Question about a load development method ....

ShtrRdy

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Over on Snipers Hide forum a recommended load development approach is to first chose a velocity and then adjust seating depth to tune the load. From your experience, does this a actually work?

I suppose if you were using compatible powder for the cartridge and bullet, and chose an appropriate velocity, it could work.
 

Mikecr

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This is how I see it
Order of affect to results(biggest to smallest)(coarse to fine):
1. Bullet Seating
2. Primer/Striking
3. Powder
4. Neck Tension

When I calibrate anything, I begin with coarse and then move to fine.
So that's the order of my hot load development, and then I move to cold bore with only powder adjustments.
 

Pdyson

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Back in 2018 I switched to the Scott Satterlee “10-shot Load Development” method then later made some changes after watching Pro F-Class Shooter Erik Cortina’s video’s on the subject. I stopped neck sizing and am now full length with a 2-thou shoulder bump. My reload process got simpler and my consistency improved.
 

martinakl

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Over on Snipers Hide forum a recommended load development approach is to first chose a velocity and then adjust seating depth to tune the load. From your experience, does this a actually work?

I suppose if you were using compatible powder for the cartridge and bullet, and chose an appropriate velocity, it could work.
I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that his process is way more involved. Some people are just too lazy to actually be helpful sometimes.

Berger bullets has a suggested method that many follow.
VLD instructions:


Hybrid Instructions:

Hammer Bullets has a method (post #1):

"6.5 Guys" on Youtube have a few video's worth checking out.

I'm following this method right now:

He mentions seating depth testing as one way to go first but doesn't suggest it has to be first. I went straight to OCW (optimal charge weight). My magazine was a little short to get bullets to the lands, so I loaded to max mag length and went straight to loading up to find max pressure and looked for flat spots (speed (FPS) staying close to same, even with increased powder charge). I tried 3 bullets, all are Berger Hybrid designs (205 Elite Hunter, 215 Hybrid, 230 Hybrid OTM). None seem overly sensitive to the jump. *230 is almost in the lands at magazine length. I found some good flat spots, @ good speeds, with all three bullets and different powders. They also had very tight points of impacts (small groups), when they were in a flat spot, just like his example.

On my next outing, I have a few different combo's to try and compare. See where I want to spend my time. I'm not overly committed to any of the bullets. I'll just run with whatever the data says I should run.
 

martinakl

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Back in 2018 I switched to the Scott Satterlee “10-shot Load Development” method then later made some changes after watching Pro F-Class Shooter Erik Cortina’s video’s on the subject. I stopped neck sizing and am now full length with a 2-thou shoulder bump. My reload process got simpler and my consistency improved.
I agree, check out Erik's youtube channel. He has a bunch or great video's. He really does have a great perspective on things.
 

MagnumManiac

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A ladder test only tells you a flat spot exists, or in other words a node where different powder charges shoot to the same POI.
If I took that info, loaded 100 rounds and fired 10 10 shot groups, how would I know that that ‘velocity window’ was the most precise without validating group size?
Everyone who believe that a low ES load is the most accurate is fooling themselves.
I have a short coarse load that has a 100fps ES, yet it will shoot to 100y into .1’s.
I also do seating depth tests first with a middle load, because the seating depth does not change once found regardless of powder/primer combo. I follow exactly what Ryan does and have been doing so long before he started doing videos on the subject.
I have not shot a ladder in a long time, I use the OCW method and shoot groups, validation is done with 10 shot groups at 600m on several occasions, then overlapped to see actual group size.
One 3 or 5 shot group on one day is not a good way of determining aggregate and you are fooling yourself if you think that is validation on the precision of your load.
I don’t care what anyone thinks, but I know that atmospheric conditions change a load over a weekend or sometimes even in one day. Have seen it too many times and it has nothing to do with temp sensitivity of the powder.

Cheers.
 
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ShtrRdy

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I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that his process is way more involved. Some people are just too lazy to actually be helpful sometimes.

I think this must be the case of what I was seeing on SH. And there were several people who suggested this limited information.
 

