Short and long range hunting loads?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by tlk, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    Zeideker, Handloading for Competition, keeps talking about 200, 300, and 600 yard loads, stating that fireforming should be done with the 600 yard load due to the pressure (cant fireform at a 200 yard load and use the brass for a 600 higher pressure yard load - no good).

    My question is whether this matters for hunting. Wouldn't the 200, 300, 600, 1000 yard hunting load for the same rifle be the exact same? Where is the relevance of this comment to LR hunting applications?

    Only thing I could figure is that when you are trying to find your load you should probably do the homework and start with the highest pressure powder as the fireforming load. That way if you find a powder with less pressure that you rifle prefers your brass is good to go.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

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    Might not be as up to snuff as I once was but I will throw in on this anyway.

    I haven't read the article, but have dumped a few pounds of powder through the years. In my experience with different cases and calibers, I generally work up loads from some starting point. From there I end up with cases which are for the most part fit to that particular rifle. I haven't gone so far as to use some of the high end sizing dies, but still manage to shoot some respectable groups from hunting rifles. The point is that once your cases are basically formed to your chamber, and knowing what the top end loads are at that point, I do not see where it would be an issue to load and shoot new cases of the same brand with the same data. Oce fired they should be fully formed as well.

    In forming cases to a specific chamber like an AI or AM, or other form from the parent case, then yes I can see where it might be benifical to run at peak pressures to form the case. Even then in some circumstances, the case still needs one more firing to completely form a tight shoulder. This might be what they are referring to but I still would only load up close to the top end data I have worked up to with the final load.
     

  3. Ackley Man

    Ackley Man Well-Known Member

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Hi tlk,

    Traditionally when writters talk about short to mid range and then long range loads they are talking about two different bullet weights and styles. For example in a .300 caliber a short/mid range may be 165 bullet and long range 185 - 200 grain and may be a VLD profile. (You will have to watch your rate of twist to insure that it will stabilize the heavier bullet.) The reason is that heavier and low drag bullets will have less wind drift. Obviously you would have to re-zero your scope when switching loads as the point of impact will vary. Concening using the maximum load data to fire form - DON'T - What you have read wherein they talk about using maximum load data refers to fire forming from a standard to an improved chamber where the case volume of the improved is greater which will somewhat control higher pressure during fire forming. In a standard chamber all you need to do is start with the minimum load which will form your cases to the chamber. You can then work up from there watching for pressure signs. If you have a chronograph reading the velosities is a good barometer relative to pressure. Good luck.


     
  4. tlk

    tlk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. Another process clarified.
     
  5. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    What I recall from Zediker's book regarding fireforming wildcat cases is that using full pressure loads results in the brass having a longer life. For non-wildcats, I don't recall his having said anything about fireforming. What he said about different ranges regarded using lighter bullets at short range to minimize fatigue during a match.

    Not much of this applies to hunting unless you're using a wildcat and want to maximize brass life. Boat-tail bullets generally aren't a good idea for hunting unless they're bonded. They're more accurate at long range because of reduced flight time due to their higher ballistic coefficients. With that, flat-based bullets are usually preferred for hunting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009