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Working Up

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Jammer Six, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    Reading another thread on another board, in which the original poster apparently wanted to avoid working up a load for a new weapon, led me to ask:


    why would someone want to avoid working up a load?
     
  2. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Not a reloader, no dies...:huh:

    Lack of confidence...:paranoid:

    Lazy...:bluelaugh:

    Expensive if you're starting cold, especially with large "J" bullets...;)

    :huh::huh::paranoid::paranoid:

    Jack...:cool:
     
  3. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Risking my face and rifle to save a few bucks on components sounds like a good plan to me:confused:.
     
  4. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Common sense dictates : Always start at the bottom and work up.;)

    That's what reloading books are for.:thumbup:

    But...If it bothers you, :paranoid: Buy 'em...

    Only time I been injured by bad round in 60 yrs. was a split rim on
    a factory loaded 12GA. :rollingeyes:

    Jack...:cool:
     
  5. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'd have to say they were being lazy (or cheap) and didn't want to invest the time and money to work up a good load in their gun. Maybe they thought that that there was a "magic" load that they could use and be done.

    When I started reloading, my Ruger 41 Magnum would safely handle any load that I tried, but I've had more than one rifle that wouldn't. Experience will teach them. Hopefully without disastrous results.
     
  6. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    "Working up" a load means a lot of different things. Is it for the most accuracy, the most velocity, simply functioning, ect. Some guns I work up loads simply to the point they function and can reasonably hit something. Other guns once I am sub MOA I am happy. I am not a bench rest shooter so at this point I never see myself spending the time to work up those kinda loads.
     
  7. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    And yet people buy factory ammo all the time and assume it's safe for their rifle. I've shot some of that stuff that showed so many pressure signs that if it was one of my reloads I'd pull down the remaining loads.

    It's not all that uncommon for someone who's reloaded for years to use someone else's load as a starting point as long as it falls within all the parameters of the published information. Same case, primer, bullet, OAL/seat depth, etc.

    BTW, for those that like to parrot the advice "always reduce load 10% then work up", that too can be dangerous. In some powder/load combinations that can make your "starting load" less than the factory recommended minimum. It may not yield a sufficient case fill causing a the load to ignite far more rapidly than is considered safe.
     
  8. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Would you explain that to me Deadshot? I'm figuring your speaking longun loads?

    I only do handgun at this point. I'm pretty settled on what powders and bullets I use at this point for my four calibers. I've always started at the bottom of the pulished data, and used more than one set of data to get a feel for what's going on in that cartridge/chamber/barrel. I've not to this point seen a need to go to maximum load on any round, they shoot plenty accurate for me the way I've been doing them. I figure less ware and tear on the firearm too.

    Mike
     
  9. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I believe what Deadshot is referring to is "Flash Over".:paranoid:

    With a greatly reduced powder load in the case, the primer
    can flash across the surface of the powder, un-seating the
    bullet and jumping it into the throat of the rifling where it
    is in effect stuck. If the powder in the case continues to burn,
    it in effect becomes a secondary explosion with the potential
    of causing a mechanical failure.

    I have only had this happen to me once while experimenting
    with some "Really" reduced loads in a 30-06. Luckily all of the
    powder didn't even burn, but it took a while to hammer the
    bullet out of the barrel.;)

    Jack...:cool:
     
  10. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Interesting, just one more reason I'm glad I'm doing only hand gun!
    Thanks.

    Mike
     
  11. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    How does doing handgun only help? It can happen in ANY caliber. It is however easier to do in larger cases and using light loads.

    It is generally suggested that you use a powder that fills at least 1/2 your case. This also has the added advantage that it is hard to double charge a case as it would be quit obvious.
     
  12. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A major problem with handgun reloading that can occur is "Double loading".:paranoid:

    If you are using a really fast burning powder, such as Bullseye, it is very easy
    to double charge a case and not notice it. To anyone that uses a single press,
    I always recommend using a bulkier powder where a double charge is obvious.
    Also, loading one at a time, powder, bullet, seat...Helps to keep things straight.:thumbup:

    Stay Safe.

    Jack...:cool:

    ***SORRY NWCID, You beat me to the punch...
     
    Nwcid and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Mikej

    Mikej Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Well, when I look at powder burn rates, and compare the powders used in pistols to the powders used in long guns, with their long cartridges, it seems obvious to me that it would be much less likely to have the issue of ""flash over the powder"" as stated by Capn Jack, in the shorter pistol cartridges, using well faster/hotter powder.

    The way I'm set up it is NOT "Very Easy" to do a double charge. I would need to remove the charged shell from the loading block on one side of the table and charge it again on the other side, and then return it. I also inspect, as the book states, with a strong light, the 50 charged cases before seating bullets. I do take this bullet making serious, it could be dangerous to do otherwise.

    Sorry for taking the thread off track.

    Mike
     
  14. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Any of my rifle loads will spill over with a double charge.

    I'm super cautious with my handguns as I use 3.5gr. of
    Bullseye in my .38Spl. and 9mm. The .38Spl. would be an
    easy one to double load.:paranoid:

    Jack...:cool:
     
  15. Arkitek

    Arkitek Historic Downtown Roseburg Oregon Member

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    Too much fun to avoid it...I like to work up a load from the bottom of the manual recommended ranges, to find accuracy for my specific use. I find the manual recommendations are typically matched with a specific firearm, brand, length of barrel, etc. They typically do not match what I'm shooting. I'm always amazed what a slight change can make to the accuracy of a load. That goes for powder, crimp, seat depth, etc. Just be careful and stay within the recommended limits and keep records. Same load in two different firearms typically behaves not the same. The more you get into it, the more fun you have...but, I guess it just depends on the person. Be safe and have fun!
    PS, for the record, I'm one of those, that avoids most factory loads; due to they are just average in quality, some are crap... I try to steer clear of powders that result a light load; due to its not easy to visually detect a double charge...good luck and keep those digits!
     
  16. branchbuster

    branchbuster Albany Active Member

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    For light loads I use "trailboss". It will fill the case and burn much cleaner than a reduced load of regular powder.
     
  17. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    When using WW296, and to a lesser extent H110, reducing loads can cause some severe problems. I've seen more than one loading manual the gives just one charge for the WW296 and states that reducing the charge is dangerous. I believe the problem has been fairly well explained above so I won't repeat.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  18. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    To answer your question, yes, I was referring to rifle.

    I've sometimes felt that a Reloading Forum should be divided into two sub categories. One for handgun and one for Rifle. While they both share some common traits, it's a different world when loading a cartridge that contains from 3-8 grains of powder and the other group that has 20-60o grains (even more for the "big boys).

    Every handgun loading and rifle loading each have their own peculiarities and cautions. The important thing is for each handloader to understand what applies to THEIR firearm.

    Note: That's even complicated more when you talk .223 as a "Gas Gun" won't handle the same loads that a "Bolt Gun" will.

    Others have explained the issue so I won't elaborate.
     
  19. JackD

    JackD Elmira, OR Active Member

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    Son and I took our rifles out for some plinking Saturday and had two problems. He had some new .257 Roberts to fireform in his 6.5mm x .257R and some reloaded rounds for the same rifle. I fired ~4 rounds of his reloads and inspected the cases after each shot. This was old brass and had been fired many times. The fifth shot blew hot gases and powder back in my face, bloodying my nose. Luckily, I had my glasses on. The bolt was all black. I extracted the case and it was split at the web about half way around. The end of my nose is well burnt and scabbed over. We didn't fire the rest of those loads and he will pull the bullets and retire the cases.

    Later, he was shooting his Ruger LCR with factory .38 spl. +P (I don't know the brand). One round sounded funny and sprayed sparks around the cylinder. A bullet had stuck in the forcing cone and all the gases sprayed out the end of the cylinder. We suspect a light charge.

    In all my years of shooting and hand loading, I've never had two mishaps in one short session. I've always liked bolt action guns, but I am wary of them now. I could have lost an eye, had I been shooting without my glasses. My only rifle now is a break action single shot and it can't throw hot gases back in my face with that kind of failure.
     
  20. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, some days are just like that. Glad that the injuries were minor.

    It sounds like you need to invest in a paper clip. Straighten it, bend a little "L" shape on one end about 1/8" or so long and use it to inspect the inside of the cases before loading. Especially if loaded a lot of times before. This will help you find the cases that are developing a separation ring which only forms on the inside of the case. I'd also check to see new cases have excessive headspace in the rifle you're fireforming for. If so, I'd form them with no more than a minimum load. Measure a fired case against one of the new ones using the hornady headspace gauge that fits on a set of calipers. Cheap tool compared to a burned nose. I seriously doubt that you'll be volunteering for one of those again anytime soon:(