Best Practices for New Brass

Mark37082

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
250
Location
Tennessee
So I’m trying to map out a good strategy and tactical plan for a new rifle. I have about 50 once fired brass out of this rifle. I have another 100 once fired brass from a different rifle that have been full length sized to SAAMI specs. I also picked 50 new ADG the other day. The new rifle is 7RM factory Bergara HMR.
My strategy goal is to ultimately develop a very good load without burning through my components and my wallet.
I have an idea of bullet it likes (nosler 160 Accubonds) and powder (IMR4831) from previous load development on another 7RM. I’m am running low on each of these components.
On the tactical side, I was thinking I would fire form the ADG brass using bullets and powder that are in greater numbers (Berger’s and ETips). How many firings do you think it will take to get a true fire formed reading on the shoulder of this belted brass?
Do you a better method for load development on a new rifle (50 rounds through it thus far). Given the component scarcity at the moment, I am trying to be efficient and get a good load developed in the not too distant future.
Sorry for the long post.
 

MagnumManiac

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
4,176
I either hunt with new brass, or I fireform with a middle load twice with only neck sizing. The third firing I do is a full power load.
Only then do I start load development.
If it’s just a hunting rig, you will have perfectly good accuracy if you just hunt with new brass. This takes longer to get all brass fireformed, but that’s your call.
I just started fireforming new brass for my 300WM, have 200 pieces to do. I will work up loads on the once fired brass, it is not a precision rifle, just a LR hunting rig that has already shown very good promise in the accuracy department. If I get it to shoot how I like, then I’ll fine tune with thrice fired brass.
I often fireform my F-class brass on another fireforming barrel, that way I don’t lose barrel life. You can also fireform with the COW method.

Cheers.
 

Seabeeken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2013
Messages
502
Location
West NC
A method Ive been using and also experimenting with is as follows:
fireform brass with cheap bullets and then record the weight of water the fire case holds. Then I decide on the bullet I want to use for hunting. I measure everything, barrel length, case length, bullet length, diameter, weight. I take this info and plug it into Gordons reloading tool and start playing with various powders in the program until I find the speed and efficiency I want and then compare to book loads for safety and if all looks good I fire 5 rounds over a chrono. I take this data and import into GRT and run the OBT tool. This will tune the powder model to my rifle by adjusting the powder model to fit the actual measured speed. At this point you can have the OBT adjust the load to hit a calculated accuracy node. Then load and test at the range. This has worked extremely well for me in a number of rifles and has saved me a lot of components and money. The whole trick is MEASURE everything possible, to get accurate results, its detail driven. There is info on the GRT site also. It works for me but YMMV
 

BFD Guns

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
1,535
Location
Illinois
Some fascinating advice you got out the gate right there. Another streamline loading option would be a barrel tuner/tuner brake. Many years ago I had Browning BOSS rifles and was able to just load a selected powder to velocity with low SD and let the BOSS tuners take care of matching the harmonics. There are a couple tuners available now that work like the BOSS system of the days of old. EC tuner and tuner brake is the one I chose to install for the next project.
 

LaHunter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2012
Messages
675
Location
N.E. Louisiana
1st, buy a set of the Redding Comp Shell Holders. Use the .010 shell holder while sizing all your brass. This will allow minimal shoulder bump. If this brass eventually gets tight in your chamber, after a few firings, switch to the .008 shell holder. New, once fired brass will be a little slower than fired / sized brass, but you can still find a very accurate load for new brass that should still be good with this same brass once fired. I do not mix head stamps of brass
Good luck
 

Mark37082

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
250
Location
Tennessee
I’ve been in the woods, but thought I would give it a rest. Cold front winds just about blew me out of tree yesterday.
I really appreciate the input. I’m a little curious on why changing the shell holder makes a difference if you are setting the bump carefully by setting the die level and measuring meticulously. With regards to the tuner brake, I had a browning bar with a boss and struggled with the set up. I put a hell fire on the new rifle. Really tames the recoil, but not really appreciated by nearby shooters on the range. I guess I could attempt to tune it, but at this point I just set it as level as I could get it.
thanks again….
 

