New to reloading


Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2010
I have always wanted to do this so I fianally took the plunge.I bought the biggest set RCBS makes.I go strickly by the book.Now I see on a box of 22-250 ammo that it says 4000 fps.Now in my book it has no load going that fast.Now this is factory ammo wat are they doing? #2 I always read guys saying(working up a load)I assume this means trying different powders? Wat do they do load maybe 10 rds in different powders and see how they group?


Jun 1, 2012
Pagosa Srpings,CO
I have been reloading 21 years and still have alot to learn. When I work up a load, I decide what powder I want to use and bullet choice. Then I start several grains below max, and load 5 rounds each working up to max .1 gr at a time. Then I shoot , and any groups of interest get repeated (forgot to mention I like to shoot)


Well-Known Member
Dec 24, 2008
The book is a safe guide line, a reasonable expectation......and that's all. Even STRICTLY by the book may or may not be safe in your rifle. I usually start about half way threw the powder charge and progress in increasingly smaller jumps. If the book lists low end of a varget load at 25 grains and max at 35 I will start at 30 then 31,32,33,33.5,34,34.3,34.6 etc. until I see the first signs of pressure. Then back down a little and load a batch in very small progressions like .2 grains in groups of three to test accuracy. Find your best 3 and try a group of five or ten of each and test consistency. The biggest gains from reloading will often be gained in a seating depth tailored to your gun, Once you change the seating depth the entire pressure curve of a given cartridge can change and allow more or less powder giving equal pressure. Your rifle may safely load beyond book max or your rifle may max out before the book maxes out. Research carefully, assume nothing and be very sure you understand what your doing and why.


Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2009
Thunder Basin, WY
Almost 30 years of reloading for me, all centerfire rifle. Mostly in search of ultimate precision.

I've found best results by selecting a powder that mostly fills the case, and is normally considered by many sources or manuals to be a good powder for that particular cartridge. I stick with that powder unless results indicate a reason to change.

Next, I'll buy a few different bullets that will be acceptable for my uses.

Then, I'll load a few charges from the books with each bullet. Might end up with 3 or 4 powder charges with each of the 3 bullets I've selected. Remember to work up toward maximum powder charges with caution.

I will seat these bullets at or within .030 of the rifling for preliminary tests.
I will shoot all 9 or 12 groups under good calm conditions. Making sure I do everything possible to make each shot my best.
You may find that your rifle really prefers one particular bullet, if so go with that one. If it's not picky then it doesn't really matter, which is nice.

Now that you've decided on a bullet that shoots decently from your gun, next step is either test seating depth or powder charge variations. I personally test powder charges first, looking for the band or range that exhibits the best grouping with minimal or no change in point of impact between charges. Once this is found, you've now got your bullet and your powder charge.
You may find this to be an acceptable place to stop testing and start shooting LR. Or, if you want to, you can test different seating depths with your already selected bullet and powder charge, looking for the best groups.

You can get as deep into reloading as you'd ever want to and still never know it all, nor tested every component, nor used every nifty cool tool thats available. At some point for hunting, it's gotta be "good enough", or you'll have the barrel shot out before you ever take any game.

My most recent rifle purchase was a 6.5-284. I started with one powder and one bullet, working up to where I got the best groups with acceptable speed.
I then tried a few different seating depths at a longer distance, and stuck with the one that shot best. I called that "good enough". It's a light rifle, but when I do my part it will shoot under 1/2 MOA out to at least 800 yds, probably further but I haven't stretched it out yet. Light rifles are tougher to shoot good groups with IME.

Below is the first group shot at 700 yds after going through the above steps with this rifle. 1/2 MOA is kinda the goal for a LR rifle, Maximum of 3/4 MOA. My personal goal is 1/4 MOA, but thats not always attainable with a hunting gun.

Dont be afraid to ask questions, the deeper you get into reloading, the more you'll have. BestoLuck:)


  • 700 yds_ 6.5-284 140 Berger VLD.jpg
    700 yds_ 6.5-284 140 Berger VLD.jpg
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Active Member
Apr 28, 2012
Brazoria, Texas
One thing to remember. Fast doesn't mean anything if you can't hit what you are shooting at. Something that is really accurate is better than something really fast. Really fast will generally mean short barrel life. Any varmint or deer really will not know or care how fast the bullet was traveling that killed him.