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HOLLiS
04-20-2006, 15:14
I was looking for the thread, I thought one was started for reloading discussion. (if this needs to be moved, please do)

Some time back I bought a Dillion RL100 auto primer filler. I am so impressed I bought another one. I have two 500B one is set for big primers, the other for little primers. So why not two RL100 set the same way.

No more chasing those primers around on the tray. It is interesting to watch the RL100 work. One heck of a design. Once I got it set up right it worked flawlessly.

Gene Econ
04-23-2006, 18:40
I was looking for the thread, I thought one was started for reloading discussion. (if this needs to be moved, please do) Some time back I bought a Dillion RL100 auto primer filler. I am so impressed I bought another one. I have two 500B one is set for big primers, the other for little primers. So why not two RL100 set the same way. No more chasing those primers around on the tray. It is interesting to watch the RL100 work. One heck of a design. Once I got it set up right it worked flawlessly.

Hollis:

I was tempted but you can buy a whole bunch of primers for the price so I bought one of the Frankford hand held electric primer filler. Looks cheap but it works surprisingly well.

I will say this much about primers. The more stuff one has between his hands / eyes and primers when hand loading, the better.

I bought a 550B ten years ago and it never worked particularly well. Primer feeding problems, primer seating problems (wouldn't seat deep enough), and ram alignment problems. I sold it and pulled out my old 450. Not sure why but I can seat primers deep enough with the old 450 and the alignment is perfect. I even trust it to make some short range rifle ammo that will feed in match grade chambers. I have it set up for rifle.

I wanted a decent auto progressive so bought a Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressive. Good ram alignment and extremely easy to change shell holders and primer system from large to small. Same issues with the primer seating as the 550 for rifle. Won't seat deep enough for easy bolt closure. So I have it set up for pistol where it seats primers just fine.

Funny thing is that I use the Dillon powder measure on the Hornady for the pistol and the Hornady measure on my 450 for extruded rifle powders.

Flagship of my various bench mounted presses is a Redding T-7 Turret. Have the turret set for the three cartridges I use in match shooting. Massive press that is exceptionally well made and produces some very consistent ammunition.

Gene

bberkley
04-23-2006, 21:37
I have a 550B with their new casefeeder for loading .40 S&W and 9mm. My press is pretty old, about 15 years or so, and I had to send it back to Dillon for some of their special help in getting the new casefeed platform system to work right.

I'm totally sold on the casefeeder so much that I will probably add a 650 to the bench, and use the 550B for .40 only, as I load two different loads of 9mm for Production and Open in USPSA.

I have one of those Frankford vibrating primer things, and at times, its slick as any of my reloading tools can get, at other times, primers hang (probably the primer brand and not the equipment), turn sideways, upside down.

I don't know that I'm ready for a $250 outlay for the Dillon primer machine, I think I would get a nice digital scale first.

Gene Econ
04-24-2006, 08:48
I don't know that I'm ready for a $250 outlay for the Dillon primer machine, I think I would get a nice digital scale first.

Berkley:

Wish I could come to some conclusions on electronic scales but I just can't. Had a Pact and once it broke and got fixed, it never worked right again. Had to return a Dillon because it refused to hold a zero worth trusting. Got a replacement from Dillon that works just fine. Bought a Lyman electric powder measure and that scale works OK as long as you re-zero it about every three charges.

I believe that the common electric scales are good to plus or minus 1/10th of a grain with consistency. In other words, it may read say 45 1/2 yet it may actually be 45.4 or 45.6. If you get one you can trust, you will learn its little issues pretty quickly.

Some guys say the balance beam scales are more accurate but they depend on your eyes seeing alignment and that can be within +- .1 grains as well. They will change zero just as easily as a electronic scale based on air temperature and any air currents in the room.

Bottom line for me is that both have their problems so I opt for the one that is faster to use -- the electronic one. I just have to be more aware of its changes as I use it.

Gene

Gene

HOLLiS
04-24-2006, 09:18
Gene,

I bought my first 550B about 15 years ago. I do remember that I had a problem with the primer feed. I have been trying to remember just what was wrong. It was either a adjustment or operational error on my part. Once I fixed it, I have had years of great service. Same with the auto primer feed on small primers. I made a poor adjustment and had a 4 % error, in primers being inverted. I corrected that, and it is 100% for the last 600 rounds. I do have a few rounds I load in limited quantities. I will only neck size, hand prime, weight each measure (lyman electronic powder feed) and seat, and then crimp all individually.

My first electronic scale was a Dillion and it went bad. Dillion replaced it at no charge. I like the electronic scale and it pays to have weights to test them. What I think is important is the powder dispenser, that it throws the same charge. Most loads I do today are plinking loads so + - 0.1g is no big thing. When I loaded for bench shooting, I had a balance beam scale. I don't think electronic scales where around in the 70's.

H.

edited to add, I have had real good accuracy with the Dillion on 308's. Clover leafs at 100M. on a stock ruger MkII Bull barrel,

Gene Econ
04-25-2006, 22:10
Hollis:

Guys on PS may want some advice on getting set up with loading gear and etc. It is an exceptional way for guys to learn ballistics and to learn how to weed out the BS from things they can actually see while shooting.

There is little doubt in my mind that handloading has allowed me a much better understanding of such military topics as 'Applications of Fire'. It has been a major part of my personal foundation in understanding military ballistics and military ammunition.

I have been hand loading for over 25 years and I bet you have been doing so for close to 40 years so we overlap to a degree and I bet we have had the same learning curves which at times can be tough.

So how about giving the guys some advice on handloading for rifle and pistol in terms of gear, procedures, and 'what to expect' from their handloaded ammunition.

Gene

HOLLiS
04-26-2006, 09:56
Gene,

Thank you for the compliment. There are others on this forum that I have learned alot from, such as Longrange1947.

I like to tell my shooting buddies, that do not reload, "reloading to shooting is like foreplay to sex". I agree with you it adds deminsion to the sport.

I would first suggest to some who wants to get into reloading is to buy a current reloading manual and maybe go to a used book store and pick up a few older ones from different companies. Buy a book that has good reloading information. A bullet company may have a great discussion on Bullets and construction while a powder company may have a better discussion on powder.


Even if a person decides not to reload, they will havea great base of knowledge. Right now a few cartridges are almost cheaper to buy than to reload for plinking loads.

I first got in to reloading because I wanted to know more about shooting. In the early 70's, reloading offered a cheaper solution to shooting, passing the time (reload rather than watch TV), a more accurate round and better selection in bullet selection.

There are some really nice reloading equipment on the market today and lots of choices... maybe too many. I still buy cheap to shoot military surplus stuff, some of it is really good stuff.. some good for plinking only. As I mentioned in my earlier post I had clover leafs with hand loads then I tried some cheap European 308 Military surplus and the group @100M was about 6 inch.

I reload for about 36 calibers, a number of shotgun guages, plus paper and combustable cartidges and front stuffers. For me the biggest blast...are the front stuffers.

Hopefully more will add to the reloading section. I'll post some pic later of my reloading bench.

bberkley
04-26-2006, 10:26
Hollis,

Do you ever get out and shoot at the local clubs, i.e. CVSC at Dundee or ARPC at Albany?

I've got a shooting friend up in Amity, and his reloading setup isn't pretty to look at, but he uses modified receiver hitches (welds them himself), and has his various presses setup to just swap them out that way. Pretty ingenious setup. His gun safe is huge. Seems an old bank was getting torn down, and he got the safe door and built a concrete bunker around it. :)

I'm in need of getting a good bench built so I can make use of my Rockchucker for sizing glock-fired .40 brass (or have my teenager do it), and start loading .223.

Here is a good view of the corner of my garage where my bench is, and another view with the new casefeeder on the 550. The bench I've looked at for building would be loosely based on the NRMA bench, but be L-shaped and a bit longer so I have a place to mount my bench grinder with a polishing wheel.

