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Old August 29, 2008, 12:53 PM   #1
Dark Knight1
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Join Date: August 18, 2008
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New Reloader, lots of questions!?

After months of reading up on reloading and equipment, I made the leap. I decided to start loading for a Rem 700, 30-06. Got everything together to start making bullets (started with H-4895, Speer 110 SP, Hdy 165 BTSP, CCI primers and mix cases). Using Lee second edition, 30-06 Loadbook, and the Hogdon websight as a starting point, I started working up and testing loads or should I say working down! From the starting loads I worked down to either 50% case volume or 50% charge (whichever one was greater that was my bottom line) using every other grain. Found some really good loads, some not so good. The Loads that shot good, I further refined .5 grain + and -. From there, I made changes to seating depth, using .01 changes. (starting at min OAL) My questions are... Is this a sound plan for working out loads? How can I do this better? any other recommendations?
Next group will be using Varget, Sierra 150 gamekings and the bullets listed above.
Thanks for all the help, insight, information, and patience!
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Old August 29, 2008, 02:58 PM   #2
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Dark Knight1
WELCOME to reloading and the forum!!!!!!!!!

I am curious as to why you are “loading down below starting charges”??????????

Have you read any of the WARNINGS about reduced charges????????

With reduce charges, it is theorized that you can get an explosive detonation or S.E.E. I was first introduced to this condition in an article in American Rifleman well over 20 years ago, maybe longer. The article was entitles S.E.E. something???? The article made the point that SEE (Secondary Explosive Effect) is more commonly referred to as detonation, but that in reality it was not a detonation, rather it is a unique pattern of burning of the powder.

The phenomenon is theorized to occur in reduce rifle loads that are well below the minimum load. The greater the reduction, the greater the chance of catastrophic problems. Loading a good deal below minimum load has always been promoted as a dangerous and unwise practice since I started loading 48 years ago.

The article theorized when a small amount of powder lays flat in the horizontal case; that the primer ignition hits the rear portion of the powder igniting it, and then skips over the middle section of powder, igniting the front portion of the powder, and both ends burn rapidly toward the middle. The result is theorized to be an uneven but rapid burning of the powder, causing a very high pressure spike.

If you are going to use these reduced loads, at least bring them to the forum for dicussion prior to using them.
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Old August 29, 2008, 04:24 PM   #3
Dark Knight1
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Join Date: August 18, 2008
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I was going with reduced loads for a number of reasons, primarily to learn and gain experience with this new hobby; on the safer side of things. I had read up on reducing loads in the Lee manual and had stayed within the rules that were written there or at least I thought I had??!! I did experience a load (Speer 110 with 30g H4895) that I fired one round and because it didnt feel "right", the other rounds were disassembled. Maybe, I need to go back and rethink this...
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Old August 29, 2008, 04:41 PM   #4
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Why not try reloading some pistol rounds first? If you can't, I would get someone who has a recipe for the bullet and powder you are using... that would help you build some confidence into your process...

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Old September 3, 2008, 06:19 AM   #5
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Dark Knight1,

The existence of "detonation" or "secondary exposive effect" has been debated for decades, but nobody (to my knowledge) has proven it it to be real or not real.

However, there are powders that have a good reputation for giving good accuracy and safe experience in greatly reduced loads. IMR-4759 (do NOT confuse with IMR-4756) and Accurate 5477 are the two that I am aware of. If you want to have greatly reduced loads, there are pressure-tested load recipes for those two powders. For example, from the Speer #10 manual, I load 19 grains of IMR-4759 in a .270 Winchester case behind a 90 grain Sierra HP bullet and get great accuracy at 1800 fps velocity.

One thing to be VERY careful about is that one of your light loads (especially with other powders) does not stick a bullet in your barrel with a "squib" - - that is a charge the doesn't fully burn because the pressure stays too low. If you don't catch it and remove the bullet from the barrel before firing the next round, you can get an over-pressure event that can damage your gun AND YOU. Some folks believe that is what happened in some of the events that are being blamed on "detonation" effects, because it is not always clear that the shooter did not have a bore obstruction. But it is clear that stuck bullet events have happened.

Good luck developing reduced loads. They are easier on rifle and shooter. They are fun to shoot and make good small game loads for powerful rifles.

Please let us know what good ones you come up with.

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Old September 3, 2008, 12:38 PM   #6
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Hodgdon H4895 is the only powder I've found that allows and actually advertises "Youth Hunting" reduced loads. I have shot reduced .30-06
[60%] loads with good results and much less recoil....
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