What order do you use when you work up a load?

Discussion in 'Handloads for all Sako models' started by DT400, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. DT400

    DT400 Member

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    I have been reloading for more than 30 years. I by no means know everything but have learned a heck of a lot and am always trying to learn more.

    So I am looking at working up some loads for a SAKO 243 I just picked up and was just wondering what the rest of you do.

    I am not talking about the method you use but more the order you test your components.

    So once you have your brass, bullets, powder and primers picked what order do you test the components?

    I have always, more I guess just because it seems logical to me more than hearing about it, start with the bullet about .010 off the lands and then test various powder weights until I settle on the highest velocity most accurate powder then work on seating depth variations then once that is done I'll try various crimps, Using Lee factory crimp dies, then if I think there is more to be found I will try different primers. If I am not happy at that point I will start with a different component and do it all again.

    So I do

    1 )powder wt,

    2) seat depth

    3) crimp

    4) primers



    What does everyone else do and why a different order




    Darrell
     

  2. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Not answering your question, per se, BUT for your 243, try a max load of IMR 4350 and 100 gr Nosler PArtition for deer, DEVASTATING and super accurate in mine....

    I start with the manuals (still old school prefer print over typed) and look for a 95% or better volume for the weight I intend to shoot.

    My reloading life is simple, so Remington brass (I've always had the best luck with them) Nosler bullets and Federal primers - again it's what works for me.

    I set to SAAMI specs and work from there,
     
  3. Cali

    Cali Well-Known Member

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    I use a manual also, usually written by whoever makes the bullet chosen. Each case is sized and trimmed to maximum length. Powder charges are each weighed one grain below maximum. Bullets for deer are usually Nosler and varmints get Berger. I seat to maximum overall length as long as they fit the magazine without a crimp. Have had excellent luck with CCI primers, BR if I can find them. I do not shoot competition so these are hunting loads and it's rare if three shot groups are not under 1". With groups larger than an inch I start over with the bullet being the first to change.
     
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  4. mrscary540

    mrscary540 Member

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    Give you my 2 cents worth-
    My sako 243's (couple pre Garcia 1 85 Finnlight). Never had to go beyond powder charge. I set them .005" of lands, ran charge up to all they would take, watched groupings. Done. The pre Garcias I run 39.0 grains of IMr4895 with 75 Grain HP Sierra. 3 shots fit under a dime, all the time. Finnlight run 48 grains H4831 under 90 Grain Nosler Accubond. done with same grouping results at other 243's. Never had a fussy Sako. they shoot dam near anything I put in them.
    Other Manufacture Guns, different story. I follow Pretty much what I think you listed above, although I've never had to move to crimp and Primers. Suppose that Depends on if your trying to impress people or not. If you can get 3 shots under a dime all the time, a hunter can outshoot the gun. If impressing or Benchrest stuff is your game, then I suppose crimp and Primers would be the last steps. First I run Powder up and get the most velocity I can with given powder to an accuracy I can live with(I won't except anything over 1/2 MOA at 100 yards. I don't chase powder velocities. I have a chrono, and use it for my Turret scope stuff. Just have never seen in all the animals I've killed a difference in killing between 75-50 fps. I always choose a powder that is up towards top of velocity abilities, but I don't let chasing every FPS consume me. If I can't get this or want to do better, then I start messing with the Bullet seat Depth. Some bullets, the Swift Scirrocco for one, can be pretty finicky with seating distance to lands. If I can't get it where I want, I'll switch Bullet manufactures and start all over again. Just like you, been hand loading for more than 30 years and have worked loads up for 75 plus guns(mine, family, and friends). I've only had maybe 10 guns that were picky as hell. And of those, 2-3 that got sent down the road. Shooters shoot, and they don't care about all the crap that people on forums spend endless hours flapping their guns about. Sako's generally fall into the Shooter category. Every L579 and L461 gun that I have worked loads up for, shoot awesome with little work. Maybe I'm just lucky.
     
  5. thethirdpig

    thethirdpig Member

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    start with bullet weight. Find what weight it likes then play with powder charge. First select what your manual says is the most accurate powder. If it doesn't I will list some most accurate loads. Start with those powders. Once you find bullelt weight and powder then play with seating depth.
     
  6. dgeesaman

    dgeesaman Active Member

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    So does this mean you pick a handful of bullet types and shoot a few groups of each using the same starting load?

    I’ve been choosing a bullet, brass, primer, and powder. Then I run through a range of charges, choose the best poi per the OCW method and run the range of seating depths. This might require 40 rounds.

    Then I try another bullet.

    Then I try another powder, but skip bullets it didn’t like.

    David
     
  7. kirkbridgershooters

    kirkbridgershooters Well-Known Member

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    I think too much time is spent worrying about tiny groups. If you competed in a national competition and shot a .25 inch group, you wouldn’t place in the top 1000. If you shoot prairie dogs and gophers, which I do a lot, you don’t need a 1/4 inch gun to do that.

    I have several rifles in each cartridge I shoot and I load 1 load for all of the same cartridge and don’t worry about tiny groups. I doubt there are many here that have better success with all the time they spend worrying about groups.

    I load all my Varmint calibers on a Dillon 650 and don’t waste time on primer pockets and a bunch of case prep. I would invite anyone to come and shoot prairie dogs with me sometime and prove to me that all the extra time shooting groups, targets and bullets will return a larger number of hits on a day of shooting prairie dogs...
     
  8. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I couldn't agree more. The "obsession" with group size has become ridiculous. My AI Varmint in 223 shot 1/4" groups when it was new, but after 30+ years & nearly 4000 rounds it now shoots around 1"+ groups. When I'm shooting PD's I don't notice any less capabilities. The shooter probably has more to do with group size than the rifle anyway.
     
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  9. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    Kirk and Paulson I'm on board with you guys. I have no doubt you two shoot at least twice as good as I do. I'm in my 70's and have shot since I was 10. My groups have always and consistently been 3/4" to 1" for my small bore (222's and 243) and 1" to 1.5" for my 264, 7mm rem mag and 300 wea. As long as I use my small bore for the little PD's and my 264, 7mag and 300 for deer and elk, I've been very happy with my shooting. My pre 72 Sako Deluxes, Remington 700's and Weatherbys (Yes I shoot those) have provided those good groups for many years of shooting.
     

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