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Old April 7, 2014, 06:02 PM   #1
domo
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Hornady vs Lee loading data

While researching recipe for my 9mm, Hdy 124gr, XTP bullets I found a huge variance in Blue Dot and Unique powder charges between Hornday 8th Ed and Lee 2nd Ed.

Unique - Hornady states - 4.0 - 5.0 while Lee states 5.1 - 5.8.
Blue Dot - Hornady states - 4.8 - 6.6 while Lee states 7.0 - 7.9.

How can two sources be so different for the exact same bullet, powder and primer?

I'm beginning to wonder why I wanted to start metallic reloading after trying to figure out how to interpret these recipes.

Thanks for any help.
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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Hornady's load data is edited by a bunch of scared old women and their attorneys. They are notorious for "conservative" data. How old is Lee 2nd Edition? If it's from within the last 20 years, no issue. If it's antique, there may have been powder formulation changes (though surely not in BD and Unique) to partially account for the differences.
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:21 PM   #3
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Lee data is not their own. It is copied from the Powder distributors/manufactures repackaged and sold.

Alliant has the same data as Lee(go figure). It is with their Gold Dot HP with an OAL 1.12 compared to Hornady's 1.060. That .060 may have a lot to do with it, so might the Gold Dot Bullet itself.

If you want up-to-date data from the powder distributors/manufacturers, put the Lee manual in moth balls and use their web sites.
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPRNY View Post
Hornady's load data is edited by a bunch of scared old women and their attorneys. They are notorious for "conservative" data. How old is Lee 2nd Edition? If it's from within the last 20 years, no issue. If it's antique, there may have been powder formulation changes (though surely not in BD and Unique) to partially account for the differences.
The Lee manual says copyright 2003, revised 2011 and reprinted 2012.

Last edited by domo; April 7, 2014 at 06:22 PM. Reason: spellcheck
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:26 PM   #5
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THE Lee manual would be my last choice for data, as they do no testing themselves, and only reprint data from other manuals. Another thing to consider is the firearm or test bed that different manuals use to develop their data.

I personally use the powder manufacturer's/distributors websites for my data and cross check to the print manuals to verify.

If you insist on using printed manual data, I would say Hornady's manual is a better choice. At least they test most of their loads.


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Old April 7, 2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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As others have noted, Hornady's data is notoriously conservative. If you're looking for "permission" for a light load, Hornady is the place to go. If you're looking for permission to load hot, Speer is usually pretty reliable!
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve4102 View Post
Lee data is not their own. It is copied from the Powder distributors/manufactures repackaged and sold.

Alliant has the same data as Lee(go figure). It is with their Gold Dot HP with an OAL 1.12 compared to Hornady's 1.060. That .060 may have a lot to do with it, so might the Gold Dot Bullet itself.

If you want up-to-date data from the powder distributors/manufacturers, put the Lee manual in moth balls and use their web sites.
OAL is another area that I have to address. One manual seems to deal in minimums and the other in maximums. How do I determine where to start? On the powder website issue - I have checked the Alliant website (same for both Unique and Blue Dot) but all of their test data points to Speer bullets and CCI primers. I'm using Hdy XTP bullets and Winchester primers...how/where do I find comparisons for bullets and primers or are XTP's close enough to Speer GDHP and CCI 500 close enough to Winchester WSP to not worry...too much?
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Old April 7, 2014, 06:59 PM   #8
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GDHP's and XTP's are not very closely related in construction, other than weight.

To avoid some serious bore stickiness, I'd use GD data for GD bullets- as speer attests in their manual.

For the XTP data, its hard to beat the manufacturer of the bullet for the most recent loading data- the actual reason most of its conservative is that they don't want to have the vast majority of their published handloading data beat their FULL THROTTLE loaded ammo campaigns' velocity numbers.

For the most part, if you are using a jacketed bullet of XX valiber and XX weight, the data is the same. Unless you are using Magnum primers at absolutely full loads, or pee-wee loads at the absolute lowest of the Hornady tables, you are unlikely to notice a significant difference in operating function from brand X to brand Z
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Old April 7, 2014, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by blarby View Post
GDHP's and XTP's are not very closely related in construction, other than weight.

To avoid some serious bore stickiness, I'd use GD data for GD bullets- as speer attests in their manual.

For the XTP data, its hard to beat the manufacturer of the bullet for the most recent loading data- the actual reason most of its conservative is that they don't want to have the vast majority of their published handloading data beat their FULL THROTTLE loaded ammo campaigns' velocity numbers.

For the most part, if you are using a jacketed bullet of XX valiber and XX weight, the data is the same. Unless you are using Magnum primers at absolutely full loads, or pee-wee loads at the absolute lowest of the Hornady tables, you are unlikely to notice a significant difference in operating function from brand X to brand Z
Thank you. I picked up on the powder drop differences right away when standard vs magnum primers were involved but when the same primers were being referenced I was stumped. While components were/are in short supply I picked up some Hornady and Nosler bullets but did not find any Speer at the time so I do not know the difference in bullet makeup for Speer. I should probably look again and pick up a box for comparison loads. The snow will be melted soon so I will be able to take the chrono down to the range and check out some of these new loads...as soon as I determine where to start.
Thanks again.
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Old April 7, 2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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When ever possible, I use the data specific to the bullet manufacturer, and then work up in reasonable increments until I've either attained favorable results, or reached maximum.

