Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Nov 17, 2010
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Florida
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

The whole book here has been great TresMon. Thanks for taking the time to help novices. I spent a hundred dollars today after reading your post and gaining enough understading of the concepts I have been listening too and reading about for the last two years. I was hesitant to invest until I read these articles.

Thanks
 
Sep 25, 2010
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Colorado
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Don't forget that the powder batch number can have a big effect on accuracy. Easiest solution is to buy powder by the 8lb container. If you go to a match make sure the powder batch is the same as the one you got your dope from. Powder variation is the reason of a lot of unexplained scope zero differences from one shooting session to the next.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
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Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Right on S.A.

When one switches to a fresh batch of powder it's time to tune the load via the chrono.

Thanks, good reminder!
Tres
 
Dec 28, 2010
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USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Thanks for posting this in-depth explanation of precision reloading. I am considereing reloading and it has really helped me understand the process and the reasons for each step.
 
Dec 16, 2009
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Near Reading, PA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I did some more LD for my 270WSM today. This is using Win brass, GM215M primers, 150gr VLD's, and RL-22. Shots were taken from 520yds, and the wind was not playing nice.... about 8mph with gusts up to 12mph (guessing). I had dialed 2.75MOA left windage, and could have used one more.
"S1" (sighter 1) was with a Clean Cold Bore, and "S2 & S3" followed, and looked nice to

I would tell you what speed they were cranking out at, "BUT" my chrono was not working correctly.... Then I shot it.... Oops


 
Nov 17, 2010
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Florida
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Being new to realoading this may be a stupid question but can this test be used for 22-250 caliber? Thanks
 
Nov 17, 2010
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Florida
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Any advice on this test? I think maybe more distance but was wondering if i should start with the 6 shots that grouped or start over. Any help would be appreciated.
 
Jun 8, 2008
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Gold Beach Oregon
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: goozer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Any advice on this test? I think maybe more distance but was wondering if i should start with the 6 shots that grouped or start over. Any help would be appreciated.
</div></div>

I wouldn't start over. The six that grouped (6-11) show not that much vertical dispersion. I like charges 8,9, 10, and 11 for 5 round group testing at distance.

If it were me, I know what I would do. I'd do the group testing at charges 8-11. Then I'd shoot groups varying seating depth on the favored charge.

That would be my voodoo.
 

nfoley

Sergeant
Nov 15, 2010
1,086
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Castle Rock, CO
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Just started reading your threads TresMon. They are all very well written with a ton of good info. THANKS!!
Gonna do the ladder at 550 this weekend and see what happens.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
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NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Good input yall.

Thanks everyone!

Stay tuned to my brand new website for new articles & additions in the future:
WildernessMeans.com
 
Apr 23, 2010
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East Idaho
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Tresmon
I don't want to sound like I'm repeating everyone but seriously your 5 chapters here are the easiest to understand and most complete info on precision reloading that i have been able to come across in the last 20ish years of reloading. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Now my question. I have always stayed away from compressed loads. Not for any real reason, just always did. In doing the preparation for loading my 14 shots, I hit a compressed load after only shot 6. How do you know what the max compression is, aside from the obvious like powder falling out the top or the case splitting when you try to seat the bullet. I've also heard of the powder actually pushing the bullet up after seating. Is it best to switch to a non compressed load with a different powder? Am I just figuring my test loads wrong?

7mm WSM 162gr Amax
Retumbo Min 66 Max 70.5 jump of .7
1. 66
2. 66.7
3. 67.4
4. 68.1
5. 68.8
6. 69.5
7. 70.2 (starts to compress)

Thanks again for all the help!
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,164
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NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Stone,

Here's the best deal ever. Take one of your resized cases over to your nearest archery shop. Give them the case and tell them you need a arrow shaft that is a snug fit over the neck of your case.(Arrow shafts come in a large selection of diameters and wall thicknesses.) Buy the shaft & have them cut the shaft off to the longest length you think you'll be able to stand to use. (Mine is 26")

Take it home and epoxy it to a powder funnel dedicated for this use. Now you got a serious drop tube funnel- and likely no more compressed charges.

To answer your question a little compression is fine but you if you can tell your physically crushing and breaking down the powder kernals- not good.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,164
30
48
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Stone,

Here's the best deal ever. Take one of your resized cases over to your nearest archery shop. Give them the case and tell them you need a arrow shaft that is a snug fit over the neck of your case.(Arrow shafts come in a large selection of diameters and wall thicknesses.) Buy the shaft & have them cut the shaft off to the longest length you think you'll be able to stand to use. (Mine is 26")

Take it home and epoxy it to a powder funnel dedicated for this use. Now you got a serious drop tube funnel- and likely no more compressed charges.

