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Old June 2, 2019, 08:49 PM   #1
Nube
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First reloads

Wow I shot my first reloads this afternoon and I am stoked. The only thing that I have a question about is I used the hornady manual for the reloads and the groupings were all about the same for all. Granted I am not the steadiest shot but they were all one minute of angle or less. Is this the normal way or was this just a fluke? I was hoping that there would be a little difference in the groups. Thanks for the replies, you all have been a BIG HELP!!
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Old June 2, 2019, 09:05 PM   #2
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OK, I remember your other thread and if I am not mistaken you were loading 223 Remington? While I can appreciate your enthusiasm and excitement it really helps when you mention things like what you were shooting? Things like rifle, pistol? Caliber? Those little details. How about distance?

Seriously I am glad you enjoyed it. Every reloading enthusiast starts somewhere. Always ask questions when there is the least bit of doubt. AS you have seen a great deal of satisfaction comes with rolling your own. Eventually you will venture into other powders and bullet weights. I want to think you were loading for an AR with a 1:9 twist. That or I have it all wrong.

Enjoy.

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Old June 3, 2019, 05:01 AM   #3
Nube
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Sorry I was lacking in the post but I was using a ruger American predator and a savage fv with 1 in 9 twist , ruger’s 1 in 8 twist. I will have to get better at including information in my posts. Thanks for the replies though it does help

Last edited by Nube; June 3, 2019 at 07:06 AM. Reason: Twist rates
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Old June 3, 2019, 07:43 AM   #4
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Congratulations! See, you didn’t even come close to blowing yourself up!

I’m guessing you are saying your hand loads are about the same accuracy as factory?

Now that you haven’t blown up, make 5 cartridges with the lightest recommended load
Then increase powder by .5 grain. Make 5 more.
Increase in .5 grain increments until you get to the max load.

Then go to the range and set up a big paper target for each type of load.

At something like 100 yards, you might see your point of impact between targets not only go up or down, but also left and right. Don’t bother adjusting your scope- you are looking for the load with the smallest group. Adjust your scope later. Save your targets.

Once you pick a best group, you can adjust that load by .2 or .3 grain increments depending on how accurate you want or maybe you got lucky and hit the sweet spot smack dab on.

I used to shoot at targets I made from paper and 1.5 inch blue painter tape cut in to a square then taped to cheap big pieces of paper I got at a craft store.

Then I got a big supply of sight-in targets from my club’s deer hunting season sight-in target fundraiser. Most fellas don’t shoot at the targets on the corners so I snip off the corners to be thrifty. Those stick-on target dots are nice, too.

Another thing I do is write with a sharpie marker next to each group the gun, bullet, powder type, amount of powder, and the distance from outside edge to outside edge of the farthest apart holes. Then take a photo with your phone and save it in a file. I keep a notebook but I am forever forgetting so the photo gallery reminds me of stuff like where I was a month or a year ago.

It’s real interesting the patterns you might find- just be careful the patterns you see can sometimes just be luck like tossing 4 heads in a row. Happens all the time.

Already your name “nube” is obsolete- most fellas never handload even once. Nube no more!
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Old June 3, 2019, 08:40 AM   #5
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Whoaaa!!! Lets slow down a bit here!!!

Nube,
Congratulations on your first successful reloads! I remember how stoked i was with mine.
You didn't say if you were doing load development testing, or just that you were able to do it.
That being said, your still a babe in the woods.
Though i do appreciate your approach to learning this new endeavor. Knowing what you don't know, and asking advise is much less common than it should be!
I've been at this for about 6 years, and doing wildcats also, and have not quit learning.
Biggest lesson, be vigilant.
Double check that you grabbed the right powder. And ONLY one powder on the bench at a time!
Double check that you pulled the right bullets. Weigh one!

Things of this nature.

With the small case volume of the 223, i would start at start loads, and go up in 0.3gr increments. Personally i went up in 0.2gr increments with mine.
Then you get to play with seating depth.
Then tuning the action.

This is a great resource, with many knowledgeable people on here.
Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Keep it safe!

Ken
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Old June 3, 2019, 11:06 AM   #6
Nube
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Well I don’t have access to the manual right now but what I did was just take the hornady manual’s amounts and use then EXACTLY as written without the max. The groups were all about the same, which kinda surprised me as I figured there would be a noticeable difference?? Again maybe I was “Lucky” and wagged just right Idk Again I want to thank everyone who has helped me with this endeavor. Also I am of the opinion that you never stop learning!! The powder was Varget and the highest amount was 25.5 grain and a 55 grain sp with cannular. I can’t remember what the lesser ones were but they were all right out of the manual.

