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What is The Real Max Load?
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:42 am    Post subject: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

What is the real Max Load?

A buddy of mine gave me a call yesterday to come out to his farm and do a little shooting with his brand spanking new ruger blackhawk in 357 caliber. So I said yup and also bought along my 357 blackhawk and couple boxes of my handloads and with temp in the mid 30's and sunny, it was a nice afternoon for shooting. Now I grabbed the handloads that I loaded at max loads using 158gr Hornady xtp with 16.7grs of H110 powder that was good for 1575fps and pretty accurate in my gun.

Now my buddy doesn't reload so he bought 3 boxes of Winchester white box 158gr loads from wally-world, and as we were shooting I noticed his gun had a sharper recoil and alot more muzzle blast than my loads. Shocked So just for curosities sake, I went back home and grabbed the chrony and set it up at 7' from the muzzle. Both revolvers have the 6.5" barrel.

My loads were zipping along at 1540fps and when I fired his loads from Winchester, they were constantly 190-195fps faster than my handloads in either gun!!! wtf No signs at all for over pressure and case extraction was normal as always. After shooting 1 box of Winchester and 1 box of my handloads the end result was 1735fps for the Winchester loads and 1540fps for my handloads. Shocked The Winchester loads were 195fps faster than my max handloads (according to Hogdgon). Dumbfounded that his store bought loads were way faster than handloads, we both went back to my house and I loaded up 25 rounds with the same bullet this time using Aliant 300mp powder with 18.6grs. We than headed back out to his place and I fired off all the rounds and speeds were clocked at an average of 1670fps. An improvement but still 65fps slower than the Winchester loads. Sad

We ended up firing all of our shells and right to the very last shot, the Winchester loads were still zipping along at 1735fps. I know that the factory loads have some powder that isn't available to us handloading people and I sure would like to know what powder they used in them Winchester rounds. Now I haven't bought factory ammo since 1972 and I know the corporate lawyers for the bullet factories and powder factories make them take under consideration the legal factors when advertising max loads for their publications, but to have that much difference between factory and handloads has me really wondering what the real max load is? Sad

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Donut Slayer
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

With all the lawyers and liability, bullet and powder companies have listed lower max charges for several years now. Just compare data books from the 80's til now. I believe it has to do with some people grabbing the fastest powder and loading the max listed load right off the bat, and wondering why their pistol/rifle blew up. I may be wrong in this aspect, so dont do what I'm about to type, but I've always started my loads for each rifle 10% under max and worked my way up until I see pressure signs. You have to do this for each gun as whats safe in one might not be safe in another. I have 3 270 win rifles. 1 remington and 2 marlin xl7's. The rem has a long freebore and a 130 gr bullet cannot be loaded long enough to touch the rifling. Now the marlins have very short freebore's and it would be disasterous to interchange rounds made for my rem into the marlins.

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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

wtf I have an old lyman reload manual from the sixties-that says my standard full house load in 44mag is two grains over maximum with just about all of the newer manuals,speer,hodgden,sierra,nosler,hornady....etc.It's a wonder I'm still alive!
.........The old lyman book is affectionately called the"bible" in my reloading room!And is treated with just as mutch reverance and respect! Very Happy

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Something seems odd about getting that kind of speed....didn't think Winchester made any .357 ammo that was that fast !!!



Max loads have lowered over the years but they have also re-formulated powders and needed to make the adjustments.

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Yep- handload recipe's have been lawyered up cuz some were trying to match factory speeds with over the counter reloding powders and getting into trouble. I aint saying its impossible to match factory speeds handloading but the factory stuff uses powder we can't get etc etc etc at least that's my .02 on it.
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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

The plot thickens, after work I stopped at wally-world to buy the same ammo that we tested yesterday and they were out of the Winchester white box brand, so i bought 1 box of federal premium hydra shok 158gr and 1 box of remington 158gr jhp. First time I bought ammo in 40 years!!

Headed back out to my buddies farm and fired them off across the chrony.
Every single shot from both federal and remington were in the range of 1200fps to 1260fps which is the norm. Now I am really thinking that Winchester mislabeled their boxes as far as bullet weight because only the 110gr up to the 140gr bullet can get up to that speed!!

