Reduced Load Questions

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,097
Reaction score
7,262
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Gents,

As I anticipate building up my wife's recoil tolerance so that she can move up to either my .375 for .404J project that is just getting started, I want her to start with some reduced loads. In the past working with my boys in medium bore calibers, I just chose really light for caliber bullets and used starting loads. This resulted in very easy recoil for them to handle.

But even say a 250gr bullet in a .375 at starting level powder loads results in appreciable recoil. For comparison, lets say a 250gr bullet at a leisurely 2600fps is going to at least be comparable if not more than a 30-06 165gr load at 2800fps in recoil.

The simple solution is of course to slow the bullet down more via less powder. But:

1) At some point there's enough space in the case that inconsistent ignition will start to occur.

2) From what I've read going one step further, hang fires can also happen in reduced loads.

3) Worst case scenario someone once told me (though I'm not sure I'm buying it), is that there's enough air inside the case to actually make what would seem like a safe load into an explosive one.

So for those if you with more experience than me with loading down, please impart any wisdom you may have.
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,254
Reaction score
12,636
Media
108
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
Phil,

Not the reloading piece of it, but have you also thought about starting her off standing using sticks and not having her shoot from the bench at all? That will certainly lighten perceived recoil up as well.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,097
Reaction score
7,262
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Phil,

Not the reloading piece of it, but have you also thought about starting her off standing using sticks and not having her shoot from the bench at all? That will certainly lighten perceived recoil up as well.
Yep, I'll be the only one shooting from the bench to do load development. Donna shot from the bench when getting used to her .30-06 and that was fine, but I won't let her do that with any of the big bores.
 

Clayton

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
841
Reaction score
719
Location
SW Louisiana, USA
Member of
NRA: Patriot Life Endowment Member, 2nd Amendment Foundation: Life Member LA Shooting Association: Life Member, Gun Owners of America: Annual Member SW LA Rifle & Pistol Club: Annual Member
I've never done reduced loads but have read a lot about them. Your #1 item is easily remedied by use of a filler material on top of the powder. I've read about numerous combustible fiber materials that satisfy the need to keep the powder in the primer end of the case. The worst case is #3. What little I know about chemistry, physics and engineering this is a real possibility.

SO, you need to find a combination powder & charge to satisfy case volume and lower velocity. Here's an American Rifleman article that may point you in the right direction https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/12/26/soft-loads-for-safari-rifles/
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,254
Reaction score
12,636
Media
108
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
I seem to recall @tarbe talking about reduced loads as well.
 

lcq

AH elite
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Messages
1,494
Reaction score
1,267
Media
10
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
NRA CSSA
Hunted
Canada, RSA
Hodgedon on reduced loads


Trailboss works with all calibers but the velocity is too low

H4895 is your best option but only if H4895 is listed for your bullet caliber combo. Multiply max load by 0.6 to start
375 H&H 250gr
H4895 69.0 max @2,696 69X.6=41.4 approx 1618fps

https://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/H4895 Reduced Rifle Loads.pdf

I loaded up some deer loads for my 300wsm with 150gr interlocks and H4895, worked like a charm
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,233
Reaction score
2,381
Location
WA St, USA
Media
75
I shoot reduced and light-for-caliber bullets quite a lot and have for several years. I find that a properly constructed bullet has more to do with it's effectiveness than being heavy-for-caliber. Trailboss is a rather new powder and I have no experience with it. What I have used is SR4759. Thousands of loadings with it in standard sized cases have had no problems. For years I've loaded 18 grains in a 308 with 170 gr bullets and have had nothing but immediate ignition. Years ago I experienced hang fires with ball powders such as H335. I think this was due to the deterent coatings on the powder that affected the burn-rate. With the lighter charges the pressure didn't get high enough to cause the powder to burn properly.
With your 3rd concern, this has a few symptoms in the documented cases I've reviewed. They involved slow burning powders, large capacity cases, small bores and a powder charge of less than 50% capacity. Only that last one would be involved in either the 375H&H or the 404J. I've used loads that had less than 50% capacity and the main thing I do is hold the rifle vertical prior to a shot so the powder settles back against the primer. I think the main causes of the various problems is due to the powder laying in the bottom of the horizontally held case, laying from the back to the front, which results in the primer firing over the top of the powder, starting the powder to burn over a larger area than when the powder is at the back of the case, with the primer starting the powder to burn at the case base and proceeding toward the front of the case.
 

postoak

Bronze supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
685
Reaction score
398
Location
Texas
Media
30
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Life member NRA
Hunted
U.S.A., R.S.A, Namibia
I don't think they make SR4759 anymore -- or at least I haven't been able to find any. Another powder to look at is 4227 of either the IMR or Hodgdon variety. (I'm speaking in general; I don't know if it is suitable for the .375.)

