Hey guys I just got my press and all of my other equipment over the weekend. I have been reading everything I can and feel like I will be ready to churn out my first batch of conservative loads this weekend. I got a Barnes reloading manual, which has some great pictures and descriptions. One thing I cannot seem to figure out has to do with case brand and primer brand. Whenever I look up load data it always lists the case brand and the brand of the primer. Does it matter if I am using brass from remington, winchester, or federal. I have all three types and did not know if I need different load data for each type of case. I would assume that I can use the same load data because the cases should have the same dimensions, but I was not sure if case thickness would vary to any substantial degree and require different loads for the different brands.
Also does the same go for bullet weight? I am reloading 30-30 and am using Remington bullets. Do I need to find load data for that particular bullet or just 170 grains?
I know this is a rookie question, sorry if it has been asked before but I did a search and could not find anything specific.
Answer in two parts.
You didn't ask, but primers are not all created equal, even if all the same catagory, as in Large Rifle. The standard large rifle primers from the various manufacturers will vary in hotness and in hardness. For now, suffice it to say, pick a primer and stay with it until you prove to yourself you need to try something different.
Cases from different manufacturers can vary in thickness. With the outside dimension being the same, as they all have to fit in the chamber, the inside dimension has to give way. Thus, the case capacity changes, pressure changes, velocity changes, accuracy changes. Like the primers, it's best to stay with one brand of cases, but that is not always what happens. So, what you have to do is sort by brand and keep the loaded rounds in their own boxes.
My loads for all my rifles go in the various brands of brass, sorted and kept in their respective boxes. Also, all bullets are not the same, even if they are the same caliber and weight. Some may be faster or slower, some may develop more or less pressure than another. Your manual will state something to the effect of "any change in component WILL change your results. Fear not, start with the suggested starting load and work your way up, slowly and safely. You've already changed one part of the equation. Your rifle is different than what was used in their lab to work up the data. Even if it is the same make and model, it is not specific to your rifle - it is a safe place to start. The rest is up to you and your good judgment.
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Thanks for the reply. I figured the answer was going to be something to the effect of "work up slowly and be safe." I am going to start with some really light loads just to get my feet wet and then work up looking for signs of pressure and stress. I guess 10-15% below what is listed in the loading manual is good to start with, correct?
Also besides what was said, especially with a rifle, changing brass can change your point of impact. This due to the pressure changes and such. Best accuracy will be found by staying with one brand of brass. I went with all Remington brass for my 700 in 308. Not because Remington was better than any of the others but it was just what I had the most of. Gave the mixed stuff to a buddy with a FNFAL. It shoots anything about the same. I do load mixed brass for my pistols as the small changes aren't as noticeable.
An old saying is "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." I believe in a head for an eye and a hand for a tooth. Keeps folks away from my eyes and teeth.
That really is the answer and a good one to follow. I was loading some 22 Hornets yesterday and decided on a charge of 13 grains of Lil'Gun. In Remington brass there was about a 1/8 inch space left after dumping in the charge. Some of my brass was Winchester and that same charge flowed over the top. So as the warning in the book says, if any one component is changed, start at the min load and work up.I figured the answer was going to be something to the effect of "work up slowly and be safe
SI VIS PACEM--PARA BELLUM
One mistake I made with the first loads I did 20+ years ago was to not understand that lead, jacketed, and plated bullets are not all created equal when you're reading load data. (I know, we didn't have plated then). The manual was a Speer #8 and not clear on the bullets, not to mention notoriously over amping the rounds.
Also be careful loading significantly reduced loads with slow powder. They can actually cause greater pressure. Start with listed starting loads at first. Then work up.
That link provides a great reason to keep your brass in lots of the same make.
When ever you change a component, even when opening a new can of powder, the same exact powder you were just loading, it could and probably be from a different lot and may be slightly hotter than the last batch; it is wise to start from the bottom and work up. I've personally never experienced a significant change from lot to lot, but there are members here that can vouch for that.
Even with bullets that are the same weight and alloy (lead bullets) a difference in shape can make a lot of difference. For instance a Long Flat Nose bullet compared to a Wide Flat Nose bullet, same weight, same alloy and same diameter will have different pressures levels for the same amount of powder. In a LFN bullet more of the bullet is sticking out of the case, giving more case capacity, and thus lowering the pressure with the same load. On the other hand, the WFN bullet will have more of the bullet in the case, taking up capacity and increasing pressure with the same load.
So far what I read is good advice and it's probably what you read in your manual. You should follow all safety advice. Now that I say that. It's not easy to get components in my area so for years I use what I can get. As all the good advice already stated I also follow these rules. I will at times use mix brass with a charge that is safe in them all. I use these rounds for plinking and sighting in a scope. I that switch over to the rounds that I'm going to use for hunting purpose. Whatever load I decide to use for hunting is also my target load. Hand loaded using commercial brass all same brand from same lot carefully scaled charges and C.O.A.L.
One of my books is a Modern Reloading manual by Richard Lee it's as basic as a reloading manual can get. I read how the data works in this book before using it. The data in this manual only give cartridge dimension bullet weight (jacket or lead) powder type, starting charge and max charge. (As basic as a manual can get.) I use this data on any combination of components I have and kept notes in my load record book.
Safe loading and good shooting. Have fun.
My Avatar is my brother John who left me to soon. He was 10 Y/O 1 month older than me. He took me off the Streets of Brooklyn taught me how to handle a rifle and to hunt. For his attention I would always be grateful. Rest in Peace Brother John.
I am NOT limiting my discussion to just .30-30.
Reloading is like cooking- if you vary the ingredients, you will have variable results, sometimes catastrophic!
Each brand of case may require a different powder charge for the same velocity.
The data in reloading manuals is relevant only when all conditions are equal. You should ALWAYS start 10% to 15% below below the maxim powder charges and work upwards. Learn to read pressure signs and use a chronograph.
As noted earlier, various brands of brass can have different capacities. Military brass generally is thicker and has less capacity so loads have to be reduced.
It is a good idea to sort the brass by maker and caliber. I keep each group of brass together and label each box with number of loadings, full length resizings, and trimmings.
I will keep 50 or 100 cases in a group for 'hotter loads' (factory equivalent). I use mixed brand brass for reduced loads where differences in case capacity are not critical.
As for bullets, you can use 170g jacketed bullet loads for your Remington bullets but reduce the max loads by 10% or 15% to start.
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And then cannelures can be in different places, leaving more or less cartridge capacity than the cited load data's bullet. That is why I have wondered in my very short time at hand loading why the emphasis is on OAL in load data and not seating depth or some other way to make a common measurement so that provided you use the brand brass in the load data that you could substitute a different bullet of the same weight and be reasonably assured that capacity in the cartridge with the bullet seated would be very close or the same.Originally Posted by Dill45
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and I feel my finger on your trigger
I know nobody can do me no harm"..