BERGER BEWARE!

thwatson2

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Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
157
just my opinion, I believe that we(humans)are the biggest error in shooting. Yes there are flaws in rifles, scopes, bullets and reloading equipment, but none as great as us. In the pics of coal it actually looks like bullet is out slightly(seating die?) on bullet length 0.014in difference could be product of pressure exerted on bullet? I’m not saying either is factual, I’m just making suggestion. I cast and handload a great number of bullets. I assure you they have no where near 0.014 tolerance, but at 1000 yards I can bang steal all day long with open sights. Granted that’s on 45-110 going 1450 FPS. More importantly than the measurements, how do they perform in your rifle? Are they grouping well, do they chrono well as a group.
 

Svashtar

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Joined
Dec 8, 2019
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67
Location
Central Coast, CA
I think you read his post differently. He isn't stating there is a variance within the same lot. He is stating a variance between two separate lots, which should always be expected regardless of the manufacturer.

The title of his post is also misleading as this isn't a Berger issue. It's not even an "issue". It is 100% normal variance in manufacturing bullets on different days or different machines (hence different lot #s).
S&*t! You're absolutely right. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to me, and my apologies. What I get for replying on my ancient phone instead of waiting for the computer. (Maybe the fact that he shows two different boxes should have tipped me off...! :rolleyes:)

My comments only made sense if everything was from the same lot. I've never tried Berger's but have definitely seen variations in my favorite Sierra's lot to lot. I do think some of the responses were overly lecturing though, and don't see how the reloader could do anything differently other than carefully sort and load and measure by lot.
 
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P7id10t

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Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
131
Location
Orygun
You shouldn't be relying on COAL. The ogives vary a little but bullet tips vary a lot. You should be measuring off the ogives for the best accuracy.
Absolutely agree with you on this one. This last batch was for OCW group tests and I was loading to SAMMI specs because I was too darned lazy to dig my comparator out of the tool box. Granted, that introduces another error in the test, but *my* error is the greatest factor, and the variation of up to 15 mils would have negligible effect on the test, like using Pi to six decimal places when my calipers only go to four.
I'm never going to get to where I think of 400 yards as being close until I learn all I can from the guys who have advanced past the point where I am before I did.
Huh? Reading and studying does not compare to doing. There are fine men (and I'm sure women) in our area (PDX here) who go out to Yaccolt Burn or the GPNF and shoot 1 mile plus. I have places in the Tillamook to shoot 1K. The problem is, setting up targets is an hour long process itself.
 

gator378

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Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
250
Whenever I buy components, i.e., bullets, I always buy them in same lot #’s of 500, 1000, or 1500. The attached photos show the reason why I do this.
Yesterday, I ran out of my supply of the “red label” batch of Berger’s and started on the standard “yellow box” of bullets. Always, I check the case head to Ogive measurement to get the cartridge overall length ( C.O.A.L.). I discovered that I was getting @ 0.015 difference in COAL . Additionally, I knew that my brass was not the problem ( 3rd. firing, all trimmed to exact length). The issue had to be in the bullets... and I had JUST switched lot #’s. If I had been setting the “jump” at 0.005”, that new round would have put me jammed into the lands @ 0.010”. At worst scenario: potentially dangerous pressure, at best: ruined accuracy.
Just posting this to show members what can happen and why OCD is not necessarily a bad disease to have when rolling your own.View attachment 196263View attachment 196262View attachment 196264View attachment 196265
I found out the hard that all bullets not the same length. Could not figure why my COAL were not the same. Turned the bullets were not the same. I figure the bullets were still more accurate than me.
 

Svashtar

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Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
67
Location
Central Coast, CA
This thread was worth reading just to find out about the Sinclair Hex Comparator. So much better than the Hornady that requires changing the bushing for each bullet size.

thanks for draining $20 out of my pocket! ;)
You know, I started with the Sinclair multi-caliber hex nut comparators, and there's nothing wrong with them, they're fine tools, but I've grown to prefer the caliper mounted tools with inserts. I have the longer Sinclair XL comparator and bump gage body, and picked up a standard length red Hornady body so that I can have a comparator body on each caliper blade to measure the bullet's bearing surface if I want. Rather than use the Hornady inserts which fit both, I use the Sinclair SS comparator and bump gage inserts.

My favorite of these gauges though, (and I didn't really need it with the other two, but when did that stop anyone), is the Whidden Gunworks multi-purpose overall length gauge. At first I thought I had to buy their more pricy bushing inserts, but it takes the Sinclair SS inserts as well. It's just a really nice, well made stainless steel tool, heavier and better finished than the Sinclair XL body, which had a couple of cosmetic issues in the aluminum. Like the Sinclair XL it has a longer form factor to handle .375 caliber bullets if you need that.

Whidden Gunworks Multi-Purpose Overall Length Gauge

As long as I use the same body / insert combo each time they all work fine; as has been pointed out, you'll get different numbers if you measure using different comparators, but it doesn't matter if you're consistent as it's a reference point rather than a fixed value.