I suspect with Trailboss and the Montana Precision 210 grain cast bullet you could get recoil way down.
 

Albert GRANT

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 6, 2016
Messages
954
Reaction score
718
Location
Maine
Media
55
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Hunted
RSA
I am using trail boss for reduced loads in my .375 H&H with speer 235gr bullets. My 100lb 12 y/o son shoots this with ease. We have had no trouble with this load and accuracy was decent. I used accurate 5744 with peregrine 230gr bullets for whitetail this season- great accuracy, plenty of power and mild recoil
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,221
Reaction score
7,039
Location
Colorado
Media
229
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Unfortunately my 375 is still new to me, so I haven't developed any light loads for it yet. I have used light loads in 223, 22-250, 308, 30-06 and 300WM. They work well for small game, bobcat, turkeys, etc.
So far in the 375 I have tested 235, 250, 300, and 350 grain bullets at or near full power. The 235 gr recoils substantially less than the 350. The velocity of the 235 averages 2,938 fps while the 350 averages 2,340 fps.
Don't know if this will help you any, but using the Hodgdon formula (60% of max) along with the lightest bullets H4895 is used in might work.
Best of luck and let us know what works for her.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,097
Reaction score
7,262
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
I've never done reduced loads but have read a lot about them. Your #1 item is easily remedied by use of a filler material on top of the powder. I've read about numerous combustible fiber materials that satisfy the need to keep the powder in the primer end of the case. The worst case is #3. What little I know about chemistry, physics and engineering this is a real possibility.

SO, you need to find a combination powder & charge to satisfy case volume and lower velocity. Here's an American Rifleman article that may point you in the right direction https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/12/26/soft-loads-for-safari-rifles/
Thanks for posting that article, good read.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,233
Reaction score
2,381
Location
WA St, USA
Media
75
One of the cartridges that I've reloaded reduced loads for is the 375H&H. the loads that I use are from the 45th edition of the Lyman Reloading handbook. I use an RCBS mould and use Lyman #2 metal with Hornady gas checks. The cast bullet with GC weigh 250 gr +-.5 and I load 40.0 gr IMR 3031. I chronographed them years ago and got an average of 1750 fps, the powder filled the case to slightly over half, so would be nearly in accordance with the .6 rule. According to the manual the max load is 45 grs for a vel 1926. the 1750 was fast enough for me and the recoil was entirely manageable- probably about what a 38-55 would be except that the rifle is a few pounds heavier and has a straighter stock than an 1894.
The same manual lists loads for 235 gr jacketed bullets: 64 gr IMR 3031 for 2600 fps. this load would get your attention when fired, but entirely manageable- think 308 Win 180 gr + 50 grains.
 

Longwalker

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
698
Reaction score
1,366
Location
Canada
Media
67
Articles
1
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
4
Member of
Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Saskatoon Gun Dog Club
Hunted
Canada, USA, Germany, South Africa, Namibia
I recently developed a load for my .375 Sako AV hat has worked well, noticeably reduced recoil and should still have enough power to kill fairly large animals efficiently, much like a 9.3x62.
I used the 270 grain Hornady bullets, and CCI 250 primers, Remington brass.
63 grains of H4895 yielded 2340 fps, but groups were erratic, about 4"
60 grains of IMR 3031, a slightly faster burning powder, with no filler was just what I was looking for. Consistent 2400 FPS and 1.5" groups.
I have substituted the Sierra 250 grain bullet for the Hornady during my last reloading session, but haven't shot them for accuracy or consistency yet.
for some reason my rifle does not shoot the Speer 235 grain bullets well, they would be worth a try in yours as cheap practise bullets.
I would have confidence in the Barnes 235 or 250 grain bullets on some pretty large game, but haven't used them myself.
 

375 Ruger Fan

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
3,667
Reaction score
5,289
Location
Houston, Texas
Media
216
Articles
4
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
3
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA, DSC
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa (Eastern Cape & NW), Alaska, TX, LA, MO, OH, MT, ID, WA, WY, Canada (Yukon)
See attached on reduced loads. Hodgdon suggests using 60% of full charge of H4895.
 

Attachments

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,097
Reaction score
7,262
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Phil,
I have used H4895 with good success but for the lowest recoil loads so far I used Trail Boss under a 300 grain Hornady solid for just over 1100 fps and very mild recoil. I used this loading guide to develop my load. http://imrpowder.com/PDF/Trail-Boss-data.pdf
That looks like the way to go. I haven't found any .404J loads with H4895.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,233
Reaction score
2,381
Location
WA St, USA
Media
75
It may not qualify as a "reduced" load but Woodleigh lists a starting load for the 404J with 350 gr bullet as 75 gr H4895, MV 2280. Compared to Max load of 83 gr MV 2590fps. while the load would be noticeable when fired, it's likely a substantial reduction from the max load. So may be a worthwhile step in acclimating oneself to the rifle.
 

