Load testing intervals

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Firearrow, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Firearrow

    Firearrow Well-Known Member

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    I have been testing my loads as such for a 300 Win, with a 190 berger, and a factory berrel.

    1. Have clean berrel, and shoot foulers until my groups stabilize.
    2. Shoot first group of test loads.
    3. Wait until my berrel feels somewhat coo again, maybe 7-10 min
    depends on outside weather.
    4. Shoot second group of test loads.
    5. Repeat until done.

    I know this is all personal preference, but I just want to make sure I am using a correct method so that I get accurate feed back from my load testing.

    Thanks
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    My method is to = clean and dry patch,shoot one fouling shot, Shoot 5 test loads (Unless there are
    bad SDs on the first couple of rounds) clean and dry patch and let cool (5 to 10 minutes) the shoot one fouling shot and shoot 5 different loads.

    I repeat the cleaning and shooting 1 and 5 until testing is done.

    Note: the reason for cleaning between each group and shooting one fouling shot is to compare
    apples to apples.

    After the best load is found I then =clean and dry patch and shoot up to 10 rounds to see where/if the accuracy falls off.

    Just the way I do my load testing.

    Hope this helps

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    For me, it depends a little on the barrel and conditions.

    A good methodical approach as described above is always best when feasible.

    I don't have a range out my back door anymore.

    So, I try not to waste range time. Also, I want to get my shooting done before conditions change materially.

    That said, I try not to be hasty.

    If I'm getting good results/feedback, I forge ahead.

    If things aren't going as expected, I slow down and cogitate as to the reason(s).

    The key is to verify repeatability as you begin to settle on your load.

    -- richard
     
  4. Joe King

    Joe King Well-Known Member

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    I never deviate from a few rules

    1. shoot round robbin: so that when conditions change (they always do) it effects all loads equally

    2. shoot 1 shot every 5-10min to simulate cold bore shots

    3. never ever clean while load testing, clean before you start and leave it till all testing for that load is done. The reason I've adopted this is because no 2 rifles foul the same some with one or two foulers is all that's needed others I have can go as much a 10 shots before it settles down, so constantly cleaning and fouling a rifle can turn out to be a huge waste of time and components, and I've never had a rifle foul to the point of accuracy dropping off this way either.

    So initially I will do it the same way as OCW, then on the next trip I will usually try different primers being settled on one powder charge, the next trip is usually differing seating depths, though I may change up the order of whats tested when. If I see that a particular recipe is not going to cut it (say load 1 and 2 pattern rather than group), I will skip the rest of those loads or if the heaviest charge is just plainly real hot, better to pull em down and reclaim those components.

    This last load I worked up for 168gr Berger SAAMI Hybrid, worked out with less than 30 bullets fired on target. I think it was 22 to be accurate about it, now it's to the verifying stage.
     
  5. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    The biggest fall-off I've seen in accuracy is a hot barrel. I shoot a fouler and go with it as long as the barrel doesn't get too hot. A couple of my rifles don't even get the luxury of cold bore shots anymore since they do 1/2 moa without it. Oh, and don't mix single base and double base powders without a fouler between groups. It's about like mixing your booze, it can be done at times, but it'll mess things up at times too so why bother.
     
  6. rscott5028

    rscott5028 Well-Known Member

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    You should also clean if switching from one bullet/jacket type to another.
    e.g. Scirrocco-->Berger-->TTSX

    -- richard
     
  7. Lefty7mmstw

    Lefty7mmstw Well-Known Member

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    +1
    yep, that too. Both jacket and powder fouling affect groups and will distort results.

    I wonder if there's enough crap(soot) in primers these days to affect the groups; cci used to toss a huge amount of soot years ago, but fed barely had soot.
    Can anyone wade into that one???
     
  8. barnesuser28

    barnesuser28 Well-Known Member

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    I know that if I shoot off one Winchester primer and put one patch down the barrel the patch is 3/4 completely black. I am using 1 3/4" patches. I happens in my dads 25-06 and my 7mm-08.
     
  9. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    +1

    This is the reason that I clean between test.
    Once I tested a 416 for accuracy and I shot 50 rounds through it (I was Tired of getting the
    crap kicked out of me and the fun had gone out of it). all of the loads were simular and didn't
    give me much information.

    So I went home and cleaned back to bare metal (No Copper fouling) and regrouped.

    I felt the loads were better and that I should have seen more difference. So I loaded
    the same loads and prepaired myself to start over.

    A few days later I went back to the range and changed my procedure to the one I now use.

    The difference was amazing. some groups went from 1 to 2 MOA to 1/2 MOA with the best
    being a solid .342 5 shot.

    After loading 25 of this load I made another trip to the range. This time I cleaned, shot one
    fouling shot and commenced to shoot and cool (NO cleaning) the accuracy was still as good, if
    not a little bit better(I was beginning to enjoy my self in spite of the recoil) the groups started
    opening up after 7 shots and after the 9th shot the group had reached my limit of acceptability.

    I continued to shoot the rest of the 25 loads and somewhere around the accuracy had fallen
    off to over 1 MOA.

    So my conclushion was that the first group of test was mask by the fouling and useless.

    Now I can normally find an accurate load within 10 to 15 rounds (I shoot 3 to start with and
    monitor SDs and ESs and when a possible winner is found I load and tweak it.

    This process has saved me lots of pain and suffering,bullets, brass, money and time.

    Others will disagree But it works for me and most of my personal rifles tested this way
    will shoot under 1/4 MOA with the best being .034 .

    J E CUSTOM