Here's a pic of all three side by side:
 

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Trental

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Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
64
S&*t! You're absolutely right. Thanks for pointing out the obvious to me, and my apologies. What I get for replying on my ancient phone instead of waiting for the computer. (Maybe the fact that he shows two different boxes should have tipped me off...! :rolleyes:)

My comments only made sense if everything was from the same lot. I've never tried Berger's but have definitely seen variations in my favorite Sierra's lot to lot. I do think some of the responses were overly lecturing though, and don't see how the reloader could do anything differently other than carefully sort and load and measure by lot.
I think today's climate on social media is overly lecturing (like you said) and for the lack of a better word, insensitive. It seems easier to be jerk rather than helpful.
 

nicholasjohn

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Joined
Feb 12, 2019
Messages
620
Location
Vancouver, WA
Absolutely agree with you on this one. This last batch was for OCW group tests and I was loading to SAMMI specs because I was too darned lazy to dig my comparator out of the tool box. Granted, that introduces another error in the test, but *my* error is the greatest factor, and the variation of up to 15 mils would have negligible effect on the test, like using Pi to six decimal places when my calipers only go to four.
Huh? Reading and studying does not compare to doing. There are fine men (and I'm sure women) in our area (PDX here) who go out to Yaccolt Burn or the GPNF and shoot 1 mile plus. I have places in the Tillamook to shoot 1K. The problem is, setting up targets is an hour long process itself.
You're right - I didn't mean to imply that I thought I would learn more from reading a forum than from getting out there and doing it. I'm surprised that you took it that way. My point is that I can save myself a lot of wasted time by reading how guys with good solid experience are doing it before I waste a bunch of time doing something that isn't going to bear fruit for me. Book-learning is only good to a point. Going hands-on is where the understanding comes from, not to mention where the fun is. I've known this for a very long time. I also know that I don't want to start shooting at 1000 yards until I have figured out a lot more about shooting at 500.

I'm also in the PDX area ( Vancouver ) and I wonder how I could get in touch with some of the local shooters you mention here. Also, where is GPNF ? I know where Yaccolt is, but have not heard of the Yaccolt Burn. Any help you have would be appreciated.
 

bullet man

Active Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
42
Location
dallas ga
I buy a lot of pulled bullets for 556 and 308 u would be surprised even on fmj bullets there are differences. I seat 20 rounds then I measure for the correct over all length because I am magazine restricted. The longest round out of the 20 will be the one to set the final depth with. That way they will all fit the magazines. The last batch of 556 had two different manufactures the ones from Canada GENERAL DYNAMICS have a longer tip than the American version. So I loaded them all then I had to pull out the Canadian loads and reseat them again to get the right length.
 

del2les

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Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
538
Location
South Central, CO
Variances between all component lots are routine and often in the same lot/box. During my years of searching for extreme precision in SR/LR BR shooting and LR varminting, I multi-measured and weighed every bullet from a box of match/br/varmint bullets, and of the 100pcs, I would sort the closest 10-20pcs into groups for load development. Even among my meticulous hand-swaged BR bullets, I would find minor differences that I would then sort for loading/testing.

Sometimes for the shorter ranges, the bullet variances showed minor negative effect on the groups, but with less consistency, it was measurable. As the ranges grew, so did the negative effects. In all aspects, effective and consistent ELR shooting requires close attention to every detail, but this level of precision may not be a requirement for those desiring shorter ranges on larger game.

Regardless of one's ultimate handload, the most important factor still remains the loose at the end of the stock. YMMV
 

Grizzhunt

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Joined
Nov 23, 2019
Messages
68
Location
Utah
That’s a cool little tool I’ve never seen one before. You would have noticed something was wrong when you went to close the bolt tho. Something to always check when loading a new set up. I’d have to use an oal gauge to check not having that tool.
 

P7id10t

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Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
131
Location
Orygun
My point is that I can save myself a lot of wasted time by reading how guys with good solid experience are doing it before I waste a bunch of time doing something that isn't going to bear fruit for me. Book-learning is only good to a point.
Agreed. Cannot count the times I have learned something in theory, thought I understood it, and then discovered how much was missing in the application of that knowledge.
I'll reach out to folks to see about long distance shooting parties.
Edit to add: I need to work up some loads on one rifle and dope on another.
 

nvschütze

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Joined
Aug 5, 2019
Messages
391
Location
Nevada
A gunsmith of many decades' experience told me that we get variations in base-to-ogive distances because the bullets we use are made on several machines. Each machine produces a different bullet by just a few thousandths in length. Only thing to be done is to sort them with a comparator and live with what you get...
 

tnek13

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Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
122
Location
NW Indiana
Bergers shoot! Measure everything, record it, and know that if you change anything the result could be different. This is nothing new it is one of the first things that reloading manuals tell us.
 

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