Last edited by Nube; June 3, 2019 at 11:38 AM. Reason: More info
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Old June 3, 2019, 12:10 PM   #7
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Still need more info. More slower, deeper breaths etc.

What were the actually loads? You don't list that.

Exactly was written without the MAX? makes no sense (were you at MAX or ?)

1 MOA is great, its also not rare as Hornady book lists powders and combos that gave the best rsults (they test other powders but don't list them if the group they did list gave them better results)

Its still good loads and nice shooting (groups were 3 or 5 shots?)
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Old June 3, 2019, 01:03 PM   #8
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"...I was using..." Suggest you work with one rifle at a time. You need to work up a load for each rifle. Dealing with one at a time makes it far easier to keep track of things like the loads used and the results. Eliminates the possibility of mixing ammo loaded for a particular rifle(relax it's not dangerous) too.
Did you work up the loads or just pick one and hope?
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Old June 3, 2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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I am also confused by the lack of information provided. First, you wrote:

Quote:
I used the hornady manual for the reloads
Then you added:

Quote:
... but what I did was just take the hornady manual’s amounts and use then EXACTLY as written without the max.
Respectfully, I have no idea what that means. I'll guess, based on the way the Hornady load data are formatted, that you found the page for the bullet you're using and loaded a few cartridges for each of the listed velocities but you skipped the last one -- the one that's shaded in red and indicated as "Maximum load - use with caution."

The 55-grain bullet data aren't on their web site so, for those who may not be familiar with the way Hornady presents load data (it's a bit different from Hodgdon, for example), they do have data for some 62-grain bullets on their web site:

https://www.hornady.com/assets/site/...-60-62gr-1.pdf

Did you just shoot for groups, or did you run your loads through a chronograph to see how consistent the velocities are? What distance were you shooting at? How many rounds did you load within each velocity group?
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Old June 3, 2019, 03:50 PM   #10
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Congratulations you're doing fine.
This was your first reloads.....you need to learn , refine your techniques and hone your loading skills . You usually don't pick some random loads out of a manual and have one group 1/4 inch at 100 yards . You have to develop your loads , try different powders , adjust powder charges up and down , different primers , case prep techniques....
There is just a lot more to developing accurate loads than what you have done.
You got to pay some dues....I'm going to tell you reloading for extreme accuracy isn't easy.
Groups under an 1 inch.....That's GREAT ! Not blowing yourself up is a good thing.
Once you have the basics down then move on into advanced reloading for accuracy , plenty of information on the subject .
I been at it 50+ years now and still working on that elusive one hole group .
Gary
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Old June 3, 2019, 04:29 PM   #11
Nube
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Quote: Aguila Blanca
Respectfully, I have no idea what that means. I'll guess, based on the way the Hornady load data are formatted, that you found the page for the bullet you're using and loaded a few cartridges for each of the listed velocities but you skipped the last one -- the one that's shaded in red and indicated as "Maximum load - use with caution."

Yes that is what I did, just for groups. I hopefully will get better with posting so I can get it all right the first time, please bear with me. They were all five shot groups at 100 yards. What has me a little confused is that the varget load data starts with 25.5 grain as a starting load and hornady lists it as a large[next to the one in red] load? I was using two rifles but was doing one at a time to keep the results separated. The results were about the same with each one.

Last edited by Nube; June 3, 2019 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Adding
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Old June 3, 2019, 04:57 PM   #12
RC20
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Still confused , list the exact load not where started.

For 55 gr in Rifle (not service rifle) Hornady has Vaget starting (book is 8 edition)

22.8 - 23.7 - 24.6 -25.5 - then 26.4 as max

That is a 3.6 grain spread.
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Old June 3, 2019, 05:04 PM   #13
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For those trying to follow this, looking back to this thread should help make things easier to follow. I initially had things confused with another thread but that is something I do well.

I think what happens here is Nube gets excited about his first experience shooting ammunition which he actually built. It is and should be an exhilarating experience so in the excitement we leave out a few details. Time and gained experience will fix that.

Ron
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Old June 3, 2019, 05:32 PM   #14
Nube
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If memory serves me well I started with 23.7—24.6—and 25.5 for three groups I quit there as I was leary of going with “max use with caution” behind a 55 grain hornady 55 grain sp with cannular. Hopefully this will help everyone fallow easier.
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Old June 3, 2019, 06:04 PM   #15
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That explains it, all good groups from all 3 loads?

Shooting the low one first is the right approach.

Generally there would be some spread but both your rifles look to like it.

