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What steps should be next?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by GP1, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. GP1

    GP1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
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    I am quickly approaching the point where I will actually roll my own! I have all the equipment, consumables, measuring tools, etc. This weekend is reserved for fixing all of it to my bench. I have posted in here 1 previous time and it was regarding a shopping list of some sort as well as a reading list. So here I am now with a few books in the bank and some shiny new equipment. Here are my questions before I get rolling...


    Testing bullet seat depth. (Cases will be fire formed)
    -Should this be completed before working the powder weight(ladder test)?
    -Will the results be typical to that of the ladder test?
    -Will I be able to see consistencies at 100 or should I start at 300-500?
  2. Bud0505

    Bud0505 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
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    Location:
    Florida
    I think that a little more information is needed in order to answer your questions. What caliber are you reloading and what type of gun do you intend to use? I do not recommend loading 100's of round until you found the formula that works in your gun.When I'm working up a new load the first thing I will do after determining bullet weight and powder charge that I think I want to start with is to make a "dummy" round. No powder, no primer. Just empty brass that has been de-primed, belled and then the bullet seated and crimped. Once you have your dummy round and have checked the OAL and tested in your barrel ( for an auto) or a go no gauge then you can start the reloading process utilizing minimum powder charges. I would recommend that you do 10 or so of a given charge and then increase the powder charge by a couple of grains and do another 10. And so on, paying attention not to exceed maximum recommended charges. My next step would be to go to the range and test fire the rounds making notes on functioning and accuracy of the rounds. Using this process will allow to determine the best round for you and your gun.
  3. PanhandlePop

    PanhandlePop Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
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    274
    Sorry, but I don't understand your questions 2 and 3. Otherwise, Bud gives good advice on dummy rounds if you are loading for an autoloader and on general load workup.
  4. GP1

    GP1 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    More info:
    .308
    sako trg22
    175 Sierra MKBT

    OK my apologies for not making this more clear. From what I have read you want the projectile ogive on or near the rifling. Some rifle/projectile combinations will work better when they are on the rifling or slightly jumped back. So my plan was to start with it sitting on the rifling and slowly moving it back(deeper) into the case. .001, .002, .003, .004 back from the rifling etc.

    -Should this be completed before working the powder weight(ladder test)?
    -Will the results be typical to that of the ladder test?
    -Will I be able to see consistencies at 100 or should I start at 300-500?


    Are you guys following or am I lost here?
  5. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    Make a few dummy rounds and practice through all the steps, for your first go-round, make up 5-10 rounds with no primer or powder. Mark these cases clearly Prior to do anything else.
  6. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Location:
    Lompoc California
    Seating depth is an important criteria to consider when loading a rifle cartridge. What I typically do (with cup and core bullets) is to set the seating depth up about .020" off the lands and try a number of different powders and primers. Those are very carefully fired and documented to observe the groups shot at 100. Based on that (assuming I get good initial results) I will then bracket the powder charge 1/2 grain above and below and return to the range. When I finally have what I consider to be a good load I then start to play with seating depth. Some bullets like being up against the rifling and of course others like a jump. It really just depends on your particular setup.

    Trim and deburr your brass. Some will tell you to anneal. For accuracy I would neck size or intermediate size (there are well-documented techniques for doing this on this forum). Pay attention to details. Document everything.

    If you find a powder that behaves exceptionally well it might be a good idea to acquire a larger quantity of that lot # of powder. Don't overlook the importance of the primer. Not all primers are the same. I favor the Federal benchrest in standard and magnum. My hunting partner's .270 likes a WW primer (go figure). The CCI benchrest primer is a good one too.
  7. GP1

    GP1 New Member

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    ok great now we are getting somewhere. Thanks myfriendis410. So you work on the load before you fool around with seat depth.

    Are you finding any variations at 100yds with different seating depths or do you suggest extending the range?
  8. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    Location:
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    It would be pointless to move out to extended range if the load you are shooting behaves poorly. You can determine a lot by shooting at 100 yards, but if your goal is to shoot long range you simply have to shoot long range. You can't trust a particular load to behave in a linear fashion out at extended yardage. There are many documented cases of bullets stable at 100, that become unstable and refuse to group at any greater distance.

    I passed along what I do, and I certainly do see a difference on paper (at 100) by changing seating depth. I'm not saying my way is necessarily the right way; it's just how I've done it for thirty years. There are so many factors that come into play that it becomes almost an infinite domain to play with all variables. Hitting on the combination that works best in your setup might take an afternoon or two years (that happened to me on my .300 using copper).
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  9. UncleFudd

    UncleFudd Member

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    Location:
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    GP1 etal;
    Wonderful info given on this subject and IMO. all of it is useful and should be copied and placed among your "manuals, books and other notes of importance.
    I find myself copying many of the suggestions and adding them to my notes and references.

    I have cases and shelves of reloading data and histories and I never tire of re-reading these things and am always learning something new or valuable nearly every time I do so.

    I thought it might be worth while to mention a particular book that I have found has some of the most valuable, common sense, proven recipes for success in reloading that I have ever read and this book was published way back in 86.
    Of course there have been many things that have changed since then but many of the ideas are still to this day, simple to follow and fool proof, common sense, easy to follow rules of the game.

    It is a book called " Guns, Loads and Hunting Tips". Written by a guy named Bob Hagel. Published by Wolfe Publishing Co.
    This guy started loading back in the thirties and has made it a point to prove everything he has suggested and he has at the same time disproved many wives tales of this great adventure called reloading.

    I have been loading my own since the mid fifties and seen many of the changes I talk about and most are good. But remember always that the manufacturers sell, and magazine writers promote what they want to sell.

    Sometimes it is nice to be able to refer to writers who have no axe to grind or dog in the hunt if you will. As old as it is, you might find some of the methods very beneficial to your background and knowledge regardless of your experience.

    Just a suggestion and I hope it will help if you take the time to find it and to read what this fellow sportsman has to say.

    Stay safe.

    UF
  10. JohnRich

    JohnRich New Member

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    Jan 1, 2012
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    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    First, actually touching the rifling is usually discouraged, as that increases pressure - the bullet cannot escape from the case when the pressure first starts to build behind it, because the rifling is prohibiting it from moving forward. So a little bit of "jump" is desirable, to allow the bullet to start accelerating before engaging the rifling.

    Second, testing has shown that .001 increments in OAL really don't change things much. You have to get to increments of .005 or so before you notice any difference in performance. So you would just be wasting your time loading batches of 5-each at .001 increments. Make your batches in .005 increments, and see what the results are between those. One of those .005 increment batches will perform noticably better than the others. That's your sweet spot. Then if you want, you can come back and fine tune to a smaller degree around that sweet spot.

    My magic .308 load for my M1A is: Sierra 175 gr. HPBTM bullets, Reloder-15 powder at 43.0 gr., and an OAL of 2.870.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
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