General Reloading Question(s)

BR-549

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I am sure most of this is covered somewhere within the forum, but I haven't found it yet and since there isn't much hunting going on I figured you all wouldn't mind a revisit.

Curious, when you are developing a new load and are looking through the data there are normally 4- 6 workups for each bullet weight. Do you generally use the (* ) marked load first or do you try out several (or one) based on past experience with certain powders or other components?

In regard to case trimming, I have been told different opinions and I am sure there are many here, but is it necessary? Or, maybe a better question, when is it absolutely necessary?

Lastly, how many times can a cartridge safely be reloaded, and what are the signs that maybe it is time for retirement of a batch of brass, other than obvious signs?
 

sbhooper

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I usually start one grain below max and work up or down as needed for the load. Your rifle will tell you where to go.

A case has to be trimmed at some point. Some rifles/loads stretch faster than others. You can run into problems if the case gets too long.

Case life depends on the caliber/load also. A moderate load in a standard caliber can get many loadings from a case. Usually, the hotter loads will give you a bit more wear and tear on the casing. I retire my brass when the neck starts to split, or the primer does not want to stay in anymore. I am not a benchrester, so I don't split hairs. I have gotten along well with this approach for over 40 years.
 

Ben Lamb

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BR,

In developing a new load, I generally use 3-4 paper manuals or online manuals from powder and bullet manufacturers. I tend to develop loads based on ladder tests to see what load is most accurate in my rifle, meaning I load in .2-.3 grain increments and run them through a chronograph as well. It can be tedious but it generally results in better handloads for my rifles.

On trimming: I can usually go about 2-3 reloads before needing to trim. As your brass is used, it flows forward lengthening the case to where you might have trouble chambering a round if the brass it out of spec. It's also good for accuracy from shot to shot when the cases are uniform. A good case trimmer is an essential part of reloading.

I've had some cases that I've loaded 10 times, and others that last 2-3 loadings. It depends on how much pressure you are generating and the kind of brass you use. Look for loosened primer pockets, splits in the neck or a visible weakening of the case head. Annealing your brass can help maintain longevity, but I've not gone so far as to make my own annealing station yet. Generally, you won't retire an entire batch of brass, but rather individual pieces. At moderate loadings, with standard velocities and pressures, you can reasonably expect 4-6 reloads out of a rifle case (assuming you are loading modern cartridges and not slower, older, lower pressure rounds like 32-40, etc).
 

BR-549

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Thank you fellas, appreciate hearing from experienced folks like yourselves.

I reload for my .357 cowboy revolver, 7mm Rem Mag, and .44 Marlin LA for deer hunting.

Just a little irritated with the availability of powder here in Ohio. Was never an issue back home (Indiana).

I have some leftover RL22 which I think I will use for 7mm Barnes 150 TTSX. It wasn't the most accurate tested according to Barnes data but I assume it will make little difference everything else being equal.

Btw.... I realized, after I submitted my post, I should have said case.... not lot. Thank you for not beating me up. :confused:
 

Ben Lamb

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I've not reloaded for the 7MM so can't offer any advice on powder choices, but for .357 & .44 I use Win297/H110 on full house loads and Unique for reduced power loads.

In fact, I use Unique for all of my pistols.
 

Mthuntr

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There are a ton of guys who love the stuff but I've never liked the Reloader series of powders due to their temperature sensitivity. I had a delay fire in the subzero temps in 2007 with my 7mmMag (using Federal Mag Primers) that cost me my first elk. I have since switched to Retumbo but I am hearing the new IMR7977 (copper fouling eliminator) is no slouch either.
 

BuzzH

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I've had good luck with IMR4831 with the 7RM and 160 nosler accubonds or partitions.

Never tried RL22, but have heard some issues regarding temperature like the others have said.
 

jryoung

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Unable to determine due to velocity
I did a lot of work with my 7RM and Barnes 140, 145 and 150. I tried 7828ssc, H4831, RL19 and 22. 66.5 grains of RL 22 and the 145 LRX was just about perfect, but if it was 70 degrees out I got heavy bolt lift, if it was 80 I got cratered primers and heavy bolt lift.

I was pretty bummed because it took a lot of work to get there only to be caught by the temp sensitive bug of RL22.

I'm experimenting with H4350 and H1000...just a bit of difference there :) right now and so far the H1000 is liking the lighter bullets. I'm also working in E-tips now too.
 

BR-549

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Dang it! :W:
That is what I have heard/ read too but I was hoping I would hear different here. I would like to use H1000 but I cant find it anywhere close and I need to be loaded in a week or so.

I may have some 4831 SC..... isn't that one of their "extreme" powders? I think it is in the data platform as well.... starting to get a little nervous now.
Maybe I will have to make a road trip to Cabelas... or better yet back home, I could have a beer with one of my ole friends at least.

Never tried any Retumbo.... have you topped it with TTSX ever?

