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Old June 14, 2001, 02:33 PM   #1
Redneck2
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Maximum accuracy

Had a "hole" in my collection between the .22-250 and .300 Win Mag. Had been thinking about some type of custom rifle for years but never got all the money and time together. Last week I walk into the local shop and they're having a blowout sale. Custom .25-06 with a beautiful Fajen stock, McGowen barrel (which looks perfect inside), and the very best 50mm 3x12 AO Burris scope, all for $495. The rifle is now in my safe.

My question is; How do I go about getting max accuracy in a logical sequence and shortest time. This will be my "heavy varmint" rifle. Don't have dies yet. Any thoughts? I was thinking maybe Redding Competition.

Do you check throats to establish seating depth or is there something else that would help more? I have a Sinclair neck turning tool and will use it. I also uniform the primer pockets and flash holes. I will use Norma brass if I can get it.

There are about 17 million powder and bullet combinations. How do you at least pick a powder to start with? (I have Hornady and Lyman manuals).

Finally, since this is a custom chamber, is there anything that I should be aware of as compared to a factory rifle? Thanks in advance.
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Old June 17, 2001, 02:33 PM   #2
Steve Smith
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Whew!

I'm no expert, but I might be able to answer a few Qs for you.

My question is; How do I go about getting max accuracy in a logical sequence and shortest time.

Start reading reloading books. Some good ones will come from Sinclair Intl. and I know of at least one at Border's called Precision Rifle or something like that...easy to find.

Don't have dies yet. Any thoughts? I was thinking maybe Redding Competition.

Redding dies are great, I've been using them for a while with very good success. Consider a Redding "S" bushing die for the size die, and a Forster Ultra Match seating die.

Do you check throats to establish seating depth

Yes.

or is there something else that would help more?

Yes.

Consider a Stoney Point OAL gauge and bullet comparator. The OAL gague holds your chosen bullet and you can adjust how deep it goes into the rifling. With a little work, you can find the rifling. You then take that reading, back off .005" and that's your "max." Play around in the last .020" inches or so to find what the rifle likes best.

There are about 17 million powder and bullet combinations. How do you at least pick a powder to start with? (I have Hornady and Lyman manuals).

Well, what kind of powder measure do you have? Some powder measures seems to like some powders better than others. I've heard very good things about Hornady measures, but haven't used one.

On load development, I'll post again later if no one gets here before me.
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Old June 18, 2001, 10:28 PM   #3
Redneck2
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Thanks for the reply

Powder measure..I have a Dillon 450 and an older Lyman (no measure) that I can use progressive or single stage. The Dillon has the factory measure, and I have a PACT electronic to check it.

Had thought about the Stoney Point but don't have one yet. Sounds like the program and will probably order one from Sinclair or Midway tomorrow.

Any other ideas are appreciated.
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Old June 18, 2001, 11:51 PM   #4
Steve Smith
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Well regarding the measure, they do have a little problem with extruded powders. I have a 550B that I use to load my HP stuff. After reading "Black Magic, the Ultra Accurate AR-15" I felt very good about using my Dillon for HP. In fact, John Feamster's Dillon powder measure beat his $200 BR measure for consistency with Varget. Like I said, different measures like different powders. Dillons seem to like ball the best, however, I'm using stick (because I have 16 lbs of it!) 4895 with good results...however, I used a trick from the HP shooters on www.shooterstalk.com . They ream out their measures with a taper reamer so it flows powder better. I must say, it helped.

Sierra's excellent rifle manual says .25-06 "thrives on H4831, Reloader 22, and AA 3100."

H4831 is an extruded powder, but a quick check on www.hodgden.com showed that they make a short grain equivalent called H4831SC. Maybe that's a good one to look at? The others look fine, too, though. If you do decide to use an extruded powder, and you get a bid SD or your scale shows big fluctuations, then try the reamer...just be careful not to ream so far that the rim on the bottom of the funnel is gone, or you'll wind up crimping your brass with it!

on the OAL unit, you'll also need the appropriate caliber bullet comparator as well, in order to take measurements off the ogive, not the tip of the bullet. The ogive is consistent, tips are not. Consider this when you purchase the seating die...if you're getting serious with this ogive business, then buy a seating die that seats with the ogive, NOT the tip! tips, even on MatchKings, can and do fluctuate .015", but the ogive to base is usually +-.001" at the MOST. As I said before, I use the Forster Ultra Match seater. The Redding is excellent as well, but costs more. Both use the ogive.
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Old June 23, 2001, 10:34 PM   #5
Michael Priddy
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Hey Redneck. This is what works for me.

1. Buy the two vol. set of Pet Loads by Ken Waters.

2. Look up the load for the particular weight bullet you are trying.

3. Select what powder and charge Ken found to be the most accurate.

4. Cross check this load with the reloading manual for the bullet you are using.

5. Load three rounds with Ken's load.

6. Next reduce Ken's load by a half a grain and load three more. Reduce by another half
grain and load three more. Reduce another half grain and load three more. ( all these loads have the same seating depth )

7. Take these four groups to the range and see how they print.

8. Record which load had the best results.
Last time I did this for a 75gr 6mm V-Max using W760 ------
All four groups printed around an inch

OAL - -----------------

1. Mash the mouth of a fired unsized case slightly.

2. Start a bullet in the mouth.

3. Take the bolt out of the rifle.

4. Use something, cleaning rod .. to force the case and bullet into the chamber.

5. Use a cleaning rod with no tip to push the cartridge/bullet out of the chamber.
( most of the time the bullet will stick in the lands and if you use the bolt to extract the case the bullet will be drawn out of the case mouth changing the OAL measurement )

6. Do this several times to make sure you are getting the correct Max OAL for that load.

7. Set your die so that your first group of loads (3) are .005" shorter than the Max OAL.

8. Reset the dies so that the next three rounds are .005" shorter than the first group.

9. Do this step again for two more groups.

10 Take them to the range and see how they print. I find that it is usually the second group that is the tightest. When I did this with the 6mm, that best powder charge that was printing just under an inch went to .252" If you don't get good results with method the next time you work up a load... I don't know you and you are on your own...Michael
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Old June 26, 2001, 12:52 PM   #6
DAVID NANCARROW
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Its been my experience that accuracy is much more affected by bullet weight and style than by powder, assuming of course you're using something generally listed for the cartridge. I usually take a good look at the starting loads, searching for which 3 powders are going to give the highest starting velocities. Generally, any one of the top 3 powders will get you to the dance. After that, it depends upon which bullet lives best in your barrel. Fast twist barrels for the caliber are going to favor heavier weights. If the bullet I choose does not give me respectable groups, I will go lighter/heavier in my search, until I get one which shows promise, and begin my loading .050" off the lands, then varying the length until it gets better. I have also gone to a flat base bullet in the same weight the rifle likes, and have found just about half the time it groups a bit better out to 300-400 yards. Boattails have all the advantages when the bullet is slowing down near the speed of sound, but I can't really see a difference while the bullet is still fast.
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Old June 26, 2001, 10:43 PM   #7
Steve Smith
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Well, actually, according to Sierra (and it makes since to the layman, thank goodness), the boattail comes into play after about 300 yds...long before most centerfire rounds go subsonic. What it does is allows for less drag, so it slows down less. What that gets you is not having to compensate as much with your sights at 400 yards or more. The faster the bullet slows down the mroe you have to run your sights up.
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