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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I spent some time out at Lee Kay Friday early afternoon, I had three different guns to shoot.

My primary goal was to work through the a bunch of handloads for my .30-06 and a friends .25-06 and put them through the OCW method of
load development.

I had high hopes for the .25-06, since that caliber tends to have a pretty good reputation for accuracy... unfortunately, my hopes and expectations
were not met in any way. I made it through two rounds of the round robin shooting and found that bullets were sprayed just about everywhere. I
decided to abandon the load workup for that gun entirely and investigate some possible causes for the terrible results at a later date. Perhaps it's
the projectile (Barnes TTSX 100gr), perhaps the scope, perhaps something else entirely. The rifle is a break action single shot, and the last
round I fired popped out like this (picture #1 attached)... I figured it was a good time to just put that gun away for now.

Simulataneously I was shooting the OCW round robin with my .30-06 and a 150gr Hornady Interlock. The second picture attached shows the 8
targets that I evaluated. Group #4 looks promising! And it just happens to fit right in with the cluster that all share a similar point of impact (POI).
I'm happy with those results and I'll load up the rest of the 150gr Hornady's and tuck them away on the shelf for future use.

The last of the duties on Friday was my muzzleloader. With a muzzleloader deer tag in my pocket and the hunt right on my doorstep I figured it'd be
best if I actually shoot it a couple times before opening day... I hadn't shot it since the muzzleloader elk hunt last November. In my mind was a
thread from the muzzleloader sub-section about shooting with a fouled or clean barrel. So I put three targets on the board and performed a little
experiment. I posted my results over in the muzzleloader sub-forum and I won't duplicate it here, suffice it to say you can link over to it if you
haven't already seen it: http://utahwildlife.net/forum/14-muzzleloaders/128713-fouling-question.html post #17. My "clean barrel" group was not as tight as I would have hoped, but it's pretty much in line with
most of the groups that I've shot over the last several years (attached picture #3).

All in all it was a good day, and to top it all off when I got home I pulled some fresh salmon from the freezer that my father had brought home from
his Alaska trip a week and a half ago and threw it on the smoker/grill with some chili peppers and finished my day off by cleaning the guns and
chasing that with some smoked salmon.
 

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Looks like a good time to me!

The 25-06 must have some excessive headspace issues... I know that can be a problem in some break action rifles. Barnes bullets can be a little tricky and I've found that they shot better a little further back from the lands.

I've been interested in the OCW method for a bit and may have to try it out sometime. It seems to definitely work for you!
 

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The 25-06 must have some excessive headspace issues... I know that can be a problem in some break action rifles.
Definitely has a problem, might be time for some headspace gauges. How many times had the .25-06 brass been loaded?

DerekP, have you seen a lot of real advantages to the OCW method? I've always thought it sounded like a very convoluted version of a normal approach to load testing. Same destination, but a long winding road to get there. Also seems likely that you might end up shooting far more bad loads with OCW than you need to. Has it worked well for you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Definitely has a problem, might be time for some headspace gauges. How many times had the .25-06 brass been loaded?

DerekP, have you seen a lot of real advantages to the OCW method? I've always thought it sounded like a very convoluted version of a normal approach to load testing. Same destination, but a long winding road to get there. Also seems likely that you might end up shooting far more bad loads with OCW than you need to. Has it worked well for you?
I don't know how many times the brass had been loaded, it was purchased "once fired" so nobody knows for sure...

I'm not especially old hat at reloading and have really only worked up two successful loads (in three tries). The two successful loads are in my .30-06, the first is a 180gr bullet and the second is a 150gr bullet. The only time I have been unsuccessful in finding a satisfactory load the first time has been with this .25-06, and that seems to be a product of other issues like headspace that I'll need to adjust for and gratefully I recognized those problems before wasting too much ammunition.

