How do you pick your loads?


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DragonFire
July 20, 2004, 11:41 AM
I've worked up one load that's comparable to the .40 factory rounds I carry for CCW, and I've worked up a load for hunting with my .44mag. I'm working on a low-recoil high-accuracy 10mm load for use in IDPA.

All my other reloads are used almost exclusively at the range, or when doing IDPA and similar competitions.

I shoot 9mm .38 spl, .357, .40, and 10mm in both autos and revolvers.

What criteria should I use when working up these other loads?

My first thought was to just come up with middle-range loads with decent accuracy. But then I thought that since I occassionaly carry some of these other calibers for CCW, always with factory ammo, that these mild reloads would spoil me if I ever needed to shoot a factory round.

Should I work up a target load and "carry" load for each one? Would I work up one for each handgun I have in each calilber?

I know working up a load that makes each handgun shoot it's best is part of the fun of reloading, but having a dozen "recipes" and dozen different powders on hand just seems like an accident waiting to happen. I know I'll mix up a recipe somewhere.

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WhoKnowsWho
July 20, 2004, 01:21 PM
I have a whole range of loads, and I don't worry about mixing up the recipes because I check, double check, triple check before the first bullet goes over the first powder in the first brass.

Most of my stuff is plinking loads that function fine but are stingy with the powder as much as possible. If I want more factory like stuff then I will load some up.

You just need a good notebook to keep it all in order and pay attention and you will be fine.

Jim Watson
July 20, 2004, 03:45 PM
Better not get defeatist. If truly "I know I'll mix up a recipe somewhere." you should not be reloading at all.

EXTREME care is necessary in reloading, especially if you do more than one caliber, most especially if you are loading standard and magnum or rifle.

But you don't need a dozen different powders to serve the listed calibers. Three is probably enough. You don't need a specific load for every little application, and you sure don't need a specific load for each gun (Unless you are an extremely high ranked precision target shooter.)

I load .38 Special 148 gr HBWC and 158 gr RN or SWC; same powder, appropriate charges.
9mm to factory equivalent, can use same powder as .38.

.40 to just below factory equivalent, I'd pick a medium powder that could also be used in low end 10mm.

.357 to factory equivalent with a slow burning powder, if you want less power, shoot .38s.

That would about cover anything I would do in those calibers with three powders and a good chart of standard loads posted at the loading press.

lee n. field
July 20, 2004, 06:44 PM
What criteria should I use when working up these other loads?

Load up a magazines worth at .1 grain intervals through the published range. Shoot them, watching out for feeding problems and proper gun functioning, and seeing if there's a sweet spot for accuracy.

Clark
July 20, 2004, 11:06 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.


I own quite a few 9mms, 38 specials, 40 S&Ws, and one 10mm.

I don't own any 357 mags, at least they didn't come that way, but I ream my 38 specials out to 357 mag with a few twists or the wrist with $17 .380" straight fluted reamer from an industial supplier like J&L.

ANYWAY, I load to see how much power I can get with overloads.
The 9mm, 40sw, and 10mm get more powder until one of the following happens:
1) primer pierces. This is a definate threshold, .1 gr less and it does not happen.
2) primer falls out. A load the litters with gun jamming primers is no good.
3) feed ramp case bulge. This is a precursor to a case blow out, and we don't like those! If a case head blows, the extractor could go through the guy standing on your right, so be careful where you stand.
4) I can't fit any more powder in the case, even with double pre compression and loaded ammo resizing.


With 38 sp, I overload until one of the following happens:
1) The cases get sticky and hard to remove.
2) The cylinder splits and the top strap breaks. Not good for the gun owner, the gun, nearby walls, or especialy bystanders.
3) I can't fit any more powder in the case.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=236652


A CZ52 will split the chamber easier than any 38 special.
Do not overload CZ52s!
They are not like other semi auto pistols.
Then have a thin chamber bottom.

griz
July 21, 2004, 10:26 AM
Hey Clark,
What kind of velocities do you get from those 38 special loads? I wondered about that and assumed that the limit would be up around 357 speed, but I'm not as adventerous as you are. Is there a single recomended powder for +P++ 38 loads?
Thanks, Griz

Paladin7
July 21, 2004, 03:32 PM
Hey Clark, I didn't see you post an address where the good folks here can send the flowers to your funeral....

Clark
July 21, 2004, 11:56 PM
Griz,
C) Colt Police Positive 38 Special 4" barrel:
1) cheap reloads mixed brand brass 158 gr. JHP, 830 fps
2) 18 gr. LIL'GUN 158 gr. XTP 1.59", WSPM, 1173 fps
3) 23.5 gr. LIL'GUN 158 gr. XTP 1.59", WSPM, 1155 fps

D) M1903 [Husqvarna 1907 9mm Browning bushed to .380]
1) Winchester ammo 95 gr. 805 fps
2) WSP, 8.5 gr. Power Pistol, 158 gr. XTP, seated to 1.090", 1158, 1187 fps

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.

I am posting a warning, but anyone who knows how to fit 23.5 gr under a 158 gr in a 38 sp already knows allot about handloading.

Palidin7,
Reports of my demise are greatly exagerated.

griz
July 22, 2004, 08:42 AM
I appreciate the info Clark. That's about what I exspected from the 38. The 380 on the other hand, WHEW! I would have guessed there wasn't enough room in the case to get a 158 and that much powder.
Thanks again, Griz

Clark
July 23, 2004, 01:29 AM
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.

The 357 mag max load for the powder and bullet is 8 gr.

That Husky is a big heavy 380 with as much chamber support, chamber thickness, and slide mass as my Tokarev with 16 gr in 9x23.

Meanwhile the smaller, thinner chamber walled, and poor case support P-3AT 380 barely gets up to 9mm powder charges.

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