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Old November 22, 2011, 12:23 PM   #26
black mamba
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Right on, pk. The ultimate in handloading is to find that max performance load that will shoot like a benchrester, especially with premium hunting bullets.
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Old November 22, 2011, 04:01 PM   #27
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Except "exceptional accuracy" may not be best (or maximum) accuracy.

It all depends on what your needs are for the weapon.

Deer are a much larger target then groundhogs, and prairie dogs are even smaller.
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Old November 22, 2011, 04:27 PM   #28
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That's true, Brickeye but "mediocre" accuracy would actually cover most needs of most shooters.

I have yet to find a single load in my 204 that shoots over 1/2-3/4 MOA. That guns primary purpose is woodchucks. Let's say a 5" kill zone. 3/4 MOA is 5" at 667 yards. That is not only 50% farther than I can see in my hunting area, but also likely to be well beyond MY capabilities, meaning the gun/load is no longer relevant.

My 7mm-08 Encore has never found a load that won't shoot under 1" at 100 yards. It's purpose is deer. I have ONE spot, in THOUSANDS of acres that I can hunt, where shots can exceed approximately 400 yards. Given that the gun is a 15" handgun and I don't have a shooting bench in the field, I am realistically limited to far less than 400 yards. Even if it were a rifle, with a solid rest, I'd be shooting into 4" or less at 400 yards at an animal with a kill zone of 6-8 inches.

Benchrest shooters, in competition, are one thing. The "real world" is quite another. It's not unusual for trajectory (range estimation) and wind deflection, both of which are SPEED dependent, to be FAR more important than "pure accuracy" in terms of a guns MOA capability.
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Old November 22, 2011, 08:57 PM   #29
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Most reloading manual list a start and max load along with velocity on a test rifle etc.

If someone finds a good accuracy load near max who's to say that's a hot load. I'm sure some would like to rewrite the manual change velocity but we can't.

Myself I look for accuracy and I can't change the velocity I get with that load what ever it is.

I may have couple loads that shoot good in my rifles the one I pick to use is the one with the highest velocity from the manual loads I'm using. You can always alter that with longer barrel,different twist,rifling etc.

I don't see any problems with someone loading up to published max loads if that how they want to reload and I'm sure they read the reloading manuals on what to watch as to pressure.
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Old November 23, 2011, 10:58 AM   #30
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The "real world" is quite another.
Some of us actually use binoculars, spotting scopes, and even range finders.

I have a farmer that calls me at least once a year when he finds signs of groundhogs in his fields.

A make a trip out and usually can clean them out in a single day.

Most have already been shot at enough to be very wary, so shots over 300 yards are pretty much required.

The crops are a very nice wind indicator.

I have never found a maximum load to be the most accurate in hundreds of rifles, and none of the guys I shoot with have ever found it either.
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Old November 23, 2011, 11:11 AM   #31
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This is an unwinnable argument. If someone wants to buy a 22-250 and load it to 223 levels because they get 1/4 MOA rather than 1/2, more power to them. If they want a 30-06 with the muzzle energy of a 30-30 because it shoots 1/2 MOA rather than 3/4 with full power loads, I hope they're happy.

I think they're silly. But, whatever, it's a free country.

I guess if such a person wants a 30-30, they have to buy a 30-06 just in case "most accurate" is a low charge. If they want a 30-06 they have to buy a 300 Win Mag?
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Old November 23, 2011, 11:35 AM   #32
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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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Old November 23, 2011, 12:34 PM   #33
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I completely agree with you, Nick. As I said, competition shooting is one thing. What the rest of us do is quite another. Naturally, there are times for reduced loads. New shooters, case forming and what-not.

On the other hand, I've never met a hunter that shoots his 22-250 at 3000 fps instead of 3500 or 3800 because he can get an extra .1 MOA.

It makes sense to me, under hunting conditions, to give up a few fractions of an MOA to get near top FPS. Would I give up a 1/2 MOA to get 50 fps? No, not even 1/4! But I might give up 1/4 MOA to get 200 fps... the bullet will fly flatter, drift less and I'm only giving up 1" and 400 yards.

In other words, I want accuracy AND darn near full power, or I'll look elsewhere for something that works better. So far, I haven't had to. 1/2-3/4 does anything I'll ever need.
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Old November 24, 2011, 01:11 PM   #34
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clarity in terms

I was not referring to "maximum" loads, I was referring to "proof" loads.
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Old November 24, 2011, 02:11 PM   #35
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What the rest of us do is quite another.
You do not get a lot of game with misses.

