Need reloading help

Ronald W Schaefer

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Mar 1, 2019
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302
Location
Floresville, TX 78114
I go about this a little differently--after 40 years of personal experience I adopted this technique from a gunsmith who is a also a competition bench rest shooter and LR shooter...builds some great custom rifles too. The primary assumption of this technique is that bullet selection is the key factor in load development.

1. Pick the bullets you want to try best suited to your purpose and weight you want to shoot. If I'm working up a hunting load, I include, Barnes TTSX, Barnes LRX, Sierra Game Changer, Nosler Accubond/Nos ABLR, Nos Partition, Swift A Frame and Federal Trophy Bonded. If the focus is on LR, then Im sure to add those LR/X prospects with highest BC and known good terminal performance on game. A lot of guys on this site would also throw in Berger and Hammer bullets.

2. Pick a powder load out of an agnostic manual that features the bullet style and weight you are testing (Lyman, Modern Metallic Cartridge's) or Quick Load or Load From a Disc software. Choose a powder that gives the highest velocity of those listed in about a 92% loading density. Caveat, I avoid compressed loads a this point because you need to keep it safe for the various bullets you are gonna try.

3. Use the best new or once fired brass you have (all the same brand) and a good quality primer (I always use CCI BR-2). I'm lazy--I usually just splash out for new ADG, Lapua, Nosler Custom etc., depending on what I can get in the cartridge and be done with it.

4. Load five of each of the bullets seated to SAAMI max OAL (or what functions in your magazine) using the selected powder & LD combo. Shoot the bullets over a chrony and select the one with the best group. This will also *usually* be accompanied by lowest ES and SD but not always.

5. Then load 10 cartridges using that powder, brass, bullet, primer combo for a Satterlee ladder test, beginning at 5% below max and working up to max in .2 gr increments to find accuracy nodes. Of course you can go over max with no pressure sign but that is a personal choice. By the way if you want to work over max without another trip to the range, there is no requirement to limit you ladder test to 10 rounds.

6. Load five in the middle of the accuracy node using your selected components and you should be pretty close.

7. If further adjustments are needed, then adjust seating depth last since that is bullet dependent and you have to select that bullet before you can figure best seating depth.
 

CVCOBRA1

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Sep 20, 2014
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764
Location
Illinois
If your rifle shoots at all, minute of deer at 300 yards should be easy to find. You are going to be rushing now and I will flat guarantee you will start all over when you get back. Why use this precious time now to find the last degree of accuracy when you know you won't be satisfied. Find a load that shoots and get ready for your hunt.
 

NATE40

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
34
Im looking for speedy process suggestions not component suggestions. I have the components ironed out but thanks for the suggestion. The main concern is getting a load worked up in the two week time period.
I say pick up a lee ha
Ok heres the deal, I have two weeks to get a load together for a rifle that traditionally has given me fits in terms of reloading. Max range for the upcoming hunt will probably be 300 or less. Gun in question is Ruger Mk II in 257 Rob AI. It has a new quality barrel hence the AI and less than 50 rounds through it.

What is the quickest most efficient way to iron out a load in your opinion? I am open to suggestions because in the past I have never been under time constraints to find a load and needless to say it wasn't done in a timely fashion. For what its worth, I have some fire formed winchester brass, 1x fired, and non fire formed Nosler brass. Only have access to a 200 yard range for the next two weeks and a limited time to be at it, maybe 2-3 trips max. I have a magnetospeed for data collection as well.

What would be your methodology if you were in my position?
Lee makes a portable hand press you can take to the range with you and load on the range. Start with 2 grains below book max for your bullet load 3 and start moving up .5 grains until you find what you want. Seating depth is the max that will fit in your magazine! (You said its for hunting) once you are happy with the load add a light crimp to your hunting cartridge and zero your rifle
Ok heres the deal, I have two weeks to get a load together for a rifle that traditionally has given me fits in terms of reloading. Max range for the upcoming hunt will probably be 300 or less. Gun in question is Ruger Mk II in 257 Rob AI. It has a new quality barrel hence the AI and less than 50 rounds through it.

