Just wanted to make others aware that when reloading it can be very easy to lose the plot.
I have been reloading for about 6 years and I consider myself fairly competent. My current centrefire rifles are Remy VS in 22-250 (which I load 50gr VMax and 55gr SP’s) and a Savage stainless / synthetic in 7mm-08 (which is fed 100gr HP’s, 140gr SP’s and 175gr SP’s).
I have no wish to be a competition target shooter and the principal reason that I reload is to have consistency in my rounds that give me total confidence that what I aim at I will kill. Not just wound or injure - but stone dead.
For the past two years or so I have been irritated by the 22-250 that will, weather & wind permitting, put factory Norma Vmax into ½” groups at 200 yards - something that it will only occasionally do with my home loads (but the majority are still sub 1” at 200). All are shot from a solid bench using tripod or front benchrest.
I (conservatively) estimate that I have put nearly 500 rounds through that rifle over the past two years trying to match my home loads to the Norma factory. Weighed bullets / weighed cases / trimmed cases / different cases / different powders / different primers / different COAL / annealed cases etc.
The 7mm-08 will, 95% of the time, group all three bullet weights sub 1” at 200 yards (again, weather & wind permitting). Some groups are near one-holers and well beyond what I thought I was capable of achieving - but a small percentage are not and very occasionally I get a 2” group – but never broadening beyond that.
Again I continued to reload many variations of all three bullets without achieving 100% sub 1” consistency.
Then the “Eureka” moment. Wtf am I doing? What am I trying to achieve when the vast majority of the live targets I aim at are well below 200 yards (many sub 100 yards) and offer a much larger target area than what I was trying to achieve on paper.
Also, when I add the variables of quick backdrop consideration, wind, rain, cold hands, off the sticks, off the bonnet of the car, my less than capable input +++ then these add up to variables hugely greater than what I was becoming near neurotic about.
Today I have drawn a line and given up load development for these rifles and for these bullets. What I have is all I need.
Amen (and Yee ha!).