The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 21, 2018, 08:36 PM   #1
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 4,266
Developing an accurate load....rifle

How do you develop an accurate load? Do you have a secret? What variable is most important to you?
Nathan is offline  
Old July 22, 2018, 08:14 PM   #2
BWM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2013
Location: SW IN
Posts: 375
Pick your bullet weight powder and primer you are going to use all the time. Then start at the low load for that round load 10 then move up 5/10 at a time on the powder load that is 5 different loads 50 round then the gun range shoot 3 round let gun cool now shoot 3 from the load keep this up till you have a very accurate load it takes a lot of time at the rang so take you a couple other gun to keep you busy. GOOD LUCK
__________________
Man that likes guns. Navy. USS Ponchatoula AO 148 USS Vesuvius AE 15
BWM is offline  
Old July 22, 2018, 08:24 PM   #3
Dufus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2014
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,295
Try this. It is based on Dan Newberry's optimum charge weight procedure. It will save you some money in components.

http://www.ocwreloading.com/about.html
Dufus is offline  
Old July 22, 2018, 08:46 PM   #4
hounddawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,694
I checked Hogdon's site, did some Googling and picked a charge near the bottom end of Hogdon's recommendations and loaded 20 to do a depth test first @0, .025, .050, and .075. I picked the best group in the depth test and proceeded to shoot some 15 and 20 shot groups at 300. I also shot a few across a chrony at 100 to see what the ES and SD was at .1 ovver and under to allow for charge variation and found it was good. When I have time I will tweak that charge up in .2 gn jumps and shoot them over a chrony to see how big that velocity node is and see if I can get a few more FPS. In the meantime it is a great mid range shooter

here's the initial depth test target, it took 20 rounds to develop this one

__________________
“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan

Last edited by hounddawg; July 23, 2018 at 10:59 AM.
hounddawg is online now  
Old July 22, 2018, 09:17 PM   #5
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 14,911
But, but, but, everybody knows you have to be close to the lands for best accuracy!
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is online now  
Old July 22, 2018, 09:19 PM   #6
hounddawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,694
I want to try some at .80 and .85 off when I get a chance

oddly enough the 80SMK's love that same powder load but shoot best at .010 off. Have not got a hold of any 80ELDs to try
__________________
“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan
hounddawg is online now  
Old July 22, 2018, 09:28 PM   #7
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 14,911
It's a funny business. I've had a couple of ideas to explain it, but haven't been able to get time away to really prove them one way or the other. The main thing is not to buy the general beliefs blindly. Always test.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is online now  
Old July 22, 2018, 09:45 PM   #8
hounddawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,694
I have been doing a lot of reading lately on how the BR guys do it and seems as if some of them believe in depth first and powder charge second and I have to say it seems to work. Considering most of them throw and go at matches they have to be at a flat spot velocity wise or be at optimum jump distance and I am leaning toward the latter or a little of both.

I want to mess around with varying the charge on a load will increase or decrease the vertical and horizontal spreads if the base to ogive remains the same. The goal of course are consistent sub MOA perfectly round groups at distance

this is a fascinating hobby
__________________
“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan
hounddawg is online now  
Old July 23, 2018, 12:54 AM   #9
hdwhit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2017
Posts: 908
Quote:
Nathan wrote:
How do you develop an accurate load?
Begin with the Starting load in published data.

Based on the difference between Starting Load and Maximum Load, increase charges by 0.1, 0.2 or 0.3 grains. Fire each successively more powerful load looking for accuracy, function of the firearm and pressure signs. If you see pressure signs, drop back to the load that did not show pressure signs and then try loads a fraction of a grain lower looking for an accuracy node.

Quote:
Do you have a secret?
Yes, it is called the "ladder" approach and it involves the process described above.

Quote:
What variable is most important to you?
Accuracy.

For the moment, ignore everything else. After you have an accurate load, you can then worry about things like extreme spread", "standard deviation", "maximum velocity" after you have a load that is already the most accurate amongst what you have tried.
hdwhit is offline  
Old July 23, 2018, 06:05 AM   #10
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 4,321
I load mostly for hunting and strive for one hole performance from my gear.
I also load test seating depth first, using a median powder load and if the test go right, and mostly they do, I add powder until group starts to spread or pressure problems arrive. Then I load 10 to prove my findings, if not happy I start over.
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old July 23, 2018, 09:54 AM   #11
hounddawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,694
for me the only relevant test of a load is a fifteen plus shot group. You can get a .2 three shot group from milsurp ammo and a $400 AR if you shoot enough groups

this was the one of the targets from my final test of my 80 Bergers shot at 300 yards. Range went cold midway through the test so I made a slight scope adjustment ( .25 MOA D and .25 MOA R) and finished on the bottom target. The ten ring is 3 inches in diameter, the pink (orange) X is 1.5 inches. I settled on this load because 23.4,23.5 and 23.6 all grouped the pretty the same vertically and horizontally. The flyer was called, I made the classic mistake of putting my finger on the trigger before the sight picture was correct. When the trigger pull is measured in oz that is a no no

__________________
“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan

Last edited by hounddawg; July 23, 2018 at 05:04 PM.
hounddawg is online now  
Old July 23, 2018, 01:41 PM   #12
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 9,934
Begin with the powder given for the accuracy load for the specific bullet weight in your manual. Not all manuals give an accuracy load though. One of the reasons to buy a Lyman book.
"...one hole performance..." Isn't necessary and rarely possible with a hunting rifle. Consistency is far more important than group size. Seating depth is the last thing that matters. Use the Max OAL given in your manual. And for get the whole off-the-lands thing altogether. It's a load tweaking technique that is 100% trial and error.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old July 23, 2018, 01:48 PM   #13
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,858
Quote:
It's a funny business. I've had a couple of ideas to explain it, but haven't been able to get time away to really prove them one way or the other. The main thing is not to buy the general beliefs blindly. Always test.
Not so much funny as a lack of scientific approach as no one has found a way to make a lot of money off it.

