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Old May 21, 2005, 12:57 PM   #1
Kayser
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Is there a place you can go to get factory load specs?

I'm interested in doing some comparisons against some factory loaded rounds (WWB, etc). Is there any place that lists what they use?
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Old May 21, 2005, 02:10 PM   #2
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Not generally. Commercial loaders use cannister powders purchased in large lots. Each lot has to be run through pressure tests to determine the C.U.P. matching charge required to meet the SAMMI pressure standards for the cartridges it will be used in.

The powders sold for reloading have better lot-to-lot burning characteristic consistency than commercial cannister powders, but cost more than large commercial loaders are willing to pay. Despite this, you are well advised to work up your loads over again with each lot of reloading powder you purchase. Even these have some variation.

All that said, you can find information on military loads. The cannister powders used in them are available surplus some of the time. Keep in mind that military brass is designed for automatic loading and is tougher and usually thicker than commercial equivalents, and therefore has a bit less powder capacity. This affects pressure, so if you aren't using military brass you probably won't match the load exactly even with military powder and bullets.

If you have a particular load you want to mimic with reloading gear, you will need instrumentation like the Oehler model 43 ballistics lab. Something that will let you watch pressure on a strain gage transducer when firing the commercial load you are interested in emulating, then allows you to try to match that characteristic with available reloading supplies. A few odd commercial loads (I am thinking of the Hornady Light Magnum loads and caseless ammo in particular), are put together by a special process not available to reloaders at all.

Good luck!

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Old May 21, 2005, 02:13 PM   #3
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Kayser,

I don't think you will ever find an ammunition manufacturer that will list what components they use.
The main reason is, they use bulk powders and don't always use the same thing.
You can pull a factory round apart, and maybe even get a good guess at what's inside, but you can NEVER be sure of what it is exactly.
On top of that, powder varies from lot to lot, lot A is not going to be like Lot B.

The best advice is to get a chronograph, shoot some factory stuff through it, and try to duplicate the velocities with your home brews. That's about the best that you're going to be able to do with handloading (when trying to dupilcate factory ammo that is..).
It's only reasonable that Winchester is using Winchester powder, bullets and primers, but in the world of big industry, it's impossible to tell what they are filling those rounds with. They could probably tell you, but I doubt that they would share that type of information with the general public.

Somebody else may know a little more about this than I, but honestly, I was never concerned with it myself. Whatever you shoot with your ammo, isn't going to know if it was hit with a bullet traveling 850 fps or 825 fps, it's just going to be hit.
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Old May 21, 2005, 02:15 PM   #4
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Doh! Unclenick was faster than me!
Oh well, we basically said the same thing, so I must be pretty close to being right.
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Old May 21, 2005, 03:17 PM   #5
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Old May 22, 2005, 07:16 AM   #6
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What purpose would it serve to know? Federal uses a primer for some rounds that they do not sell to the public for instance. For the most part due to exposure on the internet a person can be guided to good choices of components to elicit max accuracy from any given round, even some of the wildcats.

Besides reloading is about tweaking the load to suit your gun and needs.
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Old May 22, 2005, 11:47 AM   #7
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"Cartridges of the World" usually has loads that are listed as "factory equivilent" for most of the calibers they list. These are just loads that are "equal" to factory, they are NOT factory. Quantrill
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Old May 22, 2005, 11:57 AM   #8
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Go to the Winchester ammunition site and you can download their catalog of reloading components, complete with ballistics and the actual Winchester component load information.

This is the only commercial ammo manufacturer that I've seen that produces this info, and yes you can load to what their actual specs are, using their Winchester components.

Go here:

Winchester reloading components catalog
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Old May 22, 2005, 04:35 PM   #9
WESHOOT2
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categorically

Winchester's site does not provide specifics on their proprietary loaded ammo; they certainly will not specify which non-Winchester powders get (got?) used.

The 'factories' will not even divulge how many rds they manufacture, just generalities......secret stuff.
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Old May 24, 2005, 09:23 PM   #10
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Factory specs

OK, it has been well established here that factory loads can't be duplicated by reloaders, for the most part--as to components . That said, what you want, IMHO, is to do a reload that matches the factory ammo PERFORMANCE, using components that ARE available to the home reloader. And Quantrill has given you the source for that.

I will repeat the warning posted previous: NEVER, NEVER use powder pulled from factory ammo. Never assume that the powder is the same in factory ammo lot A as in lot B. Unidentified powder is lawn fertilizer. Period.

You can of course use the pulled bullets and the cases, and with less-than-max loads, the primers. But I wouldn't even use the primers.

This discussion has piqued my curiousity on one point: Why would you want to merely replicate what Win or Rem or Fed or any manufacturer produces? As a handloader, you can do better, far better!
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Old May 25, 2005, 07:58 AM   #11
JB in SC
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In addendum to the previous posters, ammunition manufacturers also blend powders.
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Old May 26, 2005, 07:46 PM   #12
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One exception to factory load data: I was re-reading Winchester's reloading manual and they specifically state 296 was developed for factory magnum pistol loads. It' s the only example I've run into.

Nick
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Old May 30, 2005, 08:57 AM   #13
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But they don't mention if they use it or sell it......
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Old May 30, 2005, 11:20 PM   #14
Bullet94
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Quote – “Is there a place you can go to get factory load specs? “

I think you can get the bullet weights and velocities for the cartridges from the companies web sights (or maybe off a box of their ammo). If you’re trying to get the same velocities with the same bullets then all you need is a chronograph. I do this in some of my ammo for home defense because the speeds that the factory loads at are probably good for the type of bullets they’re using. In my case Speer Gold Dots. At inside distances you probably want speed more than accuracy (most loads are accurate enough for 0 to 20 feet). If you want the exact components that the factories use I believe the posters above mine have explained why you won’t be able to get that info.
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Old May 31, 2005, 12:03 AM   #15
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All of this sounds right. Winchester will on occasion tout the quality of a component powder to reloaders by stating they use it for their factory loads, but they won't give specific data. Seems to me that this is an advance compared to the past. As Unclenick Pointed out W-296 is one. Others are WAP for the .40 which they no longer sell, but Ramshot does as Sihouette. No matter since it and all their others come from Primex anyway. W-748 in .223 and .30-30. W-760 in some of the short actions like 7mm-08 and XMR in the Magnum Fail-Safe loads. Remington on the other hand, well that's a different case entirely.
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