“Beginner” Reloading Help

Racerngr1

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Ruger Precision Rifle

6.5 Creedmoor
Winchester Large Primer
H4350 powder
Hornady 140 Gr ELD Match
Lyman turret press
Rcbs matchmaster dies



I’ve really been caught by the long range bug and am doing the best I can handloading and am sure there is a ton I could be doing better. Any constructive criticism would be appreciated.



I’m using my RCBS Matchmaster dies to bump the shoulder on my once fired Hornady brass back .002 after each firing and trimming to 1.910 (because that’s what Hogdgon website says) with my RCBS power trimmer, chamfer and debur the case mouth and clean out the primer pocket.



Question: After I trim then use my hand tools to chamfer and debur, my cases consistently grow so I put them back in my power trimmer and it comes right back to size? What the.....



I hand prime and use my RCBS chargemaster 1500 to play with various weights of H4350. The first time I seated my bullets I set my micrometer die and left it at the same length for all 20 bullets and got a somewhat consistent measurement at the ojive on my Hornady bullet comparator but the OAL was all over the place.



The second time I sat each bullet long and used the micrometer die to adjust the oal of the loaded ammo to exactly where I wanted it and that length is based off of the internal length of the magazine.

A3FDB705-8B65-457C-A154-C5C573BE1AA4.jpeg
CAC677A4-41A8-4004-AD01-3247345E6251.jpeg
This was after measuring off of the Ojive:
6AF45D23-9284-4E83-8197-0210369FA82B.jpeg
This was after measuring the OAL and adjusting the die each round. The black target was factory Hornady Match.
091EB5F6-AB14-4C57-A842-CA88897E0450.jpeg
 

Alabusa

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One suggestion that I would make is....get you a hand priming tool, I use the RCBS version, and ditch the on the press primer. I have that same press and you have no "feel" for how you are seating primers. I do all of mine with the hand priming tool. Plus, it gets all that crap out of the way making it easier to get to what you are loading.
 

Racerngr1

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I have that and that’s what I use. I’m going to try switching to Federal primers as I think they are a little softer than the Winchesters.
 
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nn8734

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Bump your shoulder back .001 not .002. You should be feeling ever so slight resistance when closing the bolt. Want to minimize case expansion as much as possible.

edit: disregard original second question - just saw the measurement in your last sentence in second to last paragraph.

Note that you will see variance in the ogive lengths across different bullets; it’s hard to get a lot thats bang on consistent.

I’d ogive sort them first then adjust your die accordingly based on your desired jump not the mag length unless you are running up against the mag length before you hit jam length
 
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Racerngr1

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Bump your shoulder back .001 not .002. You should be feeling ever so slight resistance when closing the bolt. Want to minimize case expansion as much as possible.

edit: disregard original second question - just saw the measurement in your last sentence in second to last paragraph.

Note that you will see variance in the ogive lengths across different bullets; it’s hard to get a lot thats bang on consistent.

I’d ogive sort them first then adjust your die accordingly based on your desired jump not the mag length unless you are running up against the mag length before you hit jam length
I did measure the OAL and am well up against the magazine. I forget what the exactlength is but it’s a significant jump, that’s why I just focused on the magazine which is 2.830 I think. (Without checking notes)
 

nn8734

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I did measure the OAL and am well up against the magazine. I forget what the exactlength is but it’s a significant jump, that’s why I just focused on the magazine which is 2.830 I think. (Without checking notes)
Just to clarify, your overall cartridge length is too long to fit in the mag when you load the round so the base to ogive length = 0 jump? Are those mags that short? Or is the throat that long?
 

Racerngr1

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Yes, if I measure with my OAL gauge it will not fit in the magazine. My initial plan was to measure then load my rounds so I was about .020 off of the lands but the magazine had other thoughts about that
 

nn8734

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One other thing about the brass expanding back to size...I see this in about 5-10% of my brass after sizing; it’s considered normal as brass, like many metals, has “memory” and occasionally likes to spring back.

For this reason, I generally size/prep brass on a different day than I prime, charge and seat.

before priming, I’ll measure the brass shoulder again and resize if necessary before priming.
 

nn8734

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Yes, if I measure with my OAL gauge it will not fit in the magazine. My initial plan was to measure then load my rounds so I was about .020 off of the lands but the magazine had other thoughts about that
Gotcha...I think your throat is too long, absent any addl info but a gunsmith can confirm/deny. This isn’t totally unheard off with the 6.5 creedmoor but certainly not common. Sucks because you’re using pills that prefer .005-.020 jump, generally speaking. Your groups look decent at 100. Once you get a load with a single digit SD and low ES, test at 300 and see how it’s performing. You may be able to work with what you have.

