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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everyone I am new to this site and somewhat new to reloading. I have a 25-06 that seems to be showing signs of pressure in the flattened primers but I'm not totally certain. The specs of the load are below for you to take look at. If I could get some feedback that would be great. The gun is an H and R Ultra Hunter. I have it fitted in 223 (successful and satisfied with load), 25-06 (tricky but want to give it a chance), and 308 (I plan on working it up next).

rifle: h and r 25-06 (26" barrel)
bullet: hornady 100gn SP
powder: IMR 4350 52gn
primer: winchester large rifle primer
COL: This has varied and I feel is the root of my issue with the pressure. The hornady book says 3.12". I have played with the COL from 3.12-3.20. The pressure will lessen the longer I go but accuracy seems to go. I have played with lighter loads and it just seems to not like it. I had one load that gave me protruded primers (light load). Is it me or am I missing something? Do I need a different primer? Powder? I also read that one guy had tremendous success with magpro 60.4gn with similar bullet weight in same gun but with COL of 3.012! The load doesn't seem to kick me or swell the case to the best of my knowleged but the primers look different out of my gun versus the same load out of a bolt action 700 remington. Is this a concern? Thanks for any feedback!!
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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rifle: h and r 25-06 (26" barrel)
bullet: hornady 100gn SP
powder: IMR 4350 52gn
primer: winchester large rifle primer
COL: This has varied and I feel is the root of my issue with the pressure. The hornady book says 3.12".

Rule #1 in reloading, which is printed over and over in Every manual I have(a lot of them) "ALWAYS START-OFF WITH THE STARTING LOADS"
You have chosen a load that is almost max on Hodgdon's website, meaning VERY likely max or beyond in YOUR rifle.
Only once every blue moon will you find accuracy at maximum loads.

DO NOT take random loads "read from the internet" and stick them in YOUR gun.
 

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Welcome H-Train. A couple of things come to mind.

Have you in fact verified your COL max, where the bullet contacts the lands when you chamber a round? Do any of the longer rounds cause the action to close a little harder on your break-open action? You may be loading them longer, but they may be bottoming out on the lands and setting back in the case.

Is your brass trimmed to spec length? If you have any long necks, you may be bottoming the neck out in the chamber and pinching the bullet, driving up pressure. Again, is the action closing hard?

As Darkker mentioned, you are one gr shy of max load (from the Speer manual), and your particular rifle may not tolerate this. You mentioned trying lighter charges, but did you try enough combinations (different COL, different powders, etc) to give the lighter loads a chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I started with 47.4 and moved to 49.1, 50.8, etc. They wouldn't group on the low end and the primers protruded until I got over 50gn. Those were directly from the hornady manual with a COL of 3.12". I guess I am asking where do I go from here. My Lee book says the min. OAL is 3.200 for 100gn bullet. This is why I stopped and thought I would ask for help. I started low and worked up. Do you suggest that I play around 50gn and adjust the COL? 50.8gn is where they stared to tighten up. If so, how much increment adjustment should I make on length and charge from where I am currently at. I do think 52gn is to much in my rifle and should have clarified earlier that I did work up. You did make me realize that I should have worked in smaller increments once they tightened up a bit. Thanks for your advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cases where trimmed to specs according to my manual (Hornady and LEE). The action was not hard to close in fact I was able to chamber some from another gun that was longer than what I loaded. I haven't determined my COL max and have considered buying a tool for that unless there is another way to do it. I am going to try some other powders for sure but wanted to see if I was missing something or wrong with my procedure in trying to fix the pressure (flat primer). I guess I need to lessen the charge with 4350 eh? It seems that somewhere between approx 50 and 52gn the pressure is to much I guess?? I got a little excited when I saw the group get better but was scratching my head when the primer looked flat. Smaller increments on charge but how do I approach COL without a gauge or tool? Any tricks?
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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Let me say thanks for clearing-up the fact that you did some work-up.

