The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 16, 2012, 10:32 PM   #26
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,593
It's not so much about weighing cases but ensuring consistency in your brass.

Don't mix brass. Every maker makes them to certain specifications. Some may thicker or heavier than others. Some have slightly higher capacity than others.

So, buy your stuff brand new, say five boxes of twenty cartridges. Keep them and reload them as a group. Log it.

If you have another lot, keep them separate and treat them separate. You can reload them the same way (especially if they shoot well for your gun), but their service life will be different from another lot/group.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Old November 16, 2012, 10:40 PM   #27
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,198
Like I said earlier, I'm into eliminating variables that negatively impact accuracy. It's nice to know what Sierra does, but I don't have access to that technology. You can be sure that they've eliminated all the variables that they can, so I'll do the same in my own humble fashion. Minimizing the effects of various things that can decrease accuracy can not be bad.
603Country is offline  
Old November 16, 2012, 10:51 PM   #28
tobnpr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 2,836
Quote:
Minimizing the effects of various things that can decrease accuracy can not be bad.
Can't dispute that.
But, there is the question of whether the time and effort spent in that pursuit results in a statistically significant increase in accuracy- particularly as relevant to the skill level of the shooter, that is the interesting point of the discussion to me.

I envy the guys that have unlimited time to spend reloading, I wish I was one of them...
tobnpr is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 12:44 AM   #29
browninghunter86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2011
Posts: 524
maybe weigh primers and bullets before brass weight? I too went down the road to eliminate as many variables as possible from the get go. Then if I do that the only thing I can do is become a better shooter. There are some that say get a decent load(1MOA or better) and shoot more to get better. Then I believe in getting the absolute best ammo first, eliminating variables you can control with the tools you have, then learn to shoot with those.

I uniformed primer pockets, deburr flash holes, sort by neck wall thickness, sort by neck wall runout, trim to same length and since doing these steps I have went to sub 0.25" groups@100 yds. Previously was around 3/4 MOA. Nothing else changed
browninghunter86 is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 07:01 AM   #30
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,370
Old Roper, your post on Sierra's quality stuff on their bullets is good, but it says nothing about the tools used to size their cases, charge the cases with powder nor do anything with their new cases before loading them. That's what I suggested folks find out by contacting them.

603Country, you do have access to the technology Sierra has to make their bullets shoot as well as they do. They test bullets during production runs as they come out of the final forming stage (pointing die) and put 'em in primed cases charged with powder then seat them; none are weighed for testing before they're fired in accuracy tests. Sierra buys over-the-counter Redding full length sizing dies to size their cases used to test bullets for accuracy. They use bushing dies for cartridges they're available for and standard ones for the rest. Powder is metered directly into cases, it's not weighed, and good powder measures are also available at retail stores. As they don't prep cases in any way, you can buy new ones just like they do at retail. You could also have a rail gun built to shoot bullets the most accurate, but use what you have just like they do for developing reloading data with factory rifles.

Browninghunter86, nobody I know of winning matches and setting records weighs primers; it's a waste of time and far from accurate. There's no way to separate the weight of the priming compound itself from the metal cup, anvil and seal without destroying the primer. Just shoot the darned things. Weigh a new primer before it's fired then weigh it again after it's fired; it won't be very much lighter. Milder ones with extruded powder tend to produce better accuracy than any one with ball powder.

To all those wanting to weigh everything to get sub 1/3 MOA accuracy at 100 yards to sub 2/3 MOA at 600 yards. If you don't want to spend all that time weighing stuff, just buy Black Hills Gold, Federal Gold Medal Match or Hornady Match ammo for the cartridge you want; they don't waste time weighing bullets, powder charges, cases nor primers. Then get a top quality barrel with a groove diameter 5 ten thousandths smaller than the bullet's diameter and a good SAAMI spec chamber fitted to a stiff, flat bottom/side receiver that's epoxy bedded in a decent stock that totally free-floats the barrel; all put together by someone who knows how and has a track record to prove it. Then you'll have the stuff that'll shoot that well. The rest is up to you.

