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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I like the older reloading manuals because they have lots of data that might not be found in newer books.

However, the older data in some situations is loaded super hot, starting loads are near max loads in some situations when compared to a newer book. Should I reduced the starting charge in an older manual by 10-15 percent to just be safe?

I’m new to reloading and want to keep my fingers, I’m also not looking for super hot loads either, accurate and fun shooting is all I want.

The older manuals in question are Lyman 45th and 47th editions
 

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I don't know about those particular manuals. I would recommend starting with low pressure loads and working to the point you want to be at. Learn to see the signs of a high pressure load then back off. I'm getting ready to get back into reloading (if I can it's so crazy out there). I used to run as low power load as I could while being reasonable. For example, I shot .223 rounds in my 5.56/.223 guns. There's not enough difference unless hunting long distance and otherwise, you're just wearing out barrels and using more powder for nothing. In most cases a 223 will do what a 5.56 will do. For SD, definitely 5.56 but otherwise, lower pressure loads. You won't miss the bigger bang if you can even tell. There's another opinion.
 

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Good advice SG but some powders can not be loaded light. Anybody can use older manuals but you should check it with modern loading data you can easily find on line . Western, Alliant and Hodgdon all have sites with modern reloading data. I printed my own manual for Western powder. Alliant sent me a free one.
 

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I always load around 6 to test at 1/2 .
Powders do change even with the same name so it's best in my opinion to check the new & old data on the powder first & see if there is changes to the amount to use .
 

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It is not a good idea to go below minimum or above maximum. But, if you are using old data with new powder, you need to cross reference new data and if that differs lower than your old data you can then dip below the old data minimums. If you are using older powder you might be better off not getting too much into the cross reference with newer data, though it does not hurt to look. As an example, I have worked up some loads for cartridges using some powder that I had that was pretty old, but properly stored. The old data was right on and gave excellent performance. In one instance I was using H4227 to load .17 Mach IV. When I tested some other powders I searched out the most recent data available, but I was using 25 year old data for the H4227. I still use some HS-7 sometimes, and refer to older manuals with this no longer manufactured powder.
My rule of thumb is this, with old powder use old data and with new powders use new data, and never use less than minimum or exceed maximum unless carefully cross referenced.
 

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I've heard the rumor that at some point, the ammo industry intentionally downloaded ammo from what it used to be, something about when SAAMI switched from the old CUP and LUP pressure measurements to piezo electric PSI measurements. No idea if that is true, or if that has had any effect on loading data over the years. I suspect that modern load data is different simply because the powders we use now is different than the powders made long ago and modern testing equipment provides better testing.

I very much like my face and hands to remain in their current state, so I have never wandered outside the bounds of min and max loads. I don't think I have the knowledge, experience, nor equipment to do my own customizing in that regard. Certainly there are cases where I'd like to, and I've looked into such (I even have a thread about reduced loads for 300 Blackout), but in truth, not sure I'm comfortable in going there because the parameters I was looking for aren't in any manuals or data I can find.

I don't have any old powder that I need to worry about and that gives me a certain comfort level in its own right.
 

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I have older and newer manuals. For my older loads I still use the Older Manuals since I also have my Notes in them from past years. And I squeezed peak accuracy out of each load using them. So the old saying comes to mind regardless of what my new books say If It Ain't Broke don't Fix It! And since I am 100% satisfied with the loads I guess I am going to say I am too Lazy to take the time to try to improve them. 1/2 MOA are good enough for me.
But I do use my New Manuals for my 7mm Rem Mag, 338 Lapua Mag. and a couple of other newer loads.
In some of my old Manuals the 338 Lapua Mag information isn't even listed!;)

03
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All good points guys, I referenced the Hornady 10th edition with the 2 books I mentioned above and took a closer look at the loads. None of the minimum loads in the Hornady book are close to the minimum loads in the Lyman books.

I looked at the velocity numbers for similar charges in the rounds I wanna load from both books and they match up pretty well. Only 200 FPS difference between some loads in the Lyman vs Hornady manuals with the same charge.

The Lyman books are just a bit warmer it seems but not necessarily dangerous. However some minimum charges in the Hornady book are lower than the Lyman book. So I think I’ll be safe to drop the minimum powder charge on rounds from they Lyman book by say 10%.