If not, Perhaps try a pure tangent ogive bullet that likes some jump. SMKs come to mind.
 

Ryridesmotox

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Assuming your RPR has a factory barrel... you may want to try different bullets with different ogives. Also, the ELDs have that little meplat on them. I used to use them in 308 a lot. Switched to a standard HPBT match bullet 175 Nosler CC and 175 Sierra match. A standard hollow point will give you a tiny bit more length to try and find the rifling. You may find it doesnt matter, so just try a few different ones til you find what the rifle likes.

The thing I've noticed about hand loading is, the tinkering is never done.
 

Racerngr1

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Gotcha...I think your throat is too long, absent any addl info but a gunsmith can confirm/deny. This isn’t totally unheard off with the 6.5 creedmoor but certainly not common. Sucks because you’re using pills that prefer .005-.020 jump, generally speaking. Your groups look decent at 100. Once you get a load with a single digit SD and low ES, test at 300 and see how it’s performing. You may be able to work with what you have.

If not, Perhaps try a pure tangent ogive bullet that likes some jump. SMKs come to mind.
 

Racerngr1

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Assuming your RPR has a factory barrel... you may want to try different bullets with different ogives. Also, the ELDs have that little meplat on them. I used to use them in 308 a lot. Switched to a standard HPBT match bullet 175 Nosler CC and 175 Sierra match. A standard hollow point will give you a tiny bit more length to try and find the rifling. You may find it doesnt matter, so just try a few different ones til you find what the rifle likes.

The thing I've noticed about hand loading is, the tinkering is never done.
I do want to try a different bullet by either Barnes or Sierra and get away from the Polymer tip.
 

Racerngr1

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A question I have is how should I try to reload my next test. My max OAL is limited to 2.830 due to the magazine and I’m using H4350 140 Gr Hornady bullets.
This was done with my charge weight from left to right at 39.2, 39.4, 39.6, 39.8, 40. Also, on this batch i loadedthe first two rounds off of the ojive then left the seater die alone

F3A70C6F-800F-4D4E-8389-D504B4ABF00D.jpeg

This target was 5 shot groups vs 3 shot groups and I measured the OAL of all 20 rounds and it was exactly 2.830 adjusting the die for each and every bullet which sucked. The charge weights were 39.2, 39.5, 39.8, and 40.1
3A98E3BF-4AC9-46A3-93C1-4965A326164A.jpeg
 
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nn8734

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A question I have is how should I try to reload my next test. My max OAL is limited to 2.830 due to the magazine and I’m using H4350 140 Gr Hornady bullets.

This was done with my charge weight from left to right at 39.2, 39.4, 39.6, 39.8, 40. Also, on this batch i loadedthe first two rounds off of the ojive then left the seater die alone

View attachment 7199977

This target was 5 shot groups vs 3 shot groups and I measured the OAL of all 20 rounds and it was exactly 2.830 adjusting the die for each and every bullet which sucked. The charge weights were 39.2, 39.5, 39.8, and 40.1
View attachment 7199978
What was your Standard Deviation and Extreme Spread for each of those charge weights?

Group sizes at 100 only tell part of the story.
 

nn8734

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I’m not sure, my labradar showed up today and I’m anxious to try it out
You will love the LabRadar, I’ve had mine two years and wouldn’t go back to magnetospeeds or regular chronos

get an SD card if you don’t already have one otherwise you won’t be able to download your data to phones, laptops etc.

Also, I strongly suggest you test at 300 vs 100. Reason being is that it’s easy to make a marginal load look good at a hundred yards and can be confusing if the group looks good but the SD/ES doesn’t .

300 exposes the shitty loads from the ones with potential and helps you identify when you have a load that will shoot. Additionally it will expose any issues you may or may not have with the fundamentals.

Lastly, I would perform a ladder test first at 300 yards to help you vector in on the muzzle velocities where your rifle’s accuracy nodes are located. Will shrink load development cycle for you.

