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A little rant about Manuals

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Mark W., Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Sometimes I really wish that Manuals all had similar info on various loads.

    For instance Nosler makes a Bullet I really like for my .243 Varmit rifle.

    55gr. Ballistic Tip Fast moving flat shooting nasty results little bullet.

    But in the Nosler book no info on OCL or if you prefer COAL they just give the Max which is 2.710

    At 2.710 you can barely get the bullet to stay in the case.

    Now Hornady lists the various OAL for their bullets (course they don't make a bullet like the Nosler) So I can figure it out or at least know I can run the slug down until I get a 2.600" OAL

    And yes I know how to set a bullet based on hitting the lands (the Nosler is way to short for that to happen)

    Just seams like it would be nice for each publisher to include all the info a person might find really useful.

    I got 44 years experience with reloading so I know how to do this stuff but there's a WHOLE bunch of younger guys and guys just getting into reloading that only have the books to rely on.

    Little rant over.
     
  2. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    2.65 is where mine sit using same bullet 44g 4064 in a Rem. 788. This is my varmint round , does a number on coyotes. I used it on the buck I got this year too, did a neck shot around 150yd dropped like a stone.
     
  3. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    I understand your oal gripe, Mark; but remember what you are asking for.
    The "younger" reloaders you speak to, generally seem incapable of wanting to learn anything for/by themselves; they want to be told what does or doesn't work. They will jump on a board and ask for THE load that is magic in their rifle, as if anyone EXCEPT them could answer that.

    Most don't know pressures are recorded in SAAMI minimum spec equipment. They don't know that many powders come from the same parent powder, or are exactly the same powder (H414/Win760/AA2700). They don't own a chronograph, they don't know twist rates matter to bullet length, NOT weight. They never heard of the greenhill formula. They don't understand how large nominal burning rates truly are, they don't understand about geometry controlling burning rates in extruded powder. They don't understand...And they ALWAYS want the max velocity. Etc, etc.

    For practical help, DATE that pressure testing was done, and component lot numbers is much more helpful.

    As an example of "who/when", and it's relevance:
    On several boards there is a resurgence of "will 748 work in the 223/222?"
    That powder was the choice in those apps for several benchrest records. Bl-c(2) & H335 come from the same powder, 748 also, but has an updated additive package (it isn't just CFE that has copper cleaners). So why did Hodgdon pull MOST 748 data a few years back? When Olin spun off Primex and lost all powder manufacturing capabilities, they kept the Win branded powders rights. Hodgdon(who doesn't make any powder either) is supposed to sell and promote the brand. Data is supposed to come from Olin... who no longer makes powder....
    So Hodgdon buys the H335/Bl-c(2)/748 line from the maker, General Dynamics, and waits for Olin to provide data.... So, the 748 data Hodgdon DID have posted, was so old, that they weren't sure when the actual test date was.

    The above info is more practically helpful, than what OAL in a book was; when they don't have my gun, nor components.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Here's the thing... manuals are kinda taking on more and more of an "as an afterthought" to most of the modern reloading companies, there are at least 3 places where you can go for load data: the bullet manufacturer, the powder manufacturer, and in at least several cases the reloading equipment manufacturer. Worse still, data from each will be different.
     
  5. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    One piece of information that is not listed in any of the dozen or so manuals that I have aquired that has a great bearing on COAL is the length of the load bearing surface of a particular bullet to the datum line where the bullet begins to taper toward the point . This can vary greatly from bullet to bullet of a given grain weight and depending on the freebore of your particular firearm have a pronounced effect on your cartridge OAL as well as the cartridge pressures achieved if trying to use COAL as a controling factor in load developement . I use the Stoney Point ( now Hornady ) bullet comparator tool to measure and document the actual length of the load bearing surface and the OAL of each bullet to give me some insight as to bullet selection for load developement in my firearms . I then use another Stoney Point COAL measuring tool and record the overall lenth of each different bullet set in the cartridge case at the point where the bullet just kisses the lands in each firearm of that bullets calibre . Remember that the amount of bullet seated into the case is relative to the pressure moreso that COAL and even that can be altered somewhat if the bullets are seated touching the lands . My personal preference is to pick a bullet that when touching the lands will leave enough of the bullet seated inside of the neck to fill at least 50% of the neck and more is better when working up a load .
    Case in point I nearly sold my most accurate big game rifle to date during load developement as it was plauge by a long factory freebore combined with a magazine that for all intentional purposes could have been made longer . I had developed 2 accurate loads that exceeded manufactures OAL and would not fit in the magazine which lead to single shot loading . This lead me to the practice of the afore mentioned bullet and cartridge measuring proceedures and to a devastating and most accurate load for this rifle . By mere virtue of the dimensions of the Barnes TPX bullet I was able to seat my bullets to kiss the lands and just barely fit the magazine for repeater performance . No other bullet even came close to meeting these measurement requirements . This Browning A-Bolt .300 Win. Mag. shoots these Barnes 168 gr. TPX Match bullets inside of 3/4 inch at 200 yds. clocking 3,225 fps. consistantly . Had I not developed this line of thinking someone else would now own this fine rifle . Using this same principal I was able to develope a load for a Tikka T3 Lite in .223 that shoots a 60 gr. Hornady soft point inside of .250 inches at 100 yds. consistantly as well here again barely fitting the magazine length and seated kissing the lands . Sometime well after I developed these loads I was privleged to read an article ( Google this one up ) called " the Houston Warehouse" which helped confirm my convictions for the need to touch the lands to better increase your chances of getting loads that will fly like these . Just this old fools nickles worth on COAL . Remember ,,, OCD and RELOADING were ment for each other ... LOL !

