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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been reloading pistol for a few years now and in 38 used DEWC and "the" recipe of 2.7gr bullseye.
Got new guns, new sport (CAS) and new bullets (158 RNFP) for use in a rifle.

So I figure it's a good time to work up new loads specific to what i"m doing. Also read an article (posted in another thread here) about small volume loads in large volume cases and how position of the powder in the case at ignition can have a large effect on pressure and FPS.

Figured I check my 4 books and alliant's site to get 'all' the data...and ****, is it really science or black magic when it comes to load data?

Some books' starting loads are more than other books max loads...one book has a max load that is well above another's +P load...

The 148 WC data is fairly close - 2.5 to 3.1 with one going to 3.7(!).

The 158 is the tough one..2.6 to 3.6 in one book and 3.8 to 4.2 in another...Alliant says 3.5 (I assume max as they only list one figure).

Now to decide what to actually make up for test loads...
 

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Though I hesitate to speak for others, several of us on this forum including myself, 57K, and Fred have kicked this point around before. There seems to be no "standard" chamber or barrel used in testing in the industry, and so adding in the differences of friction coefficients of the various bullets available, there is what many of us consider a deplorable difference in data between so called "reliable sources". Fred's concept, with which 57K and I both concur with some reservations, is to use an "average" of the max loads from several sources and carefully work up to that if "max" is where you are going. If you are using a less than "modern" gun to do your testing, then perhaps the Lyman manual is a good place to start, since for the most part it lists loads that are well below the SAAMI pressure maximum, but at mid range will always seem to run the gun if you are using a semi-auto.

Though a great deal of the discrepancies seem to be about the chamber and barrel diameters used in testing, the bullet types, lengths, diameters, and the materials of various hardness they are made out of also contribute a lot to the differences. Therefore, it is essential that reloaders understand what pressure signs are interpretable, that they get a chronograph, and begin any testing with new components at no higher than mid range for a particular group of components. Handloading is certainly a science, but also an art, and the more experience and data you get the better.

More specifically to your question though, since CAS is what you are into at this time, you might look into powders designed for that game, which are high loft (good at filling the case), low velocity powders which are listed as being suitable on the canister for Cowboy Action Shooting or SASS games.
 

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For Cowboy loads, see if you can get some Trail Boss, go to the Cowboy Loads section of the manufacture's data, and do what they tell you to do. There is no need at all for heavy loads in Cowboy Shooting, and bunny burp loads do just fine.

Wild Bunch has different equipment requirements, but you are not going to be using a 357 in Wild Bunch anyway except at casual local matches.


edit: If you want to use Bullseye, go to the various data sets and find the lowest minimum charge suggested. You don't want bullets sticking in the barrel, but any load that will reliably get the bullet out of the barrel and all the way to the target in a reasonable time is fine. One of your data sets gives 2.6 grains. Give it a try and see if it works.
 

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Another thing to consider is the hardness of the lead alloy... that could make a big difference between your loads, in addition to what 57K said above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I'll run right down the local store, they're over stocked in every powder, component and even ammo. LOL

As for min loads..I HEAR that there is no real min load for BE, but 231 can be loaded so light as to not fire at all... but I saw last night TWO BE squibs with 'bunny burp' loads..was it position sensitivity or something else? 2 different experienced shooters/reloaders too.

Hence my interest in reviewing the available info..and finding it differs greatly.

So do you go with FACTS (which obviously conradict) or HEARSAY (be that here, google or guys at the range)?

I thought I was more knowledgable and learning more about reloading..the more I know the less I know it seems.
 

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Yeah, I'll run right down the local store, they're over stocked in every powder, component and even ammo. LOL

You said you have been using Bullseye. Do you still have some? If you do, there is no need to run laughing out loud right down to the local store to get some more from their massive supplies. You also said you have new bullets. Primers are in good supply at the moment. I don't see a problem if you still have some Bullseye.

As for min loads..I HEAR that there is no real min load for BE, but 231 can be loaded so light as to not fire at all... but I saw last night TWO BE squibs with 'bunny burp' loads..was it position sensitivity or something else? 2 different experienced shooters/reloaders too.

You do have reloading data. You indicated you have at least 5 sources. Those sources generally have minimum bunny burp loads listed. Don't go below those recommended loads. Relying on what you HEAR will get you harmed. The "experienced" loaders you say last night evidently are not very good sources of information if they both had squibs. Follow published data. For Cowboy shooting, try, as I mentioned above, the low end of the published data. Powder position should not be a significant factor with those published loads.


Hence my interest in reviewing the available info..and finding it differs greatly.

So do you go with FACTS (which obviously conradict) or HEARSAY (be that here, google or guys at the range)?

You go with tested data. All data do not agree, but those data have all been tested under a specific set of conditions. Pick the data that most closely match your components, start low, and then work up to your desired performance level. HEARSAY will get you killed. Unpublished data from internet posters can also get you blown to bits or stick bullets in your barrel.

I thought I was more knowledgable and learning more about reloading..the more I know the less I know it seems.
...
 

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Mouse fart loads where you can actually see the bullet are always fun.

When I was a kid I always liked shooting .22 shorts because I could see the bullet travel. Thought that was awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the advice was to get a case filling powder at the load you want to use.
BE is NOT htat powder in a 38case.
trail boss would be.
Never seen it in any store, anywhere.
My other fave powders are also out of stock.

hence my response 'sure, i'll run right out and get new powder'

when one says min load is 2.5, anohter 2.7 anohter 3.x then what? ONe book's MIN is more than the other books MAX! We use books because we TRUST they know what they're doing. But when you find the 'experts' are in direct conflict with eachother then the TRUST is broken.
It's no longer science and fact but faith and belief. Mystery and luck.
 

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the advice was to get a case filling powder at the load you want to use.
BE is NOT htat powder in a 38case.
trail boss would be.
Never seen it in any store, anywhere.
My other fave powders are also out of stock.

hence my response 'sure, i'll run right out and get new powder'



when one says min load is 2.5, anohter 2.7 anohter 3.x then what? ONe book's MIN is more than the other books MAX! We use books because we TRUST they know what they're doing. But when you find the 'experts' are in direct conflict with eachother then the TRUST is broken.
It's no longer science and fact but faith and belief. Mystery and luck.

THE Classic .38 Sp. Bullseye/WC load has been around longer than probably any reloader on the forum. It is born out of bullseye competition. I agree with much of what was said in the powder position article, but I also believe it's relative to the pressure of the load to a degree. A couple of powders come to mind as far as being high loft as JSG mentioned, WST and Western gives data for AA#2 that's very close to the classic BE load that ranges only from 2.6 (634 FPS) to 2.9 (720 FPS) with the 148 gr. WCDBB. Another thing to keep in mind as far as double-ended or the button-nose WCs I like is that so much of the bullet is seated into the case that it does cut down the available powder space quite a bit.

Then you have the very high loft powders like Trail Boss for SASS that you might want to look into in terms of accuracy reports and such. Since it's shaped like small donuts, I can't say I'd be excited about metering. Then there's V-V Tin Star that gets very good reviews including being used by the world champion who endorses it for V-V, and naturally, it has a V-V price to consider. ;)
 
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