Britt, Very good post and a great topic as well. I will also say this to anyone reloading ( as most of us do) and that would be. Do What Britt does. Britt is a hell of a fine shot and must be doing things right in the reloading room to have the success he does.
For me I enjoy load work-up and after I get a load that shoots I am done experimenting. Find a good load and then work on, yourself the shooter. There is no substitute for trigger time.
I do like to start out with components that are as consistent as possible, that is the basic components like bullets and brass. I was once told by a 1,000 yd benchrest guy “that until you start weighing your primers you will never win a match”. Well maybe so but I am not going to weigh a primer no matter what, some things just seem silly to me. I have also won a few match’s so I already know that he was full of $%#*.
I also think that when you are looking for and playing around with the different powders for what ever caliber you are going to load for. You want to find a powder that will get as close as is possible to 100% load density, without it being a compressed charge. I want my cases to be as full as is possible, that way the powder isn’t laying on the bottom half of the case when the load is chambered and you are ready for it to go BANG! A full case will give you a consistent burn rate, sometimes this is very hard to do as you sure don’t want to over charge a case you must stay in that safe load range.
There is a lot more to this loading deal Neck tension, Shoulder Bumb and more but since this topic is Load Development I think I will leave those alone.