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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What signs do you look for when you finally settle on a recipe.

For example, I have just started reloading. My first batch was 180gr TMJ RN, using 6.5 gr. of Power Pistol powder for my .40 cal XDm.

Everything seemed fine as I ran 25 rounds in my XDm and 25 in my PPS without any problems.

What signs are there if the charge is to light or not? I would like to believe that my first initial batch was based on just luck. I have compared 3 manuals, and that's why I ended up using 6.5 gr. If I went to the Max charge, how would I know if it's " to hot" ?

Thanks


P.s. I warned you guys this newb might throw "obvious to some" questions at y'all.
 

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I suggest testing 6.0g first, to see if that is a more suitable 'just shooting' choice.

"MAX" loads in any book are not offered as a recipe; they show what proved maximum with their specific combination of launch platform, load components and lot, test equipment and test environment.

Without sounding harsh, might I suggest further experience before attempting "MAX"?
 

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Let me further refine the above by most highly recommending EVERY load be started with its GOAL; what is the desired result with the load?
Target?
Hunting?
Self defense?
Just making noise?

Once THIS is determined, one can begin development to reach the intended goal.

Ay?
 

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WoDaddy
first always start at the low end of published data. As you also stated I do compare as many publiched sources as I can find and start low and work up to what I'm wanting to use the load for as WeShoot2 Mentioned.

As your working up from the low end towards your goal you look for pressure signs and if you see them,then you back off and know that's YOUR limit regardless of what the published MAX is.do yourself a favor and look up pressure signs.you'll find better than I can explain.

If your loading for a reason to approach max or near max loads always do so slowly and with known good componets.
 

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There aren't clear signs that your load will be too light. This is in part because there is no such thing as too light when it comes to pressure, except in the extreme case when the bullet does not come out the barrel! Lots of black soot on the outside of the cases might be one sign. This suggests that the pressure was not sufficient to force the brass to expand enough to properly seal the chamber and this allows the gas to escape around the brass. But that doesn't pose a problem. So "too light" is a bit of an oxymoron for that reason.

Excess pressure signs can be seen at the link below. Our most commonly used signs are seen in the primer - cratering, flattening, pierced, blown out. Bulged brass in the unsupported region is the other sign. The only note here is that Remington 1 1/2 primers might show these signs even with normal operating pressures for some cartridges. They were not designed for use in high-pressure rounds like the 40 S&W.

http://38super.net/Pages/Factory2.html#Anchor-3800
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WoDaddy
first always start at the low end of published data. As you also stated I do compare as many publiched sources as I can find and start low and work up to what I'm wanting to use the load for as WeShoot2 Mentioned.

As your working up from the low end towards your goal you look for pressure signs and if you see them,then you back off and know that's YOUR limit regardless of what the published MAX is.do yourself a favor and look up pressure signs.you'll find better than I can explain.

If your loading for a reason to approach max or near max loads always do so slowly and with known good componets.


Pressure signs, that's exactly what I meant. I am not looking to work up a max load, I just was wondering what "signs" people use to determine what's sufficient.

Thank you for the reply

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There aren't clear signs that your load will be too light. This is in part because there is no such thing as too light when it comes to pressure, except in the extreme case when the bullet does not come out the barrel! Lots of black soot on the outside of the cases might be one sign. This suggests that the pressure was not sufficient to force the brass to expand enough to properly seal the chamber and this allows the gas to escape around the brass. But that doesn't pose a problem. So "too light" is a bit of an oxymoron for that reason.

Excess pressure signs can be seen at the link below. Our most commonly used signs are seen in the primer - cratering, flattening, pierced, blown out. Bulged brass in the unsupported region is the other sign. The only note here is that Remington 1 1/2 primers might show these signs even with normal operating pressures for some cartridges. They were not designed for use in high-pressure rounds like the 40 S&W.

http://38super.net/Pages/Factory2.html#Anchor-3800

Thanks for the reply and the link

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
WoDaddy
first always start at the low end of published data. As you also stated I do compare as many publiched sources as I can find and start low and work up to what I'm wanting to use the load for as WeShoot2 Mentioned.

As your working up from the low end towards your goal you look for pressure signs and if you see them,then you back off and know that's YOUR limit regardless of what the published MAX is.do yourself a favor and look up pressure signs.you'll find better than I can explain.

If your loading for a reason to approach max or near max loads always do so slowly and with known good componets.


