Need some advice

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by locotrician, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. locotrician

    locotrician Banned

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    So i have had my first custom for a few months now and i do a lot of reading on this forum nearly every day and it has become apparent to me that my reloading procedures seem sub par compared to most of you. I do what i call the basics.
    1.buy what i know to be quality components
    2.brass prep: trim to length, full length resize, de bur, uniform primer pocket and tumble, install primers(not in that order)
    3. weigh powder to 1/10 grain (as per my rcbs electronic scale) and dump into the cases.
    4. seat bullets with rcbs seater die

    So my questions are 1. what processes do i really need to add ? i read about sorting bullets by bearing surface but i have n idea how this is done or what the tolerance range should be if i were to do this, and i also read about sorting brass ect ect.....i know there are lots more just using this as an example 2. what is the proper order for these processes?3. what equipment should i add or change ?4. is the standard rcbs stuff really good enough when it comes to loading for long range shooting ?5. If you suggest i add anew process could you also suggest the rand and model of equipment that is recommended for that particular process. Sorry for the long post i just really wanna start taking this stuff to the next level. thanks
     

  2. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i'll let everyone suggest one thing as you've asked quite a few questions. my advise would be not to use RCBS dies. i have a couple that i bought long ago and i only use them for paper weights. it's the only thing i trust them to do right. i would suggest Forster, i think they're your best bang for the buck.
     

  3. locotrician

    locotrician Banned

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    ok thanks good start and good info, i was thinking of switching to redding or foster for my long range guns.
     
  4. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm not claiming to know more than many on this site, but I'll give ya a response.

    One thing you may want to focus on is seating depth and get yourself a Hornady Headspace guage to measure how far you seat off of your lands, also the hornady coal guage kit. all you need to be able to measure is .001" but these guages fit on a caliper and make the job alot easior to be consistant from lot to lot.

    I believe that you measure bearing surface by measuring the distance from the ogive to the base of the bullet using a COAL guage and a caliper. I think you still only need to be w/in .001" (I'm just getting started doing this).

    I am also a believer in getting a primer pocket uniformer and a VLD inside neck deburing tool.

    Sorting brass is something I do, but many don't beleive in it. I did a little research and I am assuming you are loading for your 300 dakota rifle so I am not familiar with the quality of the brass. All you have to do is resize, trim, inside primer deburr, uniform primer, outside deburr, inside neck vld debur, then you weigh the brass and sort according to weight.

    Also, depending on your headspace on your rifle, you may want to partial full lenght resize to help save brass life.

    Mark.
     
  5. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    +1 on what dave said. Redding and Forster are both good.
     
  6. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Can't go wrong with neck turning and sorting by bullet runout/concentricity. Decent gauges are fairly cheap. Try taking a thousandths off your necks to uniform the thickness and make sure your dies (my vote is for forster) aren't adding runout.
     
  7. locotrician

    locotrician Banned

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    ok guys i am aware of what runout is but what do i need to measure it and how do i go about doing it and if its bad what do i do to fix it ? thanks

    and yes as of now i am mostly concerned with the dakota but i also am tring to load precisely for .300wm and .300wsm but both of those are factory rifles and i do load for many ohter calibers but those are mostly brush hnting guns so the scrutiny is not required on those as much.

    i do have a vld inside neck de bur tool
     
  8. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I made one, but it still cost me 35 bucks so here is one on midway from RCBS:
    Netscape Search

    The link will just go to midwayusa.com so it is called RCBS Case Master Concentricity Gaging Tool
    Product #: 310955 | Manufacturer #: 87310

    $89.99

    I have never used it, but it looks to me like it should work just fine. You may want to ask someone who has used one to make sure that it works well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  9. Winchester 69

    Winchester 69 Well-Known Member

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    The Sinclair run-out gauge is the most popular and easiest to use. In conjunction with a ball mic, you can assess your brass's quality and the suitability of your sizing and seating process.
    .
     
  10. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Neck turning gives uniform neck tension so that the bullet leaves the cartridge evenly. Call me crazy, but I also use neck turning to index my cases. I take a thousandths off the necks with a Forster neck turner, which doesn't quite take material off all the way around the neck. Wherever there is untouched brass (usually one easy to see side) is the thin side. I then put the thin side at 12:00 squarely behind my lug. Saves measuring neck thickness on every case!!! Even if you're shooting factory barrels (as I do), you should neck turn. Forster neck turner is 60$, mandrel 12$. Spring for a power driver at sinclair that works with lee shell holders. Neck turning by hand just plain sucks! For less than 100$ you can have this process up and running AND all your cases indexed.

