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How versatile can a load be?

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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby 0933 » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:02 pm

There is so much going on in the realm of internal ballistics... so much science, physics, energy transferred from one form to another, the physical reaction of solids to those different energies, and the art that shooters have come up with to deal with those different variables and standard deviations within them.

I recommend reading these web articles... they each deal with separate but overlapping issues, and give a fairly good base to understanding what goes on within the barrel after the firing pin drops.

http://www.stocks-rifle.com/harmonics.htm

http://www.varmintal.com/amode.htm

http://www.shootingsoftware.com/barrel.htm

http://www.the-long-family.com/OBT_paper.htm

There is no 'magic load', though there are some loads that can shoot well in multiple Mosin's... such as Jared's example of Federal Gold Medal Match. These loads are close the "optimal charge weight" that varies depending on the rifle, though can be very similar across the board.

The load that gets passed around alot, and came from Ken at RSI (who had an inside scoop from a major powder company's lab), is 53-55 grains of IMR 4350 behind a 174-180 grain bullet. So far this load has done well from half a dozen Mosin's that I've shot it from. Is it the end all?? do I use it in all of my Mosin's?? No... but it's a worthwhile place to start.

From a long range shooter's perspective, speed is not everything... As Ben pointed out in the OP. First and foremost is accuracy, consistency. That is why most of us re-load/handload for our rifles Gene. We want a load that is consistent, one that will fall within our rifle's accuracy 'node' and be predictable. It's pointless trying to shoot a 2 MOA target at 500 yds with an ammo/gun combination that will only hold 4 MOA at 100 yds, not even bringing into the equation the role that the shooter plays. With consistency comes bullets that don't vary much in weight/dimension/form, and a velocity standard deviation that is low... preferably single digits. These two things will ensure that your vertical dispersion (and wind deflection) will stay constant and predictable.

External ballistics is a field that has been studied at length and there are numerous programs that can accurately predict (given the right inputs) the external ballistic curve of any small arm. This is the easy part, predicting drop... and to a certain extent wind deflection (though that is still very much an art that needs developed in the shooter).

Once you have an ammo/gun combination that is set up right, and a decent ballistic computer, then the only reason for not hitting the target is the shooter. All of us here will tell you that we try and stack the deck, we get our rifles shooting to the best we can, and then all we work on is ourselves. No one can shoot a precision rifle to it's potential 100% of the time... even world champions, and that's why it's such a fulfilling pastime! ;)
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Grimstod » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:46 pm

Good to have you back 0933. And congratulation on getting engaged. :thumbup:
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Grindl » Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:37 pm

Grimstod ; I'm gonna speculate that you're using Varget in your loads , based solely on the "charge" weights you listed . From all my reading and study on load data , that's what it appears to be , anyway . And I have been studying load charts and burn rate charts trying to develop a better understanding of this whole topic . Re-focusing "old-school" high velocity accuracy thinking ( forty years old ) to the gains in modern balistics , powders , and improvements in bullets themselves can be a little bit overwhelming when you're trying to absorb it all , at once .
I appreciate all you guys having the patience to guide me along here , and answer the questions . And I will keep asking ; what I hope , to be relevant questions .
So ... Using Accurate 4350 , or IMR 4350 , as the powder ; what bullet weight and type would be suitable to start with to build a lower velocity ( 2400 fps range )load ? I would prefer to use a HPBT , and I don't have any preference towards any Mfg. I would be open to suggestions for a "Baseline" load , or at least where to start . The confusion for new loaders is so way to many options , on Bullets , .308 or .311 , powders , OAL , crimp or not ? etc..etc.
Barrel length is 26" and I have a TPP Brake installed .
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Shepard » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:13 am

Grindl wrote:Grimstod ; I'm gonna speculate that you're using Varget in your loads , based solely on the "charge" weights you listed . From all my reading and study on load data , that's what it appears to be , anyway . And I have been studying load charts and burn rate charts trying to develop a better understanding of this whole topic . Re-focusing "old-school" high velocity accuracy thinking ( forty years old ) to the gains in modern balistics , powders , and improvements in bullets themselves can be a little bit overwhelming when you're trying to absorb it all , at once .
I appreciate all you guys having the patience to guide me along here , and answer the questions . And I will keep asking ; what I hope , to be relevant questions .
So ... Using Accurate 4350 , or IMR 4350 , as the powder ; what bullet weight and type would be suitable to start with to build a lower velocity ( 2400 fps range )load ? I would prefer to use a HPBT , and I don't have any preference towards any Mfg. I would be open to suggestions for a "Baseline" load , or at least where to start . The confusion for new loaders is so way to many options , on Bullets , .308 or .311 , powders , OAL , crimp or not ? etc..etc.
Barrel length is 26" and I have a TPP Brake installed .



