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I hear sometimes someone’s talk about developing loads on their own outside of published data. I don’t expect anyone to make themselves liable and not looking for specific’s, just the concept and safe procedures going to the limits/sweet spot of a cartridge/chamber/barrel.

Are these claims from folks about their CUSTOM loads really just about the tenth of a grain they added to published load data?
Or a seating depth?
Match primers?
Or is it just CUSTOM because it works best in that weapon?

Or are they working with non scripted powders. Like someone had to think about shotgun powder (LilGun) in a Beowulf…... Is it just the math?

For the sake of conversion….!!

I am not looking to go max on any of my cartridges…… I’m trying to access the risk for changing things up a little……. If that’s what I’m perceiving some others are doing with different powders other than By The book? And I’m not trying to got outside The Book…..

I’d like to believe that this is all done in a lab type setting.

I also believe many off people have experienced disastrous outcomes in their backyard/range. Is that the risk for finding/creating the BEST/Hottest recipe? Would one want to prepare a blast shield and remote lead sled mechanism? Extra barrels?

How did you create your CUSTOM load?
 

thorborg

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Boils down to "stuff".
The more stuff you have, the better you are to be the judge. (some gray matter required too)
When I measured powder by the scoop, and pounded in the primers, and lead with a wooden mallet, I took what the gods allowed for performance.
A ton of books, a powder scale, and measuring tools had me feeling fairly cocky, but still chicken to push things much.
A chronograph, this helps immensely towards peace of mind that I'm doing things right. At least according to data of others I've been absorbing continually since the beginning. Now the confidence is now running high that "stuff" along with experience I've acquired has given me the ability to maximize performance, (within my ability to shoot) with an acceptable level of safety.
(trimmers, gauges, tumblers, Etc. Notwithstanding)
Now If I could only afford a way to measure pressure when I wanted. That's more stuff!
Over 50 years with never a dangerous load, nor a squib, but some pretty good results if I don't say so myself..
 
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Boils down to "stuff".
The more stuff you have, the better you are to be the judge. (some gray matter required too)
When I measured powder by the scoop, and pounded in the primers, and lead with a wooden mallet, I took what the gods allowed for performance.
A ton of books, a powder scale, and measuring tools had me feeling fairly cocky, but still chicken to push things much.
A chronograph, this helps immensely towards peace of mind that I'm doing things right. At least according to data of others I've been absorbing continually since the beginning. Now the confidence is now running high that "stuff" along with experience I've acquired has given me the ability to maximize performance, (within my ability to shoot) with an acceptable level of safety.
(trimmers, gauges, tumblers, Etc. Notwithstanding)
Now If I could only afford a way to measure pressure when I wanted. That's more stuff!
Over 50 years with never a dangerous load, nor a squib, but some pretty good results if I don't say so myself..
That’s a piece of “stuff” I’d like to add next. A chronograph.
 

DizzyJ

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“Perfect load” in no way shape or form necessarily means “hot” or above published data. Usually the hottest loads are not the most accurate.

My “perfect” loads are generally found by slow methodical trial and error. Starting out with all the same brass (headstamp), lot#, #of times fired, etc. Same with bullets and primers.

Start 1/2 way up the load range and go to max or close to it. Generally you’ll find 2-3 accuracy nodes in there. Then once you have a verified powder charge, move onto bullet seating depth.

I’ve not have much luck going with propellants not listed for a certain cartridge. Not saying it can’t be done, but there’s usually a reason why certain powders are listed and others aren’t. Reference several manuals.

Most of all do YOUR part by being a good consistent shooter. If you can’t hold 1/4 moa how do you expect to see sub 1/8” groups?
 
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“Perfect load” in no way shape or form necessarily means “hot” or above published data. Usually the hottest loads are not the most accurate.

My “perfect” loads are generally found by slow methodical trial and error. Starting out with all the same brass (headstamp), lot#, #of times fired, etc. Same with bullets and primers.

Start 1/2 way up the load range and go to max or close to it. Generally you’ll find 2-3 accuracy nodes in there. Then once you have a verified powder charge, move onto bullet seating depth.

I’ve not have much luck going with propellants not listed for a certain cartridge. Not saying it can’t be done, but there’s usually a reason why certain powders are listed and others aren’t. Reference several manuals.

