Max Velocity. Why?


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Ky Larry
November 3, 2009, 10:05 AM
I keep reading about reloaders who are constantly looking for max velocity or as close as they can get to it. Why is mv so important? I load for accuracy and reliability. As long as I don't go over max pressure, I could care less what the velocity of a certain load is. If you can't hit anything with a load, who cares how fast (or slow) it is? Years ago, when I hunted white tails, I never had a deer refuse to die because the mv didn't suit him. In 35 years of reloading, I've never owned a chronograph. I have loads for every rifle I own that will shoot sub MOA with my loads and a couple that will shoot a .25 ragged hole at 100-200 yrds. Could someone tell me why fast is more important than accrate? Thanks.

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sniper5
November 3, 2009, 10:11 AM
I don't think everyone does. I know I don't. I look for a nice comfortable, economical load that shoots accurately. But there are a large number of people that do try to max out. Probably because we live in America and have been conditioned by advertising and media and our culture that you have to have the biggest, fastest, loudest, most expensive, and newest of everything or you're a LOSER. To each his/her own.

qajaq59
November 3, 2009, 10:20 AM
Could someone tell me why fast is more important than accurate? I don't think it is really. A lot of guys use the chono as a tool to gain accuracy regardless of how fast the bullets are going. They're not just looking for max velocity. Myself I only have one load where the max load was the most accurate load. Most are somewhere in the middle or somewhere above it.

1911Tuner
November 3, 2009, 10:24 AM
I've had the same thoughts, Larry. Sometimes there are valid reasons...but usually not.

I've worked up loads for various bolt-action rifles over the years, and I've found them as varied in their preferred ammunition as they are varied in the level of accuracy that they turn in. Some of them simply didn't start to shoot well until pressures and velocities were right on the peg...and some even had to be pushed over the line of what most would consider sane. Most do their best at some point below maximum, though.

I've had a few revolvers do likewise. Back in the day when I was completely hooked on knockin' steel rams off their perches at 200 meters...accuracy and velocity/momentum was a must if I expected to put'em down consistently. If the gun gave its best accuracy with a load that wasn't powerful enough to take the ram off its pedestal with an edger or a low hit...it was pretty much worthless for that particular game.

On the question of self-defense pistol or revolver ammunition...I think it's much ado about nothing in most cases. At the distances involved in most defensive scenarios, 50 or 60 fps +/- means very little, if anything...assuming that the placement is good and the bullet has enough mass and velocity to reach the vitals.

The same applies to hunting ammunition. Increasing velocity mainly serves to flatten trajectory. For the hunters who need to shoot over long distances...more velocity is a useful thing, provided the accuracy and the skill required to make such long shots is part of the equation. From 300 yards in...velocity is far less important than skill and shot placement...again, provided the bullet will reach the vitals of the animal that it's being called on to take cleanly at the distance that the shot is made. Generally, I've found that if I need more killing power...I need more bullet instead of more speed.

Of course, expansion is also a factor, and impact velocity plays a role in that as well...but modern bullet construction has made it possible to get acceptable expansion over a wide range of bullet impact speeds. That puts the question back to penetration and accuracy. Since most rifles turn in their best accuracy at some point just below maximum pressures and velocities...increasing powder charges in the effort to get that last 30 fps is counterproductive, not to mention that it's hard on the rifle.

deacon8
November 3, 2009, 10:38 AM
Ky Larry,

I know what you are talking about. In fact, I was just reading other posts in regards to "magnum" cartridges. From what I can tell, people are obsessed with bullets that resist gravity the longest. That seems to be the concern, while everything is left aside. People seem to think that just because they have the "latest and greatest" uber-mag, they can drop a deer in its tracks at 500 yards. All the while failing to realize that a deer hit in both lungs at 50 OR 500 yards might run a little way. It seems that some people don't care about shot placement, accuracy (without using some recoil-absorbing rest), wind, angle, ethics (I meaning giving a damn about losing an animal). People are obsessed with "hang-time." And for what it's worth, I think that is why people are worried about getting the maximum V.

