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Old April 9, 2011, 11:01 AM   #1
hooligan1
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Bullets not weighing as Advertised!!

First I just want to set the record straight, I had NO idea that inconsistant bullet weights were possible, especially from MAJOR MANUFACTURES!!!!:barf: I just weighed a half box of 7mm Rem Mag Ballistic Tips from Nosler,(i already loaded the other half) and what I found was this 1. One bullet weighed as advertised. 2. 24 weighed between 150.1 and 150.2 grns!! No big deal right???? I then grabbed a Brand New box of 150 partitions in the same caliber,and guess what ,1. ONLY ONE BULLET WEIGHED EXACTLY 150 grns( i kicked my dog upside down) 2. I found that the other 49 bullets weighed somewhere between 150.1 and 150.8,,,,, AND 35 WEIGHED OVER 150.5 GRNS MAKING THAT (after rounding to the nearest ten),,,,,,, 151 grn bullets!!!!!!!!! That has to be the weakest link in Handloading accuracy!! Could this inconsistancy play a huge role in the accuracy of ones loads after all!?? Anybody else feel like adding 2 cents feel free!!!
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Old April 9, 2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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I've never weighed Partitions, but then I've never bought them either. The last box of Ballistic-Tips I weighed were all within 0.1 of each other. These were 150 grain .30 caliber, and I don't remember their exact weight, but I do remember that they were consistent. Boringly consistent.

I've bought bullets from other manufacturers that weighed as much as 2.0 grains difference from each other and consistently above the advertised weight.

But, Partitions are hunting bullets and not noted for stellar accuracy.

For best accuracy, weigh your bullets and sort them into like piles. Put like weights in zipper bags and use those bags when loading your ammo.

I've known guys who weighed the brass case, and the primer, for the ultimate in cartridge consistency.
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Old April 9, 2011, 11:12 AM   #3
Utahar15
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I bought some 158 grain simi wad cutters (Lead) and was weighing some of them and most of them were 160+ in weight.

How do you make the corrections for the heaver bullets?

Most load data doesn’t have a 161 grain lead bullet listed.


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Old April 9, 2011, 11:22 AM   #4
brickeyee
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It is called tolerance.

Anything manufactured has it.

If you want better tolerances pay more $$.

If you are worried about 0.1 grain on a 150 grain bullet you are looking at 0.067%.
Even 0.8 grains is only 0.53%.

Pretty darn good.


If you weight out a 40 grain powder charge to 0.1 grain you are at 0.25%.

Better get a laboratory grade scale for those powder charges.

Unless you are shooting an very long range you will never be able to tell, and if all the bullets are 0.1 grain over you will never be able to tell.

Consistency is far more valuable than absolute value.
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Old April 9, 2011, 01:11 PM   #5
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Thank you, brickeyee. You saved me a rant.

Sheesh!
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Old April 9, 2011, 01:36 PM   #6
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...and though a scale was mentioned, nobody even asked about what scale he's using. If it's a cheap digital... or even a moderately priced digital having a bad day, or under a fluorescent light, or near a draft, or with suspect batteries, we don't even know how accurate your data is.

I'd crawl back a bit from the ledge and try the bullets on target and see if maybe they aren't so bad afterall.

Utahar15, don't worry about your 158 grain bullets weighing 161 grains. Unless you are using a load that you worked up to well over max and using it with crap brass and firing them in an antique gun, you won't see a bit of difference. And proper handloading demands that max loads be worked toward, not started at anyway. Even if you had a pet load that was over max, you wouldn't substitute heavier bullets in by mistake because you re-work the load if you've changed components, right?

Go with data for a 158 grain bullet using the proper methods and you will make great ammo.
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Old April 9, 2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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I think that on the list of all the variables that will affect accuracy at long range (and I assume we're talking long range because otherwise, why would anyone care...), this would be near the bottom. Besides, as already stated above- this is a hunting bullet- not a "precision" target like a Matchking or Berger VLD.

Other factors such as case length, neck tension, seating depth, OAL, not to mention wind will all have a more profound effect on LR accuracy than a tenth of a grain of bullet weight...

Even a tenth of a grain (and more) of powder difference is irrelevant for most shooters.