Let us know if you need more info on how to prepare and conduct the ladder test
 
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Ryridesmotox

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When I only have 100 yards... I'll usually shoot and see what group has the best ES on the velocity side. After that I'll play with seating depth
 

Racerngr1

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When I only have 100 yards... I'll usually shoot and see what group has the best ES on the velocity side. After that I'll play with seating depth
my local range is 100 and the best to shoot at. Our 300 yard range has a bunch of knuckle heads who shoot your targets for you when you set them up
 

Brutalwarpig

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One suggestion that I would make is....get you a hand priming tool, I use the RCBS version, and ditch the on the press primer. I have that same press and you have no "feel" for how you are seating primers. I do all of mine with the hand priming tool. Plus, it gets all that crap out of the way making it easier to get to what you are loading.
Absolutely! I use a Lyman primer and love it although I would appreciate an adjustable ram. Sometimes I have a difficult time getting primers fully seated.
 

Brutalwarpig

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I am about to tackle 22 TCM reloading and wondered if anyone else has tried it and have any tips to offer?
 

SupressYourself

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I don't mean to complicate this further, but it seems like you may be leaving a lot of velocity on the table. With H4350 and 140 class bullets, most find a good "node" in the 42 grain range. For example, my pet load is 41.9 gr of H4350 with the 140 ELDM at ~2850fps (26" barrel). Now, I'm not saying you should cram as much powder in that case as you can -- chasing velocity is a fools errand -- but you have some room there.

And keep in mind that bullet jump is not always critical. I have rifle / bullet combinations that jump a mile and shoot great. Just seat them with a consistent measurement to ogive and you'll find a winner.
 
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Racerngr1

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I don't mean to complicate this further, but it seems like you may be leaving a lot of velocity on the table. With H4350 and 140 class bullets, most find a good "node" in the 42 grain range. For example, my pet load is 41.9 gr of H4350 with the 140 ELDM at ~2850fps (26" barrel). Now, I'm not saying you should cram as much powder in that case as you can -- chasing velocity is a fools errand -- but you have some room there.

And keep in mind that bullet jump is not always critical. I have rifle / bullet combinations that jump a mile and shoot great. Just seat them with a consistent measurement to ogive and you'll find a winner.
I appreciate you bringing this up because with all the research I’ve done on recipes for this rounds I’ve found loads more inline with what you’re saying. My issue is the website (Hodgdon) says max load was 40.0 so I didn’t want to push past that. With that being said I saved my cases that I used when I charged to round with 40 so I can publish a picture and verify there is no dangerous pressure signs.
 

Racerngr1

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I don't mean to complicate this further, but it seems like you may be leaving a lot of velocity on the table. With H4350 and 140 class bullets, most find a good "node" in the 42 grain range. For example, my pet load is 41.9 gr of H4350 with the 140 ELDM at ~2850fps (26" barrel). Now, I'm not saying you should cram as much powder in that case as you can -- chasing velocity is a fools errand -- but you have some room there.

And keep in mind that bullet jump is not always critical. I have rifle / bullet combinations that jump a mile and shoot great. Just seat them with a consistent measurement to ogive and you'll find a winner.
I appreciate you bringing this up because with all the research I’ve done on recipes for this rounds I’ve found loads more inline with what you’re saying. My issue is the website (Hodgdon) says max load was 40.0 so I didn’t want to push past that. With that being said I saved my cases that I used when I charged to round with 40 so I can publish a picture and verify there is no dangerous pressure signs.

83D97BBB-40F6-4CE0-94B5-16E6D6FBB120.jpeg
17D40FD5-BB5D-4C57-9773-01764E7BA4C7.jpeg
FC7F343D-54D4-4D68-917C-6333F6A7BA7E.jpeg
 

nn8734

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I appreciate you bringing this up because with all the research I’ve done on recipes for this rounds I’ve found loads more inline with what you’re saying. My issue is the website (Hodgdon) says max load was 40.0 so I didn’t want to push past that. With that being said I saved my cases that I used when I charged to round with 40 so I can publish a picture and verify there is no dangerous pressure signs.

View attachment 7200837
View attachment 7200838
View attachment 7200840
You can monitor for pressure by measuring you case before and after firing....Use a dial caliper or 1” micrometer and measure the diameter of the base of your unfired case just above the extractor grove.

Then fire the round.

Take the same measurement and subtract the measurement taken on the unfired case from the measurement of the fired case to get your expansion.

If it’s .0015 your at pressure (your brass won’t yet show pressure signs) and is safe to load but you don’t want to increase charge weight any further unless you do something else to mitigate pressure (switch to a cooler primer or seat the bullet a little further from the lands, etc).

Here are a couple pics for addl context. I see just under .001 expansion. The charge weight is written on the cases.
0270E605-80D9-42F6-9144-300C02E80D14.jpeg21844510-311B-4E98-9596-76746827768C.jpeg
 

SupressYourself

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Those published max loads are always a bit low on purpose. We'd need a much closer close-up of the case head to see any extractor marks, but the primers look pretty good (not cratered, edges are still rounded) to me. Considering you can't get to the lands with that bullet, I'd say you'd have to have something very much out of whack to be over-pressure with 40.0.
 

