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Old January 19, 2013, 12:31 PM   #1
oldpapps
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I need a recipe for XXX.

How many times have I seen this on this and many other forums? Invariably in several responses will the need for the questioner to buy/get/read a loading manual or manuals.

OK, some cases are valid. But, loading data for .38s and 9MMs with common powders and bullet weights…. Give me a break.

I wouldn’t want to show my ignorance by asking, what’s a recipe for 158 grain lead round nose bullets in a light target loading for .38 Specials. What is good in my rifle/pistol may or may not be in yours, duh, they are different weapons.

Here’s how I see it. These books are not just setting around at your local grocery store check out. We have to look for them. We have this ‘inter-net’ thing. We can use ‘it’ to find just about anything and can believe some of it.

The ‘Makers’ all want to promote their products and most provide some type of data. Keeping this in mind, ‘their’ provided information is going to be chuck full of their product. Shouldn’t it? That’s what they have a lot of. I don’t have a problem with this unless they were to slam other products and I haven’t seen any evidence of this.

So, where are we? On the Internet we have great amounts of standardized loading information from Tool Makers, Powder Makers, and Bullet Makers. If not all, most can be trusted.

We still have to have a working understanding of the process. This may be overcome by reading or to a questionable extent by viewing on-line videos or, as I see it, the best way, hands on with a mentor. I would opt for all options. It is very daunting to fire your new first loading (new or the umpteenth) in your weapon. All of the questions come back at you. Did I………?

All old time loaders have a set way to do it. I know that I do. And what is more disturbing is that different types of loads will have varying ways that I like to get the loads the way I like. Examples: For some precisions target rifle loadings, I am extremely meticulous about everything. Yet for my ‘junk’ loadings in .45s, I don’t clean/tumble the brass unless it is exceptionally dirty, I use a quick powder dump that is close to what I want, as long as they work and are safe. Would I use the same standards for precisions high pressure rifle loads, NO. It comes down to what am I loading and what for. Just more variable to deal with.

I am willing to help new, learning loaders in the process. Anyone in or near the Amarugia that would like my help, I’m here. For those others, may I suggest that you talk with your LGS. It seems that there is always a few old f@rt$ hanging around the stores that I frequent. Many will help.

Just start by studying up. Can’t find/afford the books, check out the local library. The loading process hasn’t changed in many, many years, just some of the tools and the ever changing components (and what is available).

OK, I’ll get off of my soap box now. Guys, tell me where I’m going wrong. I can take it, I’ve had good practice. Would you like to meet my X-wife? She will tell all about it, twice…..

Sorry for being such a wind bag.

OSOK
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:53 PM   #2
mikld
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We are living in the "instant gratification" era. Reading a reloading text or manual just takes too long for many new "wanna be reloaders" (just like the new reloader that wants to start on a 1,000 round per hour progressive press/machine). Not a whole lot can be done about this attitude.

One thing I disagree with you about is getting info from "Gun Shop Gurus", Range Rats, or gun counter clerks. I've overheard/been told some really wild load data or reloading practices by some of these self appointed experts, so I confine all (or at least 98%) of my load data gathering to published reloading manuals or texts.

A mentor would be great, but finding a reliable person may be problematic, as reloading attitudes vary (some reload just to shoot a lot and anything that goes bang is good, and some reload to shoot gnats at 500 yards). I would be willing to help a new reloader, but I'm sure my emphasis would be on common sense and with the basics, because as you stated most reloaders fall into a style that suits their reloading needs/wants, and mine may differ from yours.
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:33 AM   #3
buck460XVR
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While I am always willing to help a new reloader, I am hesitant to give out any reloading recipes on the interweb. It always amazes me the amount of folk that brag about the new Dillon 1050 they bought, along with 5000 primers, 2000 bullets and 8#s of XXX42 powder. They now want someone on the interweb to give them the perfect recipe for their gun using a mismatch of components they bought without knowin' squat. God forbid they spend the $25 for a good manual first and look for the appropriate components beforehand..


Reloading manuals are not just load recipes. While the internet, internet forums and company websites are great sources of information, reading a manual BEFORE buying $1000 worth of tools and components is what one needs to do. Then there are those that are just too lazy to open the manual they have and to work up a load in their gun. They'd rather have someone else tell them what's the best and then are happy to shoot loads that shoot "good enough". They send high priced bullets downrange with mediocre accuracy and think they are saving money by reloading.
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Old January 20, 2013, 11:52 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Actually, an awful lot of the confusion is caused by reading manuals.

