Hornaby Lock N Load bullet Comparator

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by thumbs, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    Very long story short but I have to reload my reloads. I have always noticed I just can't keep my OAL the same. Finely figured out my bullets are different lengths. The bullets are soft point .223 bullets. They are running between .7215 to .7225 most around .7220. I am guessing since I am measuring from the tip of the bullet to the base of the case my problem is the tips of the bullets vary about
    + or - .005. Now I already have the gage that is inverted into the chamber with the mod round but don't have the comparator. Now how much difference with the comparator make in my bullet seating considering the range of length? I realize this is not necessarily the ogive length but do you guys thing the comparator will make that much difference in accuracy?

    Also I am loading for my S&W Sport. Where might a good starting place be off the lands? I am just thinking maybe .0020. Is there a jump that seems to be a good starting point?

    thanks for the help
     
  2. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,819
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Yes, it made a difference in my accuracy. I started using the OAL Gauge and Comparators years ago when they were Stoney Point item's and never looked back.

    Bullet OAL based on bullet tip to base varies from bullet to bullet, in some cases. Using the OAL Gauge and Comparator your OAL's will be based on a specific diameter, which happens to be close to the same as where the lands and grooves start in the barrel for that particular caliber.

    For instance, if you determine, using your OAL Gauge, that the seating depth for a 115gn Berger in your .25-06 measured with the bullet comparator is 2.7830", then it's just a simple matter to set your seating die to seat .010" deeper (i.e., 2.7730"). The seating depth, at least in the Hornady CGND die is again, based on diameter, not bullet tip.

    Hope this helps. JohnnyK.
     
  3. 556

    556 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Using a comparator made a big difference in the accuracy of my loads. I learned a valuable lesson with Barnes TTSX bullets. I don't remember the specifics but I variation in lengths of the bullts. This caused very eratic groups. I would get 2 sometimes 3 shots into a bug hole and than I would have flyers or really big groups.
    This was very frustrating and I almost stopped using Barnes bullets. After I realized what the problem was and I started using a comparator my groups became consistent and accuracy improved alot.

    I had one of those moments when I kicked myself for not getting one sooner.
     
  4. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    Ok thanks guys. I live about an hour from Cabelas called they have the 6 piece set so I asked them to hold one for tomorrow.
    Now I have the ocg so I will be able to measure the depth of the chamber. Am I right to start by setting the oal back about .0020? How close in can I go? Is it safe to load .001 off the lands? Am I also correct in keeping my power the same and just working the oal to get the best accuracy?
    So now I should get a consistent ogive length for every cartridge. Perfect, thanks
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,493
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2003
    Pick a mild pressure load and fully run Berger's seating depth test(pinned here close by).
    Then with best seating chosen, run incremental load development with powder.
    Then with best seating, and best powder charge, tweak seating about slightly to shape grouping at distance.

    A seating comparator gage is the first step towards consistent seating. With this you can atleast see factors affecting your seating consistency, and work to improve it.
     
  6. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    Well got real technical with my oal gauge and the bullet comparator this afternoon. I am way short of my chamber length. The chamber measured 2.311 but the longest bullet I can fit in the pmag is 1.920. That is quite a jump. Did all the math ready to roll. Loaded up 10 rounds and found they didn't fit in the mag. So I just started shortening up the length using the comparator until they would feed reliably,I think.
    The next question is where should I go from here. I have to go shorter in length but in what increments? I am at 1.920 on the comparator. Should I drop .002 at a time or .005 or what increments? We are having a miserable rainy weekend so I have plenty of time to make a bunch to test out next week.

    Mikecr

    I wrote before I read your post thanks. Is the seating comparator the same as the bullet comparator?
    Oh I just read the pinned post. Yeah I hope I will be able to find the sweet spot considering I am trying to load these into an AR. I think I am already so far off the lands because of the magazines. I will probably go a couple of .0010 increments. and see what happens.

    thanks
     
  7. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    When loading to the book max coal my crimp was in the cannelure. When loading to the max my mag will take my crimp is well under the cannelure. Is this a problem? Should the crimp always be in the cannelure?
     
  8. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,990
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Thumbs,

    I believe I missed where you mention the caliber you are loading for?

    As far as crimping generally goes, I believe you will find that most who load for medium bore bolt action rifles do not crimp at all. Most crimping is reserved for semi-autos and larger bore rifles ( think 416 Rigby).

    So for your situation, if you are shooting anything smaller than .375 caliber, I would not worry about crimping at all. It is okey to have the cannelure exposed past the neck of the cartridge and not crimped.
     
  9. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    Well that's good news. I don't have any resources locally to get information. Thanks
    Sorry, as of now I am loading for my AR 5.56. I am in the process of looking for a bolt companion for her though. As of now just the AR.
     
  10. 556

    556 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    I have an AR 5.56 I use for long range shooting out to 600 yards. I have used 69 and 77 SMK bullets that have and do not have a cannelure (any more you shoot what you can find). I have tested my loads to see if I lost any accuracy using a magazine and loading and shooting one at a time with no crimping. I found no measurable difference from my AR. The only time I crimp my 5.56 ammo when loading "fun" ammo for my son who likes to "rock-n-roll" at times.
     
  11. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    In the quest for the best load I guess my next step is to play with the powder charge. My coal is pretty well fixed on the long end by the magazine. I "think" my best move now is to make up some test loads in .5 grain increments. Once I find "max" load that works without pressure signs then play with the coal down a bit to find a sweet spot. Does this make sense??
     
  12. 556

    556 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    What worked in my AR is loading the max COL for my magazine. I tried playing with COL, but it did not yield any tangible results. I focused on powder charge and primers. I worked up my loads in .5 grain increments until I found the most promising load. Than I went too .1 grain increments until I found the best load. What bullet weight are you using?
     
  13. thumbs

    thumbs Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    May 17, 2002
    Thanks. Just got done making up a 50 rounds in .5 grain increments. I left the oal the same in all the rounds. Pretty much the same thing you just said. Five different powder loads. Now my oak is just about as big as I can get in the magazine. I took the firing pin out and ran 10 rounds though the rifle and it seemed to work at least by hand. Before I resized the rounds just about everyone would stick in the chamber so there is progress. I'll have to take them out and fire them through to be sure.
     
  14. gohring3006

    gohring3006 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,180
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    I think that the only problem would be if it was so far below the canelure that there's not enough bullet to neck contact if u have plenty of bullet in the neck I wouldn't even apply a crimp