How trustworthy is reloading data from Lyman 44?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sleepysquirrel2, Sep 5, 2022.

  1. sleepysquirrel2

    sleepysquirrel2 Member

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    The lyman 44 (1967) shows some pretty heavy maximum loads for 32 S&W long, like 4.3 grains of unique for a 93 grain cast bullet and 3.5 gr for 115 grain cast bullet.

    Meanwhile the Lyman 48 (2002) manual shows a maximum of only 2.8 gr of unique for a 100 gr jacketed bullet. It doesn't appear to be a change in load because of jacketed vs lead, beacuse the lee manual (2003) agrees with the lyman manual, and species a max of 2.7 gr of unique for a 98 grain cast bullet

    So how trustworthy are these older loading books?

    I know Sharpe's 1937 book even goes to suggest 4.3 gr of unique as the maximum for a 98 grain cast bullet, but I'm not sure if the formula of unique was different back in the 1930's.



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  2. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Lee data is copied from other sources which is why it is the same,
     
  3. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    I have Lymans 3rd and 4th cast. The data is the same.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Notice that the Lyman data is from a real revolver with no pressure reported even in the #48 which has a column for it.
    So they were likely going by subjective "pressure signs" like case expansion, primer appearance, and extraction effort.

    The Lee loads are mostly from Alliant for which pressures are given and velocities are lower.
     
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  5. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    I haven't had a problem from any Lyman load I have used. I am currently discussing the 14.9 #9 load in 357 which by all other books appears a grain or more hotter. The loads published in cup may exceed loads of Sammi spec when tested with new psi strain guages. Are they unsafe, that's a hard question because they have been used a lot with no failure that I know of. There has been at least 3 iterations of Unique that I know of. If using new powder I recommend a load from a new refrence.
     
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  6. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Trust?
    Never.
    Use as a guide to responsible load development?
    Sure. With the usual caveats.
     
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  7. sleepysquirrel2

    sleepysquirrel2 Member

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    Sharpe's 1937 data (which the Lyman 44 most resembles) does provide pressure data though. For the 98 grain lead bullet, he has 12,500 with 4 grains of unique and 15,00 with 4.3 grains of unique, with data provided by Hercules (old manufacturer of Unique). I believe these units are PSI because his earlier chapter on measuring breech pressure describes measuring "pounds per square inch", although he also describes a method similar to using a crusher cylinder of copper or lead.


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    The other question to consider is why Lee is reporting maximum loads at 9,700 CUP, while SAAMI states the operating pressure of 32 SW long is between 10,000-18,000 CUP and a MAP of 15,000 PSI



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  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Hercules et al did not have piezoelectric transducers in 1937. It was up in the 1970s before it became necessary to differentiate crusher readings as Copper Units of Pressure, CUP, and transducer readings as psi. Before then, it was normal to calibrate crushers in pounds per square inch by dead load or hydraulic pressure and report "psi". So the present SAAMI maximum value of 12000 CUP is what to compare with, and 15000 is definitely a hot load. Hodgdon does not now show .32 S&WL above 11,700 CUP.
     
  9. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Interesting post above.
     
  10. Engineer1911

    Engineer1911 Member

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    Did he get his ammo loaded? What size groups did he achieve?
     
  11. dgod
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    dgod Contributing Member

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    Not a single day goes by where I am totally amazed by the help and assistance provided by the members of this sight. You guys are nothing short of amazing.

    Thank You for being the quality of the membership on THR.
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  12. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    I started loading in 1967 with a new press and the 1967 Hornady Reloading Manual 1st edition , it had NO handgun data only rifle ...so I bought the new 1967 Speer #8 Manual .
    Later in life when my standard loads suddenly became +P loads and some maximum 357 magnum loads are no longer even approached , I did some reading and discovered the Lab's at that time didn't have a realy good / easy way to measure pressure ... so a lot of these manuals (Speer #8) had loads that were not pressure tested... one of the Lab workers said if the gun didn't suffer any damage or blow a primer ... it was considered safe ... these loads were worked up and when something like extraction got hard ... that was "the Max Load" ... All those years
    I thought them "experts" knew what they were doing . My Ruger Blackhawk never balked but I had a couple S&W DA revolvers the cases had to be tapped out with a range rod ...the extractor alone couldn't extract them all at once !!!
     
