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Old 02-13-2018, 03:29 AM
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Default Is old loading data good loading data?

Iíve been loading for years, and as such have accumulated well over two dozen different loading manuals from all the main powder and bullet manufacturers. Some go back to the Ď70s. So realizing that there are improvements in testing technology and test protocols in the last 40 years, my basic question: is this older load data still pertinent , relevant, and most importantly, safe for a given powder load?

Iím curious as to what us older ďgray headsĒ consensus might be on this topic.
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:13 AM
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The answer depends on the type of load and components used.
If you're talking near max loads with commercial jacketed bullets, then I advise looking at up-to-date data. Or, at least be sure to reduce loads by 10-15%, provided this is safe for the particular propellant.
On the other hand, if you are looking at milder loads, specifically for cast bullets, that is a different matter. Old Lyman manuals, for example, are a Gold Mine of data for cast bullet data & knowledge, especially for bottleneck cartridges. Many old molds, or custom molds, offer designs that fall well outside of the norm. A good example would be the old super-light target bullets designed for cheap gallery/indoor practice.

Best judgement is the key.

Enjoy,
Jim
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:51 AM
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It's worth checking them against the powder manufacturer's data online.
I discovered my old 44 mag max load has been reduced a grain that way
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Old 02-13-2018, 05:56 AM
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You have a billion percent more reloading experience than I, but my rule would be - manuals and reloading components are relatively cheap, followed by guns, and lastly reconstructive surgery. May be best to have a few current reloading guides, especially if you are making max loads and depending on the gun (as in "safe only in Ruger and T/C Contender loads" for .44 Magnum and .45 Colt handguns).

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Old 02-13-2018, 06:30 AM
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I collect old reloading manuals. If you happen to find older powders no longer made, they are invaluable for these. It's always best to check current load data against the older data; but newer manuals don't show some of the powders that have been around/used for some cartridges for years. Common sense and safety goes a long way in this hobby we call reloading :-)
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:04 AM
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I think other competent, safety-oriented posters have adequately covered the topic, but I'll add that I also prefer to stick with current data. I have about fifty load manuals going back to the mid-1950s that I often use for reference, but a lot of the old data may not have been pressure-tested.

In comparison with loads I use now, a few of the old load recipes appear to be potentially dangerous, particularly with regard to rifle loads.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:02 AM
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While it is a lot of fun to look up loads in Speer #8 first edition you would have to be nutz to use some of them. I read it in wonderment at the supermen of olde that handled these hand grenades. Yeah, modern data always.

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Old 02-13-2018, 09:02 AM
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May want to check out a recent thread I started in here about this subject:
Get the latest data
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:27 AM
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I have many reloading manuals going back into the 1950s, and they are most valuable because some of the recipes provided in them are for calibers which are obsolete today using powders which no longer exist. I do trust the Lyman manuals as they have been at it the longest. What I consider one of my most valuable manuals is a Lyman cast bullet handbook from the mid-1980s. I also have and use the earlier duPont and Hercules reloading data booklets, from back when duPont and Hercules made powders. Loads in them are usually conservative, and many of those powders still exist today.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:20 AM
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Is old loading data good loading data?

I guess it depends if the old data was good dat back when it was old.

Did it work? Was there any problems?

Depends on how old of the data. Yes testing has changed but a lot of the data printed doen't mean it was recently tested, Some is just reprinted stuff.

Take the LEE manual, that data was copied from someplace else whenever the LEE manual was printed. People use that data all the times.

Have the old powders significantly changed?

Some data for some calibers for some bullets has changed, others not so much.

Comparing Speer #8 to Speer #14 on the 357 158 gr bullets, some have change a little with 2400 and H110 but not all that much for such slow powders .

So it all depends on what caliber and what powder.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:23 AM
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Like many here, I have loading manuals going back decades. My methodology has always been to find consensus between those manuals - those places where their numbers are very close, or identical.

If one manual is an outlier (in the sense that its max load is higher than the others), then I approach that manual's recommendation with extreme caution.

Context matters. When mapping this consensus I'm always cognizant of the test platform that different companies used. A universal receiver is not the same as a S&W Model 15.