HOLLiS
04-26-2006, 12:01
bberkley,

I have shot SASS at Albany, but not recently. I am not a very competative shooter any more. I like shooting for fun.

Your shop looks very good. How do you like the case feeder. I thought of getting one but... it got complicated.

I have a couple of pictures, of my reloading bench and my work table.

Sten
05-04-2006, 10:13
I have started to sell my budget manager on reloading. I need significant help in cost estimating and picking a brand of press to purchase. I like the Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Progressives price, reported load consistency and standard features. But I am open to the facts about any company to help make my decision. Quality seems to be a tie between each company Dillon and Hornady both offering lifetime "no BS" warranties.

My numbers, I figured the components to reload .45 ACP will cost about .13 cents a round, is that a realistic number? Quick math told me that .223 will provide a bigger round savings, but quick math is notoriously inaccurate. I have a bunch of unknowns, for example how many times can .45 brass be reloaded safely how about .223? I have read that buying in bulk will provide big savings, how much is "bulk".

I would like some kind of powder check (no squib or doubles). Is this check a gimmick or is a functional piece of equipment?

Also, if you could list the accessories that you have found indispensable that would be greatly appreciated.

These are my reloading needs:

.45 ACP

.223 win (match grade). After rereading Gene's post, am I to assume that the progressives are not good at rifle ammo loading?

9mm and perhaps .44 magnum down the line.

Thank you!
TJ

HOLLiS
05-04-2006, 10:53
Sten, depends on progressive and rifle load, I have had good luck But I don't load my magmun (338 WM or 300 Ultra Mag) with it. I don't load that much at a time. They are hunting rifles, so I never shoot much with them. 223 should be no problem at all. I think with progressives the problem is learning the machine. Also you can develope a methology that will insure no double charges or squib loads.

Cost depends......... buying 8 lbs of powder is much less than at 1 pound at a time.

Bullets, exotic bullets are costlier than cast lead, or even doing your own (casting) greatly drops the price.

I think the last time I figured 45 Colt for cowboy shooting (reduced loads) was about $2.50 a box, re-using brass. The commercial stuff for cowboy shooting was about $22 a box.

Reloading really pays when you want something special. Also there are sites where you can buy pulled military components at a great price.

BTW Dillon is a very good company and information/help customer service is Excellent. Unfortuantely I have not played with other progressive presses ( do have a progressive shot gun press )

My first suggestion is picking up some reloading manuals and read.. see my above posts. RCBS starter kits has about everything you need. It is a single stage press. Depending on how much you get in to reloading, some of the basic stuff will get replaced.

Case guages are great to have,
electronic scale nice to have but not necessary if you already have a scale.
Case prep tools, especially if your going for high accuracy
neck sizing die, see above, also for cases only use in one Fire arm, if you neck size, the case may not fit into another firearm.
extra crimp die. I use the seating/crimp die to seat only.
I like to have two loading trays around.. with a Dillon, I don't use them.
A reloading record book
Tumbler
Chronometer.......... best way to check loads, though not necessary. Helps to determine load is reaching max along with the physical indicators

I think that is it.......... rest of the stuff is all recommended by reloading books.

H.

I use my single stage press for, Pulling bullets, forming brass (256 win mag, 30 herret, and 6.5 sauer) and very small loads (less than 20 rounds).

Sten
05-04-2006, 12:00
Thank you for that information!

The Reaper
05-04-2006, 15:36
I'm partial to Dillon too.

Have a 550, have eyed the 650 as well.

I have loaded quite a bit of 5.56 on it, pretty sure it will make 7.62 as well.

I have always used a single stage for Match ammo, though the case prep is the majority of the work and accuracy improvement there. You go to one of the big reloading companies and buy the precision tools you need to uniform primer pockets, turn case necks, check bullet seating depth for the specific rifle and check bullet run-out, etc. you can make better ammo than you can buy. Biggest problem with loading match rounds on a progressive is that a lot of the powder measures for the progressives do not meter "stick" powders very well. As long as you are using ball powder for the .223, get a good consistent primer seating and precise bullet seating in the case, I do not see why you could not make match ammo with it.

.45ACP can be reloaded a number of times as long as you are running low power loads. You start hot-rodding them, shooting them in full auto guns, or in sloppy chambers, case life goes way down. 5.56 should be okay for quite a few reloads as well. If you have trimmed them too many times or start seeing problems during case inspections, get new brass. It is much cheaper than a new gun and a glass eye.

Savings should run 25-75%, depending on the load and commercial pricing. Hard to beat Winchester white box price when reloading at home. Very easy to beat .45ACP Match load or Federal Premium prices.

HTH.

TR

Air.177
05-04-2006, 16:25
I'm partial to Dillon as well.

Have a 550, have eyed the 650 as well.

I have loaded quite a bit of 5.56 on it, pretty sure it will make 7.72 as well.


TR


Must be one of those "SF" wildcat Calibers;) :D

The Reaper
05-04-2006, 16:44
Must be one of those "SF" wildcat Calibers;) :D

Sorry, I can't tell you any more, it is classified.

If I could tell you, I'd have to cut your head off and keep it in my safe at night.

TR

Sten
05-04-2006, 17:03
Sorry, I can't tell you any more, it is classified.

If I could tell you, I'd have to cut your head off and keep it in my safe at night.

TR

Just think of all the cool stuff my head could see then.....

Gene Econ
05-04-2006, 22:25
My numbers, I figured the components to reload .45 ACP will cost about .13 cents a round, is that a realistic number? Quick math told me that .223 will provide a bigger round savings, but quick math is notoriously inaccurate. I have a bunch of unknowns, for example how many times can .45 brass be reloaded safely how about .223? I have read that buying in bulk will provide big savings, how much is "bulk".

I would like some kind of powder check (no squib or doubles). Is this check a gimmick or is a functional piece of equipment?

Also, if you could list the accessories that you have found indispensable that would be greatly appreciated.

These are my reloading needs: .45 ACP .223 win (match grade). After rereading Gene's post, am I to assume that the progressives are not good at rifle ammo loading? 9mm and perhaps .44 magnum down the line.
Thank you! TJ

Sten:

I will trust my old Dillon 450 for short range and practice rifle loads only. I haven't found the Dillon 550 or Hornady Auto Progressive capable of seating primers just under the rim with any consistency with rifle brass. With a bolt rifle and Palma Chambers, you really have to get the primer just under the rim or your bolt face will drag on the primer. Haven't found this to be a real issue with gas guns of service chambers due to slop in the chambers and a heavy bolt slamming the cartridge into battery. To a point of course. If that primer is seated too far out of the cartridge the bolt will detonate said primer and that is a sad face if the bolt hasn't gone into battery.

Given the things you are doing with your Fulton carbine, I would buy cases of decent surplus ammo instead of loading 5.56. Unless you intend to shoot the National Match Course or perhaps Three Gun with targets at 300 yards, issued M-193 ball will shoot just fine from your carbine and the difference in price from surplus 193 and handloaded 5.56 is insignificant in terms of time spent. Also, loading 5.56 is a pain due to the small size of the components.

I never -- never -- max load anything I have ever shot. End of statement. I retain ten fingers and both eyes after 25 years of handloading anything from BP cartridge rifles through modern centerfire, double rifles, and modern magnum rifle. Pistol the same way. There is no need to max load anything. Generally, max loads give marginal increases in velocity and significant decreases in accuracy. Pistol or rifle -- doesn't matter. Avoid the top end of any loading manual. It isn't necessary, doesn't give performance, and only stresses the rifle and brass.


I have .45 ACP that has been fired with medium loads so many times I can't count. With straight walled pistol cases of moderate pressures, we shoot them until they crack. Very distinct sound when a cracked case hits concrete or the ground. I won't hesitate to shoot straight walled pistol stuff until the primer falls out when seating or the case cracks when fired.

Centerfire Rifle is another matter. If you shoot it at moderate velocities from a bolt rifle of good quality and chamber, you will shoot it fifteen plus times without a problem. I throw out such brass when the primer seats way too easily. What is 'too easily'? No resistance when seating the primer and the primer falls out of the case if the case is tapped on the rim.

