load development isnt going smoothly, i need a common sense check

Feb 21, 2013
86
12
8
Texas
#1
ill try to keep this short, but im trying to develop a load for my new rifle and its not going too smoothly, i have an idea or two but want to common sense check it with you guys before i end up wasting components trying to chase my tail.

gun: trued remington 700 action, criterion 6.5 creedmoor barrel 1/8 twist varmit profile, area419 brake, mpa ba comp chassis, leupold mark5hd, arc rings, seekins 20moa rail. everything is torqued to spec, and was confirmed pre and post range trip.

ammo: norma brass, h4350, 147gr eld-ms, cci bench rest primers

reloading process: deburr/chamfer, full length sized(virgin brass, 2nd firing and on will be a bump size) with a redding type s, expand necks with 21st centry mandrel for .002 neck tension, prime by hand, throw powder with an rcbs chargemaster and seat with a forster micrometer seating die.

the attempt was to do a 10-shot saterlee type load dev. those results are:

41.7 2707
41.9 2733
42.1 2748
42.3 2750
42.5 2760
42.7 2778
42.9 2787
43.1 2815 (saw pressure signs and stopped here)

so from looking at those numbers i settled on trying 42.2 and running a seating depth test to see what works, results below:

.010 off lands. 1.66moa. avg 2743 sd 3.3 es 10
.020 off lands. 1.12moa. avg 2757 sd 8.7 es 23
.030 off lands 1.08moa. avg 2752 sd 7.1 es 21
.040 off lands 1.55moa. avg 2748 sd 14.2 es 41 (i think i got a bad read from the magneto speed on this one, one came in way slow)
factory length (2.800 coal) .85moa. avg 2759 sd 3.7 es 10

so basically the numbers on .010 off and 2.8coal are good i would think. but the groups sucked across the board. is it possible i just picked a bad charge weight and im not in a node like i thought i was? i did a ladder with RL16 and 42.1 and 42.3 both shot within 7fps of eachother (2800/2807). should i explore that instead of the h4350? could the gun just not like the 147s? i guess there are a handful of things to change in here and im wondering which will be the best direction to go to tighten this gun up. if my sd/es numbers can stay in the 3.x/10 range ill be happy with that, but i would expect the gun is capable of shooting much tighter groups than it did today. (for reference i can regularly shoot in the .6 range with my RPR and handloads, so i feel comfortable saying im capable of better than what i was seeing today.
 
Mar 27, 2012
547
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Newark OH-IO Go bucks
#2
Reshoot a ladder or OCW test with the once fired brass.

Shoot them at 20 thou jump.

Load extra so you can run 1 complete set of charges over the chrono.

Remember not to shoot groups or tests with the magnetto speed attached to the barrel.

Lapua> Norma. Good brass makes life a little easier.

Stick with the 147gr and h4350. You already have that stuff. If nothing works than it would be wise to trade out the 147gr for 140s. Don’t ignore the lapua recommendation above.

Don’t mix virgin brass with once fired brass. If you need more once fired brass to conduct a thorough load development then make some.

Don’t over size your brass. If precision is your goal then a light crush fit is optimal.

For load work up. Sort bullets if you have the means to.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
86
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Texas
#3
ill give it a try. and all of the group info was NOT with the magnetospeed attached. i went with 10 rounds of each today, grouped with 5 and chronoed 5. the groups with the magnetospeed(not mentioned above at all) were interesting to say the least, high poi shift and some groups tightened while others opened way up. i put no value in those groups, just found it interesting. what charge weights would you suggest for the ladder/ocw? i originally shot in .2 increments from 41.7 to 43.1, would you do the same again? or something different? and given the option of either ocw or ladder which would you go with? ive got a 100yd range and a 400yd range that i can use for either. at this point im open to suggestions.

using the once fired brass will be happening, its tumbling now
 
Mar 27, 2012
547
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Newark OH-IO Go bucks
#4
Don’t clean your brass! You want that carbon inside the neck. Neck tension/release is very important.

OCW vs ladder, your preference. What range/distance are you most comfortable shooting at? I’d lean towards an OCW method at this point.

Use the same charge weights. Keep it simple.

When you have an outlier in a set of data like you did. Delete that shot from your magnetto speed and move on.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
86
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Texas
#5
dont clean it? its spent about 5 min in the dry tumbler, but i can take it out if thats whats recommended. im not ignoring the lapua suggestion at all, just trying to work with what i have at the moment. if switching brass is whats needed than it can easily happen. as for what range, i dont care, i can comfortably shoot it at either. as for sizing for this run i was just going to go for a .002 bump and resize the necks. and yes i can sort the bullets, ive got about 400 of them siting here, nothing stopping me from weighing them.
 

ShtrRdy

Gunny Sergeant
Sep 17, 2011
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#6
This past summer I worked up a load for a new 260 Rem barrel. I found that the barrel didn't like certain bullets. My reference load turned out to be with a 140 gr Sierra Matchking. That one was real easy to get it to shoot. I finally got the Berger 140 gr Hybrid to shoot well. But other bullets I tried were not as consistent. So, don't be afraid to try other bullets.
 
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Likes: Culpeper
Feb 21, 2013
86
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Texas
#8
i wish i had others sitting around here. im tempted to take the drive to bass pro or something and see whats in stock. i wouldnt mind trying something else at all. worse case, i know the RPR likes the 147s, they can belong to it, and this one can shoot something else.
 
Mar 27, 2012
547
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Newark OH-IO Go bucks
#9
No need to clean the brass unless it got tossed it mud.

Make sure you get all the media out of the case, primer cup and flash channel.

All that is needed is a external wipe with a wash cloth and some rubbing alcohol. Run inside the case mouth some kind of bore brush. Nylon, bronze or bore mop whatever you have close by. Slide in.... twist... pull out and done. Since you’ve already cleaned them some in the dry media then a bore mop would be plenty abrasive.

Bullet seating needs to be very smooth. Think hot knife slicing through butter smooth.

If you feel a bullet seats easier or more difficult than the others than use it for a fouler and not in your load development. Everything needs to be as close to the same as possible or your wasting your time.

Stick with what you have component wise. It’s pointless to make a determination on load development with virgin brass.

Ladder vs OCW: still your call. Load 4 rounds of each charge for the OCW test (the fourth is if you have a called pulled shot).

Shoot at least 2 identical ladder tests if you choose to do a ladder.

Load additional rounds for velocity testing if you desire.

Emphasis on not worrying about getting different components at this time.

Best of luck.
 
Feb 21, 2013
86
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#10
not changing anything just yet. thats an hour drive one way anyway, if im going to make a change ill be ordering something, so thats out for tomorrow. im with you on the consistency when reloading thing, so far so good, but ill keep an eye on everything this go around and see if i notice anything odd, if so ill toss it to the side. they sat in the tumbler for literally 4 or 5 min so im sure it didnt do much, ill make sure the brass is clear of any media or any bullshit and give them a wipe, shoulder bump and hit the necks and load them up. i think ill lean towards the ocw over the ladder. this went much smoother with the last gun, and the biggest difference is the virgin brass, so im inclined to belive that thats playing a big part like youre saying. ill load some up tonight and give it a go. any other advice from anyone is more then welcome, thanks guys
 

padom

SuperMod
Staff member
Mar 13, 2013
6,653
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Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#11
Tumbling your brass just like your doing is what you want to do and does not remove excess carbon. Most of us dey tumble. SS tumbling removes a lot of carbon but is subjective

You dint need to use brushes and mops and abrasives and whatever else stated above. That does nothing for you. I dry tumble for 4 or 5 loads and have SD of 5 or less and ting little groups.

I would suggest getting a few different boxes of different bullets. Find what your rifle likes. 130 AR Hybrids, 140 Hybrids, 140 ELD, 130 ELD all shoot really good.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Texas
#12
gotcha thanks. i was under the impression that dry tumbling was fine, but at this point im open minded. i do want to try the 130/140 hybrids. and the other ELDs if these dont work out
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
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Tallahassee, FL
#13
Cleaning cases in dry media will not get the necks too clean. There is nothing wrong with dry tumbling. I would forget the chrono for now and get some ELD 140s. Unless you had the barrel special made it should be chambered for them. It should shoot the 147s just fine though, mine does. I would suggest a small ocw. 10 rounds each of 41.5- 42 - 42.5. Shoot them round robin in groups of 5. Do two sets of 5 each. Make sure you are not causing randomness in groups. If there is any doubt about your ability to group well get some factory 140eld ammo and see how it groups. My criterion shoots those almost as good as handloads.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Texas
#15
if i can find some 140eld in stock anywhere ill give them a try. not to be dumb but does the barrel just need to settle in? ive got a grand total of 90 rounds through it(including the ones that lead to the results above).

