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Old 09-07-2017, 07:04 PM   #1
Sleepy
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Default Reloading: First Attempt

Been wanting to do this for a while and finally starting acquiring everything I needed for it. This was my first test in testing seating depth all at the same charge.

Tikka T3 Lite .243
Hornady Brass
CCI 200 Primers
37.5 grains of Varget
87 grain Berger VLD

Top left is .010" off the lands
Top right .030" off
Bottom left .040" off
Bottom right .050" off
Middle .060" off

The shot to the right on the top left target is my fouler from a factory Hornady load.

Looks like I'm going to load another 4 at .010" and the jump to .005" and see what happens. Then off to charge weights. This is already addicting and I'm actually pretty pleased so far!




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Old 09-07-2017, 07:12 PM   #2
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Top left is .010" off

back .02 to 37.3 powder, if it opens, from 37.5 add .02, to 37.7 check again..
if the back off works better go 37.2, or if .02 closes gaps add more to 37.7

1 stray could be human error too..


hope this helps

Last edited by Jakesfish; 09-07-2017 at 07:15 PM..
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:16 PM   #3
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I bought a reloader set up a few weeks ago, hornady lock n load cladsic with auto charge. I have not started yet. Trying to read up an learn. Very excited to see a new persons progress and groupings. Im looking at Varget as one of my powders as well. Trying to get my table set up.
What rifle/twist/Barrel length? Good luck im following this
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:18 PM   #4
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I promise the more you load the tighter you will group, and also will learn your gun characteristics....
I have a 300 Savage loaded to 308 specs, and I love it.. 700 classic remy, from custom shop...
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakesfish View Post
Top left is .010" off

back .02 to 37.3 powder, if it opens, from 37.5 add .02, to 37.7 check again..
if the back off works better go 37.2, or if .02 closes gaps add more to 37.7

1 stray could be human error too..


hope this helps
Thanks for the advice! Book calls for 38.8 for a max load, so I'll probably try the load development up to that as well as a little below my current load. I just picked a 3/4 load for seating depth test. I will say I was shooting off bags on a card table which is the best table I have for now, so it's not optimal for precision shooting. Hope to fix that before long.

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Originally Posted by JasonS View Post
I bought a reloader set up a few weeks ago, hornady lock n load cladsic with auto charge. I have not started yet. Trying to read up an learn. Very excited to see a new persons progress and groupings. Im looking at Varget as one of my powders as well. Trying to get my table set up.
What rifle/twist/Barrel length? Good luck im following this
That's the same set up I bought except without the auto charge. I've enjoyed it so far. I will say, my butt cheeks were a little puckered on the first pull of the trigger of the ammo I loaded lol. After that, the confidence got better that my gun wasn't going to blow up. I think the most important tool I've acquired for precision so far has been the Hornady Bullet Comparator. Really helps dial in on how for the ogive is off the lands. I noticed some bullets were as much as .005" difference in length so my COAL wasn't as precise as the CBTO measurement.

Tikka T3 Lite with a Bell & Carlson Medalist Stock, Meopta Meopro 3.5-10x

22" barrel with a 1/10 twist

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I promise the more you load the tighter you will group, and also will learn your gun characteristics....
I have a 300 Savage loaded to 308 specs, and I love it.. 700 classic remy, from custom shop...
This is what I'm hoping for! After lots of reading, I figured the closer to the lands, the better off I'd be, so that's why I'm jumping to .005". Will shoot that as well as another .010" group tomorrow afternoon and see what happens. Hope to start load testing this weekend. What I learned is that it's very intimidating at first, but I'm already loosening up a bit. I load for muzzleloader, so it's kind of the same feeling I guess. Can't say I'm expecting 1 hole groups with a factory rifle, but I believe the Tikka will get below .5 MOA once I find its poison.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:29 PM   #6
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Sleepy let me know if I can help. I have been doing it awhile and still learning, and I had a awesome teacher.

you should w/ time and work get to under .5 @ 200 yards easily...
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:42 PM   #7
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Congratulations looks like your off to a great start! I love reloading and since you are just getting start d it's like you have all new guns again because now you can have the fun of finding new loads for each one of them!
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:51 PM   #8
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You're missing one very vital piece. Velocity. You need to check your SD and all. Very helpful and shows how good a load really is
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:18 PM   #9
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My technique was to nail down the depth setting first, then tinker with the charge. I think you are headed in the right direction. If the .005" off shows substantial improvement, I'd even try .000" as well. And, if memory serves me right, I worked up a load for one .243 that shot near bug-holes with the bullet seated .030" into the lands. This was with charges about 1 or 1.5 gr below max though. I wouldn't be eager to try it with a max charge.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:33 PM   #10
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Thanks all! I appreciate all the advice! I've already received a wealth of knowledge from a couple other TBHrs. Can't ever know too much!



