Load Development

archp625

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Do most people Pressure test and look for nodes then load groups within that node or do something different. Let’s hear what you do to develop a round.

Also, my chart shows min is 47.4 grains to max 57.0 grains of RL26.

What 10 loads would you load to pressure test?
 

wildwilderness

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What cartridge? I start at max and work down either 0.5 or 1 grain depending. In your case probably .5 gr ladder
 
OP
archp625

archp625

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I'm thinking I'm going to go roughly 10% below max and work my way to almost max.

50.0, 50.5, 51.0, 51.5, 52.0, 52.5, 53.0, 53.5, 54.0, 54.5, 55.0 and 55.5.

I will shoot those and look for speed nodes. Once I find the nodes I will load rounds in that range and shoot for groups. I plan to start 0.020" off that lands.

Please let me know if this looks like a good game plan. I am new to reloading and load development.
 

MuleyFever

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I am also new. I started at minimum charge from Nosler and went up .5gn. I shot 3 shot groups and looked at group size and velocity spread. It was pretty clear what the best loads were. Then I took the best ones and played with seating depth. This worked for me for a hunting rifle. Some guys get pretty crazy and for bench guns I get it. I was going for the best load I could get without burning up a lot of components and it worked out well for me.
 

wildwilderness

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I prefer to start higher because I know I’m going to use the highest node. That’s the reason I selected the cartridge to get max performance.

I actually go over book max by one or two increments (assuming the previous load showed no pressure signs) just to test the limits of my rifle. Various books usually have different max data.

Then you can go smaller increments in the node and test groups, ES, etc.
 

Megalodon

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What you described was my intention when working up a load, but what happens if you don’t find a “node”? I chrono’d about 15 charge weights with 2 different powders in a 22-250 and ended up with both just a steady line increasing in velocity no flat spots.
 
OP
archp625

archp625

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What you described was my intention when working up a load, but what happens if you don’t find a “node”? I chrono’d about 15 charge weights with 2 different powders in a 22-250 and ended up with both just a steady line increasing in velocity no flat spots.
Are you asking me this question or someone else? If its me I am not sure. I am a rookie at this.
 

tim.gruber

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Jan 26, 2017
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Imo, barrel harmonic nodes matter much more than velocity nodes. Check out the ocw website, they have good info on how to do load development and what to look for when picking a load.


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bsnedeker

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That's a really interesting read. I'm in the process of working up a load for my tikka 300 wm right now as well. One thing I'm curious about, he mentions that you should use a "slow powder"...what does that mean and how do you determine if a powder is slow or fast? I've started out with the Hodgden HV100 powder...this has small grains so I'm assuming it's a "fast" powder. I use IMR 4831 for my 270 which has sticks which I assume means it's a "slower" powder, but that's just guesswork.

I'm shooting a 178 eld-x for what it's worth. If anyone has any powder tips for me I would appreciate it! (sorry for the hijack!!!)
 

Megalodon

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That's a really interesting read. I'm in the process of working up a load for my tikka 300 wm right now as well. One thing I'm curious about, he mentions that you should use a "slow powder"...what does that mean and how do you determine if a powder is slow or fast? I've started out with the Hodgden HV100 powder...this has small grains so I'm assuming it's a "fast" powder. I use IMR 4831 for my 270 which has sticks which I assume means it's a "slower" powder, but that's just guesswork.

I'm shooting a 178 eld-x for what it's worth. If anyone has any powder tips for me I would appreciate it! (sorry for the hijack!!!)
I definitely hijacked too, sorry OP.

There are charts that show powders burn rate relative to others if you google. Not sure the reasoning behind choosing fast vs slow though.
 

bsnedeker

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I definitely hijacked too, sorry OP.

There are charts that show powders burn rate relative to others if you google. Not sure the reasoning behind choosing fast vs slow though.
Jeez, you would think I would have thought of that! Thanks for the tip. Turns out the H100 is on the slower end of powders so hopefully I'll be good. I liked the velocity ranges for that powder the best for my bullets.

I'm not looking forward to having to shoot that 300 WM this many times in a row to get an idea of the OCW though! After a 5 round group my shoulder feels like it's been beaten with a hammer!
 

Sportsman247

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OP-I shoot that exact bullet in my PRC. I usually start near high end and load three rounds. If I see no pressure signs, I may go higher than book suggests but I am always looking for higher velocities while ensuring ES,ED numbers are suitable. From there you can play with the seating depth but IMO the PRC is so new that they will shoot good groups no matter the CBTO.
 

tim.gruber

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a slower burning powder will not spike pressure as quickly because it takes longer for the powder to burn and give off gas, hence the recommendation to use slower powders. For example, 75 grns of H110 in a 300 WM will probably put you in the hospital, but 75 grns of H1000 is a pretty typical load for the 215 gr berger in the same cartridge. If you look through a Nosler reloading manual you will also see a correlation between their most accurate powder tested and the slowest powder tested for a given cartridge and bullet. It's not an absolute rule, but there is a trend. Powder shape and size are not the only factors in determining the burn rate, the powder manufacturers have a few more chemistry tricks they use to get the full spectrum of powder speeds we have now.

IMO the PRC is so new that they will shoot good groups no matter the CBTO.
I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I've never heard of the newness of a case design impacting how much jump a bullet likes to the lands.
 

Lelder

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What distance are you shooting for your what I assume are your barrels harmonic “nodes”?
I always start middle of the pack for grains work up to max in .5 increments and shoot them all at the same bullseye at usually 300yds. The .5 grain difference in every load should hit higher than the last round due to it having more powder making a vertical string from lowest amount of powder to maximum. In that string you will often find that you hit a “sweet spot” where 3 or 4 bullets are not spaced out vertically rather are grouped together this is where you need to due your fine load adjustment. We always called this shooting a ladder. Hard to tell the differences in velocity at 100yds though
 

tim.gruber

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Typically 200, that's the "best" range I have access too. Ladder testing and ocw are similar. Your process sounds very good for high capacity cases.

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WeiserBucks

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Mar 31, 2019
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I prefer to start higher because I know I’m going to use the highest node. That’s the reason I selected the cartridge to get max performance.

I actually go over book max by one or two increments (assuming the previous load showed no pressure signs) just to test the limits of my rifle. Various books usually have different max data.

Then you can go smaller increments in the node and test groups, ES, etc.
Starting at Max , what could possibly go wrong?
 

Sportsman247

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I'm not sure what you're getting at here. I've never heard of the newness of a case design impacting how much jump a bullet likes to the lands.
[/QUOTE]

Tim.gruber
Maybe it was the way I stated it but from my experience on two different rifles chambered in 6.5 PRC, the jump to the lands didn’t seem to make much difference. My belief whether it be correct or not is being the caliber is so new that there aren’t a multitude of reamers yet and the ones being used are specifically dimensioned around the Hornady factory bullet specs. Does that make sense or am I way of course?
 
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