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What Increments to use when working up a load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by CJK8, Aug 25, 2011.

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  1. CJK8

    CJK8 Member

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    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.
     
  2. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    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
     
  3. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    +1

    I have read it many, Many times to go by .2 when working up a load. Like said before, Be safe.
     
  4. CJK8

    CJK8 Member

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    What do you look for when looking for pressure signs? Thanks.
     
  5. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    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
     
  6. esheato

    esheato Member

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    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.
     
  7. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    I use about 1% of the max load as my increment. 20-30gr max, .2gr increments. 50-60gr max, .5gr increments
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The close I get to max, the smaller the increment becomes.
     
  9. dbarnhart

    dbarnhart Member

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  10. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    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.
     
  11. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    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.
     
  12. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Pick a number between 100 and 1000

    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.
     
  13. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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  14. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    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.
     
  15. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    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.
     
  16. oldreloader

    oldreloader Member

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    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.
     
  17. popper

    popper Member

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    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.
     
  18. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    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.
     
  19. bbuddtec

    bbuddtec Member

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    I do .3 first rounds just my 2bits... :)
     
  20. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    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.
     
  21. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    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. ;)
     
  22. NM Mountainman

    NM Mountainman Member

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    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.)
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I am with snuffy on this one. :)
     
  24. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    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 ½" 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.
     
  25. sniper5

    sniper5 Member

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    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.
     
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