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Has anyone ever worked up a load with no published load data? Did you use a closest match (published data) and cautiously start at the bottom stopping at pressure or desired node?


Long version: I wanted to try the 143g Lever Hammer bullet with my supply of Hornady Leverrevolution powder but there is no published data for Hammer bullets. I emailed Hammer and they suggested I start with the Hodgdon data published for the 140g Hornady MFTX (29 min/ 34max). So I did... and while it worked I found no signs of overpressure at the listed max loading I was disappointed that yielded a velocity thats usable but low for a lighter bullet at 2258fps. My current handload is a Barnes150g TSX @ 2360fps I was hoping to at least meet that or hit 2400fps with the lighter weight Hammer...
Im guessing I will get a scolding for asking but, should I try to creep up on that in 0.1g increments?

Heres a pic of the min (left) and max (right), I interpret the max (right) as a #2 on the "larrywillis primer pressure scale", what do you think?
Left: 29g HLVR @ 2028fps
Right: 34g HLVR @ 2258fps

1659419536246.png
 
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Yes I have rolled ammo with bullets and powder that was not in a manual quite a few times when I first got started. I would use info as close as possible to what I wanted. Load a handful of rounds, carefully marked. Then start test firing. Since I was never loading anything close to max I was never worried about doing this.
 
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Yes I have rolled ammo with bullets and powder that was not in a manual quite a few times when I first got started. I would use info as close as possible to what I wanted. Load a handful of rounds, carefully marked. Then start test firing. Since I was never loading anything close to max I was never worried about doing this.
so Im either not totally crazy or not alone... :p
I dont think Im at or even near the max for the Hammer bullet but the idea of this without load data is new territory for me.
 
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so Im either not totally crazy or not alone... :p
I dont think Im at or even near the max for the Hammer bullet but the idea of this without load data is new territory for me.
As long as you have a reference point its not a big deal to me. I would not do it with nothing to reference of course but as long as I had info for stuff really close I would just start out really low and then see how it performed. I did this when say I had info for a slug that was Jacketed, but I wanted to use lead, or other way around and such. Or had info for something just slightly heavier or lighter slug. As long as the manual had something close in the powder I wanted it did not scare me to work up stuff.
 
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So to better test and check where your max is, since primers and powders are expensive and hard to find, I'd do a 1gr instead of 0.1gr if able safely. Work in sets of 5 or 10 rounds and check each one for signs of over pressure as you fire them. When you get the first one that shows any signs of over pressure than stop and mark that as +p max limit(not to exceed) and the one just before that as standard max safe limit. After you know your max safe limit and if you've gone through a few or several and you know your min fps and charge you can than calculate your weight needed per 100fps.
 
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So to better test and check where your max is, since primers and powders are expensive and hard to find, I'd do a 1gr instead of 0.1gr if able safely. Work in sets of 5 or 10 rounds and check each one for signs of over pressure as you fire them. When you get the first one that shows any signs of over pressure than stop and mark that as +p max limit(not to exceed) and the one just before that as standard max safe limit. After you know your max safe limit and if you've gone through a few or several and you know your min fps and charge you can than calculate your weight needed per 100fps.
I should note I was getting a good accuracy node where I ended the ladder, 1.5".
Im reading the Hammers "PDR" bands have less friction than others so they like faster burning powders, i dunno what HLVR is the only other I could try is A2520 but id have to start over with no reference point... Im going to continue working up (slowly) with the HLVR, id like to hit at least 2400fps but would be happy with a good accuracy at 2300.
I like the idea of learning what weight gives 100fps gain, is that consistent? If so I could probably extrapolate that from my existing data....
 
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OP: "I start with the Hodgdon data published for the 140g Hornady MFTX (29 min/ 34max). So I did..."

34 grains is max for a similar weight bullet! Any increase from here should be approached with extreme caution. Powder burn isn't linear! A serious KABOOM can occur even with .1 grain increase from a seemingly safe load!

Absolutely DO NOT INCREASE BY ONE FULL GRAIN! PERIOD! Unless you are willing to do it in .1 or .2 increments.

What is the velocity of this factory round, 140g Hornady MFTX?
 
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Yep, start with a similar weight bullets load data. Depending on how similar in weight, I may or may not start at the bottom charge.
 
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I like the idea of learning what weight gives 100fps gain, is that consistent? If so I could probably extrapolate that from my existing data....
If you know min/max fps and weight for them you can but it provides better data if you have some that are in between as well. I wouldn't say it's always consistent, when you reach the high speeds sometimes you'll only gain ~50fps for the same weight increase(be cautious if this happens) , this can sometimes be true on the really low end as well but less common.
 
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If you know min/max fps and weight for them you can but it provides better data if you have some that are in between as well. I wouldn't say it's always consistent, when you reach the high speeds sometimes you'll only gain ~50fps for the same weight increase(be cautious if this happens) , this can sometimes be true on the really low end as well but less common.
If its not consistent then Ill stay with 0.1g increases. Im reading elsewhere Hammers like faster powder so im wondering if HLVR has its limit here, ive heard to be cautious of "velocity plateaus".
 
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Hard to be100% but from that picture I see zero pressure signs looking at the primers. I’d venture to say you’ve got a bit to go.
 
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Hard to be100% but from that picture I see zero pressure signs looking at the primers. I’d venture to say you’ve got a bit to go.
I think so too. Theres a very minor difference in the two but the right side is well inside normal.
I finally got some info in another hunting forum popular with Hammer reloaders, same rifle, powder, bullet and one guy went up to 37g at 2540fps... impressive. Im not going to chase his velocity, but if I can get an accuracy node thats faster than my 150g Barnes bullet recipe I will be happy and the Hammer bullet will be a sweet hard hitting load to hunt with this fall.
 
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Short version: How long does it take for a compressed load to push the bullet back out? I loaded some cases last night and measured them this morning and no difference.

Long version: starting where I left off I ran another "ladder" test today and still found no signs of pressure. Ive reached a velocity I can work with, but wouldn't mind hitting 2500fps and stopping there. The question is I cant tell if I'm starting to compress the load and if so would just stop where I'm at and prefer not to compress the load. The HLVR powder I'm using is spherical. I feel as if this powder is not ideal for this bullet but not experienced enough to know, just that if I'm starting to worry about overfilling the case without seeing pressure signs it seems like the powder burns too slow? Just my guess. It just feels like somethings off when Ive started at 29g and now have worked up to 37g and still not seeing pressure signs. Its probable I started way under for this bullet. Hammer says their patented "PDR technology" is designed to reduce friction and pressure resulting in greater velocities so Im guessing thats coming into play here, is it possible I could run out of room before I hit pressure with this powder?

Heres a pic of my primers from 37g of HLVR. The 4 rounds averaged 2394fps 0806222125_37gHLVRb.jpg
 
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IIRC spherical powders don’t react as well to compressing as stick powders do and pressures can spike pretty quickly.

Admittedly I’ve never used the powder you’re working with.

What types of velocities does the manual say you should be seeing with that weight bullet and caliber?
 

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