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Old April 8, 2011, 11:38 AM   #26
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As snuffy and others have alluded to, the mere fact that you are reloading at all will start to imporve the accuracy of whatever loads you use. Before I started reloading, I could only afford to shoot maybe a couple boxes of factory ammo each year in a couple hunting rifles. I was like a lot of folks who might go out 3-4 times a year and shoot 5 rounds each time and then an additional 10 rounds or so a week before deer or elk season started. I would shoot a .22 rifle or my single shot .223 quite a bit more hoping it would translate over to better shooting skills with the big game rifles.

When I started reloading for rifles, I was quick to try to go out and find the most accurate load possible for each rifle. After a bit though, I realized that the weak link in the chain was me! So, for quite awhile I just concentrated on loading up some "reasonably" accurate rounds and shooting a lot of them. Instead of shooting 30 rounds per year out of a couple rifles each, I could go out and shoot 50-60 rounds each WEEK out of 4-5 different rifles, getting 200-300 rounds shot each week. Shooting a .22 or .223 is great practice, but nothing is quite like the individual scope and individual trigger and stock of a given rifle.

After quite awhile, my shooting skills got to the point to where I could actually see some consistent difference between parameters that I was testing.
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Old April 8, 2011, 12:00 PM   #27
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Assuming you are using a published recipe / with the correct components ...and decent components...

The #1 thing is consistency of your practices and procedures at the loading bench ( that means keeping the press clean, lubed and tuned up ) ...and operating it the same way, every time ...

65% - 80% of the expense in a box of cartridges the amount of money you pay for bullets. So having a good high quality bullet / to shoot your best the #2 thing ...(and consistency of the bullets in terms of shape, weight, etc is very important) so using a true jacketed bullet vs a plated bullet is a pretty big deal.
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Old April 8, 2011, 04:31 PM   #28
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Precision Shooting put out a guide for reloading for competition.You might try to find one.From memory,imperfect..
The author suggests "pretty good ammo".At some point,shooting more is better than spending more time at the bench.
As I recall,a good chamfer,so your bullets stay perfect,running a brush through the necks,for clean,uniform neck tension,and deburring flash holes(no hanging chads)
They also describe using an O-ring under your die lock ring as an aid to concentricity,which helps.
That will help,at the bench.
Then,from the good bullets,the three or four powders the winners use,you have to find what your rifle likes.It might be a different weight,or ogive to starty into the rifling,or seating depth.
Then,of course,the biggest factor for most of us,becoming a better shot
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Old April 8, 2011, 04:47 PM   #29
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Good bullets.
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Old April 8, 2011, 10:30 PM   #30
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1) good bullets
2) no expander ball
3) chamfer inside of neck
4) seat long to jam into the lands
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Old April 9, 2011, 01:01 AM   #31
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Nothing is more important than consistency between reloading and shooting.

If something isn't working for accuracy, then make a change.

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Old April 9, 2011, 08:31 AM   #32
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Based on the posts that I've read cosistency is the order of the day. Develop a routine and if it works stay with it. Don't change anything.
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Old April 9, 2011, 10:03 AM   #33
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There is no single one thing. Read all of the above, they are all correct.

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Old April 9, 2011, 05:21 PM   #34
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Like Jim, the one single thing I can say has improved the accuracy of my shooting is the knowlege that there is no one single thing; accuracy is improved by the application of many different techniques and tools that each add an increment to the total of accuracy. Also, that the quality of the ammo is only one aspect of the game--and not necessarily the most important...........the quality of the shooter's skill and the quality firearm come before that...................
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:43 PM   #35
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Kel Tec PF-9 Review
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Old April 9, 2011, 08:53 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Saltydog235
Powder charge consistancy, type of powder then choice of bullet and seating depth.
This, without question after you have done this:

Originally Posted by mapsjanhere
optimized custom powder charge for the gun in question
Definitely those two.

Overall consistency in every detail is critical no matter what, though. What geetarman is saying is exactly that: Consistency.

That applies to shooting, too. Every detail consistent and repeatedly identical every step of the way.

Did I mention consistency? Anyone else mention it?!

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Old April 9, 2011, 09:20 PM   #37
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I was going to say "meticulousness"..... but I think "care" might be the word I am looking for. I am reminded of Jeff Cooper's thoughts on professional vs. amatuer .... Something to the effect that the pro is satisfied with "good enough", as he does it for money. The passionate amatuer will work at until he gets it perfect.

Winchester or Remington or Blount (or whoever it is that owns Speer now) is responsible to their stockholders: their #1 concern is to make ammo that is

a) safe and reliable as to not cost them in lawsuits and damage to the brand name

b) "good enough" to keep folks interested in "good enough" ammo buying it

c) doing a & b as inexpensively as possible.

The fact that powder "A" is more expensive than powder "B" matters more than whether it is better suited to your particular application...... You, on the othe rhand, can do a little experimentation with YOUR rifle and several powders and bullets...... custom ammo can be as good as you want to make it, as opposed to as good as they figure the mass market will bear.

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Old April 9, 2011, 10:09 PM   #38
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Aside from quality components I think optimal bullet seating depth may yield the greatest improvement. In most cases I mean into the lands (contact).
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Old April 9, 2011, 10:47 PM   #39
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Case quality, case prep, powder charge consistency, bullet weight consistency, ballistic coefficient, case overall length. If you want one single thing that makes my reloads more accurate, it's the patience of the person putting all of the above together consistently.
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Old April 10, 2011, 01:52 AM   #40
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given a good gun

The bullet.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old April 10, 2011, 01:57 AM   #41
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Reloading to a large consent is consistency and trying to be exact and consistent as humanly possible is my goal. What gives me my accuracy IMO is bullet and powder combination.
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Old April 10, 2011, 02:20 AM   #42
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more blather for those in no hurry

When I start serious load development I've first ensured I have an accurate launch platform.
I pick a bullet intended to meet the specific impact need.
I pick a middle-of-the-pack charge weight of an in-the-middle-burn-rate powder.
I use new sized cases and normally, CCI primers.
I make ten test ten (I don't have far to go to my range -- about ten strides).
I put the ten on target, 'chasing' the first hole while function-testing.
I have enough experience to recognize from those first ten what to do next.

If function is correct and accuracy is NOT awful I explore varied OAL or charge weight or crimp.
I may test a different powder based on chronograph results, and again may vary OAL or charge weight or crimp.

If in those first ten shots I observe poor accuracy I choose a different bullet that can still meet my impact performance goal.
Then I start over......
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old April 10, 2011, 10:48 AM   #43
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This is a great question with some very interesting feed back, assume you have all the right processes in place, and your rifle twist is compatiable with bullets being used. How does idea pressure fall into this?
What I have found most of the time (and I say MOST of the time) is that when I find an accutate load it falls into a pressure zone example (my 25-06
Pro hunter will shoot a 120 gr Horn HP and a 115 gr Nosler BT right at 3/4 " it also shoots 100 gr sierra about the same maybe a touch better all 3 are est. at 59,000 to 60,000 PSI). My sons 25-06 is the same but a lighter load, my 7mm-08 ( 120gr to 150 gr) is the same with various comb. but all seem to be accurate at a given pressure, as is my 22-250.(50gr,52gr,53gr,55gr.)
I'am interested in your feed back as I would like to know if my findings hold any merit.
Groundhog I'am not sure there is any one thing that gives us the best accuracy I feel its a comb. of several things.
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Old April 10, 2011, 12:01 PM   #44
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I feel that Powder charge consistancy and Quality Bullets are most important
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