When searching for "pressure signs" I found this.

http://www.massreloading.com/reading_pressure_signs.html

Thanks again
 

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When searching for "pressure signs" I found this.

http://www.massreloading.com/reading_pressure_signs.html

Thanks again
The excessive pressure sign reference you found is most of the usual “boiler plate” on the subject so it is a solid reference for you to understand

I will point out one error I found
In the caption of the fifth photo of the .308 cases
He states the cylindrical extrusion marks on the case heads are from the “extractor”
This is incorrect

The cylindrical extrusion marks on the "face of the case heads" are made from the “ejector slot” in the bolt face of a “push-feed” style bolt action or auto-loading rifle.
The excessively high pressure forces the case head brass to “flow” into the "ejector button" hole in the bolt face.

Good Luck :)
 

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In our shop....

We never load MAX! I used to personally when I started...but am older and wiser now. Sometimes (rarely) max is the most accurate. Only one load in the last 28 years was max and super accurate...and is not listed now! Now, looking for signs in HANDGUNS.....if you see them you are WAY over pressure! The usual method of flattened primers is only good in rifles. Too many variables in handguns ....autoloaders especially!...to accurately use this method. Look at data from a few sources...some online sites that have non commercial recipes use data OVER MAX! I use Lyman, Accurate Arms, Hodgdon, Hornady, Speer, Sierra, and LOADBOOKS USA (good because they have data from most of the bullet makers and powder makers). You will see some differences so pick a speed and average out the data for that speed. You should be really close....chronos are REALLY good to have! Example: I shoot 9mm lead 124 at about 950 fps and they shoot a little over an inch at 25 yds. That is nowhere near MAX! My gun will last for a million rounds with this load! Just sayin'......
 

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When you look at published load data more often then not the data will list "Starting Loads" and "Maximum Loads". Pressures might be listed in CUP (Copper Unit Pressure) or PSI (Pounds per Square Inch). This is data the publishing entity has established through actual testing or from test data from a third source. It's a great place to start with but under no circumstances should you view this data as hard fact when used in your weapon.

Maximum loads are just that, maximum loads from that specific source. A maximum charge, more often than not, will not be the most accurate load. In some weapons the starting charge will not prove 100% reliable.

Use starting loads as just that, a place to start. You should approach maximum loads carefully small steps at a time. In your weapon you may see signs of overpressure well below a listed maximum charge weight. In some weapons you might not see signs of overpressure until you are well into the danger zone.

The actual performance of your load is what you are looking for. If a load for an autoloader will not cycle the action it is too light. Sometimes "light" loads are inaccurate and erratic. Sometimes as the charge increases towards maximum the accuracy (performance) starts getting erratic. How do you tell what charge range your weapon will perform acceptably with? Start low and work up. Test for adequate performance, reliability, and accuracy. When these factors are where you want them to be, you've arrived.

Grumpy
 

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It is wise to bear in mind, as Gerk & Grump & 'dude & Boomer allude,
that standard pressure signs are to be regarded truly as 'generic'
and may not be suitable in every case.

For instance, you are loading 40S&W (max pressure 34,000 psi)
with the same primer you use in 380auto (max pressure 17,000 psi).
So how is the dumb primer supposed to show you overpressure at
17k when loaded in 380, but wait until 34k if it's loaded in 40?
It doesn't 'know' what cartridge you just loaded, and it surely
doesn't know the SAAMI max pressure for that cartridge.


Get to know your gun intimately. Shoot a variety of known-good ammo.
Get to know what it shoots like when everything is known good.
Understand how alterations to the gun (like different recoil springs)
affect the gun's performance and the feedback it gives you.

Until you develop good judgment on how to use feedback from the gun & ammo
to help you determine appropriate reloading limits, stick to published loads
in the safe-n-sane range. Endeavor to avoid flirting with danger.


And definitely develop safe protocol at the bench -- like checking and
double checking the powder label before you start charging cases,
and looking with eyeball into each case before seating bullet,
and stopping once in a while to weigh a powder charge and measure OAL --
these practices help avoid gross underloads and gross overloads a priori.
Use yourself as a capable human along with the mechanical equipment
as a double-QC check to make sure you're loading the safe range you intended.
Just about the best way to never worry about pressure signs is to employ
good safe practices at the bench.



Final word: In many cases, the 'pressure signs' we look for
tell you that it's already too late, you already messed up,
you're already waaaayyyy over the limit. Don't use any of the
standard pressure signs as a method of setting your limits.
Use standard pressure signs to stop you from doing any worse
when you already crossed over the line.
 

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me 'n MAX (vs DVC)

It really went bad when I developed numerous 'Major Nine' (that alone should date my excursions into insanity) loads.

But I was wary; I cautiously chrono-mapped my development, and learned things along the way to keep my equipment safe.
Then I did similar all-very-dangerous development with numerous other handgun cartridges.
Then I learned what good MAX is for.
Not much, or often.

I'm proudest of my development in 9x19, 41AE, 40 S&W, 41 Magnum, 45 Colt, 38 Special, and 45 ACP.
 
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