Last edited by Bart B.; November 17, 2012 at 07:36 AM.
Bart B. is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 09:32 AM   #31
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,198
Bart, you may well be absolutely correct in everything that you've said, but since I have quite a comfort factor in reloading the way I do, I'll keep doing it. But...what I can do is a 'reverse' test, and I think I'll try that. I have one very accurate rifle (220 Swift) that was set up for me by a top level gunsmith years ago. I think that I have some unprimed Winchester cases that haven't been weight sorted nor prepped in any way. I'll load them up with my favorite and best pet load and see how accuracy compares with my highly prepped and weighed cases of the same make. I'll come back with the answer. Probably take me 10 days to 2 weeks to get the data.

One thing that I do know about that rifle is that it shot its best with Norma cases. When I switched to Winchester, groups opened up just a bit. For a time I had plenty of ammo loaded in both case makes and could shoot both for comparison. I hoarded the Norma loads and used them for shots that really mattered. There was a difference, though it was small.

I'm almost finished with my shop being in "woodworker mode" and will soon be back in the ammo biz.
603Country is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 10:36 AM   #32
old roper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 11, 2007
Posts: 1,049
Bart B, Since Sierra has there own way of doing things to test their bullets why would anyone want to call them and ask about weight cases. If you think it's import to back up what you said why don't you E-Mail them ask question them post their answer.

I load to what's important to me as to the accuracy in my rifles and if it takes weight case I'll do it.

Here is Record F-Class shooter that sorts case

http://www.6mmbr.com/gunweek088.html

Here is another record hold that weight sorts that's not F-Class

http://www.6mmbr.com/gunweek079.html

What you should do is get on some site with match shooters like 6br or benchrest and ask those guys how they prep brass.
__________________
Semper Fi
Vietnam
VFW
old roper is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 11:43 AM   #33
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,370
For those questioning my reference to Sierra Bullets' tools and techniques to make super accurate ammo. . . . .

I first witnessed what Sierra does loading fired cases and testing their bullets for accuracy back in the late 1960's. Their first ballistic tech, Martin Hull, giving me a tour of their facility was shooting groups in the ones at 100 yards with 30 caliber 168's. He's the one that convinced Sierra in the 1950's to not waste time measuring everything and just load ammo with standard stuff efficiently. He was one of the USA's top high power match rifle competitors in his day. And shared to anyone wanting to know how Sierra's bullets shot so accurate.

It's been the same way with so many high power rifle competitors winning matches and setting records. Especially Mid Tompkins, who's probably reloaded some of the most accurate ammo ever used anywhere and probably been used to set more records than any other person reloading ammo; he doesn't prep cases but may sort by weight to a 1% spread for very long range use.

I've called and emailed Sierra a few times over the years getting info from Carroll Pilant, Rich Macholz and Kevin Thomas on what they're doing. They've all told me Sierra's been doing the same thing I mentioned in post 30 in this thread since the 1950's. Their accuracy test barrels have chambers at SAAMI specs, or ones close enough to not matter and none are tight-necked ones common in benchrest and other tiny-group disciplines.

I've shot matches with top competitors, sometimes out scoring them, and learned what they do that outshoots traditional benchrest ways. That's why I also became a top ranked competitor. Even outshot those kids on the US Olympic Team a time or two.

As a former US Palma Team member, I was asked to help develop a load for Sierra's new 155-gr. Palma bullet. The results was .308 Win. ammo that shot sub 1/2 MOA in tests at 600 yards as well in a couple dozen opr more different rifles from around the world. That ammo had new unprepped cases with a 4 grain spread, charge weights with a 3/10ths grain spread, bullet runout up to .004".

I'm not an admirer of tiny, record groups. Seldom, if ever, are they repeated with the same rifle, ammo and shooter. And they only happen when all the variables pretty much cancel each other out. Even the smallest group in a six, 5- or 10-shot benchrest aggregate is dwarfed by the larger ones fired. But that set of shooter, ammo and rifle will no doubt continue to shoot no worse than about what his largest group is. That's what can be counted on all the time. So, I'm probably a wierdo wanting to see what the group size is when all the variables add up together, especially from rifles fired off ones shoulder. It's no wonder to me that so many of those single-group record holders don't even place in a many-group aggregate.

Most benchresters are now using full length bushing dies and their aggregate group's and score's have gotten smaller because of it; neck-only sizing's proved to not be all that great for best accuracy one can count on all the time. But their best single few-shot groups are still the same size.

