Reloading Myths Revisited


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mc223
May 1, 2007, 06:39 AM
Tell us some of the best "Myths" you have heard.

Like: short barrels need fast powder. Or Fed 205Ms are "Magnum" primers. Or current production Federal brass is "Softer" than Lake City. Or Redding dies are better because they cost more. Or RCBS means Rock Chucker Ballistic Systems.

Have Fun with it.

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steve4102
May 1, 2007, 08:56 AM
Published load data are "Recipes" and it is dangerous to switch components.

BigG
May 1, 2007, 09:25 AM
Like: short barrels need fast powder. Or Fed 205Ms are "Magnum" primers. Or current production Federal brass is "Softer" than Lake City. Or Redding dies are better because they cost more. Or RCBS means Rock Chucker Ballistic Systems.

I guess I would like to know is how these are myths and how they were debunked, so I understand what a "myth of reloading" is. Thanks!

P0832177
May 1, 2007, 10:37 AM
The Federal brass is softer then LC brass. The Federal brass is thinner in the area of the web, BTDT!

USSR
May 1, 2007, 10:57 AM
Well, mc223, you've a fine group of truths, partial truths, and out and out fallacy there. In order: 1. short barrels need fast powder. Not a question of need, since you can use slow burning powder in a short barrel, and enjoy the huge fireball coming out of the muzzle. 2. Fed 205Ms are "Magnum" primers. Federal uses "M" to designate Match primers, not Magnum primers.
3. Or current production Federal brass is "Softer" than Lake City. Current production Federal brass IS softer than Lake City brass. Ask anyone who has reloaded both, how many reloadings they get out of Federal brass before the primer pocket expands and will no longer hold a primer. 4. Or Redding dies are better because they cost more. Kind of like saying a Mercedes Benz is better because they cost more. No, Redding dies are better because more work goes into making them better. Since production costs are higher - they sell for more. 5. Or RCBS means Rock Chucker Ballistic Systems. Hmmm, I alway thought it meant Reloading Cases Brings Savings.:D

Don

BigG
May 1, 2007, 11:11 AM
Rock Chucker Bullet Swage = RCBS

eliphalet
May 1, 2007, 11:20 AM
I reload for shotgun but,
rifle/pistol, is/sounds, to ,scary/complected/dangerous,for me.
I've personally heard that one several times.

RustyFN
May 1, 2007, 12:48 PM
Lee is the Walmart of reloading, you get what you pay for.:D
Rusty

snuffy
May 1, 2007, 02:03 PM
Rock Chucker Bullet Swage = RCBS

Close--real close, but loose the er on chuck. The rock chuck is similar to a wood chuck that lives in californicate. Fred Hunington, the originator of RCBS, needed to make bullets for shooting those pests. He designed the first press, named it for it's intended prupose. Some,(well most), say he's the father of home reloading.

Federal brass, at least the .223's are not "softer", their head/web area is lighter in the crucial primer pocket area. One reload with normal pressure loads is enough to loosen the primer pocket, to make it not hold a primer securely. I just won't load the stuff, one hot load is enough to have the shell lose the primer into the reciever of an AR-15, jamming it.

mc223
May 1, 2007, 02:03 PM
Have Fun with it.

Lee is the Walmart of reloading, you get what you pay for.
I seem to have seen this somewhere before.

SamTuckerMTNMAN
May 1, 2007, 02:16 PM
I Guess not.

thats some funny stuff there.

I've made posts that were supposed to be friendly or funny and people just tear them to shreds and end up arguing before its all over, about something totally different.

Why is changing components of a recipe a myth. I am a new reloader and would love to 'change' from federal to win or rem brass without reworking loads, but I DO because I've been advised by many to do so.

ST

Bronson7
May 1, 2007, 03:24 PM
MC, I'm not convinced the first item on your list is a myth although slower powders can be used in short barrels. Aside from muzzle flash (already mentioned), the slower powders continue to burn as the bullet leaves the muzzle. My understanding is this can upset bullet trajectory. That makes sense to me, HOWEVER, many folks use the slower powders with success. Personally, I'm a believer in faster powders for shorter barrels. Actually, I prefer fast powders AND lighter bullets for short barrels. Works for me.
Bronson7

cheygriz
May 1, 2007, 04:38 PM
My favorite myths::what:

NEVER exceed the maximum charge in a reloading manual.

