all a little different for a number of reasons. The lot number of the powder, the internal dimensions of the chamber and barrel, how smooth the barrel and the batch of bullets, even though the same manufacturer will all affect velocity. The caveat is; These loads produced this pressure and velocity, with these components, in this gun.

    You will develop a feel for where to start and where to not go with powder charges. There is a safety margin in the data and a safety margin in the construction of the firearm. The weak link is the brass and it will let you know when you are getting into trouble. I'm not saying to ignore the charge tables in manuals, not at all, just don't get freaky about having a load that is a grain over max in manual "A" and under max in manual "B". I will tell you this, buy a manual for the bullets you are using. All bullet companies use the same old powders that we find on the shelf, they just load their own bullets, usually. (Lyman being an exception). This is the safest and best approach to loading. There are many differences in bullet construction and these factors can have a much greater effect on pressure than a grain or two of powder. Generally loads of the same bullet weight and same velocity will hit the same point of aim. Bullets of similar construction, style and weight will have the same accuracy when driven to the same velocity. A bullet of a different design but same velocity will not have the same POI. There are lots of rules but don't expect a 180 grain Sierra Spitzer to load and shoot to the same POI as a 180 grain TSX or A-frame. The data to achieve a certain velocity for a Partition and a Scirroco will also be different. Stay with the Speer manual when loading Speer bullets, etc.

    I will also say that factory ammo velocities are easily achieved and exceeded safely with handloading, with the exception of the high energy/light mag ammo. You probably can't do that with our powder. I have had the opportunity to run pressure equipment at a couple of different facilities and have learned a lot about loads and pressures over the years. There is no magic and there is no free lunch.

    You're in a good zone with those loads for the 338 Win. I have used 77.0 grains of RL-19 with the 225 grain Swift A-frame for a 2800 fps velocity from my 23" barrel and that is a moderate load for the caliber.

    This is probably a lot more fun that you ever expected!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member GITDEMBARS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    This is probably a lot more fun that you ever expected!
    Oh yea, although it took me about 3 hours to do 5 rounds (powder measurment) I was grinning from ear to ear. Struttin around the house with my chest puffed out and my "Hunter/Gatherer" look on my face.

    Now is the real hard part. I can't test fire till tomorrow if I'm lucky. So I have to chain myself to the kitchen table so I don't back out and do some more.

    Thanks for the replies, I'll let you all know (Brag) how it goes when I finially get to put them down range.

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    Default Manuals are not accurate

    Quote Originally Posted by GITDEMBARS View Post
    Ok so I've been lurking here for several months trying to wrap my brain around this whole reloading thing. I've been collecting parts and pieces since December and last night finially reloaded my first bullets. Things went smoother than I had expected, in other words I didn't cuss nearly as much as I thought I would for the first time. So now for the questions.

    1. How accurate are manuals?

    I reloaded some 225 gr 338 win mag using Reloader 19. I used the load data from the Speer #13 which states start with 74gr with a max load of 78. Once I was done I started flipping through my Lyman 48th edition it states start with 68gr with a max of 75gr. I have no interest in trying to exceed recomended loads but now I'm afraid I may be close.

    2. Does accuracy mean my fps is close?

    I still don't have a chrony but I can't wait to try these loads out. If my rifle is zeroed with factory ammo and my reloads hit in the general vacinity does that mean I'm at least close on advertised fps?

    Being this is my first try I'm really just trying to make sure my bullets leave the barrel through the right end but seeing them on paper would make me feel alot better.

    Thanks for any help you guys can offer. Also, thanks to everyone here for helping to feed this new found hoby/addiction.
    Welcome to your new obsession! <grin>

    <<My opinion>> Manuals are not meant to be accurate. The word does not really apply to them. They are a general guide meant to give you a starting point or to put you in a ballpark that is pretty much sure to be safe and close to your expectations. Your results may vary.

    The word "accuracy" is used commonly in two ways: 1) Is your point of impact close to your aiming point? 2) Are all your bullets' points of impacts all close together? (Making a nice tight group). It is possible to have a gun/load combination that is extremely accurate in one sense (a group at 100 yards that all go through one, ragged hole) and not accurate in the other sense (that nice group is 18" to the left of the bullseye).

    There is a third sense of accuracy that is not given much attention by those who don't own chronographs. Are all the bullets leaving the gun at similar velocities? While small standard deviations in velocities (all the bullets having velocities very close to their collective average) are often associated with tight groups, the relationship between group size and velocity standard deviation is not ironclad, nor well understood. The relationship between velocity standard deviation and the point of impact is very simple, but affects the vertical spread at distance because the trajectory is very much affected by velocity and this is very well understood.

