NEED HELP: puzzled by conflicts between reloading manuals


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97th Signalman
June 14, 2012, 12:44 PM
I am often puzzled by the differences in recommended loads in various manuals. The two books that I consult most often are the Speer manual (my favorite) and the Hornady manual. Lately I have been trying to develop loads using Alliant Power Pistol powder for my 9mm handguns using 124 grain FMJ bullets. The Speer loads are based in using Speer brass, Speer bullets and CCI 500 primers. The Hornady recommendations use Hornady brass and bullets with Winchester SP primers. Both have C.O.L. of 1.150”

The Hornady Manual shows a starting load of 4.3 grains of Power Pistol (900 fps) and a max load of 5.7 grains (1100 fps).

The Speer Manual has a starting load of 5.6 grains of Power Pistol (1033 fps) and a max load of 6.4 grains (1157 fps).

As you can see, the max load in the Hornady book (5.7 grains) is approximately equal to the starting load (5.6 grains) in the Speer book. Stuff like this really baffles me. I have tested loads of 6.2 grains behind 124 FMJ bullets. They have noticeably more felt recoil than my rather mild standard Unique reloads with 115 FMJ bullets but they shoot to the POA where as the 115 grain bullets tend to shoot several inches below my POA. I don’t see any signs of severe overpressure using the 6.2 grain Power Pistol charge in either my S&P M&P9 or my CZ-75. There may be slight bit of primer cratering in the M&P9 since you get that weird tear drop marking on the primer from the indent around the pin on the bolt face. I see nothing that would indicate overpressure on the brass fired in the CZ-75. The felt recoil of the 6.2 grain charge feels about the same as that from using the Winchester NATO ammo that is about 10% higher in pressure than SAAMI standards.

Should I feel confident that the 6.2 grain charge is safe based on the Speer manual or should I be more cautious based on the more conservative max charge of 5.7 grains listed in the Hornady manual?

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Jim Watson
June 14, 2012, 01:00 PM
Are you shooting Speer or Hornady bullets? Go by the bullet maker's data, it takes into account bullet construction and seating.

Loading Something Else? You are just going to have to go by function and feel. A chronograph would be a big help.

blarby
June 14, 2012, 01:05 PM
Reloading manual test data can vary quite a bit from company to company.

Differences in test techniques, particularly test BBLs, is usually the cause of this.

Sometimes there can be a little "hype" when it comes to achieved velocities, but the charging data is usually a combination of chosen representative test data, and testing materials.

In general, choose the manual which best reflects the projectile you are using.

Speer is one of the few companies that uses real guns, not test BBLS, when possible in testing. Where they have, they mention the firearm used. I would have more faith in results obtained from a real firearm- than a test BBL.

97th Signalman
June 14, 2012, 01:06 PM
Actually when loading 124 gr FMJ I have been using Winchester bullets. The have the same length as the Speer and the ogives appear to be similar if not identical.

I do not have a chronometer but I may get one some day soon.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Clark
June 14, 2012, 01:35 PM
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.

8.5 gr Power Pistol 158 gr 380 chronographs at 1187 fps with 5" barrel of Browning 1903 blow back.
11 gr Power Pistol 158 gr 9mm in Kel-Tec P11 kicks so hard that 3 shots and my hand hurts for hours.
11 gr Power Pistol 124 gr 9mm chronographs at 1336 fps with 3.1" barrel of a Kel-tec PF9

Joy of Cooking cookbook specifies 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla to make chocolate chip cookies.
Fannie Farmer Cookbook specifies 3/4 teaspoon of Vanilla to make chocolate chip cookies.

Alliant Powder, the people who sell Power Pistol, specify 6.4 gr Power Pistol 124 gr for 9mm.

What does it all mean?
To know what recipe to pick, you may want to read my 2003 essay, "How to write a mediocre load book" second revision
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.guns/HwkJMndcqhE

Salmoneye
June 14, 2012, 01:51 PM
Link only works if you sign up or join...

Clark
June 14, 2012, 02:14 PM
Sorry...

