Do you develop a load for each gun?


November 12, 2007, 08:51 AM
Do you develop a load for each gun you own, or just one load for each caliber?

Mostly I only do local defensive pistol competitions (IDPA etc.) and have developed a load each time I got a gun for a new caliber. Now that I've started acquiring a second (and third) gun of a caliber, I'm wondering if I should go back and try to find a load for that's the best for each gun.

I'm sure that the loads I'm using are resonably accurate, and that the guns are still way more accurate then I am anyway. Would I even notice any improvement in group size?

At the ranges of a typical IDPA-type course of fire, at competition speed, would I notice if my gun could shoot 2" groups instead of 2 5" groups (as an example)?

Part of me wants to do it for kicks, but considering I use 5 or 6 different guns in competion, do I want to have (and keep separate and organzied) 5 or 6 different loads? Sometimes it's hard enough to just keep them organized by caliber.

If you do develop a load for each of your guns, what do you usually try changing? Powder weight obvioulsy, but how about OAL? Crimp? Anything else?

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November 12, 2007, 09:11 AM
Each pistol shoots different, but unless your bullseye shooting, your just enjoying your hobby:D I've found my load for my P345 worked equally as well in a Kimber and my Springer. In 9mm, my CZ shoots better with 124gr slugs, compared to my G19 likeing 115s better. Its not a drastic improvement, but there is a difference. I'd probable gain more accurace if I weighed every charge, but who does that? For rifles, its worth the effort, shooting 100s of yards, but for handguns at close range, your accurate load for one pistol, will most likely do well in others.:)

November 12, 2007, 09:30 AM
I do for my 357s. I run a lighter load for practice with my S&W snubbie - full house loads hurt! :eek:

November 12, 2007, 09:51 AM
IDPA shooting does not require bullseye accuracy so you needn't bother with different loads for each gun of the same caliber. I have found that I do better with a certain model handgun than cailber; I shoot better (IDPA) with my Glock 19 than my Glock 26 because of the configuration of the gun, they both shoot the same when fired from a rest. I have 2 loads for the 9mm, one for IDPA, one for PD and I practice with each. The difference in the point of impact of the two loads is really not worth worring about when you consider how you will be using them.

November 12, 2007, 11:17 AM
I agree - rifles are worth it, but for me not even all rifles are worth it. I make one reasonably good blasting load for 223, then my hi-power loads.

7.62x39 im still cooking up, but once thats set, it'll be for both my rifles.

pistols- i make one load that shoots reasonably well and make it by the boat load. I'm not a great pistol shot though- im a casual wannabe for talent :)

November 12, 2007, 02:46 PM
Rifles = yes.
Handguns = no.

For most uses, all a handgun load needs to do is work reliably in any gun and shoot accurately enough for it's intended use in any gun.
Then you load lots of them!

Even for Bullseye competition, one load can be found that is accurate in any pistol.

For instance, in .38 Spl., 2.8 grains Bullseye & a 148 grain wadcutter will shoot well in any K-38 ever made, and has for over half a century. Trying to better it is an exercise in futility.

November 12, 2007, 03:52 PM
I workup every load. Last week I was preparing to batch load 115 Gr Rainer in 9mm. I of course started with minimum powder charge. The next 3 loads in that series would not cycle one of my 9mms. Man would I have been pizzed had I not put them through load development including chronograph.

Load workup for me is 1-safe, comfortable load, 2- accuracy 3-round cycling in automatics. Load development for rifles is a bit more detailed.

November 12, 2007, 04:10 PM
The question wasn't whether you work up loads.
Everyone should do that.

The question was, do you work up a different load for each handgun of the same caliber you own.

Or just one load that works in all of them.

November 12, 2007, 05:29 PM
I have several good loads for .45 ACP. Different bullets mainly. They will all shoot better than I can hold on most days. Some shoot a tad better than others and some seem to prefer one gun or another.

My Witness Silver Team feeds Berry's 200 Gr. HP better than the two different 200 Gr. SWC's that I shoot, but that guns feeds the Berry's 185 gr. SWC great and shoots it extremely well also.

My Colt Series 80 loves both the Ranier 200 Gr. SWC and the Berry's 185 Gr. SWC. It will shoot either one through one hole all day if I am up to it.

My CDP II Ultra will feed any of them without a hickup and shoot them all pretty well.

I like the Berry's 185 Gr. SWC, the Berry's 200 Gr. HP, the Ranier 200 Gr. SWC, the Hornady 200 Gr. FMJ-CT, and the Berry's 230 Gr. RN.

The Ranier 200 SWC cuts bigger, cleaner holes in paper than the Hornady, go figure.

The Berry's 185 Gr. HBRN also shoots well.

I can make any of these bullets shoot great with AA #2, WST, Competition, N310, or N320. If I want to get some top end velocities with good accuracy I can go to AA #5, WSF, or True Blue

There are no dought many other combos that work great.

Short answer. Yes, and no.

Rifles are a whole nother breed and yes, it can be very worthwhile working up individual loads for each one, although there are loads that usually shoot well in most decent rifles.

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