I'm perfectly fine using data in older manuals. Sure, Speer and Hornady and Sierra and all the rest of 'em have much better test equipment than they did back in the day. But the notion that those companies basically pulled that old data out of their a** because of the crudeness of their tools... just doesn't jive with this old handloader. The fact that so many of us have managed to load tens of thousands of rounds using that data - and have yet to harm a gun, much less ourselves - would seem to belie that canard.

What I don't trust is... the internet. It's simply astonishing what you sometimes find. Practices devoid of scientific basis or common sense. Recommended loads that are beyond the pale. It's a strange phenomenon.

I suppose it's because of the low barrier to entry. A ballistician from Speer and Joe-just-bought-his-first-press can both sign up on a forum somewhere and who would know the difference? (That's not a particular criticism of anyone here or anywhere else... if I didn't enjoy the 'bar room' feel I wouldn't be here...). I think the simple fact that when stuff was printed on paper back in the day, the simple fact that that was a more involved, more expensive process fostered the requirement to vet that information. Nowadays, anybody can say anything they want. Truth is not a requirement.

Anyway, not to turn this into a philosophical treatise. Back to handloading... the other thing I trust is quiet, thoughtful, intelligent load development. Backed by careful technique, close observation, and exacting measurement.

A micrometer is your friend.

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Old 02-13-2018, 11:28 AM
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Some say all good except for the Speer # 8.......Claiming its data was hotter than hades and could cause problems.......Funny. I started loading and my first manual was the infamous Speer #8......Nothing I loaded ever caused any damage.
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Old 02-13-2018, 11:47 AM
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Nope, all those guys died in horrible range catastrophes caused by overloaded handloads. I am surprised you did not read about it. The resulting lawsuits put nearly everyone in the industry out of business. If it's more than a week old it's trash.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:56 PM
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I don't worry about rifle and shotgun data in old manuals.
It is the condition of the older weapons that matters in loading.

Heat treated is nice as well as a K frame or larger. One must know
What the weapon is capable of and use the correct data and components.

The new manuals have been made safer but also have the newer powders added
which is nice since many burn cleaner drop better than some older powders.

I don't think you will see a 42,000, 357 Magnum pressure listed any more....
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
I don't worry about rifle and shotgun data in old manuals.
It is the condition of the older weapons that matters in loading.

Heat treated is nice as well as a K frame or larger. One must know
What the weapon is capable of and use the correct data and components.

The new manuals have been made safer but also have the newer powders added
which is nice since many burn cleaner drop better than some older powders.

I don't think you will see a 42,000, 357 Magnum pressure listed any more....
Wasn't it 43,500psi or around 46k cup??

Whatever it is brutal.

Anyway, they made K frames which couldn't handle the pressure. Some folks like to shoot 357 mag out of Scandium snubs!
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:14 PM
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I still consult my loading manuals from the 1950s through the 1970s. I want to see if there's anything I'm missing.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:18 PM
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I continue to use a number of loads (rifle and pistol) that I began using as long ago as 1965.

A couple are not listed at those levels in current manuals although they still work quite well.

Having used them for years with good results (hundreds of rounds), Iíll stick with them.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:25 PM
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I prefer to trust two sources. I have powders that date back to the 70's from estates i have bought. I use them with the data that was given there. Few modern manuals have data for 319 Donaldson among others, nor 6.5x57. If you want to chamber for one of those how would you know their capabilities other than old manuals? I have a Mauser Mark 10 in 7x57 made in the late 1990's. I believe the cartridge is capable of much more than listed in some manuals which have to take in account the 1891 and 1893 Mausers.
A better way to phrase the question is "Do you think the highway you are on that is listed for 75 mph max will cause your vehicle to leave the roadway and become uncontrollable if you drive at 76 mph? Some do, others think it is at least a 20 % under post. I do not want to own their used Ruger Super Blackhawks.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:28 PM
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Well, you all have pretty much covered the field. I’ll provid some background as to why I asked the question. I’ve a pound of HERCO powder ( newly manufactured) that I wanted to use for a 38 Super load with 130 grain FMJ bullets. Lyman #45 (1970 printing) shows 7.7 max for this combination. The Lyman #48 - much more recent - shows 6.3 max for the same combo. All the other recent manuals I have show a 6.2/6.3 max for the HERCO/130 grain bullet. The Lyman #45 is the outlier. Loading sense would dictate that the consensus view point is to use the more recent load data. Interesting and the safer approach.
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Old 02-13-2018, 03:48 PM
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Well, you all have pretty much covered the field. Iíll provid some background as to why I asked the question. Iíve a pound of HERCO powder ( newly manufactured) that I wanted to use for a 38 Super load with 130 grain FMJ bullets. Lyman #45 (1970 printing) shows 7.7 max for this combination. The Lyman #48 - much more recent - shows 6.3 max for the same combo. All the other recent manuals I have show a 6.2/6.3 max for the HERCO/130 grain bullet. The Lyman #45 is the outlier. Loading sense would dictate that the consensus view point is to use the more recent load data. Interesting and the safer approach.
I do not have the newer Lyman but Lyman #45 has always seemed to have the "stouter" loads compared to say the powder company.

