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Reloading Techniques For Reloading


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How "important" are certain details when reloading?

 
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  #22  
Old 08-09-2013, 09:07 AM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

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Originally Posted by acloco View Post
Have found the best accuracy by controlling neck tension and runout of loaded round.

Neck tension isn't something I've looked into in great detail yet. My limited understanding is that consistent case length, consistent lube technique, and a properly set up press are the key factors there. Am I correct or is there more to it than that?

As far as runout, I thought that was something that came into play when looking for much more precision than I'm after at this point. Don't get me wrong, eventually I'll be after much higher precision down the road but for my current goals is it something I really need to bother with?
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  #23  
Old 08-09-2013, 09:17 AM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

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Originally Posted by AZShooter View Post
Trophy,

This is what I suggest: Choose the seating depth that will fit and feed from the magazine AND not touch the rifling. You might want to take some of your shortest cases and make a few dummy rounds to test the feeding. After you have established a workable COAL (cartridge overall length) then make a series of 4-6 loaded cases with different powder charges. I think for this size case 1 grain increments will be fine. Start low and work up to the highest powder suggested by a loading book like Nosler's or the powder manufacturer's data.
I have an OAL gauge and comparitor so I've got that covered. I just need to practice a little more taking the measurement. My measurements are getting much more consistent though and I'm pretty comfortable with the starting OAL I've come up with, but I'm still going to take the measurement 10-20 more times before loading my first rounds just to be sure.

You suggested working out the powder charge first and then refining the OAL. Is there a reason for doing one before the other, or is it just personal preference?
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  #24  
Old 08-09-2013, 09:57 AM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

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Originally Posted by trophyhusband View Post
You suggested working out the powder charge first and then refining the OAL. Is there a reason for doing one before the other, or is it just personal preference?
Many people view the powder charge workup at the "coarse adjustment" in the system and the seating depth workup at the "fine adjustment". There really isn't a wrong answer. You can do it either way.

I switched to doing the seating depth test first because I found that the optimum seating depth stayed the same regardless of powder and primer used. Establishing the seating depth first allows me to experiment with different powders and/or primers without the need to tune seating depth each time.

The second reason I started testing seating depth first has to do with the effect that seating depth has on pressure. If my best accuracy node in my powder charge workup is found right at the edge of max pressure, but my optimum seating depth requires me to seat the bullet deeper, I run increased risk of overpressure. Establishing seating depth first allows me to run up to max powder charges with a little less risk, IMO.
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  #25  
Old 08-09-2013, 03:48 PM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

In my experience and observations shooting matches and winning a few as well as noting what others do, my list of "important details" listed in order are as follows for developing a load for a given rifle:

1. Bullets must be a few to several ten-thousandths inch larger than groove diameter and be well balanced; i.e. true match grade with a good track record.

2. Powder choice has to produce uniform pressure curve shapes; medium speed ones for the cartridge seem to work best.

3. Primer must uniformly ignite the powder such that it burns the same from shot to shot; milder ones oft times do this better than hotter ones.

4. Case must fit the chamber such that no binding of the bolt happens when the round's loaded. 1/1000ths inch of head clearance is good enough.

5. Case neck has to have less than 1/1000th inch spread in thickness and be well centered on bottleneck case shoulders on those headspacing on their shoulder; new cases shoot 95% as accurate as fired ones in this regard. Note: bottleneck cases headspacing on their shoulder center up front in the chamber at the shoulder by in-line ejectors and firing pins pushing them there; doesn't matter how much clearance their is between the case body and chamber wall.

6. Bullet runout less than 1% of bullet diameter; seating them so they gently jam into the lands helps with some, others need a few thousandths jump.

7. Case weight spread of 1% is plenty good enough.

8. Powder charge weight spread can be as much as 2/10ths or 3/10ths grain and with the right powder and weight for the bullet, sub 1 MOA accuracy at 1000 yards at worst is easily attainable. Some lots of ammo with a 3/10ths grain spread about 45 grains have shot 1/2 MOA or better at worst 600 yards down range.

9. Case neck tension spread should be 20% about a 5 to 10 pound extraction force.

There's been dozens of thousands of rounds commercially loaded oh high speed machines for competition with brand new cases with a 3% spread in case weight and metered powder charges that shot 1/2 to 2/3 MOA at 600 yards in all sorts of barrels in different rifles. Given that, if you can handload ammo yourself, you can do that well easily. Just use the right tools the right way with the right components.
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  #26  
Old 08-10-2013, 06:34 AM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

I like to start with a seating depth and work up powder first because the seating depth selection will often work without any changes. The Berger hybrids are really good in that regard.
But accubonds, ballistic tips and other brands have not required seating depth changes.

Benchracer,

Not to start an argument but not sure seating deeper would necessarily raise pressures. Sure the powder is put into a smaller space but the bullet is experiencing a some freebore. This could make for an interesting discussion apart from this thread. I'd would chance a guess that it would depend and the pressures could go up or down based on individual rifle/brass/bullet/powder combos.
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  #27  
Old 08-10-2013, 07:07 AM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZShooter View Post
I like to start with a seating depth and work up powder first because the seating depth selection will often work without any changes. The Berger hybrids are really good in that regard.
But accubonds, ballistic tips and other brands have not required seating depth changes.

Benchracer,

Not to start an argument but not sure seating deeper would necessarily raise pressures. Sure the powder is put into a smaller space but the bullet is experiencing a some freebore. This could make for an interesting discussion apart from this thread. I'd would chance a guess that it would depend and the pressures could go up or down based on individual rifle/brass/bullet/powder combos.
My experience with the Berger hybrids mirrors yours. As they become more widely available, I intend to use them in place of VLD's. I really like the results I have gotten using Hybrids so far.

I don't think we are very far apart, if at all, regarding the effects of seating depth on pressure. You are undoubtedly correct that there are multiple variables involved. I am by no means an expert on the subject. These guys know more than I do:


Effects of Cartridge Over All Length (COAL) and Cartridge Base To Ogive (CBTO) – Part 1 | Berger Bullets

What they have to say touches on the pressure effects of both seating depth and distance to the rifling, like you mentioned. It is possible that the two variables could cancel each other out.

However, my seating depth tests cover .120 difference from one end to the other. Couple that with the fact that I often find myself working with cartridges like 6.5x55, 6.5-284, and .264 Win Mag, all of which have pretty sketchy reloading data available. I tend to push all three of them toward max loading levels. The seating depth variables may cancel one another out and they may not. My problem is that I don't know which way it's going to go and I don't want to find out the hard way that I guessed wrong. I prefer to err on the side of caution, taking into account my own loading methods and goals.

As I stated before, I don't really think there is a right or wrong answer to which order you test in. I just know which one I feel more comfortable with. I have done it both ways, but the way I am doing it now works better for me.
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  #28  
Old 08-10-2013, 09:24 AM
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Re: How "important" are certain details when reloading?

Last night I loaded up 18 rounds. I used the same powder charge for all of them. I loaded 6 at .015 off the lands, 6 at .025 off, and 6 at .035 off. I'm heading out back this morning to fire them off. Be back in a bit with the results.
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