Compressed Loads

This is a discussion on Compressed Loads within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; I have did quite a bit of searching for this topic, but nothing really gives me the answer I am looking for. What is the ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sharpsshooter's Avatar
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    Compressed Loads

    I have did quite a bit of searching for this topic, but nothing really gives me the answer I am looking for.

    What is the basic premise for actually getting the powder for a compressed load in to a case? Do you just put what fits and seat the bullet into it, use a drop tube? I saw a post where someone uses 50 grains of IMR4064 on a 308 Win load, I can't even figure out how to get that much powder in to the case itself.

    What I am loading is the Sierra 110HP Varminter bullet for use on coyotes. I am up to 46 grains of IMR4064, but the grouping is poor at best.

  2. #2
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    Re: Compressed Loads

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpsshooter
    What is the basic premise for actually getting the powder for a compressed load in to a case?
    I run a compressed load on my 223 (n.e. 5.56) ammo. 24.9gr is the point where compressed loads begin with Varget and LC cases. I will probably be using a compressed load on my 308 (n.e 7.62*51) ammo when the load is fully developed.

    I have seen 2 methods, and used one. My loads are lightly compressed, so I just use the bullet seater and go to town (e.g. crunch). For seriously compressed loads, I have heard that some people put the load tray on a vibrator for a couple of minutes to allow the self sorting mechanics of extruded powders pack the load so that it fits better in the cases. I strongly suspect they still go crunch when the bullet seater is in operation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SRTS1's Avatar
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    Generally, you compress the the powder by seating the bullet and camming it into the case. I have never used more than 42.5 grains of 4895, which is a compressed load wiuth a 168 MK. Dont force it! Check the case head for heat rings or cracks. personally, I wouldn't try a 50 grain load with any bullet, but I am not a reloading guru either.

    Good luck
    Professionals that demand nothing less than the best, demand Tac Ops.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Recoil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRTS1
    personally, I wouldn't try a 50 grain load with any bullet, but I am not a reloading guru either.
    Yeah, but if he doesn't kill 'em with the bullet, he'll fry 'em with the fireball! :lol: :lol:

  5. #5
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    I use a drop tube and it goes in slick as a whistle. RL-25 in a 7WSM at 103% with no crunch at all.

    Jeffvn
    1976-1980
    2/2 Echo, 2/2 STA, 3/9 STA, SCAMP

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tango Alpha's Avatar
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    I'm just getting into this, so I'm not by any means an expert. Having said that, I'll tell you what I think I've learned.

    When first starting to work up a load, you need to make MANY loads that are maybe .2 to .4 grains apart. I went to the range for the first time with about 12 different charges, from 40 grains to 42.8

    I noticed a slight tightening of groups as I used increasingly "hotter" loads. Then, very suddenly, I would hit a load that produced a large group. I continued to shoot increasingly hotter loads, and the groups would incrementally tighten again, and then at some point open up wide.

    So for example (I don't have my book in front of me, if I did I could tell you the exact loads, here's a hypothetical anyway):

    41 grains = .65" group

    41.3 grains = .6" group

    41.6 grains = .5" group

    41.9 grains = .75" group

    42.2 grains = .69" group

    42.5 grains = .64" group

    42.7 grains = .59" group

    42.9 grains = .5" group

    43.1 grains = .75" group

    Again, this is just an example, but you can seee what I mean. Groups get tighter, and then get larger again, and then get tighter all over again.

    So, if you have a load that isn't working well, you might need to do a very slight adjustment to your load.

    The same load in two rifles might give you different results. What's good for your buddy's Savage might shoot like crap in your Rem 700.

    Also, try to take as much human error out of the equation as possible. Do this by using a sand bag or equivalent front and rear rest. Also, I find that it helps to use diamond shaped targets over circle types.

    The reason for the diamonds is this. When you're holding a crosshair in the center of a circle 100 yards or more from you, the crosshairs might "float" a little in the circle. IOW, your eye cannot tell EXACTLY where the center of that circle is. When using a diamond, the crosshairs of your reticle intersect the corners of the diamond and create a very positive "lock" that your eye can easily see, eliminating some of the human error. If you must use circle targets, use the smallest ones that you can still see clearly. Remember: aim small, miss small, he-he.

    Some targets (circle and otherwise) have crosshair brackets, for lack of a better term. Thes work, in theory, but I feel the diamonds are much easier to see, and again, that eliminates human error.

    Anyway, hope this helps. Oh, and here's some of those diamond targets:

    http://www.protargets.com/targets/index2.htm
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tango Alpha's Avatar
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    PS, forgot one more thing, you're most accurate load is probably not going to be your highest velocity load. You'll hear people use the terms "accuracy load" and of course "compressed loads" - note, that directly implies "compressed load" doesn't mean it's the most accurate load, more powder is not always the answer. My "accuracy load" for my Rem 700 P appears to be 41.6 grains of IMR 4064 with 175 gr SMK, Winchester brass and FGMM primers. I can get more velocity with 42.8 grains, and the accuracy is good, but not quite as good as 41.6 grains at 100 - 200 yards.

    To make matters more "interesting" different powders have different results in different rifles. Obviously, you never want to use the same charge with different powders without first consulting a good loader's book. I only mean to say this because now that I've got the most accurate load possible out of IMR 4064 powder, I'll prolly start the whole process of finding an accurate load all over again with a different powder, prolly RE-15 or IMR 4895.
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tango Alpha's Avatar
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    PPS - 50 grains of IMR 4064 in a .308? I don;t know about that. I think 44.5 is the max load, I could be wrong. 50 grains sounds...
    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  9. #9
    Senior Member Stormrider's Avatar
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    The max load Sierra has in their manual is 49.1g IMR4064 for 3200 f/s.
    In order to get the max amount of powder in the case, I use a powder funnel and pour the measured charge of powder into the funnel very slowly from about 6in above.

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  10. #10
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    A compressed load does not equal a max velocity load.

    In over 35yrs of shooting, I have never had a max pressure load be the most accurate load. Close maybe but not quite.

    So it depends on what you're looking for; that last .2" or that last 50fps. For me, I'll take the accuracy.
    Guns don't kill people. Sarah Brady does.

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