Optimal Charge Weight "OCW" Load Work Up. By Ryan Furman

FURMAN

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Ok I’m going to be doing some load development with a 270win. Should I do the latter test at 100 or 200yards? That’s all I have available to me.
You don't do ladders at short distance. Do an OCW if you are limited in distance.

 

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Ok so this will be a pressure test for an ocw. So do the pressure test at 100 too then?
 

FURMAN

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What cartridge, powder, bullet, primer? I only do pressure tests on combos with no data or very little. If you are doing load development on a 300 win with 215s and h1000 or a 6.5 Prc with h1000, n565, rl26 and 156s or 147s etc. then just start with an OCW. If you truly need to do a pressure test then do it at 100 yards. Collect all the bullets on a target. I have started shooting each bullet at its own dot in the last couple of years.
 

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So this is for a 270win with 110g sierra pro hunters. Primer will be proably a cci 200 h4350 for powder. Was going to load 3g under max and work back up in .3. So should I just shoot the ocw 3 shots starting 3g under max and go up from there towards max obviously looking for pressure signs.
 

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So this is for a 270win with 110g sierra pro hunters. Primer will be proably a cci 200 h4350 for powder. Was going to load 3g under max and work back up in .3. So should I just shoot the ocw 3 shots starting 3g under max and go up from there towards max obviously looking for pressure signs.
I think that would work and since I have zero experience with the 270 win this would be a case when I would do the pressure test. It may end up saving a few rounds.
 

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Ryan is 100% correct as I would do the pressure test. With my 270 I was able to find consistent POI while doing the pressure test in 3 shot groups. I then went to OCW testing and found a great load with RL16 and 130 accubonds. I will throw this at you those 110 Sierra's are pretty short so not sure what seating depth your thinking but it will be hard to get to the lands I believe. As long as your in atleast half of the neck you should be ok. I have done some testing where I only sized half the neck with some of my testing and had great results with several loads. The 270 has a very long neck so as long as the bearing surface on the bullet is seated in 1/2 to 3/4 of the neck you'll be ok. What ever you decide post some pics and good luck.
 

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338 Defensive Edge Canyon rifle
100 yard
3.930 lands for rifle

3.910 seating
300 gr berger
H1000 88-90gr
N570 90.5 - 94.5

No signs of any pressure

What say you guys?
 

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Just getting ready to start testing with the 6.5 prc and after reading I see @FURMAN saying magnum cartridges are better off doing the test at a further distance. If I currently have 100 yds and 200 yds available, would you suggest starting with the pressure test at 200? This seems it may show a little more of a difference so all the impacts maybe are not right on top of each other
 

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Just getting ready to start testing with the 6.5 prc and after reading I see @FURMAN saying magnum cartridges are better off doing the test at a further distance. If I currently have 100 yds and 200 yds available, would you suggest starting with the pressure test at 200? This seems it may show a little more of a difference so all the impacts maybe are not right on top of each other
OCW should be done at 100 yards regardless of cartridge and ladders should be done at the max intended shooting distance regardless of cartridge.
 

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So you guys doing ocw tests do you use a chronograph during any of it? Or just wait till you have a node and check it then? I only have a regular chrono or acces to a magneto speed.
 

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I would use one all the time if I could. I have a Magntospeed so I don’t use it until I have a load figured out. I don’t want to do anything that may mess with my testing.
 

OSOK - Crash

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So you guys doing ocw tests do you use a chronograph during any of it? Or just wait till you have a node and check it then? I only have a regular chrono or acces to a magneto speed.
Everyone does it differently. Most guys who have Lab Radars do it while shooting. Or at least log the data. It's good info to have nonetheless. The MS will obviously effect POI because it is strapped to the muzzle. (Unless you get an off muzzle rig to mount it)

For me personally, (I'm new) I have decided to let the target tell me what the barrel likes, and then when I'm done get velocity with MS. I know myself and I will be tempted to go with a higher velocity when maybe it's not the best node.
 

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I conducted the OCW without a chrono, then when I found a consistent POI and started my seating depth testing used a LabRadar.
The OCW test definitely stuck out for me what load the rifle likes!
 

FURMAN

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So you guys doing ocw tests do you use a chronograph during any of it? Or just wait till you have a node and check it then? I only have a regular chrono or acces to a magneto speed.
The magneto can affect the outcome and the old style are not reliable. Leave them out of the picture until you have the load.
 