Gas guns don't get the same case life. I refuse to shoot any brass of any type out of my M-14 if it had been shot more than three times. 5.56 I have gotten five or six loads out of then I throw it away out of fear even if it seats primers just fine and shows no signs of headspace separation. I don't trust gas guns worth a damn when it comes to brass wear. Again, I would rather retain my rifles, ten fingers and two eyes, than try to get another load out of a piece of Lake City brass worth about two cents. Oh yes, don't buy any 'surplus' 5.56 brass as most of it was fired out of M-249's. Machineguns will stretch brass due to sloppy headspace. If you decide to save a couple of cents per hundred by buying once fired GI brass, invest in stuck case extractors and do wear ballistic eye protection when shooting. Hollis and I have been there -- it ain't worth it. Buy brand new brass for the rifle.

I check cases for powder loads two ways. First, I use a powder that is ideal for the cartridge and second, I use a load where if one double charges, the powder spills out of the case -- a common occurrance with progressive presses. I also visually check rifle cases after charging to ensure a good case fill -- even when I use a progressive.

If you intend on buying a progressive press, you best intend on using ball powder for pistol and rifle or you will have problems. Winchester makes fine ball powders for pistol and rifle. Excellent powder for pistols -- poor powder for High Power rifle. Great powder for bench rest rifle. Go figure!

Hollis can start out on equipment issues. I don't care what company makes the thing as long as it works. I trust Redding with total confidence. I trust Hornady more than Dillon. RCBS and Lyman are about the same -- I won't buy either. I do buy some Lee gear but I also choose carefully with Lee. Lee makes some awesome loading gear at real cheap prices. They also make awesomely poor gear at cheap prices.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Research things, elimiate money as an issue, and trust yoursefl when making such decisions. You will find the money issue works out just as you envisioned and you get gear you trust.

Gene

HOLLiS
05-04-2006, 22:58
Gene, I with you on company, if it works that is what matters. I think sometimes it is a combination of tool and reloader, how they mate together.

Even though I have not had similar problems with you, I am all ears.......... I believe it may because I have been lucky and I really need to re-evaluate what I am doing. I appreciate your input.

I am a more casual shooter that most, I like to think of it as pactical. My serious reloading days are passe'.

TR gave some really great advice on case prep. I have a bunch of case prep tools, definiately a MUST for "highly' Accurate loads.

Again, I think what is important is Knowledge and biggest knowledge of all, is knowing yourself, what works and what does not work. Equipment is secondary.

on max loads I am 100% with you............ men needing a sense of needing to be well hung, will go max plus............ expensive, hard on the gun, hard on the person, and will make a person a terrible shot in no time.

Peregrino
05-04-2006, 23:12
Jeez - Between Gene and Hollis there isn't much to add. Just stick with the same mindset you would use for (professional) calc & placement of demo and you can't go wrong. (I've got all my fingers/eyes too!) The comment about economies when reloading plinking ammo is absolutely true. Time is money - or rather time has value. Case lots (if somebody else picks up the S&H) are well worth it. My .02 - Peregrino

HOLLiS
05-04-2006, 23:20
Peregrino, yes... also a consideration to reloading, is that on a long boring winter day, it is something to do. Go to town see a movie, have dinner... Reloading gets really cheap in comparison. There are astetic rewards too. I do both I buy cheap surplus and reload. If anything it gives a person options.

Gene Econ
05-05-2006, 08:58
I have a bunch of case prep tools, definiately a MUST for "highly' Accurate loads.

Hollis:

I have gotten by without much case prep. I shoot Lake City at short ranges so I don't have to mess with the brass. For long range shooting I just buy Winchester or Lapua. The Winchester brass I will trim if needed then weigh out lots for long range, size and load. Lapua I check a few for length, visually inspect, and then size and load.

I think the loading dies, chamber, and barrel are more critical to an accurate round than neck turning or reaming of a primer pocket.

Just my experience based on testing things over the years.

Gene

The Reaper
05-05-2006, 09:08
Gene:

Do you shoot benchrest or 1000 yard matches?

TR

Sten
05-05-2006, 09:13
Gentlemen-

Thank you for this wealth of information!

TJ

HOLLiS
05-05-2006, 09:25
Gene,

When I did 1000 M bench rest shooting, case prep was about 80 -90% of the work along with sorting bullets. One thing I found out, I was not ment to be that type of shooter. All the prep work may have been case quality back then was not what it is today. Also today we have much more choices on cases. At 1000M a tiny bit becomes noticable.

I think the thins you mention are about 99% of the battle, case prep maybe the other 1%. From factory loads to hand loads the proper bullet seating depths, consisitant charges, Loads design specifically for the fire arm really adds up to a very accurate load.

My thoughs on accuracy is based on what is needed. How accurate does the load needs to be. For example in high competative 1000M bench shooting requires the most accurate of loads. Plinking the least accurate. I bought some 308 military portugese ammo. groupd at 100M, was all over the place, 6 inch groups. The rifle was a Ruger MKII with a bull barrel w/nothing done special. On hand loads for any of my 308, the ruger shot clover leafs at 100M. The Military surplus was a cheap source for just plinking, dragging out the 1919 and wasting a lot of ammo.

With my 338 Win Mag, as long as I can constantly hit milk jugs at 600M I am satisfied. Which for handloads are no efford to do.

Probably for the new reloader some equipment can wait until they figure out where they are going with reloading. I still do it and recommend re-reading those reloading books within a reasonable period of time. Especially if one had not reloaded in while or just getting started.

Other thing I like to do is watch other reloaders. While something may work very well for them, It may not for me, such as certain types of presses. Over time I have bought a few "lures" (designed to catch the reloaders money and not provide anything if much) Dillon has a case feed for the 550B, I am thinking is it worth it, a lure, or ? My other thought for me reloading is something to do, I enjoy doing and helps passes time during the long dark wet winters in Oregon. I am not a TV person.

Gene Econ
05-05-2006, 20:33
Gene: Do you shoot benchrest or 1000 yard matches?
TR

TR:

Roger. In fact I picked up my High Master in Long Range from some 1000 yard shoots a couple of years ago and maintain this classification today. Was shooting a 6.5/06 at the time. Pre-64 Model 70 Match Rifle. Very good cartridge for that type of thing. Hard on barrels though. I used some Winchester .25/06 brass that I opened up and fire formed for that rifle. Didn't even weigh that stuff. Visual inspection, trimmed to length, carefully loaded the ammo and shot the brass. I may have uniformed the primer pockets using a power driver and a reamer but can't remember. The rifle was exceptionally well made and I was very careful when loading the ammo. Today I shoot a Palma rifle in .308 or my Tubb in 6XC at 1000.

If I were shooting Bench Rest -- I would work the brass like Hollis. Bench Rest and High Power have a different set of standards for winning. Sure, you want to be as precise as possible in both but with High Power your standards are set by target size and not group size. Also, High Power requires a whole bunch of ammo for a day and you don't have time to reload the same ten or twenty pieces of brass between relays.

If I were shooting Lake City at those ranges, you better believe I would trim, turn, and work the primer pockets. I have done this with too many pieces of Lake City brass to remember and although the results were apparent, better results came from using high quality commercial brass without the hassles of turning, and reaming.

Why did I basically stop messing with the brass? Because when using good components I never saw a difference. So I asked a couple of the guys who I shoot with and who have been or are now on the Palma Team what they do. Needless to say, I do what they are doing now. So I stopped messing with all the turning and reaming and focused on shooting. Some do all the other things mentioned and they too are top notch shooters. They swear by brass work and others don't.

Here is something I will do though. If I am in the zone and a round doesn't go to call, I segregate that piece of brass for further inspection. It it goes way out of call, I throw it away. Survival of the fittest in brass terms. At times you can do everything imaginable with a piece of brass and it won't hold so get rid of it without further question.