"How to write a mediocre load book" second revision

1) Get all the free load data from powder manufacturers; Alliant,
Accurate Arms, Hodgdon, IMR, Vihtavuori, and Winchester.
Ignore Norma, Nobel, Rex, Scot, and Ramshot.
2) Buy the load manuals from the Powder manufacturers that sell them;
Accurate Arms, Hodgdon, and Vihtavuori.

3) Buy the load manuals from the Bullet manufacturers that sell them;
Speer, Sierra, Hornady, Lyman, and Nosler.
Ignore Barnes, Swift, A-Square, and Lapua.

4) Load development:
You need safety margin. If you don't know what that is, put some popcorn
in the microwave for one hour. The instructions on the bag say 2
minutes, and smoke stinks up the lunchroom in 10 minutes.
It stinks up the whole building in 15 minutes.
That [10 - 2] = 8 minutes is safety margin.

5) Writing the loads part of the book:
Reduce the powder manufacturer's max load by 5%. That is your max load.
Reduce your max load by 10%.
That is your starting load.
Paraphrase any anecdotes about the caliber written in the bullet
manufacturer's load books.

6) Calibrating test equipment:
The only thing that counts is a calibration sticker. To make one, on a
piece of paper, write, "Popcorn: minimum 1.8 minutes, not to exceed 2.1
minutes". Tape that paper to the front of the microwave. Your equipment
is now calibrated.

7) The other stuff in the book:
Find someone who handloads and take pictures of his hands while he loads
a cartridge.
Paraphrase the pages of text in the load books you bought; accuracy,
safety, blah, blah, blah...

8) Try to do a good job:
With $200 outlay and an afternoon's work you can sell 10,000 books at
$10 each wholesale and $3 each to have printed, you will make enough
money to pay the rent for a year.

HOW TO REVISE YOUR LOAD BOOK.
1) Wait at least a year, or until the first printing has sold, whichever
comes last.
2) Get the latest free load data from the powder manufacturers.
3) Look for any new powders or calibers that were not in your first edition.
4) To add these new loads, reduce the loads by 5% for max load, and that
by 10% for starting loads.
5) Charge $12 wholesale per book. Make the money last until you write
the 3rd edition.

Cross marketing:
Find some guy who makes benchrest bullets in his garage and get drunk
with him. Fix him up with your sister. If you could start selling his
bullets by featuring them in your book, you would both benefit. You
could find some surplus "blems" to fill in the product line, and he and
your sister may spawn a gun culture dynasty.

The End

Editor's note:
Last year when we first announced the "How to make a mediocre load book"
project, we used some different data. Someone suggested that it was fear
of law suits that made us change. Nothing could be further from the
truth. It was just that some new very powerful Asian microwaves were not
compatible with Beareto's Organic Popcorn. And we found a way to more
accurately measure time. The hour glass technology we were using has
been replaced with quartz-crystal oscillators and flip flop based
counters driving blinking light emitting diode displays. We feel that
the load book writer should start at 1.8 minutes popcorn microwave time
and work up carefully looking for burning signs and never exceeding 2.1
minutes.

We have received some personal messages asking if it was the Lee book
lifting data or the Speer 12 and 13 making up pressures and velocities
that the project is about. Neither could be further from the truth. In
actual fact, we are all about that an average American has the
opportunity, in few hours and for a few hundred dollars to write a
mediocre load book on a par with many of the other mediocre load books
available today.

As an addendum I hasten to add: We have had some complaints that 2.1
minutes will not pop all the kernels, and some load book writers have
been exceeding our published limits. This is dangerous and foolish. If
there is a fire in which someone dies, the load book writer making the
pop corn could be tried for murder.

It is much better to be safe and sane and spit out the "old maids" that
don't pop.

cfullgraf
June 14, 2012, 02:17 PM
I am often puzzled by the differences in recommended loads in various manuals.

Not exactly the same cartridges or bullets you are looking at but the following question should answer your questions on why various data varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=663263

Similar info as already posted but lots more replies.

