Kind of curious whether you guys shooting "extreme" long range go about more-particular reloading routines or not..? Is neck-turning, bushing-dies, competition seaters, annealed brass, etc etc ALL mandatory for stretching it out to 1500, 2000, 3000 yards ?
I've watched a number of the clips and home videos on 2000+ shooting, but haven't caught any mention of particular routines for loads that are being used* (I myself am merely "working-on" my own set-ups to get past 1000) Obviously what we do on the bench with our presses is going to have bearing on limits down-range..
So what's a must ? What can you get away without ? What are (you-guys) doing on your bench to shoot 1/2 minute at 1500 or 2000 yards ??
I haven't made it to 1500+ but! I have shot several sub MOA groups inside that. I anneal every firing (because I have an annealing machine for f class), bump the shoulders back about 0.002, tumble to remove sizing lube, brush necks, and load. I seat using a Wilson micrometer seater. I found it was easier and produced more concentric ammo for me. I also sort my 338 bullets by bearing surface. It just makes it easier to load a group of rounds to a specific dimension. I would suggest when you get a load close, try 0.1 gr powder either side of your load. Also vary seating depth in and out 0.005 and see if you are getting everything the rifle is capable of delivering. Hope this helps. My edge went from roughly 1/2 MOA to closer to 1/4-1/3 MOA after using the above procedure. My current die is a redding FL. I will use a whidden FL bushing die with same amount of neck tension on my new rifle.
Last edited by canderson; 01-11-2014 at 10:43 PM.
Reason: Forgot something
Very best groups I've shot have been .67 @ 200.. same loads inside of 2" @ 400. But, started seeing flyers mixed in (positive it's due to neck tension) I just recently started annealing now to try eliminate (or at least minimize) that tension issue. I went with Bench source, figured it pay in brass-life if nothing else, but hoping for the best in regard to solving that problem* The necks harden badly after just one or two shots. Loads seem otherwise pretty damn good to try much farther.. can get to roughly 1200 here, just haven't chiseled the rest down to test "there" quite yet.. but that's where I'm shootin' to be before the smoke clears
I have been thinking about sending Whidden some fired brass so they could do a custom set of sizer & seating dies.. BUT did have my chamber cut specifically (+/- based on machine tolerances) to brass sized out of my current dies, in attempt to mirror what I'd be able to size it to thru there.. so am unsure custom dies would really even make sense* Aside from possibly a seater. So not sure what the best idea is from here. Not sure even custom dies would be worth it considering the custom cut chamber-to-my-die scenario.. I figured that-itself should be saving a guy some trouble with sizing variation
I know my loads are close. But am very curious what others do. Especially in this ELR game... I'd like some routines & methods to compare my own to to see how far off (or how close) my own prepping might be, vs the guys that already perfected what theirs do at such ranges
Also being a competition/target shooter, i didn't radically change my reloading equipment, process, and components when extending range to +1000 yards. Over time I evolved to using competition dyes, seaters, annealing, same lot/high quality components,etc. I must admit that i have not always found that going to these extremes has provided any better results over less sophisticated selections. For ELR, I did find myself paying a lot more attention to measuring and controlling the variables that effect accuracy at long range that may not be as much of a factor at shorter distances. In particular, the area I focus on, given I have a load that gives me consistent .5MOA or better groups, is velocity/ES consistency. I'll use whatever components, reloading tools, and techniques(many routinely described on this site) that to accurately measure and tighten this up in order to provide me a high degree of consistency. iMO
"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready"-T. Roosevelt
I forgot to mention I do not use an expander ball in my dies. I turn my brass in comp rifle (1000 and closer) but, I do not turn brass in my edge. I cannot tell much difference in accuracy even thought two different calibers.
I don't sort my bullets but I do get very critical on neck tension. IMHO neck tension and brass prep and the consistency in prepping it are some of the most important things that can be done to help accuracy at LR and ELR.