Working Up New Load

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Ross1147, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Ross1147

    Ross1147 New Member

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    First off just wanted to introduce myself. Been a long time reader of this forum, first time posting. Lots of great information on here and just wanted to say thanks for all the help I’ve received just by reading. I’ve been an avid hunter my entire life and have been reloading for about the last 10 years. So I’m not really a novice but I know I still have tons to learn!
    Now to the questions! I ordered a custom 300 WSM last year and received the build in December (Proof 1/10 twist, .088 FB, defiant XM action, McMillan stock, Leupold VX-6HD) I then went on deployment so never got the chance to really shoot her. Got back the beginning of August and have taken it to the range a few times. I’m focusing on 2 different loads right now and I’m seeing interesting results.
    The first load I’m working on is 180 gr Berger EH with RL-17 (I know I know, RL-17 temp sensitive, but I’m wanting some speed). Started loading a ladder to see where Max load was and find some good nodes. I don’t have Berger reloading data so I just used 180 grain out of the Nosler reloading book. Started 2 grns below max (62 grns) and worked up by .2 grns seating them .010 off the lands. I ended up getting a slightly sticky bolt at 63.8 (book had 64 max) then a heavy bolt at 64.2 so I stopped. This load produced 3128 FPS. I was hopping for 3100 FPS and got there, but not going to keep RL-17 at max load so went back down and started using a good node I had at 63.2 grns which got me an average of 3030 FPS.
    Next I switched over to Nosler ABLR in 190 grn. Noslers reloading data has a range of 56-60 grns Using RL-17 so I started at 58 grns and worked up by .2 again. The weird thing with this load is I have not hit pressure signs yet? I stopped st 62 grns and the gun is loving it the faster I go? 60.6/60.8/61.0 shot a group of .331” at 100 yds and 61.2/61.4/61.6/61.8 shot a .228” at 100 yds and this was all before adjusting COAL using a .050 jump. With a group like that the COAL will probably stay there!
    The thing that I’m not really understanding is why no pressure signs with the Nosler, but Berger has them earlier than I expected? Looking at the bullets side by side it looks like the Nosler has a longer bearing surface. For 62 grns of powder the Nosler is right at 3002 FPS and the Berger is at 2995. So getting roughly the same speed for given amount of powder even though the Nosler is heavier? The only difference between the 2 loads is the Brass. I’m using new federal brass for the Berger’s (FL sized and trimmed, did not turn necks or separate by weight. Currently have a bushing die on order, the ball expander is not giving me consistent tension...) and once shot browning (no idea who makes that???) Nickel for the Nosler. I just like the way nickel looks so I keep it. My question here is is that why am I able to reach 2 grns above max without any noticeable pressure signs? And, am I flirting with danger if I stick with that good node and load the ABLR to 61.5? Mind you I’m doing this testing in FL where it’s hot as heck and will only be hunting at cooler temps.
    Thanks and sorry for the long post!
     
  2. BallisticsGuy

    BallisticsGuy Well-Known Member

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    All kinds of things can be causing the pressures to be different. What exactly it is? Could be, COULD BE (I'm not saying this is what's up) the jump. There are several events when you touch off a round. The primer ignites, case pressure starts to build. Then the powder ignites, case pressure builds more and very rapidly and keeps building until the neck tension is overcome and the bullet lurches forward into the rifling (causing a sudden change in effective case volume, see Boyle's Gas Law) where it encounters an impediment to its forward motion, the rifling lands. Once pressure climbs up far enough, engraving pressure is reached and the bullet proceeds through the rifling origin being fully engraved by the rifling and into the bore where its now accelerating constantly. There were a few events in that cycle that cause pressures to climb suddenly. Primer ignition, powder ignition and bullet engraving.

    You're at .010" jump on the Bergers and .050 on the ABLR's. Starting with a longer jump on the Noslers, with all else being equal, the bullet will be moving faster when it hits the rifling origin and begins engraving. The increased speed at rifling contact means less gas pressure will required to move the bullet beyond that sudden point of added friction to achieve full engraving.

