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  1. #1
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    Finding the right round?

    How do you determine the right round for your gun? Do you test all the rounds you worked up all at 100 yards and then 200 yards and then run with the ones that have the best group average or the best average at what you plan to zero in at? Also, do you clean and shoot cold bore all three or four tests shots or just in between test groups? Sorry if this is pretty basic stuff but I am just getting into reloading. Thanks for the help guys!

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    Look up ladder testing for your reloads..I learned a ton by using the methods described in the articles I read. Helped me zoom in on the loads my rifles like

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  4. #3
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    If you have a chronograph that is a big help. I usually shoot the possible loads I have over my chronograph first before I actually shoot at paper. By doing this you find out immediately if you're getting the velocity you want and secondly see what the standard deviation of fps is for that particular load. The load with the least deviation of difference from low to high velocity recording is more times than not a accurate load. For what it's worth my general procedure for a hunting rifle is a 3 shot group at the standard 100 yds. I start with a clean barrel and usually wait about a minute between shots not only for the barrel to cool a bit but to also regroup myself for a consistent rest and trigger pull. I'll then clean the barrel before shooting another test load. Now, and I'm fortunate since I live in the country and have my own bench, when it comes time to actually sight in my rifle I'll do it over a 3 day stretch. First day I shoot with a barrel that was previously cleaned and had a fouling shot. Similar to the barrel condition when you start a hunt. I'll fire a shot from the cold barrel on target. Next day the same from the uncleaned, cold barrel. 3rd day a repeat. Then I'll look at the 3shot, 3day group and determine what I need to do to adjust the scope. After that, fine tuning if necessary. This procedure is most likely uneccessary for most but it works for me and gives me confidence the rifle is doing exactly what I want. At the end of the day confidence is a big factor to shoot accurately. I recommend that anyone doing much handloading should pick-up a chronagraph. They're affordable a valuable addition to your set-up for determining desireable handloads.

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  6. #4
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    what callback said i use only ladder tests for finding the load for my gun. google it and read about it, i think thats the best way or else u are just guessing on what charge to use.

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  8. #5
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    If you really suffer from OCD, which can be an advantage to a rifle guy, here is a more involved version of the aforementioned ladder test.

    http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspa...der/4529811360. It is a unique way of addressing some of the variables that probably let Steve to his clean cold barrel testing.

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  10. #6
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    Nice thing about reloading is you can be very picky as you desire. Reloading books give you a good benchmark on where to start with your charges/powder choices & bullets. Chronographs are a must have and will tell you the velocity of your guns which can also vary slightly than what the reloading books say and depending on your rifles tolerances. At least it gives you a nice start. It's a fun hobby that you will probably enjoy!

  11. #7
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    stevan posted great information. I have been reloading for over 50 years. It took me a long time to get to the stage he talks about. I started with 5 shot groups...a waste of powder, primers & bullets. 3 shot groups are the way to go. If you really want to get serious about getting optimum performance from your rifle, you really need a chronograph. Without one your just guessing. I have several reloading books and use them frequently. I load for 4 different pistol calibers, 10 rifle calibers and shotgun. the only factory loads I shoot is rimfire. I also load black powder for cartridge and muzzle loader. I started reloading because it was cheaper than ready made ammo and I could afford to shoot more. It didn't take long for me to realize my accuracy was much improved too.

    I have found in my experience, that no 2 rifles of the same caliber and mfgr will shoot the same ammunition exactly the same. You have to find and tailor make each rifles optimum load. when you find it, your rifle will become a "nail driver". Not all rifles are capable of this type of accuracy, but I have never seen one that you couldn't make improvements on over factory ammo.

    Good luck and keep us posted with your progress. PM me if you want any more detailed information .
    Colorado Cowboy
    Cowboy Action Shooter; Endowment Life Member-NRA
    The Original Rocket Scientist-Retired
    "My Father always considered a walk in the mountains as the equivalent of church going."
    Aldous Huxley

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