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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My newest manual is a 50th lyman, I have been cross referencing load data and searching on the interwebs. I have found a ton of manuals and the older ones seem to have much hotter loads due to pressure rating changes over the years. My main question is is it ok to load to the old manual data? or would it be advised to load to the current manual data? Have seen some loads which are a few grains higher then current and do not want to grenade anything lol
 

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I've always looked to multiple sources when developing a load and have found that even with modern manuals, loads vary from book to book. I currently have the Speer v12 and v14, Lymans 48th, Lymans 50th, Hornady 10, and a bunch of different manufacturers sites that also provide load data (Hodgedon/IMR/Winchester; Alliant; Accurate Arms...) and I look at the components they are using in their load workup for any given round and compare to what I am using. If I am unfamiliar with the powder or the round I start with the absolute lowest starting charge that I find across all information and work up from there.

I usually don't try to go for maximum powder charge just because its the max, and have found that max charge isn't always the best. For instance, working up 10mm loads, I found that just a couple of 10ths below max provided best accuracy for defensive rounds.

And, to your point originally, Mr. X - older manuals most definitely have hotter loads. I'm almost positive that lawyers and liability questions were involved in decreasing the recommended loads.
 

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Depends....

If the variation is because the powder manufacturer changed his formula (like Hercules/Alliant did with 2400), then no. If it's because SAMMI lowered the maximum pressure over concern for older guns like they did with the .38 spl, but you are using a modern weapon of adequate construction, then you should be OK working up to it. If you don't know any history behind why the loads changed, then no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've always looked to multiple sources when developing a load and have found that even with modern manuals, loads vary from book to book. I currently have the Speer v12 and v14, Lymans 48th, Lymans 50th, Hornady 10, and a bunch of different manufacturers sites that also provide load data (Hodgedon/IMR/Winchester; Alliant; Accurate Arms...) and I look at the components they are using in their load workup for any given round and compare to what I am using. If I am unfamiliar with the powder or the round I start with the absolute lowest starting charge that I find across all information and work up from there.

I usually don't try to go for maximum powder charge just because its the max, and have found that max charge isn't always the best. For instance, working up 10mm loads, I found that just a couple of 10ths below max provided best accuracy for defensive rounds.

And, to your point originally, Mr. X - older manuals most definitely have hotter loads. I'm almost positive that lawyers and liability questions were involved in decreasing the recommended loads.
figured as much ladder loads to the rescue. wish they had a affordable way for the reloader to measure pressure
 

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You would likely have no problem working up loads using the old numbers, but keep in mind they release new load data for a reason. They're not just reducing the loads because they need to make a new manual.....and, they are working with the companies directly and it's entirely possible that Bullseye, for example, has changed, even slightly, from when those old manuals were new. You never know. ;)
 

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figured as much ladder loads to the rescue. wish they had a affordable way for the reloader to measure pressure
For the most part, reloaders just have to go with 'signs' of excessive pressure, such as cratered/flattened/backing out primers, excessive deviation across a chronograph up around max expected velocities, split cases, spontaneous firearm disassembly, an odd tingling and bleeding hole where part of your gun hand used to be . . . .
 

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I keep older versions for reference. I think for Lyman the major transition was between Lyman's 44th or 45th to Lyman's 46th. The loads do appear to be lighter after that point. I also generally load to mid levels based on the current data Most of my firearms however will handle +P loadings without a problem so that's an additional buffer built in.
 

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I too am pretty much strictly a mid-range loader. I only shoot my reloads at paper zombies anyway and mid gives ME a nice compromise among power, safety and economy desires using my sole handgun powder, Win 231/HP-38.

