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First Ever Hand Loads


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I shot my first ever hand loads the other day (40 SW). My first reaction was Wow! What a great feeling!

Even thought I was meticulous etc, I still had a little bit of concern something might go boom. Everything worked well, now I just need to work up larger batches to zero in on what it takes for me to consistently reach major pf. It looks like it is going to be around 5.6-5.7 gr of 231 with precision delta 165 gr fmj CCI primers and Starline brass and 1.120 oal. (I have a Chrono)

I know different reloading handbooks may differ in their data some, but I was surprised at the spread I found between Lyman and Speer. EX: Both handbooks show for a 165 gr Speer TMJ #4410 bullet and W231 the following:

Lyman - 5.2-5.8 Speer 5.8-6.3

I'm just a little confused that the Speer manual would have a start load equal to the max load in the Lyman manual. OAL's were the same, Lyman used a universal receiver and Speer a Smith & Wesson M4006.

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Grats on not blowing yourself or your gun up. :P :P

And many happy years of reloading later.

On a serious note that load data 'discrepancy' you noted is one major reason we experienced loaders

use multiple data sources when building a new load for our guns.

I myself consistently refer to 4 sources and upwards of six to eight if I count some older books and loading data supplied

by various vendors (I refer to the free leaflet handouts one can get from powder and bullet makers).

In my case I use a older Speer manual circa 1980's version. A modern Lyman (latest model), a new model Lee manual,

a brand new up to date Hornady manual and a old 1970's era Sierra manual.

I also have a new up do date Hodgens source manual and a ancient 70's era Hodgens.

I can cross refer with a old 70's era Hornady and some older leaflet based load data from Dupont (defunct these days),

Hercules aka Alliant Powder and a couple others I forget just now I can refer to.

Depending on what I am doing I may use em all to consider my start and end zone warning hot zone load. I also

use a chronograph.

So, this is a very long way of saying what you noted is normal and the explanation as to why that 'discrepancy' is

there would take far more detailed explanation as to specifics of how that got that way.

I could proffer a few possibilities.

First, as you noted test barrels were different.

A minor difference in barrel grove diameter , throat, other physical factors.

Second, differ powder lots , perhaps.

THird, the lawyer effect.

Fourth differ labs (methods), differ elevation, different ambient temp, differ gear, differ results in measurements.

That is a short list off top of my head. In no particular order either.

Would be nice to have a certified genuine lab tech from one of those outfits to hang out and chime in on 'why' of

such things. Retired would do.

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