Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Rifles, Reloading, Optics, Equipment > Reloading

Reloading Berger Bullets


I need some help explaining this one

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 06-08-2005, 02:58 PM
Posts: n/a
I need some help explaining this one

OK, bear with me if this becomes a long post. Got out to the range today to test some loads for the 18th.

Anyway, Thought I would start with some once fired brass to see if I could get groups like the last time I posted.

did 5 shot groups different powder charge for each group for 20 shots.. Groups were pretty good but not as good as my last trip...hmmmmmm I did adjust seating depth as recomended by a few so I thought that was the problem. No worries...still good groups.

Then for the heck of it I tried the same charges as the groups above but this time used new unfired, Un neck turned brass. Just flash holes and primer pockets. WOW My groups shrunk big time. See my example below for vel etc.
on one particular load and group.

Once fired neck turned etc

hi=2849 low=2808 es=41 avg=2834 SD= 15

New virgin brass

Hi= 2840 low=2828 es= 12 Avg 2835 SD= 4

OK, Vel is pretty close on both of them...I know I could go higher but this is the load that seems to group the best right now. Why the difference in groups as well as Vel numbers.

Here is my thought. Neck turning is kickin my butt here. A wise Man C.M. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] told me dont even fool with neck turning. I figured I'd listen to him and got a better group.

I know there are more details involved but my thought is I was messin with hte brass too much and makin things worse instead of better. Also..The unturned new brass!! was all sized on a standard redding F/L die. No fancy neck bushings etc.

Needless to say come the 18th, I will have a bunch of loads from virgin brass and not really screaming. I know I need to do the test over to see if this is really an issue, but the groups just shrank on all the unfired new brass. Hmmmm did I just make the neck more sloppy by turnin?

Anyway...These are the things that just caused me an annurism (sp) and splitting headache for the day.

Your opinions are very welcome and needed.


BTW if anyone is curious about the groups...The new brass best group for 5 shots this time went into .3 easy. And thats doing it the way JB1000 and others told me about [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Worst group of the bunch all in all went into .5 Kind off disapointed me after seeing this thing shoot better. I know it's my loads and me and not the gun. Too funny, listen to me complain about a half inch group...You guys ruined me!
Reply With Quote

Unread 06-08-2005, 04:56 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 896
Re: I need some help explaining this one

I don't remember what other people recommended, but here is what I recommend.

On your once fired brass with the necks turned,is to only size 2/3 -3/4 of the neck and then seat your bullets to touch the lands and maybe into the lands a few thousandths I have had really good luck doing theis in fact I would even do this on brass that was not neck turned.
without God their is no hope for this country
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-08-2005, 06:42 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,084
Re: I need some help explaining this one

I guess several of us all did the same thing at once and started neck turning. Two points of difference in my amatuer understanding of the instructions. First was to uniform the primer pockets after the first firing. Secondly, I full lenght sized and trimmed the once fired cases before neck turning and cleaning up about 75-80%(stage 2 brass). Group size was not too good with this stage of the brass and grew about as much as you describe. At Mifflin with the factory off center chambered 17 Rem I shot the first two distances with stage two brass and the 500yd with the stage three final neck sized brass. Group size could not be measured at 500 yds because I was just adjusting left or right as JB told me. I do not know yet what group size the final brass is shooting

Being about as confused as you, I think there are two schools of thought.

School #1 With a factory chamber you should not neck turn because it just causes the bullet to be low in the throat.

School #2 With a factory chamber it is good to neck turn to get uniform neck tension on the bullet.

It seemed to me everybody was pretty consistent that with a custom chamber neck turning was good.

These are just my thoughts being as I am very new to neck turning and saw my group sizes grow as yours did and I hope mine settle back down.

In case you need to feel better, I ruined about $60 dollars of brass doing all of this wrong the first time. I just look at it as an investment in the future.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-08-2005, 07:06 PM
Posts: n/a
Re: I need some help explaining this one

Great explination BB. Makes me feel better. I know I dont have a tight neck gun...But it is a Tight factory chamber, from what I understand.

