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Thread: Pushing the limit.....

  1. #1
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    Default Pushing the limit.....

    I was in the gun smithing shop of a friend of mine the other day and a fellow came in with an M700 BDL in 7mm RUM. It was a nice looking rifle but was seized shut, the result of firing a handload witha 175 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (TBBC) bullet with, I'm sure the guy told me 100.5 grains or 105.0 grains of IMR 7828 powder. The action was locked down tight and didn't respond to a rubber hammer at all this the result of extremely high pressure, enough to cause the brass to flow at least somewhat. The primer was blown out, this I guess because the owner said he got gas back in his face.

    I just wonder does anybody else use that load combo in the 7 RUMMY?

    When I asked about the load, the owner told me the 100 or 105 grains ( I don't recall exactly what he said, another good reason not to hand data around that way) and then quickly added, it's a good load I got it from a buddy of mine.(!$#@!$??) Yeah, a buddy who wants to split your life insurance money with your wife. ( I guess some things are best left unsaid, so I didn't really say it) My first thought was that it was way beyond any loading manual...after some research I found it is well beyond any data published for even a 140 grain cup-and core bullet and a TBBC is a solid copper (hardened) base bullet. This type of bullet must use a reduced charge compared to standard bullet.

    Well, without further comment about the handloader of the Remington, I'd like to ask; Do people really do this? That is, take load data from any source (other than data manuals) and just blindly dump the components in the case and shoot it because a buddy, or some web site, or even a known professional loader says it "works for me"? I mean, come on! You have to check it in comparison to some other published data and you have to at least know it is close to a normal load. Don't you? Even when we see data in a commercial loading data manual, we still must realize a few things about it.

    1. It could be a mistake in print.
    2. It may be too much in our gun.
    3. Your bullet may be different. (Brand, construction, etc)
    4. We must compare it with at least one other source to validate it.

    If I see date that list a max of 78.8 grains of XYZ powder with a 150 grain bullet and another source lists 80.0 grains of the same powder with a different 150 grain bullet, I at least feel like they are in the same ball park but if I have no experience with this powder/bullet/caliber combo I'll start well below that listing. And even if a buddy says; "Hey I use 90 grains all the time", I ain't going there! I've been given many loads from friends over the years and some of them wouldn't even fit in the case!

    I was in a gun shop some years ago and overheard a guy tell another guy to use 72 grains of 4350 in his '06 to get 3000 fps from a certain bullet. The response from the guy was year, sure, thanks for the tip.($%@#!$%@!#@) After the first guy left I showed a loading data manual to the obviously less learned handloader that revealed the data to be waaaaay beyond normal. The newby loader says; yeah, but he uses it all the time!!
    Let me know wehn you get that much powder in a 30-06 case.

    Another source of powder charge errors is the difference between powder scales or the difference in loading technique (doesn't know how to operate, zero or read a powder scale). There are many factors that are unknown or out of the control of the handloader. Anytime you cannot validate any load data information, regardless, of the source, forget about it! Drop it and don't use it. Even my data! I make many mistakes, especially typing, not so many at the bench but getting the data written down correctly is always a challenge for me, be advised. This goes double when you see data that is for a powder that isn't normally used in manuals or for any powder that you are not familiar with.

    If you see data using Blue Dot for the 45 ACP but don't see it for a 44 special you could intelligently consider the two calibers so close in operating pressure and volume as to extrapolate good date with Blue Dot for the 44 special and you may or may not have the experience to do that. But, when somebody says use 44 grains of Blue Dot for your 38-55 and 255 grains cast bullets, you probably ought to rethink that. (This load was handed around among a few shooting friends and somebody changed a digit in the mix and a 1899 Marlin model 1893 was scattered over three shooting benches.) I think he meant 14 grains.

    These kinds of things happen and can lead to serious injury to yourself or an innocent bystander and/or the rapid, spontaneous disassembly of your favorite shootin' iron.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  2. #2
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    Yup, they do it all the time. Can't fix stupid so sometimes the Darwin enters in to remove them.

    Even with the reloading manual how many times have I seen on this forum people pushing over the limit? Lots. It is why I have posted several times that in order to know where the loading stands is to purchase inexpensive pressure testing equipment. Otherwise it is nearly a guessing game. But some still persist in the idea they can ignore the book and look for "pressure signs".
    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

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

  3. #3

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    Ole Darwin sure is gentle with some of the stupidos I've known.

