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Thread: Re-seating bullets in old ammunition

  1. #1

    Re-seating bullets in old ammunition

    Had a box of old .270 Norma 150 grn ammunition, it's probably 20 years old, left that I picked up cheap ( got two boxes back then) when the Lewis Gun Room closed up. Tried it in several rifles and accuracy was usable but not stellar with groups hovering just under 2" so it got put aside and had 12 rounds left in this one box.

    The other day I needed whilst sorting out the cabinet I spotted it again and started thinking about it. So as I was doing a spot of reloading I took the box out with me and pulled the bullets forwards in the case slightly uing the Kinetic hammer then re-seated them to about the same depth as original. This was easy to see as the 150 Grn Norma bullet has a cannulure.

    Well what do you know the following day the Karl Kaps 6x42 scope showed up on the doorstep in the post so it was duely mounted on the BSA Majestic that arrived a few of months back and as I needed some ammuinition to try out the scope I took the Norma as it would give a chance to see if breaking the old seal and re-seating the bullet had any noticable diffference. Shooting was done prone using a Bi-Pod at 65 paces, a nice dry slightly raised spot to lay on decided the distance , the scope was adjusted to the reading taken with the old scope using the colimeter.

    The first two shots were touching but 0.9" to the right and 0.3" low. Adjustment to the left was made and #3 fired. Hmmm too far by 1/4" elevation was adjusted next and #4 fired. This landed about 1" high and to the same windage as #3 so another 2 shots were fired with no changes to adjustemnts and the three shots make a group of 1/2" x1/4". I think that will do quite nicely.

    Now the question is did just re-seating the bullets make such a difference? or does this rifle just like the Norma?..................... To find out I will have to fire three of the remaining rounds through a rifle that disliked it before and see how the groups now.

    Meanwhile I tweaked the windage adjustment 2 clicks right which in theory should put it about spot on for windage but of course will ahve to shoot to check this .

  2. #2
    Hello Brithunter - what a pity you only had 12 rounds left. The mystery might never be solved. Was it the powder ? Was it the bullet ? Is it that the barrel is a 'tolerant' one or is it that the bullet seating depth was spot-on for your chamber ?

    The more I read on these threads - a lot of it contributed by you, the more quirks towards gaining optimum grouping emerge. I hope you find the answer, but even if you obtain a batch of Norma bullets of the same weight to reload, will the jackets and core still be of the same hardness ?
    I have had a report that a previously unopened box of Speer roundnose in .243 which were mustard for excellent mushrooming twenty years ago, (same batch number), were now pencilling straight through hinds, so it's possible that some changes might have taken place in your ammo.

    Good luck in your research.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  3. #3
    Well I will try a 3 round group with another rifle, one that didn't like them before, and see how it goes. The Majestic used in this trial has shown that is has potential in the limited testing with it. This is the one I spent 2 1/2 days cleaning the years of accumulated jacket fouling out of the bore. After paying 75 for it I had allowed that I might have had to get a new barrel it did look a bit worn. Seems most of it was fouling build up.

    At the moment I only have 140 Grn bullets for handloading in 270 so perhaps it might be as well to get some 150 Grn to try.

    Hmmm I might try re-seating a box of the Federal Fushion ammunition and see if it makes any difference as I have 100 of them at the moment so can do a direct comparison. The other factory ammuniiton I tried with poor grouping was some Speer Nitrex with 150 Grn Grand Slam bullets. grouping was very poor in all the rifles I tried it in, I am using the nickel cases for the other Majestic Featherweight, I now wonder if re-seating might have given some improvement?

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