Most, if not all, manuals have "disclaimers" or "instructions" that say something like "Follow ALL load data EXACTLY! Do not substitute components!"

What then, do we expect from the poor Newb who's (righteously) afraid of blowing off his hand but realizes that the components that he can find recommended here, there and everywhere DON'T MATCH any of his DO NOT SUBSTITUTE load data?

Teach the poor Newb. The load manuals are sometimes not helpful or just plain wrong/silly. We can teach them here, in minutes, what might have taken them years to understand just a couple decades ago, because they would have had to figure it out on their own or hope for a local mentor.
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:08 PM   #5
hhamade
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I am a new reloader, I just posted 2 threads this morning requesting some loads for 2 weapons I have hoping someone has the same model weapons. Yes, I understand that nothing works better then working up your own loads from scratch. But, I am looking for what people use in the same model guns I have that works, then from there I want to play with the loads to see if I can make them work better for me. Load data in the manuals is just to general for me, and with my limited resources, I dont want to go out and blow $100 just trying to get a decent round then another $50 in materials to perfect it. I rather find something close and tinker with it from there. Would I appreciate a good local mentor? Yes. Is it that easy to find? No. I have a buddy at work that has been reloading for over 30 years, but at the moment he is working on building his new shed that he will dedicate half of to reloading. So he currently doesn't have time to reload for himself, let alone to mentor me. I understand where you are coming from though. Whats the point in a load if all it does is go boom. You want something accurate and dependable. And the only way to do that is to work up a load for your gun. But, there is nothing wrong with using someone elses load as a base.
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Old January 20, 2013, 12:42 PM   #6
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Actually there can be problems with that approach for reasons of tolerance stacking in the gun, the brass, the primers, and even lot-to-lot burn rate differences in the powder, and most of all, with the person you are getting the information from, who may not have worked up the load safely.

And don't forget to allow for people's memories playing tricks on them, transposing numbers, forgetting to add the word "magnum", or making other basic errors in communicating the load data to you. I was at the range one day when a fellow handed me a fired .308 case that had the shoulder and neck blown out and asked me if that was normal. He was sighting in a borrowed hunting rifle whose owner had told him it was a .308. So he bought .308 ammo for it. The barrel was stamped ".30-06".

Only God is perfect. People make dumb mistakes. So take any load data you've been given or read in a forum like this and then go to Hodgdon or some other on-line load data and make sure it is inside a normal range. If there is one rule to reloading that is universally applicable, it is never to assume anything without checking. You likely know the old line about how you spell 'assume'.

The rule of thumb with trying loads is to work up test loads from a 10% reduction in steps no greater than 2% of the maximum or target load, while watching for pressure signs. This is just a measly 6 shots incrementing up from the lowest load one step at a time, so it hardly represents a great expense in either time or components. It helps keep you safe. The caveat with time expense it that most folks hate making a trip to the range for just those 6 shots and don't want to assemble a bunch of ammo until they know the load is agreeable to their gun, so take those rounds with you (maybe a couple of each, in case you aren't good at seating primers yet) on the day you shoot up your remaining commercial ammo.

The only exceptions to all the above that I would make are with some low pressure target loads. Especially those that have been used by hundreds of thousands of people over several generations. A 148 grain lead wadcutter of any type over 2.7 grains of Bullseye in a .38 Special comes to mind as an example. Reduced loads with Trail Boss powder are another. In both instances pressures are well below maximum operating pressures for all modern cartridges and even for some not-so-modern cartridges.
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Old January 20, 2013, 02:27 PM   #7
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Thanks UncleNick. That seems like some pretty sound advise. The one edge that I have that I guess most dont, is I live in the country and can setup a pistol and rifle range literally in my back yard. So, testing a load is as simple as putting up my target and walking to my folding chair and table. So, with any loads I get, I will cross referance safe tolerance from my Speer manual, and tinker with it in small variations. I did read on another thread that the best thing to do was to practice making a bunch of "dummy" rounds that didnt have powder just to get the process down, then go back and pull the bullet and add powder once I get the process down pat. Now, for this i understand the best step to avoid a bullet with no charge going into my guns, would to pull all the bullets from every dummy round before attempting to add a charge to any of the rounds.
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Old January 20, 2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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What Uncle Nick said, but don't see a problem asking for proven loads that are within the confines of sanity and consistent with published, accurate data. You have to start somewhere. I started with Modern Reloading by Richard Lee. Perfect no, useful yes. I like Handloader Magazine as they get us farther down the road.
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Old January 20, 2013, 02:59 PM   #9
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Teach the poor Newb. The load manuals are sometimes not helpful or just plain wrong/silly. We can teach them here, in minutes, what might have taken them years to understand just a couple decades ago, because they would have had to figure it out on their own or hope for a local mentor

