Which load to believe or start with?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by merbeau, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    Hi

    Just starting to shoot my rifles more seriously after many years of pistol shooting. I have had several rifle questions on various forum topics which many fine answers have been provided.

    I am currently working up a load for my Rem 700 222 Remington 24 inch barrel and 1:14 twist. I have basically settled on starting with Berger or Sierra 52 gr. match bullet, Norma Cases, and either Norma 201, Hodgdon 223 or Hodgdon Benmark powders. In reviewing loads for Norma 201 I found these recipes:


    Bullet Wt (gr) Brass Primer Powder Min Max Max Vel
    1 Berger 52 Front CCBR4 N201 20 23 3075
    2 Sierra 52 Norma ? N201 20.5 21.6 3091
    3 Rem 52 Rem Rem N201 22.8 24.0 3162
    Load 1 from Remington 222 revisited article from Guns and Ammo.
    Load 2 from Norma website.
    Load 3 from loaddata.com which cites taken from 67 Handloader.

    Obviously things like barrel length, etc. can impact velocity which is not my question. I a little concerned that the min for Load 3 exceeds the max for load 2 and nearly max for load 1.

    Two questions: First, which load to start with? Obviously load three is from decades ago, so secondly do these powders change that much or what other reasons for these descrepancies.

    Thanks

    Robert
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Do you have any reloading manuals that you can look at to compare the loads?
  3. rcairflr

    rcairflr Active Member

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    Don't go by someone elses load. For best accuracy out of your rifle, do a ladder test with the bullet and powder that you are going to use. Below is one I did using TAC powder and 50 grain Vmax. The first picture is the initial ladder and the second picture is some of the loads from the initial ladder that I did 4 round groups.

    Next will be to try and repeat the results with 5 shot groups.

    Start with lower charges and work up and make sure you use a good reloading manual to get your low to max powder charges. Also as you work your load up, look for over pressure indications.

    I prefer to use the min/max charge from the bullet manufacturer first and then the powder manufacturer second. For example, I use Hornady bullets, so I go to their load data for min/max powder charges. You won't always find your bullet in the powder manufacturer load data.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  4. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    Thanks for replying. The manuals that I have do not list Norma powders. Norma does publish a reloading manual (around $25) which I probably should invest in, however, they do not publish any other powders so I will end up buying the Sierra or others which include Norma powders. I like the ladder idea. I did that basically with my Bullseye pistol loads. The only difference was that the load data reported for my bullet/powder combinations were close (i.e, witin 0.1 grain) from Hodgdon.
  5. rcairflr

    rcairflr Active Member

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    My question is, why are you so set on the Norma powder. TAC, H322, H335 work great with .223 and I would guess they would work great with .222.

    See the attachment for Ramshot powder.

    Attached Files:

  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Id be most concerned with the 14 twist being able to stabilize a 52 gr bullet at .222 velocities. I dont think it has what it takes. My 53 gr SMKs need 11.8 twist to stabilize at .223 velocity, and the .222 is a slower round, meaning it should need more twist. Id consider dropping to a 40 gr bullet.

    Take some measurements and run the numbers with the greenhill formula.
    http://kwk.us/twist.html

    The 14 twist will only work for you if the velocity is high enough to impart the required RPMs to stabilize the bullet in flight.
  7. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    Checking with Berger they recommend at a minimum 1:14 twist for their 52 gr. bullet.

    I have run 120 bullet combinations through the Miller Equation that I programmed into an Excel Spreadsheet that uses velocity, bullet diameter, bullet weight, bullet length, rifle twist, tempearture and atmospheric pressure as an indication of stability.

    The stability coefficient produced using this method suggests anything between 1.3 to 2.0 will be stable. Above 2.0 and the twist is to fast and below 1.3 to slow. The military has adopted a value of 1.5 for their starting point. What came out of my analysis was that tiwst along with bullet length are the most critical factors in stability and there can be significant differences among various manufacturers bullets.

    I chose the 52 gr. to start with because of the fairly high BC and it is near the recommended 50 gr that the 222 was developed for and from what I can read the best accuracy seems to be around 3100 which can be obtainable with 50, 52 or 53 grain bullets. If this doesn't work then I will drop down.

    As for powders I have some Norma and Vihtavuori in stock. For the most part I have had great success with Hodgdon for both handgun and shotgun and will start with several of their rifle powders. Most everyone has their favorites so I try not to condemn anyone on that.
  8. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Excellent, works for me. Just didnt want you venturing into unknown territory and getting lost trying to figure out what was goin on. I think you got a better figure on the science than I do.

    Best o luck merbeau.
  9. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    JLA

    Thanks. I have been in that situation before and it can be quite frustrating - of course those were the days before we hand these excellent forums.

    In the interim I have sent an inquiry to loaddata tech support seeing if the have the original article or what is the exact date of the article (Dec issue, etc.) so I can purchase and review. Last night it dawned on me that perhaps this article was for a 222Remington Magnum.

    If I can resolved this issue I certainly will post it so that it will be available for others to use.

    Again thanks to all for posting replies.
  10. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    Update:

    I was able to find the 1967 Handloader Article where the 222 Remington load in question came from. The author of this article did not have a pressure test barrel and used case expansion as an indication of pressure. Apparently the author in his particular rifle did not experience any extrreme pressure indications, however, from today's standards this particular load would be considered 'hot'.

    I guess the lesson learned from this experience is to look for the particulars of anything published.

    Robert
  11. noylj

    noylj New Member

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    Most reloading manuals say: "Use the lowest starting load." This implies to me, that I check several manuals and "start with the lowest starting load." It seems very clear to me.
    Even a ladder test starts somewhere, and that is at "the lowest starting load."
  12. merbeau

    merbeau New Member

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    If the manual has the powder in question which for some they do not.
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