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Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

 
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  #1  
Old 03-12-2013, 04:18 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

I know that published reloading data needs to be conservative to account for the vast quality and tolerance differences in rifles and components not to mention liability concerns but just how conservative are they?
Iím in the middle of load development for my first custom rifle and Iím right at or just above (depending on source) the published max load for my caliber/bullet/powder and showing no signs of pressure.
Being fairly new to reloading Iím very cautious about pushing the limits any further. However, I am looking for a bit more. I have found information in the various shooting forums including this one that suggest I can safely push the limit quite a bit. Iíve found numerous posts with powder charges in excess of 10% higher than the published max loads. Iíve even found some that are in excess of 15% higher.
Can the published load data really be that conservative? Are manufactures really leaving that much on the table? Or are there guys out there that are just willing to really pushe the limits?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
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Re: Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

From what I'm seeing in most calibers it isn't really that conservative unless you like beating stuff up. You can always go higher than SAAMI specs, but you will eventually pay the piper in reduced barrel life, beat up brass, stressed actions, etc.. Check out the pressure graphs I put up on the "4000 fps with a 140 in an stw" thread and compare to published data if you question it.

If you are looking for more like you said, either use a slower powder, a more efficient bullet, or re-chamber for a bigger caliber.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:52 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The cold part of Montana
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Re: Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

Some manuals seem to be a bit conservative, others not so much. I believe though that for the most part if you go more than 2%over listed max your getting into that area that the disclaimer covers. And once at that point your not going to see much in improvements on performance, plus your being hard on your brass and rifle.
__________________
Keep in mind the animals we shoot for food and display are not bullet proof. Contrary to popular belief, they bleed and die just like they did a hundred years ago. Being competent with a given rifle is far more important than impressive ballistics and poor shootability. High velocity misses never put a steak in the freezer.

Joe
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 336
Re: Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

Listen to these guys, they know what they're talking about....and don't forget as the ambient temperature rises, so will your pressure (with most powders). Itís best to error on the safe sideÖ
Be careful and good luck!
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:28 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 253
Re: Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

Loads in manuals are meant to keep loads to SAAMI specs for the most part, taking into account the variances in firearms tolerances new and old. Yes, they (manual writers) have to worry about liability. For the newbie reloader the data in manuals is what they should stick with.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:45 PM
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Location: Mountians of SW NC, near Asheville
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Re: Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

"...but just how conservative are they?"

Last I over heard in the barbershop, 1.26% for handguns and 2.04% for rifles. ??
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise IDAHO
Posts: 838
Re: Published Load Data - How Conservative is it?

That extra 50fps your yearning for aint worth it. Aint even worth killing a single piece of brass to find it, certainly not worth a rifle or the right hand side of your face. It won't change anything even way out there. If I am doing load development in hot summer which it is not (it's march everywhere) I load till the very first possible sign of pressure or max data, whichever comes first and work down from there if need be.. In mild weather, data is all you got.
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