Flawed or not, will this work?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by BigBlack, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. BigBlack

    BigBlack New Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Lyons, GA
    Okay I want accuracy plus speed. I know faster does not always equate to better accuracy but I want a blend of both. Here is my game plan on developing some future hand loads. My goal is to achieve the best accuracy/speed combo without wasting a lot of components and since I have started reloading various calibers I am working up a collection of partial powder containers.

    Step 1: Load up one cartridge of each weight stepping up in .5 grain increments from min to max. Shoot each cartridge over the chronograph going from lightest charged to heaviest. Watching for pressure signs and monitoring speed. This step is basically to test the upper end of the charge scale and see if it is safe in my rifle and also to see the approximate fps gain for each half grain increment and see if the speed increase flattens at a given point.

    Step 2: Once complete with step one load up 3 cartridges each of the top 5 loads from above. Now shoot these for groups at 100 still using my chronograph. If one load shows promise then work around it in smaller increments and more shots per group (maybe 5). If not try a different powder that I have on hand known to work in the cartridge I am loading and repeat from step 1.

    Again my goal is to find a good accurate load with upper end velocity. I know sometimes slower is more accurate in certain combinations, but I feel with the right combination I should be able to get both or at least a good balance.

    Thinking out loud but thought this would be good food for the brain!
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    I think that anyone who has been reloading for any length of time has tried this approach. I know I have! The kicker though is that any caliber you chose, it doesn't matter, will shoot different from one gun to another. I used to own (it was stolen) a Bull Dog that was dead on. I used to make a little money at the range with it from time to time. I bust a pony bottle at 35 steps, every shot. Now this gun would only do this with Winchester Silver Tips, nothing I could buy, or reload, came close. So, each rd. that you work up, is for that particular gun only. Using the plan that you have laid out should give you a very good rd. for that gun. It does work!

  3. 312shooter

    312shooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    Certainly will, I followed a similar approach and then dabbled with different primers, and bullet seating length , one thing I can say is you are really going to get into a matrix of info that can make your head spin at times, chronys are great I used five shot groups and the average mean velocity calculation - it really helps. maybe your chrony does that for you, otherwise add the speeds together and divide the sum by the # of shots.
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    And why not?

    What calibre's are we talking about here?
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA

    Your approach is close to mine but when shooting the set of loads start with the lightest load first so that pressure signs will show up before you even try the maximum load. There has been more than once that I have taken unshot hot loads back home and disassembled them because a load slightly less hot showed signs of too much pressure.

    I have found that a minimum of three groups averaged for size (five shots for each group) from each load level or OAL or any other variation is an absolute minimum. After the initial sets and when I am homing in on the most accurate load below too much pressure or max load, I then change to the average of five 5 shot goups. When I think I have found the load I then will shoot ten to twenty 5 shot groups averaged to be sure I get enough samples.

    To me load development looses its luster pretty quickly because it is work and not all that much fun. So I tend to terminate the load development early when I get a load that I think accurate enough for the game at hand. Good enough is good enough for me. I then take the gun to my favorite range where we have steel target of various sizes at 100, 200, 300, 400, 500,& 600 yards. To me that's the test and the most fun. Yeah, I didn't get the max accuracy but I got enough or the gun is gone.

  6. BigBlack

    BigBlack New Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Lyons, GA
    no paticular load in mind when posted, my mind was mulling over these thoughts and thought I would post to get varied ideas. I have learned so much from this and other boards on this sdame post.

    I am working on some 243 loads though but that development has stopped until after hunting saason.

  7. Were you just doing this for Hunting loads? All the advice here has been right on.
  8. Oncefiredbrass.net

    Oncefiredbrass.net New Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    The load I am using for 9mm. I shoot through my 5" STI and can aim for the center of the bulleye now if I shoot my m&p 5" I have to aim at the top of the bullseye at 15yards. So it really does make a difference what gun you use. I also suggest finding a bullet and load and stick with it and train with that.
  9. FJF0311

    FJF0311 New Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Mt. Airy, MD
    Keep in mind the temperature sensitivity of powders! Remember, a load close to maximum on a cold day, is probably over on a warm day. will it ,or your fire arm be exposed to sunlight, or left in a car? If you don't think this could be a problem, Please listen to this, I am a commercial electrician. I tell all my men not to leave tools or material laying out in the sun during lunch. SOMEONE always decides not to listen, I love watching them grab onto something metal after only a half hour!
  10. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    We all have our own method of working up a load. I will load in 1 gr increments from min to max watching for pressure. I then take the most accurate and work up or down from the most accurate in half grain on either side (unless at max). Just different parameters to determine success.