Just my $.02
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Old April 9, 2011, 03:17 PM   #8
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I have shot alot of Nosler bullets, with no accuracy issue at all. So I guess that if all manufactured products have "tolerances" then maybe so should I. And sevens there is pics of my scale in my former reply.. Scorch I didn't mean to make a big deal of it, actually it was just another awakening for myself, your help is appreciated fellas. You say "no big deal" then it's no big deal!!
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Old April 9, 2011, 03:49 PM   #9
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
I just weighed a half box of 7mm Rem Mag Ballistic Tips from Nosler,(i already loaded the other half) and what I found was this 1. One bullet weighed as advertised. 2. 24 weighed between 150.1 and 150.2 grns!! No big deal right????
I would consider that an exceptionally good lot of bullets.
A 0.3 grain extreme spread is excellent.


As for the Partitions...
Again, not a bad extreme spread, and perfectly acceptable.

When you start weighing cheaper bullets, you'll be seeing deviation in whole grains (+/-1.0, +/-2.0, etc). The lighter the bullet is, the more extreme the deviations will be, in regard to a percentage of the bullet weight.
(Heavier bullets are easier to produce more consistently. Extremely small bullets are much more difficult to maintain good consistency. -Such as: .204", .172", and very light weight .224" bullets.)

I shoot Speer 100 gr HPs out of my .270 Winchester as a varmint load. The extreme spread is usually 7+ grains. I have used and sorted enough of them now, that I know the minimum weight will usually be 97.3 gr, and the max weight usually will be 104.2 gr. I buy several boxes at a time, and weight sort them into groups with a 1 to 2 grain spread (98.0-99.5 gr, for example).

However... my brothers use the same bullet, in the same load. They don't weight sort, and their accuracy is just as good. Sometimes deviations in weight really don't matter at all. Most times, you'll never notice any difference.
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Old April 9, 2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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If you want bullets made to the tightest tolerances in both core weight and jacket concentricity you need to be buying hand built match bullets. If you want bullets built for the best terminal performance you're going to have to allow a looser tolerance. In my experience Noslers work just fine as hunting bullets--their attempts to build a match bullet not so fine. If you want a less expensive mass produced match bullet you might look at Sierra or Berger.........
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Old April 9, 2011, 04:50 PM   #11
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Thanks, I needed a laugh! Good post, I know I'm not the only one to enjoy it.
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Old April 9, 2011, 07:05 PM   #12
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OK, so now you know the secret of the poor-mans Match bullet...weigh them and separate them.
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Old April 9, 2011, 11:42 PM   #13
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If you're that worried about a few tenths of a grain, whatever you do DON'T try checking the lengths of the bullets.
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Old April 10, 2011, 02:51 AM   #14
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Manufacturers use calibrated equipment (well at least good ones) and either use itinerant calibrators, such as http://mobilecal.comsonics.com/ or have calibration shops in house.

Gages and test equipment lose calibration over time. The stuff has to be periodically recalibrated.

Reloaders often assume that their measuring equipment is correct when it is more probable that it is no longer in calibration.

I have buds who shoot ballistic tip bullets in their match ammunition. The stuff is good.

Just load it and believe what you see on paper.
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:36 AM   #15
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Have you ever weighted your cases, spun your bullets, seated your primers and wondered why one feels loose and the next seats hard, turned the case necks( which will really open your eyes).
How many times have you shot a 5 shot group which 4 eat out a one hole cluster only to have the last shot a/1/2 inch out.
We go to our man room, handload ammo, on equipment that is mass produced, seldom if ever caliberated, and expect such great things. Some times I wonder how we even hit a target at 100 or 200 yds.
Then you have to ask your self is it the indian or the arrow, I get a chuckle out that one an old timer at the range dropped that on me one day.
I won't trade my loading equipment and firearms for golf clubs or fishing tackle. (been there done that).
Handloading and shooting is a great hobby, for me best there is, but I stopped making it drive me crazy.( one hole groups). I have several rifles all of which meet my expectations for what their used for and if they don't I find them a new home!