Quote:
Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
You're missing one very vital piece. Velocity. You need to check your SD and all. Very helpful and shows how good a load really is
I do plan on setting up the chronograph once I start testing charge weights. I don't think I'll see a big change in velocity with seating depth from everything I'm reading.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:12 PM   #11
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Don't get hung up on 1 powder, my .243 doesn't like Varget. I tried some 4350 and was quickly able to work up a load that shoots 1 ragged hole @ 100yds
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustoffer View Post
My technique was to nail down the depth setting first, then tinker with the charge. I think you are headed in the right direction. If the .005" off shows substantial improvement, I'd even try .000" as well. And, if memory serves me right, I worked up a load for one .243 that shot near bug-holes with the bullet seated .030" into the lands. This was with charges about 1 or 1.5 gr below max though. I wouldn't be eager to try it with a max charge.
This is good for a bench gun, not so much for a hunting rifle.

On a hunting rifle I wouldn't get much closer than 0.005 from the lands.

If at all possible get a quality chronograph to use during load work up.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:39 AM   #13
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I would stick with that seating depth for now and start incremental changes in the powder charge. Work up to the published maximum checking for signs of pressure. And get a chronograph!
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:43 AM   #14
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I will be pulling the chronograph out once I start testing charge weights. I'm assuming that's when it really matters?

Right now I have 4 rounds loaded at .010" jump and 4 at a .005" jump. Should be testing them out at lunch or immediately following work today.



Oh yea, another thing. I am not doing any crimping. Not sure how much difference that could make, but I will potentially be trying that out as well as testing moves along.

Last edited by Sleepy; 09-08-2017 at 08:47 AM..
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy View Post
I will be pulling the chronograph out once I start testing charge weights. I'm assuming that's when it really matters?



Right now I have 4 rounds loaded at .010" jump and 4 at a .005" jump. Should be testing them out at lunch or immediately following work today.







Oh yea, another thing. I am not doing any crimping. Not sure how much difference that could make, but I will potentially be trying that out as well as testing moves along.


Don't crimp
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:11 AM   #16
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Don't crimp

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Old 09-08-2017, 09:38 AM   #17
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Don't crimp
Crimping works on my 7-30 Waters. Seems to make the velocity and accuracy more consistent.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bboswell View Post
This is good for a bench gun, not so much for a hunting rifle.

On a hunting rifle I wouldn't get much closer than 0.005 from the lands.

If at all possible get a quality chronograph to use during load work up.
bboswell--correct on "not for hunting gun" as a bullet jammed too far into the lands might stay there when you unload--makes a mess dumping propellant into the action and a bullet in the throat.
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Old 09-08-2017, 11:19 AM   #19
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You're on a good path. I'd keep trying.

If you read the guides from Berger, they suggest making test loads as fas as .130 off the lands

http://www.bergerbullets.com/getting...in-your-rifle/



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Old 09-08-2017, 06:19 PM   #20
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Did a little more testing today. Both groups are 4 shots.

Left target is .005" off lands and right target was at .010" off lands.

I feel there was some shooter error on the left group and my .010" group tightened up from yesterday. I think maybe due to the fact I was more confident in firing my own loads today than I was yesterday and yesterday, the .010" group was my first group with my own hand loads. I also think I can contribute a little of it to shooting off a card table and not a solid, sturdy shooting bench. None the less, I'm happy with the .010" off, so I believe it's time to start working charge weights and running the chronograph. Hopefully get to that next week!




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Old 09-08-2017, 07:32 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Sleepy View Post
Did a little more testing today. Both groups are 4 shots.

Left target is .005" off lands and right target was at .010" off lands.

I feel there was some shooter error on the left group and my .010" group tightened up from yesterday. I think maybe due to the fact I was more confident in firing my own loads today than I was yesterday and yesterday, the .010" group was my first group with my own hand loads. I also think I can contribute a little of it to shooting off a card table and not a solid, sturdy shooting bench. None the less, I'm happy with the .010" off, so I believe it's time to start working charge weights and running the chronograph. Hopefully get to that next week!




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Good work man! I'm heading to the ranch right now with my dad, I have my first .270 loads ever with me, hopefully tomorrow during the day I can get some range time and test em! I look forward to your progress here!
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:11 PM   #22
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Good work man! I'm heading to the ranch right now with my dad, I have my first .270 loads ever with me, hopefully tomorrow during the day I can get some range time and test em! I look forward to your progress here!
Awesome! I think I've found a new addiction that I didn't know existed until I started!
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:12 PM   #23
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You are definitely going in the right direction. Progress is addictive!

