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Old August 21, 2012, 01:24 PM   #1
militant
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Hottest hand loads?

I was thinking about getting into reloading my own ammo. Aside from it being somewhat cheaper and fun , what are some of the hottest hand loads you have achieved?
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Old August 21, 2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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If you are "thinking" about "getting into reloading", I would suggest you focus on low to mid-range loads.
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Old August 21, 2012, 01:41 PM   #3
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I would think some one reloading would be more interested in accuracy then the Hottest loads.

Velocity doesn't have a lot to do with accuracy.

An example, The International Rifle shooters long ago found the most accurate 308 load was somewhere in the neighborhood of 2200 fps.

You don't gain a lot by stepping that up unless you need to do it to work the action in a gas gun.

That's why the Match Loads for the M14/M1A are kept around 2550 fps, it works the action and is some what a comformise for the 2200 FPS number.
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Old August 21, 2012, 02:08 PM   #4
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Old August 21, 2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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I wasn't going to attempt to make a "hot load" this was more of a thread to boast ones abilities. It's crazy how quick people are to jump down others throats around here.
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Old August 21, 2012, 02:43 PM   #6
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Reloading can have dangerous consequences. I believe it wise to walk before one runs and your intentions in regard to "hot" loads were unclear. Since you have no intention to "red-line" your reloads when you start reloading, then I apologize.
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Old August 21, 2012, 03:02 PM   #7
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Don't sound like a good candidate for reloading. If you really need hot loads you need a bigger, more powerful cartridge/gun combo. Don't get me wrong I don't mind a little tinkering with loads but you don't go from never reloading to wanting to work up hot loads over night. Take a slow, big step away from the reloading bench or natural selection may ensue.
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Old August 21, 2012, 04:53 PM   #8
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I have been reloading for a long time and I dont load anything over what the manual says. Sure there are some powder and bullet combo's that can be loaded hot but I always stay within the guidlines of the manual. Most of my loads are less than maximum and I have great results.
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Old August 21, 2012, 09:12 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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Book max is plenty good for hunting and for social work. Anybody who gets all excited about high pressures as a desirable thing is somebody I'd just as soon stay away from.
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Old August 21, 2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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I wasn't going to attempt to make a "hot load" this was more of a thread to boast ones abilities. It's crazy how quick people are to jump down others throats around here.
No one jumping here, we just want you around with ALL of your Digits and eyes most of us reloaders here first practice safety not so much speed as we know speed doesn't kill its the sudden stop.

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Old August 21, 2012, 11:05 PM   #11
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The thing is, there's not much in the way of skill or "ability" involved in dropping extra powder into the case.

The only exception I can think of would be if you had some kind of a scientific test rig that would let you accurately measure chamber pressure as you worked up your loads. Then, there might be some "bragging rights" in being able to achieve the highest velocity *while still staying under the SAAMI pressure maximums* by choosing the right combination of bullet weight, charge weight, seating depth, etcetera.

But even then, most of us reload for accuracy, and the very fastest loads usually aren't the most accurate.
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Old August 21, 2012, 11:24 PM   #12
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I'll actually answer your question. In my mind it is better to help someone to stay within the limits of safety than it is to say "I've never done that and you shouldn't either".

If you want to push velocity, whether it be rifle or pistol (I haven't reloaded shotgun for years) expect to invest in a lot of powders. Each cartridge usually has one or two powders that stand above the rest velocity wise. Look at all the manufacturers free reloading guides to get a better idea of velocities. I always recommend staying within the published load data, but max load is within that so I don't go around trying to scare people away from it. It's generally novice reloaders who don't shy away from max load as a rule.

These days I like to buy powder in bulk (5-8 lbs jugs) and find as many loads possible using just a couple powders. So I chase economy, others chase accuracy, still others chase velocity. Just like you got poo pooed for saying you want to shoot fast ammo without even hinting at the idea of ignoring safety I will get poo pooed for trying to save money. Welcome to the online world.