    10 Spot
     
  6. nrc

    nrc Oregon Member

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    I get the frustration piece. I have called Nosler and asked to talk to someone about a particular bullet/cartridge and they called me back. Nice enough about it, too.
     
  7. noylj

    noylj high desert Active Member

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    COL (Cartridge Overall Length) is determined by your gun (and magazine) and the bullet. There is no magic COL that is correct for any given bullet.
    For best accuracy, you determine the COL that works best in your gun.
    My complaint is that the manuals don't even go into how to determine the max working COL for a given gun and bullet combination and how to work out the best COL.
    The COL in a manual is NOT a recommendation, it is simply what they used and is no more than the shortest COL that data applies to (if you need a shorter COL, reduced the starting load by a "few" percent).

    About the best COL note I have seen is from Western Powder:
    SPECIAL NOTE ON CARTRIDGE OVERALL LENGTH “COL”
    It is important to note that the SAAMI “COL” values are for the firearms and ammunition manufacturers industry and must be seen as a guideline only.
    The individual reloader is free to adjust this dimension to suit their particular firearm-component-weapon combination.
    This parameter is determined by various dimensions such as
    1) magazine length (space),
    2) freebore-lead dimensions of the barrel,
    3) ogive or profile of the projectile and
    4) position of cannelure or crimp groove.
     
  8. roknHS

    roknHS Idaho Member

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    The new Nosler manual #7 has a good explanation of how to find the right COL for your rifle.......
    Starts on page 67 and ends on page 68. First time I've seen it in a manual. Good Job Nosler.......
     
  9. wingspar

    wingspar Oregon Member

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    I don’t fit that category. I’m 67 and I’m doing my research to begin reloading. I only plan on reloading .357 Magnum with possibly adding .45 ACP later, so I’m keeping it simple as possible. I have the 49th Edition of the Lyman manual and another manual on the way. Sticking as close to factory OAL’s seem smart, but there are so many different bullets, it can get confusing.

    Overall, the more info I read, the muddier it all seems. If I can’t find any powder, I’ll never start ordering anything.

    By the way, guys and guys? Typo?
     
  10. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    Wingspar I think you fall into the "and guys" catagory he was speaking of which although may have been stated differently still makes the point and therefore would not be considered a typo . COAL is as a rule , but not always , a more simple issue to deal with in handguns such as the .357 Magnum you mention until bullets get to be heavy for calibre ( out of the nominal weight range ) where the bullets become quite long . With handguns ( revolvers in particular ) unlike rifles you are limited in COAL by the length of the cylinders and not a potential for freebore issues as can , and often does become perplexing when handloading . When loading for revolvers the bullets are normally seated to the crimp groove and as long as your brass length is in spec range the COAL should not exceede SAMMI specs or the lenth of your cylinder . Auto loading pistols are a bit more touchy in that if bullets are seated longer than manufacturers recommendation you tend to have feeding issues and low pressure issues . Light for calibre bullets here can be the curse if you dont read the manufactures recommendation and seat them accordingly resulting an a COAL close to SAMMI max specs . You may get squibs and plug your bore or worse fire a second round and have your weapon fly apart and suffer injury or even death . The best any of us can do is reference several loading manuals before working up your loads and stay safe .

    10 Spot
     
  11. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    In my experience with reloading, it's finding the optimal COAL for the powder/bullet/rifle interface that has made the difference between a minute-of-milk jug rifle and an actual tack-driver. I would agree with the sentiment about kids these days--with instant gratification and the innerwebs, who really wants to go to the range with a chronograph and shoot strings of the same load at different seating depths and take copious notes?
     
  12. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    I dearly LOVE shooting those shot strings and taking copius notes . It helps to sooth my OCD ... : )
     
  13. wingspar

    wingspar Oregon Member

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    With your explanation, the guys and guys comment makes more sense. Just couldn’t read it that way. Sounded more like it should be gals and guys.

