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Old October 21, 2011, 07:46 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 10, 1999
Location: High Desert NV
Posts: 2,579
Start off with whatever bullets and primers your local store has for sale cheap, preferably 55gr or less (and preferably Speer, since that is the book you have. You can also look for one of these, most stores that sell reloading supplies sell them. Your Speer book has the basics, those loadbooks have the load data from all the different bullet manufacturers.

As to Powder, it is pretty hard to go wrong with Varget. It meters well, is very temperature tolerant, and will work in damn near every rifle load.

Follow the instructions that came with your dies, and make up a dummy round, with no primer or powder. Use the overall length from your manual for the bullet you are using. If you have the neck tension right, there is no need to crimp, and you shouldn't crimp anyway if the bullet doesn't have a cannelure.

Once the dies are set up start with the minimum published load for your powder/bullet combination, and make 5 rounds. Write the details down on a piece of paper, and put the paper, plus the 5 rounds in a ziplock bag.

Increase the charge .5 grain, and make 5 more. Same deal, notes in a new baggie. Repeat until you have 4 or 5 baggies, or have reached the max charge in the book. Frankly, I wouldn't come anywhere near the max charge yet. Plenty of time to push the envelope later.

Go shoot, starting with the light load, (preferably at 100 yards minimum), from a bench/sandbags/rest, focusing on making the best shot you can. Look for signs of pressure, (should be explained in your Speer book).

Shoot the contents of the baggie at one target. Take notes. Wait for the gun to cool, shoot the contents of the next baggie at a different target. Take notes. Repeat until you are out of baggies.

Decide which group is best, and load the rest of your bullets with the load that made it.

This is really basic load development, gets your feet wet, and will probably make some decent ammo.
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