and i thought about swapping the scope out. this one is a leupold mark5hd, i would hope its fine, but i agree, it could be a factor. maybe ill throw my gen 2 pst on it from another rifle and see what it does too
 

padom

SuperMod
Staff member
Mar 13, 2013
6,653
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Southeastern, Pennsylvania
#16
My barrels shoot tight from the get go. I've seen some take 10-15rd.. Criterion I had shot great from the get go. I have 147's but never tried them so zero experience. Lots of 140 ELD and all short great. I'm a Berger guy, I shoot 140 Hybrids and every charge weight is sub 0.5" @ 100. Try another bullet if it doesn't tighten up.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
232
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Tallahassee, FL
#17
if i can find some 140eld in stock anywhere ill give them a try. not to be dumb but does the barrel just need to settle in? ive got a grand total of 90 rounds through it(including the ones that lead to the results above).

and i thought about swapping the scope out. this one is a leupold mark5hd, i would hope its fine, but i agree, it could be a factor. maybe ill throw my gen 2 pst on it from another rifle and see what it does too
I would def get some and try them. You could have a rifle or scope issue or the new chassis my just take some getting used to. I typically a little time behind a new set up before I can shoot tiny groups from a bipod. They all are a little different and like to be held a little bit different. Take all of those variables out before trying to develop a load.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
734
232
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Tallahassee, FL
#18
My barrels shoot tight from the get go. I've seen some take 10-15rd.. Criterion I had shot great from the get go. I have 147's but never tried them so zero experience. Lots of 140 ELD and all short great. I'm a Berger guy, I shoot 140 Hybrids and every charge weight is sub 0.5" @ 100. Try another bullet if it doesn't tighten up.
How do you set up when you test products or develop loads? Bags or prone?
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Texas
#19
thats what i was expecting out of this thing... not over an inch. hopefully something figures itself out here shortly, this is a little dissapointing so far. im about to run around town here in a few min and see if i can find any factory 140eldms to shoot for comparison
 
Mar 27, 2012
547
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Newark OH-IO Go bucks
#20
You dint need to use brushes and mops and abrasives and whatever else stated above. That does nothing for you.
Restated with clarification: what was said was a bore mop would be plenty abrasive if ran down the necks for a single pass. Sure you don’t have to if your using dry media to clean but I think it would be best practice even if you can’t shoot the difference.

If you're shooting large quantities and your brass is not babied like in PRS (which many on this forum shoot and offer their advice from) then by all means run them through a dry media tumbler.

If you shoot purely on a square range for small groups then it’s not necessary.

If you ask 10 people for advice you’ll get many different opinions with a few that overlap on what is “best.”

You’re heading down the right path either way!
 
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Culpeper

One divided by F
Nov 25, 2006
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#22
I went through several times. A cracked scope ring, recoil lug needed bedding, brand new bad scope, and batch of bullets out of specs. The latter throwing shit all over the place.
 

steve123

Lt. Colonel
Mar 16, 2008
7,549
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Flagstaff, AZ
#23
OP, If possible do a ladder test no closer than 300Y, 400Y is more telling.

Research positive compensation which is talked about on the benchrest sites. http://www.geoffrey-kolbe.com/articles/rimfire_accuracy/tuning_a_barrel.htm

It's not all about having the lowest ES, it's more about when that bullet exits the barrel and the position of the barrel when the bullet exits. 600Y and 1000Y benchrest records have been set with decent ES but more so perfect barrel timing.

As proof calculate how small the ES should be to shoot sub 1/2" groups at 600Y and 1-2" groups at 1000Y. The math doesn't add up but yet those records happen.

All that being said, some barrels will just never shoot well. Also some smiths could do a better job. Plus like mentioned something else could be wrong. Both or all three???

I have a mostly burned out 30 cal barrel(1600 rounds on it) that will foul up and shoot like crap but when cleaned well it'll shoot great for 20-30 shots. Last year I hit almost twice as much as the rest of the guys at ELR distances with this barrel on day one. Without cleaning -on day two I hit half as much, I thought for sure the barrel was gone or my scope had broke, nope, found out later the old barrel once cleaned again was shooting 5" vertical at 1122Y. At the 1300 round mark, when I did my ladder test with this same barrel with 225's I got 3 shots into 1" at 400Y, I chose the middle charge which worked great until that day 2 problem.

Unfortunately you'll just have to keep trouble shooting, that can suck!
 
Apr 4, 2017
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#24
Redo the 10 shot method again with the fireformed brass. You also want to increase 0.1gn increments over at least 10 shots. Since 43.1 was your max, I'd back down a bit and run from 41.5 up to 43.0 (so 16 rounds in total). Find the flat spot in velocity and them move onto Seating depth. Redo your test but pick the tightest group size.
 

Culpeper

One divided by F
Nov 25, 2006
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#27
Yeah, if I'm getting inconsistent groups right from the start with known good ammo it is best to stop right there and make sure everything is buttoned down correctly and within specs. Last thing it is going to be is ammo because I'm using a known and proven setup. From the first time out I should be tweaking sub moa even with factory match ammo. Otherwise something else is amiss and tweaking ammo is like the last thing on my mind.
 
