Minimum load data manual


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warnerwh
September 21, 2011, 06:22 AM
Is there a manual of light loads? I know we can go under minimum published loads with some powders in various loads.

I'm betting a lighter load than 7.1 grains Universal in a .357 magnum with a 125gr. JHP will be safe. Hodgdon's minimum load is pushing the 125 gr. bullet at 1,400fps.

If anyone has tried minimal loads with Universal and a 125 gr. JHP in the .357 magnum I'd appreciate hearing about them. Chrono results would be appreciated also.

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scythefwd
September 21, 2011, 06:31 AM
Warnerwh - I've been told that you can go up to 1/3 charge less in rifles and be safe (lee's modern reloading, 2nd edition) but with handguns I'm not so sure. I'd guess that 4.7 (a hair over 2/3 of your 7.1 load) would be ok... but DO NOT take my word for it. I'm not sure if that 1/3 reduction is from the max load or the minimum load. I'd worry about too much of a reduction in pressure though. You can use .38 spl loads in your .357. Take a look at those.

Hodgdon's online data says 4.7 - 5.2 universal under a 125gr projectile should give 918 fps - 1018. Expect lower since you are using a larger capacity case and you're going to loose a little bit of pressure... Maybe 20 - 50 fps or so.

You can also use the cast data, but watch out for squibs.

loadedround
September 21, 2011, 06:59 AM
With 45 years of reloading experience, please take my advice and stick within the parameters listed in the various reloading manuals. These people run extensive ballistic reseach on their published loads and spend many thousands of dollars doing so. You will be testing your physical heath, others around you, plus ruining a fine firearm if you persist. Many years ago there were "stories" going around about detonation of small loads of Bullseye powder in pistol cases. There were many pictures of destroyed firearms published, but H.P. White Laboratories, the reknown ballistics lab were never able to duplicate this detonation. So agin, a word of caution, don't reduce minimun published loads. Be safe!

cfullgraf
September 21, 2011, 07:16 AM
Cowboy action loads might fill the need that you are looking for although they may not cover cartridges that you want to load down. I know some of Cowboy action shooters have problems with loads getting too light and risk bullets getting stuck in the bore.

Semi-auto pistols need a certain level of power to cycle the action.

The October, 2011, edition of "Handloader" magazine has an article on reduced recoil rifle loads. Included in the article is a statement that IMR Powders publish reduced recoil rifle loads available on line at the IMR powder site.

I agree with loadedround, I would not deviate outside publish data ranges.

warnerwh
September 21, 2011, 07:24 AM
scythefwd: Thank you for that info. I did not catch that part in Lee's 2nd edition. I have been loading Unique under published minimums and know they are safe. I've seen a lot of load data people have posted doing the same.
loadedround: I appreciate what you're saying and typically do keep within the listed range. However I know many of us have used less than minimum listed loads and still do. I believe that I can go lower with Universal than their published minimum by quite a bit and do so safely. I've also not heard of too many kabooms from lighter than published loads but am still cautious of them. I remember in the 70's reading of the light Bullseye loads kabooming and that is still stuck in my mind. As a matter of fact I will not use Bullseye because of it even though it couldn't be reproduced.

scythefwd
September 21, 2011, 08:30 AM
They list loads from 4.8 grains up to mid 6's for cast bullets. That generally due to bullet composition and not pressure. I'd feel safe going down into the 5.2+ range.

If you have lee's manual, look up the reduced load section, also look up all of the columns in the key for the load data. He has certain powders down to "approximation of pressure levels for a given grain reduction". It's a section usually left unread.

Navy_Guns
September 21, 2011, 09:25 AM
Yet another reason to buy a copy of Quickload! It'll give you a good IDEA of what to expect if you take a published load and reduce it.

I'm still highly disinclined to believe the premise that reduced loads, by themselves, blow up guns. I think people may have blown up guns by unknowingly sticking bullets (especially jacketed ones) in the barrel and then firing subsequent rounds into an obstructed bore - then blaming it on powder detonation. I might even believe that with light charges of SLOW powders (large grains, deterrent coatings), you could have the grains break up and end up burning much faster than intended.

All in all, I think the aversion to experimenting with lighter loads out of fears of blowing up your gun are mostly baseless.

Robert101
September 21, 2011, 10:27 AM
I shoot light loads as well. Never seen or experienced a problem. Some loading manuals will advise that shooting 38 special loads in .357 cases are fine. I use Alliant powders (Blue Dot, Unique, Bullseye) and fell safe with the burn characteristics of this brand.

As a general rule I agree with not going below 1/3 of the recommended starting loads.

RevGeo
September 21, 2011, 11:17 AM
Back when I shot a .41 mag quite a bit I loaded cast rounds with 5 gr. of Bullseye. I would stuff toilet paper in the case to make a wad. I never had a problem, but I was never aware of the reports of detonations with reduced loads. I also made shot shells to fit the .41 out of cut down 30-30 brass with the same charge of BE and #9 shot. It worked great on rattlers. Of course I'm not recommending anything, but it worked for me.

I've also heard that using reduced loads of slow burning powders (anything slower than 4350) in sharp-shouldered magnum rifle cases was dangerous.
After 40+ years of reloading I also heartily agree with sticking with the printed data.
I gave up on ultra hot loads years ago and usually load up medium loads. They are usually more accurate, easier on the shoulder, ears and gun and greatly increase case life.
My old Ideal Cast Bullet Handbook lists many reduced loads for rifles and handguns.

George

jerkface11
September 21, 2011, 11:44 AM
Many years ago there were "stories" going around about detonation of small loads of Bullseye powder in pistol cases. There were many pictures of destroyed firearms published, but H.P. White Laboratories, the reknown ballistics lab were never able to duplicate this detonation.

Detonation is a myth invented by people who couldn't admit they double charged a case.

gamestalker
September 21, 2011, 02:08 PM
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to load comfortable shooting rounds, doing so with jacketed can get cumbersome beyond a certain degree. With lead, significantly decreased velocity is much easier to accomplish and usually less risky too.
Tread cautiously in this direction if you are working well below published minimums. The results could other wise be risky to your firearm, and more importantly, your health and well being. If something doesn't feel or sound right, don't fire another round until you've positively determined that the barrel is clear. I think someone just mentioned that in another post above regarding a squib. KB somes to mind!

ranger335v
September 21, 2011, 06:22 PM
"Detonation (of light charges) is a myth invented by people who couldn't admit they double charged a case."

Very probably true.

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