Finding the perfect Load

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by lckytylr, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. lckytylr

    lckytylr Well-Known Member

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    Well, as a newbie, I was wondering what the most efficient approach is for sorting through all of the different combinations that a guy could try while searching for that optimal load that my rifle likes most. The way I see it, there are at least 5 variables.

    Bullet Brand
    Bullet Weight
    Powder Brand
    Powder Weight
    Brass brand

    If you add up all of othe possible combinations that I could come up with, that's a LOT of shooting. I'm shoot
    Do you stick with one specific bullet and weight, and cycle through different brands of powder and different powder amounts . . .

    or do you stick with one powder brand and cycle through different bullets at one measure of powder. . . .

    or do you just pick what you think is a good bullet and try different powder brands and measurements . . .

    If I went through all of the different loading permutations that are available . . . I'd need 3 different barrels just to get through them all with 5 shot groups.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    I'm leaning towards Retumbo and Berger 180's or Swift Scirocco II 150's. I'd prefer the heaviest bullet that I can get accuracy with, as I'm hunting Elk and Mulies.
     
  2. lckytylr

    lckytylr Well-Known Member

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    Bump
     

  3. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    I would like to know what the preferred method is too. I am new to the forum, but for years all I knew to do was pick a brass and primer, 2 preferred bullet choices, 2-3 powders, then load 5 rounds in .3gr incriments and record results. This last barrel experience kicked my ass. 120 rds and best group is 4" at 100yrds. Normally I can figure it out in 50-75rnds. As groups tighten or fall apart I know what direction to go. After finding this forum I realize MANY more variables exsist. COL, COAL, flash hole size, the list is longer than I thought. Any expert advise would be appreciated.
     
  4. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    research and start with quality tools and components.

    Pick one your interested in, reaserch it, then decide if it fits the bill for you. When you find one you like you'll also be noticing a trend as far as loads go, then cross reference with your manuals. No need to go try this and try that unless you really want to. But one thing you really really need to keep in mind, is to take interwebz loads with a grain of salt untill you verify them with your manual that their not way over loaded, some guys will make you wonder how they don't blow their guns up.
     
  5. T3-OleMan

    T3-OleMan Well-Known Member

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    And for making it all go in the same hole you can play with the primer selection.:D


    And do it all one more time.:rolleyes:


    Good luck.
     
  6. upacreek

    upacreek Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to be rude but your response is to see what other people claim they use for loads, refrence a manual, and vioalla, sub-moa load? These modern manuals give me low confidence. They don't hardly publish cups or psi, they allow scary pressures for some (like 7wsm) while cut back loads on proven rounds like the 300 h&h. with all the variations in freebore, and components I am looking for some kind of checklist or process to narrow this down.
    I bought a 7wsm this year and want to dial it in. With its reportedly high pressures I don't want to screw it up. I also don't want to load 200rds to get there.
    Sorry to hijack this thread. I just want some thing technical to study and aid the process.
     
  7. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

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    I'm asuming your talking 7mag?

    Bullet Brand
    Inside of 600 yards=160Partitions(my walkabout 7mag), past 600 180 Bergers(dedicated heavy long range).Not saying others will not work but these two have proven to be easy to find,very effective and easy to get to shoot.
    Bullet Weight
    Most factory or standard barrels will shoot the 160-180.Have burned up a lot of lighter bullets without much seccess
    Powder Brand
    This one is kinda barrel preference but Both 7 mags do well with Retumbo.Can get more speed with a couple others but Retumbo holds good accuracy at the top end.
    Powder Weight
    Start low and work up....You cant miss them fast enough but reasonable to high speed works.
    Brass brand
    Lapua if you can find it,Hornady works good or Winchester.

    Ya you can burn up a lot of supplies finding the perfect load or you can pick a bullet suited for the perpose, a couple of powders that are known performers and adjust seating depth. A couple different primers will help fine tune the end result.
     
  8. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    Pick the bullet you WANT to shoot and the powder you THINK will give you the best in velocity and loading density

    Then run an Audette's ladder (do a search) at .020" off the lands to find the powder charge that will give you the velocity you expect and make sure you are not at or over max

    Then run a seating depth test to look for the best group size, extreme spread in velocity and standard deviation in velocity. For example start at .020" off the lands and load 4, then .040" off, then .060" off, etc. etc. until you reach .100" off. Believe it or not, some bullets like to be seated at a good distance from the lands.

    You may have to go back and try a slight increase in powder charge if you find a load that is far off the lands and drop farther than you want in velocity. Velocity will drop the farther from the lands you load.

    Example:

    Audette's

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Seating Depth

    [​IMG]


    So I started with a bullet that I wanted to shoot - 130 gr Scirrocco II and a powder I thought would give me the best velocity with a loading density close to 90% and did the Audette's. Ran all the way up to 55 gr loading one bullet at each powder charge (not a lot of wasted bullets/powder/primers there) and found the velocity I expected and wanted without pressure signs.

    Then picking the charge of 54.5 gr I did a seating depth test at .015" thru .090" off the lands. Found a decent group at .060" off with the lowest SD and ES

    IOW you can get a decent load most of the time with your choices by varying seating depth as the final step
     
  9. lckytylr

    lckytylr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Woods, that's exactly what I was looking for.

    I forgot to say what I'm loading for, 7 RUM.

    Woods, have you used that 130 gr Scirocco II on Elk?
     
  10. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    No I hunt Elk with my 280AI shooting 160 Accubonds or my 338RUM shooting 225 TTSX's. Have only shot hogs and deer with it here in Texas. SSII's are excellent downrange performers if your rifle will shoot them with acceptable accuracy.

    If I were shooting the 7 RUM I would probably try the Barnes LRX 168 gr or look at bullets in the 175 gr range to keep the speed down on the RUM
     
  11. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    No what I did was give an easy way to sort through all the options to have good chance to find a load that will work without an undo amount of testing this or that.

    Say your shooting a 7 mag and want to go out to 1k, your best choices would be VLD/ULD type bullets, so we go with a Berger 168gr VLD, what powder? Do a search, you see most use H1000 with great success, what primer? You'll also see a lot prefer Fed215M. Your also going to see charge weights from 68gr to 75gr, with most being around 69.5-71, cross reference that with your manuals and you'll see berger lists max 69.5gr. Now you have a good line on a bullet, a powder, a primer, and a good idea where your max charge will be. In short you now have a place to start and have yet to fire 1 round.

    I used this method when I decided to try the 180gr 7mm Berger Hybrid in my 7mag. So far I've fire exactly 22rnds and I'm at the point of fine tuning my power charge on a load that's already going 1/2moa. I have my seating depth as well.

    I took the OP's post as wondering just where to begin without getting the results you posted previously