Some spray-on case lubes do not need to be removed.

Lead bullets will ruin your bore.

High quality equipment isn't worth the money.

Primers should be seated to uniform depth, not to the bottom of the pocket.

Absolute maximum loads are not as accurate as lower powered loads.

Powder charges should be individually weighed.

Primer pockets should be cleaned brfore loading.

A lot of these are true Much of the time, but far too many people take them as axioms.:banghead:

Eagle103
May 1, 2007, 04:38 PM
Reloading will save you money.

ranger335v
May 1, 2007, 05:26 PM
Basically, we need to "develop" our own loads, no book recipe can be trusted to be safe in our weapons. No matter what the book says, we should (MUST, if we are wise!) approach the book max loads with caution and understanding. Therefore, IF we change ANY COMPONENT in a known safe load we should repeat the same work-up process. Anyone who takes books loads, even with "the same components", as gospel fact has to believe in myths.

Using faster powders in shorter barrels will reduce muzzle blast and flash. It will also reduce muzzle velocity. Best velocity comes from the best powder, and weight of the charge, no matter the barrel length or muzzle blast. That's a fact, not a myth.

"My favorite brand of equipment is the best, your's is junk" is a popular myth. If raising prices makes for better equipment maybe Lee just needs to raise prices enough to allow some folks to feel more comfortable using their good products!

Actually, ALL of our reloading tool makers produce very good tools. Some have a higher comfort level with paying more, or perhaps less, iif that makes any difference. OK, Forster and Redding, do have unique and excellant designs for both their seaters AND sizers and Lee has the excellant collet neck sizers and bullet crimpers. Otherwise, ALL of the rest of our die makers designs and quality contol seem to be pretty much the same, including the very expensive RCBS Competion dies. So, for a given basic design, we can have a better exterior finish on expensive dies but the interior is what does the job.

And, I doubt that any factory rifle can tell a difference between ammo properly made with any brand of dies or press, no matter how polished it is or what the retail tag reads. That explains why I use Forster's BR seaters for my more accurate rifles instead of the more expensive Redding Competition seaters - there's not a bit of difference in the average ammo either brand produces but the Reddings cost more and are purtier to look at. For most of my rifles, I just use what ever brand of die I have on hand. And with dies from a dozen or so makers on my bench, I like them all.

------------------------------
NOW, for some popular myths in my area:

"A fired bullet always rises after it leaves the barrel"

"It takes longer for a bullet fired level to the earth to strike the ground than one that was dropped from the muzzle at the moment of firing because it's flying so far."

"Any fired bullet continues to gain speed for some distance after it leaves the muzzle."

"A fired bullet gets lift from it's spin, helping it go futher."

"Anyone hit with a .45 ACP bullet will get knocked off his feet, even if he's only hit in the hand."

"It's unsafe to add Brasso to tumbler media because Brasso has ammonia and that weakens brass." (OK, there IS a small kernal of truth in here. Brasso does have a small amount of ammonia and that does weaken brass. But ammonia is a liquid that evaporates readily. Thus, if Basso is well mixed with tumbling media AND the ammonia is allowed plenty of time to evaporate, a full day perhaps, only the harmless metal polish will remain. So, Basso is totally safe in our tumbling media IF it's used properly!)

"Never reload a rifle case more than five times 'cause it's ready to have a head separation"

"A Redding "S" sizing die makes the straightest ammo you can reload."

"Hollow point and round nosed bullets always expand faster than pointed bullets"

"Hollow point bullets always give better accuracy than pointy ones."

"Slow moving bullets are deflected less when striking leaves and twigs, etc."

"A digtial reloading scale is more accurate than the old beam types." (At best they may be equal, initially, but digitals are less dependable than the more simple beam scales.)

"Rotary tumblers will get brass cleaner than vibators."