If I can't locate data specific to the bullet, then I will use multiple published data sources, and then calculate an average of the compiled data. The easiest way to do this is as follows:
Hornady - Blue Dot - 4.8 - 6.6 grs.
Sierra - Blue Dot - 6.2 - 7.6 grs.
Speer - Blue Dot - 7.1 - 7.9 grs.
Alliant - Blue Dot - 7.4 - 8.2 grs. Alliant doesn't publish the start charge, so the start charge is attained by decreasing the published max charge by 10%.

So by adding all the start charges together = 25.5 devided by the number of sources 4 = an average start charge of 6.375 grs.. Round up or down to get a start charge of 6.3 - 6.4 grs..

Using the same formula, an average max charge would be 7.575 or 7.5 - 7.6 grs. average.

You now have an average table of 6.3 - 7.6 grs. Or you can start with the extreme variable of Hornady's 4.8 as your start charge, and then use Alliant's charge of 8.2 as your max..

GS
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Old April 7, 2014, 07:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gamestalker View Post
When ever possible, I use the data specific to the bullet manufacturer, and then work up in reasonable increments until I've either attained favorable results, or reached maximum.

If I can't locate data specific to the bullet, then I will use multiple published data sources, and then calculate an average of the compiled data. The easiest way to do this is as follows:
Hornady - Blue Dot - 4.8 - 6.6 grs.
Sierra - Blue Dot - 6.2 - 7.6 grs.
Speer - Blue Dot - 7.1 - 7.9 grs.
Alliant - Blue Dot - 7.4 - 8.2 grs. Alliant doesn't publish the start charge, so the start charge is attained by decreasing the published max charge by 10%.

So by adding all the start charges together = 25.5 devided by the number of sources 4 = an average start charge of 6.375 grs.. Round up or down to get a start charge of 6.3 - 6.4 grs..

Using the same formula, an average max charge would be 7.575 or 7.5 - 7.6 grs. average.

You now have an average table of 6.3 - 7.6 grs. Or you can start with the extreme variable of Hornady's 4.8 as your start charge, and then use Alliant's charge of 8.2 as your max..

GS
Thanks a lot. I think from this and the other great responses I received I now have enough to at least get started. I can make up a few rounds from a couple different recipes and run them across the chrono and compare to some factory ammo I have.
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Old April 7, 2014, 09:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domo
OAL is another area that I have to address. One manual seems to deal in minimums and the other in maximums. How do I determine where to start?
You Start here!

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678
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Old April 8, 2014, 07:17 PM   #13
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When determining my oal for my barrel, I will use the longest oal that will reliably function through that firearm. Most of the time, that oal will be longer than a published oal, so pressures become less of a concern, and as well. easier to manage.

And oal and pressures are a very real concern, especially when working with a high pressure cartridge such as 9mm. One of the things I look at is the oal that the bullet / powder manufacturer used in development. If my oal should happen to be more than .010" shorter than their development reflects, which has been rare if ever, I would keep an eye on that, and then perform my powder work up in small enough increments to prevent a sudden spike in pressure.

GS
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Old April 10, 2014, 02:38 AM   #14
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I'm pretty new at this, but when in doubt I start low and work my way up.
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Old April 10, 2014, 03:32 PM   #15
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I stopped using Hornady's load data years ago. My belief is that it is a family business and the wives and girlfriends develope the load data. I'd have a different attitude if there were more loads that were hotter than other sources but there aren't. If you compare Hornady's data to others you'll see that most of it is lower by a good amount.

They make good bullets but not load manuals.
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Old April 10, 2014, 07:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
They make good bullets but not load manuals.
Matter of opinion.

One of the only manuals out there where they test in real firearms- not pressure barrels, and they give you the firearms they did it all in.

Thats handy to know.

One of many on the shelf, having more than one never hurt anyone.
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Old April 11, 2014, 09:18 AM   #17
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domo, I would suggest owning both the Lee manual and the Hornady 9th edition. If Hornady is reputed to be conservative in loads, just pay more attention to the velocity and work toward the high side. I always start in the middle with 6-12 test rounds.

One advantage of Hornady, like Lyman, is that they indicate which load(s) gave them the best real test accuracy.

The best manual for lead is Lyman and the Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook (get both).

I have Speer but have not learned to use it much. Hornady is my mainstay for their XTP and FTX bullets. Lee and Lyamn are good sources for lead loads.

I find myself often near the top end of load ranges, since I like some snap in my shooting and expect a good burn with little mess left; .38 Special through .44 Magnum and heavy .45 Colt in revolvers, and 9mm through .45 ACP in the semi-autos. I don't hesitate to switch to magnum primers or load hot, if attempting to improve the burn on some of these powders that tend to be "dirty".
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Old April 12, 2014, 01:44 AM   #18
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I happen to like and trust Hornady data very much, with my life. I've never really been disappointed with their data.

GS
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