how do you measure your loaded ammo?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by yzm19, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. yzm19

    yzm19 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    i have been measuring my reloads with a caliper. just going base of the case to the bullet tip. i have read this is not as accurate as using a bullet comparator. so i went and bought the hornady bullet comparator, well how do i use the lengths from my old tip to base method with this thing?
     
  2. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    bullet tip lengths vary a fair amount , even in the same box . so it is not very accurate to measure off the tip . what you need to do is take a couple of your reloaded rounds that are the tip to base length you want , and just measure them with your new tool . be sure to use the correct caliber insert in the tool . this new measurement is from the base to the ogive and will be much more consistent . I keep both lengths wrote down . Jim
     

  3. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,269
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    +1 JIMBIRES
    In the future adjust your seating depths as measured high on the ogive. Log the resultant OALs to 'OGV'

    I know people like the Stoney Point & clone caliper attachments, but I found readings more consistent with the Sinclair comparator nut. This I suppose, because all is floating.
    http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/5581/Bullet-Comparators
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  4. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006
    I bought the Sinclair bullet comparator and went through the same thing.

    My level accuracy at 100y is that any .5" group is perfect and any 2" group is too bad to accept.

    So measuring to the tip is good enough for me.

    I do use the bullet comparator for something else; the compare headpace on shoulders of fired brass. I put the comparator on the granite surface plate and the brass on that. I then come down with a height gauge for a measurement. This also shows how springy the action is.
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    I'm convienced too many of us are agonizing over OAL far more than it needs, perhaps especially any small differences between reading off the bullet meplat or ogive. Of corsre the tool makers will gladly sell us any special tools we wish. I have three of them for reading off the ogive but have reverted to reading off the meplat for most bullets, that actually works just as well.

    IF/when we can CONSISTANTLY get groups below .5 MOA it MIGHT be helpful to be more precise. But few of us will ever see three consecutive five shot .5MOA groups! I rarely do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  6. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,269
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Alright, I'm pretty sure you're both stoned...
    Have either of you developed a load in your lives?

    OAL can very important to accuracy. Certainly you must know this.
    If you aren't setting it carefully, then it really doesn't surprise me that 1/2moa seems like a big deal..

    YZM19 you're on the right path. When you find the sweetest performing OAL based on your gauge readings, you can set your seating to reproduce it for most of the barrel's life.
     
  7. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2006

    I handload for 19 Badger .222, .223, 22-250 .243, 25acp, 6mmBR,.243Win, 25/35, .250/3000, 257 Roberts AI, 260Rem, 6.5x55, 270, 7x57mm, 7mm Rem mag, 32acp, 32sw, 32S&WLong, 32-20, 30 Mauser, 7.62x25mm, 30-30, 303Sav, 300Sav,.308, 30-06, 300 Win Mag, 7.5 Swiss,7.62x39mm, 303Brit, 7.62x54R, 8x57mm, 338WM, .380, 9x19mm, 9x23mm, 357Sig,38special, 357 mag, 38sw, 40sw, 10mm, 10.4mm, 44 mag, 45acp, 45Super, 460 Rowland, 45acpRifle 45Colt, .410, 45/70, and 12 ga.

    I own reamers in 17M2, 22LR, 223 .250" neck, 6MMBR .272" neck, 243, 257RAI, 7mmRM, 30 Mauser, 308, 300WM, 7.62x54R, 338WM, 9x23mm, 357Mag .380 neck, 45acp .471" neck, and 12 ga Remchoke.

    I own ~50 load books, but don't use them anymore, I make up my own loads.

    I have gone to the range 70 times over the last 6 years, and written up a detailed range report each time. I just counted the range reports:)

    I can imagine that precise OAL has been found by someone else, sometime, to affect accuracy to the point a difference can be detected, but I can't.
    All my experiments show that jammed into the lands is more accurate, and how far jammed in does not matter enough to measure.

    I have s***canned precise OAL, along with weighing brass and turning necks.
    There was just no pay off for the trouble in my experiments.

    I find where the bullet first gets marks from being jammed into the lands.
    I find where the bullet gets stuck in the lands and the case extracts with the bullet left behind.
    I then pick some OAL in between.
    No great seating accuracy needed to find such a spot.
     
  8. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    "Alright, I'm pretty sure you're both stoned...Have either of you developed a load in your lives? OAL can very important to accuracy. Certainly you must know this. "

    My, my, a bit cocky aren't we? It is to chuckle.

    Yeah, in some 45 + years of doing this, I've found maybe a couple good loads anyway. Having enough land for my own private range for the last 21 years has helped, a little. Probably not done as many or as accurate loads as you commonly obtain, but who has? :rolleyes:

    But, in our defense, feeble as we may be, no one suggested that OAL is irrelivant, that's your imaginative reading something that wasn't said. (Seems LOTS of "web experts" like to do that!)

    The question isn't if it matters but just how precise need the seating depth be and how much variation matters in a sporting rifle with a factory barrel and chamber when using off-the-shelf bullets. Do you know?

    In the few (lucky, perhaps?) accurate loads I've stumbled onto in my few and limited experiments, I've found that there is a "window", or range, of OAL that shoots quite well. Variations within that range are transperant on target. Yes, if I seat on the ragged edge of that range small variations outside it CAN make a noticible difference. But I'm just a dumb ol' fogey so I don't test my skill that way, and being somewhat simple minded too, I just load in the middle of the effective range so small length variations won't matter and hobble along on my way.

    Unlike Clark, none of my factory rifle's throats are short enough to permit seating into the lands with the bullets I prefer. I seat from .030" to as much as .200" off the lands but I would NEVER be so silly as to suggest his methods don't work well for him, I'll leave THAT to YOU! :cool:

    Be careful of them "stones" kid, you may trip your little self! :D
     
  9. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    923
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    , I've found that there is a "window", or range, of OAL that shoots quite well.



    Boomtube , do you find that window to be fairly wide ? I'm thinking about what the berger bullet guy , Brian , said about load development . using .040 increments to find the sweet spot . then narrow it down from there . going .040 at a time I was concerned about missing it . Thanks Jim
     
  10. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2007
    "Boomtube , do you find that window to be fairly wide ? I'm thinking about what the berger bullet guy , Brian , said about load development . using .040 increments to find the sweet spot . then narrow it down from there "

    Jim, I'm sure that works for Brian but it won't for me. Most of my "windows" are around 15-20 thou. That's plenty enough to not sweat over a few thou seating variation but a 40 thou step would easily swallow two of my full seating tolerance ranges.

    After finding a good charge, I change seating in 5 or 10 thou steps, depending on a cartridge above or below about .243/.308 size.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009