Sorry about rambling (and maybe being a little off topic), but I had to vent. My favorite deer "medicine" is a plain old 7x57 Mauser in a plain old Model 70 featherweight. And with that rifle, I have shot two elk and quite a few deer that all required but one shot. I handload and do not try to take it to maximum V.

There is my $.02. I appologize for my rambling and my possibly perceived "betterness" and/or bitterness.

243winxb
November 3, 2009, 10:38 AM
Why is mv so important? It is for long range, 1000 yds, target shooters in some calibers. If the bullet becomes subsonic , below the speed of sound, the bullet becomes unstable and will not group well. Load for accuracy is the general rule.

SSN Vet
November 3, 2009, 10:46 AM
why max. velocity...

1. a faster bullet will have a flater trajectory over the same range.
2. a faster bullet will hit a target at the same range with more KE and will achieve better terminal ballistics (expansion or yaw and tumbling).
3. some times the most accurate load is at or near the fastest load
4. none of us have pressure measuring equipment, which cost a fortune, but pressure closely correlates to muzzle velocity and chronographs are affordable (well, for some... not really for me... yet) and can give MV data, which can then be related back to pressure.

Ky Larry
November 3, 2009, 11:38 AM
I see what you all are saying. Velocity is important in some situations, especially at longer ranges. Does higher velocity help in offsetting a cross wind?

SSN Vet
November 3, 2009, 11:50 AM
Does higher velocity help in offsetting a cross wind?

yes it does.... because the TOF (time of flight) is shorter for a faster projectile. So the time the cross wind has to interact with the projectile is less. So the affect on the projectiles trajectory is less.

I don't think this really becomes a significant affect untill guys are shooing out 500 yd+

rcmodel
November 3, 2009, 02:22 PM
A fact often over-looked is the faster a bullet starts out, the faster is slows down.

By the time you get out to a few hundred yards, there is often not a lot of differance.

I'm of the camp who could care less if I get the last possible 50 or 150 FPS.

I want an accurate load that doesn't burn my barrel out during load development, and the hottest load is usually not that load.

rc

SlamFire1
November 3, 2009, 03:36 PM
Advertizing induced behavior.

Corporate advertizing so saturates our society that we donít even recognize it. And yet, because of it , we change the clothes we wear, the foods we eat, how we interact, and what is considered proper behavior.

We see the influences all the time, threads about barrel break in, equipment orientated solutions to poor shooting skills (no such thing exists), and here, how velocity is king.

Hard to believe that the Krag round, a 220 grain bullet at 2200 fps, was considered an excellent game round. Industry shills have taught us that game can tell the difference between a 2700 fps bullet and a 2900 fps bullet. Also, we know there is a huge difference on game between a 130 grain .277 bullet and a 130 grain 308 bullet, both going 3000 fps.

And here, we have learned from this Jan 1958 ad, that these high velocity rounds have freed us from having to hit a vital spot on the animal.

It must be true, I read it in a gun magazine.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/WeatherbyAdJan1958AmericanRiflemanc.jpg

~z
November 3, 2009, 03:43 PM
AWESOME! I gotta get me one of those pre-59 Weatherbys!
~z

1911Tuner
November 3, 2009, 04:21 PM
A fact often over-looked is the faster a bullet starts out, the faster is slows down.

By the time you get out to a few hundred yards, there is often not a lot of differance.


Exactly so, and good point., RC.

Look at some ballistic charts in one of the loading manuals, and compare a 150-grain boattail at 2800 fps to a 165 BT at 2600 fps. 300 yards out, the 165 is about even on speed, and is closing the gap by 400. By the time the 150 gets to 500 yards, the heavier bullet passes it.

Partly due to the greater mass and greater ballistic coefficient holding its momentum as it cuts through the air...or as the old timers used to say: "It carries better"... and partly because the faster the bullet hits the air, the harder the air fights it.

Of course, it goes without saying that the faster a given bullet starts out, the faster it will be going at a given distance...but as that distance grows, the difference becomes less and less.

1858
November 3, 2009, 07:27 PM
A fact often over-looked is the faster a bullet starts out, the faster is slows down.


Exactly so, and good point., RC.