I do like being able to cross reference between books it can really help make an informed decision. However some loads are not listed in the Hornady book and they are in the older Lyman books. For example IMR 4895 in 6.5 Carcao is In the older Lyman books but not the Hornady 10th. I’ll tread with caution with those loads and maybe go slightly below minimum just to be safe considering the minimum is a pretty steep load and my chamber isn’t exactly perfect in one of my rifles.

I’ll also be using CCI Military Large rifle primers, it’s all I got. I heard they have slightly more priming compound compared to a normal LR primer.

Any other tips and tricks y’all got to help out a new guy?
 

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37

You are correct on the Large Military Primers they were developed with a hotter ignition process.
Similar to the regular Large Magnum Primers they and others manufacture.

03
 

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You should also note that some data from manuals are tested from actual guns and some are not. My Speer #14 manual says either it was tested in a gun (Remington 700 ) or a universal receiver. It’s common for me to find myself somewhere in the middle of the min to max when I find my accurate load. The exception is 243 with 109 grain is at the bottom. When I start something new I like to look at every piece of info I can get my hands on. Safety first but I also don’t like wasting time and money because you will never get them back.
 

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I thought you meant "old" manuals. The 47th is hardly old, it's the newest one I have. My oldest manual goes back to Phil Sharpe's 1937 tome. Next several are from the 50's. Those are old and I still use them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I thought you meant "old" manuals. The 47th is hardly old, it's the newest one I have. My oldest manual goes back to Phil Sharpe's 1937 tome. Next several are from the 50's. Those are old and I still use them.
I suppose old is a subjective term lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You should also note that some data from manuals are tested from actual guns and some are not. My Speer #14 manual says either it was tested in a gun (Remington 700 ) or a universal receiver. It’s common for me to find myself somewhere in the middle of the min to max when I find my accurate load. The exception is 243 with 109 grain is at the bottom. When I start something new I like to look at every piece of info I can get my hands on. Safety first but I also don’t like wasting time and money because you will never get them back.
Yes some loads list what rifle they were tested in and that helps a lot too.
 

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I've heard the rumor that at some point, the ammo industry intentionally downloaded ammo from what it used to be, something about when SAAMI switched from the old CUP and LUP pressure measurements to piezo electric PSI measurements. No idea if that is true, or if that has had any effect on loading data over the years. I suspect that modern load data is different simply because the powders we use now is different than the powders made long ago and modern testing equipment provides better testing.

I very much like my face and hands to remain in their current state, so I have never wandered outside the bounds of min and max loads. I don't think I have the knowledge, experience, nor equipment to do my own customizing in that regard. Certainly there are cases where I'd like to, and I've looked into such (I even have a thread about reduced loads for 300 Blackout), but in truth, not sure I'm comfortable in going there because the parameters I was looking for aren't in any manuals or data I can find.

I don't have any old powder that I need to worry about and that gives me a certain comfort level in its own right.
I've heard the same thing so you aren't alone. There didn't used to be a +P designation. So, what were people shooting before +P? Makes me wonder. If it happened, I think it was a liability thing. They need to shut down 2/3's of the law schools......
 

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After 60 years of handloading I have every confidence in Lyman's books. I used to cross reference loads from Lyman to Hornady to Speer to Sierra to whatever power manufacturers data I was using and back until I was blue in the face. For the past 30 years my most used and trusted book has been a Lyman of one vintage or another. If in doubt I'll pick a load on the lighter side of the middle and be perfectly confident. Then I can go from there.

The majority of cartridges I enjoy shooting aren't even listed in books newer than about 1980 and, some not that new so, unless I want to extrapolate a powder charge, which I frequently do, I have to use "old" manuals for a starting point. The most unfortunate thing is a lot of the powders listed are no longer in production. When was the last time any of you saw DuPont #5 or #80 or any of the Alcan powders? Yeah.....me too.... :( .....'course there is better powders today.
 
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Oldest one I've got is the Lee 2nd Edition -- their 2003 book, revised in 2011, with updates through 2019.

I've noticed a handful of "off" numbers in a couple of the guides I have. So I prefer to have several more in order to verify at least two competing sources for a given recipe, ideally three sources. Retentive, I'm sure, but I don't have one one-hundredth of the knowledge of long-time reloaders, so it's my safety net. Better safe than sorry, IMO.
 
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