What Increments to use when working up a load


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CJK8
August 25, 2011, 03:21 PM
I am going to start reloading for .223. One guy recommended working loads in 0.1 grain increments. That would seem to take forever. Another guy recommended 0.3 grain increments. Also, I have been told to start at minimum load and also to start in the middle of the range. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

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T Bran
August 25, 2011, 03:41 PM
Normaly I find my best load at the lower end of the range so start at the min and work up .2 grains at a time. I load 5 cartridges of each and stop the ladder .2 before max. A load can have a large range of consistency or a small one if it is very narrow try a different powder. Once you find what works best in YOUR gun work up and down .1 to fine tune. Be sure to look and feel for any signs of high pressure as you work up stop if you have any doubt. Above all take your time let the barrel cool between strings and have fun with it.
Stay safe
T

Josh45
August 25, 2011, 04:16 PM
Normaly I find my best load at the lower end of the range so start at the min and work up .2 grains at a time. I load 5 cartridges of each and stop the ladder .2 before max. A load can have a large range of consistency or a small one if it is very narrow try a different powder. Once you find what works best in YOUR gun work up and down .1 to fine tune. Be sure to look and feel for any signs of high pressure as you work up stop if you have any doubt. Above all take your time let the barrel cool between strings and have fun with it

+1

I have read it many, Many times to go by .2 when working up a load. Like said before, Be safe.

CJK8
August 25, 2011, 05:43 PM
What do you look for when looking for pressure signs? Thanks.

T Bran
August 25, 2011, 06:22 PM
The problem with looking for high pressure signs is that by the time you detect a problem you are allready way over pressure. Some things to look for are flattened primers ( but some primers are softer than others andwill appear flat even under normal pressures ) if you are using a bolt gun stickey extraction. Blown primers and pierced primers are other indicators but an oversized firing pin can give false indicators as well. So you see nothing is cast in stone this is why we approach max loads with caution. It is very likely that you will find your most consistant load well below max anyway. If you dont try a different powder or a different COAL. After you find the sweet spot on the latter you can continue the process by adusting the legnth of your cartridge closer to the lands incramentally untill you also find your best legnth. The best advice anyone can give you is to NEVER exceed max charges. Also find a copy of The ABC's Of Reloading and read it they explain it better than I can and I still keep a copy arround for my own reeducation.
Have fun
T

esheato
August 25, 2011, 06:25 PM
I load in .5 grain increments for short action and full grain increments for magnums.

I typically reference several manuals and come up with a load range...knock off the max, and several of the low end, and pick a multiple of 3 (3, 6 or 9 groups...targets have three targets per page) so that I don't waste targets.

Keep in mind this is initial load work up. Once I can see what range it likes, I fine tune powder amount and OAL. If I still don't see what I like, I go back to the drawing board. Change powders or primers or bullet weight, etc...of course then I work back up too.

kelbro
August 25, 2011, 06:32 PM
I use about 1% of the max load as my increment. 20-30gr max, .2gr increments. 50-60gr max, .5gr increments

Walkalong
August 25, 2011, 06:43 PM
The close I get to max, the smaller the increment becomes.

dbarnhart
August 25, 2011, 06:51 PM
BTW, there appear to be TWO books titled "The ABCs of Reloading":

- One by Rodney James (http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading-Definitive-Novice-Expert/dp/1440213968/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314308954&sr=8-1)
- One by Bill Chevalier (http://www.amazon.com/ABCs-Reloading-Bill-Chevalier/dp/0873498518/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1314309074&sr=8-2)

The one by Rodney James appears to be the later edition

parker51
August 25, 2011, 07:01 PM
For most rifles I use .5, for pistols .3. If I come up with a decent load somewhere in between the middle then I will use .2 on either side until I get the best. On rare occaisions I luck out and get an excellent load on first try, more often I can go through several different types of powder, primers and brass until I come up with a load that I am happy with. The older I get, the happier I get with 2" groups instead of 1/2" groups. Somebody on here mentioned last week that a 4" group is good enough for deer hunting. This is true, but had I wanted 4" groups I could have just bought commercial ammon and not bothered with reloading. Finally, I normally start off the loads close to what the book states was the best group and best powder for a particular bullet weight and powder unless it is at the max, then I start .5 down from the max.

benzy2
August 25, 2011, 07:03 PM
First loads? ~2% of the charge weight. In a .223 that I'm going to load say 23-27gr of powder, I'll load in .5 gr increments. From there, I'll go in ~1% weight changes. I haven't been able to see much difference in changes less than 1% in general and really don't see much benefit to .1gr increases in basically any rifle caliber. Maybe I'm not good enough of a shot to see the change, don't know. If there happens to be a "go to" load that shows great results in many rifles, I'll start at min and work up to that or a step above.

snuffy
August 25, 2011, 07:18 PM
There are more ways to work up loads than one of the above random numbers!

