Kirby Allen’s “no load development” load development method.

Bart B

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
2,763
'Twould be nice to see some actual pressure measurements (CPU or PSI; whatever system one has) on Kirby's cartridges. I mention this as most cartridge brass starts extruding back into bolt face cutouts/holes at around 65,000 to 70,000 CUP.

If a 1.5 to 2 percent change in powder charge weight is 2 grains, that means the charge weight's in the 100 to 150 grain range. I think the spread in peak pressure across several rounds will overlap what a 2 grain drop's average will be below the average of the heavier load. In comparing standard loads to proof loads in cartridges, there's a much greater difference in charge weights for the same bullet used than 2%.
 

Fiftydriver

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,149
Location
Fort Shaw, Montana
'Twould be nice to see some actual pressure measurements (CPU or PSI; whatever system one has) on Kirby's cartridges. I mention this as most cartridge brass starts extruding back into bolt face cutouts/holes at around 65,000 to 70,000 CUP. QUOTE]

I do not load them until the brass starts to extrude back into the bolt face. Not sure where your getting that INCORRECT information from but you need to stop quoting it as its inaccurate.

I have no need to do any pressure testing on my loads, the loads I recommend have been proven to offer AT LEAST 8 firings per case for any given wildcat. If you take any Wby and load it to Wbys own listed factory ballistics, you will get FAR less then 8 firings per case.

My loads use strong brass and very comfortable loads. They are designed to have very large case capacities so you DO NOT have to run them to red line to get the velocities I am listing. I have yet to have a customers rifles NOT produce the velocity I advertise and all offer very good brass life, even those that use the RUM parent case.

The only time I see any brass extrusion into the plunger ejector ring is when I am doing inital load development with a new wildcat. This is key to learn the limits of not only the wilcat but also the brass strength. SO again, stop making that incorrect quote that my wildcats and loads extrude brass back into the bolt face. THEY DO NOT when loaded to the velocity I recommend with the powders I recommend.

At the most you will see a very faint shadow ring, NOTHING shiny at all. This is exactly what you will see from factory 300 RUM ammo.
 

esshup

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
803
Location
N. Central Indiana
Kirby:

The load development that you did for my gun works pretty well for a different lot of powder. You saw 3475 fps with the 175g SMK's and 110g of powder, I chrono'd some the other day in 85°F ambient temps and saw 3486-3494 fps with 109g (different lot than yours, and temps were higher than when you shot it).
 

Bart B

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
2,763
SO again, stop making that incorrect quote that my wildcats and loads extrude brass back into the bolt face. THEY DO NOT when loaded to the velocity I recommend with the powders I recommend.
Kirby, please reread my post. I never said your loads do that. I said: 'Twould be nice to see some actual pressure measurements (CPU or PSI; whatever system one has) on Kirby's cartridges. I mention this as most cartridge brass starts extruding back into bolt face cutouts/holes at around 65,000 to 70,000 CUP.'Course if you think "most cartridge brass" includes yours, then so be it. I don't know if yours fits in this category or not.

I've fired several hundred proof loads with peak pressure averaging 67,500 CUP. Some of it had raised areas above the normal surface matching bolt face cutouts. Others didn't.

Also, if one goes from a starting charge weight to another that shows what the objective is that's met by changing charge weights, that's a load development.
 

Fiftydriver

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,149
Location
Fort Shaw, Montana
My wildcats based on the RUM parent case, those being the 257 Allen Mag, 6.5mm Allen Mag, 270 Allen Mag and the 338 Ultra Maxx perform exactly how your are discribing. Rem brass is right in the middle of the road for hardness from what I have found.

In my Lapua based wildcats, those being the 277 Allen Mag, 7mm Allen Mag, 300 Allen Xpress, 338 Allen Xpress and 375 Allen Xpress, I could not use the Lapua brand brass while doing load development. Simply put this brass was to hard to read any early pressure signs. The Lapua brand brass will take +70,000 psi and not even blink. What appears to be a great load will be WAY over pressures.

This was very important when I started offering my wildcats to the public because at that time I was rebuilding the Rem 700 receivers and building them in my Lapua based wildcats. The Rem 700 is a great receiver but if loaded improperly, the 338 Lapua parent case can handle far more chamber pressure then the Rem 700 should be exposed to long term.

