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When you start reloading, remember that making changes in small steps enables you to identify the ideal load for your barrel / distance combination without spending huge amounts of cash or wearing out your barrel in the process.

Once you have found an accurate load, stick with it & do not be tempted by every new idea that comes onto the market being able to accurately predict where the bullet will go in changing wind conditions will give you an edge on someone who constantly fiddles with loads, bullets & powder & is concentrating so much on which load to try next that they forgot to look at the wind flags   

 

When choosing a load I follow the process below

1) Chose a bullet, case & powder. Plan for repeat purchases that you can pick up locally or in bulk which do not break the bank

2) Start off making 5 rounds with with a minimum load, then increase in half grain increments with 5 rounds at each load

3) Test the loads at short range & note the ones with the smallest group & similar size groups

4) Make new test batches starting at .5 grain below moving to .5 grain above the best loads from stage 3 & test at your normal zero range (normally 300 yards for .308) to determine your short range (300 - 600 yard) load

5 Make similar test batches and test for long range (900 - 1200 yards)

My current Barnard competition rifle likes 44.5 grains of N140 for short range & 46.0 grains for long range

My Tikka T3 hunting rifle likes 40.5 grains of N140 & is only currently used at short range  

 

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Last modified: 03/09/12