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Thread: Working up a load, where to start?

  1. #1

    Working up a load, where to start?

    Hi there after a little help?

    im new to reloading but am confident of the steps needed to safely load rounds. What I'm a bit unsure of is how to work up a load......

    do I start at minimum book load and work up to max book load with groups of 5 (unless I get pressure signs before max)? Or do I start a bit closer to book maximum?

    thanks for any advice,
    mike

  2. #2
    Start at the bottom Mike and work your way up gradually. Personally I only load 3 of each rather than 5 until I get to a point of interest.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  3. #3
    I've always found optimal charge weight an exellent way to find a safe reliable load with minimum use of components

    OCW Overview - Dan Newberry's OCW Load Development System

  4. #4
    8x57 is right. Start at the bottom. If you aren't under constraints of distance and time, I would start with 10 at minimum and then ten at the next level listed in the book. I've been shooting since I was 2 years old and the first few are always wasted sorting out the hold on new rifle. Because of this, and because I can shoot about any time I want, I tend to load 20 or 30 at each load point, beginning with minimum and working up the line. This gives me a good feel for the rifle and load and prevents me from disregarding an otherwise good load that unfamiliarity with the rifle (or too much coffee that morning) causes me to screw up on paper with. If you can't do that many rounds, do ten each.

    I mean, what's your hurry?~Muir.

    PS: If you're asking where you should start your load data then you aren't as ready to make safe loads as you think. ALL published data says to start at the minimum and work up.
    Last edited by Muir; 27-09-2014 at 23:52.

  5. #5
    Look at the consensus loads which work.
    Look at the match loads which work. Usually none of these are near max.
    Then back off about 5%, and load 3 each in 0.5 grain increments, to the consensus load, and a grain beyond. That will get you close to perfect for the best load for your rifle on the next batch, of 5 rounds each in .2 grain increments. Then you can play with COAL, if you think you need to.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=palmer_mike;852622]Hi there after a little help?

    im new to reloading but am confident of the steps needed to safely load rounds. What I'm a bit unsure of is how to work up a load......

    do I start at minimum book load and work up to max book load with groups of 5 (unless I get pressure signs before max)? Or do I start a bit closer to book maximum?

    thanks for any advice,
    mike[/QUOT
    Mike,just work up a load until you find one that's acceptable for your shooting.You might be lucky and find a good group straight off,,if you do go home and load some more then see f you can repeat the group.
    You don't have to go to max to get a good load,most of mine are right in the middle.
    Start low and work up
    Dav

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    ....I mean, what's your hurry?~Muir.......
    This is an excellent point. Unless you're shooting something exotic that there's no factory ammo available for, then do take your time and write down all that you do. I spent about a year on my first 260 Rem loads shooting them at paper before I used one on deer. I've currently got factory soft point ammunition available for 2 out of 3 rifles and have no hesitation in using it.

    Regards JCS

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=plonker;852712]
    Quote Originally Posted by palmer_mike View Post
    Hi there after a little help?

    im new to reloading but am confident of the steps needed to safely load rounds. What I'm a bit unsure of is how to work up a load......

    do I start at minimum book load and work up to max book load with groups of 5 (unless I get pressure signs before max)? Or do I start a bit closer to book maximum?

    thanks for any advice,
    mike[/QUOT
    Mike,just work up a load until you find one that's acceptable for your shooting.You might be lucky and find a good group straight off,,if you do go home and load some more then see f you can repeat the group.
    You don't have to go to max to get a good load,most of mine are right in the middle.
    Start low and work up
    Dav
    How right you are. Mine live in this range as well.~Muir

    PS: It's alarming how many new reloaders state they are going to '...work up to max' like it's the goal. So little is learned.
    Last edited by Muir; 28-09-2014 at 14:58.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jcampbellsmith View Post
    This is an excellent point. Unless you're shooting something exotic that there's no factory ammo available for, then do take your time and write down all that you do. I spent about a year on my first 260 Rem loads shooting them at paper before I used one on deer. I've currently got factory soft point ammunition available for 2 out of 3 rifles and have no hesitation in using it.

    Regards JCS
    JCS: I found myself thinking about your post and how it is such a good practice. I am forced to work up loads for a year with deer rifles. If, at the end of our fall season, I buy a new rifle or decide to change loads, I have a year to wring it out and it pays large dividends. Not only am I familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the load, but I become very familiar with effects of different holds, or shooting positions, and its trajectory. I bought my 7-08 a hear ago last March IIRC, and spent until October coming up with a load I liked using 150 grain bullets. They worked well. After the season's end last fall I decided I'd like to try a lighter bullet. I have been working with the 120 grain since experimenting with powder and primer. All the time with the fall back position of a full Case-Guard of the trusted 150 grain loads. Now deer season approaches and I am comfortable and confident with either. I believe this is a direct benefit of an unhurried approach to evaluating each stage of the load development.~Muir

  10. #10
    Start at the lower rated load, take your time, it might take half a dozen trips to the range before you get a load sorted out. I used to start by choosing the bullet based on what i wanted to happen when it hit something. Then, go to the manuals and find a couple of powders which would give the velocity you wanted. Find the average starting load for each and load 6 rounds with each powder. I would seat to max COAL, I could tweak seating depth later if needed. Go to the range and shoot (2 groups of 3 shots with each load). Which powder is more accurate? That's your starting load.
    Go home, reload a batch of 6 more, increasing the powder by 1 grain for that batch, reload another six increasing THAT load by 1 grain. Go back to the range and shhot again, always looking out for signs of excessive pressure. Repeat if needed. If you get signs of excessive pressure drop the powder by half a grain and try that. 9 times out of 10 that will be YOUR max load in THAT rifle.
    That is how i used to work up a load, others do it differently, just do it safely, thats all. Be patient and shoot often.

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