If you want to hit smaller critters you need more accuracy them popping deer at 50 yards.
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Old November 24, 2011, 03:06 PM   #36
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I have found the same. I load my 308 down to 2550 FPS and accuracy goes way up.My 223 i bring down to 2850 and same thing. I only shoot paper so speed means nothing to me. I just started comp shooting last year and there are a few out there that do not load for speed either. When shooting 300 yards ,does 200 FPS really make a difference?, Im also trying to extend my barrel life too. Speed kills
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Old November 25, 2011, 09:30 AM   #37
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Quote:
If you want to hit smaller critters you need more accuracy them popping deer at 50 yards.
Not everyone here hunts small critters...
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Old November 25, 2011, 10:03 AM   #38
brickeyee
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Not everyone here hunts small critters...
So you are wiling to settle for less accuracy.

I have never bothered tweaking up my deer rifle past about 1 inch at 100 yards.
That is more than suitable, even on larger clear cuts.

And it is (gasp) not a max load.
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Old November 25, 2011, 10:27 AM   #39
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. . . Though, even if it were a load that was pushing the gun, it takes an awful lot of years to wear out the barrel on a rifle kept just for deer. This, again, is one of the purpose-specific considerations.
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Old November 25, 2011, 10:49 AM   #40
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As there are so many factors going on, it is even tough to speak "generally" Have several bolt WBYs that use slower powders that are considerably better (accuracy and consistency) close to max pressures when using slower powders. Bought the 257 and 270 wby for their velocity, so i load them close to max. They ain't target rifles that get thousands of rounds through em.


Some medium to faster burn rate powders used in medium to smaller cases seem to be more accurate at less than max loads, especially in semi-autos. Some powders/bullets/barrels/guns have their own pressure where they operate best.
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Old November 25, 2011, 11:08 AM   #41
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Zeke is right, there are sooo many things going on before a bullet leaves the barrel.

Study barrel harmonics.
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Old November 25, 2011, 11:27 AM   #42
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I had a .243 Rem.700 VLS that I had accurized but was mostly stock and the loads it liked were 2 to 3gr under max.My long hit shot was 786yrds on a praire dog.I had a 606yrd hit out of a 22-250 Rem VLSSF(not multiple shots before one hit).Non of my rifle loads were really near max.
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Old November 28, 2011, 11:39 AM   #43
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So you are wiling to settle for less accuracy.
Out of my 4 5/8" Ruger .44 mag on hogs inside of 50 yards? Absolutely.
If we are talking losing say 300 fps, for and extra half MOA, I would keep the 300 FPS, without a second thought.
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Old November 28, 2011, 01:37 PM   #44
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Out of my 4 5/8" Ruger .44 mag on hogs inside of 50 yards? Absolutely.
If we are talking losing say 300 fps, for and extra half MOA
Handgun accuracy is not normally expressed as MOA since it is so poor, mostly from limited sight radius.

I doubt you could even tell.
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Old November 28, 2011, 04:41 PM   #45
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Handgun accuracy is not normally expressed as MOA since it is so poor, mostly from limited sight radius.
Yep. That's kind of what I was getting it.
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Old November 28, 2011, 04:59 PM   #46
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mehavey states: [QUOTE[The military 308/7.62 load duplicates the military 30-06 load -- intentionally.[/QUOTE]I've heard this before. Checking the milspecs on line easily disproves it.

They're the same only in peak pressure specs. Muzzle velocity is a bit lower for the NATO round; it burns less powder. Accuracy specs are almost the same.

If folks would shoot at least 20 to 30 shots per test group trying to find a load that shot the most accurate, I think they would soon learn that a given load will shoot very accurate across different rifles.
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Old November 28, 2011, 05:51 PM   #47
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That's not quite correct. It's very close in ball ammo, and the T-65 design intent was, indeed, to try to match the '06 ballistics closely in a more compact package, with the .308/7.62×51 brass resulting.

The last M2 loaded was a 150.5 grain ±1.5 grains projectile driven to 2740 fps at 78 feet (2508 ft-lbs). M80 is a 146.6 grain ±3 grain projectile loaded to 2750 fps at 78 feet (2461 ft-lb). I don't have BC's for the lighter bullet, but if it is close to that of the 150.5 grain bullet, working backward will find the M2 at 2800 fps at the muzzle and the M80 at about 2810 fps at the muzzle. (Both tested in 24" test barrels, AFAIK.) That 2% difference in energy tips the advantage slightly to the '06, but it won't be felt by the target. It takes about 10% difference for nerve endings to notice a difference in KE.

