Is online load data worthless?


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OH_Spartan
March 31, 2013, 02:20 PM
With component shortages I had to purchase some new powders that I hadn't tried before. This took me to Alliant and hodgons website to look for new recipes. I tried to cycle them thru my semi and had 8 of 10 fte. One of the two that ejected failed to feed. My dad pulled his loading book from the 80's and their starting loads were hotter than the max loads on the website. I tried some of the loads from the manual and only had one fte-ftf out of 50 rounds fired. That fte was on the lightest recipie I tried.

Have you guys experienced similar? Is online data so lawyered-up that it is worthless?

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KansasSasquatch
March 31, 2013, 02:30 PM
I think it's going to depend a lot on what components you're using. I've found some pretty good pistol loads going by powder manufacturer's websites. The few rifle calibers I reload for, the online data is pretty inline with Lyman 49th and Lee 2nd manuals. Also, Alliant's online data is pretty limited. They don't list too many bullet weight/powder combos for any pistol calibers. Let's say you were loading .45acp w/ 230gr fmj RN and Unique. If Alliant's website only showed Unique data for 230gr LRN, that charge is going to be too low for an FMJ bullet. It comes back to what combination of components you're using.

ranger335v
March 31, 2013, 02:39 PM
"Is online load data worthless? "

Sure. All those companies post that data just to fake people out so reloaders wiil quit and buy factory ammo instead . ??

bds
March 31, 2013, 02:45 PM
I had to purchase some new powders that I hadn't tried before. This took me to Alliant and hodgons website to look for new recipes. I tried to cycle them thru my semi and had 8 of 10 fte. One of the two that ejected failed to feed.
Keep in mind that average maximum chamber pressure testings for published load data were done on test barrel fixtures and not on actual pistols. I believe the technicians listed start charges when the chamber pressures start to get consistent to produce more consistent shot groups.

Same goes for OAL - using published OAL won't ensure the rounds will reliably feed/chamber in your pistols/barrels. It is for these reasons why reloaders must conduct their own testing with their pistols/barrels to determine the max/working OAL first then conduct full powder workup from start charges to determine the charges that will start to reliably cycle the slides (especially stiffer recoil springs of compacts/subcompacts and dual-recoil spring assemblies) and produce smallest shot groups.

Especially for lighter weight 9mm 115 gr FMJ bullets, I need to use high-to-near max charges to reliably cycle the slides of Glock compacts/subcompacts with new factory recoil spring assemblies. With heavier 124/125 gr 9mm bullets, I can use mid-to-high range load data to reliably cycle the slides.

YMMV

My dad pulled his loading book from the 80's and their starting loads were hotter than the max loads on the website. I tried some of the loads from the manual and only had one fte-ftf out of 50 rounds fired. That fte was on the lightest recipie I tried.

Have you guys experienced similar? Is online data so lawyered-up that it is worthless?
Pressure testing methods have improved over the decades and published load data reflect those results. I tend to use the latest published load data from powder manufacturers first then reference Lyman #49 and older published load data. ;)

stiffdogg06
March 31, 2013, 03:04 PM
I wish it was more consistent between one book to the other. My Richard Lee book may say 14 grains, but then the powder can might say 13 grains or something....

Starting grains in one of my pistol loads in one book was the max load in another book...

bds
March 31, 2013, 03:18 PM
There are many variables used for testing chamber pressure maximums: Barrel groove diameter, barrel length, case, primer, bullet type/length, OAL/seating depth, etc.

So depending on the variables used, chamber pressures may vary for the same amount of powder charges used and thus vary the published load data.

