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Old January 19, 2012, 02:14 PM   #1
Join Date: January 14, 2010
Location: Brownsville, KY
Posts: 57
Handloading 6.5x284

Ive been reloading a couple of years now using mostly rcbs equipment, including the rock chucker press, powder measure & scales, trim mate case prep center, etc etc. Everything I have loaded to this point (30-06, .270 win & 220 swift) have not required special attention for LONG range/competition shooting, however I do take time to try and make everything nice and uniform to the best of my ability.

Sometime within the next week or two I plan to order a rifle chambered in 6.5x284, which I plan to use for deer hunting as well as long range (1,000+ yrds for FUN not competition). The reason for this is neither here nor there but in a nutshell, I need a deer rifle and have ALWAYS wanted to get in to long range bech shooting but can't afford 2 separate rifles so I'm going to kill two birds with one stone and get the 6.5x284.

My question is this, although I will NOT be shooting in competitions, I still like to take a little pride in the things I invest alot of time in, so that being said, will it be necessary to purchase things like automatic powder dispensers, a special type of loading and sizing die, special primers, etc etc in order to achieve "competition-like" quality? If so, any ideas on what is best or most popular to use in these scenarios would be appreciated.
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Old January 19, 2012, 02:41 PM   #2
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,656
Take a look at the equipment basics sticky at the top of this forum. You always need the right sizing and seating dies to fit your chambering. There's no escaping that. But if by "special" you meant separate competition seaters and neck sizers and whatnot, then the answer is no, you don't have to have those until you already have the gun shooting pretty well. It is not uncommon to get down around 1/2 moa without any of that stuff, and for most long range competitions that is competitive.

Middlenton Thompkins told us at a long range school that he didn't even bother with sight adjustments finer than 1/2 moa for 1000 yard shooting. The reason is 1/4 moa wind changes often don't last long enough to get to the sight adjustments and back on the gun before they're gone. He just learned to hold off by a quarter moa for those to save the time needed for the adjustment.

Once you get to 1/2 moa, then that special gear helps fine tune, but you will then be playing a game of diminishing returns. Each additional fraction of an moa improvement will be geometrically more expensive to achieve than the previous one was.

Take a look at Dan Newberry's site for an approach to identifying accuracy loads. He eschews all the special tools and still gets good groups.
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