This is an interesting discussion. As an example, let's take a 178gr A-MAX bullet in .308 Win. My match load has a MV of about 2,750 fps so let's compare that load to the same bullet with a MV of 2,500 fps. Any ballistic program will spit out the velocity as a function of time and if you plot both loads (velocity as a function of time) from 0 to 1000 yards you get the following:

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/ballistics/velocity/2500_fps_plot.jpg
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/ballistics/velocity/2750_fps_plot.jpg

If you then fit a 2nd order polynomial function to the velocity/time plots you get the following (notice the high R^2 values indicating a very good fit between the data and the suggested function):

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/ballistics/velocity/2500_fps_plot_trendline.jpg
http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/ballistics/velocity/2750_fps_plot_trendline.jpg

Acceleration is a change in velocity with respect to time or dV/dt. So if we differentiate both functions above and plot them, we get two linear plots showing the acceleration as a function of time. The bullets are slowing down so the acceleration is negative.

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/ballistics/velocity/acceleration_plot.jpg

You'll notice that the bullet with a MV of 2,500 fps slows down at a slower rate for about the first 1.65 seconds of flight time. Then it continues to slow down at a FASTER rate than the bullet with a MV of 2,750 fps after that. If you go back to the ballistic program you'll see that the 2,500 fps bullet is somewhere around 950 yards at 1.65 seconds whereas the 2,750 bullet is at 1025 yards at 1.65 seconds.

So what does all of this mean? Well, there may be situations where higher velocity is indeed useful. If you're shooting long range matches, it may be worth the effort go through a similar procedure to see what you get from an extra "few" feet per second for your given load. There are so many variables out there that hard and fast rules don't always work. However, in general, I have always found the best accuracy at or exceeding maximum listed loads, and loads where the powder isn't free to move around inside the case (slightly compressed). I'll take a minimal increase in throat wear for a minimal reduction in wind drift any day. My load at 2,750 fps has 2-1/2" less wind drift at 600 yards in a 10 mph crosswind compared to the same bullet with a MV of 2,600 fps. That's almost the diameter of the X-ring so I'll take it.

:)

Coltdriver
November 3, 2009, 08:22 PM
I know I was a bit obsessed with max loads when I started reloading. Then as I learned to dial in a particular load for a particular rifle I found less velocity and better accuracy.

So while there are some applications for it what we may be hearing is more first time reloaders who, like me, had not figured it out yet that max velocity does not always mean best accuracy.

I did have a 300 WSM that got more accurate as I approached max loads but I sold it before I got it dialed in because at 65 plus grains a shot a full pound of powder was only good for a little over a 100 rounds!

Not to fault anyone who likes to shoot em fast. I am keeping my .204 brass because I will get back to one of those barrels one day!

Floppy_D
November 3, 2009, 09:13 PM
I've tried for max velocity on a few events, mostly for 44mag and 357mag. My goal was not to achieve accuracy, my goal was to create a dramatic effect on fruit and soda bottles. My most accurate loads are usually worked up from minimum starting data, and I stop working up when I get to the level of accuracy I want. Sometimes I don't have to go very far.

tackstrp
November 3, 2009, 09:40 PM
Very nice and informative comments. Rare on this forum. I had the same questions with 44 mag. loads. I ignore every thing anyone has to say about loading a 44 mag to max. I like a load I can control and hit the target.

snuffy
November 4, 2009, 05:36 AM
My take on this is why buy a Ferrari, then drive it at 55 miles per hour on the freeway. Or lets all buy 308's and be satisfied with what they can put out. Can't I buy a 300 mag and load it to it's potential? You all make it sound like a crime!:mad:

Also, lets define the so often mentioned "ACCURACY". Just where do we draw the line? minute of deer hide? The kill zone, or boiler room on a mature whitetail is aprox. 9" wide, by 12" high. Do we need Ĺ minute groups @ 100 yds to hit that big of a target? So what if your faster load ONLY does 2.5 inches. Isn't that enough to hit a 9X12 target?

