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Old March 8, 2005, 11:25 AM   #1
mack59
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Thoughts on Reloading and Questions

Just a few thoughts and questions - comments and corrections welcome

Weighing brass is useless unless one has measured OAL of the cartridge and case shoulder

Partial full length resizing often works better than neck sizing unless one sorts necksized brass by measuring the case shoulder

Weighing brass with consistent measurements of the same lot after resizing, trimming, ect... may be useful

Weighing bullets may be useful - but measuring the OAL bullet length and using a bullet comparator to measure length from the base to olgive would make weighing them more useful

Bullet seating depth gauges don't work any better than candling a bullet, chambering it, and then measuring it from the olgive to the casehead

A chronograph really is a necessary piece of equipment

Practical accuracy is different than theoretical accuracy

One can get obsessive compulsive about reloading
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Old March 8, 2005, 01:33 PM   #2
Sturm
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Hi, I'm Sturm (Crowd replies, Hi Sturm) and I am an Obsessive/Compulsive Reloader!
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Old March 8, 2005, 04:09 PM   #3
Crosshair
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A chronograph is for sure a required piece of equipment. Especialy for developing custom loads. I don't bother measuring every detail of a load.(Except the powder) All the random variables tend to cancel each other out once you get to shooting. Cause no matter what you do, the butterfly effect comes into play and screws things up .
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Old March 8, 2005, 08:25 PM   #4
smokin54
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I dont get it , Why does everyone think a chrono is needed ?
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Old March 8, 2005, 09:20 PM   #5
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I don't get it either.
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Old March 8, 2005, 09:24 PM   #6
Mike Irwin
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If you stick within the parameters recommended by a reloading manual, which you've checked against another loading manual, you really don't need a chronograph.

It's when you start creeping up to the top loads in the book, and beyond, that you really should have a good chronograph.

Is one an absolute necessity? No, not really, but it's an extremely handy piece of kit to have, and these days not expensive at all.

Me? I've always just borrowed one when I've felt the need to get above book-rated speed.
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Old March 8, 2005, 09:29 PM   #7
Leftoverdj
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Chronograph tells you if your load is really doing what you think it is doing. I have had the chronograph save my butt a couple of times. Once loaded up a batch of 165 grain .308s from a new jug of powder. What was spozed to be a starting load spit those bullets out at nearly 3000 fps. That lot of powder was way faster than it had been sold as and the "starting load" was about five grains over max.

Less dramatically, the chronograph will tell you when you are getting uniform results.
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Old March 8, 2005, 11:04 PM   #8
scottys1
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Leftoverdj said it well. A chronograph will tell you sooner than anything else when your load is approaching being too hot. Loading manuals can vary quite a bit and are only an estimate of what is actually going on in your firearm with your load.A chronograph also makes tuning loads for accuracy easier.
Is it a necessity? No. Is it a good tool? Absolutely.
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Old March 9, 2005, 04:47 PM   #9
Poodleshooter
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Besides the above reasons, chronographs are helpful for ladder testing of rifle loads. Knowing the velocity "sweet spot" for a given barrel/bullet combination is helpful. I made my .223 match load that way.
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Old March 9, 2005, 07:44 PM   #10
Sturm
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A Chronograph has more functions than reading velocity. Just as many people want to know what their extreme spread and standard deviation is. You can calculate standard deviation with a scientific calculator if you want to, but you will still need the velocity of rounds fired to even do that, cause a load manual can't do that for you.
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Old March 9, 2005, 09:52 PM   #11
smokin54
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I have said this before , How does a chronograph tell pressure ? It doesnt . It tells velocity . Just because the book says that with x velocity the pressure is y ,That is for there test barrel with internal dimensions from one end to the other that are different from yours . Do you match the componenets of the loads exactly ? different Powder lots also change the burn rate , different burn rate is a different pressure curve .
Gun barrels are proofed at well above Saami specs but I have found that most of my guns shoot there best below max loads.
Is there a flaw in my thinking ?
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Old March 10, 2005, 12:02 AM   #12
rwilson452
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Chronograph uses

another reason to chrono that load is to know the exact drop of the bullet at range. You would also need an external ballistics program. there is a free one out there somewhere called point blank. if you don't know the speed you can't figure the drop. this is real necessary for moderate to long range varmint shooting.
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Old March 10, 2005, 12:13 AM   #13
smokin54
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with the point blank shareware , proper measurement of the scope above the bore , poi aiming at the bulleseye on level ground at 50 , 100 and 200 yards , the altitude , the bore size and the ballistic Coefficient and weight of the bullet you should be able to work backwards into the velocity for what it would be worh at that point.
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Old March 10, 2005, 12:33 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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"How does a chronograph tell pressure ?"

I don't think anyone said it did.

However, unexpected spikes in velocity over what's expected is a pretty good indicator that something might be going on that shouldn't be.

Of course, if you really want to go whole hog, you could invest in one of Oehler's combination units, which combines a chronograph with pressure registering strain gauges and other sensors, all coordinated through a laptop computer.
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Old March 16, 2005, 04:07 AM   #15
klgreene
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chronys

If a person doesn't know what good a chronograph is to their shooting/handloading....then obviously there hasn't been enough research done to justify spending the money for one. They are an absolute essential (in my opinion) for shooting accuracy....Let me rephrase that...for loading accuracy. Unless of course your OK with 1+ MOA.
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Old March 16, 2005, 10:14 AM   #16
Mike Irwin
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"Unless of course your OK with 1+ MOA."

I've developed more than my fair share of sub 1 MOA loads with my .243 (smallest I ever got was a hair over .25), my .30-06, and one of my .300 Savages, and did it all without a chronograph.

Truly affordable, portable chronographs have been available only for about the past 15 to 20 years, and a lot of shooters were putting together sub-MOA groups before that.
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Old March 16, 2005, 10:34 AM   #17
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You got it, Mike. Chronys aren't necessary for -1" groups. But we love them because we're all gadgeteers.
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Old March 24, 2005, 12:48 AM   #18
BigBoreKindaGuy
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In the 25 years I have reloaded both rifle and handguns I haven't done any of the things you mention and my reloads are always conistently and properly chambering and accurate when fired.

Yes I do believe in minimizing the differences between rounds however I just don't think any (subjective at best) gain in accuracy is worth the time you spend doing all this ritualistic crap. Sometimes I think these things are suggested more for publishing articles sake than for real substantial gain in accuracy.

To me if the rounds are shooting consistently accurate then they are being reloaded consistently accurate as well. The measure of the reload measure accuracy is at the target..not all the gadgets that one can purchase to use.
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