I am not really asking a question, or making a point, but just making a general observation that I'm sure is neither news to anyone nor especially useful but...
There is a considerable variation in the loads published in various books and manufacturer web sites (i'm not talking about random stuff on forums on the internet etc.but reliable published sources) to the degree that one starting load can be higher than the maximum load in another book.
Recently I worked up a 150 grain 308 load using Reloader 15 and stopped as I approached the maximum load in the book I was using. After some observations and shooting at 200 and 300 yards I concluded from the trajectory that my load wasn't going very fast so I referred to a range of other manuals and manufacturers to find that, in some cases, my load was below their starting load. I've since worked up another 4.5 grains, within book maximum, and am seeing no pressure signs but the recoil has increased somewhat and I suspect the velocity is now in the order of what I might expect for a 308 load. My barrel length is approaching 23 inches so it is not like I'm losing a lot of velocity for that reason.
I also worked up a 110 grain v-max load for the 308 some time back, again using published book loads. The first loads I used caused the whole case to be black and were clearly low pressure. I consulted several other books for loads and it wasn't until I got to the level of the max load in the first book that I lost the low pressure signs.
As a beginning reloader I like to be as conservative as possible and in the past I've tended to shy away from books with loads that looked higher than the average. However, experience seems to indicate that at least in the case of my rifle it is reasonable to work up towards the higher published loads as it may take these to give acceptable velocity and performance and, to date, I'm not seeing any pressure signs with them.
I find this a most interesting situation and would value any other opinions or views.