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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Questions regarding testing

When you shoot groups to test for an accurate load:

How many shots with each load?
Do you fire a filing shot as the first or every cleaning?
How often do you clean the barrel?
How thoroughly do you clean you barrel on the range when testing loads?
What weather conditions do you find best to test loads?
Do you use a chronograph?
How important is the use of a chronograph in developing good loads?
How do you address cooling of the barrel or timing between shots for best accuracy?
Any other thoughts on developing the best load for a rifle or pistol?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 12:25 PM
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Re: Questions regarding testing

Its mostly a trial and error deal...A chrony is a big help if you want a fast load..Keep in mind that some chronys have trouble showing the velocities of plastic tipped bullets..
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Questions regarding testing

Interesting... Thanks never heard that before...

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 01:24 PM
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Re: Questions regarding testing

At least 3 shots in a group, 5 is better. Will shoot 3 in the summer so as the barrel doesn't heat as much.
I shoot 1 or 2 to foul. In the beginning and that is it. I don't shoot enough groups to really worry about cleaning. Usually 4 or 5 at an outing. You could be there all day if you let your barrel cool naturally.
I usually like nice weather. You can shoot in a hurricane if you want, but warm weather with little wind is what I like best.
Rarely use a chronograph.
To me a chronograph is more useful if a particular load does good one time and not so good the next. But if you didn't have it either time, you wouldn't be chronographing till the third test. If a load shoots good repeatedly, I really don't care about standard deviation or extreme spread or even how fast/slow it actually is.
Let your barrel cool down close to temp before you started. Usually takes some time in the summer.
If your not a benchrest shooter you should be able to relax on the process quite a bit. Unless you really enjoy it and are very particular.

The deer didn't disappear.... the 250,000 guys who used to walk around and make the deer move did.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 08:19 PM
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Re: Questions regarding testing

I load at least five rounds of a test load.I start with a fouled barrel, usually shoot a factory shell. Take your time between shots. In the summer I take along a.22 or two and plink with those between shots. Unless you are deadly curious, a chrono is not necessary. Your manual with have you in the ballpark on velocity, unless you have an extremely short barrel. Some handloads will not shoot good, you just have to keep trying. I will swab the barrel before shooting the next string, but thats up to the shooter. The biggest rookie error is picking a load then loading up 50 or 100 rounds, only to find your gun does not like it.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-07-2012, 10:48 PM
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Re: Questions regarding testing

If you are reloading I only change one thing between each load. Don't say..load this one with 50 gr of IMR4831 with Federal primers then try 52 gr with CCI primers. Everything stays equal except for one thing.

I normally find a bullet I WANT to use. Load a couple with a couple different powder charge weights. Then change something else to fine tune if you want. Such as bullet seating depth or a different bullet for that matter.

All the rifles I load for are pump guns I just seat bullets to recommended C.O.L. Never had a problem.

I never used a chrony. I can't really see the point for my purposes. I hunt deer in the woods. Cheapo remington factory loads would do the same thing, but I like to play around here and there.

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