Lee likely doesn't tell you a COL with a Hornady bullet, just a 100gr. So for Official, use Hornady data with Hornady bullets.

I think you are jumping to far, to fast. Move in 1/2 grain increments.
The way to test for the COAL. Resize your brass as you normally would.
--Caveat, ASSURE that the brass is sized and trimmed properly, as Shawn mentions.
Then BEFORE you re-prime the case, seat one bullet shallow into the empty case. Drop it in your chamber and close it. When you slam the action shut, your "long seated" bullet will jam the lands, and seat into the case. Then open the chamber measure the Length. THAT measurement is your "Touching" length. Seat THOSE bullets 0.03125" DEEPER than that "jam" measurement.
That 1/32" jump is a number that really works with almost any type of bullet.

Remember: IF you switch Bullets, RE-TEST!!, that is ONLY for that bullet, in THAT gun.

Hodgdon shows
48 - 52.8gr of that powder.
Try a consistent OAL and 1/2 gr movements.

Do your measuring with a set of calipers. Digital calipers from Harbor Freight, or NAPA should only cost you $15-20
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks man! That makes sense and not to difficult. I have a good set of calipers. I only use my Lee book to cross reference what the hornady book says. I have been using the hornady book for this load. I jumped to much you are correct. Thank you a ton. I know this will help. Does it matter if the bullet has a crimping groove? I am guessing the groove will be out of the case neck.
 

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H-Train, you may want to do a search on 'flattened primers' in the handloading forum, and possibly the ballistics forum. I recall that there were past threads discussing that flattened primers are not a very reliable indicator of pressure.
 

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H-Train,

You do not need to crimp bullets in your 25-'06 at all, since they're being fired in a single-shot rifle, so don't worry about the cannelure.

Without seeing a picture of your primers, before and after, it's hard to even guess at whether or not you are over-pressure on your loads. What I would do, in your situation, is determine your maximum cartridge OAL, back off .020" from that (not sure where the 1/32th thing came from...never heard that, myself) and then work up in half-grain increments, from 50 to 52. Closely examine your before/after primers at each weight and see if they are really flattening as much as it seems.

Once you find a charge weight that you feel is safe, and is giving you good accuracy, you can try seating a little closer to the lands, or a little deeper, in .005" increments. You may find an excellent load by using this two-step process.

FWIW - IMR4350 is a suitable powder for 25-'06, especially with a mid-weight bullet, but many folks have found even slower powders to produce better results. H4831SC is what I use for the 100-120gr bullet weights.
 

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Don't rule out the primers may simply have a soft cup. I use WLRP in my 25-06 (Ruger#1V), my Retumbo charge is a bit below max in a good accuracy node, and I get flattened primers. The fired brass extracts easily and I get 3 or 4 neck sizings before I have to FL size.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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not sure where the 1/32th thing came from...never heard that, myself.
Came from Both of Lee's manuals. Since we are trying to steer the OP in a consistent, methodical direction; it seems fitting. My 1K loads use that jump, holds MOA for me.

As broom said, pay no attention to the crimp groove. There isn't a 25-06 load in any gun that would REQUIRE a crimp to prevent set-back; unless the brass has been improperly sized.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
OK here is what I found out from your feedback...
1. The max COL or touching length was 3.327" for my gun. Hornady book along with other say 3.250" max COL for loads. My particular bullet according to the book is 3.120". Should I still back it off 1/32(Darkker) or .02(broom) as a starting point? There isn't much bullet in the neck at all. Look at the pics.http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

2. I did some measuring on some brass and feel that the pressure issue might be somewhat false but not certain. I checked the case next to the head of the brass on once fired brass, FL resized brass, and the suspect brass and all checked out within .001 of each other .470-.471. The book says it could measure .470.. I checked other measurements on those brass and they were all the same or very darn close..
 

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1 - Doesn't matter particularly, Just pick one and stick with it for development. Rule-out one problem at a time.

