New to Reloading

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Ok all,
    So I have finally purchased pretty much everything I need to start reloading. I have read lots on this, watched some YouTube videos and of course read my reloading manuals. I have a few final questions about load development.
    First off...let me tell you my expectations...baring there is nothing wrong with my rifles...I am hoping to develope loads for each rifle that will get me under 1MOA...half MOA would be optimum. The farthest shots I can take hunting are around 450 yards so I do not need better than that.

    Questions as follows.
    1. I have two powders to first start tests with. How many different loads with each powder will you make? i.e. do you start say at half way between minimum load and max loads and then make 3 batches to start? For example...middle load = 55 grains, max load equals 62 grains...so first load is 55 grains second load say 57 grains and third load 61 grains? Then, if say 57 grains is most accurate...maybe you create a few more batches with smaller increases to try and get better accuracy...like 56.8 grains, 57.3 grains, and finally 57.5 grains.

    2. For each of these bullet batches...how many rounds will you make? I would like to try to prevent waste i.e. I dont want to make 20 rounds of each load just to find out that the particular load shoots like crap after 3 or 4 shots. If 5 rounds will tell me how accurate the load is then great...if I should make more so be it.

    Again...I am not in competition shooting(yet haha) this will strictly be for hunting and just a bit of target shooting. I would like to get under 1 MOA, half MOA of course would be better, again as long as my rifle can do it and of course I do my part as the shooter. So I would like to keep the reloading to its basics at first...I wont be measuring how far the bullets are off the lands and such...not now anyways.(Dont even know how to do that haha). But I will keep everything SAFE, I will watch my pressure signs and overall case lengths and such, but as far as accuracy goes I would like to try and keep things a bit simple at first so I do not get overwhelmed. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. WyoElk2Hunt

    WyoElk2Hunt Well-Known Member

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    I load 5 rounds up with each test powder I am going to use. with a fouled barrel I shoot each group on a cold barrel and see what kind of group I get. Once I find a good group then I add tenths of grains of powder till I dont like the group any more. Once I have found the powder charge I like then I change the depth of the bullet till I get the group I want. Hope this helps get you started It can take a while to get the load you want to keep.
     

  3. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Thanks WyoElk.
    I know there are other factors but if the rifle and shooter both do their jobs
    what size group are you looking for when it comes to trying to find your initial powder load (before you do the minor adjustments with tenth grains)? And then typically, how much will tenth grains impact a group? And finally what size group are you looking for when you adjust the bullet depth? I undertsand every bullet combo can be different here but I am just looking for a ballpark answer. For example...do you look for a 1MOA initial powder load. Then shrink it to say .75MOA with tenth grains and then finally maybe to .5 MOA with adjusting bullet depth? Obviously there is a chance one might have already had optimum load/bullet depth to start but like I said just looking for a ball park answer here. Maybe bullet depth only helps shrink a tenth of an MOA or something.
    Just trying to get an understanding of how much powder charge effects vs bullet depth.
     
  4. Ring

    Ring Well-Known Member

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    dont reinvent the wheel....

    this is the way i do it in the least amount of ammo shot..

    go here... find your round
    Sniper's Hide Reloading Depot

    if you already have powder, scroll and look for other useing the same, and same weight bullets...

    you will start to notice many people have near the same "accuracy" loads, you will also notice most of those are with in a grain or 2 of book max.

    so... 2 things you should do..

    #1 find YOUR max...
    say book max for X load in 30gr... load 1@ 29
    1@29.5
    1@30
    1@30.5
    1@31
    1@31.5
    shoot in order looking for PSI signs.. now u know "your max"

    #2, finding your load
    start 2gr under your max, load 5@"starting gr."
    now go up .3gr 5 at a time, you should find your load in 25 to 30 rounds..
    load at book COL

    after finding your load, "tweak" it by messing with COL or +-.1 or.2gr


    example...
    rem 260, 140's, H4350


    ive had 3 260's, if you research h4350 accuracy loads, the ALL fall from 42 to 43.5 in 140/142 class bullets.

    my shillen best load was 42.3, and started maxing out PSI at 42.5

    my CBI was best at 42.5, but didnt max out till 43.5

    my kriger is best at 43, and never hit max, tested up to 43.5

    CCI 200 primers, rem and LC brass
     
  5. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I usually start 2 grains under book max and work my way up in half grain increments. (Not suggesting you try this) but if I see there are no signs of over pressure, I will start to work my way over max to find a better group or see what the max pressure is. Indications of max pressure are primers that are pierced or flattened, and ejector marks on the case head.