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Feb 21, 2013
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#28
so no the threads are untouched on the action. all that was done to the action was the face was trued up, and the lugs were straightened. he did not touch the threads at all.

so i went back out today to try again, and still im kind of at a loss. im leaning towards this gun just not liking the 147s. i shot some factory hornady black 140gr rounds as well(there was no one around with eld's in stock). those factory rounds shot between 1.2 and 2.3 moa. also for comparison i shot my .308 with some factory fggm 175s today and it shot right around .7moa, like it usually does, so im comfortable saying this isnt me.

i loaded up from 41.5 to 42.6 in .1gr increments and 5 shots per. 4 for grouping and 1 for chronographing. results are below

all rounds are norma brass(1x fired), cci br2 primers, H4350 and 147eldms
41.5 2745 1.41moa
41.6 2737 1.13moa
41.7 2743 .94moa
41.8 2742 .97moa
41.9 2763 1.40moa
42.0 2774 .79moa
42.1 2796 1.64moa
42.2 2798 1.73moa
42.3 2788 .93moa
42.4 2802 .96moa
42.5 2814 .68moa
42.6 2808 1.31moa

it started showing pressure around 42.1. velocity is up about 30ish give or take per charge from 2 days ago, i assume thats just the barrel breaking in? as for this thing not grouping worth a shit and there not being a defined flat spot anywhere(maybe 41.6, 42.2(which is what i tried seating depth for above)).... im starting to think maybe it just doesnt like the 147s? it shot the hornady black like shit too, but i dont know how much merit i want to put in that as i couldnt find hornady match anywhere. none the less, im at a loss and kind of getting frusturated that this gun wont shoot too well. what would you guys do? new projectile, new powder(i have RL16, varget, superformance, and h4350 sitting here), new gun?lol any and all suggestions are welcome, and if a new projectile or powder is your suggestion feel free to suggest specifics. thanks guys.
 

supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
2,681
745
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#29
Yeah, if I'm getting inconsistent groups right from the start with known good ammo it is best to stop right there and make sure everything is buttoned down correctly and within specs. Last thing it is going to be is ammo because I'm using a known and proven setup. From the first time out I should be tweaking sub moa even with factory match ammo. Otherwise something else is amiss and tweaking ammo is like the last thing on my mind.
I think Culpeper and your gun are hinting there is something wrong. I would try another optic first, since you checked everything was tight already. You could have an action that is not straight enough to interface well with the V block in your chassis. When you loosen the rear action screw, can you see the tang lift away from the chassis? You could have a base that needs bedded. If factory match ammo is shooting bad, i would start looking for a problem.

Sorry mis read your last post. Not sure how Hornady black shoots either. Find some factory match, or pick up 100 of a different projectile. Either will let you know if its the 147 or the gun.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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#32
and agreed. its frusturating that NO one within an hour of here has any match in stock, everyone has random shit or hunting rounds. i used to be able to find 140/147 match everywhere. ill see what i can find, maybe itll be worth a little drive.
 

supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
2,681
745
113
#33
and agreed. its frusturating that NO one within an hour of here has any match in stock, everyone has random shit or hunting rounds. i used to be able to find 140/147 match everywhere. ill see what i can find, maybe itll be worth a little drive.
Rural life. I haven't bought anything for long range shooting from a storefront in about 7 years. Let someone bring it to your house for you. UPS was making the drive anyway, so they do it for pretty cheap. LOL.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Texas
#34
lol youre right about that one. ill have to place an order. its still pretty odd that that hornady black shot like shit, although ive never used it before so i have nothing to compare to
 

supercorndogs

Professor Dickweed
Feb 17, 2014
2,681
745
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#35
Try switching scopes. Check your base while your scope is off. Remove the rear two base screws and see if the base lifts away from the action. Reverse the procedure to check the front. If your base is not straight you may also notice your ring lifting away from the base, when you loosen one and leave the other tight. Make sure your barrel, trigger, and bolt handle don't touch the stock or bottom metal. I would remove the BA from the chassis and make sure there is no debris in the recoil lug contact area.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Texas
#36
ill give all of that a try. i have a scope i can throw on it from another rifle, ill make sure everything seems straight/clean and re assemble the whole thing. after that ill put a box or two of factory hornady 140elds through it and lets see what happens.
 