    Back in the early 70's I managed gun shops and I had a guy come in with the whole side blown out of a 12 gauge 870 he had just bought from us. With all due haste I sent it back to Remington and replaced it. He was back the next week with the second one even more completely destroyed!!!!!!!

    Research, i.e, after enthusiastic questioning one stop short of waterboarding, the guy revealed he had bought Lee Loaders for 38 special and 12 gauge at a discount store nearby. The clerk told him he could use the same powder for both, no matter what the instructions said, and he recommended Bullseye for extra range in the 12 gauge.

    The guy had used the 12 gauge scoop to load something like 35 grains of Bullseye into 1 1/2 oz mag loads!!!!!! And he said both guns shot just fine the first three or four times he lit the fuses.

    He walked away with all his body parts, but we were out two 870's. The discount store denied any knowledge, and real quick the guy dummied up about shooting reloads. I guess we were out more than just the two guns, because on advice of our lawyers, we also refunded his original purchase price.

    But dang, it sure felt good to toss him out of the store with serious warnings of what would happen if ever stuck so much as a toe back through our doors.

    I guess the moral for that rant is this:

    Who ya gonna blame when that loading advice turns south and you wreck something?

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Plane and simple, some folks have no business handloading. I'm honestly amazed that more folks don't get hurt, and more guns don't get destroyed.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I have never posted a load on the Internet, never will. It's just the same as someone told me it's a good load. I do think one of the Internet sites (for the .300 RUM) lists some stout loads for the RUMMY using 7828. 100 grains in a 7mm RUM with a 175 grain bullet seems nuts.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6

    Default Perspective of a Novice Handloader

    I am at best a novice handloader, but I know enough instinctively to appraoch explosive things such as primers and powders with caution, care and attention to detail. In anything of importance it is always good to get a number of opinions and weigh them according to level of experience and experteese. I would be very hesitant to completely rely on one source, especially if my safety were dependant on it.

    When I first came to this site, one of the first questions I asked was load info for the 300 WSM. It's a relatively new cartridge without a lot of info available. I also checked maybe 10 other shooting forums. I also called a couple of powder manufactures and a three bullet manufacturers and talked to several local guys who load for the 300 WSM. I gained a lot of knowledge through that process that I think will save me a lot of time, effort and $$$ in developing a good load. The powder of choice being H4350 with a max in the range of 64.5 to 65.5 for 168 gr bullets. I will start at 61 and for 180 bullets I will start at 59.

    I don't mind sharing my knowledge and experience on these forums especially because that is a big reason they are here. I will gladly share exactley what my results are so others can learn from my experiences just as I learn from others before me. I couldn't imagine trying to develop a good load on my own with the vast array of powder and bullets, without learning what I have learned in these last few months, i.e. temp stable powders which may not be that important to someone who shoots less than 300 yds.

    If Murphy (his expert self) told me to use ABC powder with XYZ bullet, I would gratefully take note and then check some other sources also. I have learned a lot of things about a lot of subjects in this forum and it will save me a lot time, effort and $$$ and reap rewarding results.

    For those who decide not to share load information, I respect their conviction. As for me, I have no problem with it. What the reciever does with that information is their responsibility, especially in the internet world.

    In the words of an ancient wise man (Forrest Gump).... "Stupid is as Stupid does"

    Some even higher words of wisdom...

    Prov 13:16 Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly.

    Prov 14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, But a fool is arrogant and careless.

    'nuff said

  7. #7

    Default Scared

    All this is very surprising to me. I don't even use published data from manuals without referencing other manuals just to make sure. I have been looking through the used, on-line sites on the 'net for an old large ring (got the bug somehow) but now you all got me a little scared. I would really hate to purchase a gun after some yahoo stressed it with those type of overloads. How can a guy get himself a good mauser with confidence that it hasn't been abused?

  8. #8
    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    I've only loaded from manuals, but even there I've run into problems. Has anybody else noticed that the powder companies list much hotter loads than the bullet companies?

  9. #9
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    I certainly have regard for "outside" information from those that do reload but no information is taken for granted. I insist that the ever rising costs of bullets, metals powders etc that one must reload and here where I live and for those in outlying areas reload. I invite them into my world but....with the ever present language of safety thru the means of data supported by manufacturers of one sort or another.

