Reloading Question

JFK

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Same here. Just looking for a reasonably accurate load to hunt with. This rifle will shoot MOA with most factory ammo so if I can match or beat that by a little bit I’ll be happy. I shoot off sticks, a pack or trees hunting and you don’t get bench rest accuracy like that anyhow. A big part of why I want to reload is to not have to deal with stores never having good ammo in stock, background checks for a stupid box of bullets, etc.

Thank you for all the advice.
 

Aggro

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Bench rest or long range is a whole nother animal. These guys have mega buck rigs, use new brass and get very detailed. It makes sense for that but not for hunting. Rarely will a 1/2 inch make a difference killing a game animal.


Today's published data is safe to use but always hit multiple sites and average the load data. Smart move going lighter with copper though. That 110 will be scorching out of .270. I've dropped down in weight with everything too. 168 for win mag, 150 for .308 and 100 grainers for Grendel.
 

JFK

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Just wanted to follow up on this thread since I made it to the range this morning with my first batch of ammo. Needles to say I’m very pleased with what I’ve got so far.

Last week I realized 5 shot groups for initial load workout from min to max was going to be overkill and a waste of bullets, powder and my time. I kept the one round each at the very low end, then pulled two bullets each with a collet puller. This gave me three rounds each in the load range I wanted to be in, which was 57gr up to max.

I had not yet purchased a tool to find distance to lands, and I stead settled on a safe 3.220. Slightly shorter than Barnes book COL and slightly longer than their factory 270 ammo.

From the first round to the last I was impressed. Accuracy improved greatly from 1moa to .5moa at around 57gr. At 57.5gr I put three shots through one hole at 100yds. From there up to 58.7gr I didn’t see any pressure signs, though groups opened slightly to around 1-1.25”depending on charge weight. 58.7 is .2gr away from max with the H4350 I’m using and shot a 1moa group.

I might return to the range with some of the 58.7gr loads with slightly longer COL, or I might not. Either way I want to pick 2 of these loads and shoot some 10 round groups, then be done with it. Honestly for my first attempt at this I would have been happy with ammo that went bang and didn’t blow my face off. I’ve never shot any factory ammo that came close to this.

Thanks all for pointing me in the right direction.
 

el Toro

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I personally love it when a rifle finds it’s happy spot somewhere around 1 gr under max. I hunt in a lot of different conditions so I don’t like to push max and potentially run into a pressure issue in hot weather. I’ll take that 1 gr ish margin of safety.
 

JFK

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I personally love it when a rifle finds it’s happy spot somewhere around 1 gr under max. I hunt in a lot of different conditions so I don’t like to push max and potentially run into a pressure issue in hot weather. I’ll take that 1 gr ish margin of safety.
That’s kinda what I’m thinking. I went into this believing I wanted to be right at max, and chase speed. But I was shooting in 50 degree weather yesterday. I hunt for pigs in hot weather a decent amount. 1-1.5gr below max is where I saw the tightest groups. Might just settle on that one knowing I’m not pushing it in hot weather and call it good.
 

el Toro

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You’re doing it right!
 

aeon

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Reloading for presision is a deep dive in a vast ocean. Do you need it? I duno. Does it make you more accurate, yup.

I reload for 1k yard fclass matches. The level of stupid is crazy trying hit a 5" circle at that distance

Few tricks for you. First is the length of the loaded cartridge is not important other than fitting in the magazine. The important distance is to the ogive on the bullet. This will also be how you measure to the lands. For that try the wheeler method. Google it. No crazy tools needed and it's accurate. You must have the ogive measuring adapter on your micrometer.

Chambers get cut deep or shallow in factory guns. The COL listed in load data is useless. Custom fit for just your chamber.

In a hunting gun don't jam the bullets into the lands. To much and unloading your rifle can unseat a bullet and make a mess.
 

okie man

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Ok, many will call bullshit on this but you can get real close to finding that optimal load in 15 shots. First look up recommended loads in at least one manual! Pick a powder know for low temp sensitivity. Hodgdon makes some of the best but imr and Alliant both have added similar qualities to there product lines.
So now that you have data, powder bullets and primers, how do you find a load in 15 shots?
First step is finding your max cartridge length. It can be what length fits the magazine and functions well without jamming the bullet into the lands for a hunting rifle or a length that just kisses the lands in a single shot bolt gun for target shooting.
once you find that length, load 5 cartridges with a mild load of powder, usually half way between starting and max charge weight. seat a bullet to max length. Adjust your die to seat the next bullet .20 deeper into the case. Adjust the die to seat the next bullet .20” deeper than second case and repeat until you have 5 rounds loaded , each with the bullet deeper than the previous one.
I use colored sharpies to mark each case head and to color the tip of the bullet and note the oal length of each colored round. Now the fun part. The farther you can get your target from your gun the better. 400-600 yards works really well if you can shot accurately at that range. So what you do is load and shoot each round at the target. Same aiming point. You’ll find that as you shoot either the group will open up or tighten up. Note the depth (color)that seamed to tighten the group most. That’s your optimal seating depth. The point where the bullets happiest meeting the rifling in the chamber!
Now go back to powder charge . Load 5 more rounds but this time your gonna adjust powder charge up .5 grains per case for large centerfire cartridges, .3 grains for smaller cartridges. Until you get to max load . Mark them again and go back and shoot them. Again you are looking for the charge that tightens up the group up. This is called a node. It’s what your looking for. It’s where the bullet is leaving the barrel in time with when the barrel is in a static position.
Now you can load 5 more with the optimal powder charge, optimal seating depth and shoot them through a chronograph . Now you looking for the least amount of speed difference between rounds! Anything under 20 FPS for the 5 shots is good, single digits is even better.
Most hunters can stop there if your getting sub moa groups. If you are like me, and you want more accuracy you can take that load and tweak it more. Adjust bullet depth up and down in .05 increments either way to tighten group even more or change primer type to get better es(extreme spread) of velocity.
Here’s a few other tips on loading for consistency, consistency is most important to gaining accuracy! Pick a powder that give the most velocity with less pressure. Also one that has a greater start and max charge difference. Some vld style bullets are very sensitive to seating depth changes (Berger’s are known for this). If you are not going to be shooting extreme distances (500+yards) stick with more traditional style bullets because the typically are more user friendly.
 
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MJB

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sold it!!
I went with the 130's due to the 110's were terrible when it came to wind.
Can't wait to try the new bullets in 127.
 

el Toro

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I went with the 130's due to the 110's were terrible when it came to wind.
Can't wait to try the new bullets in 127.
I’m shooting 127 LRX out of my .260
 

MJB

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sold it!!
And how's the kill rate?
And drift?
 

el Toro

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And how's the kill rate?
And drift?
Good question. This thing has yet to pop its cherry.

it’s definitely accurate, seems to buck wind, has a darn good BC and opens up nicely.