A Testing Process By Matthew Cameron

Discussion in 'Technical Articles - Discussion' started by Len Backus, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    May 2, 2001
    This is the thread for discussion of the article: A Reloading Testing Process By Matthew Cameron

    Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article. The author will have this thread automatically notify him of posts so he can join the discussion.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  2. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Good read thanks! The only part I thought was missing is where I chase shooting gremlins for a few days!:D

    If you have a process for eliminting those I'd love to learn it!!:)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008

  3. johngfoster

    johngfoster Active Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    Finally, something in writing which outlines the process of load development! Thank you.

    I have been working on my own process, and like was suggested, it is my own OPINION, so here it is:

    First is the selection of components based on research, as has been suggested.

    I also shoot 3-shot groups, but shoot 3 groups of 3 shots for each load. I find sometimes considerable variation in group size for a given load. I load 10 rounds for the same load. I shoot the 1st round as a "fouler", and then procede with 3 groups of 3 shots. I will then clean between each different load.

    I increase my charge weight by 0.5gr each time. I inspect each case after firing to look for pressure signs. If these start to show before I reach the book max, then I stop. If not, then I procede WITH CAUTION. Some of my loads are quite a bit above book max, but still show no pressure signs for my rifle. I will usually load up 50 rounds at this initial stage, allowing for 5 different loads.

    Next, I select the most accurate load (average group size from the 3 groups of 3 shots) and play with bullet seating depth. I usually start about 20 thou off the lands and load 5 rounds for each seating depth. I shoot these as a single 5-shot group. I guess you could argue that I'm not consistent in my practice here, but I don't think this will have as much variation as the powder loads will--again, just purely speculation here not based on any science or fact.

    Once I've selected the most accurate seating depth, I then try to fine-tune my load. Again 3 groups of 3 shots, but this time loads are increased by 0.2gr. Again I load up 5 different loads (50 rounds) with the middle middle load the same as the most accurate load from the first test. These are now all seated to the most accurate seating depth as well.

    I then select the most accurate load of this test and further refine the load to 0.1gr, now shooting 3 5-shot groups. This means loading up 15 rounds for each load. The middle load is centered on my most accurate load from the above test, going 0.1gr to each side. I then select the most accurate of these loads as my final load.

    Some may feel this is too much shooting. This is something I've been wrestling with. It does use up a large chunk of useful barrel life, especially in some of the calibers that are "Barrel Burners". I don't have a good answer to this, but again, I've seen large variations in group size between the three groups of 3 shots. If I had gone with the one group that was 0,110" for one group as my most accurate load based on one group, I'd have missed the other group that was 0.710" that was shot 2 groups later (same loading). I think you get more accurate data this way--again, just my opinion based on my experience.

    The other thing some may have noticed is that I have tried to keep the number of rounds I load up for a given charge, to multiples of 5. There is no other reason for this than convenience, as my ammo boxes are 50-round boxes. It just makes labeling easier to have the whole row of 5 rounds the same charge weight.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2008
  4. Seabreeze

    Seabreeze New Member

    Apr 21, 2009
    G'day Mathew,

    I do a bit of Hunting, also gliding and towing at RAAF Richmond.

    Enjoy reading your articles mate.

    Stay in the Green
  5. BobbyD

    BobbyD Member

    Jan 28, 2009
    Nice article. Well thought out since it gives a beginning and a method for someone starting out.

    One thing I gather we can agree to disagree on is the number of rounds fired to check loads. 3? 5? 7? Who came up with those numbers? I agree with you. However, in my humble opinion I think a lot of writers came up with 3 rounds because every time they had to do a story on some new weapon when they shot 5 the groups spread out. Instead, of shooting all day, trying to get an acceptable group they found it more expedient to fire 3 if they got what they were looking for.

    I find "no flyers" are the consistency we should be trying for. Sometimes that is very difficult to accomplish because to shoot sub MOA groups we need to be able to shoot to that level. If we load up sub MOA reloads but shoot 1 MOA then that's the best we can do.

    This is an older thread so the reason why I'm responding is have you made any updated changes to your loading technique?

  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Good article, well written. Author causes the reader to think by raising many valid questions...smart. For anyone just getting into load development, it gives them a script to follow. Thanks for posting.