How much effort do you put into load workup?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Kimber Custom, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom
    Vancouver, WA
    Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Okay, so I'm a reloader and not a hand loader. I want to crank out some 9/10mm rounds on my progressive press. I don't have a chronograph and really I just want the gun to cycle properly while poking holes in paper at the range.

    How much effort do I put into a proper load workup before I commit to any volume?

    I'm leaning 231 for the 9mm and HS6 for the 10mm based on the recommended powders in my Lyman manual.

    Is there any reason to believe a 'middle of the road' powder charge wouldn't be sufficiant for my needs? How many rounds is a reasonable test before I crank out 500 rounds? If I do decide to 'tinker' how many rounds would you make per powder charge and how much change would you make in the powder charge between test batches?
  2. jonn5335

    Active Member

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    I usually go with an upper range / hotter powder charge because I want the ammo to cycle in any gun I put it in and different guns have recoil spring that are rated heavier than others as far as testing I would run at least 2 clips or 1 50rnd box before I produce any large amount of ammo
  3. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack
    Wet-Stern Washington
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I load to manufacturers spec. in my AR's except for the .458.
    The .458 has little or no factory spec. loads, so I look to see
    what everyone else is doing for a particular bullet and start a
    ladder at the low average.

    I increase .5gr. at a time and I don't concern myself with MV
    as long as the action functions correctly.

    When all of the holes are touching and the brass still looks good,
    it's a good load.:thumbup:

  4. Key-Hay

    North Carolina
    Active Member

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    I usually work up 20-30 and run down to the gun club and chrony them, make adjustments, chrony again to confirm. Then I'll crank out 500.
  5. deadshot2

    NW Quadrant WA State
    Well-Known Member

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    I very rarely use my chronograph for pistol loads. I load "tons" of 9mm and in working up to my desired load I just tried a couple of bullet styles and weights with a couple of readily available powders. Start out with something that "resembles" a factory load you liked. Use that bullet weight and consult the powder manufacturer's site for load ranges. You'll find that for most target shooting (competition excepted) a load around 90-95% of max will give the best overall performance.

    For 9mm I use a 124 gr Montana Gold JHP and a max load of Power Pistol. Like it well enough I go through two cases/year from Montana Gold (7500 bullets).

    My chronograph gets a real workout for my rifle rounds but sits in the box for pistol. That said, if I was competing in pistol and had to make "Power Factor" that would be a different bag of oats.
  6. Nwcid

    Yakima and N of Spokane
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    It depends on what I am loading.

    For most pistols I look at what powder is good for loading many calibers cause then I can buy in bulk. I pick a middle of the road powder weight to load and do a few rounds to test. If they cycle well I usually leave it at that. If not step it up till they do.

    If I want to do more then just simple plinking I will do more.
  7. Silver02ex

    Hillsboro, OR

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    All my rounds are for target practice. For the 9MM, i use the starting loading and work up by .1gr each sets of 5-10 rounds. I pick what I like the the best and that's the charge I go with.
  8. GuyBMeredith

    Salem, Oregon
    Well-Known Member

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    I like to load several batches of maybe 10 with increasing amounts of powder, take them to the range and see how real life compares to the book.

    Sometimes this is to try for accuracy, sometimes because I am loading hot and want to be careful.

    Not too long ago I had reason to be glad I go this route. I had loaded .357 magnums well within the weights in several reloading manuals, but went through the routine "just because". It turned out that the ammo was much hotter than the manual indicated and I ran into issues well before the max amount listed.
  9. jer fly

    jer fly
    cottage grove

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    The layman manual gives their suggested "accuracy load" that being said I've had pretty good luck with most of loads I've tried. at least it gives you a good starting point. you should run at least a couple mags through it from a solid shooting position to make sure your only testing the load.
  10. AMProducts

    Desert Southwest
    Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    If you just want rounds that go "bang" and generally hit the target, you are safe picking a middling load out of the book, I would do that and not think too much about it.

    In general, I spend a lot of time looking for the perfect load, sometimes firing hundreds or thousands of rounds, but that's mostly in a commercial setting. However, some of my handloads have become commercial ammunition.

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