pressure signs?

justgoto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
636
Location
Carrollton, Ohio
I was going to run a small ladder but I will definitely keep that in mind! Thanks
When I develop a load, I run a ladder test; and as I do so, I check for overpressure signs.

Finding overpressure should never be your goal. My goal is to find one or more precision nodes before overpressure signs manifest.
 
Last edited:

Bigeclipse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
1,940
When I develop a load, I run a ladder test; and as I do so, I check for overpressure signs.

Finding overpressure should never be your goal. My goal is to find one or more precision nodes before overpressure signs manifest.

I don't like loading up a bunch of bullets until I know my rifles max. What I have been doing is loading one bullet in .5gr increments until I start seeing small pressure signs which has not happened until today. I used to stop at book max values. Today I did not have a book value...I had a hodgdon data equivalent so I shot .5 grain increments until the hodgdon value and then went 1.5 grains above that in .5 grain increments looking for ANY sign of pressure. I got that slight bolt lift mixed with a very slight flattened primer at 1.5grs above the hodgdon listed value so now I know for my ladder test to only load rounds up to 1 grain less than that value I had today and I will be safe...basically I confirmed that the hodgdon max load was close and just short of my rifles safe max load.
 

justgoto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
636
Location
Carrollton, Ohio
I don't like loading up a bunch of bullets until I know my rifles max. What I have been doing is loading one bullet in .5gr increments until I start seeing small pressure signs which has not happened until today.

That is exactly what I am saying!
But instead of sending rounds downrange indiscriminately, you send them as a specific aiming point.
You're killing 2 birds with one stone.
 

Bigeclipse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
1,940
That is exactly what I am saying!
But instead of sending rounds downrange indiscriminately, you send them as a specific aiming point.
You're killing 2 birds with one stone.

But when I shoot a ladder I'm doing 3 strings so let's say I load up to 1 grain over max...in .3gr increments that's 3 extra g charge weight groups to load or 9 bullets. Well let's say I go to shoot the ladder and find that at .3gr over max listed I hit pressure signs well now I have 8 more bullets of overly hot rounds that now I need to dismantle which I don't like using pulled bullets in reloads. I'd rather shoot one at a time with a chrono to see where I'm at awhile conserving bullets and powder. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong
 

justgoto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
636
Location
Carrollton, Ohio
But when I shoot a ladder I'm doing 3 strings so let's say I load up to 1 grain over max...in .3gr increments that's 3 extra g charge weight groups to load or 9 bullets. Well let's say I go to shoot the ladder and find that at .3gr over max listed I hit pressure signs well now I have 8 more bullets of overly hot rounds that now I need to dismantle which I don't like using pulled bullets in reloads. I'd rather shoot one at a time with a chrono to see where I'm at awhile conserving bullets and powder. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong

That is not a "ladder test," that is old school load development.

This is a ladder test.
Audette Ladder Test
 

Kennibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
493
Location
Washington State
I have used the Sierra 180gr GK in no less than 5 different rifles. You are leaving velocity on the table with 4064 without any benefit of say better accuracy. 4064 has delivered truly great accuracy with flat base 150's but never anything remarkable with 180's. I always go back to 56.5 grains of IMR 4350 with 180 SGK's. You should see at least 2700fps. This is a lot of 4350 but has proven safe in every 30-06 tried. My M98 will take 57gr of IMR 4350 with a Fed 215 LRM. With its extra long 27" barrel this load clocks a touch over 2900fps. It is a very heavy load and not safe in other rifles.
Your pics of the primer show what I believe is a warm but not hot load. However looking next to your thumb I see the case swelled to fill a large chamber and if your gun has a generous chamber you will not develop the pressure a SAAMI test chamber will. Ditto an extra long throat.
Concerning ladder testing; it is like chicken soup - it couldn't hurt.
I do my pressure testing one shot at a time at the range with a box of sized and primed cases and a powder scale. Weigh a charge and drop it into the case and seat a bullet with a old Lyman portable hand press (NOT a 310). One shot at a time and use less powder and few bullets. I usually get my data in less than ten shots. The best accuracy tests start 1 grain less than the simple max test.

KB
 

gohring3006

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
4,126
Location
Ohio
I have used the Sierra 180gr GK in no less than 5 different rifles. You are leaving velocity on the table with 4064 without any benefit of say better accuracy. 4064 has delivered truly great accuracy with flat base 150's but never anything remarkable with 180's. I always go back to 56.5 grains of IMR 4350 with 180 SGK's. You should see at least 2700fps. This is a lot of 4350 but has proven safe in every 30-06 tried. My M98 will take 57gr of IMR 4350 with a Fed 215 LRM. With its extra long 27" barrel this load clocks a touch over 2900fps. It is a very heavy load and not safe in other rifles.
Your pics of the primer show what I believe is a warm but not hot load. However looking next to your thumb I see the case swelled to fill a large chamber and if your gun has a generous chamber you will not develop the pressure a SAAMI test chamber will. Ditto an extra long throat.
Concerning ladder testing; it is like chicken soup - it couldn't hurt.
I do my pressure testing one shot at a time at the range with a box of sized and primed cases and a powder scale. Weigh a charge and drop it into the case and seat a bullet with a old Lyman portable hand press (NOT a 310). One shot at a time and use less powder and few bullets. I usually get my data in less than ten shots. The best accuracy tests start 1 grain less than the simple max test.

