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  • E.Shell

    Active Member
    Feb 5, 2007
    9,069
    The right side of the grass.
    ...I've looked at some of it and thought, "geez Dad - you were pushing the limits on that one!" I also have some of his reloads that I currently beyond manual spec - particularly for his 25-06 - and we're talking 2 full grains above what my current manuals show...
    As a reminder, loading manuals are NOT gospel. They show loads that were safe and maximum charges that were maximum in THEIR test fixtures/guns with THEIR components. Your (and your Dad's) everything is different. Reloading manuals are a guideline, nothing more.

    It is entirely possibly a load shown to be less than max in the manual is unsafe in your firearm, and by the same token, loads shown as maximum in any given manual may end up being under what your firearm with your components will tolerate. Even manuals will disagree on what is max, and/or what velocity a certain charge weight delivers.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    13,035
    Glen Burnie
    As a reminder, loading manuals are NOT gospel. They show loads that were safe and maximum charges that were maximum in THEIR test fixtures/guns with THEIR components. Your (and your Dad's) everything is different. Reloading manuals are a guideline, nothing more.

    It is entirely possibly a load shown to be less than max in the manual is unsafe in your firearm, and by the same token, loads shown as maximum in any given manual may end up being under what your firearm with your components will tolerate. Even manuals will disagree on what is max, and/or what velocity a certain charge weight delivers.
    Yep - I'm right there with you.

    I brough back some 45LC loads that I had to look up and consider before I shot them in an Uberti SAA replica because although the replica was Dad's, and he did load for it, he also had a Ruger Blackhawk in 45LC and we both know that a heavy load that the Ruger will laugh at and ask for seconds can blow the top strap off of a SAA.

    With the 25-06, I at least know specifically which gun those reloads were used in because he only had one - the Mauser 98 sporter that I currently own. One thing we know about large ring Mausers is that it takes an unbelievably overloaded cartridge, loaded with the wrong powder for that cartridge, to blow it up - evidenced by a lengthy article/thread where a guy set up an experiment where he was specifically trying to blow up small ring Mausers. (He was actually having problems doing it - he even went so far as to grind the locking lugs off the bolt of one of them in an effort to get it to blow back. The only way he succeeded with that was to lubricate the cartridge.)

    You mentioned that reloading manuals don't always agree, and that's one of the things I find maddening about those manuals in my own reloading - they are all different. I currently use 3 manuals of published load data:

    Lee 2nd Edition
    Lyman 50th Edition
    Hornady 11th Edition

    Sometimes certain powders for certain cartridge may not even be listed in one of those manuals, and there may be a good bit of data for it in one of the others. I tend to try to find a convergence between the three when I'm working up a load for something, and I have yet to load anything to maximum - something that Dad was apparently not at all adverse to doing. He wasn't even adverse to loading above maximum listed, although he did it with some forethought and planning based on the specific gun he was firing it from. At this point though I see no reason to try to be experimental - we have decades of published material that can tell us what is and isn't safe, so there's no point in trying to recreate the wheel IMO.
     
    Last edited:

    slsc98

    Active Member
    May 24, 2012
    5,274
    Escaped MD-stan to WNC Smokies
    When I started reloading back in 2008, I bought a notebook and created some columns so that I could record what I was reloading, and I did this based on the example I'd seen from my father …


    How awesome!

    Contrast ^that^ with the fellow I encountered yesterday, in between rounds at the local city run skeet field.

    This poor fellow positively REFUSES to obtain a powder scale and yet for at least the last year he cycles between:

    1) skyrocketing his squad members’ blood pressures with reports that are either “poofs” or cannon-worthy thunderous (people two skeet fields over literally stopped shooting to walk over and see, “What just happened?” :lol2:) with the frequent stuck wad needing to be removed from his barrel and / or;

    2) following other reloaders around the range like an abandoned puppy, asking “What (insert component of your choice, powder, wads, primers) will fix the problems, du jour?”


    He cornered me yesterday asking about the MEC powder bushing charts and, “Which bushing should I use to achieve 1,200 fps with 7/8oz in 20ga with (a particular Alliant) powder?

    We literally locked eyeballs as I explained to him (I sh*t you not, for at least the 4th or 5th time in less than 12 months): “The MEC powder bushing chart is NOT a replacement for using a scale to actually weigh the actual powder charges coming off your press - YOU HAVE TO GET OR BORROW AND USE A POWDER SCALE, Do You Understand That?

    (We know he knows what a powder scale is as several shooters have pulled links to them up and texted him recommendations from sources such as MidwayUSA, BPI, etc.)

    And yet, the stare was the definition of blank … I mean, there is more life in the eye of a dead fish than any registration visible in this poor chap’s pupils … after a pause he literally started “the broken record,” resuming his line of questioning with queries such as, “Well, which bushing do you use with that powder in your 28ga?



    Going back to look at your photos of Pop’s reloading logs, now - those pics will make my headache from recounting that encounter go away
     
    Last edited:

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    13,035
    Glen Burnie
    How awesome!

    Contrast ^that^ with the fellow I encountered yesterday, in between rounds at the local city run skeet field.

    This poor fellow positively REFUSES to obtain a powder scale and yet for at least the last year he cycles between:

    1) skyrocketing his squad members’ blood pressures with reports that are either “poofs” or cannon-worthy thunderous (people two skeet fields over literally stopped shooting to walk over and see, “What just happened?” :lol2:) with the frequent stuck wad needing to be removed from his barrel and / or;

    2) following other reloaders around the range like an abandoned puppy, asking “What (insert component of your choice, powder, wads, primers) will fix the problems, du jour?”

    He cornered me yesterday asking about the MEC powder bushing charts and, “Which bushing should I use to achieve 1,200 fps with 7/8oz in 20ga with (a particular Alliant) powder?

    We literally locked eyeballs as I explained to him (I sh*t you not, for at least the 4th or 5th time in less than 12 months): “The MEC powder bushing chart is NOT a replacement for using a scale to actually weigh the actual powder charges coming off your press - YOU HAVE TO GET OR BORROW AND USE A POWDER SCALE, Do You Understand That?

    (We know he knows what a powder scale is as several shooters have pulled links to them up and texted him recommendations from sources such as MidwayUSA, BPI, etc.)

    And yet, the stare was the definition of blank … I mean, there is more life in the eye of a dead fish than any registration visible in this poor chap’s pupils … after a pause he literally started “the broken record,” resuming his line of questioning with queries such as, “Well, which bushing do you use with that powder in your 28ga?

    Going back to look at your photos of Pop’s reloading logs, now - those pics will make my headache from recounting that encounter go away
    WOW! How can anyone do that!? Especially after having such mixed results by trying to load without one? That guy is going to kaboom his shotgun (and maybe his face too) at some point.

    One thing I've been meaning to invest in is a GOOD beam scale. Right now my beam scale is the Lee that came with my Lee Challenger reloading kit. It's ok, and I presume it's accurate. I mostly use a Frankford Arsenal digital scale. It's at least as accurate as the Lee because when I first started using it, I'd double check it with the Lee until it got the point where it was right on the money every time, so I stopped double checking it. I still want a good beam scale though. That's what Dad always used - digital scales were before his time, and I'm not sure he'd have used one anyway.

    Regarding the shotshell reloading, we had a pair of MEC Sizemasters, we had pre-set shot bars, and one with a shot bar that could be dialed in on both sides, but I know he checked charge weights prior to loading regardless of what the shot bars were supposed to be.
     

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