For some time, I wondered why Lyman #49 load data for 40S&W was much higher than powder manufacturers' published load data. Then I realized Lyman technicians used .401" groove diameter test barrel instead of more typical .400". If your barrel's groove diameter is .401", I would go ahead and use Lyman #49 load data. If it is .400", I would go with lower published load data. ;)

Kachok
March 31, 2013, 03:28 PM
Load data is always contradicting from company to company being posted online makes no difference. My starting load of Varget in 150gr 308 according to Nosler #6 is pushing the limits according to Hornady #9, too many variables to make uniform data. Ran across a load on Hodgdon's site that shot fine in my rifle but quickload later said it was 70,000+psi. Seen low mid ranged loads make scary excessive pressure with some, and others worked up to well over published max load data without a hint of pressure, every firearm is different work up loads accordingly.

mtrmn
March 31, 2013, 03:29 PM
I've ALWAYS had to work my own loads using published data as just a starting point. Once you learn to recognize pressure signs and learn NOT to chase the highest velocities you'll do good. I shoot for the tightest groups and then sight in for that load as long as pressure signs are OK.

buck460XVR
March 31, 2013, 03:36 PM
While very light charges may not cycle a firearm, most FTF/FTE can be contributed to improper OAL, improper crimp and mag/extractor problems. This is where one needs to look first as opposed to blaming charge rates in published recipes.

returningfire
March 31, 2013, 03:36 PM
I have not ever had any problems with the powder makers recipes.

345 DeSoto
March 31, 2013, 03:44 PM
I just plain don't have the money to buy/test various powders/loads....so I ask HERE....and it WORKS.

Lagarto
March 31, 2013, 03:54 PM
If you send an email to Alliant's technical service man he will answer your questions about a specific powder and bullet weight. Their reply time is usually less than 48 hours.

Clark
March 31, 2013, 04:03 PM
You have heard that the stork brings babies?
Here is where the published load data comes from:

1) Speer
a) In 1955 Vernon Speer [brilliant man] was using the science of reading the brass.
b) In 1980 there was a committee in the executive conference room that comprised; An attorney, an accountant, and someone who reloaded once and read the last manual.
c) Speer owned by Blount owned by ATK buys it's load data from the same subcontractor that built and maintains the Speer web site.
http://www.speer-bullets.com/products/reloading_manual/default.aspx

2) Hodgdon
a) In 1952 Bruce Hodgdon [The alpha male in the room] got some barrels of surplus powder on the back of his truck and started reselling it. He shot some in his rifle and it worked. He Put his recipes in a 5 page flyer and offered 4895 at $1.50/lb @ 1lb and $0.66/lb @150 lb.
b) Years went by with the load book getting fatter and they never did a do over, they just added to the recipes.
They added Winchester and IMR data, and just keep adding.

3) Alliant
Matthew Laflin supplied powder the American revolutionary war. Other names since; Laflin and Rand, Dupont, Hercules, Alliant, ATK. Don't they now own Speer and CCI?
Anyway, here is a pic of a page in their 1896 reloader's guide.
It is encrypted, so only smart people could reload.
I am glad they had Unique smokeless [and water proof] powder in time for the 1911 pistol.

gamestalker
March 31, 2013, 07:11 PM
I haven't had any issues with online data, or any other data for that matter. It's all a part of load development. Building a load that does what you need it to do can take a few different variations of powder charge, and OAL, as well as bullets.

GS

kingmt
March 31, 2013, 08:21 PM
Starting load is where they started & max is the most they used.

I keep hearing about spacial test barrels & chambers but as I was watching How It's Made CCI was using a regular gun. Hornady & Hodgon have both told me they just use a everyday rifle. Ranges however are controlled for some.

Steve C
March 31, 2013, 08:22 PM
On line data does for the most part follow published data by the bullet manufacturers. Alliant data is identical to the current Speer Data using their powders. In some cases they may be a bit lower than a particular book but the loads are adequate to function a non altered firearm.

If you had FTE due to a low powered round and you used at least a start load with appropriate powder, the fault will be with one of several things, but not the data. My first guess would be an even lower charge throw than the data indicates.

First, double check to make sure you are using the right data for the bullet weight and powder you are using. Check the powder dharge you are throwing. If you are using Lee powder inserts or dippers and rely on the chart its likely the powder charge is lower than what is claimed. Use a scale to make sure. If you are using a scale, esp. an electronic scale, check its functioning.