"No .243 bullet can be depended on to kill deer, but almost any .260 load will drop them."

"If you know what you're doing and do it carefully, you can blend two or three powers together to get better velocity." (This one is DAMNED FOOLISH and DANGEROUS!)

"Gun powder is an explosive too risky for people to own or store privately."

"You get best accuracy with a bullet seated to just touch the rifling."

"Best rifle accuracy comes from neck sizing, not from full length sizing."

"The factorys know what the best Over-All-Length for each cartridge is, you need to copy them."

"The ammo factories have special powders that give best results in a .296 Super-Whatsit, etc, but they won't sell it to sports retailers."

"Use a 150 gr. bullet for best accuracy in a .308 but the .30-06 needs 168 gr. bullets for best accuracy and in .300 mags the 180 gr. bullets will shoot best."

"Black powder rifles "kick" harder than those with smokeless cartridges."

"A cartrige dropped into a fire can go off and kill someone several yards away."

"A fired bullet will travel (put some distance here) yards before it begins to drop."

"A .300 Winny has more knock-down power at 500 yards than a .30-30 has at the muzzle."

"A deer can run a mile after being hit in the heart with a .30-30 but a 7mm Rem. mag will stop them in their tracks, every time."

"I once killed deer a mile away with one shot from my iron-sighted Marlin 336 in .32 Win. Special, didn't have to hold over a bit either. A Marlin is a harder shooter than a Winchester 94 and Marlins kick less too." (A shortened but accurately represented overheard story. I love Marlins myself but... And it was sincerly told with a straight face, I'm convinced the fellow belived it!)

--------------------------

Not all of these are reloading myths, per se, but all are gun and ammo related. I've heard each of these myths over the years from senseable people professing to know what they are talking about. Many were heard in sporting goods stores, told by the resident "gun/reloading expert" sales clerk spouting foolishness to awed newbees. I recently overheard the last three stories being told in a store by men who said had they witnessed or experienced it themselves!

All these are WRONG but it's difficult to impossible to change any minds! Mostly, I don't even try.

Most myths are harmlessly silly or ignorant but the one about "blending powders" is so dumb I almost didn't post it. I did only so I can say, "Be warned, BLENDING POWDERS IS A VERY BAD MYTH!"

RustyFN
May 1, 2007, 11:27 PM
mc223 Quote:
Have Fun with it.

Quote:
Lee is the Walmart of reloading, you get what you pay for.

I seem to have seen this somewhere before.
I thought you would enjoy that.:D
Rusty

R.W.Dale
May 1, 2007, 11:39 PM
MYTH: that powder is still BURNING when the bullet leaves the muzzle

It's been pretty solidly proven that ALL of the powder that is going to burn will do so in the first few inches of barrel


Or on a related note, the MYTH that powder burning is what accelerates the bullet down the barrel.

the fact is that the violently expanding gases from the combustion of the powder charge will continue to accelerate the bullet even after combustion is over.

FIRE doesn't directly make bullets go down the barrel but rather super high pressure gases do

fatelk
May 2, 2007, 12:00 AM
Reloading will save you money.
That's the best one yet! We all know it's a myth, but I might happen to mention it to my wife when I'm buying more components (somehow I think even she knows it's not true).

"A cartrige dropped into a fire can go off and kill someone several yards away."

I knew an old man that had a scar the size of a 30-30 base on his forehead. Someone threw a live round in a campfire when he was a kid. He said it nearly killed him.

Hazzard
May 2, 2007, 12:02 AM
I'd have to agree.

Lead bullets will ruin your bore.

I've found lead bullets are easier on the bore and are no worse to foul the bore than jacketed bullets with the right load..

Absolute maximum loads are not as accurate as lower powered loads

I have 2 rifles that shoot much better with max loads.

And my contribution is that "maximum published loads should never be exceeded". Although you should always work up to max loads, I've found that many max published loads are conservative. YMMV.

ADKWOODSMAN
May 2, 2007, 12:08 AM
This one's true. Federal brass is VERY expensive!

scrat
May 2, 2007, 12:21 AM
fill up the case with powder then press in the bullet for a good load that will shoot far.


