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Reloading Berger Bullets


Tuning a Load (part 2)

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Unread 04-29-2007, 10:35 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sask. Canada
Posts: 2,410
Re: Tuning a Load (part 2)

I missed the first posts, just looked them up. You and Catshooter have a lot of knowledge that we all benefit from, simple as that. I drive a Toyota, you drive a Honda, big deal - they are both good trucks.

I read and re-read your information above. In my opinion that is why this site is so usefull and enjoyable - we got good stuff here. Thanks, I wish I could write that concisely. I am going to print out some info from both you and Cat so I can re-learn a bit about reloading.

For what it is worth - which is absolutely nothing - here is what I don't do anymore with most of my reloads.
.. trim, chamfer, ream primer pockets - fact is tho I do not shoot brass many times, got too many buddies who mooch brass
.. mess with primers - I got told to use Winchesters by someone who's company loads tons of good ammo so I do
.. mess with over-all length - I want my ammo to hunt with so I set the boolits just short of the mag box
.. mess with powders and charges - I know what shoots in the few cartridges I load anymore

Compared to you guys I may be shooting crappy groups with these reloads but they stay at or under or damn close to a half-minute and that is what I want. I can load 100 rounds in about 25 minutes, takes way longer to shoot them at my steel targets.

Thanks all of you guys.
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Unread 04-29-2007, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 4,787
Re: Tuning a Load (part 2)


You make the point perfectly. there are many shortcuts that can be taken to get to your expected MOA results if you are realistic in your expectations and circumstances. If that works for you, then absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I just tried to outline some points for everyone to think about and determine what is a realistic expectation and how to get there.

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Unread 06-04-2007, 06:55 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,459
Re: Tuning a Load (part 2)

BH, a great read and covers so many great points. I use the modified ladder method - 2 rds in small powder increases shot at 200yds. I watch for the groups to shrink then expand while keeping an eye on pressure signs/chronie. Narrows things in a big hurry and I can usually diagnose a rifle/bullet/powder in about 30rds. At least good enough to know if more shooting is worth it.

A few points I might add: I always do my testing with fireformed or brass sized as I would always use it. I find there is a significant range of error using brass out of any bag/box. Neck turning s used just to take the high spots off the necks. Cleaned up 70 to 80% of circumferance.

All brass is sized for min runout. A runout guage has helped my quality of ammo more then many widgets. I can now track what does or doesn't work.

I consider 2 thou to be my working max. Seated ammo also has runout 2 to 3 thou - less is better. I use the Lee collet die and not found a better die for the job. I have used the reg seating die for Lee, RCBS with excellent results once I had the runout guage to diagnose where problems were. modifying the seating stem for long bullets is the biggest aid to getting BR quality ammo using reg. seating dies.

Match primers work for me and I find the CCI BR family handles higher pressures yet is a 'softer' primer.

Don't expect to get match accuracy with non match bullets. Many hunting bullets are not made to drop into the same hole. Some can't hold MOA in factory QC testing but are ok cause their intended use/user doesn't require bughole accuracy.

I use Hodgdon powders almost exclusively. I find it works very well and they all burn best at the 'higher' node.

Stock/rests, optics and trigger all affect ones ability to shoot small groups so that has be considered.

Also, how the ammo is handled. Make sure that it doesn't get bumped too much or the bullets can get knocked out of alignment. Pretty common with low neck tension ammo.

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Unread 01-18-2008, 03:20 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Originally Posted by MAtthewUSMC8791 View Post
good info.. just wanna see part 1
Tuning a Load?
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
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Unread 01-24-2008, 09:28 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 309
I drive a Cummins diesel

but agree on the validity of the other camps; however, I agree more with Mysticplayer in that I start with the CCI BR primers when possible, weight sorted cases that are preped and fire formed, powder to .1 gr, bullet mepleat uniformed, total runout sorted to 0.001" then ladder tested for groups. Last step is seating depth to fine tune as the proof is on the paper.
Member, Revolutionary War Veterans Association
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