IMHO you won't go wrong using the latest published reloading data available. Yes there is some lawyer intervention at work, but also testing is now a lot more accurate using pressure transducers over the old 'crush a cylinder of metal and measure it' protocol. I also seem to recall reading articles ages ago by well known shooters who seemed to use a 'keep increasing the charge till the gun blowed up' methodology. - lol
 

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The general consensus is that the data in the old manuals is "hotter" because their less sophisticated methods of measuring pressure meant they didn't know the actual pressures they were generating - and the pressure spikes in particular were in excess of SAAMI specs. There is also a pretty prevalent belief that as time goes by and there are guns with more years worth of wear and tear on them, the powder manufacturers have reduced the recommended amounts of powder in their loads to ensure they remain safe for even the oldest firearms that they are likely to be shot in.
All that being said, the old loads were generally safe enough to not grenade guns that were mechanically sound back in the day, so there is no reason to believe that wouldn't still be true today - as long as the gun they are being shot in is in good condition.
FWIW, I am with RandyP - I primarily load mid-range target loads. Though I have been thinking of loading some Buffalo Bore level old-school "FBI" loads for my SD carry revolvers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was looking at the sierra app today fpr .38sp +p and the higher end of the spectrum they are pushing light magnum + on some of them for sure
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yep read that thread also, actually purchased a new sierra 11 manual to cross fereference the current sierra app. Most loads are a grain or more over what the powder manufactuers recommend. Going to work up a defensive 38 +p load soon also to have in the data bank.
 

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I reload for accuracy, which usually does not translate to fastest. If my SD bullets don’t expand properly at the accuracy speed, I find one that does.

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I reload for accuracy, which usually does not translate to fastest. If my SD bullets don’t expand properly at the accuracy speed, I find one that does.

YMMV
definitely could not agree more, Luckily most of the loads I have used have been common loads used by many so there is a ton of data on how well they work online. I for example worked up to a max load of trail boss in .38 special and 357 magnum and found that instead of max 4gr shot more accurate.

for some reason also I find that in .38 special plated ammo shoots better when loaded to +p and soft lead shoots better at +p loads. I find that if I match the bh of the bullet and the psi so it obturates correctly int the barrels it greatly increases my accuracy. could be attributed to most of the lead bullets I use have a bh of 10-12.

speed is useless If I cant hit the target lol

Appreciate the input from everyone Thank you all
 

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LoadData the online loading manual from the publisher of Handloader and Rifle magazines has both old and new data from loading manuals and magazine articles.
 
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I keep older versions for reference. I think for Lyman the major transition was between Lyman's 44th or 45th to Lyman's 46th. The loads do appear to be lighter after that point. I also generally load to mid levels based on the current data Most of my firearms however will handle +P loadings without a problem so that's an additional buffer built in.
It's an old thread, but a current topic because people always wonder about the "hot" loads of yesteryear. You mentioned Lyman's 44th. Here is the data for 240-250 grain hard cast .44 Special back in 1967, tested in s Colt SAA. Loads like this give people the heebie jeebies today. Just for informational purposes.
 

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One thing to remember about manuals and their data... Test barrels are just that. Unless you are shooting with the exact same gun/barrel your results will vary. Find the load YOUR gun "likes" and stop before blowing it, and you, up.
 

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to me its a lot like following as gasoline recommendations for your new 2019 car by using recommendations from a 1953 manual.
things change over time, especially years and years.
first no 2 batches of any powder are identical, the chemist guys at the powder companies add stuff to get the powder rates as close to uniform as possible but still.
a powder that was manufactured say 30 -40 years ago is not going to be same as a powder manufactured last year typically. add to that that these load rates are generalizations as to performance with a mind on safety.
as we are now a much more sue everybody nation well safety margins have been increased, guess someone is trying to protect us from ourselves???--well I will show them-- here hold my Beer!
in the end does it really matter that much if your load produces 550 Ft pounds of energy or a measilly 530 Ft Lbs of energy???
we all have our loading rituals , myself I will stay within the recommended loads from the current info.
 

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I use current load data for all but one of my loads, that one I don't is .32 S&W Long. I am using data that dates back to the early 50's I think. Well above today's max data. I worked up to it slowly and watched for signs of pressure that never came. What I did do is get my cases to expand properly and not get scorching down the case almost to the rim. I also started getting complete powder burns, which never happened with current data. Now my .32 S&W Longs are hot loads in modern terms and they are also way more accurate. I did work up my loads in a .32 Mag revolver to stay on the safer side.
 
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