I need help reloading my 243. First time ever reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 82bluestang, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. 82bluestang

    82bluestang Well-Known Member

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    I just bought a hornady ap press and .243 full length dies.
    My friend told me to start with IMR 4350. I also have cci 200 primers and once shot hornady brass. I used box loads for break in because I wasn't set up yet.
    I have 95 gr Berger vlds, hornady 87 gr hpbt, and 95gr smks.
    Any starting g help would be great thank you.
     
  2. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    I'd kinda forget the VLD's for the moment as they can be trickey to work with. Just buy a box of 100 grain Hornaday SST's for starters or better yet the 87 grain Vmax for long range varmits. Then after you get your feet wet move over to the VLD's. The 4350 powder will work well with either bullet (you didn't say which brand as they are slightly different). Plus your seater may not work with the shape of the VLD bullet.
    gary
     

  3. 82bluestang

    82bluestang Well-Known Member

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    It's IMR and thanks
     
  4. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    the single thing tolearn about reloading is to learn to be very consistent with your loads. Everybody has their own methods just like I do. Avoid neck sizing as that's not gonna help you much, and try to keep it simple. I would recommend you buy the Hornaday lock & load gauge set with a .243 modified case. With this you can learn a lot about your chamber, and also get your seating depths down to what your rifle likes best. I'd also recommend you weigh each charge individually for starters (better off with 4350 anyway). CCI primers are pretty good, but I'm a real Federal fan. Before I forget about it, buy a tin of Imperial Die Sizing Wax, and forget about all the sprays and other case lubes. Just get a tiny little bit on your finger tips and spread it around the shoulder neck areas. If you don't think you have enough, you probably have too much!
    gary
     
  5. Sully2

    Sully2 Well-Known Member

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  6. aushunter1

    aushunter1 Member

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    Hi 82, well you havent given us much info to go on!
    What rifle are you loading for, what lenght & contour is the barrel??
    What is the twist rate??
    What are your objectives, hunting loads, benchrest loads??
    What other gauges/equipment/powder measuring gear do you have, how will you find out your OAL??
    Do you have any reloading manuals & how much research have you done??

    As tricky is saying consistancy is the key.
    Work out what standard of case prep you are willing to go to & the steps involved.
    My process for case prepping my hunting rounds are-
    1. Decap primer
    2. Uniform the primer pocket
    3. Debur the flash hole
    4. Ultra sonic clean.
    5. Resize(I neck resize & only FL size if the case wont chamber)
    6. Trim to minimum length(if needed, you need to measure after resizing & if they are under max then you can let it go if you choose)
    7. Bevel & chamfer neck case mouth(if you are loading VLD's you will need another chamfering tool that has a different angle!!).
    8. Seat primer
    9. Charge(if testing go up in increments)
    10. Seat projectile(normally I start load development with seating 10 thou of the lands & go from there after I find the right powder charge)

    Everyones process tends to be different so you need to come up with your own!!
    Do load development on a single projectile at one time so as not to over complicate things.
    Follow load data charts & always work up loads from min towards the max looking for pressure signs as you go.
    Safety is the biggest factor so check, double check, then triple check all your processes as you go.

    Good luck mate.
    Note: On VLD's- they are very finicky, working out how far off the lands to seat them is the tricky part as they can either like to be jammed into the lands or have a big jump!!
     
  7. 82bluestang

    82bluestang Well-Known Member

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    I have a ruger m77 sporter contour and it is 24" long with a 1-9 twist
    It will be used for varmint and punching paper. Maybe a deer or 2 when I get comfortable with it. A couple of friends of mine shoot 600-1000 yds and was wanting to use this rifle to get started. I have a redding powder scale and a rcbs powder trickled a modified 243 case with an angled gauge. I still need to get a set of bushings to check my oal with a dial caliper.
    Thanks Matt
     
  8. jlamb

    jlamb Well-Known Member

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    I've tried many loads in my custom .243. Keep in mind that it is set up for varminting and to shoot 70gr Noslers. The powders that have amazed me are -

    Varget
    H414
    Superformance

    Varget being the best when loaded at 39.0 grains. The load has been stable over every season (temp). The average group at 100 yards is .358 over the last two shooting sessions.
     
