My First Real Reloading Mistake

pburton

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
1,564
Location
Reno, NV
I have only been reloading my own rounds for about two years. I did not have anyone local to teach me, so I used what I learned here as well as many Youtube videos to start off. Over the last two years, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on the basics and have been getting some very consistent loads developed for several different rifles. About a month or so ago I purchased Quickload to use as a reference. This was about the same time that my 6.5-06 was finished. I have several reloading manuals and use them frequently, but I could not find any load data in them for this cartridge. So I used the Quickload program to figure out max pressure. This was my first mistake. I loaded up several rounds in .5 grain increments up to what the quickload max was. The first rounds that I shot, I did not use my chronograph, just looking for pressure signs. I settled on a powder charge and loaded several rounds with the bullet .020 off the lands. This time I ran them across my chronograph. To my surprise, the first round went 3100fps. I thought that there must be something wrong with my chronograph, because there was no way I was getting that velocity from a 23" barrel with a 143eldx. No stiff bolt lift, no extractor or ejector marks, but slightly flattened primers. So I shot a second round with almost identical velocity. Still no significant pressure signs. Third shot, same velocity. All three rounds went into the same whole at 100 yards. But, this time I blew a primer, the bolt was very stiff, it shoved my ejector back into the bolt face and left a primer mark on the bolt face. Obviously I stopped and did not shoot any more. This was very unnerving. I brought the remaining rounds home and pulled the bullets and dumped the powder. This is when I found the load data in the Nosler manual. I was running these rounds at 5 grains above the book reported max. I decided at this point to start over using the Nosler data with some freshly fire formed brass. What gets me is that I was not really seeing pressure signs up to this point. So, am I just missing the pressure signs because I don't know what I am looking for? To be honest, now I am a little nervous and second guessing my reloading abilities. I know that I should have double checked the load data prior to running it and should have used my chronograph the first time when I was looking for pressure. What else should I have done?
 

mongo4567

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Pflugerville, TX
I started reloading fairly recently myself. I have two friends that helped that both have over 20 years of experience....one closer to 40 years. I've just messed around with some of my favorite calibers that don't have good commercial ammo as I want it at good prices (6.5 swede, heavy 5.56, light 308, just subsonic 357, 280). I've learned a lot. One friend's loads for specific guns are quite a bit heavier than what you will see in recent reloading manuals. He very carefully works his way up, looking for velocity nodes. He says there are fast barrels and slow barrels, there are a ton of variables. As I understand the pressures they use in tests to failure for modern firearms is astounding.

I personally check every load on two sources, and write down everything in a load book. The writing helps me verify.
 

308win

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2017
Messages
63
Quickload is a great program, "if" you know how to use it properly. It is like any other reloading manual, it is a reference. Start low and work up, but as you get real world numbers you can plug them in and get a better idea of what you load is doing or going to do. You cannot just type in your cartridge and powder and call it good, not how it works. If you haven't already, be sure and get your water weights of the brass you are using. That alone can have a large effect on your performance. Adjust your burn rate factor accordingly. Be safe
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
2,205
I had QL for about 2 years, I dabble with many and varied wildcats and cases that just aren’t supported by most manufacturers such as the 264WM, no new data with modern slow powders exists.
Anyway, I knew how to ‘tweak’ QL but it still gave me fits.
Then Pressure Trace II appeared and I decided to buy that and run QL side by side... to put it frankly, QL is just a mighty big guess when it is put against raw data straight from the gun. Many will argue that a strain gauge tells you little, but I can tell you it tells you a helluva lot more than QL does.
I’m not gonna argue the merits of either, but a manual is a better reference in my mind than a predictive software program, at least the stuff in the manual has ACTUALLY been tested...in most cases.

Cheers.
 

aushunter1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
745
Location
Australia
I know that I should have double checked the load data prior to running it and should have used my chronograph the first time when I was looking for pressure. What else should I have done?
5gr over max, ouch :oops:

Lucky, very lucky!

But lesson learnt.

I've never used quick load & have no idea about it.
If my manuals dont have a load then I scour the internet looking for real sources of data(not forum data).

If that fails I email the powder company I am using before doing anthing asking if they have any available data.

I just typed 6.5-06 load data into google & this was the 1st listing!