KB
One of my loads is also 56.5 gr imr 4350 with a 178 Amax. I went all the way up to 58gr and still no pressure. I had powder all the way up in the neck and crunched it down with the bullet. Lol
I think it would be hard to get into trouble with imr 4350 with 180gr and up in the 30-06. Any more than 58 gr and it would be close to the rim.lol.
 

el matador

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
647
If you're not even sure that the bolt is harder to lift I wouldn't freak out. The brass is designed to reach it's max working pressure quite a ways before the chamber or bolt will fail. If you need tools to get the bolt open you're probably entering dangerous territory but a bit of a stiff bolt lift is nothing to lose sleep over. When working up loads I will go until I get ejector marks and/or sticky bolt lift. Then back off 1% to get my max charge for load development.

Your rifle is unique so published data should only be used as a guideline. Always start lower than max published loads and work up, but don't be afraid to exceed the max load by a few % if you're not seeing pressure signs. Use increments of 1% or less. Also keep in mind that pressure will vary as you change seating depth or anything else. Fire formed brass will act differently than virgin brass. So don't assume a load will remain safe after making changes to it! Always back off a little and work back up.
 

LoneTraveler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Messages
782
My vote is with Kennibear. IMR 4064 works well with 150 gr. or less. With 180 Gr. bullets I would go to IMR 4350 or something in that burning rate. You usually get better accuracy with loads filling the cases near capacity. Hornady NO. 7 Reloading Manual lists 49.2 (Fourty Nine and 2 tenths) Max for 180 gr. Bullets in the 30-06.
 

benchracer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
1,636
I use a 06 and have found that Reloader 17 works really well. I've tried a lot of different powder like you but now have settled on RE17. It works well from the 190gr Berger's up to the 215's. The loads for the rifle are worked up in the early spring or just before season in the fall so don't worry about a big change in temps.

Just for reference here is the Quickload results for IMR 4064 and Reloader 17 at near max loads.



View attachment 43264

As mentioned above, RL-17 is an excellent choice in 30-06 (and other cartridges where you run out of case volume before reaching pressure limits with 4350). I have used it in a number of cartridges, and always been happy with the results. It's worth a good long look, IMO.
 

Bigeclipse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
1,940
That is not a "ladder test," that is old school load development.

This is a ladder test.
Audette Ladder Test

I know what a ladder test is and by loading up 3 loads of each I am stating I am running 3 separate ladders. I don't like running just one or 2 as I am a relatively new long range shooter and I need multiple sets to confirm my results. I also know what the OCW method is.
 

Bigeclipse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2012
Messages
1,940
I have used the Sierra 180gr GK in no less than 5 different rifles. You are leaving velocity on the table with 4064 without any benefit of say better accuracy. 4064 has delivered truly great accuracy with flat base 150's but never anything remarkable with 180's. I always go back to 56.5 grains of IMR 4350 with 180 SGK's. You should see at least 2700fps. This is a lot of 4350 but has proven safe in every 30-06 tried. My M98 will take 57gr of IMR 4350 with a Fed 215 LRM. With its extra long 27" barrel this load clocks a touch over 2900fps. It is a very heavy load and not safe in other rifles.
Your pics of the primer show what I believe is a warm but not hot load. However looking next to your thumb I see the case swelled to fill a large chamber and if your gun has a generous chamber you will not develop the pressure a SAAMI test chamber will. Ditto an extra long throat.
Concerning ladder testing; it is like chicken soup - it couldn't hurt.
I do my pressure testing one shot at a time at the range with a box of sized and primed cases and a powder scale. Weigh a charge and drop it into the case and seat a bullet with a old Lyman portable hand press (NOT a 310). One shot at a time and use less powder and few bullets. I usually get my data in less than ten shots. The best accuracy tests start 1 grain less than the simple max test.

KB

ill be looking for more imr4350 but when I tested it last year it wasn't showing any better results than the imr4064 in my rifle. Maybe my chrono was wacky that day. As for the large chamber/long throat I believe my rifle has BOTH. Is this a huge issue? I think what that may do is wear brass faster which is fine but is there any issue I should worry about with the hottish loads. Again, I am not looking for crazy HUGE speed here. This rifle will never see further than 300 yards. This is my deep woods rifle and really I only need to maintain the minimum opening velocity of 1500fps for whatever my max range will be on deer which I calculated that 2500fps is my goal as this would get my out to 400 yards and still above the 1500fps mark.
 

gohring3006

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2014
Messages
4,126
Location
Ohio
I use a 06 and have found that Reloader 17 works really well. I've tried a lot of different powder like you but now have settled on RE17. It works well from the 190gr Berger's up to the 215's. The loads for the rifle are worked up in the early spring or just before season in the fall so don't worry about a big change in temps.

Just for reference here is the Quickload results for IMR 4064 and Reloader 17 at near max loads.



View attachment 43264

I wonder what we could get out of RL 17 if we went to 65,000,psi? Does quick load allow this? I have a pound to try with 208, amax .
 
Top