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Powder charge or seating depth first? #15228496 09/16/20
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300Winnie Offline OP
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Hello again, getting ready to move on to the 200 grain ELDX in my son’s .300WM. This process of trying to find a load for 178/180’s has me second guessing my methods.

So, start with one powder, one powder charge and look for a node with seating depth...and then play with different powders/charge amounts...

OR,

Start with one or more powders and charge weights to find what seems to shoot the best and then move to seating depth adjustment to fine tune?

What say you?

Thank you for trying to keep me sane.

300winnie

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Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15229080 09/16/20
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What I do:

Get you a good chrono.

Look for a powder that gives you the velocity you want at 90%+ fill, but not compressed (or not much).

Load a couple each at SAAMI length, starting at the midpoint charge and working up to the max.

Check velocity, looking for pressure signs, especially ejector marks.

Find pressure sign charge weight, then back off .5 grain.

Then I use this method:

https://bergerbullets.com/getting-the-best-precision-and-accuracy-from-vld-bullets-in-your-rifle/

It has worked well for me.



P


Obey lawful commands. Problem solved.

~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~

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Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15229345 09/16/20
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OldmanoftheSea Offline
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I think you could drive yourself nuts (or develop a huge stock of powders) by fixating on the seating depth first.
Others can tell you for sure, but I would looks at seating depth as fine tuning.
Charge being the coarse adjustment.

If you have your choice of powders I guess you are lucky...


-OMotS



"If memory serves fails me..."
Quote: ( unnamed) "been prtty deep in the cooler todaay "
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15229388 09/16/20
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300Winnie Offline OP
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Yes, I think the seating depth method would drive me nuts, and I certainly don’t have unlimited resources of bullets and powder.

Glad to see most do it the way I have done it for 30+ years, so will stick to it...here’s to 200 grain ELDX’s🤪

Thanks everyone.

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15229963 09/16/20
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AZ Southpaw Online Content
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IMO, powder charge changes are the best way to go. Start low, then go high and see what happens. You can test 2 or 3 powders with less effort than it would take to play with seating depths of a single load. You'll develop an anxiety twitch and will start talking to yourself. Find a good bullet/powder/charge combination, then if you have time to play mess with seating depths of that already-proven load.

IC-A

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: AZ Southpaw] #15230035 09/16/20
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300Winnie Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AZ Southpaw
...You'll develop an anxiety twitch and will start talking to yourself...


True that! Already there😂

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15230956 09/17/20
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Sponxx Offline
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What about
Kiss, Find Pressure and Rock on?

I'm still trying to learn how to "find" pressure, but for the few loads I tried, I started at max magazine length (since it didn't reach lands) and working up charges. My guns are used for hunting and shot at the range for load development and confirming, etc.
Never needed to play much with seating depth, but I will try to do so just to see.
My guess is better barrels will shoot better over a wider spectrum of powders, charges and seating depths.

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: Sponxx] #15231396 09/17/20
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MontanaMan Offline
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Originally Posted by Sponxx
What about
Kiss, Find Pressure and Rock on?

I'm still trying to learn how to "find" pressure, but for the few loads I tried, I started at max magazine length (since it didn't reach lands) and working up charges. My guns are used for hunting and shot at the range for load development and confirming, etc.
Never needed to play much with seating depth, but I will try to do so just to see.
My guess is better barrels will shoot better over a wider spectrum of powders, charges and seating depths.



This, more or less, especially the last sentence..................good barrels are generally not finicky. Barrels that will only shoot one load, either bullet or powder wise, go down the road pretty quick.

I usually begin at about .010" off the lands............minor adjust as needed as I don't really want hunting loads seated fully into the lands.

MM

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: MontanaMan] #15236229 09/18/20
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OldmanoftheSea Offline
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Originally Posted by MontanaMan
Originally Posted by Sponxx
What about
Kiss, Find Pressure and Rock on?

I'm still trying to learn how to "find" pressure, but for the few loads I tried, I started at max magazine length (since it didn't reach lands) and working up charges. My guns are used for hunting and shot at the range for load development and confirming, etc.
Never needed to play much with seating depth, but I will try to do so just to see.
My guess is better barrels will shoot better over a wider spectrum of powders, charges and seating depths.



