The more experience you you experiment more?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jeeper, Dec 5, 2004.


The more experienced I get.. I tend to

  1. Expirement more now than when I was a novice

    14 vote(s)
  2. Expirement less now than when I was a novice

    11 vote(s)
  3. Expirment about the same

    4 vote(s)
  4. I load lighter now

    10 vote(s)
  5. I load hotter now

    5 vote(s)
  6. I still load about the same

    12 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. Jeeper

    Jeeper Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Mesa, AZ
    As you become(or became) a more experienced you still experiment as much? Do you load hotter or lighter also?

    I definately expirement less than before and load more in the middle range. I dont really come close to maxing out anything now.
  2. BenW

    BenW Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I voted experiment more now. The caveat being that my experimentation is all within range of the reloading manuals and mostly involves playing with load / bullet combos for accuracy and pleasurable shooting. I would never consider experimenting with powder charges outside of professionally tested limits.
  3. theCZ

    theCZ Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Uhh, on a side note...Why was the poll closed after 5 votes? That's not a real accurate look at us reloaders now is it?
  4. Moondoggie

    Moondoggie Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Small Town, Nebraska
    I've reloaded for 20+ years, and have only recently begun to consider experimenting with hotter .45 Colt loads for my Win '94 and 6" S&W 25-5. I finally got around to buying a chrono this year, so I feel a little more comfortable with the idea. I've never loaded anything beyond 95% of a max load in a manual...usually I'm in the middle somewhere.

    I have a .41 Mag and .44 Mag in 8 3/8", so I don't NEED a hotter .45 Colt...just an idea at this point.
  5. griz

    griz Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Eastern Virginia
    This is an interesting one. As I learned/learn more I feel more comfortable at the edges of published data (high AND low). I assumed it would be that way for most but it doesn't look like it. Maybe some people were much more adventurous when they started. In the begining I carefully limited myself to the middle of the road.

    HSMITH Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    When I started every box was a different load. Now I just load a few favorites for 95% of my shooting and play with a couple new loads once in a while for something different.
  7. tc300mag1

    tc300mag1 Member

    Jan 4, 2004
    Wayne, Mi
    I expement more not than i did then course its more lighter loads for plinking and for the old lady to shoot and my neice.
  8. larryw

    larryw Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Eagle, ID
    My experimentation has changed with experience so it takes less of it to get the deisred results.

    I'm loading both lighter and hotter, basically going carefully outside both ends of the load manuals.
  9. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

    Oct 23, 2004
    i've never had a desire for hot or light loads. always been max accuracy, or "how close can i get to the ipsc power-factor without going under?" kind of stuff for me.

    i really experiment about the same, too
  10. swifter

    swifter Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Southern CA mountains
    When I first started, I just wanted ammo.
    Then I wanted GOOD ammo :scrutiny:

    After about 20 years of this, I discovered wildcats... :eek: I've learned more in the last 10 years than in the 20 before! Some of it, by god, I didn't want to know... :banghead:

  11. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

    Jan 21, 2004
    Norra Texas
    The older I get, the lighter I load each chambering. If I need more oomph, I'm more likely to step up in chambering rather than try to squeeze the velocity outta the ones that I got. I guess that has a lot to do with the fact that I have more money and more sense now than I did 20 years ago.

    I dunno what you mean by 'experiment'. If you mean trying lots of combinations of things, I do that more than before. But iof you mean trying to come up with inventive ways to get more oomph for the chambering - see the above. :)

    Heck, my two favorite chamberings to handload right now are 7x57 and 303R. There's something to be said for moderate pressure 'just enough' loads....
  12. Valkman

    Valkman Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    After reloading for 15 months now, I put "experiment more" because I've started loading for calibers I never would've bought if I did not reload. When I started I loaded 1 caliber with 1 powder, and now I load at least 6 calibers with different powders. I also put that "I load about the same" because I am just looking for a accurate load that's not hotter than it has to be - just like when I started. :)
  13. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Kansas City, Missouri
    I voted 'about the same'

    I was never too experimental anyways, always stayed under published max loads. Only experimentation in fact would be trying different bullets and powders, but that's not really 'experimenting' to me.