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Great thread! In addition to load work up, I have used a quick OCW test to address my “OCD” when changing powder lots. I will say that this seems
much better of late compared to years past.
This was a a new lot of H4350 for my PRS rile. Testing a 1.2gr ES charge weight to my standard load, I confirmed it be near identical to the prior lot. I haven’t observed any difference in results over the years between 100 and 200 yard tests…..other then a bit more exercise(always needed) and magnified wind effects, if present.
A4C60ECA-5A0B-44DC-9B29-7EE9E7CE1BDD.jpeg17E2840A-8E3B-4A10-A612-3CAC0D4E9AA6.jpeg
 

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Let me know what you think. If I get enough questions I can do a follow up. I appreciate CONSTRUCTIVE criticism.
Ryan, I’ve got a couple of questions and they are all related to seating depth.
How do you determine what seating depth to start with when beginning the whole process? If I’m limited by mag length, I’ll start at max mag length and adjust from there. But, if that’s not an issue, what do you do? Personally, I’ll start with a seating depth that I know will give a very concentric round (bullet boat tail/base junction set to the brass shoulder/neck junction) and then go from there.
I’ve got a 6.5-284 on a long action being rebarreled now, and then the 300 WSM is next. Appreciate your time.
 

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Ryan, I’ve got a couple of questions and they are all related to seating depth.
How do you determine what seating depth to start with when beginning the whole process? If I’m limited by mag length, I’ll start at max mag length and adjust from there. But, if that’s not an issue, what do you do? Personally, I’ll start with a seating depth that I know will give a very concentric round (bullet boat tail/base junction set to the brass shoulder/neck junction) and then go from there.
I’ve got a 6.5-284 on a long action being rebarreled now, and then the 300 WSM is next. Appreciate your time.
I have played with seating first and powder first and I prefer some sort of powder rough in first. If I am doing a ladder I usually just shoot the ladder. If I am doing an OCW I still prefer powder first. If I am doing a OCW with a new cartridge. I will often do a pressure test looking at point of impact shift. I will doing seating depth at the spot with minimal POI shift and then do the actual OCW at the best seating depth.
 

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I have played with seating first and powder first and I prefer some sort of powder rough in first. If I am doing a ladder I usually just shoot the ladder. If I am doing an OCW I still prefer powder first. If I am doing a OCW with a new cartridge. I will often do a pressure test looking at point of impact shift. I will doing seating depth at the spot with minimal POI shift and then do the actual OCW at the best seating depth.
I understand all of that and I got that from your video. What I’m asking is when you start out, what seating depth do you use? Basically, where do you start? When doing the course pressure test, what is your seating depth? 0.010” off? What if you can’t get to the lands due to long freebore (like a Weatherby cartridge), what is your starting seating depth? Obviously, if you are limited with mag length, then you start there. That’s what I was really trying to get at.
 

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Sorry. I start .010 off if not applying the above methods. I try to avoid throats with too much freebore.
 

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Ok
800 yard Load ladder test
DE canyon 338 edge 300 gr Berger EH
3.910 OAL
86 gr to 94.5 gr

Top triangle 94.5, 93.5, 92.5,91.5
Dead center 90 gr and 90.5 gr
Bottom triangle 89, 88,87 and 86 bottom right corner

All targets we aimed dead center

What say you guys?
 

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Ladd

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Ok
800 yard Load ladder test
DE canyon 338 edge 300 gr Berger EH
3.910 OAL
86 gr to 94.5 gr

Top triangle 94.5, 93.5, 92.5,91.5
Dead center 90 gr and 90.5 gr
Bottom triangle 89, 88,87 and 86 bottom right corner

All targets we aimed dead center

What say you guys?
The target is hard to see and read what hole is what but it looks to me like the top 3 or 4 are right in there under 1/2 moa putting the load ~91.5 to 94.5 gr. Two rounds at each charge would help reveal this a bit more but that is the direction I would head to next, fine tune it between those charges.
 
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going back and doing a new load for my 65 prc. using adg brass, 210m, h1000, 156eol.
I already had a good idea the load range so should be easy. shot these @ .025 off lands

56.5 and 57 were in the same hole. 56 and 56.5 were only 3 f/s off in speed. would you do seating depth test at 56.5 or 57 or somewhere in-between those

ocw65prc156eol.jpg
 

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I would do seating depth testing at 56.5.
 

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I would do seating depth testing at 56.5.
In a situation like the above target would it be worth going 56.7 in the middle of 56.5 and 57 and doing the seating depth test or would you stick too fine tuning the powder after.
 

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In a situation like the above target would it be worth going 56.7 in the middle of 56.5 and 57 and doing the seating depth test or would you stick too fine tuning the powder after.
The order doesn’t matter but both need done.
 

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OCW for both rifles.
Dad shot the 280 and I shot the 270
My shoulder is chewed all to hell.

Here they are though.
I started a little lower on the 270 charge.i can go and run up a couple more if need be. 6 groups of three was a lot for today.
What bullet are you shooting in .270?
 

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What bullet are you shooting in .270?
129 LRX. I honestly haven't used that load. I got my first custom rifle right around the time I was developing the load for the 270 and I really haven't touched it since. I believe I will start over with a different bullet when I get back to the 270.
 

