The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 2, 2011, 10:43 PM   #1
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Developing Your Pet Load. It Isn't That Hard.

Years ago when Winchester Super Lite powder came out and was advertised as the cleanest burning powder I switched from my favorite 12 ga load to WSL. It was true, this stuff was really clean burning and I thought it would be great if this worked in some of my handgun loads. Alas there was no loading data for WSL for handguns so I carefully examined numerous shotgun powders close to the same burn rate that did work in the calibers I wanted to load for and after much research jumped in to develop my handgun loads with WSL. This was totally trial and error. Thankfully the errors were limited to a non cycling semi-auto and some really light loads in the revolver and I never stuck a bullet in the barrel.

Bullet seating depth was easy. Use whatever it took to work. Primers were whatever I had on hand. I did start out with some good sorted cases but mfg stamp wasn’t considered. Working my way up I found the sweet spots for both handguns, loaded and shot quite a few with no ill results. Maybe I was just lucky but I think knowing a lot about reloading by that time, I was making fairly good educated guesses.

Eventually the reloading manuals caught up with me and the published data and my data were almost exactly alike. One manual actually listed powder charges slightly higher than mine but I already knew that was too high in my gun so I was completely satisfied. I have since done this with other cartridges with similar results. Sometimes the manuals never list the powder I found to be excellent in some of my loads. No manual can possibly list all the combinations that will work safely and reloaders miss out on some excellent loads by not experimenting.

Without some of us experimenting today’s and tomorrow’s shooters would be missing out on some very fine cartridges. WSL has been discontinued and I have almost used my last grain so I switched to another powder that also doesn’t have a lot of published data. There is some but mostly not with the bullets and primers I use.
At least this time I didn’t have to start completely from scratch. Maybe next time I will again have the joy of developing my perfect pet load and beating everyone else to the punch.

Last edited by k4swb; February 4, 2011 at 09:43 AM.
k4swb is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 08:23 PM   #2
frumious
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2009
Location: Carrollton TX
Posts: 521
I note this post has received no responses in almost 24 hours. I am not surprised.

The procedure described here seems to run crossways with the spirit of a lot of the advice given on this board. That spirit seems to me to be along the lines of "BE CAREFUL AND DON'T HURT YOURSELF" :-)

Recently I was reading some Usenet archives found here. I was struck by the near total lack of "DON'T DO THAT YOU MIGHT HURT YOURSELF" in any of the threads listed. Granted, these are excerpts, but still the attitude of the folks posting seemed less...I don't know...rigid...than some around here.

Don't get me wrong; I have received good advice here. But I have also seen a lot of finger shaking.

Just an observation.

k4swb I agree with you wholeheartedly. "Without some of us experimenting today’s and tomorrow’s shooters would be missing out on some very fine cartridges."

-cls
frumious is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 08:49 PM   #3
oneounceload
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2008
Location: N. Central Florida
Posts: 8,518
Online powder maker websites are more up-to-date than manuals as they are instantaneous and printed once a year - if it isn't in there, you could always call and ask - I have and they are more than happy to discuss load data with you

I like my fingers attached to my hands just the way they are
oneounceload is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 08:57 PM   #4
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
"I note this post has received no responses in almost 24 hours. I am not surprised."

Well, there really isn't much to say about it, is there?
wncchester is offline  
Old February 3, 2011, 09:10 PM   #5
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Maybe not any replies but as I write this there have been 92 reads. Maybe I have given some people something to think about and getting people to think was my goal.
k4swb is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 05:57 AM   #6
Mike / Tx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 1,923
k4swb,

Your post is in line with what most wildcatters usually do at some point in their rotation through the different ideas they come up with.

You have a case capacity of "X" amount, a bore diameter of "X" amount and you use a bullet weight which is practical for the application. Then you cross reference the powder data for similar calibers and case sizes to get a base line of powders which might work withing a certain burn characteristic. Once there the charge weights are cross referenced and extrapolated to coincide along with the other calibers with similar case capacities. Once there you start dumping powder on the low end and work up inspecting and measuring the cases and looking for something promising with the groups.

In similar fashion instead of weighing up individual charge weights of powder, I use the start and max loads, measured, weighed, and recorded, to go to the range with 20 cases and work up my loads. I throw the charges using a measure instead of weighing out each individual charge. Once I hit a likely load I record the setting on my measure and when I get home I then weigh it and work from there. This might to many seem like something out of a mad chemist diary, but BR shooters do it every week, with no vastly reported ill effects other than maybe a bad match.

I understand your theory and your thought process very well. The key is keeping the newbee's heads in the manuals until they have enough grasp on the concept to understand what their looking at when it presents itself.
Mike / Tx is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 07:15 AM   #7
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,971
Give em a call !!

I`ve called Hodgdon on a couple of my brainstorms & they recommended against the projects I`d thought up & gave me reasons why !!

