Running hot loads?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bigeclipse, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    All,
    I know there are varied opinions about running at or above max book loads and I don't want to start a war over it. Just looking for some insight/thoughts. My Remington 700 3006 consistently shows slight primer craters even in factory loads so going off that just does not work. I was working up some loads back in January where temps were about 20 degrees F. I had NO bolt lift issues. I posted the case pics and most commented they saw a slight primer crater but not much else in way of pressure signs. Someone said he saw "maybe" a touch of ejection mark but couldn't be sure unless he saw it in person. I myself looked closely at the area he was talking about and still did not see what he did. Anyways, the worry was using these same loads in warmer temps since they were about .8 grains above book max. Again, not looking to start an argument. I rarely go above book max unless I suspect that the load has very low pressure in my rifle compared to book values with my chrono info combined. Also, this load is shooting very accurate at decent velocities. Fast forward a few months and I decided to work up to that same test load in 60 degree weather to check safety and accuracy. It held the same accuracy as it did in 20 degrees F. There was ZERO bolt stick. The primers look about as "slightly" cratered as they always did and I still don't see any ejector marks. That being said...our deer hunting season NEVER gets above 45F during rifle season, so I am thinking I can officially call this a safe load in this rifle during the winter hunting season. I am getting that ring around the case head after 2 firings, but again this is a factory rifle with a pretty terribly large chamber and I "think" the ring im seeing is from where the sizing die stops. I don't intend on shooting these cases more than 3 firings as this is NOT a rifle I shoot much at all except hunting season. Thoughts?
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I am not a big proponent of over max loading and feel that if a person wants more velocity, the simple solution is to go with a larger chamber by changing cartridges or simply going to an Ai and increasing the powder volume.

    As far as the crater around the firing pin, that can happen even if the load is to standard SAMME pressures if the firing pin hole in the bolt is a little larger than it needs to be.

    Ejector marks on the case head are a good sign that pressures are high, and of course heavy bolt lift is a sign that pressures are present for one reason or another.

    If you are not seeing any marks on the case head and not having heavy bolt lift, In My Opinion you are fine.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  3. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Honestly I wasn't exactly looking for more speed only. This rifle...no matter which powder I use has always shot slower than book numbers. Sometimes a good deal slower. I was doing an OCW test and reached the higher charge I got to with no signs of pressure. Well it turned out the OCW range was right at .5-1.2 grains above max. All these shots had similar points of impact. So I chose .8 which was in the middle and wanted to wait for warm weather to test pressures again to ensure safety. This load is super accurate and just has the bonus of decent velocity but yes the charge is above book value which did worry me a bit.

    I loaded up 35 rounds of this which is the last of the powder I had. Once these are gone I will go after different powder combo.
     
  4. pods8

    pods8 Well-Known Member

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    Powder charge alone isn't a dead stopping point NOR is it a green flag to go to it when starting out simply for the fact that all components have lot to lot variations. For the same bullet/powder combo I've seen different reloading manuals have 2-3gr differences in maximum!

    So if you work your way up towards the max and your velocity (when factoring in barrel length) is still reading low then it MAY be an indication you're running at lower pressures than what was tested.


    Not that I'm recommending you run hot but one thing to keep in mind with 30-06 is the load data for that will be 60ksi and under as that is what it was rated for based on the firearms it could be used in. You're presumably using a modern bolt action that also could be chambered in 270win? 270win is loaded to 65ksi. So from a safety standpoint you likely are okay assuming your velocity isn't out of line. My $.02

    That said if you find something a little accurate a bit slower you may want to just run that, 50-100fps doesn't make or break a cartridge.
     
  5. Canadian Bushman

    Canadian Bushman Well-Known Member

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    This is as good advice as you're gonna get.

    Reloading guides are just that, let your brass tell you what your gun likes. Always reload for accuracy, let the speed fall where it will.

    Remington is notorious for poorly fit firing pins.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
  6. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I actually agree. Unfortunately, with the load work up I tried, I did not find much of an OCW charge zone in the lower spectrum. Actually, those zones were pretty horrid for accuracy. This is a modern rem 700 bought new 3 years ago. I am using up the remainder IMR4064 (which is not a desirable powder for 180s). There was ~.6lbs left on my shelf and other powders were scarce near me so I decided to run an OCW and use the remainder powder for the last 35 shots. These 35 rounds will likely last me 5 years for hunting season (if not longer). This rifle goes max 400 yards, and is my woods walking gun. It is not a range gun. I basically go to the range with this rifle and verify zero has not changed before hunting season while putting some foulers through. So basically I shoot 3 shots prior to hunting season and unless I miss my deer, I will likely only shoot it once during the season. So 4 shots a year minimum. After I use up these 35 rounds, I will run a new OCW with a more appropriate powder/bullet combo.
     
  7. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

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    Every rifle is different, therefore "hot loads" is a very relative term to your particular rifle. What might have been considered a "max safe load" for the rifle the load developers used, might not be a max safe load for your rifle. Your rifle might can handle more powder before finding pressure signs... It might show signs before you reach max book loads, that's why I only use the books as a guide, and not the God's honest truth.
     
  8. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    I agree, if you have no signs of pressure, then I think your fine. I have three different loads that are at least 1grn over book max in my 30-06. The shell case can handle 65k psi, just some rifles can't...
     
  9. Rich Coyle

    Rich Coyle Well-Known Member

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    My son-in-law has a 7 Rem Mag that hits maximum velocity with starting loads. That's as high as he goes. I worked up a load for a fiend's .22-250 and didn't get accuracy till I was one grain above book max. Then I laid a box of ammo in the windshield of the car with the windows rolled up. (He lived in Arizona at the time.) After about a hour I pulled the box of ammo and fired five into 5/8" with zero bolt lift. I called it good.
     
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the prior comments. I would add that not all loading manuals are created equal as to the max load data. Some are more conservative than others. Variables that effect max pressure can be the rifle's chamber, seating depth of the bullet, powder lot, as well as the bore of the rifle. As mentioned, cratered primers may be caused by the machining of the bolt face. Stiff bolt lift and loose primer pockets are much surer signs of an overoressure condition which will cause me to back off. I like to operate lower than max pressure.
     
  11. dragman

    dragman Well-Known Member

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    IMHO I don't use the books at all. Now I don't have an factory rifles that I am loading anything for at the moment, but a lot of custom ones. The book tells me very little...

    How can you give me case capacity and max loads if:
    book doesn't know my exact reamer dimensions
    book doesn't know if it's a tight bore or not
    book doesn't know the measurement of the gas check on the bullet your running

    There are too many small things that can be different. Honestly it's a general guide and that is it. once I am ready to try a powder, bullet, primer combo just work up slowly looking for all the classic pressure signs and go from there. I have had guns that showed pressure almost 3 grains UNDER the books max all because of the data above being so different than SAMI spec. I have also had many guns that I shot 4-5 grains over the books max for those same reasons.

    When in doubt with a factory gun use the book since reloading isn't something to take chances on, but if you know what your doing just be smart about it.
     
  12. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Good. Velocity is not always the answer and many things effect velocity in different rifles.

    Some barrels just shoot slower and some are faster. Also all reloading books are not the same
    and testing is normally calculated not actually test fired.

    Powder manufactures will normally show there powder to out perform other powders, and bullet manufactures will load for the best performance of there bullets depending on who wrote the reloading book.

    They should be considered a guide line to start loading safely and give you a Minimum safe Load
    to start with. (Warning : Squib Loads can be very dangerous and should be avoided).

    It sounds like you are fine but watch your brass in hot weather and if there is no change, you are good to go.

    J E CUSTOM