Last edited by Bart B.; November 17, 2012 at 07:34 PM.
Bart B. is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 11:50 AM   #34
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 2,507
“You don't even have to weigh powder charges to get 1/4 inch groups at 100 yards from top quality rifles; benchresters don't weigh their charges for ranges 300 yards and less”

Again, A friend went to the range with a new creation, he chambered a round, pulled the trigger then waked down the range about 20’, picked up his barrel, returned to the bench, loaded everything related to guns and reloading then drove back to his shop. Reloading is a discipline “You don’t even have to weigh charges to get 1/4 inch groups etc..” Then bench resters, again.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


It is not easy to distinguish a bench rester from someone in the claims department, I have participated on a few of the ‘bench rester forums’, if they are bench resters on a bench rester forum why are they so easy to be driven to the curb, all that is necessary to ‘LOCK THEM UP” is to disagree with them, my question (?) : Why is it so easy to drive them to the curb and or lock them up if they have confidence? Do-nuts, the dreaded do-nut, I make do-nuts, I expect do-nuts, do-nuts do not lock me up, I have tools, when making do-nuts I do not start until I ‘dig’ out my tools, strange? the do-nuts that I create when reloading/forming/shooting are not the same do-nuts bench resters have to deal with. It is though if they do not look at ‘it’, ‘it’ does not exist.

F, Guffey
F. Guffey is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 11:53 AM   #35
browninghunter86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2011
Posts: 524
I have seen both those articles before thank for reposting them and linking them. I am trying to read up and look but it seems certain calibers really benefit from this stuff while others not even close. Any thoughts?
browninghunter86 is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 11:59 AM   #36
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,198
Old Roper, thanks for putting up those links. It was very interesting reading that reinforced my thoughts on prepping cases to eliminate variables. It isn't going to make me a better shot, but maybe it'll help a little and I'll take what I can get.

Of particular interest was the first fellow's case resizing, using the bushing die that just sets the shoulder back a tiny amount. He's maintaining, and doing it very precisely, the fireformed case. That logic works for me.
603Country is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 12:10 PM   #37
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
For .223 Rem fired out of a bolt action I tried the same head stamp sorting by weight, and water capacity. Also deburring, and uniforming flash holes, uniforming primer pockets, trimming to the same length, and weighing bullets. Finances did not allow for me to get into neck turning. I would have tried that as well.

End results were the fact that I could tell not tell the difference from mixed head stamp that I weighed every charge, and just deburred the flash hole.

I prefer to get a load that gives me good groups with any head stamp. Then just spend more time working on my shooting.

The principals of good shooting are the same regardless of the round used. I prefer to make real good arrows, use a good bow. Then work on the not so good Indian that is shooting them.

Spending time at the range, working on my shooting has done more for my accuracy than any form of loading practices that I have done so far in the past 3 years.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 01:48 PM   #38
tobnpr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 2,836
Quote:
To all those wanting to weigh everything to get sub 1/3 MOA accuracy at 100 yards to sub 2/3 MOA at 600 yards. If you don't want to spend all that time weighing stuff, just buy Black Hills Gold, Federal Gold Medal Match or Hornady Match ammo for the cartridge you want; they don't waste time weighing bullets, powder charges, cases nor primers.
Yup.

And Snipers and DM's in the millitary don't seem to have accuracy issues with Black Hills...

Now, let's talk about $500 tumblers and ss media that make brass nice and shiny...
tobnpr is offline  
Old November 17, 2012, 01:57 PM   #39
browninghunter86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2011
Posts: 524
and first guy doesn't even shoot for groups. Just lowest chrony numbers
browninghunter86 is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 02:46 PM   #40
rodfac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,512
I load for .223 for my AR for over the course, Nat'l Match work...200, 300 & 600 yards.

For the short distances (200 and 300 yds), I cull my brass for obvious imperfections, both military and commercial, and I sort for head stamp, (and also year group for military) and trim to length. That's it.

For 600, however, add'l effort is worth it in terms of group size. I weigh my cases and sort the brass accordingly; I check the length and trim if necessary; then ream the primer hole and clean the pocket to ensure uniformity.

As to powder charges, I throw from a measure for all distances, checking for uniformity every ten rounds with a scale; and have proved to my satisfaction that weighing each charge makes no difference at any yardage.

For 600 yds, the add'l time spent sorting and weighing brass makes a difference. My groups are better with the add'l work, and they're more uniform as well, i.e. fewer un-called flyers.