SO, when I developed my loads for my Lapua based wildcats, I used the Norma brand 338 Lapua cases. To do my comparision, the 338 Edge and the 338 Lapua have nearly identical case capacities. Depending on brand and lot of brass the two are generally within 1-2 grains and at times they can swap which has the largest capacity. For all intent and purpose, they are identical in capacity.

When you load then both to 2850 fps in a 30" barrel length with a 300 gr SMK, they also produced what appeared to be IDENTICAL pressures. Taking the experiment farther, when you loaded both cases to the point where they just started to loosen their primer pockets on the first firing, they were both at the same powder charge and right at 2950 fps. So, Same powder charge produced the same pressures, same velocity which gave me a base like to develope loads.

Knowing where the point was where the primer pockets started to let loose, and then backtracking to see where primer pockets would hold for 6-8 firings, I knew what my margin of error was and where I SHOULD be loading to as far as velocity was concerned.

PLEASE understand this is not loading recommendations, this was a test to find the pressure limits of each case and I do not recommend anyone do this. This was in a very controlled test with a very specific purpose.

Now with that information in hand I developed loads for all my wildcats on the Lapua case using the Norma brand of brass to the same pressure levels produced in the earlier tests. Max loads would offer +6 firings in the Norma brand brass.

When load development was done, I switched to the Lapua brand brass and have yet to loosen a primer pocket with that brass. These top loads will get +8 firings per case and at times +10. This is not because the primer pockets let loose. Its simply because the brass work hardens enough that as the cases get very old, they extraction starts to get sticky from the min body taper for max case capacity in this design. Again, primer pockets have never loosened on my recommend loads.

Hope this clearifies things.
 

Joe King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
1,392
Location
The cold part of Montana
When load development was done, I switched to the Lapua brand brass and have yet to loosen a primer pocket with that brass. These top loads will get +8 firings per case and at times +10. This is not because the primer pockets let loose. Its simply because the brass work hardens enough that as the cases get very old, they extraction starts to get sticky from the min body taper for max case capacity in this design. Again, primer pockets have never loosened on my recommend loads.

Hope this clearifies things.

Kirby Have you ever played with annealing to see if it would extend useful case life?
 

Fiftydriver

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,149
Location
Fort Shaw, Montana
Annealing extends your neck and shoulder life. I recommend annealing my 277 Allen Magnum and 7mm Allen Magnum after fireforming and then after the 5 firing. The 300 Allen Xpress I recommend annealing after the 5th firing.

The 338 Allen Xpress does not need annealing as the Lapua brass comes with a very soft anneal. THe 375 Allen Xpress should be annealed after 5 firings.

Remember however you can only anneal your case neck, shoulder and perhaps 3/4" below the shoulder. You should not anneal much below 3/4" under the case neck. While this will return the elasticity of your case necks and shoulders preventing cracks it will do nothing for the body of the case.

I have done alot of testing with body taper on my wildcats. Most of them have had 2 or 3 test reamers made and fully tested with varying degrees of body taper to offer max performance and also good long brass life. My design is not nearly as aggressive as a true Ackley Improved case design as far as body taper. There is a fine line you have to follow with body taper. The lower the body taper, the more case capacity you get, BUT, with the larger chamberings, the very low body taper results in sticky extraction as pressures climb.

I used this in my favor early on with my 7mm Allen Magnum. Many wanted Rem 700s to be converted to this chambering so as a safety feature I used very little body taper on the early 7mm Allen Magnums. As a result, the cases would have sticky extraction long before the handloader could get into pressure levels that would be dangerous for the Rem 700 receivers.

At the beginning of 2010, I made a business decision to stop working on the Rem 700 for the most part with my wildcats. This was because that my backlog had grown to the point I had to start working on only complete custom projects to help speed up turn around times. Because of this, I decided to change the design of my 7mm Allen Magnum to a new body taper which was significantly more then the old design which greatly improved the extaction performance of this design but it also allowed the use of noticably higher chamber pressures for higher performance but it did limit the safety margins offered by the Rem 700 which was the reason for stopping its use for the most part.

The 7mm AM easily picked up 100 fps with this new design with good extraction characteristics but it was more pressure then I wanted the Rem 700 to be exposed to. This was more from a liability stand point more then anything.

Anyone with the old 7mm AM chamber specs will be informed of the change in the event that they get an older rifle rebarreled as it will have the new chamber and they will be warned to stay to recommended loads and do not push things harder.

Most of the old 7mm AM owners have already had their barrels replaced and are running the new. There is not a major change in appearance in the two designs but cases fired in the old design will not fit in the new chamber.

As case baring surface increases, body taper needs to increase as well so its not a one rule for all type of thing.

And, annealing will not help, 6-8 firings are plenty. Realize that if you get 100 cases that means you will get 800 firings through the rifle, thats alot for a big game rifle. 200 rounds of brass will likely last the life of the barrel and in most cases, the carreer of most big game hunters, even serious big game hunters.

One nice thing about my wildcats is that you can take a bit of pressure off and still outperform pretty much every other chambering in their caliber families and then extend case life even more.

Most of the high performance wildcaters that design wildcats for the public are happy with 4-5 firings per case. Some I have talked to are happy with 2-3 firings per case. This is NOT acceptable for me, especially on a case that has to be formed.

That is one reason why I started offering formed cases for my wildcats and also developed loads that offer legit long case life. Many of my customers get more performance out of my wildcats then I load them to. I do not recommend that but at the points I load them to, there is quite a bit left in performance if someone is happy with 4-5 firings per case. Me personally, I just would rather have the longer brass life.

With the full custom rifles such as my Raptor receiver based rifles, there is nothing wrong at all pushing the throttle a bit harder, it will just cost you in a bit of brass life for very little down range improvement but there certainly is some to be had. The ultra strong Raptor will easily support anything the Lapua parent case can support but that is not a free pass to go crazy, I still have recommended loads for a reason, its much better to be safe and give up 50-75 fps as you will never notice that down range compared to the standard high performance loads I recommend.

While my chamberings have NOT been pressure tested, I suspect I have done more load development and testing them most that have released wildcats to the public and even some of the semi custom rifle shops that offer loaded ammo. Yes they may have pressure tested their ammo but even then I have run into some serious problems with some of their rifles, cases and performance recommendations.

Simply put, most people that offer loaded ammo will tell you a FPS level you will get out of your rifle, sadly that rifle and their ammo rarely live up to their advertisments. With an APS rifle, you WILL get what I say you will get because your rifle is tested before it leaves the shop with custom handloads to get you what I tell you it will get. IF you want to go from there, that is the customers call, if not, 80% of my customers use the loads I recommend.
 

429421Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
103
Location
Central Montana
Mr. Allen, it is nice to "meet" you, i must say i had not heard of your business yet even though we live close by. I went to your web page and must say what you have done is very impressive!
It seems like most of the people bashing this system haven't even read the original article, and are gleanig "facts" from this thread. I feel like it is silly to question someone like you that has PROVEN how much testing went into this method and basically uses it to uphold your reputation. You also made it quite clear that this is not a flick of the switch load method for factory rifles!
The OP Paul used it in his rifle and got good results, fast, and yet people choose to not simply congratulate him for his success!
 

Fiftydriver

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,149
Location
Fort Shaw, Montana
I agree this is a rather silly post. This is just one of hundreds of ways to do a quick load development. It is not, nor has it ever been claimed as an end all to get the very best load possible with a particular rifle.

In all honesty, for what I build my rifles to do, that being putting your first shot through the vitals of a big game animal at long range, this method GENERALLY works extremely well. As with everything, here are exceptions to the rule.

With my extreme performance wildcats you also have to realize that you want to find a GOOD load as quickly as possible and the mentality of "The Grass Is Always Greenier" or as I like to call it, "Tinteritis" is not a good plan to go with. If you like to tinker with loads and find the ultimate for a given rifle, get something like a 260 Rem or 300 WSM or something like that that you can put many thousands of rounds through.

For my wildcats, I look for a good, consistantly accurate load that will get you into that 1/2 moa relm of accuracy. More importantly, putting that first shot out of a cold barrel within 1/4 moa of your point of aim. This is most critical for a long range big game rifle anyway. If you can do that, the terminal performance of the Allen Magnums and Allen Xpress wildcats will do anything you need done in our sport.

The purpose of my load development proceedure is to find a GOOD load within the first 50 rounds of a barrels life. I will take a 1/2 moa or even slightly larger group shooting rifle in 50 rounds then spending 200 rounds to find a legit 1/3 or 1/4 moa load in the same rifle.

In the real world, fired from field positions and field conditions at long range, there is NOTHING a 1/4 moa load will do that a 1/2 moa load will not do just as well. I am not talking about BR matches, I am not talking about punching holes in paper, I am talking about putting trophy big game animals on the ground and on your wall. That is what my rifles are designed to do, that is what they do EXTREMELY well but they are EXTREME performance chamberings with somewhat limited barrel life. So the goal is to get a good load developed QUICKLY and get out of the load development stage with a GOOD consistant load and then move onto much more important things such as proving drop charts and then onto practical field shooting sessions.
 

royinidaho

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Messages
8,950
Location
Blackfoot, Idaho
It seems to me that its a world of difference between factory offerings and customs of the overall quality of Kirby's work. I would thing that the same would hold true for any quality rifle maker. I shot out a Kirby build before I ever harvested anything with it. It was such a joy to shoot I couldn't keep from tinkering. If the bullet stayed together it SHOT! When rebarreled it's a different story. Only a few shots and she's ready to harvest. With the new build I got from Kirby, 375 AM, there were a couple of rounds with it that he tested with. I copied the charge weight, overall length and bullet selection. Broken/sighted in at the same time. Drop chart was spot on from the get go. 21 total shots and we're ready to harvest. Its a long ways from the thousands of 222 Rem load testing in the 40Xs.
 

Fiftydriver

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,149
Location
Fort Shaw, Montana
I would agree that this load development is focused toward full custom, top quality rifles. I am in no way saying they have to be my rifles, there are a load of good smiths that make rifles in this class, many of them haunt LRH. With a custom rifle we do not have to deal with the extreme vibration pattern variations with different loads. It still happens but its not nearly as extreme or even as noticable on target.

The receivers and bolts are as perfect as we can get them so there is no issues with that as chamber pressures and bolt thrust increases. The barrels GENERALLY are completely stress free so we do not have to worry AS MUCH about groups opening up when the barrel get hot. That said, it can still be an issue.

Bedding is generally DRAMTICALLY superior on custom rifles compared to pretty much all factory rifles.

Load development on a full custom rifle is alot barrel break in, generally it takes MUCH less time to accomplish then it would with a factory rifle.

If a rifle is mechanically sound, it will generally shoot its best at or near the very top of it working pressure ranges. That is given the bullets will handle the velocity potential of that specific chambering you are loading for. That is why my quick load method works so well with top end rifles.

If you have a factory rifle, it often still works but may not work as often as with a full custom.

Again, I am not telling everyone my method is the method everyone should use. I am simply saying this is how I develope loads for my rifles and that it works very well. If you want to try it, go for it, if you think its all hot air, by all means, do what you believe will work best for your rifle.
 

Bart B

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
2,763
With a custom rifle we do not have to deal with the extreme vibration pattern variations with different loads. It still happens but its not nearly as extreme or even as noticable on target.
Please explain this.

I would think the vibration patterns would be the same as the barreled action and its fit to the stock have the same mechanical properties and dimensions from shot to shot regardless of the load used. In what way does a custom rifle's vibration patterns differ from a factory rifle?
 

Fiftydriver

Official LRH Sponsor
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
7,149
Location
Fort Shaw, Montana
If you have every witnessed the quality of the machining in a factory receiver in the areas of bolt squareness, receiver squareness, receiver thread alignment, barrel thread alignment, barrel thread fit to receiver thread and barrel shoulder squareness you would already know what I am referring to.

If everything is perfectly square and true in axial alignment, vibration patterns will be extremely consistant from shot to shot, load to load. When the machining is poor, vibration patterns become erratic from load to load and even shot to shot.

I am not saying the vibration patterns are not there in a custom rifle, just saying they are much more consistant from load to load which is one of the reasons a full custom, top quality rifle is much easier to get to shoot very well and also why they generally shoot most loads very well.

This is also why most factory rifles have a particular preference for a certain bullet or velocity range.

It seems your trying very hard to hold something back, if you have something to say please be direct and let us all know what your thinking. Seems all you do is question my comments and make me explain them which I have no problem doing for others that want to hear of my experience but in your case I suspect that is not the reason for your questioning!!!:rolleyes:
 

Joe King

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
1,392
Location
The cold part of Montana
I wouldn't worry to much about what one ho### **** has to say Kirby, because, and I bet I'm not alone here, when you start explaining things you tend to answer questions that haven't even fully formed yet:)
 
Top