I often go on to what a rifle will tolerate ,(pressure wise), for top velocity for hunting. It's usually plenty accurate for deer. But the extra velocity makes quick kills much easier. Now, I'm not saying you don't have to hit the vitals, or that the extra velocity makes up for poor shot placement. Just saying that placed in the vitals, the extra velocity will result in a cleaner kill.

Then if you're hunting on the edge of a bean field, you have the flatter trajectory of the faster bullet. Then it is possible by testing different powders to achieve top velocity AND the smallest group. Who wouldn't want that combo?

Bullets of today are the best we've ever seen. Sharp plastic tips, coupled with long boat tails offer very high ballistic coefficients, and the plastic tips double as expansion insurance even at very slow velocities. The likes of the nosler ballistic tip, accu bond, and E-tip, the Hornady SST, interbond, and GMX, Swift scirocco and others, carry the velocity longer. They also are quite accurate. It's entirely possible to have your accuracy AND velocity, so why not?

qajaq59
November 4, 2009, 05:57 AM
Also, lets define the so often mentioned "ACCURACY". That's a legit question. On a target, it's as close to one hole with 5 shots as I can get. On a hog I want it within 2 inches. And on a deer, even my worst loads will hit the kill zone. However, I shoot far more targets then deer or hogs, so that's the accuracy I strive for when I load.

BsChoy
November 4, 2009, 07:56 AM
I forgot all about "going for max" when I started using the Audette method of load development. The good rounds were NEVER in the up end of the spectrum

1911Tuner
November 4, 2009, 08:13 AM
My take on this is why buy a Ferrari, then drive it at 55 miles per hour on the freeway. Or lets all buy 308's and be satisfied with what they can put out. Can't I buy a 300 mag and load it to it's potential? You all make it sound like a crime!

'Fraid that's not exactly the point, snuffy. The point isn't whether or not to load a cartridge to its potential. It's whether or not to push the envelope for every last fps of speed...even at the expense of bad accuracy. Some rifles and revolvers will deliver their top accuracy with the top speed loads...but most won't. In a few extreme cases, I've seen an extra 50 fps take groups from nice, tight cloverleaf shapes to what looked like 25 yard buckshot patterns...from a cylinder bore barrel. What's the point of an extra 50 or 100 fps for beanfield hunting if you can't hit your animal in the right spot?

Also, lets define the so often mentioned "ACCURACY".

One of my favorite subjects!

I think far too much is made of the pursuit of "One Ragged Hole" accuracy. Except for bench rest competition, its importance is overblown. Even an extreme range sniper rifle can do its job with a little less than that sort of gilt-edged performance.

Of course, it's nice to have a rifle that'll really do that, especially if it's on a consistent basis...and most especially if it doesn't require rezeroing for every range session.

Shooting a 7-shot, one-hole group is pretty much a sandbagged exercise...and the sandbagged shooting is about as informative as determining the top speed of a pickup truck. Interesting, but irrelevant. The bench is a fine tool for testing and proving the potential of a particular lot of ammunition...but that's about all it's good for unless benchrest shooting or extreme range varminting is your game.

I'm much more interested in knowing what I can do with this rifle and this lot of ammunition...on a consistent basis. Not what I've done once, or even once in a while...but on demand. If the combination of the rifle and ammunition really will stay inside a 6-inch circle at 300 yards...consistently...then the rest is up to me.

So, I suppose accuracy is defined as such: If the rifle/ammunition combo is capable of hitting the selected target in a vital zone at the distance that the target is engaged...out to the point that the problem is one of trajectory rather than any theoretical group size...it's accurate enough for the task at hand.

The big question is: Are you good enough to equal the rifle's performance from a field position? I've seen shooters cleanly miss whitetail deer at 75 paces with rifles that had proven themselves capable of sub-minute accuracy.

So, I suppose that talk of half-minute groups are a little like talk of wringing the absolute top velocity out of a rifle/cartridge combination. It's interesting...even impressive...but what does it have to do with the issue?

1911Tuner
November 4, 2009, 09:03 AM
Another observation has been that most people define accuracy by a given group size. The problem with that method is that it only gives the rifle credit for the worst that it will do because it's measurement is taken at the widest point...from the two holes that are the farthest apart...and ignores the others.

