I have been reloading now for a couple years but have never sorted my reloading components by weight. Up until this past week all that I used to weigh out my charges was a balance scale. It took too much time to weigh each component to make it worthwhile to me. I reload more for the cost savings then the accuracy although I do strive to get groups under 1 ½ @ 100 yards. This past week I picked up an inexpensive digital scale that seems to be Accurate to +/- .1 grains. I decide to go through and measure all my previously loaded rounds to see how consistent they are. I was very surprised to see extreme spreads of 15 grains. Meaning that when I weight the finished rounds I am +/- 7 grains from the average weight. For those of you that do sort your components by weight what kind of normal weight swings do you get? Do you thing that sorting your components by weight is worth it for hunting accuracy out to 500 yards?
You'll get different answers on this one. If your happy with 1 and 1/2 inch groups at 100 probably not. If you want all the accuracy you can get out of your rifle and want to be sure you have done everything to get it, probably yes. I weight sort my cases and weigh the individual powder charges. I sort bullets by ogive length. Does it help? I think so, at least I'm confident that my loads are the best I can make them. My last 30 three shot groups off the bench averaged 0.4 inches at 100. This from a stock Ruger 77 made in 1976 in 7 mm caliber.
A 15 gr variance is a whole lot of variance. It's been a while since I weighed some loaded rounds, but I remember them to be well within 2 or 3 gr. Your powder should be within .1 gr and bullets within .5 gr. I used to weigh brass, but like Boss Hoss said, I don't see much point in it for the reason he said. However, when I did measure them, they were usually within 1 - 2 gr.
I would recheck your cartridge weights on a balance beam scale. If I had rounds that were more than 3 or 4 gr off, I would be concerned.
I do separate my bullets into two groups, the heavier ones and the lighter ones. The extreme few on either side I use for fowlers. Some guys separate by bearing surface which makes sense.
I think the most critical measurement is the powder. I try to get it down to the kernel.
15 grs seemed like a lot to me also which lead me to post the question. I have debated about pulling the bullets to start all over. Having said that most of these bullets where put together during my learning stage to reloading where I used a mixed bag of brass, some are winchester others are remington, and others are extra brass that I found out the range. Not only are they a mixed bag of brass I also know that some have been trimed to length only others have been trimed to length and primer whole has been uniformed ect.... I think the extrem spread is effected more by the brass type and prep then anything else. My more recent loads that I have been assembeling where I have been paying more atention to case prep have a 3-5 grain spread.