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Old September 15, 2018, 09:08 AM   #1
BBarn
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Speer #15 Handloading Manual Cautions

I looked forward to Speer's #15 manual since I considered their #14 manual to be one of the best. The #15 manual is excellent in many respects, but there are a few errors that I'm aware of, one of which might be serious.

Here are the more notable errors I'm aware of in the first printing of the #15 manual:

Page 843, 44 Magnum Handgun, 210 grain GDHP bullet.
The load data for the 210gr .bullet is incorrectly identical to that of the 200gr. bullet on the preceding page. Since the 200gr. bullet is a short barrel bullet, and the data is “short barrel” data, and the 210gr. data is not, the entire 210gr. table is almost certainly incorrect. Though incorrect, it's probably safe to use the 210gr data as published. Fortunately, the correct data for the 210gr. bullet is published on Speer's website.

Page 870, 45 Colt, 250 grain DCHP bullet.
The load data for the 250gr. bullet is incorrectly identical to that of the 250gr. LSWC bullet on the following page. Though the bullets are the same weight, their construction is very different and the load data should also be different. The correct data for the 250gr. DCHP bullet is published on Speer's website. It should also be noted that the correct loads for the DCHP on the website are all DNR (do not reduce). Comparing the data, it's possible that some of the incorrect loads published in the manual will produce over or under pressure (squib) loads if used with the DCHP bullet.

Additionally, there is conflicting information regarding the 45 caliber 250 grain DCHP bullet itself in the manual. Under the 45 Colt section (page 865) the manual states that this bullet was designed for the low MAP and velocities of the 45 Colt. Under the 45 Colt (Ruger & Contender Only) section (page 873) it states that this bullet is to be used only on pests and small game (because it expands too quickly for use on larger game at the Ruger only velocities). So far so good. But under the 454 Casull section (page 877) it states this same bullet was made for the 454 Casull and is perfect for use on deer sized game. Obviously there is serious disconnect somewhere. Speer's previous edition (#14) manual contains no such confusion, stating that the bullet was designed for standard pressure 45 Colt loads. In short, use of Speer's 45 caliber 250gr. DCHP is not suitable for medium or large game hunting in the 454 Casull, or at Ruger Only 45 Colt levels.

Shortly after the introduction of the #15 Speer manual I wrote Speer about what I had discovered at the time, and suggested that they issue an errata to correct the errors (as well as any others that I might have been unaware of). Their response wasn't particularly encouraging, nor have I seen any corrections beyond the publishing of correct data on their website (without reference to incorrect data in the manual).

Since some of these errors could be dangerous, or result in unnecessarily wounded game, I've decided to write the above to highlight the issues so that other reloaders are aware and can make corrections. Perhaps Speer will offer manual corrections at some point, or make the needed changes in a subsequent publishing. Despite the errors in Speer's #15 manual, I still consider it among the best available and highly recommend it.
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Old September 15, 2018, 09:28 AM   #2
ammo.crafter
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#15

What exactly was their response?

Placing an entity on notice of a potential hazardous condition sets the groundwork for potential litigation.
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Old September 15, 2018, 09:43 AM   #3
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I'm gonna guess if there was a potentially dangerous situation and Speer is aware of it, that there would be a scramble to make it known. As for the 250 gr Deep Curl not being suitable for big game. Speer currently advertises it on it's website as "Pre-formed petals expand reliably and consistently and the bullet’s high weight retention ensures deep penetration on heavy-bodied game." According to Speer #14, the velocities listed for it(as reduced recoil loads) are every bit as high as for their 300 gr Deep Curl which they claim was specifically designed for the .454. Very much within hunting velocities for a .454 and well above velocities achieved by "Ruger only" Colt loads. While I wouldn't want to use it on dangerous game, I think it still would work well on Whitetail deer. The real concern for using thin jacketed bullets in high pressure revolvers like the .454 and .460 is premature and excessive erosion to forcing cones/top traps and possible jacket separation in the bore.

It would be interesting to know exactly what Speer's reply to you was.
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Old September 15, 2018, 11:32 AM   #4
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As for the 45 caliber 250gr. DCHP, Speer says (in the #15 manual) the bullet was designed for standard 45 Colt pressures and recommend it only for predators, pests, and small game if loaded to Ruger Only levels. And Speer did admit that the statement in the #15 manual about it's use on deer at the published Casull levels is an error (page 877 under Ballistic Notes).