    I always start with my bullets .010-.015" off the lands. Usually .015". I pick one primer and stick with it, unless two of the following things happen: I get an unexplained flyer in a 3 shot group, or I can't get loads to group after attempting seating depth changes. Should you get a 3 shot clover leaf that rounds are not touching, adjust length in and out. Chances are that just moving the bullet .005" in or out from your starting length will pull the group together.

    I always use three shots. I know a gunsmith that uses 2 shot groups. I like that third shot assurance as that is when I usually see a flyer. Make sure you use a sound repeatable rest. Keep things consistent. Do not use a bipod on a hard surface. If you have to use a bipod on a hard surface, then use a thing pad of some type to absorb the bounce from recoil. I've produced many small groups from a bipod, but used the above advice to do it.

    I currently use a Caldwell Rock BR front rest with a leather rear bag. It works really well for load testing.

    Tank
     
  6. chrishatley

    chrishatley Well-Known Member

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    With factory barrels, I start in the middle of the book, load 3 rounds, shoot. I work up in 1/2 grain increments until I get tiny groups, or get signs of pressure. If I get pressure signs before acceptable groups, I switch bullets, or powder. It's amazing how much difference you can see in group size from only 1/2 grain of powder.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  7. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I finally worked up a couple loads today and shot . the middle of book says 65 grains while max is 67. I loaded 65 and then 65.5. Both destroyed factory ammo accuracy. I was getting 1moa with factory...the 65 load got me sub .5moa while the 65.5 got me around .75moa. now except for changing powders do I simply go with the lower load of 65grains since distance isn't too much of a concern...400yard max or do I go with hotter loads and maybe mess with bullet depth to see if I can get decent groups near max loads?
     
  8. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    I would say work your way up to max and see if you find another accuracy node at a higher powder charge. Do the primers still have round corners?
     
  9. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I will check the primers when I get home later. on a side note...I got a used lee 3006 3 die set and for the life of me I can't figure it out. I've only been using the rcbs 2 die sets. one for primer removal and resizing...other for bullet seating. Id appreciate a little advice on the lee three die set
     
  10. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    Can you give me pic. I have a lee set, but want to make sure it's the same one.
     
  11. chrishatley

    chrishatley Well-Known Member

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    I agree with tank, keep working up and see if you find another accuracy node. You will probably get better brass life with the lower one though. The extra die is probably a neck sizer if it is the deluxe set. I have a buddy who has a 3 die lee set in .30-.30, and his extra die is a factory crimp die. I don't have any lee dies, so my info may not be correct...
     
  12. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I think it has the crimping die. so how much does bullet depth affect accuracy. I am making sure I'm consistant within a batch but but from batch to batch i have not...for example my 65 grain batch had a depth of 2.855 where as the batch of 65.5 grains had a depth of 2.845. could that have been the difference for the 65 batch being under .5MOA and the 65.5 grain batch being closer to .75MOA?
     
  13. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    If you're doing a load test, you need to keep your lengths the same. Now if you should find a load that shoots an open clover leaf and puts up some good numbers on a chronograph, then you would start playing with seating depth to try and pull the group together. Seating depth also plays with chamber pressures. To keep all things equal in the beginning is the best route. I generally like to keep the bullets anywhere from .010-.015" off the lands. In the case of my LR .308 I have to be much deeper than that to feed out of the magazine. If I wanted to single load, then I would have it at .015" off the lands starting.
     
  14. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    how do you measure off the lands? I have simply been keeping them just under max length per the nosler manual for nosler accubonds