I'm going to try and dig out the bullets that hit the berm next week (25 yards) and weigh them as its to cold here right now at 7 degrees and it's suppose to warm up into the 30's on Monday. If it comes out that the box was mislabeled or even overloaded then this is the reason I learned from my Dad to reload my own and not depend on any one else.

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Holy crap! Maybe they were .357mag +P+ ? wtf Laughing
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Omni, I'll be interested in your findings there!

As for reloading info, old vs. new >> www.huntingnut.com/ind...cle&sid=56

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Save the box, cases and chony slip and send them to Winchester...see what they say? Man that's fast for 158gr. 1700'/sec ??? aint it posed be more like 1500'/sec for a 158gr Heavy stuff like BB? I gotta check my data...
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fnuser
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

very interesting

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TRBLSHTR
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Shocked The fastest I have ever shot was 158 gr sierra hc,over 15 gr of 2400,in the guys pistol that loaded it.Fireball about the size of a grapefruit in the daylight!Blast stings your face and barehands! Shocked good thing it was a smith mod 27 -6"or it might not have made it!I old him that he might just think about backing them off a little! Confused

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Omini.... To my understanding the white box only comes with 110gr JHP !!!
I have done some searching and can't find anything else.
The Winchester site (currently) shows only the 110gr listed at 1295fps.
I guess it's possible there were other loads for the white box in the past but that still doesn't explain your velocity.

Do you still have the boxes to verify what product number is on them ???
Q4204 would be 110gr.

As for the chronograph readings don't be surprised to eventually discover you were receiving error readings.
Happened to me using a Pact Model 1. The first time it happened was when I was testing some 9mm ammo. Didn't have to second guess it..... there was no way in hell a 147gr. bullet was going 1800fps.
Another time a 20ga. load was only showing about 700fps when it should have been around 1200.

Both times it happened other ammo was reading right where it should have.

Long story short..... I discovered that the cables (unshielded) and head unit were affected by the muzzle blast.
Most loads didn't bother it but a few did and that lead to me finally discovering why I would sometimes get an odd reading.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

TRBLSHTR wrote:
:wtf: I have an old lyman reload manual from the sixties-that says my standard full house load in 44mag is two grains over maximum with just about all of the newer manuals,speer,hodgden,sierra,nosler,hornady....etc.

It can be confusing, but you have to remember that powders vary from lot to lot. Imagine what happens to formulations over the years. I know that Alliant 2400 has become a bit hotter (as they have been telling everyone for some time now) and I get the same velocity that I used to with 1.5 grains less powder. It pays to keep those old manuals (after all, they are old friends!) but keep them updated with newer info as time goes by.

As to Omni's problem, I think Chambered is on the right track...those sound like 110-grain velocities to me.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

TRBLSHTR: Yup, I have some old manuals dating back to 1964 and some of them loads were meant for Elmer Keith!!

I just could not wait till it warmed up and went and dug 2 bullets from the berm last night. Both bullets weighed between 85grs and 88grs so that tells me that these loads were not the 158gr loads as advertised. We than took the boxes and receipt back to wally-world and talked to the manager who we both know well and is also a shooter and hunter and reloader.

We talked about it and I told him that there was no way a 158gr bullet could shed almost half its weight with the berm 25 yards from the target. He agreed and apparently this is not the first time there has been issues with Winchester or Remington!!

We than went into his office and he did call corporate offices and explained the problem and he scanned copies of the batch number and bar code with a portable scanner attached to his pc. After talking to corporate, we were talking and since all ammo is in a locked glass counter and told us there should not be an issue of mixing shells from a different box!!!

I said how many boxes is the customer allowed to look at and open and hold at the same time? He said as many as they want to and I said that policy needs to be changed right now. I told him its to easy for someone to take open the box and compare with another brand and slide it back into the wrong box.

He agreed and will contact corporate on getting the ok, perhaps nation wide policy. He will keep us posted on what the outcome is and also he gave a refund to my buddy for his original 3 boxes.

This is one of the reasons why I reload, I know what components go into my reloads and if I mess up, there is no one to blame but me. When I order bullets from somebody, I take the time to weigh them, same with powder that I make sure I have a new batch on hand before the old powder runs dry just to compare the two.

If we hear anything more on this I will update.

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: What is The Real Max Load? Reply with quote

Interesting.

Too bad ya shottem all up, coulda pulled a pill and weighed it.

Still- pretty fast stuff for a .357m. I wanna try that in my 2"!
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