The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 17, 2007, 08:28 AM   #1
qajaq59
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2005
Posts: 139
Pressure sign question?

I've been loading for years but I've never exceeded the max load because up to now I always hit the best load before I got to the max. However, now I have a load that is improving drastically as I'm approaching the max and I'm thinking of going over.
Anyway, here is the question.
Will the cases show excessive pressure long before the rifle decides to let go? It is a modern rifle in good shape and has been fired very little.
qajaq59 is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 08:59 AM   #2
singleshot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 1, 1999
Posts: 162
Every gun and cartridge is different so the typical pressure signs are poor indicators of what is really happening.

The problem is that primers rarely show flattening until the load is considerably over. If you are using pressure tested data from a reliable source it's best to trust them.
singleshot is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 09:22 AM   #3
Buckythebrewer
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2006
Location: Jefferson, ME
Posts: 700
Like someone mentioned(I can't remember who)The best way to know for sure if your WAY over pressure is head expansion and primers being blown out the back of the cartridge(Kinda when the spent primers just kind of fall out )If your finding you can't seat primers,Or they are not nearly as tight as they were,,,You are expanding the head from to much pressure(or maybe reloading your brass to many times).Back off your loads!!I know this from personal experience.I agree, some loads do best when they are light charged.The load you are working on now is like the loads I have for my ar15,They like it near max.I recommend just being happy with what you have under NEVER exceed loads.They may be safe in your rifle ,But if they ever get in someone elses it could be BAD,,VERY BAD!!..I recommend leaving your powder charge under NEVER exceed charges,,Then mess with other variables(safely that is.)Flattening primers can be mis-read very easy.Yes you can tell by that but You can't accurately read them all the time.(again like mentioned)Measure your head diameter and see if it is expanding more than normal.If so maybe back off a little.
Never exceed,NEvER EXCEED data IMO
Buckythebrewer is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
It seems to me that in order for primer reading to be even somewhat effective, that you would have to retain fired cases from each & every load from the development, so you could watch the progression of the primer and how it looks. Even then, it still may not be a 100% effective method.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 12:50 PM   #5
OlderFox
Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2007
Location: W. Canada
Posts: 22
I like my eyes, hands and rifles just the way they are.
I get to use the name OlderFox by following in the footsteps of others who are cautious in what and how they reload.
NEVER exceed published information!!!

Cheers
__________________
West of hell. East of the Rockies.
OlderFox is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 04:16 PM   #6
castnblast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 2, 2006
Location: Corpus Christi TX
Posts: 1,147
specifically, which caliber are you eluding to? Sounds like a 224 cal. IF you are venturing into this area, be very cautious. I'd go to the POWDER MANUFACTURES WEB SITE and cross check you load against theirs. You may find you are not over their max charge. IF you do this, go up in VERY SMALL increments. I did this up to .5 gr. over max for my 22-250, but then changed to a faster powder to get the desired results. Also, I had an experience last week w/ a new bullet I was testing that got high pressure signs .5 under max. Take you calipers w/ you to the range and measure your case head for expansion. IF it exceeds the tolerances, DON'T SHOOT any more of that ammo. Take it home, and disassemble the remaining rounds so they don't get shot accidentally. Also, Make darn sure you are wearing safety glasses.
__________________
VEGETARIAN...old indian word for bad hunter
castnblast is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 05:15 PM   #7
qajaq59
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2005
Posts: 139
Ahhh, sage advice

You know, for a minute there I had a weak moment. I'll quit at max and be satisfied. Beats buying new hands.
Thanks Guys
qajaq59 is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 06:01 PM   #8
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
Another suggestion; if you are finding increased accuracy with increased velocity, and have a chronograph…switch powders and work back to that velocity. You may be able to surpass the pressure limitations and velocity ceiling or one powder and safely go faster with another powder choice. The variance in burn rate affects the pressure curve. Obviously, stay in book values unless you KNOW different is safe.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 06:40 PM   #9
cheygriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,232
IN my experience, case life is the most reliable indicator or pressure. If you can reload a case 5 or more times without the primer pocker getting lose, or other indicators, you're not over the limit for pressure.

I typically load 5 cases, and run them over a chronograph. When I start getting close to max/factory velocity, I look closely for pressure signs, and then start loading the same cases over and over. If I get to 5 loadings with a particular load, and the primer pockets are still tight, I know that load is safe.

Often, I get pockets starting to loosen up after 2 or 3 reloadfs, long before book max. Sometimes, not often, I get well over book max and still get the 5 reloads.
__________________
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 06:57 PM   #10
Buckythebrewer
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2006
Location: Jefferson, ME
Posts: 700
cheygriz ,I agree 100% with those findings(except ive never loaded over max).I get the same thing (1-2 shot case life)sometimes loading for my ar15 using 77gr smk in Lc brass,using 23.8gr h4895(near never exceed according to Lee).It depends ,,I usually can reload brass many times without head expansion problems ,But it is the one thing I look for more than any primer signs or whatever.I have seen a big difference in manufacturers and lots as far as expansion.It may be my imagination (or the way I was loading)but I don't think so.The biggest SCARY moment was when I ignored COMMON sense and fired NATO 5.56 malaysian surplus ammo in my ar15(I got a case CHEAP,800 rnds for $20 ).It was very accurate ,but I noticed some primers missing when I collected the brass ..Ive got one round that almost seperated completely,,,VERY scary
I don't have that ammunition anymore.It is in the home of a NATO 5.56 chambered ar15.
SAFETY,SAFETY,SAFETY!! 1st.

