I have been trying to develop a load for a friend's rifle. I suggested that he use 180gr partitions on elk out of the 30-06. The ranges he will be shooting are limited to less than 200 yards. So far the best shooting rounds were loaded with 53 grains of IMR 4350. These rounds printed .770 and .264 inch (3 shot groups) When I load up to what most books call "maximum" the gun shoots 1.6 - 1.8 inch groups. Most books (6 out of 7) recommend a 55gr maximum load. However, the A-square manual does list a 60 gr load for 180gr bullets. Along with the reduced loads that shot well they are also going across the chorno (competition electronics Pro Chrono) at 2500 feet per second - which is about 150 fps slower than what the books say the reduced loads should be flying at. When looking at the primers I cannot see a difference between the loads with 51gr of powder and 55gr. The questions: Would it be considered safe to push this beyond what most books recommend to what one book out of 7 recommends as a maximum charge (one book being truthful and all the others just covering themselves)? Does it seem likely that the same accuracy achieved with the reduced load could be had again at a higher charge weight (is there any sense in trying a hotter load to get the group smaller)? What effect will a change in temperature/ altitude have on the accuracy of the round? I am testing at 1000' and 90°-100°. It will be used hunting at 11k' and a lot colder than we get in southern texas. I am not concerned with ballistics as much as I am will it hit the same spot here vs there, will the powder act much differently or should it be changed etc.