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Questions we've all had?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by tlfreek, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    I am new to reloading and primarily load 44 mag and 338 win mag. Because I am new to this I overly check case length OAL powders etc to ensure everything is right. But I wonder how much forgiveness there is in this whole process. Yes i know what might happen if you double charge a case, but what happens if you are a little under or a lot under or just a bit over regarding powder weights. If I could get my hands on a cheap bubblegumty 44 mag I would do these tests myself, but I am curious if someone knows what happens. when....say... you take a case and put 30% less powder in it than required. does the bullet simply drop faster or get stuck in the barrell? I have heard of compressed loads but what does that mean.........over charging or using a powder that simply fills the case? I suspect we all have these questions from time to time, so I thought I would ask instead of surfing you tube for my answers.

    i have more questions in this area, but before I scare everyone off I thought I would stop here.:thumbup:
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Oakridge Active Member

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    It is not possible to be overly cautious when reloading!
    As fare as "light loads", they can be a lot of fun. You can load the 44 mag, where it's fun for the kids to shoot (a pop instead a BOOM) and YES, if you go to "light" the bullet may not exit the barrel.
    As for "max loads", todays reloading manuals are all "lawyer approved"! This means in most modern fire arms the "max load" is plenty safe.
    Being off (+or-) a grain or two in a in a firearm like 338 win mag , will only affect your accuracy (as long as you don't acceding max load)
    Being off (+or-) a grain or two in the 44 mag is VERY noticeable (pop or BOOM)! Again as long as you don't accede the max load, you'll be fine.
    A "compressed load is when you have so much powder in the case, that when you load your projectile it actually "compresses" the powder on the way in. This is common in some rifles.

    Did I forget any thing?
     
  3. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    if you want a fun way to work up a rifle load check this page out. Used this method a couple times and it works really well. I just sucks that its $40 or so per go by the time you buy powder primers and the bullets. It is interesting to see when your gun really doesn't like a particular powder. Which reminds me, I need to grab another pound of powder and some more bullets to do some more work on the 30-06. Good times.
     
  4. nubus

    nubus Guest

    By the way, never use load data from You Tube or Wikipedia!
     
  5. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    why are you always so skeptical? you need to trust people.
     
  6. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    I would stick to the data, begin with the start load and work up. Some data may just list a max load and recommend a 5-10% reduction for a start charge.

    It's best to have 2 or 3 load references, the more the better. Most load data is developed using specific components, with any component change such as primer, bullet make/or style can change pressure.

    You can safely down load using the proper powders, for rifle check out SR 4759, Accurate 5744, Hodgdon 4895.

    For the 44 magnum, I have used upper end load data for 44spl with good results. Slower burning magnum pistol powders such as H110 and W-296 should not be reduced below the recommended start charge.

    Check out IMR Trail Boss for light loads in pistol and rifle.

    This could cause a hang fire. It's a bad ideal to go below the start charge, a little maybe, 30% NO
     
  7. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    Thanks for the response, but the point of my thread is what if. what if you load below 40% of min what if you load 40% over etc. I know how to load cartridges, my questions were centered on thresholds in the process. Nevertheless your reloading input is spot on. Much better than the knucklehead who taught me how to reload cases.

    :)
     
  8. SAR1846

    SAR1846 Oregon Member

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    Undercharging can cause either a squib (stuck bullet), major bullet drop, or a catastrophic failure (firing a round after a squib, bore obstruction, or cartridge detonation). Overcharging can cause rupture of the case, which can release all that pressure into the firearm, damaging or destroying the firearm, and whatever body parts are nearby.

    I think the SPEER reloading manual has some info on this subject.
     
  9. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    What if you put water in your gas tank, or liquid oxygen :huh: stupid is as stupid duz :)
    That's why we have those stupid warning labels on everything.
     
  10. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    you're missing the point so let me see if I can explain it another way. suppose you put creamer in your coffee. you know the coffee mate stuff you buy in the store refrigerator. suppose you are running low and cut it with some milk and discover - hey it tastes ok. but then you go nuts and cut if 50 50 and find the taste sucks. this is my point here. what are thresholds of tolerance here - the books have min and max but what if you went under 40% or over 40% since I doubt if you go 1 grain over max on a 76 grain load the gun will explode? Get it? let me know if you need another example.

    Keep in mind the percentage I am using is meaningless its the tolerance i am after and the gee wiz factor for those way over and way under.

    BTW if you put gas in yoru gasoline tank the engine will stop running
    if you put lox in your tank, some will evaporate,but most will react violently when it mixes with petroleum.
     
  11. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    I did some 44 mag loads a while back. Started 2gr from max IIRC, then at 1gr from max (in the speer manual) I was having some serious problems unlocking the action on the lever gun. I was still a grain away from the max load listed. So are you worried about screwing up a load here or are you trying to figure out how far you can push things in both directions for load work up? If its the former, then get a charge master or something similar. very very accurate and you will probably never have an issue. Or use a good powder measurer and find powders that meter well for you and you should be GTG. Or just weigh every shot on a nice scale and you should have too much to worry about. If its the latter, there is no real clear answer. It really varies a lot due to the sum of the components. Different powders all do different things, then you mix in different brands of primers, magnum vs non-magnum primers, different bullets, different bullet seating depths, different brass, different trim length, different twists in your barrel, and on and on. Everything has its own effect on the end result. I will say 40% is a pretty big variation from the listed load info. 40% high and you are just begging to blow something up. 40% lower than the min and you will probably have a squib. I have done some loads for my AR that were below the listed minimum. I started at the minimum and loaded down by like .2 or.3gr until the rifle wouldn't cycle, then went one or 2 steps back up from there. The result was a very very light 223. Recoil was nowhere to be found, the muzzle didn't climb, and it was noticeably quieter. Those were some fun plinking rounds. Good for gaming competitions on close range stages. But you just have to be smart about it.

    Really though, that is kind of bordering on a dumb question. You can deduce what will happen by varying by that much. If you want to push something beyond what your books tell you, fine. lots of people do it. But just be smart about it and know the signs when things start to go too far.
     
  12. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    Let me see if i can put this another way :)
    some really smart people that work for powder and bullet manufactures have provided guide lines so the handloader can safely reloaded their own ammunition.

    Your what if scenario seems foolish to me, but that's not saying I don't think outside the box. I shoot a reduced 308 Win. load with a Nos 125gr BT using 16gr of Blue Dot :eek:
    So go figure :laugh:
     
  13. jib

    jib Central OR Active Member

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    oops double tap
     
  14. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    questions aren't foolish - actions are. My inquiry is quite valid. By asking these questions helps further elevate ones skill in a specific craft (in this case its reloading). This is not to say you would exceed the window of min and max but you would get a better understanding of tolerances within and outside that window which is what I was asking about originally -
     
  15. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    Thank you for your answer - it seems to me that this is a dumb question for those that have been reloading a while. Nevertheless your answer is quite a good one.

    I started thinking about this during my reloading, but also watching Guns and Ammos Torture Test - where they take various firearms and either bury them, freeze them, clog the barrels etc. Good or bad they think think like i do. What happens when you clog the barrel on a 12g shot gun? they did it. What happens when you put a 20 g slug in front of a 12 g slug in a 12 g shotgun? They did that too....the list goes on.

    I can only imagine the feedback I would have gotten had I posted some of those questions.

    here's an taste YouTube - Guns & Ammo, Kimber America's Rifle Torture Test
     
  16. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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