If one wants to learn every single thing one can do to a piece of brass, read the Zediker book called "Handloading for Competition". I picked up a few things from this guy that make a whole bunch of sense. Other things I take with a grain of salt.

Gene

The Reaper
05-05-2006, 20:40
Gene:

Thanks!

I have BRed an AMU 1000 yard gun, and to get the full potential you had to work the brass.

I tried the Federal Premium and it just would not shoot.

I discovered that bullet shape and weight for the twist are critical, as is the bullet seating depth off of the lands. When I started preparing the brass properly, it got even better.

Turns out that once I found out what the rifle liked and followed all of the steps, if shot like a house on fire. If you get the right load for a particular rifle, and make it consistently, your shooting becomes the weakest link. All of my precision rifles are better shooters than I am.

TR

HOLLiS
05-05-2006, 20:59
your shooting becomes the weakest link. All of my precision rifles are better shooters than I am.

TR

Yes, the real challenge is between the ears. One reason women do real well. 1000M shooting excluding all the work to make a cartridge is mostly mental. Sort of, "Zin and the art of shooting". A lot of guys instinctly will try to muscle trough something.

As for rifles, same here.........


TR.. something commercial loads can not do, make a round specific for your rifle.

HOLLiS
05-05-2006, 21:13
On reloading, I will lightly seat a bullet, place it in the action, and close the action. If it will not close, I will seat it just a bit more, and repeat the process.

What I am doing is developing a dummy cartridge for bullet seating to account for ZERO free bore.

Once I have it a very slight resistence on closing the action w/o a case, I have what I need. One can buy stuff that will do the same, but why?

I keep the dummy cartridges to use as a gauge when I am setting the bullet seater die.

edited to add....... If you are using a box magazine, it may not allow for a cartridge with the bullet set for Zero free bore.. the magazine sets the lenght. A way around that is to single feed the round. Some actions will require the case to be stripped from the mag well, that could create a problem.

The Reaper
05-05-2006, 21:42
Hollis:

Roger all. You can make loads for your unique rifle that are tailored specifically for your chamber, bore, twist, etc.

The first time I loaded precision rifle, I was all worried about the best match primer and weighing the powder charges of the perfect powder to the nearest tenth of a grain. I had been unable to get close to a MOA with the rifle and was getting pretty pissed. I just could not get it to shoot, no matter how closely I weighed the powder.

A buddy who was a benchrest guy advised me to BR prep the cases, to measure the bullet seating depth of the chamber and try seating the bullet at various distances off of the rifling, .00, .05, .10, .15, .20, .25. Frankly, at the time, it looked like BS to me, but since he had the Sinclair Comparator and the other gear, so I did it.

Took my newly prepped and segregated brass, loaded it up and stored in batches by seating depth in the big ammo box. I took it out to the range, fouled it, and started shooting.

The .00 group was under an inch at 100. Not good, but better than I had been getting. .05 went under .75". Nice. .10 was under .5", better yet. .15 put five rounds of 220 gr. Match Kings into one ragged hole, just over .25". I was a believer. At .20, it opened back up to about .35" and at .25, it was up to .50" again.

Now, it turns out that the gunsmith had chambered it as a single shot for the 240 grainers, and with the rounds seated the way they had to be to shoot tight, I could get one round in the mag and one in the chamber, but that rifle turned out to be a shooting machine. The only mistake the 'smith made was assuming that I knew what I was doing. He had done his part.

Long and short of it is attention to detail, and if you are having no success, listen to someone who knows what they are doing.

Come to think of it, that is the answer to a lot of problems in life.

TR

Gene Econ
05-05-2006, 22:41
Gene: I have BRed an AMU 1000 yard gun, and to get the full potential you had to work the brass. I tried the Federal Premium and it just would not shoot. I discovered that bullet shape and weight for the twist are critical, as is the bullet seating depth off of the lands. When I started preparing the brass properly, it got even better. Turns out that once I found out what the rifle liked and followed all of the steps, if shot like a house on fire. If you get the right load for a particular rifle, and make it consistently, your shooting becomes the weakest link. All of my precision rifles are better shooters than I am. TR

TR:

Sounds like the AMU set you up with a 300 Magnum. If so -- and I am not sure that is what they gave you -- you have your hands full. Belted magnum brass is not the most consistent in the world and a fellow really must work that brass to get it to be consistent.

Something I have read from guys who make bullets and I believe in is that bullet length is more important than weight for accuracy. I used to be extremely anal about the weights of the cores I would use to swage jacketed match grade bullets. +- .1 grain was a standard I used for .30 caliber. I have slacked off on that to +- 1 grain with .30 caliber bullets and have not seen a bit of difference in accuracy. Learned that bullet length is more critical than weight. You see, I can swage out bullets of different lengths with the same weight and so I tested some of these bullets and low and behold -- the length was the difference to a point. Then you deal with balance and points of pressure issues. Fortunately for all of us, there are enough high quality bullets available in any caliber to make swaging nothing more than interesting and perhaps educational.

Bullet shape plays its role. I messed with the VLD designs and made VLDs of various shapes. Some were pretty radical in tip design. Never found them any more accurate than standard ogives and the differences in elevation were so minimal I wonder why anyone calls them 'Very Low Drag'. The bearing surface of the bullet is extremely important due to the mechanical advantage that must be obtained in the rifling. A bearing surface must be at least the bore diameter in length but it loses its advantage at two times the bore diameter in length. Normally the longer and heavier bullets have more length to play with in terms of ogive style, bearing surface, and tail, so it is easier to get one of them to shoot well than a shorter bullet -- provided you twist the rifling sufficiently for stability.

I have messed around with cartridge lengths in terms of bullets off, in, or on the rifling and like you I perfer off the rifling or just touching. Much depends on the type of shooting one will do but I don't particularly like hard seating into the rifling unless someone gave me a bunch of VLDs where hard seating is almost required for performance.

You know, I haven't had a High Power rifle design be able to compete against a rifle designed for Bench Rest and vice versa. Two different animals in terms of stock design I believe.

I wouldn't short change myself in terms of man verses rifle. I firmly believe man is far more consistently accurate than any rifle and ammo made. Could well be your marksmanship is superior to your rifle and ammo.

Enough for tonight. Can't give out all the secrets!

Gene

The Reaper
05-05-2006, 22:53
Gene:

Yep, .300 Win Mag.

It has put 10 rounds into 4" at 1000.

Not too bad, Jack Hart made a fine barrel that day.

TR

HOLLiS
05-05-2006, 22:59
There is a formula, Greenleaf??? something like that it establish bullet by length, to match the twist. Sence I don't make bullets and Bullets are sold by weights, I select the bullet by weight and then see which one works. A Hornday 225 grain may work better than a Sirocco 225 grain, I think for many of us, it is trial and error. Sence density and length are closely similar.. it is 6 of 1 half a dozen of the other which is getter.


Gene, you way ahead on me on bullets, I don't swage. I was thinking of buying a .318 die to make bullets for my 88 Commission.

It has always amazed me, how percise a person can get. I watch a guy go through shims, and he could feel the thickness. He would tell me the thickness of the shim pack, then use a caliper. He was 100%.

Gene Econ
05-06-2006, 10:08
Hollis: The first time I loaded precision rifle, I was all worried about the best match primer and weighing the powder charges of the perfect powder to the nearest tenth of a grain. I had been unable to get close to a MOA with the rifle and was getting pretty pissed. I just could not get it to shoot, no matter how closely I weighed the powder....A buddy who was a benchrest guy advised me to BR prep the cases, to measure the bullet seating depth of the chamber and try seating the bullet at various distances off of the rifling,...The .00 group was under an inch at 100. Not good, but better than I had been getting. .05 went under .75". Nice. .10 was under .5", better yet. .15 put five rounds of 220 gr. Match Kings into one ragged hole, just over .25". I was a believer. At .20, it opened back up to about .35" and at .25, it was up to .50" again....Now, it turns out that the gunsmith had chambered it as a single shot for the 240 grainers, and with the rounds seated the way they had to be to shoot tight, I could get one round in the mag and one in the chamber, but that rifle turned out to be a shooting machine. The only mistake the 'smith made was assuming that I knew what I was doing. He had done his part.
TR

TR:

You are describing why I sold my 40XB in 300 WM. Belted magnum brass is a real pain to get consisent. I recall having to buy 400 pieces of Winchester 300 Magnum brass just to get 100 pieces that were reasonably close to each other. Then had to work the brass. Even then some pieces wouldn't chamber well after a shot or two. After four shots with a 1000 yard load the primer pockets would expand to a point where one had to throw away the brass and start all over again. I never really got any performance out of it but am not sure if it was the loads or the effects of recoil and muzzle blast on me.

