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Thread: So what would you do? (reloading conundrum)

  1. #1

    So what would you do? (reloading conundrum)

    I have been very lucky with my reloading and have not had to experiment with numerous powders and bullet combinations to achieve (IMO) very good results (this is not an invitation to compare what is "good" )

    First calibre I reloaded was .270 some years back with a lee loader
    I tried N165 and 130gr Interlocks . average but better than factory results
    Switched to N160 and got an instant improvement and excellent results no OAL experimentation required.
    Went stalking!

    .243 - N160 with 75gr, 87gr and 100gr all bugholes with no reall experimentation with length
    Went Stalking

    .222 - N133 with 50, 53, 55gr and 60gr - tricky getting good 60gr loads but all 1/2" or less
    Shot lots of fox and deer!

    Over this period of years I have been forced into buying a press and weighing charges and measuring stuff with calipers!!
    (I know!! but the peer pressure and the need to see what all the fuss was about overcame me!)

    Comes to the .300WM
    Running out of the ammo that came with (IMR4831 and Fed primers under 185 Lap. Megs) and was keen to work up some 208gr AMax loads to play.
    I had some H4831, N165 and N160 all of which seemed to produce good results for others from online searches

    Ran some loads of all three with fixed long OAL (91.3mm - 3.594")
    Settled on 69.5gr on N160 which produced a 5/8" C2C group (possible that 70gr may have been slightly tighter but for a flyer but nothing in it (and erring on the side of saving powder and caution I went for the lower charge)
    this works perfectly as I already use N160 in two cartridges

    So I worked up loads of 69.5gr N160 with varying OAL from 91mm (3.585") through 88.6mm (3.488")

    91mm was OK, slightly tighter than 91.3mm
    next one opened slightly
    next opened slightly more
    next one slightly more

    at this point I was beginning to see a pattern that I have seen in other loads
    but I thought I would push on to prove a point only to be surprised

    next group tightened up to starting point size
    next one slightly tighter still
    last one slightly tighter in the main group but the same pattern as all the good ones of 2 or 3 touching shots and the rest a short distance from that.

    so I have a whole load of groups, all of which would be MOA or less and four groups at polar ends of my OAL scale that have produced much better but very similar results. (touching holes with holes around between 3/8"-5/8" C2C)
    Each shorter group produced a POI higher than the last, so I am assuming a slightly higher MV from the shorter OAL

    So what would you do?

    fine tune in smaller increments to find better OAL's between the sweet spots I already have?
    change components?
    fanny around chasing something that may not exist?

    or just choose one of the good ones and go stalking!?

  2. #2
    +1 to pick one and go shoot something.

    I mean, with you using the 300WM, you only have to shoot close to the thing and it will fall dead from the Magnum effect!
    "Nonsense! They couldn't hit an elephant at this dista.....................".

  3. #3
    So, 3/8" to 5/8 c2c you say? ... I've never seen a deer that small, nor even one with a vital area that small. On that basis, I would say pick one and go hunting. But then of course there's always the fun factor. If you're getting big time fun out of the challenge of searching for the "perfect" load, and think you can have further success, carry on! Having fun is the cardinal rule for me. I won't be out hunting in pouring rain or -30C temperatures, and I will seldom be at the range with a firearm that has frustrated me time and time again. Life's too short.

  4. #4
    It is most definitely not broke so don't fix it. Toss a coin, choose one and go shooting.

  5. #5
    Just had the same thing. With .308W. Tried 3 bullets which I picked up part boxes of from Norman Clarke's. Made up 5 loads of each and went to the range. All of them shot groups under 1". 2 were very slightly better than the others but whether the group was down to good ballistics or my ability to hold steady for all shots. So as others have said I'm going to make a batch of 20 of the 2 loads and get out and shoot some deer. I'll save the info and return should I ever get the urge to better them. Happy hunting.

  6. #6
    Pick the best one and try it again. Also try varying the seating +-0.004 inches and +- 0.008 inches. So best load, plus trials of slightly deeper seating and slightly shallower seating. You don't say how many times the brass has been fired?

  7. #7
    It sounds as though you have found at least two of the accuracy nodes for that barrel.
    If you're not satisfied, (God only knows why you wouldn't be) try a different primer, CCI 250 perhaps.
    A change of primer can sometimes have startling results for little outlay, in both money and time.
    Last edited by DCG; 18-11-2013 at 14:44.

  8. #8
    Pick one and shoot. If you don't already, get a crimp die and see what happens.~Muir

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Pick one and shoot. If you don't already, get a crimp die and see what happens.~Muir
    Seeing as you mentioned crimp dies would you crimp a bullet without a cannelure? And if so do you keep it light? I ask I tried it myself recently and it seemed to put a very slight waist on the bullet.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Druid View Post
    Seeing as you mentioned crimp dies would you crimp a bullet without a cannelure? And if so do you keep it light? I ask I tried it myself recently and it seemed to put a very slight waist on the bullet.
    With a Lee factory crimp die? Yes. I do it all the time, with about every load I shoot. (I ignore the cannelure unless it's a handgun bullet.) Depending on the bullet, it may leave no mark or a slight one. In any event, it doesn't effect anything performance wise.~Muir

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