Buy a chronograph & find out what sort of performance your getting with factory stuff. Then work up loads that perform similarly. In most instances the best you can do is duplicate the performance characteristics. It's not like Winchester or Federal is going to give you their recipe. Besides, it seems to me that exceeding factory ammo performance is one of the goals of reloading. It's been my observation that since factory ammo is essentially built to work OK for most people, most of the time, it's not really much of a trick to make your home grown stuff shoot better.
Thats because the factory loads are developed using testing guns which arent the same as what you buy in the store.
Thats also why the recomendation is to start at the bottom and work up. The book is a guidline that gives safe minimums and maximums for a given combination of components.
Different guns cases primers powders bullets all can increase or decrease pressure.
Lots of factory loadings use blended powder which is combinations of 2 or more powders to give different properties across a wide range of firearms.
When handloading you can be more precise than factory ammo for a given firearm. Factory tevhnicians can only guess what firearm the ammo will be used in while you know exactly. This lets the handloader develop ammunition tailored to a specific firearm.
The most accurate loading is usually not the fastest one. Speed of a bullet is irrelevant if all it hits is dirt around the target.
You will get 2 different speeds from barrels of the same make same bore same length some barrels just shoot faster than others . Now i have seen in Short range BR shooting the loads stepped up to buck the wind . A lot of Benchrest shooter short range will load acording to temp ,wind humidity of that day. This 5 shot group is or was very common for this gun and setup I had . Remember the wind can be your friend.
The Lyman manual has "facory duplication" loads listed. These are just loads that shoot at the same velocity as the listed factory loads. The actual performance may not compare at all to the factory stuff. Different powders at the same velocity will shoot different sized groups in a given gun.
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