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!