Reduced Load Questions

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by PHOENIX PHIL, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I guess I managed to miss this thread somehow.

    I won't recommend specific reduced loads or fillers any longer...too controversial!!

    I will not claim to be an "expert", but I have been playing with everything from basement gallery loads in 7Mag and 458 Win to mid-range loads for 22 Hornet to 416 Rigby over the past 43 years.

    I've used natural and synthetics as fillers when I felt they were needed. I have used fillers in straight-walled and bottle-necked cartridges, as different as 7mm Rem Mag and 45-70 & .458 Winchester.

    I've used Bullseye, Titegroup, Unique, Green Dot, Red Dot, SR 4756, SR4759, AA5744, Trailboss (only just very recently), IMR 4227, IMR 4198 and probably a few others.

    I suspect more than a few of the mishaps that have been discussed over the years (ie blown primers or worse) were actually caused by double-charges or a blocked bore...but we humans always want to blame problems on some mysterious phenomenon...not our mistakes! I only say this because I have loaded so many rounds of gallery to mid-range loads that should have blown me up if everything that is said about such loads is true.

    I am not saying Secondary Explosion Effect and similar type events are impossible. I do avoid lighter charges of slow burning powder in over-bore capacity cartridges...partly because of the theory (I read about it in my infancy and old habits are hard to break), but also because such loads don't really make sense!

    I will say that I have loaded many cartridges with dacron filler. It flies out the muzzle and doesn't appear to melt or start on fire. I've used cotton and tp. I have not used curtain backing rod. I have never noticed any sort of accuracy issue using fillers...except to say that they generally improve accuracy and consistency.

    Here is a recent example (August of this year)...identical loads except one included a 2 grain Dacron filler (I guess I just violated my rule!).

    No filler: Extreme spread 207 fps; Standard Deviation 81
    Filler: Extreme spread 40 fps; Standard Deviation 15

    This was in a straight-walled 45 caliber rifle. Only difference was 2gr of Dacron.

    My best advice to anyone playing with seriously reduced loads is to triple-check your powder charges to make absolutely certain you don't have any multiple charges!

    Use a powder with an appropriate burning rate, preferably one with a high bulk density. And don't be afraid to use magnum primers to help ensure those lighter but non-filler loads light off.

    Unique is an amazingly useful and versatile powder for really light loads and I have never used a filler with it (going down to 10 grains of it in a case that will hold 70). I have also used as little as 2gr of Bullseye in the 7Mag...but with an over-powder wad.

    Titegroup is similar in terms of usefulness and position insensitivity, in my experience.

    Just be very careful with these fast powders. You CAN make a bomb out of your rifle with them!
     

  2. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    I've had very good luck with reduced loads in both 404 and 375.

    For my 404 I purchased a reducing die from Corbins and turned the 300grain 0.429 XTP into a 300grain 0.423 XTP. It is blunt and depending on free bore of your rifle it may have to be seated rather deep but it works and shoots fine. Over a starting load of Trail Boss it is pretty much like shooting a 22 or perhaps and air rifle. Work up the velocity with Trail Boss until that is maxed out then proceed to Accurate 5744 and you can get a wide range of loads. Case life is excellent using a Lee collet die; I annealed the necks after maybe 5 loadings just because.

    The 375 is even easier. Sierra makes a 200g bullet intended for the 375 Winchester. Per Sierra, the minimum effective impact velocity for hunting with that bullet is 1600fps. I won't say what the load is, but proper minimum velocity can be achieved with a safe amount of Trail Boss.

    Recently anyway, I've been enjoying shooting reduced loads in big rifles more than standard loads of equal recoil in a 30 cal.
     

  3. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    For those using the 404 J, I have found a cheap (relatively) and easy alternative for obtaining cast bullets for reduced loads. I purchased an RCBS sizer die .423" for the Lube-A-Matic. Now I purchase bullets from Oregon Trail Bullets designed for the .44-40. they are .427" and are the OT proprietary blend. One pass through the die and I have a 200 grain hard cast bullet that is great for informal shooting. So far the load has been with TrailBoss but I expect to expand to SR4759. No filler is expected to be needed.
     

  4. 7x57Joe

    7x57Joe AH Veteran

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    I've found no filler necessary with SR-4759 in the .30'06 and it is a fine reduced load powder. However, unless you have a supply of it I wouldn't bother with it. Production was suspended about 2 years ago. What a bummer!
     

  5. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Bummer for sure! As soon as I hear the bad news, I bought 8 pounds. Wish I had bought 16!

    5744 does seem to be a pretty darn good substitute...if a little more expensive.
     

  6. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    I would suggest caution if you go below recommend minimum loads. The primer flash may run all over the powder at the same time resulting in an explosion that may tear the rifle apart along with hands. This may happen when the rifle is pointed downwards or upwards at a great angle.

    Suggest you get a cheap small caliber rifle such as a 243 or maybe a bit bigger and get her confidence up. After she can handle mild recoiling rifles then light loads in bigger calibers until she has confidence and can handle the recoil.
     

  7. 7x57Joe

    7x57Joe AH Veteran

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    Hodgdon states you can reduce H-4895 by 60% of top load.
     

  8. GuttormG

    GuttormG AH Enthusiast

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    "Lee modern reloading" has a quite good chapter on reduced loads, including how to choose suitable powders and calculate such loads.
     

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