Once I read and understood the instructions from Dan Newberry's site on the OCW method I didn't find it convoluted at all, in fact, I found it very intuitive and I've been very happy with the results. I design and perform scientific experiments for a living, and the premise of spreading the variables (wind, weather, shooter fatigue, barrel fouling, etc.) across the groups in a more uniform manner by shooting "round robin style" rather than shooting the groups one at a time really called out to me.
For the two successful loads I fired a maximum of 31 shots for each. I have not made any additional adjustments to either load because for a hunting load I'm satisfied with the current results. If I were a benchrest shooter guy I would further tweak seating depth, etc... but for hunting what I have is more than good enough.

I'd say use whichever load development method you are comfortable with and helps you get the results you are looking/hoping for.
 

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Bjorne Lou Tsar
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Your best group is definitely #4 and if it's repeatable I'd go with that. But it looks to me like 5, 6 and 7 is where your node is. Am I wrong here? You should email Dan Newberry and get his opinion. [email protected]. He's helped me out with a couple loads before.
 

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Bjorne Lou Tsar
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How far are you bumping your shoulder back? The only times I've seen this happen is when someone sets their shoulder too far back while resizing (which results in excess headspace). I'm sure there are other things that cause it but I think that's the most common cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your best group is definitely #4 and if it's repeatable I'd go with that. But it looks to me like 5, 6 and 7 is where your node is. Am I wrong here? You should email Dan Newberry and get his opinion. [email protected]. He's helped me out with a couple loads before.
I think it's actually 4, 5, 6 and that's only because 4 is just slightly closer to 5 & 6 than 7 is... but not by much (like 0.10").

Group #4 POI: (1.00, -1.20)
Group #5 POI: (0.90, -0.90)
Group #6 POI: (1.00, -0.95)
Group #7 POI: (0.97, -1.34)

But to be honest I'm totally ok with calling it 4 thru 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How far are you bumping your shoulder back? The only times I've seen this happen is when someone sets their shoulder too far back while resizing (which results in excess headspace). I'm sure there are other things that cause it but I think that's the most common cause.
When I made up this first round I set up the die according to the instructions, so I'm not exactly sure how far I bumped it back... I figured I was basically going back to zero or factory specs or whatever. Since the brass that was purchased had been fired but not in this gun if figured that made the most sense.
I now have a handful of brass that did not split and should be fire formed to this chamber so I'll set my dies to neck size those only and see if I can take some measurements.
 

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Bjorne Lou Tsar
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When I made up this first round I set up the die according to the instructions, so I'm not exactly sure how far I bumped it back... I figured I was basically going back to zero or factory specs or whatever. Since the brass that was purchased had been fired but not in this gun if figured that made the most sense.
I now have a handful of brass that did not split and should be fire formed to this chamber so I'll set my dies to neck size those only and see if I can take some measurements.
Good choice.

May I suggest you set your dies so it just touches your shoulder, chamber your round and keep adjusting your dies down in very small increments until that slight resistance you feel as you close your bolt disappears.
Also, take a wire and bend it so you can stick it down into the case and scratch the inside of the case wall. Try to feel for a thin spot down by the casehead. If you can feel a thin spot, toss your brass.
 

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I've been interested in the OCW method for a bit and may have to try it out sometime. It seems to definitely work for you!
What I dont like about OCW is keeping track of individual velocity over the cronograph. Typically I shoot a group of the same load, and can let the crono just record the string of shots. With OCW, you are shooting a different load each shot, which means I have to write down every shot velocity for the specific type of load I fired. Annoying when my crono sits just far enough from me I cant read it from the bench.

-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What I dont like about OCW is keeping track of individual velocity over the cronograph. Typically I shoot a group of the same load, and can let the crono just record the string of shots. With OCW, you are shooting a different load each shot, which means I have to write down every shot velocity for the specific type of load I fired. Annoying when my crono sits just far enough from me I cant read it from the bench.

-DallanC
I can see where that would be annoying. I haven't shot any of my loads over a chronograph because I don't have one yet... it's on the short list of things to get.
 
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