Tux
June 14, 2012, 04:17 PM
Not exactly the same cartridges or bullets you are looking at but the following question should answer your questions on why various data varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=663263

Similar info as already posted but lots more replies.

I was the OP on the above mentioned post. Similar question.

What I took away from it was:

Different bullets from different manufacturers. They have different diameters and therefore different reactions to surface pressure in being pushed, different metallurgical composition, different coefficients, different density and hardness, etc.

Different powders will fill the case up to different volumes. That difference in volume creates a difference in pressure and not only can vary by the powder used, but the depth of the seating on the bullet.

I tested my Hornady loads at 6.3 grains of Unique and all was well. I tested my Sierra loads at 7.3g Unique and all was fine.

In looking at my manuals you can tell they were written with their "favorite" bullet or primer vendor, with a few oddballs thrown in.

Salmoneye
June 14, 2012, 05:26 PM
Thanks, Clark!

;)

cfullgraf
June 14, 2012, 05:36 PM
In looking at my manuals you can tell they were written with their "favorite" bullet or primer vendor, with a few oddballs thrown in.

Well, it is really not their "favorite", it is what they manufacture.

The Sierra manual will only have Sierra bullets. Why should Sierra advertise for other bullet makers.

Same for Speer, Hornady, Nolser, Berger, etc. etc. etc. But the bullet makers use a variety of powders.

Also the same for the powder manufacturers except in reverse. The powder manufacturers will have data only for their powders but will use a variety of bullets.

Lyman's book is a bit different. While all cast bullets are from probably Lyman molds, they list a variety of manufacturers for jacketed bullets and powder. The Lee Precision manual is probably similar in this respect.

Tux
June 14, 2012, 06:13 PM
Well, it is really not their "favorite", it is what they manufacture.

The Sierra manual will only have Sierra bullets. Why should Sierra advertise for other bullet makers.

Same for Speer, Hornady, Nolser, Berger, etc. etc. etc. But the bullet makers use a variety of powders.

Also the same for the powder manufacturers except in reverse. The powder manufacturers will have data only for their powders but will use a variety of bullets.

Lyman's book is a bit different. While all cast bullets are from probably Lyman molds, they list a variety of manufacturers for jacketed bullets and powder. The Lee Precision manual is probably similar in this respect.

If you look at Alliant's online resource, all they practically use is Speer bullets. I know their print data is different, but online it sure seems Speer is their "favorite".

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/RecipeList.aspx?gtypeid=1

http://www.mactariadesigns.com/Alliant.png

I think Lee's manual is the most vague. The Lee manual I have only lists 180Gr JHP, then various powder loads, which goes against what Hornady and Sierra both spec out for their bullets.

Hornady 180g HP/XTP .430 lists 6.1g-6.6g of Unique.
Sierra 180g JHC .4295 lists 7.3g-9.1 of Unique.
Lee Manual 180g Jacketed lists 8.0g-9.0g of Unique.

If Hornady is telling me their XTP will go at 850fps with 6.6 grains of Unique, then Lee is telling me I will get the same velocity with 9.0 grains, I'm going to start at Hornadys specs and call the Lee data too generic.

Salmoneye
June 14, 2012, 09:31 PM
Alliant as recently as 8 years ago, published a 'paper' loading manual that covered many more of their powders per cartridge/caliber, and crossed over many bullet manufacturers...

The current 'official' online resource is a pale echo of what they once 'published'...

cfullgraf
June 14, 2012, 10:22 PM
If you look at Alliant's online resource, all they practically use is Speer bullets. I know their print data is different, but online it sure seems Speer is their "favorite".



It is not surprising that Alliant concentrates on data with Speer bullets. ATK owns both Allian and Speer as well as a bunch of our other favorites.

Check here.

http://outdoorwriters.atk.com/

bbuddtec
June 14, 2012, 10:30 PM
Thanks Clark, absolutely dry powder there, lol.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 14, 2012, 10:36 PM
I always confirm the testing of recipes between at least several sources whenever possible. Between about ten old and new manuals I have plus online information in most instances, I can figure out good test low (start) and highest (stop) loads.

