Inconsistent Meplats on Berger 168 (and other weight) bullets

SidecarFlip

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Building loads for a couple custom rifles and got to looking closely at the meplats on the VLD Hunting bergers. They are quite inconsistent under mild magnification. I was kind of dismayed at the inconsistent meplats.

It makes it difficult to gage COAL when building load ladders in relationship to jump.

Owning a machine shop, my cure was to build a jig for one of the lathes and coillet chuck the Bergers and lightly square the meplats, no a big deal but I would have thought the bergers to be more consistent...

They vary in consistency from box to box as well, with some meplats being square and some looking like a one sided hip roof house or a melting ice cream cone.... not good.

Overall consistency box to box.... I guess not.

Seroiusly considering switching to a hybrid, polymer tipped pill just for consistency.
 

jfseaman

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It's not unique to Berger, most of the hollow points come from the factory that way.

The older the date of manufacture, the worse they seem to be.

This is what spawned creation the bullet trimming and tipping tools.

Trimming and tipping does have a positive effect.
 

bigngreen

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You should never use the meplat to measure Coal on anything precision any way, measure the base to ogive for consistent seating, same goes for tipped bullets, the only bullet I've seen that you can base precision measurements on the meplat is a Lathe turned copper bullet.
 

barefooter56

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Building loads for a couple custom rifles and got to looking closely at the meplats on the VLD Hunting bergers. They are quite inconsistent under mild magnification. I was kind of dismayed at the inconsistent meplats.

It makes it difficult to gage COAL when building load ladders in relationship to jump.

Owning a machine shop, my cure was to build a jig for one of the lathes and coillet chuck the Bergers and lightly square the meplats, no a big deal but I would have thought the bergers to be more consistent...

They vary in consistency from box to box as well, with some meplats being square and some looking like a one sided hip roof house or a melting ice cream cone.... not good.

Overall consistency box to box.... I guess not.

Seroiusly considering switching to a hybrid, polymer tipped pill just for consistency.
Sidecarflip,
These gentlemen are correct. Regarding the OAL difference you are relaying, this is a normal result of the bullet forming process. The amount that a bullet can vary in length can be as much as .020. The reason why this doesn't affect performance in a negative way is important to understand. What we do is when we set up to make a bullet, we know that the OAL may vary as much as .020. So we set the die so that the longest and the shortest of these still has the same meplat (tip) diameter. As long as the meplat(tip) is the same size from bullet to bullet there will be no difference in the drag the bullet produces. Another aspect of this situation is that the more important dimension related to trajectory consistency is the consistent shape of the nose. We make all of our bullets using one die design that when one die is worn out the next one is machined exactly like the last one was when it was new so the nose shapes will be precisely the same. When you seat these bullets into your cases, no matter how long or how short the bullet OAL is the distance from the base of the cartridge case to the point where the bullet engages the rifling will be within a few .001 IF you have not or don't sort the bullets into groups by measuring the base to ogive and making small adjustments to your seating die stem length to compensate for each group. In many cases this dimension will vary no more than .001-.002. These dimensions are the most important in regards to performance.
 

SidecarFlip

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I see. No issue, I'll make up my own comparator plugs for the calipers then. Nothing I can't make.

I was suprised by how much they were deformed on some pills. Some were fine, others were lopsided.

I don't want to tip a hunting pill so I squared the tips of the pills using the LeBlond and collets Without loosing the hollow point of course....
 

barefooter56

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I see. No issue, I'll make up my own comparator plugs for the calipers then. Nothing I can't make.

I was suprised by how much they were deformed on some pills. Some were fine, others were lopsided.

I don't want to tip a hunting pill so I squared the tips of the pills using the LeBlond and collets Without loosing the hollow point of course....
sidecarflip,
Yes! Don't meplat uniform a hunting bullet and then point it back up !!! Affects the bullet performance on the animal in a bad way. Plus , meplat uniforming has no affect on a bullet in a meaningful way as far as vertical dispersion is concerned under 600 yards.
 

jfseaman

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I went with the Whidden trimmer: I'm not completely happy. Holding the bullet down is difficult and the cutter snags because it is not supported inside the bullet holder.