Racerngr1

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Those published max loads are always a bit low on purpose. We'd need a much closer close-up of the case head to see any extractor marks, but the primers look pretty good (not cratered, edges are still rounded) to me. Considering you can't get to the lands with that bullet, I'd say you'd have to have something very much out of whack to be over-pressure with 40.0.
This is what I’m basically doing but with a different primer. What should I use for charge weights on my next test loads?
EF729BDC-6E88-488E-AF2B-E3EB54318965.png
 

nn8734

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Do a ladder test as I suggested a few posts ago. Start with 39g and increase by .2 or .3 increments to 42 or 42.5g Load one case with each charge weight. Load each case using identical components, seating the bullet so the jump is exactly the same for every round.

Fire the rounds at a target at 300 yards, recording the muzzle velocity of each starting with the lowest charge weight and work your way up. Write the charge weight on each case to keep track. Stop firing at whatever charge weight starts giving you visual signs of pressure.

once you complete the test, post a picture of the target and MVs for each charge weight here and we can help you interpret the results.

Randomly trying different charge weights and components (primers, powders, bullet seating depths, etc) with out a methodological approach just wastes time and barrel life.
 
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Racerngr1

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Had a good day of loading and playing with my lab radar. I’m thinking my 40 grain group is what I want to use to load for this rifle as the last few times my 40 grain group has been pretty good. What are your thoughts @nn8734
 

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nn8734

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Had a good day of loading and playing with my lab radar. I’m thinking my 40 grain group is what I want to use to load for this rifle as the last few times my 40 grain group has been pretty good. What are your thoughts @nn8734
1576379218103.png

Attached an image of your data for anyone wanting to view on mobile devices without Adobe capabilities.

Looks like your best group, in terms of SD and ES is at 39.7 with another node perhaps at 40.4...
While your best 5-shot group physically is with the 40 grain charge, its SD and ES are horrible, which tells me that vertical dispersion would be pretty sizable at 300+ if those numbers hold across say, 20 rounds loaded at 40g. This is why I don't like testing at 100 yards; visual group sizes often seem at odds with the collected data and creates confusion. Since this is a no-shit 1200 yard cartridge, want to ensure we get as clear a picture as possible so when we take it to its limit, it will perform to expectations.

Suggested Next Steps: Load 5 rounds of 39.7 and 40.4 and test at 300 while gathering data. If your vertical dispersion is tight and your SD/ES are consistent with the above figures for the two respective charge weights, id go with best in terms of SD, ES and do more extensive testing with that load.

If you want, load another 5 at 40g just to see if perhaps there was one round that threw the SD and ES off (not likely) but might serve to satisfy any curiosity.

That sub-4 SD is really nice.
 
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Racerngr1

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Thank you. I'll do another test at 39.7, 40, and 40.4 and work on finding a decent range to shoot 300 yards to test.
 

Nimothy

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You can monitor for pressure by measuring you case before and after firing....Use a dial caliper or 1” micrometer and measure the diameter of the base of your unfired case just above the extractor grove.

Then fire the round.

Take the same measurement and subtract the measurement taken on the unfired case from the measurement of the fired case to get your expansion.

If it’s .0015 your at pressure (your brass won’t yet show pressure signs) and is safe to load but you don’t want to increase charge weight any further unless you do something else to mitigate pressure (switch to a cooler primer or seat the bullet a little further from the lands, etc).

Here are a couple pics for addl context. I see just under .001 expansion. The charge weight is written on the cases.
View attachment 7200853View attachment 7200854
That’s pretty interesting I’ve never heard of doing that before, is it consistent across all types of brass like thicker lapua to thinner hornady? And it should be repeatable assuming brass is from the same lot or weight sorted (Lc) which brings up my next question does it work for autoloaders too? Or just tight custom chambers?
 

