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Old November 13, 2018, 04:47 PM   #1
Metal god
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Load developement , Finding max velocity first , then what ?

Hey guys , I've done a few different types of load developments over the years . There is one type I read about a few years ago but never tried and that's finding your maximum pressure first then backing off a bit and doing something I don't remember .

The theory I believe is to load one load at minimum charge and continue loading one round in .5gr increments until you are .5gr over published max or so .

I have a new load combo I'm going to try that I can't find any specific data for .

308 cartridge
30cal 200.20x Berger hybrid match bullet http://www.bergerbullets.com/200-20x...t-bullet-f-tr/
N-550 powder
Lapua brass
Fed 210 match primers

The research I've come up with is 38gr though 46gr So I've loaded one round each in .5gr increments from 39gr through 46gr of the above load combination .

I was to shoot those over a chrono yesterday but the winds were so bad I never even took the rifle out of the case . Dust and everything blowing everywhere , no way the chrono would have stayed standing .

Anyways I'll be testing these out in the next week or so and I'm not sure what to do after . I know there's a whole working theory on this method I just forget what it is ???

FWIW this load is to shoot long range ( 1k+ yds ) out of a 20" 308 RPR . I need to push this bullet to 2350fps to comfortably reach 1k and is why I'm trying this method . I feel there will be no need to use any of the lower charges regardless if they shoot well so no need testing groups at those lower charges . My theory is to find the fastest I can push the bullet first . If 2350fps or faster is a safe operating pressure then try to find an accuracy node somewhere around that area of pressure by adjusting seating depth and minor tweaks to the charge weight ???? I'll be starting these at a COAL of touching the lands but not jammed . This should allow me to back off the lands in the .030 to .040 increments that Berger suggest to find a node ???

What's the best way to go about that ?
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Old November 13, 2018, 06:08 PM   #2
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My idea of the best way to go about getting a 200gr bullet to 2350+ would be to use a longer barrel rifle and something with more powder capacity than a .308 wouldn't hurt.

HOWEVER, I'm no expert in this, and I don't really have any advice that applies directly to what you are going to do.

That being said, I don't care to start with any load where the bullet is up against the lands, jammed or not. But, that's just me.

I do wonder, however, what you think you're going to get out of single rounds. I don't see where a single round of X powder charge /Y seating depth will tell you anything other than what that single round does.

any combination of things can happen in one single round, which might not hold true for other rounds loaded "identically". Isn't that the point of shooting groups? to offset the possibility that a single round could be a fluke?

What if it is a fluke and the fluke is that its safe pressure? And other rounds loaded the same aren't the same, safe pressure? Not saying it will be, but its possible...

Looks like you've given it some thought, and I hope it works the way you expect. I think there's a good chance you will wind up having to beat the bolt open at some point, but I've been wrong before...

Good Luck, and do let us know how it goes.
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Old November 13, 2018, 11:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Metal god asked:
There is one type I read about a few years ago but never tried and that's finding your maximum pressure first then backing off a bit and doing something I don't remember .
How do you propose to "find" maximum pressure? Do you have a testing rig and appropriate pressure transducers? Loading until you get crushed primers, blown primer pockets, neck splits and head separation is NOT a recipe for "finding" maximum pressure as those are generally signs that maximum pressure has been exceeded.

Quote:
The theory I believe is to load one load at minimum charge and continue loading one round in .5gr increments until you are .5gr over published max or so .
What's the point in that? What is exceeding published maximum supposed to achieve? I am not aware of any procedure that relies on developing a load by exceeding maximum published data and then backing down and I don't understand what it would achieve that is not achieved by the widely accepted approach of beginning with the Starting Load and working your way up until you have achieved the most accurate load.
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Old November 13, 2018, 11:43 PM   #4
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It’s not so much that you are to exceed max pressure or charge but rather having those loads with you in case in your rifle the manuals max charge is not your max charge. I should say max velocity rather then max pressure . An example would be Hornady’s manuals tend to be conservative and I’ve been able to safely load over there max charges in the past . It would be a waste of time to go to the range and never actually get to the max charge for your rifle

This idea is not a new one by any means . The OCW method has you load past published loads . This is in no way to mean you must discharge every load you’ve loaded , only to have the loads on hand if needed for the test .