A couple of questions:

1) What kind of scale are you using?

2) What kind of dies are you using?

Quality in each of these pieces of equipment will tighten groups by themselves.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Livin'2hunt View Post
You are definitely going in the right direction. Progress is addictive!

A couple of questions:

1) What kind of scale are you using?

2) What kind of dies are you using?

Quality in each of these pieces of equipment will tighten groups by themselves.
Hornady digital scale that came with the Classic Kit and RCBS dies.

I'm certain these aren't of Grade A material, but they'll do while my budget is burned up. I do plan on obtaining some high quality dies and a Chargemaster at some point, but for now everything else has whooped my budget.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:48 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Sleepy View Post
Hornady digital scale that came with the Classic Kit and RCBS dies.

I'm certain these aren't of Grade A material, but they'll do while my budget is burned up. I do plan on obtaining some high quality dies and a Chargemaster at some point, but for now everything else has whooped my budget.

Totally understandable. I've been acquiring my stuff for 30 years. My dad left me a whoooooooole lot of top notch stuff so, I had help. He taught me about good dies. I was an RCBS fan forever. Still am for pistols. Now, I won't use anything but Redding Match dies for precision reloading. It saves crazy amounts of time and the consistency is remarkable.

As for scales, my dad had a RCBS Chargemaster. Good scale and it was better than what I had. Groups improved. It took a tumble thanks to my lab under my loading bench so, I bought a good jewelry scale. The repeatability is astounding and it measures out 2 decimal places. That coupled with good dies is almost like cheating for us normal shooters.

One trick that helped when I used RCBS dies is this: When seating the bullet, seat it all the way then lower the ram. Turn the round 180 deg in the shell holder and press again. It will cut the run-out in half and make each projectile more concentric to the bore. It helps quite a bit, especially if you're getting 8 or 10 thou run-out on your bullets. PM if you ever need anything. I love discussing and learning this stuff. It's like crack for responsible people.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #26
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BTW, my neighbor has the same rifle you are shooting but in 7-08. His shoots 5 shot bug holes. Yours will too with more fun time. Tikka forges a good shooting barrel.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:57 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Leverhunter View Post
Crimping works on my 7-30 Waters. Seems to make the velocity and accuracy more consistent.
That screams neck tension issues then. Try not crimping and turn the high side off the necks and I bet youll be surprised at the result.

Disclaimer. I hate turning necks haha
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:58 PM   #28
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We shoot off a cheep $100 wood picnic table for a bench rest, angel it at a 45 degree to the target and you will have a solid bench rest with a rest for your elbow.

I have done the card table thing and it sucks!
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:00 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Livin'2hunt View Post
Totally understandable. I've been acquiring my stuff for 30 years. My dad left me a whoooooooole lot of top notch stuff so, I had help. He taught me about good dies. I was an RCBS fan forever. Still am for pistols. Now, I won't use anything but Redding Match dies for precision reloading. It saves crazy amounts of time and the consistency is remarkable.

As for scales, my dad had a RCBS Chargemaster. Good scale and it was better than what I had. Groups improved. It took a tumble thanks to my lab under my loading bench so, I bought a good jewelry scale. The repeatability is astounding and it measures out 2 decimal places. That coupled with good dies is almost like cheating for us normal shooters.

One trick that helped when I used RCBS dies is this: When seating the bullet, seat it all the way then lower the ram. Turn the round 180 deg in the shell holder and press again. It will cut the run-out in half and make each projectile more concentric to the bore. It helps quite a bit, especially if you're getting 8 or 10 thou run-out on your bullets. PM if you ever need anything. I love discussing and learning this stuff. It's like crack for responsible people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Livin'2hunt View Post
BTW, my neighbor has the same rifle you are shooting but in 7-08. His shoots 5 shot bug holes. Yours will too with more fun time. Tikka forges a good shooting barrel.
Great to know!! There are several of you on here that have helped me learn the basics of this hobby much much faster than what I would have learned on my own. It is much appreciated!

I actually have. Tikka 7-08 myself. I already have some rounds loaded up, but haven't shot it yet. My scope for it just came in the other day and my rings were too low, so I had to wait till my new ones showed up today and finally got it mounted and put together. Hope to do some testing with it this weekend.