I have always been of the 'Bigger is Better' sort but learned something about ballistics in the process. In regards this specific incident, I learned that a 6.5/06 firing a 140 grain bullet equaled that 300 WM firing a 190 bullet in terms of exterior ballistics and it gave less than half the recoil in the process. So I switched and never looked back. Shooting needs to be enjoyable IMHO.

If that rifle of yours is twisted for 240's I bet the rifling is 1/9 or 1/8. Real fast for a .30 caliber. Hard on the rifling, particularly with stout loads and 240's. I would be scared to seat those 240's on or in the rifling. A .30 cal that heavy confuses the barrel in terms of it being a bullet or bore obstruction -- he, he, he. You are doing the right thing by seating it off the rifling I believe. Man, that is a heavy bullet.

You have your hands full. Shoot 40 or 60 shots in a day and you will probably have to seat your bullets out a bit to maintain that .015 stand off. It will be noticeable to the eye in terms of overall cartridge length.

Here is one for you and Hollis. A shooting friend of mine and I were squadded together at a 600 yard match last summer. He was shooting a bolt rifle in .260 Remington or .308. Can't remember which one. What I do remember is that he was using virgin brass that he didn't even size down before loading and he didn't weigh out each charge. Just primed it, dumped powder from a measure, and seated the bullet to his standard depth. He shot a 594 of 600 with about 35X. He could have won the match had he at least sized the brass and individually measured the charges but that score is extremely respectable. I think the match winner on that one shot a 599 with 40 or 45X.

Have fun guys!

Gene

HOLLiS
05-06-2006, 10:19
Gene,
Excellent shooting. Only thing popped in to my mind is "No amount of planning can replace dumb luck". I think some of the commercial brass today is much better than it use to be. I loaded them with out full length sizing would excellent results. I noticed one brass company had a note, "Bulk brass needs to be full length sized". I think the may explain it.

Some powder measures are pretty consistant, also type of powder used adds to that consistancy. Did he have his powder measure pre-set?

I use to know a guy who was, and probably still is, a 1000M shooter. He uses, I think 6.5 or 6 mm (243) with excellent results. Interesting part is, he is quadriplegic.

TonyY
05-08-2006, 09:50
It's interesting to read some of the thoughts on Brass. As mentioned you have to consider what rifle and how it is intended to be used. Norma and Lapua produce very consistant brass with a lot of the prep work already built into the price. Win., Fed., and Remington have all gone down the toilet over the past 10 years and only sell in bulk, if at all, which requires a lot more work. The difference is 25 cents vs. up to $2 a piece. If your using a gas gun like an M1A or AR then you have to be crazy to use the best brass. The gas gun is going to tear it up whether it's cheap brass or not and you will probably get the same amount of reloads from each.

Gene I also have a 6.5-06 and I have found that cheap nickel plated 25-06 brass once fired then cleaned, preped and sorted produces the best results for 2 or 3 more loads, then it becomes brass for plinking. And I agree only about 25 - 30% of it will be totally consistant. But unless you are strictly shooting bench rest then it's not as critical for shooting steel out to a 1000.

Has anyone played with Meplat trimming of hollow points. I have heard it will tighten groups when shooting considerable distances?

The Reaper
05-08-2006, 10:17
Has anyone played with Meplat trimming of hollow points. I have heard it will tighten groups when shooting considerable distances?

I tried it a long time ago, but never saw the payoff.

I agree, as ragged as they are, especially in the Match Kings, it looks like turning or trimming them all smoothly would help a lot.

TR

Gene Econ
05-08-2006, 20:32
There is a formula, Greenleaf??? something like that it establish bullet by length, to match the twist. Sence I don't make bullets and Bullets are sold by weights, I select the bullet by weight and then see which one works. A Hornday 225 grain may work better than a Sirocco 225 grain, I think for many of us, it is trial and error. Sence density and length are closely similar.. it is 6 of 1 half a dozen of the other which is getter. Gene, you way ahead on me on bullets, I don't swage. I was thinking of buying a .318 die to make bullets for my 88 Commission. It has always amazed me, how percise a person can get. I watch a guy go through shims, and he could feel the thickness. He would tell me the thickness of the shim pack, then use a caliper. He was 100%.

Hollis and those intrested in trivia of sorts. Here is a decent link for the Greenhill formula. http://www.loadammo.com/Topics/July01.htm

I find this formula to be interesting and quite useful when swaging as I have jackets in different lengths and barrels with different twists. Best to use a jacket as close to the right length as possible of a bunch of time and money is wasted. Oh yes, jackets draw some when swaging. Doesn't have to be dead on the money but close.

My advice to guys who want to swge bullets is -- don't bother. You aren't going to make a bullet any more accurate than a commercial bullet and one will spend a huge amount of time tinkering until he finds the right mixture of core alloy, holding pressures, and other techniques. Dies are extremely expensive and for the odd ball calibers it may be impossible to find jackets. I figure if you want to swage lead bullets (no jackets) it is an easier proposition but you will end up using very soft lead and the bullet may lead the bore as a result.

My .02$.

Gene

HOLLiS
05-08-2006, 22:14
Gene, The Greenhill formula is just a starting point for some, maybe more important to bullet manufacturers than reloaders. Sort of 6 of one, half dozen of another, in selecting bullets. I have never used it, never had a means to impliment it.

The search, for me, was for the right bullet from the right bullet manufacturer. A 180 grainer is not the same from manufacturers to manufactures. I do cast my own, but have not done it in ages. I keep the makings around, just in case bullets get hard to come by.

Probably for the average shooter it does not matter if it is a 180 gr Sierra or a 180 gr Hornaday. Like in tolerances for machining it is + or - some tolerance, same with shooting. The tighter the tolerance the more time intensive and expensive.

gunnerjohn
05-11-2006, 00:10
Hey Gene and Hollis,
I agree with the premise that the Greenhill formula is a good basis to weeding out bullets that will or won't work in a given rifle. I have found this definately true when developing loads for customers rifles that are shipped to me. Most of my customers that I load for are heading overseas to hunt either plains game or dangerous game. Most of the bullets are the higher end.(Barnes, Scirroco, Woodleigh and Norma Oryx) With the Barnes and Scirroco I have found that the extreme length of these bullets will play hell with some rifles. Bullet seating and powder charge have nothing to do with the problem... It is the twist to bullet length ratio that creates the problem. Taking existing good loads out with a new rifle and finding that the bullets dive deep, spin off or go sideways through the target frame causes much frustration. Thanks to these "errors" my test bullet selection is pretty large and allows me to set up developmental test batches to go to the range with. The only time I have issue with excessive range testing on a customer's rifle is when the cost to body damage ratio is too excessive. Remember I mention dangerous game rifles. Big nitro express rifles are neat, beautiful rifles, but the cost of large diameter bullets and lots of powder with excessive recoil makes development interesting. Barnes triple shock bullets have been a dream to the plains hunter. The velocities that one can attain with these bullets with the accuracy make them a great choice for anyone wanting a long range hunting rifle they can rely on. They do like a longer twist barrel because of the length of the all copper bullet. Barnes' new MRX bullet should give the fast twist shooter a chance to use the performance of the triple shock. This bullet will be basically a triple shock bullet with a tungsten core. This allows for the same weight with about 20% shorter OAL.
Barnes is supposed to have their new loading manual out in 2 months and they are addressing the bullet length issue with the greenhill formula involved.

