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Equipment, just how precise....

 
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  #1  
Old 06-09-2005, 04:50 PM
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Equipment, just how precise....

I have been working with and around loads for most of the past 20 years. I know enough to keep most of my hunting rifles into 1" groups or close to it at 200yds.

My question is, once I make the plunge into "REAL" long range shooting just how meticulous do I need to get with loads and components.

Here is a baseline on what I do now with a new rifle. First if it is a factory chambering, I will pick up several different boxes of ammo for it to develop a baseline on cases. Either way I try to determine which might be the best for that particular rifle. If no preference is shown in loads then I generally stick with one brand for all loads with that particular arm.

I try to buy brass in bulk of at least a 500ct. Of these I will generally pick out 100 to start with. I start by full length resizing them, trim them to min length, square the primer pockets, and debur the flash holes.

If while working up loads I find something that requires exact weighing of a load I will use it if I have to, however, for most loads I generally will just throw them. I havenít personally had the opportunity to won a rifle as of yet that will obviously show much if any differences in the loads.

In bullets, I generally do not weigh them either. I realize that this may come to be something I need to do once I get out to longer ranges, however for what I have been shooting out to 400yds or so it just hasn't been a necessity.

As for concentricity, I haven't gone that route either. I have checked a few here and there through the years but just never got that into it much more, as groups didn't seem to be a factor for hunting loads. Is this something I will need to get into a practice of doing?

Overall lengths of the bullets, as well as loaded cases. I see where folks are measuring the OAL of bullets as well as the bearing surfaces and such. Is this something that is truly needed for shots out to 600, 800 or 1000 yards? IF so which equipment is the best for this sort of measuring as well as which would suffice if the longest ranges were only a minor factor in most cases?

As for dies, which would be better suited for the ranges out to 1000 yards? Do they necessarily need to bench rest quality or will some of the standard dies be suitable? I do realize that should I go with a wildcat that this is almost a moot question. However I do have several other items which given the chance should work out well for some longer ranges.

I know that there are some things which I may have missed here and there but this pretty much will get me headed in the right directions. I am still working on putting away for a special acquisition hopefully later this year. So this will give me some forewarning on what I am about to jump into.
Thanks in advance for helping me out with this, I just donít want to add to a sometimes overboard shopping spree for things I think I need, when I may only use them once, or never for that matter.
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Old 06-11-2005, 07:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northern California
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Re: Equipment, just how precise....

Well everything that you do to increase the consistency of your rounds will help in accuracy! That is the bottom line. The more time that you spend in your reloading process the more consistent your handloads will be. It is just up to the shooter. For me does that mean that weighing each bullet is worth my time? HELL NO! But it may be to you. Those are just things for you to decide for yourself. As far as the competiton vrs. the standard dies. . . well I asked the same question a few weeks back and came up with the conclusion that they are manufactured to tighter tollerances and thus creating a more consistent peice of brass. Which whether or not it is important to you is what you have to decide.
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I shoot 1/4 inch groups at a 1000 yards. That is...till my second shot.
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Old 06-13-2005, 07:04 AM
 
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Re: Equipment, just how precise....

OK there are A LOT of methods , therories and routines many of us go through.....

you will be hard pressed to shoot past 500 with consistency using factory loads... you should and will need to learn how to handload.

here's what I do...

I buy the RCBS basic dies... I then buy a Forester Ultra seater... for the same caliber...

I FL size a new case
clean up the neck
debur and champfer the inside and outside of the primer pocket and uniform it
trim to length, and champfer the neck mouth
then FL resize and I am done...

I typically sort through the cases and only throw out the really bad ones...

I have a Pact Digital scale and dispencer and weigh every load to within a .10 gr

When I seat my bullets I measure everyone to the OGIVE to make sure they are all within .005 of each other...
I use the Stoney Point Gauges

I do not own any wildcats...

I shoot the 308 to 800 yards
I shoot my 300WM to 1200 yards
I had a 300WSM I shot to 1150 yards

to become a good LR shooter you don't need the latest greatest super duper wildcat.... once you get good you can play around with wildcats but there is no need... most of the wildcat stuff is really to shoot flatter .. ie: more speed flatter trajectory...

hell I don't care if I shoot rainbows as long as I can carry sufficient energy to my target with the accuracy I demand from myself

my confidence is not in my having the latest greatest wildcat caliber. My confidence is in my rifle ( the smith at LSR who built it) and my ability to shoot my rifle at my self limited ranges.

in the end your goal is to place your shot accuratly... if you read through this board the end result is because of shot placement not caliber...

just my .02
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Old 06-13-2005, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 198
Re: Equipment, just how precise....

excellent point on not needing the wildcats Ric. I must admit that I bought a big rig this week, but still plan on using the .30-06 for the days I plan on shooting a lot of rounds. I have not shot big game past 350 YET but would be confident with the 06 shooting hand loads out to 700 right now. If I am shooting factory loads, I don't like to shoot past 300 at anything.
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2005, 03:45 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 746
Thanks for the tips...

For the most part I can honestly say that I only shoot factory ammo in one rifle with any consistancy, and that is my shorty .308 Ruger. For what ever reason, and I am not complaining, it just shoots the daylights out of the factory green and yellow lable Rem. 150's. Heck at $10.00 a box and shooting several boxes in only a couple of weekends, it is hard to beat. In fact I haven't found a load yet that will stay with it.

As for the rest of the prep, I am already doing most of what you mentioned. I don't however measure the OAL as you mentioned as of yet. I genrerally just work up the loads for that particular rifle at the range, and once the die is set, I leave it be. I try my best to buy my powder and bullets in bulk of the same lots. Sometimes this is possible sometimes not. when not I start from scratch again, just to be sure things are still working right.

I have about 8 more boxes of 115 gr. Partitions for my 25/06 that I bought from the same lot. So far these have all shot into the smae little tight group where the previous ones did.

I thankfully had a great father who started me out young, and have through the years, learned to shoot not only various rifles but also under almost any circumstance or situation or range. So far my longest shot on a deer has been around 425 yds. This was ranged with my laser rangfinder.

I was just curious about what I might be needing to look into a little harder. I had already decided to start picking up some of the Stoney Point items for my new toy once I get it going. However for now, it is slowly saving day by day till I can place the order. till then I will practice more with the Sendero.

Thanks again,
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Mike / Tx

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