Guess it depends on what gun you are shooting and do you "need" a max charge? I pretty much never load max loads as no real need to. Yes, I have in 44 mag and 357 mag but general shooting no reason to.

Seems like you answered you question, the 6.3 sounds like the way to go to me.

With slower powders a 1.0 grain variance is not a big deal to me, but with Herco I do not know, never used it, and it is more a mid level powder.

As always start low and move up.
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Old 02-13-2018, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
I still consult my loading manuals from the 1950s through the 1970s. I want to see if there's anything I'm missing.
Other than the target?

OV


I rarely approach max loads--haven't found them best for my purposes--so the differences between old & new data isn't very relevant. Still, I lean toward the newer limits.

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Old 02-13-2018, 07:44 PM
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+1 on full bore loads not being the best for my use........

98%of the time 100% loads give me "Blown Patterns" in all my weapons.
Never had one 100% trap load that was the best and only one
105% "Winter Load" in my 270, that was any good.
All my other rifle and pistol loads were under 100% if I wanted accuracy.
However at five feet for a revolver SD loading, a few were good enough, for a reload.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:00 PM
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Default '70's is OLD??????

I have old stuff too, and my early 70's Sierra (HUNTING loads) are pretty hot. It had a load 1 grain over max. for .38 Special. I had a Model 10 in very good shape so I tried going .2 grain over present data. Then I tried .4 grains over test data. I decided that was max for me, but I would normally use the .2 over present data. I didn't feel it was 'unsafe', but they were getting raucous and I had .6 gr to go.

One reason I like old data is for things like much reduced loads in rifles for 'youth' and fun loads. If they use the same powder, you can get a clue as to where to start and go easy from there. I make 30-06 loads that go 1700 fps. Boy are they fun to shoot and plink with.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:42 PM
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Just to be clear, I was not trying to load to a max loading. I see no purpose in beating up the firearm nor myself with max power loads. I was using the max listed loads as a point of reference. I wanted to load the 38 Super, 130 grain FMJ to 6.6 grains of HERCO. That charge was below the 7.7 grains listed in the Lyman #45 but above the 6.3 grains listed in the Lyman #48. That’s what initiated my curiosity and generated my question.
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:56 PM
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You'd be surprised how much old data is in newer manuals. Some may also be surprised by some of the errors in manuals. Especially like references that list pressures, be it in cup or psi.

Also like to keep and reference old manuals, they have a lot of value besides just data.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:31 PM
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I have load data going back to at least the late 20's . A lot of it is still valid and the rest is for powders that haven't been on the market for over 50 years . Coincidentally that is almost how long I have been loading . Use your old data by doing as you mentioned above and you should have no problems , start low and work up slowly if you feel the need .

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Old 02-13-2018, 09:44 PM
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I have been hand loading since the mid 70". Once I figured out the 100% full bore loads weren't all that accurate and were hard on the guns and the hand that held them, the loads recommended by Skeeter Skelton worked just fine.
Have been using his 90% loads for all these years, have his favorites written down in a note book, and a couple of old Speer manuals are all I need. Some Unique,2400 and 296/H110 and the basic lead SWC, JSP and JHP bullets and I am good to go.
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Old 02-13-2018, 09:50 PM
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My manuals go back to the early 60s. No issues using old data.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:11 AM
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Loading manuals are a guide, not bible. So sure, data is data, you still have to work the load up with your gun & components.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:56 AM
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Hi,
Here's a follow up to my earlier post (Post #2).
This is Lyman Reloading Manual #38 from 1951.
For my purposes, it's awesome!
Great cast bullet loads for everything. And, look at those great revolver loads. Imagine being back in the day, casting bullets for your 5 screw N frame Target..... 44 Special, 38/44, 45 AR, etc.
Oh wait, that's my loading routine today! Ha!

