Bullet Sorting

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by bill123, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    I've always heard that you will get better reloading precision if you use components from the same lots. Is this practice not relevant if you sort by weight and bearing surface?

    In other words, if I were to dump 1000 rounds from different lots into a container and then weigh and sort them by bearing surface, wouldn't I get more consistency than if I keeps the lots together and used lot numbers as my sorting criteria?

    Talking about long range of course.
     
  2. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think this might provide better results.

    I sort by bearing surface, then sort those groups by weight. I use the extremes from these as foulers. I keep the others in groups based on bearing surface and use them in groups.
     

  3. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    Is there a benefit to sorting by bearing surface before weight rather than after?
     
  4. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    I've read that bearing service should be the most critical factor. So, I do that first and have a pile for each size bearing surface measured. Then I weight sort those piles.

    You would probably end up with the same grouping though, if you weight sorted first. :rolleyes:
     
  5. bill123

    bill123 Well-Known Member

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    How many groups do you typically end up with?
     
  6. snowpro440

    snowpro440 Well-Known Member

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    I never sort my berger or custom bullets by bearing surface , I use a bullet comp. an sort that way.
     
  7. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    last time I sorted 300 208 A-MAX and I ended up with 4 bearing surface groups.
    .6.12 = 6 bulles
    .613 = 36 bullets
    .614 = 76 bullets
    .615 = 80 bullets
    .616 = 100 bullets
    .617 = 3

    I took the .612 and .617 for the fowler pile. Then sorted the remaining pile into weight groups that were +/- 1 gn. Didn't have many weight groups though as the bearing surface had the most variation with this group of bullets. All 300 were from the same lot.
     
  8. snowpro440

    snowpro440 Well-Known Member

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    Can you show targets that prove bearing surface affect point of Impact ?
     
  9. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Think the consensus is that bearing surface affects SD and ES more than anything else. So the advantages of bullet sorting are more apparent at longer ranges.

    Targets below are all shot with sorted bullets. All are sub .5 MOA and repeatable with the rifles. But not sure how much sorting affected the groups. I think sorting is one of those little things that add up after a while.

    1 red diamond is 180 NBT @ 100 yards
    2 140 Berger VLDs @ 100 yards
    3 with caliper is 208 A-MAX @ 300 yards
     

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  10. A Train

    A Train Well-Known Member

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    Noob question what is "bearing surface"and how are you measuring it?
     
  11. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Bearing surface is the part of the bullet that actually contacts the rifling as the bullet moves down the barrel. Theory is that a longer bearing surface will cause the bullet to have less velocity as it has more physical resistance while traveling down the barrel. Don't even think it is theory really, as you will notice in reloading manuals you can see the velocities change between differently designed bullets with different size bearing surfaces, even though they are the same weight.

    You will enjoy ready the articles in the link below. In part one case prep is discussed. At the end of part one is a link to part 2. That is where sorting bullets by bearing surface is discussed and really gets interesting.

    Hand Loading for Long Range 1: Brass Prep
     
  12. Bullet bumper

    Bullet bumper Well-Known Member

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    If you sort several production lots as one batch you are only seperating by the things you can see and test .
    If you sorted each production lot as a seperate batch then you would also be reducing variations in internal faults that may occur between different lots that you can't see and test .
    The result may be slightly better consistancy but extra batchs and complication to deal with. In the end how you test and analyze the results also makes a difference to what can appear to be the best method on paper but in reality is impossible to see the difference on the target .
    In the end it has to be a practical and managable system . If I bought say 1000 bullets at one time then I would sort them as a batch even if they had different lot numbers on the individual box's which usually they don't .
    The one thing that has a great effect on accuracy that we can't see and test is jacket concentricity after the bullet is made , well not without expensive scientific instruments that is .
    Where good bullets are concerned we are all at the mercy of the bullet jacket maker .
     
  13. snowpro440

    snowpro440 Well-Known Member

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    Barrelnut , You have an interesting topic but for me shooting 400 yards or less I personally never seen that bullet sorting has helped or hurt me with the bearing surface . I find brass uniformity and loaded round uniformity of what the gun likes has proven more than bearing surface . Then again conditions are the hardest to read and compensate for. I guess you can never spend enough time making precision ammo is what it comes down to. If it works for you go with it.
     
  14. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    Snowpro, I agree on no need for bullet sorting at shorter ranges. Was just trying to answer the OP question on how to best do it. I don't sort for every gun. But do have a couple rifles that I shoot long range and one that I shoot in some 600 yard competition so I sort those.