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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to develop a load for a particular bullet and rifle?
Seems I always want to see if I can make it just a little bit better.
Just wondered what ya'll do.
 

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That is a personal choice. Personally, when I get a round developed that shoots sub .5 MOA consistently for my varmint rigs, I have found my load. I look at sub 1 MOA consistently for my hunting loads. I might be able to work at getting them better, but I have several guns, and at least one of them is under load development one time or another because, it is new or I changed stocks, some thing. In my original load development, I use bullets that I want to use in the field. I do not use full metal jackets, develop a load for it and then switch to a V-MAX. I only develop loads that I will be using.
 

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blu collar, i asked myself the same question when i started reloading for my 270. then the i started thinking what to reload for next,and then next and next. you get the routine. shooting and reloading is very addictive.
good shootin,dan
 

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The gun has alot to do with it , i spend more time on a bolt gun than say a mod 94 . i worked up one load for a 7.7 jap. and never tried another . but the 2506 has had many different loads in the past and i still go back to one of the first i tried !
the 204 is next ! should be fun !
handgun loads , always finding a new bullet or something to try ! just the crimp can be fun to experiment with , as it can affect the performance !
 

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I stop as soon as I get a load that meets the requirement. So if it's for big game hunting and I get 1.5" groups, then that's good enough.
 

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I handload with a purpose beyond doing it for the sake of doing it. In other words I prefer shooting to handloading....one is the means to an end. I have been lucky to have acquired a very accurate bunch of rifles that have required only minimal tweeking to get to shoot extremely well. So with each rifle there is a purpose and a load to accomplish that purpose.

Some guns I stop very soon into the process because I get what I want from them.
 

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You also have to have realistic expectations about what kind of accuracy and performance you want from a particular gun. That featherweight sporter may be capable of 1.5" groups, and that's it. You could shoot the barrel out looking for a 1" load.
Now, if looking for that "one' load is what makes you happy, go for it.
 

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Used to be I was always testing new loads even after finding perfectly good loads for a given rifle and intended use.In last 10 years or so I stop after finding a load that suits what I need it to do.And for me shooting that one load and getting used to it makes me do better in the field.But I still get a new to me rifle and enjoy the process of working up a load for it,guess I always will.
 

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blucollar said:
Seems I always want to see if I can make it just a little bit better.
I'm pretty much the same way. Pick a bullet and powder and see if I can get the accuracy I want at an acceptable velocity. Once I have that I then tweak it to squeeze out the most accuracy. Once this "base load" is established I then TRY EVERY POSSIBLE COMBINATION OF COMPONENTS KNOWN TO MAN TO TRY AND BETTER IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D
 

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I work with gun A until I develop a 1/8 MOA load or I get bored. Then I do the same with gun B, then C, D, E ...

I seem to get bored a lot.

Sometimes I go back to A because I think of something to try (new components or maybe trying for 22 Hornet velocities from .223 - of course with a 1/8 MOA group).

I should be done when I am 138 yrs old.

mike
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Once again lots of good info!
Glad to know I'm not alone. ;D
It just seems the combinations are endless.
I have a hard time accepting that a particular group is as good as it gets. Maybe one day I'll find that happy medium,
Thanks!
 

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Some folks shoot to reload and some folks reload to shoot. And some of us do both. It sort of depends on the rifle and the application. You'd be at it a long time trying for a one-holer with a Model 94 but some of the factory target rifles may give you that right out of the box. Then your dilemma is how small can I make the one-holer. A hunting rifle and where you hunt might have another set of requirements.
When I first started reloading, I had a 30-06 that I tinkered with until the barrel was probably smooth inside. Not only loading receipes but different set-ups with the stock and bedding. I learned a lot about reloading and bedding a rifle. Some things I still do; some things I do only if I'm starting out with a target rifle and some things are just so much smoke and mirrors IMO. And I ended up with a hunting rifle that would shoot honest nickle sized groups consistantly. Do I strive for nickle sized groups from my hunting rifles? Not no more, but I know how to do it if I did.
 

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Developed 18 or 19 different loads for my Marlin .45-70 before I decided I had enough. They range from light recoiling and dirt cheap plinker loads to what I call my "Rhino Blaster" loads (460g @ 1812fps with 48 foot-pounds recoil).
 

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for the most part with a little experince and using loads that have been tested to be consistantly accurate in other guns you can about feel what a gun is going to be capable of. If you try 10 loads and 8 of them run about an inch youve got to about admitt to yourself that thats the best that guns going to do. Alot of people will take a gun thats actually a 1.5 inch gun and shoot a couple lucky 5 shot groups with a load that go under an inch and convince themselves that they have a sub moa gun. Bottom line for me is to call a gun a sub moa gun it has to do it with a few combos as ive ran into it before where a bullet that outshot everything in a certain gun was discontinued and i was out in left field and had to start over. Another problem i have is im constantly buying guns and allways have a few that i need to get going on. Anymore i look at the purpose of the gun and find a load that takes care of that purpose and move on. A guy doesnt need a 1/2 inch gun to hunt deer with. Your better off spending time once you find a 1.5 inch load shooting it in field positions and getting used to the gun and learning its actually in field trajectory.
 

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when the wife calls out to the shed and reminds me i have to go to work in the morning !
 

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to me the fun is finding the load then I get bored with the gun and trade it to get another to play with. I will play until there is no better I can find and shoot them up as we go. Once I hit what I feel is the best I put it away and start again with another one. Of course I keep my encore hunting rifle in 7-08 very accurate and ready.
 

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I am a tinkerer by nature and just love playing around with "stuff", so there will never be a stopping point for me.
The journey is more important than the destination for me.

alan
 

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The first thing I do when I get a new or used bolt action rifle is clean the barrel, remove the barreled action from the stock and inspect the area inletted for the action and the barrel . On used rifles most times one can see if the barrel is being rubbed by the stock where it should not be. I clean out the bolt locking lug area with spray a type cleaner and inspect the action for burrs. If the trigger is adjustable I try to set the trigger pull at 2 3/4 pounds to 3 pounds. I check the bolt locking lugs to see if both lugs show the same amount of contact. I have , on some riifles glass bedded the action, free floated the barrel, adjusted the trigger,and have a gunsmith lapp the bolt locking lugs and recrown the muzzle before working up reloads. There is no point trying to get small groups from a rifle that neds a tune up. I try to get the varmint rifles to shoot 1/2 inch or less five shot 100 yard groups, and with big game rifles when I find a load that will shoot 1 1/2 inch groups I stop trying to find a better load. I try various brands of rimfire ammo to try to find one that will shoot one inch groups at 100 yards.
 

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got to wonder if you ever had a 1/4 moa rifle and did all that work to end up with less ?
i shoot mine first to see what i have , but that's just me !
 

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I love to reload (except I hate trimming) and have reloaded many, many load combinations for each of my rifles (past and present). Always trying to get the best accuracy possible with bullets that I will have confidence in for hunting. Although with the current price increases on materials my reloading has slowed considerably and I am tending to just load lots of proven combinations.

Long
 
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