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Load Development #15251707 09/23/20
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BCHunter666 Offline OP
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I am interested in knowing your sequence for load development. How do you go about it and how do you decide on when you are done. For instance, how do you decide enough is enough for powder and seating depth.


Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15251869 09/24/20
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MtnBoomer Offline
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Kiss, find pressure and rock on.


Critical thinking not needed.

Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15251927 09/24/20
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Begin with bullet weight and make in mind. Search data for likely powder. Test single cartridges for range of loads per powder -- check pressures. Load five or so of each weight group (powder charge) and shoot groups for accuracy. Vary OAL for powder charge(s) selected and see if any gain in accuracy. Chrony resulting loads to compare with published data results.

I basically "luck into" good loads this way. Others do ladder tests and rocket science instead of my methods. I DO NOT push envelopes or go outside published data.

Last edited by agazain; 09/24/20.
Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15251930 09/24/20
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I usually look at a few different books and get an idea of max loads, drop a full grain or so and start working up from there, watching for accuracy nodes and pressure signs. If firearm is fed from a magazine, I load to max mag length and then work back, .005"-.010" a time . If I can get the bullet to the lands, I start there and work back.


John 8:12 "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15251961 09/24/20
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Call Copper Creek and order a load development pack. Pick which shoots best and do their phase 2 and 3 packs. Though often the initial pack will have a load that shoots better than I can. Sorry never had the time to reload

IC-A

Re: Load Development [Re: MtnBoomer] #15252008 09/24/20
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boatanchor Offline
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Originally Posted by MtnBoomer
Kiss, find pressure and rock on.


This might work on occasion but seldom is life this easy, I ladder test most of my loads always shooting through a chronograph

Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15252182 09/24/20
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Can be a long or short process depending. I should create a flow chart for what I do.

I always start with a proper bullet for intended purpose.

Pick powder for velocity goals. Sometimes I want velocity, sometime it does not matter..
Pick primer for said combination. Ball, stick, small, large volume.
Set seating depth based on bullet and purpose. Hunting C&C start at 0.030, monos at 0.050. Target at 0.005-0.010.

Shoot trial loads and go from there.

Velocity not there, change powder.
If groups are showing inconsistent ignition, change powder or primer. ie widely variable chrono readings or fliers.
If load is showing promise, tweak seating depth. ie consistent chrono readings, symmetrical groups, just too large.


Arcus Venator
Re: Load Development [Re: boatanchor] #15252257 09/24/20
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Originally Posted by boatanchor
Originally Posted by MtnBoomer
Kiss, find pressure and rock on.


This might work on occasion but seldom is life this easy, I ladder test most of my loads always shooting through a chronograph

How do you figure I was finding pressure? Do you know?



Having no idea the OPs experience, and knowing the vastness of this topic that has been laid out here before, I think it a bit much to ask....


Critical thinking not needed.

Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15252274 09/24/20
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The basic process is pretty much the same for all my new loads:

1. Pick a bullet suitable to the purpose (big game, targets, varmints, etc.)
2. Build dummy load. I use .020“ off lands for most loads, anywhere from 0.050” to 0.150” for Barnes monos. Some of my rifles have really long throats so I just seat the bullets so the bullet base( or top of boattail) is at bottom of neck.
3. Study load data from a variety of sources, including the bullet manufacturer. I tend to use Hornady, Hodgdon and Nosler most, although Nosler max loads tend to be on the high side in my experience.
4. Pick a powder. I tend to prefer powders that are less temperature sensitive.
5. Build 2 identical strings of loads using 0.5g powder increments for rifle cartridges.
6. Fire each string at separate targets, recording velocity and POI for each shot.
7. Look for groups of 3 or more consecutive shots that group together well.
8. Pick a load in the middle of the group and build verification loads using that powder charge.
9. If verification loads shoot well, all done.


Was at the range yesterday with a SIL’s Rem 700 in 7mm RM and dev loads using 7928SSC and Barnes 145g LRX. The dev loads were, in part, based on my 7mn RM loads. Fired two strings of 6 rounds each on separate targets. Overlaying targets showed consistent POI based on powder charge, with shots 3, 4 and 5 in sub-MOA total group on both targets. Shots 5 and 6 were also sub-MOA on both targets. SIL is building verification loads using powder charge for #5. I expect they will work just fine, in shich case load development will be done after firing 12 shots.

I used to build 30-40 loads for development - 2 or 3 at the starting and low powder charges and working up to 4 and 5 for the middle charges, then tapering off to 2 or 3 at the highest charges, which were frequently a little over book max. Unfired loads, if any, would be torn apart later. I decided this method was wasteful of my time and components and tried the method above. It turned out to be simple and faster and, if things don’t work out, there are fewer loads to pull apart. Occasionally I will do a single string and have found that usually works well, especially if exploring new territory in terms of powder, cartridges, etc.


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Re: Load Development [Re: agazain] #15252296 09/24/20
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[quote=agazain]Begin with bullet weight and make in mind. Search data for likely powder. Test single cartridges for range of loads per powder -- check pressures. Load five or so of each weight group (powder charge) and shoot groups for accuracy. Vary OAL for powder charge(s) selected and see if any gain in accuracy. Chrony resulting loads to compare with published data results.