With a hypothetical 7-shot group that spans a minute of angle...two holes are an inch apart, and the other five are closer. Three of them may even have a quarter minute spread...but even going by the two worst shots...that means that the maximum divergence from the point of aim for any given shot will be a half-inch.

If we stretch the distance to 500 yards...and on the assumption that the rifle will deliver minute-of-angle across the board...the maximum divergence at 500 yards will be 2.5 inches from the point of aim. At that distance, with that rifle...assuming you've judged the distance correctly...wind, mirage, and trajectory will be the greater hindrances to placing the shot.

~z
November 4, 2009, 10:32 AM
Confused, are you suggesting we give the rifle the benefit of the doubt and cherry pick our data? With your 7 shot group, should we throw out the outliers and choose only the most impressive data to draw our conclusions from?
Not arguing a point, just got lost in the last post.

~z

USSR
November 4, 2009, 10:38 AM
I forgot all about "going for max" when I started using the Audette method of load development. The good rounds were NEVER in the up end of the spectrum

BsChoy,

In most cases (no pun intended), I have found several "sweet spots" at varying velocities, with one of them being at or near a maximum velocity loading.

Don

SSN Vet
November 4, 2009, 11:13 AM
lets define the so often mentioned "ACCURACY".

Since when did we all sign up for one size fits all?

Your accuracy goal is likely not the same as mine... What difference does it make? Unless you've got something to prove.

But whenever you want to measure and compare two or more of anything, you've got to come up with some standards. Five shot groups at 100 yds seems to be a reasonable stadard for me and speaks to a lot of different people. But it's certainly not "theeee" standard.

If a guy is into hunting and wants minute of deer with good terminal balistics, more power to him. If a gal likes to geek out with ballistics software and strive for the "one ragged hole" bit, more power to her. If a guy wants to knock down steel rams at 500 yds, more power to him. If I gal wants to compete at Camp Perry, more power to her. If a guy wants to play three gun, more power to him.

Personally, I use the bench and bags to determine what the rifle/load combo. should be able to do, and then shoot off hand and kneeling and prone to develop my proficiency. I'm striving to become a proficient rifleman and to have some fun. But that's me.... and I'm not going to poo poo any one else, because their objective is different than mine. Whatever floats your boat.

But how can I measure my progress unless I pick some kind of standard to compare myself to....

Fast or slow... if you're safe and having fun.... go for it!

X-Rap
November 4, 2009, 11:32 AM
Yea I think every body with a worthy opinion should be shooting down loaded flat nosed bullets trhough a tube fed lever action thats plenty accurate at 50 yds cause anything further or faster just ain't huntin.
I think I'll just go out and take my model T to town if I can dodge the horse turds and make it through the mud road.

1911Tuner
November 4, 2009, 11:53 AM
Are you suggesting we give the rifle the benefit of the doubt and cherry pick our data? With your 7 shot group, should we throw out the outliers and choose only the most impressive data to draw our conclusions from?

Nosir. Just sayin' that we should look at the whole picture instead of the worst...or the best...that the rifle will do. That's why I pointed out that going by the absolute worst, the maximum divergence from the point of aim is X. The others will be closer than that.

Simply put...an average.

Look at it the way that car magazines report the standing quarter mile time of a test vehicle. They don't run it once and write it down. They make three runs and average the three.

My way of evaluating rifle accuracy has been to find the geographic center of the group, and measure from that point to the center of each hole...then average those distances in order to get a closer idea of what I can expect from that rifle with that ammunition with a given shot.

~z
November 4, 2009, 12:22 PM
Thanks for the clarification, I understand your point. Interesting way of looking at it
~z

fprefect
November 4, 2009, 01:38 PM
This is a question that has been argued and undoubtedly will be continued to be argued when the question of accuracy vs MV is concerned.

I look at it basically from two standpoints. Those being what are you going to be using the loads for, and how much accuracy are you willing to give up for additional velocity.

When calculating energy, either muzzle energy, or the energy a bullet has remaining when it reaches the target, the formula for calculating energy is
E = 1/2 X (mass X velocity2). (the 2 is supposed to represent squared) In other words each time you double the velocity the energy increases by a factor of 4. Double the bullet weight from 50 grs to 100 grs, your energy at the muzzle or at the target will be double (given the same velocity) using the 100 gr. bullet.