I know there are plenty of ways to determine or arrive at results but I've never used pressure as an indicator.
Other people might but the way I see it when you find a node its pretty simple, it shows up on the target.
 

can1010

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
744
the best way to learn quickload is to do load work ups with common cartridges 243,308,270,3006 something with a lot of data and then you can learn how tweek quickload to match your guns results compared to book data. things to adjust in the beginning.
bullet length I have seen it off as much as .020
bullet weight
case capacity of fired and unsized case
oal lenght average
outside temp.
then start your load workup at the lowest setting in the yellow color pressure numbers
once you have actual shooting data then you can start adjusting weighting factor, bore cross section, powder burn rate. when you learn quickload you will find it is a valuable asset to your reloading but you need to learn its limitations
 

crystalgayleguy

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,029
Location
north texas
I have only been reloading my own rounds for about two years. I did not have anyone local to teach me, so I used what I learned here as well as many Youtube videos to start off. Over the last two years, I thought that I had a pretty good handle on the basics and have been getting some very consistent loads developed for several different rifles. About a month or so ago I purchased Quickload to use as a reference. This was about the same time that my 6.5-06 was finished. I have several reloading manuals and use them frequently, but I could not find any load data in them for this cartridge. So I used the Quickload program to figure out max pressure. This was my first mistake. I loaded up several rounds in .5 grain increments up to what the quickload max was. The first rounds that I shot, I did not use my chronograph, just looking for pressure signs. I settled on a powder charge and loaded several rounds with the bullet .020 off the lands. This time I ran them across my chronograph. To my surprise, the first round went 3100fps. I thought that there must be something wrong with my chronograph, because there was no way I was getting that velocity from a 23" barrel with a 143eldx. No stiff bolt lift, no extractor or ejector marks, but slightly flattened primers. So I shot a second round with almost identical velocity. Still no significant pressure signs. Third shot, same velocity. All three rounds went into the same whole at 100 yards. But, this time I blew a primer, the bolt was very stiff, it shoved my ejector back into the bolt face and left a primer mark on the bolt face. Obviously I stopped and did not shoot any more. This was very unnerving. I brought the remaining rounds home and pulled the bullets and dumped the powder. This is when I found the load data in the Nosler manual. I was running these rounds at 5 grains above the book reported max. I decided at this point to start over using the Nosler data with some freshly fire formed brass. What gets me is that I was not really seeing pressure signs up to this point. So, am I just missing the pressure signs because I don't know what I am looking for? To be honest, now I am a little nervous and second guessing my reloading abilities. I know that I should have double checked the load data prior to running it and should have used my chronograph the first time when I was looking for pressure. What else should I have done?
 

pburton

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
1,564
Location
Reno, NV
It was once fired Nosler brass. I took the three pcs of brass and resized it and found that the primer pockets were very loose. I am kind of surprised that I did not lose a primer with the first two shots.
 
Last edited:

pburton

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
1,564
Location
Reno, NV
Like I said earlier, I have been reloading for the last two plus years, but up to this point it has been for common cartridges. 300wm, 6.5 Creed, 243, 7RM, 300wby, etc. In each case I went with the load date based on the bullet manufacturer. I always start low and work up. My mistake was to use Quickload for something that it was not designed for. Since this event, I have necked down some Lapua Brass and started with Nosler's load data, which pretty much matches what I have found on the internet. The point of this thread was not to make myself look like an idiot, which I did a pretty good job of, but to pass on my error so that someone else may not make the same mistake. Thank you to everyone for their input. Good information!
 

crystalgayleguy

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,029
Location
north texas
I think most of us have had brain fartswhen I first started reloading I loaded for a while then quit for s couple of months started back up forgot to back the seater die off and put a bulge in the neck we all learn
 

LVJ76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
1,357
Location
Tucson, Arizona
Mistakes will be made and on this case the good think is no one was hurt.

I recommend you always use at last two reloading manuals and always start minimum load recommendation and work your way up as mentioned before on this thread. Me peraonally I use three and go from there.

Here is the load data from the Hornady book and I also have the one from Sierra available if you need it. The one from Nosler was already provided by @aushunter1 and he also gave you good advise.

Stay safe

20200711_185720.jpg


20200711_185712.jpg
 

Tiny Tim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
447
Even with all the data available, there can be a large variance. When looking for "published" manufacturer data for Reloader 22 in a 243 Winchester with 100 gr bullets. Max values ranged from 41.7 to 45.5 gr. Have to look at the "recipe" and always start low.
 

Wolf76

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
692
Location
Grandville, Michigan
Reloading requires a "feel" for stuff and a bit of common sense. Manual vs manual demonstrates this. Similar weight/design bullet shows "grains" of difference in the max charge. But then you notice the different primers, brass, and COAL in their set up- thus justifying the differences. Some manuals are very conservative - hornady.
I'm not in the start low camp. I start in the middle to middle upper.
Example: loading for a 338 edge. Not much data out - so start with the top end of 338 rum load data (because the 338 edge has a 90 thousandths longer case).
Glad you're ok and the mistake only cost you a few pieces of brass.
 

Trending threads

Top