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Old 03-11-2004, 12:16 AM
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Working up a new load



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When working up a load for a new rifle in what order do you try stuff? Lot's of different ways to go, just would like to get some opinions.
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:12 AM
jls

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Mike

Here's a pretty good method, similar to what I do with minor differences:

http://www.varminthunters.com/tech/loaddevel.html

I highly recommend doing all your loading at the range if possible. HTH & good luck,

jerry
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:24 PM
Klof Drahcir

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Affleck's method

probably works great. I just insist on having at least a three shot group for EVERY change in variables.

Definitely choose a quality bullet first -- one designed to do what you want done. I have had great experiences with various Sierra bullets (very high quality at a reasonable price). Experimented with Remington and Speer bullets at about the same price, but they were so obviously inferior to the Sierras (at least in my 30-06) that I quickly gave up on them. There are many bullets out there with a well-earned reputation for accuracy and terminal performance.

Then choose a powder. I know that many do not appreciate Lee products, but their reloading manual lists powders in decreasing order of max muzzle velocity for each bullet weight. That puts the most efficient powders at or near the top of their list for each bullet type/weight. I choose one of the top three or four. I then consult at least two more reloading sources for data on that powder/bullet combination.

Use only cases of the same manufacture that have been loaded the same number of times. Trim and chamfer all cases.

Primers can make a significant difference in accuracy. I start with CCI, but just pick one and stick with it for a while.

I like to start with the bullet .005 off the lands, if possible.

Use the starting load and crank out five carefully measured rounds. Increase the powder charge equally to produce five rounds at each of five different charge wieghts, such that the final "batch" of five will be at max load. (Example: If the starting load is 61 grains and the max load 67, you will end up with five rounds at 61, five at 62.5, five at 64, five at 65.5, and five at 67 grains.) If you don't have a chronograph, or will be shooting over one for groups, you can get by with 3 rounds at each charge weight. I use five because the range I shoot at is not set up for me to shoot for groups over my chrony. I check for velocity with the first round of each set, and shoot four shot groups instead of three because five round sets are easy to organize and label in a 20 round ammo box. I shoot the groups at fifty yards to minimize variation due to wind.

Interestingly enough, I have found that groups generally get smaller as the charge increases, and the best groups tend to be one increment below max. Check for signs of excess pressure after every shot.

Once I have located the "sweet spot", it is time to repeat the process by loading equally varying charges in smaller increments bracketed around the charge that gave the best group.

I certainly do not claim to have found the "very best" loads for my rifle. You could spend the rest of your life changing variable after variable in search of that last tiny reduction in group size. So far, this process has led to consistent sub-MOA three shot groups for five different loads in my Savage 110 30-06. One of those loads shoots .5 MOA. Any more tweaking would be pointless for a hunting firearm. One of these days I'll no doubt run into a bullet/powder combo that doesn't satisfy through this method. When that happens I will change primers first. If that doesn't work, I'll change the powder.
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Old 03-28-2004, 01:32 PM
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Well, the easiest variable to work with is powder charge weight.

I select the cases, primers, bullets, and a base powder that I'm going to use. First I vary charge weight, working up from about 15% below the referenced max charge weight. I try and cross-reference at least a couple of manuals for charge weights. I'll do this with the ogive of the bullet seated about 0.050" off the lands.

Once I find a charge weight that the gun likes, I'll start varying the bullet jump. So long as I don't have a maximum charge, I'll seat the bullet lightly in the lands, and then work back in 0.015" increments. If your charge weight is maxed out, then don't seat the bullet in the lands as you can get a dangerous pressure spike.

I may repeat this for a different bullet, or for different powders. I almost never screw around with different primers.
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Old 03-28-2004, 02:54 PM
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I am just about ready to head out to the range this week. Just need to pick up a harrell powder thrower.

I have a savage 223 bolt and am starting out with the powder under the max. I am going to try varying the bullet seating depth first, then fine tune with the powder.

I have measured my OGOAL with a stoney point gauge. I was going to start at .010 off the lands and work my way in. What do you think would be the max for going past the OGOAL? I measured it where it was just barely touching it. From my research most 22 calibers like being into the lands some. I just don't want to force it to much as I would like to be able to pull a loaded round without pulling the bullet. I am shooting for .025 for neck tension. I will be neck sizing with a redding bushing.

Any ideas or suggestions would be very welcome. This will be my first time loading at the range and my first for trying for some precision reloading.
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike
I was going to start I am shooting for .025 for neck tension.
Ya sure you aren't missing a zero for neck tension = 0.0025"?

If you work your bullet on into the lands from 0.010" out, just don't do it with a max load. I'd start at 0.010", go to 0.005", go to 0.000", and then maybe a couple of thousandth's negative (into the lands.) As you indicate, the pits is when you stick the bullet, retract the slide, and dump the powder contents into your trigger mechanism.

I think you're on the right track with the parameters you suggest. Keep scrupulous notes, and pray for no wind!
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