If you want to see a complete treatise on load development and component selection for match level precision, read Zediker's, "Handloading for Competition". It's worth the price of the book, as is his, "The Competitive AR-15".

Best regards, Rod
__________________
Our Flag does not fly because the wind blows against it, it is moved instead, by the dying breath of our patriots in uniform. Our Freedom is not free, it's been paid for many times over.
USAF Forward Air Controller, 5th Spl Forces,
An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73
rodfac is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 07:27 PM   #41
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
Quote:
Now, let's talk about $500 tumblers and ss media that make brass nice and shiny...
Lets talk Gatorade bottles and a treadmill in my case. 50 bucks for the media and a little home engineering with some 2X4's gave me a rest for the Gatorade bottles to spin against. I use Gatorade bottles because they have indentions on the bottle to lift the media and carry it up, whereas a smooth sided bottle will not cause agitation.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 07:43 PM   #42
rebs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 10, 2012
Posts: 2,193
Let me ask this, where do uncalled flyers come from ?
How much of a variation in powder charge could cause a flyer ?
How much variation in bullet weight could cause a flyer ?
I am just trying to learn something here because I know there are a lot of guys on this site that know way more than I do.
rebs is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 08:46 PM   #43
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,370
There are no fliers. Every bullet fired goes exactly where the variables in each component of the rifle, ammo, shooter and atmosphere makes it go.
Bart B. is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 09:34 PM   #44
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,198
Good to know there are no flyers, though I'll have to find something else to call them.

Interesting that this should be mentioned. Brings to mind my non-standard case selection from years ago. My 220 Swift (Ruger 77V, finely tuned and bedded and with a Douglas barrel) was and is a fine shooter and at the time I was using Norma cases, all well prepped and partial resized. It shot very nice little groups and I was quite pleased, but...every now and again it shot what we 'used' to call flyers. I was shooting a lot back then and even when I did everything right, I'd still get the occasional flyer. Ya'll know what I mean, in that I was all set up in the bags and the wind is down and you tickle the trigger and know that bullet is on top of the last 3 or 4, but then you look in the spotting scope and it's 1/2 inch out). Following something I read in a shooting magazine or book, I started marking the cases that produced what we once called flyers. If they produced flyers more than twice, I pitched them in the range barrel. Took a long time, but when I got through I had about 60 cases that had passed my tests, and most of the flyers after that were caused and acknowledged by me. I never knew then and I don't know today why certain cases caused less than desired accuracy, but some did. Back then I was shooting a lot of paper and hosting customer hunts. I shot a lot of ammo at varmints while the customers shot deer. That Swift was the only rifle that I shot that much and is the only one that I ever did the case 'rejection' on. That practice just isn't practical for the amount of rifles that I have today, and I really don't want to work that hard. And I really don't think that I can shoot as well as I once did.
603Country is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 11:54 PM   #45
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,370
'Twas proved decades ago by Chreighton Audette that cases whose heads were out of square with the case body axis didn't shoot as accurate as cases with square heads. This happens most visible with bolts whose face ain't square with the chamber axis. Two-lug bolts show this problem the most.

When the high point of the case head aligns with the high point on the bolt face, that point's where the force of the case head slamming into the bolt face is centered. It's off center from the bore axis and the barreled action will whip more at an angle aligned with that off center high point.

Out of square bolt faces make new cases end up with an out of square head. This compounds the problem.

Squared up bolt faces tend to square up even the slightest out of square heads on new cases. These squared up cases tend to shoot more accurate from that chamber and bolt face 'cause their force axis is near perfectly aligned with the bore axis and the barreled action whips the same direction all the time for each shot.

Three or four lug bolts have the least problem with out of square case heads. Which is why folks shooting International Palma matches with their .308s using new cases (only thing allowed, either commercial or arsenal ammo) prefer 3 or 4 lug actions. They shoot these slightly out of square case heads the most accurate. And benchresters like 3 or 4 lug actions for the same reasons.

A big contributor to this is cases with quite uneven case wall thickness. When fired, all cases first grip the chamber right behind the shoulder; the thinnest part of the case body. As pressure builds, the case body expands more and the case body presses like a wave on the chamber walls working backwards. The case also stretches back; moreso on the thin side. This tends to make cases banana shaped. The side that stretched the most tends to push the case head aligned with that further back and it meets the bolt face first. There's no way to fix this problem with a case. There's been tools to measure case body wall thickness so the bad ones can be identified before they're shot.