SAAMI rated the .30-06 at 50,000 CUP and the .308 at 52,000 CUP, originally. Today the percent difference has shrunk slightly (60,000 psi vs. 62,000 psi) using the more accurate Piezo transducers as standards. SAAMI's practice of rounding pressures to the nearest 500 units may be responsible for the difference not being proportional in the two systems. In modern rifles capable of handling the same pressure in both, you can get .30-06 up another 150 fps or so over .308. Especially with bullets 200 grains and up, the extra powder space in the '06 has the advantage. But the military had to limit powder burn rates in .30-06 for the Garand gas system. That's why you hear some powder move when you shake the M2 ammunition: empty space. The burn rate constriction prevented the Garand from taking full advantage of the cartridge's potential, which requires filling it with something slower than the military powders. Nothing to stop the handloader from doing that, though, unless he's loading for a Garand.
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Old November 28, 2011, 06:33 PM   #48
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US arsenals' spec'd 50,000 CUP for both the 30 caliber and 7.62 NATO round. Winchester established the commercial and established the SAAMI spec for .308 Win. to 52,000 CUP during the time they filled the first big contract for NATO ammo. Friend of mine who used to be a Remington field rep said lots of folks at Remington wanted the company to make a civilian version back in the '50's for that round but nobody there in high places wanted to.

Regarding .30-06 velocities and stuff, 'twas proved at one of the arsenals that IMR4064 produced higher velocities and better accuracy with the same peak pressure as IMR4895. But one had to weigh each charge 'cause 4064 didn't meter very uniformly in high speed loading machines. Civilians reloading for .30-06 Garands did well in competition using 4064 over 4895.

My point was and still is, the NATO round is a bit short on velocity and energy compared to the .30-06 using arsenal specs, but not very much. Note the arsenals used 22-inch test barrels for the NATO round whereas they used a 24-inch barrel for the .30-06. At the same barrel length and all other dimensions equal, there's not much difference.

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Old November 29, 2011, 06:11 PM   #49
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My point was just that the M80 is not shorter on both velocity and energy, but only on energy, being spec'd 10 fps faster. This applies only to comparing the FMJ ball loads (M80 vs. M2), of course.

I mentioned the SAAMI pressures not because the military loads to them, but because that affects what velocities you can get to in bolt action rifles. The slightly higher pressure limit in the smaller case makes up a little for its lack of powder capacity if you observe the SAAMI limits. But, as I perhaps should have expressed more explicitly, under its own constraints, the military loads would not benefit from that.

Then we get into the whole mare's nest of the new specs. The military never embraced the practice of referring to copper crusher results as CUP, but continued to call them psi into the mid 1990's at least. This caused a lot of confusion among American handloaders. They've now switched to Piezo transducers so the 50,000 psi number has changed. The 7.62×51 peak pressure used by the NATO allies and the CIP is 415 MPa, which converts to 60,191 psi. The European standards use a pressure barrel with the sampling port nearer the case mouth, and this causes their transducers to report pressures typically a couple thousand psi lower than SAAMI transducers do on most high power rifle cartridges. So the same peak would be reported at about 62,000 psi in SAAMI spec test gear, which is the current SAAMI Piezo spec. Since it is also NATO's spec (after translation), presumably it is also the current U.S. military spec, but I don't have a U.S. military spec sheet.

I also don't know what the military spec for the .30-06 is now, assuming they've updated it. But if it, too, corresponds now to the CIP/NATO specification, then it should land on about 60,500 psi after translation for pressure sampling locations. I don't know that they've done this, but if so, it would mean the peak pressure specs are no longer are the same on the two cartridges.
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Old November 29, 2011, 06:30 PM   #50
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The way I look at it, once you are at the starting loads for most rifles, you may not gain even 200 fps by maxing out. Will that make any difference at all at 2-300 yards with a 270 class cartridge? If the start load gives better accuracy than the max, I'll use the start. If something in between is more accurate, I will still choose a load that can 1/2 moa better than the rest.

Funny thing, my .243 firing 100 grain sierras with imr 4350 is obscenely accurate at the max load. It shoots better than match bullets of other weights, and is pretty forgiving of charge weight changes from starter to max loads.
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