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Load Developement

 
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2013, 04:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 9
Re: Load Developement

Thank you all for your responses. I feel a lot better about going to the range now. This seems like it just comes down to a lot of meticulous trial and error so thats my plan. All the while getting better at shooting so by the time Im ready to start knocking down steel at 1 mile at least Ill know my equipment can do it.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2013, 04:00 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: az
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Re: Load Developement

RM- what rifle??
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2013, 04:55 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: North Louisiana
Posts: 597
Re: Load Developement

Buy the Sierra Handbook of Reloading and use it! It will tell you what you need to do.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2013, 09:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Load Developement

Quote:
Originally Posted by roninflag View Post
RM- what rifle??
Savage Long Range Hunter. I have taken the factory muzzle brake off and put on a Little Jimmy muzzle brake from American Precision Arms.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2013, 03:32 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 884
Re: Load Developement

Start with this:

Getting the Best Precision and Accuracy from Berger VLD bullets in Your Rifle

Then do this:

OCW Overview - Dan Newberry's OCW Load Development System

You will find the best load that a given combination will produce in your rifle in 50 rounds or less. Once you find your load, shoot it at distance to validate its accuracy.

Keep in mind, however, that increasing distances will magnify the effects of shooter error, wind, and mirage. Anyone can shoot 1/2 MOA at 100 yards. Doing the same at 600 or 1000 yards requires solid shooting technique and the ability to read and compensate for environmental conditions.

More important than following the above steps, is to find a methodology that works for you and makes sense to you. Then follow that methodology every time. Consistency and repeatability are the name of the game. That's not to say that you can't or shouldn't be on the lookout for new techniques to try. Just be sure that you understand what you are doing and why.

You don't really need a chrono for load development. Once you have settled on your final load, shooting it over the chrono can provide the data you need if you are using a ballistics program. That data will get you in the ballpark, but you will still need to fine tune it based on actual POI at distance.

One final note: Don't let people tell you what your load has to be. Some will say that you can't get an accurate load unless you use a certain primer or certain brass. Others will insist that you won't achieve top accuracy unless you seat your bullet close to or jammed into the lands. Everybody has their little voodoo dance that they insist is the secret to accuracy. Let your rifle tell you what it likes. The rest is just hot air, well intentioned hot air perhaps, but hot air all the same.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2013, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: NW Florida Piney Woods
Posts: 237
Re: Load Developement

After using and believing in the ladder method for several years I started doubting it and started picking my loads by using nothing but max or nearly max loads with Hodgdon Extreme powder that have almost no velocity variation as temperatures fluctuate and by using almost all medium burning powders such as Varget for all my loading in all but "super mags".

That GREATLY simplified my life, increased my enjoyment of shooting and, probably due to my increasing proficiency with shooting, shrunk my group sizes and gave me better one shot hit ratios.

The ladder method may still be somewhat relevant with skinny barrels that aren't properly bedded due to barrel whip and nodes and other such magic that I don't think I'll ever fully understand but I choose to bed all barreled actions these days and right after I did that a LOT of my shooting eccentricities and head scratching seemed to melt away. LOL

Hope my addled babbling helped or saved you some time.... ;)

$bob$
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If it's long it can't be wrong... LDHunter (Long Distance Hunter) from the Piney Woods of NW Florida. I hunt clearcuts for scrawny whitetails... ;)
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2013, 05:29 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Posts: 420
Re: Load Developement

Quote:
Originally Posted by RMulhern View Post
Buy the Sierra Handbook of Reloading and use it! It will tell you what you need to do.
This !

I see a lot of folks recommending other things but the best policy IMHO is to start with starting loads and work up. Just recently I ran into a situation that, had I started with a max load would likely have damaged a rifle if not worse. In over 40 years of loading this is the second time I have encountered this but the first time taught me a valuable lesson. Every rifle is different!

Bob
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