Forgiveness in reloading and what one is looking for to achieve that.

ontarget7

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I have a lot of guys that swear by seating depth being key with different powders but I swear it seems like there is so much more in making those forgiving loads come together. Powder really seems like a big roll in that. More so than I imagined, even with powders landing in that same burn rate range. It seems, there are still those powders that just aid in forgiveness with a wider range of nodes.
Im a fairly decent shot with lots to learn to come to my full potential down range. What are some key factors some of the more experienced reloaders are looking for when searching for those forgiving loads, and what process does one use to get there ?

Here’s a ladder test with a relatively large node with very good accuracy. Enough to possibly make me switch loads for my trip to Alaska.
 

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Recon$$

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I load everything. 01 off the lands and do powder ladder tests. Once I find the velocity I play with the seating depth. I'm no expert but I don't shoot anything that shoots over 1/2 moa. My two cents.
 

ontarget7

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Nice!! What were the different charges and depths between those groups?
The 8th load is a flier on me so as she sits right now with a .3 grain difference in between loads I’m sitting really well with a spread about 1.3 grains that all hold really solid groups.
I can possible tighten things up a little more once I get into seating depth. Right now, I’m sitting at mag length of 3.70. Actually have it at 3.695 which is .02 off the lands.
 

ontarget7

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I load everything. 01 off the lands and do powder ladder tests. Once I find the velocity I play with the seating depth. I'm no expert but I don't shoot anything that shoots over 1/2 moa. My two cents.

That sums things up for me except I still like shooting groups rather than solely logging SD and ES numbers. Most the time my tightest groups will yield the lowest SD and ES numbers as well.
 

DJ Fergus

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I have a lot of guys that swear by seating depth being key with different powders but I swear it seems like there is so much more in making those forgiving loads come together. Powder really seems like a big roll in that. More so than I imagined, even with powders landing in that same burn rate range. It seems, there are still those powders that just aid in forgiveness with a wider range of nodes.
Im a fairly decent shot with lots to learn to come to my full potential down range. What are some key factors some of the more experienced reloaders are looking for when searching for those forgiving loads, and what process does one use to get there ?

Here’s a ladder test with a relatively large node with very good accuracy. Enough to possibly make me switch loads for my trip to Alaska.
I really think that finding the right powder can make a load more forgiving. In saying that, different barrel lengths & bullet weights in a rifle of the same cartridge will usually be less finicky with a particular powder. Seating depth seemed to be finicky with some secant bullets. Most of the long range bullets release in the past 10 years have made seating depth less of a challenge. All this along with finding what velocity is going to yield the best accuracy attributes to the load being more forgiving.
 

DJ Fergus

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I'd have to say in my experiences, it has been mostly around the projectile when it comes to forgiveness, selecting the projectile that works not what you want to shoot! Some projectiles are very touchy when it comes to seating depth and twist rates, I agree with DJ Fergus.
I agree, Some bullets are just finicky and some just shoot well.
 

Shane Lindsey

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"Forgiveness" can be found by looking at where those charges are landing in relation to the target. A forgiving range "should" be impacting relatively close to the same point. This allows for flux in powder charge, altitude, temp swings, etc.

What is a tight group may be an accident. You want several over charge weights that look similar. Then tune with seating depth.
 

whirlwindjml

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Rathdrum Idaho
Get the propellant consistent. combustion with good es and sd across the chrono.

Then tune depth.

Seems like if combustion is in a forgiving node I don't have to change things later. Last the life of the gun usually.

I only hunt and plink. But that's how I load.

I've also noticed people's pet loads usually are a good spot to watch for. For instance h4350 in a 6.5 creed is usually between 42 and 42.5 for a lot of people when I've researched.

My household has 3 creed that shoot 42.2 grains extremely well.
 

MagnumManiac

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Gave up on ladder testing eons ago.
OCW is what I do, whether it’s at 100 or 600, the results show you how BIG your aggregate will be.
I run 5 shot groups, looking for the tightest group AFTER I have determined seating depth first.
This is the order of what is important for a load to work; Seating depth, powder, primer and load density all play a part in a load.
If I get the first 2 right, a primer swap can make or break a load…
People often ‘settle’ on a load without testing different seating depths or primers.
This is why some loads you think are good sway from day to day, they are only good in a certain temp or humidity window because the load isn’t stable yet. If start pressure fluctuates, then the load will be erratic and even though on one day it shoots well, on others it will not. Sometimes just a primer swap will fix it, other times nothing will but a powder change.
My seating depth tests run from touch through to .100” of in rifles that allow touch in the first place. My 375 Weatherby has .500” of freebore, I have to run at mag length (3.6”) but I can tune using primer and powder to get 1/3MoA accuracy with little effort because I understand that start pressure is more important for tuning than powder type.
Ball powders work the best for large almost straight walled cartridges like this. However, a powder like H4350 is also very forgiving and has a similar node but not the same velocity window, it is narrower by nature.
Anyway, a flat spot in a ladder does not mean that node will always be stable in all environments.

Cheers.
 

ontarget7

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Utah
What causes a bullet to be less forgiving down range when things look really solid at 100 yards ?
For what it’s worth, I’m a fairly decent 1/2 moa shooter on good days 😁
For instance, I’d swear at 100 yards I’ll have a great load worked and things fall apart long range. I’ll have other loads that may not shoot as well at 100 yards but shoot better long range.
Thoughts ?
 
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