UK Outfitters


Well-Known Member
i have only been reloading my own for 18mths i am self taught and use a LEE setup and manual. i do also take reloading data off the HOGDONS site.

i dont use any ranges or really know many people who also reload , so i decided to use the endless knowledge and years of experience that SD hopoefully has to offer.

anyway a couple of weeks ago i went to a car boot sale and whilst rummerging through the old book section i came across a very damaged reloading manual by either SPEER or SIERRA.

i could not find a issue number or age of the manual but did find a date of either 1984 or 1994 the manual looked like it had been in a lot of water and the pages all stuck together etc . some of the pages for .243 (my caliber ) were intact and when looking at them the FPS and powder loads seemed far higher.

i didn't get the book but when i got home i looked up some of the loads i rembered from the manual and compared them to my modern manual.

on some powders the old manual quoted max loads of up to 4grs higher on some powders but usually 2-3grs more than thoes quoted in the modern book.

is the differances in the old and new manuals .
1/ lower the chance of company being sued less chance of errors
2/ saftey
3/ powders have been developed so you use less to get same fps
4/ old reloading manuals were right on the edge of the limits so no margin for error.
5/ modern cases and rifles less robust cant take pressure.

im sorry i didn't get the old manual now to look into it further , this question has nagged me for the past few weeks. i hope somone can answer this question.....neil


Well-Known Member
old manuals

I think they give lower pressures to err on the side of cautions so they don't get sued. I use a speer manual and some data from sites. I am yet to see any pressure signs on loads i have worked up even on max. I don't go over the max published loads though.

there is also quite a lot of variance between various sources.



Well-Known Member
the manufacturing processes change over time, you need to use the most upto date source which is the web site, books are good to read for other info but do not use old data for modern powders.
eg Alliant has changed the way they make their powder as it used to be made dry but the process has changed and is now partially done in water,this was cahanged about 1998, the pressures and velocity limits are set by saami for the US and cip for europe.



Site Staff
Swampy is dead right, the reduction in powder loads is to avoid litigation, it is the same logic as applied to triggers that need a tractor to pull them. It is to be expected really as a hot load for a modern day rifle built from modern day materials could prove dangerous in a hundred year old gun. The very popular old 6.5's are a case in question. You were right in your robust theory but back to front, modern day rifles are more robust.

If you have the Lee second edition reloading manual, you will find that there are variations between that and the first edition and they are only a few years apart in publication.

You should always develop a load for your own particular rifle, start at no more than 10% below the "do not" exceed figure, and then work your way up to the optimum load. There is always something to learn with reloading, there is always room for improvement but never room for complacency.

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