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Reloading Berger Bullets


Anybody have any ideas?

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Unread 07-09-2009, 07:32 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 39
Re: Anybody have any ideas?

I had one group measuring 0.24 and another measuring 0.38. Other groups were from 0.75 to 1.00. Later in the afternoon i duplicated the same two loads that shot well and could not get a group under an inch.

You have gotten some very good advise from some good folks here.
Let me see if I can add a little.
I am familiar with a Rem.700 but not your particular Mdl. I am thinking it is a factory un-tricked rifle. If so groups in the 2's and very low 3's are indeed hard to come by on regular basis. It's like a bowler who bowls 300 once in his life and spends the rest of it trying to do it again. Not impossible but difficult.
I shoot a Mdl 70 Win. in 270 Win. People who bench rest won't even talk to me when they here I shoot a 270--But-- using a Buds bull bags and my Zeiss
3-10 Mill dot scope I can do 1/2'' all day long with Nosler 130 Gr. B/T. and 51.5 of IMR 4831. All loads from a RCBS charge-master and checked on a beam scale, .025 off the lands. I have shot in the Mid. 2's with this load but it's every 3rd or 5th time. I can't seem to do it every time.
I shoot at 3/4 inch dots at 100 yards and with the 10 power they still look small, but I can still split the pie. Ok my point is for me to shoot below the 1/2'' and get to the mid 2's everything MUST be the same. I have a tight chamber for a factory rifle, My rounds are .305 at the neck loaded and the necks are .308 after fireing. That's about .003 clearance. I turn my brass to clean up the necks, about 70%. I use a bushing die and only size 3/4 of the neck. This leaves about 1/4 of the neck as it came from the chamber. I use all rounds with over .002 run-out for Fowler's. I anneal the brass every 3rd time.
Primer pockets/flash holes/ trim to length chamfer and debur are all addressed. That being said the rest for me is on the line. If the wind is not looked at, or my trigger work is not exactly the same/ or my position on the bag
or anything changes --well so do my groups. I shoot at least 4 shots for a group. I load five of each for load work up.
Your best shots could be just by chance or it could be you. How about barrel temp. or the kind of day, temp. Humidity, ammo temp. I keep my ammo in a cooler when it is hot out--I take out 5 rounds at a time. Staying in the 2's with a factory rifle is very hard for me.
I can do it BUT Like I said everything must be the same.
I think that is a good reason the bench rest boy's don't just spend $3,000
for a rifle and think it ends there. They load for the day and the weather,
They load at the range, read the wind and on and on.
All of that and the expensive rifle to shoot on average perhaps 1/8" groups.
That's a 1/8 smaller than I can shoot with my 270 Win. BUT they do it almost every time. Consistence is the name of there game.

Sorry for the long winded post. Hang in and shoot some 10 shot groups.
Let me add my trigger is 3.5 pounds and I think that is not helping.
No I know it's not helping.

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Unread 07-10-2009, 09:22 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sedalia, MO
Posts: 1,256
Re: Anybody have any ideas?

Originally Posted by johnnymac View Post
Thanks for all of the help. Im beginning to think i might have just gotten lucky on those few small groups.

no, you didn't just get lucky on those first groups; you used a proven combination that works superbly well in most .308s. An entirely practical and intelligent thing to do! You could have gone off on a tangent and used some powder that nobody's using for this combination, and seen what turned up. Might have shot, might very well not have shot. Back when the .308 was THE match cartridge for HP competition, about 95% of the line would be using the same load (41.5 4895/168 MK). There was a reason for that. The 5% who weren't were usually new guys who hadn't figured out that if their rifle didn't shoot that load, the gun needed a serious checkup. Hey, when you're in unfamiliar territory but have a proven roadmap, follow the map!

Good on ya' and keep it up!

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Unread 07-10-2009, 06:43 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Re: Anybody have any ideas?

johnny, 3shot groups are a good way to start to find loads but once you get close to what you want for a load you need to duplicate your results in 5 or 10 shot groups IMHO. This doesn't mean that you should fire 10 rounds at a time! let your barrel cool between shots and put several rounds on the same target, OR do multiple 3 shot groups. We are hunting here w/ hunting rifles and there isn't a guy here who has been able to shoot at the same Elk or white tail for 10 rounds (and if they did I doubt if they would admit it lol!) We want first round hits and that is it ... right?


1: I'd look into your rifle for bedding issues or floating issues.
2: How accurately are you seating your bullets.... (.001 or so from round to round?)
3: Is your die set up to do the bare minimum of resizing? no need to shrink your brass down to origional dimensions>
4: Are all of your brass fired the same number of times? I just recently pulled my head out of my ***** and figured out that the aged brass gives different neck tension on the bullet.
5: How consistant is your brass? I'm not familiar w/ Federal gold match brass but I know that w/ my wsm win brass varies quite a bit and even my norma varied more than I was hoping for. Weight sort your brass and take one of the heaviest and one of the lightest and fill them level w/ a powder like H380 (small round ball that meters out well) and weigh the powder charge in each one several times. You'll be supprised as to how much they are different.
6: No offense meant here, but how sure are you that you are doing your part in the testing? It is hard to consistantly shoot .25" groups w/ a perfect rifle bullet combo... just think about how much your error could be.
7: How hot is your rifle when shooting? some powders are more tempermental than others when it comes to heat. Leaving a live round in a hot chamber can change the pressure when you fire.... SLIGHTLY.

I'm not saying that any of these things will make a huge difference. But you are not talking about HUGE differences here either. My money would be put on the bedding issues or torque of your action screws.

GOOD luck, and I hope you figure it out,
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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