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Old March 20, 2007, 07:00 PM   #26
firechicken
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When I go to test my loads, I start with a clean barrel, fire at least 5 fouling shots, then proceed to test. While I'm testing, I don't let the barrel get very hot or completely cool either. I try to keep it the same throughout the test. How fast I fire depends on what rifle I'm using. A varmint barreled 223 takes a lot more to heat up than a lightweight 270 does. I don't clean during a test. If I'm doing more than one test, I might clean between tests, then fire 5 more foulers. Maybe I'm just lucky, but my rifles seem to shoot better groups after a few rounds have been through the barrel.
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Old March 20, 2007, 11:09 PM   #27
Mr Beta
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Cool.
I'll try these methods.
Does everyone try this at 100 yds? or do some do it at 300 like it says?
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Old March 21, 2007, 05:57 AM   #28
rwilson452
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I don't move past 100 yds until I haev a working load. If it won't work a 100 it will not work beyond that. Bear in mind, generally speaking, a bullet moving at around 3000 FPS will be moved about 1 MOA in a 10 mph cross wind. Once you get out to 200 yds the wind comes into play in a serious manner. Its another variable you need to contend with. When testing loads you want to eliminate outside variables as much as possible.
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Old March 21, 2007, 02:17 PM   #29
Mr Beta
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Good point.
So if you go through this "ladder" and don't find a sweet spot, do you switch powders? Or is that uncommon? Do all powders have a sweet spot with certain calibers?
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Old March 21, 2007, 03:56 PM   #30
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Mr Beta,
Here's some powder sites you should look at. They have discriptions of what works well with what caliber. The Hodgdon site is interesting in that it has data for IMR and Winchester also (it makes all 3), and will only list recommended powders for a certain caliber in it's reload data.
http://www.hodgdon.com/HomePage.php
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
http://www.accuratepowder.com/
http://www.alliantpowder.com/
http://www.ramshot.com/powders/
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Old March 22, 2007, 12:28 AM   #31
Mr Beta
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Thanks, Dogjaw.
I'll take a look.
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Old March 22, 2007, 09:08 AM   #32
rwilson452
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powders will show one load better than others. As to a sweet spot it get subjective. No, not all powders work well in a given gun. With rifles, powders that full the case better give better result. If the powder is too slow you don't get a complete burn within the barrel. this will result in greater variance in velocity thus effect accuracy. I have noted that a given barrel tends to work best within a narrow velocity range. in the end your looking for the best powder to give you that velocity. I can only conclude it has to do with barrel harmonics.

if you can't get good accuracy with a given bullet/ powder combination you can either change powders OR change bullets. Don't do both at once. Change one variable at a time. I choose to change powders first as I have selected a bullet I want to use. For my rifles I have found that Sierra bullets work best. I can't afford those custom bullets. With my 22-250 the times I have tried Hornaday bullets I have found a large variation in bullet weight. It could be that I just got bad batches of bullets as some people favor them. Nosler's didn't work any better than Sierra's and cost more.

As always YMMV


With pistols, Shooting at 25 yards a 1 MOA group is only .25"
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Old March 22, 2007, 01:53 PM   #33
Mr Beta
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It's funny you mention that.
I've had problems with my 22-250 with Hornady and Speer bullets.
I wasn't using the ladder but I loaded from min to max powder with no good results.
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Old March 22, 2007, 02:44 PM   #34
T-Mac
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Good stuff in this thread.
I will only add...(and somebody may have already said this) keep good notes. ...on everything.
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Old March 22, 2007, 02:54 PM   #35
Mr Beta
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Indeed.
On that note, *pun intended* does anybody use any special means of recording data? i.e. a certain computer program, special spread sheet, notebook paper?
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Old March 22, 2007, 03:58 PM   #36
rwilson452
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I shamelessly copied a page out of a Lyman book that was published for this very purpose. I copied it because I couldn't find it in stock anywhere. I still use them. I star good loads then when I find the final load it goes on a separate page that contains only those starred loads. One of these daze I intend to make a page that is a compendum of all my pet loads for all my guns. At presesent they are on 3X5 index cards that I keep on my reloading bench. If I want to load up some hunting loads for my 22-250 I just go to the box. my latest greatest load will be there. Sadly my 22-250 is out for a new barrel. I get to start all over again. Darn, I'm going to need to spend a lot of time at the range again.
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Old March 22, 2007, 06:18 PM   #37
firechicken
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T-Mac made a good point about keeping notes. I always used to just put my load data on the box the ammo was in, and never kept any permanant records. I wish I would have kept notes all along. Now that I have my chronograph, I write it all down in a 3-ring binder that goes to the range with me. Here's a scan of the form I use. I made it on WordPerfect. If anyone wants the original file so they can edit to their own specs, I can e-mail it. It seems to work for me.

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Old March 22, 2007, 11:34 PM   #38
Mr Beta
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I'll have to start marking up my books now.

As for seating depth, how deep is too deep? I've read that the best depth is a few hundredths of an inch off the lands. Any argument? Or is that another YMMV thing? I've read those length guide and how to make your own seating guide with a casing and a bullet.
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Old March 23, 2007, 06:20 AM   #39
rwilson452
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Yes seating depth is a YMMV thing. Generally speaking it should fall somewhere between .015 and .030 off the lands. In some rare cases it will be against the lands. In this case be very careful as this can cause a pressure spike. If you want to put it up against the lands back off your powder charge and work up slowly again.
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Old March 23, 2007, 06:23 AM   #40
Mr Beta
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Alright, well it's almost time to head out to the range. As soon as it's light outside I'm going to go try to shoot the ladder .
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