But my "hot" load is using AA#5 with 45acp jacketed bullets. It will deliver +P velocities at standard pressures. Plus with works good for 9mm too so it doesn't collect dust when I am shooting cast bullets, which is almost all I shoot.
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Old August 22, 2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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Accuracy always trumps velocity in my book. Hotter handloads lead to faster wear-the 220 Swift is very hard on barrels, while many a fine revolver has met its end being fired with too hot loads.
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Old August 22, 2012, 12:15 AM   #14
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If you want higher velocities easily and safely buy longer barreled handguns. I can easily get max load velocities with start loads of powder in my 7.5" 44's. They usually use a 4" barrel to test with.
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Old August 22, 2012, 06:55 AM   #15
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If you want higher velocities easily and safely buy longer barreled handguns. I can easily get max load velocities with start loads of powder in my 7.5" 44's. They usually use a 4" barrel to test with.
A side note to the above comment, years ago I was working up a hunting load using the Sierra 108gr JHC for my Ruger Redhawk in 44 magnum. At the time I had the latest Lyman manual and after looking over loads from powder and bullet manufactures, I settled on the H-110 load listed in the Lyman. I worked it right up to the top end listed load, and it shot wonderfully, putting many rounds into 1-2" groups at 100yds. It was after being at the range one day talking with another shooter who asked what in tarnation I had loaded, that I got curious and went back and read the full details of the load data. Turned out the load was worked up in a 4" barrel. Since I was shooting a 7.5" barrel I was surely pushing the limits. While it presented no obvious physical damage to my revolver, or the brass I was loading, it could have been catastrophic had I used some other handgun of less strength.

As for top end loads, yep I have run a few up to the published top end, and some even shot very well. The overall majority however fall somewhere in the range of 1-3 grains depending on the powder below this level. I am one of the crowd who would MUCH rather put every shot through the same hole if possible than to blow the target off the stand. If I need more than what I can get with my .270 I reach for my 7mm Rem Mag. If that won't quite get it done I grab the STW. Same with the smaller ones. I have a Contender barrel chambered in .223 AI, that I expressly purchased to run up to the upper end with the lighter weight bullets for varmint hunting. Turns out the best shooting load I have for it is Winchester factory loads in a 45gr HP form the 40rd Varmint Packs. I simply cannot approach the accuracy with anything I have tried so I quite trying. I get around 3200fps form the tiny bullet from the 14' barrel which has proved to be plenty for all of the critters they have been sent after. I have hit skunks with them so hard it blew the smell away.

With my 25-06 which I loved for close to 20 years I hit a load right at the book listed max. IT throws the 115gr Partition out at 3150fps and has shot sub 1" groups out to 200yds since I worked it up. I passed it over to my daughter and had a fully customized one built but on the Ackley Improved version. This one I built expressly to achieve the most velocity I could within the limits of the brass and rifle using the heaviest .257 caliber bullets I could find. Using Ramshot Magnum, and getting the full potential out of the 28" barrel I can easily hit 3350 using the Remington 120gr Corelokt, and not abuse the cases or the action in the process. This has more to do with the barrel length and slower powder than it does with hot rodding the load however.

So my .02 for what it's worth, simply work on your accuracy within the limits of the listed data. If your on the top end fine if not fine, you will still be able to hit what your aiming at, and not blowing the groups while developing a flinch while anticipating the muzzle blast and recoil. Not to mention your not going to be toasting the throat of your barrel or adding wear and tear to the action in the process.
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Old August 22, 2012, 07:15 AM   #16
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Suffice it to say that you can create loads on your own that you won't find readily available at Walmart or on any other shelf. I always stay within max recommended load limits but enjoy those top-end H110/FMJ loads in .357 mag and .44 mag. Plus they don't break the bank when you do them yourself. The big boomers are running upwards of 60 cents per round retail.

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Old August 22, 2012, 07:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mike/TX
A side note to the above comment, years ago I was working up a hunting load using the Sierra 108gr JHC for my Ruger Redhawk in 44 magnum. At the time I had the latest Lyman manual and after looking over loads from powder and bullet manufactures, I settled on the H-110 load listed in the Lyman. I worked it right up to the top end listed load, and it shot wonderfully, putting many rounds into 1-2" groups at 100yds. It was after being at the range one day talking with another shooter who asked what in tarnation I had loaded, that I got curious and went back and read the full details of the load data. Turned out the load was worked up in a 4" barrel. Since I was shooting a 7.5" barrel I was surely pushing the limits. While it presented no obvious physical damage to my revolver, or the brass I was loading, it could have been catastrophic had I used some other handgun of less strength.
Barrel length has no bearing on the safety of a load. None whatsoever.
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Old August 22, 2012, 08:01 AM   #18
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I was thinking about getting into reloading my own ammo. Aside from it being somewhat cheaper and fun , what are some of the hottest hand loads you have achieved?
You keep upping the powder until the top strap and cylinder rip apart or, the slide blows straight back off the frame, magazine comes out at sub-sonic speed and the frame bows out like an oval.
Then and only then will you know you have gone to far in charging your reloads.

