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Old August 20, 2015, 11:31 PM   #1
hbhobby
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How much to download

Ok I bought a bunch of ammo and it is a hotter load than I want. I was thinking of pulling down the rounds and reloading them. Obviously I do not know what powder was used so a manual is useless, but I want to put the same powder back in. How much should I download the powder charge to make it what I want. I was thinking of doing several work downs but can't decide what increments to use. 5%. 10%. 2.5%. Etc. so that is my question is how much should I subtract to do my work down each step?
I would pull the loads and measure the powder charge on each one then on groups of 10 and average to find out what the powder charge they put in each one initially.
Any recommendations?
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Old August 20, 2015, 11:54 PM   #2
Marco Califo
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I would use 90 to 100%, in 2% steps. You test the lowest bracket first and then advance to the next step.
Not so coincidentally, that is how we approach manufacturers published loads.

What is the root cause of your question? Is it factory ammo? If not, I would be VERY wary. Is it a concern for the firearm? Or, is recoil the issue?

Your proposed solution (pull bullets and reduce powder) is a labor and tool intensive process, requiring the same knowledge, tools and skills as reloading (plus a caliber specific bullet puller, if you do not already have one). You could just as easily load your own new ammo, and load lighter, like a 90% starting load, or 95% to tame recoil. In the later case you would start at 90% for 5 or ten rounds, then 92%. Inspect the brass, evaluate recoil, inspect target at each step.
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Old August 21, 2015, 07:03 AM   #3
g.willikers
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Since you will have done the hard work of disassembling the rounds, why not just reload with a powder you are familiar with to the power level you want?
Wouldn't that be a safer and more effective way to get what you want?
The powder is the least expensive component anyway.
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Old August 21, 2015, 07:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Since you will have done the hard work of disassembling the rounds, why not just reload with a powder you are familiar with to the power level you want?
Wouldn't that be a safer and more effective way to get what you want?
The powder is the least expensive component anyway.
I agree 100%.

The fact that you don't know what powder is in them means you don't know that it is safe to be downloaded.
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Old August 21, 2015, 08:20 AM   #5
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It sounds like you don't want to shoot the rounds you have.
What is the reason?

I also would look for another powder.

What is the intended use for the ammo?
Target, plink or hunt?
What bullets are in the rounds you have?
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Old August 21, 2015, 09:56 AM   #6
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Mr. Willikers is a smart guy.
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Old August 21, 2015, 03:28 PM   #7
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Mr. Willikers is a really smart guy.
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Old August 22, 2015, 08:45 AM   #8
hbhobby
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I will be target shooting and these rounds are quite hot and recoil is significant. I will load some with my favorite powder but it seems like a waste to not use the powder that is there already. Especially when pistol powder is in such short supply around here.
Thank you all for your recommendations
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Old August 23, 2015, 10:40 AM   #9
g.willikers
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Thanks for the compliments.
That's me taking a bow.
Oops, I almost fell down.
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Old August 23, 2015, 01:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for the compliments.
Your original post oozed with common sense.

Just giving credit where it's due.
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Old August 23, 2015, 01:31 PM   #11
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"...I do not know what powder was used..." That's precisely why you should not use that powder and do what g.willikers says to do.
Depending on the cartridge just reducing the powder charge may have no effect of felt recoil either.
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Old August 23, 2015, 03:59 PM   #12
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What caliber, brand, bullet weight, etc., is this ammo? If you could answer a lot of the unknowns we might come up with some other options here. But the best option will still be to use a known powder with a proven recipe. Most powders can have their charges reduced a little and still be safe or safer. However, there are several very common exceptions that can be quite dangerous to reduce. The old adage, "If you don't know what you are doing, don't do it.", applies to this very situation. Be safe, not sorry.

Last edited by Pathfinder45; August 23, 2015 at 04:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 23, 2015, 05:30 PM   #13
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
I was thinking of doing several work downs but can't decide what increments to use. 5%. 10%. 2.5%. Etc. so that is my question is how much should I subtract to do my work down each step?
I did this when playing around with some milsurp ammo. I first had to work out what the actual working charge was so pulled down 20rds, weighed each charge and took an average. After that I decided to go down by 7.5% and from there work back up in 2% increments at first, then 1% for the last few closer to the actual load in the cases.

For me it worked out nicely: I found I could get all the components to shoot well in my rifle at a slightly lower charge.

Perhaps you can try this approach.
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Old August 24, 2015, 07:27 PM   #14
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The ammo is the tulammo. Cheap Russian stuff. It fires like a rifle and is abusive to shoot out of my Glock 19 and not fun out of my 17 and down right punishing out of my Ruger LC9s.
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Old August 25, 2015, 12:33 AM   #15
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It would be a shame to wreck a nice piece with cheap, defective ammo.
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Old August 25, 2015, 11:26 AM   #16
g.willikers
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It might be sub gun ammo.
Quite a bit hotter than normal 9mm.
Harder primers, too, maybe.
Glocks were one of the few pistols that could reliably use the stuff.
There used to be a lot of it around being sold as surplus, for like $90 per thousand, back in the early 1990s.
It didn't take long for it to reappear back for sale at the gun shows.
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Last edited by g.willikers; August 25, 2015 at 11:31 AM.
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Old August 25, 2015, 02:16 PM   #17
Marco Califo
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That hot 9mm was made in Austria by Hirtenberger, headstamp L71A. Very hot, has broken some pistols. Was made on special contract for Artic conditions. Warnings were published by ATF. Not recommended; Use at your own risk in pistols.
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