    So, to answer your question "If my rifle is zeroed with factory ammo and my reloads hit in the general vacinity does that mean I'm at least close on advertised fps?" Left-right vicinity, no direct relation to velocity. Vertical vicinity, especially at a distance, ONLY WITH THE SAME SHAPE AND WEIGHT BULLETS, the answer to your question is, "yes". But not likely. Your velocity will almost certainly be different from the books' velocities.

    So, that is why you sight your rifle in with your intended loads at your intended distances. Or you can chrograph the loads and consult ballistic tables. But still, if it were me, I would sight in to make sure the tables match my reality.

    Happy shooting, careful reloading and don't pinch your fingers in your press.

    Lost Sheep (Larry)

    Last advice this message: Don't believe anything you read on the 'net (except perhaps from a source you KNOW WELL) until you verify it independently, even my posts. I am as fallible as anyone. I came by my nickname honestly.)

  6. #6
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Which 225 bullet?

    Alliant load data shows a max of 72 grains for the 225 barnes X bullet.

    75.3 for a 225 hornady.

    --
    Question 1)
    I find some load data to be very accurate. Many of the load data in the Hodgdon manual is right on for max in my rifle.

    I use one cartridge on book load books. I am able to look for data in several from companies at once. I will pick the highest load and work towards it. For me the highest I can find is going to be around max for my rifle.

    Bullet design is very important when using the load data. Do not substitute barnes x bullets for conventional bullets of the same weight.

    Question 2) Loads hitting to the same point of impact means nothing in the way of velocity. I once had a 300 mag that would put 165 speers and 165 sierras and 180 ballistic tips into the same 1" group at 100 yards. I guarantee they all were not going the same speed. I also shot a 2" 20 round group at 100 yards while working from minimum to max with a 250 Barnes X in a 338 win mag. I did not chrony those but in my experience there is about a 150 fps minimum difference between starting loads and max loads.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  7. #7

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    Congrats on "rollin' yerr own"! If the bug bites you like most of us, you could find yourself expanding your firearms battery to work with new guns and calibers just, "because".

    One of the best investments that I ever made for reloading was a chrongraph. I have found it extremely valueable for developing loads. There is no guessing what the velocity is and how changing your load, ie, powder charge, primer, seating depth, etc, effects your load. They can also keep you out of trouble because as you start to get close to a top end load, often the velocity increase, or lack of increase can and usually is a sign that you need to stop going any further. In other words as you progess from a starting load to a max load the increase in velocity is often pretty uniform, for example each grain may show an avergae increase of 50 FPS. If you increase again and you get a 90 FPS increase, something strange is starting to happen, sometimes you will see virtually no increase, again something to watch.

    It is a simple basic rule, not carved in stone of course, that it will take a certain amount of pressure to reach a specified velocity with a given bullet, powder, barrel length combination. Assuming you are looking at a max velocity listed, and you have reached that level, even though you may be a couple of grains below "max", you may well be "max" for your rifle combo. As previously stated, each gun is an individual.

    Chronographs are inexpensive today with the advances in electronics. Every reloader could benefit from using one. They cannot take the place of an actual pressure gauge, but can offer a tremendous aid in your reloading.

    A bonus to all this experimenting and shooting that you will be doing is that you will become a much better shot!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorm View Post
    Chronographs are inexpensive today with the advances in electronics. Every reloader could benefit from using one. They cannot take the place of an actual pressure gauge, but can offer a tremendous aid in your reloading.

    A bonus to all this experimenting and shooting that you will be doing is that you will become a much better shot!
    Ditto, If yer gonna reload, do it right

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    Member GITDEMBARS's Avatar
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    Thumbs up I Did It!!

    I made it to the range and all went great. I achieved my main goal which was to have to bullet leave the rifle from the right end. I also achieved my second goal which was for the bullet to make it all the way to the paper. Rounds fed right, cycled right and no signs of excessive pressure.

    Good advice on the chrony. I realize I'm basically spinning my wheels with out it. It's just a financial thing. I know I'm preaching to the choir but this is an expensive hobby to get off the ground. It is definately my next purchase and will be soon.

    High Five to all of you!! If you've contributed anything at all to this forum in the last year I've probably read it and has gotten me to this point. Thanks
    Bobby

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    Which 225 bullet?

    Alliant load data shows a max of 72 grains for the 225 barnes X bullet.

    75.3 for a 225 hornady.