Should you double the Velocity however, since the velocity is squared, a bullet of any weight will increase the muzzle or target energy 4 times. So those striving for every extra fps of velocity are going to see the energy go up twice as fast than by increasing the bullet weight by the same percentage.

So velocity is Very important, IF and only IF the added pressures that go with increasing the velocity does not effect the accuracy to a point you can still hit what you are aiming at. Almost all "maximum" loads with any bullet weight, will NOT be the most accurate load, so it comes down to a matter if the extra velocity is going to be USEFUL velocity and that will depend on what game you are after, at what range, and under what kind of conditions (particularly the wind) you are most likely to encounter.

As you can probably see, there is never going to be a cut and dry answer unless you are lucky enough to find a load that is near max. allowable pressure and velocity, and happens to also be your most accurate load. But that ain't gonna happen, at least not very often, so you a faced with a compromise. If hunting in brushing conditions where most of your shots are going to be at 100 yds or less, go with the velocity, at that range a 1 1/2 MOA group is going to do just as well as a 1 MOA group and the extra 200-300 fps of vel you may be able to achieve should be very useful.

At long ranges of 300-500 yards it becomes a matter of compromise. The less bullet drop and added energy of the bullet out at 400 yards is again going to be extremely useful, particularly if shooting in very windy conditions. But if the added velocity is going to cost you over 1MOA which at 100 shouldn't be a problem, at 400-500 is likely to result in a miss.

So with me, it comes down to spending some time on range (if you haven't already done so) to tailor a load to best fit the conditions. Personally I would prefer to give up velocity for accuracy at long ranges even though it means less energy on the target and a greater bullet drop to compensate for. After all, you have to hit your target first, but others will no doubt disagree, opting for the flatter shooting load at ultra-long ranges.

So after all that, I think I can safely say there is no answer to the question that would apply 100% of the time. It just comes down to giving yourself the best changes of bagging the game at all ranges and under all conditions which may even involve carrying 2 different loads just to keep as many bases covered as possible.

F. Prefect

LongRifles, Inc.
November 4, 2009, 01:53 PM
It's cause speed kills and some are too lazy to learn to dope wind or cheap to buy a range finder. It also has to do with American Male Bravado. For some it adds an inch to the length of their penis if they have a 200fps gain in velocity over their buddy.

I know my junk grew 6" when I built my 4375fps 300-338 Lapua Magnum.

Woo Hoo!

1858
November 4, 2009, 02:26 PM
Almost all "maximum" loads with any bullet weight, will NOT be the most accurate load

How can you possibly make such a comment given the overwhelming number of calibers, powders, bullets, cases, rifles etc? You can only make a statement about YOUR experience, not ALL caliber, bullet, powder and rifle combinations. Somehow I doubt you've tried every caliber, every rifle, every powder, every bullet, every primer, every case etc to make such a general statement.

Just off the top of my head, THE match load for numerous service rifle shooters using a .223 is 25.0gr of Varget behind a 77gr SMK HPBT. Guess what ... it's a max load. My .308 match load is 44.1gr of Reloder 15 behind a 178gr A-MAX and I can show you targets (rapid and slow) shot at 100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 yards that will convince you that this is a very accurate load under real-world conditions. You won't find that load listed in any manual ... I guarantee it! It is definitely beyond a max load.

I'm beginning to think that many of you have selective memories or worse. I wonder how many of you started out with the minimal load listed and increased the charge until you found a load that was accurate ... and then you stopped there. Now you claim that the most accurate load is NEVER the maximum load. Well I've got one word for you .... NODES .... and there are many of them. There are even small nodes between the larger more obvious ones and the nodes don't care about how much powder is written down in a book. This may be a shock to you but there are accuracy nodes where barrel harmonics are minimized well beyond published maximum loads. If you choose to stop at a node that is below published max loads, at least have the intelligence to recognize that you are merely at one node which may not be the most stable or the most accurate node.

