Reloading newbie - what do these pictures tell you?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by eric1115, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. eric1115

    eric1115 Member

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    Hey all, got this .308 back together after bedding the new stock, brought out some factory ammo I had laying around just to see. I have a very capable reloading friend who is going to help me develop a load, but I would love to learn as much as I can here as well. Hoping to get some clues as to where to start on load development.

    First 5. Cheap Federal blue box 180's. 1st shot was cold bore, 1st shot after reassembly, next 4 into approx 1/2" @ 100. Yes!

    Next group with Hornady precision Hunter 178 eldx. 3 shots, 2"

    Next group, same load 2 1/4".

    Rifle is a Savage with a factory barrel.

    I would love to run the eldx 178s in my handload if I can get it to shoot. Open to suggestions though. Seating depth issue? How likely is it that the rifle just doesn't like that bullet? Is there anything I can learn from the good group to get me headed toward a better load with a better bullet?

    Thanks in advance!
    Eric

    Edit: I see photos did not post. I'll try to add them again, but they are just the groups. Nothing funny in group shapes.
     
  2. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I wouldn't read to much into factory ammo. Generally lousy.

    Steve
     
  3. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the factory ammo told you that your gun can shoot but that’s about it.
    With ur savage you’ll have some magazine to play with seating depth at least
     
  4. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't read into it too much either. Pick which bullet you want to use and load for it. I usually have a bullet and powder in mind, and load with that. I have yet to not be able to get acceptable accuracy (.5 MOA or less) from doing this, as long as you take care to make good decisions on your components.
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Factory ammo in itself is normally not very good because the bullets used are not very good. Factory ammo that loads custom bullets can be much better because of bullet quality.

    If you use factory ammo, It is best to buy there premium ammo because it is normally loaded with quality bullets. Factory made bullets do fairly good on game at close distances but are not very accurate at longer distances.

    Bullet makers that specialize in bullets only, Know that they have to be precise and well made because the consumer (Re loaders) are very discriminating and expect quality bullets to perform. If they don't, they wont stay in business long.

    Re-loaders are very demanding and want/need quality components
    in order to load precision ammo. The only true way to find out how accurate a rifle is, is to do load work ups. Get your friend to coach you on the proper way to load quality ammo, and also buy several good brands of re loading manuals and study them cover to cover. It is not something that you can master overnight, so take your time and be careful.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  6. bigedp51

    bigedp51 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to learn about reloading then buy a Lyman manual and start reading from page one.
    Every year I pickup one of my manuals and re-read it to replace any info that may have leaked out of my ears. :)

    Before the Internet most of your reloading information came from reading.
    When you ask questions in forums you are playing "Who do you trust" so become familiarize with the reloading manuals and the advice in them.
     
  7. Snowrun

    Snowrun Well-Known Member

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    Might want to check the torque on your action screws since you just re-assembled it after the bedding job.
     
  8. eric1115

    eric1115 Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone! Action screws were checked and still correct. I'll just take the small group as an indicator that the rifle can shoot, and not read anything more into it than that. Seems like the Berger seating depth method works well for a lot of folks with the secant ogive on these, yeah?
     
  9. codyadams

    codyadams Well-Known Member

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    Yup. you can do an OCW work up first (optimal charge weight) where I chrono and look for a node and find max pressure, or you can do an OAL test first, with a starting to median load. I GENERALLY find more of a difference in powder charge than seating depth unless I'm using VLD type bullets, so with ELD-M's I load between .010" and .020" off the lands (or maximum allowed mag length, whichever is required) and do a OCW work up. Every VLD I have shot performed great at .010" off the lands, so I start there as well and do an OCW work up. I rarely have to fiddle with seating depth with the VLD's if I can load that close to the lands.

    If I can't load .010" off due to OAL restrictions, I start with a median or starting charge, and at max mag length and work away from the lands as the Berger method states until around .150" off or so, depending on throat length. Don't load until the ogive is below the case mouth. Using these methods, I have had pretty good success, and almost always have an excellent performing load in under 30 rounds.
     
  10. Canhunter35

    Canhunter35 Well-Known Member

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    Good explanation!
    A lot of reloading methods are built around match style cartridges and sometimes with magnums or a limited coal a little different approach should be taken
     
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  11. eric1115

    eric1115 Member

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    That is super helpful and well articulated. Thanks Cody! I love this site and the wealth of knowledge its members have!
     
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