I basically "luck into" good loads this way. Others do ladder tests and rocket science instead of my methods. I DO NOT push envelopes or go outside published data.[/quote)


^^^^^^^ THIS^^^^^ Except for the “pushing the envelope or exceeding published data” part! grin memtb


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." -Bob Hagel

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IC-B

Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15252581 09/24/20
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With powder availability issues I am slowing down on load development and saving what I have for known loads. New rifles getting the factory ammo treatment.


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Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15253686 09/24/20
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Trystan Offline
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I load a middle of the road charge 20, 50, 80,and 110 thou off the lands! Pick the seating depth with the tightest horizontal spread and add or minus powder charge until the verticle spread gets tight! Simple


Trystan


Good bullets properly placed always work, but not everyone knows what good bullets are, or can reliably place them in the field
Re: Load Development [Re: Trystan] #15253826 09/24/20
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boatanchor Offline
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Originally Posted by Trystan
I load a middle of the road charge 20, 50, 80,and 110 thou off the lands! Pick the seating depth with the tightest horizontal spread and add or minus powder charge until the verticle spread gets tight! Simple


Trystan


Holy Fhuqk, you must be related to MtnBoomer laugh !!!!!!!!!!

Re: Load Development [Re: Trystan] #15254459 09/24/20
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Originally Posted by Trystan
I load a middle of the road charge 20, 50, 80,and 110 thou off the lands! Pick the seating depth with the tightest horizontal spread and add or minus powder charge until the verticle spread gets tight! Simple


Trystan


That sounds good. Never tried it that way, as I've always managed to find optimum powder charge while just working up to find the best accuracy node. C&C bullets for hunting are always started .020" off the lands, unless there are mag box constraints. If that is the case, I just load .005" shorter than the mag box. Reliable feeding is a must in a hunting load. Jam the lands and you'll eventually find out its not a great way to go for a hunting rifle.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Chidts pretty easy for the most part and you don't have to burn up very many bullets to find a good accurate load. I have a few rifles I still need to perfect a good load for. One of my most recent finds is a Tikka T3X stainless lite. Its showing good potential, but I know it can do better with a little fine tuning:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.

Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.
P


BSA
Re: Load Development [Re: boatanchor] #15255058 09/25/20
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MtnBoomer Offline
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Originally Posted by boatanchor
Originally Posted by Trystan
I load a middle of the road charge 20, 50, 80,and 110 thou off the lands! Pick the seating depth with the tightest horizontal spread and add or minus powder charge until the verticle spread gets tight! Simple


Trystan


Holy Fhuqk, you must be related to MtnBoomer laugh !!!!!!!!!!

That's totally not the same process!

Nor is loading up a bunch of random 3-rnd batches shooting them on a wobbly bench in brisk wind only to realize you forgot to clean the horribly fouled barrel, clean rifle, change powders because that one obviously didn't work (the rifle didn't llike it) load up more random chit trying a few different bullets, shoot those in a hurry in bad llighting, get no velocity data, and start over because you found your muzzle brake was loose and flopping around one week before hunting season buy a blue Federal box.


Critical thinking not needed.

Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15255368 09/25/20
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I usually roughly follow the OCW process, tried other methods (Satterlee, etc) but nothing else I've tried has been as reliable as OCW.

Re: Load Development [Re: agazain] #15255427 09/25/20
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Originally Posted by agazain
Begin with bullet weight and make in mind. Search data for likely powder. Test single cartridges for range of loads per powder -- check pressures. Load five or so of each weight group (powder charge) and shoot groups for accuracy. Vary OAL for powder charge(s) selected and see if any gain in accuracy. Chrony resulting loads to compare with published data results.


I do something like this, but those 5 or so rounds I load to test pressure will go over the Magnetospeed. If I find the velocity window I want within reasonable pressure, I will usually go one of two ways: If getting near the land is not possible, I'll pick a reasonable OAL and play with charge weights, loading a few 4 round test batches for accuracy. If getting near the land is possible, I'll stick with one powder charge and experiment with 4 round batches at varying OAL. I'll try to shoot at 200yds on days without much wind. If I can get reasonable groups (depending on expectations for the rifle), I'll load more and shoot at 300/400 another day.


Now with even more aplomb
Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15256375 09/25/20
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efw Online Content
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I use an gauge (I like the Hornady) to find max COAL and, if that’ll run through the mag, I start there ie “kiss”. I then choose the propellant which is usually two I have in an 8 lb canisters closest to max FPS for cartridge/bullet before me. I then load 3-shot groups in full grain increments and see what it’ll do.

If those results aren’t satisfactory, and they usually are, I adjust COAL shorter using the loads that gave the best accuracy.


Don't you ever wonder why
In spite of all that's wrong here
There's still so much that goes so right
And beauty abounds?

The thunder rolls and the baby sighs
And the rain comes down
Don't you wanta thank someone for this?
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Re: Load Development [Re: BCHunter666] #15257485 09/25/20
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DV_Ramrod Online Content
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I run an OCW string, reach pressure signs starting at the lands if mag space allows. If not, .005” short of mag constraints. I seat deeper in .010” increments thereafter on a charge weight that shows a consistent radial spread. Eventually the harmonics of the rifle (if solid) will allow a near one hole group with the right powder/bullet/seating depth combo.

Some rifles have been easy, while many have been a stubborn b!tch..

Re: Load Development [Re: MtnBoomer] #15257537 09/25/20
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Originally Posted by MtnBoomer
Kiss, find pressure and rock on.


+1, Been working for me for over 20 years now. Easy, easy, easy.


There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.
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