Re: Hot Load?
Reading pressure signs is a little like reading tea leaves. All of my rifles exhibit different variation of signs. Both of my Senderos show ejector marks early. My M70 22-250 leaves cratered primers on all loads, factory and handloads even starting handloads, but when it starts leaving ejector marks, pressure is up. My S&W M1500 7 mag leaves a faint crater on most of my primers. With my Senderos I can watch the primers gradually flatten more and more and then start to develop craters as the charge goes up. The primers get a lot more flat than the OP's before starting to show craters. Usually when I start seeing craters with my 300 RUM Sendero loads, a sticky bolt is close at hand, like maybe the next grain of powder. When I get a sticky bolt, I back off a grain or 2.
That said, I think my most accurate way of determining what I consider acceptable pressure is primer pocket life. With standard factory Rem and WW brass, I am looking for about 5-6 firings before the pockets will no longer primers. If only 2 or 3 firings, then that is a little too hot for me. I have been curreetly working on a load for my Sendero 300 RUM which has flattened primers (flatter than the OP's) with slight cratering and getting abou 5-6 firings. This is about 2 gr below a sticky bolt for this powder/bullet combo.
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