99% of re loaders do so to save money and tailor there loads to the type of shooting they are doing. "HOT" loads are just wasting powder, in my opinion.
You want bang for your buck, as I have stated many many times before "BUY A LARGER CALIBER GUN"

I am curious as to why some folks want to test the integrity and strength of there firearms buy wanting to reload as hot as possible. Leave that to the manufacturer.
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Old August 22, 2012, 08:37 AM   #19
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To paraphrase what was written in one of the hand loading manuals: Always begin with the "starting load" and never exceed the maximum load listed(published, in the manuals). Use factory loaded ammunitions for maximum, or near maximum ammunition. As others have posted, if you want a charge that is beyond that published in a hand loading manual in a 30-06, buy a .300 Winchester Magnum instead.
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Old August 22, 2012, 09:00 AM   #20
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Well, there's a difference between caution and hysteria.

Load manuals, in their instructional sections, are loaded with all manner of lawyered-up and just plain WAY too conservative suggestions. The Lyman 49th, for example, advises to to never buy "once fired" brass, cases with dents should be discarded same as those with splits, you should NEVER decap a live primer, and that primers should be handled manually.

I've always thought that such overly conservative cautions actually invite danger because a person may decide that ALL the cautions are overly conservative and ignore them all, when some (probably most) are correct. You shouldn't have to be a veteran reloader to know if a caution is real or lawyered-up, it shouldn't be there if it's for the lawyers.

Exceeding published data is one thing, not even being able to load max levels and using factory ammo instead is just silly.

I have a 7-08 because I want a 7-08, not a 7mm 30-30. I have a 204 because I want a 204, not a 20 caliber 22LR.

Good factory ammo can be $47/20 for some cartridges I use (and way more for some I don't), there's no way I'm using factory ammo rather than loading to max potential, if I can get good accuracy at maximum potential.

If I can't, I'll switch to a different powder or bullet until I can.
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Old August 22, 2012, 09:50 AM   #21
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What a surprise, a thread created about something other than accuracy and we have people just here to say "accuracy is more important than anything"... Along with the standard assortment of internet myths like max load should be avoided, velocity higher than typical factory ammo should be avoided, you have to choose between accuracy, velocity and economy or that there is no acceptable level of accuracy below the best your gun can do. Its like a family reunion really...
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Old August 22, 2012, 10:33 AM   #22
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I feel your pain militant, there is no derth of sanctimony at the forum. lots of loading information is available dealing with top pressure loads. Find some you like and carefully work up to them. Going beyond published loads can be painful. For a lot of years I was a top load type of guy and never blew up a shooter. Currently I have moderated my loads and enjoy shooting more, just saying.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:35 AM   #23
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For accuracy, I have loads that are usually right in the middle of published loads.

Using some of the max listed loads, I have gotten (What seems like) sonic barrier booms and a few flame throwers. Although they are cool, they are awful when trying to hit the target. My favorite smokey loads are black powder.

For the record: I do not think I have ever exceeded a published maximum load in any of my guns. (I am too lazy to go through all my records to find out, but when working with guns and reloading, safety is something I feel very strongly about.)
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:45 AM   #24
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... when working with guns and reloading, safety is something I feel very strongly about...
Well said, but seems to be lost on some of the others. Damaged fire arms (and people) are more likely to occur to those who hot rod their shooters than cautious (or even hysterical ones), hand loaders who do not. I choose to remain sighted and fingered, thank you.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:49 AM   #25
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When I was young and dumb, I ran some pretty hot reloads through my first .44 magnum; macho BS ya know. That was in the late 80s/early 90s and after a couple years I had to send my S&W 629 back to the factory for repair. I didn't exceed manual max. specs but came real close. Didn't take too long to realize how foolish it is to push the limits of reloading (I wasn't concerned with the safety aspect, even though I was very careful/safe with my reloads), just to get a couple hundred feet per seconds more speed. I began to look for loads that would go exactly where I pointed the gun so I toned down the loads considerably. Today I would much rather have reloads that go into a 2" circle at 900-1000 fps than a load that will do good to stay in 4" at 1400 fps.

BTW "jumping down your throat" isn't meant to punish or ricicule you but to keep your fingers and guns in tact. Plus a reloader that blows himself up and mebbe bystanders too, puts us all in a bad light...
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