Why stretch the limits

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

  1. joed

    joed Member

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    I see nothing wrong with running a load to the max. Some I even go over but all the time looking for warning signs. One of the tools that has been a big help is a chronograph. I use it all the time in load development.

    In cases where I have gone over max loads it was because the chronograph showed a load going 200 fps under what it should be, all things being equal. I've found this happens with Varget mostly. Actually I've never had it happen with any other powder. This is one of the reasons when buying a new container of Varget I rework every load that uses it.

    If you're content shooting a load at the midpoint of the charge more power to you. But I have seen many times where someone complains about a load key holing and it turns out they are below a minimum charge. These people should not be reloading.
     
  2. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    No, it's not a mechanical analogy, but a logical one. The reasons people hotrod cars and hotrod reloads can be for the same reason, to see how far they can push the limits. "can I get just a little more speed/power without breaking it?"
     
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  3. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    If you have never destroyed a part on a hotrod, I question if it was actually a hotrod.

    It’s a chicken and egg conversation at that point. Go until it blows up and repeat, is what it often comes to. Unless your racing a spec class where all the engines are sealed.

    Recently I have been working on a number of 2020 GT 500’s that come from the factory with 760hp. One actually made over 1100 hp to the rear wheels, before a piston gave away. Now it’s going to get another point of compression (only 9.5:1 factory) and see what gives next...
     
  4. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    That is a very good point. Especially when it comes to revolvers, there are a lot of older cartridges and a lot of newer guns. Things like the .38 and .44 Specials can be driven well past their original specifications even in guns like the SAA - let alone Freedom Arms!

    I suppose my prior post made a big old liar out of me, considering that my most-used handgun load is a .44 Special loaded to 200 fps beyond factory specification. And I jumped onto the hot-rodded .45 Colt bandwagon way back when that was still considered questionable, if not outright stupid.

    So I think what I mean to say is not that I never exceed SAAMI specs, but rather that I stick with what is known and safe and no longer experiment on my own. In other words, I'm happy to use the "Skeeter" load in the .44 Special, but I am no longer that teenaged dumbass who kept adding powder to the .357 because "the cases are only a little hard to extract".
     
  5. murf

    murf Member

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    in my case, i bought a ruger blackhawk in 45 colt as a sidearm on my elk hunts. the 454 casull revolver would work but is too heavy and too expensive compared to the 37 ounce and $299 blackhawk. my "ruger only" load for the blackhawk is a 325 grain lbt style bullet over twentysomething grains of h110; muzzle velocity @ 1275 fps. the dual purpose light load is a 265 grain lswc bullet over ? grains of blue dot @ 1200 fps.

    i did the same with my glock 30 and turned it into a 45 super. i wanted my defense load to be a 230 grain xtp @ 1000 fps. i could have bought a glock 29 and used a lighter bullet, but already had the 45 acp glock.

    ymmv,

    murf
     
  6. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

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    I run 44 close to max. If I didn't want it close to max I'd use a 44 special. The only gun I've ran over max is 10mm. And that was just to get it up to the original 200gr at 1200fps which was over max in some books. Not by much but it was over. I worked up. Fired thousands. Never had a problem.
     
  7. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Agreed 100%.
    I do not have the know how or the equipment to test parameters or pressure limits.
    I load the .45 Colt substantially heavier than the original loading, but there is published data for all of my loads.
    I let the folks with the know how and hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing equipment sort out the details.
     
  8. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    I loaded hot when I first started loading. As I matured I found that I didn't need that extra 50-100fps to kill deer. Now I shoot whatever my gun prefers. Most are most accurate loaded somewhere in the middle of the book. Only my 300WSM likes it hot.
     
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  9. Sooner1911

    Sooner1911 Member

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    I agree with the posters that someone loading to the published max is not pushing the limits assuming that particular cartridge/firearm is not showing pressure signs. Anecdotally, I would think the published loads are not on the ragged edge given that legal is involved in almost any public communication by a corporation. If you choose to exceed that, you are taking a chance that I, so far, have chosen not to.do. I have found accurate loads that are generally well below maximum, but not always. I hope that those that are pushing the limits are wise enough and attentive enough to draw the line before a catastrophe, but you never know who is on the bench next to you.

    Regards,

    Kris
     
  10. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Many loads do, in fact, run right up to the pressure limit. Check out Western's load data. Look at Lyman's data.

    I suspect the lawyer thing might be a myth. You don't need a law degree to say "don't exceed SAAMI standards." People at all levels of the company understand firearms and ammunition. They know they shouldn't exceed SAAMI limits. They don't have law degrees.

