Another newbie!

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bustayote, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. bustayote

    bustayote Member

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    First off, great site! What a wealth of information and informed shooters.
    I've been loading for about 3 years for 22-250, .204 ruger, .270 win, 25-05, and 30-06. To this point I've always followed the manuals to the letter, and used a new factory cartridge to set the die for seating bullets. I know there's a lot more to it than this, but I'm unsure about where to find good how-to's on things such as case trimming, sizing, etc. I'd like to know how seating depth should be determined by each load, rifle, etc. Before I can take the next step in LRH, I'd really like to know that I can build cartriges capable of getting the maximum performance out of my rifles. I've taken whitetail out to 360 yds using my handloads, and it's time to take the next step. I'm working with a gunsmith with the .204 (Savage, accutrigger, sporter barrel) at this time to bring my groups down as tight as possible. At this time I'm shooting around 1.75 moa (unacceptable /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif). Thanks in advance for responses, and I'm sure each answer will lead to follow up questions.
     
  2. James H

    James H Well-Known Member

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    The 2006 Hodgdon Annual Manual has a good article on precision reloading in it, mostly brass prep.
    It is available here http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=363634
    and I am sure other places also.
    When doing load development try to shoot in zero wind. You'll be surprised how much that shrinks groops even at 100 yards. You could also use wind flags but you need to learn to read them.
     

  3. bustayote

    bustayote Member

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    Dec 22, 2006
    Thanks, it's on the way... good price, too. Anyone want to take a shot at explaining how seating depth/OAL for a given rifle/cartrige sould be determined, and how accuracy/velocity is affected by it?
     
  4. shawn68

    shawn68 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 26, 2006
    get the nosler manual. It explains in depth about getting your over all length. Every rifle has its own attitude. Its kind off a hit and miss thing.
    If your willing to do your home work, get a few copys of precision shooter and their book. Precision Shooting Reloading Guide. I got my copy on Amazon used for 2 dollars. You can go pretty crazy withe all the BR tech.
    Have fun with it...
     
  5. shawn68

    shawn68 Well-Known Member

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    Nov 26, 2006
    [ QUOTE ]
    Thanks, it's on the way... good price, too. Anyone want to take a shot at explaining how seating depth/OAL for a given rifle/cartrige sould be determined, and how accuracy/velocity is affected by it?

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Most people will tell you to seat your bullet just off the lands if it will fit in the mag well. Be careful not to jam the bullet home. You can get crazy pressure if it is too tight. Some rounds like Weatherby need to take a run at the barrel.
    There are lots of ways to get your oal. look in some old posts and find one that works best for you. Just do a search.
     
  6. blancoman

    blancoman Member

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    Dec 27, 2006
    I'm new here myself but have been loading for a long time. Someone will probably correct me on the following discourse of OAL, which is alright with me. As long as I continue shooting I continue to learn things every day. So, here goes. OAL is different for each rifle you shoot. Even two rifles of the same caliber might have a different OAL. When you set up a new load, have the rifle handy. Start with an empty piece of brass with no primer or powder. Seat the bullet longer than book spec and see if the bolt will close. Gently. If bolt will not close then the bullet is too long. Remove the cartridge and put it back in the press and seat a bit deeper. Continue this process until the bolt closes without binding. At this point the bullet should be touching the lands. I like to seat mine a little short of the lands to avoid excessive pressure, so I seat a small amount deeper. This becomes my OAL for this rifle. Like I said in the beginning, if someone disagrees with the way I do it please let me know. My experience has only been thru trial and error and thirty years of loading and so far no accidents.
     
  7. shawn68

    shawn68 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you nailed it. It all depends on how far you want to take things. With your cases, the more things you can measure, the more you can duplicate the whole process.

    For OAL, I have a dummy round that I neck size. I cut two slits in the mouth with my dremmel and sand off the rough cuts. I also drilled out my primer pocket as big as I could. I put the bullet in its mouth. Now I chamber the dummy round and close my bolt two or three times. I repeat the process till I can get an average OAL. The whole in the pocket makes it easy to push the bullet back out.

    Subtract .05 and start working up some loads.
    Or...buy a stoney point oal gauge.


    Whats right for you might not be the best for me. Thats what makes this whole thing so fun.

    My dad still uses a candle to seat his and he has killed way more game than I have. He has old man power. the man has already been there and done that. Frankly, old man power scares the stuff out of me. He uses the "FORCE", or something.
     
  8. toddconley

    toddconley Well-Known Member

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    Nov 21, 2006
    Load up the dummy round and then smoke it. Tells exactly where you are on the rifles. How much contact ect.
     
  9. blancoman

    blancoman Member

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    Old man power is something to be admired. I am always willing to learn so...how do you use a candle to determine OAL. I noticed that the next post suggested smoking the bullet. I would assume that means candle black. I have never tried that but I do sometimes use a magic marker to paint the bullet. Then when seated in the chamber it leaves a mark on the bullet. Is that what you meant?
     
  10. shawn68

    shawn68 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, the candle puts sut on the jacket like a sharpie.
     
  11. bustayote

    bustayote Member

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    Dec 22, 2006
    So simple... thanks for all the replies. That should keep me busy for awhile... until I find the next variable to tweak. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif