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Weighing bullets

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Old 01-24-2011, 11:04 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 51
Weighing bullets

I have been reloading for a pretty good while. Mainly for handguns and typical hunting. Minute of deer type accuracy.

Anyway. I have picked up a 338 LM, two pretty solid 308s, two capable 223s and have become much more serious about reloading and trying to get the best out of my sticks.
Prepping cases as best I can. Trimming to length, primer pocket consistancy, cleaning primer flash burr inside, etc. Measuring powder to the nearest .1 grain.
Never occured to me to weigh bullets. But, thanks to the input on this site I am doing that as well.
I use allot of Sierra Match Kings and Barns type bullets. Usually, out of a box of 308s, most of the pills are within .2 grains with a few outside of that.

Recently I got a box of Hornady 250 Match BTHPs. Wow is about all I can say. It was like two different bullet batches in one box. One batch seemed to be 250 grains plus .5 or so and the other was 251.3 plus or minus .2 The extreems were over a grain and a half, even two grains in a few cases.

With the Sierra MKs I could take three boxes and get two 50 round batches with a bullet that was within .1 grain. Who knows how many boxes of these Hornady's it would take to get 50 within .2 grains.
It isn't just that it was 338, I have loaded around 200 rounds in 338 using Sierra Game Kings in 250 and MKs in 300, Barnes in 250 and 265 and they all are pretty much tight, within about .2 grains either side of an average as a group.

That being said, is this the same bullet that is in the Hornady Match ammo they sell?
If so, how can they load match ammo if the bullets differ in as much as 1.5 to 2 grains?

Is this normal or did I get a bad box?
Also, am I being too anal in trying to get with .1 or .2 grains?
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:28 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: Weighing bullets

Welcome to the world of quality control.

You have found out why some companies have a reputation for precision bullets and some don't.

Rather than think in terms of tenths of a grain, think in terms of percentages. A tenth of a grain for a 223 bullet may be more meaningful than for a 338 bullet. If it was me I would use 0.1% of total weight as a starting point for screening into batches.

What most people believe to be more meaningful at long range is the uniformity of length of the bearing surface. Nonetheless as you found out, weight sorting gets rid of goofy bullets and is educational.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:01 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 51
Re: Weighing bullets

Funny you should bring up qualiy control.
Since retiring from the military my new career;
director of QA/QC for a company.
Go figure.
Maybe Hornady needs some consulting work.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:50 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,057
Re: Weighing bullets

Just in case you don't know-- to measure bearing surface you use the Hornady comparator and you have to have two. One for each end.

Hornady Manufacturing Company :: Reloading :: Metallic Reloading :: Tools & Gauges :: Lock-N-Load Gauges-Formerly Stoney Point :: Bullet Comparators :: Bullet Comparator Kits
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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