So I just started reloading, and went out this morning to test out some loads and try to find my max load. I guess I will list out the components I am using and the processes I used to load them.
Stock Stevens 200 308 Win.
Winchester once fired brass
CCI 250 Primer, only primers I could find and my friend checked his Speer book and they called for a magnum primer for 2520
Accurate 2520 powder
Sierra 165 Grain Game King Soft Point Boat Tail
Neck tension on the ones I measured appeared to be .002"
Full length resized and deprimed using Hornady spray lube
Trimmed to 2.006", Chamferred and deburred
Tumbled in crushed walnut and nu polish and a touch of mineral spirits
Charged to exact by hand with a scale and a trickler
Bullets seated to .020" off the lands, No crimp
So I went and shot some this morning and got flattening primers way before I expected. I am using the Lee 2nd edition book, and they show a minimum load of 42.9 grains and a max of 47.7, so I started at 43 and increased in .5 grain increments. 43 grains shows no primer deformation, 43.5 I could tell the primer changed a bit but just barely, and 44 grains I got a flattened out primer...
43.5 Grains, Inconsistent flattening
44 Grains, flat...
I don't have any ejector indenting or stiff bolt lift, the only other thing I can see is a mark where the ejector appears to scrape on the head maybe when lifting the bolt? Picture #3 kinda shows it. Is this something I need to watch for as well?
So at what point do you start backing off? I felt like the 43.5 grain is probably the max. It just seems weird that I am getting pressure signs a half grain above minimum. I will probably load up 10 rounds each of some lower charges to try for accuracy but then I will be under the book minimum... I have since found some CCI 200 primers, should I try them and see how it goes? Just looking for ideas, again I am totally new to this so I just want to make sure I am being safe and gonna get the best BANG for my efforts. Thanks in advance for your guys' consideration.
Edit, I did do a search and found alot of bickering back and forth about things that are far beyond my realm of understanding at this point in the game. I am just looking to find out what you guys would do. Keep going? Stop there and shoot some groups? Switch powders and start over?