When is too much pressure???

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ovastafford, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    I am a reloader and I know all the indicators for pressure, bolt lift, ejector marks, primer pockets, primer flattening etc.... My question is when is it dangerous. I have heard that ejector marks show high pressure but if the bolt lift is still normal your not going to blow your face up. I dont really care about brass life so could someone clear up when over pressure is too much over pressure? I have a load for one of my guns that for some reason is showing pressure signs when it never showed them before in load development. I get ejector marks but the bolt lift seems fine. Its shooting moa groups at 1,000 yards so I dont really want to change anything.

    Thanks
     
  2. cfvickers

    cfvickers Well-Known Member

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    This is only half serious, and I am not necessarily recommending it. But it is true.

    I have found that I can ruin an ejector pin and blow a primer while maintaining good accuracy without (yet) blowing up my gun and/or my person. 6.5-284 brass is expensive though, and all be it that I am able to replace the ejector pin without going to a better equipped gunsmith, i would prefer to preserve the working life of my rifle, and I believe that if I were to maintain these pressures continuously, the rifle would give way in some manner sooner rather than later.

    that said, when the case comes out without the primer, you are at maximum. Beyond that I believe you are strolling deep into the danger zone.

    On a real note, if you are just going to hunt with it, if the average case life for the cartridge is generally 10 shots, I would stick to loads that do no more than cut that in half, to say, five shots. when the primer pocket starts to loosen, you should stop using that case, don't try for one more round from it, even if you are pretty sure it is good for one more. if case necks are blowing early in the case life, it is too hot or you need better brass, or possibly just to aneal it.

    Disclaimer:

    Nothing I have mentioned here are truely safe reloading practices, and I do not recommend loading that hot EVER. But it is the answer to your question in my experience. If you want something faster than what is easily achievable in your cartridge, you should either rechamber the rifle or get one in a chambering that meets your needs.
     

  3. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    +1 well said.
     
  4. DKA

    DKA Well-Known Member

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    Any time that pressure signs are there, you are flirting with danger.
     
  5. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would scale it down and rework the load. It will not take you that long. Better safe than sorry than have something bad happen to you. Curious as to what has change to give you more pressure all of a sudden.
    COAL change and put bullet into the lands ?
    Buy new can of powder and it has a different burn rate ?
    Need to recalibrate powder scale?
    Carbon ring in neck of chamber ?
    Give it some thought.
     
  6. ovastafford

    ovastafford Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering the same thing. Its the same lot of powder, I calibrate my scale each time I reload, I havent adjusted my dies at all, it could be a carbon ring....?

    I ended up backing off 1/2gr of powder and Im still getting great accuracy with no pressure signs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  7. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    If you are getting no pressure, then how are you getting the bullet out of the barrel?
     
  8. cfvickers

    cfvickers Well-Known Member

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    I really hope everyone here understands that I was in no way what so ever suggesting that he or anyone push their loads to the maximums I spoke of. I agree with others who have said it could be dangerous. You never know when there is some flaw in your rifle that you cannot see and these practices, even though I and many others are guilty, make hurting yourself a very real possibility. I simply wanted to answer his question as it was asked. what is the real limit. Where the real limit is different with every gun, you really don't want to find it. For target loads I try to keep my loads below published maximum, well below, but I will push the limits when I want to take minor ranging errors out of the equation inside of 450 yards for hunting purposes. With these loads I will work them up shoot a couple groups, Zero and hunt. Re Zero and switch loads when I go back to target shooting.