As for velocity and accuracy, has anyone considered that it is how YOU handle recoil that has a HUGE affect on accuracy? Maybe if you could manage the recoil better (of a faster load) perhaps it'd be more accurate for you.

:)

444
November 4, 2009, 02:27 PM
For me there are a number of factors to consider in the load I am putting together.

There are times when I simply just want to load the hottest round that is still safe.
Some of this to me is just logical. For example. If I am loading .357 cartridges, my load is going to be at or near max. If I am shooting .357s, I want to be shooting .357s. I could shoot .38s and most of the time I do. But when I load .357 ammo in the gun, I want the max performance I can get. Why ? Because I can. That is often the point for owning that particular gun. I would shoot a .22 but variety is the spice of life so I own more powerful firearms and want to experience what it is like to shoot them. I may not have any other reason than the fact that I want to do it. This is a hobby for me, so some of what I do with it has no practical purpose other than my own enjoyment.
Another good reason (IMO) is that it is just an exercise in handloading. Handloading for me is another hobby in and of itself. I don't handload just to provide myself with ammunition to shoot. I handload because I enjoy it and like to play around with things. My goal isn't to find the one perfect load for my guns (nessessarily). I like to try different loads. Loads that are as quiet as possible, loads that are as powerful as possible, loads with different bullets, loads for use with my suppressors, loads for hunting, loads for target shooting, loads that lighten recoil, loads with cast bullets...........................

Heavy loads are a part of it. If that isn't for you, great. Enjoy the hobby as you see fit. As long as you are having fun and not hurting anyone else, go for it.
I love the guys that have such a high opinion of themselves that they feel the need to be condescending to anyone that does anything different than they do. I am not talking about the original post but for some of the replies, the shoe certainly fits. Wear it.

USSR
November 4, 2009, 03:00 PM
Agree with 1858, there are few "absolutes" in handloading. A particular maximum load for my .308 FN SPR is the most accurate load it shoots.

Don

snuffy
November 4, 2009, 03:02 PM
If you've been around shooting and hunting for a while, you start to recognize certain behavior. Like the difference between shooters and hunters. Or should I say marksmen and hunters. A range/hunting-fishing club I used to belong to had what we called a jug shoot. Water filled gallon milk jugs were hung from wires from 50 to 100 yds, five in a row. Course of fire was 5 shots in 1 minute, STANDING UNSUPPORTED. 20 rounds comprised a complete shoot. In the course of a ten year run, only 5 perfect 20 X 20 was shot! I managed one of those.

This range was frequented by shooters benching their rifles, and other weapons striving for accuracy. When asked if they'd like to try the jug shoot, most said, "I'm not any good at standing up to shoot"!! Just how the heck do those guys manage to hit a deer if they don't practice standing? The jug shoot was fun, the jugs pop pretty good, and there's SOME bragging rights too. It also function tested your rifle, it was no surprise to me to see a bunch of semi-autos that would NOT fire five rounds without jamming! Or magazine troubles with bolt guns, and lever guns.

I think what we should have is a big fail-safe woods or area with some terrain, where there's life size deer silhouettes at various ranges. Sort of like sporting clays with rifles. Various rules would be needed like use whatever position you want to shoot from, or provide a log or tree branch to rest your rifle on. Not only would it be fun, but you'd know if your rifle would function, and you'd learn to improvise the best rest or shooting position.

[/QUOTE]I did have a 300 WSM that got more accurate as I approached max loads but I sold it before I got it dialed in because at 65 plus grains a shot a full pound of powder was only good for a little over a 100 rounds![/QUOTE]

Yer kidding, right? Well you better get a 300 savage or thutty-thutty, they burn very little powder! As for that 300 WSM, so does mine! My top load is also the most accurate.

Venado
November 4, 2009, 10:34 PM
I love hyper-velocity loads. It is not a macho thing, but is a challenge. My belief is, use what you have and make it do what you want, instead of going out and buying something bigger. I am not motivated by fear, therefore I have achieved things you would not believe. Through seeking the ultimate load, I have learned many things that I would otherwise not have learned. By the way, I get so sick of hearing how the .45 acp is big enough without expanding. Why not take a hard-ball bullet and make it expand to 3/4". It has penetration and expansion and makes a .75 caliber hole (it can be done). The only reason many people don't like such things is they don't know how to do it themselves, or are too afraid.

