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Bullet Substitution

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KUB, Oct 25, 2010.

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  1. KUB

    KUB Member

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    I am new to reloading and have a question about substituting bullets in loading recipes. I have a few loading manuals and but none of them contain the combination of powder and bullet that I am interested in. Can I substitute a bullet of similar construction with the same weight and diameter and expect close to the same velocities and pressures or do I need to find loading data for the exact bullet powder combination. For example I have loading data and components for 180 gr. soft point with H4831 powder but would to try an Accubond instead of the soft point.

    Thanks
     
  2. Visionz45

    Visionz45 Member

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    What chambering? When I tried H4831sc and RL-22 with 180 Accubonds in my .30-06 I started low at 55.0 grs for both and worked up to 62.0 grs both times. The book data called for regular soft point spitzers. Move forward at your own risk.
     
  3. KUB

    KUB Member

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    300 Win Mag
     
  4. Visionz45

    Visionz45 Member

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    Well, needless to say your 180's will be moving much faster than mine. :)
     
  5. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    It's the bullet weight that is important, not the bullet brand. I'm talking lead/copper jacket here, not lead-free stuff. Reduce the load 5% or use start loads.
    What you don't do is take an established max load, and swap bullets to another brand.
    I think most have the common sense to avoid a potential situation like that.

    Welcome to THR, KUB.


    NCsmitty
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  6. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    KUB -
    Welcome !

    Smitty gave you great advice. As long as you're swapping like-construction for like-construction, it's the bullet's weight that counts.

    If you are simply addicted to a single maker's bullets, say Hornady, then you might want to buy their reloading manual, since they feature their own bullets. Some hunting bullets are special weights or configurations, and the manufacturer would have the best info.
     
  7. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

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    I have done it may times. I use the same bullet weiht and powder. I just start at the starting load reccomendation and work up slowly. I was told this was okay by a powder tech advisor. Never had a problem. Anyway, manuals are just reccomendations anyway. Always start at the starting load and work up. Their testing methods are never the same as yours (i.e. chamber, powder lot #. ect.).
     
  8. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    You can substitute bullets with the same weight but work the load up anytime you change any of the components brand or manufacture or start a new load or want the most accurate load for a new rifle. If you don't have data for a specific weight you can use the next heavier bullet's data, the closer the weights are the better the match.

    SOP for start loads in every loading manual published in the last 50 years is a 10% reduction from the maximum load, not 5% or any other number less or greater except for a few exceptions when using volume sensitive powders and that will be indicated in the data. Round the second decimal up or down, doesn't make enough difference as its a hundredth grain is a very small amount. Some manuals have done the math for you, others require you to calculate it on your own. If only one load is listed then it is the maximum load and needs to be reduce for the start load.
     
  9. KUB

    KUB Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and the good info. I will work up from starting loads when changing components. I’m looking forward to a new shooting related hobby. It looks like it will be one that could span a life time with all of the different possible combinations of component and changing technology to experiment with.
     
  10. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Kub -
    You're certainly welcome for the help. Shoot, have fun, be safe. As you reload other questions will arise. Don't be afraid to ask for help. We'd rather have you safe than sorry.
     
  11. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    Smitty has the correct answer.
     
  12. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    weight and bullet material matter, not brand or style. lead and jacketed data is not the same even is the weight is the same.

    if you can't find a bullet weight for your powder, move to the next weight up and use that starting load. for example, if you find a table with you powder and a 175 grain bullet and a 190 grain bullet, but all you have is a 180 grn bullet. use the 190 data.

    personally I never use max loads. they just burn up a barrel faster and 150 fps isn't worth it to me.
     
  13. MinnMooney

    MinnMooney Member

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    Good advice so far ... but -

    As important as bullet weight is bullet makeup.
    A thicker copper jacketed bullet will create more pressure than a thin copper jacketed bullet than an all-lead bullet. Stay with the same type of bullet that the recipe calls for.......... and start 5% low and watch for the normal pressure signs.
     
  14. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Welcome to The High Road.

    Bullet weight is VERY important but don't forget to take into account the amount of bearing length of one bullet to another, also very important.

    Main thing is to reduce powder charge and work back up.

    Hope this helps
    jcwit
     
  15. dnemeth51

    dnemeth51 Member

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    So substituting a 240gn JHP Nosler with a 240gn JSP Nosler shouldn’t be an issue in a 44 mag S&M 629 or Win model 94 if I follow the starting loads for both and work up?
     
  16. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    No, it shouldn't be and issue as long as you work up these loads for each gun and keep them seperated and marked appropriately, it you use a higher pressure load for the rifle. I think you already know that though.

    I would work it up for the pistol if I were doing this, so I could use it in either one at the same time for hunting applications since rifle loads are usually quite a bit hotter. I couldn't get them mixed up that way and have me an accident.

    But I don't know how you are using these so, just something to keep in mind.
     
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