Alot of shotgun powders get unpredictable & spiky when confined in a smaller case/chamber & a rifled barrel !!!

Hodgdon has more pressure equipment than I & they take the time to explain some things ,so I tend to heed there words of wisdom !!

Information is a wonderful thing , but we have to wade thru a bunch sometimes to reach correct info !!!

Now , not to discredit what k4swb has done , answered the callin of experimentation in handloading !

& the load may work for yrs. & thousands of rounds in "HIS" fire arm & here it comes - - - - even heat treated steel work hardens & breaks & usually not good when it does !!!

Be Safe & Enjoy !!
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 08:19 AM   #8
SwampYankee
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: November 1, 2008
Location: I can be found on a number of other forums.
Posts: 1,333
As the saying goes, "paragraphs are your friend". While there do appear to be technical paragraphs in the original post, the lack of spaces between the paragraphs makes the post extremely difficult to read.

That's my wagging finger....
SwampYankee is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 08:36 AM   #9
William T. Watts
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2010
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 1,074
If all loading components were banned and no longer available then an argument could be made to use what ever you had at hand and hoped like he!! nothing bad happened. Until then I will do what I've done for 45 years and follow the up to date reloading manuals that the bullet and powder industry provides and call that good! William
William T. Watts is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 09:43 AM   #10
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Quote:
As the saying goes, "paragraphs are your friend". While there do appear to be technical paragraphs in the original post, the lack of spaces between the paragraphs makes the post extremely difficult to read.
Thanks for the critique. I was mostly worried about the spelling and didn't even think about anything else pertaining to structure.
k4swb is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 09:52 AM   #11
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Quote:
In similar fashion instead of weighing up individual charge weights of powder, I use the start and max loads, measured, weighed, and recorded, to go to the range with 20 cases and work up my loads. I throw the charges using a measure instead of weighing out each individual charge. Once I hit a likely load I record the setting on my measure and when I get home I then weigh it and work from there. This might to many seem like something out of a mad chemist diary, but BR shooters do it every week, with no vastly reported ill effects other than maybe a bad match
I love loading at the range. I have recorded some mic settings on my measure with certain powders and don't bother with the scale while range loading. I have a wildcat .222 Remington that is a blast to play with.

Quote:
I`ve called Hodgdon on a couple of my brainstorms & they recommended against the projects I`d thought up & gave me reasons why !!
I'm sure they did.
k4swb is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 10:27 AM   #12
jmorris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2006
Posts: 3,072
This is one of my setups to make the process faster.

jmorris is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 10:46 AM   #13
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11,423
You use a progressive press to make load development at the shooting range faster?!
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 10:57 AM   #14
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Quote:
This is one of my setups to make the process faster.
That is a nice setup!!! We have loading areas at both of the ranges I use. Range loading is alot of fun with a setup like yours.

I don't do it for speed, I do it so I don't have to load so many test rounds that may not work and then be torn down. On second thought, I guess that does speed things up.

I've alwaysed enjoyed looking at others range loading techniques.
k4swb is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 12:04 PM   #15
Fox1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Posts: 300
I certainly see no reason, for others, to experiment and come up with different loads and to share their data...but I won't be doing it. (Testing, that is.)

It keeps my face on my face better when I stick to proven (whether published or unpublished but tested) loads.
Fox1 is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 12:22 PM   #16
jmorris
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 22, 2006
Posts: 3,072
Quote:
You use a progressive press to make load development at the shooting range faster?!
Sure, the powder bars for the SD’s are the same as the ones I use in my other Dillon presses so it’s already set for the load I arrived at using the chronograph. Take along a clear cake pan lid to shield the powder scale from wind, a Dillon media separator tub holds it all for one trip from the house to the vehicular.

I can work up loads using 4 different powders with 3 different bullet weights to meet a given PF in under 2 hours.
jmorris is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 01:21 PM   #17
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Quote:
I certainly see no reason, for others, to experiment and come up with different loads and to share their data...but I won't be doing it. (Testing, that is.)

It keeps my face on my face better when I stick to proven (whether published or unpublished but tested) loads.
I'm not sure I follow about the last line.
I agree that many others should never stray from published loads and some should never relaod at all. My loads are tested and proven to me and that is what I'm after.

I don't give out the data for something I'm playing with and don't load that recipe for others but it is very satisfying if someone asks what I'm shooting and I give them the general info and thay say, "that's interesting. I didn't know that powder would even work for that."

And yes, it sometimes clears out the area next to me and gives me some added elbow room.
k4swb is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 03:53 PM   #18
Fox1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 27, 2008
Posts: 300
For more clarity, what I meant by my last line was that I'm glad there are people willing to experiment and share their PROVEN loads but I'm not one of them because I just don't have that confidence.