    The whole purpose of SAAMI is to establish standards that all companies can follow in their ammunition development. The limits are established and are proven safe. That's their purpose - to establish a limit that will be safe for everything. I understand that, and I don't have a law degree. Are there other people reading this who understand "don't exceed SAAMI standards" is a good idea? How many of you don't have a law degree?

    Guy Neill, who worked in the industry, notes that the CYA factor was built into the SAAMI specs. Don't exceed that and you're safe. You can see his comments in the link below, the 4th post.

    https://forums.brianenos.com/topic/41041-44-magnum-they-cant-all-be-right/
     
  11. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    There are some real SAAMI disconnects WRT rifle cartridges that end in 57mm and 64mm vs CIP specs. Would I possibly conjure up a load that matches CIP factory ammunition in such cartridges exceeding SAAMI limits, to use in my bolt action rifles manufactured post-WWII primarily for the European commercial market but also were sold in the USA and other countries & continents, such as Africa? You bet I plan to. SAAMI isn't the global end-all, neither is CIP. You think there's a myth regarding legal liabilities in the US for SAAMI vs CIP for those differences? Not so mythical.

    Prvi Partizan specifically has different cartridge performance data for their 8X57mmJS ammunition for the US and I guess probably North America for meeting SAAMI specs vs for sale elsewhere meeting CIP specs. Comparison of Federal 7X57mm cartridge energy levels to Norma factory ammunition, or Remington 7X64mm Brenneke load energy vs Norma and Geco 7X64mm factory ammunition.

    One thing I see that's a huge difference is CIP specs have force of law in the countries in Europe that manufacture factory ammunition to CIP specs. SAAMI is a voluntary organization with AFAIK no force of law but high risk of tort with factory ammunition not manufactured in accordance with SAAMI specifications in the US and probably the rest of North America. The lawyer layer is close to the surface with SAAMI.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  12. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    I hope that's not directed to me because I didn't say anything about that.
     
  13. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    I didn't mention any individuals, why are you predisposed to thinkin that was the case? Would you prefer y'all or all y'all if the plural "you" makes you hope it wasn't directed at you specifically and individually?

    Here's some additional simple facts, the 2016 Prvi Partizan catalog was the last one I saw the seperate load data for CIP specs sales vs SAAMI specs sales. A colleague in Croatia has mentioned rumblings about Prvi Partizan rumored to have been considering potentially standardizing to only manufacture 8X57mmJS ammunition to SAAMI specs as simplification before the pandemic pandemonium pretty much shut down a lot of trade.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.prvipartizan.com/download/ppu2016.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjo9dXqlbPsAhUCa60KHTp3A64QFjAAegQIAxAC&usg=AOvVaw2_9_Sz7MCIswLcZjXHr3Ok
     
  14. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Only because I had just commented on the 'lawyer' thing. If it was not directed to me, then disregard.
     
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  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed.
     
  16. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    When I was younger, I wanted the maximum of everything. My brother and I, loading for his S&W .41MAG, push loads beyond reasonable published data, convincing ourselves the pistol liked it. We wound up wearing it out... he still has it, but it needs a trip back to the Mothership for some work. Same-same with heavy .45-70 loads when I had my Browning 1886.

    These days... and, now, with the Internet... I cringe when I see what some people are doing, or what they are trying to do. Granted, in my 35 years of reloading, I've had some... uh... 'issues' with some of my handloads, some even of my own making. I also, even now, look past what the firearm or load is telling me, because I wanted a different result... but in the end, the facts are the facts.

    One of my big axioms is 'let the tool do the work.' That extends to firearms and handloading as well... don't try to use a 1/4" ratchet to break a wheel lugnut, and if you want Magnum power... go buy a Magnum, don't hotrod your poor .45 Colt.
     
  17. Sooner1911

    Sooner1911 Member

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    FXVR5, if I understand your point correctly, I think we are on the same page. If the CYA factor is built into SAAMI specs according to an industry source, then that appears to indicate SAAMI max is not on the ragged edge. Whether this is the result of legal, engineering or whatever doesn't really matter. Pushing to SAAMI max (assuming no other indications of pressure) means that you are still in a "safe" zone.

    I appreciate your attempt to educate, but I am in no way encouraging anyone to exceed published data and hope that was clear in my post. I understand the purpose of the SAAMI specs and would not suggest that you need a law degree to understand the risk of exceeding tested maximums. I choose not to exceed max published data and rarely go to max loads when trying to identify an accurate load.

