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How do you work up loads for bullets with no published data

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by spawndn72, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. spawndn72

    spawndn72 Member

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    For example, I bought Missouri bullets 255 grain 45 cal cowboy #1 bullets for 45 Colt.
    I can't find published data for that bullet, but I can find data for other 255 grain cast lead bullets so I generally start on the low side of the published loads and work up.

    Is that what everyone else does?
     
  2. whughett

    whughett Member

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    You’ve answered your own question. I use data for bullet weights by caliber.
     
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  3. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Look for lots and lots of data for bullets of the same weight and similar construction (ie lead for lead, jacketed for jacketed) using the powder I want to use. Data with both velocity, pressure and barrel length I have the most confidence in. If I am really working outside of published data I will take all my collected info and jump into Quickloads and use that to give me an extra level of comfort with my loads. Start low, chrono everything and keep refining my Quickloads data and work up to what I want performance wise.
     
  4. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    ….and similar bearing surface. If the bullet you're trying to develop a load for has a longer bearing surface than your published comparison, you may see higher pressure with equivalent charge weights.
     
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  5. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    Depends on the hardness of the bullet. We all usually all err on the side of caution and start low and work up. But where we start at depends on how hard the bullet is. Cowboy action bullets from Missouri bullets are 12 brinell hardness and their bullets for faster calibers are 18 brinell.

    That make a difference on where we start at, unless you like leading in your barrels.

    What purpose are you using these bullet for? Fast or slow?
    And what hardness are your bullets?

    Edit:
    I think I misread your post. Yes we start low and work up. You will find what your revolver likes for accuracy on the way.
     
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  6. spawndn72

    spawndn72 Member

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    Mine are 12 Brinell and I am using 7.0 grains of unique and getting 700fps from a 5 1/2” barrel and 975fps from an 18” barrel.

    I wasn’t really looking for specifics for this particular load, just using it as an example.

    Looks like most are doing what I am doing and just trying to find the closest thing to what I have and starting low and working up from there.

    I have just never seen a reloading manual address this. Most of them warn to use the exact components listed, but to me that is impractical.
     
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  7. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    You don't have to have published data for each and every bullet that is manufactured. If the bullets are the same weight than I look at how deeply both of them are seated in the case in the different published data's and then compare the load wt and go from there.
    Different bullet profiles will have different seating depths and the seating depth is what you have to watch. That is what dictate the pressure of the load.
    If seating depths are really close, the bullet hardness is close and the round will fit in your cylinder without tying it up from OAL then you can use similar data for the same kind of bullet design.
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Many of the .45 Cal 255 Gr lead bullets come from the same molds many commercial loaders use in the same machines. That bullet is no different.

    Most any .45 Colt 250/255 Gr lead data will be fine with that bullet. If they style of the bullet in the data seats less deep than the MB bullet, back off max a hair.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    If I had read this first, I could have moved on without posting. :)
     
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  10. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I think you have the right idea. Just start low, work your way up and be reluctant to go to published max for a different bullet.
     
  11. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I don't know if I've ever had reloading data for the exact bullet/powder/primer combination I was using. . . probably do, but never noticed. Sometimes I don't have any data in the caliber!

    Except for very large changes in bullet construction (ie solid vs jacket) variation in everything else (chamber, powder batch, bore, etc) will swamp the variation between similar bullets of the same weight.

    Find close data, work up.
     
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  12. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I'm glad you posted, it's nice to know when people agree with you.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I also agree. Not to worry, load them up and have some fun.
     
  14. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I use a lot of data that is close. Match weight of bullet and use the case listed for initial testing.
    In the case of rmr bullets I have contacted them for their results for accuracy loads, which they shared. If I was using an bullet I paid for I would contact that company for information first.
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    When things are much different and there is no data at all for that weight bullet I just use data for the next heaviest bullet of the same type. Lead for lead or jacketed for jacketed' JHP for JHP etc. Then I work up a decent shooting load within the charge weights while watching the velocity. And when all else fails ask the propellant manufacturer what they recommend. :thumbup:
     
  16. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    First, it is good to be cautious. No fault in asking.

    A wealth of information has already been posted concerning loading for specific branded bullets that do not have specific data available for them. Being cautious is the word of the day, but one can figure out a good starting load by perusing a variety of data

    This is one of the reason for keeping old reloading manuals. But keep in mind what Dirty Harry said, a "Man's got to know his limitations."

    For my 460 S&W Magnum revolver, I wanted a lighter load using the 460 case for general plinking. I search the internet and found some information from others that had done some light loads. I compared them with 45 Colt loads and 454 Casull loads and decided on a charge level of my powder of choice (Unique). I settled on a load that is a bit hotter than what would be prudent in a 45 Colt revolver but in a 460 S&W case in my 460 XVR revolver generates a 1000-1200 fps round that is pleasant to shoot in this "crew served"revolver.

    If you are new to reloading, approach this method with caution. You need to have some base information to draw from before advancing into the "unknown".

    Be careful.
     
  17. whughett

    whughett Member

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    A general rule of thumb. Heavier bullets, lighter powder charge, lighter bullets heavier powder charge.
    For the adventure minded or would be wildcatter there’s the Powley Computer for hand loaders. Originally a set of slide rules these days it’s a computer program.
     
  18. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Quickloads, if your willing to learn it, is an even more powerful tool. It is a complete internal ballistic simulation. With a little pre-work by the user it can do an amazing job working with little to no initial data for the components involved. Back before Hodgdon published reloading data for the 450 Bushmaster I worked up a load using just Quickloads and measurements of my bullets and cases. The Quickload results agree very closely to what I chrono'ed as I worked up my load. When Hodgdon finally did publish data I got lucky and they published data for the exact bullet and powder I was using and my pressure estimates from Quickloads data was very close, if a bit conservative, to what Hodgdon tested and published. I am a big fan of Quickloads.
     
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  19. film495

    film495 Member

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    that and find some threads on people shooting the same bullet, just to confirm further you are on a good path for a starting load
     
  20. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    My own situation. Just starting on a 200gr cast RNFP bullet which as you say is one there is no particular data for. Aside from the fact that this bullet is dropping at about 211gr so it's not really 200gr and it not quite 230gr and the profile is nowhere near a RN or a SWC. Next after setting up a dummy test sample I found I had to seat these rather deep to get them to chamber.

    For this round I will be making two tests with 2 different powders, AA#2 and HP-38. Western web data lists a 200gr lead SWC using AA#2 with a start of 5.2gr so because I am seating this deep and the bullet is a bit heavy I decided to start at 5.0gr of AA#2 and loaded up 20 of these. 10 for each gun I use. with this I will test for full functions and get a feel for if I need to bump it up a bit. Then after shooting these if they function right I will repeat with the HP-38.
     
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