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Old August 19, 2000, 09:51 PM   #1
Don Gwinn
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Join Date: March 9, 2000
Location: Virden, IL
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Well, I've got two reloading manuals under my belt so far, and both list a lot of loads. The Speer manual, of course, lists loads for Speer bullets, while the other is a more general guide and lists loads for several different bullets. Each warns that using a load developed for one manufacturer's bullet with one made by a different company is asking for trouble.

However, I can get hard-cast bullets in the size and style I want (200-gr LSWC) locally much cheaper than springing to ship Speer or other brands from far away. I don't know of any published load data for these bullets. It occurs to me that I should ask the manufacturer about loads now that I'm typing this, but I don't feel like waiting until Monday for an answer. If I don't find out a decent load, then, is it safe to work out my own load starting with the minimum for a Speer bullet of the same weight, style and construction, as long as I don't change the powder or primer?
Thanks.
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Old August 19, 2000, 10:25 PM   #2
ArmySon
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Don,
The difference between manufacturer's bullets can vary. The biggest is the hardness of the cast bullet. For instance, if you take a 185 grain bullet that's relatively soft and use Oregon Trail's load data, you're going to have quite a bit of leading in your bore.

What I use from the manual is a rough outline of what a particular bullet weight and powder charge will do. It provides me with a basis for maximum charge.

Depending on what I'm loading, I may start off 10-15% lower then the max. charge. If I want target loads, then the data is probably not even in the book since most books list loads that run near max.

That's the beauty behind reloading. Experimentation with different bullets, powders, OAL, etc. Contacting the manufacturer is a good idea. Don't be disappointed if they provide you with a very bland reply.

Some of the best source of load data is from the net. Just like the members of TFL, you'll start compiling your own charts. From there, it's amazing how much of a difference you'll find in + or - a few tenths of a grain with accuracy.

Take care and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me at any time.
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Old August 20, 2000, 08:55 AM   #3
Hutch
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Join Date: February 12, 2000
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Caution and prudence are primary virtues for any reloader, however, I think your concerns might be a little TOO cautious. It's okay to take load data for one bullet brand and use it as a starting point for another brand as long as it's the same (or nearly) weight and construction (cast vs. cast, jacketed vs. jacketed, and swaged vs. swaged). Notice the words "starting point". Do as you have been, working powder charges up carefully while watching for pressure signs. You're doing great, and you'll be fine. FYI, Speer lead, non-jacketed bullets are swaged (formed with pressure in a mold) rather than cast (molten lead poured in a mold). They are MUCH softer and prone to leading than commercially cast bullets at velocity above 900fps or so. YMMV
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Old August 20, 2000, 11:15 AM   #4
Don Gwinn
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Thanks, guys. I was hoping that was the case, but I had this mental image of coming back to the forum one day and posting "Well, I blew the SIG all to hell. Wasn't sure if the bullet made that much of a difference but I didn't want to ask....."
It wasn't a pretty sight!

Got dies and shell holders yesterday at the gun show for about $35 total. Could have gone cheaper but I wanted brand new dies and I thought that was a decent price if not exactly fire-sale. De-primed and sized all my .45 brass just for the hell of it. I'm going to check out a new outdoor club today and maybe buy a scale and some components. Dad gave me an old set of calipers. I'm having fun with this. Hoping to be loading shells by next weekend for testing the weekend after that.

Thanks again, Son. I can't pay you back yet but I'll figure something out.
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Old August 20, 2000, 12:14 PM   #5
ArmySon
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You can pay me back by showing up again for next year's EOSM. At that time, show me your super duper reloads
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