Is this a proper way to develop a load?

700X7.62

Private
Minuteman
Mar 8, 2009
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0
USA
Hello everyone, I will be receiving my first custom rifle from William at LPR in a couple of weeks and will need to do load development on this rifle which will be nothing like the one I sent in. It’s a .308 with a Palma 95 Chamber & Bartlein 5R 1:11.25 twist barrel. I have been reloading for a year and a half now and have acquired some good equipment & decent reloading skills but I am confused on the best way to develop an accurate load for your rifle. I had an accurate load for the factory Remington but it was more luck in discovering that then following an organized plan or testing method.

I have selected 6 different bullets in two different weights; 3 are 155 grain and 3 are 175/178 grain. I plan to do all my initial testing with Varget powder, CCI-BR2 primers and Laupa brass. The way I see it I will need to select the best bullet, the best powder charge and the best bullet seating depth to find my "ultimate" load, but which do I test for first? Do I need to find my barrels most accurate bullet first, then the most accurate charge, then the best powder charge followed by the best seating depth of the bullet? Does it even matter which of these I test for first?

Please tell me if I am on the right track here, I was planning to first load 10 test rounds of each of these 6 different bullets, using the exact same powder charge and seating depth in each load and fire groups at 200 or 300 yards and see which bullet groups best. Then I would take this “best bullet” and do the "ladder test" loading 5 cartridges with the same charge, load the next 5 with a slightly larger charge, the next 5 with an even larger charge and so on until I reached the Max. Shoot these rounds and see which one groups the best, then use that charge & bullet and start testing for the most accurate bullet seating depth last.

Does this sound right or am I missing something here? I also just picked up a chronograph that I could use for load development but I don't really see a use for it until I find out this rifles “accuracy node” in velocity. Does this sound like a solid plan or am I missing something here?

Thanks!
 

deadly0311

Tacticool Ninja
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 2, 2009
4,702
260
Birmingham, AL
Re: Is this a proper way to develop a load?

might i suggest reading the "Sticky" posts up @ the top of the Reloading section that were written by TresMon
 

mocos

Private
Minuteman
Aug 5, 2009
28
0
79
CALIFORNIA
Re: Is this a proper way to develop a load?

just finished reading Newberry's article on "optimal charge weight" and it brought to mind a couple of questions:

1. Newberry suggests "cleaning the barrel midway through the load develoment process" which is subjective depending on how many rounds constitute the intended test. In articles and other posts, the incremental cleaning frequency is all over the board without "affecting" accuracy....something "acceptable" suggests statements as "it will do sub moa all day withouth cleaning" yada yada.... so is "cleaning" critically important?

2. Newberry also suggests allowing the barrel to "cool" between shots and I am assuming "shot strings" be be included. Cool to the touch or warm to the touch.....glass half full or half empty..does that suggest an optimum barrel temp as a factor that would influence accuracy...

what I am leading to is ....can a load be developed with a specific rifle (bolt action in this case) that would maintain sub moa in a string of fire of say, 100 rouds with a round fired once every 3-5 seconds ?...or what kind of a rifle could be assembled to do something like that?
 

Unsichtbar

Online Training Member
Full Member
Minuteman
May 19, 2008
610
1
Texas
Re: Is this a proper way to develop a load?

Forget cleaning. Shoot round 2 min apart. I will not even address a all day questions, can you shoot a 1/2 moa for 100 rds? A laser or vidio game rifle is what you are describing.
The system works to develope a load that preforms in the real world. I am done
 

pdogdown

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Is this a proper way to develop a load?

+1. It will get you consistency that you may lose using ladder by catching a condition in a very small node that worked well but doesn't work well in other conditions. The wider nodes it helps you find can be seen in a few places, like 308 FGMM, and Black Hills .223. Loads that shoot well in nearly any rifle. Maybe not be the best load for that rifle, but it will be a consistently good load (I found 26.0 Varget and 55s, and 69s will both shoot really well in almost any rifle.

Justin
 

mocos

Private
Minuteman
Aug 5, 2009
28
0
79
CALIFORNIA
Re: Is this a proper way to develop a load?

agreed on the cleaning part...I said sub moa all day....not 1/2 moa...anyway it was a figure of speech... are you saying that the frequency of firing each round should be separated from "load development"?...I think it should be part of it as in the real world the equipment and ammunition may be called upon to deliver a certain level of accuracy with X amount of rounds and within a specified time allotment. ie...accuracy with a "hot" load in rifle X will deteriorate sooner than a "moderate" load in the same rifle? My goal is a load my rifle will be able to deliver a consistent level of accuracy in a high percentage of conditions with the ability to sustain that accuracy over an extended period of time with a high frequency of firing. Not to stray from the subject of this post...I think working on one bullet at a time for load developement..instead of 3 bullets, 5 loads, different OALs' etc is the way I would go.
 

Unsichtbar

Online Training Member
Full Member
Minuteman
May 19, 2008
610
1
Texas
Re: Is this a proper way to develop a load?

By all means do what you think.