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Topic: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle? (Read 82 times) previous topic - next topic

Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

I owned a Howa mini-action bolt rifle chambered for 6.5 Grendel years ago which I developed a load for. The only thing I'd wished for with that rifle is for the muzzle to be threaded, but that was not an offering at the time. I sent the barreled action off and had the muzzle threaded; the rifle never shot accurately for me after that. Rather than wasting time and resources trying to figure it out, I replaced it with an identical, new Howa barreled action that was factory threaded for a muzzle device, I am just now getting around to pulling it out of the safe and shooting the darn thing.

I have a couple hundred handloaded rounds from the first rifle made before I sent it off for threading, these are loaded 0.2 grains higher than the maximum shown in the Hornady reloading manual for a 120gr class bullet and Varget powder. This load shot real good in the first rifle.

Once the new rifle is broken in with some factory fodder, do I shoot these handloads, or pull them apart and reclaim the components? My instinct tells me to recycle the ammo, especially since the charge is slightly above the reloading manual maximum.

Thanks.
 
Chris

Re: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

Reply #1
Much more experienced reloaders than I will surely chime in with their respective opinions however my thoughts are since Hornady data is so conservative, I would first check another manual for the "safe max" and then shoot off a couple and look for pressure signs.

Again I'm no expert, but that would be my approach because I loathe pulling bullets.  :)
Roaneman

Re: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

Reply #2
Chris, If they were hot in the first rifle, the difference in bore size, chamber dimensions
(even if done by the same smith could vary some)
climate change (temp. humidity) might create a pressure spike.
Others will say, a .2g difference isn't going to cause a big difference.
The handload manuals are usually conservative.
You could shoot 1 over a chronograph and see what the speed is.
If you put this question on here, seems you might have made up you
mind already.
Being safe is the first thing to consider.
Yes it's a pain in the ass, but you'll have all your fingers and 2 eyes.
One more thing, that hot load might not shoot well and a lower node will be needed
so you would have to disassemble them anyways.

Re: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

Reply #3
I would send one and see what happened.. if no pressure signs i would send 3 more for group.. if they group good shoot them. If they dont shoot good try seating them a little deeper. If they dont satisfy you then ..well pull them down and start over.
Grant

Re: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

Reply #4
Not sure why I didn't think of this before posting; QuickLoad  ::)

I'm going to let QL win this one; according to the load data I recorded on these rounds, QL says "!DANGEROUS LOAD-DO NOT USE!".

Erring on the side of safety with this one, thanks guys :)

Now, where did I set the bullet puller?  ;D
Chris

Re: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

Reply #5
 Pull 3 bullets.  Load then with .3, .2,  and 1 grain less than the hand loads.  After pulling and emptying the cases make sure they chamber in the new barrel.   Shoot in the order above and look for pressure signs.

Eric
NRA Benefactor Life Member<br>Crafty Old Fart

 

Re: Handloads for a rifle, safe to use in another rifle?

Reply #6
Shoot one of the original loads and see what happens. Mark the cases so you can verify they were the original loaded ammo. If you have a loose primer pocket then that is a sign of a stressed case——toss it.
With only being 0.2 grains over, you’re not on thin ice. If it were 2 grains, it would be different and I wouldn’t do it.
I know of at least three reputable reloading manuals that have lower published data than loads that can safely be used.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
Every man has got to know his limits.