I need some help from the reloading gurus.

Here’s what I’ve got. It’s a Savage 308 win. I used Federal gold medal match for the barrel breakin and then worked up a load in the Federal brass that was shooting 1/4 moa with 168 grain Amax and 46 grains of Varget and a 210M primer. I only had about 40 pieces of Federal brass so after it was getting pretty shot out I grabbed a box of Lapua brass. I knew I’d have to tweak the load some but I expected just a small powder charge adjustment because I have done similar with other rifles In the past. Instead though this rifle just shoots like crap with the Lapua brass. 45.8 grains shoots the best at about 3/4”. So you think the brass needs fire formed first to shoot well? I’ve always had good luck with Lapua right out of the box. What are some of your thoughts??

I have not changed anything g else in the load. I just took the 1/4 moa load and put it in the Lapua brass. Same primer. Same bullet. Same seating depth. And the same charge at first. Then I went up to 46.6 grains and 45.5 grains. 45.8 shot around 3/4 moa and below that opened up and above that opened up. It’s got me a little puzzled.

Here’s a pic of how it was shooting with the Federal brass. I know it says 45.8 grains but 46 (like I said above) proved to be the better load after more testing.
Are comparing fireformed Federal brass to new Lapua brass? Apples to Oranges. Don't get stuck here. Fireworks your brass for maximum results.
 
I'd like to hear remarks from a competitive, 'winning', long-range shooter how he preps is brass step by step~!

You would be surprised to find that a lot of f class shooters just pull lapua out the box and load it.

To the OP. Anytime you change components or even a different lot of powder you need to rework the load. Especially when you use different brass. It’s just a basic precaution. It can also be a safety issue if you have a max load and you switch to brass with a smaller internal volume. So count yourself lucky that all it did was shoot bad. It could have been a lot worse.
 
Just my opinion I shoot 5 shot groups
3 shot groups don’t tell the tale
I had too many 3 one hole and the other 2 ain’t in
I reloaded for 15 years before I got a chrono
It makes it easier but not mandatory
Once I start to narrow the load down I might switch to 5 shot groups but early on it’s a waste of materials in my opinion. If I shoot 3 shots and they shoot a 1.5 inch group throwing two more at it isn’t going to make me feel any better about it. If they shoot 1/2” I can always load and shoot some more of them. Just how I do it.
 
You would be surprised to find that a lot of f class shooters just pull lapua out the box and load it.

To the OP. Anytime you change components or even a different lot of powder you need to rework the load. Especially when you use different brass. It’s just a basic precaution. It can also be a safety issue if you have a max load and you switch to brass with a smaller internal volume. So count yourself lucky that all it did was shoot bad. It could have been a lot worse.
Erik Cortina runs it right out of the box.

👍🏻And I did start lower. I always do. They shot bad. I just didn’t see the need to mention it.
 
Exactly! I posted this because I’ve never had so much difference in a new box of brass and what I was using and I expected answers like “yeah that’s common with my latest boxes of Lapua. Shoot it all and reload it and it’ll be fine”. OR something like that. Instead I’ve got a whole range of stuff with some seeming like I’ve claimed to have the best shooting rifle know to man because I used “1/4 moa load” as a rough description of how the federal load was averaging to shoot. 🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️. I did get a lot of helpful info as well though so it was worth it.
If you need anything just holler 812-264-6183
 
Are comparing fireformed Federal brass to new Lapua brass? Apples to Oranges. Don't get stuck here. Fireworks your brass for maximum results.
well. I’m sure many guys here have way more experience at it than I do but In The past I’ve had really good luck using Lapua basically right out of the box. Basically run it through a die, trim it and load it. Even Erik Cortina does it so he claims in some videos. But this particular box shot horrible that way. Yesterday I took some of the once fired and prepped it up, loaded and shot it and it shot MUCH MUCH better. So I don’t know where to put the blame but I see what I need to do I believe. I have some more loaded up to test tonight. We’ll see how those do
 
I don't believe he does. Please reference his fire forming video.
I’ll have to do more research on it. I haven’t seen all his videos but I did see a video of his in the last couple weeks where he was talking about uniforming primer pockets and neck sizing and turning and weight sorting and he said that in his opinion most people do more damage than good and he said just buy Lapua and take it out of the box and use it. That’s what I do.

Again I haven’t followed him long or seen a tremendous amount of his stuff but I did hear him say that.