When I wrote Speer back in May, I was not aware of the data error in the 45 Colt 250gr. DCHP (so I did not mention it in my correspondence at that time). But looking at the data, the #15 manual maximum loads using Unique and Accurate #5 are well above (20% and 16% respectively!) the loads currently published on the website. And the starting load listed for Alliant 2400 in the manual is 10% below the DNR load currently listed on the website. The other seven powders listed in the manual have no data currently listed on the website, prohibiting a comparison.
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Old September 15, 2018, 12:12 PM   #5
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I stopped depending on Speer load data when I was suckered into the manual #14 purchase. I was very disappointed in it and it seems to be true with the #15, by reading the above posts.
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Old September 15, 2018, 12:28 PM   #6
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It's always good to know about mis-prints, thank you for posting them.

I have loaded the 250 DCHP in the 45 Colt and the 45 Auto Rim. I'm at about 900 FPS in the Auto Rim and around 1000 in my 7.5" Vaquero.

That is the velocity range for this bullet and optimal performance. Accuracy is excellent in both cartridges.

The pedals can be expected to break off at faster speeds as it was explicitly designed for standard pressure 45 Colt.

For faster speeds like the Ruger only and the 45 Magnums, use a harder bullet made for the purpose like the 300 DCHP "Casull" bullet. (Speer #3974)
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Old September 15, 2018, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Page 843, 44 Magnum Handgun, 210 grain GDHP bullet.
The load data for the 210gr .bullet is incorrectly identical to that of the 200gr. bullet on the preceding page. Since the 200gr. bullet is a short barrel bullet, and the data is “short barrel” data, and the 210gr. data is not, the entire 210gr. table is almost certainly incorrect.
Good catch BBarn.

But actually, it's gets worse . . .

The data on page 842 for the 200 GDHP SB is incorrect too - albeit identical to the 210 data on the following page (843) - as you mentioned. However, the data shown on both pages is actually the correct data for the 44 Special 240 LSWC - found on page 838.

I verified all this with my Speer #14 manual by doing a stare and compare of both. I knew something wasn't right when I looked at the 200 GDHP SB data and it shows a max charge of only 5.7 grains. From memory, I knew that #14 shows that W231 has a max charge of 10.0 grains (I remembered, because I load this). With #15's max charge of only 5.7 grains - that seemed more like 44 Special data to me. So off I went to look at 44 Special 200 GDHP SB data and 231 has a max charge of 6.9 grains in both #14 & #15. More charge weight than 44 Magunum?? . So I searched further and found that the incorrect data on pages 842 and 843 is from the Special 240 LSWC - page 838 in #15; and page 937 in #14 (the tables in 14 & 15 are identical for the 240 LSWC).
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Old September 15, 2018, 03:18 PM   #8
BBarn
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Speer really should perform some due diligence and carefully review their #15 Handloading Manual. The customers of the manual deserve such a review, as well as a list of corrections.

Perhaps if a few others contact them about these type of issues, they will do just that.
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Old September 15, 2018, 03:34 PM   #9
disseminator
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It's too bad to hear this about #15.

I was gonna get a copy but I think I'll stick with #14 for now.
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Old September 15, 2018, 05:55 PM   #10
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
I was gonna get a copy (of Speer #15) but I think I'll stick with #14 for now.
Stick with #14 for now. So far, all of the handgun data that I've looked at is identical (except for the huge errors mentioned in this thread).

I just bought Hornady's 10th too. Hope it isn't full of major errors.
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Old September 15, 2018, 06:07 PM   #11
BBarn
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I have both the 14 and 15. The 14 is great and I liked the presence of cast bullet loads. Unfortunately there are no cast bullet loads in 15. IMO the biggest plus with 15 is the presence of loads with newer powder offerings from Hodgdon and Alliant that didn't exist when 14 was first published.
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Old September 17, 2018, 07:56 PM   #12
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Did they fix the 30-30 748 data yet?
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Old September 18, 2018, 08:57 AM   #13
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This is why I always cross-reference my data between 2 other sources. I like the Speer manuals... I'm not quite that up-to-date, I'm still using my #11 with the #14... along with, primarily, my Hornady manual, coupled with Hodgdon's online data.
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Old September 18, 2018, 02:56 PM   #14
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My first Speer manual was the infamous Speer #8 ! The Hornady #1 I had didn't contain any handgun data , just rifle data . So to reload for 357 Magnum I had to get another book and the Speer #8 was the newest manual the gunshop had.
Good thing my 357 was a hellforstout Ruger Blackhawk !
No lnternet data back then...just the published manuals.
I advise reloders to have at least 4 different references to cross check data with .
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