Reelamin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
999
Location
West
I do things a little different, and other than a few rifles it has worked. Everything I have changed and tried new stuff, and usually it takes me 5-10 years before something gets permanent. Sounds like your gun is broke in and ready to start load development. I do not fire form. I neck size 2-5 times depending on the chamber, and FL bump the shoulder 2K when I need to. My hunting loads are sized for what shoots best in that rifle. I start with my old rifle results, and pick 2-3 bullets and 2 powders with one primer. I start with new brass, bullets 10K off, or magazine length, and two powder weights in full grains, load 3 at each powder weight. Shoot those on a perfect weather day over the chrono and check velocity and group size. Immediately I can tell if a bullet has potential. If both bullets look good I adjust the powder if no pressure signs and do it again. I normally only change one component at a time if it has potential. If one or both bullets suck I try one or two new ones and same with the powder. After the second round of powders if I have a bullet I like I focus on it and adjust how far off lands it is. Normally I drop back 20-30 off and compare then adjust until it won't get any better. I already have it close to the max pressure I want, then I will adjust the powder either side .5gr and see what happens. Not always and not uncommon for me to find the bullet and OAL, and spend the most time on the powder I want.
 
Last edited:

Mark37082

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
250
Location
Tennessee
Very limited supply of the 160AB’s and have a 9.5 twist so larger than 168’s will probably have stabilization issues. Will head to the range when I can get myself out of the woods and get to velocity testing. A new Magneto speed showed up on my front porch yesterday. Punched a little paper with 4350 and 4831 with the 168 Berger’s and never got any impressive groups although I was using PVU and Win brass. Most of hunting limits ranges to 300yds where I do most of my hunting.
Thanks.
 

Bob Wright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
1,833
Location
Litchfield Park, Az.
I found that shoulders didn't fire-form well until I annealed them. I do now for anything 1x fired or more. Those shoulders grow .019 on mine from new brass. Quite a bit of work hardening can show up. I also agree, to just test some of your new brass for groups and go hunting with them if they are satisfactory.
 

nealm66

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2020
Messages
780
Location
washington
I measure the new brass and see how close it is to my fired brass. If it’s within 3 thousands, it always preforms the same as what I reload. I always run it through the sizer before using it. If it’s off further, then I’ll use it for experimenting a different bullet or powder etc. Hope that helps
 

Bob Wright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
1,833
Location
Litchfield Park, Az.
I measure the new brass and see how close it is to my fired brass. If it’s within 3 thousands, it always preforms the same as what I reload. I always run it through the sizer before using it. If it’s off further, then I’ll use it for experimenting a different bullet or powder etc. Hope that helps
It's everything based on the 375 H&H case. They were designed for spacing off the belt with gobs of shoulder clearance. Dangerous game loads, where failure to chamber, is an elephant stomping headed your way.
The 7RM/300 win mag is the same. Beltless, you're absolutely right.
 

Mark37082

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
250
Location
Tennessee
One of my next things on my need/want list is an annealer. It will probably be a while as recent expenditures are adding up. May try to go the manual route on few pieces of brass to see if it works.
Great input by all.
 

Bob Wright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2018
Messages
1,833
Location
Litchfield Park, Az.
One of my next things on my need/want list is an annealer. It will probably be a while as recent expenditures are adding up. May try to go the manual route on few pieces of brass to see if it works.
Great input by all.
You can do a great job manually with socket and torch, while I fight my automated setup, lol...
 

Reelamin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
999
Location
West
One of my next things on my need/want list is an annealer. It will probably be a while as recent expenditures are adding up. May try to go the manual route on few pieces of brass to see if it works.
Great input by all.
Get what you want for sure, and just sharing my experience. I had never used one and listened to the internet saying what a great thing it is and a MUST have for serious reloaders. So, I bought one (annealeaze and it works great) and have used it for a couple years. I'm lucky I have enough brass I just clean it and let it sit until I get a lot of it to anneal for the large or small wheels so I'm not constantly dinking with changing parts out. So far I have not seen one bit of advantage (of course it doesn't hurt things) to annealing my brass. Prior to annealing (42-43 years worth) I never annealed just neck sized and FL sized when they got tight to chamber. I only got some split necks on surplus military brass in 223 that had been loaded 5-6 times. I have never had a split neck on any other chambering and many with brass reloaded 8-10 times or more. No its not for sale as I have several people who use it and love it and I use it because I have it. If you think this is something you want to try or need it just use a torch and spin your case in an electric drill or by hand. Use a glove as they get hot if not careful or drop them in a pan fast enough. Interesting video from this guy and he seems pretty dialed in.
 

Recent Posts

Top