    See other posts on bullet/case runout. Results vary sorting with this technique, but are generally favorable if you put in the time IMHO. Seating your bullets into the lands will reduce effects of runout, but is not practical for a hunting rifle. I just returned my RCBS casemaster for a Sinclair gauge.

    Sinclair = Cadillac!
    RCBS = Kia! (love that Chargemaster 1500 combo though)
     
  11. bowhunthard

    bowhunthard Well-Known Member

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    Definitely buy yourself either a Hornady or Sinclair bullet comparator, this will allow you to sort bullets by bearing surface etc. Set your dies so that you only bump the shoulder back about 0.0005 - 0.001", this can be accomplished by purchasing the Hornady headspace gauge. Also purchase a Hornady or Sinclair OAL gauge, as this will allow you to precisely measure your bullet jump to the lands, especially when used with a bullet comparator (most bullets can differ in length up to 0.020", so reading off of the bearing surface eliminates that). Also, the runout gauge, Hornady just came out with one, and it also allows you to correct runout caused by the bullet not being seated straight etc.

    Good luck.
     
  12. locotrician

    locotrician Banned

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    i have read a few poeples posts/replies that say to only turn necks if you have a tight neck chamber...is this true? i thought the reason for neck turining was to uniform the brass???
     
  13. nheninge

    nheninge Well-Known Member

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    Neck turn for uniform neck tension and even bullet release. Even factory rifle chambers benefit from turning the cartridge neck. Plus it lets you know where the thick and thin sides are so they can be "indexed" (placed in the gun behind the lug the same way every time). If the thin side is behind your recoil lug, it is less likely to stretch Stretching would theoretically creating a banana cartridge shape over time. I have never had an issue with this, but I neck turn/index to be consistent even with my factory rifle.
     
  14. heikki02003

    heikki02003 Active Member

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    I find it kind funny, and sad at the same time, that THE formula to accuracy is not being advocated.

    The Three B’s.

    1. Barrels
    2. Bullets
    3. Brass

    In the above order!

    I’ve thought today a little bit about why this is. Everybody knows the 3B’s, it’s in every reloading manual and on every accuracy forum. So why are people so quick to suggest not using this particular die, or using golf tee’s and water to find internal volume, or weigh brass and organize into little segregated piles, and suggesting the purchase of inexpensive measuring tools.
    The answer lies in not wanting to hear the truth; the truth being the three B’s. When some asks: “What can I do to not group two feet at a gazillion yards?” The answer: “Buy a better barrel” is not what one wants to hear. The question: “what can I do to my load (read bullet here) to shoot under an inch?” does not want the answer “go buy five different powders and five different bullets and experiment”. However, this is the truth of the matter.
    Imagine for a second perfect brass, and I mean perfect. Then Imagine the perfect load assembled with all the perfect tools and gadgets, one’s that “flatline” on concentricity gages and weigh exactly the same weight. Now shoot them down a factory barrel, you choose which one, I’m not here to be bashing. Your results will be mediocre.
    So, start with your barrel. Instead of buying this fancy tool, and that accuracy gage, and those premium brass, invest your money in a top of the line barrel and you will be amazed. They just shoot, even with poor loads.
    Secondly, experiment with many load combinations. Not just one bullet and a couple of powders, I mean really play until you find a combination that is suited to your barrel. While reloading, don’t convince yourself that it’s not shooting because of your brass prep or reloading procedure. It’s simply that you haven’t found the right bullet and powder combination.
    Finally, once you’re shooting .2’s and .3’s at 100, and have no vertical at 300 yards, then start fiddling with the little stuff. You may or may not notice a difference depending on the quality of brass you started with. The brass component of the three B’s is more a matter of maintenance, keeping them clean, to length, and annealed.

    Be happy and satisfied with how your rifle is shooting. Have fun, shoot, reload, enjoy yourself, and take a youngster along with you. Don’t expect miracles from factory fodder, be content. The money you spend on all the gadgets is wasteful (trust me I have them all). If you’re truly, and I mean truly unsatisfied with your results, then go out and buy a top of the line barrel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009