:what: :what:

steve4102
May 2, 2007, 12:28 AM
Quote from USSR 2. Fed 205Ms are "Magnum" primers. Federal uses "M" to designate Match primers, not Magnum primers.


You lost me here. Why do you say the 205M is a Magnum Match primer? I thought the 205 and 205M were both standard and standard (Match) small rifle.

taliv
May 2, 2007, 01:12 AM
"It takes longer for a bullet fired level to the earth to strike the ground than one that was dropped from the muzzle at the moment of firing because it's flying so far."

well, depends on the curvature of the Earth

"If you know what you're doing and do it carefully, you can blend two or three powers together to get better velocity." (This one is DAMNED FOOLISH and DANGEROUS!)

Most myths are harmlessly silly or ignorant but the one about "blending powders" is so dumb I almost didn't post it. I did only so I can say, "Be warned, BLENDING POWDERS IS A VERY BAD MYTH!"

are you saying it's impossible or just dangerous? if you think it's impossible, please explain why.

Clark
May 2, 2007, 03:30 AM
"PRE, CHE. RIP"

This article is hoey:
http://www.shootingsoftware.com/tech.htm

Bad Flynch
May 2, 2007, 04:52 AM
Well, the real problem here is that knowledge changes with time. Some of these things were true in the past, but are no longer true. One has only to read Phil Sharpe's old loading book from the 1930s, (updated in the 40s and 50s) to see that things do really change and that the common wisdom of one era is no longer true.

A case in point is illustrated best by the old primer myth. When I was a young man, it was common "knowledge" that one should use the same brand of primers as cases: interchanging them just didn't work right. However, if you look in Sharpe's book, you will see that at one time, the primer pocket shapes were not standardized and the primers were different shapes to compensate for that. Different maker's primers really did need to be used in the right brand of cases. Now, that is bunk, because everybody standardized along about WWII, or so.

I have had good lots of brass and bad lots of brass--some were soft and some had excessively tight primer pockets. My Federal .223 cases are soft in the head, but they work fine.

Best to get good information. As an example, one really can raise the pressure of a load over the limit just by changing brands of the same weight bullet. The NRA tested that one out many years ago and the modern QuickLoad program still bears this one out.

Improved knowledge can really help an art. For example, it was commonly thought that all lead bullets had to be the same size as the grooves in the barrel to shoot well and not lead. Now we know that it is the throat diameter that really counts when it comes to preventing the leading due to size discrepancies (all other things being equal).

Keep up with your art!

wolfe28
May 2, 2007, 08:46 AM
Reloading will save you money.

You mean this one isn't true!?!?!? (note sarcasm)
That is how I convinced my wife to let me start reloading in the first place.

ranger335v
May 2, 2007, 10:11 AM
"Most myths are harmlessly silly or ignorant but the one about "blending powders" is so dumb I almost didn't post it. I did only so I can say, "Be warned, BLENDING POWDERS IS A VERY BAD MYTH!" -- are you saying it's impossible or just dangerous? if you think it's impossible, please explain why."

Taliv, of course it is not "impossible" for any indivual to stir his own powders together. Any fool can mix a half pound of Bullseye into a pound of H4831 to obtain a combination with a bit of extra ZIP! But it would be really dumb to do so because it IS very dangerous. Powder companies spend a lot of time and money to provide us with predictable powders, we aren't going to improve on them in our garage loading rooms.

If further explaination is required it will take someone who thinks that way better than I.

taliv
May 2, 2007, 10:42 AM
i think maybe you're missing the point of duplex loads. you don't mix them together and then pour them into the case. what would even be the point of that? and a combination of bullseye and h4831 isn't going to have more "zip" than the faster of the two powders alone.


and it's not any more dangerous than any other type of wildcatting

USSR
May 2, 2007, 12:01 PM
Quote from USSR
Quote:
2. Fed 205Ms are "Magnum" primers. Federal uses "M" to designate Match primers, not Magnum primers.

