I have changed the way I am working up loads a bit. I used to seat the bullet to spec then find the right powder combination that would give good results. I never had to worry much about COL because none of my magazines would hold a bullet too much longer than SAMI anyway. It took a while to find the powder charge. I would load a few at low loads to see how they did then work up to the middle. Then load 3 at .5 grain increments until I reached about the max load. I found some good loads this way but shot a bunch.
Case prep was a no brainer. I was using virgin rem brass full length sized, trimmed, chamfered de-burred. The next round I will check the head space and make sure the neck is bumped back .002 or so. I don't clean the cased each time unless they are hunting ammo. I clean the primer pockets. I plan to de-burr the flash holes to see what this does, but I have not done this in the past. Re-trim, etc.
I changes are in finding the COL first now that I have a gun to load with a long box. I am using Barnes 168g TTSX in a 30-06. I loaded 4 each .05, .07, .09 from the lands. I put the same charge of RL 19, 58 g, into each case. This is about mid range according to Barnes's manual. I shot them in strings of 4 at about 5 degrees outside. The .09 from the lands produced a significantly better grouping so I assumed this is the gun's sweet spot for this bullet. Now to find the best powder and primer.
I plan to start loading at 58g and charge each successive case .2g more than the one before and shoot them sequentially at 200 yards in 3 shot strings, 10 total to 60g max. I read this some place. There is not much difference in a point of impact with small changes in powder charges. The bullet will travel at a speed that sets up good harmonics with the barrel and produce better accuracy in a certain range than charges higher or lower. You will see this by better groups of 3-4 bullets then the groups will open up again. I am very happy with the 58g charge as is, so if I don't get any better results, that is fine. I can't help but to try though. Oh yea, checking all the time for signs of pressure: flattened/cratered/loose primers, sticky bolt, bolt face imprinting, bulging/cracked cases.
What do you think? Any thing that would improve this? Did I screw something up?