Hey all. I have a question regarding pressures and loading. First let me say I am not totally new to this. I have been loading and learning since about 1982. However I have a question...When loading is it safe to go over the max powder charge in the "Books" if you are not getting the same velocities (assuming using the same components). Example: I loaded some 180 ballistic tips for my .300 win mag , 76 grains of RL22, Fed 215, 3.35 OAL - max load from Nosler #5. I was getting 2950 over my Chrono from a 24" barrel. So I loaded some more at 79 grains of RL22, Fed 215, 3.35 OAL (a full 3 grains over listed max). Now velocity is 3050 +/- . Still 100 fps below noslers data. I have in the past assumed this would be safe in that rifle. My question is..is it really?? I would not sweat the extra 100 fps and normally would tune the load via OAL before trying a new powder or whatever. One of the reasons I'm asking is my friends rifle blew up next to me yesterday. Shooting handloads - same recipe he has used for years. It is under max powder charge and at the velocity of the Book he was using. Being right next to it and seeing him get fragged and me too was not cool. Details: Win Mod 70 stainless classic long action, trued, lapped, bedded, laminate aftermarket stock, 26" stainless Shilen barrel, 7mm magnum. Load: 69.5 grains of RL 22, Fed 215, Lapua brass I think and 140XXX. Velocity about 3350fps. Barnes shows that as a max load in standard data and under for coated. So we thought ballpark for the XXX. Brass has always lasted numerous reloadings and shows no signs of pressure I could detect. Basically a detonation. Right side of the stock blew off, left side cracked - both sides cracked through the pistol grip. Extractor - missing and unable to locate any part of it. Bolt locked shut. Magazine box, follower, and floor plate all bent to hell. Overall I think the action performed well. Most all of the gases went out the vents in the bottom of the bolt. I could see brass along the extractor cut. Glad he was shooting over a pack and not holding it. So are my thoughts on line or do I need to rethink what I am doing?