The Concept of a BALANCED LOAD

The Black Powder Cartridge News|Spring 2020

The Concept of a BALANCED LOAD
This article is solely about the benefits of developing a load for shooting Long Range Black Powder Target Rifle Competition under National Rifle Association (NRA) rules at 800, 900 and 1,000 yards on a paper target with a 10-inch X-ring.
Zack Taylor

It is a companion article to “Loading the .45-90 for Long Range Competition,” published in the Black Powder Cartridge News, Issue 108. The technique described in that article will get you in the ballpark. The idea of a “balanced” load is specifically the ability of the completed cartridge, used for this competition in any one rifle, to provide maximum accuracy over the range of conditions present during a match, and is determined by the performance on the target. What may work best in one rifle may or may not work best in another similar rifle. The two major variables are the ability of the individual shooter and the characteristics of the rifle. A balanced load must be compatible with these two variables. Too much recoil tires the shooter at the least, or induces a flinch at the worst. Too much powder causes a faster buildup of internal barrel heat and promotes hard fouling, which is very detrimental to long-range accuracy. Too little powder delivers an unstable bullet at the target under more difficult conditions. The ideal balanced load will perform at optimum accuracy potential for a specific rifle/shooter combination through a range of shooter, rifle and environmental conditions that occur during the firing of a match.

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Spring 2020