As I said in my first post, I am always happy to help a new reloader. I will answer questions on technique, procedure, give tips and helpful tricks. I am happy to give links to powder websites where loads recipes can be found and will suggest powder and other components that should work well for a posters scenario. Many times I will give a range of loads that should work. I will quickly tell them when they are doing something unsafe and will just as quickly confirm when they are doing something right. But again, I do not give specific loads for many reasons. First is the liability or guilt felt if I make an error or a load is used that did not function well. Second is folks learn by doing, imitating may give them basics, but it never makes them proficient, nor does it make them independent. Giving load recipes to folks because they don't want to take the time to look them up or test them themselves is only making them more dependent on others. Kinda like the kid in high school that always stopped you in the hall before class looking for the answers to the day's assignment. While his everyday grades looked good, he never really learned and when test time came around he was lost. It costs no more to test loads suggested by the manuals as "most accurate" than it does to test those given on line. I have yet to find any major published manual "just plain wrong and or silly". As I said before, they not only give load recipes but give info on load development and how components and reloading tools work as well as differences between them. They do not go away when the power is off or the hard drive crashes and they are easy to keep close to the bench for quick reference. Maybe I'm just old school. What others do is up to them and does not matter to me one iota.....
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:32 PM   #10
showmebob
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Oldpapp

If the situation with new loaders is so bad why are so many forum members willing to help?
I agree that reading books is a great way to start. A mentor? How is a total newcomer to reloading supposed to know a good mentor from a total blowhard?
Asking for load data to verify books/mentors suggestions doesn't seem all that bad to me.
Just asking what to load without doing basic research or reading procedure manuals is just plain silly and I don't see the good cause answering those questions, so I don't.
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Old January 20, 2013, 03:52 PM   #11
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TANSTAAFLThere Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.(From Robert A. Heilien, the moon is a harsh mistress.)

People that want someone to give them their loads for a certain caliber, are looking for a short cut. SURELY there has to be some magical load that will be good in their gun! There is, it's called factory ammo! The factories spend lots of money working any load for handguns, rifles, and shotguns that will work well in many different guns of the same caliber.

They expect to go to the store, or order online a pound of powder, a box of bullets and 100 primers to load in the brass they've been saving. To produce great shooting ammo immediately. As Nick and others have said, it's not that easy. You have to do it the same way us oldepharts did it to produce the loads we MAY decide to share. It's called experimenting, or just plain old work!
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Old January 20, 2013, 07:23 PM   #12
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Hi

I am a new guy here. I spent hours and hours reading on here, and at Chuck Hawks, and listening to a very intelligent man at work who reloads. I bought a Lee breech lock classic kit, 150 rounds of ammo for the brass, 1000 remington primers, RCBS die set, 1 lb of IMR 3031, for a box of Hornady 150 grain spbt, 1 lb of IMR 4064 for a box of Hornady 180 grain sp, a primer pocket crimp removal tool, and a Hornady manual. I read the Hornady manual. I found loads on the internet, I found burn rate charts on the internet, I compared loads in the book to the internet. I kept great notes, and built a series of test loads as you guys instructed. Yesterday I took those test loads out and went shooting. In my ruger gunsite scout rifle the 150 grain spbt seated at 2.770-2.775 with 42.2 grains of IMR 3031 all three felt, sounded and hit very close to one another on the target I was shooting. I am waiting on my scope and sling so its just open sights standing in the woods.
With the 180 grain bullets I did the same work up but with IMR 4064, it was most accurate, felt and sounded best at 37.6 grains.
So you guys really helped me.