I only use published book loads or loads that have been proven to work by someone knowledgeable.
Fox1 is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 05:43 PM   #19
semi_problomatic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 27, 2009
Location: Ft. Polk
Posts: 883
Amen fox. I've been running circles on the net trying to find a good starting point for some 45-70 heavy bullet loads with reloader 7. Finally made a batch today... If I don't post again you know what happened....

Good post btw, I read it but didn't have $.02 to throw in on it. I can only hope that 1 day I will have so much experience the force grows strong enough in me that I too could experiment like that. Until then, I'm riding coat-tails.
__________________
Freedom's just a word. If I'm gonna die for a word, my word is jello...
semi_problomatic is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 06:30 PM   #20
serf 'rett
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 25, 2009
Location: Stuttgart, AR
Posts: 1,569
Interesting Post

Quote:
Maybe I was just lucky but I think knowing a lot about reloading by that time, I was making fairly good educated guesses.
It's said that knowledge is power. I just loaded my first 9mm rounds, actually my first time to reload anything. I couldn't find published data for the exact components I had purchased, but I studied all the information I had and asked for help on this forum. Took the reloads to the range this past Saturday and was talking to a fellow shooter just prior to taking my first shot. He asked what my charge weights were and then told me I had loaded to much powder in my bullets; way more than he normally used, he said.

Told him that I was fairly certain I had done used a good min to max range, then asked him what powder did he use - yep, as soon as he told me his powder, I knew his stuff was significantly faster than my powder, BECAUSE, I HAD STUDIED several burn rate charts. I grabbed my 3 ring binder and showed him the difference.

I also take note that you worked your way up - started on the low end.
__________________
A lack of planning on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on my part.
serf 'rett is offline  
Old February 4, 2011, 09:11 PM   #21
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 11,423
You are at the range with your first ever loads and you've never yet even pulled the trigger ONCE -- while he is at the range with his handloads and he has been reloading for some amount of time.

Without even knowing what powder you are using, and/or not recognizing it as the same powder he is using, he looks at your charge weight and tells you that your loads are too hot?! Only to find that he's using a different powder?

Guess who is the better handloader?

I'm sure your ammo went off without a hitch!
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old February 5, 2011, 06:57 AM   #22
Dr. Strangelove
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2008
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 1,436
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frumious
The procedure described here seems to run crossways with the spirit of a lot of the advice given on this board. That spirit seems to me to be along the lines of "BE CAREFUL AND DON'T HURT YOURSELF" :-)

Recently I was reading some Usenet archives found here. I was struck by the near total lack of "DON'T DO THAT YOU MIGHT HURT YOURSELF" in any of the threads listed. Granted, these are excerpts, but still the attitude of the folks posting seemed less...I don't know...rigid...than some around here.

Don't get me wrong; I have received good advice here. But I have also seen a lot of finger shaking.

Just an observation.
I'll have to say I agree with this post.

I understand this is a national/international board with many different skill levels represented. Some topics of discussion may not be appropriate to the skill level of some of the readers, however, that's up to the individual reader to decide.

When an obviously unsafe practice is posted, sure; I believe it should be addressed. I believe we have the obligation to keep the forum safe, but registering concerns about unsafe practices doesn't mean saying "you're gonna blow yourself up" everytime anyone posts something slightly out of the ordinary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by K4swb
Without some of us experimenting today’s and tomorrow’s shooters would be missing out on some very fine cartridges. WSL has been discontinued and I have almost used my last grain so I switched to another powder that also doesn’t have a lot of published data. There is some but mostly not with the bullets and primers I use.
Exactly right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens
You are at the range with your first ever loads and you've never yet even pulled the trigger ONCE -- while he is at the range with his handloads and he has been reloading for some amount of time.

Without even knowing what powder you are using, and/or not recognizing it as the same powder he is using, he looks at your charge weight and tells you that your loads are too hot?! Only to find that he's using a different powder?

Guess who is the better handloader?

I'm sure your ammo went off without a hitch!
Great post, my point exactly. The fellow he was shooting beside was way too quick to judge.

If everyone jumps on folks for trying something new, then they stop posting those types of things and all we are left with is "should I use corn or walnut in my tumbler". Kinda makes it boring place to hang around, no?
__________________
Just remember, when you pull the trigger, the bullets come out going very, very fast. So make sure to keep the weapon pointing away from you.
Dr. Strangelove is offline  
Old February 5, 2011, 10:03 AM   #23
k4swb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2009
Posts: 389
Quote:
If everyone jumps on folks for trying something new, then they stop posting those types of things and all we are left with is "should I use corn or walnut in my tumbler". Kinda makes it boring place to hang around, no?
Thank you very much for this.
When posting these things I try to never give hard data because I feel that my tests are not for everyone and not everyone is at the stage in the hobby they should even attempt these things. I also believe that it is good to let people have things to think about beyond which 1911 to buy.
k4swb is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14047 seconds with 8 queries