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What usefull info can I get from factory loads

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  #1  
Unread 07-27-2009, 09:26 PM
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What usefull info can I get from factory loads

In the interest of saving money and time, do you have suggestions on what information I can get from factory ammo that shoots well in my rifle? I shoot a 300wsm and was very happy with 5/8th to 3/4th inch groups at 100 with a Browning A-bolt out of the box with winchester factory ammo. I've since started load development, and haven't had anything under 1.5" so far. With so many variables in components and die settings etc, I'm looking for usefull information I could gain by any measurements of the factory ammo. Would bullet seating depth be usefull if not using the same bullet? What about other case dimentions? Knowing the velocity helpfull? Powder charge weight if the same powder is not available anyway? There's much great info here, I found some good info by searching, but would like more help.
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  •   #2  
    Unread 07-27-2009, 09:57 PM
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    Re: What usefull info can I get from factory loads

    I'd chronograph the factory loads, and start by reloading the same bullet in the same case at the same velocity as the factory loads to see if the accuracy is there. If not, try swapping powders/primers, keeping everything else the same (velocity/bullet/case).
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      #3  
    Unread 07-28-2009, 12:11 PM
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    Re: What usefull info can I get from factory loads

    I have been reloading basically since I started shooting back in 1995. And I haven't paid much attention to factory loads since everything except 6,5x55 and 308 simply is to expensive to shoot in large quantities here in Norway.

    However, lately I have got myself an AR 30 in 338 Lapua, and the thought of some really long range hunting and precicion loads has occupied my nights lately. I have seen very good precicion with one factory loading, but as you I struggle to make my handloads to reach the same level.

    Comparing almost everything between the factory load and my own, (using RCBS Case Master), show me that the factory loadings from Lapua has much less runout in bullet/neck area. This is one big factor at least for me to improve. Also I have used dropcharging almost exclusivly the last ten years. But this chambering with slow burning powder seems to prefer weighted charges.

    So far I have reduced 5s-hoot groups from 1,5" to 3/4" and hopefully with less runout I can get it even better.
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      #4  
    Unread 07-28-2009, 12:17 PM
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    Re: What usefull info can I get from factory loads

    Try to shoot the same bullets at the same length. I'd chrono them and go to the same velocity. I'd use a powder that is known to be a good performer in your cartridge.

    Also, try to determine if your reloads have less neck tension than the factory loads. Factory loads tend to have high neck tension and that will affect the way powder burns.

    If you do the above and don't have immediate success, I'd try a couple different primers.

    Keep us posted on your progress,

    AJ
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      #5  
    Unread 07-28-2009, 12:25 PM
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    Re: What usefull info can I get from factory loads

    How do I evaluate... and then adjust neck tension?
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      #6  
    Unread 07-28-2009, 12:26 PM
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    Re: What usefull info can I get from factory loads

    This thread might help you. Make sure you take a look at the threads that are linked in the replies as well. Reloading isn't voodoo but if your new to it it can be tough.

    Chronographed my loads oh no....
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    Last edited by jmason; 07-28-2009 at 12:34 PM.
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      #7  
    Unread 07-28-2009, 12:39 PM
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    Re: What usefull info can I get from factory loads

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goose View Post
    How do I evaluate... and then adjust neck tension?

    I simply remove the die from my press and pull a bullet using pliers, just grab ahold of it and then lower the ram and feel how it pulls. You are going to ruin the bullet, but you will be able to tell if you are vastly tighter or looser than the factory loads.

    You can adjust tension by using bushing dies. Turning the necks of your brass (not really recommended as a method). You can also make sure that no lubricant is left inside your necks before you seat your bullets. You can also lightly crimp your load (depending on the cartridge and your die set) (not really a typical answer to the load tension question for most LR cartridges).

    Read the Zediker book "Reloading for Competition".
    Zediker Publishing

    AJ
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