I believe the method I’m trying is something hunters have been doing for many years . They tend to want max terminal ballistics which usually means max velocity . It’s one of the reasons you do it over a chrono .

The down side to the method is you tend to get max velocities but not best accuracy. For hunting max accuracy sometimes is not as important as terminal ballistics so it works for them .

Quote:
I am not aware of any procedure that relies on developing a load by exceeding maximum published data and then backing down
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspa...ons/4529817134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Newberry in link above
3. Consult at least three load data sources for maximum charge weight for the powder you've selected. Powder manufacturers are the most reliable source. You must then decide on what your maximum charge will be.
4. Back away from the maximum charge by 7 to 10 percent, and load one test round with this charge. Add 2% to the charge weight, and load another cartridge with that charge. Load a third test cartridge with the next 2% graduation. You will use these three cartridges for sighters, and more importantly to determine pressure tolerance in your individual rifle.
5. Add another 2% or so to the charge level used in cartridge #3 of step 4, and load three rounds with this charge weight. Add .7% to 1% to this charge, and load three more. Add that same graduation again, and load three more. Continue adding the chosen graduation until you have moved ONE increment above your chosen maximum powder charge…...
13. It is assumed that you are an experienced reloader, and that you know to watch for pressure signs on each of the increasing charges. Fire the subsequent charge only if there are no pressure signs on the previous charge. You can safely fire the heaviest charge you loaded so long as the next charge under it showed no pressure signs. This "heaviest charge" should be about 1% over your selected maximum charge, but will be safe so long as the next lowest graduation showed no pressure signs..
So for clarification I'm looking for max velocity first then trying to get best accuracy at those velocities . I should have never used the term finding max pressure . I changed the title but left max pressure in the OP , hopefully this correction is early enough in the thread to keep us on track ,
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Old November 14, 2018, 07:36 AM   #5
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I've been loading and shooting for over fifty years....news to me. Most shooters and hunters I've ever met are looking for accuracy as the primary goal, followed by safe pressure.
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Old November 14, 2018, 08:10 AM   #6
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I probably don't do "load development" the correct way(according the current crowd anyway). I start with a "conservative" (maybe just bit above starting) load and shoot groups of 3-5 while recording velocities. When I see a combination of group size and velocity I can live with, I note that and continue until pressure says STOP or I have hit the max velocity listed in the manual. If no combination suits me, I start over with different powder or bullet. VERY seldom have I not found a combination that will meet my needs out of no more than a couple of test runs.
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Old November 14, 2018, 08:52 AM   #7
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If you are interested in accuracy I can lend you an idea, this will glean you the combo of highest velocity with the best accuracy. Its a lot of work but it does work well.

Using you bullet of choice.

From min charge to max charge load 5 cartridges of each load, go up in .3 grain increments until you have the entire spectrum covered. Go to the range, in the prone position shoot those 5 shot groups as well as you possibly can. Keep each target and mark each traget with what the load was. You will see two “nodes” of accuracy, where the groups tighten up. One will be down at the lower charges, one will be up at the higher charges. This high node is what you are looking for. Write it down.

You can and should chronograph when you do this.

You can get extra nutty and do the same thing with c.o.a.l over the charge load you just determined. That will wring the very best accuracy out of your load.
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Old November 14, 2018, 10:03 AM   #8
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first off why are you limiting yourself to one powder ?

I sometimes go through 3 or 4 powders to get a flat velocity but my first step is to get a good rough seating depth using the Berger seating depth test. Then do some two or three shot groups in .3 or .5 gn increments looking for flat velocity nodes. When you find one fine tune the seating depth, charge and primer choice.

