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260 w/130g VLD load developement

 
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  #1  
Old 11-21-2013, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 11
260 w/130g VLD load developement

G'day
This is my first post, although I've been an avid reader of these forums for a year or so now, and have used them to guide my decision to purchase my most recent toy. I have just received my Wild Dog Custom 260 c/w Nightforce NXS 5.5-22 NPR-1 Scope, 1:9 30" fluted match barrel, Wild Dog thumbhole tactical stock on a Howa 1500 action and finished in snakeskin camo. Being a 260, I intend on reloading, and based on posts on this site, I have purchased Lapua brass, federal gold match primers, AR2209 and 130g VLDs.
This weekend I 'm starting load developement, and while a realise there's already info out there on this, I'm after something specific. My projectile contatcs the lands at OAL 2.933", my magazine dictates a max OAL of 2.873" (ie .050" off the lands). I understand that the general concensus is that VLDs like to be within .010" or even in the lands. I don't have any accurate way of measuring to the ogive at this stage.

So, my question is: do I load to my magazine box and start load developement there in the hope of finding an accurate load OR do I not waste my time/money and just start at .010" off the lands and test from there?

My goal is to have an accurate shooter to 1200 yards (paper targets) which be used depending on my ability for long range hunting (deer/goat/pigs).

Any thoughts from you experienced guys out there on 260 loads and bullet seating tips would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, I have been shooting for about 18 years but this is my first serious attempt at accurate long range shooting /reloading, so if any of the terms i've used, or assumptions made are incorrect, please feel free to set me straight.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2013, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Meridian, Idaho
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Re: 260 w/130g VLD load developement

I guess it depends if you are ok with a single shot or not. If you are, start at the lands and work back as Berger suggests.

If you desire a repeater start at max box length and work back. My rifle seems to be very happy at .09 to .100 off the lands for Hunting vlds. My buddies 260 is happy .03 to .050 off the lands.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2013, 03:32 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 11
Re: 260 w/130g VLD load developement

Thanks Brent. I'll do some testing today and see what what that tells me. I'll start them long and if thats what it likes then maybe I can mod my mag box and still have a repeater.
Im planning on testing different amounts of powder first an then if needs be the seating depth. Is that the best way to start out?
Cheers
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2013, 04:57 PM
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Re: 260 w/130g VLD load developement

Most people test powder amounts to find max load pressure and back off to safer levels. Seating depth then brings both worlds together. Keep in mind pressures rise and fall with seating depth as well. For example you could try .020 off and shoot to find the pressure node. Back down 1 grain or so and try seating depth with that load of powder. I tend to go that route because I know a bullet will generally like a low pressure nod and high pressure node. For long range I like the highest velocity I can get with the best accuracy. I generally will never shoot the lower speed high accuracy node unless the higher pressure node is not going to work for accuracy and consistency.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:01 PM
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Location: Northwest Ohio
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Re: 260 w/130g VLD load developement

My 260 is a single shot so magazine length was not in the equation. I had better groups the closer I got to the lands. I kept the final load .05 off so the bullet would not engage the lands as this is a hunting rifle and pulling a bullet out of the case in the chamber makes quite a mess.
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2013, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: NSW, Australia
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Re: 260 w/130g VLD load developement

Thanks. Do you expert LR shooters have scientific way to measure or calculate pressure or is it just working up a load and inspecting for tell tale signs after firing (thats all I'm used to). I have managed to modify my mag box to allow me to load to .010 jump so I'm going to start there and do my powder tests. Then I'll fine tune the seating. I'll post back with some progress and also some pics.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2013, 06:21 PM
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Location: Meridian, Idaho
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Re: 260 w/130g VLD load developement

Pressure signs for me. I wish I had the tooling for that. There are all sorts of methods but looking at Primers, Extractor marks, and bolt lift are the most common.
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