APDDSN0864

New member
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
8
Reaction score
6
Location
Alaska / East Texas
Phil,

Over the years, I have loaded every centerfire rifle I own with reduced loads. I started this with a .308 Win. when I began teaching my kids to shoot centerfires.

Trail Boss is good, as is Accurate Arms 5744, SR4759 (there is still some to be had, my LGS still has ~10 bottles of it on the shelf), and of course, H-4895.

Give the folks at Hodgdon a call. They have been very helpful to me over the years with my handloading.

Another projectile option is to buy cast bullets from Missouri Bullet Company (http://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=230&category=6&secondary=36&keywords= ) and load them up with your reduced loads. The ones in the link were intended for the .38-55 and are powder coated so you don't have to mess with sticky lube. They will be accurate enough for what you are trying to accomplish.

Ed

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 11.03.41 PM.png
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Scoobyshoot

AH member
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
19
Reaction score
7
Gents,

As I anticipate building up my wife's recoil tolerance so that she can move up to either my .375 for .404J project that is just getting started, I want her to start with some reduced loads. In the past working with my boys in medium bore calibers, I just chose really light for caliber bullets and used starting loads. This resulted in very easy recoil for them to handle.

But even say a 250gr bullet in a .375 at starting level powder loads results in appreciable recoil. For comparison, lets say a 250gr bullet at a leisurely 2600fps is going to at least be comparable if not more than a 30-06 165gr load at 2800fps in recoil.

The simple solution is of course to slow the bullet down more via less powder. But:

1) At some point there's enough space in the case that inconsistent ignition will start to occur.

2) From what I've read going one step further, hang fires can also happen in reduced loads.

3) Worst case scenario someone once told me (though I'm not sure I'm buying it), is that there's enough air inside the case to actually make what would seem like a safe load into an explosive one.

So for those if you with more experience than me with loading down, please impart any wisdom you may have.
First never reload sub or reduced when you shoot half or full auto. When you bullet get stuck halfway,the next blowes up your gun. Allways lissen if a bullet stays in the barrel. For bigger cases go for a Vectan AO, bulkier as normal powder. Start with 1/4 off the grains you put in normal and max is the half.
Your start must be around the speed off the siund, so measure. Give bullet enough jump, 0,1". Try bullets with litle drag. molded or lead with copper galvanized
like a H&N. Read my litle site and you will understand. euh,but sorry,english is not my motherlanguage.
https://sites.google.com/view/reload-cheap-subsonic/homepage
 

Eric Anderson

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
376
Reaction score
358
Media
3
Hunted
RSA
Gents,

As I anticipate building up my wife's recoil tolerance so that she can move up to either my .375 for .404J project that is just getting started, I want her to start with some reduced loads. In the past working with my boys in medium bore calibers, I just chose really light for caliber bullets and used starting loads. This resulted in very easy recoil for them to handle.

But even say a 250gr bullet in a .375 at starting level powder loads results in appreciable recoil. For comparison, lets say a 250gr bullet at a leisurely 2600fps is going to at least be comparable if not more than a 30-06 165gr load at 2800fps in recoil.

The simple solution is of course to slow the bullet down more via less powder. But:

1) At some point there's enough space in the case that inconsistent ignition will start to occur.

2) From what I've read going one step further, hang fires can also happen in reduced loads.

3) Worst case scenario someone once told me (though I'm not sure I'm buying it), is that there's enough air inside the case to actually make what would seem like a safe load into an explosive one.

So for those if you with more experience than me with loading down, please impart any wisdom you may have.
Cast bullets are what you seek to start out. I bought 300 260 grain cast bullets to reactive snap shooting with my .375 ruger. They have to be sized first, and I put gas checks on them. 18 grains of unique makes a decent 1800 FPS load that gets you used to the rifle. To much case space is a problem, I stuff toilet paper on top of the powder to hold it next to the bullet. As a bonus, every time you shoot, you get celanratory confetti! Do not use a synthetic fiber, you don’t want melted Alaric in your barrel, only raw Cotten as well, Cotten balls like you buy in the store tends to go down range on fire in my limited experience with it
 
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Enjoy the bush with Respect
20 day hunt in May 2022 with Zana Botes hard part now starting the wait
Better a fool on his own than a wise man at someone else's discretion
... F. Nietzsche
perry madl wrote on Ignatius of Antioch's profile.
Is your double still available?
I am interested in Safari Animal Paintings
 
Top