Re: safe load build up
b1g, I had no data on the 220 smk for the 30-06IMP. So the way I worked up the load was to use standard 30-06 data.
I used Rel 22, started one grain below max, and shot through the cronograph. I then check for pressure indicators. If everything looks good I go one grain higher and repeat.
At some point one of two things happens; I start to see pressure indicators. A primer that is noticabley flatter than the rounds fired before it, ejector marks on the case head, and ocasionaly a heavier bolt lift than normal.
If a load shows any of these signs I don't call it my max load. I back them down at least one grain so that the pressure signs are not excessive, this is then my max for that particular firearm. I then note the weather conditions on which the loads were tested. If this load will be used in warm weather I test under those conditions so I know there safe.
The other thing that happens on occasion, is I have a particular cartrige with published data but I find no pressure indications, when I aproach the book max, nor have I aproached book velocity. I then load slowley over max. What I do is work up to the velocity the book lists. Being very careful to watch for pressure indicators, if they appear I stop and back down the charge wieght.
Every barrel is different as is every lot of powder. The manuals list data for one barrel with one lot of powder. There max is not always your max. Like the book says start low and work up. Thats because your barrel may max out before thiers. And on the other hand thier barrel may max out before yours. That is why I have six load manuals, Most do not list the same max charge. They are reference matarial a guide to reloading. Its how you use those guides that determines if your being a safe reloader.
By the way the load I used was 56 gr of REL22 to get to 2525fps in fireformed brass. If memory serves that was 2gr over standard 06 max.