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Thread: Hornady 0-give variations

  1. #1

    Hornady 0-give variations

    Recently purchased some Hornady 87gr V-max for use in my .243 and some 129gr SST for 6.5x47.

    Set about measuring bullet length from base to o-give (just for interest) before loading and was shocked to find that the 87gr had a variation in length of 15 thou from base to o-give and the 129gr up to 10 thou (although slightly more consistant).

    Then measured some Sierra Gamekings and Nosler Ballistic Tips that I have in the cabinet and found them to be much more consistant (within approx 1 thou of each other). Which is more like what I would expect from these manufacturers.

    Has anybody else experienced such large variations?

    Have looked on the net but all I see is good reports about Hornady bullets and about how accurate they tend to be!

    Just can't see how a bullet can be accurate and consistent with such large variations such as this!

    Any input appreciated.

  2. #2
    have you shot any of them to find out or just measured them?
    stop measuring and get shooting!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    have you shot any of them to find out or just measured them?
    stop measuring and get shooting!
    Yes I have shot some loads and wasn't happy with the results. I would get three bullets together and a couple an inch or so away. Which i'm guessing is to do with the variation in the amount of bullet seated within the case (up to 15 thou difference).

  4. #4
    try batching them on ogive - base length to exclude it
    would be very surprised in a 1"+ pair of flyers was purely down to a 10 thou difference in ogive length.
    Bearing surface and base condition are much more likely to impact group size

    I have used Interlocks in .224, .243 and .277 to good effect

    what else can you tell us about the load and other groups with other ammo?

  5. #5
    Although this may come as a shock to many ....................................... the bullets don't all come from the same forming die if one sees photos of the machines they have a row of dies and in factories like Hornady there is a row of machines. So there is bound to be some variation as in one box of bullets no one can say how many of them came through the same die.

    ​Dies also wear in production.

    I also wonder how may people actually check the true precision in grouping of themselves and their rifle over a period of time and not just accept a few groups as gospel at what they and it do achieve as a matter of course.

  6. #6
    Thought about batching them, but don't feel I should have to with what should be a premium bullet. Especially as Nosler and Sierra are able to make consistant sized bullets! Think I will stick with these brands!

    I expect to get half inch groups from my loads, if not tighter. Which I generally get from Nosler and Sierra when used in my .243, 25-06 and 300 win mag.

  7. #7
    As Brit says above, there are manufacturing variables. I like the Hornady bullets, but I've been caught out twice when part way through loading up a batch, I have opened a new box and found the dimensions were significantly different.



  8. #8
    Appreciated, there are always going to be variables in the mass manufacturing of anything. But I see 15 thou as a massive variable when talking loading ammunition. I try to work within 1 thou tolerence when trimming cases and seating bullets, etc. To me the idea of loading my own ammunition is to make a clone every time of the bullet that my rifle shoots consistantly.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Waterfollow View Post
    Thought about batching them, but don't feel I should have to with what should be a premium bullet.
    Whatever you do don't start weighing cases then!
    you will go mad!

  10. #10
    Some years ago I measured the base to ogive dimension on a few bullets from a new box of .308 155 grn Sierra Match Kings using a Stoney Point gauge. The dimension varied by about 20 thou’ (which surprised me) so I measured all 100 of them. If plotted on a graph the dimension would have had a very distinct ‘double hump’ (bimodal) distribution. The variation within each of the two groups was just 2 or 3 thou but the two groups were separated by over 10 thou. Evidently there were bullets in the box from two different finishing dies (from memory around a 60/40 split).

    I’ve not seen this as a regular thing with Sierra bullets so I assume this ‘mixing’ was just a bit of a cock-up at the factory. I’ve read that Sierra say that all bullets in a batch come from a single die. Even if correctly segregated it still would have meant that the base to ogive dimension could vary between different batches. Hence I suppose the value of standing advice to check any new batch used (where the dimension is considered critical – it isn’t always).

    Berger (for one) say they use a single die per batch & the smaller specialist producers such as JLK, Barts etc certainly use a single die as in some cases they’ve only got one die set anyway. I don’t know if other makers segregate their bullets but as with most things – the cheaper you go the more likely all the production will go into a single bin for boxing hence the situation mentioned by Brithunter.

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