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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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What first?

When working up a load. what is the first thing you look for as a high pressure indicator? I usually use a couple at once. How the shell ejects (on a bolt or slide action) and how the primer looks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 10:52 AM
tdd
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Re: What first?

Velocity is the true test. I chrono loads and check that against the data I get from QuickLoad software. There's no free lunch, no black magic....if bullet X is going speed Y in cartridge Z in a given rifle (barrel length, chamber size, etc), then the pressure is the pressure. Signs of it or not, it's there.

Different rifles react to pressure differently, but the thresholds are pretty much the thresholds, and velocity tells you where you're at, if you have the right tools at your disposal.

A chrono isn't "cheap," nor is QuickLoad (both are about $100-$125), but they have jointly saved me a lot of headaches and turmoil. I've never had load development go more quickly or smoothly for me than when I started running both a chrono and QuickLoad.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:39 PM
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Re: What first?

Good advice from tdd.

I don't have Quickload, but do use the book data and the chrono. Aside from that I check for flattened head stamp, loose/flattened primers, sticky bolt....easy to see/feel before and after each shot.

You really under estimated the ramifications of the boondoggle you have just perpetrated!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 12:53 PM
tdd
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Re: What first?

The thing about QuickLoad that makes it important is that you can measure case capacity in grains of water in actual fired cases from the rifle you're working with and feed that data to QL. This has often had a huge impact on the data I get for a given rifle, and I have yet to see QL off by a large margin when given complete/accurate data.

So, when I get a speed off a charge, I can refer to the QL tables I get for that specific rifle and get very close to the true chamber pressure values and know exactly what I'm working with, instead of trying to read the tea leaves by looking at the cases.

I've found that primer appearances are incredibly unreliably indicators. Different brands and different lots react differently, and I've seen badly cratered primers that would make folks pale at the look of them and they came from moderate charges. Take the same components and goose the charge a bit and the primers look fantastic. I've seen that more than once.

Primer pocket loosening I find is a good indicator, but you get that "after the fact" and the damage is done at that point (at least, to the brass).

But using velocity and good data, you can know within a pretty narrow margin of error what you're dealing with and spare a lot of headache and time.

Working with some friends from another forum, I've managed to put together a loadwork process that seems tedious/time-consuming, but in reality, it's yielded hunting-capable (or better) accuracy for about a half dozen rifles inside of 50 rounds fired per rifle.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-19-2016, 02:05 PM
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Re: What first?

Makes sense.

You really under estimated the ramifications of the boondoggle you have just perpetrated!
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