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Load Development Question -
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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UniBrow
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:51 pm    Post subject: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

When Developing a Load for a bolt action rifle which do you do first, determine Charge Weight or Seat Depth?
I have seen some differing of opinion on this.

I have reloaded shotshells, pistol and .223. In all cases I just picked a load out of a manual & used it as is.

I am about to load for my .270 for the first time. I will try to tune my load for accuracy. My guess is to start with a constant (safe) seating depth & tune by charge weight first. I will be trying the ladder method.

Load development, Checking where the rifling starts and Ladder method is all new territory for me.

I have my once fire cases prepped & the only thing left to do is start loading.

Thanks,
UniBrow.

BTW: Looks like a nice site here. I get tired of the fighting on other sites. Seems to be none of that here.
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DallanC
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

For me its powder first (in both type and amount), then fine tune with seating depth. I dont think there is a right or wrong way to do this, its a matter of opinion.


-DallanC
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shrpshtrjoe
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Welcome to the HuntingNut Very Happy . I always start with the powder I will try and pick one with the best velocity and good case volume I like the case volume to be a compressed load or very near compressed when possible ( I feel there more consistent). I will vary powder charges until I find the most accurate charge and fine tune with the seating depth.
Joe

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denis
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

With regard to seating depth -- I have been using a fresh factory round as a "template" to set the setting depth for a particular bullet. For example, to reload brass from a Remington 150gr Core Lokt spitzer, I adjust the seater die to a fresh factory round, and then adjust from that point on the reload, using calipers to confirm the proper COL. My fired cases are neck-sized, and I apply no crimp.

Is this pretty close to optimal?
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Like the fellers say, I keep the same seating depth until I find the most accurate powder charge. Then you can try tweaking the seating depth. I use the bullet manufacturer's suggested OAL to start with, as long as it will fit in my magazine.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:11 am    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Like Pumpkinslinger said; powder first using the manual's recommended OAL. Once I get reasonable results with the chosen powder I experiment by varying the OAL until accuracy tops out.

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slipshot
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Don't forget to try a few different brands of primers also. I found on my 25-06 that they can tighten groups in a big way. I haven't figured out how to start with the right primer and apparently neather has anyone else but its sure worth the time and extra $ to do some testing.
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UniBrow
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

I'm lucky in the regard that there is a store locally that has a nice selection of primers.

I also found that the local Academy has one brand each of LR primers and 209's.

Thanks for the replies.
UniBrow
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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

denis wrote:
With regard to seating depth -- I have been using a fresh factory round as a "template" to set the setting depth for a particular bullet. For example, to reload brass from a Remington 150gr Core Lokt spitzer, I adjust the seater die to a fresh factory round, and then adjust from that point on the reload, using calipers to confirm the proper COL. My fired cases are neck-sized, and I apply no crimp.

Is this pretty close to optimal?

It is a good safe place to start. If you get accuracy and velocity you are satisied with you are done. But if you expect more or are just curious buy nature you can tweek the powder, primer and seating depth to try to find the "sweet spot" for your gun. Each chamber is cut slightly differently even if the same reamer and operator is used. To find the absolute optimal load conditions can be very frustrating and very rewarding.

The key is to have an end in mind when you start the process. If your gun will only hold 2-3 MOA with factory loads... When you start off to duplicate the factory performance but improve the accuracy to 1 MOA or better you establish some limits. This will keep you from going way down the scale in powder and getting a real accurate round that hardly pokes a hole in the paper or getting too crazy about group size and trying to get one hole groups at 300 yards and spending all of your time shooting and developing a load rather than using it in the field or on the range in competition.

One other thing for beginners to understand is exactly how well they can shoot. If you cannot hold 1 moa from a bench rest you will never get a gun to shoot tighter than that. Work on a consistent and repeatable technique for evaluating your handloads. Shooting standing off hand unsupported is probably not the best way to evaluate a load. wtf

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Dawgdad wrote:
denis wrote:
With regard to seating depth -- I have been using a fresh factory round as a "template" to set the setting depth for a particular bullet. For example, to reload brass from a Remington 150gr Core Lokt spitzer, I adjust the seater die to a fresh factory round, and then adjust from that point on the reload, using calipers to confirm the proper COL. My fired cases are neck-sized, and I apply no crimp.

Is this pretty close to optimal?

Shooting standing off hand unsupported is probably not the best way to evaluate a load. wtf


Dammit!!!

All that wasted ammo......

No wonder I can't shoot bettet than 2 MOA.....

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Seating depth can tweak a good load but it can't make a bummer load into a winner. Develop your bullet & powder charge first, then see if you can make it better with small seating changes.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Gidday UniBrow, and welcome to the Forums mate.

Well, I reckon everybody has pretty well covered it all mate. Myself, I believe the only way to start out on developing a load is to do as both Dallan and Joe said...start with the powder....in fact I find it difficult to understand how anybody could go straight onto adjusting seating depth etc without first sorting out the appropriate powder type and charge weight. As wncchester says....you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, so sort out the actual load first mate.

Only thing I can add is to have a look at the Articles found on the Home page to this site. There are some very good and interesting articles on Accuracy etc.

Good luck mate. Lets us know how you go.

Cheers, Vince

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:20 am    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Nosler and Barnes current loading manuals show load density for each load. A good general approach is to identify the powder that gives the highest velocity and the highest load density. In useful terms, that will be the powder(s) that will be the best choice.

Primers affect accuracy by having different levels of power or brissilance (sp?). Testing has shown as much as a 5,000 psi difference by switching primers. For load development, it is more a priority to match the primer type (standard or magnum) to the powder volume and burn rate and keep the primer constant until a specific load is identified. Little improvement in accuracy or velocity will be gained by switching primers IF pressures are the same.
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slipshot
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Handloader wrote:
Primers affect accuracy by having different levels of power or brissilance (sp?). Testing has shown as much as a 5,000 psi difference by switching primers. For load development, it is more a priority to match the primer type (standard or magnum) to the powder volume and burn rate and keep the primer constant until a specific load is identified. Little improvement in accuracy or velocity will be gained by switching primers IF pressures are the same.

Thats funny.......I have 2 load sheets here with everything the same except the BRAND of primer. CCI shot 1.324" Group at 100 and WLR shot .493" at 100. Theses two sets of shells had same amount and lot of powder, cases prepared the same, same bullets and lot, seated the same distance and shot within 20 minutes of each other.

I am not arguing your point just showing in fact primers will improve accuracy or they did in this situation anyway. Seems some powders like a colder primer and some like a hot primer. Better burn gets better results IMO.
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English Mike
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Load Development Question - Reply with quote

Hey UniBrow.

Do you by any chance own a FAL with a Century receiver?

(Those who do will know why I ask - those who don't can Google Wink )
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