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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 8:20 PM
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Default Need a noob's guide to working up a 223 load...

I'm brand new to reloading, but pretty sure I have everything I need to start working on a load. I understand the idea behind it, but I'd like to know what the guys who have been around this block a few times do for their load development - from time on the reloading bench to time shooting at the range.
I'm using a Lee Classic Turret, Lee Pacesetter dies, and working with PMC brass, H335 powder, CCI primers (BR4 and 400's), and will be starting with Sierra Match 69gr HPBT.
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Old 11-29-2012, 4:25 AM
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...

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&...+work*+up+load
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Old 11-29-2012, 6:02 AM
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From a noob to a noob, go to hodgens website and find what load they suggest for the bullet. Its a good starting point. If you're looking for the best load for your rifle you're just going to have to work your way up till you find what it likes.
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Old 11-29-2012, 8:25 AM
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Get yourself the sierra loading manual and start loading. I'd use CCI 41's instead of the 400's.
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2012, 8:40 AM
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I don't know if this is for "noobs," but look up RaymondMillbrae's videos on reloading .223:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...d.php?t=313431
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2012, 8:56 AM
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Thanks, I guess I should narrow it down to some specific questions I've been wondering:
1. I have a Lyman 49th edition, plus load data from Lee and off the Hodgdon website that give me an idea of starting and max loads. What I'm wondering is how much do you increase the charge each time when you are working up a load?
2. How many rounds do you load for each charge to be tested?
3. At the range, do you do anything differently than your normal paper punching routine? Clean the barrel between different charges or not worry about it?

For what its worth, I have read a lot of threads on load development but haven't seen one that answers the basic questions here. Thanks for any help with these.
Cheers,
ed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 9:30 AM
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For load development, I start at mid range charge weights and increase at .3 increments. I usually load 5-10 rounds in each weight. My barrels don't get cleaned between loads.
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Old 11-29-2012, 9:42 AM
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Thanks Bill.
So with what I'm looking at loading the start and max is 22-24gr. Should I start with these loads:
22.7
23
23.3
23.6
I'm thinking maybe load 10 rounds of each charge, 5 with each primer I have.
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Old 11-29-2012, 2:36 PM
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I usually start 1.5gn under max and increase in .1gn increments, make 5 of each of load up to about .5gn from max and shoot those, take the best 2 loads and load 20 more of each. If there's no pressure signs I'll go toward the max as long as group sizes don't open up. At the end I have several loads to develop from and fiddle with.

I don't let my barrel get hot during initial testing, shoot 3 shots from a recipe and if they do well then take the other 2 shots. If the first 3 suck I can pull down the other 2 and reclaim the components for a load that works.

I keep 1 POA and dial POI changes with scope adjustments (requires a good scope). I don't usually clean until a session is over.
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Old 11-29-2012, 3:02 PM
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I work up in .3gr increments and find the accuracy nodes. Then I work around those nodes in .1gr increments to find the sweet spot.
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 3:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spamsucker View Post
I usually start 1.5gn under max and increase in .1gn increments, make 5 of each of load up to about .5gn from max and shoot those, take the best 2 loads and load 20 more of each. If there's no pressure signs I'll go toward the max as long as group sizes don't open up. At the end I have several loads to develop from and fiddle with.

I don't let my barrel get hot during initial testing, shoot 3 shots from a recipe and if they do well then take the other 2 shots. If the first 3 suck I can pull down the other 2 and reclaim the components for a load that works.

I keep 1 POA and dial POI changes with scope adjustments (requires a good scope). I don't usually clean until a session is over.
.1g increments ?! Geez at that rate you could burn through a couple hundred rounds before finding a load lol... I have just done .5 grain increments and found I would only get about 50FPS extra per half grain.

