What usefull info can I get from factory loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by goose, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. esshup

    esshup Well-Known Member

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    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).
     

  3. minuteman

    minuteman New Member

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    Jul 28, 2009
    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.
     
  4. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  5. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    How do I evaluate... and then adjust neck tension?
     
  6. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  7. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  8. SQ Stalker

    SQ Stalker Active Member

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    I don't mean to hi-jack this thread but I'd thought that I had read some where to lightly lube the inside of the case neck prior to seating the bullet?

    I've done so on the last 150 rounds.

    What are the pro's and con's of lubing or not (inside the case neck)?

    Thanks
     
  9. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    It depends on what lube you use. My understanding is that some lubes will harden and not stay the same over time. I think the dry lubes do not have this problem. I have never lubed my necks prior to seating, I know that Froggy does it Froggy Part II -- Reloading and I'd never argue with his results.

    What lube are you using?


    AJ
     
  10. SQ Stalker

    SQ Stalker Active Member

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    I'm using just some RCBS Case Lube-2.

    What are the reasons that this may help or hurt accuracy?

    Stalker