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Ryan,
Beginning this test on my 300 Win Mag. I know you have vast experience with the 300 WM and H1000. To facilitate speed and fewer components, could you estimate at what charge weight pressure signs would begin to show? Knowing that would probably save me some powder and bullets. I am using the Hornady 212 grn. ELDX.
thanks, Steve
 

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What brass? I would personally steer clear of the 212. I have not had any luck getting them to shoot well in and barrel I have tried.
 

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Ryan,
I am only using Nosler brass. All fire formed. I am going to Berger 205 elites as soon as I can find some, but this is all I have right now. Currently, the gun is shooting .8 - 1.0 groups, with mid to upper 20 ES, at 2893 fps with this bullet. Took me almost 2 years and a lot of questions to you and Broz to get it here. It will do better, which is why I am running the OCW test. Rifle came from Delores River. You may know him.
Thanks, Steve
 

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I would go 74-77 in .3 increments. You may not make it to 77.
 

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Ryan,
If I can ask another question, this round is also my hunting round, so the berger bullet would have to be appropriate for that application. I am looking for 205 elites, but there seems to be none available. there are 190 VLD's available.

For a hunting round that would also serve as a target bullet that i can play with all summer, what berger would you recommend for the 300 win mag? I will try to find some.
Thanks, Steve
 

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Ryan,
If I can ask another question, this round is also my hunting round, so the berger bullet would have to be appropriate for that application. I am looking for 205 elites, but there seems to be none available. there are 190 VLD's available.

For a hunting round that would also serve as a target bullet that i can play with all summer, what berger would you recommend for the 300 win mag? I will try to find some.
Thanks, Steve
Are you wanting to go with the 205 for a certain reason or are you open to something else? I think the best 30 cal. bullet available for the 300 win mag is the 215 gr Berger. I know of a place with 100 ct and 250 ct boxes in stock as we speak.
 

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Ryan,
I have no opinion, one way or the other, having never experiemented With the Berger bullets prior. I am on the berger website, and the 215 grn. 30 cal I see is the Hybrid Target. If that is the one you are referring to, and it would be an acceptable bullet for deer sized game in your opinion, I will start with that one.
I was only looking at the 205 elite because it was a so called "hunting bullet" vs. a target bullet.
Thanks, Steve
 

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Are you wanting to go with the 205 for a certain reason or are you open to something else? I think the best 30 cal. bullet available for the 300 win mag is the 215 gr Berger. I know of a place with 100 ct and 250 ct boxes in stock as we speak.
Ryan,
I cannot find them anywhere. Could you tell me where I could get some?
 

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Ladd, thanks. Just checked with them and ordered a box. sure appreciate the help.
Steve
 

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The 215 Berger is the quickest killing bullet I have used and I have used a lot of different bullets.
 

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Thanks, Ryan. I have a box on the way to start testing. Sure appreciate your and Ladds input. Steve
You should order a few more boxes. They are arguably the most popular bullet for the 30's. If you don't like them or they don't shoot accurately (which I highly doubt) you would have no problem selling them. As of late, they were hard to come by. They seem to be hitting the shelves frequently now. But I've learned not to hold my breath on any component I need or know I'll need soon, if it's in stock.
 

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Ryan, good point. Just FYI, I found some more just a bit ago at Salida Gunshop in Salida, Colorado. I texted them and they responded they do have in stock. Steve
 

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@SteveGa i have an unopened box of the 205 elites I’m not going to use if you’re still wanting to try them. Shoot me a PM if you do
 

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I appreciate the offer. I have the 215’s coming so I guess will stick with them. But thanks for the offer. Steve
 

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Guys, take a look at this pressure test shot in my 300 win mag. 10 rounds with H1000, starting at 73 grains and going up to 77.5 at half grain increments. Shots 1-2, at 6 o’clock, 3-4 just off the lower left, and then 5-10 in the one ragged hole at 9 o’clock. I did not see any pressure signs in the primers, or have extraction issues. Did start to see the round circles in the base, which I have attempted to post
Pics of to see if you guys think these are pressure signs. The Hornady manual says 77.5 is max for this powder and bullet.
 

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Here are some other case heads from 76grains up to 77. Do you see any pressure signs on these? All of the last 4 from 76 to 77.5 had these faint circles but no primer flattening, no extraction marks that I could find. Can you see anything that I am missing?
Thanks, Steve
 

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SteveGa

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Ryan, Ladd,
Given the target above, with 6 of the 10 shot charges in the same ragged hole, would you recommend redoing the pressure test again with the top 6 charges, or would you recommend a 3 shot group with each of those charges? I noticed no pressure signs other than the small round dot on the base in charge weights 76,76.5,77,77.5.
 

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Ryan, Ladd,
Given the target above, with 6 of the 10 shot charges in the same ragged hole, would you recommend redoing the pressure test again with the top 6 charges, or would you recommend a 3 shot group with each of those charges? I noticed no pressure signs other than the small round dot on the base in charge weights 76,76.5,77,77.5.
I would not repeat the pressure test. I would pick a middle charge of the ones in the ragged hole and do seating depth testing. Then I would move to a mini ocw test.

 

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