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Why stretch the limits

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AJC1, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    When it comes to handloading ammo I tend to be conservative. I have no desire to load at any published maximum recipe. I don't think I am missing anything. I am fully enjoying my firearms hobby full-time now that I am retired.

    Yes, I am an old man but I still like fast cars. I have a Corvette ZR1. Got up to 150ish on a road course, which is not close to the tested 205mph limit. I don't need to go 205 to enjoy that car, just like i don't need to go the max on any loads for my firearms to enjoy them. LOL:)
     
  2. mokin

    mokin Member

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    I don't push the limits for it's own sake. I load right up to the maximum for my 6.8 SPC because that seems to be the most accurate. I load my .303 ammunition "hot" at the expense of brass to get the performance I want, but I do not exceed published data.
     
  3. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I like hotrods and have had my fair share of them that I have built. There is a sense of pride building things that other people think are cool. Especially when you assemble your own gun and load the ammunition it shoots. I say assemble rather than built because I didn't engineer or machine the parts but I put it together. I think the point is rather obvious. I haven't been handloading or reloading long enough to be some kind of mad scientist pushing my luck.

    If I feel my hand loads are pushing the limit and I want more I will simply upgrade to a higher power firearm. I do like the fact I can load great plinking ammo and I can also turn it up and mix projectiles/powders to make zombie ammo if I wish. To each their own stay safe and keep your firearms and fingers the way they are meant to be.
     
  4. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    No, not really. Knowledge and problem-solving is the goal.

    I want to know just how accurate I can make that rifle; I want to know just how slow I can fire that slug and still cycle that gas-operated pistol; I want to know what happens when you run an ultra-low-density powder + filler under a light-for-cartridge cast bullet. . . and I want to know just how big a fireball and heavy a concussion that 45 Colt will make!

    I chase Maximum Loads in a few cartridges, but I chase some sort of problem-solving question in ALL of my reloading, because I want to figure out something I don't know yet.
     
  5. HB

    HB Member

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    I will also say I’ve gotten a lot more bullets stuck in barrels than guns I’ve blown to pieces. About a 5 to 0 ratio.

    But if I’m lugging around a .357 Blackhawk or a .44 629... I want it to do something substantially better than a .38 SWC at 750fps.

    I got into handloading because I got tired of paying 40 cents for 130 gr FMJs or 158gr lead bullets that were as soft as clay.

    Handloading is about “optimizing” a load for a given purpose. I shoot 160gr cast over pistol powder in 30-30 but I have no qualms loading loading + a couple percent over max if thats what it takes to get a safe accurate load.
     
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  6. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Some of us, by nature, like to push the limits on anything. I can't help myself. When reloading, I rarely go beyond the published data. Kind of like on my old Chevy truck, that has been up to 95 mph. And don't get me started on Chevelles. When I was young I couldn't afford one. And now that I'm old, I still can't afford one. So I push what I can afford.
     
  7. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    100%.

    For some loads, I'll never push things. 38 special, 44 special, 9mm, 223...I don't push these loads. Honestly, I load them for controllable accuracy vs max performance.

    For other loads, like 44 magnum, I like them hot and why not? Most factory magnum ammo is hardly that and if you want the really hot stuff, you need to look to companies like Grizzly or Buffalo Bore and dropping $2+/rd isn't something I like to do.

    *EDIT*

    With that said, I don't push outside of listed load data...but I will run max.
     
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  8. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I do it, but only for certain guns. To me the case is nothing more than the box that the round is packaged in. I don’t care if it’s 30carbine, 30-06, or 300rum it is a 30 caliber bullet going to the target with the best chance of accomplishing whatever goal I have for the round. If the goal is to kill a critter I’m looking first at accuracy and then power. If the goal is to punch paper then I’m looking at accuracy and minimal recoil. Sometimes I’m just trying to squeeze in effective range on a gun I can get hits with but may be losing steam before it loses accuracy. I’m any of the scenarios I can think of I push until I find a spot that I’m happy with. I have .357mags loaded hot enough to produce a rifle crack instead of a handgun boom, but those only get shot in my contender or buntline, but the guns can easily digest those loads without issue so why not do it? I won’t put those through my S&W guns or through my rhino though. This weekend a friend shot the rhino and when he opened the box of reloads he saw painters tape over the contender loads and asked what was up. He laughed a bit and asked where the contender was because he wanted to try that too.
     
  9. Trashyshoots

    Trashyshoots Member

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    Absolutely.
     
  10. HB

    HB Member

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    This can even be a gray area. H110 in .357 data varies pretty widely between manuals. But on the top end of H110 its pretty apparent when your primers look a bit off and extraction is sticky.
     
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  11. Typetwelve

    Typetwelve Member

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    Yes, I've noted that H110 load data can swing pretty wildly depending on the source. Take XTP 240g 460 S&W for example. Between Hornady, lyman, and Hodgdon, they list a max charge of H110 at 49.5, 48, and 48.5. I just started with the lowest max as a reference and worked up from 47. I don't low end H110, ever, so info on min isn't something I pay attention to.
     
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  12. DRM7997

    DRM7997 Member

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    I don't generally run things hot or even near max. The only exception to that is 35 Rem. Simply because factory ammo is way under loaded for the older guns. The rifle I run hot loads through is a bolt action mauser. Large ring with small ring threads. I know it can easily handle them. Even these loads should only be 40 to 45 thousand cup. At those pressures it is about the same as 30-30. Most of these loads have been tried by others already. So now its just trying these until I find the one that works best in my rifle. While always watching for pressure signs.
    I'm not trying to turn it into a 358 win or a 35 whelen. Just want to maximize its potential.
     
