How to choose between multiple loads

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by BritishBuffoon, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. BritishBuffoon

    BritishBuffoon

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    This is my first post here. However I have been lurking for years and have learned a great deal from you all.
    Thank you.

    I have been reloading for just over a year, and am developing a new load:
    .223 60gr VMAX with Vihtavuori N140, rifle is R700 1in12.
    I am aiming to create the most accurate load I can with these components in order to shoot as far as possible (up to 700 yards).
    These cannot be changed at this time, so all I have to play with are powder charge and seating depth.

    I fired 3 groups of 3 rounds with different powder charges at 100yds. The problem is, they’re all incredibly good groups!
    5 of the loads gave average groups of less than 0.5”. All the rounds landed at the point of aim and grouped very well, no signs of excess pressure.
    They were shot in the same weather conditions on the same day, and they are so close in size I cannot choose which is best.
    I do not have access to a chronograph nor will I any time soon.
    I only have regular access to a 200 yard range.

    Do I choose the smallest group size even if it is only thousandths smaller than another?
    Do I shoot more groups of each? Perhaps 3 groups of 5 rounds for each load?
    Do I test them all at 200 yards?
    Do I choose the the least powder charge to save money?
    Or favour the highest powder charge to potentially give it more power at range or increased velocity?

    The best loads (based on group size alone) were 24.4, 24.6, 24.8, and 25.0.

    Any advise, experience, opinions would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers.
     

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  2. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Load 24.9 and play with seating depth in .003 increments.
     
  3. BritishBuffoon

    BritishBuffoon

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    Ok. Thanks for your response! Can I ask why you chose that load in particular?
     
  4. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Why, why, why ? - vihtavuory load data shows 26.5 - 27 max. You my friend are way-way under where you need to be. 99% of my most accurate loads are at max or slightly over max listed data. You might end up with .200" groups.
     
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  5. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Point of impact elevation in respect to the aiming point.
    I always load in the middle.
    Also at the upper end of your test charges.

    Groups look to be coming together with increase of powder.
    As @Rdlningcltchdmpr states if Vhitvatori load data is 26.5-27gr further investigation is warranted in powder charge.
     
  6. BritishBuffoon

    BritishBuffoon

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    Thanks for your feedback. I found confusing data on Viht’s website so to be safe I started at 23.8 and was working my way up. As far as I have found, 26.8 is the max load for a 60gr bullet. Please can you tell me where you found those numbers?
     
  7. Twoboxer

    Twoboxer Silver $$ Contributor

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    Assuming you don't explore higher charge weights, and assuming your POA was the same on each target . . . 24.7gr is what I would choose. 24.6 and 24.8 have the same group POI. Assuming 24.7 repeats the pattern - and it should - you are well centered in that node. 25.0's POI moves away from the two lighter charges, though apparently in different directions.
     
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  8. BritishBuffoon

    BritishBuffoon

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    Thank you for explaining. I will investigate further
     
  9. BritishBuffoon

    BritishBuffoon

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    Yes POA was top left corner on every shot.
    Thanks for sharing your thinking. I will look into higher charge weights if it looks safe to do so
     
  10. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Just rounding up, 26.5 - 27 is the area of max charges. As i stated before 99% of my most accurate loads are very close to max- at max, or slightly over max data listed.
     
  11. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Boulderdash i say ! Just load 4 @ 25.5, 4@ 26, 4@ 26.5 , and 4@ 27. Go try them and I'll bet you will want to send me some tea and crumpets.
     
  12. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    Fish n chips!!!
     
  13. Webster

    Webster

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    i read an article once that a lot of guys in Canada were shooting 75 gr bullets in a 223 for some kind of competition. Slower but better BC. Less wind drift.
     
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  14. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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    You probably should move out to 200 yards. Any variation in accuracy will magnify itself at distance. Once you think you've found the right load, try a 10 round group allowing the barrel to cool in between shots. Ignore any flier if you know you pulled a shot. Then find the length to the lands and start some variations in seating depth. For instance, this is an old picture of a test I did several years ago. I fired 3 .308 rounds to warm the barrel before shooting any groups. Then fired 5 shots into each target (allowing the barrel to cool enough I could hold onto it without getting burnt) and I did it round robin so I wouldn't be concentrating on any particular group and if there was any fouling, it would be spread out between the targets. The rifle seemed to like a .025" jump and that held true with most bullets until I tried the 200.20X Berger which preferred about .005".
    1Shot.jpg
     
  15. rsmithsr50

    rsmithsr50

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    you might want to temper your expectations.
    a 60 at 700 yards from a 223 is not going to end up being much of an aimed shot.
    have you looked at the ballistics ?
    just punch it into jbm
    how long is your round
    what does your empty brass weigh/what brand
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  16. Ringostar

    Ringostar

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    When testing powder, I look for vertical spread, or lack there of. 25.0 has the least vertical. I would test more from 25.0 and higher.
     
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  17. Sparky570

    Sparky570

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    I also am a Beginner at reloading,,I read a lot on this forum,,just remember to watch for THE SiGNs of over pressure,,when loading near MAX always remember seat depth can GREATLY increase pressure,,safety 1st
     
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  18. Rdlningcltchdmpr

    Rdlningcltchdmpr Gold $$ Contributor

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    Smafety !
     
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  19. Sparky570

    Sparky570

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    LOL,,,you Guys that have been loading for ONE HUNDRED YEARS are right,,,most guns like it HOT,,,but you have to watch what you say to new guys
     
  20. Sparky570

    Sparky570

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    I think the proper spelling is SCHMAFETY,,,:p:p:p:p
     

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