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/OM/IdealHandbook38.pdf

Pistol Data doesn't show until page 95.

Best Regards to y'all,
Jim

Last edited by 6string; 02-14-2018 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:52 AM
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Hi,
Here's a follow up to my earlier post (Post #2).
This is Lyman Reloading Manual #38 from 1951.
For my purposes, it's awesome!
Great cast bullet loads for everything. And, look at those great revolver loads. Imagine being back in the day, casting bullets for your 5 screw N frame Target..... 44 Special, 38/44, 45 AR, etc.
Oh wait, that's my loading routine today! Ha!

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/OM/IdealHandbook38.pdf

Pistol Data doesn't show until page 95.

Best Regards to y'all,
Jim
Thanks for posting this, Jim!
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:06 AM
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I almost never reload to max. I Never Ever reload over max..

A while back I came across a box of my 45acp reloads. The label indicated they were 230 XTP with 9.0 grs. HS6.

I grabbed my 9th edition of my Hornady reloading manual to look up the load.. max load 8.2 grs , WTH ??

Had to go to my Hornady 3rd edition to find,, 9.7 grs max.??

I have shot and chrono the loads out of my 5" 1911 ,, 230 XTP at 925 fps.
?? all of a sudden rather than being .7 grs. under max. they are now .8 grs. over max. ??

( edit: I have several brands and editions of reloading manuals,, and I Always cross reference 2 or 3 reloading manuals when working up a new load )

Last edited by old&slow; 02-14-2018 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by old&slow View Post
I almost never reload to max. I Never Ever reload over max..

A while back I came across a box of my 45acp reloads. The label indicated they were 230 XTP with 9.0 grs. HS6.

I grabbed my 9th edition of my Hornady reloading manual to look up the load.. max load 8.2 grs , WTH ??

Had to go to my Hornady 3rd edition to find,, 9.7 grs max.??

I have shot and chrono the loads out of my 5" 1911 ,, 230 XTP at 925 fps.
?? all of a sudden rather than being .7 grs. under max. they are now .8 grs. over max. ??

( edit: I have several brands and editions of reloading manuals,, and I Always cross reference 2 or 3 reloading manuals when working up a new load )
This is what you are supposed to do. There is a practical max, the data with that gun on that day, then there is realistic max, which is what ever it is in your gun with your components in your location.
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:51 AM
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"The Lyman #48 - much more recent - shows 6.3 max for the same combo. All the other recent manuals I have show a 6.2/6.3 max for the HERCO/130 grain bullet. The Lyman #45 is the outlier. Loading sense would dictate that the consensus view point is to use the more recent load data. Interesting and the safer approach."

Hotter loads are not a problem for the .38 Super. Many shoot 9x23 Winchester (or equivalent handloads) in .38 Super pistols, and the 9x23 reaches max chamber pressures of about 45Kpsi. The weak link is the cartridge case strength. Nonetheless, I have fired some very hot loads in .38 Super cases which did not let go even in the Colt barrel with a partially unsupported area. 9x23 cases have thicker and heavier bases than .38 Super to better withstand high pressures.
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:11 PM
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This is what you are supposed to do. There is a practical max, the data with that gun on that day, then there is realistic max, which is what ever it is in your gun with your components in your location.
fred, I understand your point.
Long range rifle shooters with ,, custom barrels ,, custom actions ,, wildcat calibers, etc.. play with OAL , max powder charge,, brand of primers,,, etc. etc.

Bullseye pistol shooters wanted enough powder to work the action ,, be accurate,, and punch a hole in a paper target at 50 ft.
USPSA shooters have to make power factor with the least amount of recoil. Years ago they pushed 38 super and even 9mm Way past the suggested max.. ( and still do )

Shotgun reloading manual indicate the loading recipes should be strictly followed with no substitutions .

So, when you are a newbie ,, or even an old fart that has been reloading for years,, and one manual stating 6 grs of XYZ is max.. one saids 8 grs. is max. ,,, and one saids 10 grs.
Is starting at 10% less ,,, 5.4 grs. or 9 grs. ??