Per the Review of Montour Meplat Trimmer and Kevin Cram of MCR, if I made a new holder then the end mill would ream the bullet holder. I like Kevin's solution of using a 3/8 shaft with a 1/4 cutter and supporting the smooth end of the end mill inside the bullet holder.

I will need to examine my setup as I know I have been avoiding trimming tips because of the Whidden (IMO) short comings. I will either make something like the MCR or just buy the MCR. I really like the MCR de-burring tool.

Hmmm another $100 for reloading tools.....:cool:
 

SidecarFlip

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sidecarflip,
Yes! Don't meplat uniform a hunting bullet and then point it back up !!! Affects the bullet performance on the animal in a bad way. Plus , meplat uniforming has no affect on a bullet in a meaningful way as far as vertical dispersion is concerned under 600 yards.

Rest assured I would never point a hunting (hollow point pill) Pointing defeats the purpose of the hunting pill, loosing the hollow point....

I went with the Whidden trimmer: I'm not completely happy. Holding the bullet down is difficult and the cutter snags because it is not supported inside the bullet holder.

Per the Review of Montour Meplat Trimmer and Kevin Cram of MCR, if I made a new holder then the end mill would ream the bullet holder. I like Kevin's solution of using a 3/8 shaft with a 1/4 cutter and supporting the smooth end of the end mill inside the bullet holder.

I will need to examine my setup as I know I have been avoiding trimming tips because of the Whidden (IMO) short comings. I will either make something like the MCR or just buy the MCR. I really like the MCR de-burring tool.

Hmmm another $100 for reloading tools.....:cool:

So far so good with the Whidden custom machined dies I got. I like the MCR trimmer, at least what I read on their site. I could make one of those as well. I have mill lengths 21 foot sticks of 0.750 304 stainless in the shop all the time for a continuous running job. Whipped out some aluminum ogive fixtures last night after supper after the help went home, nice to own a machine shop sometimes.

Interestingly, I'm not getting an internal burr tipping the pills on the LeBlond in a collet and running a 1/16 4 flute Tin coated mill in the tailstock.

I juiced up the ways a bit with way oil to really provide easy movement of the tailstock and it seems to work fine just nudging the mill to the meplat with the spindle at rest and then running up the spindle to 2000 rpm for a second, backing off the tailstock and lightly removing the outside burr with crocus cloth.

Us old farts are only looking at 600 yards maximum anyway. I'm not a mountaintop to mountaintop shooter.
 

SidecarFlip

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sidecarflip,
Yes! Don't meplat uniform a hunting bullet and then point it back up !!! Affects the bullet performance on the animal in a bad way. Plus , meplat uniforming has no affect on a bullet in a meaningful way as far as vertical dispersion is concerned under 600 yards.

I guess I coulkd always drive up to Newago and agitate Brian or his dad....:D

My hunting property is about 6 miles from Brian's range. Put in for a bear draw tag. The DNR will do nothing about the bears raiding garbage cans and agitating the neighbors so maybe I can bag one this fall....
 

MudRunner2005

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Thats a nice tool. I went on and read everything I could about them.... Thanks

Not a problem. Anytime I can help, I try to. :D

I have been wanting one since I saw them last year. But they don't offer a .25 caliber one, so that kind of frustrates me, since my main 3 calibers are .257, 7mm, and .308.
 

SidecarFlip

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Not a problem. Anytime I can help, I try to. :D

I have been wanting one since I saw them last year. But they don't offer a .25 caliber one, so that kind of frustrates me, since my main 3 calibers are .257, 7mm, and .308.

I bet if you called them, they'd machine that insert. Most shops I know are very flexible.
 
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