Nimothy

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This is what I’m basically doing but with a different primer. What should I use for charge weights on my next test loads?
View attachment 7200900
A month ago that used to say 41.5. And I load 42.3 and it’s not compressed even at listed coal so idk what’s going on at Hodgdon but since staball came out that website is full of shit. And also that’s for amax, which looks the same and the load data is usually the same (except for 178eld) but is completely different bullet length wise in all measurements but in this case all 140 class bullets should run higher and usually do better when they do. When determining charge weights I use a modifed “saterly”(sp?) test since you now have a crono. I load 15ish cases in .2 gr increments from day 38.8 in your case log each rounds velocity try to do it in 3 shot intervals to allow for cooling (hot chambers can throw stuff outta whack) until you hit pressure signs. Then stop obviously. on your notes look for the node where it increases in velocity very little between different shots. Then fine tune for accuracy (seating depth, neck tension etc.) I switched over to this when I started to get into wildcatish rounds and have since found it way quicker to determine a load that is long shooting and less finicky. You can google the method and there is some videos on it.
 
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nn8734

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That’s pretty interesting I’ve never heard of doing that before, is it consistent across all types of brass like thicker lapua to thinner hornady? And it should be repeatable assuming brass is from the same lot or weight sorted (Lc) which brings up my next question does it work for autoloaders too? Or just tight custom chambers?
I do this reloading for all of my center fire rifles, semi auto and bolt. Also do it for factory ammo. Will work on any brass as long as you take a before firing and after firing measurement of your rounds. Somewhere between .0005-.002 expansion is what folks who take this measurement generally will use as their limit. Beyond .002” expansion, you generally start seeing physical signs of pressure (flattened primers, ejector marks, sticky bolt lift (way too much case expansion), etc. Better quality brass like Lapua can tolerate a little more internal case pressure before expanding.

What you are describing in your other post is the ladder test (it could have other names such as “Saterly” well) and that’s where I start when loading for a new (or new to me) rifle. Graphing the MVs against charge weight helps visually depicting your nodes (flat spots) in the curve. 3 shots, slow fire then rest until barrel cools.
 

Maurygold

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great to see you're getting into relaoding. the 6.5 creed rpr was the exact gun I started on as well. One word of advice is to get away from the hornady brass. I started on hornady brass and it shot very well but i would only get 3-4 firing on them before the necks would crack. This was a major problem for me because I want my gun to should good groups all of the time. I went to lapua brass and have over 10 firings on them each without the first issue or loose primer pocket. I eventually put a hawk hill barrel on my creed and shot f class with it.
 

Nimothy

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I do this reloading for all of my center fire rifles, semi auto and bolt. Also do it for factory ammo. Will work on any brass as long as you take a before firing and after firing measurement of your rounds. Somewhere between .0005-.002 expansion is what folks who take this measurement generally will use as their limit. Beyond .002” expansion, you generally start seeing physical signs of pressure (flattened primers, ejector marks, sticky bolt lift (way too much case expansion), etc. Better quality brass like Lapua can tolerate a little more internal case pressure before expanding.

What you are describing in your other post is the ladder test (it could have other names such as “Saterly” well) and that’s where I start when loading for a new (or new to me) rifle. Graphing the MVs against charge weight helps visually depicting your nodes (flat spots) in the curve. 3 shots, slow fire then rest until barrel cools.
It’s a smidge different from a traditional ladder test. But in the same it is a ladder test, just a quicker one that doesn’t rely on group size. It’s one round per charge weight
 

nn8734

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It’s a smidge different from a traditional ladder test. But in the same it is a ladder test, just a quicker one that doesn’t rely on group size. It’s one round per charge weight
like this? One round per charge weight, .2 increment. If so, we’re prob describing the same thing. This was shot at 300
4F14A64D-EC5B-4B23-9B26-BEED586D6D4E.jpeg
 

Brutalwarpig

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I don't mean to complicate this further, but it seems like you may be leaving a lot of velocity on the table. With H4350 and 140 class bullets, most find a good "node" in the 42 grain range. For example, my pet load is 41.9 gr of H4350 with the 140 ELDM at ~2850fps (26" barrel). Now, I'm not saying you should cram as much powder in that case as you can -- chasing velocity is a fools errand -- but you have some room there.

And keep in mind that bullet jump is not always critical. I have rifle / bullet combinations that jump a mile and shoot great. Just seat them with a consistent measurement to ogive and you'll find a winner.
When I first started to load for the 6.5 Creedmore the only powder I could get locally that was also in my manuals was superformance. I don't know about anyone else but I just cannot get consistent velocities from this powder! I also have a 6.5 Grendel and H335 was one of it's favorite powders but I couldn't find any load for the Creedmore with H335. It seems the problem I have with many powders is case fill. I just don't like 65-75% case fill. It seems that's just asking for inconsistent velocities or even FTF or squib. H4350 seems to be one of the best powders that uses 90%+ case fill without going over pressure. You are correct on the room for more velocity and the 42 ish grain loads. I get similar results.