Ben... I like the Unique in my cowboy action loads too and I also use the H110 for .44 mag hunting loads and really like the results... that gun shoots well with Hornady XTP's

Buzz.... I had trouble with both accubonds and partitions. Went to TBBC/ Deep Curls and both shot well, but I cant get them anymore. In fact, I have two boxes of both Partitions and Accubonds 160 gr. at home. I suppose I could keep tinkering with them if I have to.
I suppose it will all come together at some point.... just may have to go for a drive.
Thank you ... I appreciate your insight.
 

BR-549

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I did a lot of work with my 7RM and Barnes 140, 145 and 150. I tried 7828ssc, H4831, RL19 and 22. 66.5 grains of RL 22 and the 145 LRX was just about perfect, but if it was 70 degrees out I got heavy bolt lift, if it was 80 I got cratered primers and heavy bolt lift.

I was pretty bummed because it took a lot of work to get there only to be caught by the temp sensitive bug of RL22.

I'm experimenting with H4350 and H1000...just a bit of difference there :) right now and so far the H1000 is liking the lighter bullets. I'm also working in E-tips now too.

Good information and thank you for sharing it with us. I didn't realize that temperature was that big of a factor... I am loading for my elk trip in October and I don't need anything like that causing me problems. Who knows what the weather will be, but it is 80+ here now.
 

tarheel

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You might take a look at Alliant RL-17, said to be formulated for the shorter mags and is touted to be less temp sensitive than the other RL's. It's made in Switzerland and has a formulation which is said to make for more steady burn and less prone to peak pressure spikes. This allows the use of more powder which equates to more velocity, somewhere between 50 and 150 fps depending on the load. I'd started working up some loads for three calibers but it has been in the 90's here for two months and experimentation will just have to wait until it cools.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...FwhWhBqutevbU6ChO58c7og&bvm=bv.99261572,d.eXY
 
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Ben Lamb

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I've had good luck with RL 17 in 06 based cases and 57mm mauser cases. Very consistent across temp spectrums.
 

Tjay

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Reloader 23 and 26 are less affected by temperature than 22 & 25 so would be worth a try.
 

BR-549

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Here is what Barnes tested.... I don't have time to go through all the powders and charges though...... even if I can find them. Not that it wouldn't be fun.

Thank you for the link to RL 17.... I see they were testing BT's in various weights for 7 RM. Could be a possibility.

Ben you must be an engineer. Talking about heat treating processes and temperature spectrums lol.... had a few years of that crap at Purdue.
 

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Ben Lamb

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Ben you must be an engineer. Talking about heat treating processes and temperature spectrums lol.... had a few years of that crap at Purdue.

Ha! I don't math well at all.

Tarheel, that's what I've found - very similar burn rates to the 4350's.
 

cowboy

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I've had good luck with RL 17 in 06 based cases and 57mm mauser cases. Very consistent across temp spectrums.

I have been testing RL17 in a 30-06 for over a year now using 208 gr amax and 168 gr. Berger VLD classics that I use for long range steel shooting.

FYI: Both bullets have shown very consistent velocity change of .8 to 1.0 fps change for every degree of temp change over a magnetospeed chrony. The variance of .8 - 1.0 fps (by observation and not scientific data) is dependent on what elevation I am at. I shoot from 3600 to 9000 ft depending on what we are playing. I have tested these velocities from 0 degrees to mid 90's F. and this rough rule of thumb has been very consistent.

The RL17 will produce a very definite increase in velocity over other powders in the rifles I have used it in and still not show any signs of pressure but I would not consider it "non-temp sensitive" for what I do a the distances I play at.
 

sbhooper

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I have been reloading the 7 mag for many years. I like the Reloder powders real well. Some people worry about the temp, but unless you are using max loads, it won't make a lot of difference. Develop your loads when it is hot and they will be fine when it is cold. Just sight in at the temp you are hunting. All powder has a certain amount of sensitivity. Some less than others.

Other powders work well, too. IMR 4831, IMR 7828, IMR 4350. I have tried Re 23 and it worked OK. I also tried Re 33 and it was OUTSTANDING in my 26-inch barrels. I got over 3000 fps from 175-grain bullets with 1/2-minute accuracy. It also shined with 160-grain Partitions.

For me, my go-to has always been Re 22 for the 139/140-grain bullets and Re 25 for the heavy ones. If I change, it will be Re 33 for the heavies, though. Re 17 and 22 are my go-to for my 6mm Rem.
 

Rooster52

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40 or so years ago I got into reloading ammo but with work and family it got put on the back burner.Now retired I am getting back at it. Fun hobby and along with finding good accurate loads ,it saves money.Shooting more and having a good time at it.
 

Ben Lamb

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I loaded 250 rounds of 45 acp on a single stage press last night.

Sometimes the fun only happens when the gun is firing. :) I really need a progressive press.
 

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