What is the quickest most efficient way to iron out a load in your opinion? I am open to suggestions because in the past I have never been under time constraints to find a load and needless to say it wasn't done in a timely fashion. For what its worth, I have some fire formed winchester brass, 1x fired, and non fire formed Nosler brass. Only have access to a 200 yard range for the next two weeks and a limited time to be at it, maybe 2-3 trips max. I have a magnetospeed for data collection as well.

What would be your methodology if you were in my position?
Get a portable hand press like a LEE take it to the range. Take the max load take 2 grains off max and load 3 shells if you have a magazine set your seating depth to fit in magazine and then to feed properly. Then shoot a group. Repeat the process adding a .5 grains to each set until you have an accurate load or pressure signs. Once you have a load make your hunting ammo and add a light crimp. Zero your rifle
Ok heres the deal, I have two weeks to get a load together for a rifle that traditionally has given me fits in terms of reloading. Max range for the upcoming hunt will probably be 300 or less. Gun in question is Ruger Mk II in 257 Rob AI. It has a new quality barrel hence the AI and less than 50 rounds through it.

What is the quickest most efficient way to iron out a load in your opinion? I am open to suggestions because in the past I have never been under time constraints to find a load and needless to say it wasn't done in a timely fashion. For what its worth, I have some fire formed winchester brass, 1x fired, and non fire formed Nosler brass. Only have access to a 200 yard range for the next two weeks and a limited time to be at it, maybe 2-3 trips max. I have a magnetospeed for data collection as well.

What would be your methodology if you were in my position?
 

William W.

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
5
Ok heres the deal, I have two weeks to get a load together for a rifle that traditionally has given me fits in terms of reloading. Max range for the upcoming hunt will probably be 300 or less. Gun in question is Ruger Mk II in 257 Rob AI. It has a new quality barrel hence the AI and less than 50 rounds through it.

What is the quickest most efficient way to iron out a load in your opinion? I am open to suggestions because in the past I have never been under time constraints to find a load and needless to say it wasn't done in a timely fashion. For what its worth, I have some fire formed winchester brass, 1x fired, and non fire formed Nosler brass. Only have access to a 200 yard range for the next two weeks and a limited time to be at it, maybe 2-3 trips max. I have a magnetospeed for data collection as well.

What would be your methodology if you were in my position?
Do not use the rifle.
 

sierracharlie338

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Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
303
Location
Texas
For 300 yards?
Load to mag length, work up a load that’s 2 moa or better.
Or buy some factory .257 loads and roll with it.
300 YARDS OR LESS ! He could shoot factory 257 Bob ammo in his rifle and kill anything within 300 Yards.

Looks like a solution in search of a problem.

ANY of the 257 AI loads in the Nosler book, will shoot "minute of deer" (9") @ 300 yards.
Hi Im Stephen and I have an accuracy problem. Yes I know, I know I'm overthinking this. I can't help it. 1 inch at 100 is the bare minimum I can let myself accept hahaha
 

sierracharlie338

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Feb 18, 2013
Messages
303
Location
Texas
I can try and help with Quick Load. Give me the following :-
1. Propellant and proposed charge
2. Bullet to be used
3. Barrel measured from muzzle to cocked bolt - cleaning rod works great - mm or inches.
4. Case capacity measured with water - weigh empty case and then fill with water to level with case mouth. Weight in grains and do about five to get average.
5. Planned COL and jump to the lands - with cup and core I suggest 1mm = 0.04inch. This ensures that the cartridge will chamber. With that COL will there be 0,8x.257 of the bullet touching the case neck and the third proviso is will it fit in the magazine.

Give me that info and I will propose a load. That needs to be shot over a chrony (5m from muzzle if normal light chrony). Speed and charge can then be used to calculate a node speed. That will mean another visit to the range to verify the new charge and speed.
I don't have all this info but will work on trying to get it to you via PM. Thank you so much.
 

sierracharlie338

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Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
303
Location
Texas
2 weeks is plenty of time however knowing what bullet you are using the twist of your barrel would make this quicker.