Make sure you are using an appropriate powder. Fast burning powders sometimes will not reliably function light weight polymer handguns like Glocks with some weights of bullets. Too slow a powder can be just as big a problem. You wouldn't try to load 9mm with 2400, 296 or H110 for example.

If your gun is not original spec. then remove all aftermarket additions like lights, recoil buffers, springs etc. and replace with the original equipment where applicable.

cfullgraf
March 31, 2013, 08:48 PM
I keep hearing about spacial test barrels & chambers but as I was watching How It's Made CCI was using a regular gun. Hornady & Hodgon have both told me they just use a everyday rifle. Ranges however are controlled for some.

Many of the hard back manuals include the firearm used for the testing with the data. I know Hornady and Sierra do. I remember my first Speer manual, circa 1980, did but I have not paid attention to the more recent ones that I have (I do not reference the Speer manual very often).

Some of the Speer data was done in a test rig not a conventional firearm.

Hondo 60
March 31, 2013, 08:52 PM
Depends where online!

If it's from a powder mfg, then it's worth it's weight in gold.
If it's from Joe's hunting shack site, well then ah, not so much

Magnum Shooter
March 31, 2013, 09:21 PM
If it's from a powder mfg, then it's worth it's weight in gold.

BUT if itís online it has no weight. 0 ounces times $1690/oz = $0

I find online data, especially Alliant, to be very limited in both powder choice and bullet type.

Clark
March 31, 2013, 09:29 PM
Data is massless.
Hmm.

243winxb
March 31, 2013, 09:58 PM
Sierra seems to think load data for the 223, needs to be different, between bolt & auto. http://www.accurateshooter.com/cartridge-guides/223rem/ But i think it is old data. :scrutiny:

Clark
March 31, 2013, 10:01 PM
I run 223 bolt guns at 75kpsi and AR15s at 55 kpsi.

If they had adjustable gas systems, like a FAL, I would run the ARs with more pressure. But the recoil spring just lets that bolt act like a hammer.

gamestalker
April 1, 2013, 09:02 AM
I thought about your post a bit more and wanted to add that, I use numerous published sources, including online manufacturer data as comparisons when I'm stepping into a new component for development. I'll look at my books and use that data, along with online manufacturer data, to decide where I want to start my development. The more reliable sources the better.

As for online manufacturer data being worthless, not at all. It's all SAAMI approved data, which is reliable, useful data. Order it from the manufacturer, and it's no longer online data.

GS

Clark
April 1, 2013, 10:09 AM
SAAMI does not approve data.
Drawings are registered with SAAMI by the designer.

oneounceload
April 1, 2013, 10:44 AM
If I am using new powder, then I go with the powder maker's currently published data. If I am using some of my 15-20 year old powder, then I use the manual I bought way back when for load data

ATLDave
April 1, 2013, 11:05 AM
"I believe the technicians listed start charges when the chamber pressures start to get consistent to produce more consistent shot groups. "

I would like to believe that to be the case, but it appears that, with rare exception, most manuals simply do Max-minus-10% for their starting load.

Steel Horse Rider
April 1, 2013, 12:28 PM
What caliber and what firearm are you speaking of? I would look further than the powder if I had those problems using both new and old load data. I am far from an expert reloader but I have not experienced fte or ftf in my handloads using modern guidelines in my semiautos which include a Bushmaster (old) .223, a couple of M-1 carbines, a couple of M-1 Garands, a Springfield M1A, a Springfield XD in .40 S&W, a Ruger and a Taurus in .45 ACP, and a Sig in .380 ACP using mostly Alliant or IMR powders and CCI primers. Maybe start at the weapon, then review loading procedures (including scale calibration), and then finished loaded round specs before throwing the powder under the bus. If everything else checks out then perhaps there is a pwder related problem.

Catpop
April 1, 2013, 12:45 PM
Thread "When Red Dot is not Red Dot. Similar finding.

RandyP
April 1, 2013, 01:53 PM
I trust the online powder manufacturer data first, then bullet maker, then published books.