~z
November 4, 2009, 10:58 PM
Venado, I'd love to peruse your log books. Care to share any data?
~z

Venado
November 4, 2009, 11:44 PM
~Z: This thread would be shut down if I were to share my load data. I will give some clues. The 460 Roland gives .44 mag. performance out of .45 acp hand-guns. The 460 Roland is 1/16" longer than a .45acp to keep it from inserting in a .45acp firearm, but the oal is the same. They both have the same powder capacity. So why have a 460 Roland. The .45 acp can be made to out perform .357 sig, 10 mm, .357mag., and 44 mag.

The case capacity of the .45acp is larger than a .357mag. or a 10mm.

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

fireman 9731
November 5, 2009, 01:33 AM
While everyone here has good points, I need to point out something else...

Some people hot-rod cartridges for the same reason that they hot-rod a car... because they can. It doesn't matter if it gets gallons to the mile, runs on high octane race fuel, and wont even get 500 miles out of an engine. They are spending money they don't have to buy parts they don't need to impress people that they don't even know. My car is better that yours because its faster.

Its the same with guns... bragging rights... my .237 Whizzm is better than your .223 Vanilla... because its faster.

Its human nature at its finest. Everybody wants to be better than everybody else... and somewhere along the line, faster got perceived as better.

snuffy
November 5, 2009, 03:01 AM
Its human nature at its finest. Everybody wants to be better than everybody else... and somewhere along the line, faster got perceived as better.

Faster IS better if you're shooting long range either for hunting or target shooting. Get over the assumption that anybody that's loading a magnum cartridge to it's potential is some kinda egomaniac or macho braggart.

I don't boast about how fast my bullets are. But it's damn nice to know they're going as fast as what they're supposed to be. If I get to sit on the edge of a huge alfalfa field, I want to know exactly where that bullet will hit at 3,4, or 500 yards. In order to know that, I need to know the velocity. Also it needs to be as fast as the cartridge is capable of going. Settling for a round that's no faster than a maxed out 30-06 from my 300 WSM is NOT why I bought it! I don't even care what it looks like, just so it shoots!

Entering what the chronograph says into software like the Sierra infinity program, will give you a trajectory for your bullet. They don't JUST cover their bullets either. Most of the popular bullets are in there. Enter where you want to be sighted in at, like 200 yds., it will tell you how high you should be @ 100 yds, and how low you will be out to 1000 yds. You also need to know the BC of your bullet.

I suspect that a lot of the comments on this thread come from people that are loading ammo that once fired a small group. They then loaded a bunch, sighted in and went hunting. They probably don't have access to a chrono, so they're in the dark about the trajectory. Or they believe what the manual SAID it SHOULD be. There's fast barrels and there's slow barrels. Meaning, they don't behave anything like the norm for that cartridge.

I have one of those "SLOW" barrels. It's a Ruger .280. It's REALLY slow, 200 fps slower that what it should be. There's NO load that will reach the potential of the .280 cartridge, believe me, I've tried!:banghead: Know something? It's a deer killing machine. Loaded with nosler 140 ballistic tips, it drops them dead right there DRT! It has accounted for at least 20 whitetails, many before I knew it was only doing about 2600 fps!

1911Tuner
November 5, 2009, 07:25 AM
The only reason many people don't like such things is they don't know how to do it themselves, or are too afraid.

Well...When you're touching off some 60,000 pounds per square inch less than a foot from the end of your nose, there's very good reason to be...cautious. Many of us know how. Most of us know better.

Things that I've learned in 40 years of handloading:

There's nothing that you can prove with a handloaded cartridge that hasn't already been proven,

and...

The pressure required to accelerate a 150-grain bullet to 3,000 fps in 22 inches of rifled barrel is more than sufficient to blow your eyes through the back of your head.

Pushing the envelope with pressure is a little like keeping a large Boa Constrictor for a pet. It's perfectly fine for years...until one day, all of a sudden...it's not.

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