2 - Cartridge Brass "spec" for tensile strength is 70,000 PSI. NOT a great, nor reliable indicator by it's self.
 

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1) - COL is a recommendation from the testing agent based on their pressure data. Yes, it matters but not as much as some other parameters.

2) - If you are not getting excessive expansion from your fired loads you are not in an over pressure situation.
 

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Ok thanks for the advice.. It just seems like their should more bullet seated in the neck. If you think it is ok to go ahead and start with something a little deeper than the photo shows then OK. You guys obviously have more experience with this than I do so I will take your recommendations. Were you able to see the pics of the slightly seated bullet? I followed your instruction Darkker. If you can't see the pics I will just tell you there was less than a quarter inch of bullet in the neck. I would like to load some up tonight and try them tomorrow. If you think it is ok to proceed I will let you guys know how this turns out tomorrow.
 

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If you are not in the lands with the bullet that far forward you clearly have a long throat chamber. My suggestion is to go with a 115 - 120 grain bullet that affords you more bearing surface (and more control in the seating step). I like the Nosler 115 grain Ballistic tips and the Sierra 120 grain hollow points. Both are long bullets with generous bearing surface. If you go this route, I also suggest you use Retumbo powder.

My assumption with my recommendation is you have a fast twist barrel. 1:10 or faster. 1:12 or slower will probably provide better accuracy with bullets 90 grains and lighter. There are several 87 grain bullets that work well in the 25-06 with slow twist barrels.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK that makes since. I can try some longer bullets for sure. I had tried some factory core lokt 120 early this year and was all over the map with them. I feel that the length was the issue now because of the jump it was trying to make. I like the nosler or hornady 117 sst they are longer as well. I will give those a try. The twist is 1:10 for this gun. The length of that pic load was 3.327". I was trying to make a .2 jump into the rifling. These short 100 gn bullets IMHO will not wok for this long throat gun. There isn't enough bullet in that neck to be effective. So far I have learned that this gun is very long chambered and more than one person has suggested getting that bullet close to the lands. It only makes since that the farther away the bullet is from the lands the less accurate it will be but heck that could be myth as well. Thanks fellas. I will be back to give an update soon.
 

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OK that makes since. ... It only makes since that the farther away the bullet is from the lands the less accurate it will be but heck that could be myth as well. Thanks fellas. I will be back to give an update soon.
Not so. Some guns do really well in the accuracy department with a long jump. Try seating at or near the recommended COL before experimenting.

Changing too many variables at one time will only confuse you.

Have you done an optimal charge weight test with a specified COL?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I started with COL of 3.120" per Hornady manual for that bullet (100gn SP). I started low and worked up to near max. The hotter I got the better groups but none where super. I had some that seemed to have some potential until I thought I was having pressure problems but I think I ruled that out. With the lighter charges I noticed the primers had backed out. Around 50-51gn that seemed to stop and the groups got tighter. I thought at that point before I change powder from IMR 4350 I would adjust the COL and here we are. I have not done an optimal charge test but have noticed at the COL I used it liked hotter charges. I was kind of nervous about going to high and made a comment about flattened primers but I think I am OK in that regards and that was me being conservative. I don't want you to think am just experimenting to do so, I just feel that I have a few options from where I currently am and need advice. 1. tinker with the same powder a little more 2. play with COL or 3. Start over with some other powders. One of these option/variables seem reasonable to look at since I have worked to this point so far. I am open for suggestions but my gut says play with COL some since I am currently .207" away from the lands! That seems like a mile. From where I just told you I was at, where would you go?
 

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Actually you can do all 3 steps you cite. Just do them one at a time. Given you gun has such a long throat I think you will get best results with step 1.

Retumbo is a great powder for the 25-06 (option 3). I especially like Nosler 115 grain ballistic tip bullets.

This is 5 shots of my Retumbo/100 grain BT bullets at 150 yards, me shooting off the hood of my pickup.

 
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