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Can I use old data to reload?

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  • Can I use old data to reload?

    As of now, I only have access to a 1998 Speer manual (I also have a 1989 Sierra manual). I have everything to get started, except a current manual. Have powders changed dramatically in the last ten years to the point where I don't want to use this data? I want to get a new Lyman's manual, but they aren't available.

    Tim

  • #2
    Hope these help:
    http://www.nosler.com/index.php?p=15

    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

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    • #3
      I think you should be ok, 10 years is not that old. The big concern is with data published 50 or 60 years ago much of which is quite hot and things have slowly changed.

      I have my speer #14 manual (2007) next to me right now so if you want to confirm data just say what powder, bullet and cartridge and I or someone else can check it against the current data.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bandhmo View Post
        I think you should be ok, 10 years is not that old. The big concern is with data published 50 or 60 years ago much of which is quite hot and things have slowly changed.

        I have my speer #14 manual (2007) next to me right now so if you want to confirm data just say what powder, bullet and cartridge and I or someone else can check it against the current data.

        I appreciate that! Great idea. 300-I'll check the links too.

        Tim

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tccak71 View Post
          As of now, I only have access to a 1998 Speer manual (I also have a 1989 Sierra manual). I have everything to get started, except a current manual. Have powders changed dramatically in the last ten years to the point where I don't want to use this data? I want to get a new Lyman's manual, but they aren't available.

          Tim
          I own and use manuals dating back to the earliest from Speer, Lyman, Hornady, Sierra Nosler and more. I can't recall the publication dates on them, but some go back almost 70 years.

          And I still use them.

          Many of the powders in the old ones no longer exist, but you'd be surprised how long some of our powders have been around.

          The real value in these older manuals is for older, obsolete calibers. You're just not going to find the data anywhere else.

          What about changing powder lots? The standard safety advice is to start with loads below max and work up any time you change powder lots. Doesn't matter whether the reloading manual is a century old or a year old.

          Always check the powder lots. Always make note of which one you used to work up your current loads. If the lot changes, start over with loads below max.

          That's why I try to keep a minimum of 10 pounds of any one lot on hand. Makes a lot more sense than starting over if I go downtown and buy a pound of powder once a year and have to start over again. Same for a new lot of cases or primers if your load is really hot.

          I wouldn't sweat a 10 year old manual at all, unless it doesn't have data for a new powder or cartridge that I want. You're going to start with a reduced load anyway.
          "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
          Merle Haggard

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          • #6
            Thanks, I want to get going but access to powder and primers has been a pain. I've got an old Speer ('98) and that'll have to do for now. I didn't think about using old manuals for older firearms, that makes sense.

            'Nother question: Can I use Speer data to load another brand of bullet? For example, can I load a Sierra 240g JHP .44 bullet using Speer data for their 240g JHP? I assume so (as long as the bullets are the same type), but don't know for sure.

            Tim

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            • #7
              Wow. Thanks for the links. That's what I need the most right now is information and data.

              Tim

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tccak71 View Post
                Thanks, I want to get going but access to powder and primers has been a pain. I've got an old Speer ('98) and that'll have to do for now. I didn't think about using old manuals for older firearms, that makes sense.

                'Nother question: Can I use Speer data to load another brand of bullet? For example, can I load a Sierra 240g JHP .44 bullet using Speer data for their 240g JHP? I assume so (as long as the bullets are the same type), but don't know for sure.

                Tim
                Starting lower in the manual and working up is the way to approach bullet substitution. Same when you substitute any component. It's a standard part of safe reloading practices. Many of the smaller and mid-sized bullet makers such as Hawk don't put out their own data. You have to start with someone else's. It gets challenging when you move to odd-weight bullets not represented in the manuals or to wildcats.

                Since you brought up .429 bullets, I'll use that as an example. I've got a wildcat based on the 45-70 case necked down to .429 with most of the case taper blown out for more shoulder and even more case capacity. Think of it as a "super" 444 Marlin conceived for lots more powder capacity behind 300 grain and heavier bullets. Whatchagonna do?

                I've ended up using the middle load 45-70 data for Marlin levers and the same bullet weight as my starting load, and i work up from there. Based on the extra case capacity I could probably start with the top 45-70 load and work up a bit from there, but I'm more conservative than most. Heck, think of me as the Rush Limbaugh of reloaders!

                The wildcat easily tops posted max Marlin 45-70 velocities with 300 grain bullets with similar pressures, meanwhile having quite a bit more sectional density. It way outsmokes the 444 Marlin, and pistol bullets just don't survive. But those Hawk bullets..... Man oh man oh man, what top performers!
                "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
                Merle Haggard

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                • #9
                  Definately don't use Barnes bullets with Jacketed bullet data. For starters try here: http://www.barnesbullets.com/information/load-data/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
                    Definately don't use Barnes bullets with Jacketed bullet data. For starters try here: http://www.barnesbullets.com/information/load-data/
                    Thanks, great link. More of what I need.

                    Tim

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                    • #11
                      No matter what manual you use, it is a place to start by working up from the starting load. Each gun will produce different max charges for any given powder, bullet, case, primer, and seating depth etc. Even different lots of the same powder will produce different max loads. So, consider loads in manuals to be a place to start at the starting load and work up. I use some very old manuals and even some powders that haven't been made in many years. I even use powders that don't have loading manual data. Win230 and h116. I have had success with both using common sense and starting low.

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                      • #12
                        Most of the change is due to lawyers covering the companies 4th point of contact. Also powder does change over the years as well as from lot to lot. Just keep that in mind. The best bet is to start low and work your way up looking for pressure signs.

                        Whitlock
                        jww30338@gmail.com

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                        • #13
                          The speer manual recommends doing what you guys are saying too. Start low and work up.

                          Tim

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                          • #14
                            Do you have a fax machine? If so, PM me your fax number and the cartridges you want to load for and I'll send you the pages from the Hornady and Speer manuals.


                            Mike

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                            • #15
                              I don't have a fax machine. Thanks for the offer though.

                              Tim

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