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Thread: exceeding maximum loads - who does it?

  1. #1

    exceeding maximum loads - who does it?

    i know they say don't, and i know some do - just wondered who on here does, and with what load etc..

    not that i would try it myself 8)

  2. #2
    I have to say I do, but only in certain circumstances.

    I would not exceed book loads on rounds that are already high pressure as standard - 270win, 243win or whatever.

    Some older rounds are much lower pressure as standard - 6.5x55, 222rem for example.

    I don't see why with a modern rifle and modern brass, I shouldn't load the 222rem towards 55K PSI. Before I get slammed, I realise I am guessing pressure to a large extent, but I have been 12-15% over "book" max with several powders in the 222rem and never had the slightest sign of pressure.

    The guides generally max out the 222rem at around 47K PSI, but the 223rem at 55K PSI - why should this be the case.

    My best accuracy load in the 222rem is 21gr Reloder7 with a 50gr NBT. Depending on the book, this is 0.5gr under max, or 1.0gr over max.

    By the way, book max loads for the 270win are around 63-64K PSI - I don't mess around there.

    My experience is that if you push too hard, groups go to hell.

  3. #3
    I agree with CD to the point that some cartridges are underloaded for specific weapons. The .222 is a good example, as is the 6.5x55 or in my locale, the 45-70 Government which was originally a black powder cartidge. I would warn that CDs experience with 12-15% over max is not a blanket statement. Using IMR 4198 powder I would blow cases if I tried that. With his powders, his loads, it's OK.

    As to loading over max, generally it's foolishness. The gain is wear and tear on the rifle and the brass. Velocity increases very little after maximum. Repeated tests show that best accuracy is found at least 10% under maximum. If you do run over maximum, you risk your gun and your neck.

    A study done at the Aberdeen Proving Ground showed that rifles (breeches in general) will develop structural stressors with repeated over loads. The weapon will at some point abruptly fail. This corelates to stories where a guy will boast of running hot loads for years with no problems and suddenly have his gun fail -blaming powder or such for his problems.

    Over max is not a place to be. JMHO~Muir

  4. #4
    As to loading over max, generally it's foolishness. The gain is wear and tear on the rifle and the brass. Velocity increases very little after maximum. Repeated tests show that best accuracy is found at least 10% under maximum. If you do run over maximum, you risk your gun and your neck. (quote Muir )

    Hey what do I know as a novice loader !!!.
    I consider the info in the reloading manuals as accurate , and will stick to them ,. If you saw a landmine would you tread on it to see what happens !!!. I have no technical advise to offer , I am not that experienced but I do heed good advise .
    Regards Trapper

  5. #5

    Don't do it. We all know that there is a safety margin with the published max loads, but i was once on a range where a guys rifle failed spectacularly.

    Thankfully he was only slightly hurt, but the sight of that rifle was awful. It was a WWII Ross straight-pull rifle and the bolt essentially broke apart before flying back and barely missing his face.

    He later admitted to 'stoking-up' his reloads.

  6. #6
    Interesting topic, the manufactures data is tested in their rifle, ours will have minute differences. They are careful in the days of litigation over what they will recommend, and have access to increasingly sophisticated pressure measuring equipment.

    I did once run a 308 over book, the load was recommended by an experienced gunsmith and worked fine. I have developed my own load were factory data is not available for that bullet weight, using burning rate charts to develop appropriate starting loads.

    How do I test my loads, a look at primers, and using a chronograph to look for the sweet spot this can work but my assessment of pressure is crude compared with data collected by the factories.

    You are own your own experimenting like this, your rifle and eyes are at risk we can reduce risk with safety glasses and a cautious approach.

    The further you deviate from the book the greater the risk. However I once watched a 25/06 blow up, 30/06 cases necked down without neck trimming. Most will get away with that, he had a tight chamber!

  7. #7
    Only a fool would take on such a task. Leave well alone. Anyway what would one hope to achieve by doing this ? the perfect round for stalking or punching holes in paper

    Apart that is from trying to kill oneself or the person next to you on a range or whilst stalking.

  8. #8
    I think it's important to excercise caution, My recent findings are with premium bullets in my rifle, pressure signs kick in below the max load.
    Everyone reloading needs to play it by ear to a certain degree.
    Also there are just so many variables,so erring on the more gentle side on powder charges should allow for circumstances beyond your control,like a blisteringly hot day affecting your round.

  9. #9


    Reloading is essentially an exercise in common sense, if you are willing to push boundaries then you will eventually find the limit of your equipment & skills, to the detriment of yourself & probably others, let the manufacturers & developers who have the facilities to cope with experimental loads take the risks, stick to that which you know to be proven! & live long & prosper.

  10. #10
    I don't see the point myself. Just buy a bigger gun!

    I've just done exactly that. I wanted a decent hard hitting round that I could use abroad and also use for Deer here. Due to my firearms department being a little tricky I went for a .30 cal. A .308 or .30-06 is plenty good enough for use here and abroad if loaded hot, but I went for a .300 Win Mag. I can load start loads in it and still get 200fps more than a hot .308 could offer. Less wear on the rifle, longer case life, and good confidence that my face will always be with me were the reasons for buying an over the top calibre.

    I really do wonder why people load their guns right to the limits? A hot day or a round left in a hot chamber after the previous shot can cause a hot load to become a gun buster. It's really not worth it especially when all you have to do is ask and you can get pretty much whatever calibre you want (within reason).

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