Feb 21, 2013
86
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Texas
#37
So I just pulled it all apart. Nothing was obviously wrong at all. It looks like the action is mating to the v block fine. Nothing odd with the scope base or anything. I mounted another scope I had laying around. I guess now I have to wait until next weekend to see what it does. This whole thing is still just odd though
 

Culpeper

One divided by F
Nov 25, 2006
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#40
And another since you had lug work done. Degrease and mark the rear of the bolt lugs and cycle the bolt several times. Look to see how evenly the lug contact removes the black marker. Also, do the same with a resized case and then a fired case insert and extract. Look for out of spec contact.
 
Feb 21, 2013
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#41
No crown issues showed up. I'll give that a shot now. Just wipe it down good, hit it with a marker and see how evenly it wipes off? No case, resized and fired? Will do
 
Feb 21, 2013
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Texas
#42
Ok so. With an empty chamber the bottom lug wipes pretty much lean and the top just hardly shows a line through the center of it. With fired brass it's much more even. Non fired brass is the same as an empty chamber
 

Skookum

Flattus Domini
May 6, 2017
835
729
93
Your mom's
#44
ill try to keep this short, but im trying to develop a load for my new rifle and its not going too smoothly, i have an idea or two but want to common sense check it with you guys before i end up wasting components trying to chase my tail.

gun: trued remington 700 action, criterion 6.5 creedmoor barrel 1/8 twist varmit profile, area419 brake, mpa ba comp chassis, leupold mark5hd, arc rings, seekins 20moa rail. everything is torqued to spec, and was confirmed pre and post range trip.

ammo: norma brass, h4350, 147gr eld-ms, cci bench rest primers

reloading process: deburr/chamfer, full length sized(virgin brass, 2nd firing and on will be a bump size) with a redding type s, expand necks with 21st centry mandrel for .002 neck tension, prime by hand, throw powder with an rcbs chargemaster and seat with a forster micrometer seating die.

the attempt was to do a 10-shot saterlee type load dev. those results are:

41.7 2707
41.9 2733
42.1 2748
42.3 2750
42.5 2760
42.7 2778
42.9 2787
43.1 2815 (saw pressure signs and stopped here)

so from looking at those numbers i settled on trying 42.2 and running a seating depth test to see what works, results below:

.010 off lands. 1.66moa. avg 2743 sd 3.3 es 10
.020 off lands. 1.12moa. avg 2757 sd 8.7 es 23
.030 off lands 1.08moa. avg 2752 sd 7.1 es 21
.040 off lands 1.55moa. avg 2748 sd 14.2 es 41 (i think i got a bad read from the magneto speed on this one, one came in way slow)
factory length (2.800 coal) .85moa. avg 2759 sd 3.7 es 10

so basically the numbers on .010 off and 2.8coal are good i would think. but the groups sucked across the board. is it possible i just picked a bad charge weight and im not in a node like i thought i was? i did a ladder with RL16 and 42.1 and 42.3 both shot within 7fps of eachother (2800/2807). should i explore that instead of the h4350? could the gun just not like the 147s? i guess there are a handful of things to change in here and im wondering which will be the best direction to go to tighten this gun up. if my sd/es numbers can stay in the 3.x/10 range ill be happy with that, but i would expect the gun is capable of shooting much tighter groups than it did today. (for reference i can regularly shoot in the .6 range with my RPR and handloads, so i feel comfortable saying im capable of better than what i was seeing today.
This might be a dumb question, but what was the overall length when you did your pressure testing?
 

ESBVader

Total Noob
Mar 12, 2018
135
27
28
NC
#46
My Criterion barrel shot pretty loose when it was clean. It tightened up nicely when I left it alone and left the copper fouling in place. My group sizes were cut in half by simply not cleaning the bore after shooting.
 
Likes: CJS-6.5
Feb 21, 2013
86
12
8
Texas
#49
My Criterion barrel shot pretty loose when it was clean. It tightened up nicely when I left it alone and left the copper fouling in place. My group sizes were cut in half by simply not cleaning the bore after shooting.
I was thinking this could be a thing too, my other rifles are the same way. I started today with 65 rounds through the gun since cleaning, and ended at 125 total, I figured if it was a "too clean" kind of problem I would be past that round count wise
 

Culpeper

One divided by F
Nov 25, 2006
2,167
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Roswell NM
#50
I should have mentioned the dummy case should be made from a fired case. You're pretty much down to changing the scope. I know all this is a PITA but these are things you can check between range trips. Do you know how to bed a scope base and recoil lug? Checking that the lug is square within the stock lug inlet is important. Also, shoot without the brake too. There is always the possibility your barrel and brake are not a good match. Sort of like a piano wire out of tune. The good news everything appears to be concentric thus far. Though I don't like the bolt lug contact. You paid to have that squared.
 
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