I reload for plinking... I don't have the patience or time (or a good scope) to really test true accuracy at 100 yards. I love my ACOG, but I need more than 4x power to reload for true accuracy.
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Old 11-29-2012, 4:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edrex View Post
Thanks Bill.
So with what I'm looking at loading the start and max is 22-24gr. Should I start with these loads:
22.7
23
23.3
23.6
I'm thinking maybe load 10 rounds of each charge, 5 with each primer I have.
Looks good. Remember to keep in my OAL, too. Get more info among various books. I have found in my development that you can push a 69 SMK a little farther and sometimes with a little more accuracy using a larger charge and longer OAL.

I've found that charges between 23.5 and 24.5 have given me excellent accuracy out of several of my rifles (bolt action, DD barrel, WOA barrel).

Also, a chrono is a perfect tool for load development, too. Just watch for pressure signs if you don't have one.

This is my load data (click for larger image - remember to work up your own):
R700 @ 100 yards

WOA Service Rifle Upper @ 100 yards

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlliedArmory View Post
I work up in .3gr increments and find the accuracy nodes. Then I work around those nodes in .1gr increments to find the sweet spot.
+1
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Old 11-29-2012, 7:31 PM
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I'll also add... if you're going for a subMOA load, try these targets:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...hlight=targets.
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Old 11-29-2012, 8:12 PM
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Great info guys, thanks a ton!
Been working on getting my Lee Autodisk to throw consistent loads and get the powder leaking under control. Once I'm happy with that I will start loading some rounds using the suggestions above. Can't wait to get a couple boxes done and head out to the range, once this storm passes first though...
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Old 11-29-2012, 8:51 PM
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Don't forget your barrel twist to match your bullet selection. A barrel with a twist rate of 1/12 will favor lighter weight bullets like the 55 grain. A barrel with a faster twist like a 1/7 will favor heavier bullets.

Mix a few different bullet weights into you test loads to see if your rifle likes a certain weight bullet or even brand of bullet.

I have found some 55 grain loads that give good accuracy in either my older rifles (with 1/12) and newer rifles (with 1/9). Load a few variations in powder charge and bullet weights to start seeing what does and does not work in your rifle.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the ammo functions. Load one round in the magazine, fire and ensure the bolt locks open on the empty magazine. If not, your load may be under powered if you want normal function. Getting a good working and accurate load is satisfying work
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Old 11-29-2012, 9:48 PM
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"Working Up A Load" is a process that really needs you to use a chronograph to chart velocity as you slowly increase powder charge till you reach max safe (by watching primer flow). You are also shooting for group on a target at same time. You watch for group improvements and note velocity points.

This process can/will also involve same testing procedure with different powders, bullets and seating depth.

Without a carefully controlled process using a chrono all you are really doing is painting by numbers and hoping you will get a pretty picture.

It also takes a solid control of your process to do this right. Best way to start IMHO if you don't have chrono is to learn good, consistent reloading practices and use midrange load data and carefully find recipes that function and are safe. Then once you are confident of your skill in handling the process, start for real with a well documented and methodical program of charting velocity and group size.

Read everything here: http://www.frfrogspad.com/loaddev.htm

Get this book: http://www.zediker.com/books/handloading/hlmain.html
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Old 12-01-2012, 7:50 PM
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Don't forget to check your headspace. Get a second book read the whole thing I liked the lee book especially the part about 1% powder variations
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:20 PM
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Do you have pretty good optics and know your gun already.I start with the minimum loads and go up .5 to 1.0 increments to max.I load 5 of each charge.I usually have the rifle well broken in and on paper already.The first rds(3) I shoot are fouling rounds.I test at 100 yds,Then go to 200 and 400 when I have discoved what I am after.
I did not see you mention a trimmer or dial caliper.You will need one.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:35 PM
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That 69 grain bullet is pretty heavy... make sure your bullet works in your barrel.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edrex View Post
Great info guys, thanks a ton!
Been working on getting my Lee Autodisk to throw consistent loads and get the powder leaking under control. Once I'm happy with that I will start loading some rounds using the suggestions above. Can't wait to get a couple boxes done and head out to the range, once this storm passes first though...
Weigh 100% of your charges during work up. It's pointless to be testing at a .3gr variance if you're trusting an auto disk to provide that level of accuracy.
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