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Reloading Berger Bullets


weighing and sorting brass & weighing, measuring and sorting bullets

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Unread 09-03-2013, 10:41 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 236
Re: weighing and sorting brass & weighing, measuring and sorting bullets

Mikecr gave some good advice here: "For the learning, you might assemble the spreads in extreme and do some testing."

Sort as you may but save the extremes for the same group....mix the bullet extremes with the case weights extremes in a round robin fashion...Make sure to number & record all the pertinent data....(BTW, It may be best that your weight and or volume sorted brass be at least "twice fired", sized & trimmed before sorting)...

Then make up a lot with the tightest specs of your "best" stuff that you think you should hold....Number and record everything about each load....

Make up two five shot groups of each...Shoot all the groups at at least 200 and if you have access to 400 yards and if the weather is not too wild so much the better....Have a partner hand you each cartridge as you shoot...You are not allowed to know which group he is handing you until you are done shooting all four groups....

Try to keep your barrel temps reasonably consistent....Shooting over a chrono is also a good idea if you have access to one....Record any available data including shot calls and wind gusts for each shot....

The results of this simple test may or may not surprise you....But it will probably answer your questions with the simple 20 shot test....

I sometimes do this test after sorting out the heavy & light weight cases after they have been twice fired....Sometimes I see a lot of difference other times I cannot see much change if any....But since I like to shoot it helps me get rid of those "errant" Bergers (plus or minus .035 on length and .015 cbto)....As far as bullet weights, the Bergers I shoot mostly run plus or minus a tenth and I do not sort them by weight at all anymore....Length with their VLDs however seems to be an issue at times depending on the rifle....

Weight sorting is the simplest on "fireformed" cases....Checking H2Os after will further "proof" them but differences at that point are defined by both internal and external posturing of the case itself (external dimensions not as a result or part of fireforming such as the case head/rim configuration)...

Resultant H20 capacity may be the same but in all actuality with a different internal shape or position from the primer/flashole (which may or may not have an effect on the combustion itself)........

This leads to my "range" sorting method where unexpected flyers are marked with a sharpy and tracked to subsequent range trials.....two bad grades and they are off to the scrapper....Sorting out the bad ones by shooting is not nearly as messy as the H2O method which I no longer do....Because for my uses and shooting ability there was no discernable difference with weight sorted and volume sorted cases....In fact once weight sorted the volumes were almost always within my tolerance to begin with....

Further testing depending on the rifle, caliber and loads showed that in some instances I was actually able to open my case weight limits up with no group/velocity changes....

Sorry for the long winded post but hope this may help,
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Unread 09-04-2013, 07:31 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Cheyenne, Wy
Posts: 52
Re: weighing and sorting brass & weighing, measuring and sorting bullets

I think moombaskier said it best....will it really make that big of a difference especially out to 400 yards? Maybe...maybe not, but if you did it will it give you the confidence to shoot better and more accurate yourself? I would say that there is more human variations and errors that would cause your round to move just a little than bullet and brass weight, but thats just my opinion....but if its what you like to do and it makes you have more confidence in your loads, then do it because what will happen if you dont and you go out shooting and you have one thats a bit off you will blame the load and have less confidence in your load. Do what will make you feel better about your shooting and try not to over think it and take the enjoyment out of it.
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Unread 09-04-2013, 10:14 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: California Central Coast
Posts: 3,522
Re: weighing and sorting brass & weighing, measuring and sorting bullets

Originally Posted by Mikecr View Post
jfseaman, I'd like to know what you 'think' you know about my buzzwords?
But before giving it a shot, if you care to do so, take pause and be careful now.

OP, are you still around?
What does that mean?
Fred Seaman - NRA Life Member
“Ask, Listen, Learn, Grow”
"Quit worrying about the little things, good luck and god speed"
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