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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) reloading and accuracy (Read 815 times)
Red Cent
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reloading and accuracy
Oct 11th, 2017 at 9:08pm
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oneatatime's statement prompted me to start this thread.
Since I do not plan to shoot much, if any, over 300 yards, my questions will be based on this.
First, a few local shooters say I am wrong testing for groups at 100 yards. 200 at least, if not 300. For over 50 years I have been under the impression that if I can get consistent 1 MOA with, say, my 22-250, accuracy at longer distances is a given within reason. As an old really long distance ground hog exterminator, I can attest for shots up to approximately 500 yards. 53 gr Sierra BTHP with 33 grs of 3031. 1" round bull staright Douglas barrel air gauged. Rem 700 action that I bedded in a Bishop benchrest stock. Years ago.

We can get into yaw and other stuff that can happen before a bullet goes to sleep but if it prints great groups, do we care?
I am aware of really screwing up a bullet's BC because of instability but under 300 yards do I care?
I guess I should get it right the first time in case I get bit with the 1000 yard sickness.
For those who shoot 600 yards or less, how do you get comfortable with your bullet groups?
PS: It is a single shot Smiley
« Last Edit: Oct 11th, 2017 at 9:14pm by Red Cent »  

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craigd
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #1 - Oct 11th, 2017 at 9:40pm
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I think high velocity jacketed bullet varmint and target cartridges are quite a bit easier to use tables and programs to predict downrange performance. I would literally shoot what I have on hand, within reason, when it comes to casting up to get things rolling. My take on the point of the last topic was that a semi custom mold was being special ordered for a particular rifle. At that point, for exactly the same cost, is it worth fine tuning the match of the bullet to that rifle, to some potentially greater extent?

Maybe, someone is looking for a reduced load, maybe casting more bullets per pound of lead, good considerations. I haven't done it, but it's been on my radar in the past and if one lands in my lap, I'd be happy to try out the Lee .379" 250gr. mold. I'd give it a go in a lever gun, and I think it could punch paper just fine at two hundred yards and a lower velocity, pure fun in the C.Sharps, maybe. For the price, it is what it is. Not by any means trying to change any minds, only thoughts for your new topic.
  
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Red Cent
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #2 - Oct 11th, 2017 at 10:00pm
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I have the Lee 250 gr mold. And I have the lever gun. I have tried so many combos it is getting tiresome. Almost all my tests have been at 100 yards.
Expecting the C Sharps anyday and I am anxious to take it to the range. I am not giving up on the Marlin but more time will be devoted to the Ho Wall.
Which brings us back to the subject. I will begin testing the C Sharps at 100. Easier to see the target. Easier everything it seems. If I get 3" groups I will not try 200 yards.
So why would anyone START at 200 yards or more when the load is not tested at 100 yards?
  

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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #3 - Oct 11th, 2017 at 10:22pm
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I don't remember testing any loads short of 200 in the last 25+ years.  All my matches were at 200 or beyond. Never shot CF short of 200 until I started CBA because they shoot a 100 phase. I see no reason not to start at 100 especially if you are shooting open iron sights.

The only reason I shot my hunting rifle at 200 was curiosity. More than 30 years ago. I didn't expect to see it doing as well as the scope sighted hipower hunting rifle another guy was shooting that day.  I suppose he thought I should be doing worse or he better.  .54 flinter shooting round ball only gets about 14" group at 200  Roll Eyes

Good luck and don't worry about those guys that start at 300.  They probably need the exercise hiking back and forth. Cheesy
  

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gunlaker
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #4 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 12:26am
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I always start at 200m, unless I'm sighting in a new rifle or scope/sights.  Even then I usually get on paper at 50 and then go directly to 200 for CF rifles.  I think you should develop your loads for the maximum distance that you intend to shoot at.  There is no point doing load development a 300 if you intend to do your shooting at 200 though.

As far as shooting to 600, sometimes you will find that your best load at 200 is not your best load at 600.

Chris.
  

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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #5 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 3:19am
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I always try my load at 200 yds,you will find out about 200 % more info about your load. Then try it out at the farthest you shoot at match distances. I've had loads that shot well at 200 and went to hell at 300.
  
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P1
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #6 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 7:32am
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In Bryan Litz's very interesting book on long range shooting he recommends testing at 100 yds. to minimize outside factors. It is particularly good for isolating mechanical things. Our lead bullets work in a much narrower range than high power jacketed bullets so there needs to be some load tuning going to 200 yds. somethings. I've never had a 200 yd load not shoot at 100.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #7 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 9:55am
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I always start at 100 yds., but don't spend much time there, as my goal is much father anyway. But if your goal is 300 yds., then that's where I'd try to get to pretty quickly. Anything closer wont prove your gun and loads at the range you want to shoot.
  

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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #8 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 2:41pm
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I only shot one or two shots at 50yd to set the mechanical zero. Same at 100yd. Then enough to do some testing with 200yd loads at 200. Same at 300yd, 300m, 385m, 500m & 600yd. Much prefer to test at the distance the particular load will have to perform at. Takes some time at the longer distances, but have to figure out why it works at 300 and not at 600. I tend to have loads for each distance (which is a bit odd, as I really don't care for reloading). Be easier to shoot one load.
  

