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Optimal pressure for loads?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Questor, Dec 10, 2007.

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  1. Questor

    Questor TS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
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    I am new to loading for trap and am wondering whether there is an optimal pressure for trap loads, especially trap loads that will be used for cold weather shooting.

    I recall reading from a shotshell reloading book that ballistic engineers prefer a pressure of about 10,500 for maximum uniformity and consistency.

    The real question here is how I can make the best loads for myself.

    Since picking a pressure is about as easy as looking up load data, I don't see why I shouldn't use an optimal pressure. Of course, I'd be using magnum shot, good wads, quality powder like Clays, and quality hulls probably Winchester AA.

    About the only component I have any preference for is the AA hulls because of their general availability.

    Finally, if you know of a good book that explains load development for trap, I'd like to know it.

    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.
     
  2. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    SE PA
    As far as books go, try the original red hardcover version of the Hodgdon Shotshell Reloading Guide, and the Lyman Shotshell Reloading Handbook, 5th Edition.

    Regarding pressures. When you talk to powder manufacturer's ballisticians, they tell you they consider any load they develop to be suitable for publication for use by reloaders if it falls within a 25fps and 2500psi range. So, as a general rule, I'm very reluctant to use loads that develop a "nominal" 10,500psi, because they can generate more than that.

    I try to stay between 8000psi and 9000psi generally. That seems to give me enough pressure for a consistent burn and enough headroom for comfort.

    For example: my 1oz load of e3 @1150fps generates about 8000psi with an STS209 primer. It is clean as a whistle when the weather is warm, but starts to deposit a little soot when the temps hit the mid 30s. No off sounding shells or bloopers, just a little soot. That tells me a little more pressure is in order. I'll either deepen the crimp, or add 1/2 grain, or switch to a W209 primer. Any will raise the pressure of my load.

    My 1 1/8oz load using W209 primers and American Select generates 9000psi @ 1150fps and is clean down to 30 degrees (haven't used it in colder weather yet), so I don't have to adjust it.

    I've found soot is a good indicator. If your pressure is a little too low for a given temperature, you will see a little more soot buildup around the muzzle than you would with the same load in warmer weather. You'll notice the soot buildup sooner than you will start to hear off sounding shells, and way before you start to get bloopers.
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    In cold weather use a fast burning powder and a hot primer. Start out with a low pressure load and slowly increase until you find the one that your gun likes. HMB
     
  4. Michael Jobe

    Michael Jobe TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    As long as you're below max, don't worry about pressure.

    If your load is above 9,000 psi, you shouldn't have any problems in cold weather. It may be a little dirtier than normal, but who cares? As long as there's no off sounding loads, or bloopers, don't worry about it.

    ~Michael
     
  5. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    I pefer to keep pressures at or above 9000PSI for the 12. The smaller bores will normally run 10,000+PSI.
     
  6. pheasantmaster

    pheasantmaster Well-Known Member

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    2,061
    I have had good results with Green Dot in the 9000 to 10000 psi range down to 5 above.
     
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