    Everything I do will be as close to factory loads as possible, and that means “Suggested Started Loads” from the manuals. I’m sure once I get going, most of what is a little confusing now will all fall into place. Right now powder is nonexistent, so until I can find some powder, I’ll keep on reading. Once I find powder, I can go ahead and get a press and the rest of the necessary tools and components.

    FMJ bullets also seem to be a rare commodity now too, but that’s another thread. I have the Lyman Manual, and the One Book/One Caliber for .357 Magnum in the mail. I’m sure I’ll end up with more manuals in short order, so I have nothing to add to this thread, other than it would be nice to have everything handy in one manual. Even the Lyman Manual is leaving stuff to be desired, and I have not even started reloading yet. Why do most manuals I’ve seen (online too) seem to leave out data for FMJ’s? It all seems to be HP’s and Cast bullets.

    The largest percentage of my .357 shooting will be thru a lever gun, but we have two revolvers and I hope to add one more.
     
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Or you get a CZ 75 and find out the chambers are a few thou shorter than everyone else's - and learn about it the hard way!
     
  15. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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  16. wingspar

    wingspar Oregon Member

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    I guess what I was getting at by asking why my Lyman Manual only has data for HP’s vs jacketed FP’s or Flat Point Soft tips is that the OAL of a 158 grain FP and a 158 grain HP are different, correct? Wouldn’t that affect seating depth and resulting pressure?
     
  17. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    The bullet configuration isnt the key consideration here in so much as how much of the bullet is seated into the case with a given charge of powder . The thing to remeber is the reloading guides are a reference guide and not an absolute to begin with . This is why the listing for recommended starting powder charges and maximum charges vary between powders and if that isnt bad enough you will see these numbers change between the reloading guides . To help give yourself something to guide you when changing jacketed bullets of the same weight and trying to match the performance between the 2 this will get you close . Work up your best load with your 1st bullet of choice . Then if switching from say the hollow point to a flat point measure the length of the bullet from the base to the bottom of the crimp groove on the bullet you have loaded vs. the one you will be loading . "IF" there is any discernable difference such as the new bullet measures longer from the base to the groove , then you can surmise the pressure will be somewhat higher and may want to reduce your load say .01 or .02 grains to again give you a starting point . If that same measurement turns out to be shorter then the opposite will apply and you may want to bump the powder up . When doing this you will be speculating based on the charactor of the powder . What I mean by this is if the powder you are using has a short range of say .8 grs. between start and max loads you may not want to use more than .1 gr. either way where as a powder that has nearly a 2.0 grain min. and max. range you would use maybe .03 gr. variation . All of that being said it is going to come down to you being within the safety limits of the cartridge and your range results . A chronograph is a very helpful tool when comparing load performance but that is another subject I could ramble on about . Be sure when testing your loads to figure in the human factor as well and be honest with yourself . We all have those days where it feels like we drank too much coffee or something and cant get our shooting rythem down . If that is the case , note it in your log book or on your target and try that load again on another day . Dont be in a hurry . It will all come together and put a grin on your chin that couldn't be taken off with a power sander .
     
  18. Nickb

    Nickb Moxee Active Member

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    Same here, and I'm one of those "young kids" you guys talk about.
     
  19. whiskeybill

    whiskeybill Battle Ground, WA Well-Known Member

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    Like Mark, I have well over 40 years of reloading experience. I am also a NRA reloading instructor. The basic reloading class that the NRA prescribes is eight hours in length, and that is enough to get you familiar with the basics of reloading. Just about everything you read about here and on other forums is experience gained by the various individuals, and can be valuable. BUT, as we teach in the class, it is a good idea to get more than one reloading manual, as the information offered can be varied while still being applicable. If you're starting out on this enjoyable past time, then try to keep things as simple as possible. I'm not hawking taking a class, as when I first started out I had very little instruction and a whole lot of questions. Have had a few missteps along the way, but I still have all my digits and have not damaged or destroyed any firearms. You will find some powder. Just keep an eye out. Incidentally, my avatar is exactly what you are looking to reload for. M28 S&W .357 Mag and a 1911 .45 Automatic. Both pretty easy to master.
     
  20. wingspar

    wingspar Oregon Member

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    That is exactly what I was thinking. For a FP or RT at 158 grains and an HP to be 158 grains, it would seem that the HP would have to be longer due to the construction of the HP, therefore, the HP bullet would seat deeper into the case resulting in different pressures.

    Most, if not all load data I’ve seen is for HP’s and Cast bullets, and I just found an excellent source for jacketed HP’s, so I may just go that route. It does make me wonder about accuracy of an HP vs non HP bullets at distance?

    A chronograph may be in the future for me. Specially after I have some reloading under my belt, and I want to try and get max velocity out of the .357 for the rifle.