This, more or less, especially the last sentence..................good barrels are generally not finicky. Barrels that will only shoot one load, either bullet or powder wise, go down the road pretty quick.

I usually begin at about .010" off the lands............minor adjust as needed as I don't really want hunting loads seated fully into the lands.

MM

Since follow up shots are "as needed" my philosophy is "if longer than magazine length works then use it for your first shot."


-OMotS



"If memory serves fails me..."
Quote: ( unnamed) "been prtty deep in the cooler todaay "
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15237899 09/19/20
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Obey lawful commands. Problem solved.

~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~

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Join date 3/09/2001
IC-B

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15240398 09/20/20
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When I look for a powder, I look for the one that give's the most velocity with the bullet I want to use. To work up loads I drop off max by several grs and load up one at a time to a gr over max and fire them looking for pressure sign. Once I get the pressure sign, I quit and any rounds left I pull the bullet's. Then I start a couple grs below where I got pressure and work up with three shot group's looking for the best group. I don't believe five shot group's are necessary as I load for hunting rifles only, not target rifle's. Getting seating depth I start but getting the bullet just off the lands. Then check to see if the round will fit the magazine. If that doesn't work I go for seating to the base of the neck where it meet's the shoulder. Then again see if it will fit the magazine. I do like the bullet to stay completely in the neck. Your gonna find with the longer bullet's that your gonna have to invade the powder case, I don't care for that. If you have a magazine long enough to handle the bullet seated only in the neck, I found a way to fix that years ago in a 7mm Rem Mag.Loaded a 160gr bullet seated to the base of the neck and gave it to a gunsmith and had the throat let out to chamber that round, worked like a champ! In any case when seating bullet's I don't like to load out so that the bullet is seated less than one caliber depth.

Told ya how I pretty much look at powder above. I really don't want a bunch of powder around either so stick to just a few. With a 300 Mag and 200gr bullet, I'd be looking at a slow powder These days I don't keep up on all the new powder's, never found a need to. New to me would be RL-22 and I do like that powder. Never had much luck with the 4831's in anything and my favorite mag powder is long gone, Norma 205! But if I weren't so old and set in my way's I'd check out some new slow powder's.

Want to commend you on your choice of a 200r bullet in your 300 mag. I've always felt that had to be about the best choice. magnum cartridges just seem to handle the heavy bullet much better than standard cartridge's. And an old saying I read years ago about magnum cartridge's and believe in, "magnum cartridges are designed to deliver exceptional power at normal range, not normal power at exceptional range". Always like that!

Last edited by DonFischer; 09/20/20.
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15243554 09/21/20
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I get a powder charge that give me a good vel., low ES and SD and then play with seating depths.


I may not be smart but I can lift heavy objects

I have a shotgun so I have no need for a 30-06.....
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15244099 09/21/20
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Find maximum charge at maximum length then play with seating. Easy to bump the bullet back. But frequently the load will shoot right off the bat.
I have heard of others doing it the opposite way but that seems backwards. I have also heard that ideal length will work for a range of varying charge weights, but this hasn't worked for me.


"When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred." Niccolo Machiavelli
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15247000 09/22/20
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300Winnie Offline OP
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Okay. My son and I got back out to the range yesterday with his .300 Winchester Magnum and we were able to fire a number of loads. The loads consisted of Hornady's 200 grain ELDX on top of varying charges of either IMR 7977 or IMR 8133 (yes I was lucky enough to find two pounds of each the other morning). I measured his maximum cartridge length using the highly scientific "sharpie method" and seated his bullets .015" off the lands.

I loaded four rounds at 74.5 grains of IMR 7977 to provide for a clean, cold first shot fouler and then a three shot group. Then three rounds each in 1/2 grain increments up to 77.0 grains. I then loaded three rounds each in 1/2 grain increments from 79.5 to 82.0 grains of IMR 8133.

As it worked out I was able to fire all of the loads of IMR 7977 without pressure signs and within what I think was acceptable velocity (being the #1 pressure sign) for a 26" barrel. With that said, the first two shots (fouler and 1st subsequent) listed higher velocities than anything else I fired with that powder. Those two shots went 2,999 and 3,031 fps respectively, then dropped for shots three and four to 2,909 and 2,926 respectively. I've not ever really paid too much attention to clean, cold bore shots, but it appeared that the bore needed to be "seasoned" if you will. Would value thoughts on that.