These loads are using nato brass in .308

Oh yeah, the loads I made seemed much more consistant than the CBC nato rounds, which about every third or forth one would feel different, and I would have to wack the bolt open and back to extract. My reloads were smooth to extract.
I did follow the instructions exactly though.
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Old January 20, 2013, 10:26 PM   #13
oldpapps
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"If the situation with new loaders is so bad why are so many forum members willing to help?
I agree that reading books is a great way to start. A mentor? How is a total newcomer to reloading supposed to know a good mentor from a total blowhard?
Asking for load data to verify books/mentors suggestions doesn't seem all that bad to me.
Just asking what to load without doing basic research or reading procedure manuals is just plain silly and I don't see the good cause answering those questions, so I don't."
showmebob


bob, the 'situation' isn't bad, it is frustrating. And yes many of us go to extremes to try to help out. I think what bugs me the most is when the question is clearly posed to solicit an exact formula.

Many others will ask valid questions pertaining to what experiences others had encountered with some set of components. This is valid and understandable, also indicates that the person is trying to increase their understanding.

Still others pose questions and look for guidance in all manors of things. What better way to learn than to ask?

One of the other responders has voices concerns about how to find a worthy mentor. I wish I had a magic list of those but I don't and don't think anyone does. It is a matter of listening and evaluating what is said. This is not an instant determination. I know well a gun dealer who knows his products very well. All of the ins and outs, what fits and what works. I don't think he has ever punched out a primer or seated a bullet in his life. Would he be a good mentor? Yes, for tools and products. No for the how to, hands on guidance.

We, all of us, are in too much of a hurry. When I started loading, primers were something like 30 cents a hundred and I had to save up to have that much cash. But that was a different world. I don't think many 13 year old boys could buy primers in today's world. I did then and powder and bullets too.

My mentor started out being my uncle and it didn't take me long to determine that he knew less about it than I did. But I could read and did a lot of it.

I am willing to help anyone that wants to learn, in person or on line. But, don't just ask me to look in one of my loading books and quote a loading.

Life is short, enjoy all you can.

Be safe,

OSOK
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Old January 21, 2013, 12:53 AM   #14
hk33ka1
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But I want sub MOA 1000yd groups and don't want to work up a load for my factory rifle. Tell me what load works in your $2000+ custom!
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Old January 21, 2013, 01:11 AM   #15
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But I want sub MOA 1000yd groups and don't want to work up a load for my factory rifle. Tell me what load works in your $2000+ custom!
Please Please tell me? LOL JK

The fact is some think it is just that easy or it should be.
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Old January 21, 2013, 11:08 AM   #16
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One of the other responders has voices concerns about how to find a worthy mentor. I wish I had a magic list of those but I don't and don't think anyone does.
Oh yes there is! The NRA has a course that if taken and passed gives you a certificate that says Metallic Cartridge Reloading.

I just spent 20 minutes on the NRA website, I was looking for a list of local instructors. None found! I did find such a list years ago, but apparently now you can't.

Quote:
I agree that reading books is a great way to start. A mentor? How is a total newcomer to reloading supposed to know a good mentor from a total blowhard?
Good point Bob. Answer is; you can't. You have no basis to judge by, being as how you're totally new to the process. Not saying you in particular, but any new reloader. Just about anybody that has some experience can get a newbie going, but then the safety aspect may be bypassed. Some may bypass the load work-up process, saying pick the top load, it'll be fine!
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Old January 21, 2013, 11:25 AM   #17
oldpapps
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"The NRA has a course that if taken and passed gives you a certificate that says Metallic Cartridge Reloading. "

NRA Life Member for over 35 years and have never seen anything about this.... I'm going to check into it. This looks to be promising (OK, looks are deceiving.)
Thanks,

OSOK
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Old January 21, 2013, 11:47 AM   #18
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OSOK, here's the addy to where the courses are listed.

http://training.nra.org/training/bec...nstructor.aspx

There used to be a link to local certificate holders that you could contact to take some training. I don't know just what the course entails, but it would be very detailed.
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Old January 21, 2013, 12:41 PM   #19
oldpapps
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snuffy,

I looked at the provided web page and found a spot to search for a listing.
See: http://www.nrainstructors.org/home.aspx

I ran a quick search and found (at a distance of 40 miles) a listing. Strange thing is the place is half a mile from my brother's house, oh yea, he's moving to Tenn....

Thanks for the info.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old January 21, 2013, 12:51 PM   #20
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[Just about anybody that has some experience can get a newbie going, but then the safety aspect may be bypassed.]

