New reloader question

parkermann

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Hey guys. I'm getting into reloading and I think I have pretty much figured it out but I have a few questions.

First I am loading for my new 243. I have everything I need and am just about ready to work up a load. My question is about how much powder to use. Looking in the hornady reloading manual for my bullet and powder is shows 4 loads from 38-42 grains. Where should I start? I was planning on loading 5 or 10 of each load and seeing which ones my gun likes best and going from there but I'm not sure where to start. Should I start at about 36 grains and work up from there? Should I work up in half grain measurements or 1 grain measurements? For example a 36 grain load then a 36.5 then a 37 ect. Or 36,37,38?

Also as a new reloader I am a little worried about the dangers of reloading. As long as my COL is correct and I'm not shooting a hot load I should be ok right? I'm not planning on going even close to a hot load just yet.


And when I'm shooting these loads what are some signs to look for that I am shooting to hot of loads?

Thanks for all the help
 

ltdann

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Most of the reloading manual list one recipe that is "a most accurate" load. I've found that usually to be true, especially with the lead-free rounds.

I typically load 2 full grains below that, in .5 increments @ 10 rounds each and then test fire. Keep good notes and measure the distance between holes in the target and you'll starting zeroing in on the best load for your rig.

Things to look for are incipient head separation (bright ring around base of cartridge), flattened or bulged primers and cracked necks. All are indicators of too much powder.

Inspect fired shell casings after each firing and then again after tumbling and depriming. If you get a cracked neck, it'll probably show up after depriming.

About 5-6 reloads is all I'll get out of a cartridge before I get nervous.
 

Mr. Luckypants

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Cracked neck are due to the brass being hardened by reloading. If you want to avoid this then anneal the neck/shoulder every 4th firing or so.

Always start at the minimum load and work your way up. I load 3 rounds each by .5grn increments until I see pressure. Flattened primers and hard to lift bolts are a sure sign. Look at your 3 shot groups and see which ones has the least vertical stringing and use that group as your base. Then load up that load and increase by .2grn up and .2grn down. Then see which groups are the best then load up about 20-30 rounds and shoot 5 shot groups. On cold days use the load with .2grns higher and on hot days use the load with the .2grn lower.
 

parkermann

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Great info guys. Thanks for the feedback. Exactly what I was looking for
 


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