HOLLiS
05-11-2006, 09:18
John, We had a Model 70 in 338 Win. A group that I hunted with bought three. We bedded them and set the three up exactly the same. One would only shoot the 215gr Sirrocco. It was re-bedded and different loads and bullets were tried but it was still 215 Gr only rifle. Eventually I recrowned the rifle, I inset the crown. That seem to fix the problem.

Our goal was sub minute at 100 M and milk jugs at 600M consistantly. I know for a bench shooter a Milk jug would be, "what the heck?". But for hunting that is sufficient, I would think. As was mentioned early depending on the shooting and type of accuracy desired one can address those issue in reloading.

I choose my relaoding operation to the shooting that I am doing. Most is just good old plinking. I am re-thinking how to set up a bettet shooting area on my property. Like you if I want to develope a highly accurate round, I need to drive to Albany (about 45 minutes one way from me).

Maybe you can comment more on developing rounds for a specific firearm. There are some good books like, "The accurate rifle". It may be a little out of date.

H.

gunnerjohn
05-11-2006, 19:43
Hollis,
Funny you should mention the .338. This is one of my favorite hunting rifles. When I purchased the rifle, the main purpose of the gun was to take to Namibia last summer. With one year to get ready it was time to develop the load that I would use there. The rifle is a Remington 700 SS BDL that I have taken the luxury to modify to my needs. A Gentry quiet brake was the first add on. I wanted to have the quickest possible second shot and keeping the magnum down was needed. I ordered a H.S. Precision stock in three color desert with the longer grip and detachable magazine floorplate system. As with all H.S. products the stock and magazine system were top notch. The trigger was typical remington... built for liability policies. I revamped the trigger to a polite crisp hunting trigger. Normally I would have purchased a blued rifle, but the price of this rifle was too good to ignore and I had a solution. I do coatings with KG Guncoat and have the capacity to cook full length barreled actions, so I matched the metal to the pattern on the stock. After putting a Leupold 4.5-14 Longrange VX-III I matched it up with a back-up Leupold 3-9 compact.(You never know what is going to happen on a hunt of a lifetime and backups are needed)
Load development took about 2 months to find the sweet spot load for the rifle. I am a bit biased to Remingtons and have found them very accurate rifles with the stock barrel. These barrels may not cut it for match shooting but hunting accuracy can be achieved. I knew that I would be using the Barnes 225gr Triple Shock bullet for all of my game taking so the 5 shot string loads began. I used mainly federal brass for all the developing loads because I had a customer that shot factory federal premium only and never reloaded. After full length sizing, trimming length where needed, trimming flash holes and uniforming primer pockets, I started pouring powders into cases. Bullet seating of triple shocks generally works between .020" and .050" from the lands and grooves. Some rifles will not allow this due to magazine length so one would have to load to fit the box and deal with it. I headed to the range with 200 rounds of ammunition in 5 shot increments to determine what would work and what would not. You are reading this and asking yourself 200 rounds of 338 magnum...are you nuts. Ask my friends and they will explain my dedication to a project no matter what the pain may be.
At the range the shoot five, clean cool and analyze began. I found that the closer to the lands the bullet was worked better and that the hotter the loads bacame, the better the accuracy was. I finally settled on 2850fps out of the rifle. Oh... every shot of the 200 was shot though a chronograph to see what the consistency of velocity was. The final load was 72 grains of IMR 4350 with a Fed 215 Match primer with the bullet set .015 from the lands. I use the RCBS digital powder measure and scale and completely trust this system. The standard deviation of this load was 2.5 fps so I am happy with the set up. This load would consistently group five shots at .70" ctc at 100 yards and 1.1" at 200 yards. For a magnum hunting rifle shooting Barnes bullets this is great.
When I used the rifle in Namibia on plains game I killed 7 game animals in 7 days at distances from 60 to 360 yards. All of these animals never went more than 4 feet after being shot. I was able to recover a few of the Barnes triple shocks and found that I had 96-97% bullet weight retention with the "X" completely opened.
I hope this is what you were looking for in a load development write up. If you have any questions about working with big magnums and all copper bullets, feel free to ask.
John

HOLLiS
05-12-2006, 23:48
Gunnerjohn,
I think for some folks developing loads can be a lot of fun, for others... too slow of process. (hoping My memory is working) Ken Walters's Favorite Loads, a good book to start out with loads. It is a little old, but still a goody.

One trick I use is to use "magic markers" and put a swipe across the base of the case to identify the load.

For cowboy shooting I use black over the primer for black powder. Same for Black powder shotgun loads.

If I was going to try out four loads, I would use red, blue, black and nothing to denote the four loads. On my reloading log I would mark the color near the notation on the load. It seems to help me keeping things streight.

I use a reloading log to keep note of my loads along with placing a post-it note in the ammo box with the load written on it and date.
it helps if you have different loads in the same caliber. Example;45 colt, I can Blackpowder, and reduced blackpowder, reduce load of cowboy shooting, and a Hot load for hunting.

I have two reloading logs, one for developing loads with more info (I don't use much any more) and a Simple list on a spiral note pad, with date, caliber, powder, powder charge and bullet weight. I use that mostly for plinking loads.

SpartanWrestler
05-25-2006, 20:36
I was wondering if anyone shoots Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clay, etc. and reloaded. I have a Remington 870 Express Magnum (jet black) and I love to shoot 1250 ft/sec at 16yds and 1300 ft/sec 20yds and back (Winchester AA).

The bottom line is: what is the best brand of reloaders that won't mess up my primer or oz. load???...i shoot around a flat (8 boxes) in 1_1/2 weeks. and i dont wanna spend to much but still lock 'n' load when i can.

[i heard reloading is a good time killer :-)]

~Ben~

ps: i'm just after random brands.

Gene Econ
05-25-2006, 21:25
I was wondering if anyone shoots Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clay, etc. and reloaded. I have a Remington 870 Express Magnum (jet black) and I love to shoot 1250 ft/sec at 16yds and 1300 ft/sec 20yds and back (Winchester AA). The bottom line is: what is the best brand of reloaders that won't mess up my primer or oz. load???...i shoot around a flat (8 boxes) in 1_1/2 weeks. and i dont wanna spend to much but still lock 'n' load when i can.
[i heard reloading is a good time killer :-)] Ben~ps: i'm just after random brands.

Ben:

Take a look at 'MEC' for shotgun loading. They are kind of the Dillon of shotgun loading devices and have presses at various costs depending on how much you shoot a month. Based on your ammunition expenditure per week, probably some sort of mid line MEC progressive press.

Yes, reloading is a good time killer. Boring as hell and stupefying most of the time. I must load about two hundred rounds of long range rifle ammo tomorrow and although I have the most automated of systems available to guys today, it will render me unable to remember my own name -- so absolutely boring the whole affair is.

I wish I could program into a system my load desires, press a button, and see a couple hundred rounds loaded in an hour.

BTW -- if you think load development for rifle or pistol is time consuming, try load development for shotgun.

I would rather buy cases of WW-AA or Blue Magic for Trap Shooting than to have to go through load development and load for the same. Ahhhh, the sound of a load of shot spilling onto a hard wood floor!

Gene

HOLLiS
05-25-2006, 21:52
Gene, gave you some good advice. Auto primer feed is a real pls. I have several Shotgun presses. Posseness Warren(SP) is one it is a great press(no auto primer feed), for 20 and 12 guage. I have mec for 410 and 10 guage and a old press for 16 guage.

The dillion are sure nice to read about. I just don't shoot that much shot gun.

TonyY
05-26-2006, 10:43
Ben for shotgun reloading I have an old Pacific 366. I believe it is the pre Hornady 366. All I ever loaded was #8 target loads and I used the same load for trap, skeet, etc. I don't remember how many rds per hour but It was fairly quick. I used to go through about 500 rds per week when I did a lot of shotgun shooting. Today I am more into long range rifle so I don't really bother with shotgun. For as much as I shoot shotgun some of the major sporting goods stores (Dick's, Cabela's, Sport's authority, etc.) have sales on target loads fairly regularly and the price is not too much more than what it costs to reload a box shells.