Understand that some publications, like Lee and Loadbooks, simply compile test data from other sources, they do NO in-house testing.

Working up a load starting at minimum charge is what reloading is all about. Do not expect that just because it is published the data (often OAL data) will insure 100% reliable function in your specific pistol.

In the olden days pressure was tested with a copper crush washer in a test fixture. With the introduction of digital pressure transducers the testing done is much more accurate and in many cases the published info has been lowered from the old data for safety/legal reasons as a result.

Clark
April 1, 2013, 04:14 PM
RandyP
In the olden days pressure was tested with a copper crush washer in a test fixture. With the introduction of digital pressure transducers the testing done is much more accurate and in many cases the published info has been lowered from the old data for safety/legal reasons as a result.

In PeeWee's Big Adventure, he crashes his bike in front of a group, gets up and yells, "I meant to do that!"

blarby
April 1, 2013, 09:29 PM
I think DeSoto nailed this one.........


IS online data useless ?

Heck no. Its part of the equation.

Personally I love that Hodgdon posts their most up to date data on the web, and given that I use a lot of H series powders, I've never ran afoul starting their before I break out a book.

Now that I have several manuals to compare to- old and new, I've seen the improvements of testing equipment. I've also seen the increase in lawyers' fees go into the books in more ways than one...

OH_Spartan
April 1, 2013, 09:43 PM
In this case I'm loading 9 mm 115 grn lead round nose w hi-skor 700-x. Hodgons.com starts this at 3.3 grn max 3.7. Their 115 grnspeer gold dot says 3.9-4.2. My dads manual....don't remember which one....starts 115 grn lrn at 4.3 max 4.7. I tried 3.3 and had all the fte problems. I loaded 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5. All three fed great but 4.5 felt a little hot so I only shot 5 and pulled the other five. I like my plinkers to be as soft as they can be to provide a tight group.

For each load I used a lee powder measure and balance scale. I weighed 4 charges. Loaded ten rounds then weighed number 11 . The only thing I didn't do was weigh 10 charges at once to see if I get 10x my desired charge. When I was dialing in the powder measure I dumped three charges back into the hopper before testing its weight.

I don't have a caliper but keep a 1.1" and 1.25" factory round available to eyeball oal. The die was set up and not touched between recipes...even though this ordeal spanned a few days.

I don't know how to be more consistent. My length and taper may need adjusted but they are consistent.

beatledog7
April 1, 2013, 10:55 PM
All reloading data is useful in some way or another, whether as a starting point (if it's from a reputable on-line site of manual), as a second or third corroborating data point, or even as a definite "don't go there."

But it's all either very generic or very specific to a gun other than yours, so no matter the source you still have to work up and test, work up and test in your gun under your conditions.

A reloader learns to double and triple check everything and develops patience; otherwise, he eventually blows up a gun and maybe himself and others along with it.

GLOOB
April 1, 2013, 11:32 PM
Is online data watered down?

I don't think it's always the case. Check out Alliant's 40 SW load info. After cross-referencing against other sources of load info, including manuals and also informal "shared recipies" from forum users and the like, seems like the typical handloader is using well below Alliant's data for Unique. Like 20-30% lower.

I haven't even worked up to a 10% reduced Alliant START load for Unique, yet, and I've never had a failure to eject. Quite the opposite. I've had a couple of loads fail to EXTRACT in my 40SW G27, by using top end published data without workup using a slower powder. Pressures too high.

It's always good to try and cross reference multiple sources of data. You just never know.


Edit: looks like they've revised it... used to be higher! They have 7.2 listed, now. I'm pretty sure it said 8.0 last year.

4895
April 1, 2013, 11:59 PM
I think online data is a great resource. If you want to use a load manual with their specific test material, that is great too. I often find myself gathering all data I can on a particular load. Now that I have a chrony, I realize how important it is to work up the loads. One load may appear in the middle, but wear out your primer pockets in one shot. Another may be max, and shoot 150 fps faster. Like all of the material available, it is only a guide and we as handloaders cannot be complacent in our duties to work up a new load accordingly.

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