So who's reloading data am I supposed to trust?

Ironbar

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Getting ready to load up some .40 S&W, and I'm checking my Speer manual #14 for starting load data. For kicks & giggles I decide to check out the Hodgedon Online load data center since I'll be using H. Universal.

The MAX load on the Hodgedon website for 165gr bullet is lower than the STARTING load for the same bullet weight in the Speer manual! WTH? The Hornady manual doesn't even have load data for 165gr. Anyone out there got a Lyman manual they can look up for me?
 
OP
Ironbar

Ironbar

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This is why you work up loads. With that being said, I would trust the powder manufacturers data before the Speer data. Hodgdon's data is current while the Speer data could be obsolete by the time the manual is printed and circulated.
I'm inclined to go with Hodgedon's data since they're the powder manufacturer.

Per their online data, Hodgedon Universal for 165gr bullet, starting load 5.1gr. Max load 5.6gr.

Speer Manual #14 w/same parameters- starting load 5.7gr, Max load 6.2gr.
 

MechaNik

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I'm gonna suggest the opposite and go with the bullet manufacturer. Reason being, I used Barnes data for a Barnes and hornady bullet working up a load for elk season and the hornady was way, way overpressure at starting load while the Barnes got just about to Max comfortably. I'm also not a big fan of universal powder because using the data printed on the bottle as "max" my 9mm loads kinda dribble out the ejection port while traveling a solid 1200ft/second from a 4" barrel. And real, real sooty cases
 

Reno

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I’ve got about 6 books from before I was born with loads that far exceed current load data books, same bullets and powder completely different charge weights.

I recommend starting low and working your way up, as well as referencing at least 3-4 sources to compare.

It’s also worth looking at the test gun information. If it resembles something similar to what you are using, that helps. Don’t use data for a 16” carbine in 40sw if you are using a CCW pistol with a 3” barrel.
 
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Look at the cartridge length in conjunction with the powder weight. Changes in one usually will affect the other.
I've used the same bullet at different seating depth with different powder charges and got the same FPS.

When working with Berrys\Extreme\Montana Gold\lead etc. that may not have published data I'll review similar weight bullets in multiple books and compare. There is usually a common 'range' and I'll start at the lower end to ensure there are no pressure issues.

Sounds like you're on the right track... checking around and leaning towards some conservative loads. :s0082:
 

3MTA3

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If the powder manufacturer has data for my specific bullet I go with that as a guideline, especially if it's close to the bullet manufacturer's data. Most of the bullets I reload are not your typical lead or lead with a copper guiding so they take up more case volume than would a generic load. Think solid base bullets, Nosler Partitions and Ballistic Tips. Because of that I usually go with the bullet manufacturer. Again, start low and work your way up.

Primers can also make a difference in case pressure, so that's another reason to start low. Don't forget to check the barrel each time you fire with a starting load to make sure it cleared before firing the next one.
 
Tough question. I always start with the bullet manufacturer's data if available. The powder company usually only lists a couple of bullets and just because they weigh the same, different bullets can require widely different data.
Plated bullets are kinda funny and usually run between cast bullet loads and jacketed bullet loads. The OP doesn't say what kind of bullet it is, either.
I have several manuals and cross check anything I'm loading for the first time. My Lyman manual is older and is hugely informative, listing all kinds of bullets. But they aren't specific as to what brand of bullet.

Then yuo get into the issue where some lots of powders change and may become unsuitable for a given cartridge. Blue Dot used to be one of my favorite 41 mag powders. Alliant must have changed the powder, cuz it directly states to NOT use in a 41 Mag. But it's ok in a 357?

And you have to be careful of too light of a powder charge. Squibs or detonation can ruin anyone's day.

Always better safe than sorry.
 
I'd better back out now. I show Universal Clays, but I don't know if we're talking the same thing.

I did notice that most of my books are getting pretty old... Good thing I only load the same ol stuff I always have.

Time to go shopping, I guess.
 

DizzyJ

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Different components and shooting platforms will affect the pressures created when the powder burns. This and the fact that Bullets will have more or less bearing surface will come into play. Different lot numbers of powder will also burn differently and create pressure differences.

As a result, manuals will give different recommendations based on all of these differences and more.

Thus the recommendation to always start low and work your way up.
 

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