This was the 4th powder I tried for this barrel/bullet combo that even came close to what a 1000 yard load needs. The obvious short range load is 40.0 but the ES and SD is too high and the velocity is too low. I will now concentrate between 41.5 and 42.0 adjusting seating depth in .003 first and doing some .1 or .2 increment tuning followed by primer switching if need be to get the grouping below .5 MOA. For 1000 I also need a ES lower than 20 and a SD lower than 10 FPS as well as a speed of 2800 + to avoid supersonic transition at 1000

https://i.imgur.com/JlvAgEU.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/S3cHsw4.jpg
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Old November 14, 2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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I’ve sacrificed 1/2 moa hunting loads for 1moa loads to gain 100+fps . That’s what I meant by not going with best accuracy . You still want accuracy but don’t need the best accuracy.

The powder choice is for two reasons . I’ve used it before and it’s one of the highest velocities expected on paper . I’m not limiting my self to the powder , it’s just where I’m starting.

Loading 3 or 5 rounds at each charge weight is generally how I do my load developing. However I already know I will not be using any of the lower charges do to the likely velocities they will produce. There is no need to waste $20 in bullets on loads I’ll never use . I do want to be sure I’m not having pressure signs anywhere along the line so I’m starting at minimum charge .

I've run hybrids of the 5rds at each increment before when I knew based on my needs I was not going to be using the lower charges in the spectrum but still needed to be sure I was not getting pressure signs at the lower charges .

Example : I loaded 2 rounds each at a few of the lower charges while graduating in 1gr increments . This was just for sighting in the load and checking for pressure signs but had no need to see groups at those charges . As I got closer to the charges I'd likely use I added the number of rounds in each increment while at the same time reduced the charge to .5gr increments .
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Old November 14, 2018, 12:50 PM   #10
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I just plugged the numbers in over at the Hogdon site and looks like there are several powders that can get you into the 2350 + range if the N550 won't give decently low ES or SD numbers. CFE 223 numbers are almost 2600 FPS with scary pressures
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Old November 14, 2018, 01:05 PM   #11
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I assume those are Hodgdon's numbers. If so, they will be for a 24" barrel. He needs 2350 from a 20".
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Old November 14, 2018, 01:05 PM   #12
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CFE 223 numbers are almost 2600 FPS with scary pressures
That's from a 26" barrel I believe EDIT 24" as UN points out , it is a powder that would likely get me the velocity I'm looking for though . I have some and tested it in both 308 and 223/5.56 . It seemed inconsistent for me . Not sure if it's a temp stability thing or what but is not likely one I'll try right away .
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Old November 14, 2018, 01:15 PM   #13
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The Max pressure is not something you load to find. The pressures are a specification given by SAAMI. Unless you have a ballistics lab, you no way to test pressure anyway.
Max velocity is irrelevant. You don't load for velocity either. You load for accuracy.
In any case, "one round each" will tell you nothing at all.
"...over published max or so..." Who's? All published load data are averages of the loads tested on the day of the tests using the exact components with the exact equipment and environmental conditions only.
"...a 200gr bullet to 2350..." Lots of powders will do that without going over max loads. A Max load of Bl-C2, for example, runs a tick over 2500 FPS.
Any load will "comfortably reach 1k" with no fuss. 1k is just 1,000 meters.(1,093 yards) Shooting to 1,000 meters is more about the shooter and the rifle than anything else.
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Old November 14, 2018, 01:23 PM   #14
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I'm going to give you a suggestion, based on my personal experience, and I want you to consider it carefully.

Put the ammo you have loaded in steps of powder charge (37,38, 39, etc.)

IN SEPARATE BOXES!!!!

And, don't open them at the same time!

Here's the sad tale, so you can draw a lesson from it...

6.5x55mm Swede
140gr speer
R-P cases (all new brass)
IMR 4320
CCI200

all good so far... 40 rounds loaded, 20 with one charge weight, 20 with a different charge, 2gr heavier. (both loads previously tested and safe)

40 rounds in one plastic 50 round box, nice clear row of empty spots between them...

box lid open....clumsy oaf (me) accidently knocks box over. loose rounds intermingled...no damage to anything EXCEPT that NOW there's no way to tell which round is which load. Same brass, same bullets same seating depth, same everything, no way to tell which is which now.

