My experience finding pressure...Would you generally say you have “found pressure” with the first heavy bolt lift and/or ejector swipe?
ABSOLUTE HAMMERS CAN BUILD PRESSURE FAST. GO SLOW AND PAY ATTENTION.
Each load you work up is only safe in that particular rifle.
New virgin brass can handle more pressure than fired brass. Each time you reload a batch of cases, keep them all on the same firing. You'll find the biggest changes in velocity and such from virgin to once fired brass.
For cases that use 40 grains of powder [308 size cases] i like to go in 0.4 gr increments to find my pressure.
60 grain cases [30-06]- 0.5 increments
75+ [magnums] - 1 grain increments.
Premium brass is harder- Peterson, lapua, adg. They will not show pressure until later and they can handle slightly higher pressure.
Federal and nosler are about the softest and can't handle max pressure.
Using soft brass will give you a little bit more safety margin and some people use it to find pressure and then use their premium brass accordingly.
With remington style actions with ejectors i have found pressure signs to be pretty consistent in this order.
1. Slight ejector mark on some cases.
2. Slight ejector mark on all cases.
3. Bright ejector mark.
4. "Clickers".... these do not always occur.
5. Slight stiff bolt.
6. STIFF BOLT.
My experience is that this transition is usually around 1.5 grains in 308 size cases. 2 grains in 30-06 class, and 3 grains in magnums.
Of note. My model 70s with CRF don't really show ejector marks. So I am more cautious for any hint of clickers or stiff bolt.
I try not to test past bright ejector mark but sometimes it happens ....
I tend to load less than slight ejector marks as i don't intend to burn all my brass up.
WHILE DECAPPING PRIMERS....
pay attention to force required to remove primers. It will tell you if primer pockets are getting loose. And when priming pay attention obviously. If primers are going in real easy that brass is being pushed.
My 2 cents. Anyone else can feel free to add their experience.