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Thread: Improving my reloading

  1. #1

    Improving my reloading

    I am happy enough with my reloading. I reload mainly hornaday soft point 100gn 243 and Hornaday soft point 30:06 150gn , over H380. I was given an RCBS reloading set up when a pal left the area and have most of the kit, including a tumbler, a case resize lathe thing and all the wee bits and pieces.

    I chose this set up to as near the PPU 100 gn i used to use in my 243, i was happy with the results of this and so saw no point in changing.

    The results from both calibres are good, i use mid weight powder from the speer manual for both, with no experimentation and get about 1 inch groups at 100mtr all the time. 35 gr with the 243 and 55gr with the 30:06. Another friend taught me to reload and this is what we did that day and this is what i have done eversince. However i know there is much more to it than this and just want a bit more advice.

    I dont fully understand the length of round i should be aiming for, based upon the length of the rifle chamber. I know the maximum lengths from the manual, and make every round the same length, as i was tought. Will having this measured and then having the bullet head just touching the rifling make a difference that i will actually notice or make any significant difference. This is just an addition to my hobby, i dont have any desire to be a pro, just another facet to my hobby, like fly tying to an angler and a way of shooting without taking the gun out, i can potter away in my shed, expanding my hobby.


    I am not a target shooter, and am actually reasonably happy with the groups. They certainly work. I am just more interested in learning about relaoding at the next level, what improvements can be made and making it all a bit more scientific. Any advice welcome.


    cheers

    Dave

  2. #2
    Hi Dave
    I start out by varying the charge weight to find the most accurate load using the same seating depth. The next step is to measure the maximum seating depth where the bullet is touching the rifling. There will be numerous threads about how to measure this. Then the seating depth may be varied to find the optimum seating depth for accuracy. Each load may have a different optimal seating depth and charge weight but I generally end up about 10thou off the rifling with normal bullets. Target shooters will often seat bullets touching or jammed into the rifling but for hunting ammo you should have the bullet short of touching the rifling. My Barnes tsx have shot really well at 50 thou off the rifling so I have left it there.

    Hope this helps

    S

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by srvet View Post
    Hi Dave
    I start out by varying the charge weight to find the most accurate load using the same seating depth. The next step is to measure the maximum seating depth where the bullet is touching the rifling. There will be numerous threads about how to measure this. Then the seating depth may be varied to find the optimum seating depth for accuracy. Each load may have a different optimal seating depth and charge weight but I generally end up about 10thou off the rifling with normal bullets. Target shooters will often seat bullets touching or jammed into the rifling but for hunting ammo you should have the bullet short of touching the rifling. My Barnes tsx have shot really well at 50 thou off the rifling so I have left it there.

    Hope this helps

    S
    Good advise that, I love the Barnes ttsx and do not use anything else, mine are about 20 thou off the lands and produce clover leaf groups at 100m could not be happier......

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by diverdave View Post




    I dont fully understand the length of round i should be aiming for, based upon the length of the rifle chamber.


    Dave
    It depends a bit if you single feed or load from the mag. It's all a juggling act really. You may be looking for more velocity, better accuracy, less recoil, better barrel life, cheaper components, better case life, etc.

    If you are getting 1 inch groups consistently and they are doing the job then you won't find some quick fix to get the groups down to half an inch. I find it's usually fairly easy to get groups from 1.5 down to 1 inch but every fraction after that is increasingly more difficult and usually involves spending money. However - Thats the fun in reloading, the perfect load is out there, you just need to find it.

  5. #5
    You have to be a little bit careful about seating depth with a hunting rifle. 10 thou off the lands is not much.
    Chambers are cut to different lengths by different manufacturers.
    You have to measure yours then experiment to find the most accurate OAL for the gun.
    I do it by making up 5 rounds batches each with a different OAL.
    E.G. 0.030", 0.060" 0.090" and 0.120" off the lands
    I then shoot each batch of five rounds to determine the most accurate OAL, and then make batches around that figure and retest.

    E.G. say 0.060" gave the best accuracy. I then make some batches say 0.070", 0.065", 0.060", 0.055" and 0.050" and test them on the range.

    COL Cartridge Overall Length

    http://www.larrywillis.com/OAL.html

  6. #6
    Cheers for the replies folks. I guess where we are with this is that without a lot of time and effort, and perhaps some training my 1 inch groups will not change much. Certainly they are suitable for my needs. I think i will try to find out more about AOL and see if i can slowly improve.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Dave
    If you are loading to a AOL from the book and are happy using them to mag length , you could now lengthen or shorten the rounds by small increments to find a load that suites the powder / length node that your at .
    I think a guy called Brian Litz explains this in articles he has on the net .


    Cheers

  9. #9
    Forget the lands. Outback has it right tho I work it in reverse so that pressures are, in theory, becoming less with each change.

    I am constantly amazed with this fixation on distance from the lands. It is, for the purposes of load development, unnecessary. It is an end point, should you choose to recognize it, not a starting point. All the handwringing about The Distance and money spent on tools to measure it are a waste of time and money. I only worry about this when loading for very specific competition rifles, and never with hunting rifles unless I'm using cast bullets. (which require a different set of reloading dynamics)

    My method: Set to the minimum OAL if listed, otherwise the base of the bullet to the base of the neck. Just eyeball it for the first loading. It's not critical. Loading minimum charge, measure the length, record that measurement. Shoot it. Record results. Seat outward .020" and repeat the process, stopping .020" short of magazine length. At the point where the accuracy is the best, adjust the powder charge if you feel the need.

    No losing sleep. No spending hard earned cash on tools to measure the distance to the lands. Just my hillbilly opinion.~Muir

  10. #10
    My reason for starting at the rifling and moving out is so that I only move the bullet in a single direction to find the 'sweet spot'. My thought was that if I move ever closer towards the rifling without knowing when the ogive will contact the lands the I run greater risk of a sudden unexpected increase in pressure caused by the bullet jamming into the rifling. I would have thought that knowing the oal where the bullet touches the rifling was a fairly basic measurement to make once you move away from the recipes found in the reloading manuals. Just my 2p worth and I bow to those with greater knowledge of these things than I.

    S

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