How to work a load up

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by summitsitter, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. summitsitter

    summitsitter Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2008
    When working a load up how do you guys do it. How main grains at a time. How many shots per load? Also what depth do I set my bullets at. Do I wait til I have the most accurate load then start working with the depth. Very confused about this?
  2. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    I pretty much load for maximum velocity with reasonable accuracy. I do not look for maximum accuracy. I do not find load development to be fun. Reasonable accuracy is something below 0.5 MOA for a 1K rifle and about 1.0 for a 600 yard rifle and 2.0 MOA for short range, knock em down while they are chewing on your leg rifles. For example, if I was to get stupid and go grizzly bear hunting in thick alders I would not care at all about accuracy.

    What I do with a new rifle is start at some reasonable low level and load one round in about 0.3 grain increments and run up until I believe I have reached maximum and the gun has some chance of blowing up. I do not recommend that other people risk their rifles and their body parts but it is what I do. I do this for barrel break in. I look at how each shot groups relative to the others. I do this at 100 yards for most rifles. If a rifles persists in being obnoxious then I will try it at longer range if shooting VLDs. All of these bullets are loaded just at the lands although sometimes I goof up and get them too far up or back.

    Once I have shot my pressure curve bullets, I will look at the target and see if the bullets at maximum pressure are grouped close together. I then select three loads at and near maximum and load up about six bullet each or whatever amount I need to finish barrel break in (remember that I do not find this to be fun). I then take these loads and shoot two groups each and check for accuracy.

    I look and see if these top pressure loads provide good accuracy and select one if it is good.

    If things are not good, then I start changing bullets until I find one the rifle likes. I view seating depth as simply a fine tuning step. Brass, primers, bullets and powder are more important. If I get several good rounds in a group but then one out, I will look at ignition problems and switch primers.

    I do not like to change powders as it means I am having a real problem.

    I just got rid of 185 bullets that a new rifle did not like. I gave the 85 box to a guy and told him that if they shot well for him he could buy them plus my other box and if they didn't shoot for him then he could return what was left or pass them on to someone else. His rifle which had not liked any other bullet just loved them even though my rifle did not.

  3. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2008

    google , and search this site for "ocw" and "ladder load devlopment" You'll find some good reading and likley come up with a variant of those methods that works for you. Buffalobob (correct me if I'm wrong) has explained to you a variation of said methods. I am new to LR shooting, but not to reloading. After a little experimentation you'll find something that works using these as outlines.
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Like everything there are many ways to skin a cat/work up a load.

    The way I start is with a good loading manual and the bullet that is best
    suited for the game. Then I look for a load that gives me 95% to 100%
    load density at or near max pressure.

    After doing all of the case prep I start loading with the powder and primer
    listed with this powder,bullet,primer combination 2 grs below max.

    I load 5 rounds at -2gr of max, then 5 more at -1-1/2grs then 5 more at
    -1gr below max ,and 5 at-1/2 gr of max and finally 5 at listed max.

    Then I go to the range,set up the chronograph and start shooting.

    I will shoot the first round (2grs under max) and look at the brass,velocity,
    bolt lift and the primer and if everything looks good then I will shoot the
    remaining 4 and look at group size and standard deviation. Log all of this
    information and move to the next hotter load.
    I repeat the process used in #1 and look for changes from load #1 to load
    #2 group size,velocity,pressure, condition of brass and Standard deviation.

    Repeat process with load #3 watching for signs of pressure.(Flat primer,heavy
    bolt lift).This process will find the max loads safely.

    At the first signs of MAX pressure I stop the process and review all the data
    and decide if this is a good load to work on.

    If I have good SDs and groups I will go back to the loading bench and load
    2/10ths each side of the best load to find the sweet spot .also I will try
    different primers with this load.

    After all this is done then I will play with seating depths to get the best accuracy.

    Like buffalobob said it takes time and may not be fun but it is worth the effort
    if you want to get the most out of the rifle/pistol.and you will be amazed at what
    a small change will do. so keep lots of data for review.

    Just the way I do it
  5. Bullschlitz

    Bullschlitz New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Those are excellent replies and I think your question has been anwered properly however on the lighter side I do a bit differently. How do you guys do it? Well first you need a good lookin woman. How many? Well usually one but I heard tell some guys like the more the merrier, but I ain't never did that. How many shots per load? Well I usually just get one. What depth do I seat my bullets? Well, most guys try to get about as deep as possible. Do I wait till I got the most accurate load and then worry about depth? Nope, not really, most guys don't care to git that accurate with them bullets and just concentrate on all the depth they can git while a workin up their load. Sorry, I never do dis again but dis one jist to good not to.