To answer your question a little compression is fine but you if you can tell your physically crushing and breaking down the powder kernals- not good.
 
Feb 13, 2011
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Rohnert park, CA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I need some advice. Did my first ladder testing today but could only do it at 100 yards. Here is my target:


LoadDev by bkelly707, on Flickr

42.0, 43.0, 43.5 and 44.0 look like a good grouping to me but do you guys see anything else I should refine?

I shot this out of my R700 SPS-v with 22" barrel.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,164
30
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NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Sorry for the delay on getting back to you. Really 100 yards is way to close....
Try it again at a MINIMUM of 300 yards and report back.

Best,
Tres
 
Feb 10, 2011
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Tallahassee, Florida
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

TresMon --- My question is similar to the one Northern Shooter asked about scope adjustments. If anyone responded to that question, I apologize for not seeing it.

My scope is zeroed for a Lapua Scenar 155 @ 100 yds. If I wanted to ladder test an SMK 175, at 450 yards (maximum for my range), would I make any scope adjustments before making my first shot (since it's a heavier bullet) to make sure I hit the paper somewhere, or do I risk putting my first shot in the dirt?
 
Mar 29, 2010
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Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I ran the ladder test my self. Worked well but I found some issues on it. But here is the answer to your question. DO not touch the zero. Get a BIG ARSE target. Reload the #1 round in your sequences of bullets several times (IE make like 5 of them) use your moa from your normal dope and let it rip. Make adjustments accordingly. By the time you get to bullet 5 you should be on the paper no problem. I used a 6'x6' target and 600 yards. The spread was really good. I was able to load a bullet hole in bullet hole load with the results. Shoot me an email if you have questions or a pm or what ever it is called I can help yah out.
One word of warning the most accurate bullet / powder combo may not be the idea FPS (i.e. it might be slow) and all is for not unless you plan to load two rounds one for accuracy and one for longer range. Best of luck.
 
Mar 28, 2011
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Centerville, Utah
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

All this is well and good for those of you who shoot "little guns". I'm getting a brand spankin new .375 Cheytac and the factory load is 139 grains of Retumbo. If I set up a ladder test at 1% intervals, that's 1.5 grains (rounded up) increase for each of 14 bullets or 19.5 grains of powder from bottom to top. That much change causes me some worry! If I asume factory loads are near max, I shouldn't even be trying loads over 142 grains should I? When I read this thread I didn't notice any replies from shooters using high capacity cases like the Cheytac or .50 BMG. I could sure use some guidance here!
 
Jan 24, 2011
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Iceland
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Thanks a lot for the information you put down in these reloading threads TresMon, I've read them couple of times now and the have solid information to a new reloader/shooter.
Passed 3years I've been shooting those 3shot groups at 100 meters to get the best groups so I was curious to try out the ladder test and here is the result with .308 @ 300 meters. I shot 13 loads from 40gr to 46gr (Where 44gr is the book maximum), shot 12 and 13 started to show slight overpressure. (Bullet was 155 Scenar and powder is N140 Vihtavuori)



My question is why do sometimes hotter charges impact lower? Is it my shooting that screwed things up or some other factor that I'm not thinking of. (Right after this ladder a shot a 3shot 1/2 moa group at 100 meters (With 168gr SMK) to check if my shooting sucked or other things where screwing the test up.)

NOTE: Shots 1-3 where shot earlier than 4-13 due to unexpected interruption at the shooting range, in the mean time the wind calmed down. (had moderate wind from right to left) which explains the horizontal travel of the ladder.

I would guess that shots 7,8,9 are my candidates for retesting at 500 meters (43, 43.5 and 44 grains). That group is 0.8 inches at 300 which I would be very happy about if I could produce on average with my final load.

So any ideas on the hotter loads hitting lower?

Thanks again for this write up! These threads have proven very valuable in my learning curve as a reloader!

ikalli
 

1J04

Morale Officer
Aug 7, 2011
9,820
6,034
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PACIFIC NW
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

This is absolute "MUST KNOW" info and should never, IMHO, be removed from where it's at as a "Sticky". Thanks a million for the great insight.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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Georgia
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I don't see a reply yet on a hotter powder load shooting lower? I have seen that happen to me also. Is that possible, or is it my shooting?
 
Feb 10, 2011
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Tallahassee, Florida
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

See TresMon's earlier response to Jay bird (below):

"Jay bird,

Hotter loads hitting lower is from bullet timing. The bullet is timed with that load to leave the muzzle when the barrel is mechanically pointed (flexed) downward."
 
