How Many Rounds?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Howa 9700, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. Bartojc

    Bartojc Member

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    I totally agree. Speer Hot Core or Sierra Pro-Hunter are fine hunting bullets, esp for deer, and you don't break the bank shooting them.

    -Jeff
     
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  2. TEXASJD
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    TEXASJD Contributing Member

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    Yep some hot core 140s and some 4350!
     
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  3. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I think you've got it. A good hunting load is one that gets the job done - a clean, humane kill - even when the shooter falls down a little. :)

    FWIW: I use Speer Hot-Cor 130gr. for my .30-30, .30-40, and some of my light .30-06 rifle loads. They work real well.
     
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  4. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Initial test =12 fired in 4 three shot groups into 2 desperate targets = 6 shots into 2 targets. I can then superimpose them over each other and compare groups. Then if I find something promising I will load +/- 0.1gr on each side, repeat and compare to the original. From there many shots and fine tuning over many separate visits to confirm consistency.
     
  5. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    That's for sure, Bartojc.:thumbup:
    Since I started handloading back in the '70s, I myself have not been "satisfied" until I can "get something around 1 MOA" out of my big game rifle(s). Yet my very own dad, who taught me most of what I know about hunting, was perfectly satisfied if he could "hit a 4" circle at 100 yards" with his big game rifle. "Deer and elk are a lot bigger than that" he used to say.
    And get this - Dad was a handloader too!:D
    To each his own. I reckon Dad killed as many deer and elk in his day as most folks here, and he killed them as quickly and humanely as possible. Another thing Dad used to say was, "If you're going to kill something, KILL IT! You don't shoot to wound.":thumbup:
     
  6. wst38tx

    wst38tx Member

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    I learned a good lesson developing loads with my 458 SOCOM. I read a lot of posts favoring a certain round as "most accurate" at 35 gr.at 100 yards. I had loaded and shot 5 round groups at 0.2 gr spacings from 34gr to 37gr and had a nice 1 moa group at 35gr. But around 34gr I also had a 1 moa group. I worked both and found these two nodes were equally accurate. Final results I settled on 34.2 gr for the 325 FTX. I get less than 1 moa with a five-shot group at 100 yards. Had I based my loading on what others found, I would likely be loading that round at 35 gr, or near that.
     
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  7. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I will review data from multiple sources for a given caliber. I then take a "middle of the road" stance as far as powder/power/velocity is concerned. If I can get close to 25-2800 FPS for a 150-165gr bullet for .30-.31 caliber cartridges I am satisfied.......If it's accurate. This methodology has worked well for me over the years for multiple rifles. I usually go with 10 rounds per data workup. If the load is accurate and I am sure it is repeatable - and will humanely take a game animal, I usually stick with what I have.

    I have a chronograph and have used it, but I certainly won't get twisted and bitter if the data is off by 68FPS for a published load, so it collects dust for the most part.
     
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  8. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Amen to that! Humane hunting seems to be on the decline, unfortunately. Now it's, "Let's see how stupid I can be and post it to the internet."
     
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  9. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    The required number of rounds is also greatly affected by whether or not the reloader knows what the heck they're doing. :oops:

    When I first started reloading a little less than a year ago, I started by trying to work up loads for Barnes TTSX and Sierra Game Kings in my .243 thinking "How hard can this be?" After fumbling around and going through 64 and 51 of those bullets respectively without finding an MOA load that would reliably replicate, I put them aside and tried with some cheaper fare. Switching to some pulled HPFB bullets I obtained online, I had a sub-0.75 MOA load in 15 rounds. Dumb luck really, but I did learn a few things that should help when I have the courage to go back and try to finish developing the Barnes load. I'll sell the remaining GKs if I can get the TTSX to shoot well out of my gun.
     
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  10. TEXASJD
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    TEXASJD Contributing Member

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    Somethings you think will work just won't out of a particular gun, even some cartages that are easy to load for can sometimes leave you:cuss:Evey gun is a little bit different even if they came off the line back to back.
     
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  11. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    Getting there is half the fun.
    I never place limits on 'fun'.
     
  12. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    On a NEW load (as opposed to refinement of an existing load), I expect to expend 100 rounds.

    Beginning with the Starting Load and anticipating that I will increase the charge by 1/10 of the difference between Starting and Maximum Load at each iteration, I fire 5 rounds for accuracy and 5 for velocity and consistency across a chronograph.

    Sometimes, I get lucky and a good load appears after the second- or third-tranche.

    Other times, I end up working between, say, 20.1 and 20.3 grains of powder, so I end up expending, say, 120 or 130 rounds to get a reliable load.

    Hugh
     
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  13. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    JMHO- I load 10 rounds of the suggested
    starting load, and bump up .5 for 10 more,
    .5 for 10 more, etc. for 50.
    I can usually get where I want to go before
    I get to max. I don't shoot competitively
    and I don't care about velocity, so my
    chronograph has sat on a shelf more than
    on its stand. I hunt, so the goal is the
    first shot cold bore bullseye. I figure the
    factories that publish the data have spent
    the money to be able to assure the customer
    that their data and product will be what
    the customer wants so as to generate more
    sales and not make for unhappy customers
     
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  14. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I usually spend about 20 rounds for a given load. For 223 and 308 I get the max from my manual, start at 90% of that or the minimum whichever is more and load 6 evenly spaced intervals, staying about 1% below max. I take the most accurate of those, or the ones that are less than 1” at 100 yards, verify them, and stick with that. That has worked for 223, 30-30, and 308 so far, though the 30-30 doesn’t have any loads printing less than 1”. It helps that I never expected it to. If it’s 2.5” at 100 yard it’s good for me. My pistols are different and I’ve probably spent about 50 rounds getting a good load for my Shield. My M&P9 shoots about anything the same. Or I should say I shoot about anything the same with it.
     
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  15. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    When I work up a load I make small batches to check accuracy, pressure signs etc. Minimum 3 but no more than 10 in a testing batch.
     
  16. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Are you saying your entire test is a maximum of 10 or just a batch. I make 10 per load with pistol for a total of 50 or 100 for the test. And that's just ocw. If it's a large bore rifle, test batches are 5 due to cost and my arm. Verification is still a group of ten. The entire group is shot at one time.
     
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  17. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    Lacking a chrony and with only modest expectations of accuracy, I'm safe for now, but I can see this getting out of hand if one wasn't careful.

    But I also see a chicken vs. egg quandary. On any given load, I can see at least 4 different variables to account for, assuming same rifle and shooter. Those are the brass case, primer, powder and bullet. Change any one and you introduce a variable. But at least the brass, primer and bullet can be made constant. That leaves the powder......more specifically the powder charge......and seating depth of the bullet.....as the key variables to sort out as to which works best for a shooter to achieve best accuracy of a load.

    But as for that chicken vs. the egg.........doing some study on this......both powder charge and bullet seating depth alter things. Seeing guys doing their ladder tests.......and also chasing lands and jump......both affect group size. So which comes first? I'm thinking it's impossible to know. You would almost have to do them together. A statistically significant number of shots.......(I see where some world class shooters only use 3 shots per group.......the rest of us might need at least 5....or more) of each powder node, with changes in bullet seating depth for each node. That is about a minimum of 6 powder nodes (assuming 1/2 grain steps)......times 6 to 8 seating depths.....times 5 shots at each. That is somewhere around 150 to 200 rounds to get to the bottom of it. Great fun or no fun at all, depending on how you look at it.

    So as a noob with only modest expectations, initially, I'm thinking of making my bullet seating depth constant.......at COAL for the given bullet (listed on load data) and only vary powder charges. Start at Min and work my way up in 1/2 grain steps. Best group wins. Change a bullet, or change a powder, you start over, but for any one combination, ought to be able to find something that works inside of 20 to 30 rounds per load?
     
  18. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    Seating depth doesn't get much mention in the loading manuals, but seeing the results presented by guys like Eric Cortina is impressive. To see the groups open and close based on nothing but bumping seating depth is an eye opener. He even claims he could improve most factory ammo that way. Makes one think a guy could just start with one powder charge they liked in the middle and just tune it.
     
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  19. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Batches are 3-10 rounds. Testing can be whatever size I have room and preparation for. One time I stuck 3 rounds of a hunting rifle test load in a stock cuff to remind me to shoot them. They sat there for awhile. A buddy wanted to see the rifle so I brought it by to show him. On the way home I saw the rounds and was near the outdoor range so I made a detour to test them out. They didn't perform as accurately as my normal load but it was great to test them all the same.
     
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  20. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    And that's before fun toys like tuners.
     
  21. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Brass changes hardness every time you run a cycle, so neck tension is changing every shot unless you anneal.
     
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  22. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Than that's already assuming your not loading mixed brass.
     
  23. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    If I'm loading for a handgun chambered for a familiar cartridge, my load development consists of making up a box of rounds from a recipe that's been around for decades. If the gun won't shoot it, there's a problem with the gun.

    In a competition rifle, load development never really stops. I suppose if I had a gun with which I never lost a match, I would pause load development until somebody started beating me. Sadly, it's never come up.

    In a hunting rifle, I start out with a goal. For example, "For this purpose I need 180 grains starting at 2700 FPS and I expect consistent 1.5" three shot groups at 100 yards". Then I will pick a bullet and a powder, based either on experience, a recommendation in the manual, or advice from THR. Because I don't generally make unusual demands of a hunting rifle, I normally will have satisfactory performance within a dozen rounds or so.
     
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  24. barnfrog

    barnfrog Member

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    That's assuming your best group will replicate. I did just what you described with the TTSXs and SGKs, but when I loaded up seconded batches of my best groups they never grouped the same. Got very frustrating. Modest expectations probably help, though. I'm not good at that.
     
  25. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Not the only one. My brother has one that was reamed to 300 WM.
     
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