Re: Some guidance so I don't blow myself up...
If you know your conditions you can stock pile all you want. Like I said, if you write down your information when shooting and doing load development then you will see a pattern of how to load for any powder at any given condition. If you can do some load development for temperatures in the 80's write it down what you used and how many grains. Write down temp, load, primer, humidity, velocity and group size.
Then if you get a chance to shoot at single digit temps, attempt shooting your loads and see what it does. It may be fine and you will not have to adjust much, maybe change your zero for slower velocity. Chances are though, the load you put together for 85 degrees will not work quite as well at 10 degrees. Ideally you want to know exactly how it is going to perform for its given conditions. That is why US snipers write down every shot including temp, humidity, wind direction, wind speed, and elevation. Elevation is also a very important factor. The higher you go up the less elevation in your scope you will need to hit your intended target. Thinner air results in less drag. The more you can shoot and develop for your conditions the more effective you will be as a marksmen.
So keeping track of all these conditions will help to develop good loads. As far as the age of a load, as long as there is no corrosion on the casings and lead you can shoot away. You have to be careful with other people loads in your rifle. What worked in their rifle may not work in yours. Storage and care of handling said loads determines their accuracy and ability to fire. If they draw in humidity into the powder then the loads will not be near as potent as a fresh load. The inaccuracy your friend experienced may have been due to poor rifle maintenance and loads developed for a rifle that he did not use. Each rifle is different and will shoot hand loads differently. I generally will not shoot another persons hand loads for safety. If I know the person and they developed the load for my rifle then I don't have a problem or the load is a load that I know is safe for my rifle. There are guys using ammo from the Korean War, Vietnam and WWII because it was surplus from the wars and fit their rifles. It is all in care of handling.
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Last edited by liltank; 11-03-2009 at 11:26 AM.