Most of all do YOUR part by being a good consistent shooter. If you can’t hold 1/4 moa how do you expect to see sub 1/8” groups?
Thank you
Would you say “go to” (from mid charge) by 1/10 of a grain or is that too small/long a process?
 

DizzyJ

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Thank you
Would you say “go to” (from mid charge) by 1/10 of a grain or is that too small/long a process?
For .223 I vary the charge weight by 0.3gr increments. You can always drop to 0.1gr once you’ve found a solid node if you want.

For .308/6.5 creed etc I vary the charge weight by 0.5gr then fine tune later if needed.

Then bullet seating depth is one of the fine tune steps at the end for me. I usually vary the bullet seating depth by .005” increments. Some bullets might benefit from larger increments such as Berger VLDs.
 

oremike

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I don't know if my loads are the absolute best or perfect. What I do know they are hand tailored to shoot to my standards in my rifles. Once I get to where I want to go, I just keep making that load rather than looking for that last little bit of perfection. A MOA group at 100 yds with my 300 win Mag is still a minute of Deer heart at 400 yds if, and this is the big if, I do my part.
 

Capn Jack

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I've probably spent the most time and money developing loads for my .458 SoCom. Granted a lot of those .85 - $1.00 a piece bullets were wasted by recoil shaking the guts out of 3 rifle scopes. :mad:

As there was very little load data published on the .458S when I started, I used whatever I could find and a, "Burn Chart". Early on I could ask questions of one of the developers and he told me he thought my loads were quite conservative. I told him I was not concerned with high velocities, only accuracy with a medium weight bullet, (325 gr.)

I've experimented with different powders and bullet weights and come away with these four cautions:
1. Always start well under maximum published load -5. gr.
2. Be aware that changing bullet seating depth can dramatically change chamber pressure.
3. Watch for signs of over pressure ie. Flattened primers, Signs of stress and gouges in brass.
4. Watch for sudden spikes in pressure when loading with Lil'gun.
 

ron

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For competition shooting 223 loads I cheat and start with the Sierra's manual "Most Accurate"
recipe for that particular Sierra bullet. I use Winchester brass reduces group size over LC brass.
Start with this load and try and beat, by changing powder charge and seating depth. Experiment
only one variable at a time. My WOA and Kreiger match barrels loves Sierra's "Most Accurate" load for the
77 SMK and VV N140. I duplicate Sierra's "Most Accurate" load exactly and cannot beat it. Produces
.5 MOA or better groups.
 
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For competition shooting 223 loads I cheat and start with the Sierra's manual "Most Accurate"
recipe for that particular Sierra bullet. I use Winchester brass reduces group size over LC brass.
Start with this load and try and beat, by changing powder charge and seating depth. Experiment
only one variable at a time. My WOA and Kreiger match barrels loves Sierra's "Most Accurate" load for the
77 SMK and VV N140. I duplicate Sierra's "Most Accurate" load exactly and cannot beat it. Produces
.5 MOA or better groups.
Sounds like smart advice.
 
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For competition shooting 223 loads I cheat and start with the Sierra's manual "Most Accurate"
recipe for that particular Sierra bullet. I use Winchester brass reduces group size over LC brass.
Start with this load and try and beat, by changing powder charge and seating depth. Experiment
only one variable at a time. My WOA and Kreiger match barrels loves Sierra's "Most Accurate" load for the
77 SMK and VV N140. I duplicate Sierra's "Most Accurate" load exactly and cannot beat it. Produces
.5 MOA or better groups.
Agree with cheating. Sierra is an excellent resource. I find their recipes willing to show hotter charges than other sources ie Hornady book and Hogdon website. I do also search the internet for particular calibers with searches like “most accurate powder for 6.5PRC 147gr” and usually someone has posted their success, giving me a starting point for a ladder. I usually start the search with the rifle I am using, ie “Ridgeline 6.5prc most accurate load”. In short order from snipershide, long-range hunting, and other sites, I cut right to the chase. When you find a node that prints 0.42” at 100, you tend to stay there until you can’t get more of that powder or bullet. Land creeping is only reasonable to the point the cartridge still fits in the mag Unless you enjoy single loading. Some rifles and cartridges like some jump, as counterintuitive as it seems.