  9. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    OK, I had two 6mm's years back with that same basic barrel twist (one was a sporter weight). Neither barrel shot 70 grain bullets all that well, but shot the 80 grain Sierra Blitz extremely well. I didn't do a lot of work with 100 grain bullets in either gun, but used the 85 / 87 grain bullets a lot (Hornaday). Case volume between the 6mm and the .243 are fairly close, and the real difference between the two is in the neck and shoulder designs. This may help you and also give you a headache.

    I highly recommend H414 powder with a mag primer this time of the year. Did use a little H4350 and AA4350, but results just were not there (but might still work for you). 4064 was the fastest in 80 grain bullets, but you also could fry eggs on the barrel. So in the .243 I wouldn't recommend it. Played around with AA2700, and results were very good. I also have done a lot of work with 6mm cases over the years (6BR, 6/250AI, and the 6mm and 6mmAI), and all seem to like the bullets seated about .003" to .005" off the lands. I saw my ES really tighten up doing this alone.

    Ruger chamber necks are somewhat on the long side (like some others), and you might be surprised as to how much brass flow they will tolerate (mine were about .05" longer than the SAMMI spec). You'll eventually need a case trimmer, and I always recommend the Wilson (cheap on Ebay). The real problem you see out of the .243 in the Ruger is seating the bullets out to the lands. The neck is a little too short to really get the bullets out there when using the lighter ones. (Ruger also tends to cut their throats fairly long from what I've seen). I tried Berger 88's and 69's in my rifles, but they just didn't do what I wanted. The 88's shot .45" groups, but it seemed that about every fifth bullet would fail to stabalize. The 69's were too short. But the 80 grain Blitz would shoot .38" groups all day long, and often dipped into the .30" zone. Extremely hard on coyotes by the way. I've used that bullet all the way out to 450 yards without any problems, and would probably do 500 yards as well.

    I didn't measure the actual twist rate of the Ruger barrels, but suspect they were closer to a 9.5 twist instead of a 9 twist. The H414 powder measures extremely well (I did fool around with H380 as well as H450). I would probably be looking at H1000 with a 100 grain bullet, as that stuff seems to be the ticket for the bigger cased 6mm's.
    gary
     
  10. aushunter1

    aushunter1 Member

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    Hi Matt, sounds like you are off to a good start.
    Your twist rate will suit the heavier end of the scale so those proj should go well.
    The thing with powders are that you may need to try a few before you get the right one. Powders work directly with the bullet weight you are intending, E.G. generaly speaking(also depends on barrel lenght!) faster powders work better with lighter proj & slower powders with heavier proj.
    So Your rifle may like the H4350 with those weight proj but then again it might like Varget better. Its all about the testing!!
    Its all about doing your case prep consistantly as well so you are removing all the variables so you can hone in on how that particular powder works with the harmonics of your rifle.
    Anyway trying one powder at a time is the best way to go.
    Sounds like you are using the Hornady OAL gauge, great bit of gear IMO. Just make sure you measure your OAL at least 5 times then add them together & divide by five to get the average then take the 5thou or 10 thou off that accordingly.
    So some other gear that IMO is essential for case prep is-
    Flash hole deburer.
    Primer pocket reamer
    VLD chamfering tool(if you go with the VDL'S) this helps seat easier & wont scratch the sides of the proj).
    I have also bought the Hornady anvil & base for the calipers, it makes life so much easier when measuring!!
    If you are neck sizing then Hornady headspace bushings as well.

    Here is a link that may help you with the VLD'S-
    Berger Tips for Loading VLD Bullets « Daily Bulletin

    Good luck & enjoy the ride.
    Adrian.