    My bet is that if you push the Bergers into the case a little more, maybe 10-40 thousandths, that you'll see a reduction in pressure signs with that load but that's assuming that there's case capacity remaining to be taken up with the bullet shank and it won't get into charge compression. It's also assuming that bearing surface length on the bergers is actually shorter which I'd bet on. I have some 7mm ABLR and Berger Hybrids out in the garage so I guess I could measure the bearing surface length of those and make an educated guess about the actual bearing surface lengths on your .30cal pills but I'm feeling lazy and I think I sussed out the issue already anyway.
     
  3. Ross1147

    Ross1147 New Member

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    That’s actually not a bad idea. No issue with compressing the charge. I’ve got the bullets seated pretty far out as it is. Even with a .120” jump I’m still over SAAMI COAL. Joys of a WSM not built on a short action. I know most people say Berger’s like it next to or even into the lands, but I did have a pretty good group when I was testing the jump at .080”. That group also gave me the fastest average speed at 63.2 grns (3050 FPS). I’ll start tinkering around with that jump and see what I can do. Thanks.
     
  4. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Active Member

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    Aug 22, 2018
    the biggest single thing that i see is MIXED CASES.
    do you have a scale ?
    weigth sort the cases, both lots, pick a middle weight of each,
    seat a spent primer upside down, in each. weigh and record.
    fill each with water, use a tissue to flatten the bubble of water at the case mouth
    and weigh. subtract empty weigh for aprox case volume.
    i am betting there is a noticeable difference
    i am using 17 in my 300 wsm with nosler 165bt.
     
  5. Ross1147

    Ross1147 New Member

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    Agreed. I was sitting in front of the scale with 200 new unprimed federal brass ready to weigh and sort then got lazy and started to load.lol. I went through and neck turned a bunch yesterday and there was a pretty large difference between each case. My next step will be to sort by weight. I’ve got a lot to learn about brass prep!
     
  6. 26Reload

    26Reload Well-Known Member

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    My experience with rl17....when you get your pressure sign it may be too late........just get a speed and group you are happy with and make sure not to blow something up....ask me how I know....twice...two m7 bolt faces took a beating...280ai not extreme but still usable...and the 65284 being rebuilt with a sako extractor....
    Not good...but glad they weren't worse.......
     
  7. barefooter56

    barefooter56 Well-Known Member

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    Ross1147,
    First of all. Thank you for your service. 300 WIN MAG data froth the Berger .30 caliber 180gr ELITE HUNTER can be found on the BERGER BULLETS website here: http://www.bergerbullets.com/pdf/300-Winchester-Magnum.pdf . All load data is based on the COAL listed with the data. Load data is conservative and was generated using Quick Load. Information on the effects of bullet seating depth can be found here: http://www.bergerbullets.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/COAL.pdf .
    For the BERGER HYBRID bullets like our ELITE HUNTERs. I suggest that you start any bullet seating depth testing at .015 OFF THE LANDS. Then WORK BACK INTO THE CARTRIDGE CASE IN .005 INCREMENTS. Any bullet seating depth testing should be done using the STARTING LOAD listed for the bullet/powder/cartridge combination you are testing. Once the bullet seating depth accuracy node is found. Work the powder charge back up slowly checking for pressure signs and accuracy until your highest velocity accuracy node is found. If you have any questions. Please contact us at 660-460-2802 from 8am to 4:30pm EASTERN time MON thru FRI. And always keep in mind that accuracy trumps velocity every time.
    Hope this helps!
     
  8. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    RL23 and 26 are more stable and both pretty well ideal for the short magnum cases.

    Check Alliant's reloading guide to be sure but I think either might be a better choice.

    RL19 is a pretty good powder as well.
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Personally the older I get the more convinced I am that the speed is far less important than the accuracy.

    It'd be pretty difficult to find a 100fps variance in accurate loads so even at the bottom end of that your ballistics won't change enough to notice.

    Nothing we shoot will be able to tell the difference in being hit with a bullet that left the muzzle at 2850 vs 3250 as long as you can put it in the vitals.
     
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