Weighing doesn't work, variations in case and bullet weight mask small difference in charge weight.
No physical damage happened, but with the ammo now accidently co-mingled. shooting groups is moot. Is that flyer me? or is it the load variance? Or is it one of the rounds with the other powder charge?? See the point?? In this particular case, the mix up only meant that it was now plinking or hunting ammo (the difference in POI for both loads was well within minute of deer) All I lost was the ability to tell which charge weight did what, with that batch of ammo.

Lovely pic of your ammo box, with each charge listed, good practice, BUT BETTER is to keep them in separate boxes, so that when Murphy visits, you can still know which one is which.

Likewise, when shooting a semi auto and using different magazines loaded with different loads that look identical, MARK THEM somehow (piece of tape on one mag, not on the other, etc), because sure as the dawn, sometime, you will mix them up...Some folks use a magic marker on the bullet or the primer, lots of ways will work.

Trust me on this, if you've never spilled ammo (or anything else) its not a matter of "if" its a matter of "when".
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Old November 14, 2018, 01:24 PM   #15
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If so, they will be for a 24" barrel. He needs 2350 from a 20".
Two weeks ago I would have agreed with you however when I raised that issue on my H4350 problem a poster here gave me an education. Pressure peaks in the first couple of inches of barrel travel and then decreases for every inch there after. A 20 inch barrel would just see a small velocity decrease from what they got with a longer barrel.

FPS is pretty fluid anyway withing reason. I have seen barrels change 200 FPS just by them breaking in over the course of the first 200 or 300 rounds

http://ammoguide.com/myag/articles/t...y_Pressure.pdf
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Old November 14, 2018, 04:16 PM   #16
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Lovely pic of your ammo box, with each charge listed, good practice, BUT BETTER is to keep them in separate boxes, so that when Murphy visits, you can still know which one is which.
When Murphy lifts his head ( and he will some day ) I will be pulling all the loads and starting over . It's been suggested color marking the tips of the bullets or the cases different colors to show what charge . This is something I've considered and will start the day after Murphy knocks on the door

Quote:
FPS is pretty fluid anyway withing reason.
Correct if you mean it's not linier and I expect to get at least 30fps less velocity per inch of barrel loss . The fact we all know everyone's setup is different then those who wrote the manuals means none of us knows what may happen with there specific combination . I feel it's just as likely I never get to 2350fps as it is I get there before I reach max charge . That's why we test in the first place and why I'm doing this test over a chrono . If I can't get this combo up to 2350fps there is no need to do endless test of seating depths , powder charges and group sizes if the load will never accomplish the intended goal .

What I will do though is take another load with me as well as 2 other 308's leaving me with 20" , 22" and 24" rifles to test the other load . I've already fired it in all three rifle safely but never over a chrono with all of them . We can see what those numbers say . Two of them will be Ruger cold hammer forged barrels the other a Savage .

I would not go as far as saying I'm looking for a short cut but at the same time don't want to waste money , time and barrel life chasing something that has no chance of working .

FWIW I'm getting excited about this testing . I've been almost exclusively testing handgun loads for the last two years . Getting back into testing rifles ( what I prefer to shoot ) is much more appealing to me .
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Old November 14, 2018, 05:44 PM   #17
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QuickLOAD thinks you'll get about 92 fps from the extra four inches. A cartridge with a smaller expansion ratio (bigger case volume) would give you more fps/inch, as the pressure producing ongoing acceleration late in barrel travel would then remain higher.


Houndawg,

In the .308 with Mg's load, you can figure at the moment of the peak pressure the bullet is going about 35-40% of its final velocity in the rifle. The rest of the acceleration comes from the declining post-peak pressure. For the .308 in and around the 24-inch mark, 25 fps for each additional inch of barrel is a pretty typical number with standard bullet weights a little lighter than Metal god is using. With his lower velocity range his will be more like 21 fps/in at 24 inches, but 25 fps/in at 20 inches. This works out both in theory and in experiments done cutting barrels down an inch at a time and remeasuring velocity. By the time the barrel is 32 inches long, like a Palma match barrel, firing 155-grain bullets that has usually dropped to about 15 fps/inch. If you go the other way and reduce the expansion ratio by using a 16-inch barrel, then 35 to 40 fps/inch is not unusual because you are cutting away the barrel in a higher pressure region there.

