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Old May 11, 2006, 08:39 PM   #1
kirbymagnum
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Reloading Constancy

I have a few questions i would like to be cleared up if someone can help.

(1) How consistent should you be when reloading? example should you keep each bullet with in 1 grain, .5 grain, or exactly the same as the first?

(2) Is it easy to achieve factory velocity? I have seen some realoding on the Internet and in the notes i said max load at 3670 the rifle had a 26 inch barrel it was chambered in 204 Ruger with a 40 grain bullet.

(3) What powder and primers do you recommend for high velocity and good accuracy? I know there is a trade off, the higher the velocity the lower the accuracy i just want to achieve factory velocity with at least factory accuracy.
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Old May 11, 2006, 09:07 PM   #2
Leftoverdj
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(1) How consistent should you be when reloading? example should you keep each bullet with in 1 grain, .5 grain, or exactly the same as the first?

Depends

(2) Is it easy to achieve factory velocity? I have seen some realoding on the Internet and in the notes i said max load at 3670 the rifle had a 26 inch barrel it was chambered in 204 Ruger with a 40 grain bullet.

Depends

(3) What powder and primers do you recommend for high velocity and good accuracy? I know there is a trade off, the higher the velocity the lower the accuracy i just want to achieve factory velocity with at least factory accuracy.

Depends
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Old May 11, 2006, 09:46 PM   #3
joneb
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As Lefty so elegantly put it, " it depends " what are your expectations ? A clover leaf at a 100 yds. ? There is a vast amount of info and experience availible here, one must ask the right question to get the answer to a ?.
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Old May 11, 2006, 10:04 PM   #4
rgitzlaff
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Why reload then?

If you are only trying to do as good as factory ammunition, then why reload? If you only want to save money and don't care so much about accuracy, then I guess just pick a loading out of a manual and go with it.
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Old May 11, 2006, 10:06 PM   #5
Rimrod
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Depends?

Hey Leftover I think he was talking about consistency not incontinence.

1) For most practical purposes it is not necessary to weigh your bullets.

2) Sometimes ammo makers will use a powder not available to reloaders. But the first thing you will want to do is fire factory ammo out of your rifle over a chronograph to see exactly what you are looking for. Often the published loads are faster than what you will actually get.

3) This is where the fun comes in. Choose your bullet, settle on a primer, and get several different powders. For each powder I start with the max load and stagger loads down by increments, usually at least 5 groups. (for the .204 I would probably use .5 grain increments.) Start shooting from the low end up watching for signs of excessive pressure or other problems. If you can't find one that you like try other powders or switch to different primer if there are no more powders. I don't have any new manuals that list the .204 Ruger but they will usually list the powder and load that gave them the best accuracy. It may not be the best for your gun but I do include it in my original testing.

And your remark about the trade off is not always right.
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Old May 12, 2006, 06:35 AM   #6
rn22723
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You must want a cheap lunch date! No free lunches with reloading.

You have leg work to do. You will never ever duplicate factory ammo! Not in this lifetime! As pointed out previously most factory ammo is loaded with non-canister grade powders. Hornady has indicated that because the .204 is factory loaded with a specially formulated powder that is not commercially available, reloaders will not be able to duplicate the ballistics of the factory load. Meaning no available at the consumer level. You would need to chrono factory ammo in your gun! Factory advertised velocity is usually achieved with special barrels, and will never reflect the velocity in your gun. Too many vairables to be considered!

Next off, soliciting loads is a fool hardy thing to do!. What is safe in one gun might not be yours. We want you and your ten fingers around for a long time!

I would suggest visiting www.hodgdon.com and looking at the data for the 204 Ruger there. I would then follow the load data and work up in your gun! My first priority would be accuracy over velocity.
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Old May 12, 2006, 09:03 AM   #7
Leftoverdj
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Rimrod makes a great point. Factory published velocities are often pure fantasy. I dunno nothing about loading for the .204, but I beat factory actual velocities by quite a bit in several cartridges, and do it safely. The factories have to load for the weakest gun in which a cartridge may be fired. I can load for the gun I have.

Factory ammo is way underloaded for the .250 Savage, 257 Roberts, 7x57, and 8x57. It's easy to get an extra 200 fps out of any of those. I would not try it with any modern cartridge.

