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Thread: Is there an allowable variance in bullet weight?

  1. #1

    Default Is there an allowable variance in bullet weight?

    Well, I posted a little ways back about some Herco I bought and ended up getting a copy of the Speer #8 and the Complete Guide to Handloading. What I was wondering is this..

    Is there an acceptable variance in bullet weight. For example, say the manual calls for a cast 200 grain can you reasonably substitute a say 205 or 210 grain cast bullet? I realize your fps are going to drop etc..just wondering since I got a deal on some 205 grain cast slugs and the best load for Herco I can find is 200 cast.

    Probably a stupid question but I am still new to all this!

  2. #2
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    Nothing hard and fast.

    15 Grains???

    Loading Data is experimental anyhoo.

    Smitty of the North
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  3. #3
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Not stupid at all!
    I find data as close as I can get then start low and work up. With cast bullets they will vary from the same mold depending on the alloy used to make them, +/- 5g is not uncommon from batch to batch and/or maker to maker. Even top quality jacketed bullets in the same box vary some, .1g or so. Some guys, like bench rest shooters, put every bullet over a scale and group them up together by weight to be as consistent as possible.

    5g of bullet weight is not going to make trouble for you so long as you start low and work up. 10g would send me looking for more data, but if I could not find any I would take an educated guess from the data I had.
    Andy
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  4. #4

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    Ok, that's good to know. Now, what about variances in bullet types and styles. I have seen and read comments on not mixing a copper plated 200 grain slug with a 200 grain lead slug.

    What I am trying to do is find a general rule for loads regarding bullet styles and weight. I am new to all this so I don't want to make any bad assumptions and have something bad happen. I do appreciate all the help you folks give me that's for sure!

    With powder and bullet limitation/availability up here I am trying to determine what I can and can't mix to make a safe and accurate load.

  5. #5
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    It's always best to find data as close as you can to the components you are loading as your starting point to work up a load. Lead is softer than copper and led is slicker down the bore than copper, so with the same powder charge copper will likely give you higher pressures and less velocity. This makes it better to use lead data for lead and copper data for copper. Bullet design can also make quite a bunch of difference but you can get away with using 200g/jsp data with a 200g/fmj, just get as close as you can then start low and work up.

    If you can’t find data that you are comfortable with just ask us here. I have over 50 books of load data. I’m sure others have more than me and most of us enjoy thumbing through them looking for obscure loadings. Murphy can work you up about any loads starting point or a wildcat load with pen and paper. We are here just holler.
    Andy
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    Phoenix Arizona

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