This is a discussion on reloading +p within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; bmcgilvray and frankmako -
My understanding of why the loads are getting lighter is that it is due to changes in the powder. The powder ...
January 3rd, 2008 10:24 AM
bmcgilvray and frankmako -
My understanding of why the loads are getting lighter is that it is due to changes in the powder. The powder doesn't stay the same over time - burn rates change slightly and whatever else can change does too. If you're using powder from 1970 and loading data from 1970 you're probably fine. But if you're using powder from 2005 and loading data from 1950, you might blow something up and get hurt. I think I heard this explanation over on handloads.com, and it seemed sensible to me. Sorry I don't have a source for the info.
January 3rd, 2008 11:09 AM
Does seem credible but in all actuality I wouldn't worry about it unless I was running max loads. The max loads today are sometimes a lot less than the original loads.
Take the .357 Magnum for example. It was designed to operate at 38K, now it is lucky to go 36K. The original load was a 158gr LSWC at 1515fps from a 8 3/8" barrel. Now that same load is only 1200fps from a 10" barrel. Pretty pathetic.
January 3rd, 2008 12:39 PM
I've heard and read various comments (some heated forum discussion) claiming that powder rates have changed. 2400 (amongst others) comes to mind. In my view canister grade propellent powders have not materially changed. They're selling a product that performs to a standard. It would be highly undesireable for the manufacturer to deviate from that performance. If they did, they'd better rename 2400 to 2401 or at least label it as "new and improved". There's some product liability issues here. There have always been lot-to-lot variation concerns and manuals have warned about working up favored loads when using powder from a different lot number for many years. That does make good sense if one is "tripping the light fantastic" with maximum loads. I've used a couple of cans of "new" 2400 to produce loads for the .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, and (mostly) .30 Carbine and noticed no difference in performance though I worked it up to near max in the .357 magnum.
When I get settled from a protracted move I intend to test this old/new 2400 business in several appropriate cartridges. When packing up my shop I discovered I had a partial can of old Hercules 2400 that's at least 20 years old. I'll get a new can and do a comparison just for fun.
The ingredient that is used to make the nitro-cellulose has supposedly been changed in the IMR line of powders. You can bet that I'll work up to my favorite IMR 4895 load for my .30-40 Krag next can I open rather than just ladling in the powder, assuming all's right with the world.
I enjoy handloading as an end in itself and have a whole stable of +P equivalent loads worked up for .38 Special, 9mm, .44 Special, .45 ACP...even .25 ACP. Had a ball while doing it too. Don't shoot them regularly though. If someone wants to discuss handloading concoctions in detail they are welcome to PM me.
Another early handloading project I intend to undertake is experimentation with SR 4756 as published for the .38 Special in the infamous Speer No. 8. My Model 10 needs some more frame-stretching. Tune in to Pro Gun Pro Boards forum for discussion of what we members there term "The Load". About a month ago another forum concerned with a revered revolver maker most famous and esteemed got into a rather unseemly shouting match over the use of the Speer No. 8 manual SR 4756 data as published for .38 Special. A most unusual exchange for that forum. Thankfully I've not seen that degree of ugliness exhibited here.
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