SpartanWrestler
05-27-2006, 09:31
Thanks!....my brother and I shoot a flat a week (8 boxes one flat) (yep, around 30boxes of AA shell)...hopefully I can save up so I can get a good one:-)

My percision air-rifle couch is a man named Larry Schimdt. Anyone heard the name? He tells me that he went to Germany for pistol and won (pretty hard)...he also (I think) ran the course for machine-gun and then had to take it apart and make it again for speed....yep, he won. Funny thing is that his partner (The man who loads it...helps...idk the title of him....anyways) got injured, so he picked up a different one, and in the hotel they were at, he stuffed a machine gun in his case, carried it to his room, and taught the guy to take it down and up in a night.

Thank Gene:cool:

Gene Econ
06-05-2006, 22:38
Guys who Reload -- particularly for long range with the AR-15 Service Rifle.

Do those of us who don't go overboard with loads a big favor in High Power competition. Keep your 5.56 / .223 Long Range loads under maximum pressures please.

I am getting real tired of alabi strings because some moron thought he could get an extra half grain of powder behind his 77 grain .223 bullet - thus creating the 'blown primer' effect that also causes the 'failure to function' effect, that causes the 'desperate field stripping' effect, and thus causing the 'match being two hours longer than it should be' effect due to the alabi strings.

Not to mention the fact that those of us who are squadded next to said AR-15 shooters who want to overload already heavy loads. Bottom line is that it makes us safe reloaders nervous to see a fellow next door desperately field stripping his AR-15 to remove the blown primers from his "I use an extra grain of powder behind my 80 grain bullet" load.

Makes us nervous as when a rifle blows primers in 60 degree temperatures, something is terribly wrong and another ten degrees of air temp means the same rifle disintegrates when the trigger is pulled, thus causing guys like me who are safe in their loading to become wounded by flying AR-15 pieces.

So if you AR shooters think another half grain of this or that behind your 80 grain bullet will still be safe -- please consider those of us who still covet our eyes, fingers, hands, and faces.


Gene

Peregrino
06-06-2006, 00:19
Gene - Does that mean my HSLD 80 gr. bullets won't go 3300 fps no matter what I do? :D Even if I crunch the powder a little bit? When Billy Bob and Bubba gave me the data they swore their "secret" 80 gr 1000 yd load for the AR could match any 40 gr Blitzking and that it would "shoot like a laser beam" at max range. I'll have to keep my eyes open later in the summer when it gets up around 100 in the shade. Should I change firing positions if the guy next to me pulls his ammo out of a cooler for the August match? :p

Enough giving you a hard time 'cause I do agree with your sentiments. Sounds like you had a bad time this last weekend. I actually sympathize even though we don't have that problem very often at Butner (or at least I don't see it). Are you going to be in town the 14th of June? Peregrino

Gene Econ
06-06-2006, 21:46
Gene - Does that mean my HSLD 80 gr. bullets won't go 3300 fps no matter what I do? :D Even if I crunch the powder a little bit? When Billy Bob and Bubba gave me the data they swore their "secret" 80 gr 1000 yd load for the AR could match any 40 gr Blitzking and that it would "shoot like a laser beam" at max range. I'll have to keep my eyes open later in the summer when it gets up around 100 in the shade. Should I change firing positions if the guy next to me pulls his ammo out of a cooler for the August match? :p Enough giving you a hard time 'cause I do agree with your sentiments. Sounds like you had a bad time this last weekend. I actually sympathize even though we don't have that problem very often at Butner (or at least I don't see it). Are you going to be in town the 14th of June? Peregrino

Peregrino:

I live in Washington State -- about 2500 miles from Butner. Kind of a long ways to drive for a High Power match I figure. :p I retired here for a couple of good reasons. Panama Canal Zone, Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Fort Stewart, Washington DC, Thailand, Haiti. All have one thing in common -- the temperatures average about 80 and the humidity averages about 80. I will only travel east of the Rocky Mountains between 1 October and 1 April. I have spent some July days at Yakima but Yakima is only an hour from the Cascade Mountains where the temperature is once again fit for human existence.

I didn't have a bad time last weekend but the high speed AR shooters did. One reason why I never became interested in the AR-15 for High Power was the continual observation of said shooters blowing primers with their 80 grain bullet loads. They were trying to make an 80 grain VLD in 5.56 competitive with the 6mm or 6.5mm cartridges fired from Match Rifles.

Lord Have Mercy -- I have seen guys dump ammo into coolers of ice when their bullets blew up about 100 yards from the muzzle. Didn't blow primers but they also threw out their brass after firing.

Just hope guys take real care in loading heavy bullets in the .223. It ain't worth blowing a rifle up to win a match. Blowing primers is an indicator and one that I believe many AR shooters don't take seriously enough.

Now I have a few rounds of 5.56 that the AMU had made at Sandia Labs. Dense core big time. It popped holes through 3/8 inch steel made by Mike Gibson (450 Brinnell) at 300 yards like that steel was an aluminum beer can. Pressures were low and I bet that stuff would shoot at 1000 yards.

Gene

HOLLiS
06-06-2006, 23:21
Gene I am some what South of you. Hopefully it would be nice to get together.

I think some of the issue has to do with "Bravado", "heck I am a real man, I can handle a shoulder cannon. I will load at max plus 20%".


Never understood that frame of thinking. It ruins brass and messes up the firearm. Max load is not always better. One of my favorite books to start a load with is Ken Water's "Pet Loads". It is a oldie and a goodie.

TonyY
06-09-2006, 13:05
I never understood why people think velocity is the key. The only thing it's required for is a parameter into a ballistic calculation. A 6.5mm 142 MK traveling 2600 - 2800 fps will reach a 1000 with accuracy the same as if it were going at 3000+ fps. If wind is going to affect the slower moving bullet than it is going to do the same with a faster moving one. Both the slow and the fast will still be going 1000+ fps when they get down range. Slow will save the barrel and at $500 - 650 a pop for a new one i'll take a slower rebarrel rate. The guys shooting a 6.5-284 seem to rebarrel at around 1800-2000 rounds. My 6.5-06 going at 2700 fps will need a new barrel at around 5000+. All bullets of the same weight with a BC of .45 - .55 should still be at a 1000+ fps at a 1000yds when leaving the muzzle in the 2700 fps range.

I was at a match a couple of weeks back in WV where winds were steady at about 30mph with gusts to 45. I don't care how fast your bullet is traveling if you are engaging targets past 700yds in those winds than it's simply a matter of luck. The hold for my 6.5-06 142mk was left or right edge of the reticle and I think some guys were dialing 18-20 moa instead of holding. Oh what fun.

Gene Econ
06-30-2006, 18:57
Hollis and guys:

Am doing my yearly bulk purchases of reloading components. Man, sticker shock on a drop shipment from Sierra. Their prices have gone up three times this year and this last time it is almost a ten percent increase.

No wonder the shooting sports are dying. No way a youth can get involved in competitive shooting unless his parents are pretty well off or he gets sponsored.

Re-thinking my aversion towards the 5.56 but honestly, the prices of 5.56 bullets aren't that much cheaper than 6 or 6.5's.

Gene

HOLLiS
06-30-2006, 19:45
Hollis and guys:

Am doing my yearly bulk purchases of reloading components. Man, sticker shock on a drop shipment from Sierra. Their prices have gone up three times this year and this last time it is almost a ten percent increase.

No wonder the shooting sports are dying. No way a youth can get involved in competitive shooting unless his parents are pretty well off or he gets sponsored.

Re-thinking my aversion towards the 5.56 but honestly, the prices of 5.56 bullets aren't that much cheaper than 6 or 6.5's.