ShtrRdy

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This is how I see it
Order of affect to results(biggest to smallest)(coarse to fine):
1. Bullet Seating
2. Primer/Striking
3. Powder
4. Neck Tension

When I calibrate anything, I begin with coarse and then move to fine.
So that's the order of my hot load development, and then I move to cold bore with only powder adjustments.

What sort of powder charge do you use when doing Bullet Seating?

When you try a different primer do you repeat step 1? Or just compare Primer A to Primer B for the powder charge you're using?
 

QuietTexan

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Primary seating depth first. Then charge weight. Then tuning, which could be seating depth, primer, neck size, crimp etc. Order of tuning is based on your goals with the load and how delicately it can be tuned. Trying to shoot bench, go all out. Bouncing around a hunting lease you might not want such tight tolerances.

Primary seating depth is the coarsest adjustment you'll make in the process. You have to pick somewhere to start - mag length, SAAMI, 0.020" off lands, something else, all dependent on the circumstances with that rifle. How do you even shoot a velocity ladder without a seating depth? All those later steps are true tuning steps, but moving seating depth in large increments isn't tuning so much as setting an initial starting point.

You can skip doing a lot testing at the primary seating depth if you don't need to or can't mess with where you start - if you're shooting 3s at 0.020" off leave it there and tune a few thousandths around that after charge weight. If you're mag length limited and the base of the bullet is already down past the shoulder junction, not a ton of wiggle room there. If you can't touch the lands without the bullet halfway out the neck, no sense in trying to get there. If you're shooting something known to be finicky like a VLD and can move through all the 0.040" intervals, go ahead and shoot the depths now instead of trying do change seating depth that much on a higher pressure load where you could push yourself out of a node.

Charge for seating depth testing can be book starting, 93% of book max, something based of QL, etc. Doesn't have to be super fast but should be something decent. Unless it's your first time with the case or powder you can use something that previously worked and back off it some.

100% agree with Magnum up there ^^^ about aggregating and overlaying groups from multiple sessions. You can't claim an accuracy level for a group until you shoot a lot of it, 20+ rounds at least. Not a good feeling to shoot a .3" 3-round 1SD 3 ES group, then the next trip it shoots a 10-round 20SD shotgun pattern because you finally got enough data points to see what's really going on.
 
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nealm66

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I’ve picked velocity and used a tuner to get accuracy with excellent success. Be similar to seating depth but pressure doesn’t change and I keep the coal that cycles or in the case of hammers, keeps me in the groove ha ha! I’ve seen guys struggle trying to get groups to tighten using seating depth and I suspect it has to do with bullet design. I’ve used a .01-.02 ladder up or down from my desired velocity and that works just as well for me. Es/ds seems to be fine with high end scales and good brass prep. Ive never paid attention to flat spots, always searched for accuracy first
 

Huntnful

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With a precision built rifle, good optics AND mounting system, I think it's pretty simple to get 1/2 MOA fairly quickly.
Just personal experience with MY rifle and 7 different bullets I developed loads for. Basically just for fun and boredom during the off season.
All bullets easily shot 1/2 MOA with 20 ES 10SD or better.

195 EOL berger
180 Hybrid berger
180 VLD Hunt berger
180 VLD Target berger
177 Hammer Hunter
169 Hammer Hunter
143 Hammer Hunter

All with N570 and 215M in either Peterson or ADG

Do a charge weight ladder. 1g. at a time. Hit pressure signs. Ejector marks, but mostly bolt lift. Back off 1g. or even 1/2g. sometimes depending on sign.

Seating depth test. Start at lands. Seat deeper 10 thou at a time until best group is reached. Normally close to the lands. Hammers needed zero adjustment. Berger's were more finicky but didn't take long to stack them on top of each other.

My charge weights were all in whole or 1/2 numbers. It really is simple, if you keep it simple. I watch all Ryan Furman's videos also. Super good info. But if I have a bullet/load that goes to **** with .2gr powder difference or .01 seating depth change, I'm going to try and find something else. I stuck with the hammers because they don't go out of tune even remotely as fast as the bergers do in my 28NOS.
 

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