    Regards,

    Kris
     
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  18. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Personally I’m staying away from over pressure loads or intensional hot loads, I like my face and I need my fingers to pick my nose.
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I tend to overbuy with regards to firearms. I can always download my ammo. I seek accuracy with a fast target reacqusition as most important. Hot rodding something is not conductive to my goals I feel. I usually find that the first (lowest) accuracy node is the widest and therefore more forgiving so why push things. I had a S&W 500 revolver for a while and sold it for a 454. I shoot hot 45 Colt loads in it now, just did not need quite the amount of punishment the 500 took to be accurate. To each their own.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
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  20. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    This is a safe practice that I do and feel is hugely common. The hot 38 in a 357 all the time. If all the brass I found at the range was 357 I would not have the same practice but that's just not the reality of the situation.
     
  21. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Just remember... you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose... but you can't pick your friend's nose.
     
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  22. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    Can’t pick yer kin folk neither :D
     
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  23. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    That reminds me of being a kid using my grandfather's table saw. He told me you better watch that blade or you will be picking your nose with your elbow.
     
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  24. Mr. Zorg

    Mr. Zorg Member

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    Poking around here in the annals of THR knowledge, I came across this gem that exactly describes the threat of tort as the main compliance force WRT SAAMI standards, while CIP standards as mentioned have force of law in countries using CIP standards.

    It's found in the article at this address

    https://loaddata.com/Article/BenchTopics/SAAMI-90-Years-of-Setting-Standards/502

    Which is where one arrives when following this link

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/an-explanation-of-what-saami-is-and-does.827403/#post-10661779

    A part of this section of THR

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/reloading-library-of-wisdom.649184/

    And spells out, in part

    "Sometimes much is made of the fact that CIP standards bear the force of law while SAAMI standards are voluntary, but the threat of liability lawsuits lends considerable impetus to voluntary compliance."

    Here we see the force of risk of lawsuit is cited as the "hammer" for maintaining compliance with SAAMI standards, as I posted earlier, are considerably less energetic in some cartridges that end in X57mm and 64mm than CIP standards that hold force of law in countries using those standards.

    Now, using the example of the 8X57mmJS cartridge just as I did with the 2016 Prvi Partizan catalog, here's photos from a hardcopy of the Accurate Smokeless Powders Loading Guide Number Two manual.

    First up is load data within SAAMI standards, and the rationale for this set of SAAMI standards.

    20201016_032648.jpg

    Get this: SAAMI standards are based on being able to fire a cartridge with bullet diameter. 323" SAFELY in a firearm barreled for .318" diameter bullets AS WELL AS .323" diameter bullets - as long as the load is within the SAAMI pressure standard of 35,000 PSI. Io_O I'll tell you right now I don't care to fire a cartridge with a .323" diameter bullet in a firearm barreled for. 318" bullets PERIOD, and how in the world was that cartridge pressure determined by SAAMI as safe for doing so in the first place?

    For comparison here's the alternate set of 8X57mmJS load data well outside SAAMI standards in energy, but based on using cartridges loaded with .323" diameter bullets ONLY in firearms barreled for .323" diameter bullets.

    20201016_032757.jpg

    Now is it clear that my plans to exceed SAAMI standards when I hand load ammunition for various cartridges that end in 57mm or 64mm is based on using bullets of the same diameter the firearm(s) I will use them in are barreled for yet not exceeding CIP standards, or showing signs of excessive pressure in that specific firearm, using standards that have force of law, just not USA law, (which SAAMI standards don't have in the USA either).

    I don't need to be a lawyer in order NOT to choose to fire cartridges loaded with .323" diameter bullets in a firearm barreled for. 318" bullets - a difference of .005" - but the SAAMI standards rationale is to limit the cartridge pressure to a level where I can supposedly do SAFELY? How many times?

    The implication is the average US shooter needs to be protected against shooting cartridges with .323" diameter bullet in firearms barreled for .318" diameter bullets by SAAMI but the average European and African and where else - Australian etc. shooters have enough snap not to do this to begin with. And compliance with SAAMI standards isn't force of law because the level of litigiousness in the US is so much higher in comparison so as to exert enough penalty on companies loading factory ammunition in the USA.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
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  25. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    Anybody that utilizes Dan Newberry's OCW method "verbatim" will end up testing loads over the published max, just due to the formula calculations:


    http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/ocw-instructions/4529817134

    I have zero issues going above listed charges as long as I've worked up that load for my gun.
     
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