The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 28, 2005, 01:42 PM   #1
tjhands
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2005
Posts: 1,708
Finding the BEST load.......

Hi guys,

When you are trying to work up the best load for a particular gun, how many rounds of a certain powder weight do you make?

Example: I found that 5.3g of W231 under a 230g FMJ works great and is very accurate in my Ruger P97. I want to see if maybe 5.2g is better....or 5.4g How many rounds should I make of each of those to check for accuracy? 20? 50?
Thanks!
tjhands is offline  
Old April 28, 2005, 02:32 PM   #2
cheygriz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 11, 2002
Location: high up in the rockies
Posts: 2,232
I usually load 20 and shoot four 5 shot groups.
__________________
If you think a mighty military force is expensive, wait 'til you see what a weak one costs.
cheygriz is offline  
Old April 28, 2005, 02:59 PM   #3
tjhands
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2005
Posts: 1,708
Right on, cheygriz, that's what I was thinking. I'd hate to make 50 or more and have them not be what I'm looking for. Not a fan of the bullet puller!
tjhands is offline  
Old April 28, 2005, 03:11 PM   #4
shooter22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2001
Posts: 174
I usually load 7 of each particular grain. I shoot two to to get an idea where the bullet is hitting, then shoot a 5 shot group to measure.


I do the same thing, refining by +/-.1g.
__________________
www.missouriwhitetails.com
shooter22 is offline  
Old April 28, 2005, 05:33 PM   #5
CaptainRazor
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2005
Location: Charleston, WV
Posts: 302
I usually load up a box of 50 with 10 rounds of each load.
Then I use computer labels and stick them right on top of the 10 rounds for that load.
After test firing the loads, I mark each label with my own rating system.

Poor
Marginal
Good

Obviously, If the load gets a "marginal" or lower, I don't use that load anymore.
CaptainRazor is offline  
Old April 28, 2005, 06:38 PM   #6
tjhands
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2005
Posts: 1,708
Thanks, guys.

Using a rating system sounds like a good idea, Cap'nRazor. I'll do that.
tjhands is offline  
Old April 29, 2005, 10:19 PM   #7
Smokey Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2001
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 2,034
It depends...

On whether we're talking pistol load development or rifle load development.

For pistol, where there is so much room for the human element, I like Cheygriz's idea, and do about the same. If I had access to a Ransom rest for the pistol in question, I'd do it like I do rifle.

For rifle, where I can benchrest it and all but remove the human element, I use one 10-shot group for each change I make in a load, going up or down by 0.1 grain of powder (VERY carefully measured!) if it's powder I'm changing. For something as important as which load to use for the once-in-a-lifetime buck, 3 shot groups or 5 shot groups don't tell enough. Oh, and you have to let the bbl cool sufficiently between shots. Every shot you take while hunting is with a cold bbl.
__________________
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe
Smokey Joe is offline  
Old April 29, 2005, 11:41 PM   #8
OfcrBill
Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2004
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 62
Test Loads

When doing a test load I only load 5 rounds per increment. I also use a black Scripto marker and write the grain measurement on the casing. I write my results on a pad:

weak
good
hot

I hope this helps, good info posted here on what to do. Just remember, if you load 20, 50, or whatever of a particular load and it's not "right", you have all that waisted ammo. Bill
__________________
A Proud Veteran, USN
USS Whipple FF 1062
USS Dixon AS 37
USS Jason AR 8
USS Kitty Hawk CV 63
OfcrBill is offline  
Old April 30, 2005, 04:18 PM   #9
Sturm
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2005
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 584
I Don't use a Ransom rest, but I do benchrest handgun ammo with an inexpensive MTM caseguard rest and it works. The one Midway sells will allow you to dial in the exact pistol height for this purpose. Both are plastic and the MTM will flex a little. 20 rounds in pistol sounds good to me and when you have a load you really feel should be accurate with some past experience with the same bullet and powder, 50 rounds is not a risky proposition considering that it's just not that hard to duplicate factory performance. Especially when using powders that are very well suited to a particular cartridge. In Rifle, 15 or 20 rounds is a good range depending on how many groups you want to fire until you find a majic load. Then again I load a little out of the norm for handguns and carry over rifle principles like high load density into my handgun ammo. For defensive pistol cartridges, I use low flash ball powders that will fill the case as high as possible and the results have been very rewarding.

Loaded some .40 yesterday with 165 gr. Golden Sabers and had planned to use VV 3N37 for low flash/good velocity, but since the expander in my RCBS dies seem better suited for Cast lead, I couldn't get enough tension on the bullet to suit me as the driving band on GS's is the only part of the bullet that is full diameter. Solution; well not exactly since these loads won't likely be suitable as defense loads, but I switched to AA #9 that will fill the case to a level of slight compression and the GS can't go anywhere now but forward. Have not tried this load combo before, so I am expecting a little more flash than a defense load should have. But Hey, may make a great high velocity field load in the 5" barrel of the XD Tactical, so I loaded 100!
Sturm is offline  
Old May 1, 2005, 01:43 AM   #10
Sturm
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2005
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 584
Retraction!

Well, I was wrong! Flash with #9 and the 165 gr. GS was almost non existent and I shot quite a few in the dark this evening. Accuracy however is another story, 20 rounds would have been plenty. Turned out to be a pretty potent load though!
Sturm is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2013 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07915 seconds with 9 queries