You lost me here. Why do you say the 205M is a Magnum Match primer? I thought the 205 and 205M were both standard and standard (Match) small rifle.

Steve,

It was originally stated as a myth, that 'Fed 205Ms are "Magnum" primers'. I answered that the "M" denotes "Match, not Magnum", hence a 205M primer is a standard Match small rifle primer.

Don

SSN Vet
May 2, 2007, 12:18 PM
Reloading will save you money.

You mean this one isn't true!?!?!? (note sarcasm)
That is how I convinced my wife to let me start reloading in the first place.

If this is a myth, it's a myth that works quite well......it worked for me. :)

ranger335v
May 2, 2007, 01:15 PM
"I knew an old man that had a scar the size of a 30-30 base on his forehead. Someone threw a live round in a campfire when he was a kid. He said it nearly killed him."

I think the key here is that the "kid" was hit in the forehead and lived to tell the story! Doubt it "nearly killed him" but I'm sure he thought so at the time.

Deavis
May 2, 2007, 01:47 PM
It's been pretty solidly proven that ALL of the powder that is going to burn will do so in the first few inches of barrel

I can solidly prove you wrong, are you sure you want to chalk that one up to a fact? The right combination of powder, bullet weight, and muzzle length will leave you with unburned powder. Perhaps the better phrase is, "It's been pretty solidly proven that in most weapons commonly used, that..."

well, depends on the curvature of the Earth

good, I'm not the only person who immediately started thinking about escape velocity and a straight "horizontal" line :)

I can't believe nobody mentioned this one:

Tumbling ammo will break up powder, making it burn faster, raising pressure, and blowing up your gun.

Of course since I didn't ever get to finish that experiment before I left for Germany, I can't disprove it just yet :(

sargenv
May 2, 2007, 02:05 PM
"You should never tumble loaded ammunition as it will alter the grain size of the powder and make a dangerous condition".

Ok, I've seen this myth and believed it at one point, but this is the only way I know to massivley remove case lube from cartridges after loading them on a progressive press. I've done this with pistol and rifle ammo and had no noticable difference in pressures, performance, or velocity. Powder is a lot harder than you think and when shipped from the factory, on train and truck to your location, will jar it as if it were in a tumbler, and it never seems to have an issue, why would 15 mins in a vibratory tumbler make a difference?

I have heard of powder duplexing. Usually it is something done for large capacity cases that are going to be used in very cold weather where ignition may be a problem. A lot of very slow burning powders don't ignote well in cold weather and I have read of instances where you trickle a couple of grains of easily ignited fast burning powder near the primer, and then follow with a full charge of the slow burning stuff. These are usually nearly full or compressed loads of powder so there is little room for the faster stuff to shift. With the invention of powders that are not temperature sensitive, this kind of thought has gone by the wayside though.

Vince

taliv
May 2, 2007, 02:27 PM
sargenv, maybe it's not needed as much anymore, but that doesn't mean it's a "myth" anymore than flintlocks are myths because there are better ignition systems now.

snuffy
May 2, 2007, 03:34 PM
Here's one, "nickle plating on brass will scratch your dies, marr your chamber, and if it gets dragged down the barrel, scratch the rifling"

If your dies, barrel is so soft that nickle will scratch it/them, you'd better get a modern gun. While nickle IS harder than plain brass, it is no where near hard enough to scratch anything made of steel.

R.W.Dale
May 2, 2007, 07:03 PM
The right combination of powder, bullet weight, and muzzle length will leave you with unburned powder.


NO

The wrong combination of powder, bullet weight, and muzzle length will leave you with unburned powder. I've done it myself using IMR5010 in STD rifle cartriges

That falls well within the
It's been pretty solidly proven that ALL of the powder that is going to burn will do so in the first few inches of barrel

If it's UNBURNT powder then odiously it didn't burn?

mc223
May 2, 2007, 10:48 PM
Here are some random thoughts from other places on blending.

Some of the benchrest community have been blending powders for years and in some cases with very good result.
The following is an excerpt from another forum. The author is unknown. The testing is well thought out. As are the potential problems.