Truer words have never been spoken. My first mentor (in the 80's) wasn't the best to say the least however I was lucky and didn't have any incidents. Many years later I got to trusting a member of another forum who is well respected and very experienced in many aspects of loading and shooting. I was wrong to trust him in one instance and got lucky again.

I think the hardest thing for a noob is gaining enough experience to know when information is suspect and to act accordingly. Any information I receive from any source is reviewed very carefully and I always draw my own conclusions now. Live and learn as the saying goes!
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Old January 21, 2013, 02:42 PM   #21
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I think the hardest thing for a noob is gaining enough experience to know when information is suspect and to act accordingly.

This is why I always recommend having three sources of reference to confirm that a load is safe or legitimate. While I did not have a mentor per say when I first started to handload, I was privileged to know some folks that had a good amount of experience. This was something one of them told me as a newbie, along with using a powder that meters well and fills or nearly fills the case. The reasoning behind the three sources of reference is that even if one is wrong or misprinted, the other two won't be. Also, using three sources gives one a better "average" starting load as only two sources may be at both ends of the spectrum. The exception to this would be the Lee manuals that do not develop their own loads but copy from others. Using a powder that fills the case means one cannot double charge and can easily see that they have not missed charging a case. It also makes it easier to see if all charges are approximately the same volume. Charges that fill or nearly fill the case usually are not affected much by a difference of +/- .1 or .2 grains as compared to those faster powders that use miniscule volume. The other thing I was told was not to buy large quantities of any component until I was settled on what worked well for me and to not load large quantities of ammo until I found a load that I was satisfied with.
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Old January 22, 2013, 05:07 PM   #22
William T. Watts
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buck460XVR/Well said

I totally agree, I cannot improve on what you've said nor your logic. I always encourage people to purchase several loading books/sources, usually there eyes glaze over and that's the last I hear from them. I try to explain there is no free lunch, there is a learning curve involved, they have to put in the time and effort!! William
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Old January 22, 2013, 05:33 PM   #23
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Even though I think everyone should have a good manual, having a loading mentor is of even more importance... I currently could count 4-5 guys I'm still mentoring, as I've been reloading over 20 years... however I'm still proud to have one of my 2 mentors still with me...

you guys are right, that everyone has their own expectations, & I'll admit I have one buddy, that I will absolutely not shoot his reloads... I've told him time & time again, to leave the TV off, yet I repeatedly am getting hinm out of jams, including bringing his revolver to my retired machinist buddy for removing 5 stuck bullets from his revolver

my 1st mentor taught me to ALWAYS write the caliber, recipe of all the components, brass length, COL, number of times fired, & date... I still do this, with exception of my CAS brass ( as I often don't get my own cases back ) however these are mid level reloads...

I was helping a total newbie set up his progressive last weekend, & his wife bought him a nice Hornady starter kit... however it didn't come with a case trimmer... he bought new starline cases ( we were loading 357 Magnum ) some of the cases were quite long, but did chamber in his revolver... after we test fired a cylinder of starting level loads, I showed him how to look for signs of pressure, & sure enough, one primer was quite flat... test measuring afterwards showed it was the longest case... at this point, I think the cae being long, caused the bullet to fit tighter at the end of the chamber...

... so even starting levels can get high pressures, if every detail isn't followed as is listed in the manual...

unfortunately more & more new guys are buying on line, & not meeting fellow reloaders at the local sources of components... of course there are as many "dillweeds" willing to be mentors, so new guys should all be looking for things that don't make sense, & then ask us know it alls on the forum
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Old January 22, 2013, 07:18 PM   #24
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My problem with "buying reloading manuals" is that they are out of date before they are published. I have a shelf full of them and they are all out of date. In my opinion, if I am buying their bullets or their powder, the manufacturers should give me the data. If a manufacturer wont give me data for free, I dont use their product.
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Old January 22, 2013, 07:25 PM   #25
buck460XVR
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What peeves me is folks who's first post on the forum is a thread in the reloading section asking for a load recipe because they can't find one on the powder manufactures website or in their buddy's old manual. Then when you tell them it's because the components they have are not appropriate for the application, they don't want to hear it because they already bought the bullets and already had the powder from another application. They make you out to be the jerk for being honest and trying to help, and yet they are willing to risk their gun and their safety using those inappropriate components with an untested, unverifiable load recipe obtained from some stranger on the internet..........
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