LIVE and learn
Buckythebrewer is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 07:33 PM   #11
steve4102
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,980
Quote:
NEVER exceed published information!!!
Great idea. But, Who's data? There is always a difference in data from various sources. Some times a lot and some times not. For example, loading for the 30-30 Win. with Sierra 150gr FN bullets. Accurate Powder AA4064 has a Max of 33gr while Sierra #5 has a Max of 35.5gr. Who's data do you call Max?
steve4102 is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 07:49 PM   #12
jdmick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Posts: 130
Quote:
Great idea. But, Who's data? There is always a difference in data from various sources. Some times a lot and some times not. ... Who's data do you call Max?
That's a good question. I tend to believe the powder manufacturers above others but I'm not sure who to believe sometimes either.
jdmick is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 09:42 PM   #13
Buckythebrewer
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2006
Location: Jefferson, ME
Posts: 700
How about just taking the variables into consideration and take them both seriously??Its not like you should just only believe one.You can't just load max( at 1st safely) and feel good about in no matter whose data your going by..If you can load up to ones max with no over pressure signs,and the others says you can do more.I would just be very cautious moving up to the next step as well as make sure your reading everything correctly..
Whats wrong with that reasoning?
Buckythebrewer is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 10:00 PM   #14
jdmick
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Posts: 130
It's always said to stay within published max. Whose max? If I was 100% confident of my ability to recognize pressure signs it would work fine to work up to the lower max and carefully continue on to the higher published max. Frankly though, I value my fingers and eyes more than a couple hundred fps, so I tend to stick with the lower figures.
jdmick is offline  
Old January 17, 2007, 11:00 PM   #15
steve4102
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,980
Quote:
How about just taking the variables into consideration and take them both seriously??Its not like you should just only believe one.You can't just load max( at 1st safely) and feel good about in no matter whose data your going by..If you can load up to ones max with no over pressure signs,and the others says you can do more.I would just be very cautious moving up to the next step as well as make sure your reading everything correctly..
Whats wrong with that reasoning
Nothing. Except that you and others here have stated very clearly "Never exceed, NEVER EXCEED" data. I would like to know how you go about staying under max loads when the load data out there is so wide spread? In some cases the start load in one manual is over max in another. What then?


I
steve4102 is offline  
Old January 18, 2007, 06:32 PM   #16
Buckythebrewer
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2006
Location: Jefferson, ME
Posts: 700
Its simple,,I go by one book,,LEE.I work up my loads,,And to this day have never needed more powder than max(Ive never loaded max).I use the books as a guide and I never exceed the never exceed data..If one says its safe to go higher and the other one is saying don't ,,,I don't.There are other variables like barrel length..I trust Lee for a guide.I always start near start loads(they always function perfect) and I usually never get anywere near anybody's MAX/Never exceed loads.
My ar15 is an exception.I have pushed it a few times(junking brass after 1-2 shots),But still never exceeded Lee max loads..
Most people should never have to go anywere near max loads in any manual.I believe the only need for it is long range shooting or a specific hunting round you are trying to get a maximum effect with bullet expansion or whatever.JMO I understand what you are saying though to a point.We had a problem with a desert eagle in 44 mag we were trying to get to function reliably(completely rebuilt).We were trying Light loads as well as all the way up to max (in one manual and not in the other)to try to get it to work.That pistol/CANNON did not function well near max AT ALL.I would guess it had an issue with port pressure for some reason..
I just believe there is hardly ever a reason to have to decide between manuals to go more or not..
Bigger is not always better
At least thats what I tell myself
Buckythebrewer is offline  
Old January 18, 2007, 06:38 PM   #17
cheygriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,232
Every gun is an individual unto itself. When you have become an experienced reloader, and you have the toools to properly measure case head expansion, and you have good dose of common sense, you can load to near the max for your particular gun.

Years ago, I had a Sako 7mm Magnum. Using 160 gr bullets, and H 4831, I CAREFULLY worked up a load that would shoot 5 shots into 3/4 inch. This load was a full three grains above the max in any loading manual. I was able to load the cases 5 times before they had to be tossed.

I would never have dreamed of shooting this load in any other 7MM magnum, but it was perfectly safe and scary accurate in that particular rifle.

But while working up the load, after every 1/2 grain increase in powder, the casec heads were checked with a [B]micrometer.[/B]

When I got within 1 1/2 grains of book max, I started loading each case 5 times brfore proceeding to another 1/2 grain increase.

Safety is always paramount.
__________________
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10494 seconds with 7 queries