Differences in reloading data?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by DontKickDontKill, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. DontKickDontKill

    DontKickDontKill Active Member

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    I posted this on another forum, but I figured I would post it here, where there are a higher concentration of reloaders.

    You know this is something that has kinda puzzled me for a while.....And I have finally come to the conclusion that 99% of reloading data is worthless, especially major manufacturers published data. About the only manual that I trust is the speer reloading manual from a few years ago.

    I have several loads from that book that I thought were a grain or two under max, and were very mild in "my" rifle, they showed absolutely no pressure signs (primers came out the same shape as they were when I put them in), and I look at some published data on Hodgdons site, and my load is a full 2 grains OVER there listed max....I think there max load was around the starting loads in other books, I am convinced they work there loads up find a max pressure and then fully cut at least 5% off the loads for "safety reasons"

    Now this brings me to the hypocricy in all this....I have recently bought a few boxes of factory stuff (couple boxes of winchester and federal) They were all loaded so hot I couldn't believe it.....The winchesters the primer showed signs of pressure, and the federal was the same, but the federal brass actually had extractor marks on it!!!! I KNOW these loads were way hotter than anything listed in any manual.

    Now my only question is this....Why? Do manufacturers make more money on factory loads than selling the components? I have been reading for years that people claim handloaders cant get the velocity that they get in the factories. Now I am believing they may be right, because I don't think people are crazy enough to load to those pressures....

    Alright I will get off my soapbox but has anybody else noticed this?
     
  2. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    Well first of all, factory manufacturers of ammo hace access to new powders that we do not. The biggest advantage to handloading is tailoring the load to your rifle, not having to tune your rifle to factory ammo. Its cheaper too.

    My 300 SAUM Sendero is a prime example. I get 34xx fps with 165 gr Factory ammo. I get 32xx with 180gr NPs in the same rifle. The highest velocity I have shot with the same rifle was 2920 fps with 185 gr Bergers and 2950 with 175 gr SMKs. That is a HUGE difference in the same rifle. The 180s shot like poop, but the 165s shoot great.
     

  3. Willys46

    Willys46 Well-Known Member

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    I too have noticed the factor loads are stiff. I was shooting 160 accubonds reloads and tried some 160 federal supreme. Difference of 4.5 MOA at 100 yards in elevation. I must say the federals had a much stiffer recoil! Do most reload over Max listed?
     
  4. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    Reloading books are a guideline and nothing more. Start low and work up to YOUR rifles max load. No 2 rifles are a liek or act alike. Thats what I"ve learned over the years. I've found that 99% of the time, reloading books are quite conservative. I load for accuracy 1st, then velocity. If Im over by a grain or two according to some book, but my rifle is shooting great, I dont care. They didn't use MY rifle for THERE testing. Thats how I see it anyways.
     
  5. DontKickDontKill

    DontKickDontKill Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I too have noticed the factor loads are stiff. I was shooting 160 accubonds reloads and tried some 160 federal supreme. Difference of 4.5 MOA at 100 yards in elevation. I must say the federals had a much stiffer recoil! Do most reload over Max listed?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Depends on where I get the reloading data, and my history with it. Anything over any max load should be taken with extreme caution. I have found that some of the speer reloading manuals to be quite stiff on there max load. But the stuff listed on Hodgdons website to be quite weak....

    ***as an aside, nobody should exceed max pressures, unless your experienced knowing what pressure signs look like, and even then proceed with caution***
     
  6. DontKickDontKill

    DontKickDontKill Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Well first of all, factory manufacturers of ammo hace access to new powders that we do not. The biggest advantage to handloading is tailoring the load to your rifle, not having to tune your rifle to factory ammo. Its cheaper too.

