Saturday, April 16, 2011

IPSC Loads - Loads for USPSA/IPSC Practical Shooting Competitions

I was drooling over guns on the STI Guns website today and I noted that some of the competition-type pistols listed the link to "Jeff Maass' IPSC Resources Page" on the specifications.

So I followed the link, and instead of Jeff Maass, I found:

IPSC Loads - Loads for USPSA/IPSC Practical Shooting Competitions

This use to be the "Jeff Maass' IPSC Resources Page", but Jeff eventually got out of the business of trying to keep up all of the 'new' loads that were being reported to him (and I suspect he was beginning to worry about liability issues), so he quit updating the website. After a couple of years, he took the website down.

I was disappointed at the time, because this was one of the best reloading data resources available on the internet. His published loads were real-life loads designed specifically for IPSC competition. The premise is, these are loads which will (within defined parameters) "probably" be "pretty close" to something you can run in your gun and make major power. If that's an issue for you ... especially if you're shooting Open with a compensated pistol in .38 super or 9mm Major ... then this was probably the only available central clearing house of useful information.

Now I see that the data has been made available again, but published by (one of the guys who use to regularly post on the Unofficial IPSC Mailing List), whom I met once at the 2005 "Shirley Skinner Annual Make-A-Wish Charity Match" at Waco, Texas. I won't mention his name, because if he wanted his name associated directly on the website he would have entered it himself. I will say, though, that he and his wife have run shooting-training classes for several years and as far as I know, they still do.

Anyway, I'm going to return the link to my sidebar under REFERENCE SOURCES and the name Jeff Maass' IPSC Loads List. (Here's the link again.) If you are trying to work up a new load, this is one place you might check to get at least a 'reasonable starting place'.

(NB: When working up a new load, ALWAYS start with a powder charge at least 10% lower than cited, and be sure to pay CAREFUL attention to (a) the Over-All Length of the loaded cartridge and (b) check the NOTES column on any individual load to ensure that your firearm has a configuration similar to the cited gun ... that is to say, if it's a compensated gun, don't use this load in a Limited gun!)

In other words, take the cited loads with a grain of salt and ONE TWO grains less powder!!

And as you develop your loads, fire each round over a chronograph to insure that you know when the velocity of the bullet falls within the acceptable range for the power factor which you require. And always keep an eye out for signs of excessive pressure. These signs are, among others:
  • Flattened primers
  • Firing-pin indentations have a 'rimmed crater'
  • Smearing of the primer material across the base of the case
  • The base of the case is so flattened that you can't read the caliber
  • The firing pin is jolted loose
  • Your gun goes KaBOOM! when you pull the trigger, and you experience a searing pain in the palms of your hands when the exploding cartridge flashes hot gas through the magazine and the trigger-slot of the frame.
(Hopefully you will not wait until the gun self-destructs, although that IS always a sure sign of an overload, or a bullet seated too deep.)

Obviously, since I had no part in either developing the original loads or publishing the data, I cannot be responsible for the safety of any load. For example, in the entire list of .38 Super loads, there is not one which uses the bullet-weight and powder combination I have developed for my own use.


The original page includes many useful links. Among these are:
  • Competition Reloading Videos
  • "Burn rate" chars for various powders
  • Reloading Component Manufacturers Links
  • Reloading Equipment Links
  • Reloading Component Dealers

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