The only thing I use a ladder for is getting up on my roof, or a tree to cut deadwood out!:neener:

For .223, I would use .03 increments, loading 5 rounds per increment. I eliminate the first two from minimum, start development in the middle, progress up to max.

I ALWAYS have the chronograph set up when testing a new load trial. What it can tell you is priceless. Especially about approaching maximum, if the velocity gain slows down, you're approaching max pressure. velocity also should come close to matching what the book said it should be.

kingmt
August 25, 2011, 08:10 PM
I could type forever or just past a link?

I'll past a link: http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/

1858
August 26, 2011, 12:14 AM
I don't think that 0.2gr intervals makes sense for any digital scale with only one decimal place. For digital scales with two decimal places or for balance beam type scales 0.2gr might make sense. I use 0.3gr intervals because I dispense all powder for rifle loads using a ChargeMaster 1500 which only shows the weight to one decimal place.

snuffy
August 26, 2011, 12:16 AM
I'll past a link: http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/

I'm well aware of mr. newberrys smoke and mirrors method of developing loads. I don't buy into it, plain and simple. Like I said, there's hundreds of ways of doing load development.

I don't have a problem with someone using the OCW, just don't expect me to try it.

oldreloader
August 26, 2011, 01:28 AM
I start at minimum and work up im .5 gr increments with 5 shot groups.Then I take the smallest group and fine tune by .1 gr on each side. For pistol I do the same but use .3 gr increments. I'm old fashioned and I like to shoot and reload. LOL.

popper
August 26, 2011, 04:38 PM
The OCW method indicated that the shock wave makes 5-2 trips along the barrel for bullet velocity of 2000-3500 fps. Lots of energy is lost every trip. It makes some sense for high velocity and hot loads. Stock bedding and barrel whip will have a greater effect, unless your talking M60 tank gun.

1SOW
August 26, 2011, 11:34 PM
For pistols, how much powder change/load depends on the powder.
For load data that gives only a very narrow range of loads like 9mm fast-burning Titegroup, then maybe .1 gr jumps. With 231 and other similar powders .2 gr jumps work for me.

Developing a load is not the best time to be in a hurry.

bbuddtec
August 27, 2011, 12:06 AM
I do .3 first rounds just my 2bits... :)

kingmt
August 27, 2011, 12:34 AM
I'm well aware of mr. newberrys smoke and mirrors method That just doesn't make since to me of developing loads. I don't buy into it, plain and simple. Like I said, there's hundreds of ways of doing load development.

I don't have a problem with someone using the OCW, just don't expect me to try it.
I'm not selling it so it doesn't matter to me if you use it. There is some good information in there that can help someone develop a working load quickly. I don't use it ether because most of my loading is off the map. There is standard loads out there tho that just work & can be good to fall back on while your working on other things. Also not all loaders want the "best load out there" they just want something they can hit a deer at 100yds or cheep ammo.

twofifty
August 27, 2011, 01:16 AM
Snuffy you're calling OCW smoke and mirrors, but haven't tried it yourself.
I use OCW and it gives good stable (i.e. repeatable in all seasons) results.

But that's anecdotal on my part, so maybe I've been bamboozled. ;)

NM Mountainman
August 27, 2011, 01:58 AM
Starting with the recommended start load, my first two increments of increase are usually equal to 25% of the difference between the start and the maximum recommended load. After I reach the midpoint between start and max, I start using a smaller increment of increase (perhaps only about half as large as the first two increments.)

Walkalong
August 28, 2011, 11:19 AM
I am with snuffy on this one. :)

snuffy
August 28, 2011, 12:38 PM
bamboozled by smoke & mirrors
Snuffy you're calling OCW smoke and mirrors, but haven't tried it yourself.
I use OCW and it gives good stable (i.e. repeatable in all seasons) results.

But that's anecdotal on my part, so maybe I've been bamboozled.

You have to understand something here. Back when I started reloading, there wasn't anything called an Audette ladder or ocw method of working up loads. Nor was there the internet or computers either. (I began in earnest back in 1972)

We took the components, assembled carefully weighed powder charges in incremental stages, then went, carefully shooting them @ 100 yds. The best group was usually just repeated to determine if it was a stable load or just a fluke.

I have never been a benchrest shooter, mostly just interested in minute of deer hide accuracy. Sure, tiny groups are nice, but usually they cost a lot of money, in finely tuned rifles and expensive components.

If you really want to research the OCW method, take a look at this search on the accurate reloading forum;

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums?a=search&reqWords=dan+newberry&use_forum_scope=on&forum_scope=2511043

Mr. Newberry answers a lot of questions and deals with detractors in those threads.

I'm NOT saying the OCW method does not work. What I'm saying is; I don't care if the load I come up with by my time tested method will work in some other rifle. I ONLY want it to work in MY rifle.

The OCW method depends on one shot at each powder charge. How can you be sure that you were dead on the bullseye, that you didn't flinch or move off, just as the trigger broke the sear? If you KNOW that you were off the bull, that test just became worthless.

Do you have a good heavy tripod front rest, and a good rear rest? Do you know how to control your breathing? If somebody handed you a rifle that's been proven to shoot consistent Ĺ" groups, could you shoot it to that level of accuracy? If you answer no to any of those, forget OCW, learn how to shoot off a stable bench.

Then there's the trouble of recording each hole to correspond to each powder charge. Either by walking to the target after each shot, plotting each shot on a blank target, or shooting at a bunch of individual targets.

sniper5
August 28, 2011, 01:42 PM
Somewhere between a pinch and a dab. . .

Depends on the gun, how close to maximum I am, how concerned I am about accuracy, etc.

I've gone as fine as .2 grains and as big as 1 grain increments.

oldreloader
August 28, 2011, 02:50 PM
I don't mean to fan any flames, but I'm with Snuffy on this one.:)

Lazerbeans
August 28, 2011, 04:12 PM
If Mr. Newberry thinks the speed of sound is 18.000f.p.s, then his information is not very creditable. If itís a typo, then it still doesnít speak well of his creditability. In addition, just because you can make a common phrase into an acronym, does not mean its plagiarism for another to use that acronym. The phrase Optimal Charge Weight or OCW cannot be considered intellectual property, because it is a phrase that has been used commonly for decades in reference to metallic cartridges and their reloading. The man thinks very highly of himself to think it is, so once again I have to question his creditably. I agree smoke and mirrors, or to borrow from anotherís quote; if you cannot dazzle them with brilliance, dazzle them with BS.

1858
August 28, 2011, 05:45 PM
The OCW method depends on one shot at each powder charge.

Are you sure about that?!

1858
August 28, 2011, 05:58 PM
If Mr. Newberry thinks the speed of sound is 18.000f.p.s, then his information is not very creditable. If itís a typo, then it still doesnít speak well of his creditability. I

He mentions the speed of sound in STEEL and clearly it's a typographical error. Further down the page he has the speed of sound in STEEL correctly written as 18,000fps. I wouldn't discredit a very useful method of load development (to me anyway) based on one typographical error.

By the way, if you're going to be critical of someone for a typographical error perhaps you should take a closer look at the meanings of the words creditable, creditability and the similar words credible and credibility.

kingmt
August 28, 2011, 08:11 PM
I just said it had some good information & was a quick way to get a working load. I didn't say it was the only way or even my way. What I do would come closer to falling in the smoke & mirrors category but I won't go into it because I know the flames would roll. I get enough of that around here so I'll keep my ways secret. :neener:

dprice3844444
August 28, 2011, 08:34 PM
get a chronograph

Walkalong
August 28, 2011, 10:41 PM
I am old school I guess. I work up a load by shooting groups as I work up to max. There will be sweet spots along the way. Pick one. :)

It just absolutely kills me when someone posts four groups shot with four loads, and pronounces one the best. One group means nothing. Nothing.

I can take a world class rifle, and trying as hard as I can, shoot five completely different groups in a row, all with the same exact load. ;)

Ever heard of the "wailing wall"?

It is where we fuss about the big ones and cry about the "four and one" groups. :evil:

kelbro
August 29, 2011, 02:20 PM
OCW has been very good to me on several rifles/loads and not so good on one rifle. I sold that rifle :)

Lazerbeans
August 30, 2011, 10:04 PM
"By the way, if you're going to be critical of someone for a typographical error perhaps you should take a closer look at the meanings of the words creditable, creditability and the similar words credible and credibility."-1858


Damn talk about irony. I have to admit I am embarrassed. But I am forced to say thanks. The only thing worse than being wrong, is being wrong and not knowing it; I didn’t catch that mistake. But I suppose it could have been worst. At least I wasn’t trying to write a technical article, or in the process of writing an article and also made out a common phrase was my intellectual property. I would have been truly mortified, if I made a silly mistake in that context.
Despite the mistake, I still stand by my original statements. If the techniques work for you or others, then that is great, I will not judge your use of such things. I am happy that it enables you to have a better command of your guns.

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