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Old February 5, 2001, 09:16 AM   #1
vince weng
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Join Date: January 7, 1999
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I am new to reloading. Recently I ordered a master reloading kits from RCBS. The package includes a speer reloading manual. The reloading data was collected using speer bullets vs. different powders. My question is

can I apply the reloading data to different bullets with the same weight (even the same sectional density and very close ballistic coefficient). I know the velocity may be different, but for the safety concern, is it ok?

For example, if I replace speer .308 165 Gr spitz-sp (bc=.477) by nosler .308 165 Gr Solid Base (bc=.475) using speer loading data, will I get any trouble?

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Old February 5, 2001, 09:59 AM   #2
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See why you need more than one load manual! I use the same load data for like bullets Ie, lead for lead and jacketed for jacketed same weight and design, If I do not have the same bullet I'll call the manufacturer of the bullets I'm using to get the C.O.L. I do not use lead data for jacketed bullets
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Old February 5, 2001, 09:59 AM   #3
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Other manufacturer's bullets?

Speer and Sierra publish HOTer loads than Lee or Hornady. I would do one or both of the following:
1. Start on the low to middle range and work up.
2. Get a Lee or Hornady manual.
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Old February 6, 2001, 04:12 PM   #4
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A few more rules to guide your exploration:

In handgun calibers, changing from jacketed to lead can result in max charges being anywhere from 0% to 5% or more LESS than max for jacketed. Exhaustive comparison of mulitple manuals here, identical bullet weights, "standard" and Magnum cartridges.

In any caliber, a bullet with a longer bearing surface will almost always (I know of no exceptions!) result in higher pressure.

In any caliber, changing the seating depth--at the BASE of the bullet--to a deeper intrusion into the powder area will result in higher pressure. Example--loading Hornady A-Max bullets to the same OAL equals deeper seating because they are soo long and pointy.

In any caliber, changing from jacket/lead core to a solid copper slug will bring higher pressure.

So, your answer is yes and no. Hornady 168-gr HPBT Match bullets vs. Sierra 168-gr HPBT MatchKings are interchangeable, in my experience. I've heard that no Barnes solid copper can be interchanged with any other bullet.

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Old February 10, 2001, 01:06 AM   #5
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Particularly with rifle ammunition, though possibly with pistol ammunition also, same caliber and weight bullets can have different ogives, longer or shorter full disameter length.

In a given rifle, differing ogives, (Tangent or Secant, as I recall) will give differing oal, which could alter reamining free space in cartridge case. For a given powder charge, less free space will likely increase chamber pressures.

Pay attention to this possibility, particularly if you change bullets. Old saying goes as follows. If you change ANY component in your reloads, back off about 10%, weight of powder, and work up again. It could be a pain to do this, but it could also save you from problems.
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Old February 10, 2001, 10:09 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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Yeah, Vince, probably the best advice so far is to back off a bit and work back up, looking for primer-flattening as the primary indicator of excessive pressure. For instance, I found that the Winchester Fail Safe bullets have harder jackets than Sierras. I hadn't backed off the powder charge and worked back up. Flat primers; very poor accuracy.

As a generality, it is common for the best-accuracy loads to be one or two grains' weight of powder below Max.

In the FWIW department, I usually load "plinkers" some 200 to 400 ft/sec below max. This gives a smidgen lower burn temperature, which extends barrel life somewhat. Since I shoot far fewer hunting loads, I don't mind loading them to the absolute max pressure consistent with reasonable accuracy.

As a general rule, load to the longest OAL which will feed through the magazine but not have the bullet hang up on the lands. (One of my pet .243 loads, if I seat the bullet a bit far out, does hang up, which is embarrassing. Open the bolt, see the powder spill out! Get cleaning rod...)

Hope all this stuff helps,

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