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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 08:50
rooshooter View Drop Down
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hi there all.just wondering if people would be willing to chime in and let us know which elements and practices they have used and changed in reloading, that actually made a noticeable difference to their group size...i mean everything from brand of brass, to flash hole deburring to head space to oal of bullet etc.
also any mods made to the rifle such as bedding, floating etc.

i have a very basic rifle,howa lightning, that i have floated and recently bedded[untried yet] and i have also recently bought some better dies etc and would just like to know that these practices have actually worked for other people as well...and been a pleasant surprise!   thanks in advance!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 12:22
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Roo, the problem with your question is that the factor having the greatest impact on accuracy with one rifle doesn't necessarily hold true for another.
 
Pertaining to reloading, in general, I've found that the bullet selected and the seating depth of that bullet has a more dramatic impact on accuracy than powder, brass, and primer.  Of course, the bullet weight must first be compatible with your barrel's twist rate.  After bullet selection, the powder and charge weight used would be next in importance.  Other factors matter, but I think they have less of an impact.
 
The dies you select actually has little to no impact on realized accuracy, unless you are neck sizing only or benchrest shooting.
 
As for the rifle itself, by far, the quality of the barrel has the greatest impact on accuracy.  Bedding would probably be next in importance, followed by chamber dimensions and whether or not everything with the action is square and concentric with the bore, with all bolt lugs bearing evenly.  The barrel crown needs to be square with the bore and have no nicks/dents so that gas escapes evenly around the bullet when it exits the bore.  Scope mounts should be tight and solid.  It's hard to realize the full accuracy potential of your rifle if you have a heavy trigger with excess creep, so trigger quality is very important in your ability to shoot the rifle accurately.
 
Of course, your scope has to maintain point of impact or all the above is irrelevent.


Edited by RifleDude - October/01/2008 at 12:24
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 13:31
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I would have to agree with everything rifledude mentioned. 90% of the magic has to do with the quality of the barrel. As far as the reloading goes, experiment with what you can easily control and alter such as overall cartridge length, powder type and charge, bullet type and weight, primers, etc. Better brass is easier to prep and load but IMO will not make as much difference in accuracy as the other components mentioned. Good luck.
RK
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 13:47
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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Can't really add much if anything to what RifleDude just stated. If we knew what caliber rifle you had, we could probably give you some better ideas as to loads, bullets even powders to save you some time. In your location, I don't know what's available brand wise, so some info there would save a bunch of guessing as well. I will give you my short list of preferred brands.

Dies- Redding
Bullets- Nosler Ballastic Tips (for accuracy)
Brass- Lapua, Norma, Federal Winchester in that order
Powder- various- VV, IMR and Hogdon
Primers- Federal (just my preference)


As far as the single most important detail of the reloading process, consistency.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 19:55
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I have nothing to add, but its an interesting topic and a good refresher.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 20:29
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my advice here is be as meticulous as you can be very anal about every detail make sure you load every round identically so you are perfectly consistant.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 20:48
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I also agree with RifleDude. Things that have given me my best results have been bullit weight and type,and powder type and charge weight. Their are many other things, and components that can effect accuracy, but in my experience the first two have the greatest effect.
Example: working up a practice load for the .223 I used Lake City military brass and 62gr. military bullits (with the steel core); neither are known as components for accurate shooting. I used Win. 748 powder since I was going to load this stuff on a progressive press and ball powder meters more consistant. I used Win. small rifle primers because I just like them. I started at low end of charge weights and worked up to the maximum charge weight, measuring group sizes at the same time. I had group sizes as large 2 1/2" with some charge weights, but I finally found two charge weights that gave me about 1 1/4" group on average. That's not bad for the components I'm using.
I don't think I could shrink these groups any with these components, or do anything else and call this practice ammo.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2008 at 23:18
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1.  Lee Collet Neck Sizer, Redding Body Die, Competition Seaters (either RCBS or Redding) and Lee Factory Crimp Dies
2.  Hornady Head & Shoulders Gauge and OAL Gauge
3.  Bersin tool
4.  Bedding your own recoil lug and chamber area in stock
5.  Rebarreling with aftermarket barrels with a competent gunsmith
6.  Practice
 
Helps with all my guns
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 00:22
rooshooter View Drop Down
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thanks all.
i am using 223 rem. 1 in 12 twist. ADI 2206H powder.just bought 55g v-max, 60g v-max and 55g sierra blitzking to try.cci 400 primers.lee collet neck die,lee seater die.lee FL die to bump shoulder back when necessary. lyman vld inside case mouth reamer.lee trim tool and outside case mouth deburrer.pacific single stage press.
will meter powder using lee thrower, then top up with trickler.

quick question:
does anyone have opinion as to whether the lee crimp die will actually make a diff? acording to their blurb on their website, the equalised pressure caused by the die will have the same effect as seating the bullet into the lands. this interests me because my mag. doesn't allow me to seat bullets out to lands. also i'm using win. brass which may not have uniformm neck thickness which apparently affects accuracy, so the crimp may even that out ,no??
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 03:17
8shots View Drop Down
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Every rifle is different.
What made a difference for me:
Seating 1thou of the lands.
Outside neck turning for uniform neck thickness.
 
One rifle prooves to be very tricky and requires exact seating depth. 1 thou shorter or longer makes a difference. I cannot work off the lands due to long chamber.
 
I am busy looking at the effect of bullet runout. I have just purchased a runout gauge and have sorted bullets into 1thou and less, 2thou and 3 thou .
Will be shooting them this Sat and let you know.
 
Also do not shoot the rifle barrel red hot. Count 60 secs between each shot, max of 5 shots, otherwise the shots will "walk" around the target.
 