Never discount the value of a chassis, properly torqued screws AFTER a 1st shooting session to reset shock induced play, and a high dollar scope. If your trigger isn’t under 2lbs, you finger will shift the shot. Use a good bipod and a rear bag… if you can see the reticle throbbing with your heartbeat, you are gripping the rifle too hard. Load your bipod. Keep the gun level. Lastly, keep your barrel clean of copper buildup. It isn’t like lead. You can’t see it, but it’s there.
 

arakboss

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How many combinations does a reloader go through to find the "perfect" load? I couldn't begin to count how many different loads could be put together with all the choices we have in components these days.
 
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Agree with cheating. Sierra is an excellent resource. I find their recipes willing to show hotter charges than other sources ie Hornady book and Hogdon website. I do also search the internet for particular calibers with searches like “most accurate powder for 6.5PRC 147gr” and usually someone has posted their success, giving me a starting point for a ladder. I usually start the search with the rifle I am using, ie “Ridgeline 6.5prc most accurate load”. In short order from snipershide, long-range hunting, and other sites, I cut right to the chase. When you find a node that prints 0.42” at 100, you tend to stay there until you can’t get more of that powder or bullet. Land creeping is only reasonable to the point the cartridge still fits in the mag Unless you enjoy single loading. Some rifles and cartridges like some jump, as counterintuitive as it seems.

Never discount the value of a chassis, properly torqued screws AFTER a 1st shooting session to reset shock induced play, and a high dollar scope. If your trigger isn’t under 2lbs, you finger will shift the shot. Use a good bipod and a rear bag… if you can see the reticle throbbing with your heartbeat, you are gripping the rifle too hard. Load your bipod. Keep the gun level. Lastly, keep your barrel clean of copper buildup. It isn’t like lead. You can’t see it, but it’s there.
Well Geeze thx.
Great… as I am fairly new to loading, there’s a lot to consume here. I just got my hands on a magnito speed tool. Seeing my speeds for the first time….. I’m excited all over again after just working target groups. As I am using the AR platform, my seating depth is limited…right? I think I should make sure the hardware is sound….. just got a torque driver, something to apply. Thank you for your thoughts here. I’ll be paying attention.
 
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Well Geeze thx.
Great… as I am fairly new to loading, there’s a lot to consume here. I just got my hands on a magnito speed tool. Seeing my speeds for the first time….. I’m excited all over again after just working target groups. As I am using the AR platform, my seating depth is limited…right? I think I should make sure the hardware is sound….. just got a torque driver, something to apply. Thank you for your thoughts here. I’ll be paying attention.
With the AR platform, your best accuracy is going to be seen with a free floating forearm and a Heavy fluted barrel to help resist heat and vibration. The Magneto implies you are after a certain velocity. Ignore the velocity. Ladder for accuracy. You might save some powder. Also, if the magneto is clamped to the barrel, it will throw off your harmonic vibration. Don’t test for accuracy when you have the thing on.

Yes, your OAL will be dependent on magazine restrictions. Do NOT crimp the necks unless you are seeing jams that shorten the OAL.
 
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With the AR platform, your best accuracy is going to be seen with a free floating forearm and a Heavy fluted barrel to help resist heat and vibration. The Magneto implies you are after a certain velocity. Ignore the velocity. Ladder for accuracy. You might save some powder. Also, if the magneto is clamped to the barrel, it will throw off your harmonic vibration. Don’t test for accuracy when you have the thing on.

Yes, your OAL will be dependent on magazine restrictions. Do NOT crimp the necks unless you are seeing jams that shorten the OAL.
Gold…. Was just suggested yesterday…. “Ladder”. So something new to me. I’m aware and finding right bipod for loading, trying the UTG Recon 360…. More stable than the Recon flex I had. I don’t have a crimp for.308 yet. Free float, Socom, medium weight, straight flute. Yes I did try grouping with Velcro on barrel….. borrowed from range desk. I was extremely satisfied but I’ll go back and check without barrel attachments. So I’ll look into free standing…(cheaper and easy enough).. thank you.
 

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