Please help me get into reloading.

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by GCFisher, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. GCFisher

    GCFisher New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Hi. I'm new to this forum. My good friend Rustyshackleford101 referred me here. I am a longtime shooter but I am new to handloading. I've just gotten into it,and I have some questions. 1) I know that I should "cross reference" data sources, but how do I go about this? The starting loads in some manuals are close to the max loads in others! 2) What is "working up a load", why is it done, and how do I do it? 3) This ones kind of tricky to word. Can I use data for one bullet on another as long as the other one is the same weight and diameter? For example, my Lyman manual has data for 158gr LSWC for .38 special. They can be only made with lyman moulds. I have Magtech 158gr LSWC bullets. Could I use the lyman data (for their propriety cast bullet) with my other cast bullets? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks a lot.
     
  2. RaySendero

    RaySendero Member

    225
    1
    18
    Reloading

    GC,

    Give us a few more details:
    Your wanting to load 158 cast for a 38 Special or a 357M?
    What handgun you loading for?
    What primer and powder do you plan to use?
     

  3. therukh

    therukh New Member

    361
    0
    0
    Cross referencing refers to looking at several different, reputable loading data books (on-line data tables) and comparing the load data across all of them. In the old days, we took several stone tablets, oops, too far back...we looked at several different books and chose which load we liked and started loading. I still have all of my books and check them as needed. I bought Speer, Hornady & Serria reloading manuals and found loads that varied as you did. I chose the load with the least powder (I used Unique & 2100 at the time for .38 spl & .357 mag) and loaded some, usually no more than 25 to 50, and shot them for accuracy, all the while checking for signs of excess pressure or other problems. If I didn't like the load, I would load another small batch after increasing the powder charge by a tenth grain, and shoot them, always checking for pressure signs, etc. I kept repeating that process until I had a load I liked, shot well in the gun and did what I wanted. I approached the maximum loads listed with caution since each gun is different and I didn't want to damage the gun or myself. ...more later!
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    7
    1
    0
    first of all, welcome to FTF and glad to have you join us. stop over in the Introductions section and say hello andlet everyone give you a proper FTF hello.

    second, on reloading, my first suggestion is to get the book, "The ABC's Of Reloading" and read it several times before buying anything. it will explain a lot and help you understand the reloading process a bit better.

    then once that is out of the way, it will help you decide the equipment that you need from what you want. lots of good information in that book. i highly recommend it to anyone thinking about getting into reloading. it will save you lots of needless fustration in the beginning.
     
  5. RaySendero

    RaySendero Member

    225
    1
    18
    Also, Axx brings up a good point on reloading books. Do you have a hard copy of the lyman reloading book - If so what number edition is it?
     
  6. GCFisher

    GCFisher New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Raysendero-I was given an unopened bottle of 231,so I'll use that. I plan on using CCI small pistol primers
     
  7. GCFisher

    GCFisher New Member

    6
    0
    0
    I have a hard copy of Lyman's 49th edition manual. I've also read the ABCs of Reloading. I though up a bit of another conundrum. In the lyman manual, for .243 winchester, the only 100 grain bullet listed is a Hornady boat tail spitzer. Say I wanted to use a Sierra Pro Hunter (just because that's all my LGS has) it's the same diameter and weight, but it's of a not a spitzer (more of an ogive sort of shape, still pointed) and has a flat base. No bottail. Could I use the data for the hornady bullets with my sierras, or would I need a manual that has data for that particular Sierra bullet? Thanks
     
  8. RaySendero

    RaySendero Member

    225
    1
    18
    If you plan to use Sierras - Then yes get their manual:

    https://www.sierrabullets.com/store...th-Edition-Rifle-and-Handgun-Reloading-Manual
     
  9. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

    1,115
    0
    0
    Pick one source and work with it. Stop confusing yourself. Load data is a lot like opinions...everyone has one. good luck
     
  10. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,381
    221
    63
    Get a new Lyman manual. Next year get a Hodgdon manual. Year after next, get a Hornady manual.
    And most important, READ THEM!
     
  11. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

    4,910
    2
    38
    If you are planning to use a lot of cast bullets, I recommend that you consider adding The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook to your library. It's worth every cent, IMHO.
    The Lee Precision Modern Reloading 2nd Edition is also helpful, in that it has a huge variety of loads, including a helpful selection of cast loads. I don't care for it as a standalone manual, but the variety it brings does help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  12. GCFisher

    GCFisher New Member

    6
    0
    0
    Thanks so much guys! You all have helped me out a lot!
     
  13. GCFisher

    GCFisher New Member

    6
    0
    0
    It seems I can only find data for lead bullets meant to be cast by an individual. Is there any source for data on factory produced bullets? Would I need that data?
     
  14. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,381
    221
    63
    Use the same data for cast bullets whether you buy them or cast them.:)
     
  15. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    8,409
    1
    0
    Part of the reason for the confusion concerning conflicting

    data in the reloading manuals is they use different firearms

    to test their loads.

    I agree with Axxe, C3, and others who advise re-reading

    "The ABCs of Reloading" cover to cover. Also, I would advise

    acquiring at least two other reloading manuals, for reference sake.

    I like the Hornady, Lyman, and Speer manuals, but they are all good.


    As to "working up a load", my practice is to start with the lightest load

    I can find in print. From there, add the minimum powder in following loads

    as needed, in order to properly cycle the weapon, and shoot accurately.

    IME, this is generally far prior to the maximum listed load. Part of the

    economy of reloading is using as little powder as needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
  16. Vasa1628

    Vasa1628 New Member

    21
    0
    0
    Also part of the confusion is CYA..The moderate load for my 7mm Mauser from my 1969 Hornady book is way over Max. In the 9th edition,yet Ihave been using it with NO signs of even high pressure,much excessive. That makes me wonder about present loads in new. Editions.I have been hand loading since 1962, and am very particular about Safety,but this leaves a ? In my mind about their max. Data VASA 1628


    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
     
  17. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

    16,381
    221
    63
    Have ya noticed that max loads go down every time a new class graduates from law school??:D:D

    Seriously, I check the newer manuals, but I still use the old tried and true loads from my older manuals.
     
  18. 207driver

    207driver New Member

    80
    0
    0
    While this may be a little off topic, many of the 'old' powders are now made with new formulations, and while they burn close to the original, are not exactly the same. I still have some 2400 from the 70's that performs differently from the latest offering. Is it aged? Well, it still meets my original accuracy notes-didn't chrono it back then. While the new stuff is called the same, it did require tweeking of the load I use to reduce the pressure signs.

    Yeah, we are a more litigious lot now, and the newly listed "maximum load pressure" is substantially less in some calibers. But, it is still good practice to back off a bit if you are running hot when you get that fresh jug of powder. Just to make sure.

    GC,
    By now I am sure you have some experience in 'working up loads', and may have settled on some. By all means, understand how to read pressure signs from your spent brass. Also consider what you are really after, punching holes in paper doesn't need maximum velocity (unless that produces your best groups), and moderate loads will not beat up your gun as much as that full charge one does. Most accurate hunting loads are usually quite a bit lower than max.
     
  19. partdeux

    partdeux Well-Known Member

    4,586
    85
    48
    Chronograph is your friend.

    I feel your pain, as I'm new to reloading and also struggling with a fairly new powder. Three different sources from the powder mfg and using a bullet that doesn't appear on any of their limited amount of information. My first run showed it to be WAY faster than I expected. Powder will be cut way back next time I run the press.
     
  20. mboylan

    mboylan New Member

    215
    0
    0

    Absolutely not. Bullet construction and bearing surface greatly affect pressure.