I was not able to fire all of the loads with IMR 8133 as I ran into a slightly sticky bolt lift at 80.5 grains. Interesting observation was that with nine shots fired with that powder across a full grain difference the low velocity reading was 3,003 and the high was 3,060. Another interesting observation was that the high reading was at 80.0 grains and didn't exhibit sticky bolt lift. It should also be noted that the primers in all loads fired still retained a fairly rounded appearance.

I gathered my starting load information from Hodgdon's website, but after reviewing Nosler's load data found online it is clear that I should have started the IMR 8133 at a lower charge.

Anyway, on to the results. First are the targets from the IMR 7977, with a composite of all the shots fired as if on one target.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

I felt like there was a lot of positives about this powder/bullet combination and the velocity is acceptable at an average of 2,940 fps at the most accurate load of 76.5 grains.

Now onto the IMR 8133. I knew my testing would be short lived here as the first group at 79.5 grains averaged 3,026 fps, but very low deviation. I went up to the aforementioned 80.5 grains, but a little bolt stick and shiny extractor marks...so we stopped there.
Here is the target from the three loads that we were able to fire. As a caveat, I don't have great confidence in the size of the groups at 79.5 and 80.0 as my son was shooting them and he is still fairly inexperienced. As I thought he may have pulled the shot that is an outlier in the 80.0 grain group I asked if I could shoot the 80.5.
[Linked Image]

And the composite of these three:
[Linked Image]

On my way home from the range I kept thinking that the groups fired with IMR 7977 indicated a clear choice, especially given the upper end of the spectrum, pressure wise with the IMR 8133. However, after putting all the data together, especially the composite for the two powders (with the given that there are twice as many rounds included in one of them) I am wondering if the choice isn't as clear as it appeared.

My thoughts are to load up 9 rounds of each powder - 76.5 grains of IMR 7977 and 80.0 grains of IMR 8133 and see if there is a clear winner.

Would love to hear any feedback.

Thanks for following/helping me along this path.

300winnie

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15247699 09/22/20
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OldmanoftheSea Offline
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From my reading Hodgdon load data tends to be to the warmer end.. maybe it is their test site elevation?

The 7977 looks like pretty good velocity and groups...
But as John writes the pursuit is a large part of the fun..

Hard to beat father son range days for that..


-OMotS



"If memory serves fails me..."
Quote: ( unnamed) "been prtty deep in the cooler todaay "
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15248071 09/22/20
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The wonderful 30cal bore allows you to use a wide variety of powders that work.The big case helps too.You can put a lot of the slow burn rate powders and get some really good velocities with them.I've always had good luck with the powders in the 4350 burn range in the 300 Win Mag,but really I've done well with powders all the way up to Ramshot Magnum.I just recently tried Ramshot Hunter for the first time in my 300 Win Mag.These are two of my test loads.I can probably tweek the seating on these loads and get them tighter,but they weren't too bad and the velocity was good.I think this powder is worth playing with some more.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
As Bob Hagel would say"You should not use a rifle that will kill an animal when everything goes right; you should use one that will do the job when everything goes wrong."Good words of wisdom...............
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15248132 09/22/20
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tedthorn Online Content
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The Satterlee method works


Maker of the Frankenstud Sling Keeper
Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15249532 09/23/20
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I see the Satterlee technique referenced in a few spots, but am not familiar with it. Is there a reference outlining the method somewhere? I did a search without success. thanks

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: 300Winnie] #15249682 09/23/20
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If starting with a new rifle, I start with a new batch of brass, pick the powder that gives the best case fill, start in the middle of the data and work up to max in half grain increments load five of each, and shoot over the chronograph. I don't even fire those at paper, I'm just looking for the charge that gives me the lowest ES and SD. Once I find that, I'll start with seating bullets kissing the lands on back to a full jump. I shoot the ones that are jumped first, as I can always seat the rest of them deeper. I've never not found a winning load using this method. And by the time it's done, I have some fire formed brass to work with.

Re: Powder charge or seating depth first? [Re: chesterwy] #15249957 09/23/20
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Originally Posted by chesterwy
I'll start with seating bullets kissing the lands on back to a full jump. .


How much is a "full jump"? And what interval do you use? thanks

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