Glenn
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P1
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #9 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 4:32pm
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I would like to hear, and I believe that it is Red Cent's question, the why behind doing all testing over 100 yds. when it throws in many more veriables.  I shoot in NRA Palma matches and developed a competitive load at 100 for it.  Cast bullets are certainly different but I think it is even more important to cut down on outside influences, and you can develop a load quicker and with more confidence if the initial work is done at 100.
  
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craigd
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #10 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 6:33pm
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P1 wrote on Oct 12th, 2017 at 4:32pm:
I would like to hear, and I believe that it is Red Cent's question, the why behind doing all testing over 100 yds. when it throws in many more veriables....

I think most of the comments recommend starting at a hundred yards or less. I believe the comments about starting further out or spending very little time at a hundred yards are because some of the folks have worked out the variables to their satisfaction, and a new bullet is now the only variable.


  
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #11 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 6:39pm
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When I got into BPCR about 15 yrs ago, there were still a lot of unknowns in the game when it came to bullet length matched to twist, bullet hardness and bullet to bore fit, etc.
Many times, you could have a good target at 100 yds but it would fall apart at the longer distances.  I think it was understood, that if your load held up at 200 yds, then it would be good the rest of the way.  This idea held true for the most part, however, things still can fall apart at some greater distances.  Some pointy bullets seem to fall apart between 5-600 yds. and if you're a LRBP shooter, you may have a great load at 800 yds but start to look shakey at 900 yds to barely keeping it on paper at 1000 yds. 
From what I can tell, it usually is a bullet too long for the twist of the barrel or casting it too soft and the nose slumps ruining the bullets bc.
This is not such problem with jacketed bullets as the manufacturers have it figured out for you. You can probably come up with a few in the past that didn't work. .244 Rem, some .30 cal boat tails and heavy .223's with too slow of a twist. Bob
  
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #12 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 8:56pm
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My expectations of accuracy depends on the rifle and my intended use. That is what makes shooting fun and sometimes expensive.
The first nice rifle I had built in the early 80's cost $600. It was a hunting rifle in 300 win mag on a Mauser action with a premium Douglas barrel and a Weatherby reject stock. It shot minute of angle out to 500 yards. I asked my smith about getting into high power competition and shooting out to 1000 and he explained it simply. Spend 3x more money on components and I might get twice the accuracy, 1/2 minute.
So I guess for most people it's not only how hard you hold but how much you spend. I know no matter how much I spend that  a few certain friends can beat me with my own rifle no matter the distance or particular rifle. Most any 22's will shoot tight at 50 feet off hand, just depends on whose hands. Same for a $3000 bench rifle at 200.
I prefer 200 yard load development for most centerfire rifles and 50 and 100 testing for rimfire. Wind conditions are always a consideration. On new equipment or new load I always try for dead wind zeros so I can see what effect the wind has later for a rifle and load that shows good potential for longer ranges. I like to carry a proven rifle along with a new to me load or rifle to help verify my own abilities for that day. Practicing at longer distances gives me more confidence and that is what your local shooters are probably striving for. Longer ranges exaggerate poor form more so than 100 yard shooting (IMHO).
  
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SSShooter
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #13 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 9:58pm
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Old-Win wrote on Oct 12th, 2017 at 6:39pm:
..... a few in the past that didn't work. .244 Rem........... Bob

Not sure what didn't work with the .244Rem other than Remington's using too slow a twist and changing the name back and forth. Believe Tubb won one of his first world championships shooting it.
  

Glenn
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Red Cent
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Re: reloading and accuracy
Reply #14 - Oct 12th, 2017 at 10:40pm
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SSShooter, that initial bad press gave the 243 the edge and the 6MM never recovered. Better round in my opinion. I had a Savage 110 action barreled with an 18" straight taper Douglas barrel and the twist was requested to stabilize the 100-1105 gr bullet. It was built for my youngest son; however he adopted my Weatherby Vanguard in 7MM Mag.
That 6MM wil do MOA to 300 yards. Still have it.


100 yards.
Some of you are aware that I have spent months and months trying to get close to MOA out of a Marlin 336 38-55. First owner, apparently and unfortunately had it throated. In my reloading shop I have all the powders that are associated with the 38-55 except 4759. The bore slugged .379. I have tried .77 to .380. In 50+ years of shooting I have all the popular primers. I have neck expanders, and RCBS 38-55 dies. Not Lee. I have bullets that are 20 Brinell and down to 8 Brinell, 240 to 265 grains. Crimped, not crimped sized, not sized, neck sized. Loaded them long and in between.
Tempted to construct a breech seater.
Trying to get the Marlin to group consistently under 2"s is enough of a chore much less exacerbate the task.
But then, if I have ever had the "chore" of shooting a rifle for group, I always start at 100 yards (or less).
The 1000 yard bolt action group realizes that their bullets (some) will pass through paper with a yaw, then go to sleep far out there. However that group at the paper will not be embarrassing.
Seems the choice of 100 yards or going to 200 yards or longer may be a personal preference (hang up) that has evolved from exposure or mentoring.
  

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