You could also load 5 rounds just off the lands and hand feed each bullet to see how your rifle likes that.


Edited by 8shots - October/02/2008 at 03:22
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 09:17
rooshooter View Drop Down
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also the win. brass i'm using may vary in weight and internal volume, therefore affecting pressure and p.o.i., so i thought the lee crimp[according to their blurb] may help remedy that problem also?

8shots said:
I am busy looking at the effect of bullet runout. I have just purchased a runout gauge and have sorted bullets into 1thou and less, 2thou and 3 thou .

i read an article on 24hr campfire;john barsness wrote of an experiment he conducted where he ran a batch of test bullets over/through a concentricity gauge, and he found only 1 in 5 bullets[premium ballistic tips mind you]that were near perfect enough.he then proceeded to shoot groups with a known rifle;he compared these 'perfect bullets' with randomly selected bullets by shooting alternate groups of each. the randomly selected bullets measured 3/4" on average. the perfect bullets 1/4" on average.
suppose that goes to show how important bullet selection is! unfortunately most of us can't afford to throw out 4 of every five ballistic tips.he did mention though that some brands and particular makes of bullets[e.g.swift scirocco's]are made with these concentricity machines in play.
which is the 'perfect' off the shelf 22 cal bullet???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 09:25
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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I can understand Lee's intention for equalizing pressure from round to round, but, my intention for seating rounds (bullets) into or "kissing" the lands really is just about reducing bullet jump upon firing. Now that I am thinking back, that single factor reduced group sizes more than any other single practice. Just for the record, I would weigh and sort cases, trim to length, cut flash holes, ream primer pockets, weigh each charge and I was using Redding comp seating dies.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 09:30
rooshooter View Drop Down
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roy,
did you notice whether the comp seating die made much of a diff?
also why is bullet jump bad?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 09:37
8shots View Drop Down
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A friend has the competition seating dies and yesterday I tested his runout. All were in the 3thou region.
My runout with normal hornady necksizer and seater went up to 7thou!!!I have changed dies and are getting approx 10% at 3thou 15% at 2 thou and the balance less then 1 thou.
 
Interestingly enough the 300H&H loaded with the same old equipment showed 2 thou and less runout.
Is the shorter 308 Win cartridge more difficult for straight loading???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 09:41
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Originally posted by rooshooter rooshooter wrote:

roy,
did you notice whether the comp seating die made much of a diff?
also why is bullet jump bad?
 
Bullet jump controls two factors: Chamber pressure (the less jump the more pressure will build up).
The in-line starting of the bullet in the barrel. The less jump the more likely the bullet will start in line with the axis of the bore and therefore not yaw etc.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 09:44
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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In all honesty, I think it was just the thought(s) of the time era when I started reloading. I think the thought process was any distance between the the bullet ogive and lands at the time of ignition gave the bullet the opportunity to enter the lands differently upon firing. And I will say that "bullet jump" from a safety standpoint (high pressures) is a good thing. The downside to loading bullets into the lands is that it causes higher chamber pressures. I don't recall that I could honestly say that the comp seating die made any real improvement in reducing group sizes.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 11:32
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All the comp seating dies do is simply give you a micrometer vernier on the adjustment stem to make it easier to precisely adjust your bullet seating depth from one lot of loads to another and return to that depth setting easily to get the best accuracy possible for a target rifle.  It really doesn't provide much practical benefit in a hunting rifle, and depending on the type of comp die, it may not provide an improvement in bullet runout vs. a standard seating die. 

Edited by RifleDude - October/02/2008 at 11:39
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 13:46
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Ted, regarding all of this comp seating die banter makes me think of a question. Do seating dies take their measurement from the bullet ogive or the tip? The reason I ask is because I have seen ogive dimensions vary from lot to lot of the same hunting bullet.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 13:56
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Originally posted by Roy Finn Roy Finn wrote:

Ted, regarding all of this comp seating die banter makes me think of a question. Do seating dies take their measurement from the bullet ogive or the tip? The reason I ask is because I have seen ogive dimensions vary from lot to lot of the same hunting bullet.
 

The ones I have use the ojive "ogive". I can send a bullet to the manufacture and they will custom make me an exact fit for the bullet you send. I can't justify doing this because I use a few different kind of bullets.if I was a match shooter I might look into it more . If I can hit a pie plate at 300 yards I'm good.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 15:03
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BD is correct; the seater contacts the ogive of the bullet.  The meplat height will vary much more than the ogive.  This is why when I establish the distance to the lands in my rifles, I use a comparator off the ogive to compare seating depth from one load to another and one bullet type to another.

 
Here is the comparator I use, which is inexpensive and has worked very well for me:
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 15:06
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I use the hornaday. It has worked great in all my rifles.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 15:14
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So you would establish the distance from bullet lot to bullet lot as well, I guess. I have the Sinclair Comparator which is why I asked the question.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 15:19
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Yes, except for "quick and dirty" verification that I'm still in the ballpark on OAL during a loading session or verifying that my load will fit in the magazine box of my rifle, I never measure off the tip of the bullet.  I only use the comparator & calipers when establishing my OAL.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 15:24
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Yes, except for "quick and dirty" verification that I'm still in the ballpark on OAL during a loading session or verifying that my load will fit in the magazine box of my rifle, I never measure off the tip of the bullet.  I only use the comparator & calipers when establishing my OAL.
 

+2   

   I always check every 5th round to make sure everything stay's the same. The lots of bullets can change so I make sure I check the first few to see if they are close to the old box and it wasn't just one bullet off a little, and then back to every 5th one. When I first started loading i would check every one and it took forever to load, now just the first and every 5th.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2008 at 15:27
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How are you arriving at max length, meaning, are you loading a dummy round to establish the length by the old crush fit method?
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