Occasionally, a load that I deemed on the "hot" side and was proceeding with caution, using a chrony, keeping my rows of five of the same test loads in order in my well-marked boxes, I have found that the HOTTEST load is really more like the STARTING LOAD! Only AFTER I see signs that the load is in fact NOT HOT, between slow bullet speeds compared, say, to factory of the same (or close-approximate) pill, will I then proceed with caution to up the load to find the most accurate (tightest groups) load, many times not nearly as fast as some factory loads. I figure accuracy beats wild and inaccurate loads, as shot placement is typically what I am after no matter whether it is a rifle or a pistol I am shooting.

This is not to say that I do not have any real hot loads, I do, however they fall most times in line with exact or similar factory loads or published data. Yes, on some loads, the primers are flat, however the case always comes right out, no jamming of expanded cases, and in most cases no extractor marks (or very little of them).

I have an old Lee Manual, and to my recollection, those loads seem to be typically on the mildish-side.

dragon813gt
June 15, 2012, 12:03 AM
If Hornady is telling me their XTP will go at 850fps with 6.6 grains of Unique, then Lee is telling me I will get the same velocity with 9.0 grains, I'm going to start at Hornadys specs and call the Lee data too generic.

You have to use Hornady's load data for the XTPs. They are not a standard JHP and the load data is always different. As others have said. Use the data for the bullet brand you are using. If none exists pick one close, start low and work your way up.

And yes, Lee's data is very generic. And in most cases somewhat conservative. Their manual has a lot of variety and is good for the oddball cartridges. I tend to use the bullet and powder manufacturer's data. If they don't match I pick a happy medium and work up.




Brought to you by TapaTalk.

Tux
June 15, 2012, 02:25 PM
You have to use Hornady's load data for the XTPs. They are not a standard JHP and the load data is always different. As others have said. Use the data for the bullet brand you are using. If none exists pick one close, start low and work your way up.

And yes, Lee's data is very generic. And in most cases somewhat conservative. Their manual has a lot of variety and is good for the oddball cartridges. I tend to use the bullet and powder manufacturer's data. If they don't match I pick a happy medium and work up.




Brought to you by TapaTalk.
Hence the sentence "I'm going to start at Hornadys specs"

Legion489
June 15, 2012, 05:19 PM
Lee uses Lyman load data with "adjustments" to fit the scoops and the disk measure. They state this in the book.

The differences between manuals is due to various reasons, with better testing equipment, they have a better idea what is going on. With every fool and idiot attacking their betters and lieing at the drop of a hat to make themselves look better, the manual writers need some lee way between what they list as the max and what some nutter will load up because his buddy said HIS gun didn't blow up, so why add another 10% and see what happens?

The various bullets are harder, softer, longer, shorter, etc. for every bullet and make, so what is safe with XYZ brand of 180 .40 S&W is not safe with EFG brand of 180 .40 bullets. Pick a bullet and use their load data.

oneounceload
June 15, 2012, 05:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tux View Post
If you look at Alliant's online resource, all they practically use is Speer bullets. I know their print data is different, but online it sure seems Speer is their "favorite".
It is not surprising that Alliant concentrates on data with Speer bullets. ATK owns both Allian and Speer as well as a bunch of our other favorites.


Yep, all in the family

gamestalker
June 15, 2012, 09:19 PM
Everything they said, plus the fact that the 9mm is a high pressure cartridge that is extremely sensitive to OAL. Pressures can double in the 9mm if internal case capacity varies from specific bullet manufacturers tested OAL's. This can happen when using data for a different bullet than specified in a specific application. This cartridge is one that I'm cautious with in this manner. An example is, if I'm using an XTP HP, I won't load it using data for a different JHP. I also don't decrease the OAL shorter than was tested using that specific bullet. Speer #10 speaks of pressures going from 28,000 cup to 62,000 cup when decreasing the OAL by .030". So mixing and matching bullets to load data not intended for that bullet, could produce a simular OAL effect in my opinion.

GS

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