    My 300 SAUM Sendero is a prime example. I get 34xx fps with 165 gr Factory ammo. I get 32xx with 180gr NPs in the same rifle. The highest velocity I have shot with the same rifle was 2920 fps with 185 gr Bergers and 2950 with 175 gr SMKs. That is a HUGE difference in the same rifle. The 180s shot like poop, but the 165s shoot great.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I guess that could be true about different powders, but I would think anything a powder manufacturer could come up with would be available to the public.

    And as aside, there are powders out there that exceed anything commercially available. WC872 for example. In just about any overbore magnum, with the heaviest bullet possible, it will destroy anything commercially availble in regards to velocity. And do pretty well with accuracy also.
     
  7. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing for certain, but...I was paying attention during my business classes and I am sure in my own mind that the factory guys have a much bigger profit margin from their factory loads than they do from their components (i.e. $100+/box for some Weatherby ammo). Why would they cut their own financial throat by giving us the info/components to beat them at their own game. Most, if not all, of the folks working for the manufacturers are probably really great, but the bottom line is they are a business and they MUST keep the stock holders/owners happy.
     
  8. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

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    Each of the companies that write manuals use different rifles to develop the loads, so the maximum loads well be different.

    Also, since the loading companies are now terrified that some jerk will blow himself up and sue them, the current listed loads are below the loads listed 20 years ago, with the same bullets and powders.

    There are no "secret powders"... you can get equivalent powders for any factory load... W750 is the same as W748 canister, but the factories buy W750 in several tons at a time, and grade it's speed for each load. When you buy W748, it comes pre-graded so it is the same as the last can.

    The powders that they use are the same (but not matched to canister grades).

    You can also match any factory load velocity with similar bullets, and often you can exceed the factory load (but not always).

    There is no conspiracy or hypocricy (what's "hypocricy"??) involved here.

    If you have the skill as a loader, you can do it, and 99% of the time, your ammo will be better.

    [ QUOTE ]
    and I am sure in my own mind that the factory guys have a much bigger profit margin from their factory loads than they do from their components (i.e. $100+/box for some Weatherby ammo). Why would they cut their own financial throat by giving us the info/components to beat them at their own game. Most, if not all, of the folks working for the manufacturers are probably really great, but the bottom line is they are a business and they MUST keep the stock holders/owners happy.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Kinda cynical view on life... but this time you are wrong. The handloaders buy MUCH more of the stuff that they make - powder, primers and bullets, than all the factory ammo shooters put together. The shooters that shoot a lot, are handloaders.

    The factory load shooters buy a box of ammo every few years.

    .
     
  9. Michael Eichele

    Michael Eichele Well-Known Member

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    I wouldnt say that reloading data is worthless. If you are using a factory rifle or a TRUE sammi spec custom rifle, then loading data is a darn good place to start. If you are using a super tight tolerance chamber and or a tight neck, then yes, reloading data is of less value however, you can still get an idea of where to start. Some factory ammo uses powders we have readily available. Others use their own specifec powder developed for their cartridges and rifle combinations.

    WIth all of the barrel length and twist options available to us custom users, rolling your own ammo makes good sense as opposed to factory ammo. YOu truly can custom tailor your ammo to your rifle, something factory ammo can never do scince they were developed for optimum performance in factory rifles. Does that meen that factory ammo cant work in a custom rifle? No. It certainly can. The bottom line is that most custom rigs will do better with tuned ammo than factory. By in large, factory rifles can shoot a number of factory ammo well, and most will shoot better with handloads.

    Just my $0.02
     
  10. DontKickDontKill

    DontKickDontKill Active Member

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    Yeah CatShooter, I agree about the ammo. I would tend to think that a guy who buys factory is gonna buy factory and not reload no matter what is available to the relaoder and vice versa. I would say there may be a 10% margin in those that would switch sides no matter is available.

    The hypocrisy I was talking about, was about how hot the factory loads are that I have shot recently. Because its usually the manufacturer listing mild loads, and then saying handloads can't get the velocity of factory loads.....There right because they have thrown caution to the wind and loaded them hot....

