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Reloading Berger Bullets


A question for the reloading Guru's

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Unread 05-08-2012, 08:45 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
Posts: 79
A question for the reloading Guru's

Hi I am fairly new to reloading I have done some ammo with pretty good results but I am wanting to take the next step in load development. I know that when you are tweeking a load you should only work one thing at a time so you know where you're results are coming from. My question is if I was going to start loading 210 Berger VLD hunting for my 300WM Sendero SFII should I start going through all the powder charges first or figure out the best seeting depth first. I know some of you might find this to be a silly question but I want to make sure I do this right and get the best results. If you have any other advise for the begginning stages of my load development please share. Thank you.
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Unread 05-08-2012, 10:12 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 413
Re: A question for the reloading Guru's

Not to pick the fly poop out of the pepper and bore you with detail I'll shre how I do developement when i change bullets, powder, primer or brass. Usually... When i start a new setup I use new, weight sorted, full length sized brass so that variable is at least "standardized". Next I pick the bullet I'd like to play with, being certain that the tube should be able to stabilize that weight of projectile. The bullet weight guides me to the powder type or types I want to use. I usually start .015" off the rifling, just an arbitrary choice but I haven't had a rifle that shot best at >.015" so IMO its a good place to start. After a simple load ladder work up to ascertain safe working pressures in my rifle I look to build at least three, but preferably five, loads with each powder at 1 - 2 % increases of charge level. Shooting though the chronograph to monitor velocity noting best SD, ES and average speed of each load I also look to what groups the best as well. I play with setting depth last and move forward .005" at a time. One of those will be clearly tighter even at .015" off the rifling. I load three groups of five at each 5,10, & 15 off. If .005 and .010" off shoot reasonably the same I'll try .008" and .006" off the rifling if neither of those will go 1/2 MOA I try .007" and .009" off. You get the idea. IMO, if you get to the "right" powder your rifle will show you that on paper, then tune it in to the barrel resonance with seating deth to get best accuracy. Hope this helps you out. YMMV
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Unread 05-08-2012, 10:15 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 563
Re: A question for the reloading Guru's

click the link to my OCW load development site, in my signature line... that may be of some help.

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Unread 05-08-2012, 10:16 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 413
Re: A question for the reloading Guru's

Originally Posted by green 788 View Post
click the link to my OCW load development site, in my signature line... that may be of some help.

Great idea! Start here....
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Unread 05-09-2012, 10:42 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: The cold part of Montana
Posts: 1,391
Re: A question for the reloading Guru's

Here's how I work up a load for both my Long range varminter and my long range rifle. (some things are obvious)

1. pick a bullet weight
2. Start with quality components, Brass and Bullets
3. research all possible combo's that will get you closest to what you want.
4. weight sort all bass to 0.5gr, all bullets to 0.1gr
5. find your OAL for that bullet touching the lands
6. using a micrometer seating die choose an arbitrary seating depth some distance from the lands (0.010"- 0.025")
7. Using fully prepped brass, (trimmed, chamfered, debured flash hole and case mouth, necks check for concentric thickness) pick a primer and use just that one for now.
8. with primed cases pick a likely powder (I usually start 1-2gr below book max), charging 5 cases at a time I will increase the charge at .5 gr till I reach book max.
9. seat your bullets, all weighing the same if you can.
10.I also prefer to use concentricity gauges, Sinclair and Hornady, as the Hornady allows you to corect bullet run out.

Now it's time to go to the range and see what happens

11. now taking your results from the range, using what charge showed best accuracy, make up 5 using every different type of primer you can get your hands on and go back to the range.
12.fine tun your powder charge (if your going to increase above Book max be damned careful and check each case at the time of firing for pressure signs and stop if/when you encounter them
13. taking the results from your previous trip start playing with your seating depth. I generally adjust mine by 0.005" per group

Of course there is a whole method for finding the seating depth your rifle likes spell out on Berger's website.

(I'm kinda anal about those 2 rifles)
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Unread 05-12-2012, 11:31 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Mount vernon, OH
Posts: 681
Re: A question for the reloading Guru's

I agree with using the OCW method.

"Let glorious acts more glorious acts inspire,
And catch from breast to breast the noble fire!
On valour's side the odds of combat lie,
The brave live glorious, or lamented die;" - Iliad, Book V
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