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Thread: Speer 8 Warning

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I'd have to research and re-read the book, but I'm pretty sure some (maybe much) of the data was not pressure tested.

    If you want to read something very interesting regarding pressures of that era, HANDLOADER magazine editor Neal Knox assisted by George Nonte and Lee Jurras (he ran the pressure measuring equipment in his Super Vel shop) put together a two-piece article testing the hottest factory .38 Special loads of the day (before +P). In the second phase of the article, they duplicated some of the factory loads with handloads. These were published in 1970.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    I have not looked at the loads, but I used them.
    I used the starting loads and they were powerful enough as I recall.
    Using common sense I figured the max loads would wear out your gun in short order.
    Apparently a lot felt as I did, but there were undoubtedly many guns junked by these max loads.
    It's no different today.
    shot max loads will wear out a gun faster than starting loads.
    It's your choice.
    Speer no. 8 was hotter on their max loads that year for sure.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    George Nonte, Dean Grennell and even Skeeter Skelton had comments on the max loads, but they loaded up to them and tried some of them
    Really, some of those loads were just ahead of their time.
    And too hot for older firearms, especially those designed in the black powder era and replicas made of .modern steels.
    The frames, cylinder thickness, inner connecting parts for revolvers and selfshuckers needed additional building up which has come along later.
    Just part of evolution.
    That still doesn't relieve freeloaders from using common sense.
    There are still plenty of them who call up the internet saying " what's a good load for my 45/70 that will kill anything"?
    Or how about a powerful load for my .32 acp that will stop a holdup during a gunfight?
    Thinking may help as much as studying reloading books, or combining the two.

    I had other manuals to compare to Speer no.8 and I saw the differences as well as hearing the gunwriter's comments.
    I also used my own observations.
    And so should we all.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    Tar Heel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Raleigh NC
    What has always surprised me is seeing the RANGE of data across multiple manuals, across multiple decades. While recently researching a load for the 38-55 WCF, I discovered one manual lists a starting point that exceeds another manuals max load point. The original data published by Alliant (the folding posters) shows loads well on the high end for RL7, and the 3031 data in other manuals is all over the place. Such is the variety of test equipment and process. There are no absolutes in this game. Play appropriately and learn the rules. Skating for the goal straight out will land you in the penalty box.

    If something does go wrong, stick your thumb in the hole.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master and Dean of Balls

    fatnhappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Saw this on Reddit yesterday and my first thought went along the lines of “they didn’t stop at 1?”
    Some people only learn the hard way.
    Attachment 284761
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
    No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master

    Burnt Fingers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    I have a Speer #8.

    Comparing some loads in there to loads in newer manuals is enough to set your hair on fire.

    Every experienced reloader I know owns a Speer #8 but doesn't use it.

    One problem is that the well known pressure signs don't show up with pistol cartridges till you're far past the danger zone most of the time. Those pressure signs are for bottleneck cartridges, something that many people seem to forget.
    NRA Benefactor.

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master

    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 06-22-2021 at 03:51 PM.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
    oldblinddog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    I had a Speer manual back in the early 80’s. I don’t recall the number but I bought it new at the lgs. I also had a new Marlin 1895 .45-70 for which I looked up a load for the 400 gr Speer bullet using Reloder 7. I didn’t load the maximum, but I won’t say how much because some idiot may try it. Anyway, I put 3 of them downrange on the 100 yard line and got a group that looked like Mickey Mouse (all touching). I then packed up, went home, and pulled the loads on the remaining 17 rounds, knowing that if I ever needed to kill a mammoth I could.
    USMC 6638

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check