Whoa... HOT stuff


January 23, 2010, 11:38 AM
Guys, I've been sniffing around looking for a stout load for .45 AR to use in my S&W N frames. It turns out the answer was on my bookshelf, and HOLY SMOKES that set me on my heels. I dug out a Speer #8 manual, and it showed .45 AR loads with the famous "Flying Ashtray" 200gr JHP at over 1200fps from a 6.5 inch M25 using Unique powder. The beginning charge weight listed was ~ 1.5 times the MAX charge weights listed in current manuals. I'm going to try carefully work up to the minimum load.:cool:

There's lots of other chocolatey goodness in there as well, like .38Spl with 158 gr JHP > 1000fps using SR4756, iirc. They don't write manuals like that any more, you betcha.

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January 23, 2010, 12:33 PM
No, they don't write em like that anymore, they use pressure testing equipment. ;)

I have an old Speer manual, and it is a fun read. I use the newer ones.

Have fun, be careful. AC

January 23, 2010, 12:44 PM
Yeah all my old manuals have higher loads on just about every cartridge.
I think "law suite" and lack of good common sense caused powder manufactures to back down their load tables.
I load many calibers at older volumes and never had a issue.

January 23, 2010, 12:58 PM
Keep in mind that the recipes from earlier--notably, the late Sixties / Seventies--tend to be of a separate "type." As Walkalong has pointed out, they now have a standardized (more or less) pressure-testing system with more reliable (presumably) tools, not to mention the software to go with it. Back then, the perception of "safe loads" was driven by post-firing measurement methods that are now, at least in handguns, generally considered to be unreliable. There was also a political component that shaped the perspective--i.e., cops were still carrying wheelguns, not infrequently 38 Specials, and starting to desire with the higher-volume semiautomatic sidearms.

Have fun--but think twice about the condition of your N-frame, in all respects--age, cylinder steel, forcing cone, etc., etc., etc....

Jim H.

January 23, 2010, 01:06 PM
Somewhere around 1963 I stretched the frame on a nice old 1917 S&W and totally destroyed it using Speer's published .45 AR data.

My Ruger flat-top .357 & myself survived to tell the tail somehow.

Those old manuals are a good read for nostalgia / historical purposes, but don't use the data.


January 23, 2010, 01:28 PM
If you want a KABOOM, load max. from my old Speer Manual Number 8. Burn that Manual Now. lol

January 23, 2010, 01:47 PM
Don't burn it, there is lots of reference material in it. Keep it on the bookshelf and if you do use the loads reference back to the newer books, but there is data that you will not find nowadays in it. Probably instead of a 10% reduction, start with a 15% reduction. That was my go to book for yrs. I never blew up anything, but I was cautious as a cat in the highway.

Jimmy K

January 23, 2010, 04:17 PM
Lol, I have encountered these numbers in old manuals as well. Hell, shoot some old Super-Vel or Remington .44 mag factory loads from 1970-ish and they'll really rock your world.

January 23, 2010, 06:56 PM
Try Elmer Keith's .44 Mag load, was 22.0 gr of 2400 under a 250 gr bullet. Warning this is way over Max load according to the NYC lawyers!

That is the very first load that was in a 44 mag the very first time I shot a 44 mag.
I could say that it kicked, but that is not colorful enough!!
I was 14 at the time.

Jimmy K

January 24, 2010, 02:17 PM
Frankly I think Keith's old loads were somewhat on the mild side when shot side by side with the first 240 factory stuff...............wristsnappinhearinglostforeverbluewhistlers.............That stuff fed my desire for USABLE .44 loads and got me into loading my own!

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