He also said to stop neck sizing and use a FL die and bump the shoulder .002” instead which happens to be what I’ve done for years. I played with neck sizing and FL sizing both and what seems to give me the best accuracy is exactly what he said. Set a FL to bump it back .002” from a fired case. Also you have to have a well annealed case for this to do well other wise it’ll just spring back if the brass is too hard. Just what I’ve seen. I think he anneals after every firing if I’m not mistaken. I do every other firing. But I hunt. Not shoot for money

I’ll add there’s also no way to tell how genuine he meant that. 🤷🏼‍♂️
 
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Ok, I have to add to the discussion because it seems we are all beating around the bush here. Accuracy is a function of combustion, harmonics and down range ballistics. If you change any of the three, accuracy will change in one direction or the other. If you use different brass with a different case capacity your velocity will change as a function of pressure change and neck tension change. Sometimes a small amount sometimes a large amount regardless of whether you are using the same charge of powder and primer. This will effect how long the bullet takes to exit the barrel. Which brings up harmonics. Your barrel vibrates at the shot, depending on where/when in the vibration the bullet exits the barrel determines whether the load/barrel is in tune with this sine curve of vibration. This is where seating depth and barrel tuners have an effect. The last is down range ballistics which is a function of velocity down range and bullet design and really not important for the discussion. Bottom line to the OP. You changed combustion of the cartridge so you need to do another ladder then do a seating depth test to get your accuracy back.
 
I’ll have to do more research on it. I haven’t seen all his videos but I did see a video of his in the last couple weeks where he was talking about uniforming primer pockets and neck sizing and turning and weight sorting and he said that in his opinion most people do more damage than good and he said just buy Lapua and take it out of the box and use it. That’s what I do.

Again I haven’t followed him long or seen a tremendous amount of his stuff but I did hear him say that.

He also said to stop neck sizing and use a FL die and bump the shoulder .002” instead which happens to be what I’ve done for years. I played with neck sizing and FL sizing both and what seems to give me the best accuracy is exactly what he said. Set a FL to bump it back .002” from a fired case. Also you have to have a well annealed case for this to do well other wise it’ll just spring back if the brass is too hard. Just what I’ve seen. I think he anneals after every firing if I’m not mistaken. I do every other firing. But I hunt. Not shoot for money
Yes, I agree with don't waste time on uniforming primer pockets and flash holes on new Lapua brass. Erik is very good at not wasting time on things that do not work to add accuracy but he does fire form. He has a whole video on a fire forming gun that he built with a water cooled jacket. If the case is not uniform to the chamber (bumped .002 for ease of extraction) then you are giving away accuracy. I actually bump .004 in my hunting rounds to give a little extra in extreme hunting conditions. Good discussion
 
Ok, I have to add to the discussion because it seems we are all beating around the bush here. Accuracy is a function of combustion, harmonics and down range ballistics. If you change any of the three, accuracy will change in one direction or the other. If you use different brass with a different case capacity your velocity will change as a function of pressure change and neck tension change. Sometimes a small amount sometimes a large amount regardless of whether you are using the same charge of powder and primer. This will effect how long the bullet takes to exit the barrel. Which brings up harmonics. Your barrel vibrates at the shot, depending on where/when in the vibration the bullet exits the barrel determines whether the load/barrel is in tune with this sine curve of vibration. This is where seating depth and barrel tuners have an effect. The last is down range ballistics which is a function of velocity down range and bullet design and really not important for the discussion. Bottom line to the OP. You changed combustion of the cartridge so you need to do another ladder then do a seating depth test to get your accuracy back.
I agree 100%. And if I were trying to win a competition I’d do just that. But I’m hoping just just fiddle a little with this and get it tuned down to around 1/2 MOA. 5/8. Somewhere like that and I’ll be happy with it for a short to midrange Hunting rifle. That’s why I used Gold medal match to break it in and used the brass because I thought that would be “close enough”. If I wanted the best accuracy I would have just bought 300 Lapua cases right from the start. You have some excellent points. Thank you
 
Looks like you are getting your load worked out. I've used a lot of Federal brass and have found new brass tends to have slightly larger primer pockets than some other brands. Went down that rabbit hole of using pin gauges to measures them a while ago. The 30-06 Lapua brass I use definitely takes a bit more seating force with my setup. Ignition timing is the new rabbit hole I'm working on.
 
Yes, I agree with don't waste time on uniforming primer pockets and flash holes on new Lapua brass. Erik is very good at not wasting time on things that do not work to add accuracy but he does fire form. He has a whole video on a fire forming gun that he built with a water cooled jacket. If the case is not uniform to the chamber (bumped .002 for ease of extraction) then you are giving away accuracy. I actually bump .004 in my hunting rounds to give a little extra in extreme hunting conditions. Good discussion
Yes Erik got that idea from Speedy. I was using the one Speedy had back 15 years ago to fireform brass lol. Send him an email and ask him who helps and give him a lot of his ideas???

I also use fireforming barrels myself. No big deal, you just have to have the right equipment and someone to show you the best way to implement the process.
 
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