Gene


Gene, no kidding, I buy in bulk, best prices, but they last a while.

Next time I buy..............Egads the price. There are some companies that sell pulled military components.

This is one company:

http://www.iidbs.com/hitech

Pays more than now to shop around.

H.

mugwump
07-01-2006, 08:40
I'm hoping finished ammo and component prices will come down as commodities back off from their highs. Copper, zinc, lead, etc. were all unreasonably high as speculators did their thing recently.

Even Wolf 5.56 is through the roof.

The Reaper
07-01-2006, 15:24
I'm hoping finished ammo and component prices will come down as commodities back off from their highs. Copper, zinc, lead, etc. were all unreasonably high as speculators did their thing recently.

Even Wolf 5.56 is through the roof.

Exactly.

Manufacturers raised their prices because of the metals, and already loaded ammo, including surplus has gotten to be in very short supply.

Shipping heavy components and loaded ammo costs much more with oil at $74 a barrel as well. Do not neglect to figure that the cost to mine and smelt is affected by fuel cost increases as well.

I don't put Wolf in guns I plan to keep and rely on.

TR

mugwump
07-03-2006, 10:17
I don't put Wolf in guns I plan to keep and rely on.

TR

Message received and heeded - I plan on keeping the rifles I now have.

Last week I put about 300 rounds of the brass Serbian Wolf M193 through the new POF upper without a problem, but I gave a mag-full to a kid next to me and he had to manually cycle the action for every shot. He said his rifle was clean and lubed -- I don't grok the system well enough to even guess what was going on. He had no problems with the steel-cased Wolf he'd been using that day, so it's a puzzle. There was no real discernible difference in the POI of the two Wolf rounds at 200 yards.

Edit: Sorry for the hijack

HOLLiS
03-15-2007, 10:31
Gene asked me to write something on the benefits of using pulled military components.

I think probably the best way to approach the issue is to express some thoughts. For me any shooting is better than no shooting, I just enjoy it. There are different types and style of shooting. Using pulled components fall into my shooting for the fun of it category. For long range, varminting, and serious stuff I use commercial components.

Using pulled components is less expensive, .308 is around $6.50 per 100. The other aspect of reloading is not just the financial consideration, but giving a person something to do. I prefer reloading over any "honey dos". I don't do precision shooting much anymore, that would mean doing more Honey Dos than reloading.

Also every so often I like to do a "mad moment", just going out blasting away.

As Gene mentioned a loaded round is getting up there in cost, for that mad moment and general plinking, pulled military component works.

The loads for my .338 Win Mag and 300 Rem Ultra mag are about $1.50 a round, I don't shoot much. They are for hunting. Biggest cost is bullets. I would never Plink with those rifle.

I would say, pulled components would not be the choice for shooting that requires precision.

The other thought, is that people mention Wolf ammo for a lesser expensive alternative. IMHO, my reloads, using pulled Military components are more healthier for my firearms.

HOLLiS
03-15-2007, 17:16
Gene, I got back from the range and took a closer look at the pulled bullets. They were re-sized and polished. Actually look good. They were 147gr FMJBTs.

I was getting about a minute and half group. I was using a A10 FT, Burris fullfield scope, and the round was not loaded for any rifle in particular. I have a ruger MkII , that clover leafs with hand loads, I probably should have used it instead.

Some surplus ammo is really good some not. CMP has some Greek 30-06 that a number of CMP shooters spoke very highly of. I tried it in my Pattern 17 and was very pleased. I had some .308 surplus (I think Portuguese) that was about 5 minutes. I shot it in my MkII and thought, at first, something went wrong with my rifle.

A friend tried some of the 55gr in his AR and some Hornady (I believe) 53 Grain. The Hornady was slightly better.


H.

Gene Econ
03-15-2007, 22:10
Hollis:

Roger but I wanted you to comment on the use of surplus powders. Basically the fact that they may be called the same as a commercial powder but that doesn't mean they are the same.

I had about 16 pounds of a surplus "30-06" ball powder at one time. The company provided a sheet with reloading data that they had developed. It looked strange because almost every load was filling the entire cartridge case. I finally figured out it was something akin to a Hodgdon ball powder whose name I can't remember-- but only for one specific load. This load was for the 150 grain ball round. The load was identical to the same load of that commercial Hodgdon powder with the same velocities.

That is where any similarity ended. The load data with the powder became very different when bullet weights were changed. It was a lousy powder for the 30-06 and I believe it was way too slow. However I didn't dare try it in a larger cartridge out of pure fear. I dumped about twelve pounds of it.

A friend of mine gave me about 35 pounds of surplus IMR 4895 recently. It is absolutely not the same as commercial IMR 4895. It is even faster than H-4895from what I have gathered. I can still use it to decent effect so I won't dump it but it just shows guys that the surplus powder you buy probably isn't like any commercial powder you buy either.

My belief is that cannister powders were intended for one bullet, fired from one specific type of cartridge, at one specific velocity, using one specific primer to set it all off. Deviating from that very specific set of components will create a far different effect than can be extrapolated from knowledge gained from shooting commercial powders.

So I tell guys to be very careful when messing with surplus powders.

Gene

The Reaper
03-15-2007, 22:27
I would add that powder is one of the worst aging components of the loaded round.

If it was pulled-down powder, subjected to God only knows what vintage and conditions, I would not use it.

Guns are too expensive to ruin with dangerous powder, even if no one gets hurt.

You crank off a load that exceeds the operating parameters of the weapon, it is damaging it further with every round. Eventually, something will fail, and your hands and face may be in the way.

Cheap copper-jacketed bullets (as long as they are the proper weight and dimensions) are okay.:D

Just my .02, YMMV.

TR

HOLLiS
03-15-2007, 23:30
The Reaper and Gene, thank you. A friend and I was going to get about 16 pounds each. He is a 70, ex-Army and a long time re-loader and competitive shooter. I'll pass the information along.

I have used the bullets but not the powder yet.

Again thank you, I will check out the powder and see. I already posted the link to Hi-Tech ammunition. I agree saving $50 and loosing a firearm or a body part is not worth it. If I hear more, I will keep you apprised. I still have a fair amount of commercial powder on hand, one reason I never bought any pull down powder. I use to have a FFL and built up a large supply over time.

Gene Econ
03-16-2007, 20:44
The Reaper and Gene, thank you. A friend and I was going to get about 16 pounds each. He is a 70, ex-Army and a long time re-loader and competitive shooter. I'll pass the information along. I have used the bullets but not the powder yet. Again thank you, I will check out the powder and see. I already posted the link to Hi-Tech ammunition. I agree saving $50 and loosing a firearm or a body part is not worth it. If I hear more, I will keep you apprised. I still have a fair amount of commercial powder on hand, one reason I never bought any pull down powder. I use to have a FFL and built up a large supply over time.

Hollis and TR:

I won't shoot 'pull down' powder. The powders I described were surplus and never saw the inside of a cartridge case before I loaded the same. I am sure the ones you buy are truely surplus as well.

I don't see anything wrong with reloading using surplus US powders. I would just follow the reloading data that will accompany the powder and would not exceed what the data states as a charge. I woujldn't make assumptions about the powder as I would a commercial powder. Something about the military stuff just doesn't extrapolate logically.

Pulled bullets can be put into a swaging die to even them out a bit. Basically a tip forming die that will expand the bullet back to the right diameter and tune up the tip. Expensive die to get and you need an adjustable hydraulic press to get any consistency. I almost bought such a die because I had several thousand 149 grain M-80 bullets I pulled over the years. The die will give you a better bullet than the original but by no means anything like a match grade bullet so I gave the bullets to a freind who blasted them away. I would not hesitate to blast with pulled bullets provided they had been put through such a die.

Gene

HOLLiS
03-16-2007, 21:43
Gene,

One of the neat aspect of where I live is that I can just step outside and fire a few rounds. I can chronograph them and inspect the cases. I tend to load middle weight loads.

I need to email that company and find out the source of the powder. I let you know what they say.

Hollis.