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Old July 22, 2011, 07:33 AM   #1
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.25-06 questionable loads

I was having accuracy problems with my Interarms .25-06 (like a 3 inch group at 50 yards). So I began handloading my ammo. I went by Hornady's specifications with their 75 grain hollow point bullet with IMR 4350 powder. Hornady called for 55 grains of IMR 4350 to get a normal speed of 3500 fps. After making a box of these, i ran them through and still got a terrible group. Then I made three different loads all the same except for the amount of powder. The first load had 45 grains of powder. The second load had 35 grains of powder. And the third load had 25 grains of powder. After grouping I found that putting 35 grains of powder produced the best group (half inch). My question is, should I keep loading like this and keep my accuracy, or go back to book standards and never hit the broad side of a barn ever again?
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Old July 22, 2011, 07:47 AM   #2
Uncle Buck
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Load what works.

Why did you load a box before you knew they would work for your gun? The most I ever loaded for a new gun or new load was 15 rounds.

It gave me a good idea of where I was and where I wanted to go with the load.

If you go back to the book load that did not produce the accuracy, what would you accomplish?
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Old July 22, 2011, 07:53 AM   #3
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Increment of load search

Five grains of powder is way too much of an increment to find a good load.
Start with the minimum published load (in your loading manual), for that powder and load 5 rounds each. Load another five rounds with .5 (half a grain more powder), another five with .5 grain more than the last, etc. Keep incrementing by half a grain until you find an good group, or until you either began to get pressure signs or you reach the maximum powder listed for that bullet in your manual.
Before choosing a powder to work with, ask 25-06 shooters (on this forum), which powder, load and bullet gives them the best results so that you get some idea what is likely to work well.
Addendum: I list the number of grains of powder and other data on a white envelope and seal those rounds inside until they are shot to keep them all separate.
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Old July 22, 2011, 08:04 AM   #4
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Do you know the barrel twist for your gun? You may get better results with a heavier bullet.
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Old July 22, 2011, 08:38 AM   #5
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Read the Data

10 Grain adjustments don't make even a little bit of sence ! There isn't any reloading Manual that would recommend such procedure . Have you ever reloaded before ! The load Data in my Hornady Manual lists a starting load of of 50.6 Gr. and a Max of 55.9 Gr. . You don't start at Max and then work your way backwards , just the opposite is what you need to do ! There are 96 Pages in my Vol. 1 Manual before you get to the Reloading Data , I strongly suggest that you read those pages before you have an Accident !
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Old July 22, 2011, 09:03 AM   #6
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Sig you need to be very careful about using reduced loads, I have read that they can be just as dangerous as overloading a cartridge. oneoldsap is right, you start at the published minimun load and work up.

As for your 25/06 accuracy problem I too would want to know the barrel twist rate and try heavier bullet weights. That may tighten up your groups.
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Old July 22, 2011, 09:39 AM   #7
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Here is my procedure that I follow whenever I get a new rifle and start looking for a load.

1. Make sure that the scope mounts, rings, and scope are all locked down completely solid.

2. Use some Wipeout, Butch's Bore shine, in mulitiple rounds of barrel cleaning to make sure all the copper fouling is completely gone from the bore before I start.

3. Depending on bore twist, read, ask around to find a bullet that has a reputation for accuracy in that cartridge. Normally, I look for a Sierra bullet, they have always worked for me and don't cost a fortune. Typically, I find it is one of the heavier bullets listed in the load manuals for my cartridge. Probably not the very heaviest, but fairly heavy. For a 25-06, I know a good popular bulet weight is 117 gr, so I would start there.

4. Then I would pick a powder that is towards the slower burning listed for that cartridge and bullet weight. It doesn't have to be the very slowest, but you want to get the case pretty close to full. For a 25-06, I would probably try something like H-4831 or IMR-7828 or Alliant RL-22 to start with.

5. Go to the powder manufacturer website or your reloader manual and find the max charge weight listed for your bullet/charge weight. For example, suppose you were going to use a 117 gr bullet ant H-4831, and you read that the max powder is 52.0 gr of powder. Now, subtact 10% of that powder weight. That gives you around 47.0 gr as a starting powder charge.

6. Load up 3 cases with 47.0, 3 cases with 47.5, 3 cases with 48,0, etc, varying each set by 0.5 gr, which is 1% of your max until you have 10 sets of 3 cartridges ranging from 47.0 up to 52.0 gr. Make sure you mark each case to make sure you know what they are loaded with. Pick a bullet seating depth that is recommended in the manual and keep it the same for all the loads.

7. Take 10 targets to the range. Starting with the 47.0 gr charge, fire 1 round from each different set into each of the 10 targets. Pay attention to each shot, noting if you encounter a bolt that is hard to lift, or anything out of the ordinary. If you find a shot that is hard to extract the case, stop there, you have found your max charge weight for your rifle.

8. When you have shot each target one time, allowing the barrel to cool after 3-4 shots, going from the lightest charge to the heaviest, start all over again and shoot each target one time with the appropriate charge weight.

9. When you have finished, you will have 10 targets with 3 holes in them. Look at each target and the overall trends carefully. Of course you are looking for any that have a tighter group. But you are also looking for trends where the group sizes look similar and the average point of impact is about the same. Those are the accuracy nodes you want to focus on.

10. Focus on those groups where accuracy was the best. You might want to tighten up the interval to 0.3 gr and load 5 or more loads centered around that magic charge weight. If there's nothing wrong with the rifle, then you will definitely have a nice shooting load. You can try different bullets, different powders, but you need to go through thihs exercise each time you change one variable.
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Old July 22, 2011, 12:51 PM   #8
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you got some great feedback here sig. This is some good stuff and can help tremendously. good job guys!!
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