I already had cases prepped and fire-formed for each of the rifles and anticipated a rather leisurely couple of days tweaking my loads, but by the end of the first practice day, such bright hopes dimmed. No matter how I tinkered with the propellants and charge weights, bullet seating depth, and even the neck tension of my cases, nothing clicked. One of my Light rifles, a cute but capricious thing that I've since named Trixie, stubbornly refused to cooperate, while my fallback Light rifle, a beautiful but rather aged lady that had served faithfully in years past, exhibited signs that she was past her prime. Clearly, the only way to give her new life would mean fitting a new barrel. Happily, I'd had the foresight to bring fresh barrels and the tools to do a barrel swap, but you can't simply screw in a new barrel and pick up where you left off. Fresh brass cases need to be prepped and fire-formed to fit the new barrel's chamber, after which begins the mysterious and time-consuming process of discovering which combinations of bullets and powder will yield the best accuracy. So by the time the second practice day came to an end, I'd barely managed to prep and fire-form a dozen new cases. A single test run with VV 133 powder and Hottenstein 68-grain bullets looked promising, but I would be shooting an essentially untried rifle. That's no way to begin a major tournament.