  13. sequins

    sequins Member

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    It really depends. I hot rod 357 & 44, and aspire to a 454. I also hot rod 10mm chasing 1300 in my g20. On the other hand, I load conservatively for my 9mm, 45acp, and 380.

    Just depends on the gun... a 6" GP100 or 7.5" Blackhawk beg to be hotrodded. An LCP or Glock 17? Eh, not really.
     
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  14. Cemetery21

    Cemetery21 Member

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    I had um when I was young and didn't keep um. Now that I'm old I want them back and can't afford them. Paid too much for the one below.
    On rifles, it took me 40 years to figure out that ruining brass and frying barrels wasn't gaining me much.

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  15. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I just sold a 71 chevelle drag car. Along with that I regret selling all the others. If only I could go back in time.
     
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  16. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    I don't exceed the published max loads, though do load at/near the max of H110 for my 44's. I've always loved building and "souping up" old American muscle, and know that squeezing more power out of my motor will typically find the weak link down stream. So when I blow my trans, chances are the rear chunk, u-joints or driveshaft may be on borrowed time and will go next. Unlike the weak links on my cars, the weak link on my firearms is not likely to be repaired if/when it blows. But to each there own right?

    Be well and stay safe folks
     
  17. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I think a lot of handloaders go through a "maximum loads" phase. I certainly did - and to top it off, I was still a teenager! I used up several good guns before coming to my senses, and probably still have all of my fingers only because modern guns have so much reserve strength.

    Similar to a few other posters here, I now tend to load a cartridge to the "standard" velocity. If I need a bigger or faster bullet, I go to a bigger cartridge.
     
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  18. sarduy

    sarduy Member

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    Gene Kranz:
    I don't care about what anything was DESIGNED to do, I care about what it CAN do.
     
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  19. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    I don't really agree with the car analogy. When people hotrod a car they usually modify parts and change out equipment. This is not what's happening with max+ reloads. Rather than adding new parts to get performance, this is much more akin to simply redlining the stock configuration to see what can be done. Driving with the pedal to the floor on the freeway then taking the offramp from the left lanes might be okay, it might not - and when not it was completely foreseeable and nobody gets surprised at the outcome. Same goes for adding powder and pushing the pressure. You aren't exactly adding metal to the lugs or beefing up the chamber walls. You are simply saying "don't worry, we've made this corner before."
     
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  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Never cared about cars, always loved guns. Did have a motorcycle once that was defective, wouldn't go slow. Got lucky on it a couple of times, to quote from a book..."There are two kinds of Triple riders, the quick and the dead".

    Y'all be careful out there. :)
     
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  21. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Yeah I do bikes as well. If its expensive I've done it or wanted to. ;)
    Screenshot_20200913-183448_Android System.jpg
     
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  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    When I was a kid, I worked up 357 magnum to near 41 magnum levels.

    Now that I am older I take a 44 magnum and down load it to 41 mag levels instead.

    Did lots of other stuff pushing the limits too, human nature I suppose. Once one lives long enough to realize they are not invincible, they often change decision making patterns.

    Raced off road stuff in my youth and played with street cars once I was old enough to drive. This is the first one I built.

    1552A44F-EC31-4987-8B09-32F4B541D0D5.jpeg
     
  23. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I agree with you on most of your post. Most of the time, I believe if you're hotrodding something, it's time to step up to the next level.

    However I do think the .45 Colt is an excpetion.
    The cartridge was developed when guns couldn't handle modern magnum pressures.
    In revolvers like Ruger, Magnum Research, Colt Anaconda, Freedom Arms and maybe a couple others, they are basically guns that were built for modern .44 magnum type loads, so loading them to modern .44 magnum pressures is not really pushing it at all, but is in fact perfectly safe.

    Obviously if you own original SAA revolvers or clones, it's not a good idea to have that ammo laying around if it's not very well marked.

    But other than that, I agree.
     
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  24. Toprudder
    • Contributing Member

    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    Famous quote, but the context is important; They were trying to figure out how to save three lives with limited resources.
     
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  25. jebova2301

    jebova2301 Member

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    Part of it is because some people can't afford to just "go buy the right rifle" for any particular task, so they will stretch the limits with what they have. Same as someone like me loading way too much firewood in the back of my mid-size pickup and pushing it well beyond its rated payload. I do it because it is what I have, and can't afford to go buy something bigger just for that. Yeah, the next time I go to buy a truck, I will buy something bigger, but that won't be for a while, so I will make due with what I currently have. The only benefit when it comes to cars is that they are easy to rent if you have a rental place local. Guns...not so easy to just rent.

    Others, we just like to push the limits. Not sure if you have ever heard the saying about the astronomer and the astronaut. Put simply, one will walk safely on earth, but never get to experience anything more. The astronaut is willing to take the risk to go to space, because that person wants to experience more. For those of us that hot rod any cartridge, we know the risk, and accept it. For us, there is excitement in pushing the limits and seeing what we can actually make something do. Same as when I used to overclock the snot out of processors and graphics cards for computers. I know what they are intended to be able to do, but I want to find out what they are really capable of. Obviously, I am a bit more cautious with firearms since it is my hand/face/neck on the line, but I still want to push them to see what they are capable of.

    Having said all that, I will only run it to the ragged edge on guns that I am not too concerned about. My precision AR? Not a chance. My beater poverty pony build? Let's go wild. For the ones I use for hunting/pest control, I want to find the load that most effectively pairs accuracy with performance. Having excellent terminal performance is useless if you can't hit what you're aiming at, just as having something that can knock the nuts off a gnat at 100 yards is useless for hunting if the bullet doesn't give good results on impact.
     
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