Most accurate load?


PDA






Picknlittle
April 15, 2007, 11:15 AM
In several books and load data list there is often an asterisk or some other mark denoting "most accurate load".

then,

while reading about powders, you see some noted for accuracy. So here are the questions.

1. Is accuracy more attributed to properties of a particular powder or particular charge weight for that powder, assuming same gun, same brass, same bullet?

2. When the term "most accurate" is used, are we pickin fly crap out of pepper or is there a substantial difference between powders with regard to accuracy?

3. What do you consider your most accurate powders for say, 30-06?

If you enjoyed reading about "Most accurate load?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
snuffy
April 15, 2007, 11:52 AM
In several books and load data list there is often an asterisk or some other mark denoting "most accurate load".

then,

while reading about powders, you see some noted for accuracy. So here are the questions.

1. Is accuracy more attributed to properties of a particular powder or particular charge weight for that powder, assuming same gun, same brass, same bullet?

Flat answer, yes. Or sometimes, maybe never? Just kidding, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Some powders just seem to "fit" a certain caliber. The old standby IMR 4350 in a 30-06 for instance. An oldtimer that I was talking to once said; "if you can't get an accurate load with 4350 in an '06, there's something wrong with your rifle".

2. When the term "most accurate" is used, are we pickin fly crap out of pepper or is there a substantial difference between powders with regard to accuracy?

Usually when the loads are worked up for the manual, the balistician is shooting targets. At the same time he's measuring pressure and velocity. The load that shoots the best overall target is listed as "balistically most uniform" or "most accurate". Since you often don't know what type of barrel he was using, it's hard to judge whether it would be a good load for your rifle. It may be a good place to start.

3. What do you consider your most accurate powders for say, 30-06?

If you're only after accuracy, without regards to velocity, just about any powders listed in your manual will do the job. I would say a consistant bullet is more important. With good quality cases prepped properly, of the same headstamp, fired in your rifle, next. Notice that MOST manuals list the powders in order of velocity, the slowest top velocity on the bottom, the fastest on the top.

Art Eatman
April 15, 2007, 12:48 PM
Yeah, I go along with snuffy. For my own .30-'06, though, I've always been quite happy with 3031 and 4064. My father did just as well with 4895.

I'm trying to work up the ambition to go and try the 180-grain loads I've worked up with H414, just out of curiosity. :D

Art

ReloaderFred
April 15, 2007, 12:53 PM
As Snuffy pointed out, "it all depends". Each firearm is an individual, just like people, only without the attitude. I've got several firearms in each of the calibers I load for, which is 27 different calibers at the present time. No one load works the same in each firearm in that particular caliber. There are many variables in the makeup of each firearm, from the chamber, throat, bore, rifling, crown, etc.

For instance, I've got 11 rifles in 30-06. I don't have one load that will shoot the same in all of them. I have several loads that will shoot well in one or two of them, but each one has one load that shoots very well in that rifle alone.

Another instance is my 357 Sig pistols. I have two of those, and one shoots extremely well with 124 grain bullets with the powder weight for that bullet. The other one shoots fairly well with 124 grain bullets, but really shines with 115 grain bullets, with the powder weight for that bullet. It's just the opposite for the first pistol with the 115 grain bullets. Same caliber, two different firearms, two different loads.

Years ago, I had a Marlin .357 Magnum Carbine that would only shoot "minute of barn door" with any load I tried. Handloader magazine did an article in Issue # 100 on that Carbine and had many loads for it, listing the ones that worked the best in the test rifle. I took the one that was listed as the most accurate, and it improved the groups from my rifle, but the load listed as the second most accurate in the test rifle turned out to be the sweet spot for my rifle. Same brand and caliber of rifle, but different results.

The loads listed as the most accurate give you a starting point for your particular caliber of firearm. That's better than just grabbing stuff off the shelf and crossing your fingers when you put it together. You can work from there and find what your individual firearm likes. It usually saves some time and experimentation, which is why they mark them that way.

Hope this helps.

Fred

obxned
April 15, 2007, 02:44 PM
Used various in 30/06 with 150-165gr bullets, but both best velocity and best accuracy seemed to be possible with H-414. However, the most accurate load was not not the highest velocity, but slightly reduced.

Picknlittle
April 15, 2007, 03:26 PM
Since my 35 whelen is my primary deer/hog gun, I'm loading some 30-06 in 125 gr gr PSP for varmint loads. I hoping to get around 3300 fps. The three powders I have now are IMR4320, IMR4064 and BL-C(2). It seems that with the lighter bullets, 4320 and 4064 offer the highest velocity but I've read in several places that 4320 may be more consistently accurate.

Any thoughts.

ReloaderFred
April 15, 2007, 03:32 PM
IMR 4320 has been my hunting load powder for more years than I can remember in 30-06, but I'm using it with a 165 grain bullet. It's accounted for 3 elk, several deer, untold squirrels, coyotes, jackrabbits and one bobcat. I like the powder, but it's not used as much as it once was.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Ol` Joe
April 15, 2007, 05:48 PM
Nosler claims the accuracy loads they list are the ones that they find have the lowest most consistant extreem spread in velocity dureing the work up for that load. The load listed as "most accurate" for that paticular cartridge is the best of the bunch.
I don`t know it, but wouldn`t doubt most of the other manuals follow a similar criteria for theirs. The kicker is just because they are the best as far as consistancy in the lab doesn`t mean they will do it in your rifle.

