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Old September 15, 2000, 06:47 PM   #1
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First off, I'd like to say that reloading has opened a whole new world of opportunities and excitement to my favorite hobby! I wish I would have started a whole lot sooner! So I hope all of you don't mind if I ask a WHOLE bunch of questions for the next few weeks.

Here's my dilemma:
Going off the Midway LoadMAP for 45acp, I loaded 200 rounds of 230 gr TMJ using 9.0 grains of HS-6. According to the MAP, that should give me 870fps at 17,800 psi. So, after wiping the sweat off my brow, I decide to sit down and read Hodgdon's Basic Reloaders Manual. I check out my load I just put together, and I find out that the manual says that 8.2 grains is the max for HS-6! -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-!
The LoadMAP says that 9.9 grains is the max for HS-6, giving you 21,000psi at 966fps. Hodgdon says that 8.2 (the max) gives you 15,400 CUP at 825fps.

So let's say I never read the Hodgdon manual and just went by the LoadMAP. Say I hypothetically loaded up some 230 gr ball with 9.9 grains of HS-6. Would I have blown off my right hand? I mean, what gives? How could there be such a blatant disparity in data between the two books? Which reference should I trust?

Now I'm afraid to shoot those rounds and I shudder at the thought of pulling all those bullets apart.

Anyone care to shed some light?
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Old September 15, 2000, 07:08 PM   #2
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don't know about your load however please
always start at the low end of any load,
normally the most accurate loads are "lite"
loads. When testing I load only 5-10 rounds
try them, if I like what I had i make notes
and load more. "any" load you feel you have
an error on pull it, don't shoot it.!!!
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Old September 15, 2000, 07:15 PM   #3
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You may not have blown anything up, but those sound like pretty stiff loads. I agree with the previous response, work up from the light loads, not down from the top of the chart!
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Old September 15, 2000, 07:35 PM   #4
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Check your spent casings for pressure signs. Flattened or cratered primers and all the other signs mentioned in loading manuals.

If any of the pressure signs are evident, you will have to ditch the rounds and chalk it up as a learning experience.

Lyman's manual does list loads for HS-6 for most bullet styles except 230 hardball. Their max loads run to about 9 grains. The max pressure they list for any (with any weight bullet and powder) .45ACP load is 18,000 CUP. And then their is the difference between manuals calibrated in PSI and CUP...

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Old September 16, 2000, 12:25 AM   #5
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this is where a chronograph comes in very handy.

I truly feel your pain and doubts!

I've seen the min load in 1 book exceed the max load in another <?>

gather as many data sources as possible and start low...
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Old September 16, 2000, 08:41 AM   #6
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My motto is, "when in doubt, pull appart"

I have one of those kinetic pullers that should be given to someone I don't like.

I have an RCBS collet puller that can pull a bullet every couple of seconds.

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Old September 16, 2000, 10:12 AM   #7
Steve Smith
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Here's a clue towards the scoop. When I first started reloading, I read in the Speer manual that 5.0 grains of W231 was max with a 200 gr. .45 acp LSWC. My Lyman manual said 6.5 gr. was max!!! I called Speer and spoke to the guy that makes the load books...he said the "max" loads in the Speer book (at least concerning that load) was a "target" load and to follow the Lyman for max. Guess whos book I don't reference now for load data?
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Old September 16, 2000, 04:04 PM   #8
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What I like to do is check the max loads for your particular cartridge(powder/bullet weight) from a number of different sources. Take them all and average them out for a max load falling in the middle somewhere. This will be your new "max load". I've found this to be acceptable procedure.

As always, begin with the starting loads and watch for pressure signs while working up to max.

You cannot possibly hope to duplicate all conditions from the ballistic lab that worked up the data anyway.

[This message has been edited by Contender (edited September 16, 2000).]
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Old September 16, 2000, 06:15 PM   #9
Bill Daniel
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Was that the Speer manual #13? If so the fine print next to the bullet illustration describes what the load minimum and maximum is used for.
All the best,
Bill Daniel

Prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law and their weapons will become harmless.
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Old September 16, 2000, 09:01 PM   #10
Join Date: June 20, 2000
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One important point that nobody has mentioned yet.

Each load manual that I have will list the gun used in testing the loads-

For example, on the page in my Lyman book where load data for 357Mag is given, up at the top of the page is info like, max case length, trim-to length, overall length, then comes something like "S&W 6 inch barrel" or something like "vented pressure test barrel"

Without taking the gun into consideration you end up comparing apples to pineapples.

If you buy one of those "Load Books" that give information from all sources for one specific cartrige, you will quickly see that if the identical gun is used by two publishers, the loads are nearly always the same too.


Lay up some blackpowder and flints
The rest we can build, if need be
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Old September 17, 2000, 12:27 AM   #11
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First of all ... I agree with all the advice to start low and work up! Secondly, though ... the 9.9 giving 966 fps and the 8.2 giving 825 fps agree very well from the theoretical standpoint (I ran the numbers through the formulae in the Vihtavuori reprint in chapter 9 of Lee's reloading manual). What seems interesting is that the "max" pressures disagree. Looking at my Alliant data sheet, I see that 20,000 PSI seems to be the max for .45acp ... they do list some loads at 22,200 for ".45acp +P" ... this is probably the source of the conflict. The loadmap seems to think +P is OK! Anyway, I hope this helps ... I don't reload .45 (yet) but I do appreciate a good puzzle
Be safe,
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Old September 18, 2000, 01:55 AM   #12
Chris McDermott
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Read the front sections of your load manuals, and not just the actual loading section. The Midway LOADMAP's just give you the minimum information, and nothing else. That front half of the loading books is there for your safety - You ALWAYS start low and work up, and if you change ANYTHING in a max load - a new can of power, a different lot of primers, different make of case, same weight bullet but a diffeent brand with a different shape; back off a little (1 or two steps, that might be 1/2 grain for a small rifle cartridge, a full grain for a magnum, or a tenth of a grain for a small pistol) and work up again.
Different guns will always change the result; even two different pressure barrels will give different velocities/pressures etc. So you start low, and work up to where your gun is gving you good accuracy without any of the pressure signs already mentioned in this thread and your loading manuals; then STOP. An extra 50 fps isn't worth battering your gun or losing accuracy for; and certainly isn't worth blowing up a gun. If you load for more than 1 gun in a caliber, then work up your loads shooting each step in each gun. The results can be surprising with short barrel's sometimes shooting loads faster than a different gun with a longer barrel; a tightly fitted gun may show pressure signs before another gun with a looser chamber or slightly larger bore; etc.

You are responsible for the ammo you load, don't take chances with it unless you are willing to take the consequences of a mistake.
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Old September 18, 2000, 01:37 PM   #13
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I bought the .45 ACP Loadmap from Midway, and really think that it was more or less a waste of money - why? Because it lists overall lengths that won't even come NEAR to fitting in my particular pistol's chamber. Maybe their test barrel worked okay with X length, but with my barrel, there'll be a lot less space available... And my barrels aren't "tight" - One's GI, and the other's Norinco...

For cast bullet users, I'd go with Lyman. One thing to keep in mind is that some manuals, like Speer, try to keep cast loads down to minimize leading. IMHO, this can be a good thing...

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