You would need to have a good understanding of your desired end result and weigh that against what is already available. Your end result very likely already exists.
Kernal size would need to be very similar to avoid the settling of one from the other. Also burn rates would need to be similar. Mixing would need to be very thorough.
Blending could be a very hazardous proposition if not done with good sense. Both powders would need to be tested and chronographed. A good understanding of each powder is necessary to theorize what the blend should deliver. Testing of the blend should be very predictable, based on collected data of the individual powders.







I started about a month or so ago blending N135 and Varget for my 30x47. I was using 41.8 grs. of N-135 or 43.9 grs. of Varget. Now I use 42.8 grs. of this blend. the reason for this was because the N-135 would increase in velosity as much as 40 to 50 fps from a temp change from 65 degrees to 85 degrees and The x count would not be there shooting score matches. By adding this blend of Varget Xtreme non temp sensitive powder I found that my velocity's are only variying about 20fps in this same temp variance and that my x count is as good as it was when I used straight N-135 on a day that powder and temp matched. and on the same note the N-135 was not filling my case as I would like it and the Varget was like a compressed load. now with 42.8 grs I get good case capacity and a velocity varaince that does not seem to affect the accuracy as much. and as far as being dangerous I can go as much 43 grs of N-135 or 45 grs of Varget, and since I'm using 42.8 grs of blend even if I would dump all of one kind or the other it would not be over the max load anyway. And by the way I get a good blend when I only do 250 grs. of each at a time



Some very entertaing myths here, Keep going.

ranger335v
May 2, 2007, 11:49 PM
taliv- "i think maybe you're missing the point of duplex loads...a combination of bullseye and h4831 isn't going to have more "zip" than the faster of the two powders alone."

I think you missed the idea of "blended" powders and have that confused with duplex loads. That's an apples and oranges thing.

"Blending" powders will change the time/burn-rate/pressure factors in wildly unpredictable ways, resulting in much different actions than from either powder alone. At least that's what the powder makers have said, but I'm no expert on it so maybe they are wrong.

Sunray
May 3, 2007, 03:44 AM
"...in very cold weather where ignition may be a problem...." That's what magnum primers are for. They burn a bit hotter for a bit longer. They're made to ignite hard to light powders and cold weather ignition.
Mixing powders is unsafe. Especially if you mix different burn rate powders. And that ain't no myth.
My favourite current myth is, "You need CCI milspec primers for the M-1, M-1 carbine and M-14 or you'll be guaranteed to have slam fires." CCI has great marketing people.

Deavis
May 3, 2007, 07:28 AM
The wrong combination of powder, bullet weight, and muzzle length will leave you with unburned powder. I've done it myself using IMR5010 in STD rifle cartriges

Depends on what you are looking for! When I make late night fireball loads, I want that combination! So it is right. :)

BigG
May 3, 2007, 08:45 AM
Duplex Loads - Elmer Keith made some but his definition was a little different than layering powders in a case. He had some cases made up with a long tube running up from the flash hole to ignite the powder at the front of the column with the idea that the expanding gases would hold the powder back in the chamber where it would burn more completely. This worked, but was prohibitively expensive.

The idea came from artillery shells that have the similar long tube running up from the primer, but in that case it is filled with black powder to ignite the main charge.

You can read about it in Gun Notes (http://www.epinions.com/content_196941024900)

taliv
May 3, 2007, 09:04 AM
ranger, i did think you were talking about duplex loads, but even blending powders is not a "myth".

the fact that powder mfgs have lots of knowledge and money and do a lot of testing is irrelevant. it doesn't change the fact that after doing all their testing, they only produce a handful of powders commercially with individual burn rates, and that leaves a LOT of burn-rate gaps in between these powders.

there is also a wide range of burn rates that are acceptable for most calibers. that should also be obvious.

so just as an example, if I take two powders that have published loads for a given caliber, and i blend those two powders, and use a quantity that doesn't exceed the max-10% of either load, then why would that be dangerous?


i think the real myth is that everything is unsafe if it's not specifically published in the most recent versions of 5 different reloading manuals

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