Sorry guys, and you especially Dan, for being on the receiving end of my frustration expressed as bad manners. This is a good site and most of the posts are well supported. My comments were not in keeping with the civility of LRH. I was over reacting to unsubstantiated statements I have encountered on some reloading sites that are, frankly, scary. Whenever someone suggests they exceed published loads and doesn't back it up with facts, I am concerned.
What I should have done, and will now, is ask Dan where he got is information/knowledge about Sierra's book loads being low as I have not encountered this statement before.
Whitesheep, no harm no foul. And I'm sorry about my thoughtless response. :(
If you compare most of Sierra's max loads with loads published by the powder makers, they are very conservative. Sierra's numbers are conservative even compared to other bullet maker's data also. Sierra does have--it can probably be said--the safest set of load data published. And that's not a bad thing.
As brass prices have increased, I have evolved away from shooting max loads whenever I can get a lower pressure load to work for the purpose at hand. Even if my handloads end up shooting slower than factory loads (which they often do), at least I can get my cases to last me for several firings.
When brass was cheaper, I loaded hotter and just tossed the brass after 3 or so firings. I don't feel that's an option any longer for me...
As to Nosler's numbers... any of you who have the number 5 manual and the number 6, take a look at the data... it's the same. If Nosler really re-shot those loads, you'd see some substantial differences in velocities being shown--but they're the same, to the single digit!
So either Nosler had some proprietary Nosler brass in years past when they did shoot that data--and erroneously said they shot it in Winchester brass--or (more likely) they really did shoot it in Winchester brass and now they're simply fibbing when they say on the page heading that they shot it in Nosler brass. There's no other viable option here...
Goodness. What we say is all opinion, none of us have lab pressure equipment and it wouldn't much matter if we did, every firearm is a law unto itself so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the data we see in our manuals varies. I doubt that much data is 'lawyered up', the guys who produce the manuals simply tell us the results of their tests; what else should we expect?
Again, any truly experienced/knowledgeable reloader knows the ONLY safe rule we can safely follow is, "Start low, slowly work up to book max (which is as far up as we should expect a book to say) unless ...." Do that and all will go well, ignore it and you're on your own no matter if the powder charge is higher or lower than the book. And it works everytime; no matter how many manuals we may buy, our individual gun's max will remain the same.
Load manuals are no different than medical guides....that's it, they are just guides. Sure they all say, "never exceed maximum loads" but they have to. If I stopped all of my own loads where some book says I have to, then in most all cases I've under-loaded the potential of my rifles, especially when I used to shoot factory rifles.
Load books are guides, load smartly, use them to start, but keep working up, regardless of what a book says to find out safe max in your rifle if that is the goal. It is my goal.
So far the loads i have developed using Berger bullets have corresponded very well with the data in the new Berger manual.
I have not developed many but in three different calibers the max listed loads were where I would normally stop due to pressure signs in loads beyond those listed. My chronograph readings also agreed with what the Berger manual listed,
As far as the Sierra manual being conservative... in a few loads I have been able to exceed the loads listed in the manual but overall it also was very close. Some of the loads in the Speer #9 manual are dangerously hot(I think especially in 4831 loads...somewhere I saw that the old 4831 was closer to the new 7828)!
I have been reloading since I was 13 and load for other people. 35 years later I can say the manuals are mostly pretty good and anyone who exceeds the listed data on a regular basis has either ignored pressure signs, has a long throat or other pressure decreasing feature on their rifle, is damn lucky, or is extremely careful at managing their shooting of very edgy cartridges(I have done that a few times mainly for cold weather elk loads).