There are also cartridges that give their best accuracy at max or near loads. The .25-06 and .270 Win have done that in my experience.
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Old May 12, 2006, 12:30 PM   #8
kirbymagnum
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Sorry about question one, what i meant was how consistent should you be with the amount of powder in the case. Ok so factory velocity is out of the question what velocity should i be looking for to make sure the bullet fragments on light targets? The main thing I'm concerned is with trajectory and to make sure the bullet fragments.
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Old May 12, 2006, 12:42 PM   #9
Ben Swenson
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Quote:
Sorry about question one, what i meant was how consistent should you be with the amount of powder in the case.
I like to keep my powder charges within +-.1g. That's not hard to do with a good powder measure and a good scale.
Quote:
Ok so factory velocity is out of the question what velocity should i be looking for to make sure the bullet fragments on light targets?
That will vary based on bullet weight, bullet design, range to target, angle of impact and what the target is.

Are you shooting prarie dogs at 400 yards, 'yotes at 100 yards or something different?
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Old May 12, 2006, 03:58 PM   #10
qajaq59
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Factory accuracy?

While factory ammo has really improved in the past 40 years you can still do better much with customized ammo that you have handloaded, simply because it is loaded for your specific rifle. But that only works IF you are patient and spend some time reading the loading manuals. (Note the plural there.)
And I have to agree with rn22723. Looking for loads on the web is about the best way I know to need new fingers. 99.9999% of the guys would never give you a bad load, but also most of them type about as well as I do and I do make typos. Read the books and use the powder and primers that they recommend. At least they proof read their stuff.
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Old May 12, 2006, 07:20 PM   #11
Leftoverdj
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Same rule applies to web loads as any other source; check it against two other sources.

As to powder uniformity, I have never been able to find that +- a couple of tenths makes any difference in sporting rifles. Quit looking long ago and throw all my charges except for long stick powders.
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Old May 13, 2006, 01:27 PM   #12
kirbymagnum
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Thanks for the info. I will mainly be shooting crows, gophers, and coyotes i would say the max range would be for crows and gophers 200 yards until i get more practice and for coyotes 250-300 yards.

(1) Are electronic scales worth the extra money?
(2) Should i get a single stage press?
(3) Do RCBS reloading equipment have good quality?
(4) For my use what would be the best bullet weight? 32 or 40? I would probably buy the Hornady.

(5) Has anyone tried the Nosler 40 grain bullets? What kind of bullet are they?
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Old May 20, 2006, 09:27 PM   #13
amamnn
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consitency

The whole key to long range shooting is consitency of your rounds. If you are going to shoot gophers at 200 yards, you'll need to get serious about consistency. You'll want your cases to be all the same length every time and weigh the same. If you use all the same brand from the same run of brass, this gives you a consistent voulume to fill to at least 85% of capacity, 90% or more would be better. If you want some unbiased information from an old pro or two concerning that degree of accuracy, try going to http://www.snipercountry.com. There are some good essays on that site that go into as much detail on the subject as you can stand.
That being said, your list of questions prompts me to disagree with some of what you will find there. In my opinion, digital scales are well worth the money, but some are way overpriced and under-reliable. I have been very happy with my PACT scale which operates on AC or DC. I use it on an anti-static mat. In fact, I leave the mat down for most all my reloading steps. On the site you will probably find a section denigrating turret presses. I believe that the author is using the RCBS umbrella style turret press as his example. Hopefully, he's had a chance to try the Lee classic turret which has none of the instabilty of the RCBS. Unless you intend to buy benchrest quality dies, which are VERY expensive, there is no need to pay more for a die than what Lee or Hornady ask.
Your bullet weights must be determined by your usage. I.E. a 40 gr. hornet or blitzking will be fine for a crow. Maybe a 55 gr. would be better for a gopher and a 62 gr. or heavier better for a Coyote. I'm not sure you can do all that in a .204?
Nosler lists details of bullet construction on their site. You might want to look into the Combined Technology (CT) section there and see if they are making a .204 at this time. http://www.nosler.com/
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Old May 22, 2006, 08:41 PM   #14
kirbymagnum
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Thanks for all of the info i just have a few more questions.

(1) What are the lands?

(2) About how many times will you be able to reuse 204 Ruger brass?

(3) I was reading on the Hornady web site and in there product review someone had commented about how well there product the 204 Ruger 32 grain v-max is preforming. Then it showed the guy with a coyote which he said he shot it at 327 yards or something close to that. Do you think that is true or BS?
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Old May 23, 2006, 10:27 AM   #15
Ben Swenson
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1. In rifling, there are lands and grooves. The lands are the plateaus, the grooves are the valleys

2. Like most rifle brass, I'd expect that to depend on how hot you load them.

3. No idea.
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