Rather than starting a new thread I figured I'd just post under this one.
I'm trying to work up a load for my Stag. Nothing special, 1:9 twist with a cheap Sightmark rear optic... My first AR.
This load will be my mass production/ plinking/ varmint load, so I'm looking to achieve decent accuracy without getting too scientific about it. During production I'll be loading all of this with my normal RCBS powder measure which varies slightly (perhaps around 1/10 gr. or so), so I'd like to look for the charge that will give me reasonable accuracy even if I'm slightly high or low in charge from cartridge to cartridge.
I'm currently working with Hornady 55gr fmj-bt w/c and Ramshot TAC with CCI primers seated to 2.200" per the Hornady manual.
The other night I made up a group of cartridges charged with 23gr, 23.5gr, 24gr, and 24.5gr... 5 of each charge.
Results of the first group:
It seemed obvious that the gun liked the hotter loads closest to the 24.5 gr. load, so I decided to run another group, this time in smaller increments starting at 24.2 gr. (also moved my sight a bit... Too far.)
Results of the second group:
Again, the best group was the result of the highest charge (24.6 gr.). Max load (per the Hornady manual) is 24.7 gr. so I decided not to go any hotter. I decided to dial in my powder measure for a charge of at least 24.5 gr. but no more than 24.6 and run a group of ten or so rounds for testing. This time I sighted my gun at 50 yds. with this load.
After shooting this group I bumped my sight down one click and left it at that. I'll load up some more for a follow-up visit but I'm pretty happy with the results. For me personally, to do much better I'd need a better optic, my eyesight isn't that great anymore so my own ability is the limiting factor here.