Ideas have to be rigorously tested of course, but then you have powder and primer and case variations and the road to hell is paved with trying to eliminate those and then the Hurricane hits.

My best laugh was a guy who interviews a bunch of bench rest shooters. None of them agreed on everything. Some had things in common and some did not. They all had their own unique approach and pick of what was important.

I cam away convinced that the bullet would hit exactly where you wanted it to if you had enough faith. My obviously waivers.
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old July 23, 2018, 01:51 PM   #14
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,858
OP:

Secret No. I start low, work my way up (usually 5/10) and see if I get a spot that looks promising by group size.

Then I load a number on and around that better looking. I have enough excess to play with bullet length. I just load long and seat them deeper at the range with my handy dandy RCBS Junior bolted to a bench (evero0ne can see it)

Someday's I shoot great, some days not so much.

It keeps me from getting bored (pun intended)
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not

Last edited by RC20; July 26, 2018 at 08:02 PM.
RC20 is offline  
Old July 23, 2018, 05:27 PM   #15
hounddawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,694
here is my only other attempt at load development using seating depth first and I was wrong in my post above, these SMK's like it dead in the lands. I have yet to try any powder or primer tweaking. .6 MOA 10 shot group at 300 though is promising

It is amazing what a difference in group size you can get just by moving the seating depth a few thousandths. Even without the flyer on the .015 target that group was visibly larger than the top target. I did not even scan in the .030 and .050 target


__________________
“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan

Last edited by hounddawg; July 23, 2018 at 07:44 PM.
hounddawg is online now  
Old July 24, 2018, 05:39 AM   #16
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 4,321
Beginning with accuracy loads shown in mauals usually means your starting with a Max load, this is bad information at best, never start with a Max load.
The whole "off the lands thing" isn't useless unless you have no business at the loading bench to start with.
And further more, why not reach the "one hole accuracy" in a hunting rifle, man why do you preach mediocrity, that's also useless information.
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old July 24, 2018, 02:38 PM   #17
std7mag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2013
Location: Central Pennsyltucky...
Posts: 1,640
50 freak'n rounds??!! You gotta be chitt'n me!!

I can usually find the most accurate load with seating depth in under 21.
Some people just really like to pull a trigger i guess.

10 round ladder test, going up 0.3gr. Tells me charge weight. Rest are 3 round seating depth test.
__________________
I am in earnest- I will not equivocate- I will not excuse-
I will not retreat a single inch- AND I WILL BE HEARD!
William Lloyd Garrison - The Liberator 1831
std7mag is offline  
Old July 24, 2018, 04:43 PM   #18
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,075
I visit hunting and shooting forums and see what others are using. Hang around several forums long enough, ask enough questions and you start seeing trends. If I see a lot of people having success with a certain combo chances are good that something similar will work for me.

I wouldn't blindly choose another persons load. I cross check it in loading manuals to verify then start low then work up. Every single load that I use is based on what I've read others were using. Saves a lot of time, money and components.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is online now  
Old July 24, 2018, 04:55 PM   #19
Roadkill2228
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2014
Location: Nipawin, Saskatchewan
Posts: 275
There are different kinds of “accuracy”. Long range precision rounds using bthp bullets require a lot more fiddling around with seating depth and finding “nodes”...but for 100 yard groups and general purpose conventional shooting without the headache of playing around with 50 rounds or more, I’ve always had good results with a simple flat base cup and core bullet and a case right full (but not compressed) of powder, whatever powder can fill the case up to the heel of the bullet with no shaking around and be at max or 1 grain under max in the book. Hornady interlocks work good. Standard primers, no crimping, usually opt to seat it as long as the mag box provided that isn’t jamming the lands.
Roadkill2228 is offline  
Old July 24, 2018, 05:07 PM   #20
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 2,236
Most of my loads are based on already well known loads that work well with some minor tunning. 42.5gr 4064 168smk (308) 47gr 4064 168gr smk (3006) 35.5gr 4064 53gr 22-250. Fine tuning oval and some powder adjustments usually with +|- .5 gr. Work you way up obviously but my guess is someone has already found a good load for your cartridge.
1stmar is offline  
Old July 24, 2018, 06:33 PM   #21
hounddawg
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Posts: 1,694
Every throat is going to be a bit different so seating depths will vary from rifle to rifle. Barrel lengths will make a big difference as far as powder loads go if you are looking for consistent velocities.

I shoot the same bullets in two of my guns and have found the optimal depth off the lands with the same bullet is consistent in both rifles. However the same powder charge that gives great ES's and SD's in one is terrible in the other rifle. One is a short barreled tactical the other a long barreled F class gun

Pet loads can get you in the ballpark but for optimum performance they will still need fine tuning
__________________
“Only accurate rifles are interesting,” - Col. Townsend Whelen

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other. - Ronald Reagan
hounddawg is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 02:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07779 seconds with 8 queries