    It does surprise me that there are incidents that do cause injury or death from being neglectful but that is in the human genome-can happen to any of us at any time. I do not reload for too many shooters/hunters but when I do it is with the ever present awareness of all steps and attention with the use of my equipment.

    Thank goodness we have forums of this nature to indulge and share what we do know and/or what we have seen or heard. The unlearned and the too eager have that inate ability to cause harm to themselves and others-it is marvelous this day and age how resilient are modern firearms are though it is not the guns fault if danger arises.

    If it is not with a firearm surely it will be with their own knife or crossbow etc......it is going to happen. Look at them idiots that drink and drive-why take the risk? There is the hidden factor that one just does not take the care in what they do is all. Kind of like what one has said "a brain fart".

    Murphy and all, it is a good thing this gets repeated and stirred up and even if those that do read but do not participate in this thread "rest" in these facts and utilize it and pass it on. It is how we learn.

    shoot straight!

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    Default Warning: Do Not Try This At Home!

    My first experience with "reloading" was when I was about ten. Being quite the inquisitive and curious (notice I did not say smart) youngster, as well as addicted to shooting and not having a knowledgeable role model was not a good combination. I started my reloading experiments with most kids first gun, the venerable .22 long rifle. I carefully removed the bullet and noticed there was quite a bit of extra space in the casing. Well more powder = more velocity. Right? That was my 10 year old thinking at least. Well, I sacrificed another shell and cannibalized the powder (it didn't all fit) to make the super speed .22.

    Long story short, I finally found a use for the shell and took my shot at a distant (10 yards) prairie dog. After the smoke cleared there was still one living, though slightly dazed, prairie dog and half of my marlins stock laying on the ground nearby. Luckily, for me and the prairie dog, no injuries were incurred during this experience.


    This story has a good ending; I got a new, better rifle and actually taught myself to reload before I tried again. After this I was very careful with my reloading and quite cautious with the same.

    Thankfully, God protects small children and drunks...

  11. #11
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    Green sourdough, its a gamble on buying a decent milsurp. I try to look for actions with original bbls and not much done to it. Usually that would tell me some isnt really a handloader. not always true but, a better chance at a decent action.

    I usually have M98's coming and going all the time (I love mausers) and so far all of mine have been fine.

    Rule #1 have all milsurps checked by a smith. I had a 1917 blow up one time (luckily on the smith and not me, no injuries).

  12. #12
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    I haven't been loading all that long, about 2 years now, and I love the crowd that wants you to do loads for them. When you ask "What do you want!" it's max pressure, max loads, biggest bullet, etc, etc....Then comes the "I don't think so" from me. You know I don't tell folks anymore I load.

    Ron

  13. #13
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Not that it matters to people reading these passed around loading information, but here goes.

    My memory no longer can be relied on for such highly important information for loading data. Even when I find such information, I don't pass it along for the simple reason, who will look over my shoulder and proof read and verify what I typed out?

    Many of us have stacks of reloading books and manuals. Some of us have printed information that has been around for decades. A prime example is this. Volume I & II of PARKER ACKLEY Books, Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders. Copyright 1966. I have no idea how many thousands of copies of these books are in circulation?

    There is data in these books that is flat out dangerous, don't even consider using this data.

    What would happen to the guy that gets his hands on these books and assume he good to go? I shutter thinking of it. This was at one time the only widespread information for reloading wildcats. Starting 10% below suggested loads was still not safe in the first time I relied on the data back in 1967,(loads from his books)

    How well I recall from a book by EARL MARIMOORE"s book "Principles and Practices of Reloading" the sage advise against published reloading data, and why his book did not contain any.

    Long before the Internet, Sierra's new published reloading manual was being condemned by reloaders because it was publishing data that was not as bold as data from older manuals. The older manuals became rather prised by hand loaders, because of this. How many times do we find in old manual loads that you will not find anywhere else?

    I used to give out a favorite load for the 30-06 using surplus military rifle powder, if the directions were followed it was a safe load. Today, to many people have discovered the long drop tube, This is not following the information I used to suggest. Therefor, I would no more think of passing on this method, than I would flying to the moon.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  14. #14

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    Great point about PO's books. I recall one 30-06 load in particular that we tried to get into the case, just out of curiosity. You couldn't get that load into a case with a long drop tube and a jackhammer! Considering the powder in question, even if you did, it would have been kinda hard to aim while pulling the trigger with a very long string.

