You're leaving out the match shooters for whom that last iota of accuracy can mean the difference between win, place, or lose. So this is, as said earlier, purpose driven. Know what you are trying to achieve under what range of conditions and make the judgement call. If underloading a big cartridge works better for your activities, do that. If maxing out a lighter cartridge is what does the trick, do that.
I have circumstances under which I've done both. Near maximizing a .308 to be able to carry the light Steyr Scout in the field is something I already do. For matches I want peak accuracy and wind resistance, but also a powder/bullet combination that minimizes throat erosion so I won't shoot the barrel out any sooner than absolutely necessary, so I favor accuracy loads that work out not so close to maximum. I've already had one start to give out during a match and drop a couple of points that could have been saved. I watch barrels more carefully now. For underloading big cartridges, I've done that mainly for training beginners to avoid training in a flinch. The Trail Boss loads suit that purpose and the lack of gun disturbance in them seems to produce at least good accuracy.
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Last edited by Unclenick; November 23, 2011 at 11:43 AM.