    I guess its a reasonable assumption by the manufacturer because a rifle can take a lot as can virgin brass, But that rifle probably won't get a lot of stress on it, because anyone buying hot ammo by the box, probably won't shoot it enough to hurt the gun. Now the handloader on the other hand, may shoot thousands of rounds through the gun in a couple years, and over time it could lead to gun failure.....I guess.
     
  11. DontKickDontKill

    DontKickDontKill Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I wouldnt say that reloading data is worthless. If you are using a factory rifle or a TRUE sammi spec custom rifle, then loading data is a darn good place to start. If you are using a super tight tolerance chamber and or a tight neck, then yes, reloading data is of less value however, you can still get an idea of where to start. Some factory ammo uses powders we have readily available. Others use their own specifec powder developed for their cartridges and rifle combinations.

    WIth all of the barrel length and twist options available to us custom users, rolling your own ammo makes good sense as opposed to factory ammo. YOu truly can custom tailor your ammo to your rifle, something factory ammo can never do scince they were developed for optimum performance in factory rifles. Does that meen that factory ammo cant work in a custom rifle? No. It certainly can. The bottom line is that most custom rigs will do better with tuned ammo than factory. By in large, factory rifles can shoot a number of factory ammo well, and most will shoot better with handloads.

    Just my $0.02

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Dont' get me wrong, I think data is good for comparing bullets and different powders, just not how much powder to load in the gun.

    I talked to a guy on another forum, and he was running some of the numbers from a popular powders website, and his software claimed there max loads were only putting out about 75% of the pressures they were listing. And from his experience from some of his own loading, he says the software is usually pretty close. I think Quickload is what he was using....
     
  12. CatShooter

    CatShooter Well-Known Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    ... The hypocrisy I was talking about, was about how hot the factory loads are that I have shot recently. Because its usually the manufacturer listing mild loads, and then saying handloads can't get the velocity of factory loads.....There right because they have thrown caution to the wind and loaded them hot....

    I guess its a reasonable assumption by the manufacturer because a rifle can take a lot as can virgin brass, But that rifle probably won't get a lot of stress on it, because anyone buying hot ammo by the box, probably won't shoot it enough to hurt the gun. Now the handloader on the other hand, may shoot thousands of rounds through the gun in a couple years, and over time it could lead to gun failure.....I guess.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    I think you have some things confused. Ammunition manufacturers CANNOT throw caution to the wind (they have lawyers on their Board of Directors).

    Life just does not work that way when you are a BIG business. Plus here is ol' SAAMI to catch your buns if you stray off the beaten path.

    It is a very tightly controlled industry... they don't say, "Hay Charlie, lets toss a little extra powder in this lot and see what happens!".

    And I have NEVER seen a company say that their ammo can't be matched (or beaten) by handloads.

    As to "vapor loads" made with "software", compared loads published on a website... first, pressure can be taken by several methods, lead crusher, copper crusher, taped strain gauge. and inertial accelerometer... these do NOT interchange, so if company "A" uses Copper crusher, and company "B" uses inertial accelerometer, the numbers do NOT match... and what kind of pressure gauge does the computer use (hint, the computer has no pressure gauge)??

    Where do you get this stuff??

    .
     
  13. DontKickDontKill

    DontKickDontKill Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    ... The hypocrisy I was talking about, was about how hot the factory loads are that I have shot recently. Because its usually the manufacturer listing mild loads, and then saying handloads can't get the velocity of factory loads.....There right because they have thrown caution to the wind and loaded them hot....

    I guess its a reasonable assumption by the manufacturer because a rifle can take a lot as can virgin brass, But that rifle probably won't get a lot of stress on it, because anyone buying hot ammo by the box, probably won't shoot it enough to hurt the gun. Now the handloader on the other hand, may shoot thousands of rounds through the gun in a couple years, and over time it could lead to gun failure.....I guess.

    [/ QUOTE ]


    I think you have some things confused. Ammunition manufacturers CANNOT throw caution to the wind (they have lawyers on their Board of Directors).