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  13. Electrod47

    Electrod47 Member

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    I have all my books from the 60's and its interesting. But, I don't use it these days. There was a lot of "Ignorance is Bliss" type stuff going on back in the day, anything with an asterisk on the data......Well, even then be careful. These are history books now.
     
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  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The old Speer guideline was that when a "pressure sign" was seen - like hard extraction - the powder charge should be reduced by 6% and taken as the maximum. What you see people "working up" loads doing is to get hard extraction, hard bolt lift, cratered primers, ejector marks, etc is to "back off half a grain" and call it good. Well half a grain is about 1% in a .308 and 3% in a full charge .357 Magnum, so they are not going by even a manufacturer's old eyeball standard.

    Elmer Keith said Winchester factory .44 Magnums of his day were loaded too hot because they did not eject with one finger on the rod.
     
  15. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    I bought a re-print of Elmer Keith's 1936 book ," Sixgun Cartridges & Loads " ... it contains chapters on bullet casting , sizing , lubricating , alloy hardness , powders , primers cases and some interesting reloading chapters .
    Although not a loading manual per se' it makes for some extremely interesting reading , the chapter on alloy , lead / tin mixes to use with different loads , are still revelant . Main reason I bought it is wheel weights are now hard to find but lead and tin much easier .
    There are a lot of historic and interesting photo's also ... It was available from Amazon for only $10.00 ... this has to be the best book buy ever ...just the chapters on Pressures and Working Up Loads ... although dated are still relevant and the info useful to know .
    A lot of people post what his load was for this or that ...here he states what "His" load is and then gives a reccomended load for the general public to use . You see exactly what he loaded in his guns .
    At that price it's worth every penny if you reload and know who Elmer Keith was .
    Just thought you might want to know this little gem is available and at a reasonable cost .
    Gary
     
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  16. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    A lot of good posts here.

    I will add that quite a few "maximum" cast bullet loads published today aren't "maximum" in the pressure sense, but rather the "maximum" that the publisher figures will not lead too badly even with the silly "hard cast" bullets that have dominated the commercial market for the last few decades.

    The manuals from the "olden days" don't seem to have nearly as much concern on that count. Combined with relatively primitive pressure measuring, some of the old loads can be pretty hot.

    As @GeoDudeFlorida notes, "trust but verify". If you have appropriate cast bullets which fit the gun, and have a gun with correct measurements, then you can work your way up through loads in the old books with excellent and safe results.
     
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  17. joneb

    joneb Member

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    Is old data old? Trust but verify.
     
  18. Mostly Lead

    Mostly Lead Member

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    For myself, try to match the vintage of the load data with the vintage of the powder. Modern powder = modern load data.

    History is interesting and the older books are full of beautiful drawings and illustrations. But the new books and manufacturers websites are full of good data.

    Don't trust any "one" source for data and usually look for at least three. Many variables in this hobby - keeps it interesting.
     
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  19. Archie

    Archie Member

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    As mentioned by 'gwpercle' in post #12, the measurement of chamber pressure was less refined. In short, the crusher system was used and it isn't as accurate as strain gauge (piezo electric) systems.
    I've used older information from earlier Lyman and Speer books and found the upper loads a bit more than I liked. Never had any totally fail in a grand explosion, but some of them wore out sooner than I expected.
    Use carefully and begin low.
     
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  20. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    If I can be allowed to be a bit picky here - the crusher system was accurate in measuring what it did - how the pressure effected a copper cylinder as a single value. But as stated above it really has nothing to do with psi (regardless of the common, careless use of that term). Piezo systems measure something completely different, giving much more detail of the pressure event over time. That makes it more useful to the engineer in predicting the forces applied to the firearm, instead of using just a single CUP value.


    .
     
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  21. e rex

    e rex Member

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    A Chronograph helps a lot with making loads.
     
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