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Factory loads ?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by capvan, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    When I handload, I choose loads that are mid-range to the low end. How do factory loads compare to the range of loads in the manuals? High side or ?? I ask because sometimes my loads don't cycle the actions on my semi-autos as reliably as the factory loads and I'm trying to track down the cause. I know a chrony would solve this question, but I haven't got one ....

    Bruce
     
  2. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    For less than the price of four bags of shot, you could own one...

    But to answer your question, most factory loads are at the maximum for the loading indicated on the box. A 2-3/4DE 1-1/8 ounce loading will usually be rated as clocking 1,150 and a 3DE will be listed at 1,200. Without a chronograph, you're guessing that, out of your gun, your loads do what the loading manual says they should.

    Ed
     
  3. capvan

    capvan Active Member

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    Ahhh, I was unclear. I was talking about metallic loads...

    Bruce
     
  4. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that most metallic factory rifle loads are loaded to near maximum velocity for the bullet weight and caliber. Exceptions would be "reduced recoil" loads and possibly some target grade ammunition. Some vintage cartridges like the 7mm and 8mm Mauser, 45-70 Government, .303 British, etc. that are loaded well below maximum pressure for modern rifles as there are many old Mausers and other makes that are well over 100 years old. The 30-06 is loaded to full pressure as the original Springfield actions were strong.

    You state that you are using "loads that are mid-range to the low end." I would think that if you are using a published load for a caliber, say a .308 Winchester, and are using a typical bullet weight say 150 grains, I would think that the round would cycle the action even if it was loaded at the low end of published data.

    I suggest that you visit a metallic cartridge board and provide more specifics such as caliber, bullet weight, powder number and charge weight.

    In my Speer # 13 manual, certain powders like IMR 4895 are marked as recommended for military semi-autos.

    For pumps, levers and semi-autos, brass IMO should be full length resized for each loading and carefully crimped.

    I load a reduced 150 grain round for my bolt action 30-06 and .308 target rifles and the .308 cycles a friends M-14 style action in .308 and another friends BAR in 30-06. I don't want to be specific about charge weight but it is on the light side of Speer published data for 150 grain bullets.

    If factory ammo cycles your action and your reloads do not then there may be a problem with your reloads.

    Do not experiment or try to load too hot a cartridge. Always look for signs of excess pressure. Your loading manual should provide illustrations of what to look for.

    If you find grains of unburned powder in the action, something is wrong with your load or the way that it has been assembled. My very first metallic cartridge reloads were not properly crimped and my loads were 10% below low range of published data. I upped the powder charge to the recommended starting load (low side) and made sure that the crimp was tight and the reloads worked fine. These reloads were fired in a lever action with a tubular magazine and the bullet was being pushed back into the case.

    You may also want to have a gunsmith check out your rifle to see if the gas system is working properly.

    Be extra careful, weigh your charges and always use published data.

    Ed Ward
     
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