    Shooting the 225 Hornady, thanks for the advise that means I'm way closer to max than I thought. Only using the Hornady because I got a deal on them. Just using what I can to grasp the process.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I bet that bullet will work well for any hunting in this state. One advantage to the 338 is that the bullets are heavy and built tough. I have not shot any bullet through the 338 that I would not use on anything in the state. I have used 200 speers, 210 noslers, 250 noslers on game and they all are great. The 338 does not shoot them so fast that bullets come apart.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by GITDEMBARS View Post
    Good advice on the chrony. I realisz I'm basically spinning my wheels with out it. It's just a financial thing. I know I'm preaching to the choir but this is an expensive hobby to get off the ground. It is definately my next purchase and will be soon.
    Don't bust yer budget, it took me about 4 yrs to get a chrony. But a chrony will definitely give you a lot of info.

    Glad things are going well for ya

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I use the Red Alpha Model Chrony.

    The F-1 model is $99

    I believe it will pay for itself by the information they give.

    Knowing which powders give the best velocity for the least amount of powder is what I like about the chrony. I also find that some powders just dont work well and I like finding out. Example is in the 300 ultra I found Retumbo to be the best for a 200 grain bullet and IMR 7828 was really slow, 200 FPS less than Retumbo, but IMR 7828 was the fastest powder for both 220's and 240's I could only know that with the Chrony.


    Working loads up is great also. While shooting the velocity may go down or just stop going up which indicates reaching the max for that load.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Welcome to the world of reloading. It's really satisfying to hunt with ammo you roll yourself. Glad to hear your range session went well. I live just down the road from ya in Moose Creek. If you wanna talk reloading or want to borrow my Pact PC squared chronograph till you get your own, just shoot me a pm.

    I plan on going to the cushman range this weekend (if the weather cooperates) to chronograph some 338 WM 225 grain Barnes X bullet loads I'm working up for my new rifle. I've been reloading since the late 80s and it's still a lot fun!

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    Something to keep in mind is the factories and bullet manufacturers have pressure testing equipment that very few on this forum (and others as well), do not have.

    I have a .223 WSSM. When I bought this last spring, I also bought two boxes of ammo to determine a baseline velocity. One box shoots almost 200fps faster than the other. All of the brass looks identical. The point being is "pressure signs" may have been a good rule of thumb in yesteryear when brass could vary tremendously in quality and hardness. Nowadays with the automation and computer control, this isn't a worry. So when you see "pressure signs", I will guarantee you you are in the danger zone.

    I own a .500 A-Square Hannibal rifle. The manual states a beginning load of 113 grains RL-15 (yes, 113 grains), for a velocity of 2,316 fps in a 26" test barrel. My barrel is 23.25" long, so adjusted velocity would be 2,251fps at a pressure of 43,000 psi. The maximum load is 118 grains RL-15 for 2467fps, and adjusted is 2402fps at 57,500 psi
    When I fired 113 grains, my velocity was 2,385 fps. And yes I am using the same bullet, the 600-grain Dead-Tough. So here I am firing the minimum load, but near max velocity. What does this tell me? I am near the max pressure of 57,500 psi. What if I had disregarded the velocity and loaded some 118 grainers? It dangerous to assume printed velocities can be "exceeded safely".

    But like has been said, "don't believe everything you see on the 'net". Just keep ypour head, and be safe.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Another factor is the barrels and guns themselves. Some rifles will shoot faster than others plain and simple.

    Two guns may shoot the same load at different velocities. The load could be over max in one rifle but fine in another. The load could be under max for both but just shoot faster in one than another.

    --

    When I work up loads over a chrony and I see this (see chart) it tells me 30 is max even though it is listed as the starting load in the manual and even though I did not get a stuck case until I reached 32.

    30--1519 I plan on trying these for groups too
    30.5--1504
    31---1501,1504,1512,1495 Then fired 6 for a group at 27 yards
    31.5---1546
    32---1561
    32.5---1617 stuck in chamber
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    Another factor is the barrels and guns themselves. Some rifles will shoot faster than others plain and simple.

    Two guns may shoot the same load at different velocities. The load could be over max in one rifle but fine in another. The load could be under max for both but just shoot faster in one than another.
    And I doubt you not a whit, but I would like to see what pressure is being generated in each rifle? That would be the telling point. A nice smooth bore should just pop that slug out like a zit, but the rough, gnarly bore would take some real squeezing, and a concomitant increase in pressure?
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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  18. #18
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Load

    My 338 Win Load

    225gr

    Reloader 19 @ 75.1
    WLR primer not mag primer
    FC Nickle brass

    if loading with a Mag primer will be 72.0
    Better accuarcy with WLR primer and the 75.1 load
    Alaska

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