Call those bad shots bad ones. Or wide ones. Or back if that'll turn 'em around and head back to you.
Bart B. is offline  
Old November 20, 2012, 09:33 AM   #46
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,198
Bart, that makes perfect sense to my engineering brain. Now I know what caused my flyer problem and why my 'fix' worked. The Swift had a squared up action, which is probably the only reason my fix worked. Otherwise I'd have created out of square cases and the problem would have remained.
603Country is offline  
Old November 20, 2012, 10:54 AM   #47
Dave P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 16, 1999
Location: North Florida
Posts: 1,121
Case wall thickness

"A big contributor to this is cases with quite uneven case wall thickness."

I am often amazed at Lake City Match brass (308) , and how inconsistent the walls are. This is 1970-1980 kinda years.

To check these, I slowly roll them across a flat surface, while listening and watching them. (That's a new one: "Listen to your cases, men!"). Anyway, it is quite obvious when I find a lopsided case: you can hear them speed-up and slow down, and watch as the heavy side comes to rest at the bottom.

I end up culling out about 50% of the cases this way. Not at sure that I shoot them better in a service rifle, but it makes me more confident.
__________________
... still waiting for that stimulus to kick in ...
Dave P is offline  
Old November 20, 2012, 03:16 PM   #48
F. Guffey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2008
Posts: 2,507
Dave P. Outside of Unclenick I can not imagine anyone on this forum read the article, back in the early 70s (before the Internet) a shooter/reloader purchased 500 cases from one manufacturer, all of the same lot. He spent as much time shooting, testing and culling cases as shooters/reloaders today spend at their key board. Long article, when he was finished he settled on 47 cases +/- a few, the cases that were culled were tested again, some of the culls would shoot one hole groups if the case was indexed in the chamber the same way every time it was fired.



I have rifles that like everything, one of the most accurate cost $120.00, then there is the Santa Fe for $150.00, I am building two bench rest type rifles, without a stock, I have $50.00 in the rifles and $30.00 in the barrels each, I could have more in the scope than I have in the rifle.



Sierra, I have Sierra bullets, lots of Sierra bullets, I have rifles that do not shoot groups, they shoot patterns (like a shot gun), again, I sent a rifle back to Winchester, I did not complain to Sierra, I complained to Winchester, we had words, again, I wanted a chamber that fit my dies, Winchester thought I was impossible when gave them a choice, I want a chamber that fits my dies or I want Winchester dies to fit their chamber. they returned the rifle in a new box, I should be grateful, but, I am not.



F. Guffey

Last edited by F. Guffey; November 20, 2012 at 03:21 PM. Reason: remove a 'that'
F. Guffey is offline  
Old November 20, 2012, 03:39 PM   #49
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,307
Fguffy please shed some light on where I can obtain the materials for a bech gun for so cheap. Heck I think two boxes of ammo would cost more than the barrels did.

As far as weighing cases goes I would probably weigh each case if I were depending on a caliber sized group at 500 yards to be able to cash a check to pay for everything, and eat. Though for the way I shoot, and what my rifles are used for I am happy with doing other things that give me under 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. The flyers in my groups are a result of me.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old November 21, 2012, 11:16 AM   #50
30Cal
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2002
Posts: 1,095
BartB, I just went back through your posts on this thread...your time and experience in the shooting game shows...thanks for the discussion...wouldn't mind buying a cpl rounds for some add'l time and discussion. This quote from one of your posts in this thread pretty much sums it up. Best regards, Rod

Quote:
As a former US Palma Team member, I was asked to help develop a load for Sierra's new 155-gr. Palma bullet. The results was .308 Win. ammo that shot sub 1/2 MOA in tests at 600 yards as well in a couple dozen opr more different rifles from around the world. That ammo had new unprepped cases with a 4 grain spread, charge weights with a 3/10ths grain spread, bullet runout up to .004".

I'm not an admirer of tiny, record groups. Seldom, if ever, are they repeated with the same rifle, ammo and shooter. And they only happen when all the variables pretty much cancel each other out.
30Cal is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13670 seconds with 9 queries