process
1 bullet selected for purpose (Barnes doesn’t like to be that close to the lands
2. Is the bullet weight appropriate for the twist ? Use calculator to determine then check stability factor (Miller formula) to ensure stability above 1.5
3. Create 12-15 loads with only difference being powder in increments of .3 - ensure cases are as close to the same dimensions and weight as possible - within .4 grains smaller variance the better .1 is perfect
4. Primer depth at .003
5. Shoot each round cold bore - very important- ensure you have a good way to measure velocity because that’s all we are after here. Labradar is the best.
Record each cold bore shot and make graph looking for widest plateaus if velocity. What I mean is, you will see steady increases in velocity as the powder volume increases- at some point- sometimes 2 areas where the velocity will have much smaller increases or even stay the same. That is your accuracy node. Keep going until you see signs of pressure, sticky bolt, flattened primers, etc, if you never reach signs of pressure then you haven’t gone far enough IMO. You know your rifle and your tolerance for risk so do what you want- certainly not advising you to do anything dangerous- ok disclaimer over
6. Now make series of 4-5 shot strings (4-5. Shots per string) within the accuracy node. Again everything except powder is same, same case weight, same primer depth, same neck tension. DM me if you need to discuss this
7. Whichever is the most accurate, regardless of the size of the group - could be 3in, if that’s the most accurate we can tune it to the best the rifle can do. Or you could be at 1MOA or under already - call it done for 300y shot, 1MOA gives you a vertical variance of 3in at 300y so that’s a dead animal even in poor conditions
For further development
8 take most accurate load and start moving off and towards the lands in .01 increments - shouldn’t take more than 3 strings
9. Which ever one the barrel likes now adjust primer depth in increments of .0005 so of stock .003, try .0025 .002, .0035, .004, .005 one of these will shrink the group Significantly.
10. Lastly neck tension- although this is critical so far you should have been producing exactly same neck tension in each load you have made. Hunting ammo .004 is good .003 is pretty light and .002 is extremely light and could be a problem with recoil moving the bullet unless you plan on doing single feed only


Final note if you have a limited amount of virgin brass - once you have an accuracy node identified reload exact same load in once fired and see what the velocity difference is - there will be some variance - if it remainsin the accuracy node then good, if not you may need to add a.1, .2 grains of powder to maintain accuracy node. Make sense?

Let us know how it goes. If you work on this in 3 days you should be done
Lots of good info here. Thank you for that. I will be shooting 110 Accubonds for this trip but eventually the 131 Ace's. Barrel twist is a 1:7. Will be keeping this info for later as well.
 
Last edited:

sierracharlie338

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Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
303
Location
Texas
I think I saw you mention Accubonds as the bullet. If so, measure distance to lands and start your loads 50 thousands off. I shoot nothing but Nosler and have for twenty+ years. All their bonded bullets like a running start. I’ve alway had great luck with Nosler’s accuracy loads. Last year I did a 257AI and it loved 115gr BTs and RL26. Don’t get lost in the weeds. Lots of good idea already suggested but some will take longer than 3 trips. If you find a load that prints at 1.5” run with it. Tweak it later.
I have never heard the ABs like a long jump thank you for that information. I will be shooting the 110 ABs for this trip.
 

aushunter1

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Nov 16, 2012
Messages
844
Location
Australia
Thanks for the info. I will most likely be pulling some equipment together to load at the range just for this scenario. Know anyone with quick load 😂
No but sounds like someone has & is willing to help.

I should have bought QL when I 1st started loading, probably wouldhave saved a lot of time, components & $$ over the last 10+ years.

Still what I discribed is actually my normal method & 90% of the time gives me at least a .75 moa load & as good as 1/4 moa.
The other 10% of the time If I am still not happy & end re testing & playing with powder incriments a bit more in the tuning up but when that fails I going to another powder.

A couple of times it has taken 3 different powders to get what I want from the projectile that I selected.

From my years of reloading/load testing I have found that its the powder type(burn rate) that determines the load for the selected components, just getting that timing/harmonics in the exact place.

Good luck with it & dont forget to update us of your results, I'd be keen to see them!

Hope your trip goes well to ;)
 

subslinger

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
23
Call Steve at Hammer Bullets , Montana, tell him your cal. And twist, and you should be done in two trips, turned my sub moa guns (4) into sub .5 moa In two trips to range, if it sounds to easy it is , I can not believe it myself.
 

asd9055

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Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
362
Location
Texas
Thanks for the info. I will most likely be pulling some equipment together to load at the range just for this scenario. Know anyone with quick load 😂
Send me your fired case (in this rifle) water capacity. Average at least 5, 10 would be better
The Powder and Bullet you want to use, COAL
Length of barrel
I will tell you what QuickLoad says
 

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