I may leave well enough alone? But then again...That very first firing with the turned necks did produce great groups.

Monkey wrench in the whole thing is that the Range officer is a benchrest guru and said dont neck turn! Shocked be from a BR guy. Also, the position I was shooting for Chrony reasons ..the impact area is a huge wall next to it..He said it's hell next to that wall on windy days. He was surprised I got the groups that I did.

Reply With Quote
Unread 06-08-2005, 08:52 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 244
Re: I need some help explaining this one

A lot of f-class and other long range riflesmiths have started using "no-turn" reamers. Seems with the good brass, neck turning is not so important.?. I sure don't know, but there is for sure a trend towards not turning necks at all.
Become sheep and the wolves will eat you!
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-08-2005, 10:21 PM
LB LB is offline
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Upland, CA
Posts: 423
Re: I need some help explaining this one

"School #1 With a factory chamber you should not neck turn because it just causes the bullet to be low in the throat.

School #2 With a factory chamber it is good to neck turn to get uniform neck tension on the bullet.

It seemed to me everybody was pretty consistent that with a custom chamber neck turning was good."

I think this #1 is accurate information. A very minor clean up, after FL sizing, helps on case neck uniformity. Don't expect miracles. But, if you don't know the chamber dimensions, you can't know where you need to stop on the neck turning. 25%/50% removed, for example.

For number #2, I can't agree with that. That applies for a tight neck in a custom barrel. In which case, you will probably know your neck O.D. and a good idea of your wall thickness, and can order those "fancy" bushings in the correct size. And, you may not get it right, the first time? This is stuff that does not apply for a factory barrel....usually.

In the case of a 220 Swift, for instance, you may see thickened and excessively long necks. Then, you need to trim to length, and decide whether to inside ream or outside turn, avoiding the dreaded "donut".

Good hunting. LB
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-08-2005, 11:08 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ca
Posts: 101

What you are experiencing with new brass is quite common.In general new brass will give lower velocities with the same powder charge because the brass expands to fit the chamber.Once it is all fireformed velocity will stabilize and your load will need some tweaking to reach best accuracy.
I don't know which case your using but i suggest you use a 1% increment when working up your load.If your shooting 50 grains of powder vary the charge weight in 0.5 gr increments.
I also suggest you load your ammo with the bullet seated out for enough so that closing the bolt actually pushes the bullet back into the case a very small amount.This will allow you to safely work up a very accurate load.
You can now do your ladder test to find your particular guns load window or node.The load window or node is related to the amount of powder your case uses.The bigger the case the wider the node.Once you find two or three bullets in a small cluster you can fine tune for best accuracy.It will generaly be found in the upper half of the load window.
As an example to help in the explanation we will work with the 300 Ackley round.Shooting a 216 gr bullet and starting at 75.0 grains of powder we will go up in 0.7 grain increments.The bullets will be seated extra long so the bolt pushes them into the case and we will go to the range with 10-12 rounds to be fired at 300 yards.We will now shoot 3-4 rounds at 75.0 grains to get on target and to warm up the freshly cleaned barrel.As we start shooting we notice a very definite vertical stringing at 75.7 76.4 and 77.1 grains.When we shoot 77.8 78.5 79.2 and 79.9 we notice that the vertical is gone even though the powder charge has varied 2.1 grains.
From many years of testing we know the best accuracy will be found in the upper half of the node or load window.We will now start somewhere near the middle say 79.0 grains and go to say 80.3 grains in 0.3 grain increments shooting 3-5 shot groups.We haven't touched are seating depth at all.At 80.0 grains we discover our best accuracy.The 3-5 shot groups look like little round clusters not tall skinny ones.
From this point we can now vary the seating depth deeper in 0.005 increments because we already have the bullets seated out as far as possible with the existing neck tension.
The key here is one step at a time and finding the optimum point at each step.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:20 AM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC