Load development variables

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Reynolds02, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Ladder test with varying powder weight

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  2. Seating depth test with mild load

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  3. Other

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  1. Reynolds02

    Reynolds02 Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to know who has done testing and actually done a test and found a difference between doing the optimal seating depth test before testing different weights of powder. Also if they have also done the process in reverse and found a difference in results?

    Personally may do the test this fall. I haven't had any troubles finding a load, but always read guys saying how it's supposed to make a difference... I understand there maybe some points guys are not will change like seating within the magazine.

    Also interested to know if guys have done testing on different loading methods like ladder testing at 500 yards and shooting 3 shot groups at 100 yards both being shot over a chrony..
    Actual personal experiences only please
    Thanks
     
  2. Gord0

    Gord0 Well-Known Member

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    I did berger seating depth first on the last load development I did. Followed by a ladder, then groups with fine increments in powder, followed by small seating depth changes. I have a consistent sub half MOA load now in approximately 50 rounds.
     
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  3. Reynolds02

    Reynolds02 Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried doing it in reverse also? I'm interested to see if the same/similar end result in the load is the same. The last rifle I did was a 300RUM with 215 Berger's. Took total of 12 rnds, did the seating depth last. IMG_20170913_051800.jpg Just interested to know if there would be something show during load development that may point someone in a different direction if process you use is reversed and if anyone has tested this???
     
  4. Clucknmoan

    Clucknmoan Well-Known Member

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    Tag...
     
  5. Rhovee

    Rhovee Well-Known Member

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    I have been curious about the same type of question. For instance, i recently found a load very quickly by picking 60 grains of RL 26 in my 6.5WSM and doing a seating depth test first. .70 off shot a .3" group @ 100 and a 2.25" @ 425 velocity was 3060. But my question is that if i were to do a powder charge weight test first, could i have ended with a different seating depth and powder charge? Whats odd to me is that i can have a ES of 8 over 9 shots, great accuracy but not be in a optimal powder charge. If i increase powder charge to 60.2,60.4 velocity increases and accuracy opens up.
     
  6. dsculley

    dsculley Well-Known Member

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    I recently worked up a new load for my 6.5x47 when I decided to try the Nosler RDF. Components: Fire formed cases (multiple firings, annealed), CCI 400, IMR 4350, Nosler RDF.

    Seating depth test indicated -0.70 if I recall (don't have my data with me but that is close). In this test with a light load, largest group was about an inch at 100 yds and the best group had 3 touching.

    Then proceeded to do OCW. Found a node where 2 loads were on the same horizontal plane with similar grouping. These groups were not as tight as the best group during seating depth testing. I ran another seating depth test using the selected load by moving seating depth in 0.005 increments from the -0.070 and wound up at -0.060.

    In the past, I have always found the powder charge first then seating depth. Some research indicated that perhaps I should first test for seating depth. There was a lively discussion on this topic recently in the Accurate Shooter/Shooters Forum. There are those that say that without first testing for seating depth that testing for charge is not dependable (Seating depth course adjustment, powder charge fine adjustment).

    I have gotten to this point with the seating depth vs charge weight debate: Ever since I started using Dan Newberry's OCW method of testing for charge weight I have been able to find an acceptable charge in a forgiving node. If the group was not as tight as I wanted, I have been able to test for seating depth and tighten the group. This may not be the smallest group that I shot during testing but is in a node where minor differences in charge weight, case volume, seating depth, etc do not dramatically affect the performance. I know we all try for perfection in our handloads but there will always be minor variations that we can't control. The proof is in the pudding. I took the 6.5x47 load above to the shooting school at BangSteel (Dan Newberry's school) this spring and used it for two days shooting from 600 to 1100 yds. It performed well. The second day as my wind reading skills were improving I made first round hits on small targets at 600, 660 (this was a groundhog plate that was 4" wide) & 890 yds. so I was very pleased with the performance of this load. For what it is worth, I did not have time to load as many rounds as i needed before I left for the school. I loaded 100 of the rounds that I shot on the second day in my motel room the night before with a Lee hand loader and they performed as well as those that were loaded on my bench press.
     
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  7. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Hitting on good enough load/results in 12 rounds fired is not load development.
    It's just luck.
     
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  8. Gord0

    Gord0 Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I don't like going the other way is once you start say .005" off the lands every time you adjust your seating in you reduce case volume.

    Some find pressure first while running over a Chrono and are doing a ladder. Then they go into changing seating depths. They generally find a load quickly too. They are both good methods of finding a load, I just happen to like the first one. A horrible way of finding a load (and one I see recommended way too often on less knowledgeable sites) is when someone says to load up 3, 5, 10 of every charge weight in .1gr-.3gr from min to max touching the lands. Might as well tell them to grab a couple hundred dollar bills and stuff them in the case and send em downrange... At least it's be less wear on the brass.
     
  9. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    The risk you take there is interpreting a ladder while your seating could be in the very worst place. Ladders look better with coarse seating at best.
     
  10. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    Then I get lucky all the time. I am not much for good enough, I strive for sub moa at distance.

    I will agree that there are many bullets on the market that are not easy to find a good load for and when a load is found with them without shooting many many rounds it could be looked at as luck.

    Steve
     
  11. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Would you mind describing your ~12 shot load development system?
    Even if I hit on best of anything in a load with 12 shots, it would take more testing to realize it.
     
  12. Reynolds02

    Reynolds02 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't start this thread to put down what others use to find a load. If you want to do that you can start a thread and name it picking apart everyone's load development.
    Yeah there's all kinds of extra processes you can do to.If that's all you want to do, you can burn a barrel out doing it. If it takes you 100 rnds I really don't care. Yeah the 12 rnds was very short and sweet. Have had I've had some that took many more, but have had a lot of "luck" if you want to call it that with under 25rnds. Does that mean you are all warm and fuzzy with it no. That 300 RUM has really been a lot of fun validating...

    DSCULLEY, thank you for your post about the results you had. Has anyone else had similar results?
     
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  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    There is a balance here, you simply can't run hundreds some rounds to fine tune a load like a 6 dasher if your running something that your loading 80+ gr of powder in but it's pure luck to have a fine tuned elr load in a few rounds just due to barrel brake in. A regular hunting round for sub 1000 yard shooting a guy can keep it fairly low cause your not needing that fine tune.
    I always start with a pressure ladder just so I can focus my load development in a couple grain range cause for a hunting round I'm not looking for a low node!
    Most stuff I load I chambered so I short cut the seating depth and can usually just load a few three round groups and get on the course depth.
    Then I shoot a ladder in the grain range I want to be in and then take those results and do some three round groups to verify then I take it to 1000 yards and do a fine seating depth, then take that and start trajectory validation and it's done for long range.
    The end goal and aggressiveness of the chambering will determine the extent I dial in but I don't get serious till I have enough rounds on it that things have broke in a little cause it's going to change!
     
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  14. Reynolds02

    Reynolds02 Well-Known Member

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    Mikecr, do you mind telling what your load development is and how many rounds you normally use. I fully understand it really depends, but a good range most stay inside.
    I have a 7RUM that's very picky, takes over 25 rounds. Also have a 6br that's I picked up from the Smith, shot twice , cleaned and shot a 5 shot group under 1/4" with his loads at his range. I really understand it truly depends on the situation, but the custom rifle from most good Smith's you already have an educated guess if they have built some. Factory rifles in my opinion are a shot in the dark, some take 30rnds to get under 1/2 moa and some just don't get there...