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Tuning a load

 
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  #1  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:41 PM
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Tuning a load

Hey all! I'm looking for a little advice on something I have never tried. I have been hand loading for about 10 years, and have worked up great loads for my .220 Swift, .243 Win, 25-06, and 30-06. I recently purchased a Remington 700 in 7mm Rem Mag and am preparing to work up a load for it. My plan is to try several different powders, working loads up from min to max shooting 168 gr. VLD's. I am then planning to take the most accurate load from these tests and play around with the overall length of the cartridge and see if I can get a bit more accuracy out of it.

My question is do you all think this is a good idea, or am I wasting time and money? (Note: I never consider loading a waste of time ) Or, do any of you have a better way to do it? Try one powder and mess with the OAL? Just looking for other's thoughts. I know it took a LONG time to find a load for my 30-06 only changing powders and bullets, but I finally did find a round that shot a hole in a hole.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:06 AM
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Re: Tuning a load

If it were me, I would stick with one powder til you wring it out, THEN switch if you think you need to. You don't want to test one powder after another without cleaning the gun between the powders. I can't tell you why, but us BR guys have found that goofy things can hapen to your groups when you shoot a powder down your bore that has been fouled with another. you can always clean at the range between strings, but, to me, range time is valuable.....I like to test in ZERO conditions...which don't happen very often. I don't want to waste time cleaning guns.

With the 7MM I would start with H-1000. it has worked in every 7 that I tryed since it came out. I guess I have found one gun that liked RL-25 with Moly coated JLK 180's better than the H-1000..but that was more of a speed thing.

And I agree 100%...there is no such thing as wasted time shooting..even when trying to turn that perverbial sows ear into a silk purse...even tho I have proven to myself that the POS will not shoot, I can't help but to try just ONE more thing.......just in case.....
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:40 AM
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Re: Tuning a load

Thank you 4x! My biggest thing is that I have never messed with OAL. My dad has always loaded to reloading manual OAL's, and so taught me to do so, but the more I read, especially about the Berger's, is that you need to adjust the OAL for the best accuracy. I just wasn't sure where to work that into my current load working regime. I appreciate the info. I have always cleaned my guns after a trip to the range, but not during testing, and I have had some odd results before, like a group that shoots an 1 inch lower than the previous load, even though it is at a lower velocity. Never though about it as an issue with different powder fouling... Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:51 AM
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Re: Tuning a load

The way I was taught pretty much matches what you're thinking of trying.
Find a good powder charge/bullet combo and then use seat depths to fine tune the rifle.

Seems like most of my guns like shooting when bullets don't have to jump very far to reach the rifling... but then all guns are different.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:19 PM
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Re: Tuning a load

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkupper View Post
Thank you 4x! My biggest thing is that I have never messed with OAL. My dad has always loaded to reloading manual OAL's, and so taught me to do so, but the more I read, especially about the Berger's, is that you need to adjust the OAL for the best accuracy. I just wasn't sure where to work that into my current load working regime. I appreciate the info. I have always cleaned my guns after a trip to the range, but not during testing, and I have had some odd results before, like a group that shoots an 1 inch lower than the previous load, even though it is at a lower velocity. Never though about it as an issue with different powder fouling... Thanks!
Berger has finally come out with reloading manual and I sure they've cover seating depth as they put that on varies site. You might want to get Berger manual they may have more that wants been posted.

Tech note from Berger on seating depth
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:28 PM
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Re: Tuning a load

Thanks Tom. That was actually one of the articles that I read that got me started on this whole deal lol. Dad found a Berger manual on Monday and bought it so I am going to take a look at it this weekend. Thanks for the info!
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  #7  
Old 01-09-2013, 01:23 PM
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Re: Tuning a load

Your on the right track. Bullet seating depth is just one aspect of tuning a load.

The way I usually go about it is
Pick an arbitrary seating depth usually 0.020" off the lands, and a primer
Load 5 different charges with 3-5 of each charge, with charges increasing by 0.5gr. (I'm generally working twards the upper limits of the load spectrum so I keep a close eye out for the slightest sign of pressure).

Once at the range I will shoot these all in round robin fashion. Picking the charge that shows the most promise, I will then load up 3-5 more test loads using the same number of different primers, 3-5 of each, shoot these round robin, my next step will be to load up 5 more, 5 each this time varying the seating depth, from 0.010 - 0.100, after that I will continue to refine the seating depth.

Thats just the way I go about it, how ever you do it just make sure you pay attention to the details.
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