    Early Hodgdon manuals were almost as bad. The new one is great. Early Speer manuals had some stinkers, too, but loads in the most recent two seem just fine.

  15. #15
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Exclamation Other peoples' loads

    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    ...I love the crowd that wants you to do loads for them. When you ask "What do you want!" it's max pressure, max loads, biggest bullet, etc, etc...
    Amen!

    The only gas leak I ever experienced was shooting someone else's rifle. She had a guy who'd do up "some max loads" for her in exchange for dinner.

    I didn't load back then, so didn't understand what it meant that the bolt was hard to open after the first shot. The second round brought a huge 'wind gust' on a calm day, and the bolt barely opened at all. Thank heaven the guy a few benches over poked his nose in to see what all the ruckus opening that gun was about.

    A few years later I knew enough to ask whether that guy had worked up the loads for her rifle. You already know the answer.

  16. #16
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    I think part of the problem is that many people including a lot of experienced hand loaders, do not full appreciate the delicate balance of: burn rate, bullet back pressure, and chamber pressure. One thing that helped be understand and appreciate this, was an internal ballistics program. These programs attempt to model the pressure and velocity of the bullet in the rifle. They should not be used for developing loads but they do give a nice idea of what is worth considering.

    I know of 2 programs "Quickload" and "Load from a Disk". Both have free demo versions and are fun to play with. I would recommend downloading them both for a little fun. I think some of the results will really open some peoples eyes as to how sensitive max loads are to any change. They also help answer the repeated question of how much velocity will be lost with a shorter barrel.

    http://www.loadammo.com/product.htm

    http://www.neconos.com/details3.htm

  17. #17

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    Yes yes and yes. Most don't realise rifles, chambers, dies, brass etc can all be a little different and give different pressures. I have run in to pressure signs 3 grains under max in the Speer manual with a .270. You gotta work up, always with no short cuts. it is probably a testament to the strength of modern rifles that more are not injured. O' Connor publicised 62grains of 4831 under a 130 grainer as his go to in the .270. I have no manual that lists over 60 grains! Why hot rod a chambering? If for whatever reason you think you just have to have 3000fps from a 180grain in 30-06 then you need some sort of 300 mag. Don't be silly!

  18. #18

    Default try this

    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber View Post
    Yes yes and yes. Most don't realise rifles, chambers, dies, brass etc can all be a little different and give different pressures. I have run in to pressure signs 3 grains under max in the Speer manual with a .270. You gotta work up, always with no short cuts. it is probably a testament to the strength of modern rifles that more are not injured. O' Connor publicised 62grains of 4831 under a 130 grainer as his go to in the .270. I have no manual that lists over 60 grains! Why hot rod a chambering? If for whatever reason you think you just have to have 3000fps from a 180grain in 30-06 then you need some sort of 300 mag. Don't be silly!
    Actually Oconnor's load is a good example of another problem, but not the one you're referencing. He was using the old original surplus 4831, following which there have been at least two others from Hodgdon, not to mention the IMR version. Each is different and performs differntly in the same gun. In fact all successive versions of 4831 have been noticeably faster burning than the original and require smaller powder charges.

    I'm still blessed with close to 50 pounds of that original surplus 4831, remains of 200 pounds I bought in the early 70's in 50 pound cardboard drums for 50 cents a pound, then transferred to smaller sealed containers. It's my go-to powder for lots of calibers, and not just because I've always had lots. In fact, in a couple of 270's I've owned his 62 grain load was absolutely fine in WW cases, giving that magic mix of high velocity, great accuracy, and normal case life. On the other hand, I've also had several 270's that maxed out anywhere from 60.5 to 61.

    That all brings up two points. Details matter on powder varieties, as well as powder lots, even if they're the "same" in terms of being called 4831 or whatever. Second point is, each rifle is it's own self and you have to work up loads for IT, no matter what someone shoots with the same components in another rifle of the same caliber.