I've been reloading for 40 + years and sometimes the reloading manuals have me scratching my head and wonder WTH ?? ..

Last edited by old&slow; 02-14-2018 at 03:36 PM.
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  #36  
Old 02-15-2018, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by old&slow View Post
fred, I understand your point.
Long range rifle shooters with ,, custom barrels ,, custom actions ,, wildcat calibers, etc.. play with OAL , max powder charge,, brand of primers,,, etc. etc.

Bullseye pistol shooters wanted enough powder to work the action ,, be accurate,, and punch a hole in a paper target at 50 ft.
USPSA shooters have to make power factor with the least amount of recoil. Years ago they pushed 38 super and even 9mm Way past the suggested max.. ( and still do )

Shotgun reloading manual indicate the loading recipes should be strictly followed with no substitutions .

So, when you are a newbie ,, or even an old fart that has been reloading for years,, and one manual stating 6 grs of XYZ is max.. one saids 8 grs. is max. ,,, and one saids 10 grs.
Is starting at 10% less ,,, 5.4 grs. or 9 grs. ??

I've been reloading for 40 + years and sometimes the reloading manuals have me scratching my head and wonder WTH ?? ..
Which is why I teach 3 vetted sources for data in my classes. I use avg data when working with a new powder/bullet. I rarely use starting data but pick a charge wt giving me the approx vel I want & start there. If I am working to max vel, its in very small increases & using a chrono to plot vel gain.
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Old 02-16-2018, 01:57 PM
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Wasn't it 43,500psi or around 46k cup??

Whatever it is brutal.

Anyway, they made K frames which couldn't handle the pressure. Some folks like to shoot 357 mag out of Scandium snubs!
I've shot 357's from my Scandium J Frame I'm definitely not a fan! 5 shots were enough for me. I now stoke it up with Speer Gold Dot 38's. I do like the weight of it though 12 oz. Just about my every day carry actually slipped into a Kramer horse hide pocket holster, I'm good to go.
'
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:15 PM
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I've shot 357's from my Scandium J Frame I'm definitely not a fan! 5 shots were enough for me. I now stoke it up with Speer Gold Dot 38's. I do like the weight of it though 12 oz. Just about my every day carry actually slipped into a Kramer horse hide pocket holster, I'm good to go.
'
I have shot the BB 158gr 38+P special (and my duplicates)out of a 642 and that was brutal. No more, no thanks . Can not see the sense. The 110gr regular loads are good enough at 10 feet.
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Old 02-17-2018, 12:48 AM
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A couple of years ago, I did an inventory of my powders. I came across several cans of powder that I bought in the late 70s when my local hometown dealer was moving dead stock for cheap. Mostly old Winchester Ball powders. This was during one of those times when Win. decided to revamp their powder lineup. So I ended up with 450LS 230P 680 and a couple of others that I can't remember (they are in the stash in the basement and I am not) Because I have old manuals that have data in them showing the use for these powders, I have been trying to use them up. And at my age and current skill level they still work fine even if they aren't the first or best choice. I figure if I don't get this powder used it will just end up at the hazmat disposal days held by the SO and be burned up. So, I decided to burn it up one shot at a time! So, in answer to the OP's question: Yes sometimes the old load data still has value.
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Old 02-17-2018, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
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Hi,
Here's a follow up to my earlier post (Post #2).
This is Lyman Reloading Manual #38 from 1951.


http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/OM/IdealHandbook38.pdf

Pistol Data doesn't show until page 95.

Best Regards to y'all,
Jim
Thanks for a need piece of history. Skimmed through it. What I found very interesting was some of the calibers listed 45-90, 25-35, 38-55. 401&405 Winchester. What was missing was also interesting, 223, 22-250, 25-06, 308, 7mm WM, 300WM, 338WM.

Lot of on every store shelf calibers didn't even exist and some that are listed would be impossible to find.

I have some older books I inherited from my step dad. I look up some old stuff once in the while. I keep a couple old 25-35 and a 35 Remington in the family in ammo

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Old 02-17-2018, 09:30 AM
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Phil Sharpe's original 1937 "Complete Guide to Handloading" book is an excellent source for information on many now-obsolete cartridges and propellants. And there are sites on the internet from which it can be downloaded free.
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