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When I change powder, or bullets, I start at the minimum, load 5 rounds for each, and increase a half grain up to maximum and se

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  • When I change powder, or bullets, I start at the minimum, load 5 rounds for each, and increase a half grain up to maximum and se

    When I change powder, or bullets, I start at the minimum, load 5 rounds for each, and increase a half grain up to maximum and see which one shoots best. How do you work up a new load?

  • #2
    I usually start about 3 grains below max and go up from there. I find that my .308, .280 and 300WSM like the upper end of the load better. This has worked for me with those three over the years.

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    • #3

      I find the max load first then work back in .5gr increments watching group size.
      To work up a load i look at several load manuals for a particular caliber and bullet weight and pick a powder or two that will yield about 85 to 90% full cases. Many times there are testimonials about a particular power that is just that much better for a caliber than any others. then i make a list of the powder weights i am going to load. I load 5 rounds each charge weight starting about 10% below max and increase .5gr per round. Each fired round is examined for pressure signs and measured for case head expansion. Sometimes i chronograph the loads at the same time. When i find the max load for a powder, i will load several rounds in .5gr decreasing increments watching the group size. If things turn out good i will have the best group with the highest velocity in the first few trial loads.

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      • #4
        I normally have a "goal" in mind if I'm changing powder or bullets..
        Since I have a range in my backyard, I'll load up three rounds and try 'em.
        I understand that's not convenient for everyone, but since you asked...
        Oddly, my rifle seldom requires ammo manipulation, pleasantly digesting pretty much anything I feed it. ...but it "REALLY" likes the Sierra 90 gr FBHP with enough IMR 3031 to exit the muzzle at approximately 3700 fps! We're talking .290 cloverleaf with a .270 Win!
        But I digress.
        cb bob
        If it works for you, I wouldn't change it.

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        • #5
          Since the "business end" is the bullet, I start there. Then, because I deliver that bullet using a ballistic reticle scope on my rifle that is zeroed for a specific velocity range, I look for the most accurate loading listed in that velocity range. Then using the powder for that load I'll fine tune it up or down to perfect it for my specific rifle.

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          • #6
            I generally start midway between min/max load for a bolt gun. For a lever rifle, I start at minimum and work up in 1/2 grain increments, chronographing all loads. When I approach max listed velocity, I stop even if I am under max charge. When I approach a max load, I will group them on a 100 yard target and see which shoots best. I watch the chronograph more than the traditional pressure signs.

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            • #7
              Since most of my cases have a huge capacity ( over 70 grains typically) I work in 1 grain increments starting at midpoint and on up. .5 grains is no big deal when you are loading 70 - 84 grains of powder. Working up in conjunction with COAL adjustments gets great results for me. After I have the most accurate load I will chrony it and work a drop chart.
              Can be teadious but I have a good deal of satisfactionn when looking at the results downrange

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              • #8
                Since my 7mm WBY wont eat anything with less than 70 grains I start in the middle.

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                • #9
                  Note: If you are using Barnes TTSX bullets with TSX - MDX data from Barnes No 4 manual and online, watch your max loads. I have found that I get velocities at or near book velocities with powder charges 2 to 2.5 grains below max listed for 7mm and .300 Weatherby cases, particularly with ball powders like Magnum and MagPro. Similar results with Reloder 22.

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                  • #10
                    WAM, I know you have mentioned that you shoot an '06 now and then. Any pet loads for the 180 TSX in that caliber as far as powder? I've waited too long for a trip I want to take this rifle on and gunpowder for working up loads if very dear to find. I was planning on starting with RL 19, but I do have limited supplies of IMR 4831 left too.

                    My 375 worked best with max loads of fast powders, but then the best load gave sticky bolts in the middle ranges. I found out later that Barnes "removed" that powder from it's data. Of course it printed very small groups with great SD's too.

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                    • #11
                      'flyer
                      I have not loaded any 180 TSX for the 'o6 at all. I shoot a factory Federal 165 TSX that turns in sub-MOA in my rifle. Honestly, I have not been able to better groups fired with the 165 TSX and the Remington factory 180 gr Core Lokts with that finicky rifle. I have loaded some 165 Hornady Interlocks for general shooting practice with 59+ gr of RL 19.

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                      • #12
                        My general shooting and deer load is the Hornady 165 Sp with about the same amount of IMR 4831. This rifle likes that load, and as the burn rate is real close for the RL 19, I hope that this will work for the TSX's with similar results, as I have some 4831 laying around.

                        Of course, that may be like saying that ketchup and apples should taste the same because they are both red, but a man can hope (but no change, please.)

                        Should have planned better in these lecherous times, I guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Amflyer,
                          Barnes #4 recommends a max load of 56.5 gr of IMR 4831 w/ OAL 3.128" for the 180 TSX. That is a 107% compressed load, as is RL 19.

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                          • #14
                            I tend to look at a basic loading manual then I look at the bullet manufacturer manual. most of them list a most accurate load. i tend to start around there since it usually is right around the upper middle range of loads and then load in .5 increments on up.

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                            • #15
                              For most hunting loads, I like speed and most of my rifles are more accurate in the upper charge levels. Therefore, I start about half way between min and max loads. Then I split the difference into five evenly spaced loads. I load three bullets at each charge at recommended overall length. I shoot the lightest load first and watch for excessive pressure signs and chronograph speed as I work my way up. I then take the best group and load two loads half a grain apart above and below the good load for a total of four additional loads, also loading another three cartridges at the original best charge.

                              Once I get the best load, I then begin to vary the seating depth, starting with the maximum length supported by my magazine. If it is a target rifle, I start with the bullet on the lands. I then make four more loads with the seating depth reduced by .020 or so depending on bullet weight. I start shooting with the shortest seating depth and work my way up to the longest watching for pressure signs. I choose the most accurate and use that.

                              I clean my barrel and take between three to five fouling shots before shooting these (depending on what my barrel needs for accuracy). I log every group in a spreadsheet so I can remember what I have already tried over the years for each rifle.

                              Comment

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