    BTW- Oconnor's favorite load for his wife's 7x57 was 52 grains of 4831 with the Speer 160, Sierra, or Nosler partition, or Hornady 154 spire point- All with standard primers in WW cases. I've tried all them in my own 7x57, and darned if he wasn't right about the charge there, too. I haven't found another powder that gives better accuracy or significantly better velocity.

  19. #19

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    good grief where would you keep 50 pounds of 4831? I read O'connors book where he referred to the powder as "bruce's old surplus '' and im am sure you are right about different versions of 4831. On the other hand did Jack have access to a chrono way back when? My point was more to emphasise that you just should not use other peoples loads , regardless, without working up, particularly if you substitute a component. Even so I would think both loads are on the hot side 62grains is about max for 7828. Unless the original is that slow, in which case i apologise for doubting.

    I can't get get anything like 52 grains of 4831 with a 160g in my 7mm mauser and i would think that those 3 bullets would give different velocities/pressure with the same load.

    having said that I use remington and federal cases and read in handloader that WW 7x57 cases hold 3 grains more water than federal which lead to approx 150fps less velocity with 51 grains of 4831 under a 120 grain bullet? So WW cases need more powder. Interesting stuff again emphasising the need for care!

    As an aside does anyone know what 3 grains water equates to in H4831.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 35gibber View Post
    good grief where would you keep 50 pounds of 4831? I read O'connors book where he referred to the powder as "bruce's old surplus '' and im am sure you are right about different versions of 4831. On the other hand did Jack have access to a chrono way back when? My point was more to emphasise that you just should not use other peoples loads , regardless, without working up, particularly if you substitute a component. Even so I would think both loads are on the hot side 62grains is about max for 7828. Unless the original is that slow, in which case i apologise for doubting.

    I can't get get anything like 52 grains of 4831 with a 160g in my 7mm mauser and i would think that those 3 bullets would give different velocities/pressure with the same load.

    having said that I use remington and federal cases and read in handloader that WW 7x57 cases hold 3 grains more water than federal which lead to approx 150fps less velocity with 51 grains of 4831 under a 120 grain bullet? So WW cases need more powder. Interesting stuff again emphasising the need for care!

    As an aside does anyone know what 3 grains water equates to in H4831.
    Yeah, the original is that much slower than anything that came after. You have nothing but someone else's experience to go by if you've never tried the stuff. And the WW cases are mandatory. You're right about the smaller capacities in Remington and Federal. It's really apparent when you use the original 4831 in a 7mm Rem Mag and 257 Roberts, the cases that probably account for most of my consumption these days. Interesting to me, although I have to cut back charges when using cases other than WW, I get only slightly lower velocities and similar accuracy with the other brands and their optimum but smaller charges.

    How do I store 50 pounds? In 1/4 the space I used to store 200!

    I think there's just way too much faith put in larger powder charges and an extra few fps these days. I'm not even a little bit concerned about velocity changes till they surpass 200 fps or so. I just don't see any meaningful difference in trajectory or performance on game with differences less than that. But 100 fps is a poweful difference for todays crop of gun salesmen masquerading as gun writers. Lots of keyboard ballisticians out there, too.

    I've got a couple of accounts of Oconnor's tests over chronographs- one owned by a gunsmith and the other by Winchester, if I recall correctly. Chronos were pretty scarce back then, but they were around. Oconnor's writing first came up on my radar specifically because he was testing his loads over a chrono and not pulling his velocities out of his......er.......head......like most everyone else.

    I'm kinda funny about the whole Oconnor/Keith big gun/little gun fracas. Near as I can tell, they were both right in claiming that their approaches worked when good bullets were used and you put them in the right spot, and most of their noise was just horseplay to help sell their writings. The dispute over which was better is more like the argument about Chevys and Fords you hear on every street corner.

    I had the chance to listen to them talking to each other at a SHOT show many years back. Or should I say yelling at each other- they were both deaf as posts from too many rounds and too little hearing protection. In fact they were friends and really good natured about their jabbing in print. It paid a lot of bills for them and got them lots of free hunts in an era when money was tight. Today, when every article you read is a blatant ad for the latest offering from a major magazine advertizer, a 100 fps difference is supposed to be enough to make you shelve your old guns and buy the newer toy. I think Oconnor was fond of the term "mallarky" while Keith was fond of the term "horse feathers." They were both right about most of today's gun writing.

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