So don't get to be to much of a tech nut and enjoy.
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Old April 10, 2011, 09:53 AM   #16
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Measuring things gets pretty technical.Even if you had a 150 gr calibrated test weight to check your scales,the scales have an advertised accuracy...when they are new,and the knife edge is near perfect.Now,if you have a dog hair under the knife edge,or if the little teeth on top the beam have any contamination..
Until you can prove otherwise,any measuring tool is as suspect of error as the item being measured.It could be the bullets are more accurate than your scales.
How do the Ballistic Tips shoot for you?
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Old April 10, 2011, 01:06 PM   #17
FrankenMauser
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Nosler and Swift run their bullets through Juenke Bullet Machines for tolerance checking. They are some of the most dimensionally precise bullets you can find.

Swift used to state that their machine was set to reject any critical dimension that deviated by more than 0.0003", but I haven't seen that statement lately.

Whatever the tolerances are; Swift and Nosler bullets impress me more than anything else, when it comes to consistency. There is a reason those two companies sell more "perfectly good" factory seconds, than anyone else. They may still be good bullets, but the Juenke machine rejected them for some reason.
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Old April 10, 2011, 03:21 PM   #18
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No big deal right???? I then grabbed a Brand New box of 150 partitions in the same caliber,and guess what ,1. ONLY ONE BULLET WEIGHED EXACTLY 150 grns( i kicked my dog upside down) 2. I found that the other 49 bullets weighed somewhere between 150.1 and 150.8,,,,, AND 35 WEIGHED OVER 150.5 GRNS MAKING THAT Quoted from Post #1


How much of that difference is due to your scale?
0.3 either way is obviously an acceptable variance.

Wanna have some fun?? Weigh a bag of new brass..
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Old April 11, 2011, 08:44 AM   #19
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I think it would only make a major difference when shooting at very long ranges. Most of the reloading I do is for targets inside of 500 yards so, with rifles, I don't sweat it. For pistols, I think it makes very little difference except maybe for bullseye shooting. I do mostly action shooting and use cheap copper plated bullets. They allow me to make cheap, light-shooting loads that can easily hit the "zero down" or "A" zone of anything I am shooting at.
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Old April 11, 2011, 08:58 AM   #20
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That's still well under 1% error (more like a half percent at the extreme). Personally I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old April 11, 2011, 09:30 AM   #21
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I can say that I'm often disapointed with the quality of bullets that I get. Price is often not a good indicator. I've had cheap bulk bullets that had better tolerance than more expensive boxed bullets.
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Old April 11, 2011, 09:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
OK, so now you know the secret of the poor-mans Match bullet...weigh them and separate them.
I did exactly that once when I used to shoot NRA bullseye competition back in the '70s. Weighed and separated my own cast .45 bullets before I loaded them. Made absolutely no difference in my results. Probably says more about my lack of skill than the practice of weighing and separating.

Quote:
nobody even asked about what scale he's using. If it's a cheap digital... or even a moderately priced digital having a bad day, or under a fluorescent light,
Why would using a digital scale under fluorescent light make a difference ?
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Old April 11, 2011, 09:36 AM   #23
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If you are curious, you can work out the effects. I estimated the difference in velocity using QuickLOAD running a 150 and 151 grain Partition in .30-06 at about 2800 fps in a 24" tube. 1 grain change muzzle velocity 3 fps or 4 fps, depending on the powder. Say, 4 fps per grain, worst case.

With constant nose and tail shape, ballistic coefficient will change directly with sectional density, SD=0.2259 (150 br. .308) vs. SD =0.2274 (151 gr. .308). That's a BC of .387 vs .390. Running tables with a bullet with .387 BC and MV of 2804 (worst case) vs a bullet with .390 BC and 2800 fps MV, at 1000 yards I show a difference in POI of 1.6" vertical, or about 0.15 moa. That's one whole grain of weight difference. The moa difference will matter to a benchrest shooter, but not to most of us.

Note how the heavier bullet moves out slower, but has a higher BC, so it drops less two effects work in opposite directions on drop. If the velocity stayed constant you'd get more like 3" of difference per grain at 1000 yards.

I'll leave it to the reader to scale those differences back to 0.1 grain.

Sorting bullets by weight might seem to be a waste of time from the above, however, it often results in more than one weight cluster, indicating bullets coming off different tooling. Sierra and Berger keep all their lots off the same machine and, I think, the same operator, but less expensive brands typically don't. The advantage to sorting the less expensive ones by tooling is you may find one tool set produced more accurate bullets than another based not on weight difference, but on how concentrically the jacket and core were formed. Mass asymmetry causes wobble in flight that deteriorates accuracy.
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