    Life just does not work that way when you are a BIG business. Plus here is ol' SAAMI to catch your buns if you stray off the beaten path.

    It is a very tightly controlled industry... they don't say, "Hay Charlie, lets toss a little extra powder in this lot and see what happens!".

    And I have NEVER seen a company say that their ammo can't be matched (or beaten) by handloads.

    As to "vapor loads" made with "software", compared loads published on a website... first, pressure can be taken by several methods, lead crusher, copper crusher, taped strain gauge. and inertial accelerometer... these do NOT interchange, so if company "A" uses Copper crusher, and company "B" uses inertial accelerometer, the numbers do NOT match... and what kind of pressure gauge does the computer use (hint, the computer has no pressure gauge)??

    Where do you get this stuff??

    .

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Where do I get this stuff.....its all in my head why.

    Lets see the software doesn't have any type of guage but what it does have is velocity obtained with certain loads, and it usually takes a certain internal pressure to reach a velocity, and I think it uses fired case volume as part of the equation.

    A factory just doesn't dump a little extra powder in.....

    Lets see I have been reloading a long time, and I know what pressure signs look like. Whenever I see a primer ready to puncture, extractor marks, and a tight bolt lift, I know something is going on there. These were several different boxes of shells, used in different guns, and a couple of the boxes were from different lots. So it wasn't a mistake that they were that hot.
     
  14. blackco

    blackco Well-Known Member

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    CatShooter,
    I'm REALLY not trying to be argumentative and it's off the origainal subject but...I’m a victim of the 80’s when marketing/business was all the rage. It may be cynical but most successful businesses are steered by the “bean counters.”
    You are absolutely correct; the shooters that shoot a lot are handloaders. But for each one of the guys on this board (my heroes) who are shooting tens of thousands of rounds a year there are 1000 guys like me who only get the chance to shoot 500-1000 rounds a year. And for every guy like me there are...you see where I’m going.
    My father has been reloading since the 60’s. For him reloading was a means to an end (good ammo for his guns). Now he gets acceptable results from factory ammo (.5 MOA in a 300wm Sendero) for his hunting (3 elk/4 shots between 500-700yds). I would say he shoots about 1000 rounds a year bought right off the store shelf. And there are many people out there just like him. I also know there are guys out there who have 6 rounds left in a box of 20 because they have killed 13 deer in the last 13 years with that box (1 round to check zero after a fall).

    I just did some math using prices from Midway (just for comparison. I know this isn’t scientific, I can think of about 8 variables that would change this. A box of 300wm ammo with Trophy Bonded Bear Claws=$43.99/box. If I buy the components, including new brass, to reload the same ammo it costs $38.80/20. That is an additional 12% in profits for the manufacturer, $5.28/box. That goes up to 31% if I reuse my own brass, even more if I buy in bulk, etc.

    People who shoot “a lot,” reload. But “a lot” of people shoot factory ammo. Speaking purely business again, the profit margin for loaded ammo is greater than for the components.

    I don't understand it but there are a lot of people out there shooting factory ammo, I haven't shot a factory loaded centerfire round in over 20 years. It doesn't make sense to me. The people I work around are sick of me preaching the benifits of reloading and I am tired of the "lame" (my opinion) excuses for not reloading. I feel anyone who shoots more than about 50 rounds a year would benifit from reloading.

    Rifle, ?$1000?
    Box of reloads, $38.80
    Gas to get you there, $159.00
    Satisfaction from putting venison on the table with a bullet you rolled yourself, or, hitting a target/varmint at XXXX yards with a round you rolled yourself, PRICELESS!!!

    !!!EVERY!!! shooting industry business I have ever dealt with has been nothing but wonderful to me. But don't underestimate what some businesses do to save/make a buck.

    Somebody has to finance all the great research and development the ammo companies are doing...let it be the factory shooters /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif