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When do you "settle" on a load?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kachok, Jun 17, 2012.

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  1. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    For the rifle guys out there, when do you say "good enough" with your load development? I think I am OCD or something because I cannot go to the range without a few batches of experimental loads for each of my rifles that I have to try even if I have a load that shoots one ragged hole already, knowing good and darn well that I cannot shoot anywhere near that tight freehand, turned halfway around, shivering cold in a treestand with buck fever kicking in.
     
  2. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    agreed. I don't think i've ever gone to the range without multiple loads to try. I think part of the fun is load development. I'm always trying new powders, new bullets, playing with the COAL just to see how things change.
     
  3. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Well, taking your "experimental" loads to the range, how often have you found a better load for a rifle "that shoots one ragged hole already"?
     
  4. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    That is just it, you don't. While it is possible to get one smooth hole that is beyond my shooting abilities since my accident left me with nerve damage down my right side.
     
  5. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I don't play around much if at all once I have "the" load for a given rifle, bullet, powder, case and primer combination. My approach is ...

    1. Find the desired velocity range
    2. Use the OCW method to find "the" load within the desired velocity range
    3. Shoot the load under different conditions to validate the load
    4. Perfect the load by optimizing the bullets (sorting) and cases (sizing, annealing, primer pockets, necks etc)
     
  6. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    So why do it? :)
     
  7. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Interesting, I looked up the OCW loads and they came up with the exact same load as Nosler did for 140gr 6.5x55 46.5gr of RL22, that shot good in my gun too, mabey there is some truth to OCW after all, wish they had more load data.
     
  8. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Because I guess I have too much fun playing with COL, bullets, powders, and primers, or maybe I like an excuse to shoot more :D I always bring my tried and true loads too to hone my skills as best as possible.
     
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    Since I record all my load results, continued work ups provides me with multiple loads that produce the same tight groups, this in turn gives me some choices regarding components. Who wouldn't like to have more than one excellent load to choose from?

    GS
     
  10. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    That's a fact.
    If I have one load that shoots excellent in a given rifle, and I feel like playing around with that rifle load again, (who doesn't, we get board), I try to make another load with a different recipe that shoots to the same POA-POI as the first one.
    I never change my scope once it's set for my perfect load.

    Try that, it will keep you busy for a while.
     
  11. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    If I was willing to settle I would use factory ammo. I do have a go to standard load for most of my guns, I am always trying different componets if for no other reason the to see what happens.
     
  12. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I love to take a rifle that a group that measures X inches with factory ammo and try to make it shoot groups a good smaller than X inches. When I find the smallest group at a decent speed, I'm happy and generally settle on that load for a long time....I worked up a load for a pet hunting rifle 20 years ago and am still using it. I haven't ever tried anything else.
     
  13. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Is there a consistent grouping size where you say good enough or is it just a feel thing?
     
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I will develop a load on the bench and then go shoot it in a highpower match. Ninety nine percent of the time the load shoots well in competition, if I shoot well in competition. That is the kicker, there have been the 1% where I shot poorly, and I have no idea if it was the load or not because I did not shoot that load again.

    It was probably me when I think about it.

    With success you build confidence in your loads.

    There are days when I can put them all in one hole, and there are days where I would be doing better with a 12 GA and buckshot.

    The human factor is the greatest source of errors in the system.
     
  15. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I have a couple 'pet' loads for different guns, and the only time I 'retest' or adjust is when I start a new lot of the same powder...
     
  16. JerryLP

    JerryLP Member

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    Why?

    Simple, because you can! If you couldn't, none of us would.
     
  17. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Member

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    Hello . My name is Dave and I am a reload-aholic. I cant stop at just one ....

    10 Spot
     
  18. blarby

    blarby Member

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    When it does what I want it to do. Repetitively. With multiple users, so I know its not me.

    There are enough new bullet types and guns, that asking for more than 1/2" for rifle, and 1" for pistol for me is really wasting bench time. I can't shoot better than that, anyways.

    With rifle, its always been more of a "lands" development. The precision mic takes a lot of this work out, and saves a lot of cost. Once I find the magic seating number, it seems to hold across multiple bullet designs fairly well.

    With pistol, its more of a bullet type and charge combo than anything. I like to find one FMJ, one or two HP, one plated, and one or two Cast Lead.

    Wash, rinse , repeat.

    True nuff, as shown above.
     
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    It's just natural for people, being people, to keep asking ourselves, "What if...?"
     
  20. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Normally you don't unless your looking at a backup powder/bullet combo.
     
  21. jack44

    jack44 Member

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    when I can get a nice close group in the center of the bullseye with the 45/70 at 100yds. using peeps!.
     
  22. bbuddtec

    bbuddtec Member

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    I'm not one to talk, really, but as a sort-of coaching aspect, you probably would appreciate the next step... putting those ragged holes up against other's ragged holes... then at least you might feel like it's for more than OCD. hehee :D

    disclaimer: sorry I just had to throw this in...

    PS, I meant to mention that your shooting is awfully respectable to me, Kachok.
     
  23. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I work up a load for each different bullet type I may have a use for. As an example I have a great load in .223 for 50 Gr TTSX as well as an equally great load for a 36 Gr Varmit Grenade. Since these are expensive to plink with I worked up one for a bunch of 55 Gr FMJ pulldowns for the kids to play with.
    Face it reloading is addictive I,m always working on a load for something. When I get it all sorted out I'll but a new something to work up a load for. There are far more unhealthy ways to entertain yourself and reloading seldom ends in divorce or prison time.
    It can however drive you into the poor house.
    Have fun
    T
     
  24. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I will continue load development until I am satisfied that things are getting worse on target. Then use the best data and shoot it to make sure it is consistent. Any more than that is wasting resources. Then I shift to one hole in paper/critter mode and make ME more accurate.:D
     
  25. murf

    murf Member

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    when you get your "deer" load set, work one up for coyotes, the next one for hogs (may take a tougher bullet). then work up a light load just for fun.

    go to your next weapon and repeat as above.

    should stay busy for a while.

    murf
     
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