You can load the lowest they happy with for target shooting, it saves on barrels (223 is not one I know how fast rifles use up the barrel)
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Old June 3, 2019, 07:23 PM   #16
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Nube,

I am really pleased to see you excited with your first reloading attempt. I welcome you to one of the most satisfying parts of the shooting sports, finding the way to improve your results by making choices about components that are under your control.

So soon after your first successful reloading session, it may be hard to understand the importance of recording information when you reload, and reporting it when you discuss your results with serious reloaders.
I guess from some of the feedback in this thread, you probably see some of the frustration some of the members showed by not getting information that they expected so that they could comment intelligently.
But after 20 reloading sessions I think you will begin to see the need for keeping records of your reloads and being precise in stating what you did.

I hope you'll take some advice, offered with the best of intentions, from someone who loads 5,200 rounds a year, not for plinking, but to get the most accurate results from each of my rifles.

I knew from previous reloading efforts and keeping manual records in notebooks that I would never be able to find anything when I increased my reloading volume by a factor of 10, and in addition, I would never have the ability to figure out what really worked. Just to find out what worked best required hours of effort to even find the right data to compare.

When I really started to load in volume almost 9 years ago about the time I retired, I created a spreadsheet to keep track of all my loads and the group sizes with each load and to allow me to analyze my results so I could continuously improve the accuracy of my shooting and reloading.

Now that enormous spreadsheet contains the results of over 46,000 reloads for about 25 rifles and I can go back and find out how each different load did. I also classify the loads by powder-bullet combinations so I know where to focus future loading activity to get the best results. The data is easily searched and portions of the data can be gathered and analyzed to answer questions like where do I concentrate my efforts with the best performing bullets and powders and at what bullet jump and velocities.

For every load, I keep powder type and charge, O.A.L., trim length, velocity, brass & primer used, exit time, temperature, and measured group sizes for every load developed. Then I keep the average, median, and standard deviation for each load. I keep track of the 10 best and 25 best loads for each rifle I load for.

With that data, other than just powder and charge weight, I can also tell you which primers work best with which rifles and which calibers. I can also tell you how many reloads I have been able to get out of each type of brass, and which powders perform best with which bullet weights.

I keep another worksheet with chamber measurement for each rifle with measurements for every bullet I load with, and include the best load recorded and its seating depth, along with jump data for every bullet used.

If you don't keep really good records, even if you have an excellent memory, in a year you will not remember what loads you shot in your first session.
In fact, if you load a lot, you probably won't remember what powder you used and what charge you used last week, you won't remember the average group size, and you definitely won't remember the seating depth or trim length. That means you won't be able to duplicate the results that worked best. At every loading session will be relearning what you could have already had at your fingertips. Unfortunately, if you keep selective sets of data concentrating on what you are interested in at the time, you will lose other data that you will want to analyze in the future.

Your first reloading session is over and your next session should grow from that experience, not only in reloading technique but in how to plan the next session to accomplish something other than getting your reloads to go bang every time you pull the trigger.

I wish you the best with your next session and hopefully, you will begin to keep the records you need to accomplish the goals you are reloading for - accuracy to achieve smaller groups when target shooting, the right velocity and bullet selection to deliver the desired kinetic energy at the distance you plan on hunting game, or loading to keep your bullet supersonic at a very long range so you can ring steel consistently.
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Old June 4, 2019, 11:22 AM   #17
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Nube,

try to load a "load development ladder", as stinkypete and Rimfire5 recommends. The thing is: each combination of brass, powder, bullet weight, seating depth and crimp will lead to an ignition, which will put YOUR gun in to >individual< oscillation. The loads, which allow your bullets to leave exactly during 0-0 position of the muzzle will lead to the tightest group, your rifle is capable of.

Have fun..
Barney
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Old June 4, 2019, 12:09 PM   #18
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All good info here....guard against human nature....as you gain experience, you gain confidence, confidence leads to overconfidence, which may cause problems. I recommend you write down (using a computer is easier to edit, and you will edit) every step/thing you do to reload rifle and pistol cartridges. As you learn, refine "your" procedure. At first it is a PITA, I know, but, keeping the printed procedure open on the desk while reloading leads to consistent results, and safer results.
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Old June 4, 2019, 08:03 PM   #19
RC20
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Quote:
try to load a "load development ladder", as stinkypete and Rimfire5 recommends. The thing is: each combination of brass, powder, bullet weight, seating depth and crimp will lead to an ignition, which will put YOUR gun in to >individual< oscillation. The loads, which allow your bullets to leave exactly during 0-0 position of the muzzle will lead to the tightest group, your rifle is capable of.
Jumping into advanced and you need 200 yards for the ladder.

Also its not a 0 -0 position on the barrel whip (harmonics) , its just consistent where its at and when it leaves so the sight winds up being where you want it.
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