Mar 28, 2011
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Centerville, Utah
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I guess no one loads larger capacity cases or if they do, they don't do ladder tests. I had hoped Tresmon would come back with some info but......


Well, I'm going to give it my best shot and I'll let you guys know what happens, pics etc.


All I have to do is get my gun and my reloading dies delivered. Everything else is ready to go. 500 yard range for the first ladder test, 600 yard range for the fine tune and final groups.
 
Aug 24, 2011
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SW Missouri
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Thanks to TresMon for posting this great info!

I have had this Savage 110 in 30-06 for nearly three years now and have yet to find a decent load for it. I know I am on the right track now!

I have been reloading for only a few years. This is the first time I had heard about a ladder test. I read through all your steps many times and shot my fist ladder test this morning. Needless to say I am excited for the outcome of my next set of rounds!

Target was at 300 yards. I made a windage adjustment to the scope after shot #1, 1.5 moa R. #2 .25 R. I was not even paying attention to the wind after that. On shot #'s 4-10 the wind was starting to pick up, on my walks back from the target I noticed....

I'll be doing a finer .25g scale starting at 48.75 through 51gr as I have not had any pressure signs with 50gr.



 
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

One addition we do is to use a simple handheld video camera at the target. once you know where you will impact zoom the camera to where it needs to be and go back to the shooting line and shoot away. Also if you are not 100% confident in your shooting do the ladder two or three times on the same sheet with same POA. that way you take some of you out of it. just go through the ladder from top to bottom three times, so to spread apart barrel fouling, heat, etc...

This pretty much combines the OCW and the Ladder.
 
Jan 31, 2010
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Laurel, MT
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Wonderful write Ups, cannot believe you haven't landed a job yet! Have you thought about doing an evening reloading class 1x a week? You really are a great instructor. I believe a lot of newbies Really get lucky when they start out, no major explosions, lost vision....ect ...ect. my reloading started 26 years ago and agree with 95% of your posts. Consistency of ammo is 90% of scores in my opinion, and you have helped many less experienced loaders probably rethink at Minimum where they truly are in the goal of accurate, consistent ammo.
Thanks!! Ben
 
Feb 28, 2011
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Grand Island, FL
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it



Here is my first Ladder Test. 178 Amax and Varget spit out of an AAC-SD. Seated .015 off lands. 42.0 to 44.4 grains in .3 grain increments. Test done at 300 yards. Left to right crosswind
 
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

FWIW If you cant shoot at say 300 yards, the OCW method works well. This of course takes three bullets per charge weight but you can save yourself some time by seeing what other guys use and start two grans down from them and work up from there.

http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/

My .300 Win Mag I am at 79.2 Gr of H1000 behind 208GR Amax with Br2 Primers. No pressure but the bump from 79 to 79.2 gr only got like 15FPS and I am poor so I need my powder to go a long ways. I'll just have to live with 1/2 MOA and just shy of 2900 FPS. I haven't really played with seating depth and maybe I'll give it a shot I am about .020 off the lands mostly so the rounds fit in a the Magazine. I might try to push a bit further in and get some compressed loads going. With virgin brass I get a bit of crunch but once fired brass there is none.
 
Dec 3, 2011
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Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

This find is perfect timing for me as i have just started reloading! Thanks TresMon! I'll do some ladder testing this weekend and report back my findings. I have a Rock RIver Arms Predator Pursuit AR15 with a 20" barrel.

One quick question. My load data shows 27gr of Varget at the Max load. I loaded up from 25 grains to that, but i am crushing the powder. I am assuming this is NOT good. Both my reloading book says that, and the Hodgdon site for a 55gr bullet. Any help? I don't want to fire these rounds until i know it is safe. I know AR's are a little more sensitive to pressures since its an automatic and not a bolt gun.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
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NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Get a drop tube powder funnel

untill then peck on the case with a small drill bit or something as you pour powder in- it will settle better in the case with less airpockets and in the end you can get more in the case.

Why 55 grain bullets? they have no BC. Shoot 77 grainers.
If your after deer look at sierra 65 Gamekings or 70 grain Barnes TSX.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 3, 2007
1,164
30
48
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: targaflorio</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Here's a question: if I see pressure signs with my bullets jammed, should I move them back and add powder to gain mv?</div></div>

NO.

If you see pressure signs drop your powder charge back to where you did not have pressure signs!

THEN you can go to a jumping load.

Then........ you can maybe, with the UTMOST caution- work back towards hotter.

Lots of internet guys love to really really play up the BE CAREFUL YOU"LL BLoW YOURSELF UP banter.

Me- I'm like "give me a break" generally -BUT- but when you got pressure signs, it's time to BE REALLY serious and back away with the utmost caution.
 
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