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Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

 
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  #1  
Old 10-11-2013, 03:39 PM
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

Below is the first handloads out of my new Cooper. The small group in the center was fired first from a cold clean barrel. Do you think the load got worse as it was increased or the rifle just doesn't like to be shot warm. Temperatures were in the high 50's. I didn't allow the barrel to get hot but it was warm during the last two groups. I guess the only way to be sure is to shoot the same loads again but this time in reverse order. Regardless, if the load is that sensitive I probably should abandon it.

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Old 10-11-2013, 04:02 PM
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Re: Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

That's a really big difference. Too much for powder alone.
I would definitely try it again
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:04 PM
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Re: Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecr View Post
That's a really big difference. Too much for powder alone.
I would definitely try it again
+1, I agree. Are these your first handloads through the rifle or your first significant shooting of the rifle? I ask, because I had a similar issue in the past. The problem turned out to be, well, me. I have found that each new rifle has a bit of nuance in how it likes to be shot. Anymore, I'll load and shoot a box or two of a random load just to get a feel for what is most consistent on terms of form/set-up/trigger pull. Then, when I go to ladder test powder weights, I'll shoot 3 or 4 groups first just to get settled in. That has proven to be a good system for me.

Please note that I am in no way trying to be offensive or cast doubt on your ability. Just sharing my experience in case it helps you. I hate the randomness of these forums as I am certainly not looking to insult someone who just took third place at Camp Perry...

Ps I am a big Cooper fan and have several that shoot really well. I hope you enjoy yours!
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:44 PM
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Re: Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

I'm not insulted at all. I appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice. However, I didn't do anything differently while firing the first three rounds than I did the last three.

The same thing happened last week while shooting the very first rounds out of this rifle. A random handload, shot very well. The next group, Remington factory rounds, was terrible. Although this could very well be the difference in loads. Maybe not. Maybe the gun is only going to shoot well cold or maybe it likes a really clean barrel. Maybe it just need to get broke-in. I guess it's too soon to tell?

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Old 10-11-2013, 06:01 PM
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Re: Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

There are no shortage of opinions on either side of the fence as to whether or not break-in is a necessary procedure or not. In my opinion, there's truly no way to tell because every single barrel and bullet is different. I, for one, do it because I don't believe it hurts the barrel and I've been very pleased over the past 10+ years with all of my rifles and the results of my loads.

I don't know anything about Cooper rifles or their barrels. I believe you should put 20-30 bullets down the bore before you take a serious look at load development unless something magical happens during break-in. I did experience this with 3 rifles. My 308/Obermeyer barrel, my 30.06/PacNor barrel, and my 270 with a Broughton-Richards barrel. Correction: 4 rifles, I forgot my Shilen barreled 280

The loads through the 30.06 originally shot so well that I had around 5-8 bullets through it and I used the remaining 20 to hunt with and all killed something. Same thing with my 308.
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Derek M.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:24 PM
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Re: Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

I'm going with be patient it's early. I'd be encouraged that the groups overlap pretty well. If you put the 9 shots together they almost fit in the worst group. If anything clean it after each group and see what happens. How are you cleaning it?

My Krieger 338 RUM prefers clean, my My Douglas .375 H&H is the least fickle I ever had . I have a 6mm Remington, Shilen barrel, that shot patterns until we were between 150-200 rounds. Then tightened up from then on. I also started more aggressive cleaning with JB, I suspect I hand lapped it myself. You aren't there yet.

Their all different, but 0.5 grain powder isn't likely the issue. If all your groups were 1.75"
another bullet or change in seating would do more.
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  #7  
Old 10-11-2013, 06:28 PM
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Re: Does a half of grain of powder make that much difference?

Derek

I agree. This rifle has only 15 rounds down the spout plus what ever Cooper shot. This is the second barrel on this gun as the first had a problem. I did the shoot one clean, for the first five or so, then shoot three and clean etc. but nothing would shoot. I returned it to Cooper and they re-barreled and re-bedded the rifle. This time I shot six and cleaned and now nine and cleaned. I have noticed some pretty heavy copper fouling during this cleaning. Hopefully it well settle down after some more shooting.
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