Only problem with my 7-08 is that I'm limited to mag length. Because of this, I just seated the bullet out as far as my mag would allow and still leave me a tiny bit of room. I went ahead and loaded different charge weights hoping this seating depth will work. If I can't find a good charge weight, I'll play with seating depth some.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:24 PM   #30
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Great to know!! There are several of you on here that have helped me learn the basics of this hobby much much faster than what I would have learned on my own. It is much appreciated!

I actually have. Tikka 7-08 myself. I already have some rounds loaded up, but haven't shot it yet. My scope for it just came in the other day and my rings were too low, so I had to wait till my new ones showed up today and finally got it mounted and put together. Hope to do some testing with it this weekend.

Only problem with my 7-08 is that I'm limited to mag length. Because of this, I just seated the bullet out as far as my mag would allow and still leave me a tiny bit of room. I went ahead and loaded different charge weights hoping this seating depth will work. If I can't find a good charge weight, I'll play with seating depth some.

I used to view mag length as a limitation. When I started shooting long range, the rifles used are all mag fed. Thus, limited to mag length seating depths. It is not a worry. That is, unless you have a Rem 700 SPS Varmint in 308. That was a painful lesson. Anyway, you're on the right track. Set the depth and work on charge weights and primers. Primers can make all the difference in accuracy and velocity. My custom 308 loves Rem 9 1/2 primers. Loves them. 0.500"+/- groups at 300 yards type good. Everyone looks at me sideways when I tell them the load info but I never get stuck on any component. Well, except Lapua brass. That is not negotiable.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:39 PM   #31
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Looking good Sleepy!
I personally like working charge weights first, then seating depth. I have worked a .338 Lapua that with a minimum charge weight, shot at max charge weight velocity and had slight pressure signs. This happens from a tight chamber. Not trying to scare you, just don't want anyone missing digits. Being you have started at 3/4 charge, and no pressure signs, I would slightly work down and up and see if it tightens up.
When using a chrono, take the reloading manual with you. You can kinda tell where the pressure is with velocity vs. charge weight. If that makes sense.
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Old 09-08-2017, 09:52 PM   #32
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Looking good Sleepy!
I personally like working charge weights first, then seating depth. I have worked a .338 Lapua that with a minimum charge weight, shot at max charge weight velocity and had slight pressure signs. This happens from a tight chamber. Not trying to scare you, just don't want anyone missing digits. Being you have started at 3/4 charge, and no pressure signs, I would slightly work down and up and see if it tightens up.
When using a chrono, take the reloading manual with you. You can kinda tell where the pressure is with velocity vs. charge weight. If that makes sense.
So basically if I'm exceeding velocity the charge is supposed to produce, it could be due to higher pressures? I'm assuming that's where knowing the velocity start playing a big roll in the loads?
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:14 PM   #33
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Sent you a PM.
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Old 09-08-2017, 10:49 PM   #34
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So basically if I'm exceeding velocity the charge is supposed to produce, it could be due to higher pressures? I'm assuming that's where knowing the velocity start playing a big roll in the loads?
Yes, and that can be caused by a tight chamber.

Example:
Say a start load with 35.0 grains of Varget is supposed to produce 2700 fps.(don't have my book). But it shoots at 2800 fps, well within safe pressures. 40.0 grains is a max load, there is a good chance you won't be able to go up that far because you will be making the same pressure as a max load at 38-39 grains.

The main thing is keep a eye on bolt lift force and extractor marks on the brass. Primers can be really tricky to read sometimes, some brands are softer than others.

I know you are using Varget-it's good, temp stable. Some powders very with temp more than others. If you work a load up in the winter, and at the max, can possibly be over max come summer time. Just for future reference.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:29 PM   #35
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My first set of reloads.. got to shoot at the ranch this weekend. Probably a varied 5-10 mph wind, not bad, my marksmanship was really good but not perfect during the shots. Barrel did heat up pretty good after 7 or 8 shots in mid afternoon conditions, I waited as long as I could between shots but after 3 hrs on the range we had other work to do too.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:16 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by rosco11 View Post
My first set of reloads.. got to shoot at the ranch this weekend. Probably a varied 5-10 mph wind, not bad, my marksmanship was really good but not perfect during the shots. Barrel did heat up pretty good after 7 or 8 shots in mid afternoon conditions, I waited as long as I could between shots but after 3 hrs on the range we had other work to do too.
That 56 grain load looks like it has some potential!

I heard that on the barrel heating up, especially with a sporter barrel. Both my rounds, I've taken a couple other guns to shoot in between groups and it helps spread everything out without getting bored waiting on the barrel to cool. I also pull my bolt out to get a little more airflow the the bore.

Have you played with seating depths yet?

Details on the gun your shooting?
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