This is why you don’t want to burden yourself with too small an increment as the length of time to cool the barrel and check the targets will take way to long (especially if you have to weight for ceasefires). Most powder and projectile manufacturers will provide the data required to assist in developing a load for your cartridge. ADI which would be the most popular and common powder used in Australia have this available on their website. You need to work out your own load specifically for your firearm under your local conditions. Do not get your load developement from Facebook or somewhere else. You do not know what “load developement” means to them and their firearm is not yours.
What I’m going to describe in this article is how I find a good load for a competition rifle. I also shoot service rifle, and to be honest, I don’t even bother with load development for that discipline. The targets are big enough, and my skill level is low enough that I have more important things to worry about. If you’re looking to reduce felt recoil, consider using a chronograph. It’s a device that measures the velocity or speed of a projectile, the number that you multiply by the bullet weight to determine power factor.
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If you want to have a pleasurable experience with reloading you need to do a load developement. Don’t take any short cuts, don’t waste your time or money thinking you can use someone how to do load development else’s data. If you enjoy the articles, downloads, and calculators on the Bison Ballistics website, you can help support it by using the links below when you shop for shooting gear.
- One of the ways that felt recoil can be measured is by a concept called power factor.
- The tools used to machine the chambers and barrels wear over time.
- This is a method of developing a load that is optimised for your firearm.
- Thereafter playing with the jump to close the groups down more tightly.
- My goal is a rifle that will consistently hold the X ring (1/2 MOA) with a bit of margin to spare.
- There are three main load development methods, each having it’s own end goal which you have to focus on to get a load recipe developed for the specific rifle.
- If a bullet starts into the rifling straight, it has a better chance of staying that way.
Not only have the best brass tumbler is important to clean your brass cases, but know how to properly use it, is just as important. Note that from shot 8 to 12 differ with less than a 1/4 inch in height (vertical spread). Ignore shot 10 which sits slightly higher and consider it human error. And stay in touch with newsletters of our best articles on techniques, guns, & gear. Second, make sure that you carefully document exactly what you are loading.
How Do I Find a Good Load?
In addition to only changing one variable at a time in your laddering, that means you need to pay careful attention to each individual round to ensure that it exactly matches all of the other ones in its group. That means loading small amounts of ammunition that is essentially identical but for a single variable that is incrementally changed across the entire test batch. That’s because compressing powder too much can cause dangerous overpressure situations. As always, stay within quality load data parameters and experiment carefully.
In many cases, the lower sweat spot is more constant in variable atmospheric conditions, as it is not near a point where your pressure levels can make a sudden upward curve due to very high temperatures. That’s why match-grade target ammunition for .223 rifles is often 69 or 77 grains in order to maintain accuracy out to 500 or even 1000 yards. You also want to make sure your barrel rifling will stabilize the heavier bullets. This method was pioneered and made famous originally by a Frenchman named Creighton Audette. The 6.5 PRC was developed specifically for competitive precision rifle shooters, but it has since earned its way into hunters’ hands as well. Finding the best hand priming tool for reloading is important is you want to eliminate the variables in your quest for precision reloading and rifle shooting.
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This combination seems to have served plenty of folks well when shooting a rifle similar to mine. There are now two things to look at, minimum vertical spread between 5 consecutive shots, and where your measured speed also shows a flat spot (as in, where two or more shots at increasing loads, stay at around the same speed). Usually the shots where the holes are close to each other on a vertical band, and the flat spot between the shots’ speed, are the same shots.
You may want to refer to the Modern Reloading 2nd Edition for reloading information, or ask experienced reloaders with a similar rifle and caliber for help or advise. Loading your own ammunition can be beneficial, but handloading or reloading can be an intimidating process when trying to determine the true potential of your loads and rifle. Many shooters have an uncomfortable relationship with math and aren’t impressed with fancy formulas. However, statistics and probability are insanely applicable when it comes to rifles and long-range shooting in particular. I have literally spent months crafting this 3-part series of articles specifically with the math-averse shooter in mind.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Barrels whip about when fired, so you want the bullet leaving the muzzle at a benign point in that process. Some people love it (I’m looking at you, benchrest shooters) and some people hate it. I may earn a small part of the sale from links to any products or services on this site. You do not pay
anything extra and your
purchase helps support my work in bringing you more awesome gun and gear articles. And once you’ve gotten a load dialed in, you won’t need to change it again unless you want to try new components or set yourself up with a new gun.
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I invested all that time because I strongly believe that understanding just a few basics can help us gain actionable insight, make better decisions, and put more rounds on target. Now that you have successfully developed a load your rifle shoots well with, follow the advanced reloading for precision rifle guide to keep loading consistently precise cartridges in this load. Ballistics weather meters provide precise aim points or adjustments that account for bullet drop and wind drift to get your point of impact on target on the first shot.
The 2-Time PRS Champ’s Precision Rifle Setup: Austin Orgain Spotlight Part 2
Organizing your ammunition and writing down the details are essential so you know what you’re shooting when you test. The deeper it goes, the shorter your overall length…and the less space you have inside the casing for powder. If the amount of powder in the load you are experimenting results in a very full casing, you might need to reduce the powder charge or change powder types entirely.