Grumulkin
April 15, 2007, 11:43 PM
I've found certain powders to be a lot more accurate than others when loading for a specific cartridge. To find out which powder is the most accurate, you have to compare using the same bullet. Sierra Matchkings and Nosler match bullets are, in my experience, capable of great accuracy so they're what I use when possible in trying to determine an accurate powder.

The type of primer you use with a particular powder can also make quite a difference. For instance, when loading for a 357 Herrett which is not a large volume case and using IMR 4227 which is not a ball powder, I get the best accuracy using CCI 250 large rifle magnum primers; who would have thought it.

As far as the 30/06 is concerned, the most accurate powder I've used is Varget with 165 and 168 grain bullets out of a T/C Encore with a 1:10 twist barrel. Three shot groups with Nosler match bullets or Barnes TSX or solids in the 0.75 to 1 inch range at 100 yards are the norm.

I think there are several reasons that one gun shoots a particular load well and another gun chambered for the same cartridge doesn't. The barrels may have different twist rates and the distance to the lands (also known as free bore) may be different. Both of these factors effect pressure and velocity which will effect accuracy. In my opinion, it's not so much that a certain gun likes a certain powder while other guns chambered for the same cartridge like something else as it is variables that effect pressure and velocity.

I think the best varmint bullet is the most accurate one. If you have a gun that will only shoot 2 inch groups at 100 yards, you're going to miss a lot of ground squirrels at 200 yards even if your gun is shooting fast light bullets with a good trajectory out to 400 yards. There is no advantage to shooting 125 grain bullets in a 30/06 for varmints if 168 grain bullets are more accurate. I guarantee that a 168 grain match bullet will easily dispatch any varmint out there. I have, by the way, had the best accuracy results in the 30/06 with 165 and 168 grain bullets.

Oohrah
April 16, 2007, 12:15 AM
Most likely there are many combinations of componets that give
accurate loads. Mostly the highest velocity loads are not in this
group. I stayed with one load with a 30-06 as the 483l powder
was cheap and with 180gr Sierras accurate in most of my bolt guns.
Over the years killed pretty much anything shot. One cranky pre
64 Model 70 Featherweight, produced a 1 1/8 ten shot group with it,
at 100yds. Guessing at near 2500+ fps, not very fast but does well
with most 1 in 10 barrels. I have a custom 6mm that does not do
well with this powder and heavier bullets, but shines with 4350.
Never had the time to find ultimimate loads, and usually stopped
when it would do those things I needed. Poorest loads seemed
better than any factory. But then, it's been a very long time since
factory was purchased!:)

Picknlittle
April 21, 2007, 09:57 AM
:)

I made a trip to the range yesterday to fire my 125 gr PSP 30-06 loads.

I found that the 125 gr bullet is in fact too short and too light to be accurate in .308.

I tried five loads of IMR 4064: 55 gr, 55.3, 55.6, 55.9, 56.2. The best of the bunch were 55.6 and 55.9, but even the best was grouping 3" at 100 yds. and 4' lower than factory 165 gr Rem. Corlok rounds.

One thing that might have had a big influence was COL. The spec called for a COL of 3.150, but this was seating the bullet only about .2" into the case. I was afraid this would be a problem as I've told to seat at least one caliber deep. I would up with 3.025. Could this cause a such a drastic scatter, or is it most likely due to the bullet?

ReloaderFred
April 21, 2007, 01:54 PM
I've never gotten the accuracy from 125 grain bullets in either .308 or 30-06 that I get with bullets in the 150 to 165 grain range. The rifling twist is set up for the heavier bullets, so that's what generally shoot best in them.

I use one bullet for all my 30-06 shooting in my hunting rifle, the 165 grain Hornady BTSP. I've used it for at least 25 years, and I've never had a rock, target, ground squirrel, gray squirrel, coyote, deer or elk complain about being hit with a bullet meant for some other purpose. I know when I put the crosshairs on something, it's going to get dinged with that bullet. It's all about confidence, and I have complete confidence in my rifle and load, so I don't experiment with other bullets for my hunting gun. I do in other rifles I own, but my hunting gun is only fed one load, and for that, it feeds me.

Hope this helps.

Fred

redneck2
April 21, 2007, 10:42 PM
The light for caliber bullets are going to be smaller (shorter) and very most likely have a long jump to the lands. Not something that I would typically think of as optimum accuracy.

Picknlittle
April 22, 2007, 01:17 AM
It's all about confidence, and I have complete confidence in my rifle and load, so I don't experiment with other bullets for my hunting gun. I do in other rifles I own, but my hunting gun is only fed one load, and for that, it feeds me.

The experiment comes about because my 35 Whelen is my primary meat getter now. The 06 is taking position as second bananna, so while I plan to keep 165 gr loads available for normal game gettin or when a gunless buddy is in town, I thought I'd try finding a varmintish 3300-3400 fps light bullet load for general plinking and varmint shootin.

The light for caliber bullets are going to be smaller (shorter) and very most likely have a long jump to the lands. Not something that I would typically think of as optimum accuracy.

This is exactly what I found and I made it worse by seating the bullet deeper than called for because I thought I needed at least a bore seated depth. The spec called for a COL of 3.150,..I seated then 3.025.

Just for giggles and grins (and because I have 75 more 125 gr paperweights, I'm going to load another test batch seated as called for just to see if there is any significant difference. I might even duplicate a second batch loaded with IMR 4320 for comparison.

What the heck. It's loadin and shootin ain't it? :) I learn best by seeing my results. I will soon be working up 165 and 180 gr loads for the 06, and those I'll expect real accuracy from. :)

If you enjoyed reading about "Most accurate load?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!