    Black Snowman should be along shortly to comment....he's been doing some ... 'interesting' things lately on the reloading bench. :evil:
  14. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

    Sep 3, 2003
    Kansas City, KS
    Yes, well, I definately experiment more, as Kami pointed out. Like these 454 cased target loads for my SRH:


    And these 10mm level .40s for my S&W 646:



    I don't go too crazy with the rifle stuff. Mainly just try differant things to improve accuracy. I haven't even gotten into neck turning or anything like that. I'm just not good enough of a shot with a rifle to tell the differance.

    Next experiments will be with casting. I'd like to make some custom molds. If I hit the lottery it will be one of the things I'll use the machine shop I dream of for ;)
  15. squirrelsniper

    squirrelsniper Member

    Dec 6, 2004
    Even though my father is the one that got me into reloading, and he's an experienced reloader, I was extremely cautious when I first started out, even though I had his guidance and knew he wouldn't let me do something stupid. For the first couple years, I wouldn't have even considered loading for an AI or wildcat cartridge that I couldn't get "book" data for. For the first few months I preferred staying with loads where I could use the exact components shown in the manual. Now, about 6-7yrs later, I'm not nearly that cautious and I'm willing to experiment a lot more. Of course I don't do crazy stuff, but if I can just get a ballpark figure on how to load the round, then I'll just start low and work up. I'm not scared of having to "work up" a load for something I can't find concrete data on.

    Although I have always loaded with accuracy in mind, I do load hotter than I used to. I'm still not one that loads rounds so hot that they normally flatten and blow primers, but I have no problem working up until I start flattening primers and then backing off just enough for it to go away. Of course I keep in mind what type of temperatures the rounds will be used in when loading like that too.
  16. snuffy

    snuffy Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Oshkosh Wi
    The more experience you have, the hotter you can SAFELY load. Primer apperance is a poor way to read presure. Case head expansion, and pressure ring expansion are better ways of reading pressure. Another tool to read pressure is chronograph readings when approaching maximum load density. My pact chrono and a micrometer capable of reading .0001 tell me when I'm getting into high pressure. Another check is when reloading the suspected over pressure shell, the primer pocket is looser than when new.

    When I first got my 300 WSM, there was damn little or no data available for it. Winchester gave loads for ww 760, but it showed high pressure with sub-standard velocity.

    I reduced 300 win mag loads by 10 grains, then took an additional 5% off that and worked up from there with H4831 and AA 4350. Ending up at 69 and 68 grains as max loads respectively,(165 grain bullets).
  17. JNewell

    JNewell Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    Land of the Bean & the Cod
    Depending on what someone understands by "experimenting," I guess I do less than when I was younger, but experimenting without tools involves risk taking of proportions that may not be known. I think a chronograph is very advisable to at least give some idea where your experiments are taking you. Straight-walled cases, for example, do not reliably show signs of high pressure. Velocity information on your experiments isn't perfect, but it's better than nothing. They're not expensive these days.
  18. rugerman

    rugerman Member

    Aug 7, 2004
    Auburn, Alabama
    I never was one for hot for the sake of hot. I really wanted accuracy so when I find a load that is real accurate in a given gun I stick with it. Some of my loads haven't changed in 20 years. rugerman
  19. Bandit01

    Bandit01 Member

    Nov 28, 2004

    I have become obsessed with loading. Currently, I'm loading the following calibers:
    .40 cal;
    .45 cal;
    .357 Mag.; and
    .44 Mag.

    Although I usually make hot loads, I do experiment a lot with different powders. Although there's no "perfect powder" There ar different powders for my different moods. When I'm really angry and need to release some serious energy, I'll load up the .357 with Hodgdon H110. Believe me, a few shots of that and you'll look at life differently. I still haven't even loaded any .44 Mag's with that powder. Whenever I want a beefy strong but not overbearing load, I'll use AA#7 for my 10MM. Previously I was using 2400 for the 10MM but by experimenting, I'll fallen in love with AA#7.
    I'm currently away for business but I can't wait to get back to beautiful Charlotte to load up the arsenal and have some fun.
  20. Mikul

    Mikul Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    I did MORE experimenting when I began reloading. I wanted to know the difference between 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, etc grains of powder.

    Now, I experiment with more difficult things like trying to duplicate my carry loads with velocity, flash and recoil. Those are a lot of things to balance, but I have enough experience to give me guidance without trying every bullet, powder, crimp combination on the planet. I'm also more comfortable developing loads with powders for which there is no load data available.
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