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Old 05-13-2014, 08:33 PM
Nontypical Buck
Nomercy448's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,580

New Reloaders are people, and people make mistakes quite often when they don't even realize it's a problem. Around 6-7yrs ago I visited a friend to check out his new home, and I noticed his new reloading equipment. I saw some of his fired brass to be deprimed and half of them had flat primers, some torched out around the primers, and some had bulging at the case head. I asked why he was loading them so hot after seeing those pressure signs. He said he thought that the flattened primers and torches were because he must not know how to run his hand primer correctly and probably wasn't doing it right, and that he figured the few bulges - THAT HE HAD NOT NOTICED - were because he was using cheap brass.

Naturally, I asked what he was charging, he was WAY over max loads. When I asked why, his response was that his velocities on the chrony weren't getting to what the manual said, so he kept putting more powder in!!! He forgot to note that his barrel was 8" shorter than his manuals test barrel!!! Thank God it all held together for him!!

So let's talk in that context... New reloaders, God bless them, are ignorant. They're still learning. We've all been there.

Originally Posted by bronko22000 View Post
OK non-believers let's look at the manuals. Take the .270 Win for example using IMR4350

Lyman 46th ed: 130 gr Spitzer; Max 54.5 (Case Winchester)
Hornady Vol II: 130 gr Spire; Max 57.6 (Case Western)

So based on my initial post of not loading to maximum charge.
So, say I'm a new reloader, and not knowing any better I heard from some dude on this forum that I can mix and match any brass. I have the Hornady manual and Winchester brass. Using your advice, I might find myself loading a 55.5grn load in my "load workup", which is 2 full grains under a max load, or a touch less than 4% under max. However, that 55.5grn load is a FULL GRAIN over the max load for the Winchester brass. Since I'm a new reloader, I only bought ONE manual, because some guy online said I only needed one (another recent thread), and I didn't realize that I was exceeding the max load for my particular case.

He11, let's make it even worse, another part of this thread said I could mix in different primers, and since there's a primer shortage going on, I couldn't find the WLR's that the Hornady manual suggested, but they had some WLRM's or maybe even some 9 1/2M's...

So now I'm using Winchester brass, specified as a standard rifle primer (whichever the 4th Lyman suggested) and a 54.5grn max load, and I'm running a magnum primer and a load that's a full grain over max!!!

What if I keep pushing my load development clear up to the max of 57.6grns, because I don't know what pressure signs look like yet?

Remember, in this scenario, consider the 100% new reloader, maybe even a new shooter. I don't know what sticky bolts mean, I don't know what a flattened primer looks like, 'cuz I don't really know what regular fired primers look like yet. So I'm going along, thinking I'm safe because I'm 2grns away from a max load...

We didn't even mix in different bullet profiles for the same description, or the seating depth! Even new reloaders have heard of VLD's, and what about the TTSX that's lead-free and knocking deer in the dirt all over the place? Say I put one of these "longer-than-normal" spire-point bullets seated to a COAL listed for a standard profile spire-point, meaning over seated, maybe even compressing my charge depending on the case, sitting on top of an OVER MAX LOAD and a MAGNUM PRIMER???

Or what if my bullet profile is off the other way, the ogive point is longer and I end up jamming the lands by 5 thou. Heck, a hard closing bolt only means that my once fired brass is perfectly formed to my chamber, right? So now I have a jammed bullet sitting on an over max load and an over-pressure primer...

Now what if I did my load workup and didn't have ANY Win brass in that bunch? I cooked it right up to the limit with this high pressure loads, maybe even decided that the flattened primers were flukes, instead of realizing they were happening in Rem brass, and NOT happening in the Western brass... Now I grab another range lot full of brass and load up a batch that DOES have Winchester brass included... So I have all of my load development that says my load was safe, those split Winchester cases sure are going to come as a surprise!

Your particular load came out at 54grn, which as you pointed out was safe in any brand of case. HOWEVER... That's you. You had all of those manuals to cross-reference and can be confident that a 54grn load will be safe with almost any spire point. But not all shooters/reloaders have that info. You're talking to a new reloader, and in a public forum with an eternal memory, such that OTHER new reloaders might find this information in the future.

Sure, you can work up any combination you like, but it might take a keen eye wrought from experience to determine when things are getting hairy. Inexperienced hands make mistakes, keeping components consistent across the board is one way to help mitigate some of those mistakes.
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