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Thread: Ready to shoot first handloads. Advice?

  1. #1
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    Question Ready to shoot first handloads. Advice?

    Well, sheep hunting is done, he's in the freezeer thanks to AlaskaCubs 300 wizzum and 165gr of copper! So now it's time to head to the range with my new handloads for my 325. 220gr sierra's. I loaded 10 at min load of 58gr, 10 at 60gr mid range, and 8 at 61.7 which is max load. All else is the same.

    I know the basics of allowing the barrel to cool. Use a good rest and shoot at 100yds to see how they group. Not worried about sighting it in until I see how the loads group. It's shooting sub moa now with factory load 200gr acubonds.

    What other advice do you have for my shooting? My barrel is currently "dirty" about 20 rounds through it and haven't touched it. Should I clean it or shoot it? Clean it, shoot 10 rounds at min load, clean it , shoot 10 rounds mid load, clean it shoot max loads? I figure this would take a few trips to the range.

    I will be reviewing once again pressure signs to look for after each shot. Any advice here? Do you reccomend having rounds in the mag and measureing them to see if I get bullet creep?

    Thanks in advance guys. You have all been a great help to me here.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

  2. #2

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    I'd be inclined to clean the bore, then fire two or three shots before testing loads. On a hunting rifle I generally only shoot 3-shot groups for initial load testing, but then do lots more once I've picked a load and begin sighting in. For me "sighting in" includes actually shooting at all practical hunting ranges, so I still go through quite a bit of ammo. Along with that, I shoot the gun lots more in all field positions at the same ranges. Lots and lots of shooting and reloading but the results are worth the extra time and labor.

  3. #3
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
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    Default What method...

    What method did you use to shoot the sub minute groups with the factory fodder? Sounds like you did good with that procedure, I'd stick with it!
    Just for grins, you can put a magazine full in when shooting to see if they're going to move. More likely is that they'll slide around in the mag and bash the tips, and yes, more than likely deformed bullets will alter the group you get by single loading.
    The most important shot is that first one out of a cold barrel. You want that one to be repeatable, and has more to do with the rifle bedding/humidity/temperature, etc. than your load.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I agree with Darreld, that you probably want to replicate the shooting methods you used with the factory loads. Much like Brown Bear, I don't load 10 rounds of each test load interval...I learned the hard way after alot of bullet pulling. Instead, I vary between 3 to 5 round loads per test increment. It will be important to clean your barrel (as already said...I'm just underlining it for you) before firing your reloads. I usually (not always...it depends on how many rounds I'll be firing that shooting session) clean between load sets...it allows time for the barrel to cool, and it keeps the variables to a minimum, thus allowing a better comparison between load sets. Just keep in mind that the biggest variable when testing loads is you. Be consistent.

  5. #5

    Default incremental load development

    Depending on your goal, Audette has an interesting alternative method to selecting an accurate load.

    Essentially a ladder identifying a charge range around which load the rifle will group will group the best. Constantine penned the article
    see

    http://www.washtenawsportsmansclub.o...incredload.pdf

    worth a read.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot guys. Good info as usual.

    Thanks for the link to that other article. I started reading it. Interesting approach.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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