This table has worked out pretty well for me with common loads with typical bullet weights:

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Old November 14, 2018, 06:21 PM   #18
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Tell ya what Uncle Nick next week I will cobble together some of those H4350 loads that I have been shooting in the FTR with the 30 inch Shilen and run them through a 24 inch Criterion barrel. We can see in real life how much velocity I give up with 6 inches less barrel. Round count on both is between 500 and 750 so it should be a good experiment.

When both those barrels were new they were both slower than the 26 inch Criterion I had just retired and that barrel slowed down around c.2000 rnds
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Old November 14, 2018, 07:03 PM   #19
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I would drop the increments to 3/10.

There may be more than two accuracy nodes.

I don't advocate it for the new reloader but I have gone past the max values on loads, common for variance on max and sometimes a lot.

I take the lowest max as a for sure alert area and go on up past the max max as it were if no pressure signs.

Sticky bolt, primer changes, wiped ejector on the shell case.

I don't go far and usually I have hit it below the max max and sometimes a shade above it.

I don't shoot much up there, more curious and if there is a high charge accuracy node.
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Old November 14, 2018, 08:10 PM   #20
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Unclenick,
Your table predicts 4% loss in velocity between the 24 inch and 20 inch barrel so the powder would have to deliver 2444 in a 24 inch barrel to provide 2350 from a 20 inch barrel. That's 94 fps.

QuickLOAD's prediction was 92 fps.
That's just about identical and well within any variation in powder specs.
Your table is a great tool.
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Old November 15, 2018, 12:16 AM   #21
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looks like those numbers are dead on accurate with real life Uncle Nick

4% loss between 24 and 20 inches


https://honors.usf.edu/documents/Thesis/U82488180.pdf
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Old November 15, 2018, 10:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
I would not go as far as saying I'm looking for a short cut but at the same time don't want to waste money , time and barrel life chasing something that has no chance of working .
Metal your logic makes sense to me. I would load at least one round from starting charge on up in increments of your choice (larger increments probably to limit wasting projectiles) just to look for pressure signs/chrono. Once (and IF) you reach your desired velocity safely, then you can begin looking for an accuracy node in smaller increments with groups around the charge that gave your desired velocity. The only problem is that it either requires you to anticipate the charge range that will give you the velocity you seek so you can load multiple rounds for accuracy testing, or it takes two range trips (one to get the starting charge for your minimum velocity, then another with more rounds loaded for accuracy testing). A third alternative would be loading the additional rounds at the range if you have the ability. This is actually a fair argument for having a lee handloader on hand.
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Old November 15, 2018, 12:13 PM   #23
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and just when it seems things seem predictable

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/20...-and-accuracy/

Code:
Bullet             	26”	18”	diff	percentage change
				
HORNADY 110 Vmax	3205	2868	337    10.51%
Hornady 150 Interlock	2774 	2816    158	5.70%
Hornady 168 TAP	        2705	2650	 55	2.03%
Fed 175 GMM	        2575	2501	 74	2.87%
Hornady 208 Vmax	2550	2450	100	3.92%
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Old November 15, 2018, 01:25 PM   #24
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The only problem is that it either requires you to anticipate the charge range that will give you the velocity you seek so you can load multiple rounds for accuracy testing, or it takes two range trips (one to get the starting charge for your minimum velocity, then another with more rounds loaded for accuracy testing).
Oh , It's going to take three or more trips to the range for sure . I have a Lee hand press but no real way to weigh the charges at the range . Maybe my cheap digital scale would work out there but my beam scale would not , to much wind .
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Old November 16, 2018, 12:10 AM   #25
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Oh , It's going to take three or more trips to the range for sure . I have a Lee hand press but no real way to weigh the charges at the range . Maybe my cheap digital scale would work out there but my beam scale would not , to much wind
I tried reloading in the back of the SUV then made up a rig to do range loading with a wind proof scale box but it is still a pain to throw loads.

Lee handloader is great for fine tuning the seating depth with pre loaded rounds however. Once you have a rough seating depth and a good charge load up a box and leave the bullets seated long. You can dial those puppies in real fast and not waste ammo
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