I have reworked my pet load as I wanted to see if I could improve a good thing. IMR4350 is a great powder for mid to heavy bullets. 150-220gr bullets provide great accuracy. What size bore does you 26 inch barrel have? once you know that -- you'll know what size bullet you need .308 or .311. If your a beginner -- I would use the established over all length. Changing how far the bullets seats can change case pressures.
Crimping is something you'll have to try and work out yourself. See what works best in your rifle. Most don't crimp.
I've done some load development and found that I could improve my pet load.
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby ShootnMathews » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:52 pm

Shepard wrote:I did 3 rounds loaded one gr different starting at 48-52 under a 175gr SMK .308 diameter. You can see that for me 50 gr of IMR4350 grouped the best and had a 2350 fps velocity.
.

Not a suprise to me. I've found that charge under 174 - 175 grain bullets to be very accurate in several a mosin. I've shared it with several who have had really good luck with it.
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Grindl » Sun Dec 28, 2014 2:38 am

Thanks for your response Shepard , and the pics . I had loaded up some Hornady , 150gr HPBT (.308 ) , with Accurate 4350 from 49gr to 53gr as a start , and the six 174gr .311 SMK's with 53gr of the A-4350 . After reading this topic , I decided to pull the 174's and reload them in the same staging as you did , Shepard .
I got to the range late and only had time to shoot the 150's and I got the best group with the 52gr of A-4350 and they "marked" at 5 o'clock , a inch and a half low..all three rounds over-lapped in a straight line . , very similar to your one group.
I've "slugged" my barrel twice , and got .3114 & .3118 . Guess you could split the difference and call it .3116 and the .3118 slug seemed to be a little "tipped" to one side so ...What's a couple of "tenths" among friends . :lol:
Going to try to get the 174's shot this week , and will report back when I have something useful to contribute . I am begining to see some progress and it's even begining to make a little sense. And my girl seems to like a very light crimp . Very light at the case lip only . Best OAL seems to be 3.010 / 3.012 , but can't get there with the shorter .308 bullet so I settled on 2.875..My biggest surprise was how the "groups" would mark in completely different areas of the target when always using the same POA . Cases are virgin PPU w/ CCI-200 primers. Is there any advantage , or dis-advantage to using a magnum primer ?
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Shepard » Sun Dec 28, 2014 5:23 am

. Is there any advantage , or dis-advantage to using a magnum primer ?


If your new to hand loading -- use the data you have at hand. Using a magnum primer in place of a standard one can lead to over pressure and problems.
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby ShootnMathews » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:16 pm

A magnum primer will increase pressure, so you can't interchange a standard primer and magnum primer in your loads. You should work up your load with which ever primer you plan to use. When using a magnum primer in a cartridge that you load book does not specify to use a magnum, you should decrease the charge numbers by about 1.5 grains. For example, if your book lists a standard primer and a minimum 40 grains and max of 48 grains. You should reduce those to about 38.5 and 46.5 with a magnum primer. Always work up to your guns max charge while watching for pressure signs.

But there is no advantage to using a magnum primer in the 7.62 x 54r. As a general rule, you don't need a magnum primer until you pass about 70 grains of powder. They can be used with less powder but are not needed. Several instances that I've seen magnum primers used in mid sized cartridges the magnum primers gave a larger extreme spread in velocity. Which isn't good for precision. The smaller the spread, the better.
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Grimstod » Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:53 am

I do agree with Jared. On accurate shooter they have proven over and over again that smaller primers are more consistent. This is why 308 palma brass has small primer pockets instead of large ones. The smaller primer is more consistent. The need for large primers is really a thing of the past and only really for specialty stuff like GS Custom bullets or Really big stuff.
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Re: How versatile can a load be?

Postby Grindl » Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:25 am

After a very busy range session : I came home with a stack of information , and added to what all you guys have posted , it has really got me headed in the right direction now .
I've "proven" to myself that my rifle does not like .308 bullets . The first 20 rounds had a nice pattern of four inches at a hundred yards. ( about thirty seconds between shots ). Then the rounds jumped eight inches high and right four inches. One o'clock high / right. Let her cool down for fifeteen minutes , and she was back in the black , but scattered . Ok...No more .308's .
Next were the .311 SMK's with A-4350. Might have made a error in starting with to high a load , as I started at 51gr., 51.5 , 52 , 52.5 and 53gr. the 51gr load was decent with two rounds touching and the third round a half inch away. Eight ring at seven o'clock. The 51.5 were scattered . (Operator error, I think.) But the best group was the 52gr load. Three rounds touching on the nine ring , at six o'clock .

Moved the target out to 200 yrds and after dialing the off-set , six rounds of 53gr A-4350 under the 174 SMK were in a 2-2 1/2" group at five o'clock , between the nine and ten ring. Might need to dial up six / eight more "clics" off-set. Couple of the rounds were touching in the group . I had not loaded any of the magnum primers , as I was waiting to be advised before doing so . Appreciate the always sound advice . Really getting into this reloading "thing".. :thumbup: Going to load some up with 49.5gr , 50gr , 50.5 to see what I can see .Now ; It's startin to be fun .
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