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Question about load developement..your opinions please

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Question about load developement..your opinions please

Old 02-13-2003, 11:12 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Imperial, MO
Posts: 140
Default Question about load developement..your opinions please

Question about developing new hunting loads. I' ll basically be starting from scratch with my 30-06. I' m gonna try a new powder and bullets. I hate the initial first steps of load development, to many unknowns. I like the fine tuning part. So in an effort to eliminate as many variables as possible (one trip to the range and without " killing" me) I was wondering how many rounds and or groups you think is required to " tell the tale" about a given load.

Here was what I was planning:

My variables (all else constant):
Powder - (3) Different weight powder charges
Brass - 50% full resized, 50% neck sized
Cartridge - 50% crimped, 50% not crimped

The listed variables total 12 different loading combinations. I was thinking I could do this with about 100 rounds. It works out to be about 8 rounds per combination. I' m shooting over a chrony for velocity and variations, at 100 yd. targets for accuracy all while inspecting individual case for pressure signs.

Keep in mind that this is only to get an idea for the potential of each combination. I' ll end up determining a good starting point and will return to testing and eliminating variables one by one, what I call fine tuning.

What do you guys think?

Toby from MO is offline  
Old 02-13-2003, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Williamsport PA. USA
Posts: 293
Default RE: Question about load developement..your opinions please

Personally, Toby, I' ve been reloading for the ' 06 for about 30 years, and I' ve never had to crimp a bullet into the case. Just not necessary if you have the proper expander ball in your die.
This is what I do initially for every new cartridge I reload for: start 2 grains below max. listed in the manual; 5 rounds for every half grain increment, which is a full box of shells. I can usually tell where I want to start fine tuning from those loads. I keep an eye out for flattened primers when I approach the max. loads. When I get the best 5 round group from those first 20, I' ll start again with another 20 rounds in quarter grain increments, moving up and down in weight from the original " best" . Hope this helps, and this is using only one powder from the manuals that gives the highest velocity with the lowest pressures. I started out with IMR 4064 powder 30 yrs ago, and I' m still using it for all my 130 to 165 gr. loads. Good luck!
SnoBall57 is offline  
Old 02-13-2003, 10:58 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 236
Default RE: Question about load developement..your opinions please

5 rounds per load should be sufficient. Also don' t worry about crimping unless you are using a tubular magazine. The ' 06 wasn' t intended to have a crimp. It could potentially (or at least theoretically) cause pressures to go too high at the heavier loads. Good luck.
Bloodnativ is offline  
Old 02-14-2003, 12:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Carthage MO USA
Posts: 35
Default RE: Question about load developement..your opinions please

Toby, you' ve put forth the one of most scienctific ways of approaching load development that I' ve seen suggested in awhile. One group of five shots seem to show how well a load will work for me.

In the past I' ve always had my best goups from bolt action & single shots with neck sized, lightly crimped loads. I haven' t had a need to try fully resized loads in several years. Concerning crimp, if you are useing any gun with a magizine I would at least lightly crimp all loads, otherwise you can end up with bullets that are backseated or unseated.

Good Luck
digdug is offline  
Old 02-14-2003, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: meridian idaho USA
Posts: 429
Default RE: Question about load developement..your opinions please

I guess that method must have worked for you in the past, but since you asked for what we think here is my opinion.
Keep it simple.
The biggest variable is your bullet, try a couple different bullets and a couple different powders, I have good luck with RL-22 and H-4831 in that caliber. Try consistently accurate bullets like Nosler ballistic tips and Federal Gameking boat tails for deer and maybe a Nosler Partition if you are so inclined.
Use once fired neck sized brass trimmed to uniform lengths. Try Federal bench rest large rifle primers, start 3 grains below max and go up in 1 grain increments to max. Seat your bullets just off the lands.
So you have two powders and two bullets and 3 different powder loads for each.
Two three shot groups of each bullet and powder combination.
Lose the full length resized brass test and the crimped test.
If you don' t get good groups with any combination try 2 different bullets and start over. With these bullets and powders you should get some good groups right off the bat.
Anyway that is the method I use.
noway is offline  

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