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Load developement process?

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Unread 08-19-2010, 10:55 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 433
Load developement process?

This could maybe go in the reloading section but I want more info beyond reloading.

What I am wondering is what you all do when your developing a load? I am about to start developing a load for my STW for the 168 gr Berger's. I have never used these before or a bulet even close to this heavy in this gun. So I would like to hear what steps you all take from case prep to downing your first critter. I think this will be educational for some of us newbies!
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Unread 08-19-2010, 12:47 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 825
Re: Load developement process?

Well i would like to start by saying you have picked (in my opinion) one of the finest hunting callibers ever made.

Now down to the bussiness part. In order to find your best accuracy with the Berger bullets its best to use Bergers reccomendation on how to find the best load. I belive it is in the Reloading section at the top. It is a Sticky which means it stays at the top. Anyway mine likes to be just off the lands.

As far as reloading i would try to find some Winchester brass (i dont like Remington STW brass) or i think Nosler makes some but it is more expensive. I have not tried it so i cant say how it is. Anyway i start by full length size them then trim to length. Debur the outside and inside of the neck. Uniform the primer pockets and flash holes. Once all of this is done then i reload. Normally when first starting out with a gun i will start low and load in one grain incriments until i start to see pressure signs. Once i see pressure signs then i will make note of where that is and start working backwards in half grain incriments until i see something that is promising i.e. the extream spread of three shots is less than 10fps. Once i find this then i will start playing with the seating depth until i get the accuracy i want out of it. I actually just finished doing this to a new 25-06 yesterday. The end result was a .673in group at 230yards. One thing to note with berger bullets is you may not get a great 100 yard group but shoot the same load at 300 and it might impress you. They have a tendancy to not be stable at 100 yards. Knowing this i would do most of my group work at 200 or 300 yards.

Once you have found your load then start shooting at different yardages so you can work up a drop chart. Most people like to load a drop chart (JBM, Berger has one,and several other places on line) and then just confirm what it acually says. You will find they are somewhere close but not exact. Once you have confirmed your drop chart then your ready to go shoot some critters.

Here is an example after confirming my drops out to 620yards last year before hunting season

i was able to take this doe with one well placed shot at 580yds with my 7mm STW
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