I've been reloading for about 18 years now. When I started out, I was in my teens and did everything by the book because I didn't have a chronograph. How fast my loads were didn't matter; I was shooting 200 yards tops. It wasn't until about three years ago that I finally broke down and bought a chrony. That was an eye-opener seeing just how far off my loads were. Having a chronograph was a useful addition, but so were Nathan Foster's books (and later this forum). It wasn't until reading about how generous chambers and throat lengths can have a very negative effect on the speeds and pressures achieved that I began creeping over published maximum charges. I'm not advocating anyone doing this, and most certainly not if they don't own a chronograph! Here's my question to some of you professional (or hell even amateur) ballisticians: what's the most you've had to venture over maximum to achieve an expected speed? I understand some rifles simply cannot reach what the manual says is possible, while others can get there comfortably. I'll pose a few examples. 1. A Browning A-Bolt 270 WSM. Using RL 19 and the 110 TTSX, this rifle will exceed published speeds by almost 100 fps but I cannot get close to the max charge listed. I have to stay 0.9 grain under listed max (which puts me a few fps over their max speed). 2. A new to me Remington 788 in 243. This rifle a tried various charge weights of Varget under the 75 grain V-MAX. I did not have my chronograph with me when testing but accuracy was good and I did not get any stop signs up to book max. It shot good so I loaded 40 of them up. That was a mistake; I checked it later and it's about 300 fps slow. 3. A 25-06 with a 24" barrel. I'm intending this to be my 400 yard coyote hammer. This time I'm using the chronograph to find this rifle's maximum. Nosler says RL 19 should propel the 85 grain Ballistic Tip to 3600 fps. I loaded up 10 rounds in half grain increments (at their coal) and ran them over the screens. At book maximum I got 3200 fps, and primers that looked like I'd been shooting starting loads. A 2.5 grain over max charge netted 3399, and still no pressure. I should add that this rifle is my guinea pig for trying HBN, and the bullets are coated. I know this causes a drop in pressure and a need to add more powder but still, 400 fps low? What say you?