loading for sub 1MOA accuracy (components/equipment) and steps

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bigeclipse, Oct 8, 2019.


Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:


  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,346
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Ive been reloading for about 5 years now but ive never purchased high-end components (except brass) nor have I purchased some types equipment such as bullet runout tools. I am not looking to 1/4MOA groups although I do require sub MOA loads out to 400 yards. Obviously the smaller the better but ive tried to keep things somewhat simple for now. Right now my reloading equipment and steps are as follows: lapua brass which has been shot once. I full length size my brass using redding full length sizing dies. Check overall length and trim if needed. I check primer pockets for burs in the flash hole but that's about it. I prime using a RCBS hand priming tool. I then weigh each powder charge and confirm with two scales (gempro250 and balance beam) to at least the nearest tenth. I drop powder and seat bullet with a standard seating die. I measure each round to the ogive using the Hornady tool. I also have the tool which allows you to use a dummy round to check the distance to the lands. I then will do a powder charge OCW test with bullets seated at .020 off the lands (unless using bergers, which I will then use berger method). Once I find an accuracy node, I then will mess with seating depth to see if I can tighten the groups anymore unless the groups are already small enough for my needs. Again, since I only hunt to 400 yards I desire only 1MOA or better due to not a lot of time in my life for reloading and testing.

    I am wondering if I am missing anything important which could drastically help improve my reloading or maybe even time it takes to reload without losing consistency such as better loading dies such as competition bullet seater dies or run out gauges or steps in my reloading. Any info or advice would be greatly appreciated. I know there are tons of things I could be doing such all bullet run out and many other steps. I am not looking to add in a ton of new steps but if there is one or two other things which could potentially make a significant improvement im all ears. Thank you!
     
  2. Orange Dust

    Orange Dust Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    You are doing enough to get MOA to 400. All I ever did for years, and loaded some pretty accurate ammo. There are several things you can do if you want better, but they won't really show up or matter until you start shooting further. It all has to do with loading more consistent ammo. Doing flash holes, primer pockets, necks, weighing cases, sorting bullets, inline seating, all have a small effect. These really start to show around 600, and become critical further.
     
  3. milo-2

    milo-2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    One question first, is your rifle capable of shooting moa at 400 yards?
    I do not see where you are doing anything wrong. My only suggestion would be to shoot 2-3 shot ladder tests at 400 if you can, and find a range of charges that hold similar vertical. You did not say what cartridge you are shooting so I cannot help with the graduations of suitable charges. But say you get a .5gr-7gr range where all shots hold good vertical, most likely you are in a node.
    From there it may be as simple as tuning seat depth or adjusting neck tension.

    If you swear you do not have the time, maybe finding a suitable factory ammo may be for you, many out there that get this job done.
     
  4. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    819
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    I’m using a Lyman turret press, standard RCBS dies, Barnes Bullets, normal brass preparation, with individually weighed charges....and am getting 3/4 moa (occasionally less) @ 300 yards, from a 9 pound rifle ( hint: it ain’t a Creedmoor) with 3.5-10 scope. So.....it’s quite doable with basic equipment! memtb
     
    Tommo64, WyoHunter1 and Alibiiv like this.
  5. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,346
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    I meant this is my process for all the rifles I reload for. I reload for me and my wife so this causes me to have to reload for 4 rifles. 2 main rifles and 2 backup rifles. This causes me less time. One reason for not going factory loads is sometimes you come across a rifle is just picky and you spend a time and a bunch of money on trying to find that load which shoots well. then you need to purchase as much factory ammo in the lot. I have never not been able to get at least decent 1MOA load for any of our rifles yet. Just checking to see if there is an easy step im not doing which could help OR a tool/component I should add in which could help such as transitioning to competition seater dies instead of the standard redding dies I currently use?

    I did forget something else I do. I do use a chronograph to monitor my velocities. Not exactly to see ES/SD but more just to see what speeds im at. I do make mental notes if I see large ES/SD though and will avoid those loads if possible.
     
  6. milo-2

    milo-2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    I get the factory ammo rabbit hole, I went through this same thing with a Tikka 243 this spring that no way I was going to load for.
    Once again, I do not think you are doing much or anything wrong. Do you have a friend, or someone in your area that could help you, mentors are priceless? We all learn every day in this game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  7. Orange Dust

    Orange Dust Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,009
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    One thing you could add to your loading that I have really become a fan of. A Sinclair neck expanding mandrel die. Remove the expander from your die and expand the necks in a separate operation. Will give you more consistent neck tension and a little less runout. The good news is it is cheap. Might or might not tighten groups much if any, but it will help eliminate flyers and lower your vertical.
     
  8. martinakl

    martinakl Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Messages:
    917
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Check out "Panhandle Precision" on youtube.

    I just watched his 8 part series over the weekend and felt it was time well spent:



    +1 for the Sinclair Neck Expanding Mandrel (post #7). I particularly like it for prepping new brass.
     
    Tommo64 and Deputy819 like this.
  9. baldhunter

    baldhunter Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    543
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    You can spend a fortune on tools trying to make some barrels shoot great.I would start with a good match grade barrel and I think you will find things just got a lot easier to get great accuracy.
     
  10. 436

    436 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    838
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009

    I'm just going to throw this in, you might pick up a Lee Factory Crimp die some times it helps, not just with uniform tension release, also with cartridge concentricity as we'll, bringing the bullet and neck into a better alignment... some times a lighter crimp helps other times a heavier crimp helps... the flip-side would be a friction hold using a case neck mandrel of your choice (size) for tension and release, but... then depending on brass you might have to turn the necks. Just a thought on this end.
     
  11. tnek13

    tnek13 Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Concentricity is important. If you do not measure it you just don't know if the bullet travels straight into the lands. Standard seating dies can do a creditable job, Forster Ultimate seating dies do a great job of getting the bullet straight into the case. Bullet pull consistency is covered above with the expanding mandrel and even the Lee die, but crimp is not always necessary or desired depending on the type of rifle. Shoulder set back is obtained by setting the sizing die to bump the shoulder.001 thousandths or so for a bolt gun. You don't mention the rifle type, caliber, barrel twist, bullet type, or powder, these factors matter, you said you chose quality components so I will assume you have chosen wisely. One last thing, when testing for groups take your time, make sure your hold, shoulder pressure, rest, trigger pull, etc are consistent as well as your scope solid - I only throw this in because last week I got really frustrated until I found that my scope base had loosened, my fault but as careful as I try to be stupid things happen.
     
    corsair4360, Tommo64 and memtb like this.
  12. Bill Cauley Jr

    Bill Cauley Jr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Sort you bullets by weight is a good place to start also a micrometer seater, I use redding myself so nothing wrong there
     
    just country likes this.
  13. Alibiiv

    Alibiiv Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Messages:
    859
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    I use a salt annealing system and use the Sinclair mandrel system on everything I load for, it’s made a difference with my groups
     
  14. memtb

    memtb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    819
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    I certainly can’t verify if it helps or not but, as I use standard dies....this. When seating my bullet, I seat completely, rotate (turn) the loaded cartridge approximately 180 degrees and seat again. Probably just a waste of time and effort....but, it makes me feel good. And, most of our stuff shoots pretty good! memtb
     
    shooter7, Tree Farmer and Alibiiv like this.