Do Hot Loads Perform Differently In Different Guns


June 14, 2012, 04:22 PM
Loaded up 50 rounds of 22-250 yesterday, 10 each with 38, 38.5, 39, 39.5 and 40 grs. of H380. According to the label on the can, Hodgdon's recommended load for a 55 gr. Hornady SP is 41 grs. I was using 55 gr. Hornady V-Max bullets for my test loads for an older Remington 788. Loads using 38 to 39 were stout, but no real signs of pressure. When trying 39.5 grs, I could barely open the bolt and don't want to use excessive force. I tried to disassemble these loads but the bullets wouldn't budge with the RCBS impact bullet puller. I am curious if these loads might work okay in my Remington 700 or should I get one of the collet type pullers to remove the bullets? Has anyone else tried this load and found it to be hot? Base on this, would you change bullets or try another powder?

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June 14, 2012, 05:07 PM
Are you suggesting that guns may vary; that everthing ever produced for a given chamber may not be exact duplicates of each other no matter the brand or series or year of manufactor? Well... maybe so. ?? ;)

June 14, 2012, 05:30 PM
What I was trying to ask and apparently didn't do a very good job from the response was if Hodgdon claims that 41 grs was the max for this weight bullet would these rounds that are too hot for the 788 be okay to shoot in another gun with longer or shorter barrel?

June 14, 2012, 05:52 PM
Maybe but work that one up also.

Did you use a book COL or did you seat just off the lande?

June 14, 2012, 06:06 PM
I seated them at .030 off the lands. They fit the 700 without hitting the lands so I will give the rest a try in the 700. I still have at least 5 of each of the others loaded so I'll start with the lower weights. I do know already that 38 grs of H380 with the 55 gr. V-Max is what I came up with for the preferred load for this 700. Thanks for your help!

June 14, 2012, 07:19 PM
You may even seat deeper to reduce the pressure.

June 14, 2012, 07:57 PM
okay to shoot in another gun with longer or shorter barrel? Barrel length has absolutely nothing at all to do with it.

Bore tightness, bore smoothness, dia of the hole, and chamber tightness or looseness all play into pressure differances between two different, or even identical rifles.

Barrel length doesn't, as all the powder burns in the chamber and first few inches of the barrel.


June 14, 2012, 08:34 PM
No , do not shoot 1 rifles max load in another !! & data is meant as guide lines only !!

Ya know the little (AGREE) button ya click on well that basically clears the company from any liabilitys to alot of extent.

For example I have a Remington 700 that loves 47grs. of IMR4064 & the Remington 150gr. corelokts makes 2750 fps (mind you this is 1 gr. under starting load) but in my Savage 110 it soots the heck out of the cases so I worked up to max (can`t quite remember now) but barely made 2700fps .

This is the differences rcmodel spoke of !

June 15, 2012, 01:26 AM
Thanks for the advice. I could tell by the marks on the case head and the difficulty I had in opening the bolt that 39 grs was the max safe load for this rifle. Didn't get a good group with any of the loads I tested so I'll look at different bullets and possibly a different powder. BTW, I have placed an order for one of the RCBS bullet pullers with a selection of collets so I can recoup the components.

June 15, 2012, 06:28 AM
Cancel and order the Hornady puller - quicker, easier and doesn't scar the bullets as much.

June 15, 2012, 07:12 AM
I generally load 3 cartridges at a time and try them for grouping, velocity, and pressure signs. This alleviates the need to pull bullets later. Of course I have range of my back porch, which is very handy.

As was mentioned above, don't by any means shoot hot rounds through another rifle without working up.

I guess we all live and learn. Trying to use shortcuts in reloading very rarely is worth it

June 15, 2012, 02:12 PM
Every firearm is different, will perform differently, and should have loads worked up for each individually. I don't worry with my hand gun loads, but high pwered rifle cartridges operate at much higher pressures and can be head space sensitive. I observed simular pressure variations years ago when I was still new to the hobby and running the same reloads through multiple actions. This is one of the primary reasons why I don't load for friends that won't let me use their firearm to develope the loads.

Some specifics that will produce varied results, whether your FL or neck sizing brass for a specific firearm is head space and OAL. I suppose one could find a middle of the road FL sizing process that will function. But unless that brass is new, you can expect to encounter some sort of performnce issue, accuracy, brass life, and higher pressures included.

But to safely find a multi firearm load that is both safe and semi acurate, rule number one needs to be practiced, always work up from the low end of the published data.


June 15, 2012, 02:46 PM
Any component change can have a dramatic effect on pressure, especially with an intense cartridge like the .22-250.

Bullet jacket composition and thickness raises or lowers pressure. Even two different lots of outwardly identical bullets can often have different limits. What you've discovered is the limit in your rifle with that lot of bullets and that lot of powder and that lot of primers and that lot of brass. Nothing more.

Most rifles deliver their best accuracy at some point close to, but below maximum pressure and velocity. Go with the load that gives the best accuracy. 50-100 fps is meaningless if you can't hit what you shoot at.

June 15, 2012, 02:54 PM
Is anyone even reading the question?

June 15, 2012, 08:02 PM
Thanks Kingmt, my bad! I misinterpreted the OP's question thinking he was experiencing higher pressures in a different rifle using the same load.

But to your question Parker51, it appears you found the maximum powder charge using a specific bullet and OAL for that 788. It may produce higher or lower pressures in the 700 action. Personally, I would think about sticking with the 38.0 gr. charge just to eliminate unpredictable spikes resulting from a number of possible variables that could change things. And of course, always start over if you change bullet type / brand, primer, OAL, or the originally action it was tested in.


June 15, 2012, 11:18 PM
AND, watch the bolt handle on that 788, it'll be coming off in your hand if you try to dislodge it too hard! Sounds like you've definitely reached the top end! In my Hornady book,seventh edition, 39.2 gr. of H380 is 3500fps, then it jumps to 40.6, but is indicted this is a max load. So if you're loading 39.5 gr. of H380, I'd say you're right at the top of the safe loading info! Your rifle.

June 16, 2012, 12:21 AM
Hot loads will eventually cause flinchitis in any gun and discourage the hell out of you... I don't seem to care about loading hot these days...I shoot what I call warm loads from time to time now with consistant accuracy...

June 16, 2012, 11:32 AM
"What I was trying to ask and apparently didn't do a very good job from the response was if Hodgdon claims that 41 grs was the max for this weight bullet would these rounds that are too hot for the 788 be okay to shoot in another gun with longer or shorter barrel?"

I knew what you meant, what I was trying to humorously say is few guns are the same so few will like the same loads and none of us can honestly predict that. Individual differences in rifles include the mistaken idea that 'most guns' get better accuracy below max pressures ... that can be true, but not IF the correct burn rate powder is being used. And barrel lenght is irrelivant to the max charge OR powder type.

Inertia bullet pullers will remove any bullet if used correctly. It doesn't require any arm force at all, just high hammer velocity from a quick flick of the wrist, it's the fast impact that does the work.

I don't think you will ever load a .22-250 hot enough to induce much flinching.

June 16, 2012, 02:20 PM
Again, thanks for the help. I've decided to give Varget a try and then move on to a different type of bullet if this doesn't help. The grouping with the H380 wasn't terrible, just not what I know this rifle can do. I have shot a 1/2" group with Remington commercial ammo that was probably as old as this rifle